Movie Love goes deeper than just watching movies. Movie Love is something closer to obsession: thinking about films, talking about them, certainly reading about them. While writers have long been under-appreciated in Hollywood, there are scores of fascinating books about one of America’s most famous industries—and defining cultural exports. Works like The Day of the Locust, Nathanial West’s dark satire, or What Makes Sammy Run?, Budd Schulberg’s unforgettable debut novel, are even considered literature. But if Hollywood is rough on screenwriters, novelists had their revenge, as you’ll discover in Carrie Fisher’s hilarious Postcards From the Edge, or I Lost My Girlish Laughter, a lost treasure by Jane Allen.
There are also brilliant, detailed histories of the industry—starting, of course, with Kevin Brownlow on the silent era; An Empire of Their Own, by Neal Gabler; and Final Cut, Steven Bach’s whipsmart insider’s look at the Heaven’s Gate disaster. “The making-of” is an appealing sub-genre, starting with Picture, Lillian Ross’s account of the making of The Red Badge of Courage, and its spiritual successor, The Devil’s Candy, Julie Salomon’s blow-by-blow look at the debacle that was Bonfire of the Vanities. There are biographies galore—Chaplin, Stanwyck, Welles; candid, absorbing memoirs from Louise Brooks and Angelica Huston; and an unforgettable cult classic by Barbara Payton. Of course, we give the critics their due—Agee, Kael, Sarris, as well as craftspeople like editor Ralph Rosenblum and cinematographer James Wong Howe. You’ll also find a tasty selection of beautiful coffee table books, highlighting 100 years of Black movie poster art, the glamour photography of George Hurrell, and the genius of animator Tex Avery.
There are more than a few surprises, too. And so we offer, for your consideration, our list of 125 essential books about Hollywood and the American movie experience.
1 What Makes Sammy Run?, by Budd Schulberg
Budd Schulberg’s debut novel about shameless, unadulterated ambition introduced Sammy Glick to the world. For decades to come (there was a popular Broadway musical adaptation twenty years later), Sammy Glick was a pop culture archetype. Schulberg himself grew up as Hollywood royalty—his father was one of the original movie moguls—and this novel is sharp with insider savvy.
2 Lulu In Hollywood, by Louise Brooks
Now 10% off
One of the best Hollywood memoirs written by a performer, Lulu in Hollywood is a longtime cinephile fave. It’s not so much a traditional narrative as it is a string of pearls: seven essays, all variations of the life in Hollywood theme. Louise Brooks, the silent screen star who achieved her greatest fame in Pandora’s Box, writes with intelligence and reserve. Unfortunately, her character’s haircut from the movie long outlived her own fame (see, Melanie Griffith in Jonathan Demme’s amazing 1980s genre-mash-up, Something Wild). This is one you just gotta have.
3 STEP RIGHT UP!…I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America, by William Castle
Filmmaker John Waters is rumored to keep a first edition of Castle’s riotous memoir in a humidor. That should tell you all you need to know.
4 Picture, by Lillian Ross
Just about a perfect read. Lillian Ross, whose long New Yorker profiles established her as one of the great longform storytellers of her time, brings her fly-on-the-wall technique to Hollywood. The portraits of MGM honcho Louis B. Mayer and director John Huston are brilliant. Who cares that The Red Badge of Courage didn’t become a great film? This account how it went wrong is a classic. Picture set the bar high for any behind-the-scenes book that followed: often duplicated, rarely surpassed.
5 The Parade’s Gone By…, by Kevin Brownlow
Kevin Brownlow is a movie saint. This is his masterpiece about the silent era. Consider it Movie History 101, but without the arid academic aftertaste. Essential.
6 The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Sixth Edition, by David Thomson
Now 36% off
This isn’t a book to agree with, but to argue about. That said, even when you disagree with him, Thomson can’t stop making sense. He is so smart and entertaining. This is one of the colossal efforts in the history of movie literature—and one you’ll return to time and time again.
7 Dark Lover : The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino, by Emily Leider
The author of fine biographies of Myrna Loy (yay Myrna Loy!) and the one and only Mae West, Leider outdoes herself in this absorbing biography of heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, who died in 1926 at the age of 31. Already an enormous star, Valentino’s death secured his legend. This examination of celebrity, race, and sexuality is meticulously researched and written with care, tact, and restraint.
8 Movie Theaters, by Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre
Now 33% off
Just an astonishing document. This beautiful coffee table book features the work of French photographers Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre. Since 2005, they’ve documented movie theaters in America. Now in various states of neglect and ruin, this rich, heartbreaking, mesmerizing document is a real achievement.
9 Buster Keaton Remembered, by Eleanor Keaton and Jeffrey Vance
This picture book brings Buster Keaton, the most silent of the great silent film comedians, to life. The film critic James Agee once commented on Keaton’s “mulish imperturbability”—his stubborn calm in the face of modern pandemonium. His stillness pops off the page in this beautifully considered book.
10 Chaplin: His Life and Art, by David Robinson
This whopper takes on one of the great artists of the 20th Century and delivers the goods. Still the measuring stick by which all subsequent Chaplin biographies are judged, it’s massive, detailed, and accomplished.
11 George Hurrell’s Hollywood, by Mark A. Viera
George Hurrell was one of the main image-makers of the 1930s. His portraits—many of which originally appeared in Esquire’s pages—personified the glamour of the time in stars such as Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, and Marlene Dietrich. This is a lavish and fitting tribute to one of the great star photographers of all time.
12 Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art, by John Duke Kisch
Drool-worthy picture book. Brilliant visuals charting poster art of Black cinema from Josephine Baker to Spike Lee. You gotta have it.
13 James Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism
You start with Agee on Film, and that’s that. The novelist (A Death in the Family), screenwriter (The African Queen), and journalist (Let Us Know Praise Famous Men) was also a movie critic in the 1940s, for Time magazine as well as The Nation. His collected reviews are the gold standard for American movie criticism—masterworks of compression, wit, and intelligence. Doesn’t matter if you agree with his tastes, or even if you’ve seen the movies he’s writing about; the writing is so sharp that it perks you up.
14 Goldwyn, by A. Scott Berg
Berg’s sophomore effort—the captivating biography of literary editor Maxwell Perkins was his debut—is one of the finest books ever written about Hollywood and the movie industry. On one hand, Goldwyn was the Yogi Berra of movie moguls, famous for his malapropisms and one-liners. Berg, however, doesn’t create a two-dimensional clown, but a complicated, driven figure. As good as biography gets.
15 Harpo Speaks!, by Harpo Marx and Rowland Barber
Another one of the very best show business memoirs comes from Harpo, the most erudite and interesting of all the brothers Marx, who was friends with Alexander Wolcott, Dorothy Parker, and the legendary wits of the Algonquin Round Table. This book has many highlights, including Harpo’s description of “the Gookie,” a face he made in virtually every Marx brothers movie.
16 Hollywood: The Movie Colony, The Movie Makers, by Leo Rosten
Best known to modern audiences as the editor of the perennial language reference book, The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten was primarily a humorist. He wrote a lot of books. This one, published in 1941, is an examination of the movie industry in the calendar year 1938—convenient for historical purposes, as the following year is often cited as one of the banner years in movie history. Rosten takes an empirical approach to different aspects of the business, from distribution to the creatives. The book includes fascinating charts, such as a list of all the actors in Hollywood that earned more than $100,000 in 1938, led by Claudette Colbert with $426,944. Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, and Joan Crawford all made the top ten. Invaluable.
17 Garbo, by Robert Gottlieb
Now 30% off
This is one fancy book. Hard to tell if it’s pretentious or fabulous, and it’s both. The packaging alone—glossy paper, incredible photographs—is formidable. It’s physically heavy—it even feels substantial. And it is—a riveting meditation on Greta Garbo, one of the most mysterious of the great movie stars. “What are we to make of this strange creature who, without trying, compelled the attention of the world in a way no other star had done?” writes Gottlieb. “She stunned people with her beauty, her mystery, her glamour, her reserve; she offered the world intense emotion and great aesthetic pleasure; but she didn’t offer herself. Her fame existed apart from her actual qualities, whatever they may have been.”
18 Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood, by William J. Mann
The murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor in 1922 has long fascinated historians. In William Mann’s briskly-paced and thoroughly engaging telling, we learn not just about Taylor, but about the entire industry in the ’20s. The portrait of mogul Adolph Zucker is particularly strong.
19 An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, by Neal Gabler
Now 37% off
There are a handful of excellent books about the moguls that ran and built Hollywood. Put Gabler’s 1988 effort at the top of the list. This is a colossal work about the immigrant experience. “Ultimately,” writes Gabler, “American values came to be defined by the movies the Jews made. Ultimately, by creating their idealized America on the screen, the Jews reinvented the country in the image of their fiction. How they did so, why they did so, and what they gained and lost by doing so” is the story of Gabler’s masterful book.
20 The Name Above the Title, by Frank Capra
The definitive biography of one of America’s most beloved filmmakers—and for many years on the short list of great showbiz biographies ever written.
21 A Life of Barbara Stanwyck, by Victoria Wilson
Strap in, this one’s a beast—close to 900 pages, and it’s just volume one of Stanwyck’s life! It’s long, but it’s also mesmerizing—it just sails along, leaving you hungry for volume two. Stanwyck, essentially orphaned at the age of four, was more than a survivor, Wilson writes: “She took nothing for granted, neither poverty nor plenty, talent or ambition. Plenty could be taken from her at any time; poverty she’d overcome with hard work. She didn’t believe in taking bad breaks for granted. If she died, she might stop fighting for the things she had it in her to accomplish. She didn’t believe that life should be lived easily and softly or that people should crave the easy way. She’d made her own breaks and knuckled against the hard times and didn’t regret it.”
22 Memo from David O. Selznick, edited by Rudy Behlmer
23 The Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West
For several generations, this scathing look at Hollywood was considered the truest of all Hollywood novels: the darkest, the most revealing. It somehow exists as a spiritual predecessor the Coen brother’s Barton Fink.
24 A Woman’s View, by Jeanine Basinger
Just about everything Basinger writes is worth your time and attention. This one about the so-called “woman’s picture” of the ’30, ’40s, and ’50s finds Basinger at her best: connective, curious, smart, and a whole lot of fun. She was a movie fan as a kid in the ’40s, and writes: “Even as children, we knew how much of what we were seeing was untrue, wishful, escapist. What were we—idiots? I am always astonished at how so much writing about old movies assumes that the audience believed everything in them. Of course we didn’t. We entered into the joyful conspiracy of moviegoing.” Just buy everything with Basinger’s name on it; you won’t be sorry.
25 James Wong Howe: The Camera Eye, by Alain Silver
Invaluable conversations about lighting and camera work by James Wong Howe, one of the greatest cinematographers in movie history, whose credits included popular hits such as The Thin Man and Yankee Doodle Dandy, as well as moody classics like Sweet Smell of Success and Hud. We’re fortunate for this one; it’s a keeper.
26 Hollywood on Main Street, by Linda Chase
Now 73% off
Oh, here’s a treasure worth hunting for. Davis Cone’s vision of an American movie landscape that no longer exits is a lovely document. Cone’s watercolor and acrylic pictures are rendered in a meticulous photo-realistic style, but they’re not flat or soulless. There is movement, tension, and emotion, as well; a beautiful evocation of movie theaters across America in the late ’70s and ’80s. A real treat.
27 Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu, by Simon Callow
There has been much written about Welles, the boy genius turned maverick turned icon of glorious failure. If you’re looking for something compact, This is Orson Welles (with Peter Bogdanovich) or Rosebud by David Thomson might be more your speed. If you want the full treatment—and why deprive yourself ?—dive right into Simon Callow’s sprawling biographical effort. Three volumes and counting. A phenomenal achievement.
28 Truly, Madly, by Stephen Galloway
Now 17% off
A tale of enormous talent, beauty, celebrity, and mental illness. Galloway writes a brisk narrative about the volatile marriage of Laurence Olivier and Viven Leigh. “They were emblems of a class and culture that’s sunk as deep beneath the waves as the ocean liners that ferried them across the seas, but they didn’t belong to that class and culture at all,” Galloway writes. “They were lovers as famous as Burton and Taylor or Bogie and Bacall, but their kind of love often seemed closer to hate. And they were the first married couple since the advent of sound to become global celebrities, but they despised celebrity and even the medium that led to their fame.”
29 Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master, by Michal Sragow
Now 30% off
Fleming is most famous as the director of Red Dust, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind, but as we learn in Sragow’s excellent biography, he was one of those old school hyper-masculine men from Hollywood’s first generation. Long due for a smart, thorough appreciation, Fleming comes to life in Sragow’s generous, incisive narrative.
30 The Genius of the System, by Thomas Schatz
Now 26% off
Just a terrific look at the old Hollywood studio system in all its complexities and insanity. Ranks alongside Goldwyn and An Empire of their Own as histories of the studio system.
31 Hitchcock, by François Truffaut
Now 40% off
François Truffaut was part of a generation of French filmmakers that began as movie critics. The enthusiast never left him. His interviews with Alfred Hitchcock were very influential to generations of movie fans—hugely important.
32 The Raymond Chandler Papers, edited by Tom Hiney and Frank MacShane
There are many ways to go here with Chandler. He’s best known for his fictional detective Philip Marlowe, and the most Hollywood of the Marlowe books is The Little Sister. Chandler had a terrible experience writing for the movies—his dislike for Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity) was legion, and reciprocated—which is detailed in this correspondence. Really sharp look at film industry.
33 By Myself and Then Some, by Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall was famous at the age of nineteen when she made the world gasp as Humphrey Bogart’s love interest in To Have and Have Not. She became even more famous as Mrs. Humphrey Bogart, and, after Bogart died, as Mrs. Jason Robards. All the while, she had her own career. While she wasn’t an actress on par with Stanwyck or Davis, Bacall was nothing if not a survivor, and after matching wits in the ’50s with Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire, she had a revival in the ’70s on Broadway. By the end of the decade, Bacall published By Myself—a bestseller, and one of the finest memoirs ever written by an actor. This was all Bacall—no ghostwriter—a true survivor, who was as good a writer as she was a performer.
34 The Pat Hobby Stories, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Pat Hobby stories were the final works of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short life (though he did leave behind an unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, his most famous statement on Hollywood). Originally published in Esquire, the Pat Hobby stories were first dismissed by literary scholars as hack work. Today, they might seem dated and certainly an acquired taste, but the hangdog tales of screenwriter Pat Hobby offer a slight but evocative taste of Hollywood in the late ’30s.
35 CIty of Nets, by Otto Friedrich
Now 21% off
Otto Friedrich wrote so well about so many things—and we can add Hollywood to that list. This examination of the movie industry from the start of WWII to the start of the Korean war is a fantastic social and cultural history. The movie industry was at its height in 1939, but it was all downhill from there. What happened? Friedrich has answers. Most enjoyable.
36 The Third Man, by Graham Greene
Okay, we’re cheating, but not really. The Third Man is the most famous film adaptation of a Graham Greene book, except it wasn’t an adaptation. Greene first wrote the screenplay and then wrote a novelization. So to be fair, the script and movie came before the book. Anyhow, it gives us an excuse to throw in one of Greene’s self-described “entertainments,” those books of his with a commercial rather than literary emphasis. Plus, it’s one of the creepiest, most evocative movies ever made, with breathtaking cinematography and Orson Welles’s famous cameo.
37 Preston Sturges by Preston Sturges, edited by Sandy Sturges
Now 17% off
When this book first appeared in 1990, it was a godsend to movie fans. For decades, Preston Sturges was revered as a pioneering screenwriter/director who, during the late ’30s and early ’40s produced a string of incredible comedies, including The Lady Eve,Sullivan’s Travels, and The Palm Beach Story. Sturges was a comet— his star burned brightly, but he lived a fascinating life, before and after his great run in Hollywood. Edited by his widow, here we have Sturges’ version of his life and times.
38 Hollywood, by Garson Kanin
Garson Kanin was writing partners with his wife, the writer and actress Ruth Gordon. They penned Born Yesterday, Judy Holliday’s breakout role—first as a play, then as a script—as well as the Hepburn/Tracy vehicle Adam’s Rib. Kanin’s book about his times in Hollywood—which included a stint working for Samuel Goldwyn—is gossipy and oodles of fun.
39 The Movie Musical!, by Jeanine Basinger
Now 27% off
Again, when it comes to film historian Jeanine Basinger, you should just own all of her books. But this one on the history of the movie musical is worth featuring because of just how important musicals were in pop culture history. Because Basinger is relentlessly interested and interesting, you’ll learn to think about movie musicals in a new way. “Sex was often a musical purpose,” she writes. “An improvisational use of music helped Hollywood solve one of its biggest censorship problems: establishing sexual attraction and the fulfillment of it. If a nonmusical couple suddenly ‘sang’ together—well, an audience could understand what that meant.”
40 I Lost My Girlish Laughter, by Jane Allen
While Silvia Schulman may be a footnote in Hollywood history, she had a hand in one writing of the most overlooked novels about the movie business. Schulman worked as personal secretary to independent producer David O. Selznick in the ’30s when he made hits such as A Star is Born and Gone With the Wind. She had stories to tell, and they weren’t glamourous. Selznick is fictionalized, warts and all, in I Lost My Girlish Laughter, the novel she co-wrote with help from playwright Jane Shore under the pseudonym Jane Allen. Mostly told in the form of letters and telegrams, the story goes down easy.
41 Indecent Exposure, by David McClintick
Now 12% off
A brilliant piece of reporting and storytelling, David McClintick’s account of an industry scandal at Columbia Pictures was a bombshell when published in 1982. It remains an elite work of journalism.
42 Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, by Karina Longworth
Now 13% off
From Karina Longworth, the creator, writer and host of the stellar You Must Remember This podcast, we get a deep-dive into Howard Hughes, his life as a playboy, his work as a movie producer, and how it shaped our attitudes about sex. Along with Hughes, there are full-bodied portraits of Jean Harlow, Ida Lupino, Katharine Hepburn, and Ava Gardner. Also Robert Mitchum who was often paired with the devastating Jane Russell. Longworth delves into the dark, abusive underpinnings of Hughes’ world in this vivid, brisk narrative. It’ll sweep you up and away.
43 Hollywood’s Censor, by Thomas Doherty
Terrific look at Joseph Breen, who ran the Production Code Agency in Hollywood from 1934 to 1954. A charismatic, brilliant figure, Breen was one of the most powerful men in show business. A full-bodied look at an insider’s insider. Riveting.
44 A Child of the Century, by Ben Hecht
Ben Hecht lived one of the most fascinating lives of the 20th century—had a Hall of Fame newspaper career and was a pioneering screenwriter in Hollywood, authoring such classic such as Scarface, The Front Page, Wuthering Heights, and Gunga Din. This book is big, ambitious, garrulous fun.
45 Conversations with Wilder, by Cameron Crowe
There are many reasons to be thankful for Cameron Crowe. Chief among them is this collection of interviews with the legendary director Billy Wilder. A must.
46 Five Screenplays by Preston Sturges, edited by Brian Henderson
Crucial for comedy purists and screenwriters alike. You want to know where the Coen brothers’ comedy comes from? Oh brother, here art thou. Sturges was an American Master.
47 Five Came Back, by Mark Harris
Now 71% off
After Mark Harris’s terrific debut, Pictures at a Revolution, you couldn’t fault him for falling into a sophomore slump. And yet his second effort, Five Came Back, about the World War II experiences of five accomplished American directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—matches Pictures and then some. It’s a brilliant piece of social and cultural history. Harris was an amiable, smart magazine writer; so far, he’s batting 1,000 as an author (and yeah, that’s including his third book, the stellar biography of Mike Nichols).
48 All About All About Eve, by Sam Staggs
The ultimate insider’s guide to All About Eve, written with good humor and verve by Sam Staggs. What makes All About Eve special is that it was both an enormous success when it came out—nominated for 14 Oscars, the record for most nominations by a film until Titanic matched it in 1998—as well as a cult classic. Before cable TV or videocassettes, All About Eve played in revival movie houses and college campuses for twenty years. It was a staple of queer culture, while Bette Davis’ turn as aging theater actress Margo Channing is a master class just this side of camp. Staggs gives us the skinny on the making of the movie (previously documented in Gary Carey’s More About All About Eve) and the cult that followed.
49 Inside Daisy Clover, by Gavin Lambert
British novelist, biographer, screenwriter—and for a time, magazine editor—Gavin Lambert arrived in Hollywood in the mid-’50s as an assistant for director Nicholas Ray. He went on to write seven novels set in Hollywood, the most famous being his excellent 1963 gem, Inside Daisy Clover. A bleak look at the Hollywood machine, this satire about a rising young star in the 1930s, who’s married to closeted leading man, was adapted into a movie in 1965, staring Natalie Wood and a young Robert Redford.
50 Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood, by Donald Bogle
An essential work from Donald Bogle, this takes us into to the golden age of Black Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. Less about the movies on screen, this book is about the social world of Black Hollywood, replete with Black-owned hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. This was the era of pioneering stars such as Stepin Fetchit, Hattie McDaniel, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dorthy Dandridge (Bogle’s marvelous biography of Dandrige is also worth tracking down). In fact, Bogle’s narrative takes us through the first half of the 20th century. Completely absorbing.
51 Hollywood Babylon, by Kenneth Anger
Hollywood’s dirty bits. The most notorious book ever published about scandal in the movie colony. Crude, shameless filth. You’ll come back for seconds.
52 Company of Heroes, by Harry Carey, Jr.
This slim book is a real gem. Carey Jr. is a wonderful raconteur, and his memories of being a young stock actor for director John Ford are charm city.
53 An Open Book, by John Huston
This is a fine memoir by one of the larger-than-life characters in American film. Huston wasn’t always charming—check Peter Viertel’s acerbic 1953 novel, White Hunter Black Heart for a decidedly unflattering portrait—but he was rarely dull. Though he never had the cult following enjoyed by his colleagues Alfred Hitchcock or Howard Hawks, Huston is especially good at breaking down filmmaking technique: “So many things can go wrong while filming a scene. If only everything bad that’s going to happen would happen at once and be over with! You’re seldom that fortunate. Instead, it’s the camera, or an actor forgetting his lines, or the sound of an airplane, or a car backfiring, or an arc light that flickers. When things of this kind occur, you simply have to start again … Each time you get a good scene is a kind of miracle.”
54 Marilyn Monroe, by Eve Arnold
You want a great picture book of Marilyn Monroe? You start with this one by Eve Arnold, ’nuff said.
55 Naming Names, by Victor S. Navasky
Now 29% off
If you want to learn more about the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s and how it played out in Hollywood, look no further than Victor Navasky’s memorable account. Deeply reported, this story dwells in messy complexities, not easy moralizing. Superior.
56 Elia Kazan: A Life, by Elia Kazan
Now 35% off
Kazan, who won a National Book Award for his 1968 novel, The Arrangement, is a formidable writer. This big, complex version of his fascinating creative life is tremendous.
57 Saul Bass: 20 Iconic Film Posters, by Pat Kirkham
Saul Bass designed some of the most famous title sequences in movie history, and also some of the greatest posters, including Vertigo, Anatomy of a Murder, West Side Story, and The Shining. This picture book sure is cool.
58 Tex Avery: The MGM Years, by John Canemaker
Of all the brilliant animators from the golden age of cartoons, none was more inspired, absurd, or batshit crazy brilliant than Tex Avery. This gorgeous coffee table book devoted to Avery’s MGM years—his peak, where he created Droopy Dog, as well as a string of raucous, lunatic cartoons—is a gift to the world. A fitting tribute to Avery’s indelible contribution to pop culture and American humor.
59 Moons A Balloon, by David Niven
Now 17% off
David Niven was charming on the big screen as well as the page. This is his most famous memoir, and his best. William F. Buckley said that it “might easily be the best book ever written about Hollywood.” It certainly is one of the most entertaining. Just terrific good company.
60 Robert Mitchum: “Baby I Don’t Care”, by Lee Server
Now 29% off
Of all the mid-century hard guy icons, few were as interesting as Mitchum. Known for his “super-stud” persona, Mitchum didn’t act so much as show up, listen, and respond. He was a natural, and though his material was often routine, there was nothing routine about the man himself. Behind the gruff exterior was a brilliant mind. Mitchum was a poet, mimic, and wit, and his complex, troubled life comes to life in Serwer’s definitive biography.
61 Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks, by Donald Bogle
Bogle’s seminal work about Black cinema, first published in the early 1970s, updated several times since. Track it down. It’s a must.
62 Montgomery Clift, by Patricia Bosworth
Patricia Bosworth was a hugely entertaining writer. Perhaps her best biography is this one about Montgomery Clift: tortured, brilliant, and dead by the age of 45. Clift is sometimes overshadowed by post-war superstars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, but Bosworth realigns our memories in this thorough look at his life and career. Heartbreaking, but never maudlin.
63 The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, by Sidney Poitier
Now 42% off
The second of Poitier’s two memoirs: thoughtful, clear-eyed, and direct. When Poitier became the first Black actor to win Best Actor, he didn’t think the world was ready to change. “My career was unique in all of Hollywood,” he recalls. “I knew that I was a one-man show, and it simply shouldn’t be that way.” He felt entirely deserving of the award. “When I realized that I could be a better than utilitarian actor, I realized that I had the responsibility, not as a Black man, but as an artist, to exercise tremendous discipline. I knew the public would take my measure, and that was constantly in my calculations.”
64 The American Cinema, by Andrew Sarris
Now 12% off
Sarris was the most prominent of the American critics to champion the auteur theory, and this is most famous work.
65 The Big Love, by Florence Aadland
Even by the standards of the time, Errol Flynn’s behavior was cause for scandal. One of the legendary Hollywood hedonists—his behavior was no less than criminal—Flynn’s relationship with 15-year-old Beverly Aadland is the subject of this terse, effective book. Written by Aaland’s mother, with the help of journalist Ted Thomey, this is some pulpy nonfiction worth checking out.
66 Who the Devil Made It, by Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich was an actor, writer, and movie nut living in New York when he first went to Hollywood to write a magazine article about some of his heroes. The piece appeared in Esquire in the early 1960s, and Bogdanovich’s career was launched. By the end of the decade he was a director and film star, having given us The Last Picture Show and What’s Up, Doc? This compendium of his interviews with movie directors is a must-have for any film freak. And while you’re at it, check out his book of interviews with actors, Who the Hell’s In It, another sure-shot.
67 Furious Love, by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
Now 26% off
Just about everything Sam Kashner writes is irresistible. Along with Nancy Schoenberger, he brings the most famous celebrity marriage (and divorce and re-marriage) of the twentieth century to life with his trademark erudition, wit, and flat-out joy. This one is a ton of fun.
68 Do You Sleep in the Nude?, by Rex Reed
Now 26% off
Rex Reed became a minor celebrity in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a writer of celebrity profiles. First at the New York Times and later at Esquire, Reed was the celebrity interviewer of his time. Before he settled into a groove as a movie critic, Reed wrote what we now call longform celebrity profiles, and they were great! Much better than his criticism. Fun, punchy, snide. They could have only been written at a certain time and place in American pop culture history. Featuring memorable portraits of Barbra Streisand, Ava Gardner, Warren Beatty, and Lotta Lenya, this one is big smile.
69 Pictures at a Revolution, by Mark Harris
Now 15% off
The idea seems thin at first—pick five movies and write a book about how they represent Hollywood at the moment—but Mark Harris turns the conceit into something you can’t put down. This examination of The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, and Dr. Doolittle is fantastic fun. The sections on Bonnie and Clyde have special resonance around these parts, as the film was written by Esquire alum Robert Benton and David Newman. Meanwhile, the section on Mike Nichols and The Graduate is a high point. And while you’re at it, do yourself a favor and pick up Harris’s excellent biography of Nichols. Required reading for anyone who wants to act, direct, or get up on stage and try to be funny.
70 The Wild Bunch, by W.K. Stratton
Now 35% off
The western to end all westerns, Sam Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch was an orgy of violence, choreographed in such a modern way that it shocked audiences when it was released. In Stratton’s lively telling, the movie, how it came to be, and why it still resonates today are all evoked with care, enthusiasm, and wit.
71 Eve’s Hollywood, by Eve Babitz
Now 16% off
72 Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful, by Danny Peary
For a long time, Danny Peary’s book on cult movies—which spawned a sequel, of course—was the first and last word for movie-lovers. Worth tracking down for juicy essays on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Harold and Maude, Behind the Green Door, and Two-Lane Blacktop.
73 I Am Not Ashamed, by Barbara Payton
This cult classic—a frank, no bullshit memoir by Barbara Payton, a onetime aspiring starlet turned-B-movie wreck—is now easy to find. Thanks to a smart-looking edition from Spurl, you can lose yourself in Payton’s sordid journey on the dark side of Tinseltown. Lots of sex, violence, and Trouble with a capital “T”—one of a kind and a keeper.
74 The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, by Sam Wasson
Now 43% off
Sam Wasson has a knack for writing books that are meant to be gobbled up as much as read. This deep-dive into the neo-noir favorite, Chinatown, goes down easy. We inhaled it and so will you.
75 Suspects, by David Thomson
There are so many worthy books by David Thomson, but this is one of our favorites. In Suspects, he continues the stories of famous movie characters such as Harry Lime (The Third Man), Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard), and Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver). Inventive, surprising, and appealing.
76 5001 Nights at the Movies, by Pauline Kael
In the late 1960s and 1970s, Pauline Kael was ruler of all the land when it came to movie critics. This was a period when the elite movie critics actually had some power, or at least some notoriety. All of Kael’s collections are juicy, though 5001 Nights at the Movies is probably the best introduction to her work. All of her anthologies are worth picking up—like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, memorable for her long essay on the making of Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of the Mary McCarthy novel, The Group. You can’t really go wrong. The Library of America’s recent anthology is also a good place to begin.
77 The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life, by Robert Evans
Robert Evans is the ultimate New Hollywood mogul and producer. A failed B-list actor, Evans triumphed as the head of productions at Paramount, responsible for mega hits such as Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and the two Godfather movies. Cocky and full of lounge-lizard charm, Evans eventually crashed hard. His telling of his rise and fall is surprisingly good—and if you’re so inclined, the audio version, narrated by Evans himself, might be even better than the print edition.
78 Watch Me, by Anjelica Huston
Acting isn’t the only talent that runs in the Huston family, as you’ll see in Anjelica Huston’s two appealing memoirs (the other is A Story Lately Told). She writes in an approachable, casual style about her remarkable career. Of course, her life was dominated by imposing, charismatic men, including her father John, and her longtime partner Jack Nicholson. After a calamitous film debut for her father in 1969 (Death Becomes Her), it was more than a decade before her acting career took off with a dynamic turn in Prizzi’s Honor (1985), which earned her an Oscar for best supporting actress. After that, Huston went on a terrific run. In an era dominated by powerful female stars, Huston made a mark in The Dead, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Enemies: A Love Story, The Grifters, and The Addams Family. Her telling of that time is nothing but grits and gravy for movie fans.
79 The Other Hollywood, by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne
A massive oral history about the the porn industry, taking us from the neophyte counterculture days of the late 1960s, then through the pop culture sensation that was Deep Throat, then into the videocassette 1980s, and finally into the mainstream-ification of the 1990s and beyond. Definitive.
80 The Rocky Horror Picture Show Book, by Bill Henkin
A counterculture cult classic where going to see it in a movie theater at midnight was the entire gestalt of the thing. Rocky Horror was an adventure—you had to stay up and go seek it out. This funtastic picture book, stuffed with production stills, fan artwork, and assorted ephemera, captures the thrill and spirit of the Rocky Horror cult. Also, for true heads, The Official Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Novel is also worth having.
81 Scorsese on Scorsese, eidted by Ian Christie
Not only is Martin Scorsese one of the great directors of his generation, he is also a marvelous talker. He loves movies—his work in film preservation over the decades has been invaluable—and is at his best when talking about them. This book was published in the early 1990s—back then, who knew Scorsese would still have so much in the tank?. These conversations with the master are lively, interesting, and an education.
82 The Jaws Log, by Carl Gottlieb
Now 18% off
While not nearly as celebrated as Lillian Ross’s Picture, this modest, neatly documented account of the making of Jaws is not to be overlooked. Gottlieb had the great fortune of reporting on a movie that looked as if it would be as big a flop as The Red Badge of Courage or Bonfire of the Vanities, but turned out to be one of the defining movies of its time. Packed with invaluable first-hand reporting, this is a tidy gem.
83 Marilyn Monroe, by Norman Mailer
Nevermind Mailer’s standard metaphysical hooey—there’s a lot of smart commentary on Marilyn Monroe’s movies and cultural impact to be had here.
84 Adventures in the Screen Trade, by William Goldman
Now 27% off
Another one on the short list of great movie book, this is a look at the life of one of the most successful screenwriters of his time. Informative, entertaining, and very funny.
85 Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, by Peter Biskind
Now 11% off
Peter Biskind’s engaging account of Hollywood in the 1970s is literary popcorn. It’s got sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, and a generation of young hotshot American filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese. Biskind’s tale is lurid and hard to put down. You’ll want to bathe when you’re finished, then queue up a film festival of classics from the era.
86 From Reverence to Rape, by Molly Haskell
A pioneering work. Haskell later reflected, “In an impulse that went against the grain of feminist thinking at the time, I wanted to show how women had in fact been better served by the notoriously tyrannical studio system than they were in the newer, freer, hipper Hollywood.”
87 Fame, by Brad Benedict
A cool book to track down—there’s a sequel, too—just graphically really appealing, chock full of illustrations of movie stars (and pop stars) from the 1970s and 1980s. Beautiful American Graffiti, indeed.
88 Opening Wednesday at a Theater Or Drive-In Near You, by Charles Taylor
Now 21% off
This svelte, tasty volume is a showcase for marvelous critic Charles Taylor. In writing about cool, underappreciated gems such as Prime Cut, Cisco Pike, Hard Times, and The Eyes of Laura Mars, Taylor reminds us that the great era of American filmmaking in the 1970s extended beyond Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese, and the usual suspects. “The thrill of going to see the big mainstream American movies of the ’70s,” writes Taylor, “was that of being present at a time when remarkable filmmakers extended the traditions of our movie past to reflect attitudes and concerns of our present. It was an all-too-brief period when artists ruled.”
89 Haywire, by Brooke Hayward
Written by the daughter of actress Margaret Sullavan and mega-agent Leyland Hayward, this is an insider’s view that is funny, harrowing, unflinching, and compassionate. There was more than a little tragedy to go around—Hayward’s mother and younger sister both died in 1960, taking their own lives. “I wept for my family, all of us, my beautiful, idyllic, lost family,” Hayward writes. “I wept for our excesses, our delusions and inconsistencies.” One of the best Hollywood memoirs.
90 Notes On the Making of Apocalypse Now, by Eleanor Coppola
Eleanor Coppola’s journal of the making of Apocalypse Now shows us what it’s like to be married to a meglomaniac making an engorged epic about the Vietnam War. To see how a filmmaker’s spouse responds to that kind of madness makes this an invaluable document. Used heavily in the unforgettable 1991 documentary, Hearts of Darkness.
91 When the Shooting Stops… the Cutting Begins, by Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen
A masterclass in film editing from the man who cut Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Producers, and Annie Hall. Cranky but personable, Rosenbaum offers a ton of insight into the editor’s craft. The section on Annie Hall is particularly interesting in illuminating how the final narrative was discovered during the editing process.
92 The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies, by Vito Russo
This is a pioneering work about how how LGBTQ+ were historically depicted in cinema. It was read by anyone interested at all in the subject—a landmark book. Russo, who died of complications of AIDS in 1990, was not only an informative writer, but he had personality to burn, and was a ton of fun, too.
93 Final Cut, by Stephen Bach
One of the best books ever written about the movie industry—and from an insider, no less. Final Cut captures the craziness of Hollywood in the late ’70s with the perfect storm of a movie disaster, Michael Cimeno’s Heaven’s Gate. Briskly told with unyielding common sense, Bach, the former studio executive, proves there are second acts in American life.
94 Mommie Dearest, by Christina Crawford
Now 10% off
Hell hath no fury like a daughter scorned. The book that ruined Joan Crawford’s reputation forever.
95 Shock Value: A Tasteful Book About Bad Taste, by John Waters
John Waters is just plain good company. He’s fun to be with. Funny—he’s always funny—curious, smart, and charming, it’s our great fortune that these qualities translate to the page, too. Shock Value is an irresistible treat.
96 Postcards from the Edge, by Carrie Fisher
Now 24% off
The novel that put Carrie Fisher on the literary map. This hilarious but unsparing account of an out-of-control actress and her domineering mother caused a stir when it was published in the 1980s. More than loosely based on Fisher’s relationship with her own mother, actress and former America’s Sweetheart Debbie Reynolds, Postcards From the Edge is a pitch-perfect wiseass satire. It’s Fisher at her best, although Wishful Drinking sure is a lot of fun, too.
97 The Art of Drew Struzan, by Drew Struzan and David J. Schow
Now 33% off
This handsome oversized book is devoted to the poster art of Drew Struzan, most famous for the posters he created for Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, and the Harry Potter franchise, as well as classics such as The Thing, Blade Runner, and The Shawshank Redemption. The best thing about this comprehensive book is that it gives equal time to Struzan’s fine work on an array of movies, including kick-ass posters for Under Fire, Police Academy, Adventures in Babysitting, and Coming to America.
98 Films of Endearment, by Michael Koresky
Now 21% off
Oh, this one is a treat. Thoughtful, intimate, and often moving, Koresky’s essays about watching movies with his mother are winning. They share a particular affection for the actresses and “women’s movies” of the 1980s, and it’s nice to see the goddesses of that era celebrated, from Sissy Spacek and Meryl Streep to Sigourney Weaver, Glenn Close, Jessica Lange, and Michelle Pfieffer. The not-so-dirty secret is that leading actresses were much more interesting than leading actors in the Reagan eighties. The chapter on Mommie Dearest is priceless.
99 Me: Stories of My Life, by Katharine Hepburn
Now 34% off
Okay, so it’s not artfully written. But it’s written in Hepburn’s clipped, imperious style; though it’s all over the place, the book still works. “It is a very odd relationship acting with someone,” she writes. “I know that my father always advised an impersonal relationship with fellow works. I must say I followed his advice, but as I look back I wonder if I just am like him. Not particularly given to easy friendships.”
100 Danse Macabre, by Stephen King
Now 30% off
Okay, so this highly enjoyable and informative collection of essays is not strictly about horror movies, but the horror genre in different forms of pop culture. However, the two essays here that deal with horror movies—“The Modern American Horror Movie—Text and Subtext” and “The Horror Movie as Junk Food” are worth the price of admission. Like Pauline Kael, King made no apologies for liking trash. “I am no apologist for bad filmmaking,” he writes, “but once you’ve spent twenty years or so going to horror movies, searching for diamonds in the dreck of the B-pics… you begin to seek the patterns and appreciate them when you find them, you begin to get a taste for really shitty movies.”
101 Making Movies, by Sidney Lumet
Now 23% off
Sure, Lumet was the quintessential New York filmmaker—12 Angry Men; Serpico; Dog Day Afternoon—and as such had a reputation as anti-Hollywood. But Lumet was simply a New York-based director—plenty of his movies were set outside of Gotham, such as Murder on the Orient Express, The Verdict, and The Morning After. He was an economical, commercial filmmaker; this guide to the craft is succinct and illuminating.
102 Get Shorty, by Elmore Leonard
Now 24% off
Rumor had it that Dustin Hoffman is the “Shorty” in Elmore Leonard’s priceless Hollywood satire. As the story goes, Hoffman was deep in talks to make an adaptation of Leonard’s book, LaBrava, a few years earlier, but the deal fell apart. Something perhaps to do with Hoffman’s reputation as being difficult to work with? When Get Shorty was published, Hoffman called Leonard on the phone, furious. “Gee, Dustin,” said Leonard, “You’re not the only short guy in Hollywood.” Zing. Seriously, if you had to pick one book to represent Hollywood, this would be a good pick.
103 SPIKE, by Spike Lee
Now 35% off
Spike Lee is one of the great movie stylists of his time—or any time. Not only do his movies have an inimitable look, but Lee has a natural sense for fashion, never mind true skill as commercial ad man. This book does justice to Lee’s inimitable visual style. It’s a beaut.
104 You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, by Julia Phillips
What happens when a smartass from Long Island makes the biggest of the big time in the coked-out Hollywood of the 1970s and 1980s, then writes the biggest, juiciest memoir about it? You get this brash, unapologetic classic, that’s what.
105 The Devil’s Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco, by Julie Salamon
Now 13% off
Next to Lillian Ross’s Picture, this is arguably the best book ever written about the making of a movie. Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities was the it-book of its time, and the movie was much hyped. Yet despite the talent involved—director Brian DePalma, and stars Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, and Melanie Griffith—the movie was a misbegotten mess. Salamon’s account of how it all went wrong is worth savoring.
106 1000 Women In Horror, by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is consistently interesting and already has a small library of work to show for it. The Australian-based academic makes her bones writing about cult, horror, and exploitation flicks. This one is a whopper, but a minor miracle: a huge resource, at once smart and hugely entertaining.
107 Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends, by John Leguizamo
When Leguizamo made a name for himself doing the kind of performance shows popularized by Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, and Eric Bogosian, you hoped he would adapt well to movies, but it wasn’t always an easy transition for a soloist to play well with others. Of course, Leguizamo was a fine actor, and this remembrances of his days in Hollywood—dealing with famous directors, actors and prevailing stereotypes—is typically blunt, funny, and personable.
108 Thinking In Pictures: The Making Of The Movie Matewan, by John Sayles
From filmmaker and novelist John Sayles, we get the ultimate, no-nonsense journal of the making of a movie. The movie in question is Sayles’s Matewan, a somber 1987 drama about a coal miner’s strike in West Virginia during the late 1920s. Sayles edited the movie in addition to writing and directing it, and he describes each stage of production with workmanlike frankness. (This volume includes the screenplay.)
109 Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, by Edward Sorel
Mary Astor was one of those interesting actresses whose career spanned from the silent era through the golden age of the 1930s and 1940s. She’s best remembered as Brigid Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon, of course, but Astor never became a huge star. She was, however, involved in one whopper of a scandal co-starring the decorated funnyman playwright George S. Kaufman. As reported, remembered and imagined by the great illustrator Edward Sorel, this book is intimate, adoring, and a true treat.
110 Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, by Wil Haygood
Now 24% off
Haygood, author of excellent biographies on Sugar Ray Robinson and Sammy Davis Jr., takes on the history of Black cinema in this riveting, ambitious deep dive. The book begins with D.W. Griffith’s landmark 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation, which also happened to glorify racism in the most blatant terms. “The Birth of a Nation was big business in America,” Haygood writes. “During its first run, the movie grossed between fifty and sixty million dollars. Men got rich; careers were indelibly made. The Birth of a Nation even helped change the dynamics of how America went to the movies! Theatre owners began keeping theaters open with longer hours. They started realizing, more than ever, the profitability of snacks at their concession stands and added even more goodies. But all of this had been done at a terrible price to Black America. It seemed as if Blacks had yet one more enemy: cinema.”
111 Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas, by Glenn Kenny
Now 44% off
Glenn Kenny had the good fortune of interviewing Martin Scorsese at the director’s unassuming Brill Building office in late 1989. Over the course of their interview, Scorsese, not yet anointed the greatest living American director, mentioned his latest movie, Goodfellas, with no sense that it would change his career and pop culture forever (without Goodfellas, there is no Sopranos). Kenny, one of our finest, most enjoyable critics, circles back in this tasty look at a singular American movie.
112 The L.A. Quartet, by James Ellroy
Now 30% off
You thought we could talk about Hollywood without mentioning James Ellroy’s triumphant L.A. Quartet? Yeah, right. The Master of L.A. Noir.
113 Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge, by Becky Aikman
Now 38% off
More than two decades after Thelma & Louise shook-up Hollywood as a sleeper hit and cultural moment, Becky Aikman undertakes the telling of how this unlikely movie made it to the big screen. It’s a riveting, face-paced read. You’ll gobble it up.
114 Fun City Cinema: New York City and the Movies that Made It, by Jason Bailey
Now 29% off
Okay, we had to cover New York just a little bit. This picture book on what was once known as “Fun City” works both graphically and as a piece of critical analysis. Bailey takes us on a historical overview of classic New York movies—from The Sweet Smell of Success to Do the Right Thing to Frances Ha—that is never anything less than interesting. The book looks great, too.
115 New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut, by B. Ruby Rich
Beautifully designed and chock full of expertise. The essay “New Queer Cinema” originally appeared in the Village Voice and Sight and Sound in 1992; twenty years later, the original, previously unpublished version of the essay appears here, along with criticism, articles, and observations by Rich. Another one that’s a must for any true cinephile.
116 What Just Happened?: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line, by Art Linson
From the producer of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Untouchables, and Heat. It’s no surprise that Linson is an entertaining raconteur, but he’s a good writer too.This biting, intelligent look inside the sausage factory is not just a victory lap; instead, Linson writes about more complicated projects, such as The Edge, Great Expectations, Pushing Tin, and Fight Club. Add it to the shelf.
117 Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road, by Kyle Buchanan
Now 21% off
Kyle Buchanan’s oral history is dense but taut, crackling along just like its subject, the relentlessly intense Fury Road. George Miller is one of the more interesting movie directors of the past forty years; in this fun oral history, his method and artistry are brought to life.
118 The Great Movies, by Robert Ebert
Now 21% off
Roget Ebert’s plainspoken, unassuming prose was an ideal fit for a newspaper; in the early 1970s, he won a Pulitzer as a movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. He gained widespread fame in the 1980s along with Gene Siskel, his partner on At the Movies. There are a ton of entertaining Ebert books, but his series on the great movies is a good place to get a choice sampling of his work.
119 The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan, by Tom Shone
Now 53% off
Shone’s thorough analysis of Christopher Nolan’s work is a marvel, and a thoughtful examination in which Nolan is collaborator. They break down each of Nolan’s films, from Memento, Inception, and the Dark Knight Trilogy to his first Hollywood effort (and “most underrated” movie) Insomnia. Beautifully designed, complete with storyboards and movie stills, this handsome volume is great as a technical book (in the tradition of The Total Filmmaker by Jerry Lewis), but also attractive to the more casual cinephile interested in a director’s creative process.
120 Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, by Leonard Matlin
Now 29% off
This is a great overview of the history of animation from Maltin, one of the greatest film writers, historians, and enthusiasts we’ve ever had. Super useful.
121 Criterion Designs
When the Criterion Collection launched in the 1980s, their ambition was to be the Library of America for film. They initially made laser disks, then the cutting edge of quality. Mission accomplished. Ever since, they’ve been releasing incredible DVDs of old movies and international cinema. It might seem a little self-serving to create a massive picture book devoted to your own design team, but when your team, led by Erik Skillman, is as good as this—well, they’d be crazy not to make a book like this. Gorgeous, gorgeous—an ideal gift for the cinephile in your life.
122 Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy, by Erich Schwartzel
Now 14% off
In Schwartzel’s gripping new book, we quickly learn that “China’s pressure on Hollywood and its own entertainment industry have the potential to challenge the American film industry as the chief narrator of the twenty-first century.” The foreboding history of Hollywood’s relationship with China (see: Richard Gere) is detailed in this scrupulously reported book. Scary and true.
123 Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip, by Robert Landau
Now 20% off
Okay, so this isn’t about movies per se, but it’s Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, with some of the most incredible billboards ever created. True American pop art here, folks. Good and good for ya.
124 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by Quentin Tarantino
Now 50% off
A devotee of pulp fiction masters such as Elmore Leonard, Charles Willieford, and James Crumley, the never-at-a-loss-for-words Tarantino takes a rip at the novelization of a movie, a lost genre. He’s at home and in fine form.
125 The Star Wars Archives: 1977–1983, edited by Paul Duncan
Now 15% off
Nobody makes coffee table books like Taschen. Their Star Wars collection is a must, starting with this gorgeous edition.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io