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  • By John Reid
    Oct 15, 2009
    The definition of a "B" movie varies widely from producers to distributors, and from film critics to exhibitors. To a producer, a "B" picture is simply any film made on a limited budget. To a distributor, a "B" picture is any reel on his shelves that cannot (for one reason or another) be sold as a main attraction. To a film critic, a "B" is any movie that falls well below the entertainment value of an "A" picture and therefore figures on the first half of a cinema program. To an exhibitor, a "B" is any feature with a running time too short for consideration as his major drawcard. This book examines 100 movies that meet one or more of these criteria. All Hollywood’s major producers had "B" units which specialized in turning out movies that could be used to support the studio's more stellar attractions. "The Brasher Doubloon", for example. The title itself is a dead giveaway. No-one is going to spend money... More > advertising a title that not one out of a million patrons understands. I myself haven't the slightest idea what the word "Brasher" means. As for "doubloon", I believe it's a coin, but I'm not 100% sure. I know the piratical phrase, "Spanish doubloons", but that's the extent of my knowledge. So no way am I going to spend any money to see a movie with the ridiculously unmeaningful title, "The Brasher Doubloon". Admittedly, I might change my mind if I find it stars Jimmy Cagney and Alice Faye. But if I do happen upon a poster, I see George Montgomery and Nancy Guild are the stars. Although he had a long career and was well-liked, George Montgomery never became a major drawcard. As for Miss Guild, never heard of her! So what we have here is a "B" picture in spades, nominated as such by all four of our experts. All four? What about the critics? In my day, no critic even bothered to review the first half of a cinema program, namely the "B" movie. Which accounts for the movie's neglect in film literature. Which is a shame, because in my opinion "The Brasher Doubloon" is the best film ever made from a Raymond Chandler novel.< Less
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Product Details

July 22, 2004
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.15 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
Product ID
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