Author: Gifford, Denis.
Publisher: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001
ISBN: 1579581714 (set)
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This third edition of Gifford's catalog of British film expands on the voluminous material of the previous versions. In addition to documenting British feature films and shorts produced from 1986 to 1994, the late Gifford also revised and expanded existing entries and added more titles for 1888-1985. A cartoonist, screenwriter, and prolific writer on comic strips, old-time radio, and film history, Gifford includes a bibliography of the trade papers, fan magazines, catalogs, and directories he used as resources and acknowledges over 50 pioneer moviemakers he interviewed to glean more about the British film industry. In both volumes, the films are arranged chronologically by year and then by month of exhibition date. Entries provide such information as the length, the censor's rating, whether the film was silent or sound, the color system, production and distribution companies, the crew and cast with character names, the genre, a brief synopsis, awards, and cinematic innovations. Each volume contains its own title index, including alternative titles and serial episode titles. The impressive scope and excellent production value of these volumes far outweigh their limitations. One may quibble that the volumes would be better subtitled "Entertainment Film" and "Factual Film," since films about musicians and other performance artists are included under "Fiction Film." In addition, the "Non-Fiction Film" volume, predominantly newsreels and travelogs, does not have the research value of the "Fiction Film" volume. Finally, it is regrettable that animated films are not included here, but Gifford covered those in another book, British Animated Films, 1896-1985 (McFarland, 1987. o.p.). Recommended for large academic libraries. Vivian Reed, California State Univ., Long Beach (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
This edition updates coverage with more than a thousand new entries. In addition to those for the period 1985-1994, there are many new entries for the prior years.
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
The third edition of Gifford's catalog covers the first 100 years of cinema (1885-1994) from the British perspective. "British" is broadly interpreted to include films produced in the British Isles by US companies (such as The Dirty Dozen) and British productions made in the US or Europe. Volume 1, Fiction Film, with nearly 15,000 entries, strives to include every traceable British entertainment film, whether or not the film was actually exhibited. Volume 2 describes over 13,000 nonfiction films and lists many official dramatized wartime films from the Ministry of Information. An interesting note is that concert films, such as the 1984 Synchronicity concert by The Police, are considered fiction. Entries are arranged chronologically by year and month, and the index provides access by film title, including alternative and series titles. Information in both fiction and nonfiction entries includes length, color system used, reissue dates, production and distribution companies, the usual cast and production credits, story source, genre and summary, awards received, and any series titles. Multilanguage versions are noted and an extensive list of abbreviations provided. This is the most comprehensive catalog available for British films and is recommended for all film collections, lower-division through professional. H. C. Williams Harvard University