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The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Once the B movie was the Hollywood stepchild, the underbelly of the double feature. Today it is a more inclusive category, embracing films that fall outside the mainstream by dint of their budgets, their visions, their grit, and occasionally - sometimes essentially - their lack of what the culture cops call "good taste."" Featuring the choicest noir, neo-noir, science fic ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Da Capo Press (first published October 6th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 109)
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Jill Hutchinson
Oct 24, 2012 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
This is the book for the film lover....the lover of the good, the bad, and the ugly film. Although I don't usually pay too much attention to what the critics have to say about a film, this book hits the highlights of all those guilty pleasures that we watch on late night television or at the Midnight Movie. From those wonderful low-budget classics of Detour and Gun Crazy to Platoon and Rocky Horror, each film is categorized into a particular genre and only the hard-core film student will know th ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-culture
Best of the B's

Perhaps the best gauge, and the best use, of books like this in the Netflix-era is how many movies they inspire the reader to research and add to their queue. I put three movies on my queue, and researched several more.

"The B-List" (the same team also put out "The A-List" and "The X-List", covering cinema's finest and sexiest) begins by defining what makes a B movie:

--limited budgets
--twisted visions
--ignored conventions
--transversed genres

The B-list requirements used to include
Jan 06, 2010 Alan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Cineastes gone slumming
Recommended to Alan by: Library shelving cart
While this book succeeds on at least one level—it's an entertaining collection of well-written essays about some unusual films—it didn't really work for me all that well, in that I was not inspired to go out and watch the films they recommend, in those cases where I had not already seen 'em. Maybe that says more about me than about the films or their reviews, but the tone of these essays was definitely self-congratulatory and a bit deprecating... the professional film critics writing here are we ...more
Jul 29, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Receiving this book as a gift, I looked at the list of films it discusses and figured I wouldn't be that into it since I only recognized a few of them. As it turns out, that was the best part about it! I started out reading about the films I'd seen, or at least heard of. Each entry is only 2-4 pages long, so they read pretty quick. And after reading a few of the familiar ones, I was getting so excited about each film the authors discussed that I decided to read it from page 1. There's all sorts ...more
Tom Fuchs
Aug 04, 2011 Tom Fuchs rated it liked it
Here's my CHUD review, it's a decent if unspectacular collection of reviews, many of them not really adhering to qualities that comprise a B movie, but nonetheless some interesting film criticism in there:
May 09, 2012 Lise rated it liked it
A fun book of movie reviews, unevenly written and not terrible well edited (I found a couple of them totally unreadable, others engrossing). Likewise, the subject matter is greatly varied. Some of these movies I have already sought out, others I now know enough to avoid.
Dec 09, 2008 Dan rated it did not like it
Enh. The essay on The Rocky Horror Picture Show reads like it was a review for the high school paper. The other essays I picked over were not particularly interesting or insightful.
Arthur O'dell
Mar 12, 2012 Arthur O'dell rated it liked it
Shelves: film-studies, owned
A haphazard collection of reviews from several major film critics. Some interestings titles and some interesting writing, but overall a very uneven collection.
Jan 23, 2012 Stacy rated it did not like it
too many older movies . . . if this book were more up to date, i might add a star. unfortunately, the "critiques" were more like summaries.
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David Sterritt is a film critic, author and scholar. He is most notable for his work on Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard, and his many years as the Film Critic for The Christian Science Monitor, where, from 1968 until his retirement in 2005, he championed avant garde cinema, theater and music. He has a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University and is the Chairman of the National Society o ...more
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