This two volume spy film guide is the most beautifully produced and fascinating compendium on this subject, or any other for that matter, that I have encountered. It really is a labour of love and so very well executed – good illustrations and clear writing.
KISS KISS KILL KILL The International Spy Film Guide 1945 - 1989
This huge double volume of spy films, containing posters, production stills and publicity material from over two thousand spy films is certainly a labour of love. The author, Richard Rhys Davies has done a truly impressive job with the production. Often, self-published books look cheap and second-rate but K4 (if I may call it that) is very handsome; everything from the page layout to the full-colour printing and even the paper stock has been professionally thought through. As for the breadth of the films covered, frankly my mind boggles. How did he even manage to see so many films? The result is nothing short of a treasure trove and one which I would have thought would give aficionados endless pleasure.
I’ve already enjoyed dipping in and out of the pages, discovering films that I remember from my childhood and others that it’s hard to believe were ever made. It’s quite heartening to find that I agree with nearly all the author’s assessments from my favourite – and least favourite - Bonds through to Modesty Blaise (sadly a disaster), the now forgotten Our Man Flint, the wonderful Where Eagles Dare and two masterpieces: North by Nothwest and Torn Curtain.
So – a great gift for anyone with an interest in spy films. In time, these two volumes could become a collector’s item in their own right.
Wonderful. A labour of love written by someone who knows the genre inside-out. Required reading for anyone who enjoys spy movies.
TALKING PICTURES TV
If you thought spy movies started with Our Man Flint and ended with the very British James Bond epics, you will be totally amazed when you see The International Spy Film Guide 1945 – 1989 by Richard Rhys Davies.Described by Cinema Retro magazine as “Book of the Year,” I am inclined to disagree… it is THE book of the decade! Fans of the bible references such as Halliwell’s Film Guide should be prepared to be blown away, as Richard has taken his guide to an entirely new level.
Not only has he reviewed and rated 2,240 Spy films from 65 countries, but it is beautifully illustrated with poster artwork, unseen production stills and publicity materials that add to the enjoyment of this magnificent two volume hardback collection. What is even more outstanding is the fact that the author has viewed every single film in this ultimate guide to the espionage genre. His epic work includes films compiled from television series and shown theatrically abroad, spoof “adult” porn versions and even straight to video films. The first time the genre has ever been applauded in such a magnificent way.
This truly “must-have” celebration of the Cold War era Spy films is available in two editions. The first edition weighs in at a mighty 3kg for both volumes and is a thing of beauty, before you even feast your eyes on the top secret goodies within. But for true fans who want the absolute ultimate, Rhys Davies has produced a deluxe large format limited edition, housed in a black, silver logo buckram slipcase, signed and hand numbered. Doubling the joy and the weight at a hefty 6kg!!
The price is a little more than a standard book - £125 for the standard edition and £250 for the deluxe limited edition – but if you only buy one book this year, it is worth budgeting for a copy of this colossal dossier… that is if you choose to accept the mission!
Dave Worrell CINEMA RETRO
The essential guide to movies of the '60s & '70s
Bi-monthly Magazine and www.cinemaretro.com
"BOOK OF THE YEAR"
From the outset, I have to admit this review is biased. Not because Richard is a long-time friend of us here at Retro, but because the subject matter covers my favourite subjects: spy movies and spy film posters. Bliss! Richard Rhys Davies is acknowledged as one of the most authoritative writers on the subject of the spy movie genre, especially Eurospy titles. Richard's website 'The Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive' is one of the very best resources on the whole Cold War spy movie era, so it was only a matter of time before he wrote a book.
And what a book!