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Guide for the Film Fanatic Paperback – November, 1986

5.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Peary, author of Cult Movies and Cult Movies II , offers here an A to Z checklist of over 1600 movies, from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Zombie Island Massacre. The relatively lengthy entries contain synopses, technical information, trivia, gossip, political posturing (liberal to radical chic) and strong, peppery, provocative opinions. Although Peary errs occasionally, his guide reads like a sassy, new wave version of Pauline Kael's 5001 Nights at the Movies (LJ 9/1/82). Classic and mainstream films are included, but the emphasis is on youth, sci-fi, and horror flickshence this is a good candidate for YA collections. Christopher Schemering, formerly with Arlington Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 521 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Paper); First Edition edition (November 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671610813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671610814
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 7.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #989,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This compendium of over 1,000 "must-see" films of every genre imaginable by Danny Peary remains one of the most enjoyable, entertaining movie reference books ever written (how is it POSSIBLE that it could go out of print?). How refreshing to find a book that does away with the idiotic "star" rating system that pollutes most movie guides. The beauty of this book is that you don't have to agree with Peary's assessments of the films to enjoy his writing - it's smart, surprisingly fresh, witty, easygoing, and yet not condescending as some more "educated" film critics are likely to be. Peary sees merit in all types of films (even going as far as to review adult films, a little too far for me), and has the good sense not to judge cult films like "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" by the same standards as "Citizen Kane". Part of his charm is his ability to have FUN with film - as he says in his brilliant introduction, "It's fun to see ALL types of movies." This was the book that encouraged me not to simply gravitate to the new release wall whenever I visited the video store, and to check out some of those classics and foreign films that by and large went unnoticed at my West Virginia Blockbuster. If you can find this volume ANYWHERE, grab it, lock your fingers firmly around it and don't let anyone wrench it from your grasp.
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Format: Paperback
When you see multiple rave 5 star reviews for a book that has been out-of-print for ten years you know something is up. I picked this book up in the bargain bin section of a Waldenbooks many years ago and it eventually became the MOST tattered and abused film book in my library. Literally, pages were missing from the 'checklist' in the back, and the book had peeled away into three separate sections held together by a thread of a binding. Fortunately, I was able to pick up a mint condition copy from an online used book service last year and so I have a perfect copy that's just like new. I enjoy reading Pauline Kael, Stanley Kauffmann, Andrew Sarris, Roger Ebert, David Thomson...all the usual suspects but for sheer agreement, I tend to share Mr. Peary's opinions more often than possibly any other film writer.
An indispensible book!
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Format: Paperback
Well, Mr. Peary couldn't have picked a better title--this really is THE guide for the genuine film fanatic! It is a shame that the book is out-of-print. Anyone at all seriously addicted to film should read it (whether or not you always agree with Peary's opinions), so track down a copy any way you can.
I probably picked it up somewhere around 15 years ago, so my copy is really worn. And I'm still checking movies off as I see them. The main 'problem' is that there are, I think, 4200 films listed in the book, all told. I think I still have around 500 to go (the number of movies I've seen -- and this book lists only a fraction of them! -- qualifies me as a genuine fanatic). A large number of this 500 are titles that Peary admits are not 'musts': mostly low-budget horror and porno. Still, a good number are...simply impossible to find! They are not on video (not that I've found, and believe me I've looked) and are never shown on tv.
For example, who the hell knows where to locate 'Cuban Rebel Girls'? I've sent email to Turner Classic Movies, requesting such films as 'Storm Warning' and 'The Chapman Report' but, years later, they still haven't been shown. So, when you get near the end of Peary's list, good luck trying to complete it.
Maybe someone with resources should start a website for film fanatics and put all of these titles on it. Maybe there could be some sort of exchange system for people like myself (obviously I'm not alone here) who have been able to find movies on the list that others haven't.
Danny, are you reading? After all, you got us all into this!
But, seriously...dynamite book.
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Format: Paperback
I'm thrilled that so many people enjoy this book as much as I do. This book was a gift someone gave me as a teenager (that was over 10 years ago) and I still refer back to it at least once a week. In fact I have two copies.
I actually have a little story for fans. Probably about 10 years ago I decided to write a fan letter to Danny Peary. I basically told him how much I loved the book, and that I thought some of his reviews where actually more enjoyable than the movies themselves. I also begged him to write a sequel. To my surprise he wrote back to me! It was a very nice, hand-written letter thanking me and talking to me a little about the other books he's written.
This is a great film book and I would recommend it to everyone. The only complaint I have is that there really should be a Guide 2.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book for Christmas 1986 and it hasn't left my side since. I look at it every day, go through TV Guides circling films I haven't seen, you name it. The reviews are spot-on, always insightful, always entertaining, and best of all, he knows how to review a film without giving the ending away. It only makes me wish Peary wrote for a national paper. One question: why no "Bonnie and Clyde" and no "Dirty Harry"? Oh, and add my name to the calls for a sequel - perhaps his films of the 1990s?
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