Book review: The Big Screen, By David Thomson

 

This encyclopedic brick of a book takes us from the silent cinema era and William de Mille to the early Hollywood studio system, Renoir, the money side of film, colour musicals and a comprehensive brief on world cinema.

It parks itself, by the end, in the near present, with the likes of Inception and The Social Network. Its greatest achievement is a strong narrative thread, rendering it a good sequential read, rather than a mere reference book. To quibble over its few omissions is to be pedantic.

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