Reel Culture By Mimi O’Connor

Reel Culture: 50 Classic Movies You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends)
Mimi O’Connor
Zest Books (2009)
ISBN 9780981973319
Reviewed by McKenzie Tritt (age 16) for Reader Views (04/10)

It has happened to all of us. You have been in a social situation, be it a party or a classroom, and someone references a classic movie that you have not seen. You laugh like you know what they are talking about, or listen intently to the conversation, nodding like you agree. Really, though, you have no idea what is going on. It is clear to you and it may be obvious to everyone else. What is the best way to avoid these situations? Watch the movie. Is there another good way? Check out “Reel Culture.”

Mimi O’Connor has created a collection of fifty classic movies that everyone should know about. Some are cult classics, others are not so well known. Some are serious, some are goofy. Either way, they each have their quirks and quotes that most people remember. Each movie gets a few pages with a basic plot description – including the end, so beware – cast list, what made it famous, a scene from the movie, the things people still talk about, famous quotes, and some extra bonus facts.

As I read through “Reel Culture,” I recognized a lot of the quotes. It was great to finally learn where they had come from. Even though I have not seen the movies, now I at least have some basic knowledge. Mimi O’Connor’s guide is good for movie buffs and newbies alike. Her book gives insight into some of the most famous movies in all of history. The sections “The Stuff People Still Talk About” and “Quotables,” both at the end of each movie’s section, are especially relevant. The two sections explain, obviously, what the movies are still remembered for, as well as their most well-known quotes. Reading through, I found quotes that I’ve used, but had no idea where they came from or their meaning.

“Reel Culture” is a good, easy read that is great for looking through when you’ve only got a few minutes to spare. The guide is easy to pick up and accessible. The author doesn’t come across as condescending, but rather helps you avoid looking like a fool. Need to polish up your movie knowledge? Check this out. I know I’m definitely in the mood for some classic movies now.


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