What better way to combine interests than read books about movies?! There are loads of great autobiographies out there, and there are just as many interesting reference books about the art of making movies. In the following list I have tried to combine all aspects so there is something for everyone. Hope you enjoy, and please let me know of any books that you think should be added to the list!

bob evans The Kid Stays In The Picture by Robert Evans

Probably my favourite book on the list. Great stories from  the heyday of Hollywood. Bob Evans was the producer of classics such as The Godfather, Rosemarys Baby and Chinatown. He started his career as an actor before turning Paramount into the most successful studio in Hollywood. As you would expect he has may fantastic tales to tell from that era.


juliaphillips You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again by Julia Phillips

Similar in tone to Robert Evans book, Julia Phillips was around in the same era. She, along with husband Michael produced such classics as Taxi Driver, The Sting and Close Encounters of The Third Kind. She was the first female producer to win an Oscar, but it is her famed intake of cocaine and alcohol that she has become famous for. This is a warts and all book of the seventies and eighties film industry.



savethecatSave The Cat by Blake Snyder

One of the go to books when it comes to learning about screenwriting. Snyder puts movies into different categories and then structures them into ‘beats’. You can apply almost any film ever made into this format, and apply them to whatever you have in your own imagination. It has certainly helped me in my script writing endeavours.


1001 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Schneider

These books are released every couple of years it seems, and are a must for any film fan. Films range from Georges Meiles “A Trip To The Moon” in 1902 right up to present day. It is full of colour pictures and stats and facts for each film.


vicarmstrong The True Adventures of The Worlds Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong

The stunt double for Harrison Ford on Indiana Jones, christopher Reeves on Superman and Roger Moore on James Bond, this guy has thousands of films under his belt, and many stories to tell about each. Another entertaining, and at times hair raising read.



down&dirty Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind

A fascinating account of the early days of Indie cinema, from Steven Soderberghs genre defining surprise hit Sex, Lies and Videotape, right through Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, Richard Linklater’s Slacker, Kevin Smith’s Clerks and Quentin Tarantinos Reservoir Dogs. Anyone who loves Indie Cinema won’t be able to put this down.


robrodRebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez

And speaking of Robert Rodriguez and El Mariachi, here is his account of the making of his $7000 debut. A remarkable account of how to make a movie on a shoestring budget. This book is a must for anyone interested in making their own movies.


talesfromdevelopmenthell by david hughes Tales From Development Hell by David Hughes

Full of tales of famous directors and actors who would have been in famous films. If they had ever been made. Many eyebrow raising moments are contained within, a truly interesting and easy read. Darren Aranofsky directing Clint Eastwood in Batman anyone?



easy riders Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind

The daddy of all film books in my opinion. As the title suggests, this book is an overview of the golden age of film making from 1969 through to 1980 with all the key movers and shakers: Nicholson, Scorcese, De Niro, Peckenpah, Hopper et al. A rivetting read from start to finish.



hellraisers Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, O’Toole, Harris and Reed by Robert Sellers

A salacious read about celebrated British hellraisers Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed and Richard Harris. Chaos and destruction, countless women and much drunken debauchary is included. A definite holiday read as it is easily picked up and put down again. A riot from start to finish.

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Great post, love Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Such an interesting read.

  2. MRS N, the Author

    A terrific list of books! Have you ever read “Action” by Robert Cort? It is fabulous and funny to boot! I would totally recommend it! 🙂

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