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I Blow My Own Horn (Jesse L. Lasky)

Autographed copy To Mr. and Mrs. Ely Eliot Palmer – To you, who gave my son Jesse his happiest wartime memory I am happy to send you my book. Sincerely, Jesse L. Lasky. H’wood, Aug 27, ’57

lasky-jesse-i-blow-my-own-horn-zw-wJesse L. Lasky was not only a pioneer of the motion-picture industry: he was one of those people whose life would have been full of color and entertainment in whatever field he might have ended up. By way of preliminaries we find him playing the cornet at Dr. Crabtree’s medicine show – off to Alaska with a gold-sifting machine – touring with Hermann the Great (Conjuror) – launching the Folies Bergère – facing enormous losses from crash of same.

But the failure of the Folies did not depress Lasky for long – a coffee-poster gave him the idea for the operetta “California”; and when William DeMille refused to write the libretto, he settled with young Cecil. Lasky’s sister, Blanche, meanwhile, was marrying a family friend of his wife Bessie’s, a glove-maker called Sam Goldfish (later Goldwyn), who had become interested in the possibilities of films. Joining the family circle, he tried to enlist Lasky’s interest, too; but Lasky was scornful – films were not for a real showman, he told Goldfish. Lasky came round in the end only to keep his restless friend Cecil from going off to the Mexican revolution… Presently Cecil, sent over to Flagstaff, Arizona, to make a picture for the newly-formed Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co., was cabling back, after some weeks’ silence: ‘Flagstaff no good for our purpose. Have proceeded to California. Want authority to rent barn in place called Hollywood for seventy-five dollars a month. Regards to Sam. Cecil.’

He chose Hollywood because of the more reliable climate – being dependent on sunlight for the filming! And so to their first film, directed from a desk in one of the stalls still dividing the barn. Imagine actors on a cold day having to mouth their dialogue while holding their breath, so as to avoid the said breath (congealed) from ruining a shot of a London drawing-room – on an outside stage because of the lighting: and imagine goose-pimples creating a problem in evening dress! Lasky tells us how, earlier, D.W. Griffith, who introduced close-ups in films, had been accused of extravagance in “paying the going rate for a complete actor and then photographing only part of him.”

And so the story goes on – from silent films, through “talkies,” to the present decade: and everywhere it is a mine of fascinating and often ludicrous anecdotes about practically all the great names of the cinema. There is Rudolph Valentino, for instance, won and lost; there is the making of Lasky’s first “epic” Covered Wagon; there are his trials with Gloria Swanson; and a typical story is that of the cast being sent on location to film a snow-scene, and of the snow maddeningly refusing to fall. The authorities began to rant at the extended skiing holiday their highly paid employees were enjoying, and sent cartloads of salt to pour on the artificial village so that shooting could begin. That night it snowed – everywhere except on the sodden village, where the salt had melted the snow…

The Lasky films include the 1926 Old Ironsides, with its wide screen and a “magnascope” that made the ship look as though it was coming towards you. Del Rizzio, in charge of Lasky’s technical research, achieved this effect twenty years ahead of cinemascope and 3-D. He also introduced the anomorphic lens, rejected at the time and bought years later by Fox; and Michael Todd took Del Rizzio’s 65mm lenses and used them for Oklahoma.

Then there was Wings, in which a promising young extra was noticed, called Gary Cooper; Beau Geste, nearly rejected on the grounds that it had “a French title no one could pronounce”; Gay Desperado; Sergeant York; Mark Twain; Rhapsody in Blue; The Great Caruso.

As for Lasky’s domestic life, you get an idea from it from George Putnam’s remark at the time of the 1932 crash, “I hear the Lasky’s are cutting down. They only have two butlers now.” But the book leaves him as alert as ever – canvassing his idea for a film to be called The Big Brass Band, and touring up and down the States, listening to bands, in the interest of it…

Hardcover – 284 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 431 g (15,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1957

I Blow My Own Horn (Jesse L. Lasky)

Lasky, Jesse - I Blow My Own Horn (dj)Jesse L. Lasky was not only a pioneer of the motion-picture industry: he was one of those people whose life would have been full of color and entertainment in whatever field he might have ended up. By way of preliminaries we find him playing the cornet at Dr. Crabtree’s medicine show – off to Alaska with a gold-sifting machine – touring with Hermann the Great (Conjuror) – launching the Folies Bergère – facing enormous losses from crash of same.

But the failure of the Folies did not depress Lasky for long – a coffee-poster gave him the idea for the operetta “California”; and when William DeMille refused to write the libretto, he settled with young Cecil. Lasky’s sister, Blanche, meanwhile, was marrying a family friend of his wife Bessie’s, a glove-maker called Sam Goldfish (later Goldwyn), who had become interested in the possibilities of films. Joining the family circle, he tried to enlist Lasky’s interest, too; but Lasky was scornful – films were not for a real showman, he told Goldfish. Lasky came round in the end only to keep his restless friend Cecil from going off to the Mexican revolution… Presently Cecil, sent over to Flagstaff, Arizona, to make a picture for the newly-formed Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co., was cabling back, after some weeks’ silence: ‘Flagstaff no good for our purpose. Have proceeded to California. Want authority to rent barn in place called Hollywood for seventy-five dollars a month. Regards to Sam. Cecil.’

He chose Hollywood because of the more reliable climate – being dependent on sunlight for the filming! And so to their first film, directed from a desk in one of the stalls still dividing the barn. Imagine actors on a cold day having to mouth their dialogue while holding their breath, so as to avoid the said breath (congealed) from ruining a shot of a London drawing-room – on an outside stage because of the lighting: and imagine goose-pimples creating a problem in evening dress! Lasky tells us how, earlier, D.W. Griffith, who introduced close-ups in films, had been accused of extravagance in “paying the going rate for a complete actor and then photographing only part of him.”

And so the story goes on – from silent films, through “talkies,” to the present decade: and everywhere it is a mine of fascinating and often ludicrous anecdotes about practically all the great names of the cinema. There is Rudolph Valentino, for instance, won and lost; there is the making of Lasky’s first “epic” Covered Wagon; there are his trials with Gloria Swanson; and a typical story is that of the cast being sent on location to film a snow-scene, and of the snow maddeningly refusing to fall. The authorities began to rant at the extended skiing holiday their highly paid employees were enjoying, and sent cartloads of salt to pour on the artificial village so that shooting could begin. That night it snowed – everywhere except on the sodden village, where the salt had melted the snow…

The Lasky films include the 1926 Old Ironsides, with its wide screen and a “magnascope” that made the ship look as though it was coming towards you. Del Rizzio, in charge of Lasky’s technical research, achieved this effect twenty years ahead of cinemascope and 3-D. He also introduced the anomorphic lens, rejected at the time and bought years later by Fox; and Michael Todd took Del Rizzio’s 65mm lenses and used them for Oklahoma.

Then there was Wings, in which a promising young extra was noticed, called Gary Cooper; Beau Geste, nearly rejected on the grounds that it had “a French title no one could pronounce”; Gay Desperado; Sergeant York; Mark Twain; Rhapsody in Blue; The Great Caruso.

As for Lasky’s domestic life, you get an idea from it from George Putnam’s remark at the time of the 1932 crash, “I hear the Lasky’s are cutting down. They only have two butlers now.” But the book leaves him as alert as ever – canvassing his idea for a film to be called The Big Brass Band, and touring up and down the States, listening to bands, in the interest of it…

Hardcover, dust jacket – 283 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 496 g (17,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London, 1957

Ich habe ja gewußt, daß ich fliegen kann: Erinnerungen (Senta Berger)

berger-senta-ich-habe-ja-gewusst-dass-ich-fdliegen-kannSeit langem hat man darauf gewartet: Senta Berger, Deutschlands beliebteste und populärste Schauspielerin, hat ein Buch über ihr Leben geschrieben: über ihre Kindheit und Jugend im Wien der Nachkriegszeit, über ihre Familie, über ihre Karriere als Schauspielerin in Österreich, Deutschland, in Hollywood und Italien. Über das Theater, den Film und das Fernsehen. Über Freunde und Kollegen. Aber das schönste an diesem Buch ist: Mit Senta Berger ist eine Erzählerin zu entdecken, bei der man sofort spürt, wie sehr sie die Literatur liebt and in sich trägt.

So sind ihre Geschichten etwa über ihre erste Berührung mit dem Film als Komparsin in Das doppelte Lottchen, über ihre Aufnahmeprüfung und ihren späteren Rauswurf am Max-Reinhardt-Seminar nicht nur Dokumente eines höchts abenteuerlichen Lebenswegs, sondern auch ein großes Lesevergnügen. Mit Wehmut und Liebe blickt Senta Berger zurück auf das Leben ihrer Eltern und Großeltern. Mit trockenem Humor und Tempo erzählt sie, wie es ihr gelang, alle Hindernisse zu überwinden und den Traum vom Schauspielerleben zu verwirklichen.

SENTA BERGER hat in weit 100 Kinofilmen mitgewirkt, ist am Burgtheater, Thalia Theater und Schillertheater aufgetreten und ist seit Die schnelle Gerdi und Kir Royal heute der weibliche Fernsehstar in Deutschland. Mit ihrem Mann, dem Regisseur Michael Verhoeven, hat sie nicht nur als Schauspielerin gearbeitet, sondern auch erfolgreiche Kino- und Fernshehfilme produziert. Für ihre Arbeit hat sie zahlreiche Preise erhalten.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 333 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-462-03679-4

Ida Lupino: A Biography (William Donati)

donati-william-ida-lupinoIda Lupino was more than a gorgeous image of American film noir of the forties and fifties. Although her talent before the lights made her a major star in classics such as They Drive By Night, High Sierra, and Road House, Lupino evolved into one of Hollywood’s earliest female directors, one its most prolific, substantive, and innovative artists behind the camera.

Drama spilled from the stage into Lupino’s personal life. William Donati chronicles the conflicts of her three important failed marriages that helped forge this determined and fearless maker of films, the spectre of communism that swept Hollywood, the obstacles that she encountered as a lone woman film director. The child of a famous theatrical family of England, Lupino had drama in her veins. She immigrated to Hollywood, where her innate gifts landed her a lucrative film contract as an actress. That she considered herself “a poor man’s Bette Davis” belies her vast talents: from The Light That Failed (1939) to her exceptional performance in Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner (1972), she lit up the silver screen for over thirty years. Cast opposite many of the greatest American stars – Ronald Colman, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart – Lupino delivered mesmerizing work in over sixty films.

Lupino’s artistic vision, however, reached farther. In the late 1940s she challenged the notion that directing was a man’s world and formed an independent company, Filmakers. With the phenomenal success of Not Wanted (1949), Lupino became a major Hollywood producer and director. Her company made low budget features that dealt with serious topics and explored socially controversial themes, including the destructive nature of sexual violence and illegitimacy. Lupino strove for realism in such films as Outrage, The Hitchhiker, and The Bigamist. But Filmaker’s profits and Lupino’s dream of working outside the studio system vanished with Howard Hughes’s takeover of the company.

Eventually, the eclectic and brilliant Lupino moved from the cinema to television,  directing episodes of GE Theatre, Gilligan’s Island, The Untouchables, and Gunsmoke, and starring in more than one hundred roles. Lupino’s happiest years were with co-star and husband Howard Duff on the set of the hit Mr. Adams and Eve, a clever, thinly disguised comedy about her life with the actor.

Through meticulous research and lengthy interviews with Lupino and her many acquaintances, and with an extensive appendix of her work as actress, director, and producer, Donati delivers an important biocritical study of this major figure of American cinema.

WILLIAM DONATI is co-author, with Hollywood stuntman Buster Wiles, of My Days with Errol Flynn.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 323 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 757 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1996 – ISBN 0-8131-1895-6

I’d Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir (Ring Lardner, Jr.; introduction by Victor Navasky)

Ring Lardner, Jr.’s memoir is a pilgrimage through the American century. The son of an immensely popular and influential newspaper columnist and short story writer, Lardner grew up in material and cultural privilege. After a memorable visit to Moscow in 1934, he worked as a reporter in New York before leaving for Hollywood. There he served a bizarre apprenticeship with producer David O. Selznick, winning, at the age of 28, an Academy Award for Woman of the Year, the first on-screen pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

In lively pages, peopled by a cast including Carole Lombard, Louis B. Mayer, Dalton Trumbo, Marlene Dietrich, Otto Preminger, Darryl F. Zanuck, Bertolt Brecht, Bert Lahr, Robert Altman, and Muhammad Ali, Lardner recalls the strange existence of a contract screenwriter in the vanished age of the studio system – an existence made stranger by membership in the Hollywood branch of the American Communist Party. Lardner retraces the path that led him to a memorable confrontation with the House Un-American Activities Committee and thence to Federal prison and life on the Hollywood blacklist. One of the lucky few who were able to resume their careers, Lardner won his second Oscar for the screenplay to M*A*S*H in 1970.

RING LARDNER, JR. is the author of The Ecstasy of Owen Muir and The Lardners. He lives in New York with his wife Frances Chaney.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 198 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 478 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Thunder Mouth’s Press / Nation Books, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-56025-296-0

“I’d Love to Kiss You…”: Conversations with Bette Davis (Whitney Stine)

Whitney Stine became a Bette Davis fan at the age of eight, but didn’t meet the star until 1972, when she agreed to write a running commentary for his outrageous best-seller on her film career, Mother Goddam. During a friendship that flourished for almost twenty years, he recorded her uninhibited observations about her co-stars, her lovers, her four husbands and her career. I’d Love to Kiss You… is pure Bette Davis, speaking in her own unique voice – and with utter candor.

When Bette Davis died recently at 81, she left a legacy of 101 feature films and TV movies – and a reputation as one of the greatest film actresses of all time. For her Oscar-winning performances in Dangerous and Jezebel to Dark Victory, Now, Voyager and All About Eve, she used her extraordinary talents to create a galaxy of women: queens, whores, outcasts, rebels, bitches, grande dames, old maids, and more.

Illustrated with exclusive photographs, many from the author’s collection, I’d Love to Kiss You… is the ultimate Bette Davis book, as fascinating and vivid as a tête-à-tête with Miss D. herself.

Early in her career, Bette Davis fell in love with Spencer Tracy and Franchot Tone. In between husbands, she had affairs with songwriter Johnny Mercer, Howard Hughes, William Wyler (“The love of my life”), and George Brent (“He used to stain my pillowcases with hair dye!”).

She wondered how Josef von Sternberg would have photographed her (“What would have happened to Dietrich without him? He built the sets, and put her into them like a rag doll”). Laurence Olivier was a favorite fantasy (“The most handsome thing on earth, and it was the image of his sexiness I dreamed about”) and Charles Boyer, not quite (“He was short, bald, had a potbelly”). Leslie Howard was one star who did not capture Bette’s fancy (“He was so promiscuous. I venture to say that, in his mousy way, he had more one-night stands than Errol Flynn”). But Bette always preferred to co-star with men, and was loathe to praise other female stars and competitors (“Hepburn can be fey. I can’t. I don’t like ruffles and scarves and all that sort of crap. Helen Hayes is all right. But, I’ve never cared for her very much, you know”).

I’d Love to Kiss You… is an extraordinary accomplishment, alive with the tempestuous, earthy personality of Bette Davis – a passionate, completely revealing account, right from the heart, of her unforgettable life and career.

WHITNEY STINE is the author of the classic best-seller about Bette Davis’s  film career, Mother Goddam. He also wrote many novels, and collaborated with famed photographer George Hurrell on The Hurrell Style. Friends with Bette Davis for almost twenty years, Mr. Stine passed away five days after her death.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 308 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 698 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Softcover Books, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-671-61152-6

Idol: Rock Hudson, The True Story of an American Film Hero (Jerry Oppenheimer, Jack Vitek)

Oppenheimer, Jerry - Idol Rock HudsonRock Hudson’s life had all the elements of a Hollywood tear-jerker, not unlike one of the many he starred in during the 1950s: there were the humble beginnings, the unhappy childhood, the yearnings for another life, the sudden rise to fame, the adoration of millions, and, ultimately, disintegration and tragedy. Yet there was also an unusual twist to this script: the gorgeous hero was secretly homosexual, and his death at age fifty-nine was due to AIDS.

Veteran investigative reporters Jerry Oppenheimer and Jack Vitek set out to attack the confusion that followed the announcement of Rock Hudson’s illness, peeling away the layers of Hollywood myth to reveal the person underneath. Their insightful assessment of the screen idol’s existence – both public and private – divulges how Hudson managed to lead a double life in the glaring spotlight of Hollywood. Idol, an unauthorized biography, is based on over one hundred interviews with family members, childhood buddies, professional colleagues, doctors, lovers, and lifelong friends, who have no reason to protect decades of carefully cultivated myths – who want only to see the truth told.

Idol re-creates Hudson’s childhood on the suburban North Shore of Chicago. The young Roy Fitzgerald was deserted by his real father, abused by his stepfather, and alternately ignored and smothered by his mother. For all that, he emerged from his troubled family life a dreamy, affable boy who left home with ambitions of becoming a movie star.

Oppenheimer and Vitek put to rest the fan-magazine and publicity-mill fantasies of how Hudson got his break in the movies. For the first time, the real story is told of how a powerful agent named Henry Wilson, a  homosexual, took total control of the good-looking young man and launched him into stardom. Oppenheimer and Vitek show how Rock Hudson’s natural glamor and tireless efforts to improve his acting catapulted him from Wilson’s B-movie brigade to the status of America’s number one box-office attraction in the early sixties.

Interviews with those closest to him recall his days as a fledgling player at Universal and give insight into his fascinating but ambivalent relationships with women. Behind-the-scenes anecdotes from directors, co-stars, and crew highlight Hudson’s career. What emerges is a portrait of an intensely private man – a man whose need to be respected and loved led him to excesses.

Finally, Idol reconstructs Hudson’s last two years – from the time he learned he had AIDS until his death. In exclusive interviews, the authors document how Rock hid the disease from friends, colleagues, lovers – and maybe even himself. The book reveals the untold story of why Rock Hudson went against medical advice and cut short experimental treatments that could have extended his life. The authors also disclose the strange incidents that marked his last days.

A wide-ranging, energetic biography, Idol is packed with new details, insights, and never-before-published anecdotes that bring the late star fully to life. The authors examine both the forces that shaped him and the world in which he lived, portraying – with understanding and compassion – the man Rock Hudson really was.

JERRY OPPENHEIMER has been an editor and investigative reporter for the Washington Star, the Washington Daily News, the Philadelphia Daily News, and United Press International News, as well as a producer for several news programs and television documentaries. JACK VITEK has been a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and the Washington Daily News. He is co-author of Moonstruck and The Defectors.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 273 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 634 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Villard Books, New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-394-55489-2

“If the Other Guy Isn’t Jack Nicholson, I’ve Got the Part”: Hollywood Tales of Big Breaks, Bad Lucks, and Box-Office Magic (Ron Base)

base-ron-if-the-other-guy-isnt-jack-nicholson-ive-got-the-partSo said Burt Reynolds after being told by director Milos Forman that the coveted role of Randall McMurphy in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest was down to two people. But the other guy was Nicholson, who went on to win an Academy Award for the role and enjoy a film career that pushed him into the stratosphere of stardom. Their career paths would cross again – this time over the role of washed-up astronaut Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment, a role written for Reynolds – and the decision he made all but spelled the end of his superstar movie career.

Movie stardom is often won or lost on the basis of one simple word – “no.” Al Pacino might never have been considered for his Oscar-winning role in Scent of a Woman if he had agreed to play Rambo. If John Travolta had accepted An Officer and a Gentleman instead of the pitiful Staying Alive, Richard Gere might be hosting game shows today. Had Shirley Temple been allowed (she was a child – someone said “no” for her!) to star in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland might have remained an anonymous member of the singing Gumm sisters. And a page in modern movie lore might never have been written if Frank Sinatra had been the one to say, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

The complex chemistry of movie stardom – a potent mix of greed and cunning, ego and casting, dedication and just plain dumb luck – is examined by Ron Base in this vastly entertaining look at Hollywood magic. Base provides an insider’s look at the real stories behind “overnight stardom,” often more gripping than anything that ever made it to the screen.

From long-ago casting decisions that still resonate today – Vivien Leigh over Bette Davis in Gone With the Wind – to the creation of present-day screen icons – Sharon Stone won the role in Basic Instinct only after Geena Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer refused it – this fascinating narrative will delight all film buffs. Filled with behind-the-scenes intrigue, If the Other Guy Isn’t Jack Nicholson, I’ve Got the Part is sure to surprise even avid movie fans who thought they knew the history of Hollywood – a history brimming with dramatic stories of the triumph and despair of the glamorous, the infamous, and the unknown desperately scrambling after Hollywood fame and fortune.

RON BASE was the film critic for the Toronto Star from 1980 to 1987. He is the co-author of Movies of the Eighties and lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 319 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 676 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Contemporary Books, Chicago, Illinois, 1994 – ISBN 0-8092-3528-5

If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth (Barbara Leaming)

Leaming, Barbara - If This Was HappinessThe list of really mythic female stars is a short one – Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and…? Whoever else would be on that list, Rita Hayworth would certainly be included – the Titan-haired “Love Goddess” from Gilda, Blood and Sand, The Lady from Shanghai, Pal Joey, and countless other films, whose pinup photography was so incendiary (and so famous) that G.I.s pasted it on the first atom bomb detonated at Bikini Atoll. Now her story is finally told by Barbara Leaming, the author of a best-selling biography of Orson Welles – and what a story it is! A painful childhood, in which the pathologically shy little Margarita Cansino was taken out of school and thrust into questionable limelight as her vaudevillian father’s dancing partner; a brutal Pygmalion-like transformation from contract player to star at the hands of her first husband, Eddie Judson, and the Columbia mogul Harry Cohn; marriages to Orson Welles, Aly Khan, and the singer Dick Haymes – and affairs with the likes of David Niven and Howard Hughes – which were the stuff of international gossip columns; a drawn-out custody battle for her daughter, accompanied by charges of child neglect; a tragic compulsion toward men who would victimize her; and finally, the long slide into the mist of Alzheimer’s disease, agonizingly misdiagnosed as alcoholism – all this makes for page-turning reading.

“If this was happiness,” said Orson Welles of their time together, “imagine what the rest of her life had been!” In reconstructing that life, Barbara Leaming has drawn on medical records, government documents, trial transcripts, movie-lot memoranda, and the testimony of hundreds of eyewitnesses to create an astonishingly moving portrait of a woman at odds with herself, whose present was continually compromised by her past. Perceptive, intelligent, compusively readable, If This Was Happiness is a rare biography – one that combines the pathos and allure of its subject.

BARBARA LEAMING is the author of biographies of Orson Welles and Roman Polanski. She lives in Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 404 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 767 g (27,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking Penguin, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-670-81978-6

I Just Kept Hoping (Gloria Stuart, with Sylvia Thompson)

stuart-gloria-i-just-kept-on-hopingSince her youthful days as a headstrong “flapper” in Santa Monica, California, Gloria Suart has dreamed of doing “something big and great,” and by her early twenties she was a Hollywood Movie Star – “Capital M, capital S.” But who could have known that she would have to wait almost seventy years for the role of a lifetime, that of Old Rose in James Cameron’s epic film Titanic. And who could have known that at the age of eighty-seven, Gloria Stuart would become the oldest actor ever nominated for an Academy Award.

It was extraordinary. But then, even by Hollywood standards, Gloria Stuart has always led an extraordinary life. In this candid, irreverent memoir, she describes her early Hollywood years with delicious, gossipy energy. A legendary beauty, she was featured in forty-six films, including such classics as The Invisible Man, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and cult favorite James Whale’s Old Dark House. Her husband, Arthur Sheekman, worked on most of the Marx Brothers’ hits and was, in fact, known as “the fifth Marx brother.” Gloria peppers her memoir with memorable anecdotes about Groucho Marx, Dorothy Parker, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, the brilliant food writer M.F.K. Fisher, humorist Robert Benchley, and many others.

And it is an inspirational story as well, for Gloria is a woman who has refused to let obstacles and disappointment hold her back. She has continually reinvented herself – as an actress, a political activist, an artist. Throughout Gloria Stuart’s long life, she has never stopped hoping “for great roles, great adventures, great things.” This is her remarkable story.

Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actress GLORIA STUART lives near Los Angeles. She is an accomplished painter and designer and printer of artists’ books; her paintings and books are owned by several museums and libraries around the world. SYLVIA THOMPSON, Stuart’s only child, is the prize-winning author of several acclaimed cookbooks and gardening books, including The Kitchen Garden and The Kitchen Garden Cookbook.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 328 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 691 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown & Company, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-316-81571-3

I’ll Be In My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors & Actors (John Badham, Craig Modderno)

badham-john-ill-be-in-my-trailerWhat do you do when actors won’t do what you tell them to? Remembering his own awkwardness and terror as a beginning director working with actors who always had their own ideas, director John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, WarGames, Stakeout, The Shield) has a bookload of knowledge to pass along in this inspired and insightful must-read for films fans as well as actors and directors at all levels of their craft.

Here are no-holds-barred out-of-school tales culled from celebrated top directors and actors like Sydney Pollack, Michael Mann, John Frankenheimer, Mel Gibson, James Woods, Anne Bancroft, Jenna Elfman, Roger Corman and many more that reveal: the ten worst things and the ten best things you can say to an actor; the nature of an actor’s temperament and the true nature of his contributions; the nature of creativity and its many pitfalls; the processes of casting and rehearsal; what happens in an actor’s mind during a performance; what directors do that alienates actors; and much more.

“Most young directors are afraid of actors. They come from film school with a heavy technical background, but they don’t know how to deal with an actor. Even many experienced directors barely talk to their actors.” – Oliver Stone, director, JFK, Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July.

“Directors have needed a book like this since D.W. Griffith invented the close-up. We directors have to pass along to other directors our hard-learned lessons about actors. Maybe then they won’t have to start from total ignorance like I did, like you did, like we all did.” – John Frankenheimer, director, The Manchurian Candidate, Grand Prix, Seconds.

“A highly entertaining book that should be mandatory reading for anyone who’s considering a career as a director. Highly recommended!” – Wayne Crawford, producer-writer-director, Valley Girl, Night of the Comet, Jake Speed.

“Where was this book 40 years ago when I started directing?” – Arthur Hiller, former president, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and Directors Guild of America.

JOHN BADHAM is the award-winning director of such classic films as Saturday Night Fever, Stakeout, and WarGames. Badham currently is Professor of Film and Media at Chapman University. Journalist / filmmaker CRAIG MODDERNO wrote, produced, and directed the original documentary, The Graduate at 25. His 3,000-plus bylines have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Playboy, TV Guide, USA Today and Rolling Stone.

Softcover – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 414 g (14,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Michael Wiese Productions, Studio City, California, 2006 – ISBN 1-932907-14-9

I’ll Think About That Tomorrow (Evelyn Keyes)

keyes-evelyn-ill-think-about-that-tomorrowScarlett O’Hara’s younger sister, Suellen, a.k.a. Evelyn Keyes, is back with another candid, tell-all volume of her life as an actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age. And she reveals all about being the wife of such Hollywood luminaries as director Charles Vidor, director and actor John Huston, and great jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw.

Evelyn Keyes’ earlier blockbuster autobiography, Scarlett O’Hara’s Younger Sister, detailed the fairy-tale life she led in and out of Hollywood in her early years. I’ll Think About That Tomorrow begins with the shattering reality that ended the fairy tale. With Artie Shaw, her fourth husband, Evelyn had built a castle in Spain and bought a 25-room house in Connecticut. But after eleven years, it all fell apart when Shaw took off with a younger woman. Suddenly Evelyn Keyes found herself in a role she was surprised to be playing – that of a single, middle-aged woman living on her own. This fascinating book tells how she tackled that role with laughter, some tears, and a lot of style.

From being the guest of Stanley Kubrick’s unconventional do-your-own-thing family in London, to hoofing it on the road in a revival of No, No Nanette with Don Ameche, Evelyn Keyes plunges back into the business – show business, of course. Then, typewriter in tow, she takes up a new career in the new Hollywood – writing. She teams up with Tab Hunter, now a producer, turns out movie scripts, and hustles to get them produced. She does a column for the Los Angeles Times, and she writes a best-seller. Along the way she finds herself with old friends – William Wyler, Billy Wilder, George Burns, Rita Hayworth. Occasionally she’s pushed toward the casting couch (only now she pushes back), and again she gets entangled emotionally, especially with ex-husbands John Huston and Artie Shaw.

Faced with the challenge of living in a town known for its accent on youth, seeing Tinseltown’s tarnish with a clear eye, and feeling as passionate as ever about her given profession, Evelyn Keyes shares delightfully scandalous anecdotes about today’s and yesterday’s stars. But most of all Evelyn Keyes reveals herself, letting us into her life, her heart, and her very special world of Beverly Hills, studio back lots, and center stage – where the passage of time only brings more opportunities than ever before!

EVELYN KEYES appeared in such films as Gone With the Wind, Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and The Jolson Story. She is a former Los Angeles Times columnist, and the best-selling author of Scarlett O’Hara’s Younger Sister.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 340 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 689 g (24,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A Dutton Book, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-525-24969-9

I Lost It At the Movies (Pauline Kael)

In a style somewhere between Elizabethan wit and the American wisecrack, here is a collection of Pauline Kael’s writing on film, selected from her articles and reviews. Here are most of the important films and trends of the past decade – a golden age of film which contrasts sharply with the poverty of film criticism in the U.S. – or as Miss Kael more gently puts it: “In this country, the movie reviewers are a destructive bunch of solidly, stupidly respectable mummies.” Pauline Kael has lost her illusions about the critics as well as the movies, and her responses to movies are fresh, honest and uninhibited in their expression.

I Lost It At the Movies is a delightfully mixed bag. Miss Kael ranges widely: from Singin’ in the Rain to Jules et Jim, from DeMille to de Sica, from Paul Newman to Jean-Paul Belmondo. At one point she discusses the virtues of the American commercial movie – the good hack job – at another she explains why American audiences have accepted Ingmar Bergman but not Satyajit Ray. She debunks a sacred cow like Hiroshima mon amour, and celebrates a neglected film like The Beggar’s Opera. Full of puns, paradoxes, burlesque and caricature, as well as serious argumentation, her book is a lively chronicle of the best (and the worst) American and foreign films of the past decade.

Pauline Kael in two moods: “When Shoeshine opened in 1947, I went to see it alone after one of those terrible lovers’ quarrels that leave one in a state of incomprehensible despair. I came out of the theater, tears streaming, and overheard the petulant voice of a college girl complaining to her boyfriend, ‘Well, I don’t see what was so special about that movie.’ I walked up the street, crying blindly, no longer certain whether my tears were for the tragedy on the screen, the hopelessness I felt for myself, or the alienation I felt from those who could not experience the radiance of Shoeshine. For if people cannot feel Shoeshine, what can they feel?”

“From the sublime to the ridiculous: can the movies grant us a few years’ moratorium of post-coital discussions? There are two sequences of this type in Sons and Lovers – and they’re the worst scenes in the movie – embarrassing, even grotesque. The first is with the frightened, inhibited girl who has submitted sacrificially – and the young hero then accuses her of having hated it. The second is with the emancipated older woman who accuses the hero of not having given all of himself. Lawrence does have scenes like this, but they’re the culmination of relationships that have been developed over hundreds of pages; they’re not really adaptable to the theatrical convention that speeds them up. In the film, it’s as if as soon as two people hit the sack they know exactly what’s wrong with their relationship and why it’s got to end. What happens to the crucial love affairs in the film version of Sons and Lovers is rather like what happened to the Crusades in the Cecil B. DeMille version – they became one quick, decisive battle.’

Pauline Kael gives meaning to the word “review.” The reader will want to re-view old movies in new ways, new movies in original ways.

PAULINE KAEL lives in New York City. She has broadcast weekly about the movies on the Pacifica network; she has owned and managed two art-film houses, for which she supplied hundreds of highly literate program notes; she has made documentary and experimental shorts; she has written for a variety of magazines, among them Sight and Sound, the Atlantic, Partisan Review, The New York Times Book Review, Film Quarterly, and The New Yorker; she has lectured at Universities across the country – from UCLA to CCNY; and she is also the author of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Going Steady, The Citizen Kane Book, and Deeper Into Movies.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 365 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 602 g (21,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1965

The Immortal Count: The Life and Times of Bela Lugosi (Arthur Lenning)

Lennig, Arthur - The Immortal CountIn the 1931 film Dracula, Bela Lugosi set the standard for horror film villainy. Though many actors have donned the cape since that first production, Hungarian-born Lugosi epitomized the character, and remnants of his portrayal still continue to surface in popular culture – from highly prized memorabilia in auctions to a character on Sesame Street. The Count eventually made him an icon, a status Lugosi would often regret during his lifetime.

Lugosi confessed to his last wife that his role as Count Dracula had made him a success financially but ruined him artistically. After a decade of trying vainly to broaden his range and obtain parts that would challenge his acting abilities, Lugosi realized that he had been permanently typecast as a horror film villain. For the rest of his career, he supported himself with roles that were all in some way a variation on the first – madmen bent on sacrificing others for their own gain.

Near the end, even these roles became difficult to find, and ultimately Lugosi was reduced to a sad parody of his former self, making humiliating public appearances and accepting obscure parts far beneath his acting abilities. His partnership with director Ed Wood further deteriorated his reputation. The last years of his life were marked by financial crises, personal turmoil, and drug addiction.

As a child, Arthur Lennig was a devoted fan of Lugosi and even had the opportunity to meet his idol on three occasions. The author has spent decades gathering biographical information for this volume, drawing on archival materials obtained from Hungary and Romania as well as interviews, interoffice studio memos, shooting scripts, and his own recollections. Offering new insights into the films and personality of an actor who could not overcome Hollywood typecasting, The Immortal Count is the definitive account of  Lugosi’s tragic life and times.

ARTHUR LENNIG, emeritus professor of cinema at the University of Albany, is the author of Stroheim and several other hooks on silent film.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 548 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 960 g (33,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2003 – ISBN 0-8131-2273-2

The Incomparable Rex (Patrick Garland)

Garland, Patrick - RexThe Incomparable Rex is an affectionate and witty memoir of one of Britain’s great theatrical and cinematic talents: Rex Harrison. When he died in 1990, the English-speaking world lost one of its most eloquent and fastidious high comedians.

He was famed for his urbane style, his mordant wit, his numerous wives and his truly appalling temper, quite apart from his legendary and much loved performance as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady on both stage and screen. Patrick Garland worked with Harrison on the revival of My Fair Lady and came to know him well, following the production around on tour, as well as on Broadway in 1980-81.

This is not a conventional biography but a collection of anecdotes, diary extracts, pen-portraits and personal reminiscences which give a flavor of this complex man, of the pressures of working with him and a large cast and of reviving a great musical on the American stage.

The Incomparable Rex is a classic theatrical memoir which will enchant and amuse its readers.

PATRICK GARLAND has enjoyed a career in theater, television and films of astonishing range and diversity. In 1968, he directed John Gielgud in Alan Bennett’s first play Forty Years On, which he revived ten years later at Chichester, with Paul Eddington in the leading role. He directed the musical Billy with Michael Crawford at Drury Lane, and A Doll’s House on stage in New York and later, London, and made the film with Claire Bloom, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Richardson and Edith Evans in 1976. In 1980, he was responsible for the York Mystery Plays. He has also directed Hair! in Israel, Handel’s opera Ottone in Japan, and A Room of One’s Own in New York with Eileen Atkins. The original Brief Lives, which he wrote and directed in 1968, held the record in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest-running one-man show for almost a decade. He acted as Artistic Director of the Chichester Festival Theatre 1981-4 and 1990-94. Patrick Garland was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in English Language and Literature for distinguished services to the theater, and received an Honorary Fellowship from his former college, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1997. He has written several books including a novel based on his father’s experiences in the Royal Flying Corps called The Wings of the Morning.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 258 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 546 g (19,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Macmillan Publishers, Ltd., London, 1988 – ISBN 0-333-71796-1

Ingrid Bergman: My Story (Ingrid Bergman, with Alan Burgess)

Bergman, Ingrid - My StoryOne of the world’s finest stage and screen actresses gives us an autobiography as outstanding as she is. More than just an account of her illustrious career, here is a totally candid self-portrait of a remarkable woman: her personal failures as well as her public successes.

From childhood on, Ingrid Bergman was committed to being an actress, sure of herself only in that role, led by the men in her life in other decisions. As a young unknown just arrived in this country to make Intermezzo, she could confront a David O. Selznick, at the height of his power, and insist that she would not be made into a Hollywood stereotype. But as a wife she was used to being told what to do.

Throughout her career Ingrid Bergman has sought new challenges as an actress – roles that would change her image and test her abilities: Gaslight, Casablanca, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Notorious, Indiscreet, Anastasia, Autumn Sonata. It was her interest in the startling dramatic realism of Roberto Rossellini’s Open City and Paisan that inspired her to write, offering to work for Rossellini. That letter led to Stromboli and the end of her marriage.

Her fans thought of her as she was in The Bells of St. Mary’s and Joan of Arc: a nun, a saint, the embodiment of virtue. But when she left her husband and child for Rossellini, she fell so far from grace that she was even condemned in the Senate. She went from number one at the box-office to nearly oblivion. It would be sixteen years before she would see Hollywood again.

Ingrid Bergman, the human being – warm, witty, humorous and relentlessly honest – shines through the pages of her memoir. Whether writing of Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Alfred Hitchcock, or Cary Grant, of her three Academy Awards or her three marriages, she does so with disarming candor and humanity.

Co-author ALAN BURGESS is a BBC producer and the author of six previous books, including The Small Woman, which became the motion picture The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, in which Ingrid Bergman starred. His vast research and interview material from those surrounding Ingrid Bergman – directors, co-stars, friends, husbands and children – combine to produce this superb autobiography of one of the legends of our time.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 504 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.035 g (36,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-440-03299-7

Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, A Personal Biography (Charlotte Chandler)

Chandler, Charlotte - Ingrid A Personal BiographyIngrid Bergman was one of the biggest and most glamorous stars in Hollywood – until she became one of the most controversial, when an international scandal threatened to end her career. She had starred in several now-classic films: Casablanca, Spellbound, Notorious, Gaslight, and her co-stars included such Hollywood icons as Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, and Gregory Peck. In this insightful new biography, Charlotte Chandler draws on her extensive conversations with Bergman herself to describe what happened from Bergman’s point of view, revealing a complex and fascinating woman who lived life intensely.

Already a movie star in her native Sweden, Ingrid Bergman became an instant sensation for David O. Selznick in Hollywood and the number one box-office star in the world. But the most dramatic event in her life took place off the screen when she made a film in Italy and began a passionate romance with her director, Roberto Rossellini. The scandal that followed left her exiled from America, ostracized by Hollywood, vilified in the press, denounced by clergy, censured in the U.S. Senate – and separated from her young daughter. She was able to make films only with Rossellini.

In the words of those who were involved, Chandler describes Bergman’s life before, during, and after the scandal. Among those Chandler spoke with were Alfred Hitchcock, George Cukor, Sidney Lumet, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Greta Garbo, and Liv Ullman. She spoke with Roberto Rossellini; their twin daughters, Isabella and Isotta Ingrid; Rossellini’s son, Renzo; Ingrid’s daughter Pia Lindstrom; and others who knew Ingrid well. This  extraordinary access makes Ingrid: Ingrid Berman, A Personal Biography the most perceptive and revealing book ever written about the charismatic Hollywood legend.

CHARLOTTE CHANDLER is the author of several biographies of actors and directors, among them Groucho Marx, Federico Fellini, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, and Bette Davis. She is a member of the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 334 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 576 g (20,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-7432-9421-8

Inherited Risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam (Jeffrey Meyers)

A brilliant father-son biography of the scandalous life of movie star Errol Flynn – and of his son’s equally glamorous yet doomed career as a war photographer in Vietnam.

On April 6, 1970, the charismatic Sean Flynn rode his motorcycle into a roadblock, was captured by the Vietcong, and vanished into the jungle. Errol’s son shared his father’s good looks, charm, athleticism, courage, and artistic talent. But Sean also inherited his father’s love of risk, compelling him to lead an equally romantic but tragically brief life.

The story of both men’s chillingly similar lives begins with Errol. He was born in Australia, where his mother beat him or ignored him. He spent his early adult life in the savage outposts of New Guinea as a tobacco planter, gold prospector, bird trapper, diamond smuggler, and slave trader. By the time fame arrived, drinking, drugs, and sex with underage girls assured him legendary status for recklessness, as well as an early death.

Sean was obsessed with his father, a remote and mythical figure. Never able to break free from Errol’s overpowering legacy, Sean established his own heroic reputation. The father played a daredevil on-screen, the son – as brilliant and daring as his father – was driven to increase the stakes. His final gallant and suicidal gesture carried the Flynn tradition to its inevitable conclusion.

JEFFREY MEYERS has published forty books and more than five hundred articles on modern American, English, and European literature. He has received a multitude of awards and fellowships, and is one of the twelve Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is now writing a biography of Somerset Maugham.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 637 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-7432-1090-5

Initialen B.B.: Autobiografie (Brigitte Bardot: originally titled Initiales B.B.)

Bardot, Brigitte - Initialen B BInitialen B.B. is de langverwachte autobiografie van Brigitte Bardot, die de periode vanaf haar jeugd tot aan 1973 – het jaar dat ze zich terugtrok uit de filmwereld – bestrijkt. Bardot gaat uitvoerig en openhartig in op haar spectaculaire filmcarrière, haar talloze relaties met beroemdheden (Gilbert Bécaud, Roger Vadim, Gunter Sachs en vele anderen), haar jetset-avonturen en haar ontembare zucht naar aandacht.

Roger Vadim bombardeerde haar tot seksueel icoon in Et Dieu créa la femme; onmiddellijk wilde iedere vrouw eruitzien als B.B.: opgestoken blond haar, zwart opgemaakte ogen, pruilmondje en uitdagende kleding.

Het fenomeen Brigitte Bardot – die in het jaar 1958 in haar eentje meer deviezen Frankrijk binnenbracht dan de Renault-fabrieken – lucht op onverbloemde en vaak humoristische wijze haar hart over de ups en vooral downs in het leven van een superster: geld, aanzien en ontmoetingen met legendes als De Gaulle (die ze bewonderde) en Marilyn Monroe (die ze aanbad), maar ook niets en niemand ontziende paparazzi, agressieve fans, jaloezie en eenzaamheid.

Brigitte Bardot schreef Initialen B.B. – dat meer dan tachtig foto’s, grotendeels uit Bardots privé-archief bevat – in de jaren 1994-1996, zonder ghostwriter.

Softcover – 544 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 753 g (26,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Vassallucci, Amsterdam, 1996 – ISBN 90 5000 039 8

In My Father’s Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles (Chris Welles Feder)

Welles Feder, Chris - In My Father's Shadow, A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles“Toward the end of his life, my father began calling me more often… His laughter rolled across the continent, and what a life-affirming sound it was. I could imagine him at that moment: his eyes lit with the joy of laughing, his boyish face wagging an incongruous beard streaked with gray, his huge belly trembling. ‘Now you don’t worry your pretty head about me.’ A soft chuckle. The tide of his laughter ebbing. ‘They may turn their backs on me now, but you wait and see, darling girl. They’re gonna love me when I’m dead!’ It was one of the last things my father ever said to me.”

Orson Welles was – and remains – one of the truly iconic figures to emerge from the confusion of Hollywood and the indelible world of films. A “bad boy” who rankled the powerful studio czars, he was the creator and star of what is considered by many to be the greatest American film, Citizen Kane. Welles’s importance in the pantheon of filmmakers, as well as the controversy that surrounded his life, has given rise to some two dozen biographies. None of those books, however, was written by someone who knew him intimately, who witnessed the weakness and doubt behind his bravura facade, or who loved him as only a daughter can love a father.

Chris Welles Feder grew up just outside the limelight, a child of Hollywood, exposed to the world of films but, other than one small part in her father’s movie version of Macbeth, never actually a part of it. Considered a genius by many and a failure by some, Orson Welles was constantly at work acting in or directing movies, yet whenever possible he spent time with Chris, one of the three daughters he fathered, each with a different woman. And though her parents’ marriage faltered while she was still very young, Chris continued to adore this enigmatic man who was in and out of her life.

In My Father’s Shadow is a moving and insightful look at being in the shadow of a legendary figure, as well as an immensely entertaining story of growing up a child of Hollywood. This classic story of a life in the public eye is told with affection and the wide-eyed wonder of a daughter who never stopped believing that someday she would truly know and understand her elusive and larger-than-life father.

CHRIS WELLES FEDER has spent a great part of her life working in the field of education and is known to many as an author of Brain Quest. She lives with her husband in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 279 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 567 g (20 oz) – PUBLISHER Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-56512-599-5

Inquisition in Eden (Alva Bessie)

bessie-alvah-inquisition-in-edenOne night in 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, when Alvah Bessie was fighting with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, his company commander said, “You started something, baby, when you came to Spain.” Twelve years later, when Bessie finally realized the significance of that remark, he had ended one of the most glamorous of all careers and was serving a year’s sentence in a prison cell in Texas. In this wry, witty, and moving personal narrative, he is the first of the famous “Hollywood Ten” to tell the whole incredible story of the ten screenwriters, producers, and directors who went to jail for a misdemeanor called contempt of Congress when they declined to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. The internationally publicized investigation by the HUAC was as wild as a Hollywood extravaganza, with cheering fans thronging through the halls, newsreel and TV cameras recording the stars who came to testify, and the antics of the Committee’s own chairman, J. Parnell Thomas – but it had a tragic ending. Even today, only a couple of the convicted men, all distinguished in their fields, are considered acceptable in Hollywood under their own names. For Bessie and hundreds of other motion-picture artists, there is the blacklist.

Bessie went to Hollywood in 1943 as a widely published critic and novelist. Four years later he was a highly paid, rapidly rising screenwriter, with an Academy Award nomination for the first original story he had written for film (Objective Burma) and a reputation for radical views that were tolerated if not shared by his colleagues. Then, in October, 1947, with his appearance before the HUAC, the big money and the glamor came to a stunning end. In a devastating look at the Hollywood of the forties, he tells some wildly funny stories – and some image-destroying ones – about the men and women who made the Hollywood legend: William Faulkner, John Garfield, Jerry Wald, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, Walter Huston, and all the famous and infamous, accomplished and incompetent who wheeled and dealed on the movie lots. As Oscar Levant has said: “Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you find the real tinsel underneath.” And here is the real tinsel.

Inquisition in Eden is the long-awaited first-hand account of one of the most disturbing periods in our time: an insider’s view of a legendary industry gripped by a witch-hunt few can forget.

ALVAH BESSIE has written three novels, a nonfiction book about the Spanish Civil War, edited an anthology entitled The Heart of Spain, and done numerous articles and translations. Blacklisted in 1947, he has since written only occasional screenplays under a pseudonym and on the black market.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 562 g (19,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1965

The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-1960 (Larry Ceplair, Steven Englund)

ceplair-larry-inquisition-in-hollywoodThe blacklist. The Hollywood Ten. These words, evocative as they are, do not reveal that, from 1933 through 1947, Hollywood was the focal point of progressive political activity in the United States. Nor do they convey that the imprisonments and blacklistings were not an isolated outbreak of Cold War hysteria, but rather the successful conclusion of two decades of efforts by conservative and reactionary forces to curtail political activism in Hollywood.

In the thirties and forties, Hollywood activists – Lillian Hellman, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Dalton Trumbo, among others – took part in countless political battles. They founded guilds, aided anti-fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War, and helped elect progressive candidates to public office. But progressives were unwelcome in an industry dominated by the last tycoons – especially since that industry was America’s most glamorous and visible. With the outbreak of the Cold War, and the fear of anything labeled “Communist” that it engendered, the right wing finally managed, by means of the blacklist, to bring thought control to Hollywood – and to America.

The Inquisition in Hollywood tells the real story of America’s El Dorado – how, for a brief time and against immense obstacles, a group of dedicated men and women transformed Hollywood from a glamorous symbol of unreality into the center of social and political consciousness in the United States.

LARRY CEPLAIR has a Ph.D. in social history from the University of Wisconsin. He has taught history and social science in New York City and Los Angeles. STEVEN ENGLUND, historian, journalist, and writer, was formerly a member of the UCLA history department. His work has appeared in many publications. Mr. Englund is currently writing a book about a murder.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 536 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 899 g (31,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Anchor Press / Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-385-12900-9

In Search of Donna Reed (Jay Fultz)

fultz-jay-in-search-of-donna-reedIn Search of Donna Reed reveals a woman whose intelligence and force of character often put her at odds with the roles she portrayed both on and off-screen. Reed, always angered by the treatment of women in Hollywood, turned political activist in middle age, confronting for the first time the arrogance of power. She was, said writer Barbara Avedon, a feminist before there was a feminist vocabulary. But she eludes any label. This first biography of Donna Reed also contains the first extended discussion of her television show. The personal richness that Reed brought to her television role has been filtered out in the caricature perpetuated by pop critics. In the media “Donna Reed” is Donna Stone distorted as a female-manqué who wears pearls and high heels around the house. But Donna Reed’s long hold on viewers depends on irreducible qualities that have nothing to do with this fixed image, as Fultz suggests.

He follows her development from Iowa farm girl to apprentice in Hollywood to mature juggler of the demands of family and career to antiwar activist. Drawing on Reed’s letters and on interviews, Fultz looks for what was real in a very private person without discarding what is romantic in any pursuit of a public one. He shows why the rich and principled life of Donna Reed matters in this more cynical time.

JAY FLUTZ has taught film history at the University of Nebraska and published articles on James Agee. He is Bison Books editor at the University of Nebraska Press.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 236 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 531 g (18,7 oz) – PUBLISHER University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, Iowa, 1998 – ISBN 0-87745-625-9

In Search of The Third Man (Charles Drazin)

Fifty years after its opening in 1949 The Third Man remains unsurpassed as a masterpiece of British cinema. Whether it is Harry Lime’s magical first appearance, or the celebrated cuckoo clock speech, or the climatic chase through the sewers of Vienna, or the haunting theme music of Anton Karas, the film contains some of the most memorable moments in movie history.

Bringing together such strong and disparate personalities as Graham Greene, Carol Reed, Orson Welles, David O. Selznick and Sir Alexander Korda, the film was an example of a group endeavor that depended as much on chance as design. At times the planning and making seemed more like a battle than a collaboration. And although the circumstances of its making were dramatic and eventful, until now that story has never been fully told. Drawing on both contemporary documents and accounts of the people involved, In Search of The Third Man explores the many myths that over the years have grown around this extraordinary piece of cinema, and seeks to unravel the facts from the fiction.

This is the story not only of a film, but of a pivotal moment in twentieth-century history. Capturing with documentary precision the look and feel of a war-torn Vienna, The Third Man mirrored all the uncertainties and confusions of its time and anticipated the mood of the post-war age.

CHARLES DRAZIN was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, in 1960. He was educated at St Anthony’s School, Hamstead, then went on to Highgate School and Oxford University. He wrote about some of the great British filmmakers of the 1940s in his book The Finest Years (1998) and is currently writing a biography of Sir Alexander Korda. He lives with his wife and son in south-west London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 210 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 381 g (13,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Methuen Publishing Ltd., London, 1999 – ISBN 0 413 73930 9

Inside Guides: California (edited by John Wilcock)

inside-guides-californiaIf you want to understand California instead of being just another sightseer, this all-in-one book from the award-winning Insight Guide team provides a true insider’s perspective. The work of local writers and top-notch photographers is combined to provide an inspiring background reader, a practical on-the-spot companion and a wonderful souvenir of your visit.

What modern-day dispute has its origins in the Gold Rush? Which 1920s movie mogul built one of the first airports in America? History comes to life here. Who called the California mountains the “window to the heavens?” Which coveted film role did Mae West reject?

Experts write about California’s culture. A full run-down, with detailed maps, on the sights worth seeing, from Disneyland to Death Valley, from the hills of San Francisco to the streets of LA. All the addresses, telephone numbers and practical information you’ll need.

Softcover – 376 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 760 g (26,8 oz) – PUBLISHER APA Publications, London, 1997 – ISBN 0-88729-633-5

Inside Guides: Los Angeles (edited by John Wilcock)

inside-guides-los-angelesIf you want to understand Los Angeles instead of being just another sightseer, this all-in-one book from the award-winning Insight Guide team provides a true insider’s perspective. Local writers and top-notch photographers join forces to provide a good background reader, an on-the-spot companion and a scintillating souvenir of your visit.

Why was Hollywood almost called Figwood? When was Venice named after the beautiful city of canals in Italy? And why? History comes to life here. Where did Raymond Chandler live? How much does a star pay to have his or her imprint on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame? Experts on Los Angeles tell all.

A full run-down, with detailed maps, on the sights worth seeing, from Sunset Boulevard to San Diego, from Disneyland to the Hollywood dream factories. All the addresses, telephone numbers and practical information you’ll need.

Softcover – 302 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 586 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER APA Publications, London, 1998 – ISBN 0-88729-704-8

Inside Guides: Southern California (edited by John Wilcock)

inside-guides-southern-californiaIf you want to understand one of America’s most idiosyncratic regions instead of being just another sightseer, this all-in-one guidebook provides a true insider’s perspective. Local writers and top-notch photographers join forces to provide a fine background reader, a valuable on-the-spot companion and a scintillating souvenir of your visit. Expert writers trace Southern California’s past, from the fishing skills of the Chumash tribe to the dream making skills of modern Hollywood.

Who claimed to invent the movies in 1877? How do car makers and ecologists co-exist? What happens to all the illegal aliens? A full run-down, with detailed maps, on the sights really worth seeing, from the delights of Disneyland to the depths of Death Valley, from north of Los Angeles to south of the border with Mexico. All the addresses, telephone numbers and practical information you’ll need.

Softcover – 362 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 715 g (25,2 oz) – PUBLISHER APA Publications, London, 2000 – ISBN 0-88729-771-4

Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (Mason Wiley, Damien Bona)

Wiley, Mason - Inside Oscar“Despite the proliferation of awards these days, Oscar remains the one symbol of achievement in the entertainment field that’s recognized around the world,” said Maggie Smith at the 1970 Academy Awards, and Inside Oscar gives the whole story of Oscar’s rise to fame.

Every Oscar year is here, complete with the stories about the sensational newcomers, the Hollywood veterans, and the has-beens making comebacks, all vying for the golden statuette. Who were the favorites, who were the upset winners, and who knew they didn’t stand a chance. Who bad-mouthed the Oscars and who bent over backwards campaigning for one – often they are the same people. Where the no-shows were, and where the winners celebrated afterwards.

Each chapter contains an overview of the film year – the hits, the critical successes, the bombs – and the resulting Oscar campaigns. The Big Night covers the ceremony itself, from the entrances, where stars display their gowns and escorts, to the handing out of the Awards. Acceptance speeches, major gaffes, and embarrassing moments are all here, as well as the backstage conflicts. The aftermath concludes with the post-show interviews, the Governors’ Ball, the post-Oscar parties, the reviews of the show, and the final remarks of the winners and losers. Complete lists of all emcees, award presenters, and performers of nominated songs accompany the text, while the nominations are arranged for easy-reference in the back of the book, along with the frequent rule changes and points of interest, e.g. the oldest and youngest winners, those named for family debuts, nominated family members, etc.

Oscar fans know that appearances are as important as the Awards themselves, so Inside Oscar includes all the sartorial data – from Barbra Streisand’s see-through pantsuit to Julie Christie’s gold pajamas to Diane Keaton’s “Annie Hall” look to Sammy Davis, Jr.’s Nehru’s jacket. Major tonsorial events are also recorded, from Tuesday Weld’s bouffant hair-do collapsing on camera to Elke Sommer wearing her hair in the shape of a reel of a film.

As irresistible as the movies they honor, the Academy Awards are Hollywood’s most cherished ritual. They offer drama, glamor, and hilarity and Inside Oscar captures it all.

MASON WILEY and DAMIEN BONA are Oscar fans who haven’t missed an Oscar broadcast in two decades. They both live in New York City. Mason Wiley is also the co-author of The Official Preppy Handbook.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 850 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 19 cm (9,5 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 1.660 g (58,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbus Books, Bromley, Kent, 1986 – ISBN 0-86287-202-2

Inside Out: A Memoir of the Blacklist (Walter Bernstein)

Autographed copy Walter Bernstein

Bernstein, Walter - Inside OutAn immensely alive, witty and generous memoir of the blacklist nightmare by a writer who was himself blacklisted in the anti-Communist hysteria (simply to be accused of being Red was enough to destroy a career in film, radio or television) that hit America in the 1940s and culminated in the McCarthyism of the 1950s.

Bernstein vividly records his journey through the decades when mention in Red Channels meant professional death and the Hollywood community was torn between those who were willing and those who refused to obtain a reprieve by denouncing their leftist (even left-leaning) friends and colleagues to the anti-Red zealots. His book includes fascinating glimpses of leading Hollywood figures – the great and the terrible, the brave and the craven. It has been greeted with a burst of advance acclaim.

WALTER BERNSTEIN was for many years a contributor to The New Yorker. He wrote for Yank during World War II and for some of television’s finest dramatic shows. But movies have been the love of his life, and he is best known as a writer of films, among them Fail Safe, The Molly Maguires, The Front (nominated for an Academy Award), Semi-Tough and Yanks. For a decade following his blacklisting in 1950 his work in film and television was attributed to others. He is the recipient of a Writers Guild Award for lifetime achievement and is an adjunct professor of screenwriting at Columbia University. He lives with his wife in New York, where he was born.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 3292 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 575 g (20,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-394-58341-8

Inside Warner Bros. (1935-1951): The Battles, The Brainstorms, and the Bickering – From the Files of Hollywood’s Greatest Studio (Rudy Behlmer)

behlmer-rudy-inside-warner-bros-1935-1951Warner Bros. studio wanted memos. It insisted on them: “Verbal communication leads to misunderstanding and mistakes. Put your ideas in writing.” As Rudy Behlmer discloses in Inside Warner Bros. (1935-1951), everyone at Warner Bros. wrote letters, cables, memos, notes to everyone else. Here is Warner Bros.-by-memo, from the office during the studio’s most creative period, a studio built out of a passionate blend of voices, all of them cajoling, harping, complaining, and praising actors, directors and productions on the sets of Robin Hood, High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, A Streetcar Named Desire, Casablanca, and many, many more.

Author-producer-director RUDY BEHLMER has been involved with film and television for thirty-five years. Memo from David O. Selznick is among the other books he has written. Mr. Behlmer lives in North Hollywood.

Softcover – 358 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 577 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-671-63135-7

Intérieur Soir (Édouard Molinaro)

scannen0012Une ravissante idiote, Oscar, Hibernatus, Mon oncle Benjamin, L’Emmerdeur, Le téléphone rose, L’Homme pressé, L’Amour en douce, Le Souper, Beaumarchais: les films d’Édouard Molinaro ont marqué notre époque.

Claude Sautet, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Alain Cavalier, entre autres, ont été ses assistants. Il a tourné avec les stars les plus connues du cinéma français, a eu des rapports idylliques avec Brigitte Bardot, compliqués avec Louis de Funès, électriques avec Alain Delon.

Jacques Brel considérait Mon oncle Benjamin comme le film le plus important de sa carrière. Entre les deux hommes existaient une grande complicité et une amitié sincère.

ÉDOUARD MOLINARO a croisé de grandes figures de notre temps. En partant d’elles, il parle aussi de lui, de sa passion pour son métier, de ses joies et de ses déceptions.

Softcover – 305 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 509 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER S. N. Éditions Anne Carrière, Paris, 2009ISBN  978-2-8433-7558-3

Intermission: A True Tale (Anne Baxter)

Autographed copy To Joyce from Margot – ! and, Anne Baxter

scannen0068Academy Award-winning actress Anne Baxter writes with intensity and compassion about four years in the Australian outback.

Adding another creative dimension to her career with this stunning first book, Miss Baxter continues in her lifelong tradition of collecting challenges the way some women collect diamonds. She fully recounts the greatest challenge of her life: moving, at the height of her career, to the harsh outback of Australia to be with the man she loved.

The move to Australia, 8,670 miles from Hollywood, was in its way a wild “I dare you.” Here is the whole story of Miss Baxter’s attempt to fame and civilize a remote, harsh spot in the Australian wilderness and provide a home for her husband and two children.

Interspersed throughout the book are flashbacks to Anne Baxter’s professional career: her stepping onto the Broadway stage for the first time at thirteen years of age and behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the casting and filming of such film classics as All About Eve, The Razor’s Edge, and I Confess. But always in the forefront of this remarkable book is Giro, the 37,000-acre cattle ranch 180 miles north of Sydney that was home for four years.

The book throbs with high intelligence and a shining ambivalence. Miss Baxter is awed by Australia, yet is frequently the victim of the toughness of pioneer life, a toughness which ultimately took its toll and brought her back to  America, but not before she had a chance to live out this unique adventure, brilliantly retold here.

ANNE BAXTER currently lives in Southern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 384 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 698 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1976 – SBN 399-11577-3

International Aventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s (Tim Bergfelder)

bergfelder-tim-international-adventuresWest German cinema of the 1960s is frequently associated with the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers, collectively known by the 1970s as the “New German Cinema.” Yet for domestic and international audiences at the time, German cinema primarily meant popular genres such as exotic adventure films, Gothic crime thrillers, westerns, and sex films, which were dismissed by German filmmakers and critics of the 1970s as “Daddy’s Cinema.” International Adventures provides the first comprehensive account of these genres, and charts the history of the West German film industry and its main protagonists from the immediate post-war years to its boom period in the 1950s and 1960s. By analyzing film genres in the context of industrial practices, literary traditions, biographical trajectories, and wider cultural and social developments, this book uncovers a forgotten period of German filmmaking that merits reassessment.

International Adventures firmly locates its case studies within the wider dynamic of European cinema. In its study of West German cinema’s links and cooperations with other countries including Britain, France, and Italy, the book addresses what is perhaps the most striking phenomenon of 1960s popular film genres: the dispersal and disappearance of markers of national identity in increasingly international narratives and modes of production.

TIM BERGFELDER is Head of Film Studies at the University of Southampton. He has published widely on German and European cinema, and is co-editor of The German Cinema Book (2002) and The Titanic in Myth and Memory (2004).

Hardcover – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 541 g (19,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Berghan Books, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 1-57181-538-4

In the Absence of Angels: A Hollywood Family’s Courageous Story (Elizabeth Glaser, with Laura Palmer)

glaser-elizabeth-in-the-absence-of-angelsThey were a couple who seemed to have everything. Elizabeth Glaser was an elementary school teacher who loved her work. Her husband, Paul Michael Glaser, was the star of television’s Starsky and Hutch. In 1981, Elizabeth was going through a difficult birth with their first child, a daughter named Ariel. After hemorrhaging badly, Elizabeth was transfused with seven pints of blood. Three weeks later she read about the risk of contracting AIDS through transfusions, but her physician was calm and reassuring. “Elizabeth,” he said, “your nightmare is over.”

But it wasn’t. Four years later Ariel Glaser developed AIDS. The family realized then that the transfused blood had been tainted. Mother, daughter, and a son born after Ariel were all infected. Only Paul was HIV-negative. Fearfully, the Glasers told their closest friends. Some stopped calling; others refused to let their children play with the Glasers’ children. Then, as Ariel’s health starred failing, Elizabeth decided she had to fight AIDS from the trenches.

Expecting to join others on the front of the war on pediatric AIDS, she discovered a sobering truth – there was no army to fight the war. No one was fighting for the children. No one was raising money on behalf of the children. Realizing there was no time to be lost, Elizabeth and two friends created the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Finally, children with AIDS had a group working just for them. Without a shred of previous experience in Washington or in fund-raising, and with only the love of friends and family to support them, Elizabeth and her friends began to form a national research agenda for pediatric AIDS.

From the homes of some of Hollywood’s greatest stars to the halls of Congress and even the private quarters of the White House, Elizabeth gains support and demonstrates how an ordinary mother can make a difference, and how even the most powerful officials in the U.S. government will respond with compassion to the experiences of one woman fighting for the life of her child. At once heartwarming and enraging, In the Absence of Angels is a gutsy and unflinchingly honest story of how one person can, without self-pity or bitterness, rise to respond to extraordinary circumstances.

ELIZABETH GLASER devotes her energies full-time to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which she co-founded. She and her family live in Santa Monica, California. LAURA PALMER is the critically acclaimed author of Shrapnel in the Heart: Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 319 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 615 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-399-13577-4

In the Arena: An Autobiography (Charlton Heston)

Autographed copy Charlton Heston

Heston, Charlton - In the ArenaHe is known by millions worldwide for his magnificent portrayals of remarkable men. As an actor, he has reached a level of success and recognition few have achieved and been accorded an acclaim few have received. Now, looking back over a career that has spanned half a century and a lifetime devoted to being the best possible, both as an actor and as a man, Charlton Heston writes of what it was like to live In the Arena.

In this autobiography – his first ever and written entirely by himself – Charlton Heston writes with candor and warmth of the forces that shaped his early life; of a broken home; of a shy, insecure young man who found in acting a way to express himself; and of Lydia, the beautiful young woman he met while in college and married more than fifty years ago, who remains a true life partner.

Heston began his career as an actor in New York shortly after he returned from service in World War II. Television was a fledgling industry then, and there were many opportunities for young performers in this new medium. Broadway was thriving as well, and Heston found work there too. It was not long, however, before Hollywood took note of his talents and his commanding presence. Soon he was embarked on a series of films that were both memorable and hugely successful.

Most actors dream of landing the one big role that will firmly implant them in the consciousness of the movie-going public. Charlton Heston’s career has included many such roles. He was Moses in The Ten Commandments; he played the title character in Ben-Hur (for which he won an Academy Award); he was Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy; he played the title character in El Cid; he has played presidents, generals, and statesmen. And in each case he defined those characters, giving them a reality that made them and the films both memorable and immediate. Charlton Heston has also been blessed in the caliber of directors with whom he has worked, including such legendary figures as Cecil B. De Mille, Orson Welles, and William Wyler. In this book, Heston writes in depth of the experience of working with these men on some of Hollywood’s greatest films.

In recent years, Heston has continued to appear in films, on stage, and on television, but at the same time, he has devoted a great amount of his energy to causes in which he has strong and outspoken beliefs. An active supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the early days of the struggle for civil rights in America, he continues to this day to lobby hard for the rights of all men to live fairly and equally in a country that he loves dearly. In In the Arena, he writes eloquently and passionately of his beliefs and of his continuing support for the kind of personal freedoms on which America was founded. Charlton Heston would be the first to say that he has been blessed – to have a wife and family he adores, to be granted the God-given talent that has enabled him to enjoy so phenomenal a career, and to be born into a country that allowed him the freedom to follow whatever path he chose.

In In the Arena, he celebrates those blessings. It is a powerful statement, eloquently rendered.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 592 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 995 g (35,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-684-80394-1

In the Frame: My Life In Words and Pictures (Helen Mirren)

mirren-helen-helen-mirren-in-the-frameHelen Mirren has been an internationally acclaimed actress – and the recipient of many awards, transferring between stage, cinema and television – for over 40 years. Known in her youth for a forthright style, a liberated attitude and a bohemian outlook, she has never ceased to be out of the public eye, with legions of admiring fans all over the world. This illustrated memoir is an account of an extraordinary talent, and a life well lived.

Helen’s aristocratie Russian grandfather, Pyotr Vasielivich Mironov, a military man, was sent to London by the Czar and found himself stranded and penniless by the Bolshevik revolution, cut off from the family estate near Smolensk. He brought with him a trunk of papers and photographs. This delightful memoir starts with the contents of the trunk, with evocative pictures of Helen’s Russian antecedents. She has kept a rich seam of photographs and memorabilia from her life, and her parents, family life, childhood, teenage and early years as an actress living in insalubrious flats are vividly documented.

Helen’s many distinguished roles in theater, cinema and television and the illustrious men and women she has encountered are commemorated, as well as her forays into Hollywood and her subsequent life in the US with her husband, film director Taylor Hackford. Golden Globe and Oscar ceremonies make their appearance, as do many stunning images of Helen by the world’s leading photographers.

In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures is a book to savor, created and written by one of the great personalities of our age.

HELEN MIRREN, born Helen Mironov of Russian-English parentage, is one of the best-known and most respected actresses in Britain. In a career that spans stage, screen and television, she has become renowned for tackling challenging roles and has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances. She began her career with the National Youth Theatre in 1965 in a performance that resulted in her discovery. Two years later she was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred in a number of highly regarded productions. In 1972 she joined renowned director Peter Brook’s Theatre Company and toured the world. Her film career began in the late 1960s with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent, but her breakthrough role was in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Her performance saw critics hailing a major new screen star. She earned her first Academy Award nomination for her performance in The Madness of King George and her second for her role in Gosford Park. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Calendar Girls. Her most recent and celebrated role was as Elizabeth II in The Queen, for which she won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Academy Award as Best Actress. In the early 1990s, Helen starred in the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning television series Prime Suspect, in which she starred as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. The final Prime Suspect was released in 2006, bringing this iconic role to its conclusion, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Her television roles have won her a string of awards, most recently in 2006, for her performance as Elizabeth I, for which she won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Best Actress. Helen Mirren is married to the American film director Taylor Hackford. She became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 27 x 19,5 cm (10,6 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 1.155 g (40,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfield & Nicolson, London, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-297-85197-4

In the Wings: A Memoir (Diana Douglas Darrid; preface by Michael Douglas)

douglas-darrid-diana-in-the-wingsIf opposites attract, there were few attractions stronger than the one between Diana Dill, daughter of a prominent Bermudian family, and Kirk Douglas, son of Russian immigrants. Both were students at New York’s Academy of Dramatic Art, and an affinity quickly developed. Kirk Douglas went off on a Navy stint in the Second World War, while Diana pursued an acting and modeling career. The marriage of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill was a storybook union which resulted in the birth of two sons, Michael and Joel. After Kirk’s breakthrough performance in the film version of Champion and his emergence as a major star, their lives went in different directions, leading to their separation and eventual divorce.

Sometime later, while continuing to pursue an acting career, Diana met the man who proved the great love of her life. Actor, producer, and successful novelist, Bill Darrid was exactly the right man after the mercurial Douglas. They remained happily married for some thirty-seven years until his death in 1992.

Diana has acted in films, including the movie The Indian Fighter with Kirk Douglas, as well as on stages around the country playing opposite such actors as Henry Fonda, Roy Dotrice and John Houseman. She even played Howard Keel’s mother in a St. Louis Municipal Opera production of My Fair Lady although she was years younger than Keel.

When Michael Douglas, her elder son, asked her to pen a memoir for his son Cameron, she went to work setting on paper a long and lively life. This is that life, blemishes included. And her basic advice to her grandson, currently entering his twenties is fairly simple: “Be courageous, be compassionate, and, for God’s sake, have fun!”

DIANE DOUGLAS DARRID currently resides in California. She is ready to resume her acting career if a suitable role should surface. Among the plays in which she appeared: Hedda Gabler, Light Up The Sky, Cactus Flower, and Painting Churches.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 719 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-56980-141-7

The Intimate Life of Rudolph Valentino (Jack Scagnetti)

scagnetti-jack-the-intimate-life-of-rudolph-valentinoAlthough many books and articles have been written about Rudolph Valentino and his fabulous career, none have probed so deeply, and captured so clearly, the personality of the greatest idol of the silent screen. Many new, interesting insights, never before revealed are presented here for the first time. A galaxy of unique (and often, rare) photographs have been assembled, and are offered to help explain the meteoric, charismatic career of Valentino who, in just a few, brief years, captured the hearts of women the world over.

Extensive research and interviewing have gone into the making of this book, and the results speak for themselves. Friends and co-workers who knew Rudolph Valentino intimately on and off-camera were interviewed – or their writings were researched. All this information is presented here in a clear and methodical manner. Many of the sources of information are new, and these include: Mrs. Madeline Mahoney Reid, who wrote the Foreword to this volume, and whose father, Luther Mahoney, was a close friend and employee of Valentino. Mr. Mahoney, a short time before his death, put on tape (3-hours long) his personal recollections of the years he lived in the Valentino household where he was extremely close with the family.

There are also the recollections of Natacha Rambova, Valentino’s second wife, who many years ago issued a now rare volume about her life with the silent screen idol; comments of leaders and actors in the film industry who knew Valentino and / or worked with him. These include Dorothy and Lillian Gish who tried to get D.W. Griffith, discoverer of many screen stars, to sign Valentino; and also evaluations of such close friends as Richard Arlen and Valentino’s manager S. George Ullman; Pola Negri – Valentino’s last love, who is quoted often, and her relationship with the star helps us gain a deeper insight into the man who became a myth in his own lifetime; recollections of Charlie Chaplin, a friend of Valentino, who also had a love affair with Pola Negri; personal anecdotes and recollections of Mae Murray and Carmel Myers who starred with Valentino, and of Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers – friends of the idol.

Many of the photographs in this book are quite rare, particularly the candid, behind-the-scenes shots that were never previously published.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 22 cm (11 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., Middle Village, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8246-0197-1

Investigation Hollywood! (Fred Otash; foreword by Mickey Spillane)

Otash, Fred - Investigation HollywoodA veteran cop, who made his rebellious way up in the Los Angeles Police Department and later won a reputation as Hollywood’s toughest and most resourceful private eye, Fred Otash at last opens his files on the sensational lives of the stars and the star-crossed. Judy Garland: guarding her around the clock as she seeks a divorce from Sid Luft in a Tinseltown nightmare of tears and pills. Frank Sinatra: how he is accused of raiding the wrong apartment, as Joe DiMaggio gets curious about his estranged wife, Marilyn Monroe. Vic Damone: the singer is nearly rubbed out when a gangster’s wife gets a schoolgirl crush. Jeffrey Hunter: the man who played Christ starts an international chase after an abortion. Mickey Cohen: it’s war, as the hoodlum goes after the vending machine business and the Kennedy brothers go after the presidency. Anita Ekberg: a case of kiss and tell? Frankie Avalon: who gets engaged and hit with a paternitysuit, both in the same week. Errol Flynn: what’s so bad about stealing a cop’s badge? Yma Sumae: marital tempers and the martial arts. Nicky Hilton and John Carroll: how could two crack gin players be ripped off at the Friar’s Club? Scott Brady: the cops set him up on a marijuana charge.

Plus extortion plots, sexual sadism, a $ 100 negligee, a kosher food racket, bugged bedrooms, a swinging priest, illicit love on the analyst’s couch, kidnapping, suicide, presidential dalliances – and at least one completely virtuous wife.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 551 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1976 – ISBN 0-8092-8013-2

I Remember It Well (Vincente Minnelli, with Hector Arce; foreword by Alan Jay Lerner)

Minnelli, Vincente - I Remember It WellAs husband to the superstar of one generation and father to the superstar of another, few directors’ personal lives have been as extravagantly splashed in newspaper headlines and gossip columns as Vincente Minnelli’s.

In this profusely illustrated autobiography, the Academy Award-winning director shares the triumphs of one of Hollywood’s most distinguished careers. Through words, as well as photographs from his family photo album, Minnelli also tells for the first time of his bitter-sweet marriage to Judy Garland, and shares the excitement of preparing a new film with his most treasured ‘production’ – daughter Liza Minnelli.

He traces his life from his childhood days barnstorming with the Minnelli Brothers Tent Theater, to New York in the thirties, and then on to Hollywood where in 1940 he started a twenty-six year association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. During this latter period he is credited with almost singlehandedly bringing sophistication to the film musical through his introduction of the story ballet within the film as well as the first American use of surrealistic influences. Out of this new approach came such classics as Meet Me in St. Louis, The Pirate, An American in Paris, The Band Wagon and Gigi.

As he gives us the highlights of his career, Minnelli gives glimpses of some of the most exciting people in show business as he reminisces about Fanny Brice, Beatrice Lillie, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Fred Astaire, Katharine Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, Barbra Streisand, ad a host of others.

In this rare and personal book, a consummate craftsman stresses that ‘in the final analysis, my work is the story of my life,’ and proceeds to pay tribute to the special world of the cinema.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 391 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 830 g (29,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Angus & Robertson, Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 0 207 95638 3

Irene Dunne: First Lady of Hollywood (Wes D. Gehring)

Gehring, Wes D - Irene DunneThis is the first biography of one of the most versatile actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. A recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors award in 1985, Dunne’s acting highlights include five Best Actress Oscar nominations, occurring in almost as many different genres: the Western Cimarron (1931); two screwball comedies, Theodora Goes Wild (1936) and The Awful Truth (1937); the romantic comedy Love Affair (1939); and the populist I Remember Mama (1948). Her other films include My Favorite Wife (1940), Penny Serenade (1941), Anna and the King of Siam (1946), and Life with Father (1947).

After delving into Dunne’s childhood and early acting forays, the book reveals details about key events in her life and career, including a difficult, bicoastal marriage. The author also examines Dunne’s pivotal roles on stage and film, her movement among the genres of melodrama and screwball comedy, her ties to director Leo McCarey, and her postwar film career. Gehring’s research and insightful analysis shed light on what made Irene Dunne so unique and her performances so memorable.

WES D. GEHRING is Professor of Film at Ball State University and an Associate Media Editor of USA Today Magazine, for whom he also writes the column “Reel World.” He is the author of a previous Scarecrow Press title, Romantic vs. Screwball Comedy (2002), and his articles have appeared in numerous journals.

Hardcover – 216 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 472 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2003 – ISBN 0-8108-4820-1

Irving Berlin: American Troubadour (Edward Jablonski)

Although he could play piano in only one key and never learned to read music, or to transcribe it, Irving Berlin wrote some 1,500 songs, dozens of them part of the enduring body of Broadway lore. A prolific combination of genius and schmaltz, he was dubbed “America’s Franz Schubert” by George Gershwin, but another contemporary, Jerome Kern, was more definite: “Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American Music.” Indeed, this great Jewish composer commemorated America’s principal Christian holidays with White Christmas and Easter Parade. He celebrated the nation itself with God Bless America, a hymn so popular that it has become virtually a second national anthem.

Irving Berlin was born in czarist Russia in 1888. His family immigrated to America in 1893 and settled in a tenement on New York’s Lower East Side. Running away from home at age thirteen, he worked as a busker in the flamboyantly disreputable Bowery bars. He tried his hand on Broadway, was a singing waiter in Chinatown, and was also hired as a song plugger and lyricist for a Tin Pan Alley music publisher. So begins one of the biggest success stories of twentieth-century popular music. Berlin’s first writing credit was for the lyrics of the 1907 song Marie from Sunny Italy. His first landmark hit came in 1911 with the publication of Alexander’s Ragtime Band, and in 1919 Berlin celebrated the formation of his own music publishing firm with A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody. Irrepressible classics that followed include Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee, Check to Cheek, This Is the Army, Mr. Jones, and There’s No Business Like Show Business. These and many more were part of his output for Hollywood and Broadway. Among his film credits are three Astaire and Rogers romps – Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, and Carefree – and his Broadway shows include As Thousands Cheer, This Is the Army, Annie Get Your Gun, and Call Me Madam.

Irving Berlin died in 1989 at the age of one hundred and one. His life was the rags-to-riches story of an American century. Edward Jablonski, a consummate story teller, recounts Berlin’s life with the same contagious enthusiasm and musicological insight that made his Gershwin the definitive biography. Furthermore, Jablonski’s personal acquaintance with Berlin and all the major figures in Berlin’s circle serves to enrich his account and help him come the closest yet to explaining how Irving Berlin became the personification of American musical theater.

EDWARD JABLONSKI is the author of numerous books on American musical theater, including Gershwin: A Biography, Alan Jay Lerner: A Biography, and Rhythm, Rainbows, and Blues: The Life and Music of Harold Arlen. He won a special ASCAP award in 1985 for his contributions to the literature of American popular music. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 406 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 763 g (26,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Holt and Company, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-8050-4077-3

Isadora Duncan: My Life (Isadora Duncan)

duncan-isadora-my-life“Isadora was a wild voluptuary, a true revolutionary. She flouded every tradition… She alone and unhelped changed the direction of her entire art.” – Agnes DeMille

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), a remarkable visionary, revolutionized dance in the twentieth century, captivating audiences in the United States, Europe and Russia with her passionate, innovative, free-flowing style. Frank and open like her dancing, her famous autobiography describes her total commitment to establishing modern dance as a serious art form, leading the way for other great dance pioneers such as Ruth St. Denis, Agnes DeMille and Martha Graham.

Duncan tells of her early enchantment with classical music and poetry and their influence on her techniques, her great successes abroad, and her founding of schools of dance for children in France, Russia and Germany, as well as the love affairs and tragedies in her life.

Softcover – 255 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 276 g (9,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Victor Gollancz, London, 1928 (1996 reprint) – ISBN 0-575-06250-9

I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir (Lee Grant)

scannen0289Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, actress Lee Grant spent her youth accumulating more experiences than most people have in a lifetime: from student at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse to member of the legendary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway star to Vogue “It Girl.” At age twenty-four, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a year later found herself married and a mother for the first time, her career on the rise.

And then she lost it all. Her name landed on the Hollywood blacklist, her offers for film and television roles ground to a halt, and her marriage fell apart.

Finding reserves of strength she didn’t know she had, Grant took action against anti-Communist witch hunts in the arts. She threw herself into work, accepting every theater or teaching job that came her way. She met a man ten years her junior and began a wild, liberating fling that she never expected would last a lifetime. And after twelve years of fighting the blacklist, she was finally exonerated. With courage and style, Grant rebuilt her life on her own terms: first stop, a starring role on Peyton Place, and then leads in Valley of the Dolls, In the Heat of the Night, and Shampoo, for which she won her first Oscar.

Set amid the New York theater scene of the fifties and the star-studded parties of Malibu in the seventies, I Said Yes to Everything evokes a world of political passion and movie-star glamour. Grant tells endlessly delightful tales of co-stars and friends such as Warren Beatty, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Sidney Poitier, and writes with the verve and candor befitting such a seductive and beloved star.

LEE GRANT is an Emmy- and Academy Award-winning actress and director. In 1989, Women in Film honored her with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Grant, who founded Feury / Grant Entertainment with her husband, is an adjunct professor at Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 463 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 784 g (27,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Blue Rider Press, New York, New York, 2014 – ISBN 978-0-399-16930-4

It Don’t Worry Me: Nashville, Jaws, Star Wars and Beyond (Ryan Gilbey)

gilbey-ryan-it-dont-worry-meThe 1970s were a golden age for U.S. filmmaking, with the emergence of such talents as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Brian De Palma and Robert Altman. Ryan Gilbey now looks afresh at the remarkable movies of this era, and the gifted men who made them.

Today these directors are sometimes lambasted as sell-outs or burn-outs, but their finest films in the 1970s – from American Graffiti to The Conversation, Nashville to Carrie, Jaws to Taxi Driver – still appear as urgent and innovative as they did on first release, and continue to inspire young filmmakers at a time when Hollywood movies are once again sadly formulaic.

These directors were characterized by eclecticism, creative hunger and insatiable imagination. But what in the American scene were they reacting against? Just as crucially, what was it they were celebrating? Why have their movies endured? And why do they still dazzle us?

Gilbey also considers directors who established a body of work in the 1970s (Woody Allen), who blossomed as the decade progressed (Jonathan Demme) or who were prominent figures without being prolific (Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick). He takes each film and assesses its place in history, while also scrutinizing its virtues as if for the very first time – as if the movie was opening at a cinema near you this Friday.

RYAN GILBEY writes on film for a variety of publications, including Sight & Sound, the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times. He is former film critic of the Independent. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 392 g (13,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 2003 – ISBN 0-571-21486-X

The “It” Girl: The Incredible story of Clara Bow (Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein)

Morella, Joe - The It Girl The Incredible Story of Clara BowClara Bow had it, and it didn’t take Hollywood long to find out. From a tenement waif in Brooklyn to the hottest superstar of the twenties, she saw her career become easily the most dazzling and scandal-fraught of the era.

A sweetheart on the screen, a high-spirited seductress the rest of the time, Clara was loved by those who appreciated her honesty, wit and generosity, and hated by the old-guard Hollywood hostesses who thought her behavior shameless.

A woman of extraordinary talent and vitality, she was one of the few stars to survive the transition from silent movies to talkies – yet even at the pinnacle of her fame, she was haunted by an old and nagging fear, that she too would lose her sanity just as her mother had.

Here is an intimate portrait of one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic stars – in many ways a woman ahead of her time, in all ways a woman of rambunctious charm and insatiable appetites who more than lived up to the legend she created.

JOE MORELLA and EDWARD Z. EPSTEIN are co-authors of a number of successful books, including Gable & Lombard & Powell & Harlow; Lana: The Public and Private Lives of Lana Turner; Brando: The Unauthorized Biography; Rebels: The Rebel Hero in Films; and Judy: The Films and Career of Judy Garland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 284 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 540 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-440-04127-9

I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History (Walter Mirisch; forewords by Sidney Poitier, Elmore Leonard)

Autographed copy To Leo, With best wishes, Walter

Mirisch, Walter - I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not HistoryThis is a moving, star-filled account of one of Hollywood’s true golden ages as told by a man in the middle of it all. Walter Mirisch’s company has produced some of the most entertaining and enduring classics in film history, including West Side Story, Some Like It Hot, In the Heat of the Night, and The Magnificent Seven. His work has led to eighty-seven Academy Award nominations and twenty-eight Oscars. Illustrated with rare photographs from his personal collection, I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History reveals Mirisch’s own experience of Hollywood and tells the stories of the stars – emerging and established – who appeared in his films, including Natalie Wood, John Wayne, Peter Sellers, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Sidney Poitier, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, and many others.

With hard-won insight and gentle humor, Mirisch recounts how he witnessed the end of the studio system, the development of independent production, and the rise and fall of some of Hollywood’s most gifted (and notorious) cultural icons. A producer with a passion for creative excellence, he offers insights into his innovative filmmaking process, revealing a rare ingenuity for placating the demands of auteur directors, weak-kneed studio executives, and troubled screen sirens.

From his early start as a movie theater usher to the presentation of such masterpieces as The Apartment, Fiddler On the Roof, and The Great Escape, Mirisch tells the inspiring life story of his climb to the highest echelon of the American film industry. This book assures Mirisch’s legacy – as Elmore Leonard puts it – as “one of the good guys.”

WALTER MIRISCH is the producer, in whole or in part, of more than one hundred films. Among the Mirisch Company’s many honors are three Oscars for best picture – The Apartment (1960), West Side Story (1961), and In the Heat of the Night (1967). Mirisch has also received two honorary Academy Awards, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (1977) and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1983); he has been honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1977) presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures (1995) presented by the Producers Guild of America. He has been decorated by the Republic of France with its Order of Arts and Letters, received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received the UCLA Medal, that university’s highest award. Mirisch served three terms as president of the Producers Guild of America and four terms as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 449 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 845 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 2008 – ISBN 978-029922640-4

It’s a Hell of a Life But Not a Bad Living: A Hollywood Memoir (Edward Dmytryk)

Autographed copy To Leo, It’s nice to know you. Edward Dmytryk

In this warm, witty, and unusually candid memoir, award-winning film director Edward Dmytryk focuses on his 54 years in Hollywood, with a clear and seasond eye for all the glamor, artistry, and sweat of life in the movies.

Starting as a studio messenger boy in the days of the silents and advancing to projectionist and cutter (editor), Dmytryk quickly rose to the top of his profession as director for the major studios, creating such box-office hits as Crossfire, Raintree County, The Young Lions and The Caine Mutiny. He has worked with and directed a glittering array of the greats on the screen – the notorious, the recalcitrant, and the regal – and shares here a star-studded wealth of intimate, hilarious, and outrageous anecdotes of the temperamental Brando; the tortured Montgomery Clift; the ageless pros like Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable; then-fledglings Jane Fonda, Maximillian Schell, Walter Matthau and Anthony Quinn (who had to be stood aside an apple crate to keep him from upstaging); Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor; Bette Davis; Dorothy Malone; William Holden; Dick Powell; Robert Mitchum; Darryl F. Zanuck; and many more.

Dmytryk reveals fascinating secrets of his craft, the underpinnings of Tinseltown; how to use special effects and illusions; what makes a fine actor from Spencer Tracy’s “Read the lyrics, kid” to some of the more baroque method-acting techniques. He shares countless stories of a director’s trials and triumphs, and the challenges of filming on exotic locations around the world – Israel, Hungary, the Orient, Hawaii (directing a destroyer’s 2,000-man crew for “The Caine Mutiny”), the Alps, England, and Italy (where the crazy foul-ups that maddened the director will tickle the reader).

Dmytryk’s story is also one of the most dramatic of the Black List period. One of the Hollywood Ten, he was convicted of contempt of Congress and served six months at Mill Point Prison Camp, but later broke with the Party and appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He speaks openly of his Communist affiliation, his prison experience and his lean years, his disenchantment and split with the Party, and the long, slow climb back up.

With the same flair, humor and sensitivity that distinguish so many of his films, one of Hollywood’s veteran directors has captured the exhilaration and weep of a career nearly spanning the history of motion pictures in this five-star memoir.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 702 g (24,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-8129-0785-X

It’s All in the Playing (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-its-all-in-th-e-playingThe fifth volume in one of the most extraordinary personal odysseys of the twentieth century. Don’t Fall Off the MountainYou Can Get There From Here, Out on a Limb, Dancing in the Light and now the most intimate and compelling book of all, It’s All in the Playing. Oscar-winning actress, social activist, singular entertainer, best-selling author Shirley MacLaine has the courage to be both candid and controversial. In this book, she casts herself in her most challenging role yet – as seeker of personal and metaphysical truth. It began in Peru ten years ago and ended in Peru ten years later. But the steps along the way were the real story. In filming the miniseries Out on a Limb, Shirley MacLaine was forced to recreate herself ten years earlier to journey back from Malibu to London, from Sweden to the mysterious landscape of Peru… to the places, the perceptions and profound emotions she experienced then. And to journey beyond, exploring new personal and cosmic dimensions, the choices of her lifetimes, who she was and who she would become. As the heart of Shirley MacLaine’s testament is a compelling challenge: we choose our own destinies, create our own illusions. We have the power to design the world in which we live, and the strength to remake ourselves in the image of our dreams.

Softcover – 337 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 186 g (6,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-553-27299-3

It Took Nine Tailors (Adolphe Menou, with M.M. Musselman; foreword by Clark Gable)

Autographed copy For Clyde Moore, My kindest personal regards. Adolphe Menjou. Columbus, Ohio, 1948

Menjou, Adolphe - It Took Nine TailorsIt took nine tailors and thirty-five years as Hollywood’s beloved man-about-town to make Adolphe Menjou what he is today. Famous for his wardrobe and his wit, he has probably been associated with more popular moving pictures than any other actor in Hollywood. But the man and how he made his unique place in the picture world has never before been revealed. Here is his own story and the phenomenon of Hollywood, written with great humor and gusto in collaboration with M.M. Musselman, author of Wheels in His Head.

It was Menjou’s mustache and a top hat rented for fifty cents that brought him his first part in the movies. Since the beginning of his film career as a whip-wielding, mustache-twirling circus ringmaster in a 1913 Vitagraph silent film, the story of Menjou’s climb to fame – and the five-figure salary and a peptic uleer – has been anonymous with the history of movie-making. Working with Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Pola Negri, the immortals of Hollywood, he made his special spot in that difficult town. The hilarity of silent pictures, the birth of the Hayes office and the beginnings of the talkies provide a colorful background for the fantastic progress of Menjou. And woven into the book is an account of his excursions into the realms of tailoring, as well as his own witty version of the peccadillos of Hollywood greatness.

In his foreword, Clark Gable says of Menjou: “In Hollywood, nothing less than sensational or colossal is considered worthy of recording… Adolphe’s nonstop career as an actor speaks for itself. He started in the business when any picture over two reels in length was considered a super-special and he is still a leading film personality.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 238 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 522 g (18,4 oz) – PUBLISHER McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1948

It Was Fun While It Lasted (Arthur H. Lewis)

lewis-arthur-h-it-was-fun-while-it-lastedThe City of Stars, for decades the fantasy capital of the world, has come to the final fade-out, and no one knows what will appear on the screen next. The glory that was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is now scattered from Culver City to Capetown, after a $ 13 million auction sale in which such mementos as Judy Garland’s dancing slippers and Esther Williams’ swimming pool were sold to the highest bidder. Housing developments nibble at the vast, vacant Paramount lot. And at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, there are now only a couple of chain shoe stores, a pharmacy, and a bank.

Today, the action is in “skin flicks”-sexploitation films starring nameless secretaries, produced by cheery, garrulous men who live in trailers. And tomorrow? Pay TV perhaps. or video cassettes for home entertainment. Nobody can say for sure.

ARTHUR H. LEWIS whose sense of the bizarre and colorful in American life brought us Hex, Carnival, and Copper Beeches, here points a fascinating picture of a dream world in transition. Featuring interviews with such past and present greats as Mae West, Glenn Ford, Zsa Zsa Gabor, director Lewis Milestone, producer Dore Schary, and the incomparable John Wayne, It Was Fun While It Lasted recaptures the crazy, brilliant days and nights of Hollywood at its zenith – even as it tolls their passing.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 630 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Trident Press, New York, New York, 1973 – SBN 671-27106-7

Jaarboek Film 1981

Jaarboek Film 1981Jaarboek Film 1981 is het eerste Nederlandstalige jaarboek op filmgebied. Het bevat gegevens over alle in Nederlandse bioscopen en filmhuizen uitgebrachte films, een overzicht van de Nederlandstalige filmbladen en van de in 1980 verschenen Nederlandstalige filmboeken.

Daarnaast – maar niet minder belangrijk – zijn in het boek artikelen opgenomen over het filmgebeuren in 1980, het vrije circuit, animatie en bioscoopketens in de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Voorts bevat het Jaarboek Film 1981 een uitgebreide documentatie rondom het ‘Plan Filmcentrum’. Om diverse redenen waren Andrej Tarkovski, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa en Michelangelo Antonioni de belangrijkste filmers van 1980, daarom is aan ieder van hen een artikel gewijd; voor de Nederlandstalige regisseur viel de keus op Robbe De Hert. Meryl Streep was in 1980 de opmerkelijkste actrice; ook over haar is een artikel opgenomen.

Het Jaarboek Film 1981 is de eerste in een – hopelijk – zeer lange reeks en een onmisbare bron van informatie voor iedere filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 518 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Bussum, The Netherlands, 1981 – ISBN 90 293 9540 0

Jaarboek Film 1982

Jaarboek Film 1982Jaarboek Film 1982 is het tweede deel in een serie Nederlandstalige jaarboeken op filmgebied. Dit boek bevat gegevens over alle in Nederlandse bioscopen en filmhuizen uitgebrachte films, een overzicht van de Nederlandse filmbladen en van de in 1981 verschenen Nederlandstalige filmboeken. Daarnaast zijn in het boek artikelen opgenomen over het filmgebeuren in 1981, het zestigjarige Tuschinski-concern en het verschijnsel kinderfilm en kinderfilmhuizen.

Regisseurs- en acteursportretten zijn in dit jaarboek gewijd aan Andrzej Wajda, Brian de Palma, Alain Tanner, Hanna Schygulla en Robert de Niro.

Het documentatiegedeelte bevat een vervolg op de discussie rondom het ‘Plan Filmcentrum’ en start met de documentatie over hét discussie-item in de filmwereld: kabeltelevisie en film.

Het Jaarboek Film 1982 is een onmisbare bron van informatie voor iedere filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 243 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 525 g (18,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Bussum, The Netherlands, 1982 – ISBN 90 293 9570 2

Jaarboek Film 1983

Jaarboek Film 1983Jaarboek Film 1983 is het derde deel in een serie Nederlandstalige jaarboeken op filmgebied. Dit boek bevat gegevens over alle in Nederlandse bioscopen en filmhuizen uitgebrachte films van 1982, een overzicht van de Nederlandse filmbladen en de in 1982 verschenen Nederlandstalige filmboeken.

Een titel- en een regisseursregister op de rubriek ‘Alle Films’ in de jaarboeken 1981, 1982 en 1983 maken tevens de eerste twee delen in een oogopslag toegankelijk voor de gebruikers.

Daarnaast zijn in het boek artikelen opgenomen over het filmgebeuren in 1982, de Nederlandse Film en Televisie Academie, die dit jaar vijfentwintig jaar bestaat, en het melodrama. Het documentatiegedeelte is geheel gewijd aan filmfinanciering door de Nederlandse overheid sinds 1945.

Regisseursportretten zijn in dit jaarboek gewijd aan Steven Spielberg, Wim Wenders, Robert Bresson en Nicolas Roeg; de Nederlander die deze keer centraal staat is de cameramaman Theo van de Sande.

De filmsterren Gérard Depardieu en Katharine Hepburn make de portrettengalerij in dit deel compleet.

Het Jaarboek Film 1983 is een onmisbare bron van informatie voor iedere filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 250 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 551 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Bussum, The Netherlands, 1983 – ISBN 90 293 9571 0

Jaarboek Film 1985

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1985Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1985 is het vijfde deel in een serie Nederlandstalige jaarboeken, waaraan wordt meegewerkt door Nederlandse filmcritici en -journalisten van uiteenlopende kranten en tijdschriften. Dit boek bevat gegevens over alle in Nederlandse bioscopen en filmhuizen in 1984 uitgebrachte films – met extra aandacht voor de lange Nederlandse speelfilms – en met een index van de Nederlandse filmbladen en een overzicht van de in 1984 verschenen Nederlandstalige filmboeken.

Een titel- en regisseursregister op de rubriek ‘Alle Films’ in de jaarboeken 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 en 1985 maken tevens de voorgaande delen in een oogopslag toegankelijk voor de gebruikers.

Daarnaast zijn in dit boek artikelen opgenomen over de nationale en internationale filmontwikkelingen in 1984 plus een overzicht van de ‘grote filmprijzen’ van dat jaar en de geschiedenis van de confessionele filmbladen in Nederland, waarbij met name de katholieken een leidende rol speelden.

Regisseursportretten zijn in dit jaarboek gewijd aan Paul Verhoeven, Wim Verstappen & Pim de la Parra, Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes en de West-Duitse regisseuses Ula Stöckl en Helke Sander. Renée Soutendijk staat in dit boek als actrice centraal.

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1985 is een onmisbare bron van informatie voor elke filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 293 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 648 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Houten, The Netherlands, 1985 – ISBN 90 293 9555 9

Jaarboek Film 1986

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1986Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1986 is het zesde deel in een reeks, waaraan wordt meegewerkt door journalisten en critici van uiteenlopende kranten en tijdschriften.

Naast geschreven portretten van filmers en filmsterren en aandacht voor de Nederlandse filmhistorie, bevat dit boek gegevens over alle films die in het afgelopen jaar in de Nederlandse bioscopen en filmtheaters zijn uitgebracht.

Naast het gebruikelijke jaaroverzicht zijn er in dit jaarboek portretten gewijd aan Matthijs van Heijningen, Johan Van der Keuken, Chantal Akerman, Woody Allen, Rijk De Gooyer, Nastassja Kinski, en veertig jaar Nederlands Filmmuseum.

Een index op titels en regisseurs maakt in één oogopslag ook de voorgaande jaarboeken toegankelijk voor de gebruiker.

Softcover – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 661 g (23,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Houten, The Netherlands, 1986 – ISBN 90 293 9573 7

Jaarboek Film 1987

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1987Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1987 is het zevende deel in een reeks, waaraan wordt meegewerkt door journalisten en critici van uiteenlopende kranten en tijdschriften.

Naast geschreven portretten van filmers en filmsterren en aandacht voor de Nederlandse filmhistorie, bevat dit boek gegevens over alle films die in het afgelopen jaar in de  Nederlandse bioscopen en filmtheaters zijn uitgebracht.

In deze editie wordt er stilgestaan bij reacties op de Nederlandse oorlogsfilms (‘Britse verbazing, Noorse boosheid, Hongaars respect, Duitse opluchting en Deense tranen’), en zijn er portretten van Huub Bals, Jos Stelling, Roman Polanski, Kitty Courbois en Dustin Hoffman.

Een index op titels en regisseurs maakt in één oogopslag ook de voorgaande jaarboeken toegankelijk voor de gebruiker.

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film is sinds 1981 een onmisbare bron van informatie voor iedere filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 296 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 611 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Houten, The Netherlands, 1987 – ISBN 90 269 4226 5

Jaarboek Film 1988

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1988Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film 1988 is het achtste deel in een reeks, waaraan wordt meegewerkt door journalisten en critici van uiteenlopende kranten en tijdschriften.

Naast het jaaroverzicht zijn de artikelen in dit jaarboek gewijd aan regisseurs Bernardo Bertolucci en Stanley Kubrick, actrice Monique van de Ven, cameraman Robby Müller, de zwart-Afrikaanse cinema en de toekomstplannen van het Nederlands Filmmuseum.

Daarnaast gegevens over alle films die in het afgelopen jaar in de Nederlandse bioscopen en filmtheaters zijn uitgebracht. Een index op titels en regisseurs maakt in één oogopslag ook de voorgaande jaarboeken toegankelijk voor de gebruiker.

Het Nederlands Jaarboek Film is sinds 1981 een onmisbare bron van informatie voor iedere filmliefhebber.

Softcover – 263 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 545 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Houten, The Netherlands, 1988 – ISBN 90 269 4339 3

Jackie Coogan: The World’s Boy King – A Biography of Hollywood’s Legendary Child Star (Diana Serra Cary)

Cary, Diana Serra - Jackie Coogan The World's Boy KingDiscovered by Charlie Chaplin in 1919, the four-year-old Jackie Coogan shot to overnight stardom with his role in The Kid. As a child, he earned a fortune of $ 4 million, for which the press dubbed him “The Millionaire Kid,” but was forced to sue his parents in a futile attempt to obtain his squandered fortune. His later years were marked by poverty and the cruel diminishment of his childhood fame, though he gained unexpected but fleeting fame in the 1960s as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family series.

Jackie Coogan: The World’s Boy King is the first study of his life to be published and reveals the little-known and even less understood private life of this child star and his completely dysfunctional family. This biography is also the rare instance when one major child star (the former Baby Peggy) employs her own hard-worn insight in exploring the career and family woes of the most famous child star of them all – Jackie Coogan.

DIANA SERRA CARY is the former child star known as Peggy-Jean Montgomery. She is currently a full-time writer and professional speaker. She is the author of numerous books, including What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy?

Hardcover – 267 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 581 g (20,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Maryland, 2003 ISBN 0-8108-4650-0

Jack Nicholson: A Biography (David Downing)

Downing, David - Jack NicholsonFor many, Jack Nicholson typifies the rough-hewn hero of the revolutionary sixties’ films: Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. Here David Downing examines the whole of Nicholson’s career, from early appearances in teenage melodramas to his latest distinguished role in Terms of Endearment. Nicholson emerges as an irresistible charmer, an enigmatic and unpredictable man. Only one thing is certain – that he is a star certain to shine brightly for years to come.

Jack Nicholson is an actor whose star status is built on a series of outstanding performances: Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which won him an Oscar, Chinatown and Terms of Endearment.

DAVID DOWNING analyzes Nicholson’s films and draws a vivid picture of the new Hollywood of the seventies and eighties. Nicholson emerges as a man who has taken more risks than most in his career and in his life, and is willing to express his opinions on everything from sex to politics, from the poetry of basketball to the poetry of film. Nicholson is one of the foremost actors of his generation, and this is a fascinating study.

Softcover – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13 cm (8,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 255 g (9 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1983 – ISBN 0-86379-086-0

Jack of All Trades: The Autobiography of Jack Warner (Jack Warner)

warner-jack-jack-of-all-tradesFrom delivering brass handles and coffin frills in his Bow Bells homestead, Jack Warner has risen to become one of the best-known and admired British stars. Born Jack Waters, he had his talents encouraged by his father, an undertakers’ warehouseman in the East End, and the comedy atmosphere was provided by his sisters – Elsie and Doris – who were to become well-known in their own right. Sidetracked into the motor-racing world – where he started as a garage hand and ended up as a Brooklands competitor – Jack came back to his theatrical career by joining the Garrison Theatre, the wartime radio show packed with comic mishaps that kept Britain chuckling in the midst of martial disasters.

In this autobiography Jack Warner records his forty years in show business: the countless films (like the Huggett family series and the one that put him in policeman’s uniform – The Blue Lamp), the innumerable radio adaptations, the Royal Command performances and, of course, his part in television’s indestructible Dixon of Dock Green. Here is not merely the account of a remarkable achievement but also an intimate and evocative diary of the times. Both public and private lives are chronicled, together with details of Jack’s friendships with a host of distinguished entertainers such as Maurice Chevalier, Sid Field, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd and many others, of whom he writes with affection and rare understanding.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 226 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 449 g (15,8 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 0 491 01952 1

Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall (Chris Fujiwara; foreword by Martin Scorsese)

fujiwara-chris-jacques-tourneurJacques Tourneur thought of himself as merely an “average” director, but at least three of his films – Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie and The Leopard Man are recognized as horror classics. Despite Tourneur’s final assessment that his films had achieved no place in the history of cinema, many of his works are likely to endure as long as the cinema.

Tourneur’s efforts were often overshadowed by producer Val Lewton, but a look at the director’s full body of work reveals a highly artistic (and original) visual and aural style. Mystery and sensuality were hallmarks of Tourneur’s style.

This insightful work examines each of Tourneur’s films, as well as his extensive work on MGM shorts (1936-1942) and in television. What emerges is evidence of a highly coherent directorial style that runs throughout Tourneur’s works.

CHRIS FUJIWARA is a freelance writer. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Hardcover – 328 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 842 g (29,7 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1998 – ISBN 0-7864-0491-4

James Arness: An Autobiography (James Arness, with James E. Wise, Jr.; foreword by Burt Reynolds)

arness-james-james-arness-an-autobiographyJames Arness gives the full story on his early years, his family, his military career and his film work in Hollywood, including appearances in the cult-favorite science fiction movies Them! and The Thing. He had a very long run on television’s Gunsmoke and a role in the miniseries How The West Was Won. His post-theatrical period is also covered.

It is the long anticipated account of one of the icons of 20th-century television. He offers many anecdotes of interacting with the Gunsmoke family, such as Miss Kitty, Doc and Festus. His own work as a producer is covered. Throughout are previously unpublished photographs from the author’s collection. Appendices include comments by show biz colleagues and Gunsmoke alumni, and a sampling of letters received from his fans. Actor and fellow Gunsmoke performer Burt Reynolds has written a foreword to the book.

JAMES ARNESS lives in suburban Los Angeles with his wife Janet, where they are involved in various charity projects. JAMES E. WISE, Jr., a retired Navy captain in Alexandria, Virginia, wrote many books on history and the performing arts. He served as an intelligence officer aboard USS America during the 1967 Six Day War in the eastern Mediterranean and later in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War.

Hardcover – 237 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 718 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2001 – ISBN 0-7864-1221-6

James Dean: A Short Life (Venable Herndon)

herndon-venable-james-dean-a-short-lifeJames Byron Dean, born February 8, 1931. Killed aged twenty-four at the wheel of his silver $ 6,900 Porsche Spyder in 1955. The Indiana farm-boy who rose, in five short years, from hustling bit parts on the fringes of Hollywood to overnight fame as the star of East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. The amazing story of a cult hero and rebel whose bizarre life style and tragic death sparked oft the greatest film-fan frenzy since the death of Rudolph Valentino.

VENABLE HERNDON writes screenplays (Alice’s Restaurant, with Arthur Penn) and plays (Until the Monkey Comes). He went to Princeton and Harvard, worked on Madison Avenue and was a founder of Chelsea Review. He lives in New York with poet Honor Moore who took some of the photographs for this book.

Softcover – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 197 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Futura Publications, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 8600 7171 5

James Dean: Little Boy Lost (Joe Hyams, Jay Hyams)

hyams-joe-james-dean-little-boy-lostHe made only three movies – East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant – and became an international icon after his tragic death at the age of twenty-four. He was James Dean, and no one has told the real story of the man, the actor, the myth, as fully, as powerfully, and as intimately as the authors of James Dean: Little Boy Lost. This is the book drawn from extensive interviews with Dean’s friends and colleagues, many of whom are speaking out for the first time, the book written by one of Dean’s confidants, the book that Joe Hyams, noted celebrity biographer, has held back from writing – until now.

Who was James Byron Dean? After nearly four decades, many of the people who knew him best finally break their silence. To his friends – fellow actors like Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Dennis Hopper, and Julie Harris – he was both generous and mean-spirited, solitary and social, macho and feminine, wise for his years and incorrigibly adolescent. To directors like Elia Kazan, Nicholas Ray, and George Stevens, he could be guilelessly open to suggestion one moment, yet arrogant and impossible the next. Most of all, the compelling enigma known as James Dean lived life joyously, painfully, and without restraint, embodying like no one else the conflicts and passions that are part of young people everywhere.

This book follows its fascinating subject from the Indiana farm where he spent an active but troubled boyhood, to the crucial, early training ground of the New York theater world, to his meteoric rise to international stardom in the movies. It shows how post-war Hollywood was still a charmed, leisurely community, yet one ripe for the explosive ascension of a dynamic new presence like James Dean. It reveals details never disclosed before of the making of his three landmark films. It candidly explores Dean’s many love affairs and discusses with great insight the surprising truth about Dean’s much-talked-about bisexuality. It exposes, as only an insider’s book can, the true story of Dean and actress Pier Angeli – his one real love – and the shocking outcome of their liaison.

With sixteen pages of photographs, many never before published, James Dean: Little Boy Lost is the definitive story of a stunning young talent who lived too fast, died far too soon, but whose memory will live on as long as the youth of the world dare to hope, love, and dream.

JOE HYAMS has been writing about Hollywood for over forty years. A former columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, a screenwriter, and the noted author of twenty-eight books, he was the first writer authorized by Dean’s family immediately after the actor’s death to write about him. JAY HYAMS is an editor, translator, and author of several books and has collaborated on a number of other projects with his father.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 580 g (20,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-446-51643-0

James Stewart (Allen Eyles)

Eyles, Allen - James StewartNow seventy-five years old, James Stewart is virtually the last surviving star from the golden years of Hollywood filmmaking who is still active. This is the first book to appear which studies his life and career.

When he arrived in Hollywood in 1935 to work for MGM, no one foresaw a glittering future for the tall, gangling, underweight actor at a studio already crammed with stars. But within a few years, James Stewart had won an Oscar under the noses of co-stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant for The Philadelphia Story. He also won acclaim for his portrayal of the young, idealistic senator in the Frank Capra comedy Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

He abandoned his screen career to serve in the American Army Force and for his highly decorated war service which was based in England. After the war his career floundered until he discovered the Western and starred in the classics Broken Arrow and Winchester ’73. In the 1950s he reached his peak of popularity with The Man from Laramie, the screen biography The Glenn Miller Story, his films for Hitchcock like Rear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much, and in the 1960s he became the last great star to work for John Ford in such films as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Here is the first detailed appraisal of this great actor’s career, emphasising his under-appreciated versatility and providing a glimpse of the real James Stewart: the modest, unassuming professional who fell into acting by chance, the discreet bachelor-about-town who became a husband for keeps at the age of forty-two, the star whose work delighted audiences whether it was light comedy or dark dramas of obsession.

ALLEN EYLES is a former editor of Focus on Film and Films and Filming and the writer of books on the Marx Brothers, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne. He currently edits Picture House. He has organised seasons at the National Film Theatre on the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, westerns, Don Siegel, Donald Ogden Stewart, Rex Harrison, Enterprise Studios and (for May 1983) Elstree Studios. He has a specialist interest in the history of cinemas and has lectured on the subject as well as written many articles for various magazines. He is also a consultant to the Museum of London. He lives in Surrey.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 255 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 588 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen, London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03242 0

James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters (James Curtis)

Curtis, James - James WhaleJames Whale directed some of the most stylish and unusual movies of the 1930s, but he was most successful in a genre he virtually invented. For it was Whale who, in 1931, took a lanky, middle-aged actor and sometimes truck driver named Boris Karloff and cast him in one of the most widely seen films in the history of the cinema – as the tragic, patchwork creature of Frankenstein. Based on the phenomenal success of Frankenstein, Whale directed three more classics of horror, each more sophisticated and morbidly humorous: The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, and The Bride of Frankenstein.

Whale also directed grim war dramas, light comedy, adventure, and mystery. The original Waterloo Bridge was a James Whale production, as was the classic swashbuckler The Man in the Iron Mask. He even made the definitive version of the Hammerstein and Kern musical Show Boat.

However, Whale’s success was short-lived. With his troubled production of Remarque’s The Road Back, he was pitted against ominous forces that didn’t want the film made. His career faltered and, being openly gay, he found work increasingly hard to get. He quit just ten years after the triumph of Frankenstein, and died a suicide only months before the film’s eventual release to television.

A New World of Gods and Monsters is the definitive life of James Whale, taking him from the poverty of England’s Black Country to the squalor of a German prison camp, the excitement of London’s West End, and – ultimately – to Hollywood, where he profoundly influenced several generations of filmmakers.

Softcover – 455 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 538 g (19,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1998 – ISBN 0-571-19285-8

Jane Fonda: Heroine of Our Time (Thomas Kiernan)

kierna-thomas-jane-fonda-heroine-for-our-timeFrom Henry Fonda’s daughter to Roger Vadim’s protégée, from Barbarella to On Golden Pond, from “Miss Army Recruiting 1962” to anti-Vietnam war activist, Jane Fonda’s life reflects and magnifies the turmoil of contemporary society.

Jane Fonda examines her Hollywood childhood, her mother’s suicide, her relationships with her father and brother, her friendships with the Strasbergs, Brooke Hayward, Roman Polanski and others.

It details her romances with James Franciscus, Alain Delon, Donald Sutherland, and husbands Vadim and Tom Hayden, and fully documents her extraordinary acting career.

Softcover – 320 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 500 g (17,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Delilah Books, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-933328-21-4

Jane Fonda: The Actress in Her Time (Fred Lawrence Guiles)

guiles-fred-lawrence-jane-fonda“You probably have to be an American to appreciate fully the current power and popularity of Jane Fonda. A series of complicated manoeuvres was needed to bring her safely through the white waters of political daring, mob hatred, career blacklisting and governmental surveillance to the safe harbor of general acceptance. The constant shower of awards might be stultifying to some one other than Jane, but every Golden Globe, every Oscar is an answer to those critics who are still vocal; the awards make her present pre-eminence that much more secure.

You doubtless have to be an old Hollywood hand to understand the nature and depth of her power within the industry. Jane has total control of her career: she recently got rid of her agent as superfluous – why pay a man ten percent of your earnings when you set it all up yourself? To speak ill of Jane Fonda in the Hollywood of 1981, if you are in the studio hierarchy of any of the major studios, is to risk professional suicide. And why should you? Jane is intelligent, charming, fairly original, a commanding personality but infrequently demanding, direct, loyal, courageous beyond belief, and only interested in making movies with big themes that entertain and make money. If her former proletarian stance was off-putting, don’t knock it; Jane easily could become tomorrow’s grande dame of the cinema and does anyone really want that?

This book was written without Jane Fonda’s permission or nod of approval, and yet when I needed access to those persons in her life who witnessed severe traumas or breakthroughs the way was always clear. Divine non-intervention perhaps?” – From The Preface.

Softcover – 328 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 209 g (7,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Coronet Books, London, 1982 – ISBN 0-340-32061-3

Jane Russell, An Autobiography: My Paths and My Detours (Jane Russell)

Autographed copy God bless!! Jane Russell

Russell, Jane - My Path and My DetoursThe Outlaw: Forty years after the release of this motion picture, its title still conjures up an image of a dark-haired female – peasant blouse hanging loosely over her shoulders, lips sensuously pouted, with an ample bosom and long legs – reclining seductively on a stack of hay. Her name was Jane Russell and both the movie and the girl evoked theatrical notoriety.

A five-year publicity campaign was launched and a new sex-symbol was created. She was not characterized as the “girl-next-door.” Rather, she was lust, desire and everything good boys were not supposed to think about. But think about her they did, and the box-office zoomed. The American G.I. returning from the perils of World War II was eager for more than just his childhood sweetheart, and Jane Russell fit the bill. Even today, she remains the advertising symbol of the “full-figured” female.

But beneath the photographer’s delight, Jane Russel was the girl-next-door. Destined to marry her own high school sweetheart, football legend Robert Waterfield, and become the mother of three adopted children, she founded WAIF, a national adoption organization. Her primary goals were never her movie career and stardom, but instead her close relationship with her family and friends, and her own personal faith in the Lord. Jane’s rise to stardom under the direction of Howard Hughes, her legendary long-term contract, and her succession of rises and falls in the film industry were all the public was to know of this warm, down-to-earth humanitarian whose love for children set her apart and about which she writes in her candid autobiography.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 341 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 744 g (26,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Franklin Watts, Inc., New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-531-09799-4

Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties (Martha Saxton)

saxton-martha-jayne-mansfield-and-the-american-fifties“Women’s history, unlike men’s, is also the history of sex,” writes Martha Saxton. “…To understand what it means to be an exclusively sexual being, to understand why a woman chooses that part and what it does to her, will be a step toward understanding sex and its capacity to imprison or to free.”

Ms. Saxton has written an unlikely biography about an unlikely subject: Jayne Mansfield. There have been many sensational books and memoirs about the short, tragic, and ultimately pathetic life of this self-made star. But none has attempted to examine either the phenomenon that was Jayne Mansfield or her relationship to her times. She wasn’t really beautiful. She couldn’t act or sing. What was it, then, that brought her such immense fame – and notoriety?

“She was a complicated event, Jayne. Only the fifties could have produced her. Like most women, she wasn’t allowed to lead, but she was a uniquely gifted and canny follower. She availed herself of the 1950s stereotypes about women, gathered them up and packaged them. She became an object lesson in the sex life of the fifties. She said piously that people paid too much attention to sex as she peeled off her bra and frolicked in bubble baths for photographers. She claimed to want to be a serious actress and went on stage in cellophane. In print she admired men for their spiritual qualities while in the flesh she married Mr. Universe. She presented her body to the nation for its sexual fantasies, talking all the while about her daughter’s Brownie troop.”

This is the story of a Texas high school girl (her marks were good, she had an aptitude for Spanish, and she played the violin) who went on to make a career out of her physical attributes. The time was right and she exploited that time for all it was worth. Ms. Saxton has written a gaudy and sometimes appalling account of Jayne Mansfield’s life – her attempt to crash Hollywood with little more than brass, a reluctant husband, and a car ful of pets, her publicity stunts, her marriages, her strange entourage, and her ultimate undoing, which was less her fault than it was a symptom of changing moral standards. This is a backward look, too, not always fond, at such diverse aspects of fifties-iana as mating habits, lipstick, bras and pantie girdles, breast fetishism, “good” girls vs. “nice” girls, the baby boom (to which Jayne contributed mightily), the Hollywood build-ups, and the dreams that nurtured us, not so very long ago.

Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties is both a powerful and entertaining biography and a perceptive and witty view of the recent, and largely unlamented, history of American women.

MARTHA SAXTON graduated from the University of Chicago, has worked for the Massachusetts Historical Society, and edited the literary magazine Works in Progress. This is her first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 223 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 621 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachussets, 1975 – ISBN 0-395-20289-2

Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (John Oller)

oller-john-jean-arthur-the-actress-nobody-knewShe is probably best remembered for her wistful-husky voice which, as Pauline Kael wrote, “was one of the best sounds in the romantic comedies of the 30s and 40s.” But Jean Arthur’s screen career began in silent films and spanned more than a quarter of a century. She worked with great directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age: John Ford, Frank Capra, Cecil B. DeMille, Howard Hawks, George Stevens and Billy Wilder; and she shared star billing with the likes of Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Alan Ladd, Charles Boyer and John Wayne. Her most enduring films include Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can’t Take It With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The More the Merrier, The Whole Town’s Talking, A Foreign Affair and, in her last screen appearance, Shane. She was, in fact, one of the most popular and beloved movie stars of her time.

Jean Arthur’s popularity sprang from her talent, her charm and her quiet beauty, not from her off-screen exploits. Independent, indifferent to most of Hollywood’s rules if not defiant of them, treasuring her privacy above all else, she chose to become an enigma – and so she has remained until now. In this, the first biography of Jean Arthur, John Oller, years after research among the actress’s closest friends, relatives and co-workers, has uncovered the life she tried so hard to shroud: a bruising, rootless childhood that left her with a crushing sense of insecurity, but also a steely determination to stand up for herself and what she believed in; a romance with David O. Selznick that ended unhappily, a childless marriage to film executive Frank Ross that descended into bitterness and recrimination, and rumors of lesbianism that continue to this day; legal battles fought over the roles she was offered as well as in defense of animals and environment; repeated, aborted attempts to conquer Broadway that yielded but one theatrical triumph – as Peter Pan, a character she loved because, like herself, he refused to deal with the world on its terms. This is an engrossing, humane biography that strikes a fitting balance between the acting career and the personal life of an unforgettable star, and does full justice to both.

JOHN OLLER has been a practicing attorney in New York City since 1982. A native of Huron, Ohio, he holds a journalism degree from the Ohio State University and a law degree from Georgetown University. He makes his home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 358 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 759 g (26,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Limelight Editions, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-87910-090-7

Jean Harlow (Curtis F. Brown)

Brown, Curtis F - Jean Harlow“In 1943 Life magazine published a formidable “family” portrait sixty-four of the players then under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The photograph has the sparsely elegant MGM “studio look”: against a white background of soaring columns, flanked by fluted pilasters, the glittering assembly sits in tiers of red-leather armchairs on gleaming, red linoleum flooring. Outsize golden Oscars on pedestals at either side of the picture all but whisper, “Prestige.”

Seated front and center is Louis B. Mayer, the studio’s powerful patriarch, bespectacled, bouton-niered, and barely smiling. Gathered around him, like grown children who have gone out into the world, made good, and returned home for a gala reunion, are (in more or less hierarchical order) Katharine Hepburn (who sat on Mayer’s right hand), Greer Garson, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, Robert Taylor, Hedy Lamarr, James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Irene Dunne, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, Walter Pidgeon, Wallace Beery, and Mickey Rooney. Bringing up the rear are promising fledglings Van Johnson, June Allyson, Esther Williams, Keenan Wynn, Desi Arnaz and Donna Reed.

(…) But for the almost capricious fact of her death half a dozen years before that awesome group portrait was taken, it’s pleasant to think one of MGM’s best-remembered stars would be placed in a favored position, close to the great movie pater-familias. The photographer might have caught her platinum-blonde head tossed back in an obliging laugh, highlighting her penciled eyebrows, arched like prone parentheses over her mascaraed blue eyes, and the tough-guy cleft on her chin. Depending on the kind of role she was assigned to at the moment, the 32-year-old star might have left the set to attend the sitting seathed in a shimmering silver-lamé gown, clothed in artfully revealing finery, or wearing a sensible polka-dot dress. However she appeared – as a slinky high society dame, a swaggering floozy on her own and on the make, or as not-so-simple career girl – the actress always looked a treat.

Somehow, any picture of the aristocratic line-up of stars at MGM, that former House of Rothschild among film studios, seems dimmer without one of its brightest luminaries, Jean Harlow.” – From Opening Credits.

Her brief life made banner headlines. Her untimely death stunned Hollywood and the world. Yet Jean Harlow was more than a “blonde bombshell” – she was a winning and talented comedienne who brightened all her movies in a tragically short career. Curtis F. Brown’s book combines an astute text and many dazzling photographs to offer a portrait of Jean Harlow – the woman, the actress, and the movie legend.

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 – 159 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 154 g (5,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1977

Jean Harlow: Tarnished Angel (David Bret)

Bret, David - Jean Harlow Tarnished AngelJean Harlow (born Jean Harleen Harlow Carpenter) was an enigma, the original Blonde Bombshell and completely uninhibited. She made no secret of the fact that she never wore underwear, bleached her pubic hair to match that on her head – and was never afraid of showing this to journalists, if
they asked.

On the screen she epitomised the fun-loving, wise-cracking trollop. She was the original tart with a heart who drove men wild, and made wives jealous of their husband’s thoughts. Yet away from the spotlight she was very different from her public’s perception.

In this searching new biography, David Bret uncovers an unhappy upbringing by an unloving mother and sexually abusive step-father, her love of older men and the mistreatment she suffered at their hands. He follows her progression from movie slut to screwball comedy star, her special relationship with William Powell, how she was ripped off by the studios, and more.

Including details on all her 32 films and the story of her tragic death at the tender age of 26, Jean Harlow: Tarnished Angel is a compelling portrayal of the enigmatic star.

DAVID BRET was born in Paris. His acclaimed books include biographies of Édith Piaf, Doris Day, Joan Crawford and Clark Gable (all available from JR Books).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 248 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 563 g (19,9 oz) – PUBLISHER JR Books, London, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-906779-34-4

Jean Howard’s Hollywood: A Photo Memoir (photographs by Jean Howard; text by James Watters)

scannen0313Once upon a time there was a young girl from Dallas who dreamed of Hollywood stardom. She grew up to become a Ziegfeld girl, contract player at MGM, wife of a movie superagent, and one of Hollywood’s most celebrated hostesses. She also became a talented, perceptive photographer and an engaging raconteur. Her name is Jean Howard, and in this photographic memoir she provides a uniquely intimate look at Hollywood as she knew it during the 1930s, 40s, 50s and into the 60s.

It was Miss Howard’s ability to present many of Hollywood’s best-known personalities in a new way – working, traveling, partying in each other’s homes, often discarding the trappings of fame – that first appealed to the magazines, such as LIFE, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar, that have published her photographs. And that fresh approach is what makes this book special. Here are Marlene Dietrich chatting it up with George Jessel and George Burns while on the road with the wartime Hollywood Victory Caravan, Darryl F. Zanuck questioning a point with teammate Howard Hawks while Cesar Romero and Tyrone Power look on during the fabled East-West croquet play-offs in 1946, Marilyn Monroe dancing with Clark Gable, Richard Burton and Judy Garland serenading fellow dinner guests, Robert Wagner and Rory Calhoun lounging on a friend’s yacht, and Jennifer Jones leading Fourth of July partygoers around the lawn and into the swimming pool. Many in the Hollywood crowd were intrepid travelers, and Jean Howard traveled with them, from coast to coast and to Europe and back, recording their adventures along the way: golf in Southampton with Ginger Rogers, luncheon in Palm Beach with the Joseph Kennedys, and skiing in Saint Moritz with Gregory Peck. Here also are sensitive portraits that display the brooding intensity of James Dean and a young Marlon Brando, the lighter side of Otto Preminger, the tenderness of Gene Tierney with her daughter, and the radiance of Marilyn Monroe.

Accompanying the photographs is a lively, anecdotal text, rendered by James Watters, in which Miss Howard reminisces about the friends and events she recorded with her camera. Included are fond remembrances of her first husband, agent Charles Feldman, originator of filmmaking’s “package deal,” as well as Elsa Maxwell, Frank Sinatra, William Faulkner, Cole Porter, Noël Coward, and many more. This fascinating volume will delight photography buffs, film lovers, and anyone who has ever been entranced by the magic of Hollywood.

The author of Return Engagement, JAMES WATTERS worked on the weekly LIFE, People (of which he was a founding editor), and, most recently, the monthly LIFE, as entertainment editor. He has been the managing editor of Cosmopolitan and a contributor to The New York Times, among other publications.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 248 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.710 g (60,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-8109-8218-8

Jean Renoir: A Conversation With His Films 1894-1979 (Christopher Faulkner; edited by Paul Duncan)

faulkner-christopher-jean-renoirJean Renoir (1894-1979) was, like his father Auguste, a virtuoso in his field. From early films such as La Fille de l’Eau and La Chienne through later masterpieces like Rules of the Game and The Grand Illusion (widely considered to be two of the greatest films ever made), Renoir forges a reputation as France’s most important filmmaker. Highly prolific (he directed over 40 films), Renoir worked in a multitude of genres, though social realism was his most powerful mode of expression.

CHRISTOPHER FAULKNER is professor of film studies and director of the Institute of Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of The Social Cinema of Jean Renoir and, with Olivier Curchod, of La Règle du jeu: scénario original de Jean Renoir, as well as numerous articles on Renoir and French cinema. PAUL DUNCAN has seen lots of films and read lots of comics and books. He wanted to share his enthusiasm for these subjects so he published magazines about comics (Ark) and crime fiction (Crime Time) before launching a series of small film guides (Pocket Essentials). He edits film books for TASCHEN and wrote Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick in the Film series.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp. – Dimensions 29,5 x 23,5 cm (11,6 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 1.420 g (50,1) – PUBLISHER Taschen, GmbH, Köln, Germany, 2007 – ISBN 978-3-8228-3097-0

Jean Renoir: A Life in Pictures (Célia Bertin)

Bertin, Célia - Jean Renoir A Life in Pictures(Originally published as Jean Renoir [1986]; translated by Mireille Muellner, Leonard Muellner)

Jean Renoir: A Life in Pictures is the first biography of this master of modern cinema – the director of Grand Illusion, Rules of the Game, The River, and other classics. Célia Bertin tells Renoir’s story from his magical childhood to his first success in films, from his encounter with European fascism to his final years as the “beloved Frenchman from Beverly Hills.” With the help of Renoir’s family, Bertin interviewed everyone who knew the director in Paris, Provence, Bourgogne, and Los Angeles. Using first-hand accounts along with previously unpublished materials, she places this colorful, charming, and brilliant figure in the context of his time, his culture, and the history of cinema. Awarded the prize Therouanne by the Académie française in 1986, this acclaimed biography is now available in English.

“The spectacle of real life,” Renoir wrote, “is a thousand times richer than the most beguiling inventions of our imagination.” And his own life makes the point. He lived a privileged childhood in the luminous world of his father, the famous Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir. As a horseman and aircraft pilot in World War I, he was badly wounded at the age of twenty. After the war and his father’s death, he seemed destined for a life of sportscars and glamorous women – he first took up filmmaking to glorify his beautiful young wife. But soon movies became his passion and his work grew astoundingly original. He opposed the rise of fascism in Europe, yet was approached by Mussolini to direct Tosca. In 1940, Renoir moved to America – where he became the mentor to a younger generation of cinéastes. He died in Beverly Hills in 1979.

“For a long time people thought he was only a dilettante, but Jean Renoir knew that, for him, movies were more than a hobby. He was getting ready to devote his life to them. From observing his father, Jean had learned the difference between a pastime and a passion, but would he ever be as passionate as his father had been? Making movies is both simpler and more complex than painting. You never work alone, and the team carries you along and excites you. That is an advantage with disadvantages: you depend on others, and they are not necessarily teammates whom you have chosen. They can be producers, distributors, or, ultimately, the public, which either accepts or rejects you. Without a public, you can make paintings, but not films.” – From Jean Renoir: A Life in Pictures.

CÉLIA BERTIN, novelist and historian, is currently a visiting scholar at the Center of European Studies at Harvard University. Her many books include Marie Bonaparte: A Life, which is avaialable in English. She is Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Chevalier des Arts et Lettres.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 403 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 878 g (31,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore / London, 1991 – ISBN 0-8018-4184-4

Jean Renoir: Letters (edited by Lorraine LoBianco, David Thompson)

lobianco-lorraine-jean-renoir-lettersJean Renoir (1894-1979) was hailed as the greatest film director by no less than Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin. The son of the celebrated impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, he made such classics of French cinema as Boudu Saved from Drowning, La Grande Illusion and La Règle du Jeu – voted by critics in Sight and Sound as one of the ten best films of all time.

The letters in this volume, many published here for the first time, span Renoir’s entire life, revealing a man of unparalleled humanity and artistic commitment. They cast new light on his creative struggles, both in France and in Hollywood, and provide a record of his friendships with such people as writers Georges Simenon, Dudley Nichols and Clifford Odets, the actresses Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Caron and the directors Erich von Stroheim and François Truffaut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 605 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.100 g (38,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1994 – ISBN 0-571-17298-9

Jean Renoir: Projections of Paradise (Ronald Bergan)

Bergan, Ronald - Jean RenoirAcknowledged by André Bazin and François Truffaut in Cahiers du Cinéma as the patron saint of the nouvelle vague, and praised by filmmakers as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Jean Renoir is one of the seminal figures in film history. His oeuvre includes such enduring masterpieces as La grande illusion, La règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game), La bête humaine (The Human Beast), The Diary of a Chambermaid and The River.

Written with the cooperation of Renoir’s son Alain and a host of the director’s friends and associates, Jean Renoir: Projections of Paradise is the first full-scale biography of Renoir to be written in English. It gives incisive appraisals of all of Renoir’s films as well as an excellent account of his working methods. Renoir’s long and fascinating life (1894-1979) has as much variety as his films. Son of the artist Auguste Renoir – and frequently a subject of his father’s paintings – Jean Renoir has had a blissful childhood, surrounded by some of the most famous figures of the day. Like many other distinguished European artists, Renoir spent World War II in exile in America. On his return to Europe, he resuscitated Ingrid Bergman’s career and had a triumphant sucess with the film French Cancan.

Including previously unpublished letters and photographs of Renoir’s private and professional life, Jean Renoir: Projections of Paradise is essential reading for filmmakers, film students and fans.

RONALD BERGAN is the author of numerous books on film including The United Artists Story and a biography of Dustin Hoffman and is co-author of the highly acclaimed Faber Companion to Foreign Films. He has lectured on film and theater at the Sorbonne and is a regular contributor to The Guardian. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 378 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 770 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Overlook Press, Woodstock, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-87951-537-6

Jean Renoir: The World of His Films (Leo Braudy)

Braudy, Leo - Jean Renoir The World of His FilmsJean Renoir is one of the most acknowledged great masters of the cinema. The body of his work (Renoir has directed thirty-six films) is one of the most impressive in the medium, and individual classics (films like La grande illusion, La règle du jeu and French Cancan) are among the handful of world cinema masterpieces. Renoir’s films have been consistently popular for nearly half a century, their broad appeal owing in part to the great variety of his work, which includes farces, epics, detective stories and parodies. Despite their variety, however, his films reveal a continuity of interests that constitutes a unique artistic vision – one that is more than worthy of the son of the great French Impressionist painter, Auguste Renoir.

In Jean Renoir: The World of His Films, Leo Braudy explores the dimensions of Renoir’s cinematic genius, not in a film-by-film discussion, but through a rich critical study that remains true to the strongest individual identity of each film whilst establishing its place in Renoir’s work as a whole. The book includes over one hundred stills and production shots from the films, a bibliography, a biographical sketch, and an exhaustive filmography.

LEO BRAUDY is Associate Professor of English at Columbia University, author of Narrative Form in History and Fiction: Hume, Fielding and Gibbon, and editor of anthologies about Norman Mailer and Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 585 g (20,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, London, 1977 – ISBN 0 86051 005 0

Jenny Jones: My Story (Jenny Jones, with Patsi Bale Cox)

Jones, Jenny - My StoryShe’s been described as every woman’s best friend, an ice maiden, an unassuming girl-next-door, and a prima donna. So who is the real Jenny Jones? She’ll tell you herself in Jenny Jones: My Story, in which the celebrated talk-show host takes readers on a moving personal trip through her roller-coaster life. And she does it with unflinching honesty.

Jenny examines her traumatic childhood in Canada, when, as an eleven-year-old runaway, she lived on her own for more than a month, surviving by waiting tables and shoplifting, only returning home when she was arrested for the first of four times in her life. Torn between a formidable father and a fatalistic mother, Jenny displayed signs of moving straight from teenage juvenile delinquent to a life of alcoholic blackouts. Flunking nearly all her classes, she quit high school and took to the road playing drums with a succession of rock bands in the ’60s, living in sleazy motels, and playing smoke-filled bars in Canada’s lumber camps.

But Jenny Jones had a very important character trait that kept her going: she was fearless, with keen survival instincts and a relentless drive. Using her skills as a drummer, she worked her way first to Los Angeles, then to Las Vegas, where she formed the first of her many bands and sang backup for Wayne Newton. Two failed marriages later, with her musical career in a rut, Jenny reinvented herself as a stand-up comic, once again hitting the road playing clubs across America and Canada. She became the first woman to win the $ 100,000 prize on Ed McMahon’s Star Search and went on to tour with luminaries including Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, and Engelbert Humperdinck. Four years after Star Search, she’d lost it all – the money, the fame, the opportunities, the self-confidence. As a last-ditch effort to save herself from financial ruin and career oblivion, she developed Girls’ Night Out, an irreverent for-women-only comedy show that’s been described as part stand-up comedy, part talk show, and part group therapy. It became one of the most talked-about comedy shows in the country, and paved the way to Jenny Jones, one of the most popular talk shows in the country.

With personal and professional insights, and humorous and painful anecdotes, Jenny discusses her self-doubts, a heartbreaking relationship with her alcoholic mother, her breast implant disaster, and the often antagonistic media. And, for the first time, she speaks publicly about the tragic murder of one of her talk-show guests in March of 1995.

Jenny Jones: My Story brings revelation, inspiration, laughter, and tears. It’s about struggle and hope, but most of all, it’s about survival.

PATSI BALE COX is a journalist, former magazine editor, and co-author of the best-seller Nickel Dreams, the autobiography of Tanya Tucker.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 350 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 789 g (27,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, Kansas, 1997 – ISBN 0-83623729-3

Jerry Lewis In Person (Jerry Lewis, with Herb Gluck)

Lewis, Jerry - Jerry Lewis in PersonJerry Lewis is one of the most enduring entertainers of our time, with a string of more than forty films to his credit. His parents used to say that the road was no place for a child, and so they left him with his grandmother when they went on tour. Yet by the time he was sixteen, he was on the road – claimed by the glittering and glamorous world of film and cabaret.

Jerry Lewis In Person is a frank autobiographical account of his life so far. He describes his childhood, and his longing for a ‘real’ family. He talks about the ten years in which he and Dean Martin played to packed houses, and their tremendous success in Hollywood – telling how he decided to break up the partnership at the height of its fame, and how he went on to carve out a career on his own, in night-clubs, on television, in the movies.

Offstage, Jerry Lewis fought a courageous battle against drugs; made a marriage which caused a painful break with his parents, gave him six sons, then broke up after thirty-five years; led a stubborn fight against a crippling disease, raising millions of dollars to combat multiple sclerosis. Jerry Lewis has ridden a rollercoaster of success and difficulty, while keeping the world laughing and cheering at his antics all the while. His story makes compelling reading.

JERRY LEWIS and HERB GLUCK worked together for nearly five years to write this book. Gluck, who lives in western Massachusetts, also collaborated with Alex Karras on his book Even Big Guys Cry. Jerry Lewis is the author of The Total Film-Maker, a book about cinema technique, published in 1971.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 703 g (24,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, London, 1983 – ISBN 0 86051 176 6

“Je suis comme je suis…” (Arletty, avec Michel Souvais)

Autographed copy Happy birthday Caroline Deloix, Arletty

scannen0158L’histoire d’une vie. L’histoire de sa vie. Rip, Guitry, Michel Simon, Marcel Carné. Jacques Prévert et Céline. Hommes d’esprit et femmes du monde, clochards et milliardaires, hommes de coeur et femmes de beauté, grands créateurs et formidables commères…

Arletty a traversé le siècle la tête haute, sa chevelure en coup de vent et sa gueule d’atmosphere – symbole de l’esprit de liberté, de beauté, de franchise. “Elle est d’ailleurs, comme la mer, ou comme une ville, calme, mouvementé, lucide, ingénue, marrante… Arletty, elle est merveuilleuse.” – Jacques Prévert

ARLETTY (1898-1992) est une actrice française et, comme Greta Garbo et Marlene Dietrich aux États-Unis, elle aussi était une figure mythique de l’âge d’or du cinéma français. En 1930, elle débute devant les caméras elle éblouit quand Marcel Carné la dirige dans Hôtel du Nord (1938), Le Jour se lève (1939) et Les Enfants du Paradis (1945) où elle incarne l’inoubliable Garance. Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, on ne lui offrant plus les grands rôles de l’avant-guerre; elle revient au théâtre mais, menacée de cécité, elle tourne son dernier film, Le Voyage à Biarritz (1962) avec Fernandel, et elle abandonne la scène en 1966 alors qu’elle joue dans la pièce Les Monstres sacrés de Jean Cocteau.

Softcover – 221 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 698 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Vertiges du Nord / Carrere, Paris, 1987 – ISBN 2-86804-404-2

Je suis faite comme ça: Mémoires (Juliette Gréco)

scannen0428Juliette Gréco se livre et se souvient, les cafés au Flore avec son ami Maurice Merleau-Ponty et les soirées en compagnie de Boris Vian; ses premiers essais au théâtre, les concerts dans des salles rnythiques, de Bobino à l’Olympia, et la conquête de l’Amérique…

Sans détour, elle évoque les meurtrissures de son emprisonnement à Fresnes, la déportation de sa sœur et de sa mère mais aussi les rencontres inoubliables qui changeront sa vie – Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Prévert, Queneau, Gainsbourg, Sagan…

Juliette Gréco raconte ses révoltes et ses engagements, refusant de se parodier et de s’enfermer dans le mythe. C’est une femme vivante, qui, en dépit de son goût du sécret, se prête ici, avec élégance, au jeu des souvenirs.

Softcover – 346 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 450 g (15,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Flammarion, 2012 ISBN 978-2-0812-5489-3

Jesus of Nazareth (Paul Verhoeven; originally titled Jezus van Nazaret)

verhoeven-paul-jesus-of-nazarethBuilding on the work of biblical scholars of the twentieth century – Rudolph Bultmann, Raymond Brown, Jane Schaberg, and Robert Funk, founder of the Jesus seminar, among others – filmmaker Paul Verhoeven disrobes the mythical Jesus to reveal a man who is, after all, startingly familiar to us a man who has much in common with other great political leaders throughout history – human beings who believed that change was coming in their lifetimes.

Gone is the Jesus of the miracles, gone the son of God, gone the weaver of arcane parables whose meanings are obscure. In their place Verhoeven gives us his vision of Jesus as a complete man, someone who was changed by events, the leader of a political movement, and, perhaps most importantly, someone who, in his speeches and sayings, introduced a new ethic in which the embrace of human contradictions transcends the mechanics of value and worth that had defined the material world before Jesus.

Verhoeven initially assumed he would make a film of the life of Jesus. Later, he realized that it must be a book. Stepped in biblical scholarship but free of institutional biases, Jesus of Nazareth builds a bridge reaching all the way forward to the present, and from biblical scholars to lay readers whose interest might be personal or political.

PAUL VERHOEVEN is the only non-theologian admitted to the Jesus Seminar, a group of seventy-seven eminent scholars in theology, philosophy, linguistics, and biblical history. Their discussions are devoted to determining what Jesus actually said and did. Verhoeven is the director of successful films as Turkish Delight (1973), The Fourth Man (1983), RoboCop (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), Star Troopers (1997), and Black Book (2006).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 503 g (17,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Seven Stories Press, New York, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-1-58322-905-7

Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes (Matthew Kennedy)

Kennedy, Matthew - Joan Blondell A Life Between TakesJoan Blondell: A Life Between Takes is the first major biography of the effervescent, scene-stealing actress (1906-1979) who conquered motion pictures, vaudeville, Broadway, summer stock, television, and radio. Born the child of vaudevillians, she was on stage by age three. With her casual sex appeal, distinctive cello voice, megawatt smile, luminous saucer eyes, and flawless timing, she came into widespread fame in Warner Bros. musicals and comedies of the 1930s, including Blonde Crazy, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade.

Her dramatic gifts were showcased in the family classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the film noir Nightmare Alley, and the tearjerker The Blue Veil, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Later, she became the saple of television through countless guest spots and her Emmy-nominated role in the 1960s series Here Come the Brides. In testimony to her versatility, she finished her career with a dynamic turn in John Cassavetes’ Opening Night and a cameo spot in the hit musical Grease.

Frequent co-star to James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart, friend to Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, and Bette Davis, and wife of Dick Powell and Mike Todd, Joan Blondell was a true Hollywood insider. By the time of her death, she had made nearly 100 films in a career that spanned over fifty years.

Privately, she was unerringly loving and generous, while her life was touched by financial, medical, and emotional upheavals. Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes is meticulously researched, expertly weaving the public and private, and features numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues.

MATTHEW KENNEDY teaches anthropology at the City College of San Francisco and film history at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the author of Marie Dressler: A Biography and Edmund Goulding’s Dark Victory: Hollywood’s Genius Bad Boy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 300 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 15,5 cm (8,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 605 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2007 – ISBN 978-1-57806-961-3

Joan Crawford: A Biography (Bob Thomas)

Thomas, Bob - Joan CrawfordFew Hollywood careers have been more fabulous, more scandalous, more dizzyingly from rags-to-riches and from triumph-to-tragedy, more glaringly limelit than that of Joan Crawford, born Lucille Fay LeSueur, in 1906 (or 1908, according to her press releases) in Texas. Miss Crawford rose from being a telephone operator in Kansas City (under the name Billie Cassin, since her mother had remarried) to a chorus girl in Springfield, Missouri, and from there – as if propelled by one high, miraculous kick – came to MGM, fame, glamor, glitter, romance and ultimate stardom.

For many people Joan Crawford was more than a star; she was the star, the very symbol of those dazzling movie queens whose faces were more famous throughout the world than those of emperors, dictators or presidents, and whose very appearance could create a riot – as Miss Crawford once did in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. She was a tough, ambitious, gutsy and fiercely competitive person, a complete professional when it came to making movies, a star on or off the stage. Her energy was inexhaustible and legendary, as was her temper, and her marriages were stormy and violent, whether with fellow-star Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., or with Pepsi-Cola executive Alfred Steele, who made her Pepsi’s ambassador to the world and died leaving her almost penniless.

Joan Crawford’s love affairs were the stuff of countless gossip columns, as widely publicized as her movies – and seldom indeed has a life been lived more in the limelight of publicity. Yet, in this definitive, powerful and dramatic biography, Bob Thomas, dean of the Hollywood biographers, has recreated the real life of Joan Crawford: her lonely, terrible death, her search for her father (who abandoned her at an early age and reappeared in her life when she was a star); her struggles to reach the top; the scandals that haunted her life (including the rumor that she had appeared in a blue movie and that Louis B. Mayer had paid a king’s ransom to buy the negative and destroy it); her tortured relationships with her adopted children; her drinking; and her courageous decision to resume work after Steele’s death.

Here, at last, is the complete and extraordinary story of Joan Crawford’s life, her films, her marriages, her secrets and her loves, in an intimate biography that delineates the character and the personality from the Ultimate Star.

BOB THOMAS interviewed Joan Crawford many times over a thirty-year period and conducted more than two hundred interviews with her co-workers and acquaintances to research this biography. Born in San Diego, Thomas grew up in Los Angeles, where his father was a film publicist. After schooling at UCLA, Thomas joined the Associated Press in Los Angeles, and has reported the Hollywood scene for thirty-five years. He is the author of many books, including biographies of Harry Cohn, Irving G. Thalberg, David O. Selznick, Marlon Brando and Walt Disney. His books about Howard Hughes and Abbott and Costello have been made into television movies. The father of three daughters, Bob Thomas lives in Encino with his wife, Patricia.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 315 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 778 g (27,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-67124033-1

Joan Crawford: Her Life in Letters (Michelle Vogel; foreword by Casey LaLonde)

vogel-michelle-joan-crawford-her-life-in-letters“Joan Crawford… Jazz Age flapper, rags to riches shop girl, fashion icon, Academy Award winning actress and star of over 80 Hollywood movies. Loved by countless millions and relived by a few others, Joan relied on perseverance and an ability to transform herself over her decades long career. She began her career as Lucille LeSeur, and then became Joan Crawford beginning with her first film in 1926, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp. Joan continued a varied, ever changing five-decade career ending with the 1970 release of the high camp film Trog. Although Joan assumed the identities of dozens of characters throughout her career, I simply knew her as ‘JoJo’ for she was my grandmother.

My relationship with my grandmother was brief, but full of vivid memories. I was born in 1972, five years before her death. As my grandmother had relocated from Hollywood to New York City in the late 1950s, she was just a two-hour car ride from my family’s home north of Allentown, Pennsylvania. My mom, Cathy, my father, sister and I would take day trips into the city to see her. The apartment at Imperial House at 150 E. 69th Street is etched in my mind with colorful, Asian inspired decorations. Yes, there were plastic slipcovers on some of the furniture, but I believe she was just psychologically trying to protect her possessions after a lifetime of work.

JoJo would always greet us at the door, usually dressed in a fashionable housecoat. She always wore makeup and one of her amazing wigs. No matter who was at the door, she would look like Joan Crawford, screen legend. When visiting, she treated me to a home cooked lunch in the kitchen, usually some delicious cold roasted chicken. JoJo loved tending to me and my sister, and my parents would sometimes go out for lunch or dinner and have her baby-sit. She would always have presents for me, not toys necessarily, but more important items that I now consider family heirlooms. One is a child’s rocking chair with a needlepoint elephant that she created for the seat. Another is a small bronze turtle from Spain that to this day, sits on my home office desk. When not visiting, I would try to stay up late to watch Mildred Pierce or What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? on The Late Show. I always took for granted her place as a Hollywood screen legend. For me, she was just JoJo, my grandmother.

Joan Crawford: Her Life in Letters, is a true testament to how my grandmother treated others, not just her friends and peers, but her fans. Her life long dedication to corresponding with the people responsible for making her famous, showed how much she cared. The public loved her… and she loved them.” – From The Foreword by Casey LaLonde.

Film historian MICHELLE VOGEL is the author of Children of Hollywood: Accounts of Growing Up as the Sons and Daughters of Stars (2005), Gene Tierney: A Biography (2005) and Marjorie Main: The Life and Films of Hollywood’s Ma Kettle (2005). You can visit Michelle Vogel’s website at http://www.michellevogel.com

Softcover – 225 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 348 g (12,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Wasteland Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2005 – ISBN 1-933265-46-9

Joan Fontaine: A Bio-Bibliography (Marsha Lynn Beeman)

Always in competition with her older, more famous sister, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine had a varied and successful career of her own. She eventually attained stardom for her work in the film Rebecca, which won the 1940 Academy Award for best picture. The following year, she won the Academy Award for best actress in Suspicion, beating out her sister for the coveted prize. This book tells the story of her fascinating career and provides full information for her many performances.

A short biography of Fontaine begins the book and overviews the rivalry between Fontaine and her sister, her disappointing marriages, her illnesses, and her productive and rewarding career as an entertainer. Chapters then provide detailed information for her films, radio and television shows, and stage appearances. Each chapter contains individual entries for her productions, with entries providing cast and credit information, a plot summary, a critical analysis, and excerpts from reviews. An annotated bibliography provides information about books and articles related to every aspect of Joan Fontaine’s life and work.

Hardcover – 338 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 726 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1994 – ISBN 0-313-28409-1

Joan Fontaine: Letters From a Known Woman (Tommy Lightfoot Garrett)

garrett-tommy-lightfoot-letters-from-a-known-woman“I guess I will begin by saying that Joan Fontaine is surely my favorite actress. I remember seeing her wonderful performances as the second Mrs. de Winter in Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film Rebecca, her seductive Christabel in Born to Be Bad and her unforgettable Academy Award-winning role in Hitchcock’s second American classic, Suspicion. Although Joan won for the second Hitchcock film, her truly magnificent portrayal in Rebecca was Oscar-worthy as well, but beautiful Ginger Rogers won for Kitty Foyle.

I got to know Joan a few years ago. We became friends and corresponded from time to time. When she found out that I was going to write this book, which would be fair to both her and her estranged sister, Olivia de Havilland, she refused to speak to me anymore. Joan is infamous for this. I include myself such castaways as her sister, Olivia; mother, Lillian; father, Walter; daughters, Debbie and Martita – and her numerous husbands.

My initial feelings were of sadness and dismay when this happened. Then, I had a moment of truth and realized that I would be able to be more objective to Olivia and others in Joan’s life, since I was no longer under her charming spell. Although I still adore and admire her, I became aware that all of her family members have been isolated and shunned by Joan at different times in their lives. This helped me gain a deeper perspective of the woman, while not being in awe of her any longer. This also gave me a fairer vision for this book – and for that, I am thankful to Joan.

Although, Joan would not want thanks, she simply has no need for anyone’s approval or appreciation. As a result, the fan within me died and the journalist kicked in, which meant I had to start the book from scratch and look at the real Joan Fontaine. On screen, Joan’s exquisite beauty remains intriguing. However, I could no longer ignore and look away from the darker side of her personality since I had come face to face with it myself. Now I have embraced that dark side, for the sake of the readers of this book.

Now as to why I preferred Joan and her work as an actress over that of the beautiful and, some say, more talented Olivia. This is my observation: to me, Joan was more fascinating to watch on screen. I felt her portrayal of the innocent second wife in Rebecca was masterful, far better than if it had been played by Vivien Leigh. She was the choice of Laurence Olivier, the leading man in Rebecca and the man who was married to Vivien off-screen. Personally, I think Olivia could have played Joan’s part in Rebecca in the same elegant way she portrayed Melanie in Gone With the Wind. However, Olivia was busy filming that classic epic as was Vivien Leigh. So, aided by Hitchcock’s mesmerizing camera work, Joan’s interpretation of the mousy wife in Rebecca made for a stunning performance.

Another thing I liked about Joan is that she embraced her characters’ flaws and unlike maybe Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, made no excuses for their faults and never presented them as victims. In The Affairs of Susan, for example, her character was able to have flings and flirtations while never quite committing to anyone. Though her character in the movie was sweeter-natured, Joan had that same trait in real life and does not hide it.

In this book, I will describe Joan’s rise to superstardom in 1942, receiving the Academy Award over her sister, Olivia, who was also nominated in the Best Actress category for her role in the weepy Hold Back the Dawn. From that night on, the sisters would compete on every playing field for the rest of their acting careers, including being attracted to the same men. Years later, Olivia, a master at keeping score, would make an attempt to bury the hatchet, only to find that Joan had moved on with her life and had no interest in reconciling their differences. This book will explain why, at their various stages of life and even today, they have never patched things up.

You will also learn why Joan’s worst casting was as a real-life mother and why animals are better suited as companions to her. When you finish reading this book, I do not think you will feel sadness for Joan or Olivia nor anger for either sister, but, hopefully, you will see why they are the way they are today.” – The Introduction.

TOMMY LIGHTFOOT GARRETT is a writer and entertainment publicist who has worked with many of the Golden Era stars. He’s become an expert lecturer on the history of Hollywood and movies. Tommy is a columnist for the Laurel Canyon Newspaper in Beverly Hills, California, and became a fan of Joan Fontaine’s in his youth after seeing movies like Rebecca and Suspicion. After corresponding with her for years, he decided to put her great story on paper and is now working on his next book, Cowboys of Hollywood.

Softcover – 127 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 222 g (7,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Wasteland Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2005 – ISBN 1-933265-57-4

Joe McCarthy and the Press (Edwin R. Bayley)

bayley-edwin-r-joe-mccarthy-and-the-pressDid the press “create” Joe McCarthy? Is it true, as one critic charged, that liberal journalists suffered a prolonged attack of laryngitis intimidatus during those critical years of the 1950s?

Did the press smear McCarthy, as his supporters claimed, or did its opposition to his methods actually help him in his acrimonious rise to power? And, underlying all these questions, what did the press actually do about Joseph McCarthy? How did their treatment of him affect the development. growth, and eventual decline of McCarthyism in America – and how did his methods affect press policy and practice?

In this well-documented, lively, and largely personal study, Edwin R. Bayley, a key political reporter of the period, separates myth from fact and offers solid conclusions in place of long-held but questionable assumptions. This is a book for historians, journalists, and – perhaps most of all – those who, for one reason or another, have cause to remember this turbulent time in our nation’s past.

McCarthy’s rise to national prominence may be said to have begun on the night of February 9, 1950, in Wheeling, West Virginia. There, at an obscure meeting, the junior senator from Wisconsin captured the attention of the national press with his startling claim that he had, in hand, a list of 205 communists in the national government. It was that theme, repeated in countless variations, that would keep McCarthy in the national spotlight for the next four years. The senator’s decline was marked by the sensational Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954, in which the young medium of television, which McCarthy had used so adroitly in his rise to influence, contributed heavily to his downfall.

The many and sometimes subtle ways in which the press was involved in the McCarthy phenomenon form the substance of this book. The press was virtually an obsession with McCarthy, particularly the “camp-following, mocking-bird, bleeding-heart, left-wing press” that opposed his tactics. He was influenced heavily by his newspaper reading and his association with newspapermen, and he was most adroit at manipulating the press for his own ends. He quickly learned how to bully the fledgling television networks, demanding and getting equal-time privilege even when it was undeserved, and using that time to make reckless attacks on both Democratic and Republican presidents.

Edwin Bayley is especially well qualified to offer this close analysis. As a political reporter, he covered McCarthy for the Milwaukee Journal during the critical years. Now, from his position as teacher and researcher, and from the perspective of more than two decades, he is able to address the issues in an informed, reasoned, and effective manner. Bayley’s research has been exhaustive and fruitful. He examined the treatment of McCarthy by 129 newspapers from all sections of the country, and conducted interviews with more than forty reporters and McCarthy associates in order to record the impressions and assessments of those who had interacted with the senator during the early 1950s. The result is a vivid picture of the man and his times, rich with quotations and personal anecdotes from those who liked or despised McCarthy, applauded or sparred with him, felt his intense patriotism or his righteous wrath.

EDWIN R. BAYLEY was once introduced to a Wisconsin gathering by Senator McCarthy with the following words: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like first to introduce a reporter in the audience, Ed Bayley from the Milwaukee Daily Worker. Stand up, Ed, and let the people see what a communist looks like.” Bayley began his career as a reporter in 1941, and, after service in the North Atlantic during World War II, served as political reporter for the Milwaukee Journal from 1946 to 1959. During this period, he observed McCarthy closely and came to know him, while working for one of the newspapers the senator categorized as a “Daily Worker.” (This list also included the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others.) From 1959 to 1964, Bayley served in a number of government positions, including a period of time as special assistant to President John F. Kennedy, after which he spent five years with National Educational Television. He has been Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1969. His articles have appeared in Time, the New Republic, the Economist of London, and numerous other publications. He has received several awards for distinguished reporting and achievement in journalism.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 572 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1991 – ISBN 0-299-08620-8

John Barrymore: Shakespearean Actor (Michael A. Morrison)

morrison-michael-a-john-barrymore-shakespearean-actorDuring the 1920s a wave of postwar ebulience exploded into the Jazz Age, bringing a new and unprecedented accent on youth and a generation that cast off the vestiges of Victorian culture and embraced new trends in art, music, dance, poetry, fiction, and drama. The way was open for an actor who could recapture and redefine the glamour, skill and galvanizing presence of an earlier day.

John Barrymore was such an actor and his Richard III and Hamlet, first seen in New York during the 1919-20 and 1922-23 seasons, stand as high-water marks of twentieth-century Shakespearean interpretation. Barrymore was an original, capable of electrifying audiences with the subtle force and brilliance of his acting. His dynamic portrayals and the groundbreaking innovations of his production team, the director Arthur Hopkins and the designer Robert Edmond Jones, helped revitalize Shakespearean acting and production in America and Great Britain and changed the direction of subsequent revivals.

In this meticulously and richly illustrated book, Michael A. Morrison draws upon newly uncovered sources and firsthand interviews with witnesses who knew the actor or saw him perform. Barrymore’s historic performances are brought to life through accounts of the preparations, the productions themselves, and the responses of audiences and critics. This fascinating look at one of the more revered and tragic actors of the twentieth century sheds new light on his distinctive contributions in view of past and ensuing theater traditions.

MICHAEL A. MORRISON is a New York-based theater historian and collector of theatrical memorabilia. He received his doctorate in theater from the City University of New York and has contributed theater- and drama-related articles and criticism to a number of publications including the New York Times, the Village Voice, the London Daily Telegraph, Stagebill, Theatre History Studies, and New Theatre Quarterly.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 398 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 839 g (29,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997 – ISBN 0-521-62028-7

John Ford: A Biography (Andrew Sinclair)

sinclair-andrew-john-fordHis films are part of the collective memory and imagination of millions throughout the world. Who can forget the experience of seeing The Grapes of Wrath or The Informer? The legend of the Western, now imitated in films made all over the world, was invented by John Ford. He was the director Eisenstein most admired; he left behind a reputation of being a tyrant on the set (“All actors are crap,” he bluntly told Jean Renoir, who thought he meant only bad actors), a political reactionary, and a man of few words.

The truth behind the legend has been set forth by Andrew Sinclair, who sought out every person he could find who knew and worked with John Ford. Ford’s wife, Mary, and his daughter, Barbara, as well as relatives in Ireland and Maine, gave the key points to this enthralling biography of the man who was, next to D.W. Griffith, probably the most important and creative force in the history of American motion pictures. He arrived in Hollywood before World War I when it was still adjusting to the social trauma brought by the invasion of “movie people.” From then until his death five years ago, John Ford made over 150 features and invented a large part of the vocabulary of the film. The apparent inventions of later directors can be found freshly minted in Ford films dating back to the silent days.

What most people do not know is that John Ford taught his version of American history to three generations of moviegoers around the world, beginning with The Iron Horse and ending in the Indian Summer of Cheyenne Autumn. Films like Young Mr. Lincoln, They Were Expendable, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance represented Ford’s instinctive grasp of the shape and meaning of the American experience. When he discovered the magnificent beauty of Monument Valley, he found the ideal setting for the Westerns that were to define the form and convention of the genre. He created strong bonds of mutual affection and respect between himself and the Indians. When they had hard times on the reservation, one friend recalled, Ford summoned his stock company and said, “We’re going to make a Western. Get packed.”

He was a very private man – he put very little on paper and spared few words to actors when he directed them – actors and actresses like John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Maureen O’Hara, and so many others. This natural Irish taciturnity was a perfect mask for Ford’s other life. From the end of World War I until the war in Vietnam, Ford was one of the most effective agents in Naval Intelligence, and his section of Donovan’s OSS developed the air surveillance techniques that led to the U-2s and the satellite. He was indeed a spy with a camera.

Ford, contrary to his reputation for reactionary political views, was simple and straightforward; he loved America passionately, he rushed to the defense of any and every underdog, from Irish freedom fighters to American Indians, and he was devoted to his wife and family. As a close friend put it, ‘His word was twice as good as your own ever could be.’ Andrew Sinclair, in paying homage to John Ford, has given us an extraordinary and largely unknown American life. Mr. Sinclair brings unusual qualifications to this unique American life. He is a filmmaker (he directed and wrote the script for the award-winning film version of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter O’Toole) and American historian (Prohibition: The Era of Excess, The Available Man: A Biography of Warren G. Harding, and The Emancipation of the American Woman), and he is also the author of seven novels. His last book was a biography of Jack London. Born in Oxford, England, and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, ANDREW SINCLAIR served with the Coldstream Guards and also studied in the U.S. at Haryard and Columbia. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Cambridge University. He, his wife, and son divide their time between London, America, and a home in Corfu.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 680 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER The Dial Press / James Wade, New York, New York, 1979 –  ISBN 0-8037-4826-4

John Ford: Hollywood’s Old Master (Ronald L. Davis)

Davis, RonaldL - John FordJohn Ford remains the most honored director in Hollywood history, having won six Academy Awards and four New York Film Critics Awards. Drawing upon extensive written and oral history, Ronald L. Davis provides a biography of Ford that is far-reaching in its scope.

Davis sketches Ford’s life from his childhood in Maine through the many stages of his long and illustrious career. From his silent classic, The Iron Horse, through the transition to sound, and then into the pioneer years in location filming, the golden years of Hollywood, and the movement toward television, Ford made enormous contributions to the film industry – but suffered great personal turmoil. The complexity of his personality comes alive here through the eyes of his colleagues, friends, relatives, and film critics. Actors with whom Ford worked, among them John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, and Katharine Hepburn, comment on his skill as a director. His family and friends tell of his navy years, troubled domestic life, political involvements, and battles with alcoholism. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a man impossible to categorize, an enigma.

The ultimate windows into Ford’s soul may be the films themselves. During his career, Ford made such classics as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Searchers – 136 pictures in all, 54 of them Westerns. He is now recognized as a genius with the camera who knew how to tell his stories visually, keeping dialogue to a minimum. His characters, especially the memorable “strong, silent” heroes that figure so prominently in the films, have achieved mythic dimensions. The director himself, however, once claimed, “The real star of my Westerns has always been the land.” Indeed, it is Ford’s ability to capture the magnificence and poetry of Western landscape that has earned him the highest respect.

RONALD L. DAVIS presents a comprehensive view of Ford the man, the artist, the mythmaker. This biography both humanizes Ford and reveals his stature as an icon of American culture.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 383 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 661 g (23,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University of Oklahoma Press, 1995 – ISBN 0-8061-2708-2

John Ford’s Westerns: A Thematic Analysis, with a Filmography (William Darby)

scannen0316“John Ford completed his last western, Cheyenne Autumn, in 1964. Since that time his position as one of the leading directors in American and world cinema has been established and enhanced by numerous biographical and critical studies. In what follows, I have taken Ford’s exalted status, which was extended to him by contemporary as well as later observers, as a given. My aim is not to place him inside any theory of cinematic authorship or to filter his work through some current ideological sieve but rather to demonstrate the high degrees of thematic and artistic coherence in his western films. Like any director, Ford must be judged by the abilities of his works to augment themes through narrative structure, technical finish, dramatic actions, and sophisticated characterizations. When viewed for such qualities, Ford’s Westerns can be appreciated as both entertainments and serious works.

Anyone writing about Ford, like anyone writing about William Shakespeare, might be moved to apologize for daring to think that anything new, let alone original, can be said about a recognized master. Such objections as “Why Ford?” and, even more pressingly, “Why just his Westerns?” have to be addressed, since they reflect much popular thinking about any work of film criticism not immediately focused on what is currently being shown on theater screens.

The simplest answer to these questions is, of course, the one most likely to arouse distrust. Ford is a protean artist whose meanings no single critical approach is ever likely to exhaust. His films clearly enjoy an ongoing life, so that they have come to mean, and will continue to mean, new things to new generations. Indeed, the very fact that we discover new delights in re-viewing Ford’s films raises the central critical issue of why one filmmaker stands above his contemporaries. Why do we never tire of Ford’s films and always entertain the thought that we must and will have to see them again? Why do we feel, conversely, that the films of other directors are either time fillers to be seen once and forgotten or pleasures we would want to reindulge in only at much longer intervals? Thus, those writing on Ford, again like those writing on Shakespeare, are justified on the ground that their interpretations may shed new light on an old master.” – From The Introduction.

John Ford’s early Westerns reflect an optimistic view of society and individual capacity; as his thematic vision evolved, he became more resigned to the limitations of humanity. His thematic evolution was evident in other films, but was best shown in his Westerns, with their stark depictions of the human condition. Ford’s sound Westerns and his major silent films are compared in this work, revealing how his creative genius changed over time. A complete filmography of Ford’s Westerns is also provided.

WILLIAM DARBY is the author of several books on cinema. He teaches English at Wayne County Community College and Henry Ford Community College in Detroit, Michigan.

Hardcover – 307 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 535 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1996 – ISBN 0-7864-0080-3

John Ford: The Complete Films (Scott Eyman; edited by Paul Duncan)

eyman-scott-john-ford“He is America’s Homer, the man who framed the American experience for the world. He is also the most honored of all American directors, with six Academy Awards, a man who made great films in each of five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s.

America’s humane idealism gave John Ford his themes, and his best work is energized by his recognition of his country’s internal conflicts, Ford insisted that doing the right thing can and probably will get you killed, that defeat may be man’s natural state, but that honor can and must be earned. His men are not leaders so much as loners, and their greatest acts are renunciations. It is no accident that, when Ford made a movie about World War II, he made one about a campaign America lost. If one re-orders Ford’s films in order of the period they portray, from the Revolutionary War of Drums Along the Mohawk to the televised political age of The Last Hurrah, it can be seen that he portrayed nearly every aspect of 200 years of America’s national mythology as told by its foot-soldiers – an elegiac, driving history that Ford saw as part nostalgic fantasy and part hard-shell objective reality.

And of course there are the Westerns. Ford’s Westerns have the feeling of life as well as the aura of legend. You can hear the timber creak as he combines the themes of the odyssey with his abiding sense of unkempt humanity. Ford’s Westerns fulfil the essential requirement of anything lasting about America – they are about promise and, sometimes, the betrayal of promise. Ford’s world is made up of soldiers and priests, of drunks and doctors and servants and whores and half-crazed men driven by their need to be alone, even as they journey toward home, toward reconciliation.

John Ford brought the art form to what still seems its ultimate synthesis of character and landscape – pictures superseding words, meanings too deep to be explained, yearnings that must remain unspoken. Most movies, even good ones, are all plot; they answer the question ”What happens next?” But Ford’s movies are less about what the main character will do than they are about the mysterious question of who he actually is. As even a cursory look at any of Ford’s major films will reveal, he had a compositional gift that was unmatched among his peers, but he also knew how to utilize all the other intrinsic devices of the medium. He understood pacing, framing, angles, lighting. He understood characters, myth, people and, most mysteriously, he understood the cruelty of time.” – From the Introduction.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 20 cm (9,8 x 7,9 inch) – Weight 851 g (30 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen GmbH, Köln, Germany, 2004 – ISBN 3-8228-3093-3

John Huston (Alex Madsen)

madsen-alex-john-hustonThis is a biography of one of Hollywood’s most prolific and talented filmmakers, a movie director-actor-writer who has always lived the part – John Huston. Huston’s magical masterful direction has produced dozens of American film classics: The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle, The African Queen, Beat the Devil, The Misfits, The Night of the Iguana, and most recently, The Man Who Would Be King. His most memorable films have celebrated men shaking their fists at destiny and going after a dream, others have been rousing tales of honor, high adventure, and mystery. Huston has lived his own life in much the same way: taking risks, operating on astounding creative instincts.

John Huston is a remarkable story – an epic tale of a man whose own life has been as colorful and dramatic as any of his movies.

AXEL MADSEN is the author of several books about Hollywood, including The New Hollywood, and biographies of directors William Wyler and Billy Wilder. He has also written a biography of Andre Malraux (Malraux), a novel (Borderlines), and the highly acclaimed Hearts and Minds. Mr. Madsen lives in Los Angeles and is now at work on a major book about Yves St. Laurent.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 446 g (15,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-385-11070-7

John Huston: Courage and Art (Jeffrey Meyers)

Meyers, Jeffrey - John Huston, Courage and ArtFrom the acclaimed biographer of Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn comes the first complete biography of the legendary John Huston, the extraordinary director, writer, actor, and bon vivant who made iconic films such as The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and The African Queen – and lived one of the most vibrant, eventful lives in Hollywood history.

An actor in the 1920s and scriptwriter in the 1930s, John Huston made his dazzling directorial debut in 1941 with The Maltese Falcon. His career as a filmmaker spanned some fifty-seven years and yielded thirty-seven feature films. He made most of his movies abroad, spent much of his life in lreland and Mexico, and remains one of the most intelligent and influential filmmakers in history. With equal attention given to Huston’s impressive artistic output and tempestuous personal relationships, biographer Jeffrey Meyers presents a vivid narrative of Huston’s remarkably rich creative life.

The son of the famous stage and screen actor Walter Huston, John Huston was born in Nevada City, Missouri, and suffered from a weak heart that forced him to live as an invalid for much of his childhood. One day, however, he impulsively left his sickbed, dove over a waterfall, swam into a raging river and began to lead a strenuous life. He became an expert sportsman as well as a boxer, bullfighter, hunter, soldier, gambler and adventurer. Though he didn’t finish high school, he was a man of true genius: a serious painter and amusing raconteur, playwright and story writer, stage and screen actor, director of plays on Broadway and an opera at La Scala, autobiographer and political activist who crusaded against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist witch hunts in Hollywood. He was a discerning collector of art and connoisseur of literature, food and wine. Passionate about horses and women, he had five successively younger wives.

Meyers chronicles Huston’s extraordinarily peripatetic life and examines his rise as a great masculine artist in the formidable tradition of Melville, Conrad and Hemingway, whose persona, ethos, prose style and virile code had a powerful influence on his life and work. Thirty-four of Huston’s thirty-seven films adapted important novels, stories and plays, and Meyers perceptively describes how Huston brilliantly transformed the written word into the cinematic image. Huston’s dominant theme is the almost impossible quest, tempered by detachment and irony. His heroes sacrifice honor in pursuit of wealth but fail in that venture, are mocked by cruel fate and remain defiant in the face of defeat. Based on research in Huston’s personal and professional archives, and interviews with his children, friends and colleagues, this is the dramatic story of a courageous artist who, Meyers persuasively argues, is “one of the most fascinating men who ever lived.”

JEFFREY MEYERS, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has recently been given an Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Thirty of his books have been translated into fourteen languages and seven alphabets, and published on six continents. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 476 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 787 g (27,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Archetype, New York, New York, 2011 – ISBN 978-0-307-59067-1

John Huston: Interviews (edited by Robert Emmet Long)

long-robert-emmet-john-huston-interviews“I believe filmmaking to be a collaborative medium. Rather than being a tyrant, I believe in getting ideas from as many sources as possible.”

This collection of interviews brings the filmmaker John Huston vividly to life in his own words. Huston (1906-1987) had an extraordinary career that spanned more than forty years and nearly fifty films. Among these are such classics as The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Night of the Iguana, Prizzi’s Honor, and The Dead.

In these interviews ranging from 1952 to 1985, Huston talks about his approach to directing, the influence of painting upon his camera work, his association with stellar actors (Humphrey Bogart, Montgomery Clift, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, and others), his beginnings in Hollywood as a screenwriter, and the influence that the authors James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway had on his movies. Full of anecdotes about writers, directors, and actors with whom he collaborated, John Huston appears here as a man who had a rich, full life – amateur boxer, vagrant artist, painter, big-game hunter, director, and born storyteller.

As a filmmaker particularly identified with the literary masterworks he transformed into cinema (Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, James Joyce’s The Dead, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana), Huston explores literary influences on his films. For him the act of writing is essential and basic. “I don’t make a distinction between writing and direction,” he says. “But to write and to direct one’s own material is certainly the best approach. The directing is kind of an extension of the writing.”

Huston is known also for his innovative interaction with actors. In 1952 he said, “The trick is in the writing and casting. If you cast the right people, using only good actors, and adjust the script to suit the actors you’ve chosen, then it’s best to leave them to work out their own gestures and movements. Your job is to explain to them the effect you want, and your skill lies in being able to do that exactly and vividly.”

The Huston who emerges from these interviews is a gifted raconteur, an admirable professional, and indeed a figure whose real life matched his prodigious legend.

ROBERT EMMET LONG is the author of Ingmar Bergman: Film and Stage and The Films of Merchant Ivory. He lives in Fulton, N.Y.

Softcover – 186 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 384 g (13,4 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001 – ISBN 1-57806-328-0

John Huston’s Filmmaking (Lesley Brill)

brill-lesley-john-hustons-filmmaking

“A bad job for cinema auteurists, John Huston. A chameleon, taking on the coloration of whatever subject he decided to film, usually someone’s novel about some man’s screw-up. Nothing more consistent or characteristic, no personal theme beyond masculine failure, no recognizable visual style. A director without direction. Huston himself agreeing with his commentators: no ‘special message to convey,’ no aesthetic or philosophic obsessions.

Just enormous talent and secure judgment for telling a lively story, for keeping those high-strung racehorses, movie stars, running the course, for making hits and coming back from duds with more hits. An artistic administrator, steering film companies through the chaos of cinematic production, using whatever it takes – literary talent, personal charm, empathy with horses and other beasts, being mysterious, being male, being lucky.

In sum, the best and least lovable qualities of the American movie industry personified. A corporation in himself of discipline and connections and technical smarts. After hours a pop-press feast of marriages and divorces, seas of alcohol, fist fights, practical jokes, name-brand friends, outspoken social views. And in the neighborhood theaters something easy to sell, something well tailored, sharply pressed, with cleanly turned seams, but maybe as generic and devoid of individuality as most of the Hollywood ready-made wardrobe. Spiritless stuff shaped not by writers, producers, directors, or cinematographers so much as by the publicity departments and stars of gargantuan companies: Warner Bros., MGM, Universal, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox.

Accounts like this have seemed plausible to most people who think about Huston, or who thought about him for a while and then went on to think about something else during his long, swift-steady gallop through a film career of half a century. But spend a few hundred hours looking again at his thirty-seven feature-length films and the gospel about him begins to ring stupidly inadequate. Obscure movies like In This Our Life (1942) and A Walk with Love and Death (1969), all-but-forgotten ones like Moulin Rouge (1952) and Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), wrenching ones like The Kremlin Letter (1970), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Wise Blood (1979), and Under the Volcano (1984), or exuberant, chaotic-looking ones like Beat the Devil (1954) and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) turn out to be as rich, superbly crafted, and thoughtful as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The African Queen (1951), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), or Prizzi’s Honor (1985), itself a playful recollection of The Maltese Falcon (1941). All sharp, strange, and exciting. All with stories, themes, and a style that one begins to recognize as Hustonian.” – From The Introduction.

John Huston’s Filmmaking analyzes the career of one of cinema’s most versatile artists. Lesley Brill argues that Huston created a body of work far richer than the formulaic stories of masculine failure with which he is often credited. Stylish, superbly scripted, and informed by a wry sense of humor, Huston’s films portray characters who attempt to conceive their identities. His work consistently returns to questions of love and mortality; of happiness and home; of society and the individual; and of the connections among what one of his most famous characters called “the Lord or fate or nature.”

Hardcover – 269 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 513 g (18,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Cambridge University Press, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-521-58359-4

John Lennon: De Definitieve Biografie (Philip Norman; originally titled John Lennon, The Life)

Philip Normans best-seller Shout! wordt al meer dan een kwart eeuw beschouwd als de definitieve biografie van The Beatles. Nu richt hij zijn aandacht eindelijk op de man voor wie het leven als Beatle niet genoeg was. Dankzij uniek, tot voor kort onbekend materiaal en uitgebreide interviews met alle belangrijke nog levende personen uit zijn leven, is dit het meest complete en onthullende portret van John Lennon dat ooit zal worden gepubliceerd.

Deze meesterlijke biografie neemt elk aspect van Lennons leven op een verfrissende en grondige manier onder de loep. Na drie jaar onderzoek heeft Norman een ongelooflijke hoeveelheid nieuw materiaal ontdekt, zelfs over de periodes waarvan we alles al dachten te weten: van de opvoeding door zijn strenge tante Mimi, zijn ogenschijnlijk verloren school- en studententijd, de ontwikkeling van de ongeëvenaarde samenwerking met Paul McCartney, de liefdesaffaire die een einde maakte aan het Beatles-tijdperk, tot zijn experimenten met transcendente meditatie, primal scream-therapie en drugs. Tot de belangrijkste informatiebronnen en geïnterviewden behoren Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon en Yoko Ono, die soms met schokkende openhartigheid spreekt over de details van haar huwelijk met John.

Stoer, cynisch en ongelooflijk grappig, maar ook naïef, kwetsbaar en onzeker: John Lennon was een man vol tegenstrijdigheden. Philip Norman schetst op een eerlijke en vastberaden manier – zoals John zou hebben gewild – een compleet beeld van de man achter de legende.

PHILIP NORMAN is geboren in Londen en groeide op het Isle of Wight op. Op zijn 22ste ging hij voor de Sunday Times werken. In 1981 werd zijn boek Shout! gepubliceerd dat algemeen wordt beschouwd als de definitieve biografie over The Beatles. Verder publiceerde hij boeken over Elton John, Buddy Holly en The Rolling Stones, en enkele romans. Hij is getrouwd en woont in Londen.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 859 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.575 g (55,6 oz) – PUBLISHER vip boeken / A. W. Bruna Uitgevers B.V., Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2008 – ISBN 978 90 229 8949 4

Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero (David Fury; foreword by Johnny Sheffield)

Autographed copy Follow your dream! David Fury. For Leo, from Johnny Sheffield. Poolside 8/13/00

Fury, David - Twice the HeroThe name, Johnny Weissmuller, has a magic ring to it. Johnny was an undefeated swimming champion and American hero as a five-time Olympic gold medal winner, and then continued his own brand of heroism on the silver screen – first as Tarzan and then later as Jungle Jim. He was even a true-life hero in 1927, and was credited with saving the lives of eleven people after the tragic capsize of the Lake Michigan excursion boat, Favorite.

Johnny was also an exemplary role model to his adoring fans, who spent more than three decades worshiping his every move in the pool and on the screen. His adoring public – men and women alike – would always forgive any minor sins he might commit in his lifetime because of his genuine purity of heart and kindness of soul.

Few athletes in the history of sports can lay claim that they retired undefeated, as was the case with Johnny, who never lost a freestyle race in his amateur swimming career. From his official debut in competitive swimming in August of 1921, when he won his first A.A.U. championship in the 50-yard freestyle, Weissmuller was the winner in every freestyle race he ever entered through 1929, when he retired from competitive swimming so he could earn a living.

As difficult as it is to achieve fame and reach the pinnacle of success in a particular field, Johnny Weissmuller did it twice: he was the greatest swimmer of all-time, and then became eternally famous and internationally loved and remembered as “Tarzan” on the silver screen. As an undefeated swimming and Olympic champion, he was a hero to millions of Americans. His fan adulation eventually spread around the world, and knew no boundaries by country or creed. As Edgar Rice Burroughs’ jungle god in twelve Tarzan adventures, he was the ultimate screen hero. Weissmuller continued to wear the mantle of heroism with his role of “Jungle Jim,” another pulp fiction character brought to the big screen for sixteen thrilling adventures from 1948 through 1955.

Johnny Weissmuller was in the right place at the right time for the role of Tarzan – it was simply a matter of fate. Those closely entwined cousins of fortune, serendipity and fortuity, certainly helped guide Johnny through his magical life.

DAVID FURY is a freelance writer, songwriter and guitarist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the author of The Cinema History of Burt Lancaster; Kings of the Jungle: A History of Tarzan on Screen; Chuck Connors: The Man Behind the Rifle. Coming next is a biography of movie and stage actress Maureen O’Sullivan: A Remarkable Lady.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 360 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 968 g (34,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Artist’s Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2000 – ISBN 0-924556-02-1

John Wayne: My Father (Aissa Wayne, with Steve Delsohn)

wayne-aissa-john-wayne-my-fatherJohn Wayne – “The Duke” to millions of devoted fans – rose to fame with his straight-shooting, tall-in-the-saddle movie roles; he was the stuff of legend, the American legend – bigger, better, tougher. But off the screen, nothing was quite that simple.

In this extraordinary memoir, Aissa Wayne, John’s eldest daughter from his third and final marriage, portrays a heretofore unseen side of our myth – the man she knows as her father. Candidly and compellingly, Aissa shows us a complex and surprisingly sensitive man, a devoted father whose overbearing love cast troubling shadows over the lives of his wives and children.

John Wayne’s public persona as a macho film star and his more vulnerable private life were a study in contrasts. The movies’ pillar of strength was riddled with feelings of personal inadequacies; the matinee idol wallowed in failed relationships; the standard bearer for upright morality was involved in more than a few sexual exploits (including a tryst with Marlene Dietrich in her dressing room) and hard-drinking bouts with his pals. Aissa reveals her father’s ambivalent feelings about life and fame, his stern upbringing, his long-delayed Academy Award, and his final, tragic, losing battle with cancer, all in intimate detail.

John Wayne, My Father is the fascinating personal story of America’s most enduring screen legend, written as only a daughter could.

AISSA WAYNE lives in Newport Beach, California. STEVE DELSOHN is co-author (with Jim Brown) of the best-seller Out of Bounds and of Cruisin’ with the Tooz (with John Matuszak). He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 229 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 562 g (19,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-394-58708-1

John Wayne: My Life With the Duke (Pilar Wayne, with Alex Thorleifson)

wayne-pilar-john-wayne-my-life-with-the-dukeThe Big Trail, The Longest Day, The Green Berets, True Grit… These are movies synonymous with America, movies that formed many Americans’ visions of their country. And John Wayne has formed many Americans’ ideas of themselves for themselves and for the world. No one has had as great an impact on American films.

The year 1987 is the 60th anniversary of John Wayne’s entry into filmmaking. And Pilar Wayne, his wife of twenty-five years, breaks her long silence about their life together in one of the most revealing star biographies ever written. In a loving portrait about their sometimes wonderful, sometimes stormy life together, Pilar Wayne sets the record straight about John Wayne, more than eight years after his death and in response to numerous others’ false accounts misrepresenting this amazing man.

Here is the story of the most popular figure in films the world has ever known: his life before he met Pilar Pallette, Peruvian film star and founder of a Peruvian Theater Group, his two previous marriages, and his liaison with the great Marlene Dietrich. Here is Duke the family man, with his and Pilars three beautiful children, together with his complex relationships with children from his first marriage. Here is the political Wayne, his opinions and cherished beliefs, which many readers will recognize as their own, epitomized in the movies he made. Here is the actor on screen, off screen, and behind the scenes, with his friends, John Ford, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Ronald Reagan, and many others. Here is John Wayne, the man and the myth – but also the man behind the myth – in his own words, recounted by the woman who loved him and knew him best. John Wayne: My Life With the Duke is a tribute to a legendary, larger-than-life figure of American culture and film history.

PILAR WAYNE was John Wayne’s third wife. They had three children together: Aissa, Ethan, and Marisa. She lives in Newport Beach, California. ALEX THORLEIFSON is a freelance writer. She lives in Irvine, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 287 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 463 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, New York, 1987

John Wayne’s America: The Politics of Celebrity (Garry Wills)

wills-garry-john-waynes-americaEighteen years after his death, John Wayne is still America’s favorite movie star. He was less an actor than a symbol, the most popular pop icon of the twentieth century, and one of the most important political figures in America. People shaped their lives or adopted political stands to conform to him as a template of authentic Americanism. Wayne became the lens through which people saw their own and their country’s history. In this brilliant, groundbreaking study of the relationship between politics and popular culture, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills focuses on the manufacture of “John Wayne” from the raw materials of Marion Morrison, the person born in Iowa who became a myth, his own reality swallowed up in his meaning as master directors such as John Ford crafted films that made him the personification of America’s frontier myth.

Unlike other actors and actresses with whom we associate political views, Wayne embodied a politics of large meanings – a politics of gender (masculine), ideology (patriotism), character (self-reliance), and personal responsibility. It was a politics of implicit dogmas that often transcended his own views and behavior. Although Wayne avoided serving in the military during World War II, he became, through his screen roles, the model of the American soldier. Likewise, although Wayne’s popular image is that of a staunch anti-Communist, in reality he avoided taking a stand in the bitter ideological war that raged in Hollywood until after the issue had been decided.

Wayne acquired his larger political meaning gradually, as he moved from one film role to the next: from the young, individualist cowboy hero (the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach) to the middle-aged authority figure weighed down with responsibility (Sergeant Stryker in Sands of Iwo Jima) to the cool, determined patriot in the midst of Cold War dangers (represented by Davy Crockett in The Alamo) to the elderly lone survivor of a past heroic time (Rooster Cogburn in True Grit). Wayne himself became aware of his larger political meaning only through a progressive act of self-identification, in much the same way that his fans came to associate their ideals with his screen personae.

In this work of great originality, the biography of an idea, Wills shows how John Wayne and the Hollywood image factories distorted or ignored important facts of Wayne’s life to create his myth. Wills shows for the first time how Wayne, through his screen characters, spoke to the needs of his audience at crucial periods in American history, and how in response Americans invested their emotions in that embodiment of their deepest myths.

John Wayne’s America traces the way Wayne’s countrymen became “entangled in his story, by the dreams he shaped or inhibited, in us or in others, by the things he validated and those he scorned, by the particular definition he gave to ‘being American.'”

GARRY WILLS is the author of nineteen previous books, including Certain Trumpets and the national best-seller Lincoln at Gettysburg, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches at Northwestern University and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 380 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-684-80823-4

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Bernard F. Dick)

dick-bernard-f-joseph-l-mankiewicz“There is a nice scene in The Quiet American, Mankiewicz’s controversial film version of Graham Greene’s novel, in which the American is trying to propose to Phuong, the mistress of the British journalist Fowler, who is acting as translator. Fowler occupies a wicker chair, back of frame; Phuong sits on the floor behind the American, who stands in the center. When Phuong asks for explanations of words like ‘dishonor’ and ‘future,’ Mankiewicz cuts to her peering from behind the American’s legs, suggesting that she may be in an even more subservient position with the American than she was with Fowler.

If the same scene had occurred in someone else’s film, it would have been lauded as visual irony. But one does not associate the visual with Joseph L. Mankiewicz; he is the playwright of the movies, the creator of Margo Channing, the epigrammatist responsible for ‘Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.’ Intelligence, wit, and aphoristic dialogue are Mankiewicz’s legacy to film.

However, while one may remember lines like ‘if you’ve known one Albanian, you’ve known them all’ (James Mason to Danielle Darrieux in Five Fingers), one also remembers pure images such as Ava Gardner dancing with the proud abandon of unobserved royalty in The Barefoot Contessa; the myriad reflections of Barbara Bates as she bows before a three-mirrored cheval at the end of All About Eve; Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison walking out a door that closes behind them as they enter a new life in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Mankiewicz is clearly a painter of pictures as well as a wielder of words. Yet one would never know it from his interviews in which he emphasized the script almost to the exclusion of everything else, describing his films as intended for ‘an audience as capable of listening to a film as it is of seeing it,’ enjoying the reputation of being a maker of films that radiate the aura and brilliance of the theater; and boasting that his movies would have succeeded on the stage if he had written them as plays. The truth of the matter – as this study hopes to demonstrate – is that Mankiewicz’s films could never have succeeded in any other medium than the one for which they were created, and that Mankiewicz himself could never have achieved the same degree of excellence in the theater as he did in the movies.

It is impossible to write about Joseph L. Mankiewicz without discussing the role that Darryl F. Zanuck played in his career. For the eight years (1943-51) that Mankiewicz was at Twentieth Century-Fox, Zanuck was vice-president in charge of production. While Mankiewicz could have been a distinguished filmmaker at any studio, it was not coincidental that the period of his best work coincided with his tenure at Fox. Zanuck’s memos, which I read at Fox during the summer of 1980, reveal him as the kind of producer who scrutinized each screenplay, offering suggestions and asking for changes that, when made, usually improved the quality of the film. He repeatedly curbed Mankiewicz’s tendency toward excess by requesting deletions of characters, scenes, and lines. In the case of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Zanuck was definitely off base; but, for the most part, following Zanuck’s instructions – and Mankiewicz generally did – could mean the difference between a good film and an outstanding one, Mankiewicz made both. This book is dedicated to Martin Nacente.” – From The Preface.

BERNARD F. DICK was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on 25 November 1935. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of Scranton and a Ph.D. in classics from Fordham University. He has taught at Iona College where he chaired the Classics Department from 1967 to 1970. Since 1970, he has been at Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck-Hackensack Campus) where he is professor of English and comparative literature, teaching courses in film history and criticism, literary theory, and world literature. His books include William Golding (1967), The Hellenism of Mary Renault (1972), The Apostate Angel: A Critical Study of Gore Vidal (1974), Anatomy of Film (1978), Billy Wilder (1980), and Hellman in Hollywood (1982). He has also edited the screenplay of Dark Victory (1981) for the Wisconsin / Warner Brothers Screenplay Series. His monograph on Lillian Hellman appears in supplement 1 of Scribner’s American Writers (1978). His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in the Saturday Review, Georgia Review, Colorado Quarterly, Literature / Film Quarterly, Quarterly Review of Film Studies, Comparative Literature, and World Literature Today. He has presented papers at meetings of the Modern Language Association, the Society for Cinema Studies, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the Popular Culture Association. He is married to Katherine M. Restaino, dean of St. Peter’s College at Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 179 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 384 g (13,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Twayne Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts, 1983 – ISBN 0-8057-9291-0

Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Critical Essays with an Annotated Bibliography and Filmography (Cheryl Bray Lower, R. Barton Palmer)

Lower, Cheryl Bray - Joseph L Mankiewicz critical essaysThe Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Barefoot Contessa, and All About Eve – just three of the most well-known films of writer, director, and producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz. This work contains critical essays about the man and his work, as well as a guide to resources, an annotated bibliography, and a filmography. The essays on each of his films are categorized under Mankiewicz’s Dark Cinema, The Mankiewicz Woman, Filmed Theater, and Literary Adaptations. The annotated bibliography includes writings by and about Mankiewicz; the filmography includes full cast and credit information and other data. Information on Mankiewicz’s awards, miscellaneous and unrealized projects, and film festivals honoring him is also provided.

CHERYL BRAY LOWER is an award-winning news photographer, journalist and professional musician. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. R. BARTON PALMER is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University. He has published numerous works on the English, French, and Latin literature of the later Middle Ages, and is the translator, with William Kibler and others, of several anthologies of medieval texts. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hardcover – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 529 g (18,7 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2001 – ISBN 0-7864-0987-8

Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Interviews (edited by Brian Dauth)

dauth-brian-joseph-l-mankiewicz-interviewsJoseph L. Mankiewicz: Interviews features talks with the master director of such classics as All About Eve, The Barefoot Contessa, and Cleopatra. Mankiewicz (1909-1993) was a creative force in Hollywood from the end of the silent film era through the early years of the Hollywood renaissance of the 1970s.

Displaying the wit, insight, and daring that were the hallmarks of his movies, Mankiewicz explores his films and his approach to writing and directing. These interviews span the period from his greatest Hollywood triumphs – he won four Oscars in two years – to just shortly before his death in 1993. From the time he arrived in 1929 through his last film Sleuth in 1972, he had a front-row seat to Hollywood history.

This volume offers a hard-to-find, wide-ranging discussion between Mankiewicz and Gary Carey. A Michel Ciment interview appears here in English for the first time. The book will become a welcome resource for admirers of Mankiewicz and his work as well as those interested in the history of classic Hollywood.

BRIAN DAUTH is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. He has published in Senses of Cinema and written for the British Film Institute.

Softcover – 207 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 376 g (13,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 1-934110-24-8

Joseph Losey: A Revenge on Life (David Caute)

Caute, David - Joseph LoseyIn 1963 Joseph Losey achieved international acclaim with his film The Servant, which also marked the beginning of his remarkable collaboration with Harold Pinter; their film The Accident was followed by The Go-Between which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. But the increasingly ‘baroque’ style of his later work, coupled with obvious pessimism, disappointed many who had admired the ‘puritan’ social messages of his early films. When his brilliant rendering of Mozart’s Don Giovanni appeared towards the end of his life, the critical reception was deeply divided.

Losey’s career began with experimental theater in New York before he moved to Hollywood and the blacklist forced him to exile. Drawing on FBI files and private documents, David Caute shows why Losey finally compromised by signing non-Communist affidavits. In addition to appraising his thirty-one features, Caute provides a compelling portrait of a hugely driven talent, honoured in Europe but ignored by Hollywood, whose creative generosity, alcohol addiction and sometimes brutal egoism excited equally fierce reactions.

DAVID CAUTE’s historical studies include Communism and the French Intellectuals, The Left in Europe Since 1789, Fanon, The Illusion, The Fellow Travellers, The Great Fear, Under the Skin: The Death of White Rhodesia, The Espionage of the Saints, and Sixty-Eight: The Year of the Barricades. His most recent novels are News from Nowhere, Veronica or the Two Nations, and The Women’s Hour. He has been a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and Literary Editor of the New Statesman.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 591 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.075 g (38,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1994 – ISBN 0-571-16449-8

Joseph P. Kennedy’s Hollywood Years (Cari Beauchamp)

Beauchamp, Cari - Joseph P Kennedy's Hollywood Years‘Look at that bunch of pants pressed in Hollywood… I could take the whole business from them.’ Joseph P. Kennedy

Joseph P. Kennedy’s Hollywood Years is the first book to tell the full story of Kennedy’s reign in Hollywood – from 1926 to 1930 – during which time he simultaneously ran three movie studios, spearheaded the talkie revolution, created the prototype for the modern entertainment empire, and ruined the careers of two of Hollywood’s most sensational stars, among them his mistress Gloria Swanson. Sorting through the maze of Kennedy deals, letters and memos, Cari Beauchamp tells how he made it all happen – and lined his pockets in the process.

Beauchamp writes about the pictures Kennedy produced, the stars he made (and ruined), and the Hollywood titans he charmed, cajoled and battled against. It is a fascinating tale of greed and business genius, depicting the process by which Kennedy made his fortune – and changed the very nature of the business of movie-making.

Armed with his fortune, Kennedy left Hollywood to pursue a political career that climaxed with the inauguration of the first Irish-American president – John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

CARI BEAUCHAMP is the author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood. She has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair and Variety. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 506 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 819 g (28,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, Ltd., London, 2009 – ISBN 0-06-019579-7

A Journal of the Plague Years: A Devastating Chronicle of the Era of the Blacklist (Stefan Kanfer)

kanfer-stefan-a-journal-of-the-plague-yearsA Journal of the Plague Years, like the Defoe novel for which it is named, follows the progress of a disease sweeping across an entire society. In this case, the society is show business and the plague is blacklisting – the destruction of performers and writers because of their alleged political beliefs (and disbeliefs).

It is commonly held that the House Un-American Activities Committee was the author of the blacklist. A Journal of the Plague Years shows that the list had its seedy, obscure origins in the thirties and forties, in the F. Scott Fitzgerald days of Hollywood, long before Senator McCarthy and the HUAC rode herd on the liberal tradition. With new sources and anecdotes, Stefan Kanfer follows the blacklist’s high, arcing career through World War II and the Korean conflict to the early days of the Kennedy administration. Here are the adventures of the secular blacklisters, a forgotten group of admen, clearance specialists, private investigators and ex-FBI agents, who – together with a select group of senators and congressmen – loudly proclaimed the existence of a vast Red conspiracy. But, as A Journal of the Plague Years shows, the real conspiracy was on the right, depriving the innocent of jobs, bribing actors and writers to confess uncommitted sins and creating a climate of pervasive guilt.

In this unsparing account, the prime movers and their targets pass by the reader’s reviewing stand. Many are famous: Arthur Miller, Bertholt Brecht, Charlie Chaplin, Dore Schary, José Ferrer. Others are so obscure that they have been forgotten even by their enemies. Some have beaten the blacklist by outliving it: Zero Mostel, Dalton Trumbo, Jack Gilford, Lee Grant. Others were killed by the plague, and their stories are told here: John Garfield, who ran all the way, and who died before Look Magazine could publish his “confession,” “I Was a Sucker for a Left Hook”; Canada Lee, the Othello of the blacklist; Mady Christians, Philip Loeb, J. Edward Bromberg – all are celebrated and mourned again. Here, too, are the cooperative witnesses: Edward Dmytryk, Clifford Odets, Abe Burrows, Elia Kazan, Jerome Robbins, men whose careers hung in the balance until they learned to collaborate with blacklisters. Predominant among those blacklisters are Vincent Hartnett, who cleared or condemned performers for $ 2.00 a head; Aware Inc., an organization whose mission was the fumigation or extermination of show business unions and personalities; and John Keenan, Kenneth Bierly and Theodore Kirkpatrick, former employees of J. Edgar Hoover, who fought the Communist conspiracy with tragic zeal. Here, too, are scores of others, filmmakers, actors, singers, choreographers – a cast of heroes, villains and neutrals whose shadows still fall across show business. A Journal of the Plague Years is more than history; its conclusions provide a chilling parallel to contemporary times and serve as an ominous warning.

STEFAN KANFER was the first by-lined film critic of Time Magazine and is now an associate editor there. Mr. Kanfer is also a frequent contributor of fiction, cartoons and articles on entertainment, literature, politics and Ping-Pong to a variety of periodicals.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Atheneum, New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 689-10519-3

Journey: A Personal Odyssey (Marsha Mason)

Mason, Marsha - JourneyAs an actress, Marsha Mason has had a varied and very successful career. Winner of the Golden Globe award as best actress and a four-time Academy Award nominee, she has worked in film (perhaps most notably in the movies Cinderella Liberty, Chapter Two, and The Goodbye Girl), television (most recently as Sherry on Frasier), and the theater (having performed in  London’s West End, on and off Broadway, and in regional theater around the U.S.).

While the path she followed to achieve her success was seldom an easy one, Marsha Mason never wavered in her determination. She wanted to be an actress – that much she knew even as a young girl growing up in a modest neighborhood in St. Louis. For her, acting would be an escape, a chance to be someone other than the girl who seemed always to disappoint and anger her parents, the ticket that would take her out of their provincial, strict Catholic household and transport her to another world somewhere between reality and fantasy.

Now, in Journey, Marsha Mason retraces the path she followed out of her difficult childhood. She moved to New York City, where she worked as a waitress and go-go dancer before landing a role in the then popular daytime TV soap opera Love of Life. After that, her world started to change, as one success led to another.

The biggest change, however, came when she met Neil Simon, Broadway’s most successful and powerful playwright, the creator of such long-running shows as Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple. Cast in his play The Good Doctor, Mason found herself drawn to the charismatic Simon, who was still struggling with the pain of losing his wife, Joan, to cancer. After a brief, whirlwind courtship, they married, and nothing was ever the same. The couple moved to Hollywood so Mason could pursue film work, and Simon began writing a string of films to star his new wife. Her journey had indeed taken her far, as she realized an undreamed-of level of success. There was, however, a price to pay.

The marriage to Simon ended so abruptly, and left such a major void, that for quite some time afterward Marsha Mason seemed to have neither direction nor focus in her life. Finally deciding to leave Hollywood and to undertake an entirely different career raising herbs on a ranch in New Mexico, she began a new stage of her journey – the one that frames this very personal and involving memoir – by packing up a lifetime of memories and setting off with friends on an odyssey that finds her today a successful farmer with a still active career as an actress.

Marsha Mason’s Journey is revealing of the demands and sacrifices of the life of a successful actress, and at the same time inspiring, as she traces a lifetime spent in search of an elusive happiness. As an adult child of alcoholics, she has come to understand the forces that shaped her life and propelled her along a path that was as inevitable as it was debilitating. And now, from her present vantage point, she is able to look back with a new understanding, one that enables her to take comfort in the success she has found and find joy in learning to celebrate life.

MARSHA MASON, a four-time Academy Award nominee and a two-time winner of the Golden Globe award, has starred in movies such as The Goodbye Girl, Cinderella Liberty, and Nick of Time. Most recently she appeared opposite Richard Dreyfuss in a stage revival of The Prisoner of Second Avenue in London, in The Vagina Monologues in New York, and as Sherry on TV’s Frasier. She now lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where she owns a successful medicinal herb farm. Journey is her first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 331 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 642 g (22,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-684-81524-9

Judy Garland (Paul Donnelley)

Donnelley, Paul - Judy GarlandThe life of Judy Garland is one of the most harrowing parables on celebrity and the road to fame in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Forced onto the stage in her infancy by a relentlessly ambitious mother, Judy Garland became a child star who suffered years of abuse. The international adoration that she secured with her appearance in The Wizard of Oz would remain with her forever, but few could have known the unbearably high price she would pay for attaining such iconic status.

Paul Donnelley movingly describes how the studio system exploited Judy Garland’s talents more exhaustingly than any other star of the period. She was left with a lifetime of eating disorders and drug dependency in order to fulfil Louis B. Mayer’s filming schedules, before being dumped once her years of profitability to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer proved to be over. Judy Garland would see none of the millions over the many years of her contract to Mayer and MGM.

As if to complete a sad cliché, her triumphs on stage and screen were not repeated in her personal life. Her children brought her happiness but her marriages would all end in bitterness and tears, whilst the mismanagement of her financial affairs forced her into years of hard work. The touring, concerts, and comeback performances were ecstatically applauded across the world but they soon took their toll. Judy Garland was unaware of the increasingly tragic dimensions of her own life and the alcohol-and-drug-fuelled spiral that would take her to a sad and lonely death in London at age forty-seven.

PAUL DONNELLEY is a journalist, TV writer and author who has written extensively on show business and cinema subjects. His books include TV Babylon, Julia Roberts Confidential: The Unauthorized Biography, a biography of Marilyn Monroe, and the best-selling Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries, now in its third edition. He has a website: http://www.pauldonnelley.com

Hardcover, dust jacket – 172 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 18,5 cm (8,5 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 801 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Haus Publishing, London, 2007 – ISBN 978-1-904950-81-3

Judy Garland: The Other Side of the Rainbow (Michael Freedland)

Judy Garland: The Other Side of the Rainbow is a compassionate ‘behind-the-scenes’ portrayal of film legend Judy Garland. Unique in content, author Michael Freedland has based his new book on interviews with those who knew the real Judy – her carer Stevie Phillips, her bandleader Buddy Bregman and her TV producer George Schlatter – the people that few biographers have previously talked to.

During Freedland’s interviews, they recall how she was shunned and vilified as a Jezebel by the locals when she made her only visit back to her birthplace, Grand Rapids, Minnesota; how she dealt with the public humiliation of her father being hounded out of town for being gay; her exhaustion and feelings of exploitation by MGM to whom she was contracted; the rollercoaster regimen of downers and uppers prescribed to her by the doctor employed by Louis B. Mayer to keep her fit for her grueling work schedule. They reveal why she failed to appear for shows at New York’s biggest nightclub; how she went to MGM asking them to cancel a contract because the work pressure was too much; and how she went through the corridors of MGM in war paint and carrying a tomahawk, ‘looking for someone to scalp’ after she was sacked from Annie Get Your Gun. The interviews shed light on her struggles while making The Wizard of Oz, the film that transformed her into a cult figure but eclipsed many of her fine later screen performances.

The Other Side of the Rainbow is a bitter-sweet story: sad and funny and very human, told by those close to the girl, the woman and the icon she became.

MICHAEL FREEDLAND is a journalist, broadcaster and author of over 40 books, including Witch-Hunt in Hollywood and The Men Who Made Hollywood (both JR Books). He is one of the UK’s most renowned biographers of Hollywood legends. His BBC Radio 2 documentaries on Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland have won him both critical and public acclaim.

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 978-1-907532-09-2

Judy: The Films and Career of Judy Garland (Joe Morella, Edward Epstein: introduction by Judith Crist)

morella-joe-judy-the-films-and-career-of-judy-garland“The Hollywood star system, some experts hold, came a cropper when the studio publicists started turning the stars into the folks next door. But when the girl next door becomes a Hollywood star – ah, well.

For my generation, for those of us who adolesced and came of age with the movies of the thirties and the forties, Judy Garland was and will always be the girl next door who became a movie star and managed to survive the system. This wasn’t a case of fan-mag mythology, of press agentry, of a manufactured studio bio; we were there, we saw it happen, we watched it all unfold step by step and we were glad for Judy and we laughed with Judy and we cried with Judy and we triumphed with her and we sorrowed and rejoiced and suffered and to this day we know she can do no wrong because she’s all pro and all heart and we’ve lived our lives together and we can’t give her anything but love. And there never was and there never will be another film star quite like her because there will never be another Hollywood like the one that created and used and abused her or another movie audience like the one that loved her. Nor is it likely that there will be another film star who could move from screen to stage with such professional ease and capture theater audiences around the world with that same charismatic appeal to the heart that turned the mass response of thousands at a time into an individualized affection.

It isn’t easy to analyze the unique qualities of Judy Garland as movie star or cult-idol, so closely are they related to her personal qualities; indeed, the tragedy of her life may well be that she was all movie star and never had a chance to be a private person. Coming from vaudeville as a ‘little girl with a big voice,’ tabbed right off the bat by Sophie Tucker herself as her probable successor as the Red Hot Mama of show biz, Judy Garland came to movies as a ‘natural,’ a song-and-dance actress who had never had formal training in singing, dancing or acting. As a child star she was no raving beauty: Ann Rutherford and Ava Gardner were the lovelies who got Mickey Rooney in the Andy Hardy pictures. Judy, somehow biggish-bosomed and thickish-waisted, albeit with lovely slim legs, with sort of hair-hair and apert nose and – well, Judy was real and a good sport and – boy, how she could sing and dance and just be – well, like a girl you knew and liked and could talk to and be real with.” – From The Introduction by Judith Crist.

Softcover – 217 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 750 g (26,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1969 – ISBN 8-8065-0206-1

Julia: Her Life (James Spada)

Spada, James - Julia Her LifeShe is beloved worldwide for her effervescent smile and the way she lights up the screen in movies like Erin Brockovich, Mona Lisa Smile, and, of course, Pretty Woman. But Julia Roberts’s real life has only been glimpsed in the tabloids until now. Acclaimed biographer James Spada has created a rich and exhaustively researched portrait of Julia as both an actress and a woman. Spada went back to Julia’s parents’ beginnings in Georgia to unearth fascinating facts about her dysfunctional family background, her troubled childhood, and her early dating life. What he discovered may explain why Julia moves through her twenties and early thirties seemingly falling for a new co-star on every movie set. And Spider’s interpretation of those romances – from the whirlwind last-minute cancellation of her marriage to Kiefer Sutherland and the brooding intensity of her relationship to Jason Patric to the sunnier and healthier long liaison with Benjamin Bratt – is juicy and fascinating reading.

Julia offers details about all of the star’s famous movies in an effort to uncover an intensely dedicated but deeply insecure artist. After rising to superstardom at twenty-two, Julia endured the onslaught of paparazzi among with her very public string of failed relationships, unfair rumors of drug addiction, and clashes with big-name directors like Herbert Ross and Steven Spielberg. She fled Hollywood for two years, made her first “comeback” at the tender age of twenty-five, then took on a series of risky roles in movies that flopped. For the last six years, she has delighted audiences in a string of smash hits and topped the Hollywood heap as the highest-paid actress in history.

Spada shows how the star has grown from a skittish girl moving through volatile relationships with charismatic co-stars to become an assured woman making her own bold – and often controversial – decisions about how to live her life.

Julia is as lively and vivacious as the star it explores. You will not be able to put it down.

JAMES SPADA is a writer and photographer whose nineteen books have included best-selling biographies of Grace Kelly, Peter Lawford, Bette Davis and Barbra Streisand. Spada has also created pictorial biographies of John and Caroline Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Jacqueline Onassis, among others. He lives in Natick, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 376 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 506 g (17,8 oz) – PUBLISHER St.Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 0-312-28565-5

Julia Roberts Confidential: The Unofficial Biography (Paul Donnelley)

Julia Roberts is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, the star of movies such as Notting Hill, Flatliners, Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brokovich. But behind the glittering star lies a fascinating personal life – a life that has put her in the headlines more often than her movies.

From the early days of movie making, many remarkable actresses have graced the silver screen, including Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Betty Grable, Kim Basinger… Despite their popularity none of them has ever been able to carry a film, nor achieve play parity with leading actors. None of them, at least, until Julia Roberts. The Georgia-born star’s pay packet not only equals that of her leading men, but sometimes dwarfs it. Just how did she get to this elevated position? What gives her the edge over her contemporaries, such as Sandra Bullock, or even Nicole Kidman?

Roberts’ career has been a rollercoaster: her early success with films like Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias was derailed by the high-profile flop Hook. It was several years before she re-established her credentials with Stepmom and Notting Hill, following these up with several huge successes including Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brokovich.

Julia Roberts Confidential explores the true story behind the rise of Julia Roberts: how her parents’ split devastated her; her long-standing feud with her elder brother Eric and how she ruthlessly cuts exes out of her life. From her jilting of fiancé Kiefer Sutherland just three days before their wedding, to her unlikely two-year marriage to grizzled country singer Lyle Lovett and her sensational wedding to cameraman Daniel Moder in 2002, Paul Donnelley gets inside her sensational private life. Complete with a filmography, Julia Roberts Confidential is the essential read for everyone who wants the inside track on Julia Roberts and also Hollywood itself.

PAUL DONNELLEY is an experienced writer and journalist, and the author of numerous books including Fade to Black and TV Babylon. He has contributed to books about the Marx Brothers, Tom Jones, Bill Clinton and Madonna, and works for The Sunday Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written for Punch and the color supplements for the Sunday Mirror and News of the World. He was born, and remains based, in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 246 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 632 g (22,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 2003 – ISBN 1-85227-023-3

Julie Christie (Michael Feeney Callan)

Callan, Michael Feeney - ,Julie ChristieDarling made Julie Christie a star at twenty-four, won her an Oscar and turned her into one of the idols and icons of the sixties, epitomising the new cool, classless, freewheeling, fashionable spirit of that decade. She was the classic overnight success – lionised by the critics, courted by Hollywood and consumed by the media with dizzy relish. It was a shattering experience but one that Julie Christie came through to become a star of a new kind – determined to keep her independence both on and off-screen and to be judged on her work, not her private life.

Her work has mostly been distinguished. It was after her first screen  appearance in the science fiction TV series A For Andromeda and a brief cameo role in Billy Liar that John Schlesinger created Darling for her. She went on to make some powerful and successful films including the epic Dr. Zhivago, Schlesinger’s Far From The Madding Crowd, Nicholas Roeg’s accomplished Don’t Look Now, the huge commercial success Shampoo with Warren Beatty and, more recently, the award-winning Heat and Dust, shot in India where she was born.

She has always guarded her privacy – throughout her years under the Hollywood spotlight with Warren Beatty and today in the seclusion of her farmhouse in Wales and in her friendship with journalist Duncan Campbell. But she has always been prepared to stand up and be counted – on environmental issues and in opposition to nuclear weapons.

Michael Feeney Callan has written a well-researched and absorbing biography of an outstanding actress and a fascinating woman.

MICHAEL FEENEY CALLAN is the author of several novels and short stories as well as radio serials and television plays. He was born in Dublin and by the age of nineteen had his poetry published. He won the Hennessy Literary Award in 1977. He has been a reviewer and lecturer in film writing in Dublin and a  script editor for the BBC in London. His television writing credits include The Professionals and the controversial play Love Is.… He also worked on BBC TV’s Shoestring and has scripted a series based on Frederick Forsyth’s short stories for American television. He plays golf and the Beach Boys and follows the cinema avidly. He lives in Dublin.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19 cm (9,8 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 754 g (26,6 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03303 6

June Allyson (June Allyson, with Frances Spatz Leighton)

Allyson, June - June Allyson“Do you love Alan Ladd?” Dick Powell asked me. “Yes,” I said. “I can’t help it but I do. But I’m not having an affair. I mean the kind they’re talking about.” “I trust you,” he said. “But do you love me?” “You know I do,” I said, “only you’re always going away without me and you never come home from the office on time and you haven’t any time for me.”

He was rocking me against his shoulder now. “I know. I know. But you have to understand that I’m trying to build something for the future and some day we’ll have all that time together you’re always talking about. And be young enough to enjoy it.” He described the ultimate dream house that he was going to build for us at Newport Beach. He would design it and this time I could be completely in charge of the decor. “That’s no problem,” I said, “it’ll be New England all the way.” “Fine, that’ s settled,” he said, getting up. “Now take my hand.” He led me into the bedroom and made love to me until we felt again the same passion for each other that we had felt the first time we made love. “I’m glad you said what you did,” he whispered to me when we woke up the next morning in my bedroom. “Just remember, little one, I will never let you go.”

A few days later Ladd packed his clothes and moved out of his house. The press didn’t know where he was but I knew he was at Rancho Santa Fe. Alan phoned. “I left home,” he said. – From June Allyson

Here, in one of the most poignant and powerful star autobiographies ever written, June Allyson candidly recounts: the bittersweet love story of her seventeen-year marriage to a man twice her age, Dick Powell, who called her his child bride and introduced her into a dazzling world of talent and power that included the Ronald Reagans (both Jane Wyman and later Nancy Davis)… her relationships with early dates Van Johnson, Peter Lawford, and John F. Kennedy; her mentor Claudette Colbert; her perennial screen husband James Stewart; her boss Louis B. Mayer; her favorite co-star, the doomed Robert Walker; her close friend Judy Garland, from the days of blazing stardom at MGM through the catastrophic experiences that propelled both Judy and June through a dark tunnel of self-destruction; loyal and loving family and, above all, her present husband, Dr. David Ashrow, who helped June put her life back together again… the shocking ordeal of The Conqueror, the Howard Hughes super spectacle that led to disaster for Dick Powell, John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendariz and Agnes Moorehead.

As rich in joy and drenched in heartbreak as life itself, full of fights, lovemaking, parties, children, births and deaths, June Allyson’s story will plunge the reader alternately into laughter and tears – a book as heartwarming as the lady herself.

FRANCES SPATZ LEIGHTON is the co-author of My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy, Backstairs at the White House, and The Roosevelts – A Family in Turmoil.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 262 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 675 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-399-12726-7

Just Making Movies: Company Directors on the Studio System (Ronald L. Davis)

Davis, Roland L - Just Making MoviesFrom the late 1930s to the mid-1950s, five big movie studios – Paramount, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century-Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and RKO-dominated Hollywood’s film industry. This “big studio system” operated primarily as a series of assembly line production factories. Ideally, each churned out fifty-two movies a year, enough to supply showcase theaters across the country with a new lineup each week-with profit being the overriding goal.

Of this era, veteran screenwriter Julius Epstein (Casablanca) said: “It was not called the motion picture industry for nothing. [It] was like working at belts in a factory.”

Studios assigned the majority of the lower-tier screenplays to directors under long-term contract and expected them to stick to the script and keep productions within the budget. These filmmakers, known as “house directors,” often made films quickly, inexpensively, and with limited resources. Just Making Movies: Company Directors on the Studio System collects twelve interviews with house directors from this era, all conducted by the author during the 1980s. These previously unpublished interviews provide a clear picture of how the big studio system operated, as told by those who knew it best.

Despite limitations, house directors sometimes made enduring film classics, such as Charles Walters’s Easter Parade, Henry Koster’s The Bishop’s Wife, George Sidney’s The Three Musketeers, and Vincent Sherman’s The Hasty Heart. In these interviews the filmmakers talk candidly about working with such superstars as Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Richard Burton, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Esther Williams, and Lana Turner.

[Interviews with Henry Koster, Irving Rapper, Charles Walters, George Sidney, Vincent Sherman, Michael Gordon, Frederick De Cordova, Henry Hathaway, Joseph Newman, Arthur Lubin, Gordon Douglas, Budd Boetticher]

RONALD L. DAVIS is professor emeritus of history at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of Van Johnson: MGM’s Golden Boy (University Press of Mississippi) and The Glamour Factory: Inside Hollywood’s Big Studio System.

Hardcover – 239 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 534 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 – ISBN 1-57806-690-5

Just One More Thing: Stories From My Life (Peter Falk)

Falk, Peter - Just One More ThingThe reluctant actor who was nominated for two Oscars and who immortalized Lieutenant Columbo around the world shares his hilarious and often touching stories – in his own inimitable voice.

Peter Falk takes us on an acting journey that begins not in Hollywood but in Hartford, where he worked as an efficiency expert for the state of Connecticut. The first day on the job he couldn’t find the office – it was in the State Capitol – he ended up in the post office. His time there was no more successful than an earlier attempt to find work as a spy with the CIA: after high school he had joined the Merchant Marines and gone to sea as a cook, but unfortunately the union he was required to join was later labeled as Communist-dominated. That didn’t sit well with the CIA-spy career over.

At the loose end, he turned to an old college interest: acting. He came to prominence as an actor in 1956 in the highly successful off-Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards. Although he worked continuously for the next three years, bouncing from one Off-Broadway theater to the next, a theatrical agent advised him not to expect much work in motion pictures because of his glass eye. However, a talent scout for Columbia pictures saw star quality in Falk, describing him as a second John Garfield. Unfortunately, Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, dismissed this opinion: “For the same price, I can get an actor with two eyes.” Surgeons had removed Falk’s right eye, along with a malignant tumor, when he was three years old.

But in 1958, Hollywood, in the guise of Twentieth Century Fox, came to New York to make a movie – Murder, Inc. They brought the stars with them but hired local New York actors to play the mobsters. Falk landed a juicy role for which he received rave reviews and, incredibly, for his first movie he was nominated for an Academy Award. For his second movie, Pocketful of Miracles, starring Bette Davis, he was, believe it or not, nominated again. He wore the same overcoat in both movies. It was his personal coat. He likes to say that he and the coat were undefeated. Two for two.

Falk went on to become a favorite among moviegoers, yet it was through television that he reached his widest audience as Lt. Columbo, winning four Emmys for the role. Talking about Falk’s personal coats… Columbo’s raincoat came out of his own bedroom closet. He bought it years before he became an actor. He’s been quoted as saying, “I wanted to wear something people would remember. Bottom line, it’s the world’s most famous raincoat.”

Just One More Thing is pure Peter Falk, reading as if he’s sitting next to you, chuckling as he recalls a remarkable past.

PETER FALK has appeard in over forty-one motion pictures, numerous plays, and many television programs, most notably Columbo. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 978-0-78671-795-8

Just Tell Me When to Cry: A Memoir (Richard Fleischer)

Autographed copy To Leo Verswijver – Many thanks for a wonderful interview. Good luck. Richard Fleischer

Fleischer, Richard - Just tell Me When to CryThis classy, sardonic memoir by a big-time movie director will stand as one of the few true narratives of the movie business. It’s also very funny.

Richard Fleischer has directed almost fifty films. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Vikings, Compulsion, Doctor Dolittle, The Boston Strangler, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and The New Centurions are only a few of his hits. He first went to Hollywood in 1945 and over the years worked with and for John Wayne, Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, Robert Mitchum, Rex Harrison, James Mason, Kirk Douglas, Darryl F. Zanuck, Sidney Poitier, Charlton Heston, Jane Russell, Tony Curtis, Laurence Olivier, Akira Kurosawa, and Orson Welles, among others.

Richard Fleischer tells of his forty-five plus years in the ego capital of the world by relating a series of the best stories you’ll ever hear (and have never heard before) about legendary personalities and how they behaved (and misbehaved) during the course of making a movie.

The author has wonderful stories, which he tells with style and wit. He’s more interested in entertaining the reader than settling old scores. The result is a joy. The writing is graceful, the voice charming (if sometimes cynical), the feeling completely authentic. This is not a peek through a keyhole. It is as close a fly-on-the-wall’s account of some of the most hilarious and revealing moments in movie history as will ever be set down.

RICHARD FLEISCHER was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, the world-famous animation cartoonist, Max Fleischer, created Betty Boop and Popeye, the Sailor. Educated at Brown University and Yale School of Drama, he was discovered by an RKO talent scout and brought to Hollywood where he still lives with his wife, Mickey.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 349 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, New York , 1993 – ISBN 0-88184-944-8

Just Watch! Sternberg, Paramount and America (Peter Baxter)

Baxter, Peter - Just WatchFor its 1932 release of Josef von Sternberg’s Blonde Venus, Paramount trumpeted Marlene Dietrich’s role as ‘fallen woman.’ Portraying nightclub entertainer Helen Faraday, Dietrich plunges into adultery, loses both husband and child, and is hounded from the stage onto the streets. Like thousands of Americans at the nadir of the Great Depression, she wanders the country without shelter or hope. In a last effort of will, Helen Faraday vows to regain her fame and fortune. “Don’t you think I can?” she asks. “Just watch!”

1932 was a key year for Josef von Sternberg, for Paramount Pictures, and for America. After three Hollywood films with the star he created in The Blue Angel, Sternberg had reached a creative crossroads. Paramount was at the brink of collapse, but hoped Blonde Venus would match the stunning profits realised by Shanghai Express. In a high stakes challenge to his studio and to his audience, Sternberg chose a story addressed directly to the social catastrophe that had befallen America.

In this highly original and meticulously researched book on Blonde Venus, Peter Baxter probes a landmark film from every angle. He teases out its relation to Sternberg’s life and work, maps the byzantine politics of a major Hollywood studio, and discusses the film’s relation to a fragmented society.

PETER BAXTER is Associate Professor in the Department of Film Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 211 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 550 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1993 – ISBN 0-85170-386-0