Saturday, 29 June 2013

Leslie Halliwell - an inspirational film critic and historian


Leslie Halliwell
Leslie Halliwell (1929 – 1989) was a British film critic and historian. In 1965 Halliwell’s The Filmgoer's Companion was published which proved to be the first one-volume encyclopaedia devoted to all aspects of the cinema. Then he spent years creating the Halliwell's Film Guide, an impressive source for all movie fans. Although a very conservative film critic (Halliwell did not award full marks to any film after 1967) and an apologist for classic Hollywood, Leslie Halliwell created reference books which were so important to many of us during those pre-internet days. I used to enjoy reading the reviews of Leslie Halliwell and I think I read every one of his books when I was young. I am still a fan of classic Hollywood but I now dislike Halliwell’s resentment of more modern and independent films. By the time Halliwell sadly passed away in 1989, I had long thought that his reviews were somewhat one-dimensional, unsupported and extremely conservative. Nevertheless, Leslie Halliwell's love for vintage cinema, his knowledge and his film guides contributed significantly to my own passion for (and education of) the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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