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The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship and the Production Code from the 1920s to the 1960’s (Leonard J. Leff, Jerold L. Simmons)

Leff, Leonard J - The Dame in the KimonoIn 1929 the Jazz Age ended and American morals turned conservative. Threatened with official censorship, the movie moguls opted to police themselves before the government did it for them.

The Production Code, administered by strong-willed Joseph I. Breen, began as the studios’ ‘silent partner’, both defending movies from the censors and making sure Hollywood behaved. But all too often the producers and directors who had welcomed the Code found themselves pitted against its inflexible guidelines, and self-protection gave way to a debate over the limits of artistic freedom – a debate that mirrored America’s own changing mores.

The Dame in the Kimono is the first in-depth history of the Production Code and film censorship, focusing on some of Hollywood’s most controversial films: from Mae West’s early sex comedies and Gone With the Wind to such milestones as A Streetcar Named Desire, Lolita and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Funny, insightful and beautifully written, The Dame in the Kimono reveals the Production Code as a not-so-silent partner which strongly influenced screen content for nearly half a century.

LEONARD J. LEFF is professor of English at Oklahoma State University, and the author of Hitchcock and Selznick, which won the British Film Institute Book of the Year Award in 1988. JEROLD L. SIMMONS teaches American history at the University of Nebraska.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 350 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 765 g (27,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1990

A Damned Serious Business: My Life in Comedy (Rex Harrison; postscript by Maggie Smith)

Harrison, Rex - A Damned Serious BusinessFor more than sixty-five years his self-deprecating wit, impeccable timing, and upper-crust elegance made Rex Harrison the reigning king of high comedy. In plays and  films such as My Fair Lady, Doctor Dolittle, and Anne of the Thousand Days, he charmed audiences throughout the world – and he did so with such enormous ease one would think he wasn’t acting at all.

Now, in a warm and wonderfully humorous memoir completed shortly before his death, Rex Harrison reveals the secrets behind his comedic success. From mangling Shakespeare in Richard III to starring in a history-making Broadway triumph, this fascinating man’s career is proof positive that comedy is… A Damned Serious Business.

“Go into your father’s business, do anything, but don’t go on with acting,” said the director of the Liverpool Repertory Theatre to sixteen-year-old Rex Harrison. But instead of quitting, the bumbling boy who kept flubbing his lines went on to win international acclaim, three Tony Awards, an Oscar, and, in 1989, a knighthood.

While Harrison drew great pleasure from wine, women, and song – as well as country weekends with Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, David Niven, and Orson Welles – his greatest passion was acting. Here he describes the hardship of the early touring days, playing in one grim little town after another; the elation of winning a part in the biggest comedy of the thirties; and the satisfaction of becoming and honest-to-goodness household word as everyone from royalty to café society came to see him perform.

After serving in the RAF in World War II, Harrison was lured to Hollywood to make films, including Anna and the King of Siam and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. But the sunny, monied land was not to his liking and he soon escaped back to a stage career in London and New York. His theatrical immortality was assured in 1956, when, after grueling rehearsals and terrifying tryouts, the curtain rose on the extraordinary musical, My Fair Lady.

Rex Harrison’s portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins made theater history, and My Fair Lady itself went on to set Broadway musical box-office records. Here is the inside story of how this incredible show was made – and how close Harrison came to turning down the role. Here, too, are Harrison’s heart-wrenching memories of the tragedy that was playing out at home while he was wowing them onstage.

A consummate professional, Rex Harrison continued to give great performances well into his ninth decade. When he died in June 1990, he was starring on Broadway in The Circle, working up to the very end as he’d always wished. “Nobody’s as interesting to spend an evening with as a really good part,” he said. Now, for everyone who has ever been enchanted by the suave and engaging Rex Harrison, here are the actor’s own reminiscences of all those interesting evenings.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 701 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-553-07341-9

Dance While You Can (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dance-while-you-can“On the deepest, most personal level, I needed to work out who my parents were and what they had been to me. I knew that I couldn’t get on with my work and the rest of my life until I had. I had written so much about inner peace, balance, and harmony in cosmic terms, when all of it really came down to fallout from Mom and Dad on this earth. What a joke. You think you have a handle on God, the Universe, and the Great White Light until you go home for Thanksgiving. In an hour, you realize how far you’ve got to go and who is the real turkey.”

At the age of fifty-seven, after nearly four decades in Hollywood, Academy Award-winning actress and entertainer Shirley MacLaine is still moving us to laughter and tears in major film roles, still high-kicking on stage in live performances – and still searching for the truth within herself. In this, her most intimate memoir yet, she examines with courage and candor her feelings about aging, relationships, work, her parents, her daughter, and her own future as an artist and as a woman.

“There was a hidden agenda in our family. Warren and I were not only driven to fulfill our parents’ unrealized dreams but, in the process, to prove Mother correct in her aspirations for us in spite of our father’s fears and his harshly critical attitude toward our efforts… We had to do it. We had to be there. We couldn’t disappoint her, or the audience, or ourselves… In other words, there was no way Warren and I wouldn’t become stars.”

In Dance While You Can, Shirley examines the powerful familial forces that have shaped her life, legacies of a strong-willed mother whose own longing to be acknowledged propelled Shirley and her brother, Warren Beatty, to success, and of a father whose fear of failure inspired her always to prepare for the worst. She reflects on her relationship with her daughter, Sachi, and their separation during some of Sachi’s childhood years spent in Japan with her father. With affection and humor she recalls her own formative years in a Hollywood that made magic, not just money, learning her craft beside legendary stars like Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, and Debbie Reynolds, whose life in part inspired Shirley’s bravura role in Postcards from the Edge.

Finally, Shirley writes with honesty and incisive detail about her decision to return to the stage with a new show. Finding it both frightening and liberating, she reveals how it felt to lose her footing, and her confidence, when a series of devastating injuries forced her into knee surgery – and how she grew from the insecurity of aging and emotional anguish to stand on her own two feet with a new, more mature and centered perspective.

Illustrated with thirty-two pages of personal family photographs, here is a rich, revealing look at a woman in the prime of her life and at the height of her powers as an artist. Astonishingly frank about what it is to be alone at this time in her life, her sexual identity and sometimes wobbly self-esteem, how she has struggled to cope with fears of success and failure; how she deals with creative pressures, and her constant quest for understanding her deeper identity – this is the down-to-earth book Shirley MacLaine’s readers have long awaited.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE’s accounts of her professional and personal journeys have each been national and international best-sellers, beginning with the publication of Don’t Fall Off the Mountain in 1970. Five additional autobiographical works have followed: You Can Get There from Here (1975), Out on a Limb (1983), Dancing in the Light (1985), It’s All in the Playing (1987), and most recently, Going Within (1989).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 303 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 574 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Press, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-593-02446-X

Dancing in the Dark: Words by Howard Dietz (Howard Dietz; foreword by Alan Jay Lerner)

Dietz, Howard - Dancing in the DarkA major figure from the golden era of American entertainment, has written his own book in his own inimitable way. The liveliest memoir since Moss Hart, Howard Dietz writes with all the humor and charm that made him the celebrated wit of Broadway and Hollywood.

“Dancing in the Dark,” “Give Me Something to Remember You By,” “Alone Together,” “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan,” “If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You,” “By Myself,” “That’s Entertainment,” are but a few of the hits from the 20’s, 30’s and beyond, written with music by Arthur Schwartz, that have become a permanent part of American popular music. As Alan Jay Lerner says in his introduction, “they have that special grace, that warm elegant glow that hangs a smile around you.”

His stories will hang a smile around you too. Howard Dietz, who lived a double life as lyric writer for musical shows and as chief of publicity and advertising for MGM, worked and played with the most gifted, famous, difficult and amusing figures of stage and screen. The gifted were very gifted – Vivien Leigh, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Beatrice Lillie, Ethel Merman. The famous and sometimes difficult were those Hollywood legends – Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Aileen Pringle, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Nicholas Schenck, Irving G. Thalberg. The amusing were delightful – such famous wits as Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, George Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott, Mrs. Patrick Campbell.

No one was or is more entertaining than Howard Dietz himself, the man who said “A day away from Tallulah is like a month in the country,” or “Louella Parsons can spell everything but words.” “I went to the Algonquin,” he writes of his early literary days, “and watched the Round Table eat.” His publicity stunts were inspired. He made “I want to be alone” the Garbo hallmark, had Leo the MGM lion flown coast-to-coast by one of the first transatlantic pilots, planned mass hysteria for the 1939 premiere of Gone With the Wind in Atlanta.

At the same time, he was writing lyrics and librettos for 32 Broadway musicals. (The full lyrics to 30 of his best-known songs are included here.) Such shows as, The Little Show, The Band Wagon, At Home Abroad, Inside U.S.A. brought the revue form to a peak of perfection unrivaled before or since (Brooks Atkinson wrote about The Band Wagon – “The musical theater will never be the same again”), and Dietz’s remarks on its development and on lyric writing are fresh and unique.

Dietz was not only a master of the popular song – he was also commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera to write new English lyrics for Die Fledermaus and La Bohème and his deft treatment reflects the versatility of his talent.

HOWARD DIETZ has enjoyed the first 77 years of his remarkable life immensely. With Dancing in the Dark, you will too.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 876 g (30,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Quadrangle / The New York Times Book Co., New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-8129-0439-7

Dancing in the Light (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dancing-in-the-lightNow, at a turning point in her life, comes her most revealing and exciting book yet. Outspoken, controversial, talented, and perceptive Shirley MacLaine now takes us on an intimate and fascinating personal odyssey. In 1984 she won an Oscar, starred on Broadway, wrote the best-selling Out on a Limb – and turned fifty years old. At this special time, in this special year, she was now ready to resume the spiritual journey she had begun in her early forties. In Dancing in the Light, Shirley MacLaine bares her innermost self and explores the lives, both past and present, which touched and affected her own. She sheds new light on her loves, her losses, her childhood, her passions, and her inner drives and ambitions. She asks poignant questions and finds surprising answers. She challenges her beliefs and confronts her conflicts. Ultimately, she takes us with her through a life-altering experience that provides a stunning new vision of herself, her future… and the fate of our world.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE is an Academy Award-winning American film and theater actress, well-known not only for her acting, but for her devotion to her belief in reincarnation. She is also the writer of a large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her new age beliefs, such as solipsism, as well as her Hollywood career. She is the older sister of Warren Beatty.

Softcover – 405 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 212 g (7,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-553-17312-X

Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies (Stephen M. Silverman; introduction by Audrey Hepburn)

silverman-stephen-h-dancing-on-the-ceilingThe first book to explore the life and extraordinary work of the legendary moviemaker who directed Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, and Funny Face, from the author of David Lean (“Silverman has captured one of the world’s truly great filmmakers” – Billy Wilder). Stanley Donen is the man who forever changed the Hollywood musical, moving it away from the Busby Berkeley extravagance to a felt integration of the songs and dances. He is also the man who helped shape the sophisticated romance exemplified by Indiscreet and Charade.

The author, with Donen’s cooperation, has brilliantly revealed Donen’s fifty-year career – first in the theater, next in Hollywood, and then abroad. We see Donen’s collaborations with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. And we see his work with Rodgers and Hart, Alan Lerner, Comden and Green, Roger Edens, Arthur Freed, Michael Kidd, and Bob Fosse.

We watch Donen growing up in the South in the 1930s, seeking refuge at movies, watching Fred Astaire dance on the screen, and forever changed by it. And then at sixteen, fleeing to New York, where he lands his first job in the chorus of the groundbreaking musical Pal Joey, directed by George Abbott, starring Gene Kelly… and appearing next in Best Foot Forward.

We follow Donen west, to MGM (first he was a chorus boy, then assistant choreographer)… next embellishing Anchors Aweigh, dreaming up the almost technically impossible notion of having its star, Gene Kelly, dance next decade making one great musical after another. We hear Donen’s recollections of life and work on the sets of Singin’ in the Rain, Royal Wedding, Funny Face, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, On the Town, The Pajama Game, Indiscreet, Charade, Two for the Road, Arabesque, Bedazzled, and other movies he directed. We see him through the eyes of more than one hundred of his contemporaries whom, in addition to Donen himself, Silverman has interviewed at length, from Kay Thompson and Billy Wilder to Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, Debbie Reynolds, Gregory Peck, and Cyd Charisse.

Dancing on the Ceiling gives, close up, a great director and a lost Hollywood on whose silver screen wit and charm abounded.

STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN has taught at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is the author of four books. His articles have appeared in Vogue, Mirabella, The London Times Magazine, and Travel & Leisure. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 390 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 758 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-679-41412-6

Dangerous Friends: At Large with Huston and Hemingway in the Fifties (Peter Viertel)

viertel-peter-dangerous-friendsErnest Hemingway kept warning the young Peter Viertel to “stop whoring for Hollywood.” But Hemingway was not a young man beckoned by the promise of travel to Paris, Africa, Spain; by the lure of money; by the exciting life in the film world among the most brilliant stars and directors of his time.

Peter Viertel, whose first novel was published to glowing reviews when he was only eighteen, and who had just returned from the fighting in World War II, was a handsome writer born of parents of the European intelligentsia, exiles from Hitler’s Europe. Brought up in Hollywood, in a household where Greta Garbo (his mother’s closest friend), Bertolt Brecht, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, and Franz Werfel were constant guests, young Peter yearned to be an American. In need of money to support writing novels and his wife, Jigee, Viertel turned to writing scripts for Hollywood, where he soon found himself in the orbit of John Huston, the legendary director of The Maltese Falcon.

Huston’s appetites were voracious, his personality larger than life. He acquired women and horses with equal gusto, and roamed the world looking for adventure. It was at this time that Viertel also met his idol Hemingway, who admired and encouraged the younger writer’s fiction. Throughout the fifties, “Papa” Hemingway, exhorting Peter to turn his back on Hollywood’s glamour and concentrate on novel writing, and Huston, representing Hollywood’s mania and excess, vied for Peter’s soul.

In these entertaining and revealing memoirs, Peter Viertel offers us a rare and candid glimpse of these “dangerous friends” and of the other remarkable personalities he came to know. There is Luis Miguel Dominguín, the famous Spanish bullfighter, who introduced Peter to the excitement and perils of the ring. There are Orson Welles, always searching for funds for his idiosyncratic films, and the irrepressible Slim Keith. And there are Peter’s romances, full of joy and scandal, with the movie star Ava Gardner, the highly sought-after model Bettina Graziani (who left Peter for Aly Khan), and Deborah Kerr, the beautiful screen actress who became his second wife.

Peter Viertel evokes this lost era – when shipboard romances on Atlantic crossings were de rigueur and the term “jet set” had not yet been coined – with wit and an eye for the telling detail. But this is also the powerful story of a man’s search for clues to his identity, a man trying to learn from, without being consumed by, his “dangerous friends.”

PETER VIERTEL is the author of six novels, among them White Hunter, Black Heart, which was based on his experiences with John Huston during the filming of The African Queen; it was recently turned into a feature film starring Clint Eastwood. His most recent novel is American Skin, which was published in 1984. He divides his time between Klosters, Switzerland, and Marbella, Spain.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 770 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-385-26046-6

Danielle Darrieux: 80 ans de carrière (Christian Dureau)

dureau-christian-danielle-darrieuxIngénue dans les années 30, femme fatale durant les sixties, mamie aujourd’hui, Danielle Darrieux a traversé l’histoire du cinéma telle une merveilleuse étoile brillant au firmament.

Discrète au quotidien mais omniprésente dans son métier, belle toujours, exigeante aussi, elle restera à jamais l’une des plus grandes stars françaises de l’écran.

D’une longévité exceptionnelle, nulle part au monde égalée, elle va fêter cette année ses 80 ans de carrière.

Un événement qu’on se doit d’honorer par ce livre-souvenir qui se veut un hommage avant tout.

Hardcover – 142 pp. – Dimensions 24,5 x 17 cm (9,7 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 593 g (20,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Didier Carpentier, Paris, 2011 – ISBN 978-2-84167-741-2

Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning, Hollywood’s Master of the Macabre (David J. Skal, Elias Savada)

Skal, David J - Dark Carnival The Secret World of Tod BrowningOne of the most original and unsettling filmmakers of all time – the creator of the horror classics Dracula and Freaks, among others – Tod Browning is also one of the most enigmatic directors who ever worked in Hollywood. A complicated, troubled, and fiercely private man, he confounded would-be biographers hoping to penetrate his secret, obsessive world – both during his lifetime and afterward.

Now, film historians David J. Skal and Elias Savada, using newly discovered family documents and revealing unpublished interviews with friends and colleagues, join forces for the first full-length biography of the man who earned a reputation as “the Edgar Allan Poe of the cinema.” The authors chronicle Browning’s turn-of-the-century flight from an eccentric Louisville family into the world of carnival sideshows (where he began his career literally buried alive) and vaudeville, his disastrous first marriage, his rapid climb to riches in the burgeoning silent film industry, and the alcoholism that would plague him throughout his life.  Browning’s legendary collaborations with Lon Chaney, Sr., and Bela “Dracula” Lugosi are explored in depth, along with the studio politics that ended his career after the bizarre circus drama Freaks – a cult classic today – proved to be one of the biggest box-office disasters of the early thirties.

Illustrated throughout with rare photographs, Dark Carnival is both an artful, often shocking portrait of a singular film pioneer and an illuminating study of the evolution of horror, essential to an understanding of our continuing fascination with the macabre.

DAVID J. SKAL is the author of Hollywood Gothic, “The ultimate book on Dracula” (Newsweek) and The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and other publications, and on the television series Biography. ELIAS SAVADA, a film historian, copyright researcher, and archival programming consultant, is director of the Motion Picture Information Service in Bethesda, Maryland. He recently compiled The American Film Institute Catalog: Film Beginnings, 1893-1910.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 359 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz)) – PUBLISHER Anchor Books, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-3858-47406-7

Dark City: The Film Noir (Spencer Selby)

selby-spencer-dark-city“Film noir is a historical, stylistic and thematic trend that took place primarily, but not exclusively, within the generic complex of the American crime film of the forties and fifties. The term was first introduced by French cinéaste Nino Frank in 1946. For many years it was known only to the French, who seemed to be the only ones equipped (critically or otherwise) to grapple with its definition and/or historical implications. The high water mark of this period of film criticism came with the publication of Borde and Chaumeton’s Panorama du Film Noir Americain in 1955. After that not much was heard about film noir from the French or anyone else. Then in the late sixties, the term began cropping up in English and American criticism. Higham and Greenberg’s Hollywood in the Forties, published in 1968, was the first book in English to devote an entire chapter to “black cinema.” This landmark was followed by Raymond Durgnat’s The Family Tree of Film Noir, published in 1970. And while Durgnat’s description of eleven film noir themes represented the first important attempt in English criticism to define noir, the article actually created almost as many confusions as it resolved about the subject.” – From The Introduction.

The most complete reference to the dark 40s and 50s stylistic dramas, the first section has a lengthy analytical essay as well as detailed plot descriptions and credits for 25 classics – such as The Maltese Falcon, Laura, and Detective Story. The second section is an annotated filmography including major credits and short descriptions of nearly 500 films. Also included are appendices listing every film noir by both director and chronological order, off-genre noirs, and other films bearing important relationships to the noir cycle.

SPENCER SELBY lives in Oakland, California.

Hardcover – 255 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1984 – ISBN 1-55862-099-0

Dark Lady of the Silents: My Life in Early Hollywood (Miriam Cooper, with Bonnie Herndon)

scannen0256More than the memoirs of one of the greatest actresses of silent films – an intimate of D.W. Griffith who played leading roles in both Birth of a Nation and Intolerance – more than the autobiography of a dazzling public personality who knew all the greats of her era from the Duke of Windsor to William Randolph Hearst, this is the spellbinding story of a spirited, highly intelligent woman who grew up with America’s favorite industry – motion pictures.

When Miriam Cooper started making movies, there was no Hollywood. There were only a few small studios in New York, and there was D.W. Griffith. Miriam Cooper was lucky enough – and beautiful and talented enough – to begin working with the best. She became part of Griffith’s company and stayed with him until she married one of his assistants, Raoul Walsh, who went on to become another of Hollywood’s greatest directors.

Griffith was the top; no one ever questioned it. “Once you worked for Griffith, you compared everybody with him.” And here, in Miriam Cooper’s vivid memories, is Griffith the artist and Griffith the man – a consummate technician, a great creator, and a very human person. (Mae Marsh tabbed him Mr. Heinz. He was always adding new actresses to the company, and she insisted he had 57 varieties.)

But D.W. Griffith is only one of the host of greats who passed in and out of Miriam Cooper’s life and about whom she is more than outspoken. Charlie Chaplin: “One of the most depressing people I ever knew.” Erich von Stroheim: “A foul-mouthed, terrible man.” John Barrymore: “To me The Great Profile was just another lecherous drunk.” Theda Bara: “She was overweight, coarse, and unattractive. She kept walking into cameras.” And Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle (here for the first time is the true story behind the scandal that ruined him): “Even for a comedian he was particularly vulgar.”

And there are hundreds of others: Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were just the nice couple down the block who gave terrific but strictly nonalcoholic parties. Carole Lombard was a great practical joker who, after seeing Gable in a film, sent him a large ham. And Valentino was merely a polite house guest.

All these people were part of an industry, an industry that Miriam Cooper, like the rest of America, fell in love with. But unlike the rest of America, Miriam Cooper knew it from the inside and watched it grow and change. Sometimes the change was for the better, as when the once “disreputable” movie people began to find social acceptance and were even invited to the White House to meet President Wilson. But mostly the changes were, in Miriam Cooper’s opinion, tragic. In place of the great artists like D.W. Griffith stood the businessmen of the industry – moguls who cared less about the quality of a film than about how much money it would gross; promoters who drove the stars as “hot properties” to be fully exploited before their popularity waned. It was a glittering world, a glamorous world, but for many who were beaten down by the system, it became a harsh and hellish world.

Miriam Cooper was not one of those fatalities. She loved the movies and appreciated all they made possible for her. She lived a full life both in and out of films. Now she has written the warm and witty and very human story of that life.

BONNIE HERNDON, wife of author Booton Herndon, is a freelance writer and researcher. For many years she was a columnist for the Charlotte Daily Progress.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 624 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-672-51725-6

Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino (Emily W. Leider)

leider-emily-w-dark-loverEmily W. Leider takes an in-depth look at the silver-screen legend who forever changed America’s idea of the leading man: a frightened young fellow who became the cinematic sex-god of his day.

Tango pirate, gigolo, powder duff, Adonis – all have been used to describe the silent-film icon known as Rudolph Valentino. From his early days as Rudolfo Guglielmi, a taxi dancer in New York City, to his near apotheosis as the ultimate Hollywood heart-throb, Valentino (often to his distress) occupied a space squarely at the centre of controversy. In this thoughtful retelling of Valentino’s short and tragic life – the first fully documented biography of the star – Emily W. Leider looks at the Great Lover’s life and legacy, and explores the events and issues that made him emblematic of the Jazz Age. Valentino’s androgynous sexuality was a lightning rod for fiery and contradictory impulses that ran the gamut from swooning adoration to lashing resentment. He was reviled in the press for being too feminine for a man; yet he also brought to the screen the alluring, savage lover who embodied women’s darker, forbidden sexual fantasies.

In tandem, Leider explores notions of the outsider in American culture as represented by Valentino’s experience as an immigrant who became a celebrity. As the silver screen’s first dark-skinned romantic hero, Valentino helped to redefine and broaden American masculine ideals, ultimately coming to represent a graceful masculinity that trumped the deeply ingrained status quo of how a man should look and act.

EMILY W. LEIDER is the author of Rapid Eye Movement and Other Poems, California’s Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times, and Becoming Mae West. She also edited Yesterday: The Memoir of a Russian-Jewish Family. She lives in San Francisco.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 514 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 936 g (33 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 2003 – ISBN 0-571-21818-0

Dark Star: The Untold Story of the Meteoric Rise and Fall of the Legendary John Gilbert (Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, with John R. Maxim; introduction by Garson Kanin)

gilbert-fountain-leatrice-john-gilbert-dark-starJohn Gilbert is often remembered for his scorching love scenes with Greta Garbo in silent films, as well as a costly failure in “talkies” who died young because of alcohol and a broken heart. The truth is far different, as his daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain reveals for the first time. She interviewed hundreds of people who worked with and respected her father – directors, writers, cameramen, actors, and actresses – and they remember a much different John Gilbert: not just a romantic idol, but one of the most innovative and admired stars of his day. As the fledgling MGM’s biggest star, he had hit after hit: He Who Gets Slapped, The Merry Widow, The Big Parade – huge critical as well as commercial successes. Box-office records were set and then broken when Gilbert co-starred with Greta Garbo (his offscreen lover as well) in Flesh and the Devil, Love, and A Woman of Affairs.

Gilbert’s career declined not because of his unsuitability for talking pictures (he spoke in a light baritone), but because of the implacable hatred of Louis B. Mayer, the tyrannical head of MGM. Gilbert and Mayer clashed repeatedly over artistic and personal differences. As a result, Mayer swore to destroy the studio’s biggest star: he cast Gilbert in third-rate movies and spread false stories about his drinking and unreliability. He may even have tampered with the sound track of Gilbert’s first talkie to make his voice sound laughably high-pitched.

John Gilbert, both a creator and victim of the movie industry, in many ways symbolizes the potent magic of Hollywood. Dark Star restores his reputation as one of the most gifted stars of the silent era and ensures that his work will live on.

LEATRICE GILBERT FOUNTAIN is John Gilbert’s daughter. She lives in Riverside, Connecticut. JOHN R. MAXIM is a novelist living in Westport, Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 287 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 595 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-312-18275-9

A Darling of the Twenties (Madge Bellamy; introduction by Kevin Brownlow)

Bellamy, Madge - A Darling of the Twenties“Madge Bellamy is revealing her turbulent life not simply to warn the embers of memory in her old age. She is trying to confront the strange and willful personality that was hers – sixty years ago.

You may not have heard from Madge Bellamy. That’s not her fault. Her films have mostly disappeared, and the handful that survived are seldom revived. But she was an important Hollywood star of the twenties. She also had the reputation of being hard to handle. She was unconventional, impulsive, and extremely beautiful; it’s suprising that no one has made a film about her. Once this book is out, maybe they will.

Madge Bellamy – her real name is Margaret Philpott – was born in the last year of the nineteenth century. (…) We can look back on the silent era as a period of astonishing achievement, but the Hollywood system had its victims. This is the dramatic and touching case history of one of them.” – From the Introduction by Kevin Brownlow.

Softcover – 201 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Vestal Press, Ltd., Vestal, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-911572-75-9

David Janssen: My Fugitive (Ellie Janssen, as told to J.D. Michael Phelps)

janssen-ellie-david-janssen-my-fugitiveHere is a touching and revealing account of Ellie Janssen’s tumultuous 12-year marriage to one of the nation’s most admired actors. Offered is a behind-the-scenes view of TV’s original Emmy-winning Fugitive.

Readers are treated to a candid and close-up look of the celebrities – and their love interests –  Hollywood, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, from the mid-50s through the early 70s. It sheds light on the private lives of those who take up the limelight and center-stage of the fast-paced entertainment world.

David Janssen is Dr. Richard Kimble, fugitive on the run from the law. It’s 1963 and the first episode of the hit-TV show has him sentenced to death for murdering his wife. He becomes America’s favorite man on the lam, running straight to the top of the ratings charts. The series ends in 1967 with a record-breaking result: 72% of the nation’s sets are captively tuned in as he clears his name. Long before Harrison Ford’s blockbuster adaptation, David Janssen was “Mr. Prime-time.”

Off camera David Janssen was very different than the person America idolized. He was chronically in fear of being unemployed. He drank to excess, had numerous affairs and ironically, walked out on his first wife, Ellie, during a star-studded party celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary.

For Ellie it was a roller coaster ride from the day she arrived in Las Vegas and started dating Frank Sinatra. She reveals publicly, for the first time, her unwanted pregnancy and abortion (Sinatra wasn’t told) during this steamy romantic relationship. Ellie first met David Janssen during a Halloween party in Hollywood while he starred in the Richard Diamond Private Eye series. She describes in vivid detail life with a star – and of a marriage gone bad. When sultry Suzanne Pleshette is hired as a guest star on the series, David begins an illicit affair with her. Ellie remains faithful though she feels betrayed. There were many affairs, including a fling with Angie Dickinson, shortly before her stardom on TV’s Police Woman.

By the time the longest playing divorce in California court history wraps up, (Ellie hired noted divorce attorney Marvin Mitchelson), David had all the money and a new bride – Dani Greco. Ellie wound up with a nervous breakdown. A month after declaring his intent on divorcing Dani to “save his sanity,” David Janssen was dead. The rumors and suspicions about his sudden death at age 48 are covered in detail and Ellie explains how this man who was adored by millions, could no longer run from himself.

ELLIE JANSSEN, David’s first wife, lives in Hollywood, CA. She speaks out now so the public can appreciate the man behind the legendary actor. She wants to correct an often distorted tabloid record of their lives. Ellie also wants to expose the truth about Hollywood’s true friends – and its back-stabbers. J.D. MICHAEL PHELPS works as a paralegal and Chief Investigator in a Miami, FL, law firm specializing in criminal defense.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 149 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 439 g (15,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Lifetime Books, Hollywood, California, 1994 – ISBN 0-8119-0797-X

David Lean (Kevin Brownlow)

brownlow-kevin-david-leanThe life and its biographer provide a landmark work on the cinema. Emerging from a childhood of nearly Dickensian darkness, David Lean found his first great success as a director of the appropriately titled Great Expectations.

There followed his legendary black-and-white films of the 1940s and his four-film movie collaboration with Noël Coward. Lean’s 1955 film Summertime took him from England to the world of international moviemaking and the stunning series of spectacular color epics that would gain for his work twenty-seven Academy Awards and fifty-six Academy Award nominations. All are classic, including The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India.

Kevin Brownlow, a film editor in his own right and author of the seminal silent film trilogy initiated with The Parade’s Gone By…, brings to David Lean’s biography an exhaustive knowledge of the art and the industry.

The vastness of his scholarly and entertaining enterprise is augmented by sixteen pages of scenes from Lean’s color films, thirty-two pages from his black-and-white movies, and throughout the text a vast number of photographs from his life and location work.

KEVIN BROWNLOW, who lives in London, is a historian of silent films, which he began collecting at the age of eleven. He has written about them in The Parade’s Gone By…; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Behind the Mask of Innocence; Hollywood: The Pioneers; and Napoleon: Abel Gance’s Classic Film.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 809 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 1.665 g (58,7 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-312-16810-1

David Lean: An Intimate Portrait (Sandra Lean, with Barry Chattington)

lean-sandra-david-lean-an-intimate-portraitFrom lowly beginnings in the film industry as a tea boy at Gaumont-British Studios, David Lean quickly became the most sought after editor in the business berore moving behind the camera. His first taste of directing came with Noël Coward on the wartime classic In Which We Serve. It was the launch of a monumental directorial career. Fifteen further films followed, from This Happy Breed to A Passage to India, which among them garnered a phenomenal fifty-seven Academy Award nominations, winning twenty-eight. He twice received the award for best director, first for A Bridge on the River Kwai and then for a film that is still as popular as it was on its release, Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean was also responsible for launching many distinguished cinematic careers among them those of Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.

In this individual, yet objective account of David Lean’s life and work, his wife, Sandra Lean, and Barry Chattington shed light on the many aspects of the director’s personality. So often his films reflected his own character traits: his hopes, his fears and his contradictions. He was a complex and demanding man for whom cinema was all: fiercely loyal to his film “family” yet often estranged from his blood relations. With an outstanding collection of images that reveals so much about his life both on and off the film set, David Lean: An Intimate Portrait is an essential book for any fan of his films. Filled with the often poignant memories of Sandra Lean it is a fascinating portrait of a flawed yet hugely talented and inspirational director.

SANDRA LEAN was born and educated in the North of England. She studied dance and theatre and then went on to study languages in France and Spain. She lived in Portugal for eight years before returning to become an art dealer of old master paintings. She had been doing this for fourteen years when she met David Lean. They spent seven years together and married in 1990. BARRY CHATTINGTON started his career as a film editor, before becoming a director. For two years he was chairman of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. He now divides his time between writing, running a film production company and an interactive multimedia company. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 26 cm (9,8 x 10,2 inch) – Weight 1.485 g (52,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Universe Publishing, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-7893-0626-3

Deadly Illusions: Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern (Samuel Marx, Joyce Vanderveen)

Marx, Samuel - Deadly IllusionsIn 1932, Paul Bern, one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s top producers, was found shot to death in his Beverly Hills home just two months after marrying Jean Harlow, motion pictures’ newest, most beautiful and most glamorous star.

Samuel Marx was the MGM story editor at the time. He knew both Bern and Harlow intimately. In fact, along with Irving G. Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer, he was one of the first people at the house that morning – even before the police. The scene gave every indication that it was a suicide. There was a bizzare note apparently addressed to Jean Harlow, who was said to have spent the night at her mother’s house.

The studio’s version that Bern had taken his own life because he was impotent was accepted at face value. Even a staged inquest supported such a conclusion.

But after years of investigation – discovering lost grand jury files and interviewing people who knew Bern, Harlow and the inner workings of MGM – Samuel Marx and Joyce Vanderveen have reconstructed this absorbing account of how Paul Bern really met his death. It involves a powerful studio determined not to let scandal destroy its most important new property, a district attorney who could look the other way, and the secret life of a man who thought he had buried his past forever.

With an extraordinary cast of characters that ranges from Mayer himself to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Deadly Illusions rips the lid off the studio cover-up with compelling evidence that Bern was murdered – and why.

SAMUEL MARX was MGM story editor for many years and produced films as well as several books on Hollywood, including Mayer and Thalberg. JOYCE VANDERVEEN was a prima ballerina and has acted in television and film. They both live in the Los Angeles area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 271 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 623 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-394-58218-7

Dean & Me (A Love Story) (Jerry Lewis, with James Kaplan)

lewis-jerry-dean-and-me-a-love-storyThey were the unlikeliest of pairs – a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, New Jersey. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records onstage. But the moment they got together, something clicked – something miraculous – and audiences saw it at once.

Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end – and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.

After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers – Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies – their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart.

In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-Fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man. In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great – and most underrated-comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.

JERRY LEWIS and Dean Martin sandwiched sixteen money-making films in between nightclub engagements, recording sessions, radio shows, and television bookings during their ten-year partnership. Over the following years Lewis remained in the spotlight as the creator and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies, and scored triumphs in stage appearances in Europe, where he has been hailed as one of the greatest director-comedians of the twentieth century. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and has received numerous other honors for his tireless efforts in the fight against the forty neuromuscular diseases. JAMES KAPLAN has written novels, essays, and reviews, as well as over a hundred major profiles for many magazines, including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and New York. In 2002, Kaplan co-authored the autobiography of John McEnroe, You Cannot Be Serious, which was an international best-seller (and #1 on the New York Times list). He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and three sons.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 628 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-7679-2086-4

Dear Boris: The Life of William Henry Pratt a.k.a. Boris Karloff (Cynthia Lindsay)

Lindsay, Cynthia - Dear BorisHe scared us witless, and he won our hearts. He was Frankenstein’s Monster, rising to stardom encased in sixty-five pounds of putty and padding. No matter how horrific the roles (in The Mummy, The Ghoul, The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Body Snatcher, and scores of others), he made them as vulnerable – almost human – as they were frightening, and softened our fear even as he sparked it. He was Boris Karloff: the epitome of horror, one of Hollywood’s greatest and most productive stars.

But Boris himself – private, even secretive – has eluded his biographers and his fans. Now one of his closest friends for more than thirty-five years gives us a book that at last reveals the fascinating and complex man behind the makeup, a man whose nature was completely at odds with the roles that made him famous, a man who was always “dear Boris” to his friends.

We follow him from the days when he was still Billy Pratt, a young émigré from establishment England, working in the backwoods of Canada as a ditch digger, coal shoveler, horse trainer; then, when he realized he “had” to be an actor, joining touring stock companies from Karloops, British Columbia, to Minot, North Dakota, and hitting almost every small town in between. (At twenty-seven – even then he was heavily made up – he played a sixty-year-old banker, his hair covered with cornstarch, his face wrinkled by streetcar paint.) On to Hollywood (the small, lazy town fast becoming the capital of the silents), where he nearly starved rather than give up acting. His first job: one day as a walk-on in Pavola’s full-length feature, The Dumb Girl of Portici).

Then the years of up-and-down work as an extra and bit-player – until 1931 (talking pictures are here to stay) and Boris gets his first big break in Howard Hawks’s The Criminal Code (Hawks later claimed that this movie gave Karloff his “face”). A few months later, he grabs a part spurned by half a dozen actors (including Bela Lugosi), all unwilling to have their faces contorted by makeup and hidden from the camera – and Karloff becomes the Frankenstein Monster and the Monster becomes (and stays) world famous. Dozens of offers to play every kind of monster, villain, and creep pour in to one of Hollywood’s gentlest and most generous actors.

His astonishingly prolific career encompassed more than 160 movies, numerous stage roles (in Peter Pan, The Lark, and, of course, Arsenic and Old Lace), radio and television shows (he was host of the popular “Thriller Theater” and was a regular on “Information Please”), recordings for children and for the blind. Even in his final years, weak and ill, always with the support of his wife, Evie, he went on working – a legend, recognized and loved by millions.

Then there was the ultra-private private life – the early secret marriages and divorces, his wives themselves never really knowing how many Mrs. Karloffs had preceded them – and never really minding. (Asked about Boris’s previous wives, one Mrs. Karloff remarked, “I’m sure Boris would have told me if I asked… One doesn’t ask people about their pasts…”) And his fatherhood (the author of this book is godmother to Boris’s only child, Sara Jane). And his great gift for friendship.

With the full cooperation of the Karloff family and of his many friends, CYNTHIA LINDSAY has written a rich and personal portrait of the outstanding man and actor. She has compiled the most complete Karloff filmography ever assembled, plus stills (many never published before) from his films. And in addition, there are many photographs that until now have been in the private possession of the Karloff family.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 273 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 19,5 cm (9,5 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 955 g (33,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-394-47579-8

Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant (Dyan Cannon)

Autographed copy All love, Dyan Cannon

Cannon, Dyan - Dear CaryHe was the most charming, handsome, romantic, and famous leading man in the world… what could possibly go wrong?

With unparalleled honesty, Dyan Cannon shares the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of her magical romance and stormy marriage to screen legend Cary Grant.

He was the ultimate star, defining Hollywood glamour as well as cinematic achievement. She was a bright new actress, beautiful and funny, who would one day prove her talent by being the first woman to receive Academy Award nominations for her work on-screen and behind the camera.

When he asked to meet Dyan, she assumed it was for an acting part, but he had a different role in mind for her… and so began a storybook romance that brought her to dizzying heights. On his arm, she found herself traveling in the inner circles of power and glamour in which Cary Grant was king, with friends such as Noël Coward, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and so many others considered Hollywood royalty.

Behind closed doors, she discovered a Cary no one knew. A thoughtful, caring, and private person, with dark family secrets that weighed heavily on him. He was a man contending with the swan song of an astonishing film career while her career was just beginning. Despite the age difference, they fell in love, got married, and had a beautiful daughter together. Happily Ever After still proved elusive, and their relationship was beset with tragic twists and turns. It took a tremendous toll on Dyan as she struggled to keep her heart and mind intact.

With rare photos and never-before-seen letters and notes from Cary Grant, Dear Cary is told with poignancy and hard-won wisdom. For anyone who has ever loved and lost, Dyan Cannon’s memoir is an exploration of what love means, and an inspirational story of surviving life’s slings and arrows.

DYAN CANNON is an award-winning film and television actress, director, screenwriter, editor and producer. She is the first woman in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences to be nominated for Oscars both as an actress and as a filmmaker. She has matched those two honors with two Golden Globe award nominations for her acting, and won one, to which she added a New York Film Critics award. Dyan Cannon lives in Hollywood and is at courtside for every Los Angeles Lakers home game.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 344 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 592 g (20,9 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2011 – ISBN 978-0-06-196140-3

Dear Me (Peter Ustinov)

Ustinov, Peter - Dear Me hcOf Russian, French and – somewhat in the wings – Ethiopian origin, Peter Ustinov was born in London and was educated at Westminster School. It was difficult for a boy in the 1930s to be called von Ustinov, have a father and an uncle who had flown in the German Air Force, and, to be plunged into an English public school. He was not exactly at home anywhere and yet is the swiftest man to adapt himself to new people and new backgrounds, He can take on the coloring, accent, mannerisms of people he meets and reproduce them within seconds. This side is very familiar to his world-wide public to whom he is well known as brilliant playwright, versatile actor, director, set and costume designer, and an entertainer of wide and diversified talent. There is also Peter Ustinov, C.B.E., Rector of Dundee University for six years, tireless worker and propagandist for UNICEF, and thoughtful, philosophical citizen of the world.

In his memoirs he tells us about his extraordinary background and antecedents, his remarkable parents, his early experiences in the theater, his rather un-martial years as a private in the British army and his post-war success as playwright and stage and screen actor. There are many excellent stories, some hilarious and others which are moving or very revealing of both the people he is writing about and about himself. Not unexpectedly Dear Me (the author frequently addresses himself throughout the book in this manner to point out his own failings, inconsistencies, or omissions) is as unique as is Peter Ustinov himself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 717 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1977 – ISBN 0 434 81711 2

Dear Me (Peter Ustinov)

ustinov-peter-dear-mePeter Ustinov had his first acting lessons from a parrot, spent much of his childhood as a motor car, and played his first stage role as a pig (when his performance was deemed ‘adequate’). Since then he has become the playwright, actor, author, designer, director, film star and entertainer par excellence so familiar to his world-wide public. He is also Sir Peter Ustinov Kt., CBE, Chancellor of Durham University, tireless worker and propagandist for UNICEF, and thoughtful, philosophical citizen of the world.

Comic, controversial and full of anecdotes about the rich and famous, Peter Ustinov’s autobiography reveals a courageous and exquisitely funny man, engaged in a lifelong search for truth.

PETER USTINOV was born in London in 1921, of Russian, French and Ethiopian descent. During the war he served with the Royal Sussex Regiment and the RAOC, and he wrote his first play, House of Regrets, which was produced in 1942. His other plays include Romanoff and Juliet, Photo Finish and The Love of Four Colonels. He directed and acted in the award-winning Billy Budd and was the author and co-director of School for Secrets. His acting roles have ranged from Nero to Hercule Poirot. He has produced operas and his books include novels, short stories and My Russia (1983). He was the Rector of Dundee University for six years and is a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. For many years he has worked on behalf of UNICEF and in 1974 he was awarded the Order of the Smile for dedication to the idea of international assistance to children. He was awarded the CBE in 1975 and he was knighted in 1990. He lives in Switzerland.

Softcover – 374 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 245 g (8,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Mandarin Softcovers, London, 1977 – ISBN 0-7493-1311-0

The Death of James Dean: The Untold Story Behind the Mystery (Warren Newton Beath)

beath-warren-newton-the-death-of-james-deanOn September 30, 1955, James Dean was awakened at 7:30 in the morning in his home in Sherman Oaks, California, outside Los Angeles. He had entered the air races at the Salinas airport and planned to drive the 300 miles in his new Porsche 550 Spyder, along with his mechanic. A little more than ten hours later, Dean was dead, killed in a violent car crash only 70 miles from his destination.

Since that day thirty years ago, countless rumors and conflicting reports have obscured the truth of what happened in that crash, and the mystery surrounding Dean’s death has never been fully explained. Now, using previously unpublished information including the transcript of the inquest into the accident, Warren Beath has pieced together the first hour-by-hour account of all the events that led to Dean’s death, providing the most thorough and accurate picture yet published. What really happened on that fall day in 1955? How fast was James Dean going when he collided with that other car on old Highway 466? Was he in fact behind the wheel at the time? Did he die instantly, or was he conscious for those few moments before the end? Did the driver of the other car see Dean coming? Who was to blame for the accident? And was the inquest into Dean’s death a cover-up?

In answering these and many more questions, Beath creates a spine-tingling mystery story that teases the truth out of the welter of contradictory evidence. By focusing on the stories of some of the fans whose lives revolve around the dead movie star, Beath also reveals the makings of the powerful mythology that keeps hundreds of thousands around the world enthralled and obsessed with every detail of his hero’s brief life. In its chillingly real account that follows Dean to his rendezvous with death, and its perceptive portrait of the cult that was born after it, The Death of James Dean creates a deeply moving collage of the legacy of passion – the rage to live and the rage to die – of which James Dean is the supreme symbol.

WARREN BEATH was born in California in 1951. He graduated from Fresno State University and has always lived in or around Bakersfield, California, where many of the events in The Death of James Dean take place. He became interested in James Dean about seventeen years ago and owns one of the largest private collections of James Dean memorabilia, including autographs, movie stills, documents and photos. He is currently researching 1950s country music figures from around the Bakersfield area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 202 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 492 g (17,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-394-55758-1

Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir (Arthur Lyons; foreword by Gerald Petievich)

Lyons, Arthur - Death on the Cheap The lost B moviesRobert Mitchum once said about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: “Hell, we didn’t know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts.”

Film noir was made to order for the “B,” or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made due with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines. In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the BO movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such “neo-noir” films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L.A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected – “lost” to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap.

ARTHUR LYONS is the author of eighteen fiction and non-fiction books, including The Dead Are Discreet and other mysteries featuring the private eye Jacob Asch. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

Softcover – 212 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 346 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-306-80996-6

Debbie: My Life (Debbie Reynolds, with David Patrick Columbia)

reynolds-debbie-debbieEveryone called her “the kid.” The kid sister. The kid with personality. The kid with guts. She came from an impoverished Texas and California background and wanted to be a gym teacher. She was a Girl Scout who entered a beauty contest because she wanted a free scarf and blouse. And then, at sixteen, Mary Frances Reynolds won a Miss Burbank contest title and a Warner Brothers screen test. That kid became Debbie Reynolds.

Debbie: My Life is the autobiography of one of America’s most dynamic legends. It is the personal story of a young girl thrown headfirst into the massive Hollywood moviemaking machine. It is the story of a survivor, who, through a long and checkered career, lives on in such classic movies as Singin’ in the Rain, How the West Was Won, Tammy and the Bachelor, Mary, Mary, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. And it is the story of her widely publicized and envied marriage to Eddie Fisher, which blew apart when he embarked on a scandalous love affair with Elizabeth Taylor. Debbie Reynolds was part of the Hollywood others only dreamed about. And when it was gone she continued to forge a career in nightclubs, television, and theater that culminated with her Broadway appearance as Irene – for which she was nominated for a Tony before the show had even opened. Today, happily married to real-estate developer Richard Hamlett, Debbie Reynolds continues to be as vital and endearing an entertainer as she was in her earliest film roles.

Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly, Shelley Winters, Glenn Ford, Robert Wagner, Fred Astaire – Debbie Reynolds knew them all. Debbie: My Life is her story – a vivid remembrance of the Golden Age of Hollywood and of the devastating price of success. From her turbulent second marriage to the gambling, womanizing businessman Harry Karl to her hard-won and enduring relationship with her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, and her son, Todd Fisher, Debbie: My Life is an act of courage from a woman who has touched us all with performances that will never be forgotten.

DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA is a Los Angeles-based writer who has always had an avid curiosity about the personalities who inhabit the Dream Factory. This is his first published book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 446 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 833 g (29,4 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-688-06633-X

Deborah Kerr (Eric Braun)

Braun, Eric - Deborah Kerr“Sweet virgin, you have a very spiritual face!”

This pronouncement by Gabriel Pascal, the legendary Hungarian film producer, heralded the rise to fame and stardom of Britain’s best-loved gift to Hollywood Deborah Kerr. The description took a lot of living down, and Deborah, a star in her second film and her first West End play, arrived in America with the reputation of being only a “lady,” but, in the words of Sir Laurence Olivier, “unreasonably chaste” as well. She exemplified both qualities on the screen with enormous success for years, until the “perfect English rose” image was shattered by her inspired performance of a nymphomaniac in From Here to Eternity.

From then on her incredible versatility and drawing power on both sides of the Atlantic made her friends wherever she went. One such friend is the present biographer, Eric Braun, who has followed her life and career ever since working on one of her early British hits, and with whom she has cooperated fully in this fascinating and colorful story. The result is an engaging, delightful, and revealing account of one of the most personable women ever to appear on stage or screen.

ERIC BRAUN, a British M.A. and compulsive cyclist, has, for most of his adult life, specialized in writing about the entertainment scene. Born within the sound of Bow Bells and educated at the Oratory and St. Edmund’s College, Ware, he ran away to see six films a day – his personal record at the present time – and entered the film industry as a fourth assistant director (actually ‘runner’) in his early teens by lying about his age, a habit which still persists.

Emerging to take a degree in English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he went into publicity with Anna Matthews, representing such stars as Dorothy Dickson, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine, Ruby Murray and Beryl Reid. Prompted by an abhorrence of motorized vehicles he dedicated himself to two wheels in early youth: travels abroad include trips to interview Marlene Dietrich in Paris, Gracie Fields in Capri and Jean Sablon in the South of France. Since 1951 he has covered 210,000 miles awheel and contributed exclusive articles on such stars as Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Veronica Lake and Mae West; the present book is the result of a reunion with Deborah Kerr on behalf of Films and Filming, for which he has been a regular critic since the late sixties.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 577 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-312-18895-1

Deborah Kerr (Eric Braun)

Braun, Eric - Deborah Kerr“Sweet virgin, you have a very spiritual face!”

This pronouncement by Gabriel Pascal, the legendary Hungarian film producer, heralded the rise to fame and stardom of Britain’s best-loved gift to Hollywood Deborah Kerr. The description took a lot of living down, and Deborah, a star in her second film and her first West End play, arrived in America with the reputation of being only a “lady,” but, in the words of Sir Laurence Olivier, “unreasonably chaste” as well. She exemplified both qualities on the screen with enormous success for years, until the “perfect English rose” image was shattered by her inspired performance of a nymphomaniac in From Here to Eternity.

From then on her incredible versatility and drawing power on both sides of the Atlantic made her friends wherever she went. One such friend is the present biographer, Eric Braun, who has followed her life and career ever since working on one of her early British hits, and with whom she has cooperated fully in this fascinating and colorful story. The result is an engaging, delightful, and revealing account of one of the most personable women ever to appear on stage or screen.

ERIC BRAUN, a British M.A. and compulsive cyclist, has, for most of his adult life, specialized in writing about the entertainment scene. Born within the sound of Bow Bells and educated at the Oratory and St. Edmund’s College, Ware, he ran away to see six films a day – his personal record at the present time – and entered the film industry as a fourth assistant director (actually ‘runner’) in his early teens by lying about his age, a habit which still persists.

Emerging to take a degree in English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he went into publicity with Anna Matthews, representing such stars as Dorothy Dickson, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine, Ruby Murray and Beryl Reid. Prompted by an abhorrence of motorized vehicles he dedicated himself to two wheels in early youth: travels abroad include trips to interview Marlene Dietrich in Paris, Gracie Fields in Capri and Jean Sablon in the South of France. Since 1951 he has covered 210,000 miles awheel and contributed exclusive articles on such stars as Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Veronica Lake and Mae West; the present book is the result of a reunion with Deborah Kerr on behalf of Films and Filming, for which he has been a regular critic since the late sixties.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 577 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-312-18895-1

A Deed of Death: The Story of the Unsolved Murder of Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor (Robert Giroux)

Giroux, Robert - A Deed of DeathWho killed William Desmond Taylor? In 1922 he was a top director at Paramount – responsible for the huge success of the films of one of the great stars of the day, Mary Miles Minter, who was madly in love with him (she was twenty, he was fifty). But he loved Mabel Normand, a star at the Goldwyn studio, a drug addict who asked his help in fighting her addiction. His murder was a sensation in its day and has remained an unsolved mystery. Robert Giroux has uncovered and reveals for the first time what probably happened.

A Deed of Death, beautifully written and lavishly illustrated, brings back almost forgotten aspects of the early days of movie-making – the post-World War I drug culture and the boomtown atmosphere, with its mixture of naiveté and quasi-sophisticated decadence, that so strongly colored the HoIlywood of silent films.

ROBERT GIROUX is a bookman-editor, publisher, writer, and reader. He has been associated with Farrar, Straus & Giroux since 1955 and has worked with some of the most eminent writers of our time. In 1987 he received the National Book Critics Circle Award “for his distinguished contributions to American literature as editor and publisher.” In the same year he received the Alexander Hamilton Medal from Columbia University. He is also the author of The Book Known as Q: A Consideration of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 275 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 14,5 cm (9,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 589 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1990 ISBN 0-394-58075-3

Dennis Hopper: Movie Top Ten (edited by Jack Hunter)

movie-top-ten-dennis-hopperDennis Hopper is one of the most talented but controversial actors of recent decades, almost as notorious for his off-screen hell-raising as he is for his roles in such powerful movies as his self-directed The Last Movie, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and Tim Hunter’s River’s Edge.

Jack Hunter (author of film studies Inside Teradome and Eros in Hell) has selected his own chronological Top Ten of Dennis Hopper’s movies, which are analyzed in illustrated, in-depth essays by some of the best cutting-edge film critics of today. The result is both an incisive overview of Dennis Hopper as an actor, and an anthology of films by some of the leading cult directors of recent decades such as Wim Wenders, Tobe Hooper, David Lynch, Tim Hunter, Henry Jaglom, Curtis Harrington, and Dennis Hopper himself.

Featured films are Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, The Last Movie, River’s Edge, Out of the Blue, Paris Trout, Tracks, Night Tide, The American Friend, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Softcover – 152 pp., index – Dimensions 24,5 x 17 cm (9,7 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 412 g (14,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Creation Books, 1999 – ISBN 1-871592-86-0

Depardieu: Biografie (Marianne Gray)

gray-marianne-depardieu-biografieHet turbulente leven van Gérard Depardieu zou het onderwerp kunnen zijn van een boeiende speelfilm. Hij werd geboren in 1948 als zoon van een metaalbewerker in een saai provinciestadje in Midden-Frankrijk, en was al op twaalfjarige leeftijd even groot als nu. School was niet erg aan hem besteed en hij begon een zwervend bestaan door Europa te leiden tot hij op zestienjarige leeftijd door een vriend mee naar Parijs werd genomen om toneellessen te volgen.

De schrijfster Marguerite Duras ontdekte Depardieu en gaf hem een rol in haar film Nathalie Granger. Zes maanden later toonde hij zijn dierlijke aantrekkingskracht overduidelijk in Les valseuses van Bertrand Blier. Sindsdien speelde Depardieu hoofdrollen in tientallen kwaliteitsfilms, zoals Camille Claudel, Danton, Cyrano de Bergerac en Columbus: 1492.

Deze actuele biografie geeft een levendig en inzichtelijk beeld van een fascinerende persoonlijkheid.

MARIANNE GRAY is filmcriticus en heeft een eigen filmmaatschappij: The Opera House Ltd.

Softcover – 202 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER De Kern, Baarn, The Netherlands, 1991 – ISBN 90-325-0410-X

The Detective in Film: A Pictorial Treasury of the Screen Sleuth From 1930 to the Present (William K. Everson)

Everson, William K - The Detective in Film“The detective story, already confusing and defiant of categorizing in the literary field, presents a great morass to the motion picture scholar. Obviously, there is no debate where the filmed adventures of the great detectives of fiction are concerned: the ‘official’ detectives – from Sherlock Holmes through Philo Vance, Charlie Chan and Sam Spade up to Mike Hammer – belong. But what, then, of the comic strips or boys’ dime novel heroes – from Britain’s Sexton Blake and Dick Barton to America’s Dick Tracy? And where does one draw the line between a Dick Tracy and a superhero like Batman, who certainly uses the superficial paraphernalia of the classic scientific detective, even if his deductions are mainly a matter of the scriptwriters feeding him the right inspiration at precisely the right moment. For that matter, many of the more ‘respectable’ detectives of film and fiction – including those British stalwarts, Sir Nayland Smith (Fu Manchu’s perennial nemesis) and James Bond – are likewise men of action first and sleuths second, operating on infallible intuition and on anticipating, and outguessing, the next moves of their opponents.” – From the Introduction.

Softcover – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 852 g (30,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1972 – ISBN 0-8065-0448-X

De Toth on De Toth: Putting the Drama in Front of the Camera (edited by Anthony Slide)

de-toth-andre-de-toth-on-de-tothAndré De Toth is a ‘director’s director,’ a special category that speaks for itself. – Martin Scorsese

In Fragments, André De Toth took his readers on a roller-coaster ride through his films. He gave scant mention to his film work.

In De Toth on De Toth, he redresses the balance and expounds – in his own exuberant style – on his filmmaking career. The cast of characters includes his wife – the luminous Veronica Lake – as well as stars such as Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, David Niven, Vincent Price, Dick Powell, as well as John Ford, Jack L. Warner and a whole host of others in the Hollywood firmament.

De Toth speaks about the heroic skills of stunt men, describes his work on Lawrence of Arabia and on Superman, and reveals how a one-eyed director could make the 3-D masterpiece, House of Wax. Above all, this book is addressed to the directors of the future and provides invaluable guidance and practical advice to those who aspire to become filmmakers themselves.

Softcover – 182 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 263 g (9,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1996 – ISBN 0-571-17730-1

Detour: A Hollywood Story (Cheryl Crane, with Cliff Jahr)

crane-cheryl-detourIt was one of Hollywood’s most shocking and scandalous tragedies – the Good Friday 1958 slaying of screen goddess Lana Turner’s mobster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, by Turner’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane. Now, thirty years later, Cheryl finally tells what really happened that terrible night, offering a searing, moving, and always gripping account, not just of the Stompanato stabbing, but of what led up to it and what came after. It is, as she puts it, the story of how a “young life of promise and privilege made a detour through hell.”

In Detour: A Hollywood Story, Cheryl Crane vividly recalls the phenomenal pleasures and brutal pains of growing up as a Hollywood “star baby” in the 1940s and 1950s – a time when the glamour factories were at their peak. She remembers playing in the backyard with Liza Minnelli and being serenaded by Frank Sinatra. But she also recalls a movie-star mother willing to give everything but her time, and a series of “uncles” and stepfathers, some of whom ignored her, others of whom lied to her – and one of whom repeatedly raped her.

Cheryl’s unhappy young life really began to unravel the night of April 5, 1958. Though a coroner’s jury ruled the Stompanato killing justifiable homicide and Cheryl was never charged with any crime, the tragedy sent her spinning on a downward spiral of head-line-grabbing custody fights, desperate runaway attempts, reform-school incarcerations, and mind-numbing drugs. By the time Cheryl was seventeen, she was institutionalized, straightjacketed in a padded cell.

But though she was brutally victimized, Cheryl Crane refused to remain a victim. A determined young woman, she fought and ultimately overcame the anguish and notoriety of her horrific childhood, going on to a brilliant business career and, more important, eventually achieving a loving reconciliation with her famous mother. The dictionary defines a detour as “a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route.” That’s how Cheryl looks at the horrors of her past – as a temporary interruption that love and determination finally overcame.

In Detour, she summons up a vanished world of elegant nightclubs, wild parties, and unrivaled luxury – a world where manufactured dreams too often turned into inescapable nightmares – to tell an intensely personal story that is both compelling and ultimately inspiring.

CHERYL CRANE lives in San Francisco. CLIFF JAHR has written for numerous national magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 467 g (16,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Abdor House / William Morrow, New York, New York, 1988

Diaries: Volume One, 1939-1945 (Christopher Isherwood; edited and introduced by Katherine Bucknell)

Bucknell, Katherine - Christopher Isherwood Diaries Volume One 1939-1960In 1939 Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden emigrated together to the United States. These diaries, covering the period up to 1960, describe Isherwood’s search for a new life in California, where he eventually settled.

The diaries tell how Isherwood became a disciple of the Hindu monk Swami Prabhavananda; about his pacifism during World War II; about his work as a screenwriter in Hollywood and his friendships with such gifted artists and intellectuals as Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Igor Stravinsky, Aldous Huxley, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Charles Laughton, and David O. Selznick – many of whom were émigrés like himself.

Throughout this period, Isherwood continued to write novels and sustain his literary friendships – with E.M. Forster, Somerset Maugham, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and others. He turned to his diary several times a week to record jokes and gossip, observations about his adopted country, philosophy and mystical insights. His devotion to his diary was a way of accounting for himself; he used it as both a discipline and a release. In spare, luminous prose, he also revealed his most intimate and passionate relationships, particularly with Bill Caskey and later with the very young Don Bachardy.

CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD, among the most celebrated writers of his generation, was born in Cheshire, England, in 1904. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine, and then turned to writing his early novels, All the Conspirators (1928) and The Memorial (1932). Between 1929 and 1939, he lived mostly abroad, the first four years in Berlin and then elsewhere in Europe, where he wrote The Last of Mr. Norris (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which later inspired the musical Cabaret.

Following his move to the United States (he became an American citizen in 1946), Isherwood wrote five more novels, including Down There On a Visit and A Single Man, a travel book about South America, and a biography of the great Indian mystic Ramakrishna.

During the 1970s, he began producing a series of autobiographical books: Kathleen, Christopher and His Kind, My Cum and His Disciple and October, an excerpt from his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy. Isherwood died in January 1986.

KATHERINE BUCKNELL received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and was a Junior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. She edited and introduced W.H. Auden’s Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928 (Princeton University Press, 1994) and also introduced The Mortmere Stories by Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward (Enitharmon Press, 1994). She is co-editor, with Nicholas Jenkins, of the Auden Studies series (Oxford University Press) and is a founder of the W.H. Auden Society. She lives in London with her husband and their two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.048 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.540 g (54,3 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-06-118000-9

Dino: The Dean Martin Story (Michael Freedland)

freedland-michael-dino-the-dean-martin-storyBorn in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1917, Dino Paul Crocetti started life wanting to be a boxer. But his ‘manager’ never even taught him how to bind his hands beneath the boxing gloves, and they have borne the scars ever since. This made him think twice when asked to be a croupier in the local casino. But he was good at it – and he was well-liked, particularly by the women
who said the tunes he hummed as he rolled the wheel brought them luck. More truthfully, they found his voice very sexy.

This entertaining biography of Dean Martin tells of his legendary partnership with Jerry Lewis; of his lifelong friendship with ‘ol blue eyes Frank Sinatra; of his film career in which he has played alongside such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and John Wayne in such films as The Young Lions, Some Came Running and Rio Bravo; and of his own TV series in the sixties on which everybody who was anybody appeared. It also tells the story of his three marriages and hints at the possible reconciliation with his second wife, Jeanne.

But Dean Martin is essentially a private and complex man – few people know about his chronic claustrophobia, and his manic fear of hospitals. Here, for the first time, is the whole story – as colorful and witty as the man himself.

MICHAEL FREEDLAND has written many biographies of international entertainment personalities including such well-known names as Al Jolson, Irving Berlin, James Cagney, Fred Astaire, Sophie Tucker, Errol Flynn, Gregory Peck, Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn. As a journalist he writes regularly for a variety of newspapers and magazines both in England and abroad, and he has his own BBC radio programme. He is married and lives in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and in Bournemouth.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 191 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 473 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co, Inc., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 13263 3

Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis (Tullio Kezich, Alessandra Levantesi; originally titled Dino: De Laurentiis, la vita e i film)

kezich-tullio-dino-the-life-and-films-of-dino-de-laurentiisIn a career that has spanned six decades, Dino De Laurentiis has walked the cutting edge of filmmaking. He has personified the powerful, visionary Hollywood producer for one reason: he invented the role. Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis celebrates this living legend and his passionate, exhilarating life in the pictures. How a kid from the Neapolitan sticks managed to compile such an impressive resume is itself a fascinating tale.

De Laurentiis was born not far from Naples in 1919. His father owned a small pasta factory, and the teenage Dino roamed the peninsula as a sales representative. He then became an apprentice actor who gravitated towards the least celebrated aspect of movie making: producing. From the beginning of his career, Dino was determined to transform the provincial Italian cinema into a world famous industry. Borrowing money left and right, forming and dissolving a famous partnership with Carlo Ponti – who married Italian film goddess Sophia Loren – De Laurentiis built a production empire and an enormous studio complex named, appropriately, Dinocittà (Dino’s city). In Italy, he worked with Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, and Vittorio De Sica, resulting in groundbreaking films – La Strada, Dov’è la libertà and The Bandit. Knowing no English, the unstoppable De Laurentiis later sailed to the United States and went on to produce American classics: Serpico, Three Days of the Condor, Ragtime – and hundreds more. His killer instincts for art and commerce have never abandoned him, nor has his sheer enthusiasm: “I love my work,” he insists. ”I’ve always believed that you can’t make movies if you don’t passionately love the cinema.”

Based on extensive interviews with De Laurentiis, his family, and his colleagues and filled with extraordinary photographs, this sweeping biography by Italian film critics Tullio Kezich and Alessandra Levantesi takes us from Italy to Hollywood and back, exposing the inner workings of the silver screen and luminaries including Roberto Rossellini; Vittorio De Sica; Robert Altman; Ridley Scott; Martin Scorsese; Roman Polanski; and many more. Recently updated for an American audience, Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis is a chronicle of high art, entrepreneurial daring, box-office savvy, and that peculiarly Italian zest for la dolce vita.

Dino De Laurentiis has produced over 600 films including the latest Hannibal Lecter film Red Dragon. He is currently producing Baz Luhrmann’s epic film Alexander the Great starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He divides his time between Italy and California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Miramax Books, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 078686902-X

Directed by Vincente Minnelli (Stephen Harvey; foreword by Liza Minnelli)

harvey-stephen-directed-by-vincente-minnelliIn a career spanning over thirty years from World War II to the 1970s, Vincente Minnelli was one of the most honored directors in the history of the American screen. The acknowledged master of the movie musical (Cabin in the Sky, Meet Me in St. Louis, Yolanda and the Thief, The Pirate, An American in Paris, The Band Wagon, Gigi), Minnelli also triumphed at everything from sophisticated comedy (Father of the Bride, The Long Long Trailer, Designing Woman, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father), to period biography (Lust for Life) and melodrama (The Clock, Madame Bovary, The Bad and the Beautiful, Some Came Running, Home from the Hill, Two Weeks in Another Town).

While astonishingly varied in their range, Minnelli’s films express a style and sensibility that are unique and unmistakable. His assured and innovative use of color, his exceptionally fluid camerawork, and his extraordinary eye to detail are the hallmarks of a director who, more than any of his colleagues of comparable status, flourished within the confines of the studio system. Yet beneath their surface beauty his films, often as not, conveyed an underlying melancholy far removed from the cheery optimism that marked the standard MGM fare during his tenure there. It is Minnelli’s enduring achievement to have explored these contradictions; in so doing, he brought vigor, eloquence, and taste to the popular values of his time.

In Directed by Vincente Minnelli, author and film critic Stephen Harvey chronicles this outstanding director’s career with comprehensive descriptions of the making of each of his thirty-four films and an in-depth look at the operations of MGM during its heyday. With skill, insight, and humor, Harvey examines both Minnelli’s working methods and his professional rapport with stars such as Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Gene Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, and Barbra Streisand, as well as his relationships on and off the set with his wife Judy Garland and daughter Liza Minnelli.

Handsomely designed, Directed by Vincente Minnelli is illustrated throughout with 50 full-color and 166 black-and-white film stills, set shots, design sketches, and photographs from the Minnelli family’s personal collection, many of which have never been before published. Stephen Harvey had the full cooperation of MGM, the Turner Entertainment Co., Liza Minnelli, and the director himself prior to his death in 1986.

STEPHEN HARVEY is Associate Curator in the Department of Film of The Museum of Modern Art. His previous books include a monograph on Fred Astaire; and his essays on film have appeared in such volumes as Jean Cocteau and the French Scene, Anna Magnani, and Rediscovering French Film. He has contributed articles to the New York Times, the Village Voice, Newsday, The Nation, Film Comment, Premiere, and American Film. Harvey also wrote the documentary film Sanford Meisner: The Theater’s Best-Kept Secret. In 1985, the government of France named him a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 315 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.475 g (52,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Museum of Modern Art / Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-87070474-5

Directing the Film: Film Directors on Their Art (Eric Sherman)

sherman-eric-directing-the-filmIn Directing the Film, seventy-five important European and American directors
explore film from the director’s chair. Gathered from seminars and oral histories sponsored by the American Film Institute, sensitively arranged by Eric Sherman, here are the words of professionals dissecting every aspect of their trade: casting, budgets, who uses a storyboard and why, the relative importance of script and improvisation, working with actors, staging cameras, special effects, editing, and much more.

The range and diversity of directors represented amounts almost to an embarrassment of riches: Howard Hawks, Stan Brakhage, Federico Fellini, George Cukor, John Cassavetes, King Vidor, Bernardo Bertolucci, Samuel Fuller, Arthur Penn, Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Miloš Forman, John Huston, Costa-Gavras, Roger Corman, Louis Malle, Roberto Rossellini, etc. Since “there have evolved nearly as many theories of film directing as there are directors,” these men and women reveal instructive disparities in the way they approach their art or craft (itself a bone of contention). In reminiscing about their own films, they also produce an array of flavorful anecdotes, such as the rationale behind the enigmatic last shot of Greta Garbo in Queen Christina; how Cassavetes’s Shadows was funded by radio appeal; how the chase scene in The French Connection was cut to an unheard rock song.

Eric Sherman’s framing comments and interpolated essays further clarify the differences in directors’ scope of vision and methodological style, which contribute so materially to the effect of finished films. As a storehouse of practical wisdom on every aspect of making films, and as a rich mine of film tore, Directing the Film is an invaluable resource for film students, would-be directors, and buffs.

ERIC SHERMAN is the son of Hollywood director Vincent Sherman, a graduate of Yale University, and the co-author (with Martin Rubin) of The Director’s Event. He has written extensively for film periodicals, and has written, directed, and produced documentaries on philosopher Paul Weiss and jazz musician Charles Lloyd. He lives in Malibu, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 783 g (27,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1976 – ISBN 0-316-78541-5

Directors Close-Up: Interviews with Directors Nominated for Best Film by the Directors Guild of America (moderated and edited by Jeremy Kagan)

kagan-jeremy-directors-close-upSince 1992, the Directors Guild of America has hosted annual seminars featuring its nominees for outstanding film directing. Since its inception, film and television director Jeremy Kagan has moderated these sessions, in which the finest contemporary directors weigh in on every aspect of the filmmaking process. In this second edition of Directors Close Up, Kagan has culled the most insightful and entertaining responses from these acclaimed directors. From script development through pre-production, production, and post-production, they offer personal insights into every step of the creative process, including their takes on the best and worst aspects of their profession. In addition to those featured in the previous edition, this volume includes all participants from 2000 through 2005 and contains personal materials from many of the directors, including storyboards, script notes, sketches, and on-the-set photos. Directors Close Up will be of interest to both professional and aspiring directors, as well as film fans who enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpses into movie making.

Jeremy Kagan works as a director, writer, and producer in feature films and television. His credits include such films as Heroes, The Chosen, and The Journey of Natty Gann. He won an Emmy in 1996 for directing an episode of the series Chicago Hope. He is a professor at the University of Southern California, has served as the Artistic Director at the Sundance Institute, and is on the National Board of the Directors Guild.

[Interviews with Roberto Benigni, James L. Brooks, James Cameron, Sofia Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Stephen Daldry, Frank Darabont, Andrew Davis, Clint Eastwood, Marc Forster, Mel Gibson, Taylor Hackford, Curtis Hanson, Scott Hicks, Ron Howard, Peter Jackson, Spike Jonze, Neil Jordan, Ang Lee, Mike Leigh, Barry Levinson, Baz Luhrmann, John Madden, Michael Mann, Rob Marshall, Sam Mendes, Anthony Minghella, Mike Newell, Christopher Nolan, Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski, Michael Radford, Rob Reiner, Gary Ross, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Soderberg, Oliver Stone, Barbra Streisand, Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant, Peter Weir, Robert Zemeckis]

Softcover – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 17,5 cm (9,8 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 758 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2006 – ISBN 0-8108-5712-X

The Director’s Event: Interviews with Five American Film-Makers (Eric Sherman, Martin Rubin)

Sherman, Eric - The Director's EventThe American film industry is changing. The old order – the Hollywood-based studio production – is breaking down. The new order – independent companies and independent projects – is rising. Rising with it is a new generation that looks to film as a means of creative expression. Eric Sherman, in his foreword to the book, writes about why this shift occurred: “We either like a film or dislike it according to the feelings it gives us. The nature of these feelings determines the ultimate emotional power of any film… We believe that the feelings in a film come from its director. Sometimes, we begin to get similar feelings and perceive similar ideas throughout several films directed by one person. The more we see his films, the more we realize that he is not telling separate and unrelated stories. We sense that he is expressing the same personal ideas – images infused with themes – throughout his works. Because of his films’ consistencies, we sense that at some level, he is no longer concerned with isolated effects, but with expressing his own unique view of the world.”

This book examines the forerunners of this new order by studying the careers of five American film artists.

Abraham Polonsky, blacklisted in 1949, will introduce a new movie, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, already the subject of articles in The New York Times and various film magazines.
Budd Boetticher directed a series of Randolph Scott Westerns in the 1950’s that have achieved a “cult” status among film buffs.
Peter Bogdanovich, author of books on John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock, has become the first American film critic to direct his own features.
Arthur Penn’s depiction of conflict and violence in Bonnie and Clyde, as well as his comment on the hippy scene in Alice’s Restaurant, speaks directly to our time.
Samuel Fuller’s career has been a constant war against studio control. He has won a Venice Film Festival Award (Pickup on South Street) and the reverence of students of cinema art from Godard to Sherman and Rubin.

While an undergraduate at Yale University, where he was Executive Director of the Yale Film Society, ERIC SHERMAN made an hour-long documentary film on Charles Lloyd, shown at the 1969 New York Film Festival. Following his graduation in 1968, he made a feature-length film inspired by Thomas Mann’s “Mario and the Magician.” Mr. Sherman is currently filming a documentary about the folk-rock musical, Hair. MARTIN RUBIN served as the New Journal‘s movie review editor and was Chairman of the Yale Film Society. His next project is a book on the American filmmaker Douglas Sirk.

[Interviews with Abraham Polonsky, Budd Boetticher, Peter Bogdanovich, Arthur Penn, Samuel Fuller]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 200 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 16 cm (8,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 621 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Atheneum, New York, New York, 1969

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Byron Haskin (interviewed by Joe Adamson)

adamson-joe-byron-haskin“Byron Haskin belonged to that small group of filmmakers who began work before the studio system fully defined an industrial pattern for the production of motion pictures and remained active from silent film into the era of filmed television. His experience is a microcosm of Hollywood’s salad days.

These pages vibrate with life, for Byron Haskin had the greatest gift to which a director can aspire: he was a storyteller. The reader will see that he was modest about even his most impressive achievements (he never bothers to mention his Academy Award or nominations) and critics are probably correct when they describe Byron Haskin as a highly gifted craftsman rather than as an auteur who carried a personal vision from one project to the next. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful book because of Haskin’s insight into human nature, his astonishing recollection of detail, his vivid language and his wise perspective on a career of immense and varied accomplishment. This oral history also benefits from empathy between the subject and his interviewer. Joe Adamson had authored three books of film history, written a television special and a low-budget feature, and produced an award-winning short; however, he had never met Mr. and Mrs. Haskin when I sent him to Montecito in quest of a consent to tape. All barriers of age tumbled and as they spoke, they became close friends.

The Oral History of Byron Haskin was transcribed and edited by Adele Field. Joe Adamson continued to extend close attention at every stage, and Mr. Haskin did much of the polish work for the published version, reading and approving page proofs less than two weeks before his death on April 16, 1984. To Terry Haskin, herself a published novelist, we extend ten thousand thanks for as many good ideas and amenities.” – From The Introduction by David H. Shepard.

Hardcover – 314 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 539 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1984 – ISBN 0-8108-1740-3

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Curtis Bernhardt (interviewed by Mary Kiersch)

kiersch-mary-curtis-bernhardt“From 1924 to 1964, Curtis Bernhardt directed over forty films with consistent talent, imagination and innovation. Many were completed in the face of obstacles and pressures which might have defeated a director of less energy and resourcefulness: miniscule budgets (War), Nazi oppression (The Tunnel), technological change (The Last Company), and studio politics from Berlin to Hollywood. Bernhardt was not afraid to take personal or professional risks, and the national cinemas of Germany, France and America are significantly richer for his contributions.

After brief military service in World War I, Bernhardt trained as an actor. He worked his way up through regional theaters to become a leading actor on the stage of Berlin’s avant-garde Renaissance Theatre. During that cultural apotheosis known as ‘Berlin in the Twenties,’ Bernhardt enjoyed both success and scandal. Soon he was directing plays, and it wasn’t long before Bernhardt was challenged by an art form with which he was refreshingly inexperienced and unfamiliar. War, his first film, was shot in 1924-25 and financed by the German Communist Party. Made for the slight sum of 16,000 marks, it utilized actual combat footage and a “taxi-driven” camera to drive home its strong anti-war message. Paradoxically, another of his early films was financed and supervised by the Catholic Church!

Bernhardt directed eight silent films with contributors of extraordinary stature: Carl Zuckmayer, Béla Balázs, Lupu Plek, William Dieterle, Albert Steinrück, Fritz Rasp and Fritz Kortner. He fought with his producers and persuaded them to let him cast Marlene Dietrich in her first starring screen role; The Woman Every Man Desires was made over a year before von Sternberg “discovered” her unique talents. Three nascent directors gained their initial experience with Curtis Bernhardt: Henry Koster, Robert Siodmak and John Brahm.

In 1928, Joe May recruited Bernhardt to direct The Last Company, ‘the first sound film of any artistic significance made by the UFA’ (Kurt Riess). After the premiere, the head of UFA proclaimed Bernhardt ‘the young genius of the film industry.’ Barely thirty and working with such diverse and formidable talents as Carl Mayer, Asta Nielsen and Luis Trenker, Bernhardt was one of the three most-in-demand directors in Germany. But the enormous popularity of The Rebel proved a mixed blessing for the young Jewish ‘upstart,’ Goebbels publicly announced his admiration for the picture, adding that flit could never have been conceived in the degenerate mind of a Jew. Within hours, Bernhardt was on his way to Paris, where he hoped to work in safety on The Tunnel, a story of workers digging an undersea route between England and France.

Instead, the French producers ordered him to Munich for the shooting of the film’s German version. All guarantees had been given by the German Ministry of Propaganda for his safety. So, in 1933, Bernhardt was the only Jewish director allowed to work in Germany. He was harassed officially and unofficially by the Nazis throughout the production. The instant that shooting was completed, an arrest order was issued. This time, Bernhardt’s escape was more expensive and more dangerous. When he arrived back in Paris, he knew that his career in Germany was over.

His films made during the French-English period often reflect the predicament of a refugee. His characters suffer from a painful and involuntary alienation from the past, a tormented and transient present, and only a half-hearted belief in a viable future. In The Beloved Vagabond, Maurice Chevalier wanders through Europe after an unhappy love affair. Charles Vanel in Carrefour plays an amnesiac trying to reconcile a criminal past with a respectable, bourgeois present.

When Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Russia in 1939, Bernhardt realized that he must get out of Europe. Wanted as a Jew in Germany, as a German in France, and facing internment in England, his only option was America. Bernhardt made his way to Hollywood by the most remarkable luck and the constant support of Henry Koster – his only friend in the film capital. Screenings of Carrefour brought him offers from MGM and Warner Bros. He signed a seven-year contract with the latter, and so began his long and stormy relationship with Jack L. Warner in 1939.

Bernhardt directed nine films (and one ‘loanout’) for Warner in the forties. Juke Girl (1942) with Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan remains a classic of the proletarian genre for which the studio was renowned. For Conflict (1944), he drew atypical performances from Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in this story of a wife killer and the psychiatrist who frames his confession. On Million Dollar Baby Bernhardt met the young writer, Jerry Wald. Both at Warner and after, the two worked together as much as possible in a professionally and personally felicitous relationship.

The little critical attention which Bernhardt has received in this country rests mainly on his postwar ‘film noir.’ In A Stolen Life, Bette Davis plays the demanding dual role of twins with opposing temperaments. To increase the realism on this technically challenging project, Bernhardt helped to invent a matte system which allowed the twins to be photographed together with a moving camera, to touch each other within the shot, and to cast naturalistic shadows on each other. For Possessed, where Joan Crawford plays a comatose schizophrenic, Bernhardt also devised the most extraordinary series of subjective shots and environments to get the audience inside the mind and feelings of the character. After Warner Bros., Bernhardt continued in the noir mood at MGM with High Wall. It remains another technically fascinating film, one of the most intense and artful depictions of the traumas facing the returning G.I. At RKO, he made Payment on Demand with Bette Davis. A film which dispassionately observes the American institutions of marriage and divorce, its use of translucent sets was both daring and evocative.

After Warner, Bernhardt was happy for his independence. He eschewed a contract offer from Samuel Goldwyn to be a top director at Goldwyn Studios, and began to work at MGM on a film-to-film basis. With the exception of Universal, Bernhardt worked at every major studio in Hollywood during the fifties, and he met every technical novelty within the industry with considerable taste and tolerance. Miss Sadie Thompson remains the only ‘ungimmicky’ 3-D opus in existence. Beau Brummell and Interrupted Melody demonstrate a rare understanding of the increased visual and narrative possibilities with CinemaScope. His version of The Merry Widow is one of the lavish, graceful and amusing operettas of that era. After working overseas from Italy to Brazil, Bernhardt returned to Warner to direct Kisses for My President in 1964.

Bernhardt married for the first time in 1936. His wife, Pearl Argyle, was the former prima ballerina with the Sadlers-Wells Company in England. Steven Bernhardt, their elder son, is a producer and is a member of the Directors Guild of America. Tony Bernhardt, their younger son, is a scientist in Northern California. In 1963, Bernhardt married Anne-Maria Wickert, a stage actress in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf. Until Mr. Bernhardt’s death in 1981, the couple made their home in Pacific Palisades, California, where Mrs. Bernhardt still resides. In 1970, the German Ministry of the Interior cited Bernhardt for his ‘long years and extraordinary work in the German film industry’ at a special ceremony at the Berlin Festival.” – From Curtis Bernhardt, An Introduction by Mary Kiersch

Hardcover – 194 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 384 g (13,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1986 – ISBN 0-808-1870-1

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: David Butler (interviewed by Irene Kahn Atkins)

atkins-irene-kahn-david-butlerThe continuing Directors Guild of America Oral History series records the achievements and personal insights of pioneers in the fields of film, television, and radio. The present volume, compiled from interviews conducted by Irene Kahn Atkins, documents the outstanding career of David Butler, a multi-talented filmmaker whose career began as an actor with D.W. Griffith, King Vidor, and other silent film luminaries.

After becoming a distinguished director in his own right, Mr. Butler went on to direct over sixty features, as well as numerous television episodes. David Butler’s story is a revealing and entertaining journey through behind-the-scenes Hollywood from its early beginnings to the days of the “baby boomer” generation’s favorite filmed TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s.

The late IRENE KAHN ATKINS, daughter of famed lyricist Gus Kahn, was a music editor and conducted oral histories of craftsmen in music and sound for the American Film Institute and Yale University, as well as for the Directors Guild of America (her other oral histories in this series include Henry Koster and Arthur Jacobson). She also published Source Music in Motion Pictures (Fairleigh Dickinson).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 572 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1993 – ISBN 0-8108-2705-0

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Henry Hathaway (interviewed by Polly Platt; edited, and introduction by Rudy Behlmer)

behlmer-rudy-henry-hathaway“Colorful and anecdote rich, director Henry Hathaway was certainly a ripe subject for an extended oral history when Polly Platt broached the subject in 1973. Hathaway was just one film short of retiring from an exceptionally long career in the business – starting as a child actor in films in 1911 under Allan Dwan’s direction at the American Film Company. He became a property man at Universal in the teens (along with propman John Ford), at Goldwyn in 1920, and at Paramount in the early 1920s. He graduated to assistant director at Paramount in 1924, making many films with renowned directors such as Josef von Sternberg, Victor Fleming, and William K. Howard.

Hathaway finally became a director at Paramount in 1932, making the popular Zane Grey Westerns featuring Randolph Scott. Soon, he was making big important successes such as The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), and Spawn of the North (1938) before leaving Paramount for a long-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox, where he worked with studio head Darryl F. Zanuck on such films as Kiss of Death (1947), Call Northside 777 (1948), The Desert Fox (1951), and Niagara (1953). In 1960, he started to freelance, directing How the West Was Won (1962) and True Grit (1969), among a variety of other films in various genres.

Hathaway had a reputation of being a tough, no-nonsense, and rather obsessed director. But he was always a thorough professional. His recollections about working on several occasions over the years with his friends Gary Cooper and John Wayne and his experiences directing the still budding Marilyn Monroe, little Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, and the brilliant but exasperating Orson Welles are particularly colorful and insightful.

Polly Platt, who conducted the interviews, is the first woman to become a production designer in the Art Directors Guild. Some of her feature film credits as a production and costume designer include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc?, The Bad News Bears, The Witches of Eastwick, and Terms of Endearment (for which she was an Academy Award nominee). She wrote the story and screenplay for Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby, was the executive producer on James L. Brooks’s Broadcast News, and was the producer of Say Anything, Bottle Rocket, and The War of the Roses. She served as co-producer on Evening Star, the sequel to Terms of Endearment. Platt also worked closely with her first husband, Peter Bogdanovich, on his 1971 documentary Directed by John Ford and on his interview books with Ford and director Allan Dwan. Her background and frame of reference provide an added dimension to the interviews.

Although she always intended to edit the oral history, Polly Platt’s increasingly busy schedule over the years prevented this. A few years ago, Adele Field, at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) – special projects department, asked if I would be interested in editing and annotating the long-dormant interviews, which were originally conducted under the auspices of the American Film Institute’s oral history program and were later transferred to the DGA when its oral history program was set up by David Shepard. After reading the transcript and realizing the historical significance and vast span of Hathaway’s reminiscences, I readily accepted. I am indebted to my wife, Stacey, for her considerable help with the many supplementary sections.

In 1999 Zack Reed, then national executive in charge of special projects at the DGA, met with Tony Slide of Scarecrow Press and me and activated arrangements to have the work published in book form. The Guild’s Pamela Kile was very helpful in preparing the manuscript for publication and Luisa Ribeiro carefully prepared the index.

Within these pages, Hathaway takes us through the studio systems of the times, and because he came up from the ranks, his behind-the-scenes perspective is particularly illuminating.” – From The Introduction by Rudy Behlmer.

This collection of interviews traces the career of filmmaker Henry Hathaway from his beginnings as a child actor for the American Film Company in 1911 through his directorial triumphs How the West Was Won (1962) and True Grit (1969). Begun as a special project for the American Film Institute, this oral history has now been edited and is being released for the first time in book form.

POLLY PLATT, production designer, screenwriter, and producer of such films as Broadcast News, Pretty Baby, and The War of the Roses conducted the interviews and intended to edit them herself, but her busy career prevented her from completing the project. Now edited for release, this collection contains Hathaway’s fascinating reflections about the studio system and working with such Hollywood luminaries as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, James Stewart, and Shirley Temple. A must for any Hollywood history buff.

Hardcover – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 13,5 cm (8,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 431 g (15,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2001 – ISBN 8108-3972-5

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Henry Koster (interviewed by Mary Kiersch)

atkins-irene-kahn-henry-koster“Although I had seen many films that Henry Koster had directed and his name was a familiar one to me, I had never met him before we started the interviews for this oral history. It seemed that he would be a good oral history subject for several reasons: he had written and directed many European films before making a very smooth transition to a long career of filmmaking in Hollywood; he had directed in a variety of film genres, both silent and with sound, from advertising cartoons to CinemaScope epics; he had been associated with some of Hollywood’s most distinguished and interesting personalities – actors and actresses, writers and producers.

As the interview progressed, it was evident that Mr. Koster was, indeed, a good oral history interviewee. He had an excellent recall of what he – and I, too – considered important in the day to day, year by year, chronicle of a director at work. Most of his anecdotes reflect the satisfaction of cooperative working experiences and the achievement of many fine dramatic moments in his films.

Mr. Koster made every effort to assist me in my research, especially concerning most of the European films, for which credits and other records are scarce or nonexistent. His son Robert also helped with titles and cast lists. Helpful, too, were the screenings of fifteen Henry Koster pictures at the Directors Guild offices. Although Mr. Koster was invited to these, he declined, saying he knew the movies backwards and forwards, which I am sure is true. All the interviews took place in the Kosters’ home, in a relaxed, leisurely atmosphere. Although the drive from my home to the Kosters’ home in Camarillo was a rather long and arduous one for me, Mr. Koster was most co-operative about scheduling our meetings to avoid peak traffic hours on the Ventura Freeway. Since our interviews took place from January through April 1982, the drive gave me a chance to enjoy the lengthening days and the greening of the hills of the San Fernando Valley. For those Easterners who still grumble that there are no seasons in Southern California, springtime on the Ventura Freeway should be a required excursion.” – From ‘Interview History’ by Irene Kahn Atkins

Hardcover – 178 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 368 g (13 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1987 – ISBN 0-8108-1983-X

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: King Vidor (interviewed by Nancy Dowd, David Shepard)

dowd-nancy-king-vidor“When The American Film Institute’s oral history project was active in the early 1970s under sponsorship of the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, King Vidor was among the most significant artists chosen for interviews. Vidor’s  autobiography, A Tree Is A Tree, had appeared in 1953; however, AFI wanted to supplement the book. Not only had Vidor completed years of subsequent professional activity; MGM had completed a restoration program which made it possible to discuss most of his best films in the stimulating environment of a fresh look. I recommended that Nancy Dowd, who had become interested in Vidor’s work when a student at UCLA, be commissioned as oral historian, and I witnessed the excitement when they viewed films like Happiness, Wild Oranges, and Show People – she for the first time, he for the first time in almost half a century. The freshness and immediacy of the interview is due in large part to those screening opportunities provided by AFI with the cooperation of MGM and other producers. Before the project was completed, Nancy Dowd and AFI parted company, AFI’s oral documentation program changed direction, and the 46 completed tapes gathered dust for years before Ms. Dowd delivered them to the Directors Guild of America for finishing into the present volume. In the edited transcript, Mr. Vidor’s remarks were somewhat rearranged to reflect the chronology of his career, rather than the random order of the original film screenings which stimulated the interview sessions. The inevitable trailings and inconsistencies of transcribed speech have been silently corrected, and many isolated reflections on various subjects have been moved to locations to which they seemed more logically suited. As the Nancy Dowd interview ended with King Vidor’s last commercially produced motion picture, I recorded a final session early in 1980 summarizing Mr. Vidor’s career and discussing his personal films produced since 1959. The transcribing of interviews was accomplished under Directors Guild auspices while Edward Schilling and Adele Field did all of the organizing, checking and editing. I functioned as general editor throughout the project; however, readers should note that while we have made the manuscript error-free to the best of our collective ability, neither King Vidor nor Nancy Dowd passed final judgment on this written record.” – Introduction by David Shepard.

King Vidor died peacefully at his ranch in Paso Robles on November 1, 1982. As his family subsequently gathered his belongings from various homes and storerooms, it became clear that he had preserved an amazing collection of personal and professional papers. One small trunk became the basis for Sidney Kirkpatrick’s best-selling book A Cast of Killers (1986), and the entire collection was subsequently donated to the University of Southern California where it is available to researchers. Other collections of Vidor papers may be found at the UCLA Research Library and at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The volume of material is daunting, but would make possible a definitive biography of a pioneer film artist who was also a beautiful and extraordinary human being.

Hardcover – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 558 g (19,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1988 – ISBN -08108-2161-3

The Directors – Take One (Robert J. Emery)

Emery Robert J - The Directors Take OneBased on the Silver Plaque-winning Encore documentary series, The Directors – Take One is a fascinating compilation of thirteen profiles of today’s most-acclaimed directors, based on extensive interviews with them and the stars who worked with them.

In this remarkable volume, writer/director Robert Emery has assembled a veritable who’s who of Hollywood directors, from Robert Wise and Sidney Lumet to Ron Howard and Spike Lee, to discuss the intricacies of their craft. Providing brief informative introductions for each director, Emery then lets the directors speak for themselves, taking the reader on an unforgettable tour of their careers and behind the scenes of their landmark films. The array of directors provides something for everybody: Robert Wise’s early editing work with Orson Welles and uncredited direction on The Magnificent Ambersons; Norman Jewison’s determination to make the controversial In the Heat of the Night in 1966; the financial and societal pressures on Spike Lee during the filming of Malcolm X; William Shatner’s indelible influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween; and James Cameron’s titanic battle to make what became the most successful film in history. Complete with a full filmography and list of awards for each director, The Directors is an essential addition to any movie fan’s library.

[Interviews with Robert Wise, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, James Cameron, Spike Lee, Richard Donner, Norman Jewison, John Carpenter, John Frankenheimer, Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Rydell, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Sidney Lumet]

Softcover – 414 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 573 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER TV Books, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-57500-087-3

The Directors – Take Two (Robert J. Emery)

scannen0295Based on the award-winning documentary series, The Directors – Take Two is a fascinating compilation of thirteen profiles of today’s most acclaimed directors, based on extensive interviews with them and the stars who worked with them.

In this remarkable second volume of The Directors, writer/director Robert Emery assembles a veritable who’s who of Hollywood directors discussing the intricacies of their craft. Providing an informative introduction for each, Emery then lets the directors – from Rob Reiner and Alan J. Pakula to Garry Marshall and John Badham – speak for themselves, taking the reader on an unforgettable tour of their careers and behind the scenes of their landmark films. The array of directors offers something for everybody: Terry Gilliam on shooting Monthy Python and the Holy Grail in four and a half weeks on a minimal budget in the highlands of Scotland; Joel Schumacher on the cast of St. Elmo’s Fire and how they became the “Brat Pack”; and Robert Zemeckis, who emerged with Back to the Future from behind a stack of rejection letters, box-office busts, and the critique that “nobody is interested in time travel.” Complete with a full filmography and list of awards for each director, The Directors – Take Two is an essential addition to any film fan’s library.

[Interviews with Rob Reiner, Joel Schumacher, Robert Zemeckis, Alan J. Pakula, John G. Avildsen, Garry Marshall, John McTiernan, Martha Coolidge, Herbert Ross, William Friedkin, Arthur Hiller, Terry Gilliam, John Badham]

Softcover – 238 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 534 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER TV Books, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 1-57500-129-2

The Disney Films (Leonard Maltin)

Maltin, Leonard - The Disney FilmsA fascinating tribute to the talent and genius of the man who brought more joy to the motion picture screen than any other, The Disney Films documents Walt Disney’s monumental contribution to both movies and television – his enormous creativity and innovative ability. From the groundbreaking cartoon The Three Little Pigs to the smash hit Mary Poppins, this delightful and informative book covers Walt Disney’s greatest achievements, including the metamorphosis of the simple animated cartoon into a new and uniquely expressive art form.

In this comprehensive volume Leonard Maltin also provides biographical notes that trace Disney’s rise from commercial artist to producer of his first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Plane Crazy, through more than thirty years of phenomenal worldwide acclaim. Everything Disney undertook blossomed under his careful guidance – early silent cartoons, talking cartoons, live-action short subjects, over eighty feature films, hundreds of television shows, even a wealth of public-service and wartime films. Why they succeeded, how Disney himself felt about his work, and why the public was so eager to pay him homage is carefully examined and explained by the author.

Much of the book is devoted to Disney’s most significant work, the feature films. Leonard Maltin provides a brief plot summary for each, as well as keen critical commentary. In addition, he includes smaller chapters on the short subjects, the television shows, and the films released since his death.

Now the wonders of Disney’s magical world are completely captured; everyone can relive these memorable moments from the past or experience them for the first time in these pages: the antics of the seven dwarfs as they welcome Snow White; Pinocchio’s terrors inside the giant whale Monstro; Fess Parker’s vivid portrayal of Davy Crockett; Alice at the tea party with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare; the majesty of The Living Desert. Here are all of Walt Disney’s most unforgettable feature films, including Fantasia, Peter Pan, The Shaggy Dog, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Cinderella, and scores more.

The Disney Films is a brilliant testimonial that will prove invaluable not only to cinema lovers and students but to all who want to know more about the genius and talent of the man whose impact on movies and on the world will be felt forever.

LEONARD MALTIN is one of the country’s leading film historians, having written five books on film, and edited Film Fan Monthly for the past seven years. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Variety, TV Guide, Film Comment, and other leading publications, and he is currently editor of the Curtis Film Series. He also writes on another pet topic, jazz, for Down Beat and The Village Voice.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.330 g (46,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-517-500469

Distinguished Company (John Gielgud)

scannen0003‘In my childhood, boyhood and adolescence I was not only stagestruck, but obsessed by the fascination of the many great theatrical personalities of the day, memories which have obstinately remained most vividly with me ever since.’

In this book one of our greatest actors recalls with affectionate nostalgia the renowned theater figures in the early decades of this century, many of whom he knew and acted with in later life.

Sir John’s ‘distinguished company’ includes Mrs Patrick Campbell, Sir Charles Hawtrey, Marie Tempest, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Gertrude Lawrence, not forgetting – among his own famous relatives – the legendary Ellen Terry, her brilliant son Edward Gordon Craig, and many more ‘immortals’. He recalls their artistry, their wit, and eccentricity (tragic or comic) with a sure instinct for revealing intimate detail, and, in doing so, richly evokes the flavour of the period and the magic of its artistic life.

The author’s infectious warmth for his subject is evident throughout, making this a highly entertaining and absorbing book. The text is perfectly matched by sixteen pages of photographs.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 123 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 347 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Heibemann, London, 1972 – ISBN 0 435 18353 2

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: California (edited by Slaney Begley, Joanne Levêque, Zoë Ross)

eyewitness-travel-guides-californiaThe DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California is your indispensable guide to this beautiful part of the world. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floorplans and reconstructions of the must-see sites, plus street-by-street maps of all the fascinating cities and towns. The new-look guide is also packed with photographs and illustrations leading you straight to the best attractions on offer.

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California will help you to discover everything region-by-region; from local festivals and markets to day trips around the state. Detailed listings will guide you to the best hotels, restaurants, bars and shops for all budgets, whilst detailed practical information will help you to get around, whether by train, bus or car. Plus, DK’s excellent insider tips and essential local information will help you explore every corner of California effortlessly.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California showing you what others only tell you.

Softcover – 632 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 13 cm (8,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 872 g (30,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Dorling Kindersley, Ltd., London, 2004 – ISBN 0-7513-4811-4

Donna Reed: A Bio-Bibliography (Brenda Scott Royce)

Royce, Brenda Scott - Donna Reed a Bio-BibliographyDonna Reed has been called everyone’s favorite mother and her recognition as such has stood the test of time. But before she became known as the ultimate mom for her role on The Donna Reed Show, Miss Reed was already a veteran film actress with almost forty films to her credit. Among these are her performances in It’s a Wonderful Life and From Here to Eternity. Her role in the latter garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. This book is a comprehensive reference to the life and work of Donna Reed for use by researchers as well as fans.

Performing arts researcher Brenda Scott Royce has compiled a self-contained reference work to Donna Reed’s career and life. A brief biography begins the book, followed by detailed examinations of Miss Reed’s work in motion pictures, television, and radio. Also listed are media reviews of her work, a listing of awards and nominations, and a chronology of major events in her life. An annotated bibliography follows these sections, and it lists all articles and other items about Donna Reed that appeared in major magazines, fan magazines, books, and newspapers. The entries in each section are cross-referenced for easy referral by the reader. This bio-bibliography will be an important addition to libraries with a performing arts collection, students of media arts, and Donna Reed fans.

Hardcover – 143 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1990 – ISBN 0-313-26806-1

“Don’t Fall Off the Mountain” (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dont-fall-off-the-mountain“I’ve always felt that I would never develop into a really fine actress because I cared more about life beyond the camera than the life in front of it. Over the years my search became broader and broader. After two months on a picture my car seemed to veer toward the airport of its own accord. I still loved acting and enjoyed it. I was a professional, but basically I was more interested in the people I played than the movies I played them in…” – Shirley MacLaine.

An outspoken thinker, a keen observer, a truly independent woman, SHIRLEY MacLAINE takes us on a remarkable journey into her life and her inner self. From her Virginia roots, to stardom, marriage, motherhood and her enlightening travels to mysterious corners of the world, her story is exciting and poetic, moving and humorous – the varied and life-changing experiences of a talented, intelligent and extraordinary woman.

Softcover – 292 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 164 g (5,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1970

Don’t Mind If I Do (George Hamilton, with William Stadiem)

Autographed copy George Hamilton

scannen0137Don’t let that tanned, handsome, charming surface fool you. Beneath the bronzed façade is a mischievous mind with a wicked wit. George Hamilton doesn’t miss a thing. With a front row seat for classic Hollywood’s biggest secrets and scandals, George has the intelligence, heart, and unflappable spirit to tell his story, and the story of Tinseltown’s heyday, with great good humor and delicious candor – as only he can. From Where the Boys Are to Dancing With the Stars; from Mary Pickford to Elizabeth Taylor; from small-town Arkansas to the capitals of Europe – it’s all here, and George has lived to tell and to laugh about it.

As the child of a Dartmouth-educated band-leader father and a glamorous Southern debutante mother whose marriage crumbled early on, George had a childhood filled with misadventures and challenges that his mother always seemed able to turn from tragedy to comedy. Her idea of changing the family’s fortunes involved a trip cross-country with three sons and a poodle in a Lincoln Continental, making stops along the way to search for husband/father number three. And she was quick to recognize that George’s potential success lay in Hollywood.

George starved nobly for his art in the late 1950s, but was soon starring in major motion pictures directed by the likes of Vincente Minnelli and Louis Malle. He has forgotten more about Hollywood than most movie experts will ever know and shares intimate and hugely entertaining stories of his friendships with Cary Grant; Brigitte Bardot; Robert Mitchum; Merle Oberon; Mae West; Sammy Davis, Jr.; and Judy Garland – not to mention Lyndon B. Johnson and Elvis’s Colonel Tom Parker as well as the King himself – among others. The world is Hamilton’s oyster, and this ultimate insider is ready to share it with us. So fasten your seat belt. We’ll tell you when it’s safe to move about the cabin again.

GEORGE HAMILTON received a seven-year contract from MGM in 1958. During the 1960s he appeared in films alongside legends Kirk Douglas, Olivia de Havilland, and Natalie Wood and in 1969 began his television career with Lana Turner on The Survivors. Hamilton later starred in movies such as the classic comedy Love at First Bite and The Godfather, Part III as well as television’s Dancing With the Stars and Broadway’s Chicago. He lives in Los Angeles. WILLIAM STADlEM is the co-author of the New York Times best-sellers Mr. S and Marilyn Monroe Confidential.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 509 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-4165-4502-6

Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking: A Biography of Darryl F. Zanuck (Mel Gussow)

gussow-mel-dont-say-yes-until-i-finish-talkinDarryl F. Zanuck is a living relic, the last of the great movie moguls. In the course of nearly five decades, he has been involved with well over 600 films. As head of production, first at Warner Brothers, then at 20th Century-Fox, he retained personal control over every film at the studio, from original concept to final cut. Through financial crises and personal crises, through changes in the structure of the film industry and changes in the taste of the film audience, he has remained a major power.

The elements that made his most remarkable successes and his most spectacular failures, the unusual talents that gained him wide respect in the film community, and the real person behind the larger-than-life legend – all the facets of the man and his career are examined in this fascinating portrait of a bold, brilliant, and enigmatic man.

Mel Gussow has filled the book with candid, revealing comments drawn from extensive interviews with Zanuck himself, with his family and friends, and with many of the writers, directors, actors and actresses who have worked with him – as well as from memos and letters and Gussow’s own keen analysis of many Zanuck pictures. The result is a thorough, absorbing biography that captures all the color and complexity of the individual who is Darryl F. Zanuck.

MEL GUSSOW is a reviewer and reporter on cultural affairs for The New York Times. His articles and reviews have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, McCall’s, New York, and other national magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 538 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1971

Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me (Bob Hope, with Melville Shavelson)

hope-bob-dont-shoot-its-only-me“The terrible thing about growing older is that it lasts so long. You start telling jokes to make a living and one morning you wake up and find you’ve written the history of half a century. Or your writers have. Accidentally, I have no regrets. I’ve known most of the great personalities of our time, in politics, sports, and show business. I’ve flown a few million miles and been fortunate enough to meet thousands of our men and women in uniform, in war and peace, and have had as guests on my shows some of the most beautiful women in the world. If I had my life to live over again, I wouldn’t have the strength. But I’d like to try.

Writing this book is as close as I can get to living it all again. Maybe it will help you to remember, too. As I look back at all the jokes I have told over the years, some good and some that I wrote myself, I realize now that what they are really about is America. They are about what has happened to this country in this critical, tumultuous, crazy, terrible, wonderful half century we’ve just stumbled through.

I’m only an adopted son. I was born in England and left as soon as I realized I couldn’t become king. My mother took all her children on a boat to the New World. It wasn’t first class, but we had a lot of fun playing with the cattle. Of course, when we got here, we had to learn the language. And then, in this country, I fell in love. Sometimes I do my best to hide it, but I’ve got a real crush on America. Nobody ever had a girl like her. Nobody ever gave me as much affection, as much honor, or as much real estate. In a way, in this most democratic of democracies, I sometimes feel like a king.

How did it happen? Why me? I come from a family of seven boys, and the only thing we all had in common was that none of us ever won the Academy Award. Of course, the others weren’t really trying. Did some giant iron claw in the sky drop me into the one place in history where a fellow who barely got out of high school would have a school at Yale named after him? Where three wars in rapid succession would give him a captive audience of fighting men and women who were so glad to be alive they were ready to laugh at anything to prove it?

I’m no philosopher. I’m no historian. Maybe those who are will find some hidden depths in this story I’m going to tell, simply the story of what the United States of America was laughing at in the past fifty or so years, before getting up the next morning and going out to battle with the enemies all of us have to face: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. This is a love song to my girl: America, warts and all.” – From The Preface.

He’s been shelled, bombed and shot at on battlefields from North Africa to Europe, the South Pacific to Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. In Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me Bob Hope says thanks for the memories – which all began in Britain in 1903.

Moving to America aged four, he was a vaudeville dancer in his 20s, went on to become a star of radio, stage and screen and from 1940 started a career which was to take over his life and take him all over the world – entertaining the troops – and rubbing shoulders along the way with Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Jayne Mansfield, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Winston Churchill, several US Presidents and millions of G.I.s. His autobiography is a barrage of quick fire wit.

Softcover – 315 pp. – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 230 g (8,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Pan Books, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 0-330-31829-2

Don’t Tell Dad: A Memoir (Peter Fonda)

fonda-peter-dont-tell-dadIn a rip-roaring ride through the ’60s and up to the present day, Peter Fonda – son of Henry Fonda, sister of Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda – boldly recalls his turbulent life, sharing with readers for the first time the true stories behind the legends, famous and infamous, surrounding himself and his family.

Everyone knows Peter Fonda as the star of Easy Rider, the quintessential ’60s film he co-wrote and acted in with Dennis Hopper. But now the public is treated to the real Peter Fonda – the man behind the legend who has never been revealed. He spares no details about his cold and distant father (who was consumed by his career and many marriages), his mother’s suicide (which his family tried to hide), and their effects on him and his sisters. He provides many anecdotes about growing up with Jane, their coming of age exploits, and the many ups and downs of their life with their father.

Fonda also includes vivid tales of his own escapes – riding motorcycles with Marlon Brando in Rome, stories about his step-grandfather Oscar Hammerstein, getting acting tips from James Caan, his first on-screen kiss with Sandra Dee, hanging out with Salvador Dali, taking acid with the Beatles, youthful acting experiences with Warren Beatty, and his first introduction with pot. He describes the darker times as well: his friend Bridget Hayward’s suicide, his doomed first marriage, his best friend Stormy’s suicide, and the nightmare that would haunt him for life. There are never-before-told details about the making of Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson: how “monkee money” financed the project, and how he convinced Bob Dylan to allow them to use his songs in the movie.

Peter Fonda’s memoir is as much a poignant personal story as it is the story of one of the greatest Hollywood families – one of which the country has often seen its own reflection. From abysmal experiences in boarding school to his childhood attempts to understand his stern father to his own daughter’s success in Hollywood, Peter Fonda tells the tale with the humor and compelling frankness of a natural storyteller.

PETER FONDA is currently involved in independent filmmaking as an actor and director. His most recent film was Ulee’s Gold. He lives with his wife in Montana.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 498 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 939 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Hyperion, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-7868-6111-8

Doris Day: Her Own Story (A.E. Hotchner)

a-e-hotchner-doris-day-her-own-storyThis unusual collaboration in the form of an autobiography brings together a highly skilled professional writer and the film superstar who never enjoyed being thought of as Miss Coody Two-shoes. For the first time, Doris Day tells the story behind the headlines of her private life – three marriages, real and rumored affairs, and professional triumphs countered by personal tragedies.

At thirteen Doris was in a car hit by a train, and for a while she expected to be crippled for life. At sixteen she was earning her living on the road singing with bands. At seventeen she married a man who turned out to be a psychopathic sadist. She talks of many other things she never told anyone before, and her book is as compelling as it is honest. Mr. Hotchner, the author of Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir, has enriched her story with candid interviews with her son, Terry Melcher; her mother; her friends, and many of the people she has worked with including Bob Hope, James Garner, and Jack Lemmon. In this perceptive book, “the girl next door” turns out to be an inspiring woman of unique courage and strength.

A.E. HOTCHNER is the author of over 350 articles and short stories in national magazines. He has written two novels, The Dangerous American and Treasure. His three nonfiction books are Papa Hemingway, King of the Hill, and Looking for Miracles. Papa Hemingway was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and it has been published in twenty-five foreign editions and eighteen different languages. He is the author of a play, The White House, which was performed on Broadway in 1964 with Helen Hayes in the lead. He has written original dramas for Playhouse 90 and other major dramatic programs. Mr. Hotchner was born in St. Louis, Missouri. After obtaining A.B. and LL.B. degrees from Washington University, he was admitted to the Missouri bar and practiced law in St. Louis. During World War II he served with the 13th Wing, A.A.F. Antisubmarine Command, and also on the staff of Air Force magazine. He now lives in Westport, Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 762 g (26,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Wiliam Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-688-02968-X

Dorothy Parker: A Bio-Bibliography (Randall Calhoun)

Calhoun, Randall - Dorothy Parker A Bio-BibliographyJournalist, poet, prose and fiction writer, and well-known wit, the inimitable Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) had something to say about virtually all her contemporaries among the literati, and they returned the favor in full measure. This well articulated primary and secondary bibliography covers the complete canon and its critical reaction, with illuminating annotations complemented by a biographical sketch.

Included also are three personal views of Parker –  by Joseph Bryan, III, Richard Lauterbach, and Wyatt Cooper. The accumulated evidence suggests that Parker should be considered a major figure in American letters not just America’s wittiest woman who happened to write.

Dorothy Parker’s screenplays include A Star Is Born (1937), Sweethearts (1938), Saboteur (1942) and The Fan (1949) .

Hardcover – 174 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1993 – ISBN 0-313-26507-0

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? A Biography (Marion Meade)

Meade, Marion - Dorothy Parker“I was just a little Jewish girl trying to be cute.” So Dorothy Parker described herself at the end of her life. That self-deprecating comment sums up her flamboyant life with remarkable understatement.

Before the age of thirty-five, Dorothy Parker was known as the wittiest woman in America. Her most casual remarks were repeated and printed. In fact, there was scarcely a bon mot of the day that was not attributed to her. She lived with hedonistic flair: luncheons with George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woolcott, and Franklin P. Adams; evenings at the theater and later a tour of fashionable speakeasies and brothels with Robert Benchley; weekends at the Long Island house parties that Fitzgerald would memorialize in The Great Gatsby; vacations in France with Sara and Gerald Murphy. During the Depression, she and her husband were earning $ 5,200 a week in Hollywood, where her friends and fellow writers included Lillian Hellman, S.J. Perelman, Nathanael West, and William Faulkner. Her commitment to left-wing politics added higher drama to her life during the 1930s and later during the McCarthy period.

Superficially, at least, she seemed to have everything worth having and to know everyone worth knowing. Yet behind the wisecracks, the dazzling wordplay, and the whirlwind of high living was a wealth of private sadness: two broken marriages and a succession of lacerating love affairs, a string of suicide attempts and abortions, heavy debts, and even heavier drinking. The rage behind her wit had indeed turned in on her. She became a victim of her own neuroses, not unlike her friend Zelda Fitzgerald.

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? is the definitive biography of a unique colorful woman and a glittering portrait of her times. This is an enthralling, authoritative, and entertaining study of an extremely complex woman who was at the epicenter of an electrifying age.

MARION MEADE has written a widely acclaimed biography Eleanor of Aquitaine, and a novel entitled Stealing Heaven: The Love Story of Eloise and Abelard. She lives in Manhattan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 458 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 947 g (33,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Villard Books, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-394-54440-4

Douglas Fairbanks (Jeffrey Vance)

scannen0002This deft amalgam of biography, film history, and analysis is a superb portrait of a true pioneer who was critically important to the creation of cinema as the defining art form of the twentieth century. Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) was not only one of the first film superstars, he was also a screenwriter, a major independent producer during the silent film era, a founder of United Artists, and a founder and the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The optimism, energy, and huge success during the 1920s of his best-remembered films – The Mark of Zorro, Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, and The Black Pirate – made Fairbanks a popular hero throughout the world and showcased his talents as a creative producer whose work set the standard for excellence.

Douglas Fairbanks takes the full measure of the star’s remarkable life. Jeffrey Vance bases his portrait on a rich array of sources, including Fairbanks’s personal and professional papers and scrapbooks, newly available documents and rediscovered films, and his own extensive interviews with those who knew or worked with Fairbanks. Engagingly written and sumptuously designed, with 237 photographs, the book goes behind Fairbanks’s public persona to thoroughly explore his art and his far-reaching influence.

JEFFREY VANCE is a film historian, producer, archivist, and lecturer as well as the author of an acclaimed trilogy of books on the great triumvirate of silent-film comedy: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema, Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (with Suzanne Lloyd), and Buster Keaton Remembered (with Eleanor Keaton). Silent Partners, formed with Tony Mazietta, is his production company. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (43,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles, California, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-520-25667-5

Douglas Fairbanks: The First Celebrity (Richard Schickel)

Schikel, Richard - Douglas Fairbanks the First CelebrityIn 1915 the great film director D.W. Griffith was uncertain about how to use the young actor his studio had just plucked from a successful career in light comedy on Broadway. He was not an outstanding actor, but during the next fifteen years Douglas Fairbanks, with his extraordinary athletic prowess, charm, gaiety and good humour, would become one of the first and best-loved celebrities of the silent era. His heroic and mock-heroic roles (from Robin Hood to Zorro to the Thief of  Bagdad); his marriage to the foremost female star ‘America’s Sweetheart’ Mary Pickford; the glitter of life at their palatial home ‘Pickfair’ high in Beverly Hills; their formation, with Charlie Chaplin, of United Artists; their worldwide, whirlwind tours – all added lustre to the image. The Fairbanks’ cavalcade was held bouyant by an ever eager and demanding public. But such adulation was short-lived, as with the arrival of the Talkies, Hollywood changed for ever and the fickle public turned to new idols.

Richard Schickel, in his profile of Douglas Fairbanks, examines the actor against the background of his time and considers the implications on our society of the early days of cinema and the ‘star’ system they created. At a time when the proliferation of celebrities, hailed for their well-knownness and not for any skill or triumph, is the plague of the media age, it is clear that  Fairbanks and his contemporaries taught us how to worship at this temple of false gods.

RICHARD SCHICKEL was the film critic for Life magazine until it ceased  publication in 1972. He is now an arts critic on Time and writes and directs for television. His previous books include The Disney Version and The Fairbanks Album.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 461 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Elm Tree Books, London, 1976 – SBN 241 89443 3

Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character (Alistair Cooke)

Cooke, Alistair - Douglas FairbanksOriginally published in 1940, Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character was the second in a monographic series conceived by The Museum of Modern Art’s founding film curator, Iris Barry, to provide historical and aesthetic perspective on key film collections in the Museum’s care. They were part of a coordinated program of activities that included the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of films, research and writing on the cinema, and the distribution of artistically important films to educational institutions. World War II ended this series of books just as it was beginning, making instant collector’s items of the original limited editions, The present facsimile edition makes this sought-after publication again available to fans and scholars of the early film.

This volume first appeared in conjunction with the Museum’s landmark exhibition The Career of the Late Douglas Fairbanks. The retrospective was the first to feature the career of a famous screen star, and was the Museum’s most successful film series of its day. This book, by the distinguished journalist and broadcaster Alistair Cooke, analyzes the combination of showmanship, super-hero athletics, and all-Americanism that made Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., an internationally admired Hollywood star.

Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character is reissued as it first
appeared in 1940, both as a companion piece to the first volume in the series, Iris Barry’s D.W. Griffith: American Film Master, and as an enduring study of one of that era’s most remarkable pop icons.

Hardcover – 35 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 19 cm (10,2 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 314 g (11,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1940 (2002 reprint) – ISBN 0-87070-684-5

Down the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of The Wizard of Oz (Doug McClelland)

McClelland, Doug - Down the Yellow Brick RoadWhat fun it is to travel behind the scenes with Doug  McClelland, to discover how they made the movie everyone cherishes. Combining a diverting text with more than 100 wonderful photographs – many published for the first time – the author takes us “over the rainbow” with Dorothy and her friends on that timeless journey down the Yellow Brick Road.

Here is the story behind The Wizard of Oz, showing how the production, the cast and the glorious music all joined to create the legendary movie that remains a joy forever.

DOUG McCLELLAND grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where he became assistant theater editor of The Newark Evening News. Later, as editor, he was one of the founders of Record World Magazine in New York. Today a freelance writer on film, McClelland has authored two previous books, The Unkindest Cuts and Susan Hayward: The Divine Bitch. He has written for such periodicals as After Dark, Film Fan Monthly, Films and Filming, Screen Facts, Films in Review, Filmograph and Quirck’s Reviews, is further represented in the anthologies The Real Stars, The Real Stars # 2 and Hollywood Kids. In addition, he has been research consultant on many volumes dealing with motion pictures. McClelland says that he has realized a life-long ambition with Down the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of The Wizard of Oz, to wit: writing a book concerning his favorite musical comedy star, Judy Garland.

Softcover – 158 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 473 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Communications, Inc., New York, New York, 1976

Drama Queens: Wild Women of the Silver Screen (Autumn Stephens)

stephens-autumn-drama-queensHollywood. “A place of mad night life, riotous living, orgies, careers that shot up like meteors and crashed down like lead, uncontrolled extravagances, unbridled love affairs and – in a word – SIN,” silent film star Louise Brooks once wrote. SIN, of course, was what that scandalous sex goddess lived for, and the Tinseltown she described was her kind of town… until the Paramount powers-that-be tried to clue her in to the concept of the work ethic.

Like Brooks, myriad other feminine free spirits have flocked to our famous film capital over the years. Some, of course, have been lured by the decadent attractions of a realm where playing make-believe is a way of life, and fantasy objects are notoriously free to pursue their own fantasies. (The kind, needless to say, that would never play in Peoria.). Others have coolly assessed the career options available to persons without penises, and concluded that their faces – or other flawless body parts – really are their fortunes.

Then, too, before the rise of the infamously sexist studio system in the mid-1920s, few other venues offered the tremendous opportunities available to women writers, directors, producers, and other professionals who starred behind the camera. (Believe it or not, women ruled the movie-making industry prior to 1920 – not only did they outnumber men, but their work was considered superior.)

From erotic icons to ball-busting deal-makers, from self-made vamps to congenital tramps, from gnarly non-conformists to flaming crusaders, some of this century’s most outrageous scene-makers have called Hollywood home. Here are their sexy, shocking, inspiring – and, yes, deliciously SIN-ful stories.

Softcover – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 17,5 cm (6,9 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 357 g (12,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Corani Press, Berkeley, California, 1998 – ISBN 1-57324-136-9

A Dreadful Man: A Personal Intimate Book About George Sanders (Brian Aherne, with George Sanders, Benita Hume)

aherne-brian-a-dreadful-manIn 1972, Broadway and movie actor George Sanders committed suicide at the age of 65 because, he wrote in a note he left, “I am bored.” Brian Aherne, himself a famous and distinguished actor, was one of Sanders’s close friends. In this intimate biography, he takes us into the private life of an amazingly talented star whose unpredictable behavior and brash temperament often led the author to joke that he was “a dreadful man,” but who was nonetheless capable of genuine kindness and compassion.

Sanders was undeniably a remarkable character. As a young man in the Argentine, he shot a man in a duel. While living in California, he was offered the lead in the Broadway production of South Pacific after spending $ 5,000 to make a record of himself singing Some Enchanted Evening and sending it to Rodgers and Hammerstein, only to turn the role down. Always obsessed with escaping taxes, he turned his life into a continual worldwide excursion and lost over a million dollars in speculative business deals.

Aherne recalls Sanders’s brief, stormy and often hilarious marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor, his long and happy marriage to Benita Colman, his sad deterioration and tragic death. A Dreadful Man is a splendid examination of a complex and fascinating personality. At the same time, it is a touching and extraordinary book about the friendships in a group of exceptionally gifted, talented and charming people: Sanders, mercurial, quixotic and moody; Benita Hume, Ronald Colman’s widow, who eventually married Sanders; and Brian Aherne himself, not to mention a cast of equally distinguished players, who move through this brilliant narrative and those remarkable, lively and fascinating letters with wit and con brio. Brian Aherne is one of England’s most notable contributions to the theatrical world. In the fifty years that cover his remarkable career, he has starred in thirty-seven motion pictures and countless radio and television shows, and the impressive list of his theater appearances in three countries is very long. His autobiography, A Proper Job, was greeted with enthusiasm by readers and critics alike. His account of his successful and marvelously varied life has the vitality, humor and polish that mark the man. Surely it is one of the most literate, intelligent and charming books ever written about the stage and screen by a distinguished actor.

Mr. Aherne now brings these rare qualities again to A Dreadful Man, which tells the story of his close relationship with Mr. and Mrs. George Sanders through many years and experiences both grave and gay. It is embellished with fascinating letters from both of them, which reveal not only themselves but many unsuspected aspects of the international scene in show business.

He was one of the original members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association – and has held a flying license since 1934. He was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for his portrayal of the Emperor Maximilian in Juarez (1938). He is an honorary Texas Ranger and received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Baylor University (Texas, 1951). He is now retired and lives in Vevey, Switzerland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 455 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-671-24797-2

A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story (Annette Funicello, with Patricia Romanowski)

Funicello, Annette - A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart MakesWhether as a Mouseketeer or a Top-Forty singing idol, the reigning sweetheart of the classic Beach Party films, or the familiar “Skippy Mom” of TV commercials, Annette Funicello has been a beloved star for nearly four decades. In her charming autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, the wholesomely sexy (and eternally youthful) girl next door looks back with equal parts of wit, wistfulness, and wonder on her remarkable career, and gives us a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most cherished landmarks of our popular culture and of her life.

At the peak of her career Annette chose marriage and motherhood, and for over twenty years appeared only occasionally in films and TV shows. By the late 1980s, however, she was eager to perform again. It was during this triumphal comeback period, after she experienced a series of puzzling symptoms, that she discovered she had multiple sclerosis. Her subsequent struggles with her condition, and her ultimate decision to make it public, bring A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes to a poignant and inspiring conclusion – one that will draw her even closer to the millions of fans who, from the start have dreamed along with her.

PATRICIA ROMANOWSKI has co-authored numerous celebrity memoirs, including the biographies of Mary Wilson and LaToya Jackson.

Softcover – 235 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 471 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Hyperion, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-7868-8092-9

Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee (Dodd Darin, with Maxine Paetro)

darin-dodd-dream-loversFor a generation those words evoke memories of a happier, more innocent time, when Bobby Darin electrified America and Sandra Dee was everybody’s sweetheart. When they became husband and wife, the marriage looked like the picture-perfect culmination of an American dream. But was it?

In this intensely personal biography, the son of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee goes far beyond the ordinary celebrity bio, revealing the real story behind his parents’ shining image – their troubled childhoods, up-and-down careers, brief marriage, and tumultuous lives together and apart.

Bobby Cassotto was a manic, fast-talking street kid from New York who scratched and clawed his way into the music business. But his charm was fueled by an illness that he knew would shorten his life and the secret scandal of his true mother’s identity.

Sandra Douvan was the sweet, wispy-thin teenage model from New Jersey who seemed to rise to fame without effort. But Sandra had her own dark secrets: a lifelong obsession with food and dieting, and sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. At sixteen she had never been kissed, and found herself in love with twenty-four-year-old Bobby Darin.

Bobby’s career was still rising as he restlessly reinvented himself from a pop crooner to an acclaimed actor, music producer, and blockbuster nightclub performer. Twelve years later Bobby was dead, Sandy was beginning a life as a Hollywood shut-in, and America was changed forever.

Drawing on the words of those who knew them – from George Burns to Dick Clark and members of Bobby’s and Sandy’s family, as well as conversations with Sandra Dee herself – Dodd Darin separates truth from myth. He tells a moving story not of two dream lovers but of two flesh-and-blood people who came from humble origins to find glittering fame and each other. Surrounded by the celebrities of a tumultuous era, they were to learn hard lessons about ambition, success, and the things we leave behind when we reach the top. Now their son looks at their lives – and in doing so, shows us the web of heartstrings and family bonds that hold us all.

DODD DARIN was born in 1961. He owns a publishing company and lives in Malibu with his wife, Audrey. MAXINE PAETRO, co-writer, writes both novels and nonfiction. Dream Lovers is her first collaboration.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 659 g (23,2 oz) – PUBLISHER SWarner Books, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-446-51768-2

Dream Palaces of Hollywood’s Golden Age (David Wallace; photography by Juergen Nogai)

Wallace, David - Dream Palaces of Hollywood's Golden AgeSince the days of silent film, American movie stars have been known to live lavishly, their carefully hidden homes and the exclusive places to which they go to see and be seen often epitomizing spectacular, over-the-top design. In his latest book to consider the ever-fascinating legend and lore of Hollywood, best-selling author and Hollywood historian David Wallace takes us on an all-access tour of 25 of golden age Hollywood’s most enchanting homes, restaurants, hotels, and theaters – each selected for having recently been restored to its original stunning grandeur.

Voyeurs and design idea-seekers alike will find much to pour over, including the Sowden-Hodel Residence (Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr.’s masterful exercise in indoor-outdoor living and the site of the Black Dahlia murder), the sexy Streamline Moderne spread of actor Wallace Beery, Cecil B. De Mille’s extravagant Mediterranean Revival house, the spectacle that is the EI Capitan Theatre, and Modern-era master Richard Neutra’s nature-embracing Holiday House Motel, where Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy were said to have connected during the 1960 Democratic convention.

Illuminated by 200 new color pictures by Juergen Nogai, the book also distinguishes itself through Wallace’s revealing of the titillating histories of each place – which stars really lived there, what likely went on behind closed doors, and exactly how the place survived all the merrymaking. It’s a wonderfully rewarding journey for anyone curious about Hollywood history and its inventive architecture.

DAVID WALLACE is a journalistic veteran and a nationally recognized Hollywood historian. He is the author of the best-selling Lost Hollywood and Hollywoodland. Wallace resides in Palm Springs, California. JUERGEN NOGAI is an architectural and fine arts photographer based in Santa Monica, California. He is the author, with Julius Shulman, of Abrams’ Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 239 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 30 cm (9,8 x 11,8 inch) – Weight 1.470 g (51,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-8109-5543-1

Dreams for Sale: The Rise and Fall of the Triangle Film Corporation (Kalton C. Lahue)

Lahue, Kalton C - Dreams for SaleWhile Hollywood has known many turbulent times since the movie industry settled in Southern California, none have been so filled with raw creative energy (or have been so financially profitable) as the World War I era, when men with little more than vision set about to mold the fantastic potential of moving strips of celluloid into vast personal fortunes. Although a few were successful, most were left by the wayside in the struggle. Dreams for Sale is the story of one man whose vision far exceeded his achievements, and in a sense tells the story of all those who failed in their bid to bring order from the chaos of early moviemaking.

Master showman, financial wizard and successful promoter, Harry Aitken catapulted overnight from the presidency of the Mutual Film Corporation to his own Triangle Films, almost solely on the strength of his foresight in backing D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. A revolutionary creature in the industry, the $5 million Triangle Film Corporation was created to uplift the Dreams for Sale, which audiences bought in increasing quantities; and yet, within a year, this fortuitous combination of the best talents in the business – D.W. Griffith, Thomas H. Ince and Mack Sennett – was virtually bankrupt.

Historians have credited Triangle with hastening the consolidation within the film industry and acknowledged its powerful star roster, but have sadly neglected the reasons for its failure. Author Kalton C. Lahue is the first to part the curtains of time and delve into the cause behind the collapse of a  company that virtually all of its contemporaries agreed possessed the potential to dominate the entire industry, and in doing so sheds a new insight on the ethical and business practices that accompanied the growth of the movies from an arcade attraction to one of the largest industries in the United States.

Out of the ashes of Triangle’s remains came many of the stars who would dominate the screen during the rest of the silent era – William S. Hart, Douglas Fairbanks, Norma Talmadge, Lillian Gish, Roy Stewart, Bessie Love, Dorothy Dalton, and many others. The careers of  Griffith, Ince and Sennett escaped unscathed and went on to new glory, but Harry Aitken paid the price for his vision and returned home to Wisconsin, the victim of his own dream.

New England Yankee transplanted to California, KALTON C. LAHUE is the author of a rapidly expanding list of cinema histories. Living next door to a theater as a small boy, Mr. Lahue grew up with motion pictures, eventually entering theater business for a time before the U.S. Army borrowed him for active duty as a combat photographer in Korea during the 1950-53 hostilities. A graduate of both the University of Vermont and San Jose State College with a deep and abiding interest in the medium as an entertainment form, Mr. Lahue turned to the silent cinema for a hobby which became first an obsession and then a profession, taking more and more of his time away from the field of innovative education. A member of The Society for Cinema Studies, he now resides in Hollywood, with his wife Julie, a talented research assistant in her own right, and son Kevin Carlyle, also an avid movie fan. He is also the author of Bound and Gagged, Clown Princes and Court Jesters, and Winners of the West.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 216 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 17,5 cm (10,2 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 642 g (22,6 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1971 ISBN 0-498-07684-9

Drew Barrymore: The Biography (Lucy Ellis, Bryony Sutherland)

ellis-lucy-drew-barrymoreIn this book, accomplished biographers Lucy Ellis and Bryony Sutherland turn their attention to the much-loved child star of E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial. Heir to the impressive Barrymore acting dynasty, Drew was born to John Barrymore, Jr. and his wife, Ildyko Jaid. John was an irresponsible, abusive drunk whom Jaid was forced to leave before Drew was born. With Jaid working all hours as a single parent, Drew felt abandoned by her mother and rejected by her father.

At just eleven months she made her first commercial, for dog food, and a year-and-a-half later Drew appeared in a television movie. At six, she starred in E.T., capturing viewers’ hearts in a way that no other child actress had since Shirley Temple. Before reaching puberty, Drew was both a movie star and an international icon.

But her burgeoning career was soon eclipsed by her offscreen antics. She took her first drink at nine, progressed to marijuana eighteen months later and began using cocaine aged thirteen. Drew had inherited her family’s tragic legacy of substance abuse and became known as a wild party girl. By 1988, Drew was in rehab; she finally emerged clean a year later, after a relapse and failed suicide attempt.

Drew Barrymore might well have lived out the rest of her years as another washed-up child star. But after a two-year absence, she reinvented herself as a vampy sex symbol and returned to the big screen in Poison Ivy and, later, Batman Forever. In 1996, she underwent another image transformation, from slut to sweetheart, and appeared in a string of films, including Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, Ever After, The Wedding Singer, and Riding In Cars With Boys. Drew formed her own production company, Flower Films, and has achieved success as an actor and producer in films such as Never Been Kissed, Charlie’s Angels, Donnie Darko, Charlie’s Angels: Full Trottle and the upcoming romantic comedy Duplex.

With her career back on track, Drew’s personal life has continued to be eventful. Her marriage at nineteen to Welsh bar owner Jeremy Thomas lasted less than three weeks. Five years later, she supported her boyfriend, anarchic comedian Tom Green, through testicular cancer. After several hoaxes, the couple finally wed in 2001, but filed for divorce six months later. Drew was rumored to be walking down the aisle a third time in 2003 with a new beau Fabrizio Moretti, drummer with rock band the Strokes.

This intriguing biography tells the whole story of Drew Barrymore’s short but colorful life.

LUCY ELLIS and BRYONY SUTHERLAND are both married and live in London. They formed the freelance journalism partnership Atomic in 1996 and are the authors of Julie Walters: Seriously Funny, Nicole Kidman: The Biography (Aurum Press), Kylie Minogue: Showgirl, Annie Lennox: The Biography, Tom Jones: Close-Up and The Complete Guide to the Music of George Michael and Wham! Ellis and Sutherland also regularly contribute celebrity features to various websites and magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 292 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 641 g (22,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Aurum Press, Ltd., London, 2003 – ISBN 1-85410-922-7

Driving Under the Affluence (Julia Phillips)

Philiips, Julia - Driving Under the AffluenceIn a sequel to her international best-seller, Julia Phillips extends the laser light of her brutal wit and frank observation beyond the electric-gated, celebrity-studded world of You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again to shine relentlessly on all of Los Angeles – particularly the dark corners.

What’s it like to be admired, acknowledged, admonished, reviled, and fired by Kim Basinger, Tom Wolfe, Goldie Hawn, Don Henley, and David Geffen in a single 24-hour period? What’s it like to fight fire, flood, earthquakes, mudslides, riots, and power failures when on a deadline? What’s it like to be the only reporter covering the Dress Rehearsal for The End of The World?

Grinding her teeth and ferociously lane-changing through gridlock, Julia Phillips takes readers on an exhilarating – and often hilarious – ride through the city of Los Angeles, from Brentwood to the barrio. The City of Angels is portrayed as a dying ember in the fire of an essentially decadent post-war pop-cultural American Dream Machine.

Pedal to the metal, Phillips negotiates acts of God, parenthood, root canal, liposuction, back surgery, instant infamy, IRS collectors, and the undying enmity of a humorless, unforgiving Male Hollywood Establishment. She describes Those Boys/Those Girls, the hyphenates who populate Los Angeles – the addicted nurse, the abused bodyguard, the bisexual trainer, the sober bartender, and the model-waiter who delivers left-behind glasses to a favored customer.

JULIA PHILLIPS is the author of the controversial best-seller You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 321 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 571 g (20,1 oz) – PUBLISHER William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1996 – ISBN 0 434 00287 9

Dudley Moore: An Informal Biography (Jeff Lenburg)

Lenburg, Jeff - Dudley MooreDudley Moore is Hollywood’s hottest star, but perhaps even more important to the often ribald “Cuddly Dudley” is his role as filmdom’s most unlikely sex symbol.

This double crowning of King Dudley is the pinnacle of a long, tough climb to success. He first unleashed his irreverent wit in the legendary stage shows Beyond the Fringe and Good Evening, went on to woo Bo Derek in the film smash 10, launched a laugh riot in Arthur, all the while playing his beloved piano and lavishing his lovely ladies.

Dudley Moore: An Informal Autobiography is the exciting, handsomely illustrated first biography of everyone’s favorite funnyman.

Softcover – 143 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 482 g (17 oz) – PUBLISHER The Putnam Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-933328-56-7

Dustin Hoffman (Ronald Bergan)

Bergan, Ronald - Dustin HoffmanDustin Hoffman has established a unique place in the annals of cinema history. From his first screen success as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate to his astonishing tour de force in Rain Man, the name and face of this remarkable actor have stayed firmly in the public eye.

But stardom has not come easily. Competitive and passionate, Hoffman had to struggle against the notion that only the glamorous and good-looking could succeed in Hollywood. And his perfectionism has won him a legendary reputation for being hard to work with – so much so that he has seldom worked with any director more than once.

Ronald Bergan’s frank and wide-ranging biography draws on extensive interviews with Hoffman, his directors and colleagues to reveal the reality behind the many masks. Bergan traces Hoffman’s story from the insecurities of childhood, through an early love of music – the career he almost followed – to the eventual choice of acting and the fight for recognition. Above all, he shows how Hoffman’s life is tied up inextricably with his work. He drew on his relationship with his salesman father for his brilliant portrayal of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman; the trauma of his mother’s death prompted the creation of Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie; and the pain of divorce fuelled his Oscar-winning performance in Kramer vs Kramer.

But this is not only the story of a man who devotes everything to his craft. Ronald Bergan’s powerful study makes it clear that Hoffman’s relentless pursuit of control over every aspect of his work has shaped not only the work itself, but also the life and major relationships of this leading star of our time.

RONALD BERGAN was born in South Africa and was educated there, in England and in the USA. After teaching English in London and working in repertory theater in Kent, he took up a post at the British Institute in Paris, where he lectured on English literature, theater and film. During his ten years in France he also lectured at the Sorbonne and the University of Lille, as well as writing articles and reviews. Since returning to England, apart from being a contributor to various journals, Ronald Bergan has published a number of books including Sports in the Movies, The A-Z of Movie Directors, Glamorous Musicals, The United Artists Story and The Great Theatres of London. His most recent book is Beyond the Fringe... and Beyond (also published by Virgin), a four-part biography of Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett which received critical acclaim. Ronald Bergan is married and lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 606 g (21,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1991 – ISBN 1-85227-378-X

D. W. Griffith: American Film Master (Iris Barry)

Barry, Iris - D W Griffith, American Film MasterOriginally published in 1940, D.W. Griffith: American Film Master was the first in a monographic series conceived by The Museum of Modern Art’s founding film curator, Iris Barry, to provide historical and aesthetic perspectives on key film collections in the Museum’s care. The books were part of a coordinated program of activities that included the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of films, research and writing on the cinema, and the distribution of artistically important films to educational institutions. World War II ended this series of books just as it was beginning, making instant collector’s items of the original limited editions. The present facsimile edition makes this sought-after publication again available to fans and scholars of the silent film.

This volume first appeared in conjunction with the Museum’s landmark film exhibition, D.W. Griffith: The Art of the Motion Picture. Both the book and the film program were groundbreaking efforts to present Griffith as a major artist of the twentieth century as well as the seminal artist of the cinema; on both counts the project has proven to be an unqualified success.

D.W. Griffith: American Film Master is reissued as it first appeared in 1940, both to serve as a companion piece to the second volume in the series, Alistair Cooke’s Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character, and to honor Iris Barry’s prodigious achievement as a pioneer film researcher, writer, and exhibition curator.

Hardcover – 40 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 19 cm (10,2 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 328 g (11,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1940 (2002 reprint) – ISBN 0-87070-683-7

D. W. Griffith and the Birth of Film: A Biography (Richard Schickel)

schikel-richard-d-w-griffith-and-the-birth-of-filmGriffith! Before him, the movies were a nickelodeon novelty; after him, they were an international art form and a powerful, glamorous American industry. He was the first to codify the rules and techniques of screen story-telling; the first to establish the conventions by which the movies’ unique capacities for both sweeping spectacle and profound intimacy could be employed in long, complex narratives; the first to assert the director’s claim to primary authorship of a film. His story is, in huge measure, the story of how the movies as we know them came to be.

But D.W. Griffith and the Birth of Film is more than one man’s story. His life intertwined with the lives of almost every great figure in the formative years of Hollywood. Louis B. Mayer cheated him; Lillian Gish loved him; Erich von Stroheim, Mack Sennett and Raoul Walsh learned from him; Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin were his business partners; Lionel and John Barrymore were his friends; W.C. Fields and Alfred Lunt co-starred for him; Adolph Zukor tried to rescue his career; Anita Loos and Stephen Vincent Benet wrote for him; Jean Renoir was his admirer. And the crowded canvas of his life stretched from Jack London’s San Francisco to Woodrow Wilson’s White House; from the trenches of the First World War to William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon; from 10 Downing Street to Weimar Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.

In a work of scrupulous scholarship, brilliant critical insight and powerful historical narrative, Richard Schickel, Time film critic, has captured this life in all its vivid dimensions. This long-awaited and definitive biography is the first and only book worthy of its subject, which is not only Griffith himself, but the birth and rise of the art form that, more than any other, has shaped the way we see the world in our times.

RICHARD SCHIKEL combines three careers – as a film critic, as an author and as a writer-producer of television specials. He began writing film reviews for Life in 1965, and switched to Time in 1972, where he continues to contribute a weekly review. He has written many books, the majority of which deal with films and filmmaking. They include The Disney Version, the definitive study of the life, times, art and commerce of Walt Disney; His Picture in the Papers, a life of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and The Men Who Made the Movies, interviews with distinguished American movie directors. The latter was drawn from his highly acclaimed television series of the same name, which he wrote, directed and produced. His other television credits include Life Goes to the Movies, James Cagney: That Yankee Doodle Dandy and three films about the making of George Lucas’ Star Wars saga. His first novel, Another I, Another You, appeared in 1978 and his latest biography of Cary Grant was published in 1983. His articles, numbering in the hundreds, have appeared in most of America’s leading magazines and he has held the Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Rockefeller Foundation grant.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 672 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 1.020 g (36 oz) – PUBLISHER Pavilion Books, Ltd., London, 1995 – ISBN 0907516 47 5

D. W. Griffith: His Life and Work (Robert M. Henderson)

henderson-robert-m-d-w-griffith-his-life-and-workIt has been said that after Griffith nothing new has been added to the motion picture. The one-time Kentucky farmboy, high school drop-out and itinerant stock company actor revolutionizing the movie industry; transforming a fledgling attraction into the world’s most powerful entertainment medium. D.W. Griffith produced and directed The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, and Orphans of the Storm. He launched the screen careers of Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and Lionel Barrymore. From the ranks of his assistants came Erich von Stroheim, Raoul Walsh and Mack Sennett. Yet the man who was known as “The Master” and “The Belasco of the Screen” ended his career in obsurity, unemployed and ignored by the industry he helped create.

With compassion and clarity, this book traces the rise and fall of David Wark Griffith. It presents a fully-faceted portrait of a theatrical personality who lived by grandiloquent gestures and practiced exaggerated southern gentility. Dr. Henderson traces Griffith’s Confederate background; describes his early years on the stage as an actor and aspiring playwright, and then details his film career from the first directorial assignments at Biograph Films, where he made more than four hundred one-and-two-reel movies in five years, to the pathetic final years on the fringes of Hollywood. Griffith’s faults are observed, his genius is explored, his financial difficulties are explained, and the infant colossus that was Hollywood in the days prior to the First World War is brought vividly to life.

D.W. Griffith’s two masterpieces, The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, influenced a generation, or more, of filmmakers, notably the Soviet giant Sergei Eisenstein. Between 1908 and 1915, Griffith invented the basic syntax of the motion picture. He demonstrated, or devised, the dramatic use of the close-up, the fade-out, the scenic long shot, and above all, the use of film editing. His series of feature films, in widely different styles, remain anchor points in any examination of cinema art. This eloquent biography details the full story of Griffith’s achievements. It is a masterful life-and-times study of the pioneer movie mogul who became the seminal figure in American film.

ROBERT MORTON HENDERSON is Chief of the General Library and Museum of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. He has taught at New York University, Adelphi University, and the American University, Washington, D.C., and is the author of D.W. Griffith: The Biograph Years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 326 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 812 g (28,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1972

D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance: Its Genesis and Its Vision (William M. Drew)

drew-william-m-d-w-griffiths-intolerance“On a night in late summer, 1916, under the approaching shadow of war, D.W. Griffith first presented his epic motion picture, Intolerance, to the public at the Liberty Theatre in New York City. Prodigious in its dimensions, Griffith’s masterpiece was the most spectacular achievement of the new medium of the cinema, perfecting every existing film technique into a dynamic, innovative structure.

A milestone in the history of the arts, Intolerance is a culmination of Griffith’s cinematic genius which transformed the motion picture from an inventor’s toy into a new art form. Unlike many of his other major works such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance is an original conception which does not derive from any direct literary source. Because of its advanced cinematic techniques, it became a paradigm for filmmakers throughout the world. At the same time, its power in projecting a social-historical vision provided a precedent for world epic cinema. Griffith’s vision evolved not only from the facts of history and his previous works, but also from his knowledge of the arts. Thus, Intolerance climaxes a century of artistic activity in music, painting, theater, poetry and fiction even as it points the way toward the new experimental artistic language of the twentieth century.

In its interpretation of human events, the 1916 epic vividly reflects the social and political thought of its day. The film is imbued with the spirit of the Progressive movement which sought to fulfill the democratic promise of America set forth in Jeffersonianism. Indeed, the film’s subsequent fate in the United States and in foreign nations provides a barometer of the social and political currents of the early twentieth century. Upon the film’s release, Archibald Henry Sayce, a distinguished scholar of ancient civilization, wrote the director: ‘I had the pleasure of seeing Intolerance last night. It is an astounding piece, and it is not wonderful that it should have been so successful. I do not think that anything comparable to it has ever been staged before; it appeals equally to the historian, the poet and the student of modern sociology. Indeed, its appeal to the feelings is one of the most remarkable things about it.’ Years later, noted film historian Theodore Huff was equally enthusiastic, describing Intolerance as ‘the greatest motion picture ever produced. In its original form and properly presented, it is a masterpiece of creative conception and execution which ranks with such works of art as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Rembrandt’s Descent from the Cross, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the sculptures of the Parthenon, or with works of literature such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the poetry of Walt Whitman or Shakespeare’s Hamlet.’

Despite these accolades, some writers over the years have tended to disparage the film, acknowledging its technical importance but viewing its structure as unwieldy and its theme as confused. What has been lacking is a more extensive study of the film’s meaning and intellectual lineage. Although there are innumerable accounts of the facts surrounding the production of Intolerance, facts which have become legendary in the annals of the cinema, there has been no detailed study of Griffith’s treatment of historic events, the artistic and political influences that formed his vision, or the thematic relationship of the 1916 epic to his other works. Since this film is the key to Griffith’s entire work, crystallizing themes featured in his other films, and a landmark in man’s efforts at self-expression, it is the purpose of this study to discover, through a comprehensive analysis of its background, the true significance of Intolerance in the history of the arts.” – From The Introduction.

A critical study of the background of D.W. Griffith’s film masterpiece, the 1916 epic Intolerance. The most expensive ($ 2,000,000) film made prior to 1920, Intolerance was critically acclaimed and is now considered a classic. The book traces the artistic and political influences that shaped the director’s vision, discusses the influences of the Progressive movement, and connects the film to the social and political climate of the early 20th century.

WILLIAM M. DREW has co-directed and lectured for numerous film series at DeAnza College and editor and film reviewer for an entertainment quarterly. His articles on film history have appeared in various journals including Take One and American Classic Screen. He lives in Santa Clara, California.

Hardcover – 197 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 452 g (15,9 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1986 – ISBN 0-89950-171-0

Each Man in His Time: The Life Story of a Director (Raoul Walsh)

Walsh, Raoul - Each Man In His Time“Raoul Walsh’s autobiography has it all, with laughter prevailing throughout. There isn’t much to laugh about these days, but reading this book I guffawed again and again as I visualized my scamp friend, Raoul, fighting his way out of situations that were always of his own concoction.

I think it was John Paul Jones who said, “I intend to place myself in the way of danger.” And we know he did just that. And that also seems to have been my friend Raoul’s life-plan since his early teens. A promise of things to come occurred one night when he and his brother, George, prevailed on the stableman to hitch up the team to his father’s brand new sleigh and permit them to drive it out on a busy New York street, with about one-quarter-of-an-inch of snow covering the cobblestones. Once outside, they whipped up the horses and went flying down Ninth Avenue, leaving a trail of sparks from the steel runners that illuminated the entire area. Somehow Papa – Big Tom Walsh – disapproved, and whipped the hell out of them the next morning. And Raoul has been going just as hell-bent ever since.

The deep-seated Irish desire for excitement and fun seems to have governed Raoul’s life. The pictures we did together were fun, with each day its quota of laughs. The day’s work was never neglected, as his films attest.

Each Man in His Time is really an exciting book, and my affectionate memories remain intact.” – James Cagney

Hardcover, dust jacket – 385 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 768 g (27,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, New York, 1974

Early American Cinema (Anthony Slide)

Slide, Anthony - Early American Cinema“Just as it was memorable in 1915 to make sweeping statements about the cinema, so today it is even more difficult, looking back to that time. It is equally difficult, indeed almost impossible, to compile a complete history of the early days of the American cinema. Too many films have disappeared completely, and even more remain as just titles in trade papers. The sheer number of films produced during the first ten to twelve years of this century daunts any would-be film historian. D.W. Griffith alone directed over five hundred films during his sejourn with American Biograph.

No one can put forward concrete claims for any individual or company as inventor of the close-up, the tracking shot, montage or any other technical or artistic innovation. Even when it is possible to view these early productions, one can never be positive that the print one is seeing is exactly as its maker intended it to be seen; has not been re-edited or in any other been tampered with at some later date. One example is Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903), which according to Terry Ramsaye, was 800 ft. in length, yet the seemingly complete print in the National Film Archive in London is only 586 ft. Could it be that the latter print has been re-edited and more closely cut for re-release later? A glaring example of this type of re-editing is Kalem’s 1912 production, From the Manger to the Cross, re-edited in 1937 by Brian Hession, who also inserted faked close-up shots. No copy of this film as it was originally shown, exists.” – From Chapter 1, ‘Beginnings: Edison and Lubin.’

Softcover – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 207 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1970 – SBN 0-498-07717-9

Early Beverly Hills (Marc Wanamaker)

wanamaker-marc-early-beverly-hillsWay before Rodeo Drive and the “pink palace” of the Beverly Hills Hotel were built, way before the namesake hillbillies, its zip code, and Eddie Murphy’s detective techniques reaffirmed its place in popular culture, and way before its 1,001 mansions, Beverly Hills was comprised of wild canyons and ranchlands. Burton Green, one of the three original land developers of the Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, named this place of severe terrain after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, a 19th-century spa. Since its establishment in 1907, Beverly Hills, California, has been a crossroads for the great movers and shakers of the entertainment industry as well as the tycoons, world leaders, and flotsam and jetsam magnetized by the limelight. The vintage photographs in this provocative volume illustrate Beverly Hills’s early transition from cow pastures to Hollywood’s extremely illustrious bedroom community.

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.

MARC WANAMAKER owns Bison Archives, one of Southern California’s largest repositories of vintage photographs, from which he selected these rare and evocative images. A consultant on more than 100 documentaries and the author of Hollywood: Now and Then and other books, Wanamaker is a founding board member of the Beverly Hills Historical Society.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 325 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2005 – ISBN 978-0-7385-3068-0

Ecstasy and Me: My Life As a Woman (Hedy Lamarr)

lamarr-hedy-ecstasyFor one breath-taking decade, Hedy Lamarr reigned supreme. Acclaimed “the most beautiful woman of the century,” she was transformed by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer into the last great superstar of the prewar Hollywood empire.

But Hedy Lamarr’s real story had begun earlier than that… earlier even than Ecstasy, the Gold Medal winner at the Prague Film Festival with the “nude” scenes that shocked the world. Here, after more than ten years of preparation, is the complete story, told in Miss Lamarr’s own uninhibited style, and in unashamed detail.

Here are the motion pictures that earned her some thirty million dollars… and the poverty that came after. Here are the six spectacular marriages… and the six tragic divorces. Here are all the dramatic headlines… and the secrets behind those headlines.

Ecstasy and Me is not a Hollywood fan book, not a social documentary, not a psychiatric case history (although its absorbing pages probe all those areas as well). It is the flesh-and-blood autobiography of an amazing woman who has known the heights and the depths of life… and whose own words will now take you along to those heights and depths with her. Most of the photographs in Ecstasy and Me are from Miss Lamarr’s private scrapbooks, and many have never before been published.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 15 cm (8,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 548 g (19,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Bartholomew House, 1966

Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger – The Authorized Biography (William J. Mann)

Mann, William J - Edge of Midnight, The Life of John SchlesingerJohn Schlesinger’s extraordinary career in cinema, stage, opera, and television spanned half a century. It was, however, his films that made him famous, including such classics as Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man, Billy Liar, Darling, and Day of the Locust, to The Falcon and the Snowman, Madame Sousatzka, Pacific Heights, Cold Comfort Farm, Separate Tables, and An Englishman Abroad.

In Edge of Midnight, best-selling author and historian William J. Mann chronicles Schlesinger’s life and career, from his early documentary days at BBC, to his emergence as one of the four Angry Young Men of British film in the 1960s (along with Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, and Tony Richardson) who sought to bring working class issues to the screen, to his Academy Award for the X-rated Midnight Cowboy, to his glittering nights as a Hollywood host, to his death on July 24, 2003, brought on by a massive stroke two years earlier.

An iconoclast whose early films, especially, focused on humanistis stories, Schlesinger’s directorial efforts will most be remembered for his intellectual middle-class perspective, his interest in other cultures and races, and his commitment to filmmaking that dealt with “the problems of trying to face compromise in one’s life and relationships.” Of particular note in Schlesinger’s films was his focus on homosexual characters in a gay-hostile society, where gay characters were portayed as “norman, loving human beings with real lives, real careers, real feelings filled with compassion” rather than as “tortured, suicidal, mean, bitchy, dishonorable, or tragic” stereotypes.

In writing this authorized biography, Mann received the full corporation of Schlesinger himself, as well as that of his family and his companion of 36 years, Michael Childers. In addition, he was granted complete access to tapes, diaries, production notes, and correspondence, as well as interviews with many of the actors, crew members, friends, and colleagues who shared their thoughts and memories, including Eileen Atkins, the late Sir Alan Bates, Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Sir Tom Courtney, Placido Domingo, Robert Evans, Melanie Griffith, Sir Peter Hall, Ed Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Shirley MacLaine, Ali MacGraw, Sir Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Nicolas Roeg, Isabella Rossellini, Roy Scheider, Martin Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Lily Tomlin, Brenda Vaccaro, Jon Voight, Robert Wagner, Billy Williams, Michael York, and Franco Zaffirelli, leading to revelatory, often hilarious anecdotes about a range of stars, from Sir Laurence Olivier, Glenda Jackson, and Dirk Bogarde, to Sean Penn, Sally Field, Rupert Everett, and Madonna.

WILLIAM J. MANN is the best-selling author of two acclaimed books on film history, Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines and Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969, and four novels: The Men from the Boys, The Biograph Girl, Where the Boys Are, and All American Boy. In addition, he has given lectures and presentations on the social and cultural history of Hollywood, as well as workshops on creative writing and publishing. He can be reached through his website http://www.williamjmann.com. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 628 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.060 g (37,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Billboard Books, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-8230-8366-7

Edmund Goulding’s Dark Victory: Hollywood’s Genius Bad Boy (Matthew Kennedy; foreword by Kevin Brownlow)

Kennedy, Matthew - Edmund Goulding

Edmund Goulding’s Dark Victory: Hollywood’s Genius Bad Boy is the first biography ever written about this eccentric genius of early-twentieth-century filmmaking. Goulding (1891–1959) was by turns a writer, producer, composer, and actor, but it is as a director that he made an indelible impression. He is most remembered today as the director of Grand Hotel, the great Event Movie of the Depression.

At the dawn of sound, he wrote the story for the Academy Award-winning musical The Broadway Melody and collaborated memorably with Gloria Swanson and Joseph Kennedy for The Trespasser. He excelled at anti-war drama (White Banners, The Dawn Patrol, We Are Not Alone), fantastic Bette Davis weepies (Dark Victory, The Old Maid, The Great Lie), lilting romantic dramas (The Constant Nymph, Claudia), big-budget literary adaptations (The Razor’s Edge), and even film noir (Nightmare Alley).

The London-born Goulding was a complicated and contradictory man whose notorious orgies, bisexuality, drinking, and drug addictions were whispered about in Hollywood for years. Yet his well-crafted plots and compelling characters set a new standard in American cinema and had a profound influence on the future of filmmaking.

MATTHEW KENNEDY teaches anthropology at City College of San Francisco and film history at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has written for numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Performing Arts, Bright Lights Film Journal, and the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, and is the author of Marie Dressler: A Biography.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 331 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 612 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 2004 – ISBN 0-299-19777-0

Edward G. Robinson (Foster Hirsch)

Hirsch, Foster - Edward G Robinson“‘The squat frame, the moon-face, the rubbery lips that were ever consuming a $ 1 cigar, the metallic voice that landed like a tattoo of blows’ – Edward G. Robinson was the least likely of movie stars. He was short and swarthy and hefty. His eyes were sad and puffy. His mouth drooped. With age, his deeply lined face sagged and he looked more dyspeptic. (…) Nature surely intended him to be a supporting actor, but Robinson was that rare case, a character actor who became a star. And he was that even more singular phenomenon – a star who remained a star for forty years. In the fifties and the sixties, Robinson was not given the kind of role in the kind of movie that had sustained him for almost twenty years after the success of Little Caesar. But he worked almost continuously, and he always got prominent billing. Unlike many of the actors who started in early sound films, Robinson was active right up to his death. In some of his later parts, in the sixties, he played old-time gangsters whose lingo and manner of dress had nostalgic echoes, but Robinson was never reduced to being a museum piece. For forty years he held his own.” From the Introduction.

From Little Caesar to Doctor Ehrlich, from murderous mobsters to benign oldsters, Edward G. Robinson was much imitated but never surpassed for his vigorous, powerful performances in nearly ninety films. Foster Hirsch’s profusely illustrated book offers an astute evaluation of the remarkable actor who loomed large on the screen for over four decades.

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 171 g (6 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1975

Eighty Odd Years in Hollywood: Memoir of a Career in Film and Television (John Meredyth Lucas; foreword by Cari Beauchamp)

scannen0441John Meredyth Lucas, son of silent screen star and screenwriter Bess Meredyth (Ben-Hur, The Sea Beast, When a Man Loves, Don Juan) and stepson of renowned Hungarian-born director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Life with Father), came of age in Hollywood during the 1930s. Lucas went on to an impressive career of his own as a writer-producer-director. He made films with Hal B. Wallis, Ross Hunter, Walt Disney, and others, and he wrote, produced, and directed such classic television series as Mannix, The Fugitive and Star Trek.

Completed shortly before his death in 2002, Lucas’ memoir is filled with never-before-told recollections of many Hollywood greats and features previously unpublished photographs. With Lucas, we go behind the scenes, onto the studio lots and into the parties with family friends John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn and Jack L. Warner, to name just a few. It’s a boy’s-eye-view of Hollywood in a time of glamour, decadence, and the golden years of filmmaking.

The late JOHN MEREDYTH LUCAS was a writer, producer and director whose Hollywood career spanned eight decades.

Softcover – 311 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 446 g (15,7 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2004 – ISBN 0-7864-1838-9

Eighty Silent Film Stars: Biographies and Filmographies of the Obscure to the Well Known (George A. Katchmer; foreword by Samuel K. Rubin)

katchmer-george-a-eighty-silent-film-stars“In this book you will not find the ‘big’ name stars like Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Lon Chaney, Lillian Gish, Rudolph Valentino and others of the top echelon, simply because they have been introduced time and again in various books. Nor will you find stars of the Western genre like Tom Mix, Buck Jones, Jack Holt and a few others for the same reason. You will read instead of the unsung but recurring face, the face that does not conjure up a name but is remembered as the villain or sidekick opposite Hoot Gibson, Jack Hoxie, William Desmond and others in countless two-reelers, such as Jim Corey or Nelson McDowell. In some cases only their movies remain, as there is no birth certificate or obituary to identify them.

In this book you will find Joe Bonomo, the strongman; J.P. McGowan, man of many talents; Tom Santschi, another talented but somewhat obscure actor; William Duncan, the serial star; Jack Hoxie, Art Acord, Hoot Gibson, Lefty Flynn, Neal Hart, Fred Thomson, Harry Carey and others of like ilk who made up the cowboy action stars. You will also read about stars like the Farnum brothers, William and Dustin, great actors of the stage whose films combined outdoor action with dramas and melodramas.

Also included in this book are comedians like Johnny Hines, Slim Summerville, Ben Turpin, and Reginald Denny; character actors Francis McDonald, J. Farrell MacDonald, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton, Tully Marshall, Russell Simpson, and Eugene Pallette; matinee idols such as Richard Dix, Rod La Rocque, Milton Sills, House Peters, Conway Tearle, Conrad Nagel and others; top villains Fred KohIer, Bob Kortman, Montagu Love, Jean Hersholt; and some others that cannot be included in this short description of the book.

A filmography is included for each actor. These filmographies were compiled by Richard E. Braff, who in his research was able to update some of the information that appeared in my biographical sketches. For this reason, in any discrepancy between the text and the filmographies, the filmographies should be regarded as definitive. The foreword is by Samuel K. Rubin, former editor of Classic Images, who read and published earlier versions of every biography presented in this book.” – The Introduction.

Eighty good-sized biographies of significant silent-era players hard to find in other reference works, and almost nowhere at this length: the villains and sidekicks of two-reelers (Jim Corey, Nelson McDowell), cowboy action stars (Jack Hoxie, Art Acord, Hoot Gibson, et al.), comedians, character actors, matinee idols and other talented and reliable performers. A comprehensive filmography (compiled for this book by Richard E. Braff and listing year, studio, director, screenplay, story or author, length and cast) accompanies each entry. The biographies are revised and edited versions of a series that ran in the film periodical Classic Images.

GEORGE A. KATCHMER worked as a coach, educator, and columnist. He lived in Millersville, Pennsylvania.

[Content: Art Acord, George Bancroft, Richard Barthelmess, Warner Baxter, Noah Beery Sr., Wallace Beery, Monte Blue, Joe Bonomo, Hobart Bosworth, William Boyd, Harry Carey, Edmund Cobb, Jim Corey, Fred Kohler, Bob Kortman, Ricardo Cortez, Donald Crisp, Reginald Denny, William Desmond, Richard Dix, William Duncan, Dustin Farnum, Franklyn Farnum, William Farnum, Lefty Lynn, Francis Ford, Robert Frazer, Hoot Gibson, Alan Hale, Kenneth Harlan, Neal Hart, Raymond Hatton, Jean Hersholt, Johnny Hines, Jack Hoxie, J. Warren Kerrigan, Norman Kerry, Rod La Rocque, George Larkin, Montagu Love, Francis McDonald, J. Farrell MacDonald, Nelson McDowell, Slim Summerville, Ernest Torrence, J.P. McGowan, Victor McLaglen, Tully Marshall, Ken Maynard, Frank Mayo, Thomas Meighan, Walter Miller, Ruth Mix, Antonio Moreno, Pete Morrison, Jack Mulhall, Conrad Nagel, Warner Oland, Eugene Pallette, Jack Perrin, House Peters, Eddie Polo, Herbert Rawlinson, Ruth Roland, Albert Roscoe, William Russell, Tom Santschi, Milton Sills, Russell Simpson, Lewis Stone, Richard Talmadge, Conway Tearle, Fred Thomson, Ben Turpin, Tom Tyler, George Walsh, H.B. Warner, Bryant Washburn, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams]

Hardcover – 1.067 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.315 g (46,4 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1991 – ISBN 0-89950-494-9

Eleanor Powell: A Bio-Bibliography (Margie Schultz)

Schultz, Margie - Eleanor Powell a Bio-BibliographyEleanor Powell began her notable career at age 12, with an appearance at a supper show at an Atlantic City hotel. As a teenager, she moved to vaudeville and Broadway, where producers insisted that the classically trained dancer study tap. With minimal training, she became the queen of tap dancing in the 1930s and 1940s, with MGM casting her in some of the best-loved musicals of all time. This book details her life and career.

A concise biography overviews the principal events in the life and work of Eleanor Powell. The chapters that follow are devoted to her work in particular media, such as film, radio, and television.

Each chapter contains entries for her productions, which provide cast and credit information, plot synopses, criticism, and excerpts from reviews. Appendices provide additional information about her life, and an annotated bibliography summarizes the many writings by and about her.

Hardcover – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1994 – ISBN 0-313-28110-6

The Elephant to Hollywood (Michael Caine)

Autographed copy Michael Caine

Caine, Michael - Michael Caine The Elephant to HollywoodAfter performing in dozens of films, Michael Caine believed his glamorous, rags-to-riches Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way grew worse and worse. When one script really disappointed, he called the producer to complain about the part. The producer said, “No, no, we don’t want you for the lover, we want you for the father.”

In desperation, he broke his own rule (“If you’re going to do a bad movie, at least do it in a great location”) and found himself shooting films where “the work was freezing my brain and the weather was freezing my arse.” At a new low, Caine feared he’d seen the last of his movie star days.

This is the story of how a now iconic actor, born in the slums of London’s Elephant and Castle, went from little Maurice Micklewhite to Sir Michael Caine, two-time Academy Award winner and loving husband, father, and grandfather, and from out-of-work movie star back to success.

Charming, engaging, and surprisingly forthright, Michael Caine gives us his insider’s view of Hollywood – the successes (from Alfie to Educating Rita and more) – the fun (working with everyone from Jack Nicholson and Sir Laurence Olivier to Woody Allen and Jude Law) – and the embarrassments (from a producer trying to fire him from Alfie to movies like The Swarm). He recalls the films, the legendary stars, and the offscreen moments with a comic’s precision timing and the storytelling appeal of a natural raconteur. The Elephant to Hollywood tells the story of a man who’s played everyone, yet always remained himself.

SIR MICHAEL CAINE has won two Academy Awards during his distinguished five-decade career on screen. Knighted in 2000, Caine served in the British army before landing his first film role in Zulu (1964). His films include The Ipcress File, Hannah and Her Sisters, Deathtrap, and Harry Brown. He is the author of the best-selling What’s It All About? He lives in Surrey with his wife of nearly forty years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 304 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 619 g (21,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Holt and Company, LLC, New York, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-0-8050-9390-2

Elia Kazan: A Biography (Richard Schickel)

Schickel, Richard - KazanFew figures in film and theater history tower like Elia Kazan. Born in 1909 to Greek parents in Istanbul, Turkey, he arrived in America with incomparable vision and drive, and by the 1950s he was the most important and influential director of the nation, simultaneously dominating both theater and films. His productions of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Death of a Salesman” reshaped the values of the stage. His films – most notably On the Waterfront – brought a new realism and intensity of performance to the movies. Kazan’s career spanned times of enormous change in his adopted country, and his work affiliated him with many of America’s great artistic moments and figures, from New York City’s Group Theatre of the 1930s to the rebellious forefront of 1950s Hollywood; from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy to Marlon Brando and James Dean.

Ebullient and secretive, bold and self-doubting, beloved yet reviled for “naming names” before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Kazan was an individual as complex and fascinating as any he directed. He has long deserved a biography as shrewd and sympathetic as this one.

In the electrifying Elia Kazan, noted film historian and critic Richard Schickel illuminates much more than a single astonishing life and life’s work: he pays discerning tribute to the power of theater and film, and casts a new light on six crucial decades of American history.

RICHARD SCHICKEL has written many books about film, including The Disney Version, D.W. Griffith: An American Life, Brando: A Life in Our Times, and Clint Eastwood: A Biography. He is the producer-writer-director of more than thirty documentary films about figures such as Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese – and Elia Kazan. He is a film critic for Time.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 510 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 891 g (31,4 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-06-019579-7

Elia Kazan: A Life (Elia Kazan)

kazan-elia-a-life“This is the best autobiography I’ve read by a prominent American in I don’t know how many years. It is endlessly absorbing and I believe this is because it concerns a man who is looking to find a coherent philosophy that will be tough enough to contain all that is ugly in his person and his experience, yet shall prove sufficiently compassionate to give honest judgment on himself and others. Somehow, the author brings this off. Elia Kazan: A Life has that candor of confession which is possible only when the deepest wounds have healed and honesty can achieve what honesty so rarely arrives at – a rich and hearty flavor. By such means, a famous director has written a book that offers the kind of human wealth we find in a major novel.” – Norman Mailer

In this amazing autobiography, Kazan at seventy-eight brings to the undiluted telling of his story – and revelation of himself – all the passion, vitality, and truth, the almost outrageous honesty, that have made him so formidable a stage director (A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tea and Sympathy), film director (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Gentleman’s Agreement, Splendor in the Grass, Baby Doll, The Last Tycoon, A Face in the Crowd), and novelist (the number-one best-seller The Arrangement).

Kazan gives us his sense of himself as an outsider (a Greek rug merchant’s son born in Turkey, an immigrant’s son raised in New York and educated at Williams College). He takes us into the almost accidental sojourn at the Yale Drama School that triggered his commitment to theater, and his edgy, exciting apprenticeship with the new and astonishing Group Theatre, as stagehand and stage manager – and as actor (Waiting for Lefty, Golden Boy); his first nervous and then successful attempts at directing for theater and movies (The Skin of Our Teeth, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn); his return to New York to co-found the Actors Studio (and his long and ambivalent relationship with Lee Strasberg); his emergence as premier director on both coasts.

With his director’s eye for the telling scene, Kazan shares the joys and complications of production, his unique insights on acting, directing, and producing. He makes us feel the close presence of the actors, producers, and writers he’s worked with – James Dean, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Vivien Leigh, Tallulah Bankhead, Sam Spiegel, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harold Clurman, Arthur Miller, Budd Schulberg, James Baldwin, Clifford Odets, and John Steinbeck among them. He gives us a frank and affectionate portrait of Marilyn Monroe. He talks with startling candor about himself as husband and – in the years when he obsessively sought adventure outside marriage – as lover. For the first time, he discusses his Communist Party years and his wrenching decision in 1952 to be a cooperative witness before HUAC. He writes about his birth as a writer.

The pace and organic drama of his narrative, his grasp of the life and politics of Broadway and Hollywood, the keenness with which he observes the men and women and worlds around him, and, above all, the honesty with which he pursues and captures his own essence, make this one of the most fascinating autobiographies of our time.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 848 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 1.480 g (52,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-394-55953-3

Elizabeth Taylor (Donald Spoto)

Spoto, Donald - Elizabeth TaylorOver half a century after her movie debut at the age of ten, Elizabeth Taylor is the only star from Hollywood’s Golden Age who continues to hit the headlines. After nine marriages, numerous affairs, thirty operations, two Academy Awards and frequent sojourns in drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics, she has now reinvented herself as businesswoman, AIDS campaigner and diamond collector, while extending her career into television and the theater.

But, until now, this most public of lives has always maintained a certain element of mystery. The sheer volume of coverage she has attracted over the years has inevitably led to a degree of inconsistency, and Taylor herself as been reticent about many aspects of her incredible life. Her early years in London, supervised with almost regimental discipline by her mother; her stage début at the age of four; and the harrowing circumstances of the family’s escape to California at the outbreak of World War II – formative experiences which Donald Spoto now assesses in full, examining the way in which she was robbed of a normal childhood and exploring the effects of her rapid ascent into adulthood, among them her mutually sympathetic rapport with Michael Jackson.

For years Elizabeth Taylor’s life fluctuated between disaster and triumph, and – not at all conincidentally – along the way she became one of America’s finest screen actresses. Outspoken, lusty, mercurial, she is quicksilver incarnate; generous and compassionate, also totally self-absorbed and egocentric. In other words, she is the ultimate celebrity – both as achiever and casualty.

With comprehensive and perceptive insight into her movie career, and exploiting a wealth of new material concerning her stormy relationship with Richard Burton, Donald Spoto’s peerless biography offers the fullest coverage yet of this most fascinating of Hollywood lives.

DONALD SPOTO is the author of thirteen books, among them internationally best-selling biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Lotte Lenya, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe. Monarchy, an epic family history of the British Royal Family, will be published in autumn 1995. Donald Spoto earned a Ph.D degree from Forham University, has taught and lectured worldwide, and now lives in Bronxville, a green and quiet village not far from New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 401 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 851 g (30 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0 316 91451 7

Elizabeth Taylor: Her Life, Her Lovers, Her Future (Ruth Waterbury, Gene Arceri)

waterbury-ruth-elizabeth-taylor-her-life-her-loves-her-future“When I started to write this book, I had no idea what a prolonged and sometimes frantic adventure it would be. I worked on it for nearly three years and delivered the original manuscript to my publishers late in the winter of 1962. Then I flew off to Egypt to interview two new stars named Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. It was there that I received a worried call: the Burton-Taylor story had broken in Rome. What was I going to do about the ending of my book, which carefully proved that Eddie Fisher was the one true love of Miss Taylor’s life?

I said I guessed we’d just have to wait, as the rest of the world waited. Finally, in the spring of 1963, the end seemed clear enough to put down on paper. Publication was announced for June, whereupon a request came from London, where the Taylors and Burton were living, for galley proofs. They were sent at once by my publishers. Weeks passed.

On August 7, 1963, the phone rang in my house in Hollywood and Richard Hanley, Elizabeth Taylor’s secretary and an old friend, said: ‘I think it would be smart for you to come over here and discuss your book. There are some small points at issue, but with you here in person, I’m pretty sure it can be straightened out. Could you come immediately?’

I was startled, and the timing couldn’t have been worse. I had magazine assignments, and I was due to work in Louella Parsons’ office for a month, a stint I do every summer. I had to get a passport in two days, pack, get travelers’ checks and all the rest – and fly over the Pole to London and back within a week.

But I went, and with high hopes. I thought I could correct any errors that Elizabeth or her mother had found within three days. I never saw Elizabeth, and saw Sara Taylor, who was charming, for only a few minutes. I had no opportunity to discuss these corrections with anyone. My phone calls were not answered. Dick Hanley, after one cordial lunch, seemed to be avoiding me. Presently, after nearly three days in the Dorchester Hotel, luxurious but not a home away from home, I took stock of the situation and decided I must return to America. After all, I had other things to do. A few weeks later my publishers had a letter from Elizabeth’s lawyers. They said the Taylors objected to certain passages in my book, but that perhaps if I were to go to London to talk the matter over, it could all be adjusted.

My publishers wrote back, pointing out that I had been on that merry-go-round already. Presently we got the galleys back. Mrs. Taylor had made some changes, and so had Elizabeth. They were generally minor and quite understandable, and we made them. Now it’s clear, for instance, that it was Francis Taylor, and not Sara, who cooked the scrumptious hot dogs at the picnic at which Elizabeth met Glenn Davis. That and a few other important mistakes have been straightened out, and the lawyers have corrected my style here and there.

So here, after nearly five years, is my book. I have wanted to tell not only a true and significant story of this most beautiful and controversial woman of our time but also something of the anatomy of stardom – the talent, beauty, temperament, and intelligence it takes to reach it, and the resistance to pressures necessary to stay there.” – The Introduction.

Here is Elizabeth Taylor as you have never seen her before: the eternal child with a woman’s face, inspired by her mother to stardom; the teenager with the courage, nerve and stamina to succeed beyond her mother’s wildest dreams. The woman: gorgeous, generous, very human, fiercely loyal; wife, mother, lover, friend; the husbands she adored with passionate abandon, the children she nearly died to bear. The legend whose staggering beauty conquered the world, whose incorruptible honesty nearly lost it all in scandal; the fighting spirit who came back from great illness and near-death time and time again. The star from National Velvet and stardom at twelve through an embattled career that has included two Oscars and her triumphant Broadway debut at 49 in “The Little Foxes.”

Softcover – 293 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 175 g (6,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-553-22613-4

Elsa Lanchester: Herself (Elsa Lanchester)

lanchester-elsa-herselfBeing known as “The Bride of Frankenstein” is an unusual form of fame, but for Elsa Lanchester the unusual comes naturally. Born to radical socialist parents who made civil disobedience a way of life, Elsa attended a Summerhill-like all-boys school and later “studied” in Paris with Isadora Duncan. She returned to London at age thirteen to dance and give lessons in the new style. At seventeen, she opened her own theater, The Cave of
Harmony, which was frequented by people such as H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Evelyn Waugh. She began performing with and then fell in love with an up-and-coming young actor named Charles Laughton. Soon after their marriage he revealed his homosexuality. Though it made their union shaky at times, it did not overshadow their common love of art, music, and nature, and their marriage endured for thirty-six years until Laughton’s death.

Elsa and Charles were paired in many plays, including Peter Pan and The Tempest. They began to appear in films and soon Hollywood beckoned. After making two films for MGM, Elsa was loaned to Universal Studios in 1935 for the role that would win her the most enduring fame: The Bride of Frankenstein.

Elsa Lanchester: Herself presents the story of a woman ahead of her time: independent, iconoclastic, liberated. It is the chronicle of a life filled with famous people (from Bertolt Brecht to Henry Fonda), and of a career that spanned almost seven decades, encompassing stage, screen, television, nightclubs, recordings, and books. It is also a warm, truthful account of a very special marriage. Witty and wise, Elsa Lanchester’s account of her life and times is a delight.

ELSA LANCHESTER, now in her eighties, is alive, well, and living in her Hollywood home, from where she still fills requests for autographed photos of “The Bride.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 327 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 690 g (24,3 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-312-24376-6

Elvis (Albert Goldman)

goldman-albert-elvis“Though democracy is ostensibly the opposite of monarchy, the mass culture that is American democracy has betrayed in every age a deep atavistic yearning for royalty. From the days of ‘King’ Andrew Jackson to those of the ‘Kingfish,’ Huey Long; from the era of the Robber Barons to the age of the movie ‘kings’ and ‘queens’; from the first black demagogues, Marcus Garvey and Father Divine, to the ‘Prophet,’ Elijah Muhammad; from the earliest Mafia chief-tains to the bowing, kneeling and hand-kissing of The Godfather; from the regal F.D.R. to the ‘Imperial Presidency’ of John F. Kennedy to the Great Pretender, Richard Nixon (who ordered the White House police costumed in the Graustarkian uniforms of European palace guards), Americans have fulfilled their craving for royalty and the trappings of royalty in so many ways that the impulse to set up kings and worship them must be reckoned one of the basic features of the national character. In this long history of infatuation with self-anointed but indubitably powerful and charismatic sovereigns, no figure looms larger than Elvis Aaron Presley.

Elvis received his title, King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, as early in life and with the same sense of divine right as any hereditary monarch. For many years, however, he comforted himself less like a king than a prince: one of those spoiled Arab princelings who throw around their money and recruit their harems in Hollywood or St. Tropez, until the sad day comes when they are summoned home to assume their duties as chief of the tribe. Though he was acclaimed in the fifties, it was not until the seventies that Elvis finally laid claim to his royal prerogatives, the tardiness of his coronation being balanced by its extravagance. Indeed, once Elvis felt the crown upon his brow, he could never get enough of the perquisites of royalty, each new claim to princely prerogative or assertion of kingly privilege leading immediately to an even more audacious feat of self-aggrandizement. As King Elvis contrived his costumes and elaborated his rituals, as he enlarged his court and extended his largesse, as he viewed himself ever more fixedly as a man with a vast if ill-defined mission, his people responded by according him more and more of the honor and glory owing to a king. The immense crowds that gathered everywhere he appeared, the fanatical devotion, amounting to worship, with which he was adored, the mad passion to make contact with the royal body – a mania he sought to gratify by tossing sweat-stained scarves to his people – make it obvious that his regal posturings were as much a fulfillment of his public’s deepest longings as they were expressions of his own megalomania.” – From The Prologue (‘The Royal American’).

His voice of electric honey embodied the dreams of a whole generation and his strange, potent magic reached the whole world round. Now, in Albert Goldman’s compulsive biography, the real Elvis is revealed, and so too is the role played by Colonel Parker, his manager, in organizing the greatest show business phenomenon ever known.

Softcover – 727 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 363 g (12,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1982 – ISBN 0 14 00 6202 5

Elvis Presley (Bobbie Ann Mason)

mason-bobbie-ann-elvis-presleyWhen Bobbie Ann Mason first heard Elvis Presley on the family radio, she recognized him as “one of us… a country person who spoke our language.” She understood the roots of his powerful, startling music. In Elvis Presley, the author of the modern American classics Shiloh and Other Stories and In Country captures all the vibrancy and tragedy of this mythic figure.

With a novelist’s insight, Mason depicts the amazing life of the first rock-and-roll superstar, whose music shattered barriers and changed the boundaries of American culture. Elvis the charismatic, impassioned singer embraced the celebrity brought him by a host of hit records and movies. But Elvis the soft-spoken,  working-class Southern youth could not be prepared for the unprecedented magnitude of his success – or for the fiery controversies he would arouse. His riveting story lies close to the heart of the American dream.

BOBBIE ANN MASON is the author of Shiloh and Other Stories, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award; Feather Crowns and Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail, both of which won the Southern Book Award, and the best-selling novel In Country, which was made into a film starring Bruce Willis. Her memoir, Clear Springs, was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s. Mason is currently writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 178 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13,5 cm (7,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 293 g (10,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Group, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-670-03174-7

Elvis: The Films and Career of Elvis Presley (Steven Zmijewsky, Boris Zmijewsky)

zmijewsky-steven-elvis-the-films-and-career-of-elvis-presley“Shortly after noon on January 8, 1935, twin sons were born to a teenage sewing-machine operator named Gladys Smith Presley, wife of farm worker Vernon Elvis Presley. The mirror-image twins were named Elvis Aron and Jesse Garon. Jesse Garon died within six hours and was buried the next day in an unmarked grave in the Priceville Cemetery, Tupelo, Mississippi. The other twin, Elvis Aron, lived for some twenty years in relative obscurity and poverty before becoming the single biggest attraction in the history of popular music. And in the following twenty years he became the country’s most enduring and, successful show business personality. His first name became better known than any two names in the world.

He sold over 300 million records, starred in thirty-three films, earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and became the idol of a generation of adolescents all over the world. For he was and is Elvis Presley – King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In January of 1972, he gave a live concert that was televised via satellite to 500 million viewers all over the world.

Elvis didn’t begin life as a superstar, but as a not particularly handsome child of dirt-poor sharecroppers. There was no indication of anything extraordinary or exceptional in the child’s face. He had huge intelligent eyes, a seemingly flattened nose, drooping lips, and looked round and soft. As an only child he was as spoiled as the meager family budget could afford. As Elvis remembered: ‘I never felt poor. There was always shoes to wear and food to eat – yet, I knew there were things my parents did without just to make sure I was clothed and fed.’ His mother, Gladys, thought he was the greatest thing ever to happen and treated him accordingly from the day he was born to the day she died.

The Presleys were poor, God-fearing folk that taught the young Elvis good manners and a strict brand of Christianity. He was always polite and well-mannered, never failing to add ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ when speaking to his elders, never interrupting or arguing, always standing up when elders entered a room. At the zenith of his popularity, even his worst critics said Elvis was, if nothing else, polite. His ‘Southern manners’ were always a sharp contrast to his public image of unrepressed sexuality and near-pagan arrogance on stage.

Elvis’s first introduction to music came from church gospel singing. His mother once told the story of Elvis sliding off her lap, running down the aisle of the First Assembly of God Church, and scrambling up to the platform. He would stand looking up at the choir and try to sing along. But he was too little to know the words; he could only carry the tune. Years later, when asked where he got his wiggle, which sent hordes of teenage girls into near-orgiastic fits, Elvis responded: ‘We used to go to these religious singin’s all the time. There were these singers, perfectly fine singers, but nobody responded to them. Then there was the preacher and they cut up all over the place, jumpin’ on the piano, movin’ ever’ which way. The audience liked ‘em. I guess I learned from them.’” – From the chapter ‘In the beginning…’

Softcover – 224 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 634 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1976 – ISBN 0-8065-0655-5

Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter (Kevin Macdonald; foreword by Billy Wilder)

MacDonald, Kevin - Emeric PressburgerA Hungarian Jew who lived and worked in half a dozen European countries before arriving in Britain in 1935, Pressburger’s reputation rests on the series of strikingly original films he made in collaboration with Michael Powell under the banner of The Archers. The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp all bear the unique credit ‘Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’.

Frequently controversial, always experimental, The Archers suffered a long period of neglect before being rediscovered by such prominent admirers as Martin Scorsese, Derek Jarman and Francis Ford Coppola. But even now Pressburger remains a shadowy figure, often ignored, or demoted to being merely ‘Michael Powell’s screenwriter’.

Written by his grandson, and containing extracts from private diaries and correspondence, this biography defends the notion of film as a collaborative art and illuminates the adventurous life and work of the film-maker who brought continental grace, with and style to British cinema.

Softcover – 467 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 380 g (13,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1994 – ISBN 0-571-17829-4

Emma: The Many Facets of Emma Thompson (Chris Nickson)

Nickson, Chris - Emma“I’ve always thought of Emma as our generation’s Katharine Hepburn: the poise, the professionalism, the ability to perform comedy or drama with equal skill, the ability to create female characters we know and recognize and whose personalities begin with their minds rather than with their cleavage.” – Screenwriter Martin Bergman

In the decade since she began acting in serious dramas Emma Thompson has received virtually every acting award possible, including a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the Merchant-Ivory production of E.M. Forster’s Howards End. She is considered by some critics to be nothing less than an acting deity. Her writing talents also recently garnered critical acclaim when she won an Oscar for Best Screenplay with her adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibilitymaking Emma the first person in Academy Award history to win Oscars in the categories of both acting and screenwriting. The film itself for which Emma was also nominated for Best Actress, captured the hearts of millions.

Emma: The Many Facets of Emma Thompson is the first in-depth biography that seeks to truly understand this enigmatic and multitalented woman. From her childhood growing up in a theatrical family that encouraged creativity and self-discovery to her education at Cambridge and her early years as a comedic actress, author Chris Nickson unravels Emma’s history to reveal the origins of her magnificent and wide-ranging talents.

Nickson also discusses Emma’s much publicized private life with Kenneth Branagh. While Emma had no formal acting training, Branagh had attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and was intensely pursuing his career. The two had a long courtship, married, and were soon being referred to as the “Golden Couple” by the British press, appearing together in such films as Henry V, Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing, and Peter’s Friends. Emma slowly managed to shed the “Mrs. Branagh” label, however, as she began to garner more critical acclaim and award nominations for roles in films independent of him. Emma’s Academy Award for Howards End put her quickly in demand, and soon the busy actors’ frequent projects left them with little time for each other. But the marriage really began to crumble when rumors of infidelities began to circulate.

In addition to examining her broken marriage to Branagh, the author discusses Emma’s self-consciousness about her looks, her interest in politics, and the extreme closeness of the Thompson family, as well as other aspects of her personal life. Emma: The Many Facets of Emma Thompson is an insightful and honest portrait that admirers of this heroine will both appreciate and cherish.

CHRIS NICKSON was born and raised in England. He works as a freelance music journalist and has written several biographies on such stars as Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, and Melissa Etheridge. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 261 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 618 g (21,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1997 – ISBN 0-87833-965-5

An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (Neal Gabler)

Gabler, Neal - An Empire of Their OwnFrom noted film critic Neal Gabler comes a provocative, original, and richly entertaining group biography of the Jewish immigrants who founded and came to dominate the American film industry. These men – Adolph Zukor, Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer, the Warner brothers, Harry Cohn – created an image of America out of their own idealism, a vision that proved so powerful that it ultimately came to shape the myths, values, traditions, and archetypes of America itself.

This spellbinding social history of Hollywood reaches beyond the commonplace stereotypes to examine the psychology of the movie moguls, and the political, religious, and economic milieu of the town and industry they built. For these men, prevented from entering the real corridors of gentility and power in America, cut their lives to the pattern of American respectability as they interpreted it. In the process they created a new country, an “empire of their own,” and colonized the American imagination to such an extent that this country came to be largely defined by its movies.

In prose as vivid as Tinseltown itself, Neal Cabler paints a mesmerizing portrait of the human face of Hollywood. Richly entertaining, dramatic, and impeccably researched, An Empire of Their Own is, finally, the powerful story of the men who gave us America and wound up losing themselves.

NEAL GABLER was co-host of the national movie preview program, Sneak Previews, on PBS, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight. Mr. Gabler’s articles and reviews have been published in the New York Times, The Nation, American Film, Child magazine, Oui, Signature, and many other magazines. He holds advanced degrees in film and American culture and has taught at the University of Michigan and at Pennsylvania State University. He was born in Chicago and lives with his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn Heights, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 502 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 992 g (35 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-517-56808-X

The Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine; foreword by Ruth Warrick)

berg-chuck-the-encyclopedia-of-orson-wellesThe Great Filmmakers series provides detailed A-to-Z references about filmmakers who have advanced the art of cinema, pioneered new technical processes, and captivated the imaginations of audiences around the world.

Larger-than-life director Orson Welles began his career in New York City theater and radio in the 1930s, attracting national attention with his 1936 Harlem stage production of a voodoo-themed Macbeth and his 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, so realistic that it duped the nation into frenzied fear of a Martian attack. By 1941, at the age of 26, Welles had co-written, produced, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, regarded by many as the greatest motion picture ever made. Yet, the story of his subsequent career marks a series of declines, frustrations, and near-misses. His is the classic Hollywood story of the fate of the maverick artist within the American studio system.

The Encyclopedia of Orson Welles is a complete guide to Welles’s extraordinary career as filmmaker, performer, and entrepreneur. Entries cover his work in theater, film, radio, and television; key figures in his life and work, including collaborators, actors, producers, screenwriters, composers, and critics; film theory, criticism, and documentaries; and in-depth discussion of significant topics. Subjects include Berthold Brecht, Citizen Welles Inc., Joseph Cotten, Marion Davies, Federal Theatre Project, Graham Greene, Rita Hayworth, William Randolph Hearst, Bernard Herrmann, John Houseman, Herman Mankiewicz, RKO Radio Pictures Inc., RKO 281 (1999), “Rosebud.”

And among Welles’s productions, from his early days with the Mercury Theatre radio group to his classic films, are the following: The Hearts of Age (1934), Cradle Will Rock (play, 1937), Julius Caesar (play, 1937), The Shadow (radio, 1937-1938), The War of the Worlds (radio, 1938), The Campbell Playhouse (radio, 1938-1940), Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Stranger (1946), Macbeth (1948), The Third Man (1949), Othello (play, 1951), Touch of Evil (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1966), F for Fake (1973), and many more.

Special features include a remembrance of Welles as told by Ruth Warrick, who played opposite him in Citizen Kane; and more than 70 photographs and illustrations. The Encyclopedia of Orson Welles is a valuable reference for students, researchers, and film buffs alike.

CHUCK BERG is a professor of film and associate chair of the department of theater and film at the University of Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. in film and media arts from the University of Iowa. He has written articles and reviews for such publications as Journal of Film and Video, Cinema Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Jazz Times, Jazz Educators Journal, Journal of Popular Film, and many others. His books include An lnvestigation of the Motives for and Realization of Music to Accompany American Silent Films, 1896-1927 and Lookout Farm: A Case Study of lmprovisation for Small Jazz Group (with David Liebman). Berg is also a jazz saxophonist and critic and a voting member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the Grammy awards. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas. TOM ERSKINE is a professor of English at Salisbury University and founding editor of the academic journal Literature / Film Quarterly. A three-time Fulbright scholar, Erskine is co-editor of the Dickinson Literature to Film and the Rutgers University Press Women Short Story Writers series, as well as co-author of Video Versions series.

Hardcover – 467 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 18,5 cm (9,5 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 1.120 g (39,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Fact on File, Inc., New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-8160-4390-6

The End of Romance: A Memoir of Love, Sex and the Mystery of the Violin (Norma Barzman)

Autographed copy For Leo, With all my best, Norma Barzman

barzman-norma-the-end-of-romanceThe great violinist Yehudi Manuhin went to his grave asking himself what was the real story behind the Cremonese violin the Amatis, the Guarneris, and Stradivarius. Why did Cremona, a provincial backwater in Lombardy, Italy, produce this sublime instrument?

In 1973, during the rise of the Red Brigades and the resurgence of fascism in Italy, Norma Barzman, a blacklisted screenwriter living in Southern France, travels to Cremona with her cousin, Henry Myers, the writer of the legendary Marlene Dietrich / James Stewart movie Destry Rides Again. Henry, a natural bon vivant and the love of Norma’s life, is nursing his diminished talent in deathly isolation in New York. To bring him back to life, Norma persuades Henry to write his long dreamt-of novel on Cremona.

Their adventure opens Pandora’s box of long-suppressed emotions, and forces each to reassess their feelings towards each other. Importantly, Norma – who becomes entangled with a young violin maker – stumbles upon the mysterious origins of the violin which unveils the suppressed history of Cremona, whose sun-bleached walls hide dangerously threatening secrets, intrigues and the shameful history of anti-semitism in Italy. In doing so, she raises the ire of local fascists, thus putting her life in jeopardy.

NORMA BARZMAN is a screenwriter and novelist who lives in Beverly Hills. She is the author of the celebrated memoir The Red and the Blacklist. She has worked for the Los Angeles Examiner, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. She was the wife of blacklisted screenwriter Ben Barzman.

Softcover – 285 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 284 g (10 oz) – PUBLISHER Nation Books, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 1-56025-813-6

Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood (Bernard F. Dick)

Dick, Bernard F - EngulfedIn the golden age of Hollywood, Paramount was one of the Big Five studios. Gulf + Western’s 1966 takeover of the studio signaled the end of one era and heralded a new way of doing business in Hollywood.

Bernard Dick reconstructs the battle that culminated in the reduction of the studio to a mere corporate commodity. Using previously unexamined sources, he traces Paramount’s devolution from free-standing studio to subsidiary – first of Gulf + Western, then Paramount Communications, and currently Viacom-CBS.

Dick portrays the new Paramount as a paradigm of today’s Hollywood, where the only real art is the art of the deal. Former merchandising executives find themselves in charge of production, on the assumption that anyone who can sell a movie can make one. CEOs exit in disgrace from one studio only to emerge in triumph at another. Corporate raiders vie for power and control through the buying and selling of film libraries, studio property, television stations, book publishers, and more.

The history of Paramount is filled with larger-than-life personae, including Billy Wilder, Adolph Zukor, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Robert Evans, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and others. From Double Indemnity to The Godfather, the stories behind some of the greatest films ever made pale beside the story of the studio that made them.

BERNARD F. DICK, professor of communications and English at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is the author of numerous books on film history, including City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures and Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 269 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 679 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2001 – ISBN 0-8131-2202-3

Enigma: David Puttnam, The Story So Far… (Andrew Yule)

yule-andrew-enigma-david-puttnam-the-story-so-farDavid Puttnam is the most consistently successful producer and charismatic figure ever to emerge from the British film industry. “I believe that at the end of the day, if anyone assesses who or what I am, it only has any relevance in terms of its effect on other people’s lives,” he told biographer Andrew Yule in Hollywood. “I would like to be judged by what I’ve meant to others.”

Yule has taken this as the theme of this major biography, for which he has interviewed members of Puttnam’s family, together with over one hundred friends, foes and colleagues, to present a frank, unflinching and glittering mosaic of a brilliant, complex individual. The author probes deep into the psyche of the North London ‘blitz baby’ who clawed his way up through the advertising and photographic worlds of the Swinging Sixties to reach his goal of producing films. After establishing himself with the semiautobiographical That’ll Be The Day, he ran into a barrage of criticism over the controversial Midnight Express. He exorcised the process with his own breakthrough film, Chariots of Fire, a paean to the ideals he aspires to, and an Oscar-laden triumph. The conscience of the world was stirred by his dramatic portrayal of a country in the agony of genocide, in The Killing Fields.

But what of the man himself and the demons that drive him? His wife Patsy stood by him in circumstances under which many marriages would have collapsed. When he cast himself as the great white hope of the British film industry, the detractors multiplied. “With every triumph,” said one, “there are a thousand small betrayals in his wake.”

Lured to run Columbia Pictures Puttnam chose to attack the Hollywood community head-on, fighting entrenched attitudes and in the process alienating some of the most powerful and dangerous players in the American film industry. Uniquely placed as an eyewitness to the dramatic end of Puttnam’s Columbia reign, Yule uncompromisingly tells the whole, no-holds-barred story in a narrative filled with insight, candour and wit. He takes us behind the scenes with the moviemakers in Britain and Hollywood on a truly remarkable biographical journey through the fascinating enigma that is David Puttnam.

ANDREW YULE is married, with two children and lives in Kilmarnock, Scotland. He has written articles for the Singapore Standard, Glasgow Herald and The Observer of London and is the author of The Best Way to Walk and 1987’s highly-acclaimed book on the film industry, Hollywood A-Go-Go, published by Sphere Books.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 480 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.075 g (37,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1988 – ISBN 1985158-127-8

The Entertainers: Portraits of Stardom in the 20th Century (Timothy White)

White, Timothy - The EntertainersCandid, insightful, and penetrating, Timothy White’s timeless profiles of more than two dozen of the twentieth century’s brightest stars are compiled for the first time ever in The Entertainers. First published in major national publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar, these acclaimed pieces appear here in specially expanded form, and include previously unseen material deleted from the original features as well as new forewords written especially for this collection.

The Entertainers is truly unique in its expansive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes personality profiles that reflect a bygone era in American journalism. As today’s entertainment elite achieve a degree of media penetration far in excess of what was once even imagined, the upper echelon of celebrity no longer need to provide the press with the extent of access granted in the past. As a result, Timothy White’s incisive portraits of legendary figures such as Johnny Carson, Muhammad Ali, James Cagney, Susan Sarandon, John Travolta and the cast of Star Wars – culled from days, weeks, or months of extended interview sessions – are written from the rare intimate perspective of an insider reporting from the subjects’ workplaces, homes, haunts, and private refuges.

Complete with unforgettable black-and-white visuals by photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and David Burnett, The Entertainers offers a unique look at the history of popular entertainment in the twentieth century as seen by many of the stars who made it.

TIMOTHY WHITE, Editor-in-Chief of Billboard magazine, has been a vital source of analysis and information about the entertainment industry for over 25 years. A former Senior Editor of Rolling Stone and three-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Journalism, he has written such critically acclaimed books as Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley; Rock Lives: Profiles and Interviews; The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, and the Southern California Dream; and Music to My Ears: The Billboard Essays – Portraits of Popular Music in the ’90s.

[Portraits of James Cagney, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Dudley Moore, Andy Kaufman, Julie Andrews, Marie Osmond, Johnny Carson, Alan Alda, Michael O’Donoghue, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Muhammad Ali, Raquel Welch, John Travolta, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Bill Murray]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 432 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 875 g (30,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Billboard Books, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-8230-7606-7

Ernie: The Autobiography (Ernest Borgnine)

Autographed copy Ernest Borgnine

Borgnine, Ernest - ErnieWe wept at his Oscar-winning role in Marty… we gasped when he took on Frank Sinatra in From Here to Eternity… we were riveted by his compelling performances in The Dirty Dozen, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Ice Station Zebra… and we laughed at his television sitcom McHale’s Navy.

We loved all of Ernest Borgnine’s many portrayals, but what did we know about the man behind the famous roles? Now for the first time, Ernest Borgnine tells us in his own words the fascinating story of his life in this witty, candid, and revealing memoir.

For more than fifty years, Emest – or “Emie” as he’s known to his friends – has been one of the most recognized, celebrated stars in Hollywood as well as a respected, talented actor, and a living legend. From his childhood as the son of Italian immigrants to a spectacular career that is still thriving in his 91st year, from the early days of live TV to the voiceovers for The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants, he tells of the trials and tribulations on his road to fame, the friendships he shared with some of the silver screen’s biggest stars, and the glamorous leading ladies he loved.

Acclaimed for his ability to play sensitive and tough-guy roles equally well, he was also famous for squaring off against some of Hollywood’s most formidable actresses – including Bette Davis in A Catered Affair and Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar. Recalling his experiences starring in classics such as The Poseidon Adventure, The Wild Bunch, and Escape from New York, he reveals personal insights and irresistible stories about cinema’s greatest icons – including Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Montgomery Clift, Gary Cooper, Janet Leigh, Raquel Welch, Gene Hackman, Rock Hudson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Curtis, Alan Ladd, Glenn Ford, and Burt Lancaster. And with characteristic frankness, he also talks about bis off-screen loves and passions.

A must for every film buff, Ernie: The Autobiography is a fascinating memoir – filled with secrets, well-remembered details, and never-before-told stories – of a star who has thrived in the changing world of Hollywood for more than half a century, and endeared himself to legions of fans everywhere.

ERNEST BORGNINE is an Academy Award-winning actor whose film and TV career has spanned more than sixty years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tova.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 484 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Citadel Press Books, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-8065-2941-7

Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise – A Biography (Scott Eyman)

eyman-scott-ernst-lubitsch-laughter-in-paradise“None of us thought we were making anything but entertainment for the moment. Only Ernst Lubitsch knew we were making art.” – John Ford

This tribute to one of cinema’s greatest artists by one of its greatest artists is unique testament to the respect in which Ernst Lubitsch was held by his contemporaries – a respect that continues to this day. When movie buffs speak of “the Lubitsch touch,” they refer to a sense of style and taste, humor and humanity, that defined the films of one of Hollywood’s all-time great directors. In the history of the medium, no one has ever quite equaled his unique talent.

In this first ever full-length biography of Lubitsch, undeniably one of the most important and influential film directors and artists of all time, critic and biographer Scott Eyman examines not just the films Lubitsch created, but explores as well the life of the man, a life full of both great successes and overwhelming insecurities. The result is a fascinating look at a man and an era – Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Born in Berlin and trained first in the German theater, Lubitsch made the transfer to film quickly, as well as his move from actor to director. Transported to Hollywood in the 1920s with the help of Mary Pickford, Lubitsch brought with him a level of sophistication and subtlety previously unknown to American movie audiences, especially when it involved the cinematic treatment of sex. In the world Lubitsch created by films such as Love Parade, Trouble in Paradise and The Merry Widow, sex was a given, an automatic part of the social contract, a game whose rules were understood by all parties. He immediately made his mark on the fledgling industry and was quickly established as a director of unique quality and distinction.

Lubitsch’s accomplishments as a filmmaker were many and significant. In films such as The Merry Widow, he virtually created the movie musical, and in the process greatly helped to establish the careers of Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. In wickedly sophisticated films such as Trouble in Paradise and Design for Living, Lubitsch enchanted audiences with his unique “touch,” creating a world of fantasy in which men are tall and handsome (unlike Lubitsch himself) and humorously adept at getting women into bed, and where all the women are beautiful and charming and capable of giving as well as receiving love. He revived the flagging career of Marlene Dietrich and, in Ninotchka, crafted Greta Garbo’s most successful film. He became the Production Head of Paramount Pictures, an accomplishment unique in an industry that traditionally preferred that the actual filmmakers have no say in running the business.

Written with the cooperation of an extraordinary ensemble of eyewitnesses, and unprecedented access to the files of Paramount Pictures, Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise is a biography as rich and diverse as its subject. The result is a book that is sure to please film buffs of all stripes and to especially delight the thousands who champion Lubitsch as the greatest filmmaker ever.

SCOTT EYMAN is the Books Editor for The Palm Beach Post. He has won awards for his journalism, his criticism, and his television writing. His previous biography, Mary Pickford: America’s Sweetheart, was hailed by critics in America and Europe as the definitive account of the silent screen’s foremost woman star. Eyman lives in Wilton Manors, Florida.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 414 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 752 g (26,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-671-74936-6

Errol Flynn: The Untold Story (Charles Higham)

highham-charles-errol-flynn-the-untold-storyErrol Flynn could have been tried for treason. The world-famous star could have ended his life on the hangman’s noose. In this astonishing statement, best-selling author Charles Higham sums up a theme of his major new biography of the superstar.

Behind the fame, the magical movie career that made Flynn a symbol of heroism and patriotic adventure, there was a hidden horrifying secret: he was a spy for the Gestapo, working in harness with a leading SS man, Dr. Hermann F. Erben.

CHARLES HIGHAM is an author and poet. Higham is a recipient of the Prix des Créateurs of the Académie Française and the Poetry Society of London Prize.

Softcover – 585 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 309 g (10,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-440-12307-0

Ethics and Social Criticism in the Hollywood Films of Erich von Stroheim, Ernst Lubitsch, and Billy Wilder (Nora Henry)

henry-nora-ethics-and-social-cricism-in-the-hollywood-films-of-erich-von-stroheim-ernst-lubitsch-and-billy-wilderThis study of Erich von Stroheim, Ernst Lubitsch, and Billy Wilder focuses on what the common ethical themes in their Hollywood films unveil about the cultural and intellectual heritage of these German and Austrian emigres and their influence on American culture. Aware of the influential power of their films, these filmmakers strove to raise the intellectual standard and the positive educational value of the American film. Brief individual biographies describe their heritage, major influences, and goals and draw connections among the three filmmakers in their preference for German and Austrian literature, which focuses on social criticism, ethics, and the problem of identity. Detailed analyses of their individual styles of filmmaking and readings of selected films reveal how they put their philosophies into practice and to what extent they influenced one another. Films analyzed include The Merry Widow, The Wedding March, Heaven Can Wait, To Be or Not to Be, Sunset Boulevard, and The Fortune Cookie among others. By delineating their contributions to the development of modern film, this research explores the filmmakers’ impact on film and cultural history.

The convergence of social and philosophical inquiry film history in this study of Lubitsch, Wilder, and von Stroheim will appeal to scholars of film, of German literature and culture, and of American cultural history. Separate chapters discuss each filmmaker and his movies. A glossary of technical terms and a selected filmography are included.

Hardcover – 225 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 594 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 2001 – ISBN 0-275-96450-7

Evergreen: Victor Saville in His Own Words (Roy Moseley; foreword by Sir John Woolf)

Moseley, Roy - Evergreen Victor Saville in His Own WordsA founding father of British filmmaking, Victor Saville created such classics as I Was a Spy, Evergreen, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Mortal Storm, A Woman’s Face, and Green Dolphin Street. Completed by Saville’s collaborator, Hollywood biographer Roy Moseley, in the years following Saville’s death in 1979, Evergreen: Victor Saville in His Own Words presents the esteemed filmmaker’s memories of the development of the film industry in England and the United States, from the silent screen to “talkies,” from black-and-white to Technicolor, from the golden age of Hollywood to the rise of television.

Born in Birmingham in 1897, Saville started small in the film business after being discharged from his unit in World War I following an injury. Working first for a distribution company, Saville was exposed to the earliest British silent films as well as imported “blockbusters” such as The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance by D. W. Griffith. In 1922 he ventured to Hollywood to persuade silent film star Betty Compson to star in his first film, Woman to Woman, ultimately made with the assistance of Alfred Hitchcock in his first film job as assistant art director. Perhaps Saville’s most winning partnership was with Jessie Matthews, whom he directed in The Good Companions, Evergreen, First a Girl, and Friday the Thirteenth. He came to Hollywood permanently in 1941 when Louis B. Mayer invited him to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, whereupon Saville broke MGM’s questionable ties with Berlin, at a shocking time, by making The Mortal Storm.

Saville’s memoir provides an intimate and detailed look at Saville’s long relationships with studio moguls Mayer and Alexander Korda and his work with an impressive list of film stars, including Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Hedy Lamarr, Margaret Sullavan, Ingrid Bergman, Jeanette MacDonald, Lana Turner, Deborah Kerr, Elizabeth Taylor, Errol Flynn, and Paul Newman.

While making Tonight and Every Night, Saville recalls telling the young and unknown actress Shelley Winters that she was unlikely to ever utter a line in any film. Saville also recounts the strangely wonderful experience of shooting Rudyard Kipling’s Kim in India one year after the country’s independence, as well as star Errol Flynn’s amorous adventures in the palace of the Majarajah of Jaipur. Later in his career, he recognized the appeal of the gritty novels of Mickey Spillane, ultimately bringing Mike Hammer to the big screen in the film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly.

With Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Balcon, and Herbert Wilcox, Saville was a cornerstone of the early British film industry. Owing to Roy Moseley’s expert crafting, Evergreen: Victor Saville in His Own Words takes the reader behind the scenes of film’s golden age to reveal the tensions and power plays involved in studio filmmaking and struggles with stars, studios, and, many times, film censors, as well as the intricacies of early production, direction, and distribution methods.

Victor Saville gave ROY MOSELEY his chance to become a writer by allowing him to co-author his autobiography in 1974, when Moseley was working in the theater with Laurence Olivier. Moseley emerged as a leading show business journalist of his time in England. After the success of his first book, My Stars and Other Friends, Moseley wrote an intimate memoir of his life with Bette Davis and the first biography of Rex Harrison. He also collaborated on definitive biographies of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Merle Oberon, and Cary Grant. Moseley has worked extensively in the United States where his books have appeared on the New York Times best-sellers list. He presently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 227 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 638 g (22,50 oz) – PUBLISHER Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Illinois, 2000 – ISBN 0-8903-2315-X

Every Frenchman Has One (Olivia de Havilland)

Autographed copy [review copy from publisher Random House] For Anita, with much affection, Olivia [with the stamp ‘From The Estate of Anita Loos’]

de Havilland, Olivia - Every Frenchman Has OneOlivia de Havilland planted her standard on the Left Bank of the River Seine in late October of 1953, and it has been fluttering on both Left and Right Banks with considerable joy and gaiety from that moment on. She married a Frenchman, took on all his compatriots, and has been the heroine of a love affair ever since.

Her skirmishes with French traffic, French maids, French salesladies, French holidays, French law, French doctors, above all, French language, are here set forth in a delightful and amusing record.

Paraphrasing Caesar, Miss de Havilland says, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

A characteristic discussion of a fine legal point from Every Frenchman Has One: After dinner the lawyer and the Cabinet Minister drew me aside and said it was their duty to inform me the rights I would enjoy, married to a Frenchman and living in France. “Now,” said they, “if Pierre should be unfaithful, and if, in spite of your Anglo-Saxon heritage, a flash of Latin passion should overcome you, and you should shoot him, you will have nothing to worry about – you are perfectly certain to be let off free. But,” they continued, noting my reassured expression, “if you marry a second Frenchman, and if he should be unfaithful,  and if you should shoot him, then in that case it won’t be quite so easy!”

A characteristic comment on cultural differences in Every Frenchman Has One: In Hollywood the most important look for a woman to have is the “sexy look.” The sexy dress begins just below the knee and is of a striking color and a glossy fabric. Satin, taffeta, moiré – any cloth which catches the light and molds. Design, cut, pleats, buttons, belts – details of any kind are of no concern; it’s the outline that is underlined. The dress must cling to, sculpture, and emphasize the thighs, hips and waist, and stop at the sternum – in the front, I mean, not the back. And en route it must strain itself over an oversized bust. If the lady wearing the dress doesn’t have an oversized bust, she must buy one.

Of course, when I arrived in France I found that the prevailing mode had nothing whatever to do with the look I left behind me. In fact, the sexy look had never been heard of. In France it’s assumed that if you’re a woman you are sexy, and you don’t have to put a dress on to prove it.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 203 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14,5 cm (8,3 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 417 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1962

Every Other Inch a Lady: An Autobiography (Beatrice Lillie, with James Brough; aided and abetted by John Philip)

lillie-beatrice-every-other-inch-a-ladyFrom time to time, I have been asked whether, in fact, I was born balmy. To answer this, and other pressing questions, Beatrice Lillie has composed these memoirs.

With the irrepressible wit and disarming candor that have endeared her to hundreds of thousands of fans, she recounts the ups and downs of her life: her childhood in Toronto and youthful performances in the backwoods of Ontario; her early success in London and New York in André Charlot’s revues; her marriage to Sir Robert Peel and the tragic loss of her only son during World War II; her widely acclaimed shows and films, and her deserved reputation as “the funniest woman in the world.”

And here, in a series of delightful anecdotes, are some of her friends, acquaintances, and co-workers: Noël Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Michael Arlen, Julie Andrews, Marc Connelly, Fanny Brice, Charlie Chaplin, Ethel Barrymore, Bert Lahr, Alexander Woollcott, Helen Hayes, the Duke of Windsor (in his earlier role, the Prince of Wales), Elsa Maxwell (“whom I regarded as 39 of my most intimate friends”), and too many more to drop here.

Hilarious, informative and surprisingly touching, this book reflects all the varied facets of Beatrice Lillie, every other inch a lady, and over all a uniquely talented and universally admired woman.

JOHN PHILIP has appeared in many stage musical productions, starting with a tour of Oklahoma. He first met Beatrice Lillie in Inside U.S.A. in 1949, and has been increasingly associated with her as a performer, director, and producer. JAMES BROUGH began his writing career as a newspaper reporter and foreign correspondent; he is now a well-known magazine writer who has collaborated with several celebrities on their memoirs, including Hedda Hopper’s The Whole Truth and Nothing But, Keenan Wynn’s Ed Wynn’s Son, and Sir Cedric Hardwick’s A Victorian in Orbit. His most recent book is a novel, Princess Vic. Mr. Brough, his wife and three children live in Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 360 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 595 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York, 1972

Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy (Dorothy Dandridge, with Earl Conrad)

dandridge-dorothy-everything-and-nothingIn Everything and Nothing, Dorothy Dandridge, our first black movie star, describes the effects of segregation more movingly than more militant black writers will ever do. For she tells of her own heartbreaks, caused by social prejudice that lies too deep to be touched by civil rights legislation.

A poor, hungry child, Miss Dandridge rose to fame as an actress and singer. Hollywood producers, society Wasps, a Brazilian financier, and even gangsters adored her. Happiness often seemed within the reach of this beautiful and lonely woman. But she was not white. Men wanted her as a secret mistress but never as the respected wife she longed to be. In reading Everything and Nothing, you will live through rejection, the guilt of bearing a retarded child, and financial loss. At times, you will feel that Miss Dandridge is talking with you as to a dear friend. At times, she seemingly tries to display an education she never had the time and money to acquire. At still other times, her emotions flow out in the uncensored language of the shanty town where she was born.

But Miss Dandridge’s warm heart shows through every word, tape-recorded in the heat of emotion. After her death in 1965, Earl Conrad prepared the tapes for publication. Everything and Nothing will make you laugh and cry. But, if you deplore segregation, it will also challenge you to erase every thought that sanctions any form of rejection.

EARL CONRAD has published more books on black themes than any other white writer in America. Even more significant, however – black readers highly respect his books, which include Harriet Tubman, The Invention of the Negro, and many novels and poems showing his understanding of black people and their problems. “Home is all America,” Mr. Conrad says (who lives with one foot in San Francisco and the other in New York). All America is indeed his field, covered in his more-than-twenty books of biography, history, criticism, and fiction. His poem Battle New York: Mural of the Metropolis, reminds critics of Whitman and Sandhurg. A novel, Rock Bottom, was called “the most controversial book of the year.” Prodded by The Public School System, New York changed its educational program. My Wicked, Wicked Ways, written for Errol Flynn, made book-sales history. His early autobiography, Scottsboro Boy, is among the seven Conrad books recently reprinted on popular demand. In completing Dorothy Dandridge’s autobiography, Everything and Nothing, Mr.
Conrad has combined his concern with the segregation tragedy and his sympathy with famous entertainers. But his interests are both broad and deep. He is now writing a king-sized novel that will interpret American life in a new, penetrating way.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 215 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 479 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Abelard-Schuman Limited, New York, New York, 1970 – ISBN 0 200 71690 5

Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard (Richard Brosy)

Brody, Richard - Everything Is CinemaWhen Jean-Luc Godard, exemplary director of the French New Wave, wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Among the greatest cinematic innovations, Godard’s films shift fluidly from fiction to documentary, from criticism to art. Similarly, his persona projects shifting images – cultural hero, impassioned loner, shrewd businessman. Hailed by filmmakers as a – if not the – key influence, Godard has entered the modern canon, a figure as mysterious as he is indispensable.

In Everything Is Cinema, critic Richard Brody has amassed hundreds of interviews with friends, family, and collaborators to demystify the elusive director and paint the fullest picture yet of his life and work. Paying as much attention to Godard’s revolutionary technical inventions as to the political and emotional forces of the postwar world, Brody traces an arc from the director’s early critical writing, through his popular success with Breathless and Contempt, to the grand vision of his later years. He vividly depicts Godard’s wealthy, conservative family, his fluid and often disturbing politics, his tumultuous dealings with fellow filmmakers, and his troubled relations with women.

Lively, original, and epic, Everything Is Cinema confirms the greatness of Jean-Luc Godard and shows decisively that his films have left their mark on all screens, everywhere.

RICHARD BRODY is a film critic and editor at The New Yorker. Everything Is Cinema is his first book. He lives in New York City.

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 978-0-8050-6886-3

Exiles in Hollywood (David Wallace)

wallace-david-exiles-in-hollywoodFleeing Nazi persecution, many of Europe’s creative talents, including screen legend Greta Garbo and composer Igor Stravinsky, were, in Arnold Schoenberg’s words, “driven into paradise,” settling in Los Angeles. It was the greatest flight of European cultural and intellectual talent in history and for a time made Los Angeles an international cultural capital. The arrival of these émigrés changed many things, but the most enduring change was to the movies, as they brought the nihilistic cultural ambience of pre-World War II Berlin to film, creating the brooding film noir style.

David Wallace, author of the national best-seller Lost Hollywood, here tells the dramatic stories of these brilliant refugees. His profiles include filmmakers Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, and Alfred Hitchcock, writers Aldous Huxley and Thomas Mann, screenwriter Salka Viertel and her controversial relationship with Greta Garbo, the bizarre life of the beautiful actress Hedy Lamarr, the deeply conflicted actor Charles Laughton, and many more. The result is a delectably entertaining, page-turning look at an era, its triumphs and tragedies, its gossip and hidden facts, and its larger-than-life personalities.

For more than twenty-five years, critically acclaimed author DAVID WALLACE was a journalist covering celebrities for publications including People, Los Angeles Times, and Life. He is the author of Hollywoodland, Lost Hollywood, and Dream Palaces of Hollywood’s Golden Age. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

Softcover – 246 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 446 g (15,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Limelight Editons, Pompton Plains, New Jersey, 2006 – ISBN 978-0-87910-329-9