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"The Other Bible. Holy Writ for all cineastes"
  -- Die Zeit, Vienna, 1998

Since it was first published in 1977, this classic of film literature has appeared in twelve editions in nine languages, and has become a standard introduction to film for a generation of readers, viewers, filmmakers, and filmgoers. The fourth edition, years in the making, has been thoroughly revised and updated.

The critical response to earlier editions of How to Read a Film was notable:

  • "The best single work of its kind. ... The one work on the subject one ought to buy as the start or nucleus of a library."
      -- Richard Gilman, American Film.

  • "Monaco has collected an enormous amount of useful information and assembled it in an exhilaratingly simple and systematic way. ... The book’s biggest virtue, aside from its range, is its ability to explain complicated technical or ideological points without taking any previous knowledge for granted. A neophyte could come away with an equal understanding of sophisticated ideas ... And an expert would not be bored."
      -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times Book Review.

  • "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis. ... Monaco is cuts above the popular ‘criticism’ of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."
      -- Publishers Weekly.

  • "The book is a compliment to the reader. ... Monaco’s spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."
      -- Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment.

  • "Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have it."
      -- Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival.

About the Author
James Monaco is author or editor of more than a dozen books on film and media, published in more than 35 editions, including American Film Now, The New Wave, The Connoisseurs’ Guide to the Movies, The Film Encyclopedia, Media Culture, and Celebrity. He is president of UNET 2 Corporation, a developer of Internet software, and publisher of websites and DVD-Videos. He was the founder of Baseline, the worldwide information source for the entertainment business. An experienced TV talk show guest and radio commentator, Monaco is also well-known as a pioneer of the electronic publishing industry.