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Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 1.34.05 PMELVIS IS KING. COSTELLO’S MY AIM IS TRUE

April 2015

General / trade – 144 pages

4.75 x 7 in

Book (BA)

An explosive, groundbreaking album that crowned a new king of rock in just 33 minutes

Before Elvis Costello was one of Rolling Stone’s greatest artists of all time, before he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was Declan P. McManus, an office drone with a dull suburban life and a side gig in a pub rock band. In 1976, under the guidance of legendary label Stiff Records, he transformed himself into the snarling, spectacled artist who defied the musical status quo to blaze the trail for a new kind of rock star with his debut album, My Aim Is True. In Elvis Is King, Richard Crouse examines how the man, the myth, and the music of this arrestingly original album smashed the trends of the era to bridge the gap between punk and rock ’n’ roll.

Richard’s “Elvis is King” self interview from The Nervous Breakdown:

What was it like the first time you heard My Aim Is True?

Hearing My Aim Is True for the first time was one of those aha moments for me that changed everything. From the opening chord of “Welcome to the Working Week,” I knew this record was something special. By the time I got to track four, “Blame It on Cain,” I knew I never had to listen to Pablo Cruise or REO Speedwagon ever again. Someone out there was making music that spoke to me and it hit me like a punch in the gut. I heard the snarl in Elvis’s voice, the cynicism dripping off every line and for me that was the noise that art made. It was liberation from my small town.

When was the last time you listened to My Aim Is True?

While I was writing the book it was on constant replay but it would not be a stretch to say that barely a week has gone by since I first heard the record that I have not listened to at least part of it. “Welcome to the Working Week” is my unofficial anthem and is in heavy rotation around the House of Crouse… Read the whole thing HERE!

 An Elvis is King” review from The Evilcyclist’s Blog:

“It is good to see what effect the music had on the person writing biography… It is a good book for the die hard Elvis Costello fans…” Read the whole thing HERE!

From Twitter:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 2.14.40 PM

 An Elvis is King” review from Psychobabble.ca:

 “With just the fourth Pop Classics entry, rock journalist Richard Crouse gets even deeper into 33 1/3’s action by devoting his book to a single album. He also shows that increasingly self-indulgent and unsatisfying long-running line how to do it. There’s no pretentious navel-gazing or “how do I fill 100 pages?” tangents in Elvis Is King: Costello’s My Aim Is True. Like that no-bullshit debut album released at the end of a decade infamous for its poses and pomposity, Crouse’s book says what’s necessary in fast, furious fashion, covering Costello’s musical upbringing, his debut’s recording, its marketing, its songs, and subsequent stage and TV support appearances. Never does he lapse into obnoxious and very un-Rock & Roll pseudo-academic blather. Basically, he does what we always want 33 1/3’s writers to do… as a pocket making-of/history/analysis of one of the great freshman records, Elvis Is King satisfies. When was the last time you could say that about a 33 1/3 book?” Read the whole thing HERE!

From Richard Balls, author of Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story and Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Life of Ian Dury, on twitter:

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 3.05.50 PM

 A five star review from David Monroe at amazon.ca:

“Finally have a moment to sit down and read this. Immediately upon picking this up, I am taken back to my youth. Not only is the writing so easy and engaging, the personal anecdotes made me smile because I can see myself, thinking the same things back then, enjoying the same types of music. Then getting into the nitty gritty about the music industry, reading about both my favorites and my most-hated at the time is very entertaining. We all need good nostalgia in our lives these days. This does not disappoint!”

From Paul Myers, author of A Wizard A True Star: Todd Rundgren In The Studio:

“Everybody knows that My Aim Is True is a classic album, but now Richard Crouse makes the definitive case for Elvis Costello’s landmark debut, with a narrative that’s as fast-paced and literate as the album he celebrates. With all the toe-tapping passion of a true music fan, Crouse demystifies the man behind the mystery dance, while simultaneously allowing himself to play the enlightened fan boy. Going in, I thought I knew a lot about Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and the audaciously brilliant world of Stiff Records, but Richard’s book proved to me that I clearly knew less than zero!”

From Barry Avrich, director of The Last Mogul and Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story:

“As a film director who has chronicled the famous and infamous, Richard had me at hello with this book. Elvis pioneered a sound and style that was the alchemy of hip, attitude and talent. This book is an extraordinarily entertaining autopsy of a great career. This book is the new king of music biographies.”

From Justine Lewkowicz’s NewsTalk 1010 Bookends review:

Richard Crouse says he loves Costello’s story. Well, he makes you, the reader, love Costello’s story. Read the whole thing HERE!










8ec07822bf2141f4ffff8395ffffe417-201x300RAISING HELL: KEN RUSSELL AND THE UNMAKING OF THE DEVILS

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (Oct 1 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 177041066X
ISBN-13: 978-1770410664

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 429 KB
Print Length: 200 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (Oct 1 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Check out the Holiday Gift Guide by Alexandra West over at Biff Bam Pop!

“Some of the most interesting films have equally interesting stories off-screen, which is exactly what film critic Richard Crouse documents in his book Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils. Crouse documents the behind the scenes antics and politics of one of the most controversial films ever made. A fascinating read, it not only covers one of the most bizarre and horrific films ever on film but underlines its importance to film history. It’s a must-read for every film fan.”

Quentin Tarantino was in town today to promote his movie “Django Unchained” and I was lucky enough to grab an interview. Many cool things happened in the brief time I got my geek on with him.

First he remembered my Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen book, which I gave him the last time we met. So, of course I gave him a copy of my new one, Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils. “I’ve heard about this,” he said. “I actually saw it in Fangoria; they had a piece on it. I’m really looking forward to reading this!”

Then we did the interview, which you can listen to by clicking on the picture.

At the end I asked him this question:

RC: “How do you expect people to react to the film? It’s visceral. It’s funny. It’s gritty. It’s fun. It’s all those things, but some of the whipping scenes are brutal.”

QT: “It’s brutal. It’s going to be interesting. Right now you can call it a controversial movie. But it’s controversial because it is coming out right now and there’s a magnifying glass on it. You wrote a book about The Devils, alright. There is a point when Ken Russell makes The Devils, and it’s released and EVERYBODY’s talking about it. And EVERYBODY’s writing about it, but then you get past that and then it just exists and from here on in you live in a world where The Devils already exists. Then people take it and accept it or reject it or whatever.”

Wrapping up we chatted about my favorite parts of “Django Unchained” and he added that I have “the coolest socks in Canada, always.”

It was a good day to be a film geek.

Just when I didn’t think it was possible to surprise me…

Last night I was invited to speak at a Salon at the Pentimento Gallery (at 1164 Queen Street East) by host Brigitte Gall. Great night with a very funny reading by Collette Stevenson and music from Al Rowe. In the second half of the show Thom Ernst from TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies interviewed me on stage about my book Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils.

When the interview wrapped a special guest was brought up on stage. I had seen Meg Walter in the audience watching the show, but didn’t know who she was. But here’s the surprising part… She was brought up on stage and introduced as Sister Meg from The Devils! One of the dancing nuns from the movie lives in Toronto! And was there last night!

My mind was blown.

We chatted on stage for a few minutes and then a few minutes more after the show was over. She’s lovely, had amazing things to say about Ken Russell and even brought along one of the call sheets from the movie to show me.

Shamelessly promoting my book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils” on CTV’s Canada AM! Watch the whole thing here!

Kelly Michael Stewart is Raising Hell over at Fangoria!

“The author does an excellent job conveying his well-researched but concise information on the historical context of the film’s production, and why it was such a hot-button movie for its time.

“In the end, Crouse has perhaps created the definitive chronicle of Russell’s masterwork. RAISING HELL works both as a guide to THE DEVILS and as a call to action to have this important work of cinema finally released on international home video the way it was intended. For fans of Russell and THE DEVILS, and for those just starting their journey into that world, RAISING HELL is essential reading on an essential film.”

They’re Raising Hell over at Justine’s Bookend Reviews on NewsTalk 1010!

“Do you know any film buffs? Then you really should try this book by critic Richard Crouse:

Raising Hell: Ken Russell and The Unmaking of The Devils by Richard Crouse

This book is about one of the most controversial films ever made. For those of you who have not seen (probably many of you, as The Devils is still very difficult to find in legal form) or heard of the film, The Devils is a historical account of a 17-century priest who was executed for witchcraft. Sixteen nuns in Loudun, France alleged they had been possessed by demons and blamed Urbain Grandier, who was then tortured and burned. There were apparently personal reasons why the nuns accused the priest, and political ones why he was eventually executed. In Raising Hell, Richard talks about the inspiration behind the film, the writing of the screenplay, the casting, and the filming of The Devils. My favourite part of the book is the second half, where Richard gets into the context of the 1971 release of the film, censorship within the industry in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and what has happened to The Devils since. The full, uncut version of the film has yet to be released. Apparently, when you add religion to sex and violence, it’s a bit too much for the industry to take.”

From Tobias Grey’s review in The Hollywood Reporter!

“In his entertaining and hyperbolic Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils, Canadian movie critic Richard Crouse attempts to answer why Russell’s 1971 film The Devils — based on a story about an incident of mass hysteria among a convent of nuns in 17th century France — became such a flash point in what would seem to have been an unshockable era. (A Clockwork Orange was nominated for the best picture Oscar that year.)”

Brian D. Johnson is Raising Hell over at Maclean’s magazine!

“Richard Crouse, film critic for CTV’s Canada AM, shows a lot of nerve in writing a book about an almost forgotten film that few people have seen. But Raising Hell, which has drawn raves from the likes of David Cronenberg and Guillermo del Toro, is a fascinating chronicle that illuminates Hollywood’s most fundamental taboos.”

Check out Sean Plummer’s review of “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils” in the November issue of Rue Morgue magazine! On stands NOW! 

“In a handy bit of detective work, Crouse has pieced together the film’s history and legacy thanks to many first-hand interviews with its creators, including Russell (who died last year), star Dudley Sutton and composer Peter Davies; contemporary admirers such as David Cronenberg (who worked with Reed on the Brood), terry Gilliam and Fangoria editor-in-chief Chris Alexander; as well as archival interviews and reviews dating back to the original theatrical release.

“More than simply a book-length panegyric to a favorite film, Raising Hell tells both sides of a fascinating story: Russell and his collaborators explain why The Devils had to be as extreme as it is; and the film’s detractors describe why it is blasphemous and shouldn’t see the light of day.

“Still only available in grey market versions or missing its most explicit bits, The Devils remains a mystery, and Crouse’s book will only sharpen interest in see it in its intended form.“

What did Guillermo Del Toro say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…

“An exhaustive, vivd and passionate account of one of the most powerful and transgressive films ever made. This is not only a great book, it’s a necessary book.”

They’re Raising Hell over at thewrap.com!

“At the core of Crouse’s account, however, is a compelling case that the film strives for and achieves masterpiece status.”

Read the whole thing here!

Tune in as George Stroumboulopoulos and Richard Crouse Raise Hell as they discuss Richard’s new book, “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”! 

“Tonight is the night of the vampires, devils, wolves, monsters and all things Halloween. It’s a full-house. Film critic Richard Crouse visits to talk about his latest book, ‘Raising Hell: Ken Russell And The Unmaking Of The Devils’ with George. Alex ‘The Can Con Don’ Narvaez explores some horrifying hip-hop and we unleash a Goth-themed eighties dance party before getting horizontal in the big lie-down. Light a candle, carve a pumpkin and gather around. The Spirits of Radio are ready to deliver.”

What did David Cronenberg say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you… 

“Reading this book was pure pleasure for me. It made me desperate to see Ken Russell’s gorgeous, crazed epic again — maligned, mutilated, censored, suppressed, tormented though it was — in any form that I could find (bootleg VHS tape from Spain?; flip cards from Cuba?). What could be better than that?”

They’re Raising Hell over at Biff Bam Pop!

“I think the world would be a better place if everyone watched all of Ken Russell’s films. Having said that, The Devils is a masterpiece, but it is also a challenging movie. If you are a fan of extreme cinema then dive right in, but if not, perhaps it would be best to work your way up through the films, starting with Women in Love and Savage Messiah. Once warmed up, you should be ready to scream and blaspheme with The Devils.” Read the whole thing here!

They’re Raising Hell over at Dork Shelf!

“With such a personal connection to Russell and the material, it’s no surprise that Crouse was able to pull together a wealth of enthusiastically relayed information to write Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils (ECW Press, $19.95). With a particularly keen eye for both film and world history, Crouse creates a wonderful primer on controversial filmmaking and the definitive go-to resource for anyone looking to know more about one of the most divisive films from one of the world’s most colourful talents.” Read the whole thing here!

Read Liz Brown’s Metro interview with Richard regarding his new book, “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”!

“I was too young to see it. I remember that it unsettled me to such an extent that I thought that on the list of movies I’ll never watch again, this is probably one of them,” says Richard Crouse of his early experience with the still-controversial movie, the grandiose vision of the now-deceased English film director Ken Russell. “Years later I became a Ken Russell fan. I went back and revisited it and realized that I was just too young the first time I saw it and that it is a masterpiece,” says Crouse.” Read the whole thing here!

They’re Raising Hell over at Criticize This!

“When it came out, The Devils was considered blasphemous, pornographic and “sick”.  Not much has changed today as release eludes it all these years later. Crouse journeyed down a long, hard road but his detective work paid off – he finally found answers. The result is the fascinating history Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils, made with the blessing of the late filmmaker…”

What did Terry Gilliam say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…

“The Devil is in the details.. and to appreciate why so many film makers are possessed by Ken Russell’s outrageous masterpiece, this book is a must… The book is great. I learned a lot. Far more than I have storage space.”

What did John Landis say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…

“In Raising Hell Richard Crouse has written an entertaining and informative account of Ken Russell and his adventures on The Devils. Russell remains a an authentic and original voice in British cinema and this is the funny and sad tale of the rise and fall and rise of one of his most controversial films.”


From Teddy Wilson’s InnerSPACE blog!

“If you love movies and are Canadian (what a combo, you’re already winning!) you’ve likely watched, read, or listened to at least one review by the omni-present and omni-rad, Richard Crouse.  In addition to being easily the coolest looking katt in the world of film criticism (sorry, Elvis Mitchell & Gene Shalit), Crouse’s commentary is always incisive, informed, and refreshingly funny… a stodgy critic of yesteryear, he ain’t.”

From Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life column by Josh Stillman!

“…Canadian film critic Richard Crouse has written a book about The Devils, tracing it from conceptualization to its disastrous wide release to today’s renewed interest. With endorsements from a litany of notable directors — Terry Gilliam, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro — and first-hand testimony from many of the principal players, Raising Hell offers a comprehensive look into the making of this brutally controversial film. In our conversation, Crouse (who has seen The Devils nearly 200 times) talked about Ken Russell’s blistering visual style and his never-ending battle with Warner Brothers, and why this movie could only have been made in 1971.”

What did Joe Dante say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…

“Finally! The Devils gets its due! With Raising Hell Richard Crouse provides an exhaustive, perplexing and almost unbelievable chronicle of the making and unmaking of Ken Russell’s brilliant and wildly unappreciated film— which has managed to become a classic despite ongoing and well orchestrated efforts to destroy it stretching back over forty years. If any single work defines Jean Cocteau’s term film maudit, this is it. But Raising Hell is also eye-opening in its chronicle of the actual historical events at Loudon that inspired the movie. It’s a win-win!”

From Thom Ernst’s Saturday Night at the Movies blog!

Raising Hell, Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils, by Richard Crouse Published by ECW Press

“This doesn’t come out until late September and I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to reveal that the title doesn’t already. Richard Crouse, the most recognizable film critic in Canada, pens his ninth book. This is an adventurous retelling of the author’s encounters with the late bad boy of British Cinema, Ken Russell as they uncover the details behind Russell’s notorious, and arguably best film, The Devils. This is the kind of tell-all book that reads with the literacy of a Gore Vidal inside-drama. It’s funny, rude, insightful and — and then back to being funny again.”

What did David Cronenberg say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you… 

“Reading this book was pure pleasure for me. It made me desperate to see Ken Russell’s gorgeous, crazed epic again — maligned, mutilated, censored, suppressed, tormented though it was — in any form that I could find (bootleg VHS tape from Spain?; flip cards from Cuba?). What could be better than that?”

Page one of the Fangoria feature on Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils by Chris Alexander from the fabulous Halloween issue of the magazine (on stands now!) Have a better look at the story here!

Page two of the Fangoria feature on Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils by Chris Alexander from the fabulous Halloween issue of the magazine (on stands now!)

What did director Rod Lurie say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…

“Every film lover should read the wonderful RAISING HELL by Richard Crouse about the insane making of the insane The Devils. It’s ‘Holy Fuck’ entertaining.”

From Alexandra West at planetfury.com! 

Planet Fury’s Alexandra West wrote that, “Raising Hell is a book to satisfy fans and intrigue new viewers. Even if The Devils isn’t your cup of tea, Crouse has created a fascinating portrait of the director’s vision and the studio’s lack of foresight.”

What did Guillermo Del Toro say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you… 

“An exhaustive, vivd and passionate account of one of the most powerful and transgressive films ever made. This is not only a great book, it’s a necessary book.”

From Popshifter.com’s Lee Lee Moore!

“If you have not yet seen the film, this book will make you want to. And if you have seen the film, this book will make you want to watch it again immediately.”

When we were planning the cover of Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils we were very lucky to get support from some very heavyweight filmmakers. I’ve been a fan of David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, John Landis, Joe Dante, Rod Lurie and Guillermo Del Toro for as long as I can remember, and I am humbled that they all took the time to read the book and loan their names to it. I have shared the quotes with you over the last few days. 

Of all the quotes, though, one really hit home. Lisi Tribble, Ken Russell’s wife wrote:

“‘Richard Crouse has better hair than I do,’ whispered British director Ken Russell to his wife, ‘and knows my work better than I do.’  Ken admired and trusted Crouse’s verbal finesse, critical insight and personal charm.  Crouse’s witty appearance with Ken in 2010 at Toronto’s Bloor Cinema delivering the premiere release (after 40-years censorship) of Ken’s masterpiece The Devils is legendary.  Crouse uniquely teases out secret truths about the tormented history of this film, including Ken’s love for Oliver Reed, his alter ego. Let this book possess you.  Ken Russell blesses this book from his movie set in the sky.”

Tonight at the launch party for the book I will raise a glass to Lisi and Unkle Ken and imagine Ken and Oliver Reed, wherever they are, doing the same.

Let’s get ready to raise some hell!

From That Shakespearean Rag: Notes from a Literary Lad!

“…Crouse’s book is a fascinating look at a film that very few people have seen, and even fewer have seen as its director intended. Raising Hell is a case study in what transpires when religion and art collide, and it should be read as a cautionary tale in the current climate of culture wars and clashes of civilizations.”

From The Arts Scene.ca!

“There are very few books out there that truly share the enthusiasm for film as Crouse’s book does. You see a driven film enthusiast put pen to paper to bring to light a movie many of us have not had a privilege to see, and then goes into such detail that leaves you in awe. This is not just a book but an adventure in words.”

What did Swamp Thing and TABOO artist Steve Bissette say about “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Let me tell you!

“Finished and completely enjoyed Richard Crouse’s book RAISING HELL: KEN RUSSELL AND THE MAKING OF THE DEVILS (2012), which (as intended) is driving me back to revisiting the Russell film in all the glory we’re permitted to savor of it (via illegal DVD edition, Spanish DVD, and the BFI UK edit DVD).”

From Open Book Toronto!

“Raising Hell examines this unique film in all its horrible glory via new interviews with cast and crew, including an exclusive interview with late director Ken Russell. Today we welcome Richard to Open Book as part of our Proust Questionnaire series. In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Richard tells Open Book about sock lust, a flower with an appetite and the best meal to be had in Toronto.”

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff8397ffffe417SON OF THE 100 BEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (Sep 1 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1550228404
ISBN-13: 978-1550228403

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1034 KB
Print Length: 275 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (Sep 1 2008)

Fans of offbeat cinema, discriminating renters and collectors, and movie buffs will drool over this checklist of the best overlooked and underappreciated films of the last 100 years. In Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Richard Crouse, Canada AM film critic and host of television’s award – winning Reel to Real, presents a follow – up to his 2003 book with another 100 of his favorite films. Titles range from the obscure, like 1912’s The Cameraman’s Revenge, to El Topo’s unusual existential remake of the classic western, and little – seen classics like The Killing. Each essay features a detailed description of plot, notable trivia tidbits, critical reviews, and interviews with actors and filmmakers. Featured interviews include Billy Bob Thornton on an inspirational movie about a man with his head in the clouds, Francis Ford Coppola on One from the Heart, and Mario Van Peebles on playing his own father in Badasssss! Sidebars feature quirky details, including legal disclaimers and memorable quotes, along with movie picks from A – list actors and directors.

“Movie critic Richard Crouse offers up a second helping of films that, for one reason or another, slipped below the cinematic radar screen. While many of the flicks covered in SON OF THE 100 BEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN will never make a “Best Of” list, they are interesting in their own right.

“Among the gems featured in Crouse’s book are ‘F is for Fake,’ ‘Boom,’ ‘Martin,’ ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,’ ‘Twentieth Century,’ ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ ‘Seven Thieves,’ ‘The Roaring Twenties,’ ‘Performance,’ ‘The Killing,’ ‘El Topo,’ ‘One from the Heart,’ ‘Hearts of the West,’ ‘Bloody Mama,’ ‘The Rebel,’ ‘The Duellists,’ ‘Ace in the Hole’ and even ‘Evil Roy Slade,’ a TV movie.

“Each flick gets a write-up ranging from 1 1/2 to 4 pages detailing the movie’s history, critical and box-office response, etc. Interspersed between the movie critiques are sidebars on Course’s favorite actors turned singers, favorite big bug movies, favorite casting stories, etc. along with ‘My favorite movie you’ve never seen’ selections from John Sayles, Stuart Gordon, Albert Maysles and others.

“Movie buffs should enjoy Crouse’s insightful, entertaining romp through some of the silver screen’s forgotten gems. Recommended.” – Michael O’Connor, amazon.ca

“Personally I love these kind of alternative lists, even thou a movie like M should be praised and acknowledged as the masterpiece it is, but I enjoy digging into less explored territory with movies like Cherish, Stage Door and even Pitch Black, and watch movies that never found the audience or praise it deserved. I won’t always agree about the quality of these movies, but compared to pick a random one from Netflix or whatever, it’s at least a better shot at finding gold…”
– letterboxed.com

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff8398ffffe417“Here’s a book that movie buffs will enjoy and debate…if you are looking for help with your next Netflix pick or video store choice check out Crouse’s new book.”
-Donna Larcen, Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut)

“Film aficionados who think that they’ve “seen it all” will enjoy referring to this enjoyable mix of movies that are gone—but no longer forgotten.”

“A wonderful checklist of the 100 best under appreciated and overlooked films from the last 100 years.”

“Canada AM film critic Richard Crouse returns with another treasure trove for cinema buffs…

“(Son of the Best 100 Movies You’ve Never Seen) delves into those entertaining but under-appreciated film gems that fell by the wayside at the box office… Like its predecessor, Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen is peppered with detailed plots, memorable lines and trivia tidbits.”
-Constance Droganes, ctv.ca

“Despite what the title and cover may suggest, Richard has not written a book of lists… In Richard’s book the only number you’ll find is in the title. As you would expect with a critic of his caliber, Richard has assembled a guide where the film titles double as chapter titles and his entries are a combination of his passion for his chosen films as well as his unique ability to describe what it is about them that make them interesting. Not only does he explain why they have been under appreciated, but he also provides keen background information, details that even those who have seen the movie may not be aware of.”
– Kris Abel, Kris Abel’s Tech Life

“With titles that draw from the depths of obscurity, this collection features   thoughtfully selected essays devoted to such films as Wladyslaw Starewicz’s 13-minute masterpiece The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912), the existential reinvention of the Western genre in El Topo (1970), and Stanley Kubrick’s early classic, The Killing (1956). Each essay features a detailed  description of plot, notable trivia tidbits, critical reviews, and interviews with actors and filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Van Peebles, and Billy Bob Thornton. Film aficionados who think that they’ve “seen it all” will enjoy referring to this enjoyable mix of movies that are gone-but no longer forgotten.”
– 100 Capsules.com

– pictureshowman.com

“…it’s a fun book to argue with, and Crouse points to such lesser-known pleasures as The Horn Blows at Midnight (with Jack Benny, whose movie career sank as a result) and The Rebel (with Tony Hancock)…”
-Warren Clements, Globe and Mail

“A movie buff’s bible and fan heaven, all rolled into one great volume…”
– Turnaround Publisher’s Services, UK

“Crouse is a sort of Canadian version of David Thomson, and this sequel to The Best 100 Movies You’ve Never Seen focuses winningly on the arcane, the little-known and the unjustly forgotten. Among the delights to be found, the hilarious 1972 made-for-TV western Evil Roy Slade; Russ Meyer’s cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, with the indelible Tura Satana as bad-time girl Varla; and 1953’s darkly charming, Nova Scotia-set The Little Kidnappers.”
– Martin Levin, The Globe & Mail
January 2009

Check out the starred review of Richard’s book in the March issue of Total Film!!

“Canadian film critic Richard Crouse, who may not be wholly familiar to those of us native to the United States, delivers Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, and provides a brief yet detailed list of relatively obscure movies (at least to the casual filmgoer) that are worth taking the time to explore. Ranging from Billy Wilder’s brilliant-and bitter-Ace in the Hole to Ed Wood’s much-maligned epics to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! to out-of-print silent films that most of us have never heard of, the book is comprehensive in its way, in spite of being such an abbreviated list. This book is a must have for the newbie cinephile as well as for anyone who enjoys good (and sometimes bad) movies and wants to improve their breadth of knowledge. From brilliant art-house films to B-movie classics, Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen provides film suggestions for everyone-and then some…”
– Reviewed by Ashley McCall in the Sacramento Book Review

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff8399ffffe417THE 100 BEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: ECW Press; 1 edition (Sep 1 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1550225901
ISBN-13: 978-1550225907

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1837 KB
Print Length: 275 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (Sep 1 2003)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

“The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen is the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the film lover on your list… The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen is chock-full of information, all of it delivered in Crouse’s breezy style. Even in a movie-lover’s city like Toronto, where we are lucky enough to get all manner of film releases, this is a terrific book to own. And if you know someone who lives in “fly-over” territory, doomed by geography to see only big Hollywood films, The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen is a must-have item.”

– Liz Braun, The Toronto Sun, December 2003

“Crouse’s new book is extremely entertaining, informative and has introduced me to wonderful art I have never seen before. Except for the section concerning that Troma movie, Crouse’s book is brilliant.”

– Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment, Inc. and creator of the Toxic Avenger

“It’s a Carnival of Lost Videos… reading The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen is like eating popcorn, once you start, you just can’t stop…”
– Everything Entertainment, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
“A very cleverly written text… a great read and interestingly done…”
– WSMB, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
“With its wide range, the book has something for everybody. As such, it’s the perfect guidebook – a nice way to revisit old favourites but also an introduction to little known gems worth seeking out. Full of trivia and interviews, it’s also a good book for people who like to read about movies more than going to see them. In many cases Crouse’s take on a movie is more entertaining than watching the actual movie… On that basis alone, rated out of five stars – even though it doesn’t have any Don Knotts movies – I give it two thumbs up.”
– Robert Pegg, Pegg’s World, Scene Magazine, November 2003

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff839bffffe417“It’s easy to poke fun at the performances in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” writes Richard Crouse, host of IFC’s Reel to Real, “so let’s get on with it.” This is a critic after my own heart. While I don’t agree with all his choices of overlooked films (Happy, Texas? Pitch Black?), I gotta love a guy who includes MST3K-worthy entries simply because they “dare to be bad.” Very up-to-date — Bubba Ho-Tep is already here – Crouse’s mix includes recent films that got little play (The Straight Story, Ginger Snaps, Tadpole, Frailty), old geek favorites (Buckaroo Banzai, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T., The Toxic Avenger), oddities (the all-midget The Terror of Tiny Town), and a single overlap with Ebert’s greats (M). And his lists are hilarious: “Richard’s Favorite Lines from ’80s Teen Comedies,” “Richard’s Favorite Titles with Ten Words or More,” which includes Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, a 1993 short whose title I won’t reveal here. Of Brotherhood of the Wolf, Crouse writes: “Imagine if John Woo had directed Dangerous Liaisons.” Damn, I should have written this book.”

– The Flick Filosopher, Mary Anne Johansen


– Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail, October 2003

“A great reference for fans of off-beat films or those looking for something different the next time they are searching the stacks of their local video store…”

-The A-List, Read It!, Tribute Magazine, October, 2003


– Jen Vuckovic, Rue Morgue Magazine, November, 2003

“I love Reel to Real. My dad got Richard’s book for Christmas. It’s great!”
– Sarah Lawless, Reel to Real viewer, January 2004

“Richard Crouse deploys his vast knowledge of movies the way Keith Moon uses his kick-drum. He’s off beat, hard-hitting, unexpectedly funny and you can’t stop listening to him.  This is a critic you can trust, even if his hair says otherwise.”

– Brent Banbury, CBC Radio, Go

Included in Ontario Media Development Corporation’s pamphlet Warm Up with Winter Reading: ‘Tis the Season to Discover Great Canadian Books
“Offbeat film buffs, discerning video renters and critical viewers will benefit from this roll call of the best overlooked films of the last 70 years.”
– Powells.com

“I am just a happy admirer of you and your show. I never miss it. I bought your book and am thoroughly enjoying it. You really know your stuff. Wishing you all the best.”
– Heather Fortune, Reel to Real viewer, January 2004

“…great source for cult and unusual films…”
– Kathie Courtney, Louisville, Kentucky Public Library

“Independent Film Channel critic Richard Crouse provides an excellent excuse to investigate films you’ve always heard about but have never actually seen yourself. Eclectic doesn’t begin to describe the disparate cinema he offers up; this is probably the only non-comprehensive film resource that includes The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the 8th Dimension, Happy Texas and The Virgin Suicides. Detailed plot descriptions are kicked off by entertaining soundbites from the film. Maybe I don’t want to see Beyond the Valley of the Dolls but any film that lifts A Face in the Crowd above obscurity is all right with me. An excellent resource for the jaded viewer.”

– Ellen Myrick, The InGram, a monthly publication of Ingram Library Services, Seattle, Washington USA

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff839cffffe417 BIG BANG, BABY
Publisher: Dundurn Group (April 26 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0756751853
ISBN-13: 978-0756751852

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1134 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Dundurn (Feb 28 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Big Bang, Baby chosen as one of The Globe & Mail’s picks for Summer Reading, Non-Fiction, June 2000.

“Crouse, a Canadian who writes largely about popular music, takes us decade by decade, ephemera by ephemera, through half a century of rock ‘n’ roll factoids. Want to know Elvis’ first single? The origin of the Totenham sound? The names of ABBA’s members? Where the Mekons got their name? It’s all here: prefect summer road-trip fodder.”
H.J. Kirchoff and Martin Levin, The Globe & Mail, Saturday, June 24, 2000

“You have to love a book that includes everything from ABBA to Rob Zombie. Big Bang, Baby has something for every music fan. Lots of great stuff to stump the best rock music trivia buff.”
Fast Eddie Matthews, CJCS Radio, Stratford, Ontario

“…a treasure trove of five decades of rock and roll… you don’t just get the straight answers in the book, you get the stories behind the answers too, which makes the book very interesting to read. It is a well researched, thorough book that will be sure to please fans who like their rock and roll music with a trivial twist…”
Stuart Nulman, host of Book banter, CJAD Radio, Montreal

“An absolutely fabulous effort. Very entertaining. I thought Richard did a tremendous job of pulling it all together… his efforts are much appreciated by music enthusiasts all over Canada. I can’t wait for Richard’s next work.”
Dan Carter, host CHEX-TV’s First Edition

“No doubt you’ll enjoy the question/answer format of Richard Crouse’s 318 page Big Bang, Baby: Rock Trivia (Dundurn) since memory lane is now paved with rocks…”
ArtsBeat Magazine

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff839fffffe417A VOICE AND A DREAM: THE CELINE DION STORY
Mass Market Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st ed edition (Sep 28 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345428048
ISBN-13: 978-0345428042

“This book is one of the best that I have ever read… A must have for any Celine fan out there wanting to know some great information about this singing angels life.”
[email protected] from California, USA posted on Amazon.com

“The best book in the world! This book was amazing!”
–    reader from Ontario, Canada posted on Amazon.com

“This was a great book!! I even did my Book report for my class on it, that is how much I liked it.”
– reader from the United States, posted on  Amazon.com

“I loved everything about this book, I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it.”
– Juie Sila from the United States posted on  Amazon.com

“Richard Crouse did a great job with showing the readers Celine’s life… This book is a winner…”
–  reader from Tallahassee, FL posted on  Amazon.com

“This is the best book in the world… This is the best book I have ever read. I wish I could give this book a 10 star, but 5 will have to do.:
– Eddie from Peterbough, England posted on Amazon.com

“We were sitting around the office, humming the love theme to ‘Titanic,’ wondering, ‘Will that brilliant diva Celine Dion ever get the exposure she deserves?’ when something happened that made us want to rise to our feet and beat our chest with one clenched fist, the way Celine does when she sings ‘My Heart Will Go On.’
That something, of course, was the arrival of ‘A Voice and a Dream: The Celine Dion Story.’”
– Lisa Pollack in The Baltimore Sun, November 6, 1998

“This is a wonderful book.”
– reader from the United States, posted on  Amazon.com

“I found this to be a very good book… it’s not a cheesy book filled with lies like some others. I would recommend it for anyone who would like to know a little more about Celine’s amazing life.”
[email protected] from the United States posted on Amazon.com

“I thought this book was very good… Celine’s story is inspirational.”
– reader from Brandon, MS posted on Amazon.com

“This book is totally awesome, I loved it. It was well worth the money… This book is a must-have for Celine fans that long to know the real her.”
[email protected] posted on Amazon.com

“A good book to take on a weekend getaway. It reads quickly, is well written and very interesting. This book presents her story in a very pleasing and easily comprehensible way. I thoroughly enjoyed the book… I highly recommend this book to all Celine fans.”
– Angela J. Davis from the United States, posted on Amazon.com

Average Amazon.com customer rating: four and half out of five stars.

“I think this book was great and I read it twice.”
– Jessica Barrett from Ontario, posted on Chapters.ca
8ec07822bf2141f4ffff839effffe417WHO WROTE THE BOOK OF LOVE?
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Aug 17 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385257325
ISBN-13: 978-0385257329

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 2438 KB
Print Length: 296 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Mar 15 2012)
Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enable

“Who wrote the book of love? My question is ‘Who wrote the book of love book?’ Richard Crouse, of course. It is a must read for anybody who is into music from any generation and a must have for any disc jockey’s library.”
–    Tom Rivers, Talk 640, Toronto

“Pick Of the Week.”
–    MacLean’s, Canada’s Weekly Newsmagazine

“Who Wrote the Book of Love? is so much more than a book of trivia on old and current songs. In some cases this book confirms rumors that we have all heard about songs and artists. In other cases you’ll finally get the REAL STORY. Who Wrote the Book of Love? is well researched and fun.”
–    Al Gravelle, CJAD Radio, Montreal

“It’s a fascinating read.”
–    Jerry Belika, CHED Radio, Alberta’s Information Superstation

“Who Wrote the Book of Love? is a thoroughly enjoyable book. Be prepared to read it cover to cover when you pick it up. I certainly did.”
–    Christopher Heard, author of Dreaming Aloud: The Life and Times of James Cameron and Ten Thousand Bullets: The Cinematic Journey of John Woo

Included in Eye Magazine’s Fall Book Guide’s Library of Fun: “And if you need to know the stories behind the hits, look to Who Wrote the Book of Love? by Toronto’s Richard Crouse.”
–    Eye Magazine, November 5, 1998

“This is a fun one!”
–    CKOV Radio, Kelowna, British Columbia

“… fascinating reading… Ultimately, the book is engaging, full of tidbits ripe for insertion in party conversation, and doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is: a gathering of glimpses and hidden connections – snapshots of what happened to make hits. Like and all-hits weekend, you might find yourself caught up in the book without noticing the time going by.”
–    Tom Synders, Quill and Quire Magazine

“Richard Crouse knows more about rock and roll than anyone I know. He’s been my source for years. Whenever I have a question about pop music, Richard is the guy I phone.”
–    Stuart McLean, host of CBC Radio’s Vinyl Café

“Richard Crouse – Toronto’s musical know-it-all… Crouse’s work will be judged a favourite on cottage porches where Music Challenge is played, since it specializes in the arcane knowledge men trade whenever their Beer Gene kicks in. Being able to produce Actual Facts in Print about ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haa,’ or ‘Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye’ is almost the definition of a guy’s true Gotcha Moment.”
–    Gary Dunford, Page Six, The Toronto Sun

“Who Wrote the Book of Love? is an unlimited supply of information concerning popular music from the 1950’s to the present time… an inexhaustible resource. Richard Crouse is a musicologist without parallel.”
–    John Oakey, CFRB Radio, Toronto

“Toronto author and music buff Richard Crouse, who as a 12-year-old kid spent all his school-supplies money on music books, has pulled the book together and makes it work.”
–    Ken McGoogan, The Calgary Herald

“Who Wrote the Book of Love?: interesting stories behind the origins of various songs, including the obscene origin of ‘Tutti-Frutti’ and much more…”
–    www. triviahalloffame.com

8ec07822bf2141f4ffff839dffffe417REEL WINNERS
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Dundurn (Sep 1 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1550025740
ISBN-13: 978-1550025743

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 2128 KB
Print Length: 282 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1550025740
Publisher: Dundurn (Jan 31 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Do you know which televised awards show gives a prize for “Favourite Smile”?

Or which Oscar host announced that he was going to raffle off a car during the ceremony?

Do you know who won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress of the 20th Century?

In Reel Winners, Richard Crouse, Reel to Real movie critic and CBC Radio’s “titan of trivia,” gives you the lowdown on movie awards, from eight decades of Hollywood self-congratulation to international awards to the toasts from the fringe (like The Skinnies, which celebrate actors and their skin conditions). Reel Winners is the definitive guide to the inside scoop on movie awards.

“With 10 different chapters, Crouse covers the entire range of movie award trivia and is sure to be of interest to all movie buffs.” – Brandon Sun, October 23, 2005.

“Richard Crouse is one of Canada’s most authoritative voices when it comes to cinema. He is the co-host of the longest running Canadian television show about movies, REEL TO REEL. He is also movie critic on Canada AM.

“So what better person to write a trivia book than Crouse? You have questions? He has answers, hundreds of them. The common to the unusual is answered here, and this book will come in handy if you are ever doing a trivia challenge or barroom bet with friends.”
– Shelf Life, Spring 2006