Thursday, August 28, 2014

LM Ends

For decades, Leonard Maltin's movie guide was THE reference.  It gave you the title, the year, the director, the main actors and let you know if it was in color.  Then there was a rating--from BOMB to four stars--and a short paragraph telling you about the film.  It filled a gap for movie fans, and millions were sold.

I bought the guide every few years or so, whenever I felt my old one was becoming out of date.  I often disagreed with his ratings, though that was part of the fun.  But the last time I bought it was in 2003 (as I can tell by looking at my bookshelf just a few feet away).  Why?  The Internet.  With thousands of sources for such information, and above all, the IMDb, Maltin wasn't so necessary.

Which is why the latest edition of the book, which has been put out there for 45 years, will be the last.  For years sales had been going down, and Maltin can see the writing on the virtual wall.  I'll be sorry to see it go, but he's hardly the first reference to hang it up.  Maltin himself (who's a nice guy, by the way) will continue writing and talking about movies, but it's the end of an era.

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