The Encyclopedia of War Movies: The Authoritative Guide to Movies About Wars of the Twentieth Century (The Facts on File Film Reference Library)

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9780816044788: The Encyclopedia of War Movies: The Authoritative Guide to Movies About Wars of the Twentieth Century (The Facts on File Film Reference Library)

Presents an overview of more than eight hundred films featuring armed conflicts, including "All Quiet on the Western Front," "The Great Escape," "The Thin Red Line," and "Schindler's List."

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From Booklist:

War is an important theme in American movies. Interestingly, one of the earliest films was the 1898 title Tearing Down the Spanish Flag, which quickly found an audience. However, this book contains American films dealing only with twentieth-century wars. It should also be noted that the selection is not exhaustive but reflects the author's own preferences. His background includes military and legal experience, and he was a technical advisor for Pearl Harbor.

More than 800 movies are covered, with entries generally ranging from one-sixth of a page to a couple of pages in length. Treatment seems a bit uneven (e.g., Pearl Harbor is given only a one-sentence plot summary, but more than 20 lines are devoted to describing the plot of the 1971 film Murphy's War). Beyond basic citation information, entries often include cast lists. Typically, one paragraph describes the plot, and another covers the actual battle or war effort. If the movie is based on a book, those details are given. About a quarter of the entries include interesting facts about the production, military service details of the actors and directors, famous quotes, awards, and technical or historical mistakes (e.g., visible sound equipment, continuity details, and date-specific factual errors). Sometimes the author notes the historical accuracy--or inaccuracy--of the film. About 50 black-and-white photos accompany the text.

A bibliography and index conclude the volume. The book would have benefited from having an index of movies listed according to the war being treated as well as a chronological listing.

The detailed information reflects the author's extensive knowledge and research. For this reason alone, the volume is a worthwhile addition to war movie literature. High-schoolers and adults will enjoy browsing this reference. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Publishers Weekly:

War films have been a staple of the movie business since its beginning, and as Davenport points out, "the same period of creative mechanical invention that brought about the movie camera...also unleashed on civilization the machines that signify modern warfare: the airplane, the machine gun, the tank." A Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve who served as technical advisor on Pearl Harbor, Davenport presents an overview of more than 800 movies that have helped build the war movie genre into such an indispensable Hollywood commodity. For each film, Davenport gives essential cast and crew information and a brief screenplay summary. Most originally, for some of the films he also includes information about how the screen version of the war differs from the actual historical battle. Organized alphabetically, the book covers blockbusters like 1986's Platoon and 1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai, as well as lesser-known films, such as 1942's The Devil with Hitler. Understandably, some films get more coverage than others (e.g., Davenport writes only two lines on the plot of 1963's Face In the Rain, but spends a few pages on 1970's Patton). Although other books exist on the topic, Davenport's is the most up-to-date and should please war movie aficionados. 48 b&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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