"Seven Masterpieces of 1940s Cinema is the rare book about the cinema, which teaches you to love and understand films."
- Agnieszka Holland, director and screenwriter, "Oliver, Olivier" "Enormously important...outstanding. It expanded my horizons as a writer, scholar, and viewer of film."
- Richard Walter, screenwriting Chairman, University of California, Los Angeles The most remarkable, tragic, and heroic decade of the twentieth century, the 1940s were defined by both the horrors of fighting World War II and the exhilaration and complexity of waging the subsequent peace. Filmmakers reacted to the tumult by creating films that reflected the disturbances of their time-enduring motion pictures that still serve as models of perfection for directors today. "Seven Masterpieces of 1940s Cinema" guides you through influential international movies that remain favorites to this day. Bringing together "Bicycle Thieves, The Great Dictator, Notorious, It's a Wonderful Life, Rashmon, Ivan the Terrible, and Children of Paradise, " Inga Karetnikova shows you how, in spite of their cultural and stylistic differences, these films have thematic and philosophical commonalities that complement one another and together re-create the spirit of their time. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a specific film, describing how it was made, discussing its narrative scene by scene, tracing how the plot and the characters are developed, and revealing which cinematic devices are used and why. In addition the creative biography of each director and a cinematic history of each country are woven seamlessly into the text to help you understand the personal and cultural forces behind the movie. Whether you&rsqup;re a movie-house regular, a DVD hound, or just someone who likes to watch a good story, with a roster of films that combines foreign gems and well-known Hollywood classics, "Seven Masterpieces of 1940s Cinema" brings you closer to the vibrant, groundbreaking films of yesteryear that continue to resonate with directors and film watchers today.