If you love movies, you probably already love Turner Classic Movies. The channel curates films and film-viewing experiences to appeal to fans of movies of all kinds, classics new and old. What you may not know, however, is that TCM also produces books that highlight essential movies, discuss genre, and much more. Even if you aren’t a hardcore TCM fan (yet), the following books are great reads for anyone who loves movies.
If you're trying to get the most essential movies checked off your to-watch list, Jeremy Arnold's book is a great place to start. Based on the TCM series The Essentials, this book highlights the 52 most important classic films to watch, starting with the silent film era and working all the way into the 1980s. If you decided to tackle one movie on this list per week, you would give yourself the gift of one year of classic film viewing. But Arnold's book is much more than just a list; included are insights into why each of the 52 movies in this text is worthy of the title "Essential," notes on the most iconic moments in each film, and notes from TCM’s Robert Osborne as well as various Essentials guest hosts.
The films, the stars, the filmmakers—all get their due in Hollywood Black, a sweeping overview of blacks in film from the silent era through Black Panther, with striking photos and an engrossing history by award-winning author Donald Bogle. Filled with evocative photographs and stories of stars and filmmakers on set and off, Hollywood Black tells an underappreciated history as it’s never before been told.
Celebrate 50 of the most empowering and unforgettable female characters ever to grace the screen, as well as the artists who brought them to vibrant life! From Scarlett O’Hara to Thelma and Louise to Wonder Woman, strong women have not only lit up the screen, they’ve inspired and fired our imaginations. Through engaging profiles and more than 100 photographs, Dynamic Dames looks at fifty of the most inspiring female roles in film from the 1920s to today. The characters are discussed along with the exciting off-screen personalities and achievements of the actresses and, on occasion, female writers and directors, who brought them to life.
Filled with rare images and untold stories from filmmakers, exhibitors, and moviegoers, Forbidden Hollywood is the ultimate guide to a gloriously entertaining era when a lax code of censorship let sin rule the movies. Forbidden Hollywood is a history of “pre-Code” like none other: you will eavesdrop on production conferences, read nervous telegrams from executives to censors, and hear Americans argue about “immoral” movies. You will see decisions artfully wrought, so as to fool some of the people long enough to get films into theaters. You will read what theater managers thought of such craftiness, and hear from fans as they applauded creativity or condemned crassness. You will see how these films caused a grass-roots movement to gain control of Hollywood-and why they were “forbidden” for fifty years.
If you're obsessed with musicals, both on stage and on screen, this book will surely be a favorite. Author Richard Barrios covers 50 movie musicals in this text, starting with musicals from the dawn of sound (or "talkies") and taking it all the way to 2016's La La Land. If you think there is an amazing movie musical that you have somehow missed, musical historian Richard Barrios has you covered. In addition, Barrios provides insightful behind the scenes details and commentary for each film mentioned.
Maybe you're the type of person who loves to celebrate the holidays all year round, or maybe you're one of those people who refuses to listen to a single Christmas song until after your Thanksgiving turkey hangover has subsided. Either way, wherever you fall on the holiday celebration spectrum, once you get in the spirit, there's nothing like watching a classic Christmas film to set the mood. But first: what makes something a "Christmas movie"? Author Jeremy Arnold explores this question and more about each of the thirty films on this list. Among the 30 films included are: The Shop Around the Corner, Holiday Inn, Meet Me in St. Louis, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Little Women, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Along with thoughtful commentary and insights, this book contains beautiful photographs to help get you into the Christmas movie-viewing spirit.
Dinner and drinks are an important part of the movie-viewing experience, and perhaps for some (myself included), what you eat and drink as you watch a movie is arguably as important as the film itself. Enter Tenaya Darlington and André Darlington's Movie Night Menus, which pairs the right menus with the right movies. Included in this book are thirty classic films and the signature cocktail and meal that best compliments the atmosphere of each film. The drinks and foods selected are either featured in the film itself, inspired by the film, or inspired by an iconic actor from the film.
Whether you're a science fiction fanatic or just getting into the genre, Sloan De Forest's Must-See Sci-Fi is a comprehensive collection of sci-fi movies that will be perfect for you. Starting all the way back with 1902's A Trip to the Moon and landing at 2016's Arrival, De Forest examines the wide breadth of sci-fi stories, styles, and subject matter in 50 of the most essential sci-fi films. The book explores why these movies are so essential and offers behind the scenes details for each movie.
For even more Turner Classic Movies content beyond their television programming, their website has a special community section to connect film buffs to other film buffs. Get involved in the discussion there. Or you could join TCM's wine club to get collectible movie-themed wine delivered right to your door. And have you heard about the TCM Cruise? Basically, watching movies is a lifestyle. With Turner Classic Movies' books, you can take your film-viewing to the next level, and then just go from there.