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A New Look At Old Movies

by Leonard Maltin
February 4, 2010 12:00 AM
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After five years I’m proud to announce the publication of a revised edition of Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide (Plume), now available in stores and online. It’s more than 100 pages thicker than the first volume, with many changes, additions, and corrections. In the first Classic volume we reviewed 1,100 titles we’d never covered before in my Annual Guide. This time we have 300 brand new entries, covering films from the teens through the 1960s, and featuring stars like Lon Chaney, Cary Grant, and Douglas Fairbanks, as well as films from such formidable directors as Jean Renoir, F.W. Murnau, Frank Borzage, Yasujiro Ozu, and Ernst Lubitsch. We’ve added silent movies, foreign films, early talkies, B musicals of the 1940s, film noirs (or is that films noir?) and more.

The first edition covered movies made until 1960; by moving our cutoff date to 1965 we’ve added 1,200 additional films, many of which will no longer appear in the bulging Annual Movie Guide. (Incidentally, you can find all these writeups on our iPhone app, where page count is not a factor.)

As a diehard old-movie buff, I loved having an opportunity to write new reviews of vintage films I’ve screened over the past five years and retool existing entries, as well. My colleagues and I still had to make tough choices, since we didn’t have unlimited space, but we’ve included a great many films now available on DVD and playing periodically on Turner Classic Movies. I hope you’ll find this expanded volume useful to consult and fun to browse.

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  • Old Movies Online | August 17, 2010 6:41 AMReply

    Great article. I never heard of these things. I am a fan of old movies myself and appreciate your writings. What a wonderful site! I look forward to reading the next thing you have to announce!

  • joao portella neto | April 19, 2010 1:08 AMReply

    Hi,Mr Maltin . Every year I look for your valuable guides,here in
    Rio,Brazil.I think that they are the best information about movies
    in paper ever written. Can I suggest some films to be included
    in the main guide? Crossplot with Roger Moore(1969)and
    Disney's The Boatniks(1970).Thank You.


  • Snead Hearn | February 17, 2010 12:57 AMReply

    Actually, it's "films noirs" -- the adjective agrees with the noun. (For this I took four years of French.) And if there were an "e" there, I'd add, with W. C., "Accent grahve over the e."

    Seriously: keep up the good work -- your books are the gold standard.

  • Gary R | February 15, 2010 8:16 AMReply

    So happy to see the SECOND EDITION, and right on schedule! I've noticed that bloggers, etc. have a number of 'pet' films they'd like to see in the next version... is there a place to submit favorite titles? Also, for the curious, do you have the list of the 300 "new" entries posted online somewhere? Happy to see Best Director Oscar-winner BAD GIRL make the new Guide (even if it isn't all that good), plus those early Lubitsch films (which are very good). Keep up the good work!

  • bob | February 6, 2010 10:09 AMReply

    great job on i love movies. i had no idea you were so cool.

    you seem to fit in quite well.

    please go on adam carollas podcast for a pre-oscar show.

  • A,C.Gomes de Mattos | February 6, 2010 8:45 AMReply

    Hi, Mr. Maltin. I am 72 years old brazilian and a fan of everything you write since Film Fan Monthly.Your blog is excellent. Bought all your books including the recent Movie Crazy.I am a fan of Kevin Brownlow, Anthony Slide, W.K.Everson, etc. too and I teach History of American Cinema at PUC (Pontificia Universidade Católica) at Rio de Janeiro trying to show the young students how great was the classic cinema. Do you know that 99% of all the movies produced between 1920 and 1960 (the classic ones) were exhibited in Brazil? I know because I have the brazilian titles of them all. After UK , Brazil was the country that exhibited more american films in the world.
    Yours truly, AC

  • Charles Hoyt | February 5, 2010 4:35 AMReply

    I wish that you dropped adding "colorized version available" in your guides. It's an irrelevant abberation, and you need the space for more films (The Archive just released WEARY RIVER and SON OF THE GODS). Have you ever thought of a guide to complete tv series, miniseries, and tv movies?

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