BLGM's mission is to promote a love of books and reading to all by offering advice and information needed to help our visitors to find their next favorite book.

Best Film History Books Reviewed & Ranked

Until you’ve consumed all of the best Film History books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. Film History: An Introduction, 3rd Edition (2009)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedWritten by two of the leading scholars in film studies, Film History: An Introduction is a comprehensive, global survey of the medium that covers the development of every genre in film, from drama and comedy to documentary and experimental. As with the authors’ bestselling Film Art: An Introduction (now in its eighth edition), concepts and events are illustrated with frame enlargements taken from the original sources, giving students more realistic points of reference than competing books that rely on publicity stills. The third edition of Film History…
Author(s): Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell

2. Looseleaf for Film History: An Introduction (2018)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedWritten by two of the leading scholars in film studies, Film History: An Introduction 4e is a comprehensive, global survey of the medium that covers the development of every genre in film, from drama and comedy to documentary and experimental. Concepts and events are illustrated with frame enlargements taken from the original sources, giving students more realistic points of reference….
Author(s): Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell

3. A Short History of Film, Third Edition (2018)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedWith more than 250 images, new information on international cinema—especially Polish, Chinese, Russian, Canadian, and Iranian filmmakers—an expanded section on African-American filmmakers, updated discussions of new works by major American directors, and a new section on the rise of comic book movies and computer generated special effects, this is the most up to date resource for film history courses in the twenty-first century.  …
Author(s): Wheeler Winston Dixon, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

4. American Film: A History (2007)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedWritten by a top scholar in the field, American Film: A History gives students a thorough understanding of the fascinating intersection of artistry and economics in Hollywood cinema from the beginning of film history to the present. A beautiful book and a brisk read, American Film is the most enjoyable and interesting overview of the history of American filmmaking available. Focused on aspects of the film business that are of perennial interest to undergraduates, this book will engage students from beginning to end….
Author(s): Jon Lewis

5. A History of Film (7th Edition) (2009)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedThis book highlights the contributions of major film-producing countries, significant filmmakers, and their films within social, artistic, economic, and technological contexts. This Seventh Edition incorporates major revisions designed to improve the book’s focus and update its coverage….
Author(s): Virginia Wright Wexman

6. American Film: A History (Second Edition) (2019)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedA closer look at the captivating history of American cinema Written in an engaging narrative style, this text provides a thorough overview of the fascinating intersection of economics, culture, artistry, and technology that has defined American film from its beginnings. The Second Edition features a NEW four-color design, hundreds of new images, greater emphasis on film analysis, increased coverage of women and minority filmmakers, and an epilogue that speculates on the future of film….
Author(s): Jon Lewis

7. Film Studies: An Introduction (Film and Culture Series) (2009)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedEd Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic. Sikov primes the eye and mind in the special techniques of film analysis. His description of mise-en-scene helps readers grasp the significance of montage, which in turn reveals the importance of a director’s use of camera movement. He treats a number of fundamental factors in filmmaking, including editing, composition, lighting, the use of color and sound, and narrative. Film Studies works with any screening list and can be…
Author(s): Ed Sikov

8. Flashback: A Brief Film History (6th Edition) (2009)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedConsolidating major figures and film movements into their decade of greatest influence or prestige, this “no-nonsense” book offers a generously illustrated, concise, and very readable history of fiction movies with an emphasis on American cinema. Eclectic in methodology and written in a plain English style that audiences can relate to, it examines the full scope of traditional film history and criticism, viewing film as both an art and an industry— as it mirrors popular audience values, social ideologies, and historical epochs.  …
Author(s): Louis Giannetti, Scott Eyman

9. A New History of Documentary Film: Second Edition (2012)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedA New History of Documentary Film, Second Edition offers a much-needed resource, considering the very rapid changes taking place within documentary media. Building upon the best-selling 2005 edition, Betsy McLane keeps the same chronological examination, factual reliability, ease of use and accessible prose style as before, while also weaving three new threads – Experimental Documentary, Visual Anthropology and Environmental/Nature Films – into the discussion. She provides emphasis on archival and preservation history, present practices, and future needs for…
Author(s): Betsy A. McLane

10. A History of Narrative Film (Fifth Edition) (2016)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedA trusted reference, a popular teaching text, and a well-written history is now bolder, briefer, and better than ever. Sophisticated in its analytical content, current in its coverage, and informed throughout by fascinating historical and cultural contexts, A History of Narrative Film is one of the most respected and widely read texts in film studies. This Fifth Edition features a new chapter on twenty-first century film, and includes refreshed coverage of contemporary digital production, distribution, and consumption of film. Now 20% shorter, with new four-color design and an updated art program, A History of…
Author(s): David A. Cook

11. Film History: An Introduction (2002)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedWritten by two leading film scholars, Film History: An Introduction is a comprehensive survey of film-from the backlots of Hollywood, across the United States, and around the world. As in the authors’ bestselling Film Art, concepts and events are illustrated with actual frame enlargements, giving students more realistic points of reference than competing books that use publicity stills….
Author(s): Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell

12. History and Film (2010)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedThe ability to view recorded moving pictures has had a major impact on human culture since the development of the necessary technologies over a century ago. For most of this time people have gone to the movies to be entertained and perhaps edified, but in the meantime television, the videocassette recorder (VCR), the digital versatile disk (DVD) player, the personal computer (desktop and laptop), the internet and other technologies have made watching moving pictures possible at home, in the classroom and just about anywhere else. Today, moving images are everywhere in our culture….
Author(s): Maarten Pereboom

13. A History of Film Music (2008)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedThis book provides a comprehensive and lively introduction to the major trends in film scoring from the silent era to the present day, focussing not only on dominant Hollywood practices but also offering an international perspective by including case studies of the national cinemas of the UK, France, India, Italy, Japan and the early Soviet Union. The book balances wide-ranging overviews of film genres, modes of production and critical reception with detailed non-technical descriptions of the interaction between image track and soundtrack in representative individual films. In addition to the central focus on narrative cinema,…
Author(s): Mervyn Cooke

14. Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film (1993)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedNow brought completely up to date, the new edition of this classic work on documentary films and filmmaking surveys the history of the genre from 1895 to the present day. With the myriad social upheavals over the past decade, documentaries have enjoyed an international renaissance; here Barnouw considers the medium in the light of an entirely new political and social climate. He examines as well the latest filmmaking technology, and the effects that video cassettes and cable television are having on the production of documentaries. And like the previous editions, Documentary is filled with photographs, many of them…
Author(s): Erik Barnouw

15. The Art of Watching Films, 7th Edition (2008)

Best Film History Books Reviewed & RankedThis introduction to film appreciation uses contemporary and popular American movies to help students develop critical skills in the analysis and evaluation of film. By suggesting what to look for and how to look for it, this text challenges students to sharpen their powers of observation, establish habits of perceptive watching, and discover complex aspects of film art that will further enhance their enjoyment of watching films….
Author(s): Joseph M. Boggs, Dennis W. Petrie

“Explosive Pandemic-type zombies mostly spread the contagion through wounding or biting humans, and in that way, the increase their numbers. Because they multiply so quickly and explosively, they can destroy all human civilization in a very short time. Written by two of the leading scholars in film studies, Film History: An Introduction is a comprehensive, global survey of the medium that covers the development of every genre in film, from drama and comedy to documentary and experimental. As with the authors’ bestselling Film Art: An Introduction (now in its eighth edition), concepts and Although the start of the history of film is not clearly defined, the commercial, public screening of ten of Lumière brothers’ short films in Paris on 28 December 1895 can be regarded as the breakthrough of projected cinematographic motion pictures. Search the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books. My library The history of books starts with the development of writing, and various other inventions such as paper and printing, and continues through to the modern day business of book printing. The earliest history of books actually predates what would conventionally be called “books” today and begins with tablets, scrolls, and sheets of papyrus.

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some film history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

A Hidden History of Film Style: Cinematographers, Directors, and the Collaborative Process

Author(s): Christopher Beach
Publisher: University of California Press, Year: 30 Apr 2015, Size: 6 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2387738

The Ethics of Witness: Dailiness and History in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Films

Author(s): Xiao Cai
Publisher: Springer Singapore, Year: 2019, Size: 14 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2313857

Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media: Teenage Dreams

Author(s): Nick Bentley, Beth Johnson, Andrzej Zieleniec
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2203363

Codename Intelligentsia: The Life and Times of the Honourable Ivor Montagu---Filmaker, Communist, Spy

Author(s): Russell Campbell
Publisher: History Press, Year: 2018, Size: 7 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2215812

The Cinematic Eighteenth Century: History, Culture, and Adaptation

Author(s): Srividhya Swaminathan; Steven W. Thomas (eds.)
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2248207

100 Great War Movies: The Real History Behind the Films

Author(s): Robert Niemi
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Year: 2018, Size: 7 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2272794

Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics

Author(s): Anthony Slide
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi, Year: 2018, Size: 4 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2281092

A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series

Author(s): David Kalat
Publisher: McFarland, Year: 2018, Size: 5 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2300687

Truth, Existence and Explanation: FilMat 2016 Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics

Author(s): Mario Piazza, Gabriele Pulcini
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2311028

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are absolutely record-breakers according to The Wall Street Journal, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

Affiliate Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Leave a Reply