A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This documentary represents American director Martin Scorsese's entry in the British Film Institute commissioned series, "Century of Cinema," designed to be a collection of the personal opinions of renowned international filmmakers concerning the cinema of their native countries. The almost four hour long documentary is divided into five "chapters" and a 10 minute preface. Each chapter centers on the different roles assumed by movie directors and features many film clips from major and little known but important minor films. Also included are fascinating anecdotes about Hollywood studios, and independent directors. One of Scorsese's main points is that the independent, low-budget filmmakers have had just as great an effect, though they seldom earned critical and public acclaim, on the shaping of American cinema as have the big name filmmakers for major studios, who are sometimes too constrained by budgets and public opinions to offer truly innovative fare.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television
Directed By: ,
Written By: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 12, 2000
The British Film Institute

News & Interviews for A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

Critic Reviews for A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

For a thorough overview of film history and the art behind films ... can be no better guide than Martin Scorsese

Full Review… | June 1, 2012
Old School Reviews

Obviously, the man knows his movies.

Full Review… | August 20, 2009

Essential and joyful--a real blast.

March 8, 2008

Film buffs will savor Scorsese's enthusiasm for the medium and his championing of those who remained true to their vision.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Watching this documentary, we not only raise our appreciation for film art in general, but we also better understand Scorsese's vision in particular.

Full Review… | November 26, 2001
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

Back in 1994, Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson decided to co-write and co-direct a near 4 hour series, hosted by Scorsese, about the history of American cinema, though done through the films, genres, and directors that personally struck a chord with Marty the most. It was an ambitious idea, and the resulting film is a real treat for cinema lovers everywhere.

Yeah, Marty only covers from silent filmsthrough the 1950s, with only a few entries from the 60s and 70s getting touched upon, and the genres are limited to primarily westerns, gangster films, and musicals for the most part, but this all gets made up for by Scorsese's obvious love, passion, and enthusiasm for the subject, and due ot the fact that, unlike a lot of documentaries, the clips that are shown here are often rather lengthy, and are given time to breathe, whether Scorsese talks over parts of them or not. Seriously, these clips sometimes go on for a few minutes at a time. Of course, along with this come a great many spoilers for the films he covers in depth, but if you've already seen them, then it's okay.

Even though the scope and depth in the broadest sense are limited, the fine print is where this film really shines, and why it happens to be nearly 4 hours long. Divided into parts, Scorsese looks at the changes within select genres over the years, the various factors related to those genres, and the effects this all had on movies and society at large. He also looks at technical innovations, social factors, and the messages, both discreet and overt, that directors threw in to really shape their visions.

It's basically a film class, taught by a real master, where you don't have to take tests or pay for textbooks. It's enjoyable and highly informative, and just listening to Scorsese ramble is a great pleasure in and of itself. If you love movies, then you really out to see this.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Film class is in session, take notes.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


a joy to watch. scorsese is an encyclopedia of film knowledge and believes that cinema fulfills a spiritual need. his passion and intelligence make this fascinating viewing for film buffs. it's not meant to be a complete history, just a catalog of some mostly lesser-known films that made a lasting impression on him, beginning with duel in the sun, age 4! he could've easily gone on for four more hours with no complaints from me; in fact i wish he had :D

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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