When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade by Dave KehrWhen Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade by Dave Kehr

When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade

byDave Kehr

Paperback | April 15, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.37 online 
$29.50 list price save 27%
Earn 107 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


If you have ever wanted to dig around in the archives for that perfect Sunday afternoon DVD and first turned to a witty weekly column in the New York Times, then you are already familiar with one of our nation’s premier film critics. If you love movies—and the writers who engage them—and just happen to have followed two of the highest circulating daily papers in the country, then you probably recognize the name of the intellectually dazzling writer who has been penning pieces on American and foreign films for over thirty years. And if you called the City of the Big Shoulders home in the 1970s or 1980s and relied on those trenchant, incisive reviews from the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune to guide your moviegoing delight, then you know Dave Kehr. 

When Movies Mattered
presents a wide-ranging and illuminating selection of Kehr’s criticism from the Reader—most of which is reprinted here for the first time—including insightful discussions of film history and his controversial Top Ten lists. Long heralded by his peers for both his deep knowledge and incisive style, Kehr developed his approach to writing about film from the auteur criticism popular in the ’70s. Though Kehr’s criticism has never lost its intellectual edge, it’s still easily accessible to anyone who truly cares about movies. Never watered down and always razor sharp, it goes beyond wry observations to an acute examination of the particular stylistic qualities that define the work of individual directors and determine the meaning of individual films.

From current releases to important revivals, from classical Hollywood to foreign fare, Kehr has kept us spellbound with his insightful critical commentaries. When Movies Mattered will secure his place among our very best writers about all things cinematic.

Dave Kehr moved to the Chicago Tribune after leaving the Chicago Reader in 1986, and he was its principal film critic until late 1992, when he moved to New York. His work has appeared regularly in Film Comment,and he is a member of the National Society of Film Critics. He blogs at www.davekehr.com.
Title:When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative DecadeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 15, 2011Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226429415

ISBN - 13:9780226429410

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents



Part 1: The Best

1974: Le Petit théâtre de Jean Renoir (Jean Renoir)

1976: Family Plot (Alfred Hitchcock)

1977: F for Fake (Orson Welles)

1978: Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick)

1979: 10 (Blake Edwards)

1981: Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme)

1982: The Aviator’s Wife (Eric Rohmer)

1983: Francisca (Manoel de Oliveira)

Part 2: The End of Classical Hollywood

Classical Hollywood

The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston)

Fedora (Billy Wilder)

Escape From Alcatraz (Don Siegel)

The Human Factor (Otto Preminger)

New Hollywood

The Driver (Walter Hill)

Halloween (John Carpenter)

Reds (Warren Beatty)

Sudden Impact (Clint Eastwood)

New Directions in Comedy

Victor/Victoria (Blake Edwards)

Risky Business (Paul Brickman)

Lost in America (Albert Brooks)

After Hours (Martin Scorsese)

Mavericks and Outsiders

Dawn of the Dead (George Romero)

The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller)

Love Streams (John Cassavetes)

Trouble in Mind (Alan Rudolph)

Part 3: Other Visions

Old Masters

Blaise Pascal (Roberto Rossellini)

A Piece of Pleasure (Claude Chabrol)

That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Buñuel)

Perceval (Eric Rohmer)


Numéro deux

Every Man for Himself



New Masters

Jonah Who Will be 25 in the Year 2000 (Alain Tanner)

The Memory of Justice (Marcel Ophuls)

Allegro non troppo (Bruno Bozzetto)

The American Friend (Wim Wenders)

Loulou (Maurice Pialat)

Eijanaika (Shohei Imamura)

Coup de torchon (Bertrand Tavernier)

City of Pirates (Raul Ruiz)

Part 4: Revivals and Retrospectives

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi)

The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini)

Born in Germany, Raised in Hollywood: The Film Art of Fritz Lang

Record of a Tenement Gentleman (Yasujiro Ozu)

Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)

Othello (Orson Welles)

Crisis, Compulsion, and Creation: Raoul Walsh’s Cinema of the Individual

A Love That Caresses the Soul: Films by Carl Theodor Dreyer

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Mikio Naruse)

Le Silence de la mer and Bob le Flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville)

The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)

Hitch’s Riddle: On Five Rereleased Films

Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone)

French Cancan (Jean Renoir)

Appendix: Top Ten Lists, 1974–86