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Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 2000 Paperback – 4 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment; 15th edition edition (4 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006531652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006531654
  • Product Dimensions: 26.8 x 21 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,873,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

This monster is quite simply the king of movie guides. Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 2000 contains more than 23,000 entries, creating a competition for space that allows most films a single-sentence review. Which is not to say that the book is in any way less than thorough--the terse sentences manage to be enormously telling. (How I Got into College is quietly damned with the description, "Mildly amusing teenage comedy"; Rabbit Test is scorched with "Dreary and tasteless film, the nadir of comedy"; and Strictly Ballroom is lauded with "Exuberant, charming, witty romance acted and directed with style and verve.") As its tendency toward clipped writing may suggest, Halliwell's is no stocking filler--movies must earn each star awarded. Four stars go only to groundbreaking masterpieces like Rashomon, and one can flip for pages without seeing a three-star movie. Most of the two-star films are pretty good, just not quite up to this guide's refreshingly exacting standards. For those who want only the best, Halliwell's handily provides lists of three- and four-star films, sorted by both title and year, in the back. One could get an excellent film education simply by working through both lists: the four-star category includes movies as diverse as Pelle the Conqueror, Alien and Duck Soup. Halliwell's pulls no punches with either criticism or praise. It's a must-have for movie lovers. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com

Review

‘Worth its weight in gold’
Film Review

‘By any criteria, there’s still no beating Halliwell’s’
Empire Magazine


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
The new halliwells - a comprehensive guide to nearly every film ever. for each film, it has information on it, cast and crew members, a rating (0 to 4 stars) and a short description of the summary. For lots of films, a quote from a review is added. A very useful guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Pomeroy on 18 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
A fine guide to film, notable for its extreme size - only the IMDB beats it. But it's not perfect. After reading it for a while, flicking through entries, you find an odd, date-related malaise. Titles from before 1960 tend to garner quite favourable reviews. Titles after 1992, when Halliwell himself died, also tend to gather quite favourable reviews, or at least reviews that don't disagree with your own perspective too much. The problem is that Halliwell seemed to detest films made from the 60s onwards. Action and sci-fi films get particularly short shrift. Which gets annoying after a while. In particular, the abovementioned review of Alien, from when Halliwell was still alive, had one star, and that only for technical effort - its sequel had none. Luckily the book seems to have been reworked and edited, although if you're reading this there isn't anything here than the IMDB doesn't offer, as the writing style is extremely sparce and you have no way of cross-referencing anything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
as most movie books go, this one isn't so bad. it is very comprehensive and gives plenty of info on each film it reviews. however, it does seem to be a bit harsh when rating films, so i wouldn't 'not watch' a film based on what was said. if you add an extra star onto the rating the book gives it, you get a better idea of how good the film is. not bad for the price either.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "grayo" on 27 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
The reviews here have missed the point. Yes Halliweell is a very fussy and often mistifying guide but it is the opinion of a few as opposed to many. It is one of the few guides to give top rating's to films such as Star Wars, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Fargo and American Beauty to name a few. A good feature of Halliwell's is to offer opinions from other guides or critics below his own reviews. Where he gives a film four out of four there are usually other contradictory reviews below and vice versa where hew does not like a film. This gives one the chance to develop their own opinion and to find out that not every living and dead critic thinks or thought that (for example) Casablanca is the best film of all time. It also rates documentaries and early comedy shorts which are ignored by other guides. Having said this it is best to have another guide as well as Halliwell as no one is ever going to agree on all films. In particular the films that Halliwell gives four stars to from the 1970's are more thoughtful than most and he is not a snob as he rates 1984's This is Spinal Tap (correctly) as a Masterpiece.
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By "tjcoaches" on 15 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
it might seem peverse but id give this book five stars, even though i disagree with so many of the reviews,my favorite movie of all time "the changeling " gets no stars and is dismissed without reservation,but surely thats the point,the book is a GUIDE nothing more, no where does it say it ,the books word is gospel,as i understand it its the work of two men leslie halliwell and john walker ,with as has been said other critics views underneath the details of the actual film.To me a guide being quite harsh is preferable to one that sings everybodys praises,i think the more you use the guide the more you make an informed opinion on a movie not just on the rating but the type of movie ,if the stars who are in it you like/dont like etc ,even though i enjoy the guide ive never once not watched a movie because it was given a bad write up in the guide.Of course the other thing is for reference both this and "the filmgoers companion" are first class without doubt and are both invaluable books to have on any movie lovers shelf. mark stevens
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan 2000
Format: Paperback
From film-noir of the 30's/40's to the blockbusters of recent years, Halliwells Guide can be relied upon to give a brief, impartial view. The new edition keeps up the standard set in the years before. A must for all film buffs.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By g_bu on 11 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback
Halliwell's is widely renowned as the King of Film Guides. The reputation is deserved insofar as it is extremely comprehensive and generally very accurate, with a user-friendly format.
The reviews of individual films can leave something to be desired, however. The rating system of 0-4 stars is an excellent idea, but is, for example, Autobus (Aux Yeux du Monde), a fairly average drama, really worthy of a higher rating than François Truffaut's genre-defining Les Quatre Cents Coups? The appraisal of Bill Forsyth's wonderful Gregory's Girl claims the film to be "handicapped by impenetrable accents", a statement which would be offensive to the people of Scotland if it weren't so patently incorrect. And the quotes selected from other sources to accompany reviews often disagree with the reviews themselves: for instance, Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice is awarded a creditable three stars, but accompanied by the quote from Time Out, "a prime contender for the title of Most Overrated Film of All Time".
In short, the opinions voiced in Halliwell's are often questionable and on occasion self-contradictory, but the guide is nevertheless essential, if only for its thoroughness.
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