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Lookin' for a book....


stellabluegrl
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I remember a book in my High School library that was called "The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema." It was a big hardcover book that gave info and a picture of every star since the beginnings of film right up to when the book was published, which I think was sometime in the early 80's. It was a great book, and I wish I could find a copy today. Luckily I've found similar books at used bookstores. They're really the best places to find great film books. Also garage sales, fleamarkets, and of course ebay are also good resources. There is another book called "The Film Encyclopedia" which I think is printed on a yearly basis, and it covers a lot within the history of film. I have another book that was a great find called "The M.G.M. Stock Company," which covers all of the major M.G.M. stars, giving bio info, pictures, and filmographies. But aside from books, I find one of the best resources for film info is imdb.com - the internet movie database. It has info on just about everything within the film world.

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Thanks so much for replying to my post. I've just written down the titles and plan on looking into them right away. Oh, and I agree with you coffeedan that ebay, used bookstores etc. are great places to look for this type of book; but since so many of you seem so knowledgeable on the classics and the classic stars I really wanted an opinion from you guys before I went out on my trek. I'll also keep what ya said about Hedy Lammar in mind antarctic ;)

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For classic film lovers , David Shipman's The Great Movie Stars...is a very good book...I highly recommend it....also all the books written by James Robert Parish: the Fox Girls, The RKO Gals, The Paramount Pretties, Hollywood Players of the thirties....and well Ephraim Katz's The Film Encyclopedia.....

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Ephraim Katz! Thank you feaito - he's the author I was trying to think of when I mentioned "The Film Encyclopedia" in a previous post. I thought that it came out on a yearly basis with updates, but perhaps I'm wrong.

 

Another series of books that are highly informative are the "Films Of" books. I don't think they are in print anymore, most are from the 70's up until the late 80's. These books focused on the particular movies that a Golden Age star made, and not only gave biographical information on the star, but they focused on each movie in detail, giving plot descriptions, cast lists, and photos. I have found many of these at used bookstores, and as always, ebay is a good source.

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Can't thank you guys enough for the recommendations. I'm happy to announce that I found a few of the books on ebay. Each for a GREAT price! My mom, grandma & aunt are also classic movie lovers...so not only are ya helping me find a good book for myself, you are helping me out with my Christmas shopping! :)

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i don't know really if katz's film encyclopedia comes out on a yearly basis...i've got the 1993 edition...i'm sure there are later editions, i've seen them...the author died in 1992, so the additions to the newest editions do not belong to him....anyway being a classic fam film buff....the 1993 edition is enough for me...Another wonderful book if you like stills and photos, is "The Astoria Studio and its fabulous films" by Koszarski (Dover)....with great stills from early paramount talkies, among other stuff...also Complicated women by Mick LaSalle, From Scarface to Scarlett by Roger Dooley...very good historic...review af almost all the important 30s films....there are so many really!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm happy to announce that I now have in my possession "The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema", Leonard Maltin's "Movie Encyclopedia" & David Shipman's "The Great Movie Stars"! I found all of them for under ten bucks. Now I have to make the tough decision of deciding which one/ones to give for Christmas and which one/ones I should keep!! Oh, and thanks again for the recommendations!

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stellabluegrl - Where did you find "The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema?" I've been looking for this book for awhile, and can't seem to find it. And I think I can help you with the gift giving problem - I'd be more than happy to get that book for Christmas! But in all seriousness, I'm very glad you've found some of these books, and a couple more that you might want to look for are "The Films of the 30's" and "More Films of the 30's." These books are just like the "films of" books for the stars, only they focus on the most important films of that decade. There were also editions for the important 40's and 50's films. But I'm partial to the books about the 30's movies, since it's my favorite era.

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Besides the wonderful books already mentioned I also like the series of Hollywood studio histories where they give details about every film released by each studio, year by year. Most films listed will even have a photo. THE PARAMOUNT STORY, THE UNITED ARTISTS STORY, THE COLUMBIA STORY, THE UNIVERSAL STORY, THE WARNER BROS. STORY, & THE RKO STORY are all very good. (There is also THE FILMS OF 20TH CENTURY FOX that I don't like as much). My favorite is THE MGM STORY by John Douglas Eames. I've looked at that book so many times! It's interesting to look at a movie stars career while at a studio. When TCM shows a film I'm not familiar with I'll look it up in one of those books, and also allmovie.com & imdb.com

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right catcarson...i only have paramount story and mountain of dreams (paramount movie posters in black and white)...also MGM POsters and MGM when the lion roars...all the others you mention, I'll die to have them!!!...ahhhh also very good is eTHAN mORDEN'S Hollywood Studios

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catcarson - You're right about the Movie Studio books. I have M.G.M., Warners, and Fox, and they're all great, however they are VERY hard to come by. I found mine in used bookstores. Rarely do they come up on ebay. I wish these books would have another printing - they're a film buffs dream!

 

Another book that I wanted to mention that I don't think was mentioned before is "David O. Selznick's Hollywood." It's the ultimate in film books, and could really be considered a coffee table book because of its size. It is filled with lavish illustrations and information about all of the films that Mr. Selznick was connected to, with special attention going to "GWTW," and "King Kong."

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Oh my, how could I forget A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film, by my friend Richard Barrios? It's a much-acclaimed book which I think many of you could very much get into, basically tracing the birth of musicals from the advent of sound up to the 1934 enforcement of the Production Code? A lot of rare films are discussed therein, from DeMille's Madam Satan to the notoriously Golden Dawn.

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I don't think my library has any of these studio books :- ( However, the Universal Story is still available on Amazon and B&N for $50. I opted to order AFI's Everything book for $28 (on sale from $40) instead. Hope I'm not disappointed.

 

Anyone know anything about it? Did I just waste my money?

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  • 2 weeks later...

catcarson,

 

I want to thank you for clueing me in re: these studio books. Unfortunately, our library system only had The United Artist Story. However, I just finished it and LOVED it! I'll try to find the others somehow, seems both B&N and Amazon have copies listed used from various dealers.

 

Has anyone ever purchased a used book this way? I'm not sure if it's safe or risky;- )

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path,

 

I have purchased used books and various other items from Amazon dealers. It's very simple and safe. You just check-out as you would if you were buying something from Amazon--Amazon charges your credit card you have on file with them (or you create an account if you don't already have one)and they (Amazon) pays the dealer. You will receive an e-mail from Amazon about the transaction, and then an e-mail from the seller when they have shipped your item. Every item I have purchased this way has arrived promptly and there has never been a problem.

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