Have You Seen...? A Personal Introduction To 1,000 Films
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Have You Seen...? A Personal Introduction To 1,000 Films

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Features writings on 1000 of the films that the author has particularly liked - or in some cases, abhorred. This work features love stories, westerns, musicals, war stories, comedies, and dramas. It also discusses about British, Japanese and European cinema.
Paperback, 1024 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Allen Lane (first published January 1st 2008)
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Charles Matthews
Everybody loves a list. The American Film Institute, for example, gets a couple of TV specials every year out of listing the 100 best movies in some genre or other. And every film critic in the country is annually obligated to come up with a list of the top ten movies of the year.

But a list of 1,000 films? The vastness of such a project betrays its absurdity: No one's critical sensibility is so fine-tuned as to allow a convincing distinction in quality between the thousandth film on the list and...more
Lize
I own Thomson's "New Biographical Dictionary of Film", which is excellent, so I picked this one up from the library to 'audition' it and see if I wanted to buy it (I did). It's a monster of a book, covering 1,000 films, one per page, with Thomson's personal thoughts on each one, which, being nowhere near as objective as a review might be expected to be, are fascinating and often great fun to read. And Thomson's encyclopedic knowledge of detail always tells me something I didn't know, even about...more
Patrick
This makes for fascinating reading. I stumbled upon this compendium of reviews at an Exclusive Book sale, picked it up, and it was not long before I was hooked. At first I simply wanted to check Thomson's views against my own on many of my favourite movies; now I'm using it to guide me through my own classic film curriculum. I love this man's erudite turn of phrase and the compact manner in which he delivers his extensive knowledge and expertise.
Robert Beveridge
David Thomson, Have You Seen...?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films (Knopf, 2008)

I am enough of a film geek that I have a favorite critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum. He's witty, acerbic, and all too clear-eyed (enough to make an amateur like me wonder where I, or he, has gone so horribly wrong on certain movies). But after reading David Thomson's capsule notes on a thousand movies ranging from stuff everyone's written column inches on to movies even you have never heard of, Rosenbaum has some comp...more
Lewis Martin
A wonderful reference book for film fans. It consists of one page reviews of 1,000 films selected by Mr Thomson from the many thousands that he must have watched. They have been chosen either because they are personal favourites or because they are have particular significance in the history the cinema. Also included are the occasional TV series (The Sopranos) or TV drama (A Question of Attribution).
It is the perfect coffee table book. It can be picked up for 2 minutes or 20 - the hard part is...more
Derek Baldwin
By and large a good selection and certainly a lot more open minded than Leslie Halliwell was, for example. Excellent for dipping into.
Todd
Twenty years ago this book would have been an amazing read, but with the advent of websites like the Internet Movie Database it becomes less unique. With that said, this book is still a wonderful reference for all those moviegoers who do not have internet access/literacy and want a text that introduces them to a number of films across multiple genres.

Thomson affords each movie a page of introduction that is informative, anecdotal, and witty (at times even snarky). This is a great book to keep o...more
Dave
I mentioned that reading this was like eating potato chips--but how many potato chips can you eat in one sitting? After the second bag (the Ds), it got a bit much. I'll get back to it.

He is fun to read because he's seen Everything, and so has a comprehensive view of the whole film tradition of most of the world. Of course, just because you have experience and a consistent view and a critical vision doesn't mean you're right. Very similar to reading Edmund Wilson, Robert Christgau, others who thi...more
Hope
An interesting catalog of movies. I don't know anything about Thomson, but he seems to suffer from the same disease as most film reviewers: that of believing the darkest and oldest movies are the most interesting. His writing style is rather cryptic and he never tells you much about the plot or the movie in general. It is not really for people who are trying to find something to read on a Saturday night, but might be more interesting to the serious movie buff or scholar of cinema.
Bert
This is not intended to be a book about the best 1,000 films; it’s Thomson’s thoughts on films that are worth seeing for a variety of reasons. All the write-ups are one page or less. Like Pauline Kael, Thomson has his own unique perspective on films -- the “Personal” in the title should be taken seriously – so I often don’t enjoy films I’ve watched on his recommendation but his observations are worth reading.
Amy
Very interesting!

Films are arranged in alphabetical order. The date that the film was released is in ( ) after each title. Each film rates a 3/4 page "review". Of the 1000 movies in the book, I have seen approximately 200.

Some noteworthy absences: Chicago, A Chorus Line, Ghosts of Mississippi, Harry Potter, Laurence Olivier's MacBeth, Mississippi Burning, Philadelphia, Private Benjamin, Risky Business, Top Gun.
Karen
Of course I skimmed this mammoth book, passing over the esoteric entries like Un Chien Andalou in favor of movies I love like Angel Face. David Thomson is such an idiosyncratic writer, even when he's writing about movies I know really well, I have no idea what he's talking about half the time. Which is kind of fun and kind of annoying. But, still, I ate it up like popcorn.
Ed Smiley
This is a very good book, encyclopedic in that he takes a great effort to include films that he thinks you ought to know about. His opinions are quirky (because he sometimes disagrees with me in ways I take violent exception to). However, he always voices coherent reasons for his positions.

I good book for a film buff.
Melissa
Jan 04, 2009 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michael, Mary
It's a big thick book, great stuff for a movie lover. I only read about movies I'd seen or were curious about. Honestly, I didn't know what he was talking about quite a bit of the time, but his is a quirky, opinionated voice I enjoyed. I also got a long list of movies to see or to watch again.
Gordon Howard
A very good reference book for 1,000 films selected by this critic. I took a History of Film class from David Thomson at Dartmouth in 1980 and I have a lot of respect for him as a film critic and author, as well as a teacher. Each film gets a page, and a review, good, bad, or conflicted.
Kristine (fezabel)
This is a really great book covering lots & lots of movies using short detailed bits. I liked the background & details about my favorites & added several movies to my to-watch list. I liked that the author didn't spoil the movies too much for the ones I haven't seen. Highly recommended!
John
Great fun to pick up and read randomly or to consult as a partial reference. Good writing and strong opinions -- or not depending on the review and the reason the film was chosen for the collection. It's the contrarian views that most light the imagination.
James
I pick up this book whenever I see a movie mentioned in it or am looking for one to watch - as good to disagree with as to admire. Thomson grows tetchier with each book but he makes you appreciate that watching cinema is a form of dreaming.
Diana Duncan
Very entertaining reviews of 1,000 films. He introduced me to many that I'd never heard of. Thomson is most entertaining when describing films that he included though he personally loathes them such as The Sound of Music.
steph b.
I LOVE movie lists. I checked this book out from the library and reluctantly returned it three weeks later. A fantastic reference for anyone looking for an "education" in world cinema. If only it had some pictures.....
Michelle
He's a mean one, that 'Dick' Thomson, but he is one talented and eloquent son of a bitch. Now at the very top of my list for that arbitrary "If you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be?" list.
Neil McCrea
Personal essays on 1,000 + films. Thompson unearths rare gems and attacks sacred cows without succumbing to the tired notion that art of any sort can really be ranked in any sort of top ten style hierarchy.
TurtleneckGirl
I've got to Amazon this for my son Greg...it's too late for Christmas, but his birthday is coming up in April! I'm going to wrap it up with a bag of microwave popcorn and a box of Milk Duds:)
Patricia
Perversely leaves out important films by Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. He really doesn't like comedy. But he can write short essays about films better than just about anybody.
Stephanie
Dec 18, 2008 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: movie lovers
Recommended to Stephanie by: was in Book Pages
I do love movies, especially ones before 1970. This is an amazing book for the movie buff. He writes very engaging essays, giving you just enough plot information.
Sam Baber
It only took a few months to read each of his 1,000 mini-essays (some of which made me grit my teeth), but as a go-to encyclopedia, it is indispensable.
Dan
I disagree with a lot of his thoughts on the films included, but this is still kind of awesome. Definitely worth a read for movie fanatics.
Roy Thomas
Thomson's knowledge of the cinema is extremely deep. He is a quirky writer but always very readable.
Tara
Very provocative. I often disagree with Thomson's assessments, but they are virtually always interesting.
Nixycoco
Glib - i suppose that's down to the length of the 'reviews'.

Very heavy too.
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