Friday, August 01, 2014

Forgotten Books: The Western - Phil Hardy

This simply named, oversized book was recommended to me about 30 years ago by my friend and fellow author (and fellow B-movie enthusiast) Kerry Newcomb. It's a history of the Western movie, both A-movies and B-movies, but mostly what it is is just a listing of Westerns with cast and credits and plot summaries, along with the author's opinion of them. And it's wonderful. I don't always agree with Phil Hardy's assessments, but there's a wealth of information in the book and it pointed me to many films that I'd never seen before. I must have read the whole thing half a dozen times over the years, reading just bits and pieces at a time the way you do with such books. I believe it's out of print, but copies are still readily available on-line and if you're a fan of Western movies it's great fun just to dip into it now and then.


Walker Martin said...

I have this book also and agree that it is an excellent book on the western film. Phil Hardy has also done encyclopedias on the other genres. I have three large books edited by him on:

The Gangster Film
Science Fiction

Another western film encyclopedia that I use also is Western Films by Brian Garfield. He discusses over 2,000 A westerns. What makes his book so interesting is that he is very critical and seems to dislike many westerns. When he gives a good review then you know that it must be good!

Todd Mason said...

We just lost Hardy not too long ago. I reviewed the Horror volume some months before that...

James Reasoner said...

I wasn't aware of that, Todd. Thanks for letting us know.

Walker, I agree that Garfield's book is a good one. I love a lot of the movies that he doesn't even like, though. Still, it makes for interesting reading.