Top ten touches the tip of the tops
Title: Oliver Reed: Top Ten Movies
With a full color photograph of Oliver Reed in his prime plastered on the cover, fans will undoubtedly embrace Oliver Reed: Top Ten Movies. Heralded as a tribute to Reed's acting skills and visual appeal, this handy paperback is an anticipated find for those who know just how tough it is to find information out there on this relatively obscure performer.
Mind you, this book does not reveal a lot of personal detail. Author Andy Black basically follows the format established in his best-seller Leonardo DiCaprio: Top Ten Movies, beginning with an introduction on the actor's career. Briefly, he follows Reed's rise and fall in films and touches on the riotous off screen stunts that granted Reed his infamous celebrity status.
But the bulk of the book contains movie summaries with accompanying stills or candid off screen snaps of Reed. Most of the screen shots are from the top ten films chosen by Black. They areThe Brood, Castaway, Curse of the Werewolf, (These are) The Damned, The Devils, The Hunting Party, I'll Never Forget What's 'Is Name, Sitting Target, Venom, andWomen in Love. This is an interesting list to be sure. They are not the exact ten I would classify as Reed's "top" which leads me to question the criteria used in selecting the films.
Ironically, the blaring omissions of Reed's most popular and critically-acclaimed movies such as Oliver! and The Three/Four Musketeers works in the book's favor for it opens the pages up, letting lesser films gain attention. (These are)The Damned andThe Hunting Party for example would normally be left out of other texts but the inclusion of their images and plotlines will probably please "reeders"--whether they've never seen these films or have, and loved them (I know who you are!).
While Oliver Reed: Top Ten Movies doesn't really deliver any deep insight into the actor nor provide any truly expert film analysis, it does compile rarely seen images from a few overlooked movies made by an under-rated actor. If anything, the outpour from "reeders" currently searching for the out-of-print Reed all About Me autobiography suggests this book could become a coveted collectable, filling the void of Oliver Reed material.