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Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide Mass Market Paperback – 4 Aug 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1645 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book (4 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451227646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451227645
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 5.6 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,150,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Leonard Maltin is one of the USA's most respected film historians and critics. He appears regularly on Entertainment Tonight, hosts Secret's Out on ReelzChannel and introduces movies on DirecTV. He also teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This would be the best of all the film guides were it not for the total omission of all foreign (i.e. non english speaking) classics, the small format which makes reading difficult and, above all, the irritating, idiosyncratic indexing which makes accessing a title a confusing nightmare.

Five stars for content, none for presentation so compromise at three.
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By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I AM a movie buff with over 500 DVDs - I already buy Radio Times every week without fail and use their website as an extra & use and review films on IMDB (Amazon's sister site, the International Movie Data Base.)

Halliwells was always my film bible - it stalled badly when it nosedived from its huge chunk of superb reference in 2008 (1396 pages, 24,000 movies) down to an 'easy read, concise' effort. It's not been published since.

It is a fool indeed who takes the word of just one individual; whether they be critic or friend when it comes to something as personal and subjective as film. I'm not particularly perturbed if one reviewer in one publication (or many) disagree with my own feelings or that of others as long as there is some rational reasoning behind it (which actually DOES include simply not liking it)

I do like a volume that I can pick up, make notes and marks in (& my own scores!). Some suggested Time Out's Guide but that seemed high on film buffery, geeky trivia and details I'd never need, but no opinions as to what a film was actually like.

So, to this edition of Mr Maltin's. Yes, I was intrigued as to what a Yank would think of our (Brit) films, old & new. Yes, a few surprises but generally he covers neatly in just one or two sentences what he thinks of and how good or bad a film is. As others have pointed out, he is not swayed by budget, how big a star is, CGI or anything purely media driven. I like his scoring system, too.

I wouldn't be able to use his guide solely; if I wanted to know who composed the film score, for example, but that's what great about the internet. Because that's a fact, not a seasoned and professional opinion.

I did feel that the guide was lacking in many world cinema releases, though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is (I think) the sixth edition of this guide that I've bought, and it's every bit as good as the others. The critiques are succinct and thoughtful - consistently better, in my view than any other guide, and certainly more useful than anything found online. Even when I disagree with something, I am usually left considering the film in a new way. This is a genuine critical work, so don't expect that films will be rated highly just because they cost a lot, have famous stars, are modern, or are popular. The guide does not avoid controversial ratings, but I doubt most people will be surprised - unless, that is, you believe that such guides ought just to point out what is popular, and ignore the past and the world outside Hollywood.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Why is this a five star book. It's without a doubt the most comprehensive (about 21000 films), rare known films as well as foreign films are represented and in few words everything important to know about a film is there. Of course you can disagree with some of Maltins opinions but did anybody ever think that they would not ??!!! If he liked all films "like you are supposed to" why bother? At least Maltin is not afraid to think that sometimes classics are overrated. Then again he is proberly the only serious reviewer to take the Star Wars pictures seriously. As said by The New York Times "head and shoulders above the rest". If you disagree your way of talking about films should only be with your mates at the pub.
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Format: Paperback
I've been getting his movie guide most years going back since 1992 and it's so invaluable, whether you want to see what he thinks of your favourites, or what I do more often, which is to check reviews in this book of obscure films I quite fancy watching but aren't sure about. None of the reviews are in-depth but that's not really the point of this book. They're concise, often funny, and always informative and the film index of stars and directors, past and present, is really useful too.
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Format: Paperback
Leonard Maltin's Guide is bound to intrigue every movie lover. I remember the time when I first read a LM Guide a few years ago at a university library: I loved so much leafing through this very absorbing guide and reading L. Maltin's comments that time seemed to elapse alarmingly fast. The latest guide is much heavier and more comprehensive (1,644 pages) and remains as absorbing, authoritative and entertaining as the guide I was familiar with.

Movies are listed alphabetically and every entry includes info on the cast and Maltin's team's verdict and comments in a few words. The guide's coverage is impressive albeit certainly uneven: more than 17,000 entries including American, British movies and to a lesser extent French, Italian, Spanish. As far as I know there isn't anything Bollywood in it. This American guide focuses on English-language films.
Don't expect such a guide to be objective, I disagree with some of Maltin's negative ratings (e.g. 1984's Dune, Blue Velvet, Le Dernier Combat) and agree with some 4-star ratings (e.g. Danton, Jaws, etc.) but I tend to overlook the various inevitable disagreements/agreements. After all, the guide is fun to read and does not lack humor. I haven't forgotten one of his comments on First Blood (1982):
"A kewpie doll to anyone who can understand more than three words of Sly's final monologue."

On the minus side, the cast info of the movies is usually longer than necessary. In the cast info, even the names of obscure actors having a minor role in a movie may be mentioned. I think it should mention a movie's most important actors (leading actors, major supporting actors), so as to save space and enable it to include more entries without dropping other entries (the number of movies is growing every year).
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