Whether it's the hum drum existence of Marion Crane and her illicit love affair, the psychotic antics of Norman Bates, the sudden irrational migration of birds, a crop duster swooping down on Roger Thornhill in the middle of nowhere, or Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace's unforgettable dance at Jack Rabbit SliM's - they are all cinematic moments that forever changed the psyche and viewing experience of American audiences. Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies That Defined America tells the stories behind the most significant and influential films in American culture, movies that have had a profound influence on the literary, cinematic and popular culture of our time. Arranged chronologically, the volume gives readers an opportunity to place the films within the context of the social and cultural historic dynamic of the time, making this an ideal source for student papers and reports. Each entry includes the filmmaker, actors, release information, a synopsis of the film, critics' reviews, awards, current availability, and then background on the making of the film in an artistic, economic, and technological context.Spanning all genres, including horror and drama, adventure, comedy, musicals, science fiction, and more, this volume is loaded with enough trivia and factoids to satisfy even the most die-hard movie buff. Also included are other Greatest Films compilations from the National Society of Film Critics and noteworthy sources for comparative purposes. Guaranteed to inspire forays into film favorites as well as some very lively debate, this resource is essential reading for film lovers and students alike.