“Since films attract an audience of millions, the need and appetite for information about them is enormous.” So said Harold Leonard in his introduction to The Film Index published in 1941. The 1970's has produced more than enough — too much — food to satisfy that appetite. In the past five years the number of reference books, in this context defined as encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, dictionaries, indexes and bibliographies, and the astounding number of volumes on individual directors, complete histories, genre history and analysis, published screenplays, critics' anthologies, biographies of actors and actresses, film theory, film technique and production and nostalgia, that have been published is overwhelming. The problem in film scholarship is not too little material but the senseless duplication of materials that already exist and the embarrassing output of items that are poorly or haphazardly researched, or perhaps should not have been written at all.
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