Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Hero Never Dies Library: The Hong Kong Filmography By John Charles



When I first got into horror movies, the reference book to have was Phil Hardy's Aurum Horror film encyclopedia. John Charles' The Hong Kong Filmography 1977-1997 is every bit the equal of that book, it  covers 1100 movies and is THE reference tome for the golden age of Hong Kong cinema. John Charles will be familiar to you if you are a reader of Tim Lucas' Video Watchdog, having contributed to that publication for many years.

Each film covered is given a variable length review, with extensive credits and (understandably out of date)  information on the movies availability on home video. While you may not agree with all of Charles' opinions (although I find I am in agreement with many!) as a reference book this is pretty much as close to perfection as will ever be published on the subject. Published by McFarland and available in Hard and paperback editions, The Hong Kong Filmography may not be cheap but it's worth every penny and an absolute must buy for fans of Hong Kong cinema.

12 comments:

Wes M said...

I love these kind of reference books but my heart sank when you mentioned that dreaded word McFarland - and I knew this book would be entirely out of my price range during these penny pinching recessionist times ! But thanks for the heads-up, the book is in the Amazon cart so I can check if the price drops... Jeez, I sound like some poor street urchin here..

A hero never dies said...

Yeah, they don't do budget books do they? It really is worth the money if you get a chance to pick it up Wes.

Jesper said...

Where can I get the Phil Hardy's Aurum Horror film encyclopedia? I searched the web but I only found the superexpensive (111 dollars)one on amazon.com..Is that book expensive in general?

Kingwho? said...

Right on, AHND! John has and continues to be an inspiration for me as well As Ken from So Good Reviews. I am in regular contact with John and he is just a wealth of film information. He lives and breaths ALL film. He's such a wonderful guy.

Wes, John also released the paperback version of this book and it's considerably cheaper than this original hardcover.

http://www.amazon.com/Hong-Kong-Filmography-1977-1997-Reference/dp/0786443235/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311554564&sr=1-1

It's worth every penny!

Great post, AHND. I'll let John know about it.

John Charles said...

Thanks for the kind words, Hero! The book was a real labor of love and at times, incredibly daunting to complete. However, even in light of the botched original cover and less than stellar marketing by McFarland, it is one of the things in my life of which I am most proud. Glad that you enjoy it, and thanks for the recommendation.

John Charles

A hero never dies said...

Jesper, I looked on Amazon UK and saw a hardback copy for about £26.

A hero never dies said...

Kingwho? It's nice to hear from you again! John along with Mike T. were the first two people writing about HK cinema that I actively looked out for, and as you say were and still are an inspiration to myself and no doubt many more!

Thanks for the kind words.

A hero never dies said...

John, Thank you for taking the time to comment, I'm feeling a little starstruck! I can only imagine how much hard work you put into the book. It really is something to be proud of and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Magixx said...

nice, this sounds really nice and worth reading it, prolly gonna try this one out ;)

keep it up

A hero never dies said...

If you have any interest in HK cinema you won't regret it Magixx!

Wednesday's Child said...

I have been looking for a reference book on HK film and so I will put this on my Christmas wish list.

A hero never dies said...

Welcome to the blog Wednesday's Child and thank you for commenting. This book would make for a fantastic Christmas gift.

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