The American Cinema has to be one of my favourite books about movies, probably one of my favourites on any subject. It was written by a man who had watched and loved the movies he wrote about, even the ones he didn’t like. Though erudite and authoritative, Andrew Sarris (1928-2012) wore his own expertise lightly. He also had a good sense of humour, which made his seriousness about movies and people all the more readable.
I feel lucky that I could attend some of his lectures at Columbia. I remember his sheer delight at finding a kid in the room who’d watched all the latest releases and all the Maurice Chevalier musicals he was talking about that day: “This guy’s good, he watches everything.”
Read the book. Enjoy it.