This book is both more and less than history, a work of imagination in its own right, a piece of movie literature that turns fact into romance.’ Gavin Lambert was reviewing the first edition of David Thomson’s monumental work in 1975. In the eight years since the third edition was published, careers have waxed and waned, reputations been made and lost, great movies produced, trends set and scorned.
This fourth edition has 200 entirely new entries and every original entry has been re-examined. Thus the roster of directors, actors, producers, screenwriters and cameramen is both historical and contemporary, with old masters reappraised in terms of how their work has lasted.
Each of the 1,000 profiles is a keenly perceptive, provocative critical essay. Striking the perfect balance between personal bias and factual reliability, David Thomson – novelist, critic, biographer and unabashed film addict – has given us an enormously rich reference book, a brilliant reflection on the art and artists of the cinema.