The Movies: Revised and Updated Edition of the Classic History of Motion Pictures, by Richard Griffith, Arthur Mayer, and Eileen Bowser. New York: Simon & Schuster. 558 pp. $24.95.
Picking up this book is like picking up a jumbo buttered popcorn on the way to your seat. Whoever expects to consume the whole thing? This history of the movies (an updated version of the 1957 original), with its 1,500 photographs and over 500 pages of urbane, informative text, is an achievement and a treat. It manages the mammoth job of providing a comprehensive view of both the literature of American film and the development of the industry.
Oh, some things are missing. There are no credit listings of classic films, or no foreign works. And the star biographies don't tell you half the things you want to know, but what is included is the foundation, and it's first-rate. And the pictures! For the avid film buff and the casual fan, alike, it's a million double features, serials and previews all rolled into one. Guaranteed to hold you spellbound!
Like the jumbo popcorn you never thought you'd finish, when the lights come up and reality sets in, you'll find that not only have you devoured the entire, massive book, but, incredibly, you want more!