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Film Research Guide


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to Film Research in Geisel Library. It is meant as a starting point for your research. If you need personalized assistance with developing a search strategy or locating information, consider making an appointment with the Film Library Liaison.


Selected Reference Resources

The following are available online:

Closely Watched Films:  An Introduction To The Art Of Narrative Film Technique /
Marilyn Fabe

Contemporary American Cinema

Film cultures [electronic resource] / Janet. Harbord

The new biographical dictionary of film [electronic resource] / David Thomson

Oxford Art Online
This database provides access to the full contents of The Grove Dictionary of Art along with several other art reference works. Search and view over 5,000 thumbnail art images, conduct basic keyword searches, or use the Advanced Search to find information on specific geographic areas, time periods, or art forms.

The following print reference books provide background information and a wealth of possible topics. Reference books must be used in the library:

Blockbusters:  A Reference Guide to Film Genres
     Ref PN1995 .G663

Complete Film Dictionary
     Ref PN1993.45 .K66

Encyclopedia of Ethnic Groups in Hollywood
     Ref PN1995.9 .M85

Encyclopedia of War Movies
     Ref PN 1995.9 .W3 D38

Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series
     Ref PN1997.8 .A76

The Film Encyclopedia
     Ref PN1993.45 .K34

Film Noir Guide:  745 Films of the Classic Era, 1940–1959
     Ref PN1995.9.F54 K43

Film Review Index (2 vols.)
      Ref PN1995 .F57

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film (4 vols.)
     Ref PN1993.45 .G65

Short Guide To Writing About Film


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Find Full-Text Film Reviews

Academic Search Premier
To find film reviews, enter the film title in the first box. In the drop-down menu to the right, select "PS Reviews & Products."

LexisNexis — How to Find Film Reviews
Step One — At bottom left, select "Subject Areas"
Step Two — Select "Consumer Information"
Step Three — Enter Search Terms (film title, director, etc.) AND at the bottom of the screen check the box for "Book, Movie, Music, Play, and Video Reviews" AND deselect default checks for unwanted search boxes.

New York Times
Film Reviews and Criticism. "The New York Times (1851–four years ago) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue." (For the most recent four years, the New York Times is in LexisNexis.)

Times of London Digital Archive
To find film reviews, type the name of the film in the first box.  Limit by date for the earliest reviews.

See also Reviews of Films in our Selected Web Sites section below.


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Find Journal Articles

Search the following indexes to locate citations to and/or full-text of journal articles. If the article does not appear to be full-text online, search for its availability using the Journal Finder. Journals listed as "in Geisel Library Paper Holdings" are shelved alphabetically by journal title on the Lower Level of the library. Many others are available full-text online by following the links provided.

Academic Search Premier
An index providing abstracts and many full-text articles on a broad range of academic areas, including Film Studies.

MLA International Bibliography
Produced by the Modern Language Association of America, the MLA Bibliography provides access to international scholarship in literature as well as languages, linguistics and folklore. Over 3,000 journal titles are indexed. Coverage is from 1963 to the present.

Literature Resource Center
Find biographical information on authors, as well as bibliographies, plot summaries, and literary criticism of their works. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals.    User Guide

Use this database to find articles in selected scholarly literature journals. This database is a large collection of back issues of major journals in the humanities and social sciences. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.    User Guide

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."

Readers' Guide Retrospective
This online version of the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature provides citations to popular magazine articles for the period 1890–1982. A great source for researching the culture and history of the 20th century.


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Journals on the Internet-Unrestricted Access

Images:  a Journal of Film and Popular Culture
Articles about movie directors and genres, comic book artists and publishers, television series and other forms of popular culture that primarily use visual means of communication. Focuses on "older" films.

In-depth coverage with an emphasis on the American independent film community. Includes information on film festivals.

Screening the Past
An international, refereed, electronic journal of visual media and history.

Senses of Cinema
An online journal from Australia catering to a wide audience; it offers a searchable archives of past issues, as well as helpful links to other Internet film resources.


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Selected Websites

A selection of critical Web sites devoted to particular genres, directors, and reviews, etc.


The Criterion Collection
Search this website for unique film essays, news, and interviews relevant to important classic and contemporary films.

Internet Movie Database
A database of information about movies and people involved in the making of movies. An excellent resource if you want to verify information such as who the cinematographer was on a particular film. The comments from other visitors are NOT scholarly, so don't rely on that part the site.

Reel Classics:  the Classical Movie Site
Internet's most comprehensive site dedicated exclusively to Classic Movies.

American Films

American Memory:  Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
(Library of Congress) Extensive and searchable online collections on different historical genres of American Motion Pictures. Includes titles such as: "Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897–1916", "Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film", "America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894–1915", "The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures" and more.


Chronophotographical projects, profiles of pre-cinema pioneers, optical animation toys, gif animations and links to other pages.

Origins of American Animation — Library of Congress
The development of early American animation is represented by this collection of 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which spans the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet, and cut-out animation, as well as pen drawings. They point to a connection between newspaper comic strips and early animated films, as represented by Keeping Up With the Joneses, Krazy Kat, and The Katzenjammer Kids. As well as showing the development of animation, these films also reveal the social attitudes of early twentieth-century America.


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science
Professional honorary organization composed of over 6,000 motion picture craftspersons dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Presentation of the Oscars.

Documentary Films
News and reviews of documentary films, as well as information on festivals and filmmakers. The Best of American Folklore Films
This website enables you to view a collection of over 100 documentaries about American folk culture. Background articles are available for each film.


American Memory @ the Library of Congress
Motion Picture Collection 1894–present.
Introduction to the first decade of motion pictures.

Reviews of films

(see Find Full-Text Film Reviews, above)

Rotten Tomatoes


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Finding Films in Geisel Library

Search the Catalog by Subject or Keyword then limit your results by clicking on the Modify Search box. Check the LIMIT RESULTS box and pull-down the location menu to VIDEO ROOM (DVDs and VHS). 


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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