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“This valuable and highly readable book will serve equally well as a primer for newcomers to film history and a refresher course for more experienced viewers on the vast spectrum of American cinema. Best of all, it will introduce novices and veterans alike to a number of offbeat and unjustly-forgotten titles on the National Film Registry.“


Leonard Maltin

“I’ve always thought of my films as a kind of private history, a record of things that interested me, music, people, events, sometimes politics. They allowed me to watch like a cat, and not have to be a reporter. What made it risky was not explaining anything. When I got rid of the script and the narration in the early films, and went out hunting for films with a camera they were seen as sort of dicey and unorthodox and unfortunately for us, unsaleable, at least to TV. That was what got us into theaters.


I really welcome the existence of the National Film Registry and Daniel Eagan’s wonderful book –America’s Film Legacy –about it.  The NFR’s determination to collect these early experimental works and not let them disappear is really collecting and preserving the history of our times. I believe that films will eventually be our most important artifact. They may well become a new language.“


D A Pennebaker

"Movies included in the National Film Registry will be 'preserved for all time,' a phrase that really resonates for me.  Without this support, my work would just disappear, and our film history would be lost."


Mitchell Block, director, ...no lies

“Daniel Eagan informs as well as entertains in this lively, opinionated reference guide to a treasure trove of cinema history in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.“


John Canemaker, Academy Award-winning animator, director, and author

©2009 All rights reserved.

“I was immediately jolted awake (as in ‘thrilled’) by ‘America's Film Legacy.’  I guess I dreaded seeing another dry, academic, pro forma overview of familiar film history.  Instead, I was confronted with crackling, vivid, startling and incredibly valuable insights into the lives and artistic passions of dedicated filmmakers, both legendary and all but unknown, and a fresh appreciation of the essence of their film achievements.  The concept of the book -- the films of the National Film Registry -- is brilliant, but the execution, the writing, is superb and worth all the sweat and research which I know must have gone into it.”


Terry Sanders, Two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker

“The opportunity to revisit and be inspired by the past is one of the purposes behind the National Film Registry.  The 1915 film The Italian was preserved from a single paper copy. If prints were readily available at the time I made The Godfather, I would have enjoyed having access to it.  I'm proud that The Godfather and The Godfather Part II join The Italian on the Registry, an attempt to preserve our cinematic heritage.  America's Film Legacy doesn't just explore the films on the Registry, it ties together the past and the present, showing how the great movies of today can be built on the those of an earlier era.“


Francis Ford Coppola

“The Library of Congress' National Film Registry is the most important list today in the recognition of American film as art, entertainment and cultural history. Daniel Eagan's America's Film Legacy is the first book on this subject and it is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the remarkable breadth of accomplishment throughout the 120 years of the history of the cinema. Every film fan and every library should have a copy of this book.“


Dennis Doros, Co-founder and VP, Milestone Film & Video

“America’s Film Legacy is a valuable guide to the films chosen to represent the range, style, and diversity of subject matter of American cinema.”


Frederick Wiseman, Documentary Filmmaker

“Daniel Eagan's lucid analysis of these works provides a comprehensive film history in one volume.“


Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

January 18 2010 Issue

Full review here

“The great, the historic, and the lousy (but, alas, influential) all find their place in this engrossing survey of titles selected by the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. Eagan (HBO’s Guide to Movies on Videocassette and Cable TV) chronologically catalogues 500 Registry films, from 1893’s 30-second Blacksmithing Scene to 1995’s Fargo, jumbling Hollywood classics together with obscure art films, cartoon shorts, documentaries, industrial and student films, newsreel footage from the Hindenburg disaster and the Zapruder film. Each entry includes complete cast and credits lists and an engaging one- to two-page historical and interpretive essay. These are packed with biographical thumbnails of actors and directors and making-of narratives—from screenplay rewrites to on-set feuds and hysterics to final-cut showdowns—that buffs and scholars will delight in. Eagan dutifully assesses the artistic merits of each film (yes, even Animal House) in critiques that abound in pithy and sometimes contrarian opinions: he rates Clint Eastwood rather higher than either Orson Welles (Citizen Kane is, merely, “a delightful stunt with the appeal of an eager puppy”) or the “glib, cruel” Robert Altman. The result is an erudite, perceptive, always entertaining cinematic encyclopedia.”


Publisher’s Weekly

January 18 2010

Full review here

“America’s Film Legacy is as vital and indispensable a compendium as Andrew Sarris’ The American Cinema or David Thomson’s A Biographical Dictionary of Film; in fact, in its breadth of scholarship is far superior to the others...one of the most complete and entertaining works of its kind and a recommended addition to the library of any cinema fan.”


Jim Hemphill

American Society of Cinematographers, February 2010

Full review here

"[T]his is brilliant high concept: the most important American films need a single reference book. Look no further."


Matthew Kennedy

Bright Lights Film Journal, May 2010

Full review here