In the days before the internet, The Citadel Press Film Series (aka: "The Films of...") was a Godsend to classic movie lovers, with each volume providing the details of a particular star’s credits along with a brief, but thorough biography in a time when career retrospectives were limited (though there was always plenty of gossip available). When the series took off in the early 1970s, it was no doubt due to the revival in interest in Golden Age movies. Film schools such as the program at USC helped lead to a scholarly publishing boom during the mid-1970s. The Citadel series' quality was uniformly excellent, as a knowledgeable film historian or entertainment writer covered an individual performer’s career, but the best books were often the ones written by fans with an encyclopedic knowledge of a star’s life and career. The typical Citadel Press book would include detailed film credits, numerous high-quality black & white photographs, and review excerpts during the time a specific movie was in release. Author Tony Thomas, whose The Films of Kirk Douglas (published 1972) was the first of the series I found. It even included an introduction from The Intense One himself! There were also tributes from Vincente Minnelli, William Wyler, and Stanley Kramer. This led me to believe that an actor receiving The Films of… treatment may have been a big deal. Anyway, it turned out that all of the movie stars I like have been given the Citadel treatment. The books were in print for years and as recently as the late 1990s updated editions could be found at major bookstores, though I haven't seen them lately.
My interest in the series just got a boost because I now have *Drum Roll* The Films of Susan Hayward, and it’s hands down the most exhaustive book ever written about her. It’s not merely a complete filmography, but more like a bio-filmography. It contains dozens of black & white photographs throughout its 280 pages, including several culled from author Eduardo Moreno’s collection, many of which are unavailable anywhere else (take that, internet!). There are print ads Susan did during the 1930s, publicity stills, full-page glamour shots, and photos of her Academy Awards appearances, including her last-ever public appearance in early 1974. The Citadel Film Series (over 100 titles) has always been a good read, but this volume is infinitely superior to any other I've seen, and that's not just because I’m on a Susan Hayward bender!