Bonnie and Clyde, dir. Arthur PennBonnie and Clyde, dir. Arthur Penn
Play It Again, Sam (classical classics)

Why do we love America? For its movies, countless in number, the films that never cease to entertain, for the never-ending cinematic American dream. Ten icons of American film, from Charles Chaplin to Woody Allen, from Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and Citizen Kane, to Bonnie and Clyde combine into the nostalgic Play It Again, Sam review. Nostalgia is endemic to cinema and to America. The Hollywood dream machine amalgamates the dreams and imaginings of European immigrants gazing into the past. To approach the fascination that afflicts so many modern directors who recycle themes from the past in their nostalgia films by using retro styling or copies of genre films, it may be instructive to watch the originals – the melodramas, westerns, and gangster movies. The classics seem to have eternal life in American film, just like the near mythical stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, or Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Among the heroes, there is usually a self-taught total artist, represented here by Orson Welles, who revolutionized the approach to cinema while referencing the great American tradition of longing for a leader with a human face. These classics expound not only on cinema but also on the history and culture of the United States of America, set as they are against the backdrop of the Civil War, Wild West, Gold Rush, Great Depression, prohibition, the prude 1950s, and the hippie rebellion.

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