Book & Film

Part 3

Film & Book Resources

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The Greatest Movies Ever - Revised and Up-to-Date: The Ultimate Ranked List of the 101 Best Films of All Time, by Gail Kinn, 2012

The 101 greatest movies of all time ranked and critiqued. Fully updated for the paperback edition with new films. From The Godfather (#1) to Groundhog's Day (#101) The Greatest Movies Ever is fun and controversial ranking of the greatest movies of all time, as selected by film critics Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza and including comedies, dramas, musicals, romances, and action films compiled from 80 years of movie making and from all around the world.

The list includes such classics as Citizen Kane, North by Northwest, and Schindler's List; international films such as The 400 Blows and Rashomon; as well as more recent films including Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Slumdog Millionaire. The earliest edition contained material similar to 'Greatest Films' (Filmsite's website).

Must-See Sci-fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of This World (Turner Classic Movies)

From A Trip to the Moon (1902) to Arrival (2016), science fiction cinema has produced a body of classics with a broader range of styles, stories, and subject matter than perhaps any other film genre. Fifty unforgettable films are profiled, including beloved favorites like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Fantastic Voyage (1966), groundbreaking shockers like Planet of the Apes (1968) and Alien (1979), and lesser-known landmarks like Things to Come (1936) and Solaris (1972).

See Filmsite's feature on "Sci-Fi Films."

Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950 (Turner Classic Movies)

A year-by-year tour of movies like Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Sunset Boulevard. This volume recreates the environment that spawned film noir.

See Filmsite's feature on "Film Noir."

Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934): When Sin Ruled the Movies (Turner Classic Movies)

The book spotlights the twenty-two films that led to the strict new Code of 1934, including Red-Headed Woman, Call Her Savage, and She Done Him Wrong. You'll see Paul Muni shoot a path to power in the original Scarface; Barbara Stanwyck climb the corporate ladder on her own terms in Baby Face; and misfits seek revenge in Freaks.

See Filmsite's feature on the Pre-Code Era in "Sex in Cinema: History."

Rough Guide Reference Titles:

The Rough Guides are an essential reference companion for anyone interested in films from a categorical or genre perspective. The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies uncovers cinema's funniest and most varied genre, from silent slapstick, to 90s gross-out and the dark indie humour of today, and includes a canon of the fifty greatest comedy films. The Rough Guide to Cult Movies offers a new improved blend of essential trivia and informed opinion with a tour of the most compellingly weird - and weirdly compelling - films in the world. The Rough Guide to Horror Movies is a comprehensive guide to the world's scariest films, with a canon of the fifty greatest horror films of all time.

The remainder of the series of "Rough Guides" follows a similar pattern:

  • The Rough Guide to Film by Rough Guide Authors
  • The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies by John Scalzi
  • The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies by Bob McCabe
  • The Rough Guide to Cult Movies by Paul Simpson, Helen Rodiss, and Michaela Bushell
  • The Rough Guide to Gangster Movies by Lloyd Hughes
  • The Rough Guide to Horror Movies by Alan Jones
  • The Rough Guide to Chick Flicks by Samantha Cook
  • The Rough Guide to American Independent Film by Jessica Winter
  • The Rough Guide to Westerns by Paul Simpson
  • The Rough Guide to Film Noir by Alexander Ballinger and Danny Graydon
  • The Rough Guide to Film Musicals by David Parkinson

Please note: Greatest Films is recommended as a resource website in some of these books!

Classic Movie Companion, by Robert Moses (Editor), American Movie Classics Company, 1999, Hyperion

The former editor of American Movie Classics (AMC) magazine guides the reader through 4500 classic Hollywood films made between 1929 and 1979, with brief plot synopses, credits, ratings, running times, and 100 photos. A few non-Hollywood films are included, but the editor generally chooses those films likely to be featured on the AMC Network.

Please note: Greatest Films is recommended as a resource in this book!

The Great Movies, by Roger Ebert, 2002
The Great Movies II, by Roger Ebert, 2005
The Great Movies III, by Roger Ebert, 2010
The Great Movies IV, by Roger Ebert, 2016

Please note: This website author is often referenced in the first book, for example, in Ebert's essays on "Notorious" and "Red River." See all references here.

The Great Movies:
A compilation of 100 mini-essays on "The Great Movies," originally posted (since 1997) on Pulitzer winner Ebert's Website. Includes "Citizen Kane", "The Third Man", "Casablanca", "Schindler's List", "The General", "Metropolis", "The Godfather", and many more, with 100 carefully selected illustrations.

The Great Movies II:
Ebert's second collection of 100 essays on great movies, including "12 Angry Men," "West Side Story," "The Grapes of Wrath," "King Kong," "Annie Hall," "Mean Streets," "The Birth of a Nation," "Sunrise," and many more. Again with 100 selected b&w illustrations.

The Great Movies III
A compilation of 100 mini-essays on "The Great Movies," originally posted (since 1997) on Pulitzer winner Ebert's website. Includes "Top Hat," "The Band Wagon," "The Godfather, Part II," "The Last Picture Show," "Groundhog Day," "Phantom of the Opera," "Last Tango in Paris," "Safety Last," and many more.

The Great Movies IV
A compilation of 62 brief mini-essays on "The Great Movies," on Pulitzer winner Ebert's website. Includes "The Cabinet of Caligari," "Viridiana," "Superman," "Pink Floyd: The Wall," "The Big Lebowski", "Seven" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and many more.

Ebert's Website:

Zagat Survey Movie Guide: 1000 Top Films of All Time, by Curt Gathje, 2002, Zagat Survey.

Covering the 1,000 all-time best films, this guide is based on the candid appraisals of avid moviegoers like you. Contains 50+ handy indexes to help you find the perfect picture.

75 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards, by Robert Osborne, 2003, Abbeville Press, Inc.

Newly updated, revised, and expanded from an earlier edition. The only book officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, this hefty tome presents the history of the movies through the lens of the industry's central organizing body. Each year of the Oscars is covered in detail, with an introduction that summarizes the year's movie highlights, nominees, and winners, followed by a complete listing of nominees and winners in all categories.

The Academy Awards Handbook, by John Harkness, 2003 (revised), Pinnacle Books, Kensington Publishing Corp.

A guide to award-winning movies and their stars offers a year-by-year listing of all nominees and winners, an analysis of how films and stars are selected, a thorough index, and advice on how to identify forthcoming winners.

The 247 Best Movie Scenes in Film History, by Sanford Levine, 2001, McFarland & Company.

This is a witty, wry compilation of the best: accountant scenes, ballpoint pen scenes, food mushing scenes, telephone scenes, and more, arranged by category and described lovingly. Subtitled: A filmgoer's guide to cigar scenes, car chase scenes, haircut scenes, whistling scenes, dentist scenes, fluttering drapes, funny walks, mirrors, name mispronunciations, parking meters, sagging shoulders, steambaths, and numerous other scenes long noted by aficionados. Reprint of a 1992 work describing memorable scenes from numerous movies.

10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed (& Other Surprising Movie Lists), by Richard Roeper, 2003, Hyperion, Kensington Publishing Corp.

An offbeat, hilarious, irreverent, and inventive collection of movie lists. Examples include: The Worst Best Movies of All Time, 10 Movies That Didn't Make the AFI List But Should Have, 5 Reasons Why George Bailey Isn't Such a Wonderful Guy in It's a Wonderful Life, 7 Films in Which Ben Affleck Cries Like a Big Fat Baby, The Gross-Out Hall of Fame, and 13 Great Perks of Being a Movie Character

Written by Richard Roeper, the co-host of the nationally syndicated Ebert & Roeper TV program.

BFI FILM CLASSICS, series of selected film titles by The British Film Institute, BFI Publishing, London. Series titles include many classic and modern titles.

Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide 2007, 2006, edited by Leonard Maltin, Plume Paperback

Film historian and critic Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2007 is incredibly extensive, offering summaries and ratings of movies. This is the filmgoer's guide--the most compact, intelligent, and informative reference available.

Alphabetized by title, with thousands of entries that list year of release, running time, director, principal cast, and availability on video. Other years available.


Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide: The Modern Era, edited by Leonard Maltin, 2017

Previously published as Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide, this capstone edition includes a new Introduction by the author, and a few added one-page lists.


Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965, Third Edition (2015), edited by Leonard Maltin, Plume.

(Earlier Edition)

From Leonard Maltin, author of the bestselling annual Movie Guide (see above), comes this guide to classic movies, which includes more than 7,000 capsule reviews of classic movies, including: The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone With the Wind (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), High Noon (1952), and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). In addition, this unique volume also offers a star and director index, a full listing of classic movies on DVD, and Leonard Maltin’s unique Top Ten lists. The result is an authoritative, dynamic guide to the classics no film aficionado should be without.

(2015 Edition)

Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide covers films from Hollywood and around the world, from the silent era through 1965, and from The Maltese Falcon to Singin’ in the Rain and Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Thoroughly revised and updated, and featuring expanded indexes, a list of Maltin’s personal recommendations, and three hundred new entries—including many offbeat and obscure films—this new edition is a must-have companion for every movie lover.


The New York Times Book of Movies: The Essential 1,000 Films to See, by A.O. Scott (Compiler), Manohla Dargis (Compiler), and Wallace Schroeder. Updated for 2019.

A curated collection of reviews with such special features as lists of best films by category and year, as well as unique recommendations and sidebars for the modern viewer -- including what to watch and how: from DVD and Blu-Ray to streaming platforms.

Updated for 2019.

The 100 Greatest Movies Ever Made, by Ty Burr, 1999, Time-Life Books.

Each film write-up includes a brief discussion and an Oscar Index, Type Casting, Behind the Scenes, and What Might Have Been.

Time Out Film Guide 2007, 15th edition, 2006, edited by John Pym, Penguin Books

The Time Out Film Guide is a collection of capsule reviews written originally for the London magazine Time Out. Now updated with more than 16,700 reviews, all written by knowledgeable critics. With lengthy descriptions (including cast and crew), a readers' Top One Hundred poll, stronger international coverage than any other film guide, and extensive indexes covering films by country, genre, subject, director, and actor.

1000 Films to Change Your Life, 2006, (TimeOut Guides, Ltd.)

The Time Out 1000 Films to Change Your Life is a must-have collection of opinion-pieces, reviews, photos and lists - all revolving around the joy of movies. Personalities (actresses, actors, directors, cinematographers, animators, authors, comedians, playwrights, etc.) write about their favorite films, in a variety of ways. Films covered are eclectic and wide-ranging. Writers are matched to suitable (or sometimes surprising) themes or genres. Top Ten lists throughout, plus film reviews (with credits) relevant to the features and shorter spreads on topics such as: great screen moments (endings, beginnings, kisses, death scenes), small trivia boxes, excerpts of dialogue, movie facts and more.

Cinema: A Year by Year History of the Movies (1894-2006), 2006 edition, Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.

A narrative time line of notable cinemagraphic events is written in a present-tense journalistic style. With 3,000-plus classic posters, film stills and star portraits - an exhilarating voyage through the world of movies, from its inception in the 1890s to the technical ingenuity of the present day.

The Film Encyclopedia, by Ephraim Katz, 2005, Fifth Edition, published by HarperCollins.

Revised and updated. Billed as: "The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume." Well-written, user-friendly, and bursting with essential data, famous stories, and terrific trivia, this book is the most intelligent and accessible film companion available, a must for every movie lover. Its chief assets are its in-depth entries on actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, composers, and editors, which come complete with date and place of birth as well as an extensive filmography.

The Dictionary of Film Quotations, 6,000 Provocative Movie Quotes from 1,000 Movies, by Melinda Corey and George Ochoa, 1995, Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York, NY

Contains about 6,000 quotations from more than 1,000 movies. The quotations are arranged alphabetically by movie from Adam's Rib to Zorba the Greek. With each movie comes basic credit information: studio, year, director, screenwriter, and so forth. There are also two full indexes that allow you to find quotations by star or topic. A highly recommended reference for film buffs, writers, and trivia lovers!

VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever (Annual Edition), 2020 (other earlier editions available), Jim Craddock, published by Gale Group.

Every edition packs in thousands of pages of reviews of movies, with extensive indexes expanded to include Alternate and Series presentations, among others. Birth and death dates have been added for cast and director indexes, icons identify made-for-television movies, and videographies in the cast index include cameo and voice-only appearances. Other volumes in the VideoHound series include:

  • VideoHound's Horror Show
  • VideoHound's Sci-Fi Experience
  • VideoHound's Independent Film Guide
  • VideoHound's World Cinema
  • VideoHound's War Movies
  • VideoHound's Epics
  • VideoHound's Vampires on Video
  • VideoHound's DVD Guide (various versions)

Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, gen. editor Mark C. Carnes, 1996, Agincourt Press, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY.

This unusual and cornucopian book draws on the knowledge of 60 experts who examine the historical accuracy of a splendid array of classic movies such as Julius Caesar, Aguirre the Wrath of God, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Last of the Mohicans, Gallipoli, and Gandhi. They reveal what each movie has done right and wrong in portraying the complex threads of the stories as known to the world's most qualified scholars.

Reel v. Real: How Hollywood Turns Fact Into Fiction, by Frank Sanello, 2003, Taylor Publishing.

This book profiles sixty movies that portray actual moments in history, and compares the mythologized account of each event to what really happened.

The Movie Guide: The Most Comprehensive Film Reference of Its Kind, James Pallot and Editors of CineBooks, 1995. May be difficult to find.

The Movie Guide is the most comprehensive, in-depth film reference available in a single volume - the indispensable sourcebook for movie buffs and film scholars alike. Collected from the vast databases of CineBooks, the world's leading film authority, The Movie Guide provides key information not available in other single-volume guides. With longer, more detailed reviews and fascinating film facts, this easy-to-use, alphabetized guide covers well over 3,000 of the most important films ever made - from accepted classics such as Citizen Kane and Schindler's List, to cult hits and "sleepers" like The Crying Game and Strictly Ballroom, to the most-talked-about films of the year.

TLA Video and DVD Guide 2005: The Discerning Film Lover's Guide, by David Bleiler (editor), 2004.

The TLA Video and DVD Guide 2005 (updated yearly) boasts that it's designed for the "discerning film lover." Detailed indexes by star, director, genre, country of origin, and theme. Lavishly illustrated with over 450 photos. A listing of all the major film awards of the past quarter century, as well as TLA Bests and recommended films. Comprehensive selection of international cinema from over 50 countries. Over 10,000 films reviewed.

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