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Films Research Guide

​This guide consists of a list of selected resources on film and motion picture materials in Nealley Library and on the Internet. All of your research--finding books, journals, and websites--can be done from the Library Home Page.  Users can search for books, websites, and find periodical articles (i.e., articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers) from home.


New York Times
There are several ways to get Film Reviews from the New York Times. Choose the research method depending on when your film was released. Newer films will have reviews online and older films will have reviews on microfilm. SAC owns all of the New York Times on microfilm (1851-    ). Reader/printers are available in the Microfilm Room. Periodical staff and student assistants are available to assist with the readers.

  • New York Times Film Reviews: Located in the Reference Shelves (PN1995 .N4). These books contain reviews for films released between 1913-1980. Check the index at the back of the volume for the year your movie was released.
  • New York Times Online: Use the ProQuest newspaper database to access the full text New York Times to find reviews from 1999 to the present. Give you the date, edition, column name, start page, abstract, as well as full text.
  • New York Times On the Web: Movie Review Archive: Back issues of the Movie Review section are archived since 1996 (
  • New York Times Index (Index Table): Sept 1851 – 1999. An annual index to the New York Times covers 1851 to the present (cancelled after 1999). The index is published monthly, then quarterly, and finally annually.
  • New York Times Index Online: Index and abstract of the First Published Issue is available through Academic Search Premier: 01/01/1989 through present.

Internet Resources
These are a few of the many Internet sites available where you can find reviews of films:

The following websites will provide additional information on films:

Finding Books
Information about film can be found in several collections, i.e., reference books, periodicals, and online. Most of the library’s book collection in the areas of film is assigned the call numbers as listed: PN 1993–1999.

To find books on a person or subject, select "Library Catalog" from the main menu.  Using the Advanced Search Tab, subject option, enter your subject or person.  For example:

campbell, joseph (enter the person's last name first)
nixon richard  
kahlo frida
civil rights movement
civil war
world war

If you cannot find any books on your topic, select the Keyword Anywhere option and enter your topic again.

Reference Resources

If you do not know your film’s release date, check the following reference books:

  • Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995 [REFERENCE SHELVES] PN 1993.5 U6 C87 1998

Film reviews can be found in these reference books: 

  • Magill's Survey of Cinema 1st & 2nd series [REFERENCE SHELVES] PN 1995 M3
  • New York Times Film Reviews [Oversize] PN 1995.9 N4

Biographical Resources & Information on Directors, Producers, Screenwriters & Actors:

  • Current Biography [REFERENCE SHELVES] CT 100 C8
  • Filmmaker's Dictionary [REFERENCE SHELVES] PN 1993.45 S56 2000

Reference books on film genre:

  • The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film. 2nd ed. [REFERENCE SHELVES] PN1197.85 T54 2005

Finding Articles in Journals, Magazines, & Newspaper

There are several ways to get Film Reviews from Periodical resources. Choose the research method depending on when your film was released. To find articles on a particular person, subject or film, select "Find Articles" from the Library Home Page. These databases are also available from home. The full text articles will be on the screen in front of you. You have the option of either printing the articles (5 cents a page), downloading the articles, or emailing the articles to your email account.

The following databases will be useful:  Academic Search Premier and National Newspaper Index (ProQuest). Type in the movie title, and the words "and reviews." 

Movie reviews, interviews and news stories about the social aspects of films from newspapers are available from the Orange County Register (1987-present); Los Angeles Times (1985-present); and USA Today (1988-present).

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Contains reviews in general magazines. Look under "Motion picture Reviews-Single works." Available in print only. Covers 1905 - present.