Souvenir books on the other hand, are actual hardcover or softcover books, usually consisting of 30 – 50 pages. They are produced by the studio publicity departments, and usually include such things as cast biographies, a plot synopsis, and a lot of photos. Location photos, publicity photos, production stills, candid behind-the-scene photos, and images of posters and lobby cards. They are sold to patrons at the theater, usually during a films initial run, and often only at the films premiere. They are limited in number and sold on a first come, first serve basis, and more often than not they are lost or destroyed over time, thus accounting for their rarity.
Of the souvenir books that I have heard of, I have only been able to verify the existence of those included in this section. This does not mean that others do not exist, only that I have not been able to verify that they do.
I have heard that John Wayne’s production company, Batjac, had souvenir books published for several of his films, including: Circus World, The Alamo, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Longest Day, How The West Was Won, Hatari, McQ, Cahill, The Train Robbers, Big Jake, Rio Lobo, Chisum, The Green Berets, The War Wagon, Cast a Giant Shadow, McLintock!, Blood Alley, and Island in the Sky. Unfortunately, I have only been able to verify the existence of the first six in this list, which I will include a photo of and what information I have been able to find on them below.
Cinerama Movie Souvenir Book
This souvenir book is a softcover book, 9”x12”, and contains 32 pages of photos and background information on the cast and the making of the film. This particular souvenir book is fairly rare, and I have not seen many of them come up for sale or auction. When they do, they prices I have seen generally start at $40-$50 each.
This is a 40 page, softcover, souvenir book. It contains mostly photos, as well as a plot synopsis and cast biographies. As with the Circus World souvenir book, they generally sell for $40-$50 each when they happen to come up for sale or auction.
This is a 9”x12” hardcover souvenir book that is 28 pages in length. It contains many, many photos as well as cast information. These sell anywhere from $10-$15 for damaged copies, and up to $65-$75 for mint condition copies.
This is a hardcover souvenir book, 8 ½”x11”, and is 40 pages in length. Included within its covers are some great photos, publicity stills, cast bios, and more. This particular souvenir book is actually fairly common and regularly found on ebay and other auction and sale sites. It generally sells for less than $20.
This is a hardcover souvenir book, 8 ¼”x11”, and it is 40 pages in length. It includes several color and B&W photos from the film and the film set, cast biographies and a “history” of what it took to build the set and create this great film. Please note that there are at least three versions of this souvenir book available. The original 1960 book made available in the United States (the one profiled here), a 32 page edition made available in the United Kingdom, and a 36 page reprint made available by Happy Shahan’s Alamo Village Vacationland in Brackettville, Texas (which, incidentally, is no longer in operation). These souvenir books generally sell for between $20 - $50.
The Hatari! souvenir book is an 8”x11” hardcover book, and runs 44 pages in length. It features many photos, cast biographies, plot synopsis, and production information. Although it is more rare than the How The West Was Won souvenir book, it generally does not command a very high price when it comes up for sale or auction. Sale prices are usually under $20.
Although not necessarily a John Wayne film souvenir book, this 32-page 1970 Glen Campbell souvenir book contains two pages of photos and information about the film True Grit.