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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Highly recommended, March 2, 2002
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This review is from: Brassey's Guide to War Films (Paperback)
Hats off to Alun Evans for this superb guide to this film genre. I've got quite a few other books on this subject, but I always refer to this one. This guy must have sat through thousands of these films, and his perspectives are usually consistent. Once you learn his preferences, its easy to understand what things you might want to watch based on your preferences. He discusses historical significance and accuracy, when the film was made, who it was made by, who was in it, in such a way that it gives you more of an understanding of the entire war film phenomenon. Great insight.
There is much more coverage of films from Europe and other parts of the world, than a sharp focus on films of the US. THis is particularly appreciated for WW2 films (which most seem to be anyway), since to tell the whole story of a war, all the constituents voices can be heard.
The format is that of almost an encyclopedia/reference. Some films have 2 words, some have 2 paragraphs. He tells us things about certain filmakers that give great context to the period in history in which they worked. He has fun opinions about all sorts of things (the man clearly has a problem with Lew Landers) and has a light and informative style.
I've got a fairly sizable war film collection, and this book has contributed greatly to my ability to grow it. All films that he could find are covered in some way or another. Must be close to 1000 or so. Very comprehensive and valuable guide to the collector
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful guide to its subject, January 14, 2005
This review is from: Brassey's Guide to War Films (Paperback)
Alun Evans provides a short ( one page ) introduction to this book and I strongly urge purchasers and users of the book to read this section , for it outlines the criteria used in classifying a title as a War Movie .They are movies which portray battles ,great and small ; movies which show the effects of war and its psychology and the way war impacts on societies and people .There are Westerns included in this categorisation -and so you will find the great cavalry trilogy by John Ford included .There are espionage titles cheek by jowl with romantic melodramas like Gone With the Wind ,fantasy titles are accommodated as are musicals and comedy .

The bulk of the guide is an A-Z listing of selected titles ,some 2000 in all .The entry layout is standard throughout - The title is given followed by director , country of origin and year of release .There is then a short capsule review varying in length from one line to up to 4 paragraphs ,culminating in a list of the major performers . A star system is included ranging from zero to five stars .In some instances the review will have a list of other movies on similar themes ,as for example The Alamo(1960 ) which then gives titles like Lone Star and The Last Command 'although not the Jim Bowie biopic The Iron Mistress

The last section of the book is a listing of movies by historical period ranging from pre classical antiquity to Desert Storm ;and there is also a listing of key directors and their war related output .The book is well but not lavishly illustrated throughout .

It is a useful guide if you want to know what movies have been made about particular wars and war theatres .The reviews are not massively detailed but serve as some guide to their subject matter and quality -although the latter is a value judgement .,like all reviews

The bibliography is useful in steering interested readers towards other -more specialist guide but this is a good introduction to a wide ranging subject .I read the 2000 edition -and obviously movies released since then are not included
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and well-organized -- a fun book, February 24, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Brassey's Guide to War Films (Paperback)
This is a very thorough guide book on its topic. Often such books are written by historians who, while they may enjoy films, don't have the background in film that this author has. The author may tend to overvalue some of the films in his five-star rating systems (if he errs it's as a softy, not as a curmudgeon). Very good cross-referencing and indexing. More and better stills than you might expect for the price.
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Brassey's Guide to War Films
Brassey's Guide to War Films by Alun Evans (Paperback - August 1, 2000)
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