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Halliwell's Film & Video Guide 1999
ISBN 0062736450 / 9780062736451 / 0-06-273645-0
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What would a movie lover's 1999 be like without a new edition of Halliwell's? Here is the most comprehensive movie guide available, containing more than 23,000 reviews. While the commentary on the films covered can be worthwhile, the real benefit of this book is the enormous amount of data and trivia it packs between its covers. For each movie, the editors list the title, country of origin, running time, producers, production company, writer, director, photographer, principal cast members, and in most cases, the editors, composers, and production designers who worked on the film. Little icons under the title reveal the film's availability on videocassette, laserdisc, and DVD; tell whether it is suitable for family viewing; and list the Academy Awards that it won or for which it was nominated.
For extra fun, the editors sometimes include the advertising teaser for a film, a memorable line or two, and excerpts from reviews. In this new edition, you can still read lots of commentary on Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind, as well as Derek Elley on The Full Monty ("It elevates ... [its characters] and their story into crowd-pleasing fare without losing sight of the big social picture."), and, notoriously, Kenneth Turan on Titanic ("As Cameron sails his lonely craft toward greatness, he should realize he needs to bring a passenger with him. Preferably someone who can write."). For complete coverage of the whole history of film, particularly American movies, you can't do better than Halliwell's. --Raphael Shargel [via]