The Full Wiki

Leslie Halliwell: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leslie Robert James Halliwell (23 February 1929 – 21 January 1989) was a British motion picture historian and encyclopedist. He also worked in commercial television as a film buyer.



Born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, Halliwell was captivated by films from an early age. A boy from a modest background, he won a scholarship to Bolton School and after National Service he studied English at St Catharine's College, Cambridge before holding a number of jobs in film journalism and cinema management.[1]

After working for a decade as a researcher and buyer for Southern Television and then Granada Television, in 1968 he took responsibility for purchasing films for the entire ITV network. In 1982, at the personal invitiation of Jeremy Isaacs, he became buyer of U.S. films for Channel 4. He retired in 1986.[1]

Halliwell's tastes were conservative. He had a preference for the cinema of the 1930s and 1940s.[1] In his Film Guide, he gave ratings of 0 stars to 4 stars for films, not giving any film from the 1970s onward a rating of 4 stars as he believed that films needed to be of a certain age before their historical influence could be appraised. John Walker, who took over the editorship after his death, has somewhat broader tastes than Halliwell.

Halliwell's professional knowledge of the entire gamut of cinema is still seen in his encyclopedias The Filmgoers' Companion, now published as Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies (first published 1965), Halliwell's Film Guide (first published 1977) and Halliwell's Television Companion (first published 1979 as Halliwell's Teleguide).[1]

After his retirement, he wrote for the Daily Mail. He also published a number of historical and critical works about the cinema.[1]

He married Ruth Porter in 1959 and they had one son. Halliwell died of stomach cancer in the Princess Alice hospice in Esher, Surrey.[1]

Halliwell's favourite films

This list of Leslie Halliwell's favourite films was originally published in the fifth edition of the film guide.[2]

Later in 2005, Halliwell's Film Guide declared Yasujirō Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as the best film of all time.[3]

Cultural references

  • Halliwell's Film Guide is mentioned in Irvine Welsh's short story Snuff, about an isolated man whose life is centered around watching every film from the book.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Baker, A.P. (2004). "Halliwell, (Robert James) Leslie (1929-1989)". - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. - Oxford University Press. Retrieved: 8 June 2005
  2. ^ Top Tens. -
  3. ^ Peter Bradshaw pays tribute to Tokyo Story, The Guardian


Works by

  • 1965. - The Filmgoers' Companion. - ISBN 0002557983
  • 1965. - Mountain of Dreams: the Golden Years of Paramount. - ISBN 0246108258
  • 1973. - The Filmgoer's Book of Quotes. - ISBN 0583128890
  • 1975. - The Clapperboard Book of the Cinema. - ISBN 0246108142 - (with Graham Murray and Granada Television)
  • 1977. - Halliwell's Film Guide. - ISBN 0007144121
  • 1979. - Halliwell's Television Companion. - ISBN 0586083790
  • 1982. - Halliwell's Hundred. - ISBN 0246113308
  • 1985. - Seats in All Parts: Half a Lifetime at the Movies. - ISBN 0246124784
  • 1986. - Halliwell's Harvest. - ISBN 0684185180
  • 1986. - The Dead that Walk. - ISBN 0804423008
  • 1987. - Double Take and Fade Away. - ISBN 0246128356
  • 1987. - Return to ShangriLa. - ISBN 0586070818

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address