151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin: Select Reviews
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Leonard Maltin is famous for his voluminous annual, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, the go-to reference book since its initial publication in 1969. But that book has 17,000 entries, so it isn't a place to go for the selectivity that hardcore film buffs crave. So now Maltin has written the perfect book for everyone who has ever walked into a video store and been so overwhelmed that they rented a movie they had already seen twice: Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen. In this book, Maltin unearths 151 movies that he thinks have been unfairly under-rated, and explains why. Reading this book will inspire you to see all of the movies described here...and you won't be disappointed in any of them.
Leonard Maltin on The Three Best Book-Film Adaptations You've Never Seen
The films I've chosen are "The Door in the Floor" (from John Irving's A Widow for One Year) starring Jeff Bridges, "Thumbsucker" (from the novel by Walter Kirn, who also wrote Up in the Air), and "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" (from the memoir by Terry Ryan).
The marvel of "The Door in the Floor" is that filmmaker Tod Williams was able to fashion such an exceptional and fully-realized work from just a small portion of Irving's novel. And Jeff Bridges should have had an Oscar nomination that year for his performance.
"Thumbsucker" is one of my favorite indie films of recent years. It marks the feature debut for graphic designer-turned-moviemaker Mike Mills, who also set himself the task of adapting Kirn's novel. I think his work as a screenwriter is as impressive as his sure-handed direction of this terrific (and well-cast) movie.
"The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" proves once again that real life is an endless source of great material. Terry Ryan didn't have to invent a story; she grew up as one of 10 children, nurtured by a mother who sacrificed everything for her kids--at a time when women were expected to be happy homemakers. So her mom supported the family by using her wit and determination to win jingle contests. Jane Anderson adapted the book and did a great job directing the stylish film, while Julianne Moore gives an outstanding performance as Evelyn Ryan, with Woody Harrelson as her ne'er-do-well husband.
Extended Copyright Information
Copyright 2010 by Leonard Maltin. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.
Previously published by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Leonard Maltin is one of the world's most respected film critics and historians. His annual paperback, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, is a widely used reference work, and he has appeared on the popular television show "Entertainment Tonight" since 1982. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, hosts a weekly show, "Secret's Out," on ReelzChannel and introduces movies on DirecTV. His books include Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons; The Great Movie Comedians; The Disney Films; The Art of the Cinematographer; Movie Comedy Teams; The Great American Broadcast; Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide and Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosts and co-produces the Walt Disney Treasures DVD series, and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He also publishes a quarterly newsletter, "Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy," and holds court at www.leonardmaltin.com.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
The first great film I saw in 2009, _Two Lovers_ is a vivid romantic drama that’s meant to express larger-than-life emotions. When he brought his film to my class at USC, writer-director James Gray explained that he wanted to emulate the films of the 1970s that exposed their characters ...
Copyright 2010 by Leonard Maltin.
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