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Film Encyclopedia Paperback – 5 Nov 2005


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Paperback, 5 Nov 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1552 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 5th Revised edition edition (5 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060742143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060742140
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.7 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Most film encyclopaedias are hybrid works, compromised by an editorial staff that attempt to satisfy competing sensibilities. The first Film Encyclopedia was written by a single individual, editor Ephraim Katz, whose personality and charm, vast knowledge and love of cinema shone through every entry. Alas, Katz died in the early 1990s, but this third edition remains true to his vision. It manages to hold on to its exalted place in the vast universe of movie reference guides, even as its new editors have updated the relevant entries through the end of 1997.

Well-written, user-friendly, and bursting with essential data, famous stories, and terrific trivia, this book is the most intelligent and accessible film companion available, a must for every movie lover. Its chief assets are its in-depth entries on actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, composers, and editors, which come complete with date and place of birth as well as an extensive filmography. You can also read the cinematic history of every major film-producing country; look up technical terms like "boom", "dolly" and "Steadicam"; and find the meaning of those illusive phrases that appear so often in movie credits, assignations like "gaffer", "key grip" and "best boy." Whatever the extent of your movie knowledge, whether you're a burgeoning film fanatic or a long-time expert, you'll find yourself turning to this superb volume again and again. --Raphael Shargel, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Synopsis

Ephraim Katz's "The Film Encyclopedia" is the most comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia on film and is considered the undisputed Bible of the movie industry. With up-to-date additions, this fifth edition features more than 7,000 A-Z entries on the artistic, technical, and commercial aspects of moviemaking, including: directors, producers, stars, screenwriters, and cinematographers; styles, genres, and schools of filmmaking; motion picture studios and film centers; film-related organizations and events; industry jargon and technical terms; inventions, inventors, and equipment; and an index of Academy Award winning films and artists, top grossing films, and much more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir on 3 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
Some of the reviewers have already mentioned that a book called 'The Film Encyclopedia' does not allow to look up a particular film. Nor gives it to you much information on history of making or background of individual films. For example the articles on Jack Nicholson or Milos Forman do not tell you that one of their best creations - One flew over the cuckoo's nest - is based on the Ken Kesey's book. Would you not expect to find basic data like this in a film encyclopedia?
Being a Russian, I browsed throuth Russian cinema articles and found them very out of date and very out of touch with the subject. These articles look like they were compiled from old cinema textbooks and do not contain much of original data. The Soviet cinema - by the way outstanding, with many great works - is presented by either people of Eisenstein generation or, when more contemporary, by rather mediocre directors while the real stars are missing. Sure, the authors must be forgiven for not knowing Russian cinema well, but then they would better not write about it at all and call the book 'The Western or Hollywood Film Encyclopedia'. Does it have the same problem with French, Italian, British and all other non-American cinema?
Finally, the current 4th Edition, 2001 is naturally a little out of date. Not quite what I expected...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. D Shuster on 14 Dec 2003
Format: Paperback
I wish it were possible to give this book more than five stars.
For precise, copious, detailed information on actors, film makers, and general technical questions this is the place to go. For the most part, this is a biographical dictionary. However, in addition to the 6700 biographies of actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, cameramen, etc., there are also about 1000 articles devoted to technical aspects of film making as well as to short histories of the various national cinemas. Each biographical article also includes, in almost all cases, a complete list of the feature films and shorts to which that individual contributed. Those cases where the list is not complete are usually for actors and film makers from the days of silent films, when accurate and complete recordkeeping was not common. Most silent films, sadly, have been lost anyway.
The articles in this book, in contrast to those in the not recommended "Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies" (mostly filmographies with little else) are long and detailed. It would be hard to ask for more. I sometimes spend hours pouring over this book.
This is the book that should be on the shelf of every serious cinephile. For quick looks, "Leonard Maltin's Encyclopedia of the Movies" is valuable as well, though it needs to be brought up to date. And for a different point of view on almost everyone associated with film, David Thomson's "New Biographical Dictionary of Film" is a pure delight. (The articles in Thomson's book are mostly critical biographies rather than historical biographies.) But if you must have one book on film, Katz is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a very impressive work regarding Hollywood film culture and technical topics, but it lacks information and accuracy on recent (post 60ies) international & indy productions. It also overstresses the biographical side of individual entries, to the detriment of style description.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb 1999
Format: Paperback
The film encyclopedia is a wonderfull book for both film lovers and film students. I use this book constantly for my own personall refrence and I'm never disapointed. The book has enough depth for all the characters mentioned.Everything you would want to know about film and significant people involved in film , you'll find it all in this book. P.S.- for those who have complained about the book not having enough Indie and International info, that is impossible to get all on a single book . If you want to know about that , well then buy an encyclopedia which directly deals with those topics. Otherwise , no other book has this amount of depth in a single edition! An excellent buy , definately worth all the money!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 July 2005
Format: Paperback
This film encyclopedia is great for looking up people. I keep it next to the TV. When "The Deadly Mantis" (1957)came on I looked up William Alland. I knew he also produced "It Came From Outer Space" (1953). What I did not know was that he was a stage manager for Orson Welles's Mercury Theater.
This book is like "Connections." You can follow the producers and actors.
What you can not do is follow the films. The title on this book is misleading It should be "The Actor and Producer Encyclopedia." You still need Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide to find the person to look up in this book. sorry for the four stars but there is not even an index.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
Klein and Nolan have done the impossible; they've taken a great book and made it even better. This third edition has the same authoritative material of the first two versions, but Klein and Nolan have brought the text to life. They have added a smart, fresh feel to the book. Anyone interested in film should own this book, be they Speilberg, a first year art student, or just a movie buff.
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