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Manuals, Dictionaries & Guides

See also: Reference/Annuals

Crew Guides (technical guides for film crews)


Directing and Directors

Producing/The Business

The Rough Guide to FilmThe Rough Guide to Film
Rough Guides
The Rough Guide to Film is a bold new guide to cinema. Arranged by director, it covers the top moguls, mavericks and studio stalwarts of every era, genre and region, in additiong to lots of lesser-known names. Softcover, 649 pp. $36.99.

100 British Documentaries: BFI Screen Guides100 British Documentaries: BFI Screen Guides

Patrick Russell
100 British Documentaries provides an accessible and occasionally provocative introduction to a rich and surprisingly varied tradition, by considering 100 examples from a century's worth of cinema. Patrick Russell's insightful essays on the 100 films place them in context, discuss the ways in which they represent their subject matter, and consider how they portray Britain during a century of great social and political change. Softcover, 270 pp. $26.95.

The Rough Guide to Film MusicalsThe Rough Guide to Film Musicals
David Parkinson
From the magic of Astaire and the pathos of Garland to the flair of Fosse, The Rough Guide to Film Musicals is the perfect companion to cinema's most spectacular genre, revealing how an escapist entertainment became Hollywood's most ingenious art form. Softcover, 326 pp. $19.99.

The Rough Guide to Film NoirThe Rough Guide to Film Noir
Alexander Ballinger & Danny Graydon
From dimly lit streets to glamorous apartments, world-weary detectives to irresistable femmes fatales, The Rough Guide to Film Noir shines a searchlight into cinema's darkest and most dangerous corner. Softcover, 302 pp. $19.99.

The Rough Guide to British Cult ComedyThe Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy
Julian Hall
Focusing on the last three decades, this book covers the gamut of UK comedy talent, showcasing the cultiest comedians and the most side-splitting shows. It chronicles the rise of alternative comedy to surrealist sketches and the triumph of reality comedies such as The Office; 50 stars of live and TV comedy, from 1980s legend Harry Enfield to current headliner Ross Noble; 50 sitcoms, sketch shows and mockumentaries that broke the mould, among them The Royle Family and The Fast Show; American influences on British comedy, from Richard Pryor to Bill Hicks; best comedy venues, recommended DVDs and CDs, tips of the trade (how to deal with hecklers) and much, much more. Softcover, 277 pp. $21.99.

The Rough Guide to WesternsThe Rough Guide to Westerns
Paul Simpson
From the saloon to the cattle trail, gunslinging outlaws to ferocious Indians, The Rough Guide to Westerns is the ultimate companion to the genre that has, since the birth of cinema, fed our fascination with the Wild West. Softcover, 293 pp. $21.99.

The Pocket Essential Australian FilmThe Pocket Essential Australian Film
Saskia Vanderbent
Australia has always been at the forefront of the film industry, giving birth to the world's very first fiction and documentary features, and a host of international stars, directors and first rate crews. This book analyses over 80 significant works from silent through to contemporary cinema, considering their technical innovation and recurring themes. The diverse range of films include The History of the Kelly Gang, Walkabout, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Mad Max, My Brilliant Career, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Dead Calm, Shine, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Chopper, Moulin Rouge and recent controversial horror, Wolf Creek. Softcover, 160 pp. $9.95.

The Pocket Essential Great British Movies The Pocket Essential Great British Movies
Don Shiach
Don Shiach has attempted to encapsulate in this volume the peaks of the British film achievement from the beginning of the sound era to the first decade of the 21st century. The giant figures of the 1930s, Alfred Hitchcock and Alexander Korda, set a standard for the domestic film industry in its attempt to challenge the domination of the Hollywood film. Great British Movies makes a fascinating read, a useful reference book and a must for all fans of British cinema. Softcover, 160 pp. $9.95.

The Pocket Essential Film NoirThe Pocket Essential Film Noir
Paul Duncan
Noir explores the dark side of post-war society--gangsters, hoodlums, prostitutes and killers--and shows how it corrupted the good and the beautiful. Many of these films are now touchstones of what we regard as classic Hollywood -- The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Big Sleep (1946), Double Indemnity (1944) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Softcover, 159 pp. $9.95.

The Parents' Guide to Kids' MoviesThe Parents' Guide to Kids' Movies

Jo Berry
Part of Jo Berry's guide to kids' movies is aimed at the concerned parent and provides a sensitive guide to the content of hundreds of kids' films, but the book mainly operates as a source for alternatives: for the parent faced with the long summer holidays and the thirty-third viewing of The Lion King, maybe it's time to delve back through a long line of Disney classics, check out the original Alice in Wonderland adaptation from 1951, or investigate Ray Harryhausen's Dynarama special effects in the 1974 Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Written with humour and insight, Jo Berry has produced an informative, entertaining and balanced aid for the modern-day parent drowning in a sea of DVD releases. Softcover, 324 pp. $16.95.

The Rough Guide to American Independent FilmThe Rough Guide to American Independent Film
Jessica Winter
Unconventional, controversial and often downright disturbing, indie films have given us some of cinema's most innovative and influential moments. The Rough Guide to American Independent Film gives you the lowdown on maverick filmmaking, from sleazy exploitation flicks and satirical documentaries to chilling horror movies and quirky suburban dramas. Softcover, 277 pp. $21.99.

Rough Guide to Chick FlicksRough Guide to Chick Flicks
Samantha Cook
The Rough Guide to Chick Flicks is a lively guide to the movies women love, from melodramas to biopics, thrillers to rom-coms. Sassy, informed and occassionally unexpected, it celebrates women's films of every kind. Softcover, 283 pp. $21.99.

Crime Wave: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Crime Movies Crime Wave: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Crime Movies

Howard Hughes
Crime Wave investigates gangster and heist movies, blaxploitation and noir, murder mysteries, vehicles for vigilante or buddy cops, even a gangster love story. It features biographies and filmographies detailing the key participants and background details of the films' making, locations and sets. It also explores each film's sources and influences, its impact on the crime genre and current fashion, including spin-offs, copies and sequels. It examines the films' themes, style and box office fortunes. Softcover, 236 pp. $30.50.

Once Upon a Time in the Italian WestOnce Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns
Howard Hughes
Authoritative and entertaining, Once Upon a Time in the Italian West offers detailed critical and historical analyses of 20 key films. Taken together, these essays identify the salient trends, tropes, and filmmakers of this popular genre, and provide a useful guide to its signature films. Softcover, 266 pp. $26.95.

The Rough Guide To Sci-Fi MoviesThe Rough Guide To Sci-Fi Movies
John Scalzi
The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies is a comprehensive companion to the "final frontier" of film. It explores cinema's fascination with space exploration, time travel and fantastical worlds, and tells the stories behind the movies that have been expanding our universe since film began. Features include origins, the canon, the locations, the icons of the sci-fi genre. Softcover, 325 pp. $21.99.

The Rough Guide to Comedy MoviesThe Rough Guide to Comedy Movies
Bob McCabe
Cracking open a whole barrel-load of movie mirth, The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies gives you the ultimate lowdown on laughter in the cinema, from Airplane! to Withnail and I, and from John Belushi to Billy Wilder. Sections include: the comedy story, the comedy canon, comedy movie icons, comedy teamwork, and international comedy. Softcover, 303 pp. $21.99.

The Rough Guide to Comedy MoviesThe Rough Guide to Gangster Movies
Lloyd Hughes
From The Godfather to Get Carter, tales of organized crime have produced many of the big screen's greatest films and most memorable moments. The Rough Guide to Gangster Movies gives you the low-down on all aspects of the genre. It's all here, from James Cagney and his fellow 1930s mobsters right up to the hitmen of Quentin Tarantino and John Woo -- not forgetting all the Goodfellas, Untouchables and Kings of New York in between. Softcover, 322 pp. $21.99.

The Rough Guide To Horror Movies
Alan Jones
The Rough Guide to Horror Movies
is a comprehensive guide to the world's scariest films. Conjuring up vampires, monsters, ghosts and zombies, it tells the stories behind the movies that have frightened us from the birth of cinema to the present day. Softcover, 277 pp. $21.99.

Hey! It's That Guy!Hey! It's That Guy! The Fametracker.com Guide to Character Actors
Tara Ariano & Adam Sternbergh
Who is that guy? You know the one: the actor who always shows up in movies as the rumpled police detective, or the stern but ineffectual high school principal, or the wiseguy mobster. What is that guy's name? And where have you seen that woman before. You'll find them all in this exhaustive and entertaining guide to character actors whose faces you recognize but whose names you can never quite recall. Softcover, 255 pp. $19.95.

A Field Guide to MonstersA Field Guide to Monsters
Dave Elliot
Monster fans listens up: the information contained in this compact field guide can very well save you life. Within these pages lie the secrets to many of the monsters that are still at large today. Dozens of creatures are profiled in detail, including information about their appearance, their orgins, their habitats, their powers, and their weaknesses. Softcover, 192 pp. $19.95.

The Animated Movie GuideThe Animated Movie Guide
Jerry Beck
Here, for the first time in print, is an accurate and complete guide to every animated movie ever released in the United States. This lavishly illustrated companion traces the orgin of the art form, discusses what it takes to make a great animated feature, and guides the reader through all manner of hits and flops that make up this previously uncharted world. Every film listing includes reviews, four-star ratings, background information, plot synopses, accurate running times, consumer tips, and MPAA ratings. Softcover, 348 pp. $36.95.

Halliwell's Top 1000Halliwell's Top 1000

John Walker
A canon has been established. In this mighty tome, long-time Halliwell's editor, John Walker, lists out Halliwell's 1000 favourite films. The merits of each movie are given a full evaluation, including information such as the cast and crew on the film, any awards the movie won, DVD and soundtrack availability plus other interesting facts such as original film titles and gossip from behind-the-scenes. Richly illustrated, with film stills and posters, this is a book every cinema-goer will want to own. Softcover, 572 pp. $39.95.

The New York Times Guide to the Best 1000 Movies Ever MadeThe New York Times Guide to the Best 1000 Movies Ever Made
Peter M. Nichols
This handy reference book covers the entire spectrum of cinema, from the first talkies of the 1930's to blockbusters like The Wizard of Oz and Chicago; from timeless classics like Casablanca and Notorious to modern award winners like Shakespeare in Love and Boys Don't Cry. Beloved foreign films by directors such as Truffaut, Kurosawa, Fellini, and Almodovar appear with milestone achievements by renowned American directors like Kubrick, Huston, Spielberg, and Welles. The reviews -- by Vincent Canby, Janet Maslin, and others -- are eloquent, honest, incisive, and intuitive, making this book not only an invaluable resource for any film lover but also a fascinating, often surprising insight into Hollywood history. Softcover, 1174 pp. $36.95.

The New Biographical Dictionary of FilmThe New Biographical Dictionary of Film
David Thomson
Expanded and updated for 2004. More a bible than a dictionary, this revised edition of David Thomson's definitive classic is required reading for anyone with even a passing interest in film. With over 1300 concise yet astutely observed biographical sketches of the most significant personalities in film history, this book is as intelligent as it is comprehensive as it is entertaining. Essential. Softcover. $32.95.

The Rough Guide to Cult Movies The Rough Guide to Cult Movies
Various authors
This second edition of the Rough Guide to Cult Movies offers a new and improved blend of essential trivia and informed opinion as it takes you on a tour of the most compellingly weird -- and weirdly compelling -- films in the celluloid universe. Softcover, 475 pp. $18.99.

The Rough Guide to Kids' Movies The Rough Guide to Kids' Movies
Paul Simpson
This compact movie guide contains over 400 reviews for the best kids films on video and DVD. From recent hits such as Finding Nemo and Elf to classics like The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars, this book will provide the reader with countless suggestions that will keep children entertained for hours on end. Softcover, 303 pp. $17.99.

Legacy of BloodLegacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide To Slasher Movies
Jim Harper
The "slasher" movie is the bloodiest incarnation of the modern horror film. Although reviled by most critics -- objecting, particulary, to the apparent misogyny -- the genre has nevertheless had enduring appeal. Legacy of Blood is a serious attempt to identify and explain the essential traits of the genre and to provide a historical context in which to view its evolution. This book is also the most exhaustive catalogue of the genre, boasting more than 200 astute film reviews. Softcover, 192 pp. $26.95.

A to Z Guide to Film TermsA to Z Guide to Film Terms
Third Edition
Tim Moshansky
This handy, pocket-sized A-Z guide is exhaustive in its listings of film industry jargon and technical terms. "Dutch Angle", "Buffalo Box", "MacGuffin", "Work Print", "BFL", and more terms than you can ever imagine are defined herein. An absolute must for industry professionals, film students, and movie fans. Softcover, 96 pp. $12.95.

Eyeball CompendiumEyeball Compendium
Stephen Thrower
Culled from the pages of Eyeball Magazine this omnibus of interviews, essays and reviews focuses on the very best of cinematic sex, horror, art, and exploitation -- everthing from Argento to Zulawski. Fans of off-beat genre films will appreciate this brilliantly written and generously illustrated volume. Softcover, 395 pp. $38.99.

DVD Delirium 2DVD Delirium 2: The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films on DVD

Nathaniel Thompson
Hundreds of fascinating films are reviewed in the all new second edition instalment of the A-to-Z DVD guide specially designed for collectors of cult, horror, exploitation, arthouse, erotic, foreign language, thriller, action and just plain weird movies! DVD Delirium 2 is a minefield for the serious collector with DVD's from all over the world reviewed and analysed by Thompson along with renowned cult film critics including Kim Newman and Tim Greaves. Softcover, 639 pp. $38.99.

DVD DeliriumDVD Delirium: Volume 1

Nathaniel Thompson
Fans of cult, horror, exploitation, arthouse, erotic, foreign language, thriller, action, and just plain weird movies will not want to be without this invaluable guide to off-beat films on DVD. With 1000 in-depth reviews -- by cult-film aficianados Nathaniel Thompson, Tim Greaves, and Stephen Thrower -- this book is a must for any serious DVD collector. Softcover, 639 pp. $38.99.

Scenario: The Craft of ScreenwritingThe Wallpaper Press Short Cuts series
The Short Cuts series offers a succinct introduction to areas of film study which don't yet have adequate literature. A great starting point for student research

Available in this series:

Animation: Genre & Authorship by Paul Wells
The Horror Genre: From Beelzebub to Blair Witch by Paul Wells
The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities by Paul MacDonald
Science Fiction Cinema: From Outerspace to Cyberspace by Geoff King & Tanya Krzywinska
Early Soviet Theatre: Innovation, Ideology and Propaganda by David Gillespie
Reading Hollywood: Spaces and Meanings in American Film by Deborah Thomas
Disaster Movies: The Cinema of Catastrophe by Stephen Keane
The Western Genre: From Lordsburg to Big Whiskey by John Saunders
Psychoanalysis and Cinema: The Play of Shadows by Vicky Lebeau
Costume and Cinema: Dress Codes in Popular Film by Sarah Street
Mise-En-Scène: Film Style and Interpretation by John Gibbs
New Chinese Cinema: Challenging Representations by Sheila Cornelius with Ian Hadyn Smith
Scenario: The Craft of Screenwriting by Tudor Gates

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Film Studies
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Film Criticism
Film Noir
Gay, Lesbian & Queer Criticism, Theory and History
Horror Films
Women, Gender & Feminist Criticism, Theory & History

Film Glossaries & Encylopedias
Film History
On Individual Films
Directing & Producing
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Actors & Acting

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Last modified December 28, 2009.
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