Halliwell's Filmgoer's companion Loose Leaf – 1 Jan 1980
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This monster is quite simply the king of movie guides. Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 2001 contains more than 23,000 entries, creating a competition for space that allows most films only a quick-and-dirty 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 Santa Claus film guide--movies must earn each star awarded. Four stars go only to groundbreaking masterpieces like Rashomon, and one can flip through page after page 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 is a must-have for movie lovers. --Ali Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Halliwell’s Who’s Who in the Movies:
“At the end of the day, Halliwell is top of the pile”
Film Review, 7/99
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this splendid reference book a few years ago, and finally have succeeded in tearing it to sheds. Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2011 by Charles Paxton Martin
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... Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2005
All the information is there but the reviews are awful. Almost every review displays a I-could-do-better-attitude and shows ignorance of the film making process. Read morePublished on 27 April 2002 by Mr. A. P. Venables
This magazine is a travesty. There is a distinct bias against european films and formally experiment cinema in general. Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2001
If you are an avid movie watcher, like myself, this guide is invaluable. Since Leslie Halliwell's death, the guide thankfully has not suffered. Read morePublished on 14 Oct. 2000 by Ms. A. F. Mackenzie