The Essential Directors: The Art and Impact of Cinema’s Most Influential Filmmakers

Running Pr.: Perseus. (Turner Classic Movies). Nov. 2021. 344p. ISBN 9780762498932. pap. $25.99. FILM
Directors take center stage in cinematic historian De Forest’s (Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of This World) latest addition to the beautiful and bountiful “Turner Classic Movies” series. Restricting her inventory to the period between the 1920s and 1970s (sorry, Quentin Tarantino) and factoring in revisionist critiques and controversies in the subjects’ personal lives or work, De Forest presents 56 selections that, for the most part, yield the usual suspects. Along with the obligatory entries on Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Capra, and John Ford, there are some delightful and revelatory surprises like Oscar Micheaux and Ida Lupino. The text is chronologically arranged, and each entry, in addition to featuring De Forest’s brief career summation, includes sidebars on “Must-See Movies” and “Key Scene To Watch.” And, of course, there is the “TCM Library” signature cornucopia of splashy and gorgeous photographs and stills.
VERDICT Just lovely. Fans of the “TCM Library” series will be delighted.
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