Wednesday, July 13, 2022

First Roundup: 2022 Classic Film Reading Challenge


I'm excited to share the first round-up of reviews for this year's Classic Film Reading Challenge. I'm so impressed with the reviews in this batch. A wide variety of selections and there are some very thorough reviews as well as great YouTube videos from Lee, Andy and Robert! Chris and Andy are the leaders of the challenge with 4 books reviewed by each so far. I'll be doing another round-up next month so stay tuned.

Alejandro on Goodreads

Image courtesy of Alejandro @alamofilmguy on Twitter

"The book is the portrait of a complicated man, and Eyman takes his time in delving into his subject’s multifaceted life with careful research and sharp reactions observation."

"It’s a rare look into the life of a Mexican-American actor building his career and the emotional toll that career had later in his life... But perhaps one day we will have a fuller text to explore all the areas of this extraordinary life. One can hope." 

The Original Sin by Anthony Quinn

Andy of Journeys in Darkness and Light

"This book is filled with great information and several surprises. If you're a fan of classic movies, you're going to love it."

Character People by Ken D. Jones, Arthur F. McClure and Alfred E. Twomey

"Bottom line, you can't go wrong with an Elmore Leonard work. Western or Crime."

Hombre by Elmore Leonard

"You watch Aldrich mature as a director and reflect on the successes and the failures, putting both into perspective."

Robert Aldrich: Interviews edited by Eugene L. Miller, Jr. and Edwin T. Arnold

Ari of The Classic Movie Muse

"[I] appreciated the additional insights into the characters from Inge’s text... We also gain a little more insight Hal’s family history and troubled background."

Picnic by William Inge

Brittaney of The Story Enthusiast

"Allanberger paints a portrait of a cunningly intelligent, often appealing woman whose independence and determination helped her succeed in a difficult business while also occasionally alienating people along the way."

Chris of Digging Star Wars

Image courtesy of Chris of Digging Star Wars

"Frankel knows how to collectively share massive amounts of research in a cohesive, entertaining story that is also history – both real, cinematic, and then some."

"Physically, the book is thin but printed in small type. In other words: it’s travel-sized but packed with information. It is also incredibly-smile-inducing for any Star Wars fan that is also a classic film fan."

"I loved this book. It educated me on so many levels of the Kung Fu film scene that started in the late 60s and even before that. It’s ballsy but honest. It also sets out on a mission and succeeds: these films – both good and “bad” – are a rich part of film and real world history that just can not be ignored.  

"let me conclude by simply saying “Hurrah!” for the please-take-a-free-book-and-keep-it library in the campground WiFi room where I found this literary treasure."

True Grit by Charles Portis

Chuck on Goodreads

Image courtesy of Chuck @Chuck7703 on Twitter

"Dolce Vita Confidential is an informative and fun read that will transport you back to that exciting time period of Rome in the 1950s."

"Hitchcock and the Censors is a unique and interesting look at Hitchcock's work through the prism of censorship that is a worthy addition to your film book library."

Hitchcock and the Censors by John Billheimer

"I would recommend this book to hard core Val Lewton fans or anyone with an interest in the American home during the war. Others may get bogged down in some of the analysis of this study."

Greg on Goodreads

"Anyone with interest in Film Noir or the Westerner genres, will be pleased to have this book as their gateway into the Sub-Genre of the Noir Western."

"Was expecting a little more from this book, but overall a good journey deep into classic Japanese cinema. Perhaps it's not as much about the filmmaking side of Japanese Cinema, but about the ideology behind and within it." 

Jess of Box Office Poisons: A Classic Movie Blog

Image courtesy of Jess from Box Office Poisons

 "ultimately this is the story of June's life as she wanted to tell it, and I guess you can't fault her for it." 

June Allyson by June Allyson

"I put this book down with the opinion that Loretta Young is a charming, eloquent, talented woman who was often ahead of her time in seeing trends and reacting to change, despite knowing that she was pretty pious and straight-laced and was never one to (openly) broker scandal."

The Things I Had to Learn by Loretta Young, as told to Helen Ferguson

Kara on Goodreads

"With each new installment, Lillian's Hollywood is fleshed out more fully with delightful cameos, recurring fan favorites like Bing Crosby and Barbara Stanwyck, and a rich (and ever-growing) cast of original characters."
Idle Gossip by Renee Patrick

"Not only are these stories fun and twisty mysteries featuring some of your favorite Golden Age of Hollywood stars, but they are also written in a way that is really enjoyable to read."

The Sharpest Needle by Renee Patrick

Lee on YouTube

"If you are of a philosophical bent... introspective narratives... purply prose... and you don't mind a spot of naval gazing... you can't go wrong with Nathan's novella."

Portrait of Jennie by Robert Nathan

Molly of Classic Mollywood

Image courtesy of Molly from Classic Mollywood

"This book is an easy read and you will get a sense of Granger’s personality and sense of humor."

Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway by Farley Granger with Robert Calhoun

Ralph on LibraryThing

"Agatha Christie successfully broke the rules with her dark story "And Then There Were None" that has no assured detective like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple to solve the mystery and foil the crime leaving readers to contemplate the darkness and self-deception present in people in all times and places."

And Then There None by Agatha Christie

"One of the great gifts of this book is how Ray Morton takes us behind the scenes to show the breakthrough innovations required by the special effects team lead by Douglass Trumbull as they needed to invent new ways to create the fantastic and realistic images Spielberg envisioned and demanded."

Raquel of Out of the Past


"Stevens offers a look at Keaton through a cultural history lens and readers with reap the rewards from all the historical context."

"I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants to go a lot further with their knowledge of film history and for anyone interested in black representation in media."

Robert B. of Robert Bellissimo at the Movies

"Highly recommended... it's a wonderful read."

"this is a very important book that I think should be given to every veteran actor or young actor or someone just entering into the field... the details of it are just really mind-blowing"

Sarah on Goodreads

"You can tell how much time and research the author put into her book, and her love for Keaton was evident."

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