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Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (Mass Market)) [Mass Market Paperback]

Leonard Maltin , Cathleen Anderson , Luke Sader
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

31 Aug 2004 Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (Mass Market)
More than 18,000 capsule movie reviews, with more than 300 new entries.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1637 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book (31 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451212657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451212658
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 11.2 x 5.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,756,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The single most important reference book in every home. ("Esquire") Easily the most comprehensive work of its kind. It belongs next to every TV and VCR in every home. ("USA Today") Head and shoulders above the rest. ("The New York Times") --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Forgive me if you have read this paragraph before, but anyone considering this title has also to consider the other four major annual film review titles - "Halliwell's Film, Video and DVD Guide", "Radio Times Guide to Films", "Time Out Film Guide", and "The Twelfth Virgin Film Guide". I've reviewed each, and have repeated this review across all five ... and hopefully encouraged you to take a look at all the possibilities. Please understand, I'm not trying to cheapen the process of review.
A good film guide is an excellent resource to have within easy reach of your remote control: is it worth watching this movie, is it worth renting this video/DVD? The problem is, does the film guide in any way reflect your tastes in films? There are five very useful film guides. Each will give you a few lines of information about a film, and score five stars, four stars, etc. If the book is to be useful to you, you need to know where its reviewer stands in relation to your own tastes.
If you think "Psycho" is worth five stars, you probably won't find many to disagree with you. But what of the 1937, "The Good Earth"? How would you rate that without seeing it? Giving five stars to a modern classic is not a problem. But think of a dozen films you've seen. Think of the ones you'd rate as five star. Think of the ones you'd rate as awful. Think of the ones you'd rate as average.
If you're buying a book like this, you're probably doing so because it will guide you in your choice of films to watch on TV, or rent on video or DVD, or watch at the local flea pit. Whether I rate the book high or low is irrelevant - what you want to know is, do the reviews in this particular book come close to your own evaluation of how the firm rates?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best quick reference 1 Sep 2004
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I only agree with the reviews about 55% of the time, but the team that assembles this guide does a superb job of writing brief capsule descriptions of a wide variety of films. The reference information --- stars, directors, dates, widescreen processes --- may all be available elsewhere, but it's often a lot easier to pick up the book then it is to get up out of your easy chair, boot up the computer, go to the imdb, type in the info you're looking for...

It's true that this edition, formatted to fit into a mass-market paperback, has very small print. As an AARP member who needs trifocals, this can sometimes be an issue. However, Maltin's does publish the book in a larger-type edition (a "trade" paperback) which is published about three months after this smaller sized version. (Why don't they publish both simultaneously? Who knows...)

P.S. This book is also very handy for working crossword puzzles.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as complete as I'd like 4 Sep 2004
By James D. Leverton - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been buying Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide for nearly twenty years now. It remains a vital and enjoyable purchase and is a great reference for major Hollywood features, breakthrough independents and widely-distributed foreign films. However, Maltin admittedly is a film historian who wastes a lot of space in this book on obscure, decades-old Hollywood films that are seldom, if ever, shown on television and have been unavailable on VHS or DVD for years. In this volume, he says he is going to divide the guide into different volumes, one focusing on classics, others on more recent releases. This is a good idea. I really do think Maltin needs to devote one guide to DVD and video releases and another to his beloved classics, both of which I would buy. That way, the smaller films (such as "Local Boys", for instance) that receive direct-to-video release and obscure titles that are not featured in this volume will be covered and Maltin's impeccable taste and invaluable advice will prove more useful.

As for his reviews, the only fault I find (and it's really more a difference in personal taste) is that Maltin tends to prefer classic-style filmmaking, which explains why a mediocre film like "Cider House Rules" ranks **** while Clint Eastwood's masterwork "Unforgiven" only gets ***. Also, his constant carping about "overlength" in any movie over two hours gets old, especially since few of the films he complains about truly are overlong. But that's what makes this book so much fun--complaining about and disagreeing with the somewhat odd rankings he and his staff come up with, along with the occasional surprise of knowing he also liked that badly-reviewed film you have a fondness for. And a special kudo to Leonard for finally admitting he blew it with his original review of Ridley Scott's brilliant "Alien" and upping that pathetic **1/2 rating by a *. It's nice to see critics admitting when they're wrong.

As I said, this is a fine collection of reviews that needs to be divided into volumes in order to provide a more complete collection of relevant reviews. Regardless, it's still the best guide out there. **** (out of *****)
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Print and book size 26 Aug 2004
By V. Reese - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you buy this book be sure you have a very good magnifying glass. The pages have been reduced in size and the print is extremely small. They have also reduced the number of entries by thousands. The price has been reduced so that is a plus. Keep your old book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STILL NICE TO HAVE EVEN IN A PC WORLD 12 Nov 2004
By Tim Janson - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I remember picking up my first Maltin guide almost 20 years ago when guides like this were indispensible to the burgeoning home video market.

Today, the reliance on home guides has really been greatly reduced. There are so many great websites out there such as the Internet Movie Database where you can get reviews in an instant that it has made old paper guides almost stone-age in comparison. I mean, the fact that by the time they hit the market, there are all ready hundreds of newer releases not in the book.

Still, I love Maltin's wit and his enthusiasm. He's never been high-brow like many reviewers and has a great appreciation for animation like I do.

His book has reviews for over 20,000 movies, an index of leading actors and actresses, and much more. Leonard's style has always been fun to read. If you are going to guy a book, then this is the one to get.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of It's Kind 1 Jun 2005
By Red Wood - Published on
Alright, there are some logical complaints here, but all easy to answer. First, this book IS available, as one reviewer mentioned, in large print(for those who need this). However, for others, like myself, just get this book. The descriptions of milestones, early appearances, etc. are well worth it. The facts here are much more numerous than any other guide. Included is a family guide-with a large quantity of great family pictures of the past and present(there's also a "Leonard Maltin Family Film Guide" on the market), a mail-order video area, and a widescreen glossary(which I find very useful-and not a bad idea for others to use, too, when I read on Amazon that they need to release the widescreen version of "Shadow of a Doubt", et al.-although this film was never in widescreen format).
As far as the comment on his TV movies, his TV guide has not been on the market for awhile(probably not a phenomenal sell-big shocker, huh?) This is why the more "important" TV films are still here. It also appears that he's stopped adding recent TV movies(within the last decade or more), but his focus on cinema is obviously the meat of this guide. You may need to look for a good TV encyclopedia for more. Also, it might not be a bad idea for him to just remove the actors/directors guide in the back, to save space. I mean, there are better guides on this subject-specifically, Ephraim Katz's 'The Film Encyclopedia'(see my critique on this one) or 'Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia'. However, I find the short directory in the back handy for when looking up info on the bigger stars and directors, which is its focus. Now, if you're a real film buff(and, I mean, you take in all periods and types of films), then you're probably not going to miss the absence of some of the recent pop culture actors/directors, anyway. If you do, though, get one of the other guides.
As far as this Maltin Movie/Video Guide goes, though, wait until August to purchase if it's spring-summer already(this is when he releases the new edition). You'll get all the recent films of the previous year. As I write this, it's late spring 2005, so I would wait for the "2006" edition, for example-which is actually released August 2005(confusing, huh?) The 2000 edition is worth finding, too, though, for although he discludes the director part of his directory in the back, in the front he has the "100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century", which is nice to have. Just get this book!
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