Cagney by Cagney (James Cagney)

Cagney, James - Cagney by Cagney‘Here are some reminiscences that might add up to a book,’ writes James Cagney in the introduction to his autobiography. They certainly do – Cagney by Cagney is an exhilarating account of the great man and an absorbing record of the people he has encountered throughout his long and eventful life. Indeed, as he says, ‘People fascinate the hell out of me.’

Cagney was born at the turn of this century in New York City, a sickly child, not expected to live. The family was poor and life was tough for all the Cagney children; they soon learned the vital art of self-defence. The early training in street fighting was to be put to good use later in Hollywood where, incidentally, he was careful to fake his punches.

In 1918  he joined the Student Army Training Corps at Columbia University where he was able to continue his life-long interest in art. He also failed oral reading – he spoke too quickly! – and was the only member of the band who was unable to read music.

Cagney’s first show-business experience was in drag as a chorus girl in a production called Every Sailor. After this any regular job was tedious. In his next musical show he met the girl he later married, Frances Willard Vernon, with whom he has hived happily ever since and about whom he writes with great affection. On the recommendation of Al Jolson he went to Hollywood in the early thirties with a three week guarantee. He stayed for thirty-one years, making six pictures in the first forty weeks. However life for an up-and-coming star was far from glamorous, it was very dangerous, particularly at the time before safe ‘exploding’ bullets had been invented and genuine bullets were fired.

So for those who see Cagney only as a fast talking, quick-shooting gangster, the hero and villain of so many movies, here is the complete and authentic story, from the streets of New York to stardom and reverence.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 202 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 489 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER New English Library, London, 1976

Call Me Lucky: Bing Crosby’s Own Story (Bing Crosby, as told to Pete Martin; introduction by Gary Gibbins)

crosby-bing-call-me-lucky-bing-crosbys-own-storyBing Crosby once said, when asked to explain his successes, “Every man who sees one of my movies or who listens to my records or who hears me on the radio, believes firmly that he sings as well as I do, especially when he is in the bathroom shower.” And it’s not surprising that his classic autobiography, Call Me Lucky, is written in the casual, confident tone of a man singing in the shower. In these pages, Bing tells us how he developed his unique style to produce an unequalled string of hit jazz and pop records, and shares memories about music, horses, golf, movies, and contemporaries – Bob Hope, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, to name just a few. Writing at the apex of his fame, Crosby looks back on a rich and absorbing life and – a phenomenal career – and says with Bingian modesty, hey, Call Me Lucky.

PETE MARTIN was a writer for the Saturday Evening Post; he co-wrote Bob Hope’s autobiography, Have Tux, Will Travel. GARY GIDDINS is an award-winning critic, writer, and columnist for The Village Voice. His books include Celebrating Bird, Rhythm-a-Ning, Riding on a Blue Note, Satchmo, and, most recently, Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams – The Early Years, 1903-1940.

Softcover – 344 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 402 g (14,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001 [reprint of the 1953 edition] – ISBN 0-306-81087-5

Camera Over Hollywood: Photographs by John Swope 1936-1938 (introduction by Dennis Hopper; essay by Graham Howe)

swope-john-camera-over-hollywood“Swope shows us Hollywood as a working town full of hope, struggle, and success in unequal proportions. He sees the men and women who make the movies as regular folk be they his friends, the stars, or the would-be actors, extras, and grips wailing for their unemployment checks. But the ironies of Hollywood did not escape Swope. He saw clearly that all these very real people were in the business of creating an elaborate unreality.” – Graham Howe

While working as an assistant producer, photographer John Swope (1908-1979) captured behind-the-scenes images of 1930s Hollywood. His photographs give a peek into the working-day lives of film stars, extras, and crew members – the creators of Hollywood’s golden era. Among the luminaries photographed by Swope were his close friends James Stewart and Henry Fonda, as well as Norma Shearer, Burgess Meredith, Olivia de Havilland, Charles Boyer, and W.C. Fields. Camera Over Hollywood is a unique, vintage portrait of Hollywood as it really was.

Hardcover – 143 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 26 cm (11,2 x 10,2 inch) – Weight 1.165 g (41,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Art Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-891024-08-6

Cancer Schmancer (Fran Drescher)

drescher-fran-cancer-schmancer“Dear Friend, All I’ve got to say is, to hell with cancer! This book’s about schmancer! Laughing at the crazy things life offers even when it’s biting you in the ass. And diligence that pays off. Here I’ll be telling it like it was – and is – so you won’t have to go through what I did.

Who knew when I was a chubby kid from Queens what a roller coaster my life was going to be! After The Nanny ended, I divorced my husband, started living on my own, and began dating for the first time since high school. I wanted to feel free as a bird, but instead was weighed down by troubling symptoms. And so began my two-year, eleven-doctor odyssey in search of a diagnosis and cure. Don’t let what happened to me happen to you. Every doctor I saw held a different view. More than one told me I had a premenopausal condition common in middle-aged women (middle-WHAT???). Finally, after insisting an more tests, I proved that my body was telling the truth – something was terribly wrong. Doctors are fallible, so open your mouth! Thank God I did, because my attitude saved my life.

Just as I was getting serious with a man sixteen years my junior (What’s the matter? He’s very mature!) my worst fears were confirmed. I was told I had cancer and would need a radical hysterectomy. Was I going to die? Would I require radiation? How much does a uterus weigh? Maybe I wouldn’t need that diet after all…

What I learned about myself, the depth of my relationships, and cancer – tests, treatment, recovery, and follow-up – could fill a book. So here it is. All of it: the laughter, the sorrow, the happiness and the horror. Everything that I learned the hard way and then some. So pour yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and let’s dish… Luv, Fran”

FRAN DRESCHER was a co-creator, executive producer, writer, director, and star of the Emmy-winning hit series The Nanny. The New York Times best-selling author of Enter Whining, she has starred in such films as The Beautician and the Beast, Doctor Detroit, and Cadillac Man. She had featured roles in many other films, including This Is Spinal Tap, Ragtime, Saturday Night Fever, and Jack. Ms. Drescher lives by the beach and has been cancer-free for the past two years. A Patient Advocate on the External Advisory Board for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Ms. Drescher is also the 2002 recipient of the Public Service Award from the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 236 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 453 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-446-53019-0

Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl (Eric Gans)

scannen0104Despite appearing in twenty-eight movies in little over a decade, Carole Landis (1919-1948) never quite became the major Hollywood star her onscreen presence should have afforded her. Although she acted in such enduring films as A Scandal in Paris and Moon over Miami, she was most often relegated to supporting roles. Even when she played the major role in a feature, as she did in The Powers Girl and the film noir I Wake Up Screaming!, she was billed second or third behind other actors.

This biography traces Landis’s life, chronicling her beginnings as a dance hall entertainer in San Francisco, her career in Hollywood and abroad, her USO performances, and ultimately her suicide. Using interviews with actors who worked with Landis, contemporary movie magazines and journals, and correspondence, biographer Eric Gans reveals a tragic figure whose life was all too brief.

Landis’s big break came in 1940 with Hal Roach’s One Million B.C. She appeared in thirteen Twentieth Century-Fox pictures between 1941 and 1946. In 1942-43, Landis entertained troops in England and North Africa in the only all-female USO tour. The trip led to her memoir, Four Jills in a Jeep, and a Fox movie of the same title. After her last American film in 1947, she completed two projects in England while having an affair with married actor Rex Harrison. Tormented by a love that could not lead to matrimony and depressed about growing older, she took a fatal drug overdose on July 5, 1948.

ERIC GANS is professor of French at University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous books including most recently The Scenic Imagination: Originary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day, and his articles have appeared in many periodicals.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 282 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 15,5 cm (8,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 585 g (20,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-60473-013-5

Carole Lombard (Leonard Maltin)

Maltin, Leonard - Carole Lombard“Categorizing Carole Lombard as a comedienne – as most latterday writers and fans have done – is doing an injustice to one of the brightest talents that ever graced a Hollywood film. Lombard was a superb actress (as well as a great beauty), and her success in screwball-comedy roles tended to obscure the fact that she was often seen to equal advantage in dramatic films.

The image of Lombard as a “screwball” was enhanced by her off-screen shenanigans, which were legendary. An enthusiastic prankster and party-goer (as well as an imaginative party-giver), Carole was known to millions of fans for her unscripted antics through the pages of Photoplay and other fan magazines, creating an impression almost as strong as the one forged by her screen appearances.

Comedy gave Lombard also her greatest career break, after years of humdrum roles as nominal leady to most of Paramount’s male stars. The very idea of so beautiful a woman tackling wacky comedy endeared her to thirties audiences, who then demanded that she appear in such film exclusively. When the actress bolted and sought greater variety, her popularity slipped, even though her choice of dramatic vehicles was quite sound. Then Lombard moved into another role – as one of the reigning queen of Hollywood, the wife of movieland’s undisputed “King,” Clark Gable. Their seemingly perfect marital union added yet another dimension to Lombard’s public image – and to her private personality.

It’s nearly impossible to find a Hollywood colleague of Lombard’s with a bad word to say about her. A girl who grew up in the movie world, she earned the love and respect of all who knew her, for her forthrightness, her beauty, her contagious sense of fun, and her enormous talent, although not necessarily in that order. She swore like a sailor, looked like a million bucks, and when given the chance, outclassed and outacted all the glamour girls and trained actresses in Hollywood. There was only one Carole Lombard.” – From The Introduction by Leonard Maltin.

One of the screen’s most beautiful and scintillating actresses, Carole Lombard was equally adept at playing boisterous comedy and poignant drama. In his amply illustrated book, Leonard Maltin covers the tragically brief life and career of this unforgettable star, and discusses, with warmth and perception, the movies that glowed with her presence.

The Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies is a series of volumes that offers a comprehensive overview of – and brings a fresh perspective to – the influential figures, forms, and styles in the development of motion pictures. Each lavishly illustrated volume has been designed to stimulate the interest of the student for whom film is an art, and to stir the memories of the fan for whom “going to the movies” will always be an exhilarating experience.

Softcover – 157 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 154 g (5,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1976

Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado (Wes D. Gehring; foreword by Scott Robert Olson)

gehring-wes-d-carole-lombardFor millions of fans during the 1930s, an actress from Fort Wayne, Indiana, personified the madcap adventures of their favorite farm of screen comedy-screwball. Nicknamed “The Hoosier Tornado” for her energetic personality, Carole Lombard did as much as anyone to define the genre, delighting audiences with her zany antics in such films as Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, and To Be or Not to Be. She also captured America’s attention through her romance with and eventual marriage to screen idol Clark Gable.

In this inaugural volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press’s Indiana Biography Series, Wes D. Gehring, a noted authority on film comedy, examines Lombard’s legacy, focusing on both the public and private figure from her early days as merely beautiful window dressing in Mack Sennett silent films, to her development as the leading motion-picture comedienne of her time, to her tragic death in a January 1942 plane crash following a successful war-bond rally in Indianapolis. He also explores the rapport this sometimes “Profane Angel” (Lombard swore like a sailor) enjoyed with not only directors, but also the blue-collar workers who toiled on movie sets. The biography also features a foreword written by Scott Robert Olson, dean of the college of  communications, information, and media, and professor of communication studies at Ball State University.

In her comedic roles, Gehring states in the book, Lombard offered the life lesson that “the irrational mind – crazy Carole – stood a much better chance of surviving in the equally irrational modern world.” Lombard’s film persona continues to survive in the public’s collective conscious. “Her screwball herome is as significant for modern audiences as yesteryear’s more traditional literary figures,” Gehring writes.

Nationally respected for its publication program, the Indiana Historical Society Press has always excelled particularly in one area: telling the life and times of those who have had an impact on the Hoosier State. The Press continues this tradition with its new Indiana Biography Series, which pairs writers with Indiana subjects of note. Future volumes in the series will highlight such personalities as Jonathan Jennings, Gus Grissom, Thomas Marshall, James Dean, Meredith Nicholson, Susan Wallace, David L. Chambers, and Cleo Blackburn.

WES D. GEHRING is a professor of film at Ball State University and an associate media editor for USA Today magazine, for which he also writes the column Reel World. Gehring is an award-winning author of nineteen books, the majority of which are biographies. These include works on Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Robert Benchley, Leo McCarey, Laurel and Hardy, Red Skelton, and Irene Dunne (forthcoming). His other books include eight volumes of genre criticism and a humor text, Film Classics Reclassified. Gehring’s articles, comic essays, and poems have appeared in numerous journals.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13,5 cm (7,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 418 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Indiana Historical Society Press, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2003 – ISBN 0-87195-167-3

Le Carré de Pluton: Mémoires (Brigitte Bardot)

Bardot, Brigitte - Le carré de PlutonJe venais d’avoir 39 ans… A peine sortie du tourbillon de la vie d’une star, Brigitte Bardot se lance dans un combat sans merci contre l’injustice et la cruauté envers les animaux. Elle dénonce tous les excès, toutes les horreurs, prenant tous les risques comme dans sa campagne pour les bébés phoques ou contre les sacrifices sanglants et illégaux de l’Aïd-el-Kébir.

Mais ce second volume est avant tout le récit de la vie d’une femme qui se bat contre la solitude, les faux-semblants, qui essaie de préserver ses choix, ses goûts. Les amitiés et les amours se mêlent aux déceptions et aux trahisons. L’alcool, les nuits blanches n’ont plus le même sens…

Brigitte Bardot raconte tout avec cette formidable vitalité, avec ce même talent dans le récit qui animait Initiales B.B., cette même voix inimitable, cette même violence dans les passions et dans les peines.

Souvent l’humour reparaît. Portraits féroces, démêlés avec ses gardiens, la vie quotidienne à Saint-Tropez. Portraits tendres, ses parents, ses fidèles compagnons à quatre pattes, ses amies, le long défilé des êtres chers qui disparaissent. Les hommes de ce deuxième versant de sa vie, sans oublier les périodes noires, celles qui font que ce livre s’appelle Le Carré de Pluton*.
* Le Carré de Pluton: configuration astrale, confrontation avec les forces de possession, synonyme de destruction et de renouveau.

Softcover – 396 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 869 g (30,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Grasset & Fasquelle, 1999 – ISBN 2 246 59501 0

Cary Grant: Een Dubbelleven (Charles Higham, Roy Moseley; originally titled Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart)

higham-charles-cary-grant-een-dubbellevenIn een onderzoek naar de geschiedenis van Hollywood noemde People Magazine in 1987 Cary Grant, samen met Greta Garbo, de grootste der sterren. Zeker is, dat geen enkele acteur, of het zou Clark Gable moeten zijn, de romantische aantrekkingskracht van Cary Grant heeft kunnen evenaren; in de kunst van de romantische komedie kent Grant zijn gelijke niet. Zijn leven lijkt één lange opeenstapeling van benijdenswaardige minzaamheid, ongeëvenaarde glamour, puissante rijkdom en een even gevarieerd als gepassioneerd liefdesleven.

Andere sterren van het witte doek, het podium of uit de politiek, verbleken bij de overrompelende uitstraling van zijn uiterlijk en persoonlijkheid. Supermannen als Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope en Jack Benny benijdden hem om zijn sophistication.

Maar wie was de werkelijke Cary Grant? Deze autobiografie onthult welke verscheurde persoonlijkheid schuil ging onder het bedrieglijke pantser van de gelukkige superster. Grant blijkt vooral een vat vol tegenstrijdigheden te zijn geweest. Hij bezat huizen in Beverly Hills, Malibu en Palm Springs, was eigenaar van twee Rolls Royces, liet al zijn kleren – en zelfs schoenen – speciaal voor hem maken. Toch bleef hij in zijn hart altijd een ‘working class hero’ uit het Amerikaanse Westen. Ook al dichtten miljoenen hem het comfortabele, onbekommerde bestaan van de aanbeden ster toe, een groot deel van Grants leven was vol pijn soms zelfs een marteling. Hoewel hij trouwde met een handvol aantrekkelijke vrouwen, was hij bisexueel en had hij affaires met grote mannen als de multimiljonair Howard Hughes en Randolph Scott.

Zijn moeder, Elsie Maria Leach, was wreed en streng en verpestte zijn jeugd. Bovendien zijn er sterke aanwijzingen dat zij niet zijn echte moeder was. Dat zou een zekere Lilian zijn geweest, een joodse vrouw. Mogelijk verklaart dat waarom Grant zich in 1904, toen dat nog nauwelijks werd gedaan, liet besnijden.

Als acteur kon Grant tijdens opnamen het ene moment de lieveling van elke regisseur zijn en een toonbeeld van meegaandheid, om het volgende moment de hele set tot wanhoop te brengen door eindeloos te zeuren over futiliteiten. Ook kon hij uit gemakzucht zijn prachtige huizen verslonzen om zich dan redeloos op te winden over de kleur van een deurknop. Het fascinerende levensverhaal van Cary Grant is dus veel minder een onafgebroken komedie dan tot voor kort werd aangenomen. Charles Higham en Roy Moseley hebben de tragikomedie van Grants leven met geschiedkundige precisie en vol vaart beschreven.

Softcover – 304 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 553 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Centerboek, Weesp, The Netherlands, 1989 – ISBN 90-5087-079-1

Casablanca (edited by Richard J. Anobile)

Anobile, Richard J - Casablanca“Here is the complete Casablanca. Not just a script with a few meaningless stills bound into the center, but the entire film reconstructed through the use of over 1,400 frame blow-ups. The basic shortcoming of those plentiful script books which clutter bookstore shelves is that it is very unnatural to read dialogue and camera directions of a film already produced. The characterizations brought to the film by the actors are lost along with the subtle remarks of the director’s camera. Here, almost every aspect of the film is presented to give you a complete record of Casablanca in book form. I am pleased to be able to add Casablanca to the Film Classics Library and am grateful to have been able to have had a conversation with Ms. Ingrid Bergman. I hope the interview will give you an interesting insight into the making of this film.” – From The Introduction by Richard J. Anobile.

This book is the most accurate and complete reconstruction of Casablanca in book form with over 1,500 frame blow-up photos shown sequentially and coupled with the complete dialogue from the original soundtrack, allowing you to recapture this film classic in its entirety.

Softcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 745 g (26,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Pan Books, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 330 24214 8

Casablanca: As Time Goes By… 50th Anniversary Commemorative (Frank Miller)

Casablanca - Miller, Frank - As Time Goes By 50th Anniversary CommemorativeThe leading lady was the producer’s second choice. The leading man avoided his co-star between love scenes for fear of his wife’s jealousy. Two of the stars didn’t want to be in the movie in the first place. And nobody knew how the picture would end until the day they shot the final scene. Yet out of this chaos came one of the most enduring film favorites of all time – Casablanca.

For the first time, here is the whole story of Warner Bros. Production No. 410, from the original play that laid its foundations, through casting, writing, shooting, and post-production, to the series of lucky breaks that created one of the most everlastingly popular films of the last fifty years.

At every step along the road to Casablanca, the picture’s creators had to make choices that meant the difference between triumph and flop. Ronald Reagan was initially announced to play one of the male leads. Producer Hal Wallis considered Ella Fitzgerald as Sam the piano player. Composer Max Steiner tried to cut ‘As Time Goes By.’ And sometimes the participants managed to make the right choices in spite of themselves.

Lavishly illustrated with a collection of photos, memos, blueprints and posters never before assembled in one book, Casablanca: As Time Goes By… paints the most complete picture ever of a movie that has mesmerised film-lovers and romantics for half a century.

FRANK MILLER first discovered the world of the silver screen at age six when an aunt took him to one of the last cinema screenings of The Wizard of Oz. On his own personal trip down the yellow brick road, he acquired some other favourite films – Citizen Kane, The Thing (From Another World), The Lady Eve, In a Lonely Place, The Bandwagon, Surf Nazis Must Die – and a Ph.D. in dramatic literature and criticism. He also hosted a radio show in Tennessee, reviewing film and television, and has written for television. In the theater he has directed productions of Henry V, Fallen Angels and Lend Me a Tenor and has built a reputation as a respected acting teacher in America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22,5 cm (11,2 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.205 g (42,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1992 – ISBN 1-85227-411-5

Casablanca: Behind the Scenes – The Illustrated History of One of the Favorite Films of All Time (Harlan Lebo; foreword by Julius Epstein)

lebo-harlan-casablanca-behind-the-scenesThe scene is burned into the memory of every film fan – a fogbound airport, a pair of desperate refugees struggling to escape to freedom, the one man who can save them, and a diabolical Nazi trying to stop them.

The scene comes from the closing moments of Casablanca, which starred Humphrey Bogart in his greatest role, along with Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains. Casablanca has become the proudest achievement of Warner Bros. Pictures, a film for the ages that has been called “the best Hollywood movie of all time.”

But the real-life story behind the making of Casablanca proved to be as dramatic as the action depicted on the screen, as Hollywood’s most dynamic studio was caught up in the real-life drama of America’s first terrifying days of involvement in World War II. The whole story of how this classic was put together – both onscreen and backstage – is captured in Casablanca and includes rarely seen interviews with the stars of Casablanca and behind-the-scenes details about the making of the film; never-before-published candid photographs, confidential correspondence from the Warner files, and notes and records from the production; the complete cast list, production credits, and reviews of the film.

HARLAN LEBO is director of communications for the College of Letters and Science at UCLA. His first book, Citizen Kane: The Fiftieth Anniversary Album, was described as “the definitive work on America’s greatest film.” Lebo lives in Los Angeles.

Softcover – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 18,5 cm (9,3 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 457 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Fireside, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-671-76981-2

Cassell’s Movie Quotations (Nigel Rees)

rees-nigel-cassells-movie-quotationsIn Cassell’s Movie Quotations, Nigel Rees draws on a lifetime’s passion for the cinema to bring together a hugely entertaining and breathtakingly comprehensive collection of over 4,000 quotes. Great and memorable lines from the movies are uniquely coupled with quotable comments by and about filmmakers and film-goers. The book also celebrates the language of cinema – its catchphrases and titles, its slogans and clichés. Above all, Cassell’s Movie Quotations quotes the professionals – the actors, directors, producers and the critics – and tell us what they love, loathe and lament about the business, the pictures, the players – and each other.

NIGEL REES is an author whose most recent books are the Cassell Companion to Quotations and the Cassell Dictionary of Humerous Quotations. He is the deviser and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s enduringly popular series Quote… Unquote, through which he has become an authority on the popular use of language in quotations, idioms, slogans, catchphrases and clichés. He lives in Notting Hill, London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 432 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19,5 cm (9,8 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 1.365 g (48,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Cassell & Co., London, 2000 – ISBN 0-304-35369-8

The Casting Couch and Me: The Inhibited Memoirs of a Young Actress (Joan Wood)

Wood, Joan - The Casting Couch and MeJoan Felicity Wood is an actress. How she became one, where she started, and what she went through to get there are all told with candor and frankness in The Casting Couch and Me.

“Casting couch creeps want nothing more than a quick release. Supply-and-demand. Give-and-take. Buyers and sellers.” The bastions of show biz, these “creeps” can make or break a young actress. Enthusiastic and vulnerable, portfolio in hand, tempted by grandeurs of elusive stardom, the young actresses have one thing in common: a constant glimmer of hope.

With no elusiveness, and portfolio in hand, Joan Wood tells her story. Humorous at times, sad at others, she recalls those trying tromps through the streets from one audition to another, one office to another, one small role to another, always competing for that one “big chance.” And when it comes knowing it’s just the beginning. She remembers those Broadway “producers” who audition their young hopefuls on seedy casting couches; the “managers” who are really pimps for visiting VIP’s; the “photographers” who specialize in getting into the act.

JOAN WOOD’s story is her own, but also that of a thousand others. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but innocence is hardly their specialty. Her’s is a story about those precocious, uninhibited nymphets who yearn to become stars and what happens when their dreams collide with the facts of life. Some make it, some don’t.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 216 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 413 g (14,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Walker and Company, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8027-0452-2

A Cast of Killers (Sidney D. Kirkpatrick)

kirkpatrick-sidney-d-a-cast-of-killersOn February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant. Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after. When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well-known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers? Despite a full-scale investigation, the case was never solved; for sixty years it has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal.

In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor’s death, the great King Vidor, whose directing credits include Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun, and War and Peace, determined to solve the mystery, which had haunted him throughout his career, in order to make a film about it. Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded, where dozens of professional detectives had failed, in discovering the identity of the murderer. But because his findings were so explosive, he decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away.

After Vidor’s death in 1982, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor’s authorized biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor’s murder and Vidor’s investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingenue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary’s domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor’s homosexual houseman; and Taylor’s secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor’s mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail.

SIDNEY KIRKPATRICK has an M.F.A. in film from New York University. A journalist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, he lives with his wife in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 301 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER E.P. Dutton, New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-525-24390-9

Cast of Thousands: A Pictorial Memoir of the Most Glittering Stars of Hollywood and the Most Dazzling of the World’s Literary and Social Lights (Anita Loos)

Loos, Anita - A Cast of ThousandsAnita Loos… known, loved, and wooed by the greatest celebrities of our time, creator of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, author of A Girl Like I, Kiss Hollywood Good-by, and the screenplay for Gigi, now shares her collection of memories, photos, and anecdotes of a life spanning over 80 years, roaming from New York to Hollywood to Paris to Berlin to Rome. It features an all-star cast of the most famous and fabulous personalities of the stage and screen – including Carol Channing, Helen Hayes, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Harpo Marx, Clark Gable.

Sparkling stories about her friends and admirers and intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stars are counterpointed by striking, sometimes surprising, candid photos of the great and famous on and off their guard. You’ll be privy to a firsthand glimpse of the early days of movie-making as Miss Loos spins tales of her years writing scenarios for D.W. Griffith and risqué gags for Mack Sennett. You’ll share with her the first rush of fame after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes became a classic. And you’ll hobnob with the many celebrities who have been her friends and co-conspirators in the great adventure of a career filled with glamour and excitement.

Anita Loos’ life has truly starred a cast of thousands, and as the ultimate star of her own saga, she has made Cast of Thousands one of the most dazzling books to emerge from Hollywood… or from anywhere.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 279 pp., index – Dimensions 27 x 24 cm (10,6 x 9,5) – Weight 1.635 g (57,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-448-12264-2

Cecil B. DeMille (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-cecil-b-de-milleCecil B. DeMille. His name alone conjures up extravagant Biblical epics like The Ten Commandments, The King of Kings, Samson and Delilah, and The Sign of the Cross, full of teeming crowd scenes, half-naked revelers worshiping golden idols, Christians bravely facing lions, and other grandiose visions. While most regard him simply as an exploitative cynic who craved commercial success at any cost, Higham shows us a much deeper and more complex portrait. The DeMille who emerges here is a true artist gradually overwhelmed by financial pressures. A moralist and perfectionist, stubborn, decent, loyal, and ruthless when he had to be, DeMille believed devoutly in the Bible, and made films with missionary zeal to uplift the masses in an age of materialism and hedonism. We see how DeMille struggled throughout his career with powerful studio magnates (e.g., Adolph Zukor of Paramount) and with the star mannerisms of his leading ladies including Mary Pickford, Claudette Colbert, Gloria Swanson, Hedy Lamarr, and Paulette Goddard – not to mention the very real physical dangers of making many spectacular scenes. DeMille’s larger-than-life career and films typify the American dream, and thus continue to touch the hearts of millions.

CHARLES HIGHAM is a frequent Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times, and the author of Ziegfeld, The Films of Orson Welles, and The Celluloid Muse: Hollywood Directors Speak, among other books about the movies.

Softcover – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 528 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-306-80131-0

Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art (Sam Louvish)

Louvish, Simon - Cecil B De MilleCecil B. DeMille is Hollywood’s most enduring legend, remembered, and often reviled, for his grandiose biblical sagas, such as Samson and Delilah and his 1956 version of The Ten Commandments, with its cast of tens of thousands before computer graphics made the modern epic mundane. Many judged DeMille a dinosaur both for his movies and his ultraconservative politics. But in his vision of the Bible as an American frontier narrative he recast this old trend in American culture as a cinematic precursor of the “neoconservatism” of our own times.

The paradox of DeMille goes deeper, as despite his fame, most of his seventy films, of which fifty were silent pictures, remain unknown even to avid film fans, though his first 1923 version of The Ten Commandments and his 1927 tale of Jesus Christ, King of Kings, linger in the imagination. A founder-pioneer of Hollywood as an industry, DeMille was an unsung auteur, a master of increasingly bizarre narratives, with tales of adultery and divorce, hedonism and sin, in an age in which modernity, the consumer society, and the pursuit of money made America a battlefield of clashing values and temptations.

SIMON LOUVISH tells the tale of Cecil B. DeMille through his work: a major reexamination of Hollywood’s most monumental founder. Savant or sinner, artist or hack, defender of freedom or a hypocritical opportunist who embraced the golden calf of sheer commercialism, DeMille is a pervasive puzzle – a mirror of the larger puzzle and contradictions of America itself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 507 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 801 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-312-37733-5

Cecil B. DeMille and American Culture: The Silent Era (Sumiko Higashi)

higashi-sumoki-cecil-b-de-mille-and-american-cultureCecil B. DeMille and American Culture shows that the director best remembered today for overblown biblical epics was in fact one of the most remarkable pioneers in the film industry during the Progressive Era. In an innovative work that illustrates the intersection of cultural history with cultural studies, Sumiko Higashi describes how DeMille artfully introduced cinema – yet to achieve legitimacy as an art form –  into middle-class culture. He accomplished this by emphasizing the function of spectacle in public venues such as stage melodramas, department store displays, Orientalist world’s fairs, civic pageantry, and lantern slide lectures, as well as in elaborate parlor games.

DeMille established his signature as a film author by articulating middle-class ideology across class and ethnic lines. In addition, he became a trendsetter in the 1920s with set and costume designs that transformed the sentimental heroine into the “new woman.” His work strongly influenced advertisers to mold a consumer culture based on female desire. Drawing on untapped material in the DeMille Archives and other collections, Higashi provides imaginative readings of DeMille’s early feature films. She explores them in relation to the dynamics of social change and demonstrates the extent to which the emergence of popular culture was linked to the genteel tradition.

SUMIKO HIGASHI is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York, Brockport, and author of Cecil B. DeMille: A Guide to References and Resources (1985).

Softcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 461 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 – ISBN 0-520-08557-4

A Celebration of Gone With the Wind (Adrian Turner)

turner-adrian-a-celebration-of-gone-with-the-windGone With the Wind is the most commercially successful film ever made and consistently tops polls as everybody’s favorite movie. Now 50 years old, the film retains all the excitement, romance and glamor that captivated audiences in America in 1939 and in Britain in 1940, when millions poured into cinemas to see it during the Blitz. In this lavishly-illustrated book, we go behind the scenes to see how the film was made – the inspired determination by its producer, David O. Selznick, the hiring and firing of directors, cameramen and scriptwriters, the casting of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and the year-long search to find the perfect Scarlet O’Hara. And then there was the agony of the editing, the first sneak previews, the sneers from the Hollywood trade press, and at long last, the triumphs of the Atlanta premiere and ten Academy Awards.

For the first time, color frame enlargements have been produced to enable readers to follow the entire film virtually scene-by-scene with captions drawn largely from direct quotes from the soundtrack. This is a unique pictorial record of a motion picture that sums up both the madness and the genius of the Hollywood system, and the men and women who made Gone With the Wind.

ADRIAN TURNER is the author of Journey Down Sunset Boulevard: The Films of Billy Wilder and Hollywood 1950s. His reviews, interviews and features have appeared in the Guardian, The Times, the Observer, Radio Times and Time Out, for which he currently reviews the films on television. A former programme officer and now consultant of the National Film Theatre, London, he also co-scripted four series of BBC-TV’s Film Buff of the Year.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 189 pp. – Dimensions 31,5 x 25,5 cm (12,4 x 10 inch) – Weight 1.550 g (54,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Gallery Books, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-8317-3913-4

Celebrity Circus (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - Celebrity Circus hcWelcome to noted Hollywood reporter Charles Higham’s spectacular circus – a rich collection of his most outstanding interviews with celebrities on both sides of the camera.

Here are the personal actions of some of the greatest stars of Hollywood. Katharine Hepburn: “It was my idea for Chanel to say ‘Shit!’ in Coco…” Roman Polanski: “Sharon Tate’s sister called. She’s hemorrhaging. She’s ill, alone, and frightened. Oh God, what’s wrong with young people today?” Mae West: “When I’m dead, won’t you come up and see me sometime?” Dina Shore: “I was stricken with polio as a child. I lad to learn to walk twice over. I’ve been shy and withdrawn ever since.” Paul Newman: “I want to live in the Australian outback. With little food and water. Wouldn’t that be a good life for a son of a bitch?” Robert Blake: “The networks are run by deadheads. The script is crap. Television is impotent. American men are impotent.” Lucille Ball: “I was gored by a bull. My nose caught fire. I smashed the cast on my leg…” Orson Welles and Francis Ford Coppola: “Please dear New York Times, don’t publish Charles Higham’s articles on us…”

And more from an all-star cast including Julie Andrews, Mary Pickford, Kirk Douglas, Robert Young, Edward G. Robinson, Gene Kelly, Christopher Isherwood, and Paul Anka.

Called by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer “a one-man revolution in writing about movies,” CHARLES HIGHAM proved it with his brilliant and controversial The Films of Orson Welles. Since then he has written the best-seller Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn and hit biographies of Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Ava Gardner, Cecil B. DeMille, and Flo Ziegfeld. For nine years he has profiled stars in The New York Times. He lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on a new biography of Errol Flynn.

[Interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Jerry Lewis, Dinah Shore, Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Julie Andrews, Joan Blondell, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Paul Anka, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Mary Miles Minter, Robert Wagner, Robert Young, David Steinberg, Mercedes McCambridge, Paul Newman, Mary Pickford, Tiny Tim, Edward G. Robinson, Francis Ford Coppola, William Peter Blatty, Robert Aldrich, Don Siegel, Brian De Palma, Christopher Isherwood, King Vidor, Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Vadim, George Sidney, Paul Schrader, William Wyler, Roman Polanski, Robert Wise, Maria Rasputin, Ralph Bakshi, Raoul Walsh, François Truffaut, Orson Welles]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 322 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-440-01210-4

Celebrity Circus (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-celebrity-circus“Katharine Hepburn opens the front door herself. ‘You must come and look at my Christmas wreath,’ she says, as, together with her secretary, a gentle English lady called Phyllis, she ushers me into the living room of her West Hollywood cottage. She walks over to the sparkling winter fire, picks up the green wreath, and shows me its intricately woven leaves. ‘I made it myself, I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve done.’

She so often plays embittered, broken-down old women on the screen it’s a relief to find her as alive with enthusiasm as a young girl, cheeks ruddy with sunburn, movements quick and precise, her figure almost as attractively skinny as it was when she played The Philadelphia Story more than thirty years ago.

Her living room has the leathery simplicity of an old sea captain’s. Above the cheerful fire welcoming the visitor on a chilly, foggy California afternoon, stands a handsome model of an antique sailing ship, and on the walls sparkling landscapes of Cuba, exquisitely painted by Hepburn herself. She curls up contentedly as a cat in a big black chair, looking affectionately around the room as though seeing it for the first time: reflected flames flickering on brassware, wood rubbed to a fine polish.

At sixty-four, the star has the same agreeable shiny, well-worn look, an Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire with the fine lines of a Connecticut gentlewoman, cheekbones delicately chiseled, nose sharply patrician, jaw strong and determined, and a mind of piercing sharpness which can throw cold water on all pretentiousness. Only the smoky, blue-green eyes suggest the pain she obviously still feels after the death of her adored companion, Spencer Tracy.” – From the interview with Katharine Hepburn.

[Interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Jerry Lewis, Dinah Shore, Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Julie Andrews, Joan Blondell, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Paul Anka, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Mary Miles Minter, Robert Wagner, Robert Young, David Steinberg, Mercedes McCambridge, Paul Newman, Mary Pickford, Tiny Tim, Edward G. Robinson, Francis Ford Coppola, William Peter Blatty, Robert Aldrich, Don Siegel, Brian De Palma, Christopher Isherwood, King Vidor, Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Vadim, George Sidney, Paul Schrader, William Wyler, Roman Polanski, Robert Wise, Maria Rasputin, Ralph Bakshi, Raoul Walsh, François Truffaut, Orson Welles]

Softcover – 348 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 224 g (7,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-440-11210-9

Celia Johnson: A Biography (Kate Fleming)

Fleming, Kate - Celia JohnsonDame Celia Johnson is possibly best remembered for her role as Laura Jesson in David Lean’s classic film, Brief Encounter. In fact, her acting career spanned more than fifty years before her death in 1982. This was one of the finest periods of British acting and she appeared with many of the greatest names, like Marie Tempest, Gerald du Maurier and Nigel Playfair. She began her film career during the Second World War when she was chosen by Noël Coward to play his wife in In Which We Serve. This Happy Breed followed and then Brief Encounter, the final few days’ filming of which was interrupted by VE Day celebrations.

In 1935 Celia Johnson married Peter Fleming, brother of Ian, a brilliant travel writer and essayist. Now their daughter, Kate Fleming, has written this personal biography, drawing on her own memories of her mother, on reminiscences of friends and colleagues, and on her parents’ letters. The result is an engrossing portrait of one of Britain’s best-loved stars, and a vivid picture of the golden age of British film.

KATE FLEMING is the elder daughter of Celia Johnson. She read Russian at Oxford University and has written a book on the Churchill family. She and her husband, John Grimond, have three daughters. They live in London but spend school holidays in Orkney and Oxfordshire.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 613 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1991 – ISBN 0 297 81188 6

The Celluloid Muse: Hollywood Directors Speak (Charles Higham, Joel Greenberg)

Higham, Charles - The Celluloid MuseThe Celluloid Muse is a series of self-portraits of fifteen of the directors who helped to make the American cinema great. Each is based on taped interviews, and each has an introduction in which Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg take the reader into the world behind the Hollywood façade and describe the director’s milieu and personality.

Among the subjects are Alfred Hitchcock, describing with characteristic cynicism the making of his thrillers; Fritz Lang, talking of his obsession with man’s predestined fate; John Frankenheimer, conveying a remarkable tension as he tells how he cleared his way through the television and motion picture jungle; Vincente Minnelli, recalling the making of such celebrated musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis and An American in Paris; Rouben Mamoulian, disclosing the secret of the famous one-take transformation of Fredric March as Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde in his 1932 film; Billy Wilder, acidly and incorrigibly misanthropic; George Cukor, sophisticated director of women stars; Robert Aldrich, King Vidor, Lewis Milestone, and many others.

For sheer range of inside information on the making of many famous motion pictures, The Celluloid Muse is perhaps unequaled in the literature of the cinema. There are numerous illustrations, as well as filmographies of the directors, and a special preface setting the Hollywood scene.

CHARLES HIGHAM was born in London in 1931, the son of the well-known advertising magnate of the thirties, Sir Charles Frederick Higham. He has published four volumes of poetry, the latest being Noonday Country (1969) but is better known as a writer on film for such periodicals as Sight and Sound, the London Magazine, and the Hudson Review. Film critic of the Sydney Morning Herald since 1968, he has recently been Regents Professor, teaching film and literature, at the University of California. Co-author with Joel Greenberg of Hollywood in the Forties (1968), he has also written a recently published controversial study of Orson Welles. JOEL GREENBERG, born in Jerusalem in 1934, has written extensively of film for a number of publications including Sight and Sound and Film Journal, of which he was for a time co-editor. He is also a freelance writer and co-author with Charles Higham of Hollywood in the Forties.

[Interviews with Robert Aldrich, Curtis Bernhardt, George Cukor, John Frankenheimer, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Rouben Mamoulian, Lewis Milestone, Vincente Minnelli, Jean Negulesco, Irving Rapper, Mark Robson, Jacques Tourneur, King Vidor, Billy Wilder]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 268 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 648 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1969

Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies (James Sanders)

Sanders, James - Celluloid Skyline New York and the MoviesA tale of two cities, both called “New York.”

The first is a real city, an urban agglomeration of millions. The second is a mythic city, so rich in memory and association and sense of place that to people everywhere it has come to seem real: the New York of films such as 42nd Street, Rear Window, King Kong, Dead End, The Naked City, Ghostbusters, Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, and Do the Right Thing – a magical city of the imagination that is as complex, dynamic, and familiar as its namesake of stone and steel.

As James Sanders shows in this deeply original work, the dream city of the movies – created by more than a century of films, since the very dawn of the medium itself – may hold the secret to the glamour of its real counterpart. Here are the cocktail parties and power lunches, the subway chases and opening nights, the playground rumbles and observation-deck romances. Here is an invented Gotham, a place designed specifically for action, drama, and adventure, a city of bright avenues and mysterious sidestreets, of soaring towers and intimate corners, where remarkable people do exciting, amusing, romantic, scary things. Sanders takes us from the tenement to the penthouse, from New York to Hollywood and back again, from 1896 to the present, all the while showing how the real and mythic cities reflected, changed, and taught each other.

Lavishly illustrated with scores of rare and unusual production images culled from Sanders’ s decade-long research in studio archives and private collections around the country, Celluloid Skyline offers a new way to see not only America’s greatest metropolis, but also cities the world over.

JAMES SANDERS, an architect, is the co-writer with Ric Burns of the seven-part, fourteen-and-a- half-hour PBS series New York: A Documentary Film – which received an Emmy Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award – and co-author with Burns and Lisa Ades of its companion volume, New York: An Illustrated History. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Architectural Record, and Interiors, and has produced exhibitions on New York housing and the urban heritage of 42nd Street. Mr. Sanders, who maintains a design practice in Manhattan, has completed projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Parks Council, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and other civic groups and commercial clients in New York and California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 495 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 21 cm (10,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.685 g (59,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-394-57062-6

Change Lobsters – and Dance: An Autobiography (Lilli Palmer)

Autographed copy Lilli Palmer

Palmer, Lilli - Change Lobsters - and DanceFrom her teens when her promising acting career in Germany was cut short by Hitler’s rise to power, to her cabaret acts as a refugee in Paris, small parts in British films, marriage to Rex Harrison, Hollywood and Broadway stardom, scandal and divorce, remarriage and new career, Lilli Palmer’s life has been a constant “changing of lobsters,” of picking up the pieces and continuing the dance. With amazing candor and humor – often at her own expense – Miss Palmer tells about her life, both public and private, and the many fascinating personalities she has met along the way.

Lilli Palmer shares her deeply personal childhood memories and recalls the close family ties in her 1920’s bourgeois Berlin home; her debut as a seventeen-year-old at the Darmstadt State Theater and the shock of discovery that as a Jew she would not be permitted to continue her career; work with her sister as refugees in Paris, literally singing for their supper in cabarets and strip clubs in homemade dresses of green taffeta; her persistent attempts to break into British films while facing daily threats of deportation until her “discovery” by Alexander Korda; her meeting with and marriage to Rex Harrison, which had such promising beginnings but ended under tragic circumstances.

With insight and always with warmth and understanding, Miss Palmer tells about her arrival with Rex in Hollywood and the endless rounds of parties and drinking and dallying that culminated in the sensational Carole Landis suicide and the subsequent departure of the Harrisons from Hollywood. Miss Palmer’s fantastic Broadway successes, her visit with George Bernard Shaw, her friendship with the Windsors and Greta Garbo climaxed by the hilarious Portofino harbor dunking party, her meeting with Helen Keller, her friendships with Noël Coward and Laurence Olivier, her return to Broadway, the breakup of her marriage and divorce that enabled Harrison to marry the dying Kay Kendall, and her remarriage to actor / author Carlos Thompson – all are told with wit and charm and are marked by a refreshing frankness seldom found in the memoirs of an actress. But Miss Palmer is much more than an actress: she is also an accomplished painter whose works have been shown in major galleries, a producer and host of European television programs, and finally, an author, whose book has topped European best-seller lists for nine months.

During her colorful career, LILLI PALMER came in contact with numerous famous personalities. There’s Fritz Lang, her first Hollywood director and stern taskmaster; Gary Cooper, who helped her feel at ease; the unrelenting Hedda Hopper; and Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire, William Holden, David Niven, Ronald Colman. And there are the plays and movies: The Four Poster; Bell, Book and Candle; Body and Soul; Counterfeit Traitor; Cloak and Dagger. But above all, there is… Lilli Palmer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 844 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Macmillian Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-02-594610-2

The Chaplin Encyclopedia (Glenn Mitchell)

mitchell-glenn-the-chaplin-encyclopediaThe Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia is the definitive A-Z guide to cinema’s greatest comedian. Glenn Mitchell includes rare treasures for all Chaplin fans: seldom-seen footage from Chaplin’s early years in Hollywood, unpublished stage material from 1906-1910, and a fascinating eyewitness account of Chaplin’s earliest days with Fred Karno.

Aside from such Chaplin esoterica, the Encyclopedia contains full information on all Chaplin’s films from the earliest short silents and the feature-length classics of the twenties and thirties, to The Great Dictator, Limelight and other Chaplin talkies. Full details are included on the “lost” movies such as The Professor and How to Make Movies, as well as a wealth of hitherto uncollected anecdote.

Also included is information on newsreels, stage work, Chaplin’s collaborators, and much more. Full, detailed credits are given for all of Chaplin’s films.

GLENN MITCHELL is an internationally recognized authority on cinema comedy of the early twentieth century. He is a film journalist and a specialist in all forms of comedy, animation and music-hall. His previous publications, The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia and The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia, are best-sellers.

Softcover – 288 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 18,5 cm (9,8 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 871 g (30,7 oz) – PUBLISHER B. T. Batsford, Ltd., London, 1997 – ISBN 0-7134-7938-8

Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (Jeffrey Vance)

vance-jeffrey-chaplin-genius-of-the-cinemaCharlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was the first global cinema star and one of the greatest comedy geniuses the world has ever known. His creation, the Tramp, remains to this day the most universal representation of humanity in the history of film. “You know this fellow is many-sided,” wrote Chaplin of his character, “a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”

The Tramp’s relentless pursuit of the fruits of abundance and happiness and his righteous battles against those who bar his way, reflect the same struggles that consumed Chaplin throughout most of his life. Indeed, Chaplin’s description of his multi-dimensional screen character is also fitting of the artist himself: an actor, writer, director, producer, editor, and composer with more than seventy-five years of creative accomplishment.

Produced with full access to the Chaplin family archives, this book chronicles his entire complex life story in 500 photographs – many of them recently discovered and never before published – newly printed from the original negatives especially for this volume. Author Jeffrey Vance draws on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account, describing in lively detail the atmosphere on Chaplin’s film sets and his relations with the cast and crew, his first attempts at comedy sequences that later became famous, the development of his scenarios and characters, and the main themes and ideas that persist through the major Chaplin films: The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952).

Chaplin’s enthralling rags-to-riches life story is also represented in these pages, every stage of which is documented in pictures: his poverty-stricken childhood in late-Victorian London, where he began his career as an entertainer in the music halls; his unparalleled success in Hollywood, from the rough-and-tumble Keystone shorts to the feature-length masterpieces made under his complete artistic control; his numerous romances and four marriages; his political persecution during the anti-communist witch hunts; and his happy years of quiet, self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema is the essential volume on the extraordinary life and career of the incomparable comedian, groundbreaking filmmaker, and multifaceted public figure who left an indelible imprint on cinema and culture.

JEFFREY VANCE is a film historian and an authority on silent-film comedy. He is the author of Abrams’ Buster Keaton Remembered and Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian. He collaborated on two previous books on Chaplin: Wife of the Life of the Party with Lita Grey Chaplin and Making Music With Charlie Chaplin with Eric James. Vance has been involved in the presentation and the restoration of many silent films, including archiving Chaplin’s own film materials on behalf of the Chaplin family’s Roy Export Company Establishment. He earned an M.A. degree in English literature from Boston University and lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 397 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 23 cm (12 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.310 g (81,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-8109-4532-0

Chaplin: His Life and Art (David Robinson)

Robinson, David - Chaplin His Life and ArtThis is the authorized, definitive biography of the man who has often been called the greatest comic genius the world has ever seen. The author has obtained the authorization of Chaplin’s widow, Lady Oona, for unprecedented access to Charles Chaplin’s closely guarded archive of private papers, records, letters, and photographs.

Chaplin was a man plagued by loneliness and driven by the search for artistic perfection. His life was an extraordinary dramatic one, and David Robinson explores the often tragic story of Chaplin’s alcoholic father; his mentally disturbed mother; his marriages to very young women, including the legendary film star Paulette Goddard; the “white slavery” case against him; and his persecution by anti-Communist forces during the McCarthy era, including the FBI, which ultimately forced Chaplin to leave America.

Chaplin contains many provocative revelations and previously unknown and unpublished information about Chaplin’s private life, romances and business dealings – and about the making of his magical films. The book vividly recreates the different worlds in which Chaplin moved: from Victorian and Edwardian London, through the glamorous birth and sad decline of Hollywood’s studio system, to the nightmare of McCarthyism, after which America once again came to adore the “Little Tramp,” the hero of the underdog, the drol genius who could make America laugh during the Depression when nothing else but bootleg gin could.

Illustrated with eigthy pages of rare photographs from the Chaplin family albums, Chaplin contains a detailed chronology, filmography, list of theater tours, list of important people in Chaplin’s life, index, and bibliography. This is a major work on a fascinating subject.

DAVID ROBINSON is the film critic for The Times of London; before that he was the film critic for the Financial Times in the United Kingdom. He is the only journalist to have been given access to the private Chaplin archive. Mr. Robinson’s collections of pre-cinema apparatus and film posters have been the subject of a number of exhibitions throughout Europe. His previous books include World Cinema, Hollywood in the Twenties, The Great Funnies and Buster Keaton.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 792 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.350 g (47,6 oz) – PUBLISHER McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-07-053181-1

Chaplin’s Girl: The Life and Times of Virginia Cherrill (Miranda Seymour)

Seymour, Miranda - Chaplin's GirlIn 1931, City Lights introduced Charlie Chaplin’s new female star to the world. The film – defiantly silent in the age of talkies – was an immediate and international hit. The actress who played the romantic lead had never been on screen or stage before. Chaplin’s film turned her into the most famous girl in the world. And, like Rhett Butler, the most famous girl in the world didn’t give a damn.

Virginia Cherrill was the beautiful daughter of an Illinois rancher, who ran away to live through some of Hollywood’s wildest years. She was the adoring first wife who broke Cary Grant’s heart when she left him; who turned down the gloriously eligible Maharajah of Jaipur to befriend his wife and rescue her from purdah. Virginia Cherrill presided, during the thirties, over one of England’s loveliest houses, as the Countess of Jersey. Everybody sought her friendship. All that eluded her was love. And when she found it, she gave up all she had to marry a handsome and penniless Polish flying ace, whose dream it was to become a cowboy.

In this glorious, and undiscovered story of Hollywood, international high society, wartime drama and romance, Miranda Seymour works from unpublished sources to recapture the personality of a woman so vividly enchanting that none could resist her. This is the story of Cinderalla in reverse: of the poor girl who won everything – and gave up all for love. Breathtakingly romantic, exquisitely written, this is the stuff that dreams are made of …

MIRANDA SEYMOUR, author of the award-winning In My Father’s House has written many acclaimed novels and biographies, including lives of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Ottoline Morrell and Helle Nicen the Bugatti Queen.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 369 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 476 g (16,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-84737-125-6

Chaplin: The Tramp’s Odyssey (Simon Louvish)

Louvish, Simon - Chaplin, The Tramp's OdysseyAn Everyman who expressed the defiant spirit of freedom, Charlie Chaplin was first lauded and later reviled in the America that made him Hollywood’s richest man. He was a figure of multiple paradoxes. Simon Louvish’s new book, following his five major biographies of comedy’s classic stars, from W.C. Fields to Laurel and Hardy and Mae West, looks afresh at the “mask behind the man.”

Louvish charts the tale of the Tramp himself through his films, from the early Mack Sennett shorts through the major features (The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, et al.). He retrieves Chaplin as the iconic London street kid who carried the “surreal” antics of early British music hall triumphantly onto the Hollywood screen. Louvish also looks anew at Chaplin’s and the Tramp’s social and political ideas – the challenge to fascism, defiance of the McCarthyite witch hunts, eventual “exile,” and last mature disguises as the serial killer Monsieur Verdoux and the dying English clown Calvero in Limelight.

This book is an epic journey, summing up the roots of comedy and its appeal to audiences everywhere, who reveled in the clown’s raw energy, his ceaseless struggle against adversity, and his capacity to represent our own fears, foibles, dreams, inner demons and hopes.

SAM LOUVISH was born in Glasgow in 1947 and grew up in Israel. Later he decamped to the London School of Film Technique, where he became involved in the production of a series of independent documentary films. He also published a memoir of his Israeli days as well as a series of novels set mainly in the Middle East. Since 1979, he has also been teaching film at the London Film School and writing for various newspapers and magazines. Louvish is the author of definitive biographies of the great clowns of screen comedy, including Man on the Flying Trapeze: The Story of W.C. Fields, Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers, and Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy. Further film biographies include Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Mae West: It Ain’t No Sin, and Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 123 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 553 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-312-58169-5

Character People (Ken D. Jones, Arthur  F. McClure, Alfred E. Twomey)

Jones, Kevin D - Character People“In this book we have attempted to rescue a part of the artistic achievements of the ‘character people’ in the American motion picture. Almost certainly some critic will label our effort a ‘nonbook’. We make no apologies, however, and offer this book to readers to share in our admiration for these overlooked professional actors who often labored in an unfair anonymity. The effects of their participation in American film for more than four decades speak for itself. (…) We have been guided by the principle that as historians we should be concerned with breaking through the formalism of written history and record a distinctive aspect of American experience.” – From The Preface.

[Short biographies and stills of character actors including Pedro Armendariz, Donald ‘Red’ Barry, Robert Benchley, Hobart Bosworth, Hume Cronyn, George Dolenz, Louise Dresser, Jack Elam, Sessue Hayakawa, Eileen Heckart, Walter Huston, Mercedes McCambridge, Strother Martin, Butterfly McQueen, Adolphe Menjou, Frank Morgan, Carroll O’Connor, Osgood Perkins, Irving Pichel, Jason Robards Sr., Dame Margaret Rutherford, George Sidney, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Lee Van Cleef, Ray Walston, Joe Yule]

Softcover – 209 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 678 g (23,9 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-8065-0701-2

Charles Boyer: The Reluctant Lover (Larry Swindell)

Swindell, Larry - The Reluctant Lover Charles BoyerCharles Boyer, the “great lover,” was the definition of polished European virility in the thirties and forties, and mesmerized his co-stars with the same masterful ease that he wooed his fans into theaters. Larry Swindell shows here that although this consummate actor, son of the French bourgeoisie, always retained a balanced perspective in the face of his worldwide celebrity, the public, understandably, did not. The Boyer myth grew to such proportion that it achieved a life of its own. Much like Bogart’s “Play it again, Sam,” Boyer’s “Come wiz mee to zee casbah,” was never spoken by him except in the popular imagination.

In this richly detailed biography, Larry Swindell dispels the myths and reveals the professional and personal contrasts of a man whose career began in ways more fabulous than the imaginings of any studio publicity department: he rose from obscurity to become the overnight sensation of Parisian theater when on twenty-four hours’ notice he replaced the ailing lead in a major production. A dazzling survivor in an industry of notorious failures, he was passionately devoted to his art, his country, and his wife.

With the Golden Age of Hollywood as a backdrop, Boyer’s personal and professional lives are explored; his reputation as the “great louvair,” (enhanced as much by his real-life romance with his wife as by the casting of such leading ladies as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Katharine Hepburn), his involvement with the French Resistance movement, and his friendships with such Hollywood greats as Henry Fonda, David Niven, and Ingrid Bergman.

LARRY SWINDELL is the author of The Last Hero: A Biography of Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Body And Soul: John Garfield, and Screwball: Carole Lombard.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 434 g (15,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-385-17052-1

Charles Bronson Superstar (Steven Whitney)

whitney-steven-charles-bronson-superstar“When director John Sturges was given the chore of directing a rip-off version of Akiro Kurosawa’s Japanese classic The Seven Samurai, his first job was to locate seven actors with enough charm and panache to carry the drama. He succeeded brilliantly, so well, in fact, that his The Magnificent Seven reached even greater world-wide popularity than Kurosawa’s film. Granted, the critics for the most part still lambasted it as a poor imitation of the original, yet audiences seemed to prefer the two hours it took Sturges to tell the story over the three hours and twenty minutes it took Kurosawa to relate his.

Perhaps the major differences between the films were also indicative of the differences between the film industries of two nations. Sturges apparently felt the prime ingredient was the charm of the actors. Yul Brynner, enormously popular at the time, was cast in the lead, and although none the other six actors rounding out the seven was a star, five of them would become stars before the decade ended. Steve McQueen, who had made such a good impression in Never So Few, was back, and this film really turned the tide for him. Horst Buchholz was a young leading man in Europe, and on strength of his performance here he was able to get starring parts for the next few years. Robert Vaughan, although sometimes looking out of place in the hills of Cuernavaca, was around the corner from his successful The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series. James Coburn was to play a succession of toughs early in the 1960s, only to have a comic role in The Americanization of Emily to win him stardom. And Charles Bronson, who was to wait, characteristically, longest for his fame. Even Eli Wallach, who played the villanous Mexican bandit Calvera, was to achieve a modicum of film success over the following years. Of the original magnificent seven, only Brad Dexter failed to gain greater roles in films or television.” – From chapter 7, ‘Bronson.’

Softcover – 316 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 197 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Hodder and Soughton, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1980 – ISBN 0 340 24854 8

Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor (Simon Callow)

callow-simon-charles-laughtonHe worked with Cecil B. DeMille, Alexander Korda, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, Tyrone Guthrie, David Lean, and Billy Wilder. He collaborated with Berthold Brecht and Joseph Losey on the first production of Galileo. His career spanned fifty films and forty stage roles. And his Hunchback, Henry VIII, and Captain Bligh remain the stock-in-trade of countless mimics.

No previous account of the difficult, ugly, magnetic genius of Charles Laughton has approached the depth and quality of Simon Callow’s magnificent biography, which spans the actor’s early years in England at his parents’ seaside hotel, through the West End, Hollywood, and Broadway, to his final climatic assumption of the role of Lear at Stratford.

As a fellow actor, Callow is able to recreate each of Laughton’s performances, however eccentric or mundane, with complete understanding. Callow’s empathy with Laughton embraces both his professional struggles and his lifelong battle to come to terms with his homosexuality and his thirty-year marriage to Elsa Lanchester. Writing with wit and passion, Callow packs the book with the fascinating fruits of his research – conversations with surviving friends and lovers, contemporary articles and reviews, and illuminating assessments of Laughton’s craft based on the study of every extant foot of film. Callow gets right inside the skin of Laughton and shows us the truth behind this legend in his own lifetime who nonetheless counted himself a failure.

“Simon Callow is a phenomenon among actors,” writes director Peter Hall. “He is not only a brilliant and exuberant performer; he is a writer – and a very good one too. His biography of Laughton is an excellent and entertaining read, movingly told.” Still in his thirties, the London-born SIMON CALLOW has played an astonishing range of parts in the theater, translated (Cocteau and Kundera), directed opera as well as plays, and appeared on television and in, among others, the films Amadeus, A Room with a View, and, most recently, Maurice. He is also the author of the widely praised earlier book, Being an Actor.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-8021-1047-9

Charlie Chaplin (John McCabe)

McCabe, John - Charlie ChaplinHere at last is the definitive Chaplin biography – a magnificent new portrait of the artist by noted film historian John McCabe.

The published accounts of Chaplin’s life, by himself and others, differ widely – and John McCabe has set out to find the truth behind the endless legends, misconceptions, and errors surrounding Chaplin’s extraordinary odyssey, both public and private.

McCabe, the biographer of Stan Laurel and George M. Cohan, has drawn not only from the available record but also from personal interviews, including his remarkable conversations with Stan Laurel, who knew Chaplin in his formative years on the English music hall stage.

And McCabe has brought to this work his own affectionate and probing insights into the elusive character and overpowering artistry of Charles Spencer Chaplin. The result is a warm and richly illuminating look at a true phenomenon of our times – at an enormously complicated man, born and raised in the slums of Victorian London, who turned the straightforward craft of slapstick into an art that astonished the world. With twenty-nine black-and-white illustrations, including a number of rare photographs; a select bibliography, filmography; and index.

Like Gaul, JOHN McCABE’s career is divided into three parts. He began professional life as a child actor, appearing through the years with various companies until as an adult he became director/producer of his own stock company at the Milford Playhouse, Milford, Pennsylvania. After obtaining the Ph.D. degree from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, he entered academic theater, teaching acting at City College of New York, Wayne State University, Interlochen Arts Academy, and New York University. At New York University he headed the Department of Dramatic Art. In recent years he has become a show business biographer, writing among other books Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy; George M. Cohan: The Man Who Owned Broadway, and The Comedy World of Stan Laurel. John McCabe lives with his wife and three children on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 297 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 458 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-385-11445-1

Charlie Chaplin (John McCabe)

mccabe-john-charlie-chaplin-pocketPerhaps no artist of this century has been as assessed and analyzed as Charlie Chaplin – or so little understood as a human being. Film historian John McCabe has at last given us the first major biography of both Chaplin the man – deeply shy, heartily gregarious, politically controversial, and incurably romantic – and Chaplin the artist – the greatest comedian-actor of the century.

JOHN McCABE’s career is divided into three parts. Entering the theater as a child, he was a professional actor into adulthood, ultimately directing his own repertory company. After graduating from the University of Detroit and gaining a Master of Arts, in 1951 he came to England where he studied for three years at The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon. There he received a Ph.D. in English Literature and returned to the United States to teach. In recent years McCabe has become the biographer of Stan Laurel and George M. Cohan. In writing this biography of Charlie Chaplin he has drawn not only on the available records but also on personal interviews, including his remarkable conversations with Stan Laurel, who knew Chaplin in his formative years on the English music hall stage. He has brought to this work his own affectionate and probing insights into the elusive character and overpowering artistry of Charles Spencer Chaplin. John McCabe lives with his wife and three children on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

Softcover – 297 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 197 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER A Magnum Book, London, 1978 – ISBN 0 417 03340 0

Charlie Chaplin (Ronald M. Hahn, Volker Jansen)

Jansen, Volker - Charlie Chaplin“In siebzig Jahren wird es ein Filmmuseumgeben, und die Filmleute werden manchmal hineingehen und sich im kühlen Vorjührungsraum, wo die besten Jahrgänge lagern, einen alten Meister zeigen lassen, der durch eine Expertise von Geheimrat Coogan als eigenhändig erklärt und im Kunsthandel auf hunderttausend Mark geschätzt ist; da werden sie eine Stunde auf ihren Sitzen zappeln und dann mit verdrehten Augen auf die Strafte torkeln wie betrunkene Enten, und dann werden sie mit fehlerfrei synchronisierter sowie verschleierter Stimme einander ins wulstige Ohr flüstern: Kunststück, ein echter Chaplin!” – Rudolf Arnheim in Die Weltbühne, Nr. 27, vom 2.7.1929

Dieser Bursche ist sehr vielseitig; er ist ein Tramp, ein Gentleman, ein Dichter, ein Träumer und ein einsamer Bursche. Immer hofft er, es möge ihm etwas Romantisches und Abenteuerliches begegnen. Er möchte die Menschen glauben machen, er sei ein Wissenschaftler, ein Musiker, ein Herzog oder ein Polospieler. Und dabei ist er durchaus imstande, fortgeworfene Zigarettenstummel aufzuheben oder einem Säugling einen Lutscher wegzunehmen. Ja, wenn die Gelegenheit es verlangt, wird er sogar einer Dame einen Tritt in den Allerwertesten versetzen.

Softcover – 149 pp. – Dimensions 29,5 x 22 cm (11,6 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 726 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Taco Verlagsgesellschaft und Agentur mbH, Berlin, Germany, 1987 – ISBN 3-89268-023-X

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews (edited by Kevin J. Hayes)

hayes-kevin-j-charlie-chaplin-interviews“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.”

In late 1914, Charlie Chaplin’s name first began appearing on marquees. By the end of the following year, moviegoers couldn’t get enough of him and his iconic persona, the Little Tramp. Perpetually outfitted with baggy pants, a limp cane, and a dusty bowler hat, the character became so beloved that Chaplin was mobbed by fans, journalists, and critics at every turn.

Although he never particularly liked giving interviews, he accepted the demands of his stardom, giving detailed responses about his methods of making movies. He quickly progressed from making two-reel shorts to feature-length masterpieces such as The Gold Rush, City Lights, and Modern Times.

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews offers a complex portrait of perhaps the world’s greatest cinematic comedian and a man who is considered to be one of the most influential screen artists in movie history. The interviews he granted, performances in and of themselves, are often as well crafted as his films. Unlike the Little Tramp, Chaplin the interviewee comes across as melancholy and serious, as the titles of some early interviews – “Beneath the Mask: Witty, Wistful, Serious Is the Real Charlie” or “The Hamlet-Like Nature of Charlie Chaplin” – make abundantly clear.

His first sound feature, The Great Dictator, is a direct condemnation of Hitler. His later films such as Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight obliquely criticize American policy and consequently generated mixed reactions from critics and little response from moviegoers. During this late period of his filmmaking, Chaplin granted interviews less often. The three later interviews included here are thus extremely valuable, offering long, contemplative analyses of the man’s life and work.

KEVIN J. HAYES is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His previous books include Poe and the Printed Word, Folklore and Book Culture, and An American Cycling Odyssey, 1887, among others. He has been published in Film Criticism, Literature / Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, and other periodicals.

Softcover – 150 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 – ISBN 1-57806-702-2

Charlie Chaplin: Intimate Close-Ups (Georgia Hale; edited with an introduction and notes by Heather Kiernan)

hale-georgia-charlie-chaplin-intimate-close-upsIn her eighties Georgia Hale presented a slightly disconcentring figure, with her elaborate maquillage, flowing blonde hair, and eyelashes of extravagant length. But within minutes of meeting her, you quite forgot this somewhat incongruous mask and saw only the fine dark eyes of the sweet, wise, loyal, honest, plucky woman who for so long – and understandably – held the affections of Charles Chaplin.

Her book is a touching, frank self-portrait, relating a life handicapped to the end by the lack of confidence ingrained in childhood by her discouraging father, yet always inspired by an undivided devotion to Chaplin that began long before she met him and continued to the end of both their lives. It is a real and profound love story, even if for much of the time it was unilateral. Nor does the intensity of her passion ever blind her: her picture of the two aspects of her hero – Charlie and Mr. Chaplin – is shrewdly realistic. It is fortunate for film history that this singular and delicate memoir is now available; and even more satisfying that Georgia has found an editor who so well succeeds in combining a scholar’s rigour with manifest affection for her author. – David Robinson, historian and former critic of The Times, London

HEATHER KIERNAN, a freelance writer and editor, was educated at Toronto and Cambridge, England.

Softcover – 215 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 443 g (15,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1999 – ISBN 1-57886-004-0

Charlie Chaplin: The Art of Comedy (David Robinson)

Robinson, David - Charlie Chaplin, The Art of Comedy“My own concept of humor is… the subtle discrepancy we discern in what appears to be normal behavior. In other words, through humor we see in what seems rational, the irrational; in what seems important, the unimportant. It also heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity. Because of humor we are less overwhelmed by the vicissitudes in life. It activates our sense of proportion and reveals to us that in an overstatement of seriousness lurks the absurd.” – Charles Chaplin in My Autobiography (1964).

In 1914 Charlie Chaplin emerged from the costume shed at Hollywood’s Keystone’s studios wearing baggy pants, and ill-fitting jacket and a small bowler hat – and so the tramp, the character the whole world knows and loves, was born. Here is the story of Charlie Chaplin: his brilliant career as actor, writer, producer and director, as well as his often troubled private life – his love affairs, his pursuit by the FBI and his break with the United States. An acute observer of human nature and the comic possibilities of everyday life, Chaplin changed the course of filmmaking for ever.

Softcover – 143 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 12,5 cm (6,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 216 g (7,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Thames and Hudson, London, 1996 – ISBN 0 500 300631

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde (Frederick Sands; originally titled Charlie and Oona: The Story of a Marriage)

sands-frederick-charlie-en-oona-chaplin-een-leven-vol-liefdeWeinig mensen weten hoeveel verdriet Charlie Chaplin tijdens zijn leven heeft gehad. Over die ‘onbekende’ Charles Spencer Chaplin schrijft Frederick Sands, jarenlang vriend én buurman van de Chaplins.

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde vertelt over het huwelijk van Charlie Chaplin en Oona O’Neill. Hoe een man van vierenvijftig – die reeds drie keer gehuwd was geweest – en een beeldschoon meisje van achttien verliefd op elkaar werden, trouwden en acht kinderen kregen.

Voor Oona betekende deze verbintenis een breuk met haar vader en het einde van haar eigen filmcarriére. Na een huwelijk van drieëndertig ‘stralende, gelukkige jaren’ zorgt Oona thans voor de laatste periode van Chaplins leven.

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde is de geschiedenis van twee zeer bijzondere mensen.

Softcover – 206 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Teleboek bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1978 – ISBN 90 6122 466 7

Charlton Heston’s Hollywood: 50 Years in American Film (Charlton Heston, with Jean-Pierre Isbouts)

Heston, Charlton - Charlton Heston's HollywoodCharlton Heston has been making Hollywood history for the past fifty years. He is one of the few living actors who has worked with so many of this century’s great directors: Cecil B. DeMille, Orson Welles, William Wyler, James Cameron, and many more in between. Heston’s story reflects the evolution of postwar Hollywood. At every pivotal juncture, from the birth of nationwide TV, to the advent of today’s new media, Heston has been in the lead – at the forefront of the entertainment field.

Charlton Heston’s Hollywood offers and in-depth and up-to-the-minute look at this legendary actor’s long and illustrious career. It features behind-the-scenes accounts from every one of Heston’s major films, with inside stories about the cast and crew, anecdotes from the shoot, and notes on how the film fared upon release. It also includes countless recollections about the many great actors, directors, and producers that Heston worked with, including James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Marlene Dietrich, Janet Leigh, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner, Hal Wallis, Sam Zimbalist, Richard D. Zanuck, Laurence Olivier, Sophia Loren, David Niven, Ava Gardner, Sam Peckinpah, Anthony Mann, John Gielgud, Edward G. Robinson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, David Carradine, Kim Basinger, Vanessa Redgrave, Henry Fonda, and Kenneth Branagh.

The book also chronicles Heston’s behind-the-scenes efforts, including his work on behalf of the civil rights movement and the troops in Vietnam, as well as for the Screen Actors Guild, the American Film Institute, and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Packed with over 200 photographs, many of which have never been published, sketches drawn by Heston on the sets of his films, and a complete filmography, Charlton Heston’s Hollywood is a must-have for Heston fans and for movie buffs of every stripe.

CHARLTON HESTON is a best-selling author of In the Arena, An Actor’s Life, Beijing Diaries, Charlton Heston Presents the Bible, and To Be a Man: Letters to My Grandson. JEAN-PIERRE ISBOUTS is an award-winning screenwriter and producer who specializes in historical and cultural programming. In 1995 he wrote and produced Charlton Heston’s Voyage Through the Bible on CD-ROM.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 222 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22,5 cm (11,2 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.100 g (38,8 oz) – PUBLISHER GT Publishing, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 157719357-1

Charlton Heston: The Actor’s Life – Journals 1956-1976 (Charlton Heston)

heston-charlton-journals-1956-1976‘Through the book we come to know a different Charlton Heston: a loving family man of great decency, talent and humor: a hard-working real-life twentieth-century hero’ – Chicago Post-Tribune

Charlton Heston remembers it all, from the cold-water flat in a New York slum to the top of the greatest show on earth – Hollywood. He opens his heart, soul and personal diaries in The Actor’s Life. Here are twenty years of insight and experience with directors Cecil B. DeMille, William Wyler, Orson Welles, George Stevens, Sam Peckinpah; stars Gary Cooper, Edward G. Robinson, Lawrence Olivier, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner.

Also his movies such as Ben-Hur, Khartoum, Planet of the Apes, Earthquake; and, with his family, the hard-won accomplishments of a solid marriage and beloved children that make Heston’s one of the truly original Hollywood stories – on camera and off.

Softcover – 482 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 12,5 cm (7,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 305 g (10,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1977

Chevalier: The Films and Career of Maurice Chevalier (Gene Ronggold, DeWitt Bodeen; foreword by Rouben Mamoulian)

ringgold-gene-chevalier-the-films-and-career-of-maurice-chevalier“At 83, Maurice Chevalier was much too young to die. He still possessed an amazing amount of creative energy and a youth’s enthusiasm for his art. He was born the year the Eiffel Tower was built, and like it he became the symbol of Paris. Unlike it, he could travel and sing. He appeared in films and in person in most countries of the world and was embraced by every nation as partly their own. There are singers, actors, entertainers, but there is only one Chevalier. He is unique, and being unique, he is indestructible. As a performer, he was totally integrated and the whole of him was much bigger than the sum of his various talents. His stylized silhouette, the saucy angle of his straw hat, his smile, the way he moved, sang and talked was not only artistically perfect, but spiritually uplifting to young and old. He radiated optimism, good will and above all the joie de vivre that every human being longs for.

Yet, when I first knew him, these qualities seemed to belong only to Chevalier, the entertainer, not the man. This was forty years ago, when I directed him in Love Me Tonight. I had never witnessed such a sharp schism in any performer before. He would come on the set, slouching, sit in a corner looking as unhappy and worried as a homeless orphan. When I called him to shoot the first song, I thought it would be a disaster. He shuffled to his position, drooping head, frowning, dejected. We started the camera, I said: ‘Action!’ and then a complete transformation took place – there he was: happy, debonaire, truly filled with that joy of living. The take was perfect. Then, as I said ‘Cut,’ the light went out of him. He walked back to his corner like a tired man, looking hopelessly miserable, as before. Through Love Me Tonight we became very good friends. As a person, I found him insecure and old in spirit; yet, in a way, he was also like a schoolboy in need of affection, encouragement and friendship. Consciously or unconsciously, he seemed to hold the Hellenistic principle that friendship is superior to love.” – From The Foreword by Rouben Mamoulian.

Softcover – 245 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 891 g (31,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1973 – ISBN 0-8065-0483-8

Child Star: An Autobiography (Shirley Temple Black)

temple-shirley-child-starFor the first time, Shirley Temple Black – the quintessential child star of the 1930s and 1940s – tells in her own words the colorlul story of her life as an actress. In this long-awaited autobiography, she reveals that for the captivating girl who seemed to have everything, all was not always well aboard the ‘Good Ship Lollipop’.

Born in 1928 in Southern California, Shirley Temple was a phenomenon from the start. She began acting at the extraordinarily early age of three, often in exploitative films directed and produced by abusive studio executives. But Shirley’s talent and perseverance could not be thwarted, and she soon entered a fruitful relationship with Twentieth Century-Fox. Before long, she was making films with the top stars of the day including Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard, Lionel Barrymore, Joel McCrea, Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Joseph Cotten, Claudette Colbert and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

There was something magical about Shirley Temple that transcended barriers of race and nationality. Her worldwide popularity was second to none; her winsome spirit charmed everyone she met from the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, downwards – as did her astonishing performances in over forty films, including such classics as Stand Up and Cheer, Baby Take a Bow, Bright Eyes (in which she sang ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’), Curly Top, The Littlest Rebel, and Wee Willie Winkie. In Child Star, Shirley Temple Black reveals the whole story, the ups and downs of life as a Hollywood prodigy – including numerous kidnap threats and even a murder attempt against her. She writes about her relationship with her parents – and discloses how her complex finances were managed. Shirley also tells of her fairy-tale marriage, at the age of seventeen, to the handsome soldier Jack Agar – the dream that soon turned into a nightmare when she discovered her husband’s dalliances with alcohol and other women. But Shirley was destined to meet and fall in love with Charlie Black, a former naval officer. She has been happily married to him for thirty-eight years.

Child Star is perhaps the most authentic and honest account to date by a major celebrity about what it was like to live and work in the golden era of Hollywood. Filled with revelations and personal anecdotes, Child Star is at once candid, funny and poignant. Every page until its inspiring finale reflects the warm, bright, indomitable spirit that has entranced the world for over fifty years.

SHIRLEY TEMPLE BLACK was United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana and a United States representative to the United Nations. She has three children and a granddaughter and lives with her husband in northern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 547 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 965 g (34 oz) – PUBLISHER Headline Book Publishing PLC, London, 1988 – ISBN 0-7472-0143-9

Christmas at the Movies: Images of Christmas in American, British and European Cinema (edited by Mark Connelly)

Connelly, Mark - Christmas at the MoviesCinema and Christmas are intertwined. Cinema has helped to make Christmas the international festival it is now, with movies, from It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street to Home Alone or When Harry Met Sally, contributing to the contemporary definition of Christmas as a social not a religious occasion.

Christmas at the Movies explores the great Christmas films of American and European cinema, as well as some of the lesser-known ones that highlight the ways in which Christmas has been celebrated, perceived and presented in American society and cinema. The contributors look at the various versions of A Christmas Carol, examine the wartime Christmas of British and American cinema and reinterpret It’s a Wonderful Life in the context of an America in the aftermath war. They show how French Christmas movies can veer from nostalgic longing to raw realism and how Russian cinema has broken free from Christmas clichés. They uncover the dark side of Christmas in the Christmas horror movie and explore the mix of Christmas and violence in such films as Lethal Weapon and Home Alone. They revisit the ‘traditional’ English family Christmas and present a radical rethink of Santa Claus himself.

Entertaining and illuminating, providing a brand new perspective on Christmas and the rituals that the celluloid world has given us, this is a gift of a book for everyone interested in cinema.

MARK CONNELLY is Reuters Lecturer in Media and Propaganda History at the University of Kent and Canterbury and is the author of Christmas: A Social History (I.B. Tauris).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 396 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979 – ISBN 1 86064 397 3

Christmas in July: The Life and Art of Preston Sturges (Diane Jacobs)

jacobs-diane-christmas-in-julyIn this first critical biography of Preston Sturges, Diane Jacobs brings to life the great comic filmmaker whose career Andrew Sarris described as “one of the most brilliant and bizarre bursts of creation in the history of the American cinema.” Sturges’s life was as feverishly paced and as filled with galvanizing changes in luck as any of his films. Jacobs draws on a wealth of letters and manuscripts – some never before revealed – and interviews with people who knew Sturges – including three of his wives – to portray this fascinating, contradictory man. In addition to discussing the major films, she examines heretofore uncirculated plays, film scripts and stories. Jacobs shows that Sturges was highly creative even near the end of his life, when many believed he had lost his touch.

Sturges secured his place in film history as the creator of such Hollywood classics as The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, and The Palm Beach Story. Another of his films, Christmas in July, provides an apt title for the story of his feast-to-famine career. After his first Broadway success with the play Strictly Dishonorable, Sturges followed the Algonquin set to Hollywood in the early thirties. In 1939 he became the first screenwriter to win the right to direct his own script – the result was the Oscar-winning The Great McGinty.

Creator of some of America’s most popular films, including Unfaithfully Yours, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero, Sturges was the third highest-paid man in the United States by the late 1940s. He owned a swank Hollywood restaurant and enjoyed the reputation of an ebullient raconteur as well as a world-famous filmmaker. A little over a decade later, Sturges died in New York, impoverished and rejected by Hollywood.

The euphoria of success, the fitfulness of luck, and the promise and poignancy of the American Dream – the themes of Sturges’s work also marked his life. In chronicling his remarkable career, Diane Jacobs illuminates the contributions and complexities of a great American film artist.

DIANE JACOBS has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Village Voice. She is the author of Hollywood Renaissance (Delta 1977) and “… but we need the eggs”: The Magic of Woody Allen (St. Martin’s Press 1982).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 525 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.045 g (36,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1992 – ISBN 0-520-07926-4

Cinema: A Critical Dictionary – The Film-Makers, Volume One [Aldrich to King] (edited by Richard Roud)

Roud, Richard - Cinema, A Critical Dictionary volume oneRarely does a work appear matching historical facts with breadth and depth of critical appraisal on the scale offered in this book. Richard Roud, himself a distinguished writer on film, has drawn together an authorship of outstanding international film critics, including Andrew Sarris, Penelope Houston, Henri Langlois, Arlene Croce, John Russell Taylor and Gavin Millar. Their combined insight and expertise has produced an astounding compendium, in which a groundwork of fact leads on to vivid descriptions of films and their making, and to intriguing and authoritative assessments of directors, genres and schools, each seen against a background of politics, personalities, commerce or art. In these two volumes there are over 200 articles, every one supplemented by Richard Roud’s own comments, which are sometimes controversial, always perceptive, and in each case underpinned by a selective bibliography. Each volume is copiously illustrated with stills chosen by the editor, many of them not previously released and all calculated to sharpen either memories or curiosity.

The result is a publishing landmark: a work essential both to the student of film and to the critical cinemagoer – a book that will challenge received opinion and offer its own idiosyncratic views.

RICHARD ROUD is Director of the New York Film Festival, and former programme director of the National Film Theatre and the London Film Festival. A regular contributor to Sight and Sound, he has also written for the New York Times, Cahiers du Cinéma, Encore, Encounter, etc. From 1963-70 he was film critic of the Guardian, for which he is now Roving Arts Critic. He is the author of two volumes, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Marie Straub, in the Cinema One series published by Secker & Warburg. He is now preparing a biography of the late Henri Langlois.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 550 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 17 cm (9,8 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 1.230 g (43,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1980

Cinema: A Critical Dictionary – The Film-Makers, Volume Two [Kinugasa to Zanussi] (edited by Richard Roud)

Roud, Richard - Cinema, A Critical Dictionary volume twoRarely does a work appear matching historical facts with breadth and depth of critical appraisal on the scale offered in this book. Richard Roud, himself a distinguished writer on film, has drawn together an authorship of outstanding international film critics, including Andrew Sarris, Penelope Houston, Henri Langlois, Arlene Croce, John Russell Taylor and Gavin Millar. Their combined insight and expertise has produced an astounding compendium, in which a groundwork of fact leads on to vivid descriptions of films and their making, and to intriguing and authoritative assessments of directors, genres and schools, each seen against a background of politics, personalities, commerce or art. In these two volumes there are over 200 articles, every one supplemented by Richard Roud’s own comments, which are sometimes controversial, always perceptive, and in each case underpinned by a selective bibliography. Each volume is copiously illustrated with stills chosen by the editor, many of them not previously released and all calculated to sharpen either memories or curiosity.

The result is a publishing landmark: a work essential both to the student of film and to the critical cinemagoer – a book that will challenge received opinion and offer its own idiosyncratic views.

RICHARD ROUD is Director of the New York Film Festival, and former programme director of the National Film Theatre and the London Film Festival. A regular contributor to Sight and Sound, he has also written for the New York Times, Cahiers du Cinéma, Encore, Encounter, etc. From 1963-70 he was film critic of the Guardian, for which he is now Roving Arts Critic. He is the author of two volumes, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Marie Straub, in the Cinema One series published by Secker & Warburg. He is now preparing a biography of the late Henri Langlois.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 570 pp., index (for volumes one and two) – Dimensions 25 x 17 cm (9,8 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 1.275 g (45 oz) – PUBLISHER Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1980

The Cinema of Carl Dreyer (Tom Milne)

Milne, Tom - The Cinema of Carl Dreyer“Perhaps the most perfect epitaph in the entire history of the cinema comes in the last scene of Dreyer’s last film, when Gertrud, now old and grey and solitary and awaiting death in the security of her memories, murmurs with the majestic quietude of complete self-fulfilment. ‘I have known love.’ Not, one notices, ‘I have loved’ or ‘I have been loved,’ but the all-embracing, almost Olympian splendor of ‘I have known love.’ No better phrase could be found to define the profound involvement that bound Dreyer to the cinema in a relationship which spanned nearly fifty years but only fourteen films, each one painfully squeezed out of reluctant financiers while millions were being squandered in Hollywood, in Paris, in London, and each one quietly adding its chapter to the greatest and most loving voyage of exploration of the human soul the cinema has yet witnessed.

I only met Dreyer once, at the Venice Film Festival of 1965, less than three years before his death and only nine months after the disastrous world premiere of Gertrud in Paris, when the whole pack of French critics united to heap insult upon scorn and incomprehension. Somehow, although Gertrud was well on the way towards rehabilitation by then, Dreyer’s participation in the Festival reflected his curiously ambivalent position in the cinema as the filmmaker everybody nominally reserves as one of the true great, but whom few people actually admire or make any effort to understand.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 191 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 200 g (7,1 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 498 07711 X

The Cinema of Edward G. Robinson (James Robert Parish, Alvin H. Marill)

Marrill, Alvin H - The Cinema of Eward G RobinsonThe Cinema of Edward G. Robinson covers the famed actor’s spectacularly successful film career from The Bright Shawl (1923), through classics of the gangster genre like Little Caesar (the 1931 film is still the one most people associate with Robinson), his superbly polished performance as poker player Lancey Howard in The Cincinnati Kid, through his latest role to date in The Song of Norway (1970).

The authors have provided a complete filmography – containing casts, credits, and character names), plus a synopsis of each film and rare photos for each of EGR’s 86 feature films to date. In addition, contemporary reviews have been provided for the feature films. A compendium of the actor’s stage, radio, and television performances has also been included.

In an extensive introductory essay, the authors have traced Robinson’s rise as a noted Broadway actor in the 1910s and 1920s, then continue on to his film career, which reached a spectacular peak with Little Caesar and has continued onward at high momentum right up to the present.

Although Robinson is best known for his gangster roles (and to this day a Robinson “gangster” imitation is standard repertoire for nearly every impressionist in show business), he is far more versatile than this. Only about a quarter of his roles have called for gangster portrayals. “In about an equal number,” the authors note, “he was the unswerving, if occasionally unappreciated, upholder of law and order. He also limned five ‘real’ people, appearing in two of the finest biographical films ever made; he won and lost the girl an equal number of times (nine); and he confronted Humphrey Bogart five times… four as the good guy.”

The authors have also quoted extensively from Robinson himself, including interviews especially for this book, which helps to give an additional insight into the actor’s approach to his career and his ability to overcome his handicaps. (“If I were just a bit taller and I was a little more handsome or something like that,” he has admitted, “I could have played all the roles I have played, and played many more.”)

The Cinema of Edward G. Robinson is an outstanding book of its kind. Thorough, well-researched, accurate, it is a fitting tribute to one of the screen’s most talented, versatile, and successful leading men.

JAMES ROBERT PARISH, a New York-based free-lance writer, was born near Boston on April 21, 1944. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he is a member of the New York Bar. During the mid-1960s, he was a publicist at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts. As president of Entertainment Copyright Research Co., Inc., he headed one of the major researching facilities in the United States for the film and television industries. Later he was a film interviewer-reviewer for Motion Picture Daily and Variety. He has also worked as a film publicist in New York. He has been responsible for such reference volumes as The American Movies Reference Book: The Sound Era, TV Movies, The Emmy Awards: A Pictorial History, The Fox Girls, and The Great Movie Series. In the works is a book tentatively titled The Slapstick Queens. Mr. Parish is a frequent contributor to the entertainment journals here and abroad. ALVIN H. MARILL is a life-long cinema student and credit-watcher. In his home town of Brockton, Massachusetts, he had the distinction of attending the closing performances of four of the city’s six movie houses and was a spectator when another burned to the ground. A graduate of Boston University, he has been a writer-producer in radio, both in Boston and in New York, was a free-lance critic for the Quincy (Massachusetts) Patriot-Ledger, and has reviewed films for Radio New York Worldwide. He is a frequent contributor to a number of serious cinema publications and is co-author of a series of screen personality books, including Boris Karloff: A Pictorial Study and Errol Flynn: A Pictorial Study.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 922 g (32,5 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., Inc., Cranbury, New Jersey, 1972 – ISBN 0-498-07875-2

The Cinema of Ernst Lubitsch: The Hollywood Films (Leland A. Poague)

poague-leland-a-the-cinema-of-ernst-lubitschIn 1946 Ernst Lubitsch was honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his “distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture.” Lubitsch excelled as a director of historical epics, tart social satires, fluid and elegant musicals, and marvelously witty and inventive comedies. In The Cinema of Ernst Lubitsch Leland A. Poague extends the investigation of Hollywood comedy that he began in The Cinema of Frank Capra. In this study he offers a detailed analysis of Lubitsch’s Hollywood films, paying particular attention to the changing relationship of style to theme as evidenced in Lubitsch’s best-known works.

The first chapter, “Time and the Man,” compares The Marriage Circle to The Shop Around the Corner, pointing out that the former film is the more ingenious stylistically and thematically, and that the latter film is more good-natured and hopeful, embodying a more humane version of life and time.

The second chapter, “Frivolity and Responsability,” attends to the relationship between satire and romance in Lubitsch. In Lady Windermere’s Fan, for example, Lubitsch bears down on the disharmony between social decorum and personal integrity. In The Student Prince he again considers the conflict of social duty and individual desire, but tends to emphasize the tragedy of lost innocence rather than satirize the circumstances that require innocence to yield to experience. Finally, in The Merry Widow, Lubitsch extends his critique into the realm of romantic, musical-comedy myth.

The third chapter, “Self-Aware Illusions,” considers the relation of illusion to reality as evidenced in One Hour With You, Trouble in Paradise, and To Be or Not To Be. All three films are concerned with characters who manipulate appearances, for good or for ill.

In chapter four, “Love Paradise (Uncertain Feelings),” So This Is Paris, The Love Parade, and Ninotchka are discussed by Dr. Poague as evincing a gradual change in Lubitsch’s attitudes toward love, marriage, and sexual relationships. From an emphasis on upper-class marriages gone awry, Lubitsch shifts focus to look at the dynamics of rejuvenation in marital relationships.

The final chapter, “Age Shall Not Wither,” concentrates in detail on the last two films that Lubitsch saw through to conclusion: Heaven Can Wait and Cluny Brown. Both films, according to Dr. Poague, are deeply concerned with time, morality, and the kind of responsible actions people can take in the face of the inevitable.

Born December 15, 1948, in San Francisco, California, LELAND A. POAGUE teaches literature and film criticism at the State University College at Geneseo, New York. He holds degrees from San Jose State College and the University of Oregon, and has contributed articles on literature, film, and popular culture to Modern Drama, Film Quarterly, Literature / Film Quarterly, and The Journal of Aesthetic Education, among others. He has published a full-length study of Frank Capra, and he is currently writing studies of Billy Wilder and Leo McCarey. Dr. Poague is married and is the father of a recently born daughter, Amy Elizabeth.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 183 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16,0 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-498-01958-6

The Cinema of John Frankenheimer (Gerald Pratley)

Pratley, Gerald - The Cinema of John Frankenheimer“I think anyone who is a responsible individual, is concerned with getting a point across in a film. Although the first responsibility of anyone who makes a film is to involve the audience, I believe films are much more than a popular entertainment. The represent the most universal means of communication in the world today, with the possible exception of music. Certainly much greater than television, which is comparatively local. When you make a film, you know there is every chance it will be shown throughout the world. Through the medium of film we try to communicate with all kinds of people and get certain ideas across in the most artistic way we know. I have had very few restrictions placed in my way when it comes to expressing myself. I think talent finds its own level in life and those who are recognized, deserve to be recognized and those who are not, don’t deserve to be.” – Preface by John Frankenheimer.

Softcover – 240 pp. – Dimensions 16,5 x 13,5 cm (6,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 259 g (9,1 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co, Ltd., New York, New York, 1969 – SBN 498 07413 4

The Cinema of Joseph Losey (James Leahy)

Leahy, James - The Cinema of Joseph Losey“I like theater, I like films, these two things are my life, and almost entirely my life, and they are so concentrated and involved that they very often seriously interfere with, if not exclude, private life; but they also make private life possible. But nothing could be worth the anguish and the hard work and the distress of work in those mediums that are combinations of the commercial and the free unless you are dealing successfully enough with problems to disturb people. And this again comes back to that hideous business which has been a kind of byword of film finance and film distribution and exhibition: ‘It’s entertainment,’ or ‘Is it entertainment?’ or ‘It’s not entertainment.’ What is entertainment? Entertainment, to me, is anything that is so engrossing, so involves an audience single or en masse that their lives for that moment are totally arrested, and they are made to think and feel in areas and categories and intensities which aren’t part of their normal life. And anything that can arrest me to that degree – whether it’s music, painting, a human being, a landscape, the sensation of being alive in various ways – is entertainment, is something that lifts life a little bit out of its rut into some other category, temporarily or permanently a little bit further. But entertainment simply for the sake of oblivion is like all the other ways of getting through life and wasting time. What’s the horrible phrase everybody uses? Killing time, killing time, as if time were there to be killed, which it isn’t.” – From The Introduction by Joseph Losey.

Softcover – 175 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 184 g (6,5 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1967

The Cinema of Martin Scorsese (Lawrence S. Friedman)

friedman-lawrence-s-the-cinema-of-martin-scorseseMartin Scorsese is undeniably one of the most accomplished and successful filmmakers of our time. He is at the vanguard of the sixties’ generation of filmschool students, which include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian DePalma, and Steven Spielberg.

From the urban violence and psychosis of Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Goodfellas, to the romanticism of The Age of Innocence, the drama of Raging Bull, and the supremely provocative Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese has not compromised his vision. Kundun, just completed, promises another transcendent film experience.

Scorsese has wrestled with his ambivalence over both his Catholicism and his Sicilian-American heritage. By considering each of Scorsese’s films and studying them thematically, Lawrence S. Friedman reveals the unique patterns of the popular moviemaker’s career.

LAWRENCE S. FRIEDMAN is author of Understanding Isaac Bashevis Singer, Understanding Cynthia Ozick and Understanding William Goldig.

Softcover – 200 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 326 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Continuum Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-8264-1077-4

The Cinema of Max Ophuls: Magistral Vision and the Figure of Woman (Susan M. White)

White, Susan M - The Cinema of Max OphulsMax Ophuls (1902-1957), long considered to be a major influence on the French New Wave, was an extraordinarily profilic director, with more than 200 plays and 21 feature-length films, made in five countries, to his credit. In The Cinema of Max Ophuls, Susan White considers the entire span of Ophuls’ career in cinema from a perspective made possible by recent theoretical advances in film studies. White offers an unparalleled look at the noted director’s work, and demonstrates that the concerns of film authorship and spectatorship are not mutually exclusive.

Drawing upon current scholarship on auteurism, spectatorship, and gender  difference, Susan White re-examines particular strands in European and American film history from 1932 to 1955, with a central concern for the positioning of women in Ophuls’ films. The Cinema of Max Ophuls explores the representation of women as commodoties, the tension between movement and statis, the question of voice and its relation to visuals, Ophuls’ response to the plight of European Jewry, and his critique of bourgois society.

Illustrated with almost fifty frame enlargments and film publicity shots, The Cinema of Max Ophuls is the most comprehensive, up-to-date volume on this great director’s work. In this combination of film analysis, theory and criticism, it uniquely transects the fields of European and American film history and feminist cultural studies.

SUSAN M. WHITE is Associate Professor of Film and Literature in the Department of English at the University of Arizona. She is the the film editor for Arizona Quarterly.

Softcover – 384 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 685 g (24,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbia University Press, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 978-0-231-10113-4

The Cinema of Otto Preminger (Gerald Pratley)

Pratley, Gerald - The Cinema of Otto Preminger“I live in the United States. I originally was born in Vienna, and lived there a long time. In the United States, one of the most precious rights we have is the right of free expression. I have had trouble with censorship, with the small movie, The Moon Is Blue, because in 1953 people objected to the word ‘virgin,’ which is hard to believe. I could have easily made a few cuts and compromised, but I feel that in our own fields, as motion picture directors, newspapermen, writers, whatever we are, we have not only the right, but the duty to defend this right of free expression. Because if this right detoriates, that is the first step to dictatorship, to totalitarian government, and no totalitarian government, whether on the Right or on the Left, could ever exist with its citizens having the right to speak freely. I think it is very important for us to fight for this right and that is why I have always fought censorship and won. There is no censorship in the United States. I hope it will stay like this. This is my answer to questions about censorship. My views have never changed.” – From The Introduction – Otto Preminger, Ontario Film Theatre, Toronto, October 1970.

Otto Preminger is one of the American cinema’s most eminent figures. From dramatic entertainments like Laura and Anatomy of a Murder to films touching the larger issues of the post-war world like Exodus and Advise and Consent, he has proved his thoughtfulness and versatility. This lively guide to his work has been compiled by GERALD PRATLEY, the distinguished Canadian critic.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 206 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co, Ltd., New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 498 07860 4

The Cinema of Robert De Niro (James Cameron-Wilson)

cameron-wilson-james-the-cinema-of-robert-de-niroRobert De Niro is an enigma. A box-office superstar, his face known to millions, De Niro manages to keep his personal life out of the news. An intensely private man, he is dedicated to his art. So dedicated that he will put on sixty pounds to portray and ageing boxer (Raging Bull), teach himself to play the saxophone (New York, New York), acquire a perfect Sicilian accent (The Godfather, Part II), learn the Catholic Mass by heart (True Confessions), or spend two weeks driving a yellow cab around New York’s seediest districts (Taxi Driver).

De Niro is perhaps the most respected and versatile actor of our age, an actors’ actor as well as a favorite amongst the fans. His involvement in his art is total and his policy of turning down the ‘big bucks’ in order to make films which interest him personally, has resulted in some of the most critically acclaimed films of recent cinema history, including 1900, Once Upon a Time in America, and The Mission.

But, as author James Cameron-Wilson describes in his book, De Niro’s films are not merely a success from the critic’s point of view. He has also participated in some of the biggest money-spinners of all time, such as The Godfather, Part II and The Deer Hunter. De Niro is both cult figure and box-office success; a consummate actor and a screen idol. Yet this double Oscar winner is perhaps the best known and least understood actor of our time. So who is Robert De Niro?

As Cameron-Wilson investigates and examines the career of De Niro, through meticulous research and candid interviews with De Niro’s colleagues, what emerges is the first in-depth profile on De Niro, the Man.

The Cinema of Robert De Niro, fully illustrated with over seventy photographs, provides a fascinating and revealing insight into one of the contemporary cinema’s most ambitious and charismatic performers.

Softcover – 156 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 342 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Zomba Books, London, 1986 – ISBN 0-946391-80-7

The Cinema of Roman Polanski (Ivan Butler)

Butler, Ivan - The Cinema opf Roman PolanskiThis study of Roman Polanski and his films to date was already approaching completion when his wife, Sharon Tate, whom he married in 1968, met her death in circumstances which shocked the world. A tragedy so appalling and so meaningless, and following so closely on the equally untimely death of his close friend Krzysztof Komeda, composer for almost all his films, might well have broken a man of weaker calibre and lesser courage. As the book goes to press, however, Roman Polanski is already well advanced on his next film.

“Roman Polanski was born to Polish parents in Paris on August 18, 1933; three years later the family returned to Poland and settled in Krakow. During the war, when he was eight years old, both his parents were taken away to a Nazi concentration camp and he was left entirely on his own, surviving as best he could with a succession of Polish families. During this terrible ‘wartime’ period, he says, the ‘pictures’ were an escape and a refuge.” – From chapter 1, ‘The Man.’

The contents of this book are: The man; The shorts; Knife in the Water; Repulsion; Cul-de-Sac; Dance of the Vampires; Rosemary’s Baby; The director.

Softcover – 190 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 203 g (7,2 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1970 – SBN 498 07712 8

Cinema Sequels and Remakes, 1903-1987 (Robert A. Nowlan, Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan)

nowlan-robert-a-cinema-sequels-and-remakes-1903-1987“The motion picture industry has wholeheartedly endorsed the adage ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ by returning again and again to stories which had already been filmed – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. The new productions have not always been faithful re-creations as in the case of 1952’s The Prisoner of Zenda which was a scene-for-scene remake of the 1937 classic. Just as often, the setting has been completely changed as is the case with the caper classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950) which in 1958 showed up as the western The Badlanders.

Other examples of remaking movies include the production of a musical version of a previously filmed story as with 1948’s Summer Holiday, a tuneful retelling of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! which was filmed in 1935. Then there are movies which are not so much remakes as the telling of the same basic story from a different point of view. For instance, My Darling Clementine and Gunfight at the OK Corral, both westerns, deal with the showdown between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, and the Clanton gang.

In terms of sequels, a popular device has been to revisit a story by introducing a son or daughter faced with similar problems as were their parents in earlier movies. Examples include Son of Monte Cristo and Dracula’s Daughter. Sequels also are designed to follow the further adventures of a character as in the case of The Bells of St. Mary’s, which allowed audiences to further enjoy Bing Crosby’s performance as the charming Catholic priest introduced in Going My Way. If this device is used more than once or twice, what we have is a series. The basic difference between a sequel and one film in a series is that in the former, the story of a previous movie is continued in some way, whereas in the case of the latter, there is no real connection between the films, save some central characters who reappear. In the James Bond movies, for instance, 007, Miss Moneypenny, M and Q have for the most part been constants.

While sources exist which list remakes and sequels of certain movies, the sheer number of such entries seemingly has forced the authors of these materials to merely give the most basic information about the movies, the source of their story, their year of release and production company or country of origin. This book will include such information, but in addition will provide a description of the story of the movies and their remakes or sequels, a comparison of the productions, and for each movie featured, its director, screenwriter, main characters and the leading performers in the films.

To produce a source with so much information makes it necessary to limit the number of primary films in one volume, leaving other pictures and their remakes and sequels for a second or even third volume to be produced at a later time. Having made this decision, we adopted the following guiding definition of which movies will be included in this first volume. All films, silent or sound, from the genres of drama, action-adventure, romance, comedy or thriller, which have at least one English-speaking sound remake or sequel, will be treated as primary films, and together with their remakes and sequels will be featured. The entries in the book will be an alphabetical listing of the movies, with listings of remakes and sequels giving a reference to the primary film where they are discussed.

Although many genres for primary films have been excluded for this volume, the book does include certain musicals, westerns, horror and science fiction films when these are remakes or sequels to some given primary film. Every effort has been made to include every primary film and remake or sequel which satisfies our criteria, but we are certain that some of our readers will feel that we have omitted a movie which meets our definition. If so, the omission is merely an oversight and we would be happy to learn of such instances. On occasion, we found claims of remakes or sequels of movies mentioned in one or another of our sources which was never corroborated by any other authority. Rather than to repeat what may be a fiction, we have chosen not to honor any claim of remakes or sequels unless it is made in more than one reliable source.

Readers will note that the extent of the commentary for the various entries varies greatly. This is deliberate, with greater discussion being given to movies which have had the greatest impact on the motion picture industry. This doesn’t mean that they are the authors’ personal selection for the best movies – only that we feel there is more that can and should be said about the particular movies.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 954 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.435 g (50,6 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1989 – ISBN 1-55862-102-4

Cinema ’79 (edited by David Castell)

castell-david-cinema-79“Identity is the most fashionable theme in movies just now, whether it’s the identity problems of Gena Rowlands in Opening Night and Dirk Bogarde in Despair or the identity changes between Robert Altman’s Three Women and between Ellen Burstyn and Melina Mercouri in A Dream of Passion.

With fewer people going to the cinema, but more people seeing films than ever before, the cinema has an identity crisis of its own. How should it square up to the formidable combined challenge of television and home cassettes? Were this year’s films the ones audiences wanted to see? And did we need cinemas to see them?” – From chapter 1, ‘Can This Be a Golden Period for the Silver Screen?’

Softcover – 141 pp., index – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 471 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER BCW Publishing, Ltd., Isle of Wight, 1978 – ISBN 0 904159 50 7

City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield (Robert Sklar)

Sklar, RObert - City BoysBeginning with The Public Enemy, produced by Warner Bros. in 1931, James Cagney established a new cultural type on the American screen and in the world’s imagination. That “type”, later developed by Humphrey Bogart and John Garfield, was the urban tough guy – small, wiry, savvy, and street-smart. Often presented as a gangster, newspaper reporter, or private eye, the “city boy” seemed the quintessential product of urban America, although he was more a model for his audience than a mirror of social actuality. While blending the stories of the professional and political lives of Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield into one fascinating narrative, Robert Sklar probes the cultural forces that produced this vivid cultural icon and examines its power over masculine self-definition.

Cagney and Bogart, whose legends have grown over time, and Garfield, whose work has been unfortunately neglected, are portrayed here in relation not only to their films and their screen personas but also to their working environment. Sklar gives a real sense of the intensity with which each of them struggled to control his own work in the face of the power of Warner Bros., whose effort to produce socially concious movies did not prevent the company from exploiting its stars. The book also describes the involvement of the three stars with political causes and their response to attacks mounted by right-wing elements against “leftists” in the entertainment industry. Moving beyond conventional film criticism, which has largely ignored the importance of performance, City Boys reveals the inseparability of actors’ professional lives, American societal struggles, and media representations.

ROBERT SKLAR is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. Among his works are Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies (Random House) and Prime-Time America: Life On and Behind the Television Screen (Oxford).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 713 g (25,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1992 – ISBN 0-691-04795-2

City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures (Bernard F. Dick)

dick-bernard-f-city-of-dreamsHorror films. Deanna Durbin musicals. Francis the talking mule. Ma and Pa Kettle. Ross Hunter weepies. Theme parks. E.T. Apollo 13. These are only a few of the many faces of Universal Pictures.

In February 1906, Carl Laemmle, German immigrant and former clothing store manager, opened his first nickelodeon in Chicago. He quickly moved from exhibition to distribution and soon entered the realm of film production. A master of publicity and promotions, within ten years “Uncle Carl” had moved his entire operation to southern California, founded a city, and established Universal Pictures as one of the major Hollywood studios.

His son took over in 1929 and the quality of the Universal product improved. In time Universal found its niche in horror films featuring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, comedies starring Abbott and Costello and W.C. Fields, and low-budget musicals. But Carl Laemmle, Jr. proved less adept than his father at empire building. Eventually he was forced out by financial difficulties, opening the way for a string of studio heads who entered and exited one after another.

Thus the age of corporate Hollywood arrived at Universal Pictures earlier than at other studios. The Universal-International merger in 1946, Decca’s stock takeover in the early 1950s, and MCA’s buyout in 1962 all presaged today’s Hollywood, where the art of the deal often eclipses the art of making movies.

So what makes Universal unique? The studio as “city,” the fascination with backlot tours, today’s theme park slogan, “Ride the Movies,” all emphasize Universal’s strong sense of place. Stars and executives have come and gone, shaping and reshaping the studio’s image, but through it all Universal’s revolving globe logo has remained on movie screens around the world. And, unlike several other studios of Hollywood’s golden age, Universal still makes movies today.

BERNARD F. DICK, director of the School of Communication Arts at Fairleigh Dickinsen University, Teaneck Campus, is the author of a number of film studies, including The Star-Spangled Screen: Hollywood and the World War II Film and Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 249 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 684 g (24,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1997 – ISBN 0-8131-2016-0

Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild (David Stenn)

Stenn, David - Clara Bow Runnin' WildShe was the legendary “It” Girl, the embodiment of the Roaring Twenties. She was the hottest box-office draw during Hollywood’s Golden Silent Era, a time when a hundred million people went to the movies every week. Se was gorgeous, sexy and wild, “someone to stir every pulse in the nation.” Her numerous lovers (including Gary Cooper and Victor Fleming) shocked even the sexually promiscuous Hollywood movie colony. She was a breathtakingly talented actress who broke all the rules of Tinsel Town… until she herself was finally broken. She was only twenty-five years old.

Clara Bow was born in Brooklyn in 1905, into a family beset by poverty, violence and insanity. She won her first movie part through a Fame and Fortune Contest, infuriating her jealous mother, who tried to slit her throat with a butcher knife. Clara escaped to Hollywood, where she began turning out movies that soon made her one of America’s most popular stars. In one month she set a record of 45,000 fan letters. But fame didn’t spare her years of reckless mismanagement by producer B.P. Schulberg, one of many men who ruthlessly exploited her. At the peak of her career, Clara was the film industry’s most overworked and underpaid superstar. Her increasingly erratic personal life left her socially ostracized and she was, as Photoplay wrote, “on a toboggan.” Scandals involved gambling, sexual misconduct, and embezzlement made by headlines that were to devastate her. By 1931, she said, “This ain’t no life. The fun’s all gone.” Verging on collapse, Clara was devoured by the vicious and insatiable press, and spent the rest of her life in isolation and sickness.

Riveting and tragic as any screenplay, Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild is the real-life story of a doomed woman whose eight-year reign as America’s foremost screen actress and subsequent disintegration is at once harrowing and heroic. No other book so poignantly captures the glitter and glamour of Hollywood in the twenties, and the woman who symbolized it.

DAVID STENN was born in Chicago, graduated from Yale in 1983, and moved to Hollywood, where he wrote scripts of Hill Street Blues and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and worked under exclusive contract to Universal Studios. He now lives in New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 338 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 705 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-385-24125-9

Clark Gable: A Personal Portrait (Kathleen Gable)

Autographed copy Dear Eleanor, Happy Holidays. Fondly, Kathleen Gable. 1962

Gable, Kathleen - Clark GableThe widow of America’s most beloved screen idol presents a warm, tender portrait of Clark Gable – the man, the husband, the star – as only she could tell it.

Here in fascinating text and a rich array of photographs – many never before published – are scenes and stories of Clark and Kay at home, on location, on hunting trips… flashbacks to Clark’s boyhood, early career and rise to fame… along with pictures of the Gable ranch and candid photos of John Clark Gable, born too late to see his famous father.

Kay Gable tells of her first meeting with Clark; their memorable, first date, their courtship and elopement, and their happy years of marriage. She shares with you little-known facts about her husband: though he loved the challenge of the outdoors and was an outstanding sportsman, he was an avid reader of Shakespeare and enjoyed a wide variety of books. He was a friend to the friendless, and always had time to lend a helping hand to novice actors on the movie set. He formed his friendships on each person’s individual merits.

More than a personal portrait of a great screen star, or the life of Clark and Kay Gable as husband and wife, here is the tender revelation of a woman and her wise philosophy for all women who have been, or hope to be, in love.

This handsome volume will be treasured for years to come, as a lasting tribute in words and pictures to a great man and a gifted actor.

KATHLEEN GABLE, born in Erie, Pennsylvania, only 60 miles from Clark’s birthplace, was a leading model and actress before their marriage. She first met Clark in 1942 and though they lost track of each other for awhile, they renewed their friendship to marry in 1955.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 153 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 18 cm (9,8 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 544 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1961

Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice (David J. Skal, Jessica Rains)

Autographed copy David J. Skal, Jessica Rains

scannen0144Late in Claude Rains’s distinguished career, a reverent film journalist wrote that Rains “was as much a cinematic institution as the medium itself.” Given his childhood speech impediments and his origins in a destitute London neighborhood, the ascent of Claude Rains (1889-1967) to the stage and screen is remarkable. Rains’s difficulties in his formative years provided reserves of gravitas and sensitivity, from which he drew inspiration for acclaimed performances in The Invisible Man (1933), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Casablanca (1942), Notorious (1946), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and other classic films.

In Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice, noted Hollywood author / writer David J. Skal draws on more than thirty hours of newly released Rains interviews to create the first full-length biography of the actor who was nominated multiple times for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Skal’s portrait of the gifted actor also benefits from the insights of Jessica Rains, who provides firsthand accounts of the enigmatic man behind her father’s refined screen presence and genteel public persona.

As Skal shows, numerous contradictions informed the life and career of Claude Rains. He possessed an air of nobility and became an emblem of sophistication, but he never shed the insecurities that traced back to his upbringing in an abusive and poverty-stricken family. Though deeply self-conscious about his short stature, Rains drew notorious ardor from female fans and was married six times. His public displays of dry wit and good humor masked inner demons that drove Rains to alcoholism and its devastating consequences.

Skal’s layered depiction of Claude Rains reveals a complex, almost inscrutable man whose nuanced characterizations were, in no small way, based on the more shadowy parts of his psyche. With unprecedented access to episodes from Rains’s private life, Skal tells the full story of the consummate character actor of his generation. Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice gives voice to the struggles and innermost concerns that influenced Rains’s performances and helped him become a universally accepted Hollywood legend.

DAVID J. SKAL is the author of numerous books about film and popular culture, including Hollywood Gothic and The Monster Show. A frequent lecturer and talk-show guest, Skal has produced over a dozen documentaries about Hollywood history, including special-edition DVDs about Claude Rains’s The Invisible Man and Phantom of the Opera. He welcomes reader responses at his official website, monstershow.net. JESSICA RAINS, the only child of Claude Rains, is a producer and actress whose performance credits include The Sting, Pete and Tillie, Islands in the Stream, and Portnoy’s Complaint.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 290 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 725 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-8131-2432-2

Claudette Colbert (William K. Everson)

Everson, William K - Claudette Colbert“In the Hollywood of the thirties and the forties, dominated by elegance, glamour, production expertise and lush escapism, Claudette Colbert was one of its most representative stars. Despite her natural skills and theatrical background, she – or the image that came to be Claudette Colbert – was essentially a Hollywood product. She was sleek, svelte, sophisticated and chic – far more so than any real woman had the ability or opportunity to be. But she was also warm, vivacious and possessed of both charm and a sense of humor – qualities that can’t be mass produced, no matter how complex the machinery. She used these qualities to transcend the image that Hollywood created for her, and then she used the image, instead of letting it use her.” – From chapter 1, ‘The Colbert Mystique.’

Madcap heiresses. Tenacious wives. Understanding mothers. In a long and remarkable film career, Claudette Colbert has played them all – and more – with her own inimitable charm and finesse. William K. Everson’s book combines a discerning text and many memory-jogging photographs to capture the special quality of an actress cherished by moviegoers.

The Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies is a series of volumes that offers a comprehensive overview of – and brings a fresh perspective to – the influential figures, forms, and styles in the development of motion pictures. Each lavishly illustrated volume has been designed to stimulate the interest of the student for whom film is an art, and to stir the memories of the fan for whom “going to the movies” will always be an exhilarating experience.

Softcover – 158 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 164 g (5,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1976

Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty (Bernard F. Dick)

scannen0103Claudette Colbert’s mixture of beauty, sophistication, wit, and vivacity quickly made her one of the film industry’s most famous and highest-paid stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Though she began her career on the New York stage, she was beloved for her roles in such films as Preston Sturges’s The Palm Beach Story, Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra, and Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, for which she won an Academy Award. She showed remarkable prescience by becoming one of the first Hollywood stars to embrace television, and she also returned to Broadway in her later career.

Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty is the first major biography of Colbert (1903-1996) published in over twenty years. Bernard F. Dick chronicles Colbert’s long career, but also explores her early life in Paris and New York. Along with discussing how she left her mark on Broadway, Hollywood, radio, and television, the book explores Colbert’s lifelong interests in painting, fashion design, and commercial art. Using correspondence, interviews, periodicals, film archives, and other research materials, the biography reveals a smart, talented actress who conquered Hollywood and remains one of America’s most captivating screen icons.

BERNARD F. DICK is professor of communication and English at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is the author of Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars; Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood; Forever Mame: The Life of Rosalind Russell (University Press of Mississippi); and other books.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 329 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 15,5 cm (8,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 660 g (23,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-60473-087-6

Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (Kirk Douglas)

douglas-kirk-climbing-the-mountainWith the simple power and astonishing candor that made his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son, a number one international best-seller, Kirk Douglas now shares his quest for spirituality and Jewish identity – and his heroic fight to overcome crippling injuries and a devastating stroke.

On February 13, 1991, at the age of seventy-four, Kirk Douglas, star of such major motion-picture classics as Champion, Spartacus, and Paths of Glory, was in a helicopter crash, in which two people died and he himself sustained severe back injuries with debilitating long-term effects. As he lay in the hospital recovering, haunted by the tragedy, he kept wondering: why had two younger men, whose lives were in front of them, died, while he, who had already lived his life fully, survived? The question drove this son of a Russian-Jewish ragman to a search for his roots and on a long journey of self-discovery – a quest not only for the meaning of life and his own relationship with God, but for his own identity as a Jew. Through the study of Torah, Kirk Douglas found a new spirituality and purpose to life. His newfound faith deeply enriched his relationship with his own children and taught him – a man who had always been famously demanding and impatient – to listen to others and, above all, to hear his own inner voice.

With the narrative skill that has made him a successful novelist, Kirk Douglas not only takes the reader through his own near-death experience but tells the story of his stubborn struggle to make sense of his own life, to come to terms with the reality of death, and to answer the ‘big questions’ that eventually confront us all. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Who is God? It is a story that takes him from his harsh childhood of poverty in Amsterdam, New York, through a life of unexpected blessings – fame, success, artistic achievement, love, wealth – to Israel, in search of the deeper meaning of his heritage, and into his own heart and soul, to discover who he is and why he is still alive.

His story is rich with wonderful anecdotes about those who have shared his life, from the famous, like his old friend Burt Lancaster, to the many unknown strangers who came forward to help him, teach him, and support him during his physical struggle to regain movement and speech. It is a story about a man who has everything and discovers, in old age, that there is much more – a story about human courage, divine grace, and the real blessings of life, and a story that has meaning for every one of us, man and woman, Jew and Gentile, young and old.

Unsparing, frank, deeply passionate, Climbing the Mountain is also an unflinching, moving, and intimate account of Douglas’s courageous fight to recover from a stroke that left him unable to speak. He tells the reader just what it is like for a great actor to lose his vehicle of self-expression, and of the long, difficult task of learning to talk again, by means of laborious exercises – a struggle that he made public in his triumphant appearance at the 1996 Academy Awards ceremony to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award before an audience of millions.

Told with warmth, wit, much humor, and deep passion, Climbing the Mountain is inspirational in the very best sense of the word.

KIRK DOUGLAS, born Issur Danielovitch, is one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, with more than eighty films to his credit. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 269 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 369 g (13 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-684-84415-X

Clint: A Retrospective (Richard Schickel; introduction by Clint Eastwood)

scannen0168Clint Eastwood has achieved an iconic status unmatched in the history of cinema. For more than six decades, he has been making outstanding films, first as a leading actor and subsequently as an intellingent and questening director.

This sumptuous retrospective – filled with more than two hundred essential photographs – offers an intimate insight into Clint Eastwood as a filmmaker who has made history both in front of and behind the camera. His remarkably prolific and varied career is appraised by the distinguished writer and award-winning documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel, while Eastwood himself provides a personal introduction.

Clinton Eastwood, Jr., was born in 1930. His father, a victim of the Depression, moved frequently around California seeking work, and the young boy was always the new kid in school. A reluctant draftee into the army, the holder of a string of different jobs, Clift drifted into acting. He made his name as the heartthrob in the TV western Rawhide, which ran for seven years, then took a risk with Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964), which, as the first of the “Spaghetti Westerns,” reinvented a genre.

It was his portrayal of the tough ironic cop touched by loneliness in Dirty Harry (1971) that made Clint a superstar. His directorial debut – Play Misty for Me, a thriller about obsession – was released that same year. Several now-classic films soon followed: High Plains Drifter (1973), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – regarded by many, including Clint, as one of his best – Every Which Way But Loose (1978), and the first two Dirty Harry sequels.

Having collaborated with Clint over the years, Richard Schickel is especially qualified not only to review Clint’s career as an actor and director but also to consider the themes that have emerged in his work. Nearly every character Clint has played on screen is working-class and an outsider, right up to Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino (2008); and his filmmaking style is working-class too – simple, direct, low-budget. Then there is his obsession with families, including the drunken, dying blues singer of Honkytonk Man (1982) who becomes an unlikely father figure, and the shattering family portrait in Mystic River (2003). He has also addressed what it means to be male and American in the modern world in films such as Tightrope (1984) and the anti-Western Unforgiven (1992), in which he questions the nature of heroic behavior.

Complete with a comprehensive filmography, this book is a fitting tribute to a movie icon whose achievements have enriched our culture and illuminated the times in which we have lived.

RICHARD SCHICKEL is a documentary filmmaker, movie historian, and film critic who has published more than thirty books and produced, written and directed more than thirty films for television. Among his recent films are You Must Remember This, a five-part history of Warner Bros.; Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin; Woody Allen: A Life in Film; Scorsese on Scorsese; Watch the Skies!, a history of the 1950s science fiction; and Ron Howard: 50 Years in Film, which is the twentieth in the series of portraits of great American filmmakers he has been making in the past four decades. His many books about film include You Must Remember This, the companion volume to the television series; Film on Paper, a collection of essays; Elia Kazan: A Biography; The Essential Chaplin, an anthology of critical writings about the great comedian; The Disney Version, a study of the life, times and art of Walt Disney; D.W. Griffith: An American Life; Brando: A Life in Our Times; Clint Eastwood: A Biography; and Good Morning, Mr. Zip Zip Zip, a memoir of his formative movie going years. Schickel was a film critic for Life and Time for forty-three years, received an honoray doctorate from the American Film Institute, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship. His many awards include the British Film Institute Book Prize, the Maurice Bessy Prize for film criticism, the National Board of review’s William K. Everson Award, and the Telluride Film Festival Silver Medal for his contributions to film history.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp. – Dimensions 30 x 25 cm (11,8 x 9,8 inch) – Weight 2.335 g (82,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Sterling Publishing Company, New York, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-1-4027-7472-0

Clint Eastwood: A Biography (Richard Schickel)

Schickel, Richard - Clint EastwoodFor thirty years Clint Eastwood has been at the top of his profession, first as an actor and more recently as a director. But despite his vast fame, he remains either little known or misunderstood. Richard Schickel’s biography, the first to tell his story with the kind of intimacy only Eastwood’s co-operation could provide, explores the contradictions between the generally perceived image of the man and the realities of his personality and career.

Through extensive, exclusive interviews with Eastwood (and the friends and colleagues of a lifetime), Richard Schikel has penetrated a complex character who has always been understood too quickly, too superficially. We see restless adolescence lead to his tentative days as a Hollywood studio contract player; an unexpected break in the TV series Rawhide; the gamble of making spaghetti Westerns, the high-impact Dirty Harry movies that reinforce his screen identity; the increasingly respected directorial career; the critical breakthroughs of The Oulaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy and Tightrope, and the Oscar-winning success of Unforgiven and a place of honour as both an American icon and one of the most admired figures in his profession.

Here, Eastwood’s monumental reserve is pierced to reveal the anger and the shyness, the shrewdness and the brutal frankness, the self-deprecating humour and the powerful will, the radical independence and the contradictory communal impulse that have helped him forge a remarkable bond with an ever-widening audience.

RICHARD SCHICKEL, film critic of Time magazine for the last two decades, is the author of twenty books, including the definitive study of Walt Disney and biographies of D.W. Griffith, Cary Grant, James Cagney and Marlon Brando. He has made a large number of television documentaries on the movies and has taught film history and criticism at Yale and USC. He has known Clint Eastwood for fifteen years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 557 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 925 g (32,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan Cape, London, 1996 – ISBN 0-224-03811-7

Clint Eastwood: All-American Anti-Hero (David Downing, Gary Herman)

downing-david-clint-eastwood-all-american-heroClint Eastwood is the world’s biggest cinema’s box-office star. Today, the man whose fame is built on his ability to speak volumes by saying nothing, is modern legend. Eastwood began his film career as a Hollywood extra, getting his first big break as Rowdy Yates in the classic TV Western Rawhide.

He became a symbol of the free-wheeling sixties, playing the violent anti-hero of a series of Italian Westerns, before returning to Hollywood as a superstar. In the seventies, he emerged in a different but no less successful role as the rogue cop hero of the Dirty Harry trilogy.

Here at last is an authorative and perceptive account of this film phenomenom. Lavishly illustrated with stills and other photographs and including an up-to-date filmography.

Softcover – 144 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 18 cm (10 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 346 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Omnibus Press, London, 1977 – ISBN 0 86001 412 6

Clint Eastwood: Interviews (edited by Robert E. Kapsis, Kathie Coblentz)

kapsis-robert-e-clint-eastwood-interviewsClint Eastwood (b. 1930) is the only popular American dramatic star to have shaped his own career almost entirely through films of his own producing, frequently under his own direction. Few other actors have directed themselves so often. He is also one of the most prolific filmmakers, directing thirty-three features since 1971.

As a star, Clint Eastwood is often recalled primarily for two early roles – the ‘Man with No Name’ of three European-made Westerns, and ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan, the uncompromising cop who spoke softly and carried a big gun in five movies. But like few other stars, Eastwood has shaped his career by appearing almost exclusively in films he produced or co-produced, frequently under his own direction. No other contemporary dramatic star has directed films so often.

His acclaim as a director began in the late 1970s and reached a peak with the 1992 release of his Oscar-winning Unforgiven. Eastwood has steered a remarkable course as an independent filmmaker. He is a film industry insider who works through the Hollywood establishment system, yet he remains an outsider by steadfastly refusing to heed cultural and aesthetic trends in film production and style.

Films he directed have examined artists’ lives (Honkytonk Man, 1982; Bird, 1988; White Hunter, Black Heart, 1990) and called into question his own star image (The Gauntlet, 1977; Bronco Billy, 1980; Unforgiven, 1992) while remaining accessible to a popular audience.

The interviews collected here range over the nearly three decades of Eastwood’s directorial career. The emphasis is on practical filmmaking issues and on his philosophy of filmmaking. Nearly half are from British and European sources. The latter, appearing in English for the first time, show how Europeans were praising him as a director while many American critics had not yet acknowledged him as an actor of merit.

ROBERT E. KAPSIS, author of Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation, is a professor of sociology and film studies at Queens College, CUNY. Since 1995 he has been executive producer of American Film Masters. KATHIE COBLENTZ is a special collections cataloguer at the New York Public Library. She also works on the American Film Masters series.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 679 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 – ISBN 1-57806-069-9

Cloris: My Autobiography (Cloris Leachman, with George Englund)

Autographed copy Cloris Leachman

Leachman, Cloris - Cloris An AutobiographyShe’s one of the most acclaimed, and unpredictable, actresses of our time. Transforming herself with every role, Cloris Leachman has been dazzling audiences for decades with her unusual gift for both comedy and drama. She’s appeared in 11 Broadway plays, 57 films, and 137 television shows – and has earned 16 awards and 23 nominations. Now, for the first time, the incomparable Cloris Leachman reflects on her amazing life and illustrious career.

From her hometown in Des Moines, Iowa (where she first saw Katharine Hepburn perform on stage, never imagining they would one day do Shakespeare together), to the bright lights of Broadway (where she had to work up the nerve to sing for Rodgers and Hammerstein to get the lead in South Pacific) to the television studios of L.A. (where she hopped on producer James Brooks’s lap to land the role of Phyllis), Cloris’s journey has been filled with laughter and tears, marriage and motherhood, tragedy and triumph.

With surprising candor, she talks about her experiences at the Actor’s Studio, her “Peck’s bad boy” behavior on the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her work with Mel Brooks and other filmmakers, her return to sitcoms with The Ellen Show and Malcolm in the Middle, and her difficulty shaking oft the roles she immerses herself in. She shares wonderfully revealing anecdotes about her co-stars and friends: Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and the Kennedy family. She reveals her source of inspiration behind High Anxiety (giant fake breasts) and The Last Picture Show (a disturbing childhood incident). Finally, she speaks frankly about being a celebrity icon, trying to balance her family, career, and boundless creativity energy. This is the real Cloris Leachman as you’ve never seen her before.

CLORIS LEACHMAN is an award-winning star of stage, screen, and television. Recently she won her ninth Emmy, the most ever earned by an actor, and became a great-grandmother, an event that has given her an interesting new perspective on life. GEORGE ENGLUND is a producer, director, and writer. He is also the author of The Way It’s Never Been Done Before: My Friendship with Marlon Brando. He currently lives in California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 543 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Kensington Books, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-07582-2963-2

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond and the Dark Hollywood Dream (Sam Staggs)

Staggs, Sam - Close-Up on Sunset BoulevardBilly Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, a classic film noir and also a damning dissection of the Hollywood dream factory, evokes the glamour and ruin of the stars who subsist on that dream. It’s also one long in-joke about the movie industry and those who made it great – and who were, in turn, destroyed by it. One of the most critically admired films of the twentieth century, Sunset Boulevard is also famous as silent star Gloria Swanson’s comeback picture.

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard tells the story of this extravagant work, from the writing, casting and filming to the disastrous previews that made Paramount consider shelving it. It’s about the writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett – sardonically called “the happiest couple in Hollywood” – and their raucous professional relationship. It’s about the art direction and the sets, the costumes, the props, the lights, and the cameras, and the personalities who used those tools to create a cinematic work of art.

Staggs goes behind the scenes to reveal: William Holden, endlessly attacked by his bitter wife and already drinking too much; Nancy Olsen, the cheerful ingenue who had never heard of the great Gloria Swanson; the dark genius Erich von Stroheim; the once-famous but long-forgotten “Waxworks”; and, of course, Swanson herself, who – just like Norma Desmond – had once been “the greatest star of them all.”

But the story of Sunset Boulevard doesn’t end with the movie’s success and acclaim at its release in 1950. There’s much more, and Staggs layers this stylish book with fascinating detail, following the actors and Wilder into their post-Sunset careers and revealing Gloria Swanson’s never-ending struggle to free herself from the clutches of Norma Desmond.

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard also chronicles the making of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical production of Sunset Boulevard and the explosive diva controversies that dogged it. The book ends with a shocking example of Hollywood life imitating Hollywood art. By the last page of this rich narrative, readers will conclude: We are those “wonderful people out there in the dark.”

SAM STAGGS is the author of the acclaimed All About “All About Eve” and a novel, MMII: The Return of Marilyn Monroe. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 420 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 638 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-312-27453-X

Colleen Moore: Silent Star Talks About Her Hollywood (Colleen Moore)

Moore, Colleen - Silent Star“I was the spark that lit up Flaming Youth,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble.”

In 1926, the heyday of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin, the number one box-office attraction in the country was a spirited young actress named Colleen Moore, and the “trouble” she caused began with the most fateful haircut since Samson’s. A few years earlier, in order to wangle a part in a movie, she had bobbed her hair. When she appeared on the screen with her shorn locks, audiences gasped. Filmdom’s first flapper was born.

When Colleen Moore first stepped in front of the camera in 1917, Hollywood was little more than a citrus grove. She grew up with the movies, and in this wonderfully gossipy memoir she tells the story of Hollywood’s silent era – from oranges to cheesecake, from sunlight to klieg, and from the carefree days of youth and innocence to the scandal-packed days of the Twenties and Thirties. She also tells her own story, in itself a drama of ever-increasing fame and fortune in her career, measured against the relentless heartbreak of her private life.

And because Colleen Moore knew everyone who was anyone in that golden age she drops more names than Grauman has foorprints in front of his Chinese Theater: Tom Mix, Lillian Gish, D.W. Griffith, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, Clara Bow, Theda Bara, Greta Garbo – the list goes on and on.

Providing her own version of numerous scandals which rocked Hollywood in the early days, she digs behind the dirt and innuendoes. In frank, appraising glimpses, she reveals the real story of Jean Harlow’s marriage to Paul Bern, the facts behind the rumors of John Gilbert’s downfall, the pathetic truth of the Fatty Arbuckle tragedy, and the off-screen life of Rudolph Valentino.

But Colleen Moore needs no supporting cast. Star of such films as Flaming Youth, Sally, Oh Kay, Lilac Time, Naughty But Nice, ans So Big, as well as being the prototype of the flapper in the John Held cartoons, she has achieved in her life the unbeatable combination she once attributed to another – humor, heart, and box-office.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 262 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 639 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1968

Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio (edited by Bernard F. Dick)

dick-bernard-f-columbia-studiosThe recent $ 3.4 billion purchase of Columbia Pictures by Sony Corporation focused attention on a studio that had survived one of Hollywood’s worst scandals under David Begelman, as well as ownership by Coca-Cola and David Puttnam’s misguided attempt to bring back the studio’s glory days. Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio traces Columbia’s history from its beginnings as the CBC Film Sales Company (nicknamed “Corned Beef and Cabbage”) through the regimes of Harry Cohn and his successors, and concludes with a vivid portrait of today’s corporate Hollywood, with its investment bankers, entertainment lawyers, agents, and financiers.

Bernard F. Dick’s highly readable studio chronicle is followed by thirteen original essays by leading film scholars, writing about the stars, films, genres, writers, producers, and directors responsible for Columbia’s emergence from Poverty Row status to world class. This is the first attempt to integrate film history with film criticism of a single studio.

Both the historical introduction and the essays draw on previously untapped archival material – budgets that kept Columbia in the black during the 1930s and 1940s, letters that reveal the rapport between Depression audiences and director Frank Capra, and an interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter Daniel Taradash. The book also offers new perspectives on the careers of Rita Hayworth and Judy Holliday, a discussion of Columbia’s unique brands of screwball comedy and film noir, and analyses of such classics as The Awful Truth, Born Yesterday, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, Anatomy of a Murder, Easy Rider, Taxi Driver, The Big Chill, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Last Emperor.

Amply illustrated with film stills and photos of stars and studio heads, Columbia Pictures includes a brief chronology and a complete 1920-1991 filmography. Designed for both the film lover and the film scholar, the book is ideal for film history courses.

BERNARD F. DICK is professor of English and comparative literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck. His many books on film include Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 293 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1992 – ISBN 0-8131-1769-0

Come by Sunday: The Fabulous, Ruined Life of Diana Dors (Damon Wise)

Wise, Damon - Come By SundayDiana Dors, shamelessly peroxided and breathtakingly cantilevered, was synthetic vulgarity personified in Britain during the 1950s.

She made dozens of indifferent ‘glamour’ films yet is remembered as an actress for only one role – that of a plain condemned woman in Yield to the Night. She scandalized tabloids and society alike, she mixed with criminals – including the Kray twins – and other forms of low life. As often as she rose and glittered, she plunged and failed. But in high times and low she remained cheerfully unrepentant and against the odds she was, and remains, an icon – someone people genuinely loved.

Her legend and all her peroxide paradoxes are properly explored for the first time here in Come by Sunday. How did mousey Diana Fluck – with her terrifyingly manipulative mother and a pubescent penchant for the GIs stationed near Swindon – become a bombshell which Britons were proud to compare with Marilyn Monroe? Why did the disastrous marriages, hopeless assaults on Hollywood, numerous brushes with the law, excesses, bankruptcies, widespread disdain of her tacky, tawdry ‘taste’ do nothing to tarnish her glow in a pinched and glamour-starved 1950s and why, how, did she restrain such affection?

Damon Wise, with immaculate research and in conversation with many of her friends and fellow actors, scrutinizes the questions and provides a marvellous, thoughtful portrait of a life which should seem tragic, closing as it did after protracted cancer followed by a near-immediate suicide of her heart-broken reckless husband, Alan Lake. Hardly a charmed life, despite the Rank Charm School grounding, yet the story of Diana Dors is one of life-affirming bravery, good humour and brilliant style.

‘Miss Tits and Lips’ has at last received the loving care and attention she deserves – a junk shop Venus no more.

DAMON WISE is film editor of Neon. He lives in London. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 518 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1998 – ISBN 0 283 06305 X

The Comedy World of Stan Laurel (John McCabe)

mccabe-john-the-comedy-world-of-stan-laurelThe Comedy World of Stan Laurel is a vivid and intimate biography of one of the all-time masters of comedy. John McCabe follows Stan Laurel’s career from his early days in British variety, his arrival in the United States, the first films, to his teaming up with Oliver Hardy in 1936 and their meteoric rise to fame.

Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Stan Laurel) was born on June 16, 1890 in Ulverston in North Lancashire (presently Cumbria), England. Stan’s first professional theatrical engagement was as a boy-comedian at the Britannia Theater in Glasgow. He would become a film legend, and one-half of the world-famous comedy team of Laurel & Hardy. Stan Laurel’s film career spanned 35 years and 182 pictures. The official teaming of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy took place in 1927 with the release of Duck Soup. Laurel & Hardy made 117 films together between 1926 and 1952. “The Music Box” won the 1932 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Subject. It was the only Laurel & Hardy film to win such an award.

In 1961, Stan was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an Oscar for his creative pioneering in the field of comedy. Stan’s only regret was that Oliver was not there to share in the recognition. Stan Laurel passed away on February 23, 1965, after suffering a heart attack.

Based on the author’s many conversations with Laurel and those close to him, this biography paints an appealing portrait of a warm and generous man – a man who left a rich but simple legacy to millions: laughter.

Softcover – 221 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 343 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 0-86051-635-0

The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (Walter Goodman; foreword by Richard H. Rovere)

goodman-walter-the-committee“If the House Committee on Un-American Activities had not been invented, there would be no good reason for it to exist. But exist it does, and this chronicle is designed neither as polemic nor, emphatically, as apologetics. That is not to suggest that I am lacking in opinions about the Committee and all that it has represented for three decades; the reader will have to go no great distance before he can clear me of that crime at least. But while I would be dismayed at a charge of indifference, it was never my principal intention to produce a document for service in the fitful campaign for abolition. Such documents have been produced, on both sides of the case, and whatever their individual merits, all are hobbled by constraints endemic to the form. Still, a reader approaching a book on so controversial a subject is entitled to know something of the author’s stance. As a liberal – I confess it, though I fear to think what the word may convey to any given reader – I find myself fraternally troubled by the dilemma which the Committee has from the first constituted for liberals in this country. The Communists, despising us, have exploited our good names for their own interests. The hunters of Communists, despising us, have offended our dearest beliefs and attacked our cherished causes. We can, it seems to me, do nothing but bear up – continue to oppose the Committee, continue to champion the political freedoms of persons who, we know, mock us for soft-headedness, and make clear that we are doing so not out of misplaced affection for totalitarians of the left but out of reverence for liberty. How liberals have reacted to the Committee’s recurrent challenges is one theme of this book, but not the theme. That is not so readily summarized. I began my research in the belief that the Committee’s activities have a good deal to tell us about the nation that has endured them for thirty years, the system that has sustained them, and the times to which they have lent inimitable color. I complete the writing with the hope that some of this may be found in these pages.” – Walter Goodman

Probably no institution in American life has aroused more angry opposition or more fervent support than the House Committee on Un-American Activities. And few have reflected so symptomatically the changing political currents of the past three decades – from the last days of the New Deal to the waning of the Cold War.

This engrossing book is the first attempt to look at the Committee’s long, turbulent career with a cold eye, and to tell its history not as friend or enemy, but as concerned observer. Here is the whole panoply of memorable events and characters: the anti-Nazi Sam Dickstein, the Committee’s founding father; the shrewd back-country demagogue Martin Dies; the ineffable John Rankin and the egregious J. Parnell Thomas; Hiss and Chambers in their dramatic confrontation; the Hollywood Ten; Richard Nixon and Eleanor Roosevelt; Harry Dexter White and G. Racey Jordan; Bishop Oxnam and Harold Velde; Francis Walter and Arthur Miller; the Klan’s Robert Shelton and Joe Pool; the crowded gallery of “Fifth Amendment” witnesses. In short, all the people who have run the Committee or collided with it over the years. Mr. Goodman also assesses the sources of the Committee’s power, the issues it has raised for civil liberties, its accomplishments (such as they were), and the anguished response of the liberal community.

As Richard H. Rovere writes in his Foreword: “The Committee is far more than a history of the Committee. It is a work that contributes greatly to our understanding of the American Left in the mid-twentieth century and also, to a slightly lesser extent, of the American Right. Mr. Goodman deals sharply with both these movements, and I suspect that some of his younger readers will be impatient with him for the even-handedness of his contempt for the Stalinist Left and the yahoo Right. These of us who want Jefferson’s America to survive and perhaps in time prevail will find guidance and a fortifying good humor in this admirable book.”

WALTER GOODMAN was born in New York City and received his B.A. degree in Economics from Syracuse University and his M.A. in Philosophy from Reading University in England. His reviews and articles have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Life, The New Republic, Commentary, Redbook, and The American Scholar. He is the author of two earlier books about contemporary American life: The Clowns of Commerce, a report on the world of advertising, and All Honorable Men, a study of ethics in big business, politics, and the mass media. Mr. Goodman lives with his wife and two sons in Greenburgh, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 564 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 1.040 g (38,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, New York, 1968

Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company (Harry Carey, Jr.)

Autographed copy All the best to you and Yanzi – Harry Carey Jr. 7-’95

Carey, Jr, Harry - Company of HeroesWhen Harry Carey, Sr., died in 1947, director John Ford cast Carey’s 26 year-old son, Harry, Jr. in the role of The Abilene Kid in 3 Godfathers. Ford and the elder Carey had filmed an earlier version of the story, and Ford dedicated the Technicolor remake to his memory.

Company Of Heroes is the story of the making of that film, as well as the eight subsequent Ford classics. In it, Harry Carey, Jr., casts a remarkably observant eye on the process of filming Westerns by one of the true masters of the form. From She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Wagonmaster to The Searchers and Cheyenne Autumn, he shows the care, tedium, challenge, and exhilaration of movie-making at it’s highest level. It is the most intimate look of John Ford at work ever written.

He also gives us insightful and original portraits of the men and women who were part of Ford’s vision of America: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, and Ben Johnson. Funny, insightful, and brutally honest, Company Of Heroes is a rip-roaring good read that presents the remarkable life story of Harry Carey, Jr., and his many and continuing fine performances.

HARRY CAREY, Jr. was born in Saugus, Califomia. He has appeared in over 100 feature films and scores of television shows. His screen credits include 3 Godfathers, The Searchers, Wagonmaster, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, and five other John Ford films. His recent films include The Long Riders, The Whales Of August, Crossroads and Tombstone. He and his wife Marilyn live in Durango, Colorado. Company Of Heroes is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 508 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1994 – ISBN 0-8108-2865-0

Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1979 (Vincent Terrace)

terrace-vincent-complete-encyclopedia-of-television-programs-1947-1979The only complete, photographic guide to all network and syndicated TV shows, both prime-time and all other times, including “soaps,” children’s shows, game shows, cartoons, talk shows, etc., as well as prime-time adventure shows, spies, Westerns, comedies, crime and police shows, and all other categories.

“Here, at last is the definitive historical compendium of network and syndicated television programs and series from the dim days of the mid-forties to last season. Vincent Terrace has labored arduously to present a worthwhile reference work, one that is entertaining as well. He has succeeded.” – Berkeley Independent / Gazette

The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1979 is an invaluable reference work, a delight to leaf through, and an absolute must for the true TV fan. Besides that, it’ll make you an expert the next time you get into a trivia battle with a friend.” – Albuquerque Journal

Softcover – 589 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 17,5 cm (9,8 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 1.020 g (36 oz) – PUBLISHER A.S. Barnes & Company, New York, New York, 1980

The Complete Films of Frank Capra (Victor Scherle, William Turner Levy)

scherle-victor-the-complete-films-of-frank-capra“In 1939, after winning five Academy Awards (one more was yet to come), Capra left Columbia Pictures for total independence as a filmmaker. Then from 1942 through 1945, he served the people of the United States in a very special way, by making orientation films for the armed forces. His success won him the respect of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, even of Marshal Stalin – and, more importantly for him, the friendship of a great American, General George C. Marshall.

Capra returned to a changed Hollywood, made several estimable pictures, including his own all-time favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life, four science films for television, and a film for New York’s 1964-65 World’s Fair, and then retired. Retired? Not quite. He wrote his autobiography and now fills his days attending showings of his films and answering questions about their making – all over the world. Chiefly, he enjoys spreading the doctrine of optimism to American college students; but in Canada, Britain, France, India, Iran – everywhere – he answers the call of young people, of film festivals, of the State Department. An ambassador of American verve and a symbol of the American dream come true, Frank Capra continues to serve his nation and his art.

This, then, is the record of the work of a man who felt that no two pictures were alike, that each was a living part of his perception. He was inseparably bound to the world celluloid made possible, and he could function best in the vortex that is directing – a general in charge of a technical army that assisted him in creating a unique result. He sought the right themes: ‘Drama has to do with a man striving to make a choice. Which way will it go? When we want to know that,’ he said to the authors, ‘we’re involved.’

He added, ‘And actors are the only way directors can communicate with the audience. I remember countless inspired moments when an actor’s character would really come alive because the actor added that extra something a director couldn’t foresee. I loved them for that!’” – From the chapter ‘Frank Capra’s Wonderful Life.’

Softcover – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 942 g (33,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1992 – ISBN 0-8065-1296-2

The Complete Films of Laurence Olivier (Jerry Vermilye)

vermilye-jerry-the-complete-films-of-laurence-olivier“Was he really, in his lifetime, the greatest living actor? Quite likely he was. It would be a hard title to disprove. Nevertheless, it would seem that Laurence Olivier did it all. Blessed in his prime with the sort of striking good looks that, coupled with an excellent speaking voice and physique, can assure an actor of longevity as a leading man of all the entertainment media, Laurence Olivier was not satisfied to ride to success on his surface attributes. Unimpressed by his own appearance (long-standing dissatisfaction with his nose moved him to sport a wide succession of false ones in many of his roles), the actor had no wish to ride to beckoning Hollywood fame in his youth as a second-string Ronald Colman, despite a remote resemblance to the older British actor. Instead, he realized the more fascinating challenges of so-called ‘character’ acting and, by the early forties, this barely thirty-plus young movie star was already portraying middle-aged romantic roles in hit movies like Rebecca (1940) and That Hamilton Woman (1941), as well as such foreign-accented younger parts as the French-Canadian trapper of 49th Parallel (1941) and the visiting Russian engineer of The Demi-Paradise (1943). In Carrie (1952), Olivier had his first American role, and in The Beggar’s Opera (1953), he raised his own, untrained singing voice in a costume musical. At thirty-seven, with a thorough background in Shakespearean theatre, Olivier moved into territory where no predecessor had succeeded – not only starring in a major film version of the Bard’s Henry V (1944) but directing it as well – and all of this accomplished under the most difficult and challenging of times, for Britain was, of course, embroiled in World War II.

An outwardly modest man of sound breeding and well-controlled temperament, Laurence Olivier was nevertheless forced to contend with the praise and acclaim attendant on a multitude of acting awards, apart from the signal honor of knighthood at forty, and a peer of the realm, earning the (unprecedented for an actor) title of Lord Olivier in 1970, aged sixty-three.

Despite three marriages – all to actresses – and four children, acting remained, if not his greatest love, his eternal mistress. And, when the tribulations of age, disease, and physical infirmity precluded the repetitive demands of stage performance, Olivier shifted his thespian commitments exclusively to films and television. There, despite a paucity of parts worthy of his talents, he continued to work, painful and debilitating illness notwithstanding. To inquisitive interviewers, he said he did it for the money – that he needed it to support his young, second family. But those who knew him best realized that it was the work that kept him going – that, absolutely refusing to retire, helped him reach the ripe age of eighty-two.

Most probably, Laurence Olivier’s greatest acting accomplishments occurred in the living theatre. But, of course, those performances are dust, remaining only in the mortal memories of those who were present at the time. We have only the old theatrical programs and production photographs as evidence that such events ever happened. Otherwise, the wide spectrum of Olivier’s incredible talent, range, and professional daring continues to be available for evaluation as long as the existence of film and video.” – From the chapter ‘Laurence Olivier.’

Softcover – 287 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 936 g (33 oz) – PUBLISHER Carol Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-8065-1302-0

Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood (Mick LaSalle)

scannen0297Between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema were modern. They took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women acted only after 1968.

Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties – good or bad – sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars came along and blasted away these stereotypes. Garbo turned the femme fatale into a woman whose capacity for love and sacrifice made all other human emotions seem pale. Meanwhile, Norma Shearer succeeded in taking the ingenue to a place she’d never been: the bedroom. Garbo and Shearer took the stereotypes and made them complicated.

In the wake of these complicated women came others, a deluge of indelible stars – Constance Bennett, Ruth Chatterton, Mae Clarke, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich, Kay Francis, Ann Harding, Jean Harlow, Miriam Hopkins, Dorothy Mackaill, Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West, and Loretta Young – who all came into their own during the pre-Code era. These women pushed the limits and shaped their images along modern lines.

Then, in July 1934, the draconian Production Code became the law in Hollwood and these modern women of the screen were banished, not to be seen again until the Code was repealed three decades later.

Mick LaSalle, film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, takes readers on a tour of pre-Code films and reveals how this was the true Golden Age of women’s films, and how the movies of the pre-Code are still worth watching. The bold, pioneering, and complicated women of the pre-Code era are about to take their place in the pantheon of film history, and America is about to reclaim a rich legacy.

MICK LASALLE is the film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and teaches a class at the University of California at Berkeley on pre-Code film. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 293 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 647 g (22,82 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-312-25207-2

Concious Creation: Directing Energy to Get the Life You Want (Dee Wallace)

scannen0335One of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses, Dee Wallace shares her amazing journey to healing and happiness in her groundbreaking work, Conscious Creation. Best known for her role as the mother in E.T. – The Extraterrestrial, Wallace relates her inspiring story of finding the path “back home.”

We are all creating. Every thought, belief and action is a creation, but most of us are not creating consciously. From the commercials of disease and remedies that we are inundated with to conversations of lack and fear we have over coffee, most of us are unconsciously focusing our energy to create the very things we don’t want. When we say, “I am ___,” it directs the Universe to create that statement. It is time we became victors, not victims. Conscious Creation is easy: when we consciously choose to love ourselves, live in love, celebrate our power, demonstrate our abundance, and contribute positively to the creative force, there is nothing we cannot experience as joy and success. We are created magnificent. Choose to know that. Choose to be conscious of creating your life. Choose. Love. Demonstrate. Celebrate. You are here to be happy.

DEE WALLACE is an international actress, speaker, and healer. Known for her starring role as the mother in E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, her credits include more than one hundred films and several television series. Wallace has appeared on numerous talk shows including Oprah, The O’Reilly Factor and Good Morning America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 132 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 402 g (14,18 oz) – PUBLISHER iUniverse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-595-50714-6

Confessions of an Actor: An Autobiography (Laurence Olivier)

olivier-laurence-confessions-of-an-actorIn this long-awaited autobiography, Laurence Olivier describes his eventful public and private life as only he can. The most admired and daring performer of his age, Olivier is naturally best remembered for his great classic roles at the Old Vic, and for his magnificent Shakespearean films Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III, but it was with Rebecca and Wuthering Heights that he also became an international film star of the first rank – a position he has constantly reaffirmed in contemporary roles, from Archie Rice in The Entertainer to Lord Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited. In farce, melodrama and comedy, too, his mercurial brilliance has been recognizable behind an astonishing variety of disguises. His pre-eminence and commanding presence have made him the foremost actor of our day.

Yet, while his autobiography is a compelling and wonderfully illuminating account of a unique and triumphant professional life, full of deep insights and wonderful show business anecdotes about Olivier’s many decades of work in the theater and films, it is also a profoundly moving and passionately personal account of his own emotional life – his childhood; his first marriage, to Jill Esmond; the tempestuous relationship with Vivien Leigh; and his deeply fulfilling marriage to Joan Plowright. Advance reviewers have hailed the book for its “startlingly frank revelations” – particularly the details of the long stormy love affair and marriage of Olivier and Vivien Leigh.

Seldom has any great figure of the theater written with such passion, affection, candor and wit about his countless friends and colleagues. Most of his close relationships have grown from his work. He first met his lifelong friends Ralph Richardson and Noël Coward at rehearsals more than fifty years ago. He recalls, too, all the great stars of stage and screen he has known, including the Lunts, Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Danny Kaye, John Mills, Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock.

With insight and humor, Olivier retells the story of his glittering sixty-year career – as an actor, as a filmmaker whose revolutionary innovations in motion picture technique have made Shakespeare a living experience for countless moviegoers, as a director and producer whose stewardship of the National Theatre of England renewed a noble tradition and introduced some of the greatest modern masterpieces into the English repertoire.

Confessions of an Actor is the story of a life that has combined the heights of artistic endeavor with the rivalry and glamour of show business in a way that is unique. No other classical actor has been such a dazzling star. No other star has been such a magnificent actor. His memoirs are filled with “an unabashed self-delight that remains undimmed at 75.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 348 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 573 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-671-41701-0

Confessions of a Sex Kitten (Eartha Kitt)

kitt-eartha-confessions-of-a-sex-kittenOrson Welles called her “The most exciting woman in the world.” He was talking about the legendary Eartha Kitt – the pioneer black entertainer who broke race and sex barriers while shocking and seducing audiences around the world.

In these pages, this stunning, sexy, fiercely independent woman relates the story of her extraordinary life. It’s a life in which she was closely involved with personalities as varied as Sammy Davis Jr., Orson Welles and her “soulmate,” James Dean. In forceful articulate prose, Ms. Kitt reveals how a combination of talent, steel nerves and  occasional visits from a lady named Luck lifted her from a childhood split between rural poverty in South Carolina and Harlem. “I have no idea how old I am,” she writes. “Believe it or not, I have no paper that says I was ever born. Maybe that’s why they call me a legend, because I don’t really exist.” A self-made Cinderella, this orphan from the backwoods takes us on an unforgettable journey of her often harrowing life. Each success seemed to be shadowed by tragedies including treacherous lovers, jealous rivals, and crooked night-club owners.

She suffered – and, as she readily acknowledges, sometimes enjoyed – the conflicts of a great talent tucked into the body of the classic “sex kitten” – a role she played with gusto, as when she appeared as the Catwoman on the Batman television series.

Eartha Kitt involved herself in taking what she saw as “the right path” – an uncompromising integrity that led her into conflict with the Black Panthers, when she supported the non-violence movement of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and with Lyndon B. Johnson, when she took a very public, very early stance against the Vietnam War. When she spoke out at a White House lunch hosted by Lady Bird Johnson in January 1968, her remarks were heard around the world. In return, she was branded a “sadistic nymphomaniac ” by the CIA.

For years after that incident, she had difficulty in getting work in the American entertainment industry. Still she persevered. She recorded gold records and Number #1 hits, among them classics such as Santa Baby, Old Fashioned Girl and I’m Still Here. She taught herself to sing in ten languages including Turkish and Hebrew – and when she wanted to learn about the new physics, she tracked down Albert Einstein in Princeton for a one-on-one interview.

Blacklisted by Lyndon Johnson and the CIA, she survived by becoming a headliner all over again in England – but never gave up her American residency or citizenship.  Today Eartha Kitt has come into her own. She is acclaimed one of the world’s best all-around female entertainers of any color. She has won awards and nominations for her work on stage and in film, both as an actress and as a singer, And when you read her compelling story in Confessions of a Sex Kitten, you’ll understand how she got that way and why she is very different and never dull.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade Books, Inc., London, 1989 – ISBN 0-942637-33-X

Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Genre (edited by Jay Beck, Vicente Rodríguez Ortega)

Contemporary Spanish cinema and genreThis volume is the first English-language collection exclusively dedicated to the study of genre in relation to Spanish cinema. Providing a variety of critical perspectives, the collection gives the reader a thorough account of the relationship between Spanish cinema and genre, drawing on case studies of several of the most remarkable Spanish films in recent years.

The book analyses the significant changes in the aesthetics, production and reception of Spanish film from 1990 onwards. It brings together European and North American scholars to establish a critical dialogue on the topics under discussion, while providing multiple perspectives on the concepts of national cinemas and genre theory.

In recent years film scholarship has attempted to negotiate the tension between the nationally specific and the internationally ubiquitous in discussing how globalisation has influenced film making and surrounding cultural practice. These broader social concerns have prompted scholars to emphasise a redefinition of national cinemas beyond strict national boundaries and to pay attention to the transnational character of any national site of film production and reception. Paying close attention to the specifics of the Spanish cinematic and social panorama, the essays investigate the transnational economic, cultural and aesthetic forces at play in shaping Spanish film genres today.

JAY BECK is Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University. VICENTE RODRÍGUEZ ORTEGA is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Drama and Film at Vassar College.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2008 – ISBN 978 07190 7775 3

The Continental Actress: European Film Stars of the Postwar Era – Biographies, Criticism, Filmographies, Bibliographies (Kerry Segrave, Linda Martin)

segrave-kerry-the-continental-actressTable of contents – Italian actresses; Anna Magnani, Silvana Mangano, Giulietta Masina, Pier Angeli, Gina Lollobrigida, Elsa Martinelli, Virna Lisi, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Vitti, Laura Antonelli.

Greek actresses: Irene Papas, Melina Mercouri.

French actresses: Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Anouk Aimée, Leslie Caron, Brigitte Bardot, Capucine, Françoise Dorléac, Marie-France Pisier, Maria Schneider, Dominique Sanda, Isabelle Hupert, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Fanny Ardant.

German actresses: Maria Schell, Romy Schneider, Senta Berger, Elke Sommer, Hanna Schygulla, Nastassja Kinski.

Scandinavian actresses: Ingrid Thulin, Harriet Anderson, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullman, Anita Ekberg, Britt Ekland.

Hardcover – 314 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 603 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1990 – ISBN 0-89950-510-4

Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era (edited and introduced by Matthew Bernstein)

bernstein-matthew-controlling-hollywood“We currently take for granted the fact that most films made in Hollywood today are created and shown without hindrance. It was not always so. Throughout the history of American movies, there have been countless, often furious struggles to control or influence what could be produced and what could be seen. The cinema has been the most frequent target of the censoring impulse in this century because partly film was the first visual and aural mass entertainment form of the twentieth century, and its power seemed overwhelming. Moreover, film was the most popular mass medium during its first fifty years.

This volume explores some of these many efforts at censorship and self-regulation, in the belief that Americans should neither forget nor dismiss the colorful and varied history of attempts to control the film industry simply because today other media (television, rap music, the internet) occupy what was film’s hotly contested position. Movies still generate vigorous controversy from time to time as part of what has come to be called “the culture wars.” Moreover, we know a great deal about those historic efforts concerning movies, which have many similarities – and enormous relevance – to current debate about those media. And, of course, we have much more to learn.

Scholars usually distinguish broadly between two kinds of control over movie content. One is external to the film industry. Historically, it took the official form of state and city censors (the film industry called this “local” or “political” censorship), who to some degree reflected a consensus of values and attitudes held by a dominant group in that locale. In cinema’s earliest years, official censorship could involve theater licensing. But beginning with Chicago in 1907, it entailed a government body that assessed the moral qualities of particular films – the “prurient” sexuality of Jane Russell’s character in The Outlaw (1942 and 1946), for example, or the unsettling “social equality among the races” in Lost Boundaries (1949).

Often such boards were created in response to public protests against the films, either nationally or locally. Be they women’s committees of the teens in the 1920s, the Catholic Legion of Decency from the 1930s to the 1960s, or diverse “cultural identity” groups of the 1980s, protest groups could and did bring varying degrees of pressure and persuasion to bear on the movie studios in an attempt to regulate their movie content.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 292 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 613 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1999 – ISBN 0-8135-2706-6

Conversations in the Raw: Dialogues, Monologues, and Selected Short Subjects (Rex Reed)

Reed, Rex - Conversations in the Raw“I don’t know what people expect her to be like from the roles she plays, but she’s no fading Colette heroine. She’s no femme fatale either. The tender qualities she showed in her early films are only youthful memories now. Her manner is tough. There’s a rough, fruit-peel texture to her skin. A hard smile braces the edges of her mouthher hair is rinsed into an unstylish mop with a mind of its own, and maybe it’s my imagination, but the air around her table seems slightly blue, possibly from being sprayed with so many four-letter words.”

The description is of Simone Signoret, and there’s only one interviewer in the world who could have written it: Rex Reed. Reed, whom Time magazine calls “the most entertaining new journalist in America,” completely revolutionized the old game of interviewing celebrities with his unblinkingly candid and often savage portraits that have appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and in his earlier best-selling book, Do You Sleep in the Nude?

Whether it’s Bette Davis opening up about her problems with men, or Oskar Werner confessing his own superiority; whether it’s Patty Duke describing her childhood, or Leslie Caron fending off Warren Beatty’s telephone interruptions by telling him to walk around the block; whether it’s Jon Voight talking about male hustlers in the 42nd Street area trying to pick him up, or Patricia Neal reliving the nightmare of three near-fatal strokes… all the close-ups in this book have one thing in common: Rex Reed has managed to capture his subjects in those oft-guard moments when they are most truly themselves.

Read Conversations in the Raw and pick your own favorites. Discover why the Boston Globe has said: “Reading Rex Reed is like going to a party where he’s the host and half the celebrities are loathsome. half are lovely, and the lot is pretty damned lively.”

[Interviews with Bette Davis, Ruth Gordon, Jane Wyman, Ingrid Bergman, Myrna Loy, Uta Hagen, Simone Signoret, Patricia Neal, Zoe Caldwell, Oskar Werner, Colleen Dewhurst, Irene Papas, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joseph Losey, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Jean Seberg, Mart Crowley, Leslie Caron, Burt Bacharach, George Sanders, James Earl Jones, China Machado, Oliver Reed, Jon Voight, Carol White, Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, Patty Duke]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 554 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The World Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1969

Conversations With Capote (Lawrence Grobel; foreword by James A. Michener)

grobel-lawrence-conversations-with-capoteIn these extraordinary conversations, recorded over the last two years of Truman Capote’s life, the genius that elevated talk to art and gossip to literature lives on. The unique voice that emerges from these pages will capture you instantly, hold you bedazzled to the last razor-tipped barb and brilliant insight, and like the finest of Capote’s writings, leave you both exhilarated and moved.

Only Capote could divulge what he does in the way that he does about such figures as John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Norman Mailer, Montgomery Clift, André Gide, Marilyn Monroe, Lee Radziwill, Tennessee Williams, Lee Harvey Oswald, J.D. Salinger, and Elizabeth Taylor, to mention but a few of the rich, the famous, the powerful, and the notorious whom Capote captures in often shocking – and always revealing – anecdotes and personal opinions.

Equally candid and illuminating are Capote’s revelations about himself – his childhood and early fame, his difficulties with drugs and alcohol, his homosexuality, his assessment of his talent and his work, including the story of the writing of In Cold Blood and its aftermath. Here, too, are his hard-as-diamond views of what makes writing good, who among his fellow writers have attained that standard, and who he thinks the biggest phonies are.

Between July 16, 1982, when he first met Truman Capote, and August 25, 1984, when Capote died, writer Lawrence Grobel had many sessions with Capote for what they both agreed would be the definitive in-depth interview with the great writer. Tragically, it also turned out to be his last. Here, published for the first time, is the remarkable result of those conversations. As startling, candid, and controversial as the man himself, Conversations With Capote takes its place as a key part of the Capote legacy. People will be reading and talking about this book for a long time to come.

LAWRENCE GROBEL has been called “The Interviewer’s Interviewer” by Playbay magazine, for which he has done 15 interviews, including ones with Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Barbra Streisand, Henry Fonda, Patricia Hearst, Joan Collins, and John Huston. In addition, he is the author of stories, articles, and screenplays, and has recently completed a novel. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER New American Library, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-453-00494-6

Conversations With Joan Crawford (Roy Newquist; introduction by John Springer)

newquist-roy-conversations-with-joan-crawford-hardcoverFrom 1962, when they first met, until the last few months of her life, author Roy Newquist interviewed Joan Crawford on more than twenty occasions. In 1977 he secured her assistance in editing a portion of their interviews for a McCall’s Magazine feature. She was of great help in preparing the story, but died before the issue appeared.

In the complete interviews Joan Crawford emerges as a woman who will surprise those familiar with her life and career, to say nothing of the countless readers who relished her daughter’s revelations in Mommie Dearest. Without fear or inhibition, Miss Crawford discusses her career in depth, the films she respects and those she acknowledges as “bombs.” She speaks in detail about her husbands, all four of them, and her lovers (including her marathon friendship with Clark Gable, a relationship which continued until his death). She talks frankly about her days at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and at Warner Bros., about her fellow players and her leading men, which included almost every male star in the Hollywood roster. She talks about her children, providing the background for her daughter’s treatment of her in Mommie Dearest. She talks about her days with her last husband, Alfred Steele, and the loneliness of her final years in her east side New York apartment.

The portrait we see is that of an honest, strong-willed, tough woman, a loyal friend and an implacable enemy. Her longtime friendships were legendary. She even replied personally to every Christmas card sent her. When they last met, just a few months before her death, Newquist told her about the forthcoming McCall’s feature. She shrugged and asked, “Why bother? The only important parts of me are on film.” Newquist does not believe she was entirely correct. And when you read this book, neither will you.

ROY NEWQUIST has been a prolific feature writer for such diverse publications as the Chicago Tribune and the Palm Springs Life. In the course of a long career he has interviewed dozens of film stars as well as social, political and sports luminaries. When Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy filmed Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, Newquist was on the set almost every day of shooting. His interviews with the stars were published in a successful book, A Very Special Friendship. Mr. Newquist now works and lives on the West Coast.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 175 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 511 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1980 – ISBN 0-8065-0720-9

Conversations With John Schlesinger (Ian Buruma)

Buruma, Ian - Conversations With John SchlesingerThe British director John Schlesinger was one of the cinema’s most dynamic and influential artists. Now, in Conversations With John Schlesinger, acclaimed writer Ian Buruma, Schlesinger’s nephew, reveals the director’s private world in a series of in-depth interviews conducted in the later years of the director’s life.

Here they discuss the impact of Schlesinger’s personal life on his art. As his films so readily demonstrate, Schlesinger is a wonderful storyteller, and he serves up fascinating and provocative recollections of growing up in a Jewish family during World War II, his sexual coming-of-age as a gay man in conformist 1950s England, his emergence as an artist in the “Swinging 60s,” and the roller-coaster ride of his career as one of the most prominent Hollywood directors of his time.

Schlesinger also discusses his artistic philosophy and approach to filmmaking, recounting stories from the sets of his masterpieces, including Midnight Cowboy; Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Marathon Man; and The Day of the Locust. He shares what it was like to direct such stars as Dustin Hoffman, John Voight, Sean Penn, Madonna, and Julie Christie (whom Schlesinger is credited with discovering) and offers his thoughts on the fickle nature of fame and success in Hollywood.

Packed with wit and keen insight into the artistic mind, Conversations With John Schlesinger is not just the candid story of a dynamic and eventful life but the true measure of an extraordinary person.

Softcover – 177 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 13 cm (7,9 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 171 g (6,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-375-75763-5

Conversations With Marilyn (W. J. Weatherby)

Weatherby, W J - Conversations with Marilyn“Most of this book is based on two dusty, fading old shorthand notebooks that contained long accounts of conversations I had with Marilyn Monroe toward the end of her life.

I first met her in Reno in 1960, two years before she died, when she was making what was to be her last movie, The Misfits. I was a newspaper reporter covering the event. She knew then that we were meeting so that I could write about her, and she was suitably cautious – or as cautious as she ever was. But later, when I came to know her better in New York, we met on the understanding that we were talking privately and that I wouldn’t write about it, at least not then, and she was more relaxed and forthcoming.

We used to meet in a bar on Eighth Avenue, a plain place for real drinkers who liked their money’s worth in the glass and didn’t care much about the surroundings; not a place where you would expect to find a movie star. She was invariably in disguise, usually wearing a head scarf, a blouse, sloppy pants, and no makeup. I hadn’t recognized her the first time I saw her dressed that way in Reno, and she was seldom recognized in New York when I was with her.” – From chapter 1.

Softcover – 229 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 13,5 cm (8,1 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 307 g (10,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Paragon House, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 1-55778-512-0

Conversations With Marlon Brando (Lawrence Grobel)

Grobel, Lawrence - Conversations with Marlon BrandoIn 1978, Lawrence Grobel achieved the impossible: he secured an interview with Marlon Brando. Not only that – he was invited to spend ten days on Brando’s Pacific island where guarded conversation soon relaxed into freewheeling discussion round a surprisingly diverse range of topics, from bad directing to women. A portion of this extraordinarily candid material was used in a Playboy article at the time, but until now the full interview has not been published. It forms, together with subsequent conversations with Brando and Grobel’s own astute observations of the man, the actor, the husband, the father in crisis, a unique insight into the towering talent and the ferociously private man.

Brando reveals how and why he came to be so reclusive, what he hates about myth-making, stars who endorse politicians and the ‘monster’ Charlie Chaplin. He also explains what he respects about the American Indian, slapstick comedy and Elia Kazan. His opinions on books, God, suing people, drugs (which he doesn’t take), fatherhood and the ‘crazy viscosity of some people’s saliva’ turn an exclusive interview into a spectacularly unpredictable one. Also well captured are tranquil picnics, games with children, and ham-radio evenings on the island.

Marlon Brando emerges as a fascinating hybrid – of the serious and the impish, the intellectual and the intuitive, the solitary and the hugely public. Above all, he is reluctant and roguish but superbly incisive communicator.

LAWRENCE GROBEL is the author of The Hustons, of which Frederic Raphael wrote in the Sunday Times, ‘a delicious, wicked guide’ and which J.P. Donleavy thought ‘quite marvellous,’ and Conversations With Capote for which he was given a special achievement award by the Los Angeles Chapter of Pen. Grobel lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 176 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 450 g (15,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Bloomsbury Publishing, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 0 7475 0816 X

Conversations With the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age at the American Film Institute (George Stevens, Jr.)

stevens-jr-george-conversations-with-the-great-moviemakersThe first book to bring together the interviews of master moviemakers from the American Film Institute’s renowned seminars – a series that has been in existence for almost forty years, since the founding of the Institute itself. Here are the legendary directors, producers, cinematographers and writers – the great pioneers, the great artists – whose work led the way in the early days of moviemaking and still survives from what was the twentieth century’s art form. The book is edited – with commentaries – by George Stevens, Jr., founder of the American Film Institute and the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies’ Harold Lloyd Master Seminar series. Here talking about their work, their art – picture making in general – are directors from King Vidor, Howard Hawks and Fritz Lang (“I learned only from bad films”) to William Wyler, George Stevens and David Lean. Here, too, is Hal B. Wallis, one of Hollywood’s great motion picture producers; legendary cinematographers Stanley Cortez, who shot, among other pictures, The Magnificent Ambersons, Since You Went Away and Shock Corridor and George Folsey, who was the cameraman on more than 150 pictures, from Animal Crackers and Marie Antoinette to Meet Me in St. Louis and Adam’s Rib; and the equally celebrated James Wong Howe. Here is the screenwriter Ray Bradbury, who wrote the script for John Huston’s Moby Dick; Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, and the admired Ernest Lehman, who wrote the screenplays for Sabrina, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and North by Northwest (“One day Hitchcock said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do a chase across the face of Mount Rushmore.”‘). And here, too, are Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini (“Making a movie is a mathematical operation. It’s absolutely impossible to improvise”).

The conversations gathered together – and published for the first time – are full of wisdom, movie history and ideas about picture making, about working with actors, about how to tell a story in words and movement. A sample of what the moviemakers have to teach us: Elia Kazan, on translating a play to the screen: “With A Streetcar Named Desire we worked hard to open it up and then went back to the play because we’d lost all the compression. In the play, these people were trapped in a room with each other. As the story progressed, I took out little flats, and the set got smaller and smaller.” Ingmar Bergman on writing: “For half a year I had a picture inside my head of three women walking around in a red room with white clothes. I couldn’t understand why these damned women were there, I tried to throw it away… find out what they said to each other because they whispered. It came out that they were watching another woman dying. Then the screenplay started – but it took about a year. The script always starts with a picture.” Jean Renoir on actors: “The truth is, if you discourage an actor you may never find him again. An actor is an animal, extremely fragile. You get a little expression, it is not exactly what you wanted, but it’s alive. It’s something human.” And Alfred Hitchcock – on Hitchcock: “Give [the audience] pleasure, the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”

GEORGE STEVENS, Jr., is an award-winning writer, director and producer, and founder of the American Film Institute. He has received eleven Emmys, two Peabody Awards and seven Writers Guild of America Awards for his television productions, including the annual Kennedy Center Honors, The Murder of Mary Phagan and Separate but Equal. His production The Thin Red Line was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture. He worked with his father, acclaimed director George Stevens, on his productions of Shane, Giant and The Diary of Anne Frank and in 1962 was named head of the United States Information Agency’s motion picture division by Edward R. Murrow. Stevens was director of the AFI from 1967 until 1980, before returning to film and television production. He lives in Washington, D.C.

[Interviews with Ray Bradbury, Richard Brooks, Frank Capra, William Clothier, Stanley Cortez, George Cukor, Federico Fellini, George Folsey, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, James Wong Howe, John Huston, Elia Kazan, Gene Kelly, Stanley Kramer, Fritz Lang, David Lean, Ernest Lehman, Mervyn LeRoy, Harold Lloyd, Rouben Mamoulian, Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir, George Stevens, King Vidor, Hal B. Wallis, Raoul Walsh, Billy Wilder, Robert Wise, William Wyler, Fred Zinnemann]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 710 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.190 g (42 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 1-4000-4054-X

Coppola (Peter Cowie)

Cowie, Peter - CoppolaNo director expresses the drive and invention of the new American cinema so brilliantly as Francis Coppola. At the age of 32 he became a superstar in Hollywood with his gangster movie, The Godfather, which rapidly climbed to the top of the all-time box-office hits. Two years later, he won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festval for The Conversation, and his savage epic of the Vietnam war, Apocalypse Now, established Coppola as the most visionary and charismatic film-maker of his generation.

This first major portrait of Coppola, the man and the movie-maker, goes behind the cameras to track the creative and financial turmoil involved in his productions. Peter Cowie has spent three years researching this project, interviewing Coppola’s friends and colleagues, analyzing a man who by 1982 had won five personal Academy Awards and was over $ 20 million in debt following the desastrous failure of One From the Heart.

A superb director of actors, Coppola has introduced such talents as Frederic Forrest, Matt Dillon, Nicolas Cage, Talia Shire, and Tom Cruise. Many of the greatest screen actors of the past twenty years have done their finest work in his films: Brando in The Godfather, Gene Hackman in The Conversation, Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, Jeff Bridges in Tucker, Robert Duvall in just about everything.

Peter Cowie paints a vivid and penetrating portrait of a man whose films have a strange knack of mirrowing his own dramatic, sometimes tempestuous, life.

PETER COWIE is founding editor of International Film Guide, the author of books on Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman, as well as histories of film-making in various European countries. He contributes to newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the London Sunday Times and Observer, and Sight and Sound. Peter Cowie is sometime Regents’ Lecturer in Film Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. He was born in the same year as Francis Coppola.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 739 g (26,1 oz) – PUBLISHER André Deutsch, Ltd., London, 1989 – ISBN 0233 98333 3

Un cri dans le silence: Révolte et nostalgie (Brigitte Bardot)

Bardot, Brigitte - Un cri dans le silenceCe livre choc, sans concession, que Brigitte Bardot a souhaité écrire, seule, à La Madrague, entourée de ses animaux, exprime ses états d’âme actuels: sa révolte face à un monde en perdition et ses illusions perdues.

Sa révolte, car aujourd’hui, la liberté, qu’elle a si bien incarnée dans les années 60, est mise en cage, maltraitée, comme celle des animaux qu’elle défend avec passion. Notre éternelle “star” française, légende vivante, fustige avec ce franc-parler qui la caractérise, notre société, ses lâchetés et ses dérives ; la complicité devant l’injustice, les profiteurs du système, le nivellement par le bas de nos traditions et des valeurs de la France.

Et puis sa nostalgie, car Brigitte, enfin libre et sereine, se souvient de ce temps où, adulée par tous, elle décida que “réussir sa vie”, ce n’était pas seulement “réussir dans la vie” et elle choisissait en solitaire, avec courage et sans regrets, de s’investir dans un combat difficile: la protection animale. Pour retrouver des valeurs essentielles bafouées par l’Etre humain: l’amour et la compassion, le respect et l’harmonie.

Ce cri, son Cri dans le silence, est un formidable appel au bon sens, à la liberté d’expression et à un retour nécessaire vers la confiance et l’espérance.

Softcover – 171 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 249 g (8,78 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions du Rocher, Monaco, 2003 – ISBN 2 268 04725

Crucified Heroes: The Films of Sam Peckinpah (Terence Butler)

butler-terence-crucified-heroes-the-films-of-sam-peckinpahSam Peckinpah is so well-known as a director of Westerns that critics have tended to class him as simply another exponent of the American tough guy ethos. Yet far from subscribing wholeheartedly to this, Peckinpah’s work exposes an underlying drama of loneliness and despair. Examining his achievement from this perspective, Terence Butler sees Peckinpah as standing in the forefront of a peculiarly American struggle against a repressive puritanism.

The director’s controversial fascination with violence is seen as the expression of a struggle to transcend isolation. His commitment to a frontier ideal of freedom, while romantic, has contemporary relevance in showing how society can function in order to break people.

TERENCE BUTLER is a teacher of Modern Languages in London and he has written on films for Movie magazine.

Softcover – 125 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 15 cm (8,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Gordon Fraser, London, 1979 – ISBN 0 86092 009 7

Cruel City: The Dark Side of Hollywood’s Rich & Famous (Marianne Ruuth)

scannen0012Hollywood. The name itself has been a beacon for the ambitious since the world of film first established itself in the California hills. For generations, the young, the beautiful and the talented have flocked to the coast of California to bask in the sun and seek fame and fortune in the movies. Few – very few – became stars.

In Cruel City, Marianne Ruuth writes of those few, particularly of their disappointments, their despairs and their disasters. Early in the history of the film industry – capitalizing on many filmgoers’ beliefs that Hollywood stars are the characters they portray – Hollywood’s leaders set themselves – and their stars – to adhering to that illusion, aided by a press corps easily as ambitious and manipulated as the stars themselves.

The relationship between Hollywood film studios and the press has, at best, always been an uneasy “marriage of convenience.” Some private lives were laid bare, while others were carefully shielded. Against this sordid panorama, “Fatty” Arbuckle would be crucified by a vehement press: the “Black Dahlia” would be dismembered in a vacant lot; William Desmond Taylor would be murdered and Clara Bow would watch her name dragged across the face of the tabloids to enable her studio to break her contract.

These are the stories Marianne Ruuth has to tell.

Cruel City is the first book of its kind to reveal the control once exerted by the industry, and by the press itself, on the lives and careers of the film greats. Included are the true stories, some harrowing and some saddening, of Inger Stevens, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, D.W. Griffith, Bob Crane, James Dean, Natalie Wood and many others.

Today, the film industry is, for the most part, run by corporate boards of directors with little personal interest in the people who turn out their product beyond the bottom line of the profit and loss statements. In today’s climate of the television blitz, the press is no longer considered a valid manipulative tool.

Marianne Ruuth has created a doorway into yesterday that will present the reader with a slashing, vicious glance at a world that once existed under the Hollywood sun.

MARIANNE RUUTH is the author of The Supremes: Triumph and Tragedy and more than a dozen other books. Formerly president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, she has been widely published in the United States and Europe. A contributing uniter and researcher for The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century and The Chronicle of America, Ms. Ruuth chaired Women In Film International and is a member of MENSA. She resides in Hollywood.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 555 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Roundtable Publishing, Inc., Malibu, California, 1991 – ISBN 0-915677-48-2

Culver City (Julie Lugo Cerra)

cera-julie-lugo-images-of-america-culver-cityPart Mayberry and part Peyton Place, Culver City has provided the backdrop for Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, Men In Black, Jerry Maguire, The Andy Griffith Show, Batman, Lassie, and the films of Laurel & Hardy. Gwen Verdon grew up here, and so did The Little Rascals. Gene Kelly sang in the rain. Harrison Ford commanded Air Force One. But before glitz and glamour set up shop, the open fields of Culver City were peacefully inhabited by the Gabrielino Indians. Spanish grazing grants of 1819 set the stage for development, and in 1913, Harry Culver announced his ambition to found a city. Two years later, Thomas H. Ince broke ground on Culver City’s first major studio. A star was born.

Images of America: Culver City guides you on a VIP back lot tour of a movie town’s pioneering moments.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

JULIE LUGO CERRA, the honorary city historian for Culver City, is a sixth-generation Californian with family ties dating back to the founding of the pueblo of Los Angeles. Her previous book, Culver City: Heart of Screenland, is in its second printing.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 324 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2004 – ISBN 978-0-7385-2893-9

Culver City: The Heart of Screenland  (Julie Lugo Cerra)

Cerra, Julie Lugo - Culver CityThe band of native warriors rowed down the mighty river. The year was 1915, and real estate man Harry Culver was watching Thomas H. Ince film a Western. Fascinated, Culver convinced Ince to relocate his motion picture studio to prime property in fledgling Culver City.

The real natives of this area, the Gabrielino Indians, were long gone. Los Angeles was in the midst of a glitzy, decades-long real estate boom. And Harry Culver, dreamer and entrepreneur, was developing the balanced residential / commercial community that would become known as “The Heart of Screenland.”

In this bright new history of Culver City, author Julie Lugo Cerra captures the community’s past in a narrative brought to life by colorful personalities, events, and facts. Culver City: The Heart of Screenland pans across the decades, with close-ups on the region’s earliest inhabitants, Harry Culver’s city – building efforts, the studios of MGM, Hal Roach, and Thomas H. Ince, and the growth of a contemporary community.

The author’s text is illuminated by more than a hundred black-and-white historical photos and twelve pages of colorful, contemporary plates. A final chapter written by Cynthia Simone spotlights some of the individuals and organizations who have contributed to the building of Culver City and the publication of this commemorative book.

JULIE LUGO CERRA has been collecting data for years about one of her favorite subjects – Culver City. In addition to actively raising funds for community projects, she is a founder of the Culver City Historical Society and has served as president of the society, the Board of Education, and other organizations. She has been honored with numerous community service awards. The author’s dedication to her city grows from deep roots: she is a second-generation native of the city and a sixth-generation Californian descended from the Lugos, a Spanish landgrant family. She is also the owner of a local business, Cerra Enterprises, a communications consulting firm. Julie Lugo Cerra has developed a number of historical tours of the area and is the author of short histories for schools and the historical society. She is the author of the historical overview accompanying the society’s “Game of Culver City.” The author holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Northridge, and has also studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. About the corporate historian, CYNTHIA SIMONE is a business writer specializing in corporate and marketing communications. As an editor, writer, and photographer, her professional experience includes working with a variety of industries. Through Simone Communications, which she established in Orange County in 1982, she provides creative editorial services for clients, many of whom have international interests. Before starting her business, Simone was public relations specialist and senior editor for Chevron Corporation in San Francisco. Her articles have been published in a number of magazines and newspapers. Cynthia Simone is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In addition, she has studied photography at the University of California, Irvine, and international business at the University of Southern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 164 pp., index – Dimensions 29 x 22 cm (11,4 x 8,7 inch – Weight 894 g (31,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Windsor Publications, Inc., Chatsworth, California, 1999 – ISBN 0-89781-441-X

Cut, Print and That’s a Wrap: A Hollywood Memoir (Paul A. Helmick)

Helmick, Paul A - Cut, Print, and That's a WrapOver the course of his 50 years in the industry, Paul A. Helmick worked behind the camera with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – from directors Howard Hawks and John Ford to movie stars John Wayne, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe. Serving as an assistant director on such films as Monkey Business, Rio Bravo, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How Green Was My Valley, and The Defiant Ones, he recalls the people he worked with at their best, their worst, and their quirkiest, and he relates with wit his career as a major-studio hired gun.

Brimming with anecdotes and photos, this memoir invites the reader behind the scenes of more than two dozen feature films.

Retired from a career in TV and film, PAUL A. HELMICK lives in Grenada Hills, California.

Softcover – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 340 g (12 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2001 – ISBN 0-7864-0845-6

Cybill Disobedience (Cybill Shepherd, with Aimee Lee Ball)

Autographed copy Cybill Shepherd

Shepherd, Cybill - Cybill DisobedienceFew women in the past three decades have lit up the American imagination like Cybill Shepherd. From wholesome beauty queen to saucy cover girl, from heartbreaking movie star (The Last Picture Show) to one of television’s most beloved comediennes (Moonlighting and Cybill), she has imbued each of her roles – right down to her current passions as devoted mother of three, champion of women’s issues, and sultry cabaret singer – with an indomitable spirit that has made her, at fifty, a female icon to an entire generation. Now in her much-anticipated memoir, she tells her remarkable story with humor, pathos, and more highlights than her famously blond hair. Cybill has absorbed the lessons of Southern womanhood, including the whispered message about sex: wait until you’re married, then you won’t enjoy it, and certainly never speak of it. She gleefully disobeyed these and other rules of decorum in a career laced with controversy, featuring unforgettable cameos by Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles, Robert De Niro, and Jeff Bridges. Whether stepping on Elvis’s blue suede shoes or going toe-to-toe with Bruce Willis, Cybill has never held anything back, and it’s all in Cybill Disobedience, including: the night a network executive tried to barter thirteen episodes for a horizontal tour of Cybill’s bedroom; why she’ll never be invited back to Ryan O’Neal’s beach house or Marlon Brando’s island; the time she greeted David Letterman in nothing but a towel; the real reason two of television’s most popular and acclaimed series died premature deaths; how she made Richard Nixon blush for the first and only time in his life.

From her Memphis roots to her insider’s track in Hollywood, Cybill Shepherd is a woman who has weathered every onslaught and withstood every rebuke to emerge as a luminous model of endurance, courage, and an insatiable lust for life.

AIMEE LEE BALL has co-authored several books including No Time to Die with Liz Tilberis. She has written about health, politics, business, and the arts for many national magazines including New York, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New York Times. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 294 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 662 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-06-019350-6