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501 Must-See Movies

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Suitable for film buffs and those who enjoy going to the movies. This book describes the history of 501 films.
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published November 7th 2004 by Bounty Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film lovers
# of movies in this book I've seen: 33

Clearly, I could definitely use this book. My tastes in movies tends to lean towards the romantic comedy sort so this was a bit of an eye-opener to me. There are movies from everyone in this book. From action to horror to western to romance, it's all there. This offers not only standard production information but also a brief description of the plot and highlights of the movie's cinematography, acting, and production. It's nice to have a little bit of a cri
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
While I did not read every movie description, I did learn a lot. I made a nice list of movies that I want to see now, thanks to this book. Excited to start watching.
While I did think some movies were missing from the list (most notably Fight Club), there were a lot of great movies listed.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly I have seen all the films in the Horror section except for one.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is basically a chain chain chain of spoilers which are, granted, way more frequent than typos (is this good or bad news?), but don't be fooled: these are common too. Moreover: some passable movies (Speed, The Blair Which Project, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)...) are included to the detriment of more essential ones (A Streetcar Named Desire, Hair, Love and Death...).

I love it when a random quote from a book can be used to describe it, be it f
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great book for all movie lovers. You can find interesting facts about movies discussed here and you can also use it to choose which movie you want to watch next.
The book is divided into chapters/movie genres and discusses the best movies (according to the authors) from every genre. The films are organized in genres according to the date of filming, starting from the earliest filmed movies to the most recent.
Photos in the book good too...
David Leemon
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A decent list of movies, organized by genre. A useful reference for what you may or may not have watched.
Nov 09, 2019 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
No Maurice (1987), no credibility.
Also just a big lack in LGBT movies in general, therefore I don't care.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A great list for beginners or film-fanatics. As with all books of this ilk, the nature is subjective, so I'm aware that some films I think should be included are not, while others that are included I don't think warrant inclusion at all. However, I do like that it's weighted towards classics, and while there are some modern films, there's not much past the 90s. Half the fun is discovering what you've already seen, what you'd want to see, and finding new directors, cinematographers, etc. I also l ...more
C. J. Scurria
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: media-stuff
Just as the movies that are listed in here, this is a must-buy book for people who love movies for what they are: art and expression transferred to film.

Each film is categorized by genre and one can look for their favorite type of movie in the carefully divided sections. But this film book just isn't for what you are used to seeing.

You can have new favorites, new movies in general that will amaze, surprise, and fill you with wonder.

I kinda wish the list was longer though but that is my opinion.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s no secret that I love lists and Audrey Hepburn, so I considered it a real accomplishment when I was able to walk by this book on a few different bookstore visits without buying it. But, then I had a weak moment and snatched it up. I had a blast going through this fun book with its beautiful movie stills and information. The movies are broken into 10 different genres and I have watched a total if 188. For as many movies as I watch I was surprised the number wasn’t higher. Here’s my take on e ...more
Mar 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: movies, non-fiction
Solid compilation of movies to see with only a few clunkers in the bunch--some of the more contemporary choices are a bit strained (Young Guns is not a classic western). But on the whole, well chosen and a nice intro for film novices and even for more flick savvy folks like myself there were a few surprises--films that I may have been only vaguely aware of are now on my watch for list (Dead of Night, The Iron Horse, Run of the Arrow). Broken in film genre's (Western, Romance, Sci-Fi, Mystery/Thr ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: list-making
I bought this book in the bargain bin of Borders before they closed down #ripBorders #istillloveyou. This book was PROBABLY/VERYLIKELY/MOSTDEFINITELY the best $9 I've ever spent. I have an obsession with list-making and as a precocious high schooler, I neurotically highlighted and underlined the crap out of this book. I didn't know too much about movies back then and I can't say I'm much better more than 10 years later, but it's been my mission to watch the movies on this list. Without it, I nev ...more
Jason Ross
Dec 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting in that the must-sees of each genre --horror, musicals, drama etc-- are crafted by a different film critic (or editor or journalist or whatever you want to call them).
It is interesting to note when one film makes it on the horror person's list when it could have easily made it under sci-fi... the rationale fpr such a placement is understood by simple analysis of the film. Consistently written without the abusive use of film-school jargon and intellectual snobbery which permeates eve
'Nathan Burgoine
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a gift and date-night idea I bought to share with my husband. We went through it, put coded post-its on all the movies, so we could tell if:

We'd seen it (together or apart).
We'd like to see it again with each other.
We'd like to see it at all (neither of us hadn't seen it).

The whole "Western" chapter was a bit of a "miss" for us, but it was fun to go through the movies and realize what we were both missing that the other had enjoyed.
Kirsty Price
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
to any avid film watcher, this book is a good book to give you small useful information about the book. it gives small plot details without giving too much away, however unless you want to see every awesome movie ever made, this book can be incredibly boring. its not really set out in an interesting way, I didn't find myself drawn to it as much as I usually am. if I am bored ill pick it up, but I won't fully read it I will just flick through it.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome compilation of movies--classics all the way up to 2004. So it is a little dated now, but only in the most recent of film releases. The classics make up a large bulk of the 'must-see' films, and as a movie geek, I must say that most, if not all, movies today are rooted in these timeless films. A must read for film fanatics!
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it
This is my go-to book whenever (which is rare, lately) I don't know what to read. I also add little star stickers to each book that I have read, to mark the path of my accomplishments. Silly, but helpful. I really enjoy it. Once (if ever) I complete all 501 books, I will then move to the "1001 Books you must read before you die"... right now, I'll stick at the 501. Baby steps. Baby steps. LOL!
Feb 28, 2010 added it
This is AWESOME!! I went through and initialed the ones that I have seen (so did Andrea) and now I have more movies that I need to watch! I believe that they left out some movies that are must see movies and they put some in that I disagree with.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Each passage for each different film is equally fascinating and a must-have for all film-buffs but if you're not a big film buff you could just skip over to your favourite genre. There's something for everybody.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
My goal is to watch every movie in this book (with the exception of some in the horror section- I'm cool with monster movies but demon possession freaks me to high heaven). We will see how it goes.

Movies that should be included but Are Not:
The Rare Breed
The Court Jester
Father Goose
I got this for my mom for her birthday, but ended up taking a good look though it myself. A lot of movies I'd like to see. Also, it has helpful reviews and states why the movies are good. I'm hoping my mom will watch some of the more "bloody" ones now because they're such good movies!
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estou vendendo este livro pela minha página no Portal do Livreiros.
Livro em perfeito estado.
Gina G
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really like this as their in some not so obvious picks in here as well as the classics (godfather, citizen Kane etc.)
i don't think all of these are must sees but it's still an awesome book to have if you like movies
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some significant movies were skipped,but overall it's a useful movie guide.
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the recommended movies I would much rather I not waste my time on, but in the context of popular culture (movies that get referenced in pop culture, that is), these were some of the best.
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I must say I have seen quite a few of these. As my nephew discovered, the movie titles are the British ones, ie. the Harry Potter Book One.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
this book had more typos than movies
Rayna Gausnell
Awesome book
Bryan Duncan
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2013
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