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Film Art: An Introduction 9th Edition

108 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0073386164
ISBN-10: 0073386162
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Bordwell is Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a master's degree and a doctorate in film from the University of Iowa. His books include The Films of Carl Theodor Dreyer (University of California Press, 1981), Narration in the Fiction Film (University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (Princeton University Press, 1988), Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema (Harvard University Press, 1989), The Cinema of Eisenstein (Harvard University Press, 1993), On the History of Film Style (Harvard University Press, 1997), Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment (Harvard University Press, 2000), Figures Traced in Light: On Cinematic Staging (University of California Press, 2005), The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies (University of California Press, 2006), and The Poetics of Cinema (Routledge, 2008). He has won a University Distinguished Teaching Award and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Copenhagen. His we site is

Kristin Thompson is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a master’s degree in film from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible: A Neoformalist Analysis (Princeton University Press, 1981), Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907-1934 (British Film Institute, 1985), Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis (Princeton University Press, 1988), Wooster Proposes, Jeeves Disposes, or, Le Mot Juste (James H. Heineman, 1992), Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique (Harvard University Press, 1999), Storytelling in Film and Television (Harvard University Press, 2003), Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood: German and American Film after World War I (Amsterdam University Press, 2005), and The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (University of California Press, 2007). She blogs with David at She maintains her own blog, "The Frodo Franchise," at In her spare time she studies Egyptology.

The authors have also collaborated on Film History: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill, 3rd. ed., 2010) and, with Janet Staiger, on The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (Columbia University Press, 1985).


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Product Details

  • Series: Film Art
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 9th edition (November 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073386162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073386164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Axel Stone on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to get this book for college classes and if you are getting into film-making, this is definitely worth owning. It gets into details about the process of making a movie with some good examples of film that pull off these secret Hollywood techniques.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ben on September 7, 2011
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Upon opening the book, it is obvious this book was printed as cheaply as possible. There are many typos in the text, and after reading a page once, the page will fall out of the binding. I'm now halfway through the book and have half a textbook and half a ream of paper.

Instead, look for a version printed on glossy paper. This version doesn't have any of the same problems as this version.

This book is almost a scam with how much they charge for such an unacceptable printing quality. Do not purchase!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know that this review will not affect the students that have to purchase the book for a class, so I am instead hoping that professors will read this review and pick a different textbook for their class. As such, I will go in depth to show exactly where are my grievances.
As a senior in college that always reads the textbook, I can honestly say that this book is by far the worse book I have ever purchased. Rather than have you just take my word for it, I will break down exactly what is wrong with this book and then give you examples.
First, the binding of this book is the worst I have ever experienced. I started with a book and, by the end of the semester, I had a ream of worthless paper. Every time I turned the page, it ended up falling out. When I pay for a book, especially a textbook that cost $75, I expect for it to last a lifetime. I know that I will not use this book in my future career, but it should last longer than one read through. Sometime I hadn't even read the pages yet and the ones from farther in the book would fall out. Such a waste of money.
My grievances did not stop here. Occasionally, the text will run off the page and leave the reader wondering what happened to the sentence. Excellent examples from my book are in chapter 4, pages 123, 129 and 131, and chapter 3 page 113. The margins are so off on this page that the writing at the top does not start until an inch down the page and it ends up running off the bottom. This happens a few other times in the book.
Also, the fonts will randomly change in the book. Sometimes, this happens in the middle of a paragraph and will last a few pages. On page 202 it seems like the book randomly starts to become double spaced and then the next page it goes back to normal.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kj on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just bought a new copy of the book directly from Amazon for a class, but it didn't come with the CD. The Amazon description does not mention a CD (however, under the "Editorial Review" heading, the CD is noted as optional, whatever that means), but the book says that it comes with a free CD (page xix). The CD is required for my class so I contacted Amazon today and I'll update this comment after I get their response. The CD is also available for purchase through the publisher website for about $25, but I don't want to pay that if it is supposed to be free with the book. This is the ninth edition of the book, but the eighth edition of the book is also available on Amazon with the CD explicitly in the description.

Update: Amazon replaced the book for free with no hassle, but the second book did not include a CD either. Apparently, Amazon direct does not include the CD, so if you need the CD, don't buy it from them. I'll be getting a refund and I'll be emailing other sellers to see if they sell the book with the CD.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chris P. on August 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This page isn't entirely clear whether the textbook comes with a CD or not but I can clear that up for you right now: It doesn't. Which is very strange because in the opening pages of the book it states that all new copies of the book come with the CD-ROM. The CD-ROM is essential for students because it has scenes with commentary that you can't access on the McGraw website. I'm sure it has other things too.

Anyways, the CD CAN be purchased separately on Amazon and they are receiving copy's of them on August 22, 2010. Here is the link to the CD page:
It's $22.81 and if you signed up for the student Amazon Prime thing that's going on you can get unlimited free two-day shipping until your prime status expires. This method saved me about $25 from buying it directly from my College. I'm really hoping Amazon gets their copy's on time, because if they don't I'm kind of screwed for school.

The only reason I gave this four stars is because the top-right corner got heavily bent while in shipping so I'm pretty bummed about that. Also, this page doesn't really specify whether this textbook comes with the CD or not. Hopefully people will read the reviews. =]
Other than that, it's a fine book.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By What? on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just received this book and have read about 70 pages so far, and I honestly don't think I've gone one page without seeing a spelling/typesetting error. I can't judge the content as I'm new to the subject area, but for a grammar and spelling stickler like me, constantly stumbling over mistakes is getting a bit annoying. I'm surprised this could pass through any editor's hands and be published with such frequent mistakes, so my only answer is that it wasn't edited.

That being said, as far as I've read, the information is abundant and always supported by real-world cinema examples.
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