The Hollywood History of the World

by George MacDonald Fraser. Beech Tree-Morrow, $24.95. Mr. Fraser was the kind of lad who went to the flickers on Saturday afternoon and was hauled from the theater by his exasperated parents at half past nine on Saturday evening. He has been a film reviewer and an occasional writer of film scripts, and is the author of the Flashman novels, which, for all their gaudy irreverence, have sound historical underpinnings. He is the ideal author for a text presenting “Film Stills From the Kobal Collection,” for he remains an unregenerate movie buff with a quick eye for minor merits in otherwise dreary costume extravaganzas and a shameless admiration for cinematic derring-do. He conducts the reader on a witty, discursive, opinionated ramble through history as seen on the screen, and the trip is fun all the way.