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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2002
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
on 18 January 2001
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
on 4 February 2002
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
on 27 September 2002
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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on 15 August 2005
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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on 6 June 2011
I bought this splendid reference book a few years ago, and finally have succeeded in tearing it to sheds.

No, not because of an attack of rage, but simply because it is one of the reference books I most like to have at hand. It just fell to pieces (not that that's a good thing!). The reviews are short but not too short, and I love the italics, ans the lists, etc., as mentioned elsewhere here.

Having said this, if you are prepared to shell out a few more shillings, go for the 2007 edition, with all of the virtues of this edition and more recent films included. That's John Walker's last version, and probably the best you'll ever get from this series. Go for it, but I recommend you combine it with other sources, Maltin being one, but several are very good. This is from a man who has over 1500 films on DVD and video, many of them purchased right here on Amazon UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2000
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
on 11 March 2002
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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on 14 October 2000
If you are an avid movie watcher, like myself, this guide is invaluable. Since Leslie Halliwell's death, the guide thankfully has not suffered. With more and more channels and the normal TV/cable/digital guides including less and less information about even the basic plots of films, this guide is very helpful in finding something decent, enlightening, amusing, heart rendering, educational or just a film that's a good watch and entertaining. Buy it now!
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on 17 August 1999
This edition comes in a large but easy to handle volume. John walker who took over from Halliwell does an excellent job. There is a noticable discrepency in the rating of films by Halliwell and Walker. Many have been re-thought. In my opinion this reflects modern tastes and updates Halliwells preference for the early days of cinema. A must for the discerning film watcher. A crown deducted for the somewhat hard to navigate film indexing.
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Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion
Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion by John Walker (Paperback - 19 May 1997)

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