Een kans gemist om te zwijgen: De Antwerpse pers in 1886 (Aad van Maanen)

van-maanen-een-kans-gemist-om-te-zwijgenHoe zag de Antwerpse pers eruit in 1886, toen de Belgische persbond werd opgericht? Welke kranten waren er op de markt, hoe zagen ze eruit, waarover schreven ze en hoe brachten ze het nieuws? Wie waren de toonaangevende journalisten van die tijd, en wat voor mensen waren de oprichters van de persbond? Op deze vragen geeft dit boekje een antwoord. En het schetst meteen een beeld van die tijd, 125 jaar geleden, toen de pers nog alleen de drukpers was. Want de nieuwe vereniging heette de Bond der Belgische Drukpers. De huidige Algemene Vereniging van Beroepsjournalisten in België en de Vlaamse Vereniging van Journalisten zijn daarvan de rechtstreekse afstammelingen.

AAD VAN MAANEN werd in 1942 geboren in Rotterdam en studeerde Engels in Amsterdam. In 1970 kwam hij naar België als redacteur van het Amerikaanse persbureau UPI. In 1972 stapte hij over naar Belga, waar hij in dienst bleef tot hij in 2000 met brugpensioen ging. Voor Belga deed hij jarenlang het buitenland; de laatste acht jaar was hij de stadsverslaggever in Antwerpen. Hij verzorgde daarnaast ook ruim zeven jaar de schaakrubriek van De Standaard en schreef cursiefjes in De Nieuwe Gids onder het pseudoniem Pol Prater. Van 2002 tot 2008 was hij secretaris van de afdeling Antwerpen – Limburg van de VVJ.

Softcover – 237 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 416 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Internationaal Perscentrum Vlaanderen, Antwerp, Belgium, 2011 – ISBN 978-90-8162-540-1

Kate Remembered (A. Scott Berg)

berg-a-scott-kate-rememberedFor seven decades Katharine Hepburn played a leading role in the popular culture of the twentieth century – reigning as an admired actress, a beloved movie star, and a treasured icon of the modern American woman. She also remained one of the most private of all the public figures of her time.

In 1983 – at the age of seventy-five, her career cresting – the four-time Academy Award winner opened her door to biographer A. Scott Berg, then thirty-three – and began a special friendship, one that endured to the end of her illustrious life. From the start, Scott Berg felt that Katharine Hepburn intended his role to be not just that of a friend but also of a chronicler, a confidant who might record for posterity her thoughts and feelings. Over the next twenty years, Kate used their many hours together to reveal all that came to mind, often reflecting on the people and episodes of her past, occasionally on the meaning of life.

Here are the stories from those countless intimate conversations, and much more. In addition to recording heretofore untold biographical details of her entire phenomenal career and her famous relationships with such men as Spencer Tracy and Howard Hughes, Kate Remembered also tells the amusing, often emotional story of one of the most touching friendships in her final years. Scott Berg provides his own memories of Katharine Hepburn offstage – quiet dinners in her town house in New York City, winter swims (she swam, he watched) in the Long Island Sound at Fenwick, her home in Connecticut, weekend visits with family members and dear friends… even some unusual appearances by the likes of Michael Jackson and Warren Beatty. Finally, Kate Remembered discusses the legendary actress’s moving farewell, during which her mighty personality surrendered at last to her failing body – all the while remaining true to her courageous character.

Kate Remembered is a book about love and friendship, family and career, Hollywood and Broadway – all punctuated by unforgettable lessons from an extraordinary life.

A. SCOTT BERG graduated from Princeton University in 1971 and is the author of Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, Goldwyn: A Biography, and Lindbergh, for which he received the National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Pulitzer Prize respectively. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 647 g (22,8 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-399-15164-8

Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - KatieFor forty years Katharine Hepburn has remained, like Greta Garbo, the most private and elusive of stars, refusing to cooperate with biographers. Now, for the first time, she has authorized a writer to talk to her closest friends and colleagues, and has granted him two rare, long interviews covering the whole of her career. This book is the result, written by Charles Higham, whose New York Times profile of the star caused widespread comment and delighted Katharine Hepburn herself.

This is the story of a remarkably single-minded woman who has always made her own rules. The daughter of a tempestuous pair of New England mavericks, she crashed the theater as a headstrong girl, daring to appear in her first film at the age of twenty-two opposite John Barrymore in A Bill of Divorcement. The following year she won an Oscar for her performance in Morning Glory, and was on her way to becoming the great star of The African Queen, The Philadelphia Story, Adam’s Rib, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and The Lion in Winter.

The author paints a vivid portrait of Hepburn the actress. He also shows her behind the scenes, in her romantic involvements with Leland Hayward, Howard Hughes, and Spencer Tracy, whose extraordinary personality Hepburn talks about for the first time. Today Hepburn is at the height of her career, possibly the greatest actress and legend in the world. She is an eternally modern and challenging presence of our time.

CHARLES HIGHAM, who succeeded Rex Reed as the New York Times’ best-known interviewer of the stars, began this biography after his widely quoted profile of Katharine Hepburn was published in the Times Sunday theater section in December, 1973. British-born, he is the author of ten books on show business as well as four collections of poetry. His verse, highly praised by James Dickey and widely anthologized, has been published in the Hudson Review, the Yale Review, and the Times Literary Supplement. His critical essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 486 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-393-07486-2

Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (William J. Mann)

scannen0046Kate re-creates the journey of its extraordinary heroine through the twentieth century and the realities of life in the American spotlight. With the help of her never-interviewed family and friends, William Mann has created an intimate close-up that brings to life the private Katharine Hepburn, previously glimpsed only rarely. Although the Kate we saw on screen and in public – the elegant East Coast aristocrat who wore pants and always spoke her mind – rarely failed to seduce, she was an image, the actress’s greatest role. Moving beyond often-repeated myths that Hollywood and she herself used to create her legend, Kate reveals an ambitious yet vulnerable woman who overcame hurts and fierce obstacles to achieve fame, and ultimately, the artistry she came to desire even more.

Mann uses his backstage understanding of Hollywood – its rich history, star-making magic, and well-kept secrets – to chart Hepburn’s sixty-year career. Arriving in Hollywood in 1932, Kate positioned herself as an anti-glamor girl known for wearing a monkey on her shoulder and for driving a pickup to premieres. Rumors surrounding her politics and sexuality landed her in the hot seat, and quite quickly she became controversial. From her first film, A Bill of Divorcement, through Little Women, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and all the comedies and the classics, Mann shows us the evolution of Hepburn as star and American icon, along with the off-screen episodes – love affairs, a seldom discussed near-blacklising, and cavorting with “unconventionals” such as her director George Cukor – that fueled the columnists and critics whom she would annoy, infuriate, and delight for decades.

On the personal side, Mann renders a smart, sophisticated lady often at odds with conventions she could never leave completely behind, a powerful woman who – despite her later assertions – definitely wanted to have it all. He reveals the child who rebelled against stuffy Hartford and the father she could never please; the girl escorted by her feminist mother to political meetings in Greenwich Village; the loner who learned to be herself at Bryn Mawr during an era of change for American women. We see Hepburn’s one try at marriage, the woman who sustained her, and, finally, the complicated truth about her relationship with Spencer Tracy – the most frequent distorted chapter of Hepburn’s life.

Kate is a rich, glamorous odyssey that shows us the charismatic people and colorful places that were Katharine Hepburn’s world. With respect and perception, William Mann has woven all the Kates  – all the women she was – into what is certainly the definitive portrait of this influential fugure. Kate brings new depth and humanity to an unforgettable character who can be seen, at last, in all her fascinating complexity.

WILLIAM J. MANN has written for The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Hartford Courant, Salon, and other publications. He is the author of Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger, Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, and Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 621 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.135 g (40,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Holt and Company, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-8050-7625-5

Katharine Hepburn (Christopher Andersen)

andersen-christopher-katharine-hepburn“Ik heb een nogal bijzonder leven gehad,” zegt Katharine Hepburn, “maar vergeleken met dat van mijn moeder en vader ben ik erg saai.” Dat is zij niet, maar zij heeft wel gelijk wat haar wilskrachtige ouders betreft. Haar moeder was een van de eerste Amerikaanse feministen, een moedige en vastberaden maatschappijvernieuwster en medeoprichtster van o.a. de League of Woman Voters.

Goede vriendinnen van haar waren de vurige suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, de anarchiste Emma Goldman en de voorvechtster van geboortebeperking Margaret Sanger. Haar vader, de openhartige dr. Thomas Hepburn, was pionier in de behandeling en preventie van venerische ziekten. Met vrienden als George Bernard Shaw zorgde hij voor een groeiend besef deze ziekten te moeten bestrijden.

In andere boeken is ook al verteld over het leven en de carrière van de wereldberoemde actrice Katharine Hepburn, maar geen enkel was gebaseerd op gesprekken met de hoofdpersoon.

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN is de auteur van negen boeken, waaronder The Name Game en The Serpent’s Tooth. Als correspondent, schrijver en redacteur heeft hij honderden artikelen gepubliceerd in o.a. Time, Life, Parade, People en The New York Times.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 444 g (15,7 oz) – PUBLISHER De Fontein bv, Baarn, The Netherlands, 1989 – ISBN 90 261 0362 X

Katharine Hepburn (Barbara Leaming)

Leaming, Barbara - Katharine HepburnAt last, the definitive biography of Katharine Hepburn – the story she herself has never told. Hollywood has produced many stars, but no one compares to Katharine Hepburn. She is the last of the great ones: a celebrated actress, a brilliant personality, an original. In more than sixty years of public life, countless men have fallen in love with her, women have admired her, and yet only a handful have ever known the real Kate.

What drove Katharine Hepburn? Why was she so loved? How could such a fiercely independent woman have given up her life to one man – Spencer Tracy – to the point of curling up on the floor outside his hotel room while he drank himself into unconsciousness behind a locked door?

Barbara Leaming has discovered thousands of never-before-seen documents that finally illuminate the mystery of this enigmatic, fascinating woman. Growing up in a family shadowed by suicide and madness, young Kate was unaware of her family’s tragic history until the day – she was thirteen – she discovered her brother hanging dead in an attic. His death – and the heritage that might have explained it – was never talked of again, leaving Kate with unresolved questions that have haunted her ever since.

Based on letters by Hepburn, her friends, and her family, as well as on interviews with Hepburn herself, Barbara Leaming’s book is a saga as vivid and compelling as any novel. It is a love story – though not the one you would expect. It is also a family story that brings alive three generations of fearless women, personal and political crusaders who shaped the history of women in our century. When you have read this book, you will know Katharine Hepburn as intimately as a close friend.

Katharine Hepburn is a richly textured, surprising, altogether compelling biography of a great American.

BARBARA LEAMING, author of the acclaimed Orson Welles: A Biography, was Professor of Theater and Film at Hunter College for many years. A graduate of Smith College, she also holds a Ph.D. from New York University. Among her other books are If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth and Bette Davis: A Biography.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 549 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.060 g (37,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-517-59284-3

Kathleen and Christopher: Christopher Isherwood’s Letters to His Mother (edited by Lisa Colletta)

Colletta, Lisa - Kathleen and ChristopherBecause Christopher Isherwood destroyed his diaries from 1935 to 1940, the letters in this volume – published for the first time and edited and introduced by Lisa Colletta – provide one of the few records of this part of his life not filtered through the lens of time and memory.

Warm, confiding, and sometimes quite caustic, the letters reveal a closer affection between the young Isherwood and his mother than his biographers have portrayed. While Isherwood acknowledged that it took him a long time to come to terms with his mother’s influence on his life, the letters in Kathleen and Christopher dispute the prevalent idea that theirs was a relationship rife with conflict. They contain requests for money and books, descriptions of his travels, stories of his friends W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender, reactions to the critical reception of his Berlin Stories, and a tense account of his failed attempt to save his lover Heinz from conscription into the Nazi military. The final letters document Isherwood’s journey to Los Angeles, where he permanently settled.

Isherwood’s everyday correspondence, written in extraordinary times, reveals a complex yet wholly recognizable and very close bond between mother and son. She was for him, in turns, an agent, a sounding board, and an unbreakable connection to England.

A major figure in twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD (1904-1986) is the author of Down There on a Visit, Lions and Shadows, A Meeting by the River, The Memorial, Prater Violet, A Single Man, and A World in the Evening, all available from the University of Minnesota Press. LISA COLLETTA is assistant professor of English at Babson College. She is the author of Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 185 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 15,5 cm (8,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 424 g (15 oz) – PUBLISHER University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2005 ISBN 0-8166-4580-9

Kazan on Directing (Elia Kazan; foreword by John Lahr; preface by Martin Scorsese; introduction by Robert Cornfield)


Elia Kazan was the mid-twentieth century’s most celebrated director of both stage and screen, and this book shows us the master at work.

Kazan directed virtually back to back the greatest American dramas of the era – by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams – and revolutionized theater and film with dynamic action, poetic staging, and rigorous naturalism. His list of Broadway and Hollywood successes – A Streetcar Named Desire (stage and screen), All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Baby Doll, America America, to name only a few – is a testament to his profound impact on the art of directing. Kazan’s insights into these and other classic stage works shaped their subsequent productions—and continue to do so. There is no directorial achievement in America equal to his.

This remarkable book, drawn from his notebooks, letters, interviews, and autobiography, reveals Kazan’s method: how he uncovered for himself the “spine” or core of each script and each character; how he analyzed each piece in terms of his own experience; how he determined the specifics of his production, from casting and costuming to set design and cinematography. And we see how he worked with writers on scripts and with actors on interpretation.

This remarkable book, drawn from his own notebooks, letters, interviews, and autobiography, reveals Kazan’s method: how he uncovered for himself the “spine” or core of each script and each character; how he analyzed each piece in terms of his own experience; how he determined the specifics of his production, from casting and costuming to set design and cinematography. And we see how he worked with writers on scripts and with actors on interpretation.

The final section, “The Pleasures of Directing” – essays Kazan was writing in his last decade – is informal, provocative, candid, and passionate; a wise old pro sharing the secrets of his craft, advising us how to search for ourselves in each project, how to fight the system, and how to have fun doing it.

Published in Kazan’s centenary year, this monumental, revelatory book, edited by Robert Cornfield, is essential reading for everyone interested in American movies and theater.

ELIA KAZAN was born in 1909 in Istanbul. He graduated from Williams College and attended the Yale School of Drama before joining the Group Theatre. He was the founder of the Actors Studio, and he won three Tony Awards for direction (for All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and J.B.) and two Academy Awards (for Gentleman’s Agreement and On the Waterfront), as well as an honorary Oscar in 1999 for lifetime achievement. He died in September 2003.

ROBERT CORNFIELD worked with Joshua Logan on Logan’s autobiography, Josh, and edited The Dance Writings of Edwin Denby; his reviews and articles have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Observer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 341 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 742 g (26,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-307-26477-0

Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films – Interviews With Elia Kazan (Jeff Young)

young-jeff-kazan-the-master-discusses-his-filmsIn 1970, Elia Kazan agreed to be interviewed for a book by a young filmmaker, Jeff Young, but only on the condition that Young not publish it before Kazan’s own autobiography was released. Hundreds of sessions later, over an 18-month period, Young realized that this extraordinary series of interviews not only revealed Kazan’s methodology for dealing with the issues and problems addressed in his films, but his thoughts about the actors, producers, and writers he worked with, from James Dean and Marlon Brando to Tennessee Williams, Vivien Leigh, John Steinbeck, and many others. Young filed the interviews away, and soon after Kazan’s book was published in 1988, he revisited the material and, believing in its value, began the arduous job of editing it into a single volume.

In 1997, the author brought the manuscript to Newmarket Press and, quite by chance, its publication almost two years later coincided with the pronouncement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to honor the 89-year-old Elia Kazan with a special lifetime achievement Oscar.

This decision set off a furor of controversy, not about the acclamation of Kazan as one of the most influential directors of our time, which is universal, but about his past as a witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. As a result, these remarkably candid interviews have become especially timely and important. They not only include fascinating information about filmmaking, but also the director’s comments about his participation in the Communist Party, his feelings about the blacklist, and a recounting of the events surrounding his decision to testify the way he did. What becomes very clear is that the McCarthy era had a profound influence on both his films and his life.

Young’s book covers all nineteen of Kazan’s films, offering the reader a brief summary of each plot and a discussion of eighteen films in Kazan’s own words, from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1947) to The Visitors (1972). Young completes the coverage with his own commentary on the director’s final film, The Last Tycoon (1976). Spanning three decades of Hollywood moviemaking, this engrossing volume is a must-read for all aspiring directors, actors, and anyone involved in the theater, as well as a unique portrait of a great filmmaker.

JEFF YOUNG is a writer, producer, and director, who served as studio head for three major film companies and was involved in the production of over forty films, including Blade Runner, Emerald Forest, and Spinal Tap. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. ELIA KAZAN directed the films A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Sea of Grass, Boomerang, Gentleman’s Agreement, Pinky, Panic in the Streets, A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, Man on a Tightrope, On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Baby Doll, A Face in the Crowd, Wild River, Splendor in the Grass, America America, The Arrangement, The Visitors, and The Last Tycoon.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 701 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Newmarket Press, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-55704-338-8

Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn’t Lie Down (Tom Dardis)

Dardis, Tom - Keaton the Man Who Wouldn't Lie DownBuster Keaton is indisputably one of the great creative artists in the history of American film. A superb actor, unique in his haunting comic gloom, Keaton was also an outstanding filmmaker of masterpieces like The Navigator, The General and Steamboat Bill Jr.

Tom Dardis is the first biographer to have been given access to the files of the Buster Keaton Production Company as well as those of Twentieth Century-Fox and MGM. As a result he is able to provide not only a rounded story of Keaton’s personal life but informed judgements on the structure, technique and mood of his work, and the underlying economics of filmmaking in the 1920s which cost Keaton his creative independence.

Keaton’s story begins in the early days of vaudeville when he was part of the family’s travelling act and subject to his father’s drunken rages. Painfully shy and withdrawn he nevertheless, during the years of his greatest affluence, played the role of a fashionable Hollywood host, entertaining on a lavish scale, but with the tragic decline of his career, he succumbed eventually to self-doubt and alcoholism.

TOM DARDIS brings Keaton to life through the eyes of those closest to him – Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Douglas Fairbanks, Louise Brooks, his three wives and the various other women in his life. From the time of his return to public acclaim in the 1950s, Keaton has exerted an immense fascination and influence on new generations of filmgoers and filmmakers. With this perceptive and generously illustrated biography, the man and his work are brought into true focus for the first time.

Softcover – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 623 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co, Ltd., London, 1979 – ISBN 1-85227-165-5

The Kennedys in Hollywood (Lawrence J. Quirk)

quirck-lawrence-j-the-kennedys-in-hollywoodWho can explain the mysterious force that has irresistibly drawn generation after generation of Kennedys to the glamor and glitz of Hollywood? When Joseph Kennedy, suffocating within the rigid confines of East Coast aristocratic life, struck out West in the 1920s to seek adventure in the glittering hills of Tinseltown, he began a now-legendary alliance that has endured to the present day.

The Kennedys in Hollywood bridges three generations of America’s royal family by comprehensively exploring their sometimes shocking, often tragic, and always fascinating infatuation with the Hollywood scene. From the expansion of Joe’s business interests into film production in the 1920s and his torrid affair with actress Gloria Swanson, through Jack’s numerous liaisons with such stars as Gene Tierney, Angie Dickinson, and (most notoriously) Marilyn Monroe, to Maria Shriver’s marriage to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Jr.’s relationship with Daryl Hannah, author Larry Quirk examines the Kennedy-Hollywood connection in revealing detail – often shedding surprising new light on long-intriguing but until-now-obscured involvements.

Many of Quirk’s illuminating insights stem from his own relationship – as the scion of an Irish-Catholic political family and as a longtime Hollywood reporter, author, and publisher – with both the Kennedys and many of the stars themselves. Quirk’s friendship with actor Peter Lawford (whose ill-starred marriage to Patricia Kennedy offers one of the more lurid chapters of Kennedy-lore) and the interviews he’s conducted over the years as a Hollywood celebrity reporter, afford him a fresh insider’s perspective on not only the Pat and Peter alliance, but also on Joe Sr.’s dalliances with other actresses such as Joan Fontaine, Nancy Carroll, and Marlene Dietrich. Quirk also provides the stunning details of John F. Kennedy and friend Robert Stack’s twentysomething Hollywood antics as well as the President’s lifelong relationship with his prep school roommate Lem Billings, a closeted homosexual.

In addition, Quirk reviews how Hollywood represents the Kennedys – in everything from TV to major motion pictures – and how the long arm of Kennedy influence has attempted to control these portrayals. Whether you are interested in the continuing saga of one of America’s most revered families or in an engaging portrait of Hollywood through the age and especially if you are intrigued by the often destructive and scandalous intersection of the two – The Kennedys in Hollywood offers a fascinating and engrossing story illustrated with forty-eight pages of photographs ranging from movie stills of the silent-film beauties pursued by Joe Sr. to candid snaps of John Jr., Maria Shriver, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

LAWRENCE J. QUIRK is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the best-seller Fasten Your Seat Belts: The Passionate Life of Bette Davis, The Films of Gloria Swanson, and Robert Francis Kennedy. His family – noted in Massachusetts politics for most of the century – has known the Kennedys since before the turn of the century. His uncle Jimmy Quirk, founder and editor of Photoplay magazine, was actually responsible for introducing Joseph, Sr., to Gloria Swanson. Quirk lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 382 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 847 g (29,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1996 – ISBN 0-87833-934-5

The Keystone Kid: Tales of Early Hollywood (Coy Watson, Jr.)

watson-jr-coy-the-keystone-kidCoy Watson, Jr., made his motion picture debut in 1913 when he was nine months old. Before he could walk or talk, he had appeared in several of Mack Sennett’s popular “Keystone Cop” comedies, earning him the nickname, “The Keystone Kid,” and establishing him as Hollywood’s first child star. From 1913 to 1935, Watson acted in over sixty movies, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Dark Angel, Show People, Puttin’ on the Ritz, I’m No Angel, State’s Attorney, and many other classics.

In The Keystone Kid, Coy Watson, Jr., shares his memories of the idyllic early days of Hollywood, and of being raised as a member of “The First Family of Hollywood.” Watsons father, Coy, Sr., acted alongside the biggest stars of popular Westerns before becoming the first special effects man in Hollywood. Watson, his father, and his brothers and sisters went on to appear in over one thousand movies, including many classics with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. In 1999, the Watson family was honored with a “Star” on Hollywood Boulevard’s “Hollywood Walk of Fame” for their unique contributions to the film industry.

Softcover – 311 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 883 g (31,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Santa Monica Press LLC, Santa Monica, California, 2001 – ISBN 1-891661-21-3

Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett (Simon Louvish)

Louvish, Simon - Keystone, The Life and Clowns of Mack SennettFrom his early aspirations of singing at the Metropolitan Opera, to his time under the tutelage of D.W. Griffith, to the fortune and notoriety that his uncanny eye for talent deservedly brought him, Mack Sennett stood steadfastly behind his belief in individuality and originality. Now, more than eighty years after Sennett rose to heights that epitomized the American dream, the acclaimed biographer of Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and W. C. Fields offers a compelling account of comedy’s transformation at the hands of a true master.

Widely regarded as the father of American slapstick, Sennett – iron-worker, boilermaker, actor, director, producer, writer, and creator of the infamous Keystone Kops – held audiences in thrall to a world where chaos was order; the action was unstoppable; and banana peels, car crashes, and leaps from tall buildings were a matter of course. As the cameras rolled and vaudeville gags morphed into celluloid wonders, the rising stars of Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, and Gloria Swanson were launched. Behind it all was the “King of Comedy,” governing from his office bathtub.

In this irresistible journey into early Hollywood at its peak – where the sweet perfume of the orange groves gently scents the scandals and subterfuges of America’s first celebrities – Simon Louvish crafts a fascinating portrait of the enigmatic entrepreneur with adogge devotion to the task of laughter. Through film scripts, telegrams, even liquor bills, Sennett’s world is skillfully re-created, offering a rare and humorous glance into the infancy and innocence of moving pictures.

SIMON LOUVISH is the author of Stan and OIllie, Monkey Business, and Man on the Flying Trapeze. He is also the author of nine novels, and teaches at the London Film School.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 348 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 579 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-571-21276-X

Kid From the Bronx: A Biography of Tony Curtis (Michael Munn)

munn-michael-kid-from-the-bronxBorn into a poor Hungarian Jewish family on New York’s Lower East Side, Bernie Schwartz – better known to the world as Tony Curtis – gained his education on the streets as a con artist and petty thief. Even as a young hoodlum, he developed a passion for the movies, and got his first taste of acting at a centre for the young, run by an enthusiastic community worker. His obvious talent, however, was thwarted when, at the age of seventeen, war broke out and he joined the Navy.

After the war, Tony went straight back to the New York stage, and then on to Hollywood, a contract with Universal, and a very stormy marriage with Janet Leigh, star of Psycho. His first film was Criss Cross, which starred Burt Lancaster, and he went on to feature in such classics as Trapeze (with Gina Lollobrigida), Some Like It Hot (with Marilyn Monroe) and Sex and the Single Girl (with Natalie Wood). His reputation was established as a heartthrob and a skilful comic but it was confirmed as a fine actor when he starred in The Boston Strangler. In the seventies, he made the internationally successful TV series, The Persuaders, and formed a firm friendship – both on and off the screen – with his co-star Roger Moore. This unusual biography opens the window on Tony Curtis’ life and career, and leaves you feeling you have met Bernie Schwartz, the kid from the Bronx.

MICHAEL MUNN is a freelance journalist working on such film magazines as Photoplay and Film Review. He is also the author of The Great Film Epics published by Argus.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 528 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03413 X

The Kid Stays in the Picture (Robert Evans)

evans-tobert-the-kid-stays-in-the-pictureThis is the intimate and fascinating account of the rise, fall and rise again in show business of Hollywood giant and legendary ‘bad boy’ Robert Evans. From his early days in radio to being discovered by Norma Shearer and Darryl F. Zanuck, to becoming the first actor ever to run a motion picture studio, it’s a page-turning autobiography more gripping than fiction at its best.

Robert Evans grew up in New York City, and became a radio actor in his teens. Moving into films, he got his big break when Norma Shearer chose him to play her late husband, MGM tycoon Irving G. Thalberg, in Man of a Thousand Faces. But it was his flamboyant portrayal of the matador in The Sun Also Rises that led producer Darryl F. Zanuck to grab a megaphone, announcing ‘The kid stays in the picture.’ And stay he did, but as one of the guys who run the show – a producer. Under Evans’s aegis, Paramount Pictures became the No. 1 studio in Hollywood with such classic movies as The Odd Couple, Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown.

An extraordinary raconteur, Evans spares no-one, least of all himself. From Errol Flynn, Ava Gardner and James Cagney to Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Sharon Stone, here is Hollywood, revealed as never before. Gambling with Mike Todd, fighting with Francis Ford Coppola, cajoling Mia Farrow and Faye Dunaway, in the hot seat throughout, Robert Evans, the producer’s producer, has seen and done it all.

The Kid Stays in the Picture not only chronicles Hollywood’s last half-century but its second golden age as well. Evans is a man whose life’s journey unfolds far more adventurously than any of the films he’s produced. His candor is shocking: the lurid dark years of the eighties; his cocaine arrest; his implication in ‘The Cotton Club Murders’ case; his thoughts of suicide; his self-committal and escape from a mental institution. And lastly, the impossible! Being back in the catbird seat of power, once again sending shock waves through Hollywood and the world.

Hailed as ‘one of the best Hollywood memoirs ever published,’ The Kid Stays in the Picture is one life story you’ll never forget.

ROBERT EVANS was the producer of films such as Goodbye Columbus, Love Story, The Godfather, Chinatown, Paper Moon, Urban Cowboy, The Odd Couple, The Cotton Club and Sliver. He has also acted in film and radio. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 412 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 772 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Aurum Press, Ltd., London, 1994 – ISBN 1-854101-308-3

The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980 (Peter Bogdanovich)

bogdanovich-peter-the-killing-of-the-unicorn-dorothy-strattenCrushingly beautiful and soft-hearted, eighteen-year-old Dorothy Stratten met her future husband, Paul Snider, while working in a Vancouver Dairy Queen. Soon after, she was cajoled by Snider into posing for Playboy magazine and flown to Hollywood and the Hefner mansion – becoming Snider’s personal ticket to a life of luxury, women, and glamour.

Chosen Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1980, married to Snider and living in Los Angeles, Dorothy was on the verge of great success as an actress when she and director Peter Bogdanovich fell deeply in love. They spent barely nine months together before Dorothy was brutally tortured and murdered by her estranged husband, who then killed himself. This grisly death inevitably became grist for the media mill. Feature articles in The Village Voice, Playboy, and Cosmopolitan, an MGM / NBC television movie, and a film by Bob Fosse titled Star 80 have all presented a different point of view on who Dorothy Stratten was and why she died.

What really happened between Peter Bogdanovich and Dorothy Stratten? Between Dorothy and Paul Snider? Between Dorothy and Hugh Hefner? Between Dorothy and the anonymous men whose fantasies she embodied? And finally, who was she and what did she mean to all these men? Peter Bogdanovich spent over three years researching and writing this book to find the answers to these questions. He hired a private detective and personally conducted interviews with many of Dorothy’s friends and family in Vancouver and with friends and associates from the two years she was in Los Angeles working for Playboy. As he reveals his conclusions, he traces the roots of America’s fascination with the innocent girl-next-door turned screen goddess, turned sex symbol.

Like Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Stratten was one of these women, and it is through her story that Bogdanovich exposes the emptiness and, finally, the violence that underlies this male fantasy, a fantasy that is re-created over and over by both Hollywood and Playboy.

The Killing of the Unicorn is Dorothy Stratten’s story as it has never been told before – from the unique perspective of the man who truly loved her and knew her best. Peter Bogdanovich sets the record straight about Dorothy in a tragic love story that is emotionally charged, dramatic, and devastating.

PETER BOGDANOVICH is an internationally known film director, producer, and writer. Among his ten films are The Last Picture Show, What ‘s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Daisy Miller, Saint Jack, and They All Laughed, which starred Dorothy Stratten in her last role. He has also published books and articles on the movies. He has just completed his eleventh film, Mask.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 186 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 460 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-688-01611-1

Kim Novak on Camera (Larry Kleno)

Kleno, Larry - Novak on CameraThis is the first detailed account of the life and career of one of the screen’s most captivating and charismatic stars. It is a complete record of Kim Novak’s more than twenty-five years of stardom, an often-surprising and moving portrait of a superstar who never lost sight of her personal values.

Author Larry Kleno recounts the storybook tale of her arrival in Hollywood and her subsequent build-up as the reigning sex symbol of Columbia Pictures. He explains how she was chosen for stardom by that major studio at the end of the era of the star system. It seems that Rita Hayworth, then the acknowledged queen of the Columbia lot but reluctant to work, had angered studio head Harry Cohn, who exclaimed: “I’ll make a star out of the next girl who walks into my office, whoever in hell she is.” The timing was perfect for Kim, who was, of course, the next girl through the door.

Although groomed to replace Hayworth and to compete with Marilyn Monroe, with whom she was often compared, Kim Novak developed her own style and consistently projected her own unique image. With understanding and admiration, Kleno reveals the reasons for her rapid achievement of lasting stardom. He maintains that it was not just her special sex appeal, which was both provocative and innocent, but that rare combination of looks, personality and a willingness to work hard that constitutes “star quality.”

This authoritative and comprehensive biography shows Kim Novak to be a remarkably different woman from the one publicity releases have depicted. Who would guess that the actress who portrayed the sensual Moll Flanders is happiest wearing blue jeans and hiking in the red wood forests of Califomia? Or that the bewildered beauty of Picnic would be able to more than hold her own in battles with Hollywood power brokers and temperamental co-stars? It is made clear that she is a fascinatingly complex person – resolutely  independent, serious and sincere, far more demure and down-to-earth than her glamorous public image would suggest.

Kim Novak had such a strong desire for privacy that she virtually deserted Hollywood for the less-pressured atmosphere of Big Sur and Monterey. Readers learn that it was there that she replenished her spirit by indulging her love for nature and animals. Other aspects of her private life are glimpsed, including her marriages and romantic involvements. Her own comments, as well as those of her famous co-stars and directors (such as Jack Lemmon, Joshua Logan, Walter Matthau, Otto Preminger and James Stewart), and the opinions of professional reviewers expose her strengths and weaknesses, her personal and professional qualities.

Kim Novak on Camera is lavishly illustrated with more than 250 photographs, including scenes from her films, portraits and rare informal shots, many never before published. And there is a complete filmography of all her motion pictures, each of which is summarized and analyzed.

All who read this highly perceptive book will find Kim Novak to be an interesting person who also happens to be a movie star.

LARRY KLENO is a press representative for a number of celebrated clients. He also is a free-lance writer who has published numerous articles in periodicals in this country and abroad. A recognized authority on the movie industry and film personalities, he has been a contributing editor for Hollywood Studio Magazine. His considerable experience, talent and fund of inside information have been brought to bear in making Kim Novak on Camera a uniquely insightful work. Born in Michigan, Kleno moved to the West Coast after a two-year stint in the Army. He is a resident of Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.080 g (38,1 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-498-02457-1

Kim Novak: Reluctant Goddess (Peter Harry Brown; comments by Kim Novak)

brown-peter-harry-kim-novak-reluctant-goddessKim Novak. The name evokes images of the late fifties: the platinum blonde, the DA haircut, the form-fitting sweater tucked in at the waist, the wide belt cinched tightly over a full skirt. She was the quintessential American blonde, sexy but innocent, the ideal of women and the fantasy of men. But just who was she, and how did she become the biggest box-office draw of the late fifties and early sixties? And what is she doing now?

In this new biography from veteran Hollywood writer Peter Harry Brown, we learn the answers to these questions and more. From Kim’s fortuitous meeting with Columbia movie mogul Harry Cohn (who had just decided to create a new star) to her brief fling with Frank Sinatra and her rocky working relationships with directors Joshua Logan (Picnic) and Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo), Kim Novak: Reluctant Goddess offers a revealing look at the star with the face that was a cameraman’s dream. Ms. Novak’s own comments, provided expressly for this book, candidly explain her reactions to the Sammy Davis, Jr., scandal, her reputation among gossip columnists as “The Girl Who Would Not Marry,” and the controversy that arose from the then-shocking photos from the Moll Flanders film.

After a tumultuous affair with Hollywood, during which she set a fashion trend by dyeing her hair her favorite color (lavender blond), Kim tired of stardom’s heavy burden, and turned her back on her film career. As a result of those frantic and troubled years, however, it is easy to see how she came to adopt the philosophy that “when things are going wrong, it’s a waste of time to be calm.”

PETTER HARRY BROWN is the author of Such Devoted Sisters: Those Fabulous Gabors, and The MGM Girls: Behind the Velvet Curtain. He lives with his wife, Pam, in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 276 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 492 g (17,4 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-312-45392-2

The Kindness of Strangers: A Theatrical Life – Vienna, Berlin, Hollywood (Salka Viertel)

scannen0331In the early part of this century, Europe was not only the undisputed center of letters and theater, but also the budding art of film-making. Almost legendary talents – Greta Garbo, Sergei Eisenstein, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, Berthold Brecht, Arnold Schoenberg, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving G. Thalberg, S.N. Behrman, Christopher Isherwood, Fred Zinnemann, and many more – were creating some of the greatest art that the century would know. Many came to the United States, and it was from these giants that the American film industry and the golden age of Hollywood were born.

Salka Viertel, actress and writer, was one of the rare talents at the center of this creative storm, and its migration. Her unique memoir, spanning two continents, two world wars, and almost half a century recalls the giants and their imaginative and technical contributions, which have had such a profound influence on contemporary film-makers.

Salka Viertel’s own life in the frenetic world of European and American theater and films was one of challenge and excitement. Born at the turn of the century into a middle-class Jewish family in Galicia, she made her way to Vienna and became an actress. Discovered by Max Reinhardt, she married the Austrian writer-director Berthold Viertel, and after a decade of postwar theater in Germany, where she helped found the avant-garde repertory company Die Truppe, she moved to Hollywood in 1929. In California, Mrs. Viertel raised her sons and joined the story department of MGM, working closely on all the major films in which Greta Garbo starred. At the Viertel house on Mabery Road in Santa Monica, Salka entertained the outstanding intellectuals, writers, and artists from Europe as well as the Hollywood personalities, who were the beautiful people of the time.

The Kindness of Strangers reveals Salka Viertel as a warm and courageous woman who has been actively engaged in liberal causes for many years – at the expense of her career during the days of Joe McCarthy and “The Hollywood Ten.” Her memoir brings to life one of the most important eras in the film and theater world and introduces readers to the gifted and intelligent woman who was so much a part of that era – Salka Viertel herself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 338 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 591 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1969 – SBN 03-076470-X

The Kindness of Strangers: A Theatrical Life – Vienna, Berlin, Hollywood (Salka Viertel)

viertel-salka-the-kindness-of-strangersIn the early part of this century, Europe was not only the undisputed center of letters and theater, but also the budding art of film-making. Almost legendary talents – Greta Garbo, Sergei Eisenstein, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, Berthold Brecht, Arnold Schoenberg, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving G. Thalberg, S.N. Behrman, Christopher Isherwood, Fred Zinnemann, and many more – were creating some of the greatest art that the century would know. Many came to the United States, and it was from these giants that the American film industry and the golden age of Hollywood were born.

Salka Viertel, actress and writer, was one of the rare talents at the center of this creative storm, and its migration. Her unique memoir, spanning two continents, two world wars, and almost half a century recalls the giants and their imaginative and technical contributions, which have had such a profound influence on contemporary film-makers.

Salka Viertel’s own life in the frenetic world of European and American theater and films was one of challenge and excitement. Born at the turn of the century into a middle-class Jewish family in Galicia, she made her way to Vienna and became an actress. Discovered by Max Reinhardt, she married the Austrian writer-director Berthold Viertel, and after a decade of postwar theater in Germany, where she helped found the avant-garde repertory company Die Truppe, she moved to Hollywood in 1929. In California, Mrs. Viertel raised her sons and joined the story department of MGM, working closely on all the major films in which Greta Garbo starred. At the Viertel house on Mabery Road in Santa Monica, Salka entertained the outstanding intellectuals, writers, and artists from Europe as well as the Hollywood personalities, who were the beautiful people of the time.

The Kindness of Strangers reveals Salka Viertel as a warm and courageous woman who has been actively engaged in liberal causes for many years – at the expense of her career during the days of Joe McCarthy and “The Hollywood Ten.” Her memoir brings to life one of the most important eras in the film and theater world and introduces readers to the gifted and intelligent woman who was so much a part of that era – Salka Viertel herself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 338 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 591 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1969 – SBN 03-076470-X

King Baggot: A Biography and Filmography of the First King of the Movies (Sally A. Dumaux)

Dumaux, Sally A - King BaggotKing Baggot began in films for Carl Laemmle in 1909 and was a major star from 1910 to 1916. Baggot then gained renown as a director in the 1920s and as a character actor in the 1930s and 1940s, but perhaps most notably, he was the first publicized leading man in America. In his two-reel Shadows he played ten characters and directed – a first in film history. He founded the Screen Club, the first and most prestigious club strictly for film personnel. He directed The Home Maker, a social drama that explored role reversal between a husband and wife when such an idea was not at all accepted, and Tumbleweeds, now considered a classic among western films.

This biography and filmography covers Baggot’s early life before he broke into the film industry, traces his career from his beginnings as a stage actor in 1900 to the peak of his career in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and ends with his death in 1948. The extensive filmography documents every known film in which he took part, providing cast and production credits, release date, length, Library of Congress registration number, places where the film can be found today, and other information.

SALLY A. DUMAUX is a former special collections librarian. She lives in Glendale, California.

Hardcover – 290 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 17,5 cm (10,2 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 693 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2002 – ISBN 0-7864-1350-6

King Cohn: The Life and Times of Harry Cohn (Bob Thomas)

Thomas, Bob - King CohnNo one in the history of Hollywood has ever held such singular power as Harry Cohn. As both president and head of production at Columbia Pictures, he built his own movie empire and ruled it as a despot, starting out in the 1920s on Hollywood’s Poverty Row and raising his studio to major status long before his death in 1958. In the course of his career, he was responsible for such movie classics as It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Awful Truth, Gilda, All the King’s Men, Born Yesterday, and From Here to Eternity, as well as for the creation of two of America’s greatest sex symbols – Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Yet when he died and the movie industry arrived for his funeral as for a command performance, it was remarked that: “It only proves what they always say – give the public something they want to see, and they’ll come out for it.”

Because during his lifetime he shunned publicity and tried to avoid headlines, he remained a shadowy figure to the general public. However, within the Hollywood community he aroused unprecedented hatreds and loyalties and evoked opinions that ranged from “He was the kind of man whose nod and handshake were worth more than a contract drawn up by a score of Philadelphia lawyers” to “He was the meanest man I ever knew – an unreconstructed dinosaur.”

In trying to track down and pinpoint this elusive and contradictory personality who granted almost no interviews and left no writings, Bob Thomas, the Associated Press’ Hollywood reporter, talked to scores of the most famous (as well as little known) figures in show business who had known and worked with Cohn. Out of these myriad conversations, Thomas had reconstructed one of the most amazing men and amazing careers in movie history. For although the pictures Cohn made, the stars he worked with, the rivals he gouged, the lives he manipulated form the major part of his story, there remains the man himself – his appetites, his fears, his moments of compassion. Those who knew him never forgot him, and readers who are meeting him for the first time will find him as colorful, tempestuous, and ruthless as the Hollywood he fought and conquered.

Who was Harry Cohn? He was a thousand men to a thousand persons.

He was the last of the pirates (Everett Riskin, producer). He was gruff but not unfair (Ann Sothern, actress). He was a tough adversary, but everybody’s got to fight in this business (William Holden, actor). He felt the guilt and the fears of an uneducated man (Garson Kanin, writer, director). He had a ruthless contempt for manners, which was basic in the East Side philosophy (Michael Blankfort, writer). He was a great showman, and he was a son of a bitch (George Jessel, comedian). He was a sadistic son of a bitch (Hedda Hopper, columnist). For all his crusty ways, he had a soft heart (Wilma Addie, telephone operator). He was the kind of man whose nod and handshake were worth more than a contract drawn up by a  score of Philadelphia lawyers (John Ford, director). He never learned how to live (Samuel Goldwyn, producer). His toughness was a façade, part of a big act (Gene Kelly, actor, director). He enjoyed playing Harry Cohn; he liked to be the biggest bug in the manure pile (Elia Kazan, director). He was absolutely ice-cold in his self-interest, but could reasonably charm someone in his inelegant way (Norman Krasna, writer). He was a friend, a real friend (Frank Sinatra, actor). He was a great friend and a great enemy (Louis Shurr, agent). He was a song plugger and a louse; later he became a multi-millionaire, and success didn’t change him (Lou Holtz, comedian). He was not all good and not all bad; he had star quality (Lewis Milestone, director). He wanted to pull everyone down to his level (Edward Dmytryk, director). He had great taste – it was blind, instinctive – but it was taste (Rosalind Russell, actress). He could be cruel, kind, giving, taking, despicable, benevolent, compassionate, and malevolent, all at the same time (Glenn Ford, actor).

As the son of a Hollywood publicist, BOB THOMAS grew up witnessing Hollywood’s Golden Age. After attending local schools and UCLA, he joined the Los Angeles bureau of the Associated Press, becoming its Hollywood reporter in 1944, a position he still holds. His column on the movie scene is the most widely circulated in the world. He is the author of two novels and six previous books of nonfiction.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 381 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 749 g (26,4 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1967

King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon, From Fay Wray to Peter Jackson (Ray Morton)

scannen0312He is one of the most amazing, popular, and iconic characters in the history of motion pictures. His 1933 debut was a legendary piece of pure cinema – simultaneously a terrifying monster movie, epic fairy tale, tragic love story, and deeply resonant cultural myth. His name is King Kong. Ray Morton’s King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon is the first book to chronicle the making of all seven feature films in which the character of Kong has appeared. It contains interviews with many of the surviving members of each production. The book is generously illustrated with photographs, production art, and promotional materials from the author’s extensive personal collection for all the fans of Kongdom to devour.

This book covers the creation of the Kong character by Merian C. Cooper; the development, production and release of the original 1933 King Kong, its immediate sequel Son of Kong which starred Kiko, the albine Kong, the made-in-Japan King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, King Kong (1976) – Dino De Laurentiis’s Academy award-winning remake, which introduced both Jessica Lange and the newly-opened World Trade Center to the screen, also King Kong Lives – De Laurentiis’s ill-fated sequel, and King Kong (2005) – Peter Jackson’s spectacular new version of the classic tale.

Also The Sons of Kong Kong – variants, spoofs, and rip-offs, including Mighty Joe Young, Queen Kong, and the cartoons Kong; the Kongs that never were – Kong productions that never made it to the screen; the collectible Kong – a colorful overview of the voluminous amount of Kong merchandise that has been produced over the years. The stories behind these movies are epic adventures to and sometimes even more thrilling than the films themselves. They have remained mostly untold, until now.

RAY MORTON was born on Long Island and grew up in New York and Connecticut. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Film and Television Production and from the Pepperdine University with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. He is a psychotherapist and teacher and works in Hollywood as a writer, story consultant, and script analyst. Currently a senior writer and columnist for Scr(i)pt magazine, he lives in Glendale, California. Morton saw the original King Kong when he was eight years old. Fascinated by the character of Kong and by the cinematic magic that brought him to life, Morton has spent years researching the various Kong films, in the process accumulating the wealth of in-depth information and detail that forms the basis of this, his first book.

Softcover – 349 pp., index – Dimensions 27 x 21 cm (10,6 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.495 g (52,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 1-55783-669-8

King of Cannes: Madness, Mayhem, and the Movies (Stephen Walker)

walker-stephen-king-of-cannesStephen Walker is a neurotic British filmmaker with a mixed track record. His last documentary was a flop. Everyone hated it. But then he was inspired. He’d make a documentary that would offer a peek inside the world of filmmaking. He’d direct a movie about four ambitious, unknown filmmakers in their quest for fame and glory at the festival of film festivals – Cannes.

King of Cannes is Walker’s hilarious, uncensored diary of making that documentary – from finding the fledging directors who will agree to be filmed to following their madcap adventures at the Cannes Film Festival. Walker’s cast of Cannes hopefuls includes an American director who comes to the festival with all the fanfare of a Hollywood prodigy; a young Rastafarian filmmaker from London who hijacks a telephone booth and turns it into an office; a first-time French director who actually has a film in the official competition; and, finally, a taxi driver from East London who, along with a couple of buddies, drives to Cannes in a van emblazoned with a giant marijuana leaf, with the hopes of raising money for a film titled Amsterdam. And then there’s Walker himself, practically on the verge of a nervous breakdown trying to film them in their lunatic determination to make their mark.

King of Cannes is a wild romp through the film business – the celebrities, the glamour, and the driven young directors who want a piece of it all.

STEPHEN WALKER has directed twenty-three films, including Prisoners of Time, starring John Hurt, and has written articles for the Evening Standard, the Guardian, and the Sunday Times Magazine. An Oxford graduate, Walker received a master’s degree in the history of science from Harvard. He lives in London, where he worked for the BBC for ten years. His documentary on Cannes, Waiting for Harvey, was broadcast by the BBC to strong reviews.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 263 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 509 g (18,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2000 – ISBN 1-56512-269-0

King of Comedy (Mack Sennett; as told to Cameron Shipp)

Once upon a time there was no Hollywood. The world was a sad dark place where the prat-fall was yet to become an art form, the slow burn had not even begun to smolder, the double take was still single, and custard pies were being used exclusively for food. The voice of the belly laugh had not yet been heard in our land.

But along came Mack Sennett with a hand-cranked movie camera and things began to jump. Keystone Cops skittered across the screen in monumental pandemonium; custard pies sailed through the air and hit Ben Turpin with a splurch between his beloved, mis-mated eyes; Mabel Normand led a lion on a leash with the aplomb of a poodle-walker; Model-T Fords reared on their hind wheels, telescoped, and wrapped cozily around telephone poles, Gloria Swanson was a bathing beauty who never got wet; Charlie Chaplin, Chester Conklin, and Harry Langdon romped through reel after reel; and even Bing Crosby got into the act.

This is Mack Sennett’s story. It is also the story of the crazy, sex-and-sin days of Hollywood in the ‘teens and twenties, filled with all the hilarious and sensational hi-jinks of an era forever gone. But along with all the wise and foolish clowning, there were heartbreak, tragedy, murder, and scandal. For in the never-before-told story of Mabel Normand’s loves, follies, and tragic death, Mack Sennett leaves a moving reminder: clowns wear two faces.

Everything is told in Mack Sennett’s own words as set down by CAMERON SHIPP. Author of countless magazine articles and several outstanding biographies of personalities in the entertainment world, Cameron Shipp was once described by John Barrymore as having “… the heart of a borgia and the curiosity of a postmistress.” Shipp is an old friend of Mac Sennett’s and in King of Comedy he has performed his most heart-warming and delightful biographical labor of love.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 284 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 547 g (19,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, New York, 1954

King Vidor, American (Raymond Durgnat, Scott Simmon)

durgnat-raymond-king-vidor-american“The satisfaction of King Vidor, American is that the British critic Raymond Durgnat and the American critic Scott Simmon have at last given Vidor the detailed and thoughtful attention he deserves. There is an excellent filmography, including discussions of whatever is known of the many early Vidor films that have been lost.” – Charles Champlin, The Los Angeles Times

“In their new book, King Vidor, American, Durgnat and Simmon attempt to move beyond earlier, often fragmented investigations of Hollywood and explore the divergent themes in Vidor’s career as part of an integrated whole. Drawing on unpublished diaries, oral interviews, and Vidor’s own writings, they present a convincing case that the director built an enormously successful career by projecting onto the screen the central dilemmas of his own experience.” – Lary May, San Francisco Review of Books

Hollywood director King Vidor (1894-1982) was acknowledged as a master by movie showmen and cinema critics alike. Here is the first in-depth look at his complex career, from his first attempts to rival Hollywood in his home state of Texas through his fifty-year-long struggle with the “classic” Hollywood studio system.

RAYMOND DURGNAT is author of Luis Buñuel, Jean Renoir, A Mirror for England, and many other books. SCOTT SIMMON is founding curator of the Mary Pickford Theater, the first film and television exhibition space in the Library of Congress.

Softcover – 382 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 588 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-520-05815-1

Kiss Hollywood Good-by (Anita Loos)

Autographed copy Anita Loos

For nearly all of her eighty years, Anita Loos – a worldly connoisseur of good talk, fine clothes, fun places, and “the kept American male” – has been writing famous scenarios and making famous friends with a passion, talent, and energy out of all proportion to her diminutive size. Her early years in Hollywood, which she spent churning out plots and subtitles for the silent films of D.W. Griffith (and which she immortalized in A Girl Like I), made her yearn “to live in the great world outside movies; to meet people who created their own dialogue; whose jokes were not the contrivance of some gag writer.” So she took herself to New York, Palm Beach, and the capitals of Europe, where, as the author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she enjoyed great celebrity in literary and social circles. By 1931, however, she was back in Hollywood, consolidating the future of the talkies. This was no longer the Hollywood of D.W. Griffith, but that of the Great Little Master, Irving G. Thalberg, MGM’s star producer, who had turned all the inanity of the tinseltown into excitement.

Kiss Hollywood Good-by, volume two of Miss Loos’s autobiography, supplies more insights into the history of American moviemaking than many earnest, scholarly studies on the same subject. Her irreverence, in fact, is the key to her readability. “In those thoughtless days none of us ever associated movies with art; such ‘easy money’ placed them in the category of striking oil.” Miss Loos spent most of eighteen years at MGM’s dream factory, writing such classics as Red-Headed Woman, Saratoga, and San Francisco, but she never swallowed Hollywood whole; she still lived “in the great world outside movies” with people like Wilson Mizner, Aldous Huxley, and Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. But gossip addicts still count on her to serve up scandalous first-run asides on Clark Gable’s virility, Jean Harlow’s marriages, Maurice Chevalier’s affairs, and the larcenous instincts of her husband, actor-director John Emerson.

Miss Loos never kept a close diary of her experiences of those days, but she did accumulate a collection of cherished datebooks that have sparked these reminiscences and aided invaluably in Telling All. “Memory,” she notes, “is more indelible than ink.” And Kiss Hollywood Good-by is lasting entertainment for everyone.

The author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which Churchill kept on his bedside table and Joyce devoted hours to reading when he was losing his eyesight, ANITA LOOS has also written three other novels, several plays, and two hundred screenplays. Most recently she collaborated with Helen Hayes on the popular nostalgic guide to New York, Twice Over Lightly. Lorelei, a new musical production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Carol Channing, is a current Broadway hit.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 213 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 491 g (17,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1974 – SBN 670-41374-7

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story (John O’Dowd; foreword by John Lee Payton)

O'Dowd, John - Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, The Barbara Payton StoryThe Barbara Payton story is the heartbreaking saga of the wild and free-spirited actress who hit Hollywood in the late 1940s, equipped with little more than a suitcase full of dreams, a ravenous hunger for fame and a devastating beauty – only to see each one of her dreams destroyed by a disastrous private life that led her straight through the gates of hell. Gutsy, vulnerable – and doomed – Barbara Payton blazed across the motion picture stratosphere in record-time, only to collapse in a catastrophic free-fall from which she would never recover.

Dear Barbara never had an itch she didn’t scratch. – AC Lyles, producer

Barbara was like a Catholic church with a blazing neon sign out front. – Tony Provas, Barbara’s fourth husband

Men were fascinated by Barbara, and she knew she had them under her spell. – Bill Ramage, actor

She was a worthwhile person and I only wish she had believed that. – Yvette Vickers, actress

I will always love her as she, I believe, has always loved me. – John Lee Payton, Barbara’s son

Barbara has carved a niche in my heart, something I never expected to happy. – Lisa Burks, Franchot Tone’s biographer

Softcover – 479 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 783 g (27,6 oz) – PUBLISHER BearManor Media, Albany, Georgia, 2006 – ISBN 1-59393-063-1

Knock Wood (Candice Bergen)

Bergen, Candice - Knock WoodCandice Bergen was born into the heady Hollywood of the 1950s. She played dressing up with Liza Minnelli who had racks at child’s eye level filled with miniature gowns: Vivien Leigh’s riding habit from Gone With the Wind, Leslie Caron’s ballerina costume, Deborah Kerr’s ball dress from The King and I. One year David Niven was Father Christmas, the next it was Charlton Heston. Playmates were the Ronald Reagans, the James Stewarts, the Walt Disneys; guests included Fred Astaire, who danced with her mother, and Rex Harrison who sang accompanied by Henry Mancini at the piano. An intimate family occasion was one at which only the Saturday Evening Post was represented.

Candy was one of the ‘celebrity offspring.’ And, as the daughter of a world-famous vaudeville star, she was sister, partner and rival to a doll. For her father (whom she worshipped) was the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, whose dummy, the cheeky Charlie McCarthy, was as lifelike and characterful in his creator’s eyes as he was to his millions of fans.

Candice was elected May Queen at school, modelled for Vogue covers at college, and at nineteen landed a plum part in The Group. She lived with Doris Day’s son, Terry, a 1960s hippy who spent 400 dollars a month on flowers, and knew Charles Manson. Later, with ‘Robin,’ she met the leaders of the Black Panther movement, campaigned for McGovern, and got herself arrested in protest marches in Washington. She worked on films with Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Mike Nichols. Charlie Chaplin chose her to photograph him for Life Magazine. She was overprivileged and overexposed. And inside she felt lost.

Knock Wood (the title is taken from the wooden dummy, Charlie McCarthy) describes how she came through it all. How she came to terms with her photojournalism; how she played comic roles instead of sexy blondes, travelled all over the world alone and earned to love and understand Europe as well as America. She married (for the first time, at 34) the French film director, Louis Malle.

Knock Wood is utterly different from most Hollywood memoirs. Candid, ironical, intense, it is the story of Candice Bergen’s coming of age. She writes in her own wry and self-deprecating style. She is funny – about show-business, about the fashionable fads of the sixties and seventies; and tender – about her family and marriage. Above all, Knock Wood is a celebration of her love for her father, and the extraordinary complexities of sharing a childhood with a ventriloquist’s dummy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 225 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 531 g (18,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0-241-11358-X

Korda: Britain’s Only Movie Mogul (Charles Drazin)

drazin-charles-kordaSir Alexander Korda was one of the world’s most important and charismatic movie moguls. In Britain, with films like Rembrandt, The Thief of Bagdad, The Four Feathers and The Third Man, he made movies that in their scale, glamor and sophistication equalled and often surpassed Hollywood. He worked closely with such legends as Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick and Louis B. Mayer, and guided to stardom screen icons that included Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Charles Laughton. But for color and incident none of these great show business lives came even close to matching his own.

Born in 1893 into a remote farming village on Hungary’s Great Plain, he was by the end of World War I running the country’s largest film studio, but lost everything in the revolution and counter-revolution that followed. Forced into exile, he set out on an odyssey of the world’s movie capitals that took in a decadent and hyperinflationary Berlin, a Hollywood nervously grappling with the talkies, and Paris, where, with Marcel Pagnol, he made Marius, one of the first great sound classics of French cinema.

Settling in London with chameleon ease in the early 1930s, he quickly carved for himself a place at the heart of British culture and society. But behind the public façade of flamboyant film impresario, he played a hidden role that has never been previously documented as one of Britain’s most important intelligence agents. A staunch ally of anti-appeasers Winston Churchill and Sir Robert Vansittart, he used his company London Films as a front for the ultra-secret ‘Z’ organization, and later played a key role in Britain’s vital propaganda battle to bring the United States into World War II.

Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, including the reminiscences and diaries of people who knew Korda, Charles Drazin’s biography is the first book to go behind the myths to reveal the many sides of one of the twentieth century’s most intriguing figures.

CHARLES DRAZIN was born in Hampshire in 1960. He was educated at St Anthony’s School, Hampstead, then went on to Highgate School and Oxford University. His previous books include The Finest Years, which offered a group portrait of some of the great British filmmakers of the 1940s, and In Search of The Third Man, the definitive account of the making of the film voted Britain’s best ever in a recent BFI poll. He lives with his wife and son in south-west London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 411 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 778 g (27,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 2002 – ISBN 0-283-06350-5

Ladies Man: An Autobiography (Paul Henreid, with Julius Fast)

Includes First page of the book’s original manuscript [This book is dedicated to…], signed with: Paul 1983

Henreid, Paul - Ladies ManBest known to American audiences as the suave continental who lit two cigarettes at once as he comforted Bette Davis in the legendary film Now, Voyager, Paul Henreid has led a life as exciting as any Hollywood movie. The actor who created the role of Resistance leader Victor Laszlo in movie history’s best-known film, Casablanca, tells the no less dramatic and colorful story of his own life beginning with his charmed childhood among the aristocrats of pre-World War I Vienna, where amiability and elegance were the order of the day for the von Henried family. As a young man about town, Paul attended balls and parties, but this carefree life ended when his father died and the family’s financial status reversed. Against his mother’s wishes, Paul established a career in the theater in Vienna, London, and later New York. He recounts his refusal to join the Nazi actors’ guild and his stage triumphs in England and the United States. Without bitterness, he recalls how his Hollywood film career was all but destroyed by the blacklist, upon which he was wrongly placed, and how he found a second career as a director / producer for movies and television.

Paul Henreid’s multifaceted career (he directed about eighty Hitchcock TV shows) has spanned more than fifty years, three hundred films, and two continents. He brings to this sophisticated autobiography the same elegant, sensuous, continental style he brought to his illustrious show business career.

PAUL HENREID now lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with his wife Lisl and his grandson Mario. JULIUS FAST is the author of many books, including the best-selling Body Language.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 269 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 507 g (17,9 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-312-46384-7

Laid Back in Hollywood (Patricia Medina Cotten)

Autographed copy For Leo Verswijver, a most interesting intelligent gentleman I am now going to call him a friend! In admiration, and with every good wish – Patricia Medina Cotten

Medina, Patricia - Laid Back in HollywoodI walked into a crowded commissary at lunchtime, looking for a table. A tall gentleman waved to me and holding a chair called, “Sit here.” I looked directly into the face of Cary Grant and sat down. If there hadn’t been a chair there, I wouldn’t have sat!

Leaving a party, Clark Gable escorted me to my car. He turned around and kissed me fully on the lips. Still holding me, he said, “I suppose you’ve heard that I’m the worst lay in town.” “That makes two of us.” I laughed and got into the car. “You shouldn’t have married a limey.” “Sure picked the wrong one!” He slammed the door.

Claudette Colbert was a superb actress. Generous to everyone, she was especially helpful to me, a newcomer. I really admired her… her drawing room manners were that of a duchess, while her salty vocabulary, that of a sailor. She was the best of both.

As a movie star, Alan Ladd was a natural talent, yet in spite of that, his ego was heavily undernourished. He was conscious of his small stature, but on the screen he was a giant talent. The camera loved his slow, sexy looks, and so did the public.

Orson Welles was brilliant and he was the greatest director of all. He reached inside an actor, discovered what they could do best and then made them do it better.

Hedda Hopper wrote in her column, “The best kept secret in Hollywood is the romance between Patricia Medina and Fred Astaire.” Well, it was indeed since neither Fred or I knew about it.

“Will you trust yourself to MGM?” L.B. Mayer asked me. Harry Friedman said timorously, “Do you want to make a test of her?” “No,” he answered, “I don’t need a test. I can sense stardom.”

Patricia Medina, one of Hollywood’s legendary beauties, is at last able to reveal her one great love of her life and it’s not show business but her late husband the great Joseph Cotten.

Reminiscences with the Who’s Who in Hollywood such as Gable, Cary Grant, Jennifer Jones, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, Orson Welles, Louis B. Mayer, Laurence Olivier, Rex Harrison, Gregory Peck and a host of others gives one an insight into the personal side of such luminaries.

From the crowning moment of her life, on meeting the dashing handsome Joseph Cotten, Patricia weaves a love story through 30 years of happiness until she was confronted with his ill health. How she reacted and made his final days memorable is accounted in this autobiography which includes some of Jo’s marvelously romantic love letters to Patricia.

PATRICIA MEDINA appeared in British movies before migrating to Hollywood to act opposite some of movietown’s greats. Her classic beauty and mischievous wit made her the number one invitee on the Beverly Hills circuit on the Who’s Who in Tinseltown and her many adventures including her love affair with Joseph Cotten are recounted in Laid Back in Hollywood. Miss Medina resides in Beverly Hills, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 230 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 627 g (22,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Belle Publishing, Los Angeles, California, 1998 – ISBN 0-964963-51-5

Lamparski’s Hidden Hollywood: Where the Stars Lived, Loved and Died (Richard Lamparski)

lamparski-richard-lamparskis-hidden-hollywoodRichard Lamparski, famed chronicler of the Hollywood scene, takes us on a delightfully depraved romp through the sites of bizarre events that have stained Hollywood history – and the names of its immortal stars. Here are the scenes of murder and mayhem, the bullet holes, the suicide sites, the homes, haunts and graves – places marked by the mad deeds of people who had become too rich, too famous. too adored, too fast.

Packed with hundreds of dazzling photos, Lamparski’s Hidden Hollywood reveals Hollywood’s best-kept secrets, tales of such celebrities as Judy Garland, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolph Valentino, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Joan Crawford, Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes, Bela Lugosi, Gloria Swanson, and many more.

Lamparski gives the address of each famous location, for those who want to visit. But one needn’t go to Hollywood to enjoy this book fully: the stories alone will send shivers up your spine!

RICHARD LAMPARSKI is the author of the best-selling series Whatever Became Of? For more than eight years he also conducted his own Whatever Became Of…? radio program, interviewing over 800 celebrities of the past. He has been to every place pictured in this book and has verified all the information it contains.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 18 cm (10 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 287 g (10,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Fireside, New York, New York, 1981 – ISBN 0-671-41885-8

Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth (Lana Turner)

Autographed copy Lana Turner

Turner, Lana - Lana Turner, The Lady, The legend, The TruthShe was the Sweater Girl, provocatively sexy but with a small-town winsomeness – a combination that meant dynamite at the box-office. She was the image of coolness and glamor, in diamonds and white fur, but she always drew the hottest, blackest headlines. Even before her teenage elopement with the mercurial Artie Shaw, her private life was considered public property. Now, at last, in this long-awaited autobiography, Lana Turner separates fact from gossip – sparing no one, least of all herself – to reveal that sometimes humorous, often heartbreaking reality of the life behind the legend.

With the face of an angel and the body of an alluring woman, Lana Turner was one of the greatest natural beauties in screen history – and a hardworking actress as well. From her first small part in They Won’t Forget, which she thought was “just a job,” she rose quickly to become MGM’s top female star. She created classic roles in The Postman Always Rings Twice (still called one of the steamiest films ever made, despite the censors); Peyton Place, for which she received an Academy Award nomination; and Imitation of Life. Her story captures life on the set during Hollywood’s golden days, and is studded with anecdotes about her dashing leading men, among them Robert Taylor, Clark Gable, John Garfield, and Spencer Tracy; the MGM brass, her famous directors, and her friends, including Mervyn LeRoy and Pop Leonard, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra.

Lana Turner had everything – or did she? “I expected to have one husband and seven babies,” she says, but it would turn the other way around. Trouble came early and often involved a man, some notable, like her beloved Tyrone Power, and one notorious, John Stompanato, when trouble would turn to tragedy. There would be a bout with alcohol and depression, but with humor and spunk she would fight back to become the “new woman” she is today – “‘more disciplined, less gullible and persuadable… taking responsibility for my life.”

Told with relentless honesty by the woman who lived it, here is the explosive and touching story of the very real human being behind the myth – from the innocent fifteen-year-old who was discovered at a Hollywood soda fountain to the Dream Factory’s most glamorous, most provocative star.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 780 g (27,5 oz) – PUBLISHER E. P. Button, Inc., New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-525-24106-X

Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies (Cheryl Crane, with Cindy De La Hoz)

Autographed copy Cheryl Crane ’08

scannen0134Glamorous, provocative, and exciting, Lana Turner was the ultimate personification of the term “movie star.” The actress and world-class beauty not only lived life to the hilt, but was part of one of the most notorious scandals in Hollywood history. Now Lana’s daughter, Cheryl Crane, tells her mother’s story for the first time – featuring hundreds of never-before-seen photos from her private family collection.

Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies chronicles Lana’s life and 50-year career, starting with the Cinderella story of a girl discovered at a soda shop at age fifteen, and made a star overnight. From blonde bombshell to box-office queen of the ’40s, Lana led a whirlwind life marked by seven marriages and a tragic incident that made her and her daughter infamous.

While Lana’s private adventures inspired the press, her talent and provocative presence shone on the silver screen. Her films The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Imitation of Life are extensively covered as part of a complete filmography included in this tribute. And from chapters on her lovers to her makeup tips, Lana shows the complete spectrum of the woman, at work and at play. The gorgeous photographs throughout showcase not only the stunning glamour of one of Hollywood’s classic celebrities, but also reveal her other facets: as a mother, a wife, an adventurer, and above all, a woman with a zest for life.

CHERYL CRANE is the daughter of Lana Turner and restaurateur Stephen Crane. After attending Cornell University, she went to work at her father’s world-famous Luau Restaurant in Beverly Hills. Since 1979 she has been a real estate broker, and in 1988 authored the book Detour: A Hollywood Story, her New York Times best-selling autobiography. She lives in Palm Springs, CA. CINDY DE LA HOZ is a film historian and author of the books Lucy at the Movies and Marilyn Monroe: Platinum Fox, both published in 2007. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 41 x 23 cm (16,1 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.355 g (83,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2008 – ISBN 978-7624-3316-2

Lana: The Public and Private Lives of Miss Turner (Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein)

morella-joe-lana-the-public-and-private-lives-of-miss-turnerAn incredible success story: she was the teenager who became America’s “Sweater Girl” and went on to become a Hollywood superstar.

An incredible scandal: her life smoldered with shocking passions. The husbands, lovers, her involvement with Johnny Stompanato, which ended with his death and the tragic involvement of her daughter, Cheryl; the younger men she turned to. Now, for the first time, her whole life stands revealed in a book that is unblushingly candid yet always fair to the complex, driven woman who is Lana Turner.

JOE MORELLA and EDWARD Z. EPSTEIN have co-authored a number of successful books, including The ‘It’ Girl: The Incredible Story of Clara Bow; Brando: The Unauthorized Biography; Lucy: The Bittersweet Life of Lucille Ball; Judy: The Films and Career of Judy Garland; Rebels: The Rebel Hero in Films; Gable & Lombard & Powell & Harlow; Those Great Movie Ads: The Films of World War II; and The Amazing Careers of Bob Hope. Morella and Epstein also collaborated on the novel The Ince Affair.

Softcover – 379 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 206 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1971 – ISBN 0-440-14817-0

Lana Turner (Jeanine Basinger)

“Lana Turner is an authentic American sex goddess – the real thing. In satins and diamonds and white fox furs, her image is one of undeniable glamour. Yet to capture the essence accurately, a statue of Lana Turner would have to be mounted on top of a drug store stool. Lana Turner was never one thing or the other. Not just glamorous, but also girlish. Not just a tigress, but also a kitten. At first, not only wholesome and good, but also a little bad. Later, not all bad, but more than a little good. She was as much the ice cream parlor as she was the perfumed boudoir. That’s what makes her so irresistible.

Although no one thinks of Turner as a child star, she started so young that she has to be counted among those the American public watched grow up on film. Like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, she was a student at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s little red schoolhouse where she spent all her time “fending off learning and fending off Mickey.” Also like Garland and Rooney, she matured into a person whose private escapades kept her in the public eye nearly as often as her film roles. Unlike Garland, her private life survived those disasters, and unlike Rooney, she kept her professional career going, remaining a top star even today.” – From The Introduction.

One of the most glamorous actresses in films, Lana Turner has dazzled audiences for many years with her breathtaking beauty and her striking performances in scores of movies. Jeanine Basinger’s amply illustrated book covers the career of a glittering star who has survived the headlines of a sensational private life to remain the Golden Girl of the Silver Screen for her legion of fans.

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

Softcover – 157 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 156 g (5,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1976

Landmark Films: The Cinema and Our Century (William Wolf, Lillian Kramer Wolf)

wolf-william-landmark-filmsDistinguished film critic William Wolf, in collaboration with Lillian Kramer Wolf, here selects thirty-eight of the most memorable movies from 1915 through the present day. From The Birth of a Nation to Seven Beauties, these films have uniquely influenced the development of our cinema by signaling major breakthroughs in technique, style, or content. Yet they also have other important dimensions: in one way or another they have shaped the attitudes or reflected the values of their viewers; they have expanded our horizons or broken taboos. They all convey the spirit of their eras and are indeed landmarks of our century.

The exciting, vivid descriptions of these movies feature firsthand interviews with the world’s leading directors – Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Constantine Costa-Gavras and Lina Wertmüller, among many others. The anecdotes involving the making of the movies, and the famous actors and actresses in them, are as informative as they are entertaining.

These authoritative discussions set every film in the context of its decade. Major news events of their time are recalled and each film is accompanied by classic photographs and extensive cast lists. Here is a thought-provoking and important book to please and meet the needs and tastes of all filmgoers.

WILLIAM WOLF, film critic for Cue New York for over fifteen years, has earned a reputation as one of the most respected and widely known members of his profession. He teaches Film as Literature in the English Department of New York University and Contemporary Cinema in the Communications Arts Department of St. John’s University, and is the author of The Marx Brothers. Mr. Wolf has served twice as Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. LILLIAN KRAMER WOLF was born and educated in England and has worked in film and television distribution in the United States.

[Films include The Birth of a Nation, Nanook of the North, Potemkin, The General, The Jazz Singer, Little Caesar, Frankenstein, Duck Soup, It Happened One Night, The 39 Steps, Modern Times, Grand Illusion (La grande illusion), Stagecoach, Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Fantasia, Citizen Kane, Open City (Roma città apperta), Rashomon, Singin’ in the Rain, Pather Panchali, The Seventh Seal, Room at the Top, Breathless (A bout de souffle), 8 ½, Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Ulysses, Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Z, Easy Rider, The Sorrow and the Pity, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Deep Throat, Heavy Traffic, Sleeper, Nashville, Seven Beauties]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 429 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 865 g (30,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Paddington Press, Ltd., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0 448 23172 7

The Lardners: My Family Remembered (Ring Lardner, Jr.)

lardner-jr-ring-the-lardners-my-family-remembered“In the American aristocracy of achievement, the Lardners are among the bluest of blue bloods. In Ring Lardner, Jr., they have found a chronicler worthy of his subject. The Lardners is a moving, comical, patriotic book.” – Garson Kanin

At the time of his premature death in 1933, Ring Lardner was one of the country’s most widely read and quoted writers, and his reputation has grown in the years since. In this loving but honest family memoir, his only surviving son presents an enchanting, amusing and moving look at his father, his indomitable and delightful mother, Ellis Abbott Lardner, and his three remarkable brothers.

Drawing skillfully on hundreds of family letters, the book presents glimpses of Ring, Sr., as an enthusiastic young newspaperman in love, as a father, and as a celebrity and host to such friends as Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Heywood Broun, Herbert Bayard Swope, George Gershwin, Grantland Rice, George S. Kaufman and Dorothy Parker. There are glimpses, too, of his losing struggle with illness and alcohol. His four gifted sons – John, James, Ring, Jr., and David – grew up in a household that was also an informal school of journalism and creative writing, and that home life is a warm and lively part of this narrative. There is a full account of their later lives as well, including Ring, Jr.’s experiences as a two-Oscar screenwriter and the political events that led to his conviction and imprisonment as one of the “Hollywood Ten” in the 1950s.

Illustrated with photographs from family albums, The Lardners brings to life more than five decades of twentieth-century America through the stories of six unusual and memorable people.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 371 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 768 g (27,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-06-012517-9

The Last Days of Alfred Hitchcock (David Freeman)

freeman-david-the-last-days-of-alfred-hitchcockAlfred Hitchcock’s career spanned four decades, from the silent era, well into the age of television. His work remains enormously popular, both with the public and film critics. The re-release of Vertigo, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and two other Hitchcock films, unavailable for twenty years, has introduced his movies to a new generation.

The Last Days of Alfred Hitchcock is a penetrating account and a human story, seen through the eyes of the last screenwriter to work with him. In the course of their labors on what would have been his fifty-fourth film, Alfred Hitchcock detailed his celebrated working techniques and candidly revealed a side of himself rarely seen by even those close to him.

David Freeman was a privileged witness to the final working months of the great director’s life. In the time they spent together, collaborating on the thriller, The Short Night, “Hitch” was constantly in pain and suffered from severe depression about his health and that of his wife, Alma. Nevertheless he worked steadily and reminisced about his life, his films, and the people he knew including Ingrid Bergman, Howard Hughes, Cary Grant, and Kim Novak.

Taking the reader into Hitchcock’s home and the Universal Studios bungalow, where the director planned his movies, Freeman provides an insider’s look at how Hitch worked and illuminates a very private side of the man. Also included is the entire script of the movie that Hitchcock was working on at the time of his death (the last “film,” one might say), 16 pages of photographs and a filmography.

DAVID FREEMAN, a screenwriter and journalist, is the author of U.S. Grant in the City, a collection of stories, and the play, Jesse and the Bandit Queen. Freeman divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 598 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The Overlook Press, Woodstock, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-87951-984-3

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe (Donald H. Wolfe)

wolfe-donald-h-the-last-days-of-marilyn-monroeMarilyn Monroe’s death has been shrouded in more than thirty-five years of deception, conspiracy, and lies. Now, Donald H. Wolfe has written a startling portrait of the twentieth century’s greatest film star that not only redefines her place in entertainment history, but also reveals the secret conspiracy that surrounded her during her last days.

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe contains documented revelations that show the FBI and the CIA suspected that national security secrets were being passed from President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe, who unwittingly revealed them to a man under investigation as a member of the Communist Party. Establishing that Marilyn Monroe didn’t die in her “locked bedroom” and that her body was moved, Wolfe confirms that she was a homicide victim, documents the mode of death, names those involved and those who participated in the cover-up. Wolfe traces the clues surrounding Monroe’s mysterious death, bringing together crucial testimony from two key witnesses.

Norman Jefferies, Monroe’s handyman (and the son-in-law of her housekeeper, Eunice Murray), was present at her home on the night she died. Now, for the first time, he discloses what he saw that evening and tells who visited Monroe on that fateful night. Wolfe has also spoken with former assistant district attorney John Miner, who was present at the Monroe autopsy. Miner explains why he is certain that Marilyn Monroe was a homicide (and not a suicide) victim and why he is calling for a new investigation and the exhumation of her body.

This book is filled with new information about the dark secret in Marilyn’s relationship with John and Robert Kennedy, with shocking details about what happened at Cal-Neva and the many bizarre events that took place at Marilyn’s home the day she died. Shocking and page-turning, The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe is the culmination of over seven years of research, including interviews with more than eighty-five people. It will forever change the way we view the life of this great star.

DONALD H. WOLFE worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter and film editor for twenty-five years. His fascination with Marilyn Monroe began when he met her in 1958 during the filming of Some Like It Hot at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Wolfe was working there as a film editor on The Loretta Young Show. He also studied cinema at the University of Southern California, and made an award-winning short subject film in France with director Jean Renoir. In 1975, he was post-production supervisor on All the President’s Men, and worked as a screenwriter with Steven Spielberg. He lives in New Hampshire, with his wife and two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 532 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 940 g (33,2 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow & Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-688-16288-6

Laugh and Live (Douglas Fairbanks)

fairbanks-douglas-laugh-and-live“There is one thing in this good old world that is positively sure – happiness is for all who strive to be happy – and those who laugh are happy. Everybody is eligible – you – me – the other fellow. Happiness is fundamentally a state of mind – not a state of body.

And mind controls. Indeed it is possible to stand with one foot on the inevitable ‘banana peel’ of life with both eyes peering into the Great Beyond, and still be happy, comfortable, and serene – if we will even so much as smile.

It’s all a state of mind, I tell you – and I’m sure of what I say. That’s why I have taken up my fountain pep. I want to talk to my friends – you hosts of people who have written to me for my recipe. In moving pictures all I can do is act my part and grin for you. What I say is a matter of your own inference, but with my pen I have a means of getting around the ‘silent drama’ which prevents us from organizing a ‘close-up’ with one another.

In starting I’m going to ask you ‘foolish question number 1.’ – Do you ever laugh? I mean do you ever laugh right out – spontaneously – just as if the police weren’t listening with drawn clubs and a finger on the button connecting with the ‘hurry-up’ wagon ? Well, if you don’t, you should. Start off the morning with a laugh,  and you needn’t worry about the rest of the day. I like to laugh. It is a tonic. It braces me up – makes me feel fine! – and keeps me in prime mental condition. Laughter is a physiological necessity. The nerve system requires it. The deep, forceful chest movement in itself sets the blood to racing thereby livening up the circulation – which is good for us. Perhaps you hadn’t thought of that? Perhaps you didn’t realize that laughing automatically re-oxygenates the blood – your blood – and keeps it red? It does all of that, and besides, it relieves the tension from your brain.

Laughter is more or less a habit. To some it comes only with practice. But what’s to hinder practising? Laugh and live long – if you had a thought of dying – laugh and grow well – if you’re sick and despondent – laugh and grow fat – if your tendency is towards the lean and cadaverous – laugh and succeed – if you’re glum and ‘unlucky’ – laugh and nothing can faze you – not even the Grim Reaper – for the man who has laughed his way through life has nothing to fear of the future. His conscience is clear.” –  From chapter 1.

Hardcover – 190 pp. – Dimensions 19 x 12,5 cm (7,5 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Britton Publishing Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1917

Laughing Hysterically: American Screen Comedy of the 1950s (Ed Sikov)

sikov-ed-laughing-hystericallyWith the likes of Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and Frank Tashlin revelling in “monkeys, babies, beautiful blondes, money, and cruelty” in their signature films of the 1950s, this seemingly conformist period turns out to be one of the most dynamic and original eras in Hollywood history.

What distinguishes these directors is their candid and amusing exploration of cultural anxieties in carnival form. Quirky yet complex films such as Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sunset Boulevard, The Trouble With Harry, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? released and expressed the sexual repression and frustration we commonly associate with the decade. In clear and elegant prose, Sikov argues that these comedies are examples of popular cinema’s uncanny capacity for cultural criticism. Highlighting Hawks’s “skewed classicism,” Wilder’s “gallows humor,” Hitchcock’s “subversive morbidity,” and Tashlin’s “shrill CinemaScopic” fragmentation, the author discusses the raucous “rebelliousness” of the films these directors made in an era of widespread conservatism. Through satire and caricature, their films focus on the general anxiety – particularly over homosexuality, female sexuality, rock and roll, and Communism – that lay below the surface of homogeneity, progress, and domesticity in the period.

Illustrated with over forty film stills, Laughing Hysterically captures the clout and glamour of such ’50s icons as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, William Holden, and Jerry Lewis by insightful analysis of their influence on and expression of a burgeoning culture of consumption in the movies.

The 1950s produced comedies that looked and sounded like nothing had ever looked and sounded before, Laughing Hysterically delights readers with an exploration of this very special group of films, and in the process, accomplishes what all good criticism should do: it makes the reader want to see the movies again from a fresh perspective.

ED SIKOV is an independent film historian and writer. He received his Ph.D. in film from Columbia University. He is the author of Screwball: Hollywood’s Madcap Romantic Comedies and The American Cinema Study Guide, and a major contributor to The Premiere Guide to Movies on Video.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 636 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbia University Press, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-231-07982-6

The Laughs On Hollywood (Richard Webb, Teet Carle; introduction by Robert Osborne)

webb-richard-tha-laughs-on-hollywoodWhat was the name of the Hollywood director who cabled his wife suggesting she stand on her head in the shower? Identify the man who made the immortal statement: “There may be things better than sex, there may things worse than sex, but there’s nothing exactly like it.” What Hollywood occasion caused – according to the news – thousands to go homeless?

Insiders in Hollywood know the answers to these and numerous other trivial questions. Some can even identify the man who exclaimed to an actress, “You’re terrific! Tremendous! Fabulous! You’re even good!” They know because they’ve heard and they’ve told the classic stories. One of Hollywood’s enduring qualities is its ability to laugh at itself. Behind the glamor the public sees on-screen are real people who make dumb mistakes, play practical jokes, and fall on their faces like everybody else. The only difference is – when they do – the results can be funnier. Whether it is a big star, a powerful producer, a fierce director, or a skilled technician, insiders delight in telling and retelling the tales over coffee or drinks at Musso & Franks, the Brown Derby, the Polo Lounge, or Nate ‘n Al’s.

Rarely have the stories been shared with the general public: in fact, in Hollywood’s heyday, great efforts were made to keep them from leaking out. Occasionally one may have made it into a gossip column or another might have been tucked into a star’s memoirs. But – until now – they have not been collected into one volume. Now they are in print, with no exaggerations (well, maybe a little) and no embellishments (perhaps one or two), neat, straight, breathless, like a W.C. Fields drink at Happy Hour. With warmth, affection, and hilarity, authors Richard Webb and Teet Carle share these intimate stories about the legendary figures of filmdom. Collected into The Laughs On Hollywood, they constitute film history, insightful views of the great and near-great, and – perhaps best of all – delightful entertainment.

RICHARD WEBB is an actor, best known as the star of the Captain Midnight television series. His long career in Hollywood has included 60 motion pictures, 205 television shows, and the starring role in the U.S. Border Patrol series. Among his notable film credits are I Wanted Wings, Hold Back the Dawn, The Big Clock, Night Has A Thousand Eyes, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Sands of Iwo Jima, I Was A Communist for the FBI, Distant Drums, This Woman Is Dangerous, and Carson City. Webb remains active in the U.S. Army Reserves and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In recent years he has turned his hand to writing articles, filmscripts, and books. He has published two books based on his research in the occult, Great Ghosts of the West and These Came Back. TEET CARLE began his career as a reporter working for William Allen White’s famed Emporia Gazette in his hometown of Emporia, Kansas. Carle’s ambitions prompted him to move to Southern California, where he finished college and worked as a newspaper reporter in the early 1920s. Attracted to the young motion picture industry in Hollywood, he took a job in the publicity department at Paramount in 1927. He handled publicity and promotion at various times for MGM, United Artists, and 20th Century-Fox, before returning to Paramount as Director of Publicity, a responsibility he held for ten years, as one of the best-known and most highly respected publicists in Hollywood. As an author, he has published three mystery novels, two of them under the pseudonym Michael Morgan and a non-fiction book, Letters to Elderly Alcoholics.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 190 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 498 g (17,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Roundtable Publishing, Inc., Santa Monica, California, 1985 – ISBN 0-915677-09-1

Laurel and Hardy: A Book of 30 Postcards

When Piedmont Mumblethunder (Oliver Hardy) arrived at the dock to meet Philip, his kilted Scottish nephew (Stan Laurel) in the 1927 short film Putting Pants on Philip, it marked the debut of one of the cinema’s most famous and beloved of comedy duos.

Green Wood present a selection of memorable moments from the films of Laurel and Hardy, whose calamitous catastrophes and disastrous ventures still continue to captivate new generations of fans.

Number II in a series of postcard books from Green Wood which includes: The Marx Brothers, Redouté Flowers, Jukebox Art, Radio Art, Design Classics, Things, Its and Aliens!, Mad Doctors, Monsters and Mummies!, Super Duper Supermen! and Space Aces!

Softcover – Dimensions 15,5 x 10,5 cm (6,1 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 153 g (5,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Green Wood Publishing Co., Ltd., London, 1992 – ISBN 1-872532-80-2

Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedie (Thomas Leeflang)

leeflang-thomas-laurel-hardy-encyclopedie“De onafzienbare stroom aan literatuur over de films van Stan Laurel en Oliver Hardy is nauwelijks nog aan te vullen met een volstrekt nieuwe beschouwing. Er is al zo veel, zo niet alles, gepubliceerd over ’s werelds meest bekende filmduo. Maar die informatie over de jongens is verspreid over allerlei losse tijdschriftartikelen, aangenaam chaotische fanclubbladen, en rijk geïllustreerde faction-boeken. Bovendien zijn zulke bronnen niet voor iedereen even gemakkelijk te vinden en niet altijd even toegankelijk. Hier staat dit, hier staat dat, het is haast onbegonnen werk om bij of na het kijken naar een Laurel & Hardy (video)film terloops iets op te zoeken. Daarom moest het er een keer van komen: in navolging van Marilyn Monroe en The Beatles, waarvoor publicitair hetzelfde gold, zijn nu Laurel & Hardy aan een handige encyclopedie toe. Bij zijn pogingen zo’n naslagwerk tot een goed einde te brengen, zag de samensteller ervan zich geplaatst voor een lastig karwei. Gebruikelijk is dat niets bekend wordt verondersteld, dat het lexicon als het ware wordt geschreven zonder kennis van de Laurel & Hardy materie. Maar zoiets is moeilijk voor te stellen, want een publiek dat nog ooit een Laurel & Hardy film heeft gezien, bestaat niet. Tegenwoordig is bijna iedereen een specialist, de Laurel & Hardy-kunde kent zowel leerlingen als docenten, plus de daar tussenin liggende gevorderde studenten.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 315 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 524 g (18,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Westland nv, Schoten, Belgium, 1993 – ISBN 90-607-4865-4

Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies (Randy Skrevedt; foreword by Steve Allen)

skretvedt-randy-laurel-and-hardyThis definitive study of Laurel and Hardy is a behind-the-scenes documentary on the beloved comedy team – how they made their classic comedies, and what happened during the making of them. Film historian Randy Skretvedt uses original shooting scripts and unfilmed comedy routines, production logs, contracts, payroll ledgers, legal depositions, family scrapbooks and original studio publicity material – plus exclusive interviews with dozens of the team’s friends and co-workers – to create, as never before, the unique environment in which the films were made.

Film by film, Laurel and Hardy truly evokes the magic behind the movies – gag sessions, practical jokes, special effects, technical problems, musical scores, sneak previews, retakes, publicity campaigns and foreign language versions. Their unorthodox working methods are explored in meticulous detail. The book provides much previously unknown and unpublished information about Laurel’s contract disputes with Hal Roach and the team’s creative conflicts with 20th Century-Fox, as well as the material problems that often disrupted the comedians’ private lives.

Rare photographs – most never-before-published – depict Laurel and Hardy filming on location, working with directors and co-stars, entertaining visitors to the set, clowning on the studio lot and relaxing with their wives; they are also shown in a variety of scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor. Original poster art and advertising, unseen for decades, further delineates the past. The book is appended by a Who’s Who of supporting players who peopled the films of Laurel and Hardy, and the technical crew responsible for so much of the magic behind the movies.

RANDY SKREVEDT, a Laurel and Hardy buff since the age of five, is host of the popular radio program, Forward Into the Past (KSPC, Los Angeles) and co-author of Steve Martin: The Unauthorized Biography. He has done exhaustive research into the history of motion picture comedy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 461 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 810 g (28,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Moonstone Press, Beverly Hills, California, 1987 – ISBN 0-940410-78-8

Lauren Bacall: A Bio-Bibliography (Brenda Scott Royce)

Royce, Brenda Scott - Lauren Bacall a Bio-BibliographyLauren Bacall’s life has been widely covered by the media ever since her screen debut in To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart in 1944. This volume is a comprehensive critical guide to all aspects of Miss Bacall’s career in film, radio, television and stage. Her personal life, no less extraordinary with marriages to Bogart and Jason Robards, is documented in a biographical essay. This volume provides cast and production credits, plot synopsis, review excerpts of all film, radio and stage appearances, with a detailed, annotated bibliography for additional research.

Lauren Bacall is a living screen legend. She has excelled in all aspects of show business from movies to her first love, the Broadway stage. Her romance with Bogie thrilled the nation. Dubbed The Look by the press, her every move was well-recorded in the papers and fan magazines. Though she was more famous as Mrs. Bogart, she continued to act in films. After Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall put their two children and her work above all else. Standing on her own merits, rather than as half of a famous team, she achieved critical acclaim on Broadway in Applause and Woman of the Year.

Hardcover – 283 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 665 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1992 – ISBN 0-313-27831-8

Laurence Olivier: A Biography (Donald Spoto)

spoto-donald-laurence-olivierLaurence Olivier was, incomparably, the greatest actor of this century, perhaps the greatest of all time. Many of his roles – as Hamlet, Othello and Richard III, and as Archie Rice in John Osborne’s The Entertainer – have already entered theatrical legend, and in his film of Henry V he transcended his craft, and came to embody the hopes and aspirations of a whole nation.

Yet Olivier’s early life gave little indication of the unrivalled pre-eminence he was ultimately to attain. Born in Dorking in 1907, the son of a clergyman, his career in the theater had an undistinguished beginning, and he excited the lukewarm interest of Hollywood chiefly because of his resemblance to Ronald Colman. Even at the height of his fame, his greatest triumphs frequently took place against a background of self-doubt and even despair, and his personal life bore little resemblance to his glittering, regal public image.

Now, in the first biography of Olivier to appear since his death, Donald Spoto reveals the real Laurence Olivier, the often lonely and unhappy man behind the great heroic actor. He discloses for the first time the truth about Olivier’s three marriages, to Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh and Joan Plowright. Based on extensive research, many previously unpublished documents and over 160 interviews with those who knew and worked with Olivier, this is the first full portrait of our greatest man of the theater.

DONALD SPOTO, who earned his Ph.D. degree from Fordham University, is the author of (among other books) the internationally best-selling biography The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (which won the Edgar Award as Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year 1983); The Art of Alfred Hitchcock; The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams and lives of Lotte Lenya and Preston Sturges. Donald Spoto has taught at major universities in America and continues to lecture worldwide.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 387 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 957 g (33,8 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., London, 1991 – ISBN 0 00 215857 4

The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying & Other Things I Learned the Hard Way (Diahann Carroll, with Bob Morris)

Autographed copy Diahann Carroll 08

scannen0136It’s conventional wisdom that Hollywood has no use for a woman over forty. So it’s a good thing that Diahann Carroll – whose winning, sometimes controversial career breached racial barriers – is anything but conventional. Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of the hit program Grey’s Anatomy, developed a role just for her, and a recent show that’s touring the United States, The Life and Times of Diahann Carroll, was enthusiastically embraced by the New York Times. And all this since Carroll turned seventy.

Here she shares her life story with an admirable candidness of someone who has seen and done it all. With wisdom that only aging gracefully can bestow, she talks frankly about her four marriages as well as the other significant relationships in her life, including her courtship with Sidney Poitier; racial politics in Hollywood and on Broadway; and the personal cost, particularly to her family, of being a pioneer. Whether she’s recalling an audition for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, reflecting on her marriage to Vic Damone, or talking about her experience with breast cancer, Carroll’s storied history, blunt views, and notorious wit will be sure to entertain and inform.

DIAHANN CARROLL is a legendary singer; theatrical, television, and film actress; Tony and Golden Globe Award winner; and Emmy, Oscar, and Grammy nominee. A veteran of the entertainment industry whose pioneering career has inspired many, Diahann made her Broadway stage debut starring in Harold Arlen and Truman Capote’s House of Flowers. After seeing her in this production, Richard Rodgers created as a starring vehicle for Carroll the Broadway production No Strings, for which she won the Tony Award. Her recent theatrical appearances have also garnered acclaim, including her role as the “ultimate” Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Widely known as a pioneer, in 1968 she became the first black actress in television history to star in her own series, Julia, for NBC, which soared to the top of the Nielsen ratings and received an Emmy nomination. Other notable roles include the title role in Claudine, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Dominique Deveraux in the wildly popular television series Dynasty. She has worked with legends such as Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Judy Garland, Michael Caine, Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra. In no apparent rush to settle down, Carroll most recently appeared on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, for which she was nominated for an Emmy, and in a cabaret show that is currently touring the country, The Life and Times of Diahann Carroll.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 271 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 536 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Amistad / HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-06-076326-8

Lemmon (Don Widener)

scannen0189Lemmon‘s scenes are alternately funny, sad, wild, tender, adding up to the rollicking story of the boy with the face that any mother could love who became the man who had the “grace to make a fool of himself” and the talent to pull it off. Packed with outrageous tales that never made the pages of Variety or the Hollywood gossip columns, Lemmon sparkles with the verve and humor characteristic of his most memorable stage and screen performances.

It took Don Widener hundreds of hours of conversation over more than a year to capture the real Lemmon: personal chats with Lemmon at home; interviews with friends, some of them living legends – James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Fred Astaire, Walter Matthau.

Out of it all emerged stories of Lemmon’s days at Harvard, where he excelled at drinking, drama, piano, ad libs, and con jobs; of his navy performance record, the lowest of any officer commissioned by the ROTC (quite possibly an insightful step in the direction of his Oscar-winning role as the goldbricking Ensign Pulver in Mister Roberts). And of Lemmon, the young hopeful actor, leaving home to seek fame in the Big Apple with his parents’ reluctant blessing and $ 300 in his pocket.

Lemmon recalls the bleak days of living hand-to-mouth, shuttling from one rooming house to another. Close friends from the early days reminisce about The Old Knick Music Hall and a near-vagrant Lemmon clad in a Day-glo orange topcoat hustling agents for an audition, bit part, walk-on – anything.

He would have to wait a while longer for the sweet taste of success and his first Oscar. For this is the story of an undaunted Lemmon chipping away at the wall of indifference thrown up around Broadway – an experience that would hone and polish his dramatic genius for the Hollywood set and such classics as Phffft, Bell, Book and Candle, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, The Odd Couple, Days of Wine and Roses, The Fortune Cookie, and his Oscar-winning role in Save the Tiger.

Lemmon is far more than a biography of the lovable, bumbling “loser” who “falls on a fumble into the end zone and wins the game.” It is a front-row view of the long pull toward stardom that an outstanding actor, equally skilled at comedy and serious drama, richly deserved. And maintains.

DON WIDENER is a producer-writer who has frequently collaborated with Jack Lemmon on documentary film projects. He is the author of the controversial, Emmy-winning ecology film The Slow Guillotine, which Jack Lemmon narrated, as well as the highly acclaimed novel N.U.K.E.E.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-02-628200-3

Leo McCarey: From Marx to McCarthy (Wes D. Gehring)

Gehrig, Wes D - Leo McCarey From Marx to McCarthyEarly in his Hollywood career, Leo McCarey honed his skills by working with some of the great names of comedy, including Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers, whose 1933 classic, Duck Soup, McCarey directed. Later, as either writer or director, McCarey was responsible for a number of classic films, including Ruggles of Red Gap, The Awful Truth, Love Affair, Make Way for Tomorrow, My Favorite Wife, and An Affair to Remember. His 1944 film, Going My Way, was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won seven, including the first “triple crown” awarded to the same person for writing, producing, and directing. Its sequel, The Bells of St. Mary’s, received eight nominations, including Best Picture and Director.

Despite all of his commercial and artistic successes, however, Leo McCarey has been sadly neglected by film historians and scholars. Film scholar Wes D. Gehring seeks to rectify the situation with Leo McCarey: From Marx to McCarthy, the first full-length biography of this underappreciated artist. Gehring makes the convincing argument that, throughout his life and career, McCarey was driven to entertain all audiences, from a single person to movie millions – always trying to tell a better story. McCarey’s own, long overdue story is finally revealed in this biography about one of the most fascinating figures to ever come out of the Hollywood dream factory.

WES D. GEHRING is Professor of Film at Ball State University and Associate Media Editor for USA Today, for which he also writes the column “Reel World.” He has written twenty film-related books, including two previous volumes for Scarecrow Press, Romantic vs. Screwball Comedy (2002) and Irene Dunne, First Lady of Hollywood (2003).

Hardcover – 279 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 567 g (20 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2005 – ISBN 0-8108-5263-2

Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia: Career Profiles of More than 2,000 Actors and Filmmakers, Past and Present (edited by Leonard Maltin, Spencer Green, Luke Sader)

maltin-leonard-leonard-maltrins-movie-encyclopediaLeonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia is an essential addition for every movie fan’s bookshelf – preferably right next to the TV set and VCR, where it can be propped up beside, and used in tandem with, his best-selling, annually updated Movie & Video Guide.

Its highly readable entries include complete film biographies of major stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, and Katharine Hepburn; profiles of memorable character actors such as Frank Albertson (he’s the one who didn’t marry Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life); lists and dates of films of master directors like John Ford and Frank Capra, and such younger ones as Spike Lee and John Singleton; along with a tremendous cast of other actors, actresses, directors, writers, and moviemakers. In this comprehensive, authoritative reference, you’ll find more than 2,000 entries, from cameos to full-length profiles; careers of filmmakers – stars, character actors, directors, writers, producers, composers,  cinematographers, and others in off-camera roles; vital statistics – real names, births, deaths, marriages, divorces, notable roles; awards and nominations, TV and stage appearances; plus Leonard Maltin’s assessment of the key films in the careers of all of Hollywood’s greatest stars and directors.

Softcover – 981 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 1.070 g (37,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Plume Book, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-45227058-8

Les Brown’s Encyclopedia of Television, 3rd Edition (Les Brown)

Brown, Les - Encyclopedia of TelevisionIt’s bigger and better than ever! For the first time in 10 years, this classic encyclopedia has been fully updated and expanded to bring you the complete picture of television – on screen and behind the scenes.

As media expert Les Brown tells us, “More has happened in the television industry in the last 10 years than in the previous 40. Cable TV, pay TV, and other forms of ‘alternative’ viewing have made dramatic changes in the way this business operates.” The third edition of the Encyclopedia reflects this decade of revolutionary change in nearly 3,000 detailed entries – including 900 appearing for the first time.

LES BROWN profiles thousands of television actors, executives, producers, writers, programs and companies from the birth of the industry until today. But what truly separates his book from other TV references is its coverage of timely technological developments, significant mergers and acquisitions, important events, and landmark regulatory and legal issues. And unlike other sources, Les Brown’s Encyclopedia presents a global view, focusing on several major world markets in addition to the U.S.

Hardcover – 723 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 18,5 cm (9,5 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 1.490 g (52,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Gale Research, Inc., Detroit, Michigan, 1992 – ISBN 0-8103-8871-5

Lessons in Becoming Myself (Ellen Burstyn)

Autographed copy Ellen Burstyn

Burstyn, Ellen - Lessons in Becoming MyselfIn this compelling and deeply honest memoir, one of the great actresses of our time shares the lessons she has learned from her personal, professional, and spiritual journeys.

Ellen Burstyn has always defied expectations. Born in Detroit during the Depression, she left home at eighteen and became a model for J.L. Hudson, Detroit’s largest department store. After a failed marriage and a string of unsatisfying relationships and jobs that took her from Detroit to Dallas to Montreal, Burstyn settled in New York, where she began her career as an actress. Her first audition landed her the lead in a Broadway play, with the show’s producer, the legendary playwright and director Moss Hart, telling her, “You’re a natural.”

When Burstyn reluctantly moved to Los Angeles with her second husband, she eventually turned to film, delivering over the course of her career brilliant performances in The Last Picture Show; The Exorcist; Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (for which she won an Academy Award as Best Actress); Same Time, Next Year; Resurrection, and Requiem for a Dream. What Burstyn learned from working on these movies, along with the crucial training she received from Lee Strasberg at the renowned Actors Studio, taught her how to find the essence of each character she played, to stand up for herself in the carnivorous world of Hollywood, and to be true to herself in all aspects of her life.

Lessons in Becoming Myself is the dazzling culmination of these lessons. It’s the story of Burstyn’s life as an actor, of her early work in such films as the critically acclaimed Last Picture Show, and of how her portrayal of Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist – a movie still considered by many the scariest ever made – led her to star in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, one of the first movies to explore the plight of a single mother struggling to find her own way in the world.

Yet this book is also an account of Burstyn’s search for personal and professional authenticity and the consequences of that search. She describes the personal missteps, toxic relationships, and private demons she battled, and how confronting them prompted her to find a different life path. Raised a Catholic (for a time she even attended a Catholic boarding school), Burstyn has traveled the world exploring a wide range of spiritual experiences that defy labels and go deep to the heart of who she is. From the Swiss Alps to Cambodia, from the Himalayas to the streets of New York, Burstyn has sought – and found – answers to life’s most puzzling questions.

Lessons in Becoming Myself is the extraordinary story of the quest for the examined life. By turns tragic and funny, thoughtful and lighthearted, it is a brilliant accomplishment by one of the finest observers of human nature.

ELLEN BURSTYN’s career has encompassed more than forty years onstage, in film, and on television. She has been nominated six times for an Academy Award, and won the Best Actress Oscar in 1974 for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, as well as a Tony for her performance in Same Time, Next Year. She is co-president of the Actors Studio.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 453 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 725 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Riverhead Books, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 1-59448-929-7

Let Me Entertain You (David Brown)

brown-david-let-me-entertain-youThis book is a self-portrait, in selective memory, of a man who has led many lives, all of them full of risk, accomplishment, and above all, humanity.

There is David Brown of Zanuck / Brown, possibly the most successful production team in Hollywood history (Jaws, The Sting, The Verdict, Cocoon – the story of the making of Jaws is almost a book in itself).

There is David Brown, raconteur extraordinaire, with astonishing stories about his encounters with the famous, the notorious, and the all-powerful – including Mafia chieftains, Presidents, the reclusive Howard Hughes, the super-rich J. Paul Getty, Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Irving Berlin, Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford, Darryl F. Zanuck, David O. Selznick, John O’Hara, Carl Sandburg, William Randolph Hearst, Nikita Khrushchev, Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Salvador Dali, Irving Lazar, John Belushi, and scores of others.

There is David Brown, journalist, author, film mogul, veteran of the corporate jungle, and – yes – onetime astrologer. There is David Brown, husband and intellectual companion to a publishing phenomenon, an event in human form, the former Helen Gurley. There is David Brown, a gentle and intelligent man with a streak of sentiment as wide as Mercutio’s church door, whose often irreverent but always witty and compassionate philosophy was celebrated in his last, much praised book, Brown’s Guide to Growing Gray. Finally, there is David Brown, friend, acquaintance, even confidant of the world’s rich, famous, and infamous.

DAVID BROWN started a new production company, The Manhattan Project, in 1988 and currently has two plays on Broadway, five films in preparation, and a television series in production. He lives in New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 272 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 621 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-688-08048-0

The Letters of Nunnally Johnson (selected and edited by Dorris Johnson, Ellen Leventhal; foreword by Alistair Cooke)

johnson-nunnally-the-letters-of-nunnally-johnsonNunnally Johnson was born in Georgia (“Where I come from the Tobacco Road people are the country club set”), ventured North and New York City, where he worked as reporter and began his career as a writer of short stories, and ultimately found his professional home in Hollywood. He became a key figure in the West Coast equivalent of the Algonquin circle and was a brilliant professional movie maker, celebrated as a screenwriter (The Grapes of Wrath, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and 47 others), a producer (Jesse James, The Desert Fox), and a director (Black Widow, The Three Faces of Eve).

He knew about – and was usually in on – everything that went on in Hollywood and wrote about it all in letters to his consistently wandering pals, from Alec Guinness in London to George S. Kaufman in New York to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Nairobi for the filming of The African Queen. (“You’re well out of it here at the moment,” he writes to the Bogarts. “20th-Fox has just announced a pay cut… The town’s sweating, and the guilds are all conferring day and night…”)

His letters – more than 120 of them have been selected for this book are uninhibited, gossipy, knowing, funny, serious, and wonderful reading. Here is Johnson writing to his friends.

On Faulkner: “He was more or less like a specialist in certain literary qualities who was called in to do what he could… Some of this he did superbly and some of it without much quality… Only the hacks… are consistent. Bill came out to Hollywood like a plumber with all his tools, did the very best job he could, got his pay from the man and went back to Oxford, Mississippi.”

About a social occasion: “Well, it seems that Mr. and Miz George Kaufman were dinner guests at the rich Mr. and Miz William Goetz [son-in-law and daughter of Louis B. Mayer; Goetz was a vice-president at 20th Century-Fox] the other night, the platinum plates and crystal being used for the occasion. An emerald or ruby was dropped in each of the gentlemen’s liqueurs during the Coronas afterward, while a single flawless pearl nestled in the ice of each lady’s white creme de menthe. So as the evening wore on, Mr. Goetz took Mr. Kaufman for a stroll among the iridescent blossoms of the Goetz’s MGM garden, and presently paused, as is Mr. Goetz’s wont, to take a leak into an orchid bush. “Will you join me?” he asked Mr. Kaufman. “No, thank you,” replied Mr. Kaufman, “not without a gold cock.”

About another social occasion: “Miss [Bea] Lillie got shikker at a party the other night and bit Mrs. Gilbert Miller. No explanation.”

On Jed Harris: “Jed Harris came in for a drink last Sunday afternoon and is still with us… It’s worth Jed’s using my underwear and putting out his cigarettes on the floor just to hear him sound off against Hollywood…”

The letters of Nunnally Johnson – brimming with wit, gossip, cogent observations on movie making and movie living – give us a Hollywood at work and at play in its most interesting years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 709 g (25 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1981 – ISBN 0-394-50672-3

Levinson on Levinson (edited by David Thompson)

levinson-barry-levinson-on-levinsonOscar-winning director Barry Levinson is one of today’s most bankable filmmakers, having been responsible for big-budget Hollywood pictures like Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam and Bugsy.

However, Levinson also creates more personal self-penned movies about his home city; the films in his acclaimed Baltimore trilogy (Diner, Tin Men and Avalon) capture the nuances of everyday conversation and reflect a rare and intimate understanding of urban America.

In his conversation with David Thompson, Levinson traces his career from the beginnings in Baltimore, through writing television comedy, up to his most recent film, Toys, and the pre-eminent position he now occupies in the world of film. His words here are as spontaneous as his movies. Relaxed, humorous and friendly, he comes across as a man deeply committed to his profession.

Softcover – 170 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 16 cm (9,1 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1992 – ISBN 0-571-16731-4

Een Liefde tussen Oorlog en Vrede: De Stormachtige Relatie tussen Marlene Dietrich en Jean Gabin (Adrian Stahlecker)

scannen0322Toen Hitlers troepen in de meidagen van 1940 een groot deel van West-Europa onder de voet hadden gelopen en hun opmars voortzetten richting Parijs, ontvluchtten velen de stad. Onder hen bevond zich de populaire filmacteur Jean Gabin. Nadat de Duitsers de door Pétain aangeboden wapenstilstand hadden geaccepteerd, werd het zuidelijke deel van Frankrijk tot Vrije Zone verklaard. Hoewel Gabin aanbiedingen kreeg, weigerde hij voor de met de Duitsers collaborerende filmindustrie te werken. Via naar Amerika uitgeweken vrienden wist hij een Hollywoodcontract te bemachtigen. Daarop reisde hij naar Lissabon, van waaruit hij de overtocht naar Amerika maakte. Toen hij Marlene Dietrich leerde kennen, vormden de twee al gauw een liefdespaar.

Na de aanval op Pearl Harbor mengde ook Amerika zich in de strijd. Marlene nam dienst bij de amusementsafdeling van het Amerikaanse leger, waar ze optrad voor frontsoldaten. Gabin sloot zich aan bij de Vrije Fransen. Daar maakte hij deel uit van een konvooi van tankers en oorlogsschepen met bestemming Noord-Afrika. In Algiers zag hij Marlene terug. De hereniging was echter van korte duur doordat Marlene al spoedig met de troepen naar Italië vertrok en Jean met de divisie Leclerc opstootte naar Frankrijk en Duitsland. In het bevrijde Parijs bloeide hun liefde weer op. Nadat ze beiden in een slechte film gespeeld hadden, vertrok Marlene voor werk naar Amerika. Jean Gabin verbrak daarna alle banden en trouwde, tot Marlene’s verdriet, een ander. Marlene, die Jean nooit kon vergeten, stond soms urenlang voor de deur van zijn huis om een glimp van hem op te vangen. In 1976 overleed niet alleen Rudolf Sieber, Marlene’s echtgenoot van wie ze nooit gescheiden was, maar kort daarop ook Gabin. Tegen Marcel Dalio, een gemeenschappelijke vriend, zei de diep bedroefde Marlene: ‘Nu ben ik voor de tweede keer weduwe geworden.’ Ze zou haar geliefde ‘Jeannot’ vijftien jaar overleven.

De Haagse auteur en kunst- en filmkenner ADRIAN STAHLECKER, die eerder al een paar schitterende naslagwerken voor Aspekt schreef over Hildegard Knef en de film in het Derde Rijk, heeft deze unieke romance uit de filmwereld tegen een meeslepend historisch decor neergezet. Het is een verhaal dat eindigt in een flat in Parijs, waar Marlene Dietrich, geheel teruggetrokken, haar laatste adem uitblies.

Softcover – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 552 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Uitgeverij Aspekt, Soesterberg, The Netherlands, 2005 – ISBN 90-5911-211-3

The Life and Legend of Tom Mix (Paul E. Mix)

Mix, Paul E - The Life and legend of Tom MixThis illustrated story of the life of Tom Mix should prove to be an inspiration to boys and girls today as well as a fond memory to America’s older generation. Certainly, no one could ever have guessed that a small boy from the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania would one day become America’ s most famous cowboy.

The first half of The Life and Legend of Tom Mix tells of the first thirty years of his life – the years before fame and fortune, years of character development and of struggle. These are the years that biographers tend to skip over, and yet these are the years that provide the greatest understanding of the man a nation grew to love.

Tom Mix was different as a boy, soldier, and Wild West Show performer. He was a dreamer and the criticism of parents, relatives and friends was never able to break his spirit. He faced up to life’s challenges and the unknown and usually triumphed over them. But this is not the typical publicity or heroic “Big Little Book” story of Tom Mix, because failures, heartaches and flops are discussed in equal detail.

The second half of the book tells of the Tom Mix that most people think they knew. It covers the last thirty years of the cowboy actor’s life – the years of great fame and fortune, the years when he became a legend in his own time. These are also the years of age, when a man slows down and has time to reflect on his past.

Tom Mix and Tony will always be remembered for their stunts on the silver screen. But Tom should also be remembered as a promoter of cowboy sports, the events which led to our present-day rodeo concept. Most people agree that the team of Tom Mix and Tony has never been equalled.

The story of Tom Mix is more than just another biography of a famous man. It is a picture history – 125 rare photos have been included – and recorded western Americana. In these pages, you will discover a little more about the “Old West,” Wild West Shows, Rodeos, Silent Pictures, the Circus and “Talkies.” And when you finish reading this story, you will know Tom Mix as well as any man who ever knew him when he walked the face of this earth.

PAUL E. MIX was born in Penfield, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles west of Mix Run, the birthplace of Tom Mix. As a small boy, he remembers that Tom was the topic of occasional family conversation and that his grandfather would often say that certain publicity stories about Tom “just [weren’t] true.” But everyone in the family had to agree that Tom was rich and famous and that the best thing he had ever done for himself was “to leave those Pennsylvania hills.”

The author vaguely remembers going to the circus with an uncle to see Tom Mix in person and he more vividly recalls the death of Tom Mix which saddened a nation for several days in October, 1940. For a number of years after Tom’s death, the author faithfully listened to the Tom Mix Radio Show and went to see Tom at the Saturday afternoon matinees.

When the author’s son was born and named after the late movie idol, an aunt forwarded several news clippings to “little Tom.” The contradictory stories in these clippings inspired the author to seek more and better information about the life of little Tom’s namesake. As the documentation began to accumulate, the apparent contrast between the life and legend of Tom Mix grew more interesting and a new book was born. Seven years and 3,500 miles later, it grew to maturity.

The author is married and has three children. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1956 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. The author works for the DuPont Company in Delaware and has written numerous technical articles in his field.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 206 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 15,5 cm (10,2 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 601 g (21,2 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes and Company, New York, New York, 1972 ISBN 0-498-07881-7

The Life and Times of Carl Laemmle (John Drinkwater)

drinkwater-john-the-life-and-times-of-carl-laemmleThe life of a film dictator in Hollywood is certainly an unusual subject for Mr. Drinkwater’s pen, and makes an unexpected successor to his life of Pepys. But, as this new biography will prove, he has laid his finger upon a world in which sudden romance is still possible. For Carl Laemmle went to New York as a poor boy of seventeen, and for twenty years fortune eluded him.

Then he opened a Picture House, prelude to a crescendo of success. His victorious fight with the Trust which was attempting a monopoly of the films is then described, and there are glimpses of some of the earliest pictures in the making – those, for instance, of Mary Pickford. Lastly, there is the story of the magic growth of his “Universal City” in California, and it was here that Laemmle’s most famous films were made.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 325 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 929 (32,8 oz) – PUBLISHER William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1931

The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography (Thomas C. Reeves)

reeves-thomas-c-the-life-and-times-of-joe-mccarthyA generation of Americans has been waiting for this book. In the early 50s the junior Senator from Wisconsin tore the United States asunder with a campaign he stumbled upon almost by accident. Many Americans, including those in high places, feared his accusations and his wrath out of the mistaken belief that he was a demagogue like Huey Long or even Hitler, not realizing that Long and Hitler both had programs, and Joe McCarthy’s only true program was himself.

In due course, the whole world through its front pages watched what was happening in America, and McCarthy’s young minions even ran rampant over other parts of the world finding unacceptable books in U.S. Information Libraries. A word was coined that stood for an era: McCarthyism.

There were famous best-sellers that were pro-McCarthy and anti-McCarthy, both kinds replete with propaganda and error. A young publisher’s first hardcover book was a collaboration between two writers – one a Democrat and one a Republican, to exclude party politics – designed to be as purely factual as possible at the time. It was called McCarthy and the Communists and was on The New York Times best-seller list for thirteen weeks. More importantly, The New York Times in an editorial credited that book more than any other with helping to end the Senator’s career.

That was a quarter of a century ago, and during all that time that publisher looked for and finally found a scholar who had the background and ability to produce the definitive life of Joe McCarthy. Thomas C. Reeves used information not previously available and in-depth interviews with a large number of people who knew McCarthy intimately. He has produced an objective book that shows how Joe McCarthy became the man he was and reveals what he actually did (as against what he and others said he did). The factual revelations alone make the publication of The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy a newsworthy event. In an area in which objectivity is rare, Thomas Reeves’s book will stand as a classic.

THOMAS C. REEVES is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, in McCarthy’s home state, and has devoted the better part of a decade to preparing this book. He was the consultant to Glenn Silber’s production of the award-winning An American Ism: Joe McCarthy, shown on the PBS television network.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 819 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.315 g (46,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Stein and Day, Publishers, Briarcliff Manor, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-8128-2337-0

The Life and Times of Laurel and Hardy (Ronald Bergen)

Bergan, Ronald - The Life and Times of Laurel and HardyWhen Piedmont Mumblethunder (Oliver Hardy) arrives at the dock to meet Philip, his kilted Scottish nephew (Stan Laurel) in the 1927 short film Putting Pants on Philip, it marks the debut of one of the cinema’s most famous and beloved comedy duos. Although it was the first film made by ‘the fat one and the thin one’ as a team, Stan and Ollie had actually met ten years earlier in the film The Lucky Dog where Ollie as a gangster tells Stan (on the title card): “Put ’em both up insect, before I comb your hair with lead.”

Stan Laurel, born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Lancashire, England, in 1890, and Oliver Norvell Hardy, born in Harlem, Georgia in 1892, were both in the movie business before they joined forces, but it was their fortuitous pairing that brought them immortality. On screen Hardy dominated but off-screen Stan Laurel wrote much of their material.

In The Life and Times of Laurel and Hardy, Ronald Bergen gives a detailed account of the private and public careers of two performers, the comic sum of whose characters added up, magically, to even more than its original parts.

RONALD BERGEN was educated in England and in the USA. After teaching in London and working in repertory theater, he took up a post at the British Institute in Paris, where he lectured on English literature, theater and film. Since returning to England, Ronald Bergen has published a number of books, including Sports in the Movies, Glamorous Musicals, The United Artists Story, The Great Theatres of London, Beyond the Fringe… and Beyond, a four-part biography of Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett and his recent biography Dustin Hoffman. He is also a regular contributor to The Guardian. Ronald Bergan is married and lives in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 128 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 23,5 cm (12 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 950 g (33,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Green Wood Publishing Company Ltd., London, 1992 – ISBN 1-872532-07-1

LIFE Goes to the Movies (edited by David E. Sherman)

Life goes to the movies grootThis book is about a magazine’s love affair with an industry.

From the start, LIFE and the movies were hooked by each other, behaving by turns like partners or rivals, soulmates or outraged enemies. Through the years – plying each other with sweet talk and champagne, or slamming doors in each other’s faces – we had a wonderful time together.

During LIFE’s span, from 1936 to 1972, the movie department filled more pages than any other editorial beat except the focal “Newsfront” section. Many issues contained two or more movie stories; and of the total of 1,864 covers, more than 250 were devoted to film stars, or incipient stars. Yet, despite this massive attention, the magazine’s Hollywood coverage remained incorrigibly personal, dictated mainly by the enthusiasms, the hunches and the crotchets of editors, photographers and reporters. Because a need for access and cooperation forced us repeatedly to torment the same film companies, the same stars, the same press agents, we came to regard one another – if not always with equal affection – as kindred tribesmen.

All this is reflected in the book you are now holding in your hands. It is by no means a systematic, conscientious history of Hollywood; you will not find in it all of your favorite movies or stars, or even all of the movies and performers that LIFE gave room to. We have chosen, instead, to winnow from the finest pictures of LIFE’s files more than 750 selections, which recapture both the symbiosis between reporters and reportees and the art that the magazine itself brought to its photographic coverage of moviemaking. It should also be pointed out that there is more here than the Hollywood of LIFE’s lifetime; even though LIFE did not begin publication until the mid-’30s, it printed, through the ensuing years, many rare old pictures documenting early film history. The best of that vintage are also in this volume.

“Movie of the Week,” which used stills to report on new releases, appeared in issue No. 2 and was the magazine’s first regular movie feature. Usually the studios provided these pictures, which were shot for publicity purposes by their own photographers. In addition to this feature, the entertainment staff soon began to explore the film community itself – its stars, its ways of working and playing. And the result was the real beginning of the big romance. While much of it was conducted in Los Angeles, where the magazine maintained its principal West Coast bureau, it ultimately became a global affair, springing up in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Tahiti, London – wherever there were actors and cameras.

After 16 years, LIFE discontinued “Movie of the Week” and began to invade the sound stages – shooting important scenes over the director’s shoulder. In time the producers, having recovered from the shock of seeing how intensely and imaginatively our photographers applied themselves, began adopting many LIFE ideas in the actual films, and over the years the collaboration flourished.

What was it worth to a young star to be pictured in LIFE? No one knew, but there were estimates that a cover appearance might add as much as a million dollars to a star’s career income. But that theory was eroded by fact. Lots of pretty girls thus featured quickly vanished from sight.

In just about all other respects, however, the love affair between LIFE and the movies proved to be valuable indeed. Yes, it was enormously useful for the studios in promoting their products. Yes, it was wonderfully effective for the editors in brightening the magazine’s pages. But the chief beneficiaries of this long-running romance were LIFE’s readers, who were treated week after week to a banquet almost as rich and frothy as the Hollywood product itself. The flavor lingers on, and it is recaptured in the pages of this volume.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 304 pp. – Dimensions 33,5 x 27 cm (13,2 x 10,6 inch) – Weight 2.000 g (70,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Time-Life Books, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8094-1643-3

A Life in Movies: An Autobiography (Michael Powell)

powell-michael-a-life-in-moviesMichael Powell has lived intimately, and abundantly, with the movies – entering the business at the end of the silent era, growing with the industry, becoming one of Britain’s most highly regarded and influential filmmakers. Now, in this big, wonderfully evocative autobiography, he shares his life, taking us back to his beginnings and through the first three decades of his extraordinary career.

Born and raised in England, Powell had the serendipitous fortune to find himself in the south of France (where his father ran a small hotel) in the 1920s. In his teens and already a film buff, he had the further good fortune to be introduced to the great silent filmmaker Rex Ingram, and to be hired as a boy-of-all-work at Ingram’s Victorine Studios. This almost accidental start in the world of movies was quickly transformed – through Powell’s own energy, style and toughness of mind – into a passionate involvement. In three months he knew the workings of a half-dozen departments, and in less than three years, having acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of moviemaking, he returned to England, accepting a job at British International Pictures. There, he worked with Alfred Hitchcock: first as a stillsman (he was the only one Hitchcock would allow on his sets) and eventually as co-writer of the screenplay for Blackmail – all the while keeping a wary eye on the swift progress of the “talkies,” which were gradually rendering much of his technical expertise obsolete. Now we see him moving from one small studio to another, learning the new sound techniques with the same amazing speed and alacrity he had shown at the Victorine; turning out the “quota-quickies” that were the mainstay of most of the studios at the time; solo-directing his first film at the age of twenty-six; writing, directing, editing at a furious pace for little pay and less advancement. Until, in 1937, his film The Edge of the World came to the attention of Alexander Korda, who invited a surprised and delighted Powell to work for him.

At Korda’s studio, Powell met Emeric Pressburger, with whom he collaborated on many of his greatest films, the making of which – from the inception of the ideas to the release of the finished products – Powell recalls with candor, wit and a richness of image and language. We see him on the sets of The Thief of Bagdad and of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp with Deborah Kerr (with whom Powell had a tumultuous relationship before Hollywood claimed her); on location in the Canadian north, making 49th Parallel with Leslie Howard and Laurence Olivier; making A Matter of Life and Death (released as Stairway to Heaven in the United States when the distributors decided that “Death” was too harsh a word for just-post-World War II American audiences); during the production of Black Narcissus (“I started out almost as a documentary director and ended up as a producer of opera”) and I Know Where I’m Going; and finally, on the set of the now-classic, much-loved The Red Shoes with Moira Shearer, which, when released, was given no official première – a clear signal to the entire film world that its producers had no faith in its success…

But beyond the details of his distinguished career, Powell gives us an insider’s view of the film industry itself: his firsthand knowledge sheds new light on its phenomenal early growth (spurred by the advent of sound and then of color), its politics and intrigues and personalities, its glamorous and seedy sides, its excitements and its grand disappointments. His writing reveals the same brilliant feeling for place and time and atmosphere, and the same exceptional storytelling ability, that informed his films. Here is one of the most enthralling books we have about both the making of movies and – as the puts it – living a life in movies.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 705 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.210 g (42,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-394-55935-5

Life Is a Banquet (Rosalind Russell, with Chris Chase)

russell-rosalind-life-is-a-banquetIn the New York Times review of the hit musical Wonderful Town, Brooks Atkinson suggested that Rosalind Russell run for President of the United States. He went on to say, “She makes the whole city wonderful and she will make the whole country wonderful when she is elected.” This notice, along with other raves, astonished Miss Russell, who thought she could neither sing nor dance.

Rosalind Russell had left Hollywood convinced that she was washed up after fifteen years as a leading star. “I have to find out if I can still act,” she told her husband. Her experiences in the East in Wonderful Town and Auntie Mame proved her as big a stage star as ever she had been a star in movies. It’s hard to think of another performer who seized a second chance and turned it to such advantage.

Rosalind Russell’s childhood was sunny. She had six brothers and sisters, gentle parents, plenty of middle-class comforts. The parents worried about the children’s teeth, their religious training, and their getting plenty of exercise. (“To keep the sex out of us,” Miss Russell said years later.) But Waterbury, Connecticut, couldn’t hold the young Rosalind. A ham from the start, she conned her mother into letting her leave college to study for the stage. Stock jobs, stage jobs, Hollywood came after. She made over fifty movies, among them such hits as The Women and His Girl Friday and personal favorites like Sister Kenny. She was part of the golden age of movies, and she tried to keep her work fresh and growing. In later years she earned kudos for diverse parts: the love-starved schoolteacher in Picnic, Rose in Gypsy. In these pages she talks about the nuts and bolts of her craft with a candor and intelligence rare in movie-star memoirs.

A practicing Catholic, Rosalind Russell was married for thirty-five years to the same man, producer Frederick Brisson. She took her faith seriously but modestly. (She once called her wealthy Beverly Hills parish church Our Lady of the Cadillacs.) Toward the end of her life Rosalind Russell fought bravely the arthritis and cancer that finally killed her. Yet her gift to the world was laughter, and that gift seldom failed her.

In the role which brought her the most fame of all, that of “Auntie Mame,” Rosalind Russell exhorted her audiences to “Live, live, live. Life is a banquet,” said Mame, “and most of you poor suckers are starving.” Here is Rosalind Russell’s own life, a banquet for the reader.

CHRIS CHASE is an actress whose first published work was a highly acclaimed humor book called How to Be a Movie Star. When she met the honest-to-God real-life movie star Rosalind Russell, this collaboration, Life Is a Banquet, was born.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 260 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 705 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-394-42134-5

Life Is Too Short (Mickey Rooney)

rooney-mickey-life-is-too-short“I was born on September 23, 1920, on a dining room table in a rooming house in Brooklyn. I’m told I was delivered by a Chinese doctor, who patted me on the buttom and said, ‘Okay kid, you’ve been resting for nine months – now get to work!'”

The son of a Scottish vaudeville comic, Joe Yule, and Nell Carter, a chorus girl in burlesque, Rooney made his professional appearance aged eighteen months. By 1939, he had taken over from Shirley Temple as America’s number one box-office sensation. A singer, dancer, comedian, and brilliant dramatic actor, Mickey Rooney – pound for pound – arguably is the most talented performer in the history of Hollywood. From his first appearance as a cigar-smoking midget in Orchids and Ermine to Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Andy Hardy pictures, Babes on Broadway and other films with his great friend Judy Garland, through to The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Baby Face Nelson, The Black Stallion and Eric the Viking, Mickey Rooney has displayed huge versatility.

His private life has not been short of drama. He has had eight wives, including the stunningly beautiful Ava Gardner. He has survived an addiction to pills and gambling, crippling alimony payments, and bankruptcy. But Rooney has always bounced back. And his resilience, his irrepressible high octane energy is communicated on every page of this candid and wonderfully entertaining autobiography.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 374 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 668 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Hutchinson, London, 1991 – ISBN 0-09-175305-8

A Life on Film (Mary Astor)

Astor, Mary - A Life on Film“We are the peddlers – we pushed it in all sorts of brightly colored capsules…”

A Life on Film is a fascinating and beautifully told story of a product named Mary Astor – a major star’s personal recollection of 45 years of life in the film world from the silents to the ’60s.

Mary Astor scans her career with the meticulous eye of a camera. She explains the mechanics of moviemaking, the strange shorthand speech on the sets, the special tricks of close-ups, make-up, and wardrobe. She tells of her first screen kiss at age 14, of starring with John Barrymore at age 17, and the sound test which almost ended her career at 23.

She covers the years of dreary pictures and the happy expectations: Holiday with Ann Harding, Red Dust with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, Dodsworth with Walter Huston, Prisoner of Zenda with Ronald Colman. She set a hairstyle and won an Academy Award with The Great Lie, and she helped making cinematic history with the crime masterpiece The Maltese Falcon. But through it all she had the feeling: “What’s this got to do with me?” – a feeling not dispelled until she discovered television, the theater, and, most of all, writing.

A Life on Film gives a wonderfully vivid and evocative picture of movies and their making. It is an open, frank, realistic portrayal of life behind the scenes, but so fascinating a one that it is a book for film devotées – for here is the stuff that dreams were built on.

MARY ASTOR is the author of the worldwide best-seller My Story, and the author of five novels: The Incredible Charlie Carewe, The Image of Kate, Goodbye Darling, Be Happy; The O’Connors, and A Place Called Saturday.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 245 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 622 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1971

Life Wish (Jill Ireland)

Ireland, Jill - Life WishThree years ago Jill Ireland had everything: a thriving film career, seven children, a lavish house in Bel Air, a horse farm in Vermont. And she was happily married to the movie star Charles Bronson.

Then she went to the doctor for her annual checkup. She learned she had cancer, cancer of the breast requiring a radical mastectomy, and cancer of the lymph nodes. “Have a positive attitude, Jill,” the doctors told her. In pain, terribly frightened, still determined to take responsibility for her recovery, Jill began to plan. Of course she would have the mastectomy and the months of chemotherapy to follow that her doctors prescribed. But she also would turn to other than conventional forms of treatment: holistic healing, homeopathic medicine, a trained counselor, a new diet, meditation, even astrology. Jill was determined to do whatever might help her get well.

Part of that, she soon discovered, involved a conscious review of her life, finding the pleasures, the problems, the patterns. Life Wish thus is also a spirited memoir of Jill’s growing up in postwar England, her life as a young dancer and her career on the stage, her movie career in Hollywood, her personal world full of lively children, friends, dogs, horses, and, always, her very special husband. Past and present combine to teach Jill how to manage her illness. With enormous emotional honesty, with her special wit and warmth, Jill Ireland has written Life Wish, a stirring account of her life before and after cancer – and her fight for that life.

Anyone, man or woman, who faces the threat of cancer or who has fought a life-threatening disease, will find inspiration and information in this frank, unsparing but always life-affirming work. As Norman Cousins, the author of Anatomy of an Illness, has written, “The major contribution made by Jill Ireland in Life Wish is that she answers the difficult questions that tie deep in the conscious and subconscious of people who have just been given the diagnosis of cancer.” Today Jill is well, her recovery a testament to many kinds of healing, and to her own extraordinary personal courage.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 294 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 567 g (20,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1987 – ISBN 0-316-10926-6

Life With My Sister Madonna (Christopher Ciccone, with Wendy Leigh)

Autographed copy Christopher

Ciccone, Christopher - Life With My Sister MadonnaChristopher Ciccone’s extraordinary memoir is based on his forty-seven years of growing up with, working with, and understanding the most famous woman of our time, who has intrigued, scandalized, and entertained millions for half a century.

Through most of the iconic star’s kaleidoscopic career, Christopher played an important role in her life: as her backup dancer, her personal assistant, her art director, her tour director.

If you think you know everything there is to know about Madonna, you are wrong. Only Christopher can tell the full scale, riveting untold story behind Madonna’s carefully constructed mythology, and the real woman behind the glittering façade.

From their shared Michigan childhood, which Madonna transcended, then whisked Christopher to Manhattan with her in the early eighties, where he slept on her roast-infested floor and danced with her in clubs all over town – Christopher was with her every step of the way, experiencing her firsthand in all of her reincarnations. The spoiled daddy’s girl, the punk drummer, the raunchy Boy Toy, Material Girl, Mrs. Sean Penn, Warren Beatty’s glamorous Hollywood paramour, loving mother, Mrs. Guy Ritchie, English grande dame – Christopher witnessed and understood all of them, as his own life was inexorably entwined with that of his chameleon sister.

He tangled with a cast of characters from artist Jean-Michel Basquait, to Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Demi Moore, and, of course, Guy Ritchie, whose advent in Madonna’s life splintered the loving relationship Christopher once had with her. The mirror image of his legendary sister, with his acid Ciccone tongue, Christopher pulls no punches as he tells his astonishing story.

Life With My Sister Madonna is the juicy, can’t-put-it-down story you’ve always wanted to hear, as told by Madonna’s younger brother.

CHRISTOPHER CICCONE began his professional career as a dancer with La Groupe de La Place Royal in Ottawa. He art directed Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour and directed her in The Girlie Show tour. He has directed music videos for Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett. He is an artist, interior decorator, and designer in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. WENDY LEIGH is the New York Times best-selling author of eleven books, including True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 342 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon Spotlight Entertainment, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-4165-8762-0

The Light on Her Face (Joseph Walker, Juanita Walker; foreword by Barbara Stanwyck)

Walker, Joseph - The Light on Her FaceJoseph B. Walker, ASC, is among the artists most responsible for the distinctive “look” of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” In his long and exciting career he photographed some 160 feature productions, invented several vital pieces of production equipment, and made many of Hollywood’s most beautiful women look more gorgeous than Cleopatra or Helen of Troy. He was an innovator long before he cranked his first movie camera, having pioneered in the wireless field while still in his teens. He started the first wireless store department, made the first wireless news report, installed the first airplane and auto wireless sets, and made wireless reports from the battlefronts of the Mexican Revolution. For several years he was a free-lance movie cameraman, shooting newsreels and documentaries. His first feature production took him to the Arctic, where he photographed Back To God’s Country under incredible conditions (the leading man died, his lungs frozen). Meantime, he was inventing things – such as an ancestral zoom lens in 1922 and a special effects compositing system that was subsequently used in hundreds of films.

Walker’s greatest fame came during his 24 years at Columbia Studios. where he photographed 18 of Frank Capra’s 24 productions, including It Happened One Night and Lost Horizon. He became the studio’s leading “glamor”  photographer, who could make a portly opera star into a reigning movie queen after experts had declared her “unphotographable” and could add greater beauty to even the most beautiful actresses.

Drama, adventure and romance were constant companions of Joseph Walker throughout his career. His memory for details is astonishing, and he and his author-photographer wife, Juanita, have set down his extraordinary story. The result is a reminiscence both perceptive and exciting, told with penetrating wit, of the great years of the cinema.

JOSEPH WALKER, celebrated for his many inventions and for his  cinematography in some 160 feature films, was born in Denver in 1892. He pioneered in radio and electronics, beginning as assistant to Dr. Lee DeForest in 1910, then making the first news reports via wireless in 1911. He built the first wireless transmitters for airplanes and autos, established the first retail wireless store department, and reported by wireless from the battlefronts of the Mexican Revolution. He shot newsreels and documentaries before making his first feature in 1919, Back To God’s Country, in the Arctic. His films include It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, You Can’t Take It With You, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, The Jolson Story and Born Yesterday. His technical achievements include the first zoom lens patents, a comparator exposure meter, a panoramic television camera, an aerial image device, the famed Williams Composite Photography System, and the RCA Electra-Zoom Lens. Retired, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife, Juanita. JUANITA, a talented writer, is also an accomplished photographer. She was working at Warner Brothers Studio when she met Joe. “Writing with Joe on this book,” she says, “was a nostalgic adventure for the both of us.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 290 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 832 g (29,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The ASC Press, Hollywood, California, 1984 – ISBN 0-935578-05-6

Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood: Its Platinum Years (photography by Bob Willoughby; text by Richard Schickel)

schickel-richard-lights-camera-actionLights! Camera! Action! Hollywood: Its Platinum Years were that short eternity when the Old Hollywood, having scaled the heights, teetered on the lip of the volcano. (Now is after it fell in.) It spent lavishly, produced spectacularly, and wore a diamond glitter – or was it beads of sweat from straining, ineffectually, to hold back the night that darkened the studios and obliterated the stars?

Bob Willoughby, on-the-set photographer for an extraordinary number of notable motion pictures since 1953, was there while it happened. This book is what he saw. Because he is both a photographer of talent and a buff sensitive to the processes of filmmaking, he ranged far beyond the usual still-picture coverage that emerges from films in progress. His portfolios contain remarkable shots of directors and stars of Lights! Camera! Action! Rehearsing, in action, re-enacting scenes exclusively for his still camera and creating that wonderful blend of fiction and reality that imbues life on the set.

Lights! Camera! Action! contains the best of his work for twenty-two productions, plus lively and discerning text by Richard Schickel, critic, author, and producer of several highly successful documentary TV series on motion pictures. A commentator whose judgment of movies is never compromised by his enthusiasm for them. Schickel here turns a sharply observant eye on the manners and mores of Hollywood and America that motivated our responses to these well-remembered, never-again movies of the platinum years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp. – Dimensions 31 x 23,5 cm (12,2 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 1.640 g (57,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-394-49380-X

Light Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights (Tay Garnett, with Fredda Dudley Balling; introduction by Frank Capra)

garnett-tay-light-your-torches-and-pull-your-tightsTay Garnett is a leprechaun. Don’t be fooled by his six-foot frame; he’s one of the little people. It’s reflected in everything he’s done – in his careers as Naval aviator, commercial artist, gagman and writer, in his chronic wanderlust and love of adventure, and most memorably, in the magic he has wrought as a great film director.

Now this most unassuming of great directors evokes his magic once again. With a light touch he brings to life the golden years when Hollywood was the movie capital of the world. Garnett is the perfect guide, whether telling delightfully appropriate yarns of the great and near great; or modestly shrugging off his own accomplishments as director of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Bataan, Valley of Decision and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; or recalling his sea adventures (his epochal 1935 round-the-world voyage in the 105-foot yawl Athena supplied the bizarre background for Trade Winds, a film he wrote as well as directed).

Illustrated with over 130 photographs, many of them rare candid shots of filmland at play, Light Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights is the fascinating story of a director and his stars. And what stars! Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, Mickey Rooney, William Powell, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Lemmon, Tyrone Power, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Robert Taylor, Robert Walker, Gregory Peck, Bing Crosby and Alan Ladd are just some of the names you meet. But most of all, it’s the story of a soft-spoken adventurer whose life has been more absorbing than any film he ever brought to the screen. A doughty battler who has kept slugging away no matter what the cost, Tay Garnett’s grit, charm and storytelling genius make his own life story a rewarding chronicle of Hollywood, when filmmakers went First Class.

TAY GARNETT has been a Hollywood personality for over 50 years. After a short-lived career in Naval aviation during World War I, he went to work for comedy king Mack Sennett as a Keystone Cop gagman. Garnett’s special gifts were recognized early and he moved into directing with hits like Trade Winds with Fredric March, China Seas with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, Slave Ship with Wallace Beery and Mickey Rooney, and One-Way Passage with Kay Francis and William Powell. Other Garnett triumphs include Cheers for Miss Bishop, Joy of Living, Wild Harvest and, as co-director, the Cinerama production of Seven Wonders of the World. Still very much part of the movie scene, Garnett has also been active in television as a director for Bonanza, Gunsmoke and The Untouchables.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 347 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 701 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Arlington House, New Rochelle, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-87000-204-x

Lillian Gish: Her Legend, Her Life (Charles Affron)

affron-charles-lilian-gish-her-legend-her-lifeAt the time of her death in 1993, Lillian Gish was universally recognized as a film legend. Now, Charles Affron reveals a life that, for decades, was cast in the shadow of self-generated myth. Using newly released papers at the New York Public Library, Affron fills the gaps left by Gish’s selective memoirs and authorized biographies, and shows how the actress carefully forged her public identity while keeping much of her life private.

In a career that began in 1902 and lasted well into the 1980s and included such classic films as The Birth of a Nation and The Night of the Hunter, Gish went from child actress to legend. This account of Gish’s life travels two parallel journeys: one traces her beginnings as a child actress in melodramas, through the birth of movies, the glory days of the studio system in Hollywood and the coming of sound, the Broadway theater and television, to her final starring film appearance in 1987; the other follows a more personal itinerary beginning with the comaraderies and rivalries of D.W. Griffith’s troupe, the onset of her stardom, then on to the Aigonquin Round Table and the international “smart set.” Her scandalous lawsuit with her producer / fiancé, her long affair with critic George Jean Nathan, and her controversial political activism are covered here in detail for the first time. Affron travels with the actress from studios in Hollywood to the stage in New York, from the loving, close relationship Gish had with her mother and her sister Dorothy to her devoted, often troubled relationship with Griffith, with whom she helped shape the development of narrative film.

In splendid detail, Affron re-creates the burgeoning culture of moviemaking in the broad context of the arts in America. Along the way, the cast includes Sinclair Lewis, H.L. Mencken, Eugene O’Neill, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Bette Davis.

CHARLES AFFRON is a professor of French at New York University. He is the author of Sets in Motion, Cinema and Sentiment, Divine Garbo, and Star Acting: Gish, Garbo, Davis. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 445 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 801 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Scribner, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-684-85514-3

Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress (Claire Bloom)

Bloom, Claire - Limelight and AfterAt the age of twenty-one, Claire Bloom made her Old Vic debut as  Shakespeare’s Juliet and was acclaimed by the critic Kenneth Tynan as “the best Juliet I’ve ever seen.” A few weeks later came the London premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight, and she was an international film star. It was a double triumph, as stunning as any actress has achieved in the postwar era, and the beginning of a distinguished career as co-star to Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Ralph Richardson, George C. Scott, and James Mason.

Her story begins, in these memoirs, with her childhood wanderings around England with her uprooted family, and her evacuation to America with her mother and small brother during the London Blitz. Then there is the adventurous return to England during the Second Blitz, the spirited drama of drama-school days, and her first West End role at eighteen. And then, of course, the startling discovery by Chaplin and the journey with her mother to his California studio. Her depiction of Chaplin at work and at play is thoughtful and affectionate, as are her vivid evocations of Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, and of Rod Steiger, with whom she acted on the stage and in films during their marriage.

Limelight and After tells the story of the girlhood single-mindedness that led to Claire Bloom’s early triumph, and then explores, with disarming clarity, her life as an actress in London, Hollywood, Stratford-upon-Avon, and New York. In all, it is a witty, straightforward, intelligent portrait of a woman and her vocation – and of how that vocation has affected her as daughter, sister, wife, and mother.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 187 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 471 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1982 ISBN 0-06-014926-4

Lina: DeMille’s Godless Girl (Lina Basquette)

Autographed copy To Betty – A long time friend – With fondest regards, Lina Basquette. 1991

Basquette, Lina - LinaLina Basquette pirouetted through life during the glitzy decades of the twenties and thirties. At the age of eight she was catapulted to fame as a child star in silent movies. As she grew up, her career prospered on Broadway as prima ballerina and Ziegfeld Follies star. After a brief marriage to Sam Warner ended in widowhood, she resumed her motion picture career and starred in Cecil B. DeMille’s epic silent film, The Godless Girl.

Lina’s entire career was punctuated with action-packed marriages, one-night stands, and sizzling affairs.

It is said to be unfair to judge a beautiful woman as you would one who is “plain,” for it is infinitely harder for a beautiful woman to be “good.” Lina discovered the truth of this axiom and elected to substitute one of her own, “Virtue is a dirty word.”

This book is Lina’s account of her wild, sensuous life and the many men she loved and hated. Celebrities great and small were among her seven husbands, lovers, and companions. Lina’s memoirs are filled with personal details of her involvement with them. Lina is the product of the quintessential “stage mother,” who forged not only Lina’s life, but that of Lina’s sister, Marge Champion.

Now in her eighth decade, LINA BASQUETTE is starring in another career as an American Kennel Club Dog Show judge, having retired after many years as an eminent breeder and handler of purebred Great Danes.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 450 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 858 g (30,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Denlinger’s Publishers, LTD., Fairfax, Virginia, 1990 – ISBN 0-87714-082-0

Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer (Scott Eyman)

Eyman, Scott - Lion of HollywoodLion of Hollywood is the definitive biography of Louis B. Mayer, the chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – MGM – the biggest and most successful film studio of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

An immigrant from tsarist Russia, Mayer began in the film business as an exhibitor but soon migrated to where the action and the power were – Hollywood. Through sheer force of energy and foresight, he turned his own modest studio into MGM, where he became the most powerful man in Hollywood, bending the film business to his will. He made great films, including the fabulous MGM musicals, and he made great stars: Garbo, Gable, Garland, and dozens of others. Through the enormously successful Andy Hardy series, Mayer purveyed family values to America. At the same time, he used his influence to place a federal judge on the bench, pay off local officials, cover up his stars’ indiscretions, and, on occasion, arrange marriages for gay stars. Mayer rose from his impoverished childhood to become at one time the highest-paid executive in America.

Despite his power and money, Mayer suffered some significant losses. He had two daughters: Irene, who married David O. Selznick, and Edie, who married producer William Goetz. He would eventually fall out with Edie and divorce his wife, Margaret, ending his life alienated from most of his family. His chief assistant, Irving G. Thalberg, was his closest business partner, but they quarreled frequently, and Thalberg’s early death left Mayer without his most trusted associate. As Mayer grew older, his politics became increasingly reactionary, and he found himself politically isolated within Hollywood’s small conservative community.

Lion of Hollywood is a three-dimensional biography of a figure often caricatured and vilified as the paragon of the studio system. Mayer could be arrogant and tyrannical, but under his leadership MGM made such unforgettable films as The Big Parade, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and An American in Paris.

Film historian Scott Eyman interviewed more than 150 people and researched some previously unavailable archives to write this major new biography of a man who defined an industry and an era.

SCOTT EYMAN is books editor of The Palm Beach Post and author of seven previous books about film, including, most recently, Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 596 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 858 g (30,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-7432-0481-6

The Lion’s Share: The Story of an Entertainment Empire (Bosley Crowther)

crowther-bosley-the-lions-shareThe genial and erudite Motion Picture Critic of The New York Times has chosen to view the flamboyant history of American films through the fantastic fortunes of one company – Loew’s Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – whose contribution to the industry has been outstanding, and whose story is not only characteristic but, because of the sheer sweep of events and clash of personalities, as dramatic as any film.

From its beginnings in the penny arcades in the first decade of this century, Loews, Inc. has come a long way. The men who grew with it have lived a success story rivalling any screen rags to riches romance. Its stars, directors, producers and pictures have made Leo the most familiar trademark in the world. Here you will learn why the silent movies were such a universal success; how the great producer-distributor-exhibitor combines came about and the stunning effect of the recent decision of the courts on their future; why the 1930s were the Golden Age; how the fat war years led to the lean, television-haunted present.

You will read the backstage stories of individual great films; of the girl who discovered Valentino and was the main inspiration behind The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; of the fabulous 50 % of the gross deal made by the owners of the film rights to Ben-Hur; how Helen Hayes’ first picture, The Sin of Madeleine Claudet, was saved from ruin; how the star of Gone With the Wind was “discovered.”

What the great Irving G. Thalberg did to make so many of his films successes; what happened to David O. Selznick at MGM; the saga of Dore Schary; the part played by that durable phenomenon, Louis B. Mayer; Marion Davies’ real story; the truth about the famous Rasputin libel suit; the tragedy of John Gilbert; why Jean Harlow was almost indicted for murder; Mickey Rooney’s astonishing rise; and much, much more.

It’s a completely fascinating book – full of nostalgia for those who remember the silents and the great pictures of the 1930s, full of answers for those who wonder (if they do) why the movies may seem to be less glamorous than they used to.

When the Screen Directors Guild of Hollywood decided to make an annual Critics Award, it was natural that their first award should go to BOSLEY CROWTHER. As film critic for The New York Times he is one of the most widely read and respected in the country. On graduation from Princeton in 1928 he joined The New York Times as reporter, later becoming assistant editor, first of drama and then of motion pictures. In 1940 he was named film critic and since then his reputation as reporter and interpreter of the films has grown steadily.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 556 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1957

Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong (Mark Cotta Vaz; introduction by Peter Jackson)

Vaz, Mark Cotta - Living DangerouslyExplorer, war hero, filmmaker, and cinema pioneer Merian C. Cooper – the adventurer who created King Kong – was truly larger than life. ”Pictures cannot be made from an executive’s desk,” ‘Coop’ declared, and he did more than talk the talk – he walked the walk to the far corners of the globe, with a motion picture camera in tow, in an era when those corners were truly unknown, untamed, and unforgiving.

Cooper’s place in history is assured, thanks not only to the monstrous gorilla from Skull Island, but because the story of Kong’s creator is even bigger and bolder than the beast he made into a cultural icon. Spellbound since boyhood by tales of life-threatening adventure and exotic locales, Cooper plunged again and again into harrowing expeditions that took him to places not yet civilized by modern man.

Cooper was one of the first bomber pilots in World War I. After the war, he helped form the famous Kościuszko Squadron in battle-torn Poland. He then turned his attention to producing documentary films that chronicled his hair-raising encounters with savage warriors, man-eating tigers, nomadic tribes, and elephant stampedes.

In addition to producing King Kong, he was the first to team Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers, arranged Katharine Hepburn’s screen test, collaborated with John Ford on Hollywood’s greatest Westerns, and then changed the face of film forever with Cinerama, the original ”virtual reality.” He returned to military service during World War II, serving with General Claire Chennault in China, flying missions into the heart of enemy territory.

This book is a stunning tribute to a two-fisted visionary who packed a multitude of lifetimes into eighty remarkable years. The first comprehensive biography of this unique man and his amazing time, it’s the tale of someone whose greatest desire was always to be living dangerously.

MARK COTTA VAZ is the author of such New York Times best-sellers as The Art of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Behind the Mask of Spider-Man. Living Dangerously is his nineteenth published book. His other works include the critically acclaimed The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting (co-authored with filmmaker Craig Barron), which won the Theatre Library Association of New York Award for Outstanding Book of 2002 and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s Golden Pen Book Award. More recent projects include a first novel and a history of the segregated units of World War II.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 478 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 798 g (28,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Villard Books, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 1-4000-6276-4

Liza! Liza! The Unauthorized Biography of Liza Minnelli (Alan W. Petrucelli)

Petrucelli, Alan W - Liza Liza !“I first met Liza Minnelli in 1969. I was a twelve-year-old junior high school student. She was Judy Garland’s daughter. Liza was peeking at me from page three of the New York Daily News. She was actually staring at the camera, but an infatuated adolescent does not discern the difference between peeking and staring. I found myself staring back. The photograph I’m talking about is a strange one. It accompanies full-page coverage about Judy’s death. Judy, son Joey and second daughter Lorna form a grinning triangle, but it is Liza – alone, on the left – who stands out. Blame it on her toothy smile or the exaggerated collar of her white turtleneck sweater, or my own empathy. Somehow, that day, Liza was the center of attraction. She still is.” – From the chapter ‘A Fan’s Notes.’

ALAN W. PETRUCELLI has been a celebrity journalist since 1976. His work has appeared in such publications as After Dark, Flair, In Cinema, Photoplay and Showbill. During his three-year tenure as Associate Editor of Us magazine, he garnered several exclusive stories. Some of these include profiles on Connie Francis, Lainie Kazan, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Amanda Plummer, Helen Reddy and Grace Slick. His 1982 interview with singer Johnny Mathis brought Alan worldwide attention; for the first time ever, Mathis discussed his homosexuality with great candor. Educated at Iona College, Alan lives in Bronxville, New York, with his two cats, Bonnie (after Miss Raitt) and Lainie (after Miss Kazan). He is at work on his second book.

Softcover – 174 pp., index – Dimensions 28 x 25,5 cm (11 x 10 inch) – Weight 768 g (27,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbus Books, Bromley, Kent, 1983 – ISBN 0-8065-0680-6

Lobby Cards: The Classic Comedies – The Michael Hawks Collection, Volume II (Kathryn Leigh Scott, Michael Hawks; foreword by Bob Hope)

Scott, Kathryn Leigh - Lobby Cards“Wonderful vintage films should be preserved and shared, as well as the movie memorabilia associated with them,” says lobby card collector Michael Hawks.

“In some cases, only the paper lobby art has survived, while the even more fragile and volatile celluloid has been destroyed. With that in mind, I’ve talked with friends and fellow collectors about the rare specimens of lobby cards that ought to be included in this second volume featuring classic comedies.”

Since the first flickering days of the two-reelers, lobby cards, like posters and photographic stills, have been issued by movie studios to publicize their films. These 11″ x 14″ placards that enticed audiences into movie theaters all around the nation have been preserved in Michael Hawks’ stunning collection of lobby cards. Following the success of Lobby Cards: The Classic Films, Michael Hawks delved back into his collection of over 4,000 lobby cards and selected 95 vintage cards for his second volume The Lobby Cards: The Classic Comedies.

These treasures from our past, salvaged from cellars, attics and long forgotten moviehouse storerooms, have survived and provide a fascinating and historically significant showcase of film advertising art.

BOB HOPE, a Hollywood legend and, in the words of one President of the United States, “Our national treasure.” MICHAEL HAWKS, a bookseller who has assembled a collection of more than 4,000 lobby cards in the past twenty years, lives in Hollywood. KATHRYN LEIGH SCOTT, actress, author and publisher, lives in London and Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 176 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 29 cm (8,9 x 11,4 inch) – Weight 1.040 g (36,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Pomegranate Press, Ltd., Los Angeles, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-938817-13-2

Lon Chaney, Jr.: Horror Film Star, 1906-1973 (Don G. Smith)

Smith, Don G - Lon Chaney, JrThough he was haunted by the shadow of his legendary father and devastated by alcoholism, Lon Chaney, Jr., carved out a very successful film career as Universal’s leading horror star in the 1940s, and later as a leading character actor in Westerns, dramas, and on television. While rightly focused on the career of the underrated actor, this study also explores his life and times.

DON G. SMITH is an associate professor in history and philosophy of education at Eastern Illinois University. He has written for numerous publications, including Filmfax, Scarlet Street, Movie Collector’s World and Midnight Marquee. He lives in Riverview, Florida.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 236 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 457 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Publishers, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 1996 – ISBN 0-7864-0120-6

The Lonely Life (Bette Davis)

Davis, Bette - The Lonely LifeShe needs no introduction. She does not regret one enemy she made during her career. She finds them a prime requisite for success. The Yankee in her is appalled by her many marriages. She has finally concluded that she never should have tried marriage at all.

She proved that you can have a career and remain honest – if you are willing to pay the price of personal loneliness. She adores men but, living in a state of permanent rapture, she feels she exhausts them as husbands. She adores her three children and being a mother is her favorite role. Her career is Hollywood history and in this book she generously shares the hard-earned knowledge of her craft. She discusses her famous roles and her approach to acting. She illuminates her world with humor, vitality and lethal frankness.

The Lonely Life proves conclusively that the legendary image of Bette Davis is not a fable but a marvelous reality.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 254 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 352 g (12,4 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1962

Looking at Me: Isabella Rossellini on Pictures and Photographers (Isabella Rossellini)

Rossellini, Isabella - Looking at MeSelf-reflections by stars tend to be fraught with difficulty. Not, though, if the star is Isabella Rossellini and her private collection of Isabella portraits called the “Me Wall,” taken by the world’s leading photographers. The visual feast to which Isabella invites us in Looking at Me has several levels: this woman, whose beauty and photogeneity is beyond doubt, looks at her favorite portraits and comments on them with wit, humor and self-irony while we enjoy the privilege of peeking over her shoulder. Looking at Me traces her remarkable career from boxing reporter in Muhammad Ali’s training camp to a highly successful model to acting in the movies (favoring controversial roles) and head of her own cosmetic line Manifesto. We also meet Isabella in private – with her children, her dog Macaroni, and Spanky, her pig.

Such photographers as Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Miles Aldridge, Fabrizio Ferri, Eve Arnold, Michel Comte, Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Ellen von Unwerth, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Brigitte Lacombe, Paolo Roversi, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Anton Corbijn as well as filmmakers David Lynch and Wim Wenders have all been inspired by Isabella’s charm and versatility. She, in turn, has composed a witty book that is irresistible to the viewing reader. In Looking at Me, Isabella Rossellini delivers the long awaited and mesmerizing beautiful photo book to complement her whimsical autobiography Some of Me.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 144 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 19 cm (9,5 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 796 g (28,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Schirmer / Mosel, Munich, Germany, 2002 – ISBN 3-8296-0057-7

Looking Back… at Television and Other Matters (Delbert Mann, edited with Ira Skutch; foreword by Angela Lansbury)

Mann, Delbert - Looking Back“Over the course of a long career an actor will probably work with an extraordinarily varied group of directors. Ah yes. We have our favorites. And if we are lucky, we get to work with that person on a number of occasions. In my own case I was fortunate indeed to have had the opportunity to work with Delbert Mann four times. I say favorite because Del is my big favorite. The first time we worked together was when I was approached by Warners to play the role of Mavis Pruitt in the movie The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, a character who was referred to but never seen in the Broadway stage production. By making Mavis visible in scenes in the movie with both the wife, played by Dorothy McGuire, and Rubin the husband played by Robert Preston, I feared my depiction of ‘the other woman’ bordered on soap opera. (…) We managed to bring it off and for many who saw the film, it was the best work they’d seen me do to date!” – From The Foreword by Angela Lansbury.

DELBERT MANN looks back… This Academy Award-winning director takes you on a lively journey through the modern era of entertainment, from the early days of live television, to film, Broadway and opera. Along the way, you’ll meet dozens of our most beloved stars, including Cary Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Sophia Loren, David Niven, Angela Lansbury, Tyrone Power, Grace Kelly, and Burt Lancaster. Mann’s anecdotes from behind the scenes and off the set offer an insightful look into the world of entertainment.

Softcover – 383 pp., index – Dimensions 28 x 21,5 cm (11 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 947 g (33,4 oz) – PUBLISHER A Directors Guild of America Publication, Los Angeles, California, 1998 – ISBN 1-882766-06-7

Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life (Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein)

Morella, Joe - Loretta Young An Extraordinary LifeWho was she, really? Was she the totally virtuous woman, the near-saint she wanted her public to believe in? Was she the doting wife and loving mother constantly depicted in the fan magazines? Or was she, as her detractors would have it, the ultimate “movie star,” ruthless and driven in her determination to have things done her way, no matter if it meant pushing others aside, even her family? Was she, in fact, deserving the title “Attila the Nun”?

Perhaps in some ways she was all of those things. First and foremost, Loretta Young was the perfect Hollywood star – glamorous, sophisticated yet accessible, an example of virtue and goodness in a business constantly beset by scandal. In this first full-length biography of the great film star, authors Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein probe behind the myths and rumors to find the true story – and it is fascinating.

Loretta Young’s career as an actress spanned four decades, beginning in the silent films of the 1920s and extending into the 1950s, when she became the first Hollywood star to have her own highly successful TV series, The Loretta Young Show.

She was raised in Los Angeles at the time when the movie industry was just taking shape. From the beginning, she was star-struck, and dreamed of someday becoming a part of Hollywood royalty. An early short-lived marriage to a young actor was followed by an ill-fated attachment to Spencer Tracy, who already had a wife and a family. And then there was Clark Gable – her relationship with him has for many years been the subject of speculation. When she finally married again, it was to a man who was not part of the Hollywood scene. Throughout her occasionally unsettled private life, Loretta Young and her publicists successfully created an image of this American beauty as the ethereal, refined, totally self-controlled woman, and that is the persona that she endured to this time.

She retired from acting in the 1960s. Since that time there have been numerous attempts to lure her back before the camera; when and if it happens, it is certain to be on her own terms.

Authors JOE MORELLA and EDWARD Z. EPSTEIN have searched through the paradoxes and walls of secrecy to reveal the true person. The result is a portrait of a very real woman, subject to the weaknesses and temptations common to everyone, yet possessed with an inner strength that allowed her to endure and triumph.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 302 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 483 g (17 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-385-29397-6

Los Angeles: Portrait of a City (edited by Jim Heimann; essays by Kevin Starr)

los-angeles-city-of-angelsFrom the first known photograph taken in Los Angeles to its most recent sweeping vistas, this tribute to the City of Angels provides a fascinating journey through the city’s cultural, political, industrial, and sociological histories. Hundreds of images show a Los Angeles emerging from a desert wasteland and becoming a vast palm-studded metropolis. International newsworthy events – including two Olympics, Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the Rodney King riots – reveal a city of many dimensions. Hollywood and its celebrities are showcased along with other notable residents, personalities, architects, artists, musicians, criminals, and crimes. Also included are the pop-cultural movements spawned in the Southland such as surfing, health food, gangs, and hot rods. Los Angeles is depicted in all its glory and grit, via hundreds of freshly discovered images, including those by world renowned photographers, culled from major historical archives, museums, and private collections.

The images selected by cultural anthropologist Jim Heimann are given context and resonance through essays by esteemed California historian Kevin Starr and Los Angeles literature expert David L. Ulin.

Cultural anthropologist and historian JIM HEIMANN is executive editor for Taschen America and author of numerous books on architecture, popular culture, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and published in numerous books. KEVIN STARR holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is professor of history at the University of Southern Califomia. His many esteemed works have won him numerous awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Centennial Medal from Harvard, and the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities. DAVID L. ULIN is the books editor of the Los Angeles Times and author of several titles including The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Predicton, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith, and editor of Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, and The New York Times book review.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 571 pp. – Dimensions 34,5 x 25 cm (13,6 x 9,8 inch) – Weight 3.740 g (131,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen Gmbh, Köln, Germany, 2009 – ISBN 978-3-8365-0291-7

Lost Diaries: A Memoir, 1945-1951 (Christopher Isherwood; edited and introduced by Katherine Bucknell)

The English writer Christopher Isherwood settled in California in 1939 and spent the war years working in Hollywood film studios, teaching English to European refugees, and converting to Hinduism. By the time the war ended, he realized he was not cut out to be a monk. With his self-imposed wartime vigil behind him, he careened into a life of frantic socializing, increasing dissipation, anxiety, and, eventually, despair. For nearly a half decade he all but ceased to write fiction and even abandoned his lifelong habit of keeping a diary.

This is Isherwood’s own account, reconstructed from datebooks, letters, and memory nearly thirty years later, of his experience during those missing years: his activities in Santa Monica, and also in New York and London, just after the war. Begun in 1971, in a postsixties atmosphere of liberation, Lost Years includes explicit details of his romantic and sexual relationships during the 1940s and unveils a hidden and sometimes shocking way of life shared with friends and acquaintances – many of whom were well-known artists, actors, and filmmakers. Not until the 1951 Broadway success of I Am a Camera, adapted from his Berlin stories, did Isherwood begin to reclaim control of his talents and of his future.

Isherwood never prepared Lost Years for publication because he rapidly became caught up in writing the book that established him as a hero of gay liberation, Christopher and His Kind.

With unpolished directness, and with insight and wit, Lost Years shows how Isherwood developed his private recollections into the unique mixture of personal mythology and social history that characterizes much of his best work. This surprising and important memoir also highlights his determination to track down even the most elusive and unappealing aspects of his past in order to understand and honestly portray himself, both as a writer and as a human being.

CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD, among the most celebrated writers of his generation, was born in Cheshire in 1904. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine, and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. Between 1929 and 1939 he lived mostly abroad, spending four years in Berlin and then elsewhere in Europe, producing the novels Mr. Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin, on which the musical Cabaret was later based. Following his move to America, Isherwood wrote five more novels, including Down There On a Visit and A Single Man; a travel book about South America; and a biography of the great Indian mystic Ramakrishna. During the 1970s he began producing a series of autobiographical books: Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His kind, My Guru and His Disciple, and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy. The first volume of his Diaries was published in 1996. Isherwood died in January 1986. KATHERINE BUCKNELL, who studied at Princeton, Oxford, and Columbia Universities, has edited and introduced Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928 by W.H. Auden; The Mortmere Stories by Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward; Diaries Volume One: 1939-1960 by Isherwood; and, with Nicholas Jenkins, three volumes of Auden Studies. She lives in London with her husband and their three children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 845 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-06-118001-7

Lost Hollywood (David Wallace; foreword by Liz Smith)

Wallace, David - Lost HollywoodThe movie business may have been born on the East Coast, but it created Hollywood in its own image. Lost Hollywood is a rich trip back into a vanished place and time – the twenty-three chapters in this book use lost structures and customs to tell the history of the movie business in the last century.

From Marion Davies’s extraordinary Santa Monica playpen Ocean House, knows as “Xanadu by the Sea,” to America’s first luxe housing development, Whitney Heights, and its now-iconic Mediterranean architecture, Lost Hollywood brings back to vivid life some of the most extraordinary West Coast building projects. Author David Wallace has also unearthed new and fascinating details of classic Hollywood institutions and the men and women behind them: from the Hollywood Canteen to the Garden of Allah, the Brown Derby, the Cocoanut Grove, and the legendary Pickfair. The details and fresh facts unearthed in Lost Hollywood will entertain and inform even the most knowledgeable film history buff.

DAVID WALLACE is a journalist who has covered celebrities and the movie industry for more than twenty years. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 194 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 497 g (17,5 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-312-26195-0

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (Stephen D. Youngkin)

youngkin-stephen-d-the-lost-one-a-life-of-peter-lorreOften typecast as a menacing figure, Peter Lorre achieved Hollywood fame first as a featured player and later as a character actor, trademarking his screen performances with a delicately strung balance between good and evil. His portrayal of the child murderer in Fritz Lang’s masterpiece M (1931) catapulted him to international fame. Lang said of Lorre: “He gave one of the best performances in film history and certainly the best in his life.” Today, the Hungarian-born actor is also recognized for his riveting performances in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Casablanca (1942).

Lorre arrived in America in 1934 expecting to shed his screen image as a villain. He even tried to lose his signature accent, but Hollywood repeatedly cast him as an outsider who hinted at things better left unknown. Seeking greater control over his career, Lorre established his own production company. His unofficial “graylisting” by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, however, left him with little work. He returned to Germany, where he co-authored, directed, and starred in the film Der Verlorene (The Lost One) in 1951. German audiences rejected Lorre’s dark vision of their recent past, and the actor returned to America, wearily accepting roles that parodied his sinister movie personality.

The first biography of this major actor, The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre draws upon more than three hundred interviews, including conversations with directors Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, John Huston, Frank Capra, and Rouben Mamoulian, who speak candidly about Lorre, both the man and the actor. Author Stephen D. Youngkin examines for the first time Lorre’s pivotal relationship with German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, his experience as an émigré from Hitler’s Germany, his battle with drug addiction, and his struggle with the choice between celebrity and intellectual respectability.

Separating the enigmatic person from the persona long associated with one of classic Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, The Lost One is the definitive account of a life triumphant and yet tragically riddled with many failed possibilities.

STEPHEN D. YOUNGKIN is the co-author of The Films of Peter Lorre and Peter Lorre: Portrait des Schauspielers auf der Flucht. He appeared as an expert biographer on the German television documentary Das Doppelte Gesicht (The Double Face) and A&E’s Biography tribute to Peter Lorre.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 613 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.110 g (39,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2005 – ISBN 0-8131-2360-7

Louise Brooks (Barry Paris)

Paris, Barry - Louise BrooksNo other movie actress made so strong an impact with so short a roster of films. Yet Louise Brooks spent a quarter of a century in oblivion before an unsought “resurrection” confirmed her place in cinema history and generated her brilliant second career as a writer-iconoclast.

Her story begins in turn-of-the-century Kansas: at age ten, a seasoned performer; at fifteen, discovered by Ted Shawn and soon touring nationwide with Martha Graham and the Denishawn Company; at seventeen, fired from Denishawn as a “bad influence” – and on to Broadway, to the 1925 Ziegfeld Follies (and an affair with Charlie Chaplin). And at nineteen, signed to a ten-picture contract by Paramount, Louise Brooks became the flapper supreme, a symbol of Jazz Age caprice and the new sexual freedom. Women all over America copied her look, but they could never copy her style.

“Love is a publicity stunt,” she said, “and making love – after the first curious raptures – is only another petulant way to pass the time waiting for the studio to call.” Nevertheless, for Louise Brooks filmmaking generally came second to the pursuit of pleasure, notably at William Randolph Hearst’s estate, San Simeon. An enthusiastic celebrant of the hedonistic life of New York and Hollywood in the twenties, she counted among her friends and rivals Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, and Clara Bow; Buster Keaton, John Gilbert, and W.C. Fields. But when talkies exploded onto the screen and Paramount used her “unproven” voice as an excuse to renege on a raise, she astonished the studio by quitting on the spot.

Next stop: Berlin, where, under the sensitive direction of the great G.W. Pabst, Brooks turned in a legendary performance as the temptress Lulu in Pandora’s Box, a film now hailed as a masterpiece but universally panned at the time – as were her other European pictures, The Diary of a Lost Girl and Beauty Prize. Her return to the Hollywood she had so haughtily rejected was the first step in her steep decline, through B movies, an abortive ballroom-dance career, a humiliating retreat to Wichita, and a long alcoholic slide to the bottom.

Friends eventually enabled Louise Brooks to make a new life in Rochester, New York, where she wrote a series of incisive essays about the silent screen. First printed in small film journals and later gathered in her memoir Lulu in Hollywood, these essays, together with Kenneth Tynan’s 1979 New Yorker profile and the revival of her best pictures, brought her belated, bitter-sweet recognition as one of the great figures of cinema.

Barry Paris’s riveting account of Louise Brooks’s life is charged with all the passion and vitality of the woman herself. Through his unique access to her provocative diaries and letters, Paris takes us beyond the icon to the sexual and psychological truth of “the girl in the black helmet,” a beautiful woman of willful temperament and thorny intelligence who scorned her own career yet left an indelible mark on the history of film.

BARRY PARIS is an award-winning journalist, a film and music critic, a Slavic linguist, and a translator of Chekhov. His writing appears in The New Yorker, American Film, Vanity Fair, and Art & Antiques. He lives in Pittsburgh

Hardcover, dust jacket – 605 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.085 g (38,3) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-394-55923-1

Loulou in Hollywood (Louise Brooks; originally titled Lulu in Hollywood)

brooks-louise-loulou-in-hollywoodLouise Brooks (1906-1985) was een van de fraaiste en fascinerendste vrouwen in de geschiedenis van de cinema. Het hoogtepunt van haar carrière was haar rol als Loulou in de stomme film Die Büsche der Pandora van Georg Wilhelm Pabst naar twee toneelstukken van Frank Wedekind.

Door haar individualisme heeft ze altijd op gespannen voet gestaan met de Hollywoodbonzen en in 1938 maakte ze haar laatste film.

In 1974 ging ze voor filmtijdschriften artikels schrijven over haar leven, vrienden, regisseurs en collega’s, onder wie Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields en Humphrey Bogart.

Deze elegante, lucide artikelen zijn later gebundeld en uitgegeven onder de titel Lulu in Hollywood.

‘Louise Brooks is de enige vrouw die het vermogen had om elke film, ongeacht de kwaliteit, tot een meesterwerk te maken.’

Softcover – 138 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 454 g (16,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Het Wereldvenster, Houten, The Netherlands, 1989 – ISBN 90 269 4034 3

Love Goddesses of the Movies (Roger Manvell)

Manvell, Roger - Love Goddessesof the MoviesWomen film stars have undergone a radical change since they first began to fascinate world audiences over fifty years ago. Stars like Theda Bara, Mary Pickford (the ‘world’s sweetheart’) and later Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson were ‘love goddesses’ whose images on the screen haunted the imagination of hundreds of millions in the days of mass cinema audiences all over the world.

Later the love goddesses were to draw closer to earth, and become beautiful superversions of the girl next door, from Clara Bow (the ‘It’ girl), Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth to Brigitte Bardot. Others, such as Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe, were voluptuous evocations of sex. But from the start, women film stars of very different looks and personalities have embodied the dreams, the aspirations, the envy and the sexual imaginings of cinemagoers, creating the magic which surrounds the near-mythical names of Elizabeth Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, while stars such as Jeanne Moreau represent the new, highly intelligent, independent women of the later 20th century.

The fascinating but very varied stories (both off-screen and on) of nineteen ‘love goddesses’ are accompanied by over 200 black and white and 20 color pictures and selected filmographies.

ROGER MANVELL is one of the leading British film historians, who has written many books on the film and film history, and has broadcast and lectured widely on the subject at home and overseas. A Ph.D. of London University, he was awarded the first non-honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of Sussex for his books on the film; he is a visiting fellow of the University, and teaches courses on the film. In 1973 he was Bingham Professor of Humanities at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He was director of the British Film Academy from 1947 to 1959, and for ten years head of the department of film history at the London Film School. He has written scripts for television and radio plays, documentaries and animated films. He is also well-known as a biographer, and as an historian of Germany during The Third Reich.

[Portraits of Mary Pickford, Theda Bara, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Arletty, Vivien Leigh, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, Brigitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Jeanne Moreau]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 176 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 22,5 cm (12 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.040 g (36,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 0 600 35485 7

Love, Groucho: Letters from Groucho Marx to His Daughter Miriam (edited by Miriam Marx Allen)

Marx Allen, Miriam - Love, GrouchoDiscover the complex man behind the mustache in this extraordinary collection of almost two hundred letters by Grouch Marx to his eldest daughter, Miriam.

In these letters – exchanged week by week, year by year, from 1938 to 1967 – a close father-daughter relationship unfolds, one that weathers the vagaries of Groucho’s career in film, radio, and television… three divorces and three remarriages… and Miriam’s often tumultuous young adulthood. In his inimitable fashion, Groucho advises his daughter about schoolwork, writing, career, growing up, and growing old. He also discussed theater, film, books, and politics with candor that will surprise and delight even his most knowledgeable fans. Accompanied by photographs from Miriam’s personal albums, Love, Groucho is an intimate correspondence that reveals a man deeply concerned with holding his family together – and a sometimes firm, always loving father who never hesitated to say exactly what he thought.

Softcover – 241 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1992 – ISBN 0-306-81103-0

Love, Laughter and Tears: My Hollywood Story (Adela Rogers St. Johns)

Rogers St Johns, Adela - Love, Laughter and Tears“How can I make anybody see Hollywood? As I saw it? I saw so much. It moved so fast. How can I make you believe it?

Hollywood. A place, a symbol, a people, a state of mind and heart, an Art, an Industry, a legend second only to Camelot itself. A kingdom like Oz, a glory that was Greece and a grandeur that was Rome, a gilded slum with tinsel covering the drama and heartbreak, a center of the beautiful and damned.

The stories I must tell run up and down the spectrum from a lifelong devotion, the real love of Miss Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst, to high comedy with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, to the high tragedy of Ingrid Bergman on the island of Stromboli. Sometimes, as with Gary Cooper, the ingredients are all mixed into one life.

But for real tears I think the saddest love story in Hollywood has to be that of the lovely, silvery Jean Harlow, the Baby, and the suave, sophisticated William Powell. That night at the Ranch I was Mother Confessor at a scene between those two that I didn’t want to watch. It broke my heart. It broke Jean’s too. As I must show you so you can know the Baby as we did. For we all loved her. Bill Powell did, too.”

Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, many others… There is love, laughter and tears in this book, written not objectively but emotionally and sensitively by a woman often called the Mother Confessor of Hollywood. Adela Rogers St. Johns was not merely her publisher’s reporter on Hollywood. She was a star too, a vital part of the scene; she lived it and loved it and you will too.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 342 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 517 g (18,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-385-12054-0

Love Scene: The Story of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh (Jesse L. Lasky, Jr., with Pat Silver)

When Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh went to Elsinore, Denmark, in the Summer of 1937 to play in Hamlet, he was thirty, she was twenty-three and they were madly in love. They were also married – but not to each other. For the next thirty years, together or apart, married to each other or to other people, they would be bound by this love.

In their years together these two supremely gifted and glamorous stars were the reigning couple of the theater and film worlds – from London to Broadway to Hollywood. They played Hamlet and Ophelia, Romeo and Juliet, Nelson and Lady Hamilton, Caesar and Cleopatra. As Henry V he charged the spears at Agincourt; and as Blanche du Bois she rode a streetcar named Desire. Their parties were command performances, their friends the world’s Who’s Who. And their audiences adored them – him for the greatest acting talent of the century, her for her haunting beauty and the passion of her performances. They were inseparable, the perfect pair, idolized by millions for their idyllic relationship. But their love scene was doomed, and inevitably the glorious partnership broke up and the players moved their separate ways.

Jesse L. Lasky, Jr. – son of the pioneer HolIywood producer, and screenwriter himself of more than sixty films and television plays – has now written an intimate dual portrait of these two fabulous stars, of Vivien, the exquisite English actress who won screen fame as the unforgettable Scarlett O’Hara, and of Larry, the great Shakespearian actor whose brooding and magnetic performances in Wuthering Heights and Rebecca made him an international matinee idol. Enhanced by nearly one hundred photographs (many published here for the first time), Love Scene is a full, rich evocation of Olivier and Leigh’s successes (and occasional failures) on stage and screen, of their extravagant world, and of their relationship, which began as a casual attachment and grew to become a dramatic and ultimately tragic love story. It re-creates the magic of a unique era – a time of exultant first nights, stirring performances, film empires now dismantled, legendary personalities, exotic places.

Based on Lasky’s own acquaintance with many of the actors involved and extensive interviews, the book is filled with anecdotes about the Oliviers that have never been told before. More than a biography, it is a celebration of the love of two magnificent people in a world of not so long ago that is forever gone.

JESSE L. LASKY, Jr., the son of the famous film producer, grew up in Hollywood and was educated at Princeton and in Dijon, France. At seventeen he achieved success as a poet, then went on to write four novels and more than fifty film scripts, including eight for such Cecil B. DeMille epics as The Ten  Commandments and Samson and Delilah. His last book was a memoir, Whatever Happened to Hollywood? PAT SILVER has had a career as an actress and as a writer-producer-director for television. She has co-authored seven films and more than one hundred TV scripts. As a team, Jesse L. Lasky, Jr., and Pat Silver, his wife, have written for films, television, and the stage.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 609 g (21,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Y. Crowell, Publishers, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-690-01412-9

Lucky Man: A Memoir (Michael J. Fox)

fox-michael-j-lucky-manIn September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis, and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that he has invested in his dozens of performances over the last eighteen years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson’s.

Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, Fox recounts his life, from his childhood in western Canada to the meteoric rise in film and television that made him a worldwide celebrity. Most important, however, he writes of the last ten years, during which – with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends – he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson’s has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He feels as if he is a very lucky man, indeed.

MICHAEL J. FOX began his career as the lovable Alex P. Keaton, the star of the popular sitcom Family Ties. Since then, his career has been a nonstop success story, with blockbuster movies like Back to the Future, The Secret of My Success, Doc Hollywood, and the lead voice in Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He retired recently from his award-winning role on Spin City. Michael has won numerous awards, including four Golden Globes, four Emmys, two Screen Actors Guild awards, GQ Man of the Year, and the People’s Choice award.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 451 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 725 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-375-43141-1

Lugosi: The Man Behind the Cape – The Authorized, Intimate, Shocking Story of the Man Who Was Dracula (Robert Cremer; introduction by Bela Lugosi, Jr.)

Autographed copy Best wishes, Bela Lugosi Jr. To Tom and Mina, Two very dear friends from the “woolsey Street Brigade” who have patiently endured the RAT-TAT-TAT of the midnight typewriter. Love you both! Sincerely, Robert Cremer + Christine + Will. 8/23/76 Berkeley

Cremer, Robert - Lugosi The Man Behind the CapeBehind the monolithic stage and screen image of Dracula, the fiendish character in the snarling black cape, lurked a bewildering, fiercely private man. Now, the wife who shared twenty years of triumph and tragedy, the doctor who helped him resist life-sapping drugs, and his closest friends – who remember the pain and elation of a man driven by ambition and nearly consumed by despair – have contributed their recollections to Bela Lugosi’s first full biography.

They recall the zeal that drove him from home at thirteen to eventually become Hungary’s most esteemed actor; the patriotism that led to severe wounds in World War I; his compassion toward fellow actors in the postwar revolution; the tenacity that enabled him to endure simultaneous exile and divorce, and the determination with which he mastered lines in English for Broadway without knowing the language. They remember him in Hollywood’s heyday, when he entertained from sunset to sunrise – drawing the drapes to keep out the dawn – with Hungarian wine, gypsy orchestras, and a pianist whose fingers bled on the keys.

High in the Hollywood Hills, Lugosi molded an empire as exotic as that of his native Transylvania. A naturalized American, Lugosi was Hungarian first and always, with a whimsical, generous, yet uncompromising character that only two of his five wives seemed able to cope with. It gradually crumbled as the movies’ titan of terror began making low-budget pictures and finally died reading a mediocre script titled The Final Curtain.

Before that, however, came Bela’s greatest personal challenge, when alcoholism and medically incurred addiction to drugs threatened to devour him. But at 72, after a harrowing psychedelic journey, courage and desperation won a fitting victory for the man whom some saw only as a one-dimensional extension of Count Dracula – Lugosi: The Man Behind the Cape.

ROBERT CREMER has master’s degrees in Chinese studies, has studied with the Bavarian Film Atelier in Munich, and has written for newspapers in San Francisco. He is working on a biography of Peter Lorre and a Bela Lugosi filmography.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 307 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 650 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1976 – ISBN 0-8092-8137-6

Lupe Velez and Her Lovers (Floyd Conner)

conner-floyd-lupe-velez-and-her-loversShe was known around the world as the Mexican Spitfire. And she was one of the most colorful women of the early days of Hollywood. There was Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe and Hedy Lamarr – but there was never a movie queen like Lupe! Lupe Velez changed lovers as casually as one eats breakfast. At the same time, she was deeply devoted to each of the men in her life. They were a famous group indeed. They included “the love of her life,” Gary Cooper, Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller and World Champion boxer, Jack Dempsey. But there was nothing monogamous about this lady. Her lovers also ranged from talented producers, directors and actors. They included stars and extras and stunt men.

Lupe was full of exuberance. Coupled with a truly gorgeous face and a shapely, sensuous body, she journeyed to movieland where she made her way through bedroom after bedroom, all the while starring in dozens of movies.

Lupe Velez and Her Lovers is a carefully-researched compelling-reading biography of a notorious charmer of the time gone by when Hollywood was all glamor and rich and sensuous fantasy.

FLOYD CONNER has had a lifelong obsession with the “Golden Age of Hollywood” and its glamorous stars. He is the author of six books as well as numerous articles. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Susan, and their son, Travis.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 248 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 534 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-942637-96-8