From Library Journal
With this edition, Magill's Cinema Annual has changed publishers?from Salem Press to Gale Research?and sports a larger format and expanded coverage (approximately 82 percent more films are included, roughly 500 vs. 275). Over twice as many films receive a 750- to 1500-word essay combining plot summary and critical commentary, as in the final Salem Press annual. Unfortunately, criteria for which films receive essays and which?over half?receive only a one-paragraph abstract are never made explicit. Among the new features are the inclusion of photographs for about 11 percent of the films covered and a cumulative title index for all previous volumes of the annual as well as the "Magill's Survey of Cinema" series. Comparison with John Willis's Screen World (Applause) is inevitable. Each covers domestic and foreign films released in the United States during the previous year. Each includes production credits, running time, and MPAA rating for each film and a necrology for the year. Screen World is more profusely illustrated?a still from each film is included, many of which are in color?and is printed on glossy paper. It also includes biographical data for over 2000 film personalities, a list of the year's 100 top-grossing films, and a combined name/title index. However, unlike Magill's Cinema Annual, it provides only the briefest of capsule plot summaries. In addition to lengthier essays or abstracts, Magill's provides box office receipts for most films (although not a ranked list), a list of each film's awards and award nominations, and a list of reviews. Its bibliography of significant books on film from the previous year is a useful collection development tool, and among its nine separate indexes is a subject index. For its essays, lists of reviews, subject index, and bibliographies, Magill's is probably the more useful for most libraries. But for its more complete credits, biographical data, retrospective list of OscarsR, simpler indexing, and better illustrations, most film collections should include Screen World as well.?Robert W. Melton, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.