Read an Excerpt
This book is for people who like movies. And who want to know more about the people involved: the stars of today, yesterday and tomorrow, the bit players and character actors, the directors and producers, writers, cinematographers, composers, editors and all the other talents involved.
It tries to be both concise and comprehensive. Apart from its A-Z of who's who in the movies, there are sections on movie sequels, series, remakes, themes and genres, taking in fictional and cartoon characters from Ali Baba to Zorro; on the studios, production companies and creative organizations; and on movies around the world. There are year-by-year listings of the winners of Oscars, of leading festivals, and of critics' awards. There is a dictionary of film terms, a brief history of the movies from their beginnings until today, a listing of many of the best movie periodicals and books, as well as a guide to some of the immense resources to be found on the Internet.
One unusual aspect of this reference book is the inclusion of quotes, either by the subjects themselves, or by others about them. They are not only apposite and often witty, but add a human dimension to the recital of facts and figures; they are also revealing of character, both of those making the remarks, and of those about whom they are made.
The book is based on an old favourite, Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, which here has been fully updated, improved and newly arranged, to make its information more easily accessible. More than 200,000 words have been added to the Companion's database, which has grown ever larger and more all-embracing through its twelve editions,published over thirty years. As much information as possible about moviemaking is packed between its covers, except for reviews of the movies themselves. For those, you need the annually updated Halliwell's Film & Video Guide....
An A-Z of Personalities
Aaker, Lee (1943- ).
Child actor whose career faded in his early teens, when he quit the profession.
The Atomic City 52.Desperate Search 52.No Room for the Groom 52.My Son John 52.Jeopardy 52.Take Me to Town 52.Arena 53.Hondo 53.Rin Tin Tin, Hero of the West 55, etc.
TV series:Adventures of Rin Tin Tin 54-59.
Zorro (Don Diego de Vega).
The black-garbed Robin Hood of Spanish California originated as the hero of a 1919 strip cartoon by Johnston McCulley. (Zorro, incidentally, is Spanish for fox.) Films featuring the devil-may-care righter of wrongs include The Mark of Zorro 20 with Douglas Fairbanks, and its 1925 sequel Don Q, Son of Zorro; The Bold Caballero 37 with Robert Livingston; Zorro Rides Again 37, a serial with John Carroll; Zorro's Fighting Legion 39, a serial with Reed Hadley; Mamoulian's splendid remake of The Mark of Zorro 40, with Tyrone Power; The Ghost of Zorro 49, a serial with Clayton Moore; Walter Chiari in The Sign of Zorro 52; Zorro the Avenger 60 and other Disney TV films with Guy Williams; Sean Flynn in The Sign of Zorro 62; Frank Latimore in Shadow of Zorro 62; Pierre Brice in Zorro versus Maciste 63; George Ardisson in Zorro at the Court of Spain 63; Gordon Scott in Zorro and the Three Musketeers 63; and Alain Delon in Zorro 75. Almost inevitably the 80s brought a spoofversion, Zorro the Gay Blade 82, featuring a limp-wristed avenger. A return to the swashbuckling style of the original came in 1998 with The Mask of Zorro, directed by Martin Campbell and starringAnthony Hopkins as an ageing Zorn, and Antonio Banderas as his virile replacement, after director Robert Rodriguez and his star Andy Garcia had dropped out of the project.
(Annotated For Excerpt Purposes)
Top 20 Box-Office Films In America
According to figures published in the trade newspaper Variety, the following are the films that have taken the most money at the US box-office.The year of release and the names of the director and distributor are given in brackets.
- Star Wars (1977, George Lucas, Twentieth Century-Fox) $461m.
- Titanic (1997, James Cameron, Paramount) $407.3m.
- E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $399.8m.
- Jurassic Park (1993, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $357.1m.
- Forrest Gump (1994, Robert Zemeckis, Paramount) $329.7m.
- The Lion King (1994, Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff, Buena Vista) $312.8m.
- Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand, Twentieth Century-Fox) $309.2m.
- Independence Day (1996, Roland Emmerich, Twentieth Century-Fox) $306.2m.
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner, Twentieth Century-Fox) $290.3m.
- Home Alone (1992, Chris Columbus, Twentieth Century-Fox) $285.8m.
- Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $260m.
- Batman (1989, Tim Burton, Warner) $251.2m.
- Men in Black (1997, Barry Sonnenfeld, Sony) $250.1m.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg, Paramount) $242.4m.
- Twister (1996, Jan de Bont, Warner) $241.7m.
- Ghostbusters (1981, Ivan Reitman, Columbia) $238.6m.
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984, Martin Brest, Paramount) $234.8m.
- Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $229.1m.
- Mrs Doubtfire (1993, Chris Columbus, Twentieth Century-Fox) $219.2m.
- Ghost (1990, Jerry Zucker, Paramount)$217.6m.
- Gone with the Wind (1939, Victor Fleming, MGM) $1,299.4m.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, David Hand, Buena Vista) $1,034.3m.
- Star Wars (1977, George Lucas, Twentieth Century-Fox) $812m.
- E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $725.4m.
- 101 Dalmatians (1961, Wolfgang Reitherman, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Buena Vista) $656.6m.
- Bambi (1942, David Hand, Buena Vista) $646. 1 m.
- Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg, Universal) $590.3m.
- The Sound of Music (1965, Robert Wise, Twentieth Century-Fox) $568.8m.
- The Ten Commandments (1956, Cecil B. DeMille, Paramount) $547.6m.
- Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand, Twentieth Century-Fox) $540.5m.
- Mary Poppins (1964, Robert Stevenson, Buena Vista) $517.4m.
- Cinderella (1949, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Buena Vista) $503.3m.
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner, Twentieth Century-Fox) $451.5m.
- Fantasia (1940, Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, Bill Roberts et al, Buena Vista) $450.7m.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg, Paramount) $442.4m.
- The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin, Warner) $436.4m.
- Ben-Hur (1959, William Wyler, MGM) $434.2m.
- Ghostbusters (1981, Ivan Reitman, Columbia) $427.6m.
- Doctor Zhivago (1965, David Lean, MGM) $423.2m.
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984, Martin Brest, Paramount) $420.7m.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was formed in 1927 with Douglas Fairbanks as its first president. Qualification for membership, which remains by invitation, is achievement in one or other areas of film production. Its first awards were held on 16 May 1929 for films that had been released in Los Angeles between the beginning of August 1927 and the end of July 1928. The Academy's gold-plated statuette was designed by Cedric Gibbons, MGM's art director. Its nickname, Oscar, which, like Academy Awards, is now registered as a trademark, is said to have been due to a secretary who remarked that it looked just like her uncle Oscar, although several people have tried to have invented the term. Over the years, the categories have altered, and in 1937 the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award was added to commemorate MGM's former production chief who died in 1936; it is presented to producers who achieve a consistently high level of work. An Oscar remains the cinema's most sought-after award and the only one that can give a considerable financial boost to the career of an individual or a film.Its main prizewinners are:
Unique and Artistic Picture:Sunrise
Director:Frank Borzage (Seventh Heaven)
Comedy Director:Lewis Milestone (Two Arabian Knights)
Actor:Emil Jannings (The Last Command, The Way of All Flesh)
Actress:Janet Gaynor (Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise)
Original Screenplay:Ben Hecht (Underworld)
Adapted Screenplay:Benjamin Glazer (Seventh Heaven)
Title Writing:Joseph Farnham (Telling the World)
Cinematography:Charles Rosher, Karl Struss (Sunrise)
Art Direction:William Cameron Menzies (The Dove, Tempest)
Engineering Effects:Roy Pomeroy (Wings)
Special Awards:Warner Bros for The Jazz Singer;Charles Chaplin for acting, writing, directing, and producing The Circus
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts began in 1947 as the British Film Academy, becoming the Society of Film and Television Arts in 1959, and changing its name to its present title in 1975.The BAFTA award, a bronze theatrical mask, was originally nicknamed a Stella.At the beginning, there were two awards for feature filmsone for the best film from any source and one for the best British film.Over the years, the awards have widened.The film winners in the major categories are listed below.
Film:The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo)
Foreign-Language Film:L'Appartement (Gilles Mimouni)
British Film:Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman)
Director:Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespear's Romeo & Juliet)
Actor:Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty)
Actress:Judi Dench (Mrs Brown)
Supporting Actor:Tom Wilkinson (The Full Monty)
Supporting Actress:Sigourney Weaver (The Ice Storm)
Adapted Screenplay:Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce(William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet)
Original Screenplay:Gary Oldman (Nil by Mouth)
Audience Award:The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo)
Cinematography:Eduardo Serra (The Wings of the Dove)
Music:Nelle Hooper (William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet)
Production Design:Catherine Martin (William Shakespear's Romeo & Juliet)