Dates: Wednesdays; Sept. 20–Nov. 1 (no class Oct. 11)

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Hope Lutheran  Church

We have all heard certain films described as “the best” or “the greatest.” “The best movie ever made.” “The greatest silent film.” “The best foreign film.” “The greatest Western.” Even “the best movie of 21st century”…even though the century is not even a quarter finished. What does it mean to call a film “the greatest”? How are these evaluations made? Who makes them? And do they actually matter? In this engaging, six-week course, we will examine these questions and more through a close analysis of six classic films.

Class Format: lecture, discussion, and video

Assigned films (view before class):

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928),

Citizen Kane (1941), Tokyo Story (1953),

The Searchers (1956), Vertigo (1958),

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Nelson AndrewInstructor: Andrew Patrick Nelson is Assistant Professor of Film History and Critical Studies at MSU. He has also been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and a guest film curator at the Autry Museum of the American West. He is author, most recently, of Still in the Saddle: The Hollywood Western, 1969-1980, and appeared as a commentator in the first two seasons of the Fox News documentary series Legends & Lies.


MSU Wonderlust is a high-quality community resource for lifelong learning for the Bozeman area.  Here is university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects, some multi-week courses, some one-off events.  These offerings come free of homework, exams, or papers: The MSU Wonderlust experience is just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It's also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.

The Winter/Spring offerings begin with a reception at the Pilgrim Congregational Church from 4 to 6pm.  It's a chance to meet with the course instructors and side-trip presenters; find out more about their plans.  

Gerry Wheeler, President of Friends of Wonderlust