Sunday, November 21, 2010

Icons of Film: The 20th Century

Icons of Film: The 20th Century
by Peter W. Engelmeier [791.43 qEng]

The 20th century brought many changes to the movie industry. Silent films evolved into "talkies" and added a whole new dimension to the moviegoer's experience. This selection of 84 films range from blockbusters to the favorites of sophisticated film buffs. The films are arranged chronologically starting with the silent movie The Kid starring Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp and move on to epics such as Gone With the Wind and Casablanca. Some films are chosen because they address social issues. A Street Car Named Desire, released in 1951, was chosen because it signaled the end of film censorship in Hollywood. For fifty years the film industry had ensured that its output was suitable for the whole family. Insanity, homosexuality, sexual obsession and rape were taboo. These subjects formed the basis of Tennessee Williams' steamy story about a southern family and made the leap from liberal Broadway to the conservative silver screen. This walk down the red carpet of cinematic history ends with the 1999 drama, American Beauty. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

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