Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who are you?

I am a “no-holds-barred” film fanatic, as described on the back cover of Danny Peary’s Guide for the Film Fanatic (1986). I started watching movies obsessively as a teenager, and haven’t stopped since then. In my non-film-reviewing life, I’m a wife, sister, mom of three, and full-time educator. Click here to see a short video clip of me discussing why I love Peary’s reviews so much (and stay tuned for Brian Saur’s upcoming documentary on Danny Peary!).

Why did you start this site?

Guide for the Film FanaticI bought a copy of Peary’s Guide for the Film Fanatic back in 1988, and since then, have steadily been trying to see each of the titles listed. In 2006, I decided to create a website where devotees of this book — and other film fanatics — could debate Peary’s selections and discuss whether or not all the titles he lists are really “must see”. I also wanted a forum for posting my own reviews for each of Peary’s listed titles, and I’m adding new ones continuously. I started this site for me, but I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Who is Danny Peary?

Peary is a film critic and sportswriter who has written a number of excellent books on film. The best, in my opinion, is Guide For the Film Fanatic, which gives short reviews of over 1650 “must see” films spanning from the earliest days of moviemaking until 1986, when the book was published. Peary is (unfortunately for us!) writing more about sports than about film these days. However, he’s recently re-released many of his cult movie reviews as e-books, so be sure to check them out:

And click here for an April 2016 interview with Peary, on RogerEbert.com.

What if I’ve never heard of Danny Peary or his Guide for the Film Fanatic?

Never HeardPeary’s Guide for the Film Fanatic has been out of print for so many years that I don’t expect most new film fanatics to be familiar with it. For your convenience, I list all his selections from this book here and here.

Who is David Csontos, who’s written so many film review comments?

David Csontos has been a film fanatic since birth (well…not long thereafter). He is a playwright and was a film reviewer for newspapers and magazines in Tokyo for 10 years. He has been an invaluable “second voice” for this website close to its inception! Here is a scene from one of David’s plays, ‘My Night with Rock Hudson’.

What do you include in your Response Reviews?

What IncludeMy intention is to briefly respond to Peary’s reviews, list some of the highlights or “redeeming qualities” of the movies he suggests, and indicate whether I think each one is still a worthy contender as a “must see” film.

What is the difference between your Reviews and your Response Reviews?

Question Mark“Response Reviews” are written in direct response to Peary’s comments; “Reviews” are my own original reviews of the additional titles listed in the back of Peary’s book.

Do you agree that all the movies listed in Peary’s book are “must see”?

DisagreementNo. See my discussion of Must See Categories.

Why do you only include movies from before 1987 on your site? Aren’t there a lot of must-see movies that have been released since then?

Amelie PosterMy primary intention with this site is to respond to the titles listed and reviewed in Peary’s book, which was published in 1986. However, I do provide my own personal list of “must see” movies from the past 20+ years — click here to read them, and here to see a list of additional recommended post-1986 movies.

How can I contact you?

WritingWrite to me at FilmFanatic.org@gmail.com. I look forward to your emails!

4 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)”

  1. Great site!

    I have a couple of questions:

    1) Have you reviewed everything you’ve seen? If not, would you consider, say, adding an asterisk to the films you’ve seen but not yet reviewed?

    2) How about a general forum? You mention elsewhere on the site that this could be a place to discuss how to get hold of the harder-to-find movies, but I can’t see a suitable place to do that (unless I’m missing something).

    3) Related to the above question, can you enable comments on the films you haven’t seen, on the lists of Must See films? (Well done on typing them all out, by the way!)

  2. Thanks for the post! I’ll answer your questions below:

    1) I’ve definitely seen far more Peary titles than I’ve posted on so far… For the most part, I’m trying to rewatch titles before reviewing them, just to make sure they’re fresh in my memory — so I have a years-long project ahead of me! I keep a personal checklist of titles I’ve seen yet or not (as of today — August 16, 2008 — I’ve seen about 57% of the 4300 movies listed in his book), and will consider adding a personal link with this ongoing information.

    2) There was a somewhat thriving forum attached to this site for a while (where film fanatics were happily debating selections, discussing where to find titles, etc.), but I was so besieged — on a daily basis — with spammers trying to join that I finally shut it down out of exhaustion. I am going to have to look into an alternative, because I definitely would like to have something like this going again.

    3) Once again, I will look into this… Excellent idea! I’ll see if I can figure out the blogging software and make it work.

  3. Thanks for the reply! Maybe the forum could work with the sort of software that blogspot uses, where you have to enter a code before you post? I’m sure a solution is out there, anyway.

    My main question: have you seen The Werewolf of London? I’ve been after that for YEARS.

  4. Yes, “Werewolf of London” is a good one — do you live in the United States? If so, it’s fairly widely available on DVD…

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