Five Great American Movies

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Duration 00:02:18

Yale University

Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter and an award-winning film producer. In addition to Yale, Marc has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School, created the screenwriting programs at both The University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins–where he won Outstanding Teaching awards–and has lectured on British and American Theatre and playwriting. Lapadula has given highly acclaimed classic film lectures on a wide range of cinema topics across the country at notable venues, such as: The National Press Club, The Smithsonian Institution, The Commonwealth Club, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The New York Historical Society.


It’s quite a daunting task to pick the 5 greatest American movies. In fact, it’s difficult to even know what criteria to start with. How important is critical recognition vs popularity over time? How does one factor in historical significance, cultural impact, groundbreaking new techniques, major awards won, etc.?

Yale film professor Marc Lapadula will do his best to explain his choices – showing various clips of each chosen film. He’ll outline his thinking about what to consider, and he’ll reveal and discuss his choices in this fascinating class!



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