• The A list: The national society of film critics’ 100 essential films (2002). Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306810964

A guide to the essentials in film. Titles reviewed by the national society of film critics  are meant to act as a canon for film libraries, and schools. Publisher’s Weekly deems it a necessary reference tool, and  provides nearly three pages of text for each title selected.

Offered in the TCM shop online, it’s one of only about fifteen titles they suggest.



  • All about eve (two-disc special edition 2008) 1950 Bette Davis, Anne Baxter George Sanders  024543507321 20th Century Fox

A guide to the essentials in film. Titles reviewed by the national society of film critics  are meant to act as a canon for film libraries, and schools. Publisher’s Weekly deems it a necessary reference tool, and  provides nearly three pages of text for each title selected.

Offered in the TCM shop online, it’s one of only about fifteen titles they suggest.



  • Astaire & rogers ultimate collector’s edition (flying down to rio / the gay divorcee / roberta / top hat / follow the fleet / swing time / shall we dance / carefree / the story of vernon and irene castle / the barkleys of broadway ( 2006)) 012569829459 Warner Home Video.

The quintessential couple during the depression, Astaire and Rogers starred in thirteen films together, this is the full collection. Notable titles include Shall we Dance, highlighting George Gershwin’s popular songs of the thirties, The Gay Divorcee includes Cole Porter’s Night and Day, as well as definitive stars of the time Alice Brady, and Edward Horton. This full collection of films defines the transformation of the musical as a film genre over a period of almost 15 years.  




  • Braudy, L., & Cohen, M. ( 2009)Film theory and criticism Oxford University Press, USA. Retrieved from Books

A newer title, reviewed this to be ‘essential reading for the serious film student.’ This book builds on a wide range of selections and provides historical coverage, and critical writings on film.



  • Casablanca( dvd 2000) 1943 Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, 012569500822 Warner Home Video

High stakes, war and a previous love affair are laced through this film in one of the ‘ most spirited and enobling movies ever made,(’ Casablanca holds the #1 film spot on the AFI top 100 movie, and continues to impress. No film collection would be complete without this title.



  • Citizen kane (two-disc special edition)  1941 Orson Wells, 053939656527 Turner Home Ent

Orson Wells directed, wrote, produced and starred in this classic at the age of 25. Wells, as director,  was noted for putting the ceiling in the shot for the first time, and leaving the audience with the mystery of the meaning of ’Rosebud’ in his characters dying words. An innovation in directing and storytelling.



  • City lights (2 disc special edition) 1931 Charlie Chaplin 085393764821 United Artists 

The film which best represents Charlie Chaplins powers post depression. Actng as the Tramp in its finest form, Rival films to consider for collection are The Dictator and Modern Times. All which highlight Chaplin’s genius in the silent film industry.



  • Classic comedies collection (bringing up baby / the philadelphia story two-disc special edition / dinner at eight / libeled lady / stage door / to be or not to be) 2005, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, William Powell, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard,  012569697362 Warner Home Ent.

A collection of excellent films which are difficult to pass up at the cost. All titles are important for bringing something to the film industry. Highlighting the actors at their best points in their film careers this collection includes nominated and oscar winning films, all of which are on the top 100 IMDB film list.

27. 49




  • The complete thin man collection (the thin man / after the thin man / another thin man / shadow of the thin man / the thin man goes home / song of the thin man / alias nick and nora) 012569673991 William Powell, Myrna Loy Warner Home Video

Bringing together Powell and Loy in a series of mysteries by Dashiell Hammet, the thin man series excels at providing actors with excellent chemistry, and a wide array of supporting cast. Combining old school noir, with comedy, romance, and mystery this is a collection which ‘spans genres’ and one which could be invaluable at portraying how a sucessful shoud be done.




  • Doherty, Thomas. (1999 ) Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex Immortality and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934 ISBN 0231110952 Columbia University Press

A look at Hollywood before the 1930’s Hays Code began to restrict film content following a series of edgy films in the twenties, brought on by the plummeting economy.This title is included in the TCM archive and one of the most comprehensive guides to the films that brought about the need for the Hays Code to be implemented in 1930.



  • Double indemnity (universal legacy series)  Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray 1944 025192907821 Universal Studios

Classic Film Noir at it’s best, by Billy Wilder. Barbara Stanwyck is the proverbial femme fatal. The film told in flashback , keeps the viewer on edge. On the AFI’s Top 100 Films of all time list, this film highlights the qualities that made the dark grays and blacks of early mysteries shown on the screen so irresistible.



  • Fraser, A. (2004). Hollywood picks the classics: A guide for the beginner and the aficionado (illustrated edition ed.) Bulfinch.

A compiled guide of interesting Hollywood stories and photographs, a book excellent for a circulating collection, and an excellent visual reference resource. This title compiles the old favorites selected by Hollywood’s current talent. With a foreward by Esther Williams, this book is a definite for any collection.



  • Gone with the wind (two-disc edition) 012569680005  Vivian Leigh, Clark Gable, leslie Howard, Warner Home Video

One of Hollywood’s epic films, Gone with the Wind, highlights the trials and tribulations in the south during the civil war. A tribute to the human spirit, this film is the canon by which so many others are measured. Oscar winning, oscar nominated, and on too many lists to count, this film has gone through an anniversary edition nearly every year.



  • Kobel, P. (2007). Silent movies: The birth of film and the triumph of movie culture Little, Brown and Company.

Kobel’s efforts in film preservation of silent film justify his credibility in putting together such a comprehensive work. He highlights the beginning of cinema and film and deal with some of the more important issues that surrounded silent film. The New York Daily News calls this the definitive visual history of silent film.



  • The lady vanishes (enhanced) 1938 837654113745 Criterion

A part of the Criterion Collection, the Lady Vanishes is one of Alfred Hitchcocks ‘ most quick witted and devilish comic thrillers (’. This film shows the flawless play of Hitchcock directing and makes a good addition to the AFI collection.



  • Maltin, L. (2005). Leonard Maltin’s classic movie guide Plume.

Movie critic and author Leonard Maltin reviews more than 9,000 classic movies.  The title offers a star and director index. Recommended by Turner Classic Movies, this title is deemed a “dynamic guide to the classics no film aficionado should be without.’



  • My Man Godfrey (color + black-and-white) 1936 Carole Lombard, William Powell, 844503000446 Legend Films

Highlighting the wealthy eccentric and some unfortunate homeless, brought down by the market crash, My Man Godfrey plays on satire, romance and social comment. The top screwball comedy of the time,  it was the first film to receive Oscar nominations in all four acting categories. This film also graces a place in the top 100 best films list produced by both AFI and the IMDB.



  • The premiere Frank Capra collection (mr. smith goes to washington / it happened one night / you can’t take it with you / mr. deeds goes to town / american madness / frank capra’s american dream) 043396152182 Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Sony Pictures

Capra’s Title of the ‘number one director in hollywood’ by Time magazine in 1938, not to mention three best director oscars has earned the need for this entire set of dvds to be included in the collection. Addressing some of the issues in politics, and wealth, Capra succeeds in creating films that won awards and spoke to the people of the time. A cultural artifact, Capra’s films, better than others define the issues in America and explain the course the country was heading pre WWII.



  • Preston Sturges – the filmmaker collection (sullivan’s Travels/The lady Eve/The palm beach Story/Hail the conquering Hero/The great McGinty/Christmas in July/The great moment) 025193112620 Universal Studios

Known as the 20th century renaissance man Sturges would win best original screen play for most of his works. Two titles in this collection, justified the purchasing of the set, for the cost. The Lady Eve,  starring Barbara Stanwyck in what many consider her best role shows the roles reversed as Stanwyck  falls in love with a man in one guise and after losing him, attempts to make him fall in love with her again in another guise. The second film is Sullivans Travels, which chronicles a director trying to find the real things in life, and discovers that the movies are made to do more than make political statements. A bold look at the way cinema was being used pre 1950, Sturges succeeds in making his point in a comedic and lighthearted way.



  • Pygmalion – criterion collection 1939 Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller 037429151822 Criterion .

Selected to be part of the elite Criterion Collection, Pygmalion is George Bernard Shaw’s popular play better known as My Fair Lady. This original is restored beautifully, and exploit’s the issue of subjugation of women. Howard does wella s the elitest brute, only to find that he is nothing without those who takes pleasures in degrading. An excellent example of Hollywood’s own attempts to transform mere people into movie stars, this title offers more than film theory and screenplay direction.



  • Stagecoach (two-disc special edition) 1939 John Wayne 012569758995 Warner Home Video

The film that made John Wayne a star, this title brought back to life the franchise of westerns in Hollywood. With Oscar nominations, John Wayne and John Ford would take the success of this film and go on to fuel all of Hollywoods needs for westerners. Prior films that John Wayne had  acted in, credited him as being a great actor. It was, however, Stagecoach that would begin John Wayne’s career as the sashaying cowboy that defined the westerns in Hollywood.



  • TCM archives – Forbidden Hollywood collection, vol. 1 (waterloo bridge [1931] / baby face / red-headed woman) 012569679641 Warner Home Video 31.99


  • TCM archives – Forbidden Hollywood collection, vol. 2 (the divorcee / A free soul / night nurse / three on a match / female) 012569795761 WARNER HOME VIDEO 37.99


  • TCM archives – Forbidden Hollywood collection, vol. 3 (Other men’s women / The purchase price / Frisco jenny / Midnight Mary / Heroes for sale / Wild boys of the road) 883929011070 Warner Home Video  34.99


TCM’s Forbidden Hollywood collection is made possible by conservation efforts through the Library of Congress.  This formidable collection of films pre the Hays Code of 1930 clarifies further what all the moral/ethical screaming was about. These films dabble in mob scenes, sex scenes, alcoholism, drugs, and all the risqué that Hollywood could conjure up and sneak onto the screen. These first three volumes are no doubt just the beginning of these films coming into the market. Because of the historical significance of these films it will be the goal of the library to acquire them as they become available.


  • Turner Classic Movies, Osborne, R. A., & Haskell, M. Leading men: The 50 most unforgettable actors of the studio era Chronicle Books. Retrieved from Books

Robert Osborne of TCM compiles this book of essentials. An excellent addition in a circulating collection and a good resource for referencing important actors of the studio era. This is one of TCM’s publications and included in their archive.



  • Turner Classic Movies, Osborne, R. A., & Haskell, M. Leading women: The 50 most unforgettable actresses of the studio era Chronicle Books. Retrieved from Books

Robert Osborne of TCM compiles this book of essentials. An excellent addition in a circulating collection and a good resource for referencing important actresses of the studio era. This is one of TCM’s publications and included in their archive.



  • Vieira, M. A. Hollywood dreams made real: Irving thalberg and the rise of M-G-M Abrams. Retrieved from Books

This title chronicles the mogul movie studios of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. MGM, among others bought actors for years on end, with iron clad contracts that disallowed them from making movies outside their own studio. This book shows the advantages and disadvantages of the studio era, which further provides a historical context when we analyze film theory and practice. 31.50


  • The wizard of oz , Judy Garland 1939 027616604491 MGM ( DVD)

Filled with music and  a brilliant transition from black and white to Technicolor the Wizard of Oz film is not only an achievement in excellent filmmaking but also an example of what the what Hollywood was capable of.


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