Net Gains: Classic films

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The Independent Culture
It's a scary Internet out there. Until now, that is. Over the coming weeks, we'll be arming you with a guide to the best the Net has to offer. The web, for example, has transformed every film buff's computer into celluloid heaven. If you know where to look, you'll find everything from Groucho Marx's greatest one-liners to the bone-chilling rattle of machine- gun fire in prohibition Chicago. As they say, here's looking at you...

GOLDEN HOLLYWOOD

www.moderntimes.com/palace

Don't worry: you're not the only person who couldn't work out what on earth was going on in Howard Hawks's The Big Sleep. Even Raymond Chandler famously once admitted that he was stumped as to who had actually committed one of the murders. But who cares? That was never really the point of film noir. Those sexy hard-edged black-and-white gems from Hollywood's real golden age still cast a long shadow over today's industry. This site, peppered with those impossibly glossy photographs from the era, features critical analyses of a host of the classic movies. It may not have the scope and ambition of some sites, but as a reminder of what Hollywood once was, there's no substitute.

HHH

THE GREATEST MOVIES

www.filmsite.org

If there's one site every classic film buff should have firmly parked right at the top of their bookmark list, this is it. In a league of its own for sheer ambition, its scope and depth is extraordinary. What really sets it apart is its series of synopses of the top 100 films of all time. And although no list like that is ever going to be definitive, it's a credible attempt, with everything from Casablanca to 2001: A Space Odyssey. As well as all the movie information, there are hundreds of colourful, vintage film posters, a memorable film quotes quiz, recommendations of films for each genre and much more besides. It's guaranteed to settle every argument you'll ever have about who said what in which film.

HHHH

THE BEST OF THE REST classicfilm.miningco. com HH

A slightly commercial website, with tips on buying classic films on videotape. It also features chatrooms and bulletin boards.

members.aol.com/alainsil/ noir/ HHH Another site devoted to the golden age of film noir.

members.tripod.com/ filmnoir/index2.html HH

Classic gangster films form a genre all of their own. This site takes a trawl through classic flicks during its boom period throughout the Thirties.

www.film100.com/ HHH

Profiles of the 100 most influential people in cinema. And they're not who you'd think. Steven Spielberg only manages to rank number 82.

members.aol.com/ marxbroths/ HH

A treat for fans of the greatest screen comics of all time.

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