Thursday, August 21, 2014

That's a Wrap!

Well, I hate this. Film historian Leonard Maltin announced this week that the 2015 edition of his annual movie guide will be the last one published. Apparently those of us who consult his smart, authoritative, and comprehensive guidebook are dwindling in number, as more and more moviegoers get their information from the web. (Maybe a blog isn't the perfect place to complain about this...)

Even before I considered writing books on film and television history, I loved reading them. While I don't always agree with Maltin's opinions, I respect his expertise, and have learned a lot from his books. Whether it's a BOMB or a ****, he always has something worthwhile to say. Who else could have reviewed the low-budget 1967 chiller Castle of Evil and said, "Producers should have taken the film's production costs and bought a candy bar instead"? And I'll never forget his cogent, tongue-in-cheek advice concerning 1965's The Navy vs. the Night Monsters:

1) Look at the title. 2) Examine the cast. 3) Be aware that the plot involves omnivorous trees. 4) Don't say you weren't warned.

Luckily for those of us who love the films of an earlier era, Maltin's separate guide to vintage movies will continue to appear occasionally. Otherwise, I'd really be in a state of mourning.

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