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 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 2:56 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Another vestige of my adulthood comes to an end. I bought the original edition of Leonard Maltin's TV MOVIES when I was in college, and I've been a regular reader for 45 years. I'd buy the upcoming final edition in hardback if I could, but I don't believe they publish it that way.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/r-i-p-leonard-maltins-movie-guide-internet-kills-iconic-print-paperback-after-45-years-821849/

Maltin was one of the pioneers in this area. Over the years, a number of competing movie/video guides came and went--from Mick Martin and Marsha Porter; Steven Scheuer; Leslie Halliwell; AMC; Blockbuster; Variety; Time Out; TLA. It was obvious that some of them (particularly the Martin/Porter book), just rewrote many of Maltin's reviews for their own, changing the adjectives and the order of the phrases, but otherwise giving the same opinions.

Probably the only remaining printed movie guide is VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)


I always liked Maltin, he seems like he really likes movies and it was not just a job. The book is pretty useful for reviews and looking up actors, though I do not always agree with him. He seems to be partial to black and white era movies. He also had a DVD based magazine that reviewed movies, but of course that went belly up too. I have one copy of that.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 6:03 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Never liked Maltin's guide. His tastes were always questionable - he infamously gave two 1/2 stars to Amadeus, and then gave the same rating to Laserblast - and his reasoning and writing poor considering some of his contemporaries. Then again, he admitted a few years ago that the books were compiled by staff writers and many of the reviews were not penned by him personally.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 6:24 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

While I rarely agreed with Maltin, his guide impressed me several years ago when he started including aspect ratios for each film. That was cool info to have and nobody else did it at the time.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

While I rarely agreed with Maltin, his guide impressed me several years ago when he started including aspect ratios for each film. That was cool info to have and nobody else did it at the time.

Yeah, I often disagreed with him and Ebert but they were true movie fans.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 8:33 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

This surprises me, because I'm certain the print books are still selling, and there is relatively little expense in keeping them up to date. That said, there will be obvious advantages to an online edition. The downside of print is that they kept deleting "minor" old movies to make room for all the new ones.

Some may remember an early Microsoft product that offered a massive collection of Pauline Kael's reviews on CD (or floppy diskettes or something). It seemed like a good idea, but the thing was pulled early. Perhaps there were rights issues?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   cinemel1   (Member)

I always felt a kind of connection to Leonard Maltin. His uncle David Sterling Maltin was a lodge brother of mine. He told me about his nephew's great interest in film because he knew what a film lover I was. I often bought his books every 3 or 4 years. They were a handy guide while watching old films on TV. His iPhone app was also quite good for basic film information. Every week new films were added. I noticed that about 6 months ago they stopped adding new films but the data base already there was still available. A nice feature of it was that if you looked up a film and wanted information on a cast member's(or director's) other films you could link to it easily. Unfortunately the composers of the films were not listed unless the score was mentioned in the body of the review.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Some may remember an early Microsoft product that offered a massive collection of Pauline Kael's reviews on CD (or floppy diskettes or something). It seemed like a good idea, but the thing was pulled early. Perhaps there were rights issues?

Cinemania 95?

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

A pity. I've always liked having a Maltin guide plopped down next to my TV screen and playing equipment. Less so for his opinions (although certainly many times he and his collaborators are right on the money; on the other hand I've noticed an irritating tendancy for them to give challenging and cool recent films from the Coens, Malick, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson etc. 2 and a half stars whereas bland Oscar fodder often get higher ratings), but to be able to instantly look up info such as asoect ratios, correct running times, trivia, and so on.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

This surprises me, because I'm certain the print books are still selling, and there is relatively little expense in keeping them up to date. That said, there will be obvious advantages to an online edition. The downside of print is that they kept deleting "minor" old movies to make room for all the new ones.



Because Maltin's book had reached it's physical limits, rather than drop out older films Maltin created a second, companion "Classic Movie Guide" to cover all pre-1965 films. (The original guide continued to cover the "big-name" pre-1965 films.) Roger Ebert faced a similar problem with his guide. His solution was to move to annual editions that covered only the last 3 years of films, while also including every single one of his reviews for that period.

The article left me with the impression that Maltin's Guide would NOT move to an online version. Maltin is quoted as saying “We were unable to find an effective way to monetize it on the internet. The iPhone app we had kind of fizzled too."

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Never liked Maltin's guide. His tastes were always questionable - he infamously gave two 1/2 stars to Amadeus, and then gave the same rating to Laserblast - and his reasoning and writing poor considering some of his contemporaries. Then again, he admitted a few years ago that the books were compiled by staff writers and many of the reviews were not penned by him personally.

The books do list who the contributors are, though they don't say who wrote what (which is probably just as well in some cases). Agreed about some of the dubious judgements, but that happens to all of us.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

The downside of print is that they kept deleting "minor" old movies to make room for all the new ones.

I didn't like how they dropped all the TV movie reviews several years back, although the "Above Average," "Average" and "Below Average" rating was fine with me.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I didn't like how they dropped all the TV movie reviews several years back, although the "Above Average," "Average" and "Below Average" rating was fine with me.


I agree. That was the biggest disappointment to me over the years. But I suppose that with nearly all TV movies being post-1965, they would have taken up too much space, and couldn't be relegated to the "Classic Movies" book.

On the plus side, for many years the Maltin books only included general write-ups for series films like the Tarzan, Charlie Chan, or Bowery Boys movies, and did not rate each individual film. In more recent editions, and with the new Classic Guide, the general write-ups are now followed by specific entries and ratings for each film.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 12:16 PM   
 By:   Doc Loch   (Member)

Part of the fun of reading these over the years was seeing how opinions and ratings changed over time. I still have an older edition in which Billy Jack received a three and a half star rating. Now it gets one and a half stars (though the last time I looked Taxi Driver still only got two stars).

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 2:31 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I have a couple of old editions of his book on my shelf. I often check them when I'm trying to decide if I should watch a film on TCM. For that purpose, it doesn't matter how old the books get.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 4:28 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

The book has been my bible since i was a young teen....bit gutted by this...more than a bit....

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

The book has been my bible since i was a young teen....bit gutted by this...more than a bit....


Greg, we will get through this.

If you like I will occasionally write you a 40 word review for a movie.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I still have a large edition from 1983-'84 because the guide still included "made-for-TV" movies back then, stuff you don't see anymore like DR. COOK'S GARDEN, BAD RONALD and A COLD NIGHT'S DEATH. There was a time I'd buy every new edition, but that ended many years ago when I started becoming less and less interested in newer movies (because so many are mediocre). It's also bothered me that some star ratings change without explanation. ALIEN used to get only two and a half stars with the comment that it is "some people's idea of a good time," now it rates three and a half stars with a re-written review. When did the movie get better and why? I saw it when it originally came out and it's the same movie for me more than thirty years later.

I am sad about one thing though, ever since it first appeared, the 1968 PLANET OF THE APES has been called "near-classic sci-fi" by Maltin's guide. After more than forty years he still calls it near-classic. How long does it take for near-classic to reach true-classic status? I guess from Maltin I'll never know.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 8:29 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

Even if I preferred Mick Martin & Marsha Porter`s movie guide I bought Maltin`s too for almost 20 years (starting back in 1993). Actually having both Maltin`s and Martin/Porter`s was pretty good idea because Maltin had more movies in his books but Martin & Porter`s guide had a much better list of actors and directors so they complimented each other perfectly. It was also quite fun to compare these two with each other and to my own taste. Sometimes I agreed with Maltin and sometimes I agreed with Martin/Porter and sometimes I did not agree with any of them. So when Martin & Porter`s book was no longer I at least had Maltin`s but now it is pity that both of them is no longer.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2014 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

BOMBs away

 
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