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The Film Encyclopedia

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  171 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This complete, one-volume resource on film and the film industry includes more than 7,000 entries on the artistic, technical, and commercial aspects of moviemaking. An ideal reference for fans, critics, students and teachers, and the industry itself.
Paperback, 1496 pages
Published 1994 by HarperCollins (first published 1979)
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Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: movies
I bought this for fifty cents as a kid and it is likely to blame for my movie madness. I constantly had my nose in this book, looking up directors, actor bios and production notes. A great film reference book made somewhat obsolete by the internet, although not completely since many people may prefer the clear-cut presentation and accessibility of the print format. A sentimental fave as it fed my adolescent movie mania, along with Roger Ebert's book of movie reviews that I was also able to pick ...more
It's massive, yet has massive gaps. I've always had issues with this guide, but admired that it was compiled by one person, thus it had at least a certain critical "auteur" imprimatur. And it IS an excellent reference, but not the only one to have around. I also came into an earlier (1982) edition; with slightly less info. A lot of the deficiencies of the early editions were corrected in this later one. So, now I have two.
I've also had an earlier edition of this and have so far been able to restrain myself from buying each new version as it becomes available. Of course, much of this information can be found online where it
may be constantly updated. The actual book is better for browsing, though.

It isn't as goofily idiosyncratic as the Leslie Halliwell film books or the David Thompson Biographical Dictionaries but it has more pure information than those. I refer to my (somewhat outdated) copy of the sixth editio
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book (it's a monster) when I was 17 and it remains one of my favorite books. In fact, I still have it tucked away in storage and wouldn't sell it even if I was offered a hundred bucks. Okay, that's a lie. I'd sell it for twenty-five bucks and go buy a newer edition and the buyer would be stuck with a 17 year-old book covered in dust.
Sean W.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as I expected, but I was expecting everything. This is a very convenient reference book.
Jun 08, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 92
Mt. Dora.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the market for my third copy (my brother's cat tookout the other two). Indespensible resource for film lovers.
The 1979, may be out of date, but it's still great.
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