VINTAGE FILMS: 50 En-during Motion Pictures by Bosley Crowther

VINTAGE FILMS: 50 En-during Motion Pictures

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Bosley Crowther, film critic for the New York Times from 1940 to 1968, when the Young Turks took over, chats about 50 of his favorite movies. To merit inclusion in this volume, the films had to have ""stood the test of time,"" like fine wines (his analogy) and, presumably, fine film critics. Otherwise, the selection does demonstrate a wee bit of what he calls ""personal taste""--as, for that matter, do his reviews. ""All reactions to movies are subjective,"" he explains, and that just about sums up his methodology of film criticism--one that ""today's sophisticated movie buffs"" are likely to find hard to swallow. Also difficult to ingest are lines like ""They just don't make 'em like that anymore"" (High Noon), and ""Yes, there is deathless drama and lasting meaning in The Bridge on the River Kwai:"" Evidently, someone clued him in on the fact that his views on sex in the movies were downright retrograde (he called Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless ""immoral"" in 1961), because some of the language he uses--most notably in his description of the action in Last Tango in Paris--made this reviewer blush. (Forty-two of the selections are, appropriately, pre-1960.) Readers who enjoyed Mr. Crowther's down-to-earth style in the Times may get a few nostalgic chuckles out of these warmed-over reviews.

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 1976
Publisher: Putnam