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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will hold its annual self-congratulatory gala this weekend, forever enshrining in the annals of cinema the performances and films it elects to recognize this year. We can reasonably expect that history will not be entirely kind to those choices. Movies widely recognized as classics today often had no, or at best scant, Oscar recognition in their own time. Roger Ebert, in his Great Movies series of humorous, insightful essays, looked back at the films that — for one reason or another — have endured as masterpieces, and had a profound impact on the industry and the art. Some of them are even Oscar winners.

You can purchase the first book in the series here.

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