Memorable Films of the Forties
Forget all about the coffee table glossies, this book should appeal equally to the serious student of cinema and to the general reader.
"Memorable Films of the Forties: is a somewhat quirky collection of information on 100 films seen as being representative of the '40s. They range from the "greats" like "All About Eve" and "Laura" to the "B" grades like the Falcon and the Blondie series.
One negative point: the book has only 24 illustrations of which 11 (including the beautiful full-color front and back covers) are of "Casablanca". Some fans may find this too much of a good thing. The photos, mostly full page, also include "Belle Starr", "Laura", and a fabulous Mexican poster for "Cobra Woman".
But this lack of quantity so far as illustrative material, pales beside the quality and wealth of information the book provides, including for each film full credits, notes, a synopsis, reviews, plus awards and even running times for the USA, England and Australia. These can vary widely from country to country, due to the activities of the censors of the time. Much of this information is fascinating, bordering on the bizarre.
Remember the 1948 version of "The Three Musketeers"? The villain of the Dumas novel and other movie versions was the scheming Prime Minister, Cardinal Richelieu. In this version, however, as a sop to the Legion of Decency, Richelieu has been stripped of his robes and is now plain Monsieur Richelieu!
I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series, "Popular Films of the Hollywood 1940s".