Mabel: Hollywood’s First I-Don’t-Care Girl (Betty Harper Russell)

russel-betty-harper-mabelJean Harlow, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe – before them all, there was Mabel. Name: Mabel Normand. Occupation: Star. Mabel was a rebel, a daredevil, a funny, funky angel of sex. She kidded sex while seducing every man in sight – Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Samuel Goldwyn. She was a pioneer in the Hollywood that invented movies and motorcars and diamonds and gin. She was Keystone Mabel, who sassed the boys because she could outswim, outdive, outdare any of them. At the dawn of the twenties, Mabel was the queen of silent comedy and the wildest girl in town. “My favorite outlaw,” said Anita Loos.

Then – rape, murder, drugs, booze. Scandal wiped her out. Mabel wasn’t funny after Mabel’s friend Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle became the Coke-bottle rapist, after Mabel’s lover William Desmond Taylor was murdered and Mabel was suspect, after Mabel was exposed as a drug addict, after Mabel’s chauffeur shot a millionaire playboy, after Mabel eloped with Lew Cody on a drunk. Mabel was the first of the I-Don’t-Care Girls to burn out, and when she died in 1930, at thirty-eight, everybody mourned, Mabel was Hollywood and in Mabel Hollywood mourned the death of an era – the twenties, silent film, its first shooting star.

Any biography is a mystery story but Mabel’s story is more mysterious than most. Betty Fussell, in her search for the truth of Mabel Normand, exposes a maze of fictions disguised as facts. She finds Mabel’s grandnephew, who is determined to redeem the Normand name. She finds Mabel’s nurse-companion, who swears Mabel never touched drugs. She finds dozens of living witnesses who swear they know who killed Taylor, whose murder is still unsolved. Betty Fussell applies her skills as a journalist and scholar to bring life to a bright but forgotten star who was once known as “The Little Girl You Will Never Forget.”

BETTY RUSSELL grew up in California but now lives in Princeton and New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 239 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 16 cm (9,1 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Ticknor and Fields, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-89919-090-1

Mack Sennett’s Keystone: The Man, the Myth and the Comedies (Kalton C. Lahue)

Lahue, Kalton C - Mack Sennett's KeystoneUndoubtedly the most popular and profitable silent screen comedies ever made, Mack Sennett’s Keystone Comedies enjoyed but a brief five-year existence. Yet in that short time, they created a legend all their own, made popular favorites of a most unusual collection of clowns and comics, and gave Sennett a lasting reputation as “The King of Comedy.”

When most of the comedies disappeared from sight decades ago, all that remained were second-hand impressions passed down through the years, which added further luster to the legend and created an entirely unreal aura around both Sennett and the Keystone concept of screen comedy.

In the last few years, a highly representative number of original Keystones have reappeared with the reawakened interest in the silent screen, and in the not-too-distant future, interested readers will be able to view well over half of the four hundred-odd comedies made by Keystone between 1912 and 1917.

Author Kalton C. Lahue, a well-known expert on the silent cinema, has done much research on the topic of Keystone. He has now brought forth a fresh and original evaluation of that particular style of comedy, the myths that have grown up around it, and the man most responsible for the most irreverent screen farces ever produced. Drawing upon original source material (some of which is reproduced within), including the recollections of Keystone’s Business Manager George W. Stout, who had never before been interviewed by anyone writing on Sennett or Keystone, the author sheds new light on the early years and comedy of Keystone.

Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Charlie Murray, Ben Turpin, Hank Mann, Al St. John – they’re all here, along with many of the lesser Keystone funmakers and chose fantastic phenomena of silent screen comedy, the Keystone Kops.

Every attempt has been made to use illustrations never before seen in print. Many original frame enlargements among the 300 illustrations are used to document Keystone methods and techniques of production in a manner that ordinary production stills could not, making this volume a most useful and important addition to the library of every comedy fan.

Those who remember the Keystone Comedies will find fond memories within these pages; those unfortunate enough to have been born later will discover what the memories are all about.

A New England Yankee transplanted to California, KALTON C. LAHUE is the author of a rapidly expanding list of cinema histories. Living next door to a theater as a small boy, Mr. Lahue grew up with motion pictures, eventually entering theater business for a time before the U. S. Army borrowed him for active duty as a combat photographer in Korea during the 1950-53 hostilities. A graduate of both the University of Vermont and San Jose State College, with a deep and abiding interest in the medium as an entertainment form, it’s not surprising that Mr. Lahue turned to the silent cinema for a hobby that became first an obsession and then a profession, taking more and more of his time away from the field of innovative education. A member of The Society for Cinema Studies, he now resides in Hollywood, with his wife, Julie, a talented research assistant in her own right, and son, Kevin Carlyle, also an avid movie fan. He is also the author of Bound and Gagged, Clown Princes and Court Jesters, Winners of the West, Dreams for Sale, and Ladies in Distress.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 315 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 17,5 cm (10,2 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 804 g (28,4 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Company, New York, New York, 1971 ISBN 0-498-07461-7

The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia (Ephraim Katz)

Katz, Ephraim - The Macmillan International Film EncyclopediaEver since The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia was first published in 1979 it has been widely regarded, on both sides of the Atlantic, as the reference book for anyone seriously interested in cinema.

Ephraim Katz’s 7,000 meticulously detailed entries cover: the history of film industries country by country, film organizations, people, events, inventions, techniques, processes and equipment – all in language that is precise, yet free from obscure jargon. The biographies, in particular, are a joy for starstruck fans and academies alike, giving much more detail than any comparable film encyclopedia, with complete film credits for most directors and many actors.

For this new edition the Encyclopedia has been completely revised and updated to take account of the changes and growth in the film business since 1979, and it has been expanded by an extra 128 pages. In terms of style, however, it remains true to the first edition with the same heady combination of authoritative information and movie fables that has endeared it to filmgoers for well over a decade.

Above all, the Encyclopedia stays true to its aim – to provide an informed perspective on the artistic, technical, and commercial developments in the film industry worldwide.

The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia is the lifetime’s work of EPHRAIM KATZ. Much respected as a writer, journalist and filmmaker, at the time of his death in 1992 he had revised most of the entries, with notes on the remainder that his film researchers were able to follow in order to complete this new edition.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.496 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 19 cm (9,5 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 2.525 g (89,01 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-333-61601-4

Madam Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova (Michael Morris)

morris-michael-madame-valentinoShe was the second wife of Rudolph Valentino and, many people have said, the woman who “created” him. Their stormy marriage was the story of Pygmalion and Galatea – in reverse.

But first she created herself. Her name had been Winifred Shaughnessy. She was born in Utah, the daughter of a federal marshal charged with the enforcement of anti-polygamy laws in that Mormon state. When her parents divorced, young Winifred went to live with her aunt, Elsie de Wolfe, the flamboyant lesbian credited with having invented the art and business of interior decoration. Elsie sent Winifred abroad for a “proper education,” and the girl promptly fell in love with a Russian dancer named Theodore Kosloff, with whom she studied and lived. Rechristening herself Natasha Rambova, she joined Kosloff’s Imperial Russian Ballet, which came to the United States and toured the vaudeville circuit. Cecil B. DeMille drafted Kosloff for film work, and Rambova hired on as a costume designer.

All was not bliss, however, as Kosloff proved unfaithful. When Rambova confronted him, he shot and wounded her. Always a fighter, Rambova recovered, embarked on an extraordinary career as an innovative constume designer and set designer, collaborated with the legendary film star Alla Nazimova – and met Rudolph Valentino.

The Latin Lover was just beginning his own film career when they married after a whirlwind romance. Rambova set to work shaping Valentino’s image through a brilliant campaign of publicity, photography, and costume. But, in 1924, Valentino, now an established star, signed a contract with United Artists explicitly excluding his wife from participation in his films. Rambova left her husband and became, in dazzling succession, a playwright, an actress, and an unwilling participant in the Spanish Civil War. Later, she gained world renown as a spiritualist, a couturiere, and a distinguished Egyptologist who earned the grudging admiration of no less than Carl Jung.

Splendidly illustrated with vintage photos from family archives, movie stills, and her own spectacular designs, this biography brings together the many worlds of Natacha Rambova in a riveting tale of art, film, myth, sex, and money.

MICHAEL MORRIS received his Ph.D. in the history of art from the University in California at Berkeley. He is an associate professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and a lecturer at Saint Mary’s College of California. Widely published in both popular and scholarly periodicals, he has been at work on the multifaceted subject of Natacha Rambova for more than a decade.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 272 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 1.300 g (45,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Abbeville Press Publishers, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 1-55859-136-2

Madcap: The Life of Preston Sturges (Donald Spoto)

spoto-donald-madcapIn the golden age of Hollywood Preston Sturges was one of the most successful and popular writer / directors, influencing filmmakers from Billy Wilder to Mike Nichols and creating such classic social satires as the Oscar-winning The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, The Palm Beach Story and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.

In fact, Sturges was the first screenwriter to graduate to the rank of director of his own films. Now, the countless fans of his work will be delighted to discover that, in the hands of award-winning biographer Donald Spoto, Sturges’s life story is every bit as entertaining and insightful as his best movies.

Born in turn-of-the-century Chicago, Preston crossed the Atlantic more than twenty times before he was out of his teen years. His eccentric mother, Mary, who could have been the original Auntie Mame, whisked Preston all over Europe, where he grew up amid the glamor of the social circle around his mother’s best friend, dancer Isadora Duncan. From Paris to Berlin, from Bayreuth to Venice, London and back again, the young Sturges developed an affinity for European style and manners and learned enough about Continental lovers and roués to fill dozens of screenplays. His early years in Europe with his errant and unpredictable mother gave him not only a taste for the iconoclastic but also a breadth of exposure, and an education in the byways of ironic understatement and social satire, which later infused his Hollywood comedies and his Broadway plays with a unique style and literale sophistication, and a distinctly madcap charm. Later, his four marriages and many affairs, his breathtaking leaps from catastrophe to triumph and back again, gave him a rich understanding of the poignant ironies of love and the transitory nature of success, which are rendered so brilliantly in his films.

Set against the colorful and important events of Paris in the Belle Époque, of America during the First World War, of New York theater life in the twenties (where his comedy Strictly Dishonorable was one of the great hits of the decade), of Hollywood in the thirties and forties, and of Paris in the fifties, the life of Preston Sturges is not only the story of the man for whom a new category of Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) was invented – it is also the hilarious and moving account of a man who has been often wrongly called a tragic figure, a man whose courage, humor and intelligence made him unique in the history of popular entertainment and whose achievements continue to inspire filmmakers more than thirty years after his death.

With exclusive access to all family papers and letters, including Sturges’s unpublished memoir, and countless interviews, plus a cache of never-before-published photographs, Donald Spoto has again created a wonderful portrait of an artist, one whose life was indeed his work, and vice versa.

DONALD SPOTO earned a Ph.D. degree from Fordham University and lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of eight books, among them The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock, which won the Edgar Award for the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year, The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams and, most recently, Lenya: A Life. Mr. Spoto lectures on a wide variety of topics throughout America and across Europe.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 301 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 720 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990 – ISBN 0-316-80726-5

A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: A Life in Hollywood (Stanley Kramer, with Thomas M. Coffey; foreword by Sidney Poitier)

Autographed copy Leo: Stanley Kramer

Kramer, Stanley - It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldHe proudly calls himself “the most frequently picketed producer in movie history” – a distinction he richly earned by taking on some of the most controversial subjects of our time. In the process, he directed or produced such classics of the American cinema as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, High Noon, On the Beach, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Defiant Ones, Champion, Inherit the Wind, Ship of Fools, Death of a Salesman, and The Caine Mutiny.

He is Stanley Kramer, and now for the first time he tells his story – from a boyhood some eigthy years ago in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan to the present. The actors and actresses he hired during his long career reads like a Who’s Who of the golden age of American film: Marlon Brando, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lee Marvin, Kirk Douglas, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Sidney Poitier, Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh. Unafraid and fiercely independent, Kramer is regarded by many of today’s filmmakers as an important forerunner for his willingness to tell any story, treat any subject, and overturn any sacred cow in pursuit of a film of substance.

Filled with anecdote, legendry, and the fascinating detail and occasional disasters behind so many films, A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World provides a unique portrait of Hollywood: how it works, how it doesn’t, and how one man enlarged what we thought an American film could do.

STANLEY KRAMER was born in 1913 and began his movie career in 1933. In 1961 he received the Motion Picture Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg award for lifetime achievement. He lives in the Los Angeles area. THOMAS M. COFFEY’s most recent collaboration was with radio and television pioneer Pat Weaver (The Best Seat in the House, Knopf, 1994).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 251 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 578 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Harcourt Brace and Company, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-15-154958-3

Mae West (Fergus Cashin)

cashin-fergus-mae-west“In shabby downtown Hollywood, where the sidewalks are paved with the golden tombstoned names of stars long forgotten, a man dressed in black hurried into the Ravenswood apartment block and took the lift to the sixth floor. At the end of a musty corridor he pressed a doorbell and immediately a peephole clicked back. The visitor was nervous, but not at all surprised to find an eyeball working him over. In this part of Los Angeles one couldn’t be too careful. The weekend had just started and already there were six cadavers sharing a dozen bullets in the morgue.

A big man with door-wide shoulders led the way into the living room. The blinds were drawn against the morning sun and maybe against time itself, but the careful lighting couldn’t conceal the crumpled tiredness of the big man’s face. He took the visitor’s black hat and carefully placed it on a white chaise lounge beneath a painting of a naked lady being admired by a monkey. Alongside stood a white grand piano sporting a nude statuette of the same woman. She posed with one hand on hip and the other tucking in marble curls at the nape of her neck. Around her feet were a cluster of silver framed photographs of herself. The visitor unbuttoned his coat and looked around only to find his gaze reflected in a mirage of mirrors. In this tabernacle of pink and white, his hat looked as inconspicuous as a tarantula perched on a slice of Chandler’s angel cake.

The big man sighed and introduced himself. Usually his mistress would make an entrance in this room when she was inviting a guy to come up and see her, but today she was waiting in bed. It was the first time it had ever happened. ‘I know how you feel, Paul,’ said the visitor. ‘Yeah, I guess you do,’ said the big man eyeing the small bag. ‘If you got everything you want I’ll show you in.’ As Paul closed the door of the boudoir he caught a glimpse of the visitor in the mirrored ceiling – kneeling, head down, at the bedside and holding the hand of his mistress.

It was all over. Paul had known that when she asked for the man – the most unlikely man in Hollywood, and a complete stranger to her bedroom. Time slid by with fingers to its lips and when the visitor called Paul into the room, his mistress was sleeping peacefully. The two men were joined by a woman and five minutes later, at 10.30 am on Saturday, 22 November, 1980, Mae West was dead. What her final words were, no one will ever know.

They have gone to the grave with her and will disappear forever when the last man to answer her call, ‘Come up and see me,’ himself goes up, to wherever up is, and sees her again sometime. For he was a Roman Catholic priest.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 197 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 115 g (4,1 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1982 – ISBN 0 352 31094 4

Mae West: The Lies, The Legends, The Truth (George Eells, Stanley Musgrove)

Eells, George - Mae WestMae West was more than a movie star. She became an American institution, synonymous with the risqué and immortalized in the dictionary as “[Am actress noted for her full figure]: an inflatable life jacket.” And Mae West, the first major biography of this household name, reveals the whole truth about the woman who single-mindedly nurtured her legend with every breath she drew.

Famous for her one-liners, she wasn’t kidding when she said, “My ego is breakin’ records.” Describing her physical charms, she maintained, “My measurements are the same as Venus de Milo’s, only I got arms.” Chided for not writing a good part for anyone else in one of her movie scripts and told to look at Romeo and Juliet, she replied in all sincerity, “Let Shakespeare do it his way. I’ll do it mine. We’ll see who comes out better.” And of twentieth-century playwrights, she asked, “When you think about it, what others are there besides O’Neill, Tennessee and me?”

She starred out as a child vaudeville star early in this century, then sang and danced in Broadway reviews. In the 1920s she began to write and star in her own plays, and was among the very first to treat race relations and homosexuality openly on the stage. Although reviewers might have called her plays, as one did, “gross, disgusting, tiresome, utterly futile vulgarity, without a single excusing feature or reason for being,” the public loved them. Yet it was not until the 1930s, when she went to Hollywood, that she came into her own; and within three years of her arrival in California, she was drawing the second highest salary in the country.

Mae’s sexual appetites matched both her fame and her ego. Having given away her virginity before reaching puberty, she enjoyed sex at least once a day for most of her adult life and paid scant attention to when or where she had it – in her bedroom with the mirrored ceiling, in her dressing room or even in a broom closet. Within one week of her little-known marriage early in her career, she was locking her husband in their hotel room at midnight and returning at three, claiming she had just been out for some harmless fun.

George Eells and Stanley Musgrove are uniquely qualified to be the biographers of this fabulous personality. Both close friends of Mae’s, they have drawn on intimate stories she told on herself but would not allow to be published during her lifetime. More important, they have gone beyond digging in newspaper and magazine archives to interview dozens and dozens of people who knew and performed with her throughout her career; and they even persuaded Paramount Pictures to open its sealed production code files at the Motion Picture and Television Producers Association for the first time so that Mae’s battles with the movie censors could be described in detail. The result is the full life story of one of the most famous women of the century – ruthless when it came to building and sustaining her career but delightful in her private life.

After graduating from the University of Southern California, STANLEY MUSGROVE opened a Hollywood public relations firm whose clients have included Andy Devine, Susan Hayward, Ruth Gordon. George Cukor, Robert Wise, Cole Porter, Dimitri Tiomkin, Frank Gilford, Mae West and many others. Since 1966, he has been President of the Friends of the University of Southern California Libraries and has also co-produced two CBS television specials, Salute to a Cock-Eyed Optimist: A Tribute to Oscar Hammerstein II and Back-Lot U.S.A., starring Dick Cavett. GEORGE EELLS has been entertainment editor for Parade magazine and Look, as well as editor for Theatre Arts and Signature. His previous biographies include one of Cole Porter, which was selected among the twenty outstanding books of 1967 by The New York Times, the dual story of Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, and Ginger, Loretta and Irene Who?, which Newsweek called “the most enjoyable book any movie buff or nostalgia freak could ask for.” He has also collaborated with Ethel Merman on Merman and Anita O’Day on High Times Hard Times.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 351 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0-86051-260-6

Magic Hour: The Life of a Cameraman (Jack Cardiff; foreword by Martin Scorsese)

cardiff-jack-magic-hourThe ‘Magic Hour’ is the special light that occurs just at twilight, and a very special light is what cameraman Jack Cardiff brought to films such as The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and The African Queen.

In Magic Hour Jack Cardiff details the adventures of his life: on tour on the music-hall circuit with his parents; acting in silent films; being chosen by Technicolor as the first British cameraman to be trained in color photography; filming with British convoys in the Atlantic during World War II; his big break when Michael Powell asked him to photograph A Matter of Life and Death; his rambunctious exploits with Errol Flynn; and his triumph at the Cannes Film Festival as the director of Sons and Lovers.

As a master of light, Cardiff came to photograph some of the most beautiful women in cinema history: Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner, to name but a few. Cardiff’s bold and imaginative photography enhanced not only the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, but also that of Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston. Told with modesty and charm, Magic Hour is the personal journey of an extraordinary craftsman of cinema.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 253 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 522 g (18,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1996 – ISBN 0-571-17640-2

Magie van de Cinema: Hollywood aan de Schelde (Willy Magiels, Robbe de Hert)

magiles-willy-hollywood-aan-de-schelde“Net zoals een spiegelpaleis op de kermis, heeft de cinema, nu al voor meer dan honderd jaar, onze visie van onszelf en de wereld waarin we leven gereflecteerd, uitgedaagd, beïnvloed en veranderd. De cinema bracht ons naar vreemde landen en culturen, zette ons te midden van evenementen die plaatsvonden lang voordat we geboren waren en katapulteerde ons zelfs de ruimte in. Vandaag de dag is het bewegende beeld in zulke mate een deel van ons moderne leven dat we het moeilijk hebben om ons een wereld voor te stellen zonder. In die iets meer dan honderd jaar is er veel veranderd en verloren gegaan en kan men zich moeilijk voorstellen wat cinema vroeger betekende. De nostalgie naar de hoogdagen van de cinema is niet onterecht en de bijhorende verhalen stuiten vaak op ongeloof. Het lijkt totaal onmogelijk dat er in een klein landje zoals België 1.700 cinemazalen waren die allemaal andere films afdraaiden, en niet allemaal dezelfde, op hetzelfde moment in praktisch de hele wereld. Tegenwoordig zijn er veel meer kopieën van eenzelfde film!

Vróeger waren twee of drie kopieën van dezelfde film een grote uitzondering, weggelegd voor de allergrootste producties zoals The Ten Commandments of The Bridge on the River Kwai. Even ongelofelijk is het feit dat Vlaamse volksfilms, zoals die van Edith Kiel, gemiddeld 250 weken, per film, in de Vlaamse zalen bleven. In Antwerpen alleen al waren er 100 zalen, sommige met een capaciteit van 1.200 stoelen (en meer!) zoals de Roma in Borgerhout, die mede dankzij een hemelsgrote schildering van de filmposter boven de ingang (calyco genaamd) een onweerstaanbare aantrekkingskracht uitoefenden op alle passanten. Dat was de echte magie van de cinema.

Met de komst van de televisie, het toenemende autobezit en het daarmee gepaard gaande afnemend bioscoopbezoek, verdwenen ook een aantal bijzonder vreemdklinkende beroepen zoals de nagelverwijderaar of de zwarte bollekesmaker (beide officiële beroepstitels). Sinds het faillissement van het REX-concern in 1993 zijn ook de calyco’s definitief uit het straatbeeld verdwenen. Doeken gaan niet meer open en plaatsen zijn niet meer genummerd, en wie nu een bepaalde film in de cinema wil zien, moet zich reppen omdat de gemiddelde levensduur van een film vier weken bedraagt. Promotie wordt vandaag de dag hoofdzakelijk gevoerd via de televisie, die flinke happen maakt in het productiebudget waardoor de cinema een deel van zijn aantrekkingskracht, van zijn magie heeft verloren. We hebben dan ook in dit boek veel aandacht besteed aan die calyco’s en aan de kunstenaars die dit realiseerden.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 240 pp. – Dimensions 29,5 x 21 cm (11,6 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.175 g (41,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Facet, Antwerpen, Belgium, 2004 – ISBN 90 5016 444 7

The Magnificent Ambersons: A Reconstruction (Robert L. Carringer)

carriner-robert-l-the-magnificent-ambersons-a-reconstruction“The fate of The Magnificent Ambersons is one of film history’s great tragedies. From the studio’s standpoint, it was a risky proposition from the beginning – a downbeat regional period drama, expensive to produce, and with no star attraction. Indeed, it had been necessary for Orson Welles to grant additional dispensations on his obligations to the studio to get RKO President George Schaefer’s permission to proceed in the first place. Shooting on the film began on October 28, 1941, at the RKO-Pathé studios in Culver City, RKO’s second lot across town from its main operation on Gower Street in Hollywood. Exactly one month later, Welles arranged a special screening for Schaefer of the work in progress. Three especially powerful sequences had been completed by this time – the Ambersons ball, the dinner for Eugene Morgan and George and Aunt Fanny on the stairs afterwards. The preview left Schaefer considerably relieved. Although the film continued to represent what in the trade is called a “hard sell,” with careful handling it might show a respectable return. Schaefer, a veteran distributor, took charge of the marketing strategy himself. To maximize box-office potential, The Magnificent Ambersons would have a major opening at RKO’s flagship theater, Radio City Music Hall, during Easter week (one of the best times of the year for the picture business) followed by a quick saturation playoff in RKO theaters around the country. Shooting was completed on The Magnificent Ambersons on January 22, 1942, in sufficient time to make possible the implementation of Schaefer’s plan. Almost immediately after, Welles departed for South America (at the urging of the State Department and with Schaefer’s blessing) to make a film on local customs and themes.” – From The Introduction.

Orson Welles considered The Magnificent Ambersons the crucial turning point in his career. He said, “They destroyed Ambersons and it destroyed me.” In 1942, while Welles was away, RKO Studios drastically recut the completed film. None of that deleted footage is known to survive. Now film scholar Robert Carringer has reconstructed Welles’s own version of Ambersons, using all available surviving evidence including rare studio documents and the recollections of Welles himself and other original participants in the film.

ROBERT CARRINGER reaches startling conclusions about where the responsibility for the film’s undoing ultimately lies. His spellbinding – and no doubt controversial – book will be eagerly welcomed by film historians and enthusiasts.

Hardcover – 307 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 753 g (26,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1993 – ISBN 0-520-07857-8

The Mailroom: Hollywood’s History From the Bottom Up (David Rensin)

rensin-david-the-mailroomIt’s like a plot from a Hollywood potboiler: start out in the mailroom, end up a mogul. But for dozens of Hollywood’s brightest, it happens to be true. Some of the biggest names in entertainment – including David Geffen, Barry Diller, and Michael Ovitz – began as trainees in musty talent agency mailrooms. Now, in this fascinating new book, veteran Hollywood writer David Rensin travels behind the scenes and through sixty-five years of show business history to tell the real stories of the marvellous careers that began – and in some cases ended – in the mailroom.

Based on more than two hundred interviews, David Rensin unfolds the never-before-told history of an American institution – in the voices of the people who lived it. Through nearly seven decades of glamour and humiliation, lousy pay and incredible perks, killer egos and a kill-or-be-killed ethos, you’ll go where the trainees go, learn what they must do to get ahead, and hear the best insider stories from the Hollywood everyone knows about but no one really knows. The kids in The Mailroom have done it all: from hanging out with Elvis to delivering a senior agent’s urine sample to the doctor; from pouring drinks for Sinatra to sending ice to Johnny Carson on the Nile; from crashing to the Academy Awards ceremony to hoping to deliver more than just the mail to sexy actresses’ homes.

The Mailroom reveals why Harvard M.B.A.s turn down secure six-figure corporate salaries to work at a major agency for less than $ 400 a week; what it takes to appease impossible bosses, outsmart the competition, and “agent” the agents; how a hungry, starstruck kid can become the next Geffen or Diller by sorting mail, eavesdropping on crucial conversations, and trying anything to get noticed.

Full of revealing stories and delicious dish, The Mailroom is not only a nonstop, engrossing read, but a crash course, taught by experts, on how to succeed anywhere through hard work, shrewd manipulation, and a hell of a lot of nerve. The Mailroom is classic Hollywood – a vibrant and complex tapestry of dreams, desire, exploitation, power, and genuine talent. If you want to know who rules Hollywood and how they got their power, if you want to know how to start from nothing and get ahead in any business, this is the book you must read.

DAVID RENSIN is the co-author of show business legend Bernie Brillstein’s wildly lauded memoir, Where Did I Go Right?, as well as Olympian Louis Zamperini’s World War II survival saga, Devil at My Heels, and writer / composer Yanni’s memoir, Yanni in Words. Rensin also co-wrote Tim Allen’s # 1 best-seller Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man and his follow-up best-seller, I’m Not Really Here. Rensin has co-written best-sellers with Chris Rock, Jeff Foxworthy, and Garry Shandling, and co-authored a groundbreaking humorous sociology of men named Bob called The Bob Book. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 440 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 747 g (26,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Ballentine Books, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-345-44234-2

Mainly About Lindsay Anderson (Gavin Lambert)

scannen0333Lindsay Anderson was the most original British filmmaker and theatrical director of his generation. His films If…, O Lucky Man!, and Britannia Hospital created a Human Comedy of life in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century and were witty, daring, and often prophetic. This Sporting Life and O Lucky Man! made Richard Harris and Malcolm McDowell international stars; The Whales of August provided Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, and Ann Sothern the opportunity to give extraordinary farewell performances.

He also directed notable documentaries in several countries: in Britain, the Academy Award-winning Thursday’s Children, about a school for deaf-mute children; in Poland, The Singing Lesson, a personal impression of a group of students at a drama school. In China he recorded the 1985 concert tour by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of WHAM!

As a theater director he collaborated with playwright David Storey on a series of successes (The Contractor, The Changing Room, In Celebration, Home) and he worked with such actors as John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Alan Bates, Albert Finney, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, Joan Plowright, and Rachel Roberts.

Anderson was, as well, an outspoken and sometimes ferocious critic of British films – and of Britain itself. He was the author of the most important and acclaimed book on John Ford. And he was one of Gavin Lambert’s closest friends for more than fifty years.

Lambert’s book begins with his and Anderson’s days as movie-struck schoolboys, becoming fast friends, growing up in the shadow of World War II. He shows us their post-war creation of and collaboration on the influential magazine Sequence – a magazine that was produced on love and a shoestring, and which shook up the British film world with its admiration for both Hollywood noir and MGM musicals (at the time unfashionable genres) and its celebration of such directors as John Ford, Luis Buñuel, Jean Cocteau, Jean Vigo, and Preston Sturges.

He describes how both men rebelled in opposite directions – Anderson remaining in England, Lambert leaving in 1958 for Los Angeles – and traces their unorthodox paths through the film industry.

An illuminating, multifaceted portrait – of a friendship, of post-war moviemaking on both sides of the Atlantic, and, mainly, of the remarkable Lindsay Anderson.

GAVIN LAMBERT is the author of seven novels, among them The Slide Area and The Goodby People; five works of non-fiction, including Nazimova, Norma Shearer, GWTW: The Making of “Gone With the Wind,” and On Cukor; and many screenplays, among them The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Inside Daisy Clover, and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Gavin Lambert lived in Tangier for fourteen years and now resides in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 772 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-679-44598-6

Mainly About Lindsay Anderson: A Memoir (Gavin Lambert)

scannen0003Lambert celebrates Anderson’s inimitable films (If…, Oh Lucky Man, Britannia Hospital), and his remarkable theatrical collaborations with David Storey (The Changing RoomHomeIn Celebration) amongst others. Moreover he weighs Anderson’s love-hate engagement with Britain, ‘this remarkably irritating, paradoxical country’; a place so often excoriated in his work but from which, unlike Lambert, Anderson could not remove himself.

Lambert has had unique access to Anderson’s correspondence files and to the diaries that he kept across fifty years (1942-92). These are shot through withy personal pain, a ‘dark mirror’ of Anderson’s dynamic and combative public persona. But they offer us privileged insights into the emotional life of this formidably gifted man. Lambert has also conducted interviews with Anderson’s colleagues and friends, including Alan Bates, Alan Bennett, Stephen Frears, Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren and David Storey. In tandem with these reminiscences on his own life, and the affinities and disparities he discerned between himself and his remarkable friend.

GAVIN LAMBERT was born in England and first came to Hollywood as personal assistant to director Nicholas Ray. He has written seven novels, including the ‘Hollywood Quartet’ of The Slide Area, Inside Daisy Clover, The Goodbye People and Running Time. His non-fiction includes On Cukor, Norma Shearer and Nazimova. Among his screenplays are The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Inside Daisy Clover, the Oscar-nominated Sons and Lovers and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and an adaptation of Sweet Bird of Youth written for ABC TV. He moved to Tangier in 1974 and in 1988 returned to live in Hollywood again.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 302 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 586 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-571-17775-1

Making Movies (Sidney Lumet)

Lumet, Sidney - Making MoviesLights, camera, action! For many of us, these three words conjure up the image of the director, faceless behind the camera yet in control of everything captured and ultimately composed by the mosaic of each passing frame of film. But how is a movie made, and what exactly does a director do?

Here, from Sidney Lumet – the acclaimed director of some forty films, including 12 Angry Men, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Verdict – is the answer: the first and only book by a working professional director to reveal and illuminate the bewildering, magical process that culminates on the big screen.

Only a director can explain how a movie is made, since only he or she is aware of the complex series of details and decisions involved – from budget considerations to divine inspiration, from the earliest rehearsal to the final screening. Drawing on his own work, and on his encyclopedic knowledge of the art and craft of directing, Lumet discusses with great candor and clarity every aspect of this enterprise: art direction and wardrobe, shooting and editing the movie, the verbal and musical and mechanical sound tracks, distribution and marketing, the role of the studio, and everything in between. On writers: “I come from the theater. There, the writer’s work is sacred.” Actors: “I don’t want life reproduced up there on the screen. I want life created.” And the camera itself: “If my movie has two stars in it, I always know it really has three. The third star is the camera.”

For the film student an invaluable handbook, for everyone else a hugely enjoyable explanation of how what we see actually gets there – and an engaging, personal examination of the work of a seminal American director. A book that, like its author, is straightforward, wonderfully opinionated, without pretension, and in love with the movies.

SIDNEY LUMET’s films have received more than fifty Academy Award nominations. He has been awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Directors Guild of America and received its most prestigious honor, the D.W. Griffith Award, given for an entire body of work. He lives in New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 220 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 482 g (17 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-679-43709-6

The Making of Citizen Kane (Robert L. Carringer)

Carringer, Robert L - The Making of Citizen KaneCitizen Kane, often considered the greatest film ever made, has long fascinated critics and historians. Credit for its genius has usually been attributed to its director, Orson Welles, though competing claims have been lodged for Herman J. Mankiewicz, who shared screenplay credits with Orson Welles. The Making of Citizen Kane, based on extensive research in previously inaccessible studio records, is the first attempt to document the shared creative achievement of Welles and his principal collaborators.

Robert L. Carringer has carried out numerous interviews with original participants in the making of Citizen Kane and had extensive conversations with Welles himself. He has thus been able to construct a detailed chronological history of the film’s production, identifying the key functions performed by the scriptwriter, art director, cinematographer, editor, sound engineer, special effects technicians, and music director, and distinguished the nature of Welles’s own contributions. On Citizen Kane, he shows, Welles was fortunate to have collaborators who were at least well qualified, in some cases gifted, and in a few cases truly inspired. The quality of collaboration, he argues, was the crucial element in the film’s triumphantly successful realization.

To buttress this theme, he also considers two other early Welles projects – the adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness that Welles originally intended to make before Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, his next film after it. Thus together with the unprecedented inside information on Citizen Kane, the volume offers a wealth of new understanding about how films were made in the studio system and provides a case history of how, in these circumstances, aesthetic considerations were constantly shaped or tempered by practical ones.

The study is lavishly illustrated with original production documents, art department sketches, and research and production photographs, most of them published here for the first time.

For those who already know Citizen Kane, this work will provide challenging new insights. For those who are coming to the film for the first time, it will reveal how the parts of the complex filmmaking process function in the creation of a masterpiece.

ROBERT L. CARRINGER is Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 180 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 539 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1985 – ISBN 0-520-05367-2

The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie (Tony Curtis, with Mark A. Vieira)

Curtis, Tony, with Mark A Vieira - The Making of Some Like It HotWhen Hollywood legend Tony Curtis meets his fans, they always ask about his 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot. Luckily for them – and for us – Tony has stories to share. In his new book, The Making of Some Like It Hot, he shares all of them.

Some Like It Hot is a beloved part of our culture, voted the “Funniest Film of All Time” by the American Film Institute, but Tony is the first to tell the complete, uncensored story of its making, a behind-the-scenes saga of intrigue, humor, and romance. A noted artist and raconteur, Tony paints word portraits of the geniuses who made the film: director Billy Wilder and his co-writer I.A.L. Diamond; actor Jack Lemmon, and sex icon Marilyn Monroe. In his engaging style, Tony tells of Wilder and Diamond’s unique writing routine; Wilder’s surprising first choice for Tony’s costar; and Wilder’s daring decision to add violence to farce.

Tony describes the challenges he faced as the “best-looking kid in Hollywood” suddenly forced to dress as a woman: meeting the limitations of a constricting costume; learning the “moves” from a female impersonator; adapting his walk and the pitch of his voice; facing people’s reactions (or worse, the lack of them); working in tandem with the hilarious Lemmon; and following Wilder’s precise but often impersonal direction.

Here, too, are Tony’s previously unpublished recollections of his bittersweet relationship with Marilyn. He tells in vivid, compelling detail how America’s most celebrated sex symbol came to work on this unlikely project; how he had met the young unknown years earlier on a studio street; about their puppy love, her meteoric rise to fame, and the resentment he saw in her colleagues; how her perfectionism nearly drove him crazy; and how her strange behavior nearly shut down the film. Disclosed for the first time are details of the affair that took place during the filming at Hotel del Coronado and the effect it had on Tony, on the production, and on Marilyn’s husband, the playwright Arthur Miller. In 1958, America read about a fistfight on the set. Now, for the first time, Tony tells what caused it – and what followed it.

Packed with scores of rarely seen black-and-white photos and eight pages of color photos that reveal how the movoe would have looked in Technicolor, The Making of Some Like It Hot is the ideal way to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this landmark film.

TONY CURTIS is a Hollywood icon, the last surviving luminary of Some Like It Hot, and author of American Prince. His websites are tonycurtis.com and shilohhorserescue.com. MARK A. VIEIRA is a photographer and writer specializing in the history of Hollywood.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 232 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 482 g (17,0 oz) – PUBLISHER John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-470-53721-3

The Making of The African Queen: or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind (Katharine Hepburn)

Hepburn, Katharine - The Making of The African QueenThis book will tell you what it was like for me to meet John Huston, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in London and Africa for the first time. To work with them nonstop for about three months. And why.

Come hell or high water, through thick and through thin, for better or for worse, but not quite until death do we part. It was great fun.

Katharine Hepburn was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for The African Queen. During her career, she won four Academy Awards for her leading roles in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1966), The Lion in Winter (1967) and On Golden Pond (1981).

KATHARINE HEPBURN is an actor. She is interested in tennis and gardening and lives in a small town in Connecticut. This is her first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 133 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 18,5 cm (9,3 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 567 g (20,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Century Hutchinson, Ltd., London, 1987 – ISBN 0-7126-1906-2

Malle on Malle (edited by Philip French)

french-philip-malle-on-malleFrom the 1950s until his death in 1995, Louis Malle pursued one of the most varied and successful careers in post-war cinema, directing such movies as Le feu follet and Au revoir les enfants in his native France and Atlantic City, My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street in the United States. Documentaries shared equal importance in his career; he was only 24 when his first picture, The Silent World (co-directed with Jacques Cousteau), won both the Palme d’Or at Cannes and an Oscar as the best full-length documentary of 1956.

In this frank and far-reaching book, Malle discusses his development as an artist; the often fierce controversies aroused by pictures dealing with prostitution, incest and war-time collaborations; the momentous year spent shooting his Phantom India series; and his decision to move to America in the 1970s. He also talks about the recurrent themes of his films, his passion for jazz, and his work with actors and actresses ranging from such stars as Jeanne Moreau and Burt Lancaster to the non-professional teenagers who appear in Lacombe, Lucien and Au revoir les enfants.

The basis of the book is a series of conversations between Malle and Philip French, one of the most distinguished film critics in Britain, who provides an indispensable guide to Louis Malle’s career.

Softcover – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1993 – ISBN 0-571-17880-4

Mamoulian (Tom Milne)

Milne, Tom - Mamoulian“In the mid-thirties, Rouben Mamoulian was a gilt-edged proposition, snatched from Paramount by MGM and entrusted with not only the direction of Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, but with the first film in the new three-color Technicolor process, Becky Sharp. From there on the story is one of decline. Not, virtually every historian of the cinema to the contrary, in Mamoulian, but in critical appreciation of his work, and more importantly, in  his employment in the Hollywood studios.” – From The Introduction.

Rouben Mamoulian, now seventy, is a favorite among other filmmakers, combining as he does great technical originality with style and poetry. He used synthetic sound as early as 1931, for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He made the first (three-color) Technicolor film, Becky Sharp. His musicals, notably Silk Stockings, were remarkable for the way the dance was used to further the action and interpret character. The technical inventions were always linked to a sense of the magic of the cinema: and for Garbo, in Queen Christina, Mamoulian created the framework for her greatest role. TOM MILNE’s critical study examines each of the sixteen films in turn, and includes a full filmography.

Softcover – 176 pp. – Dimensions 19 x 13,5 cm (7,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 252 g (8,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Thames & Hudson, Ltd. / British Film Institute, London, 1979 – ISBN 500 48012 5

The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture (William Wellman, Jr.; foreword by Robert Redford)

Autographed copy Enjoy the flight. William Wellman, Jr.

Wellman, Jr, William - The Man and His WingsWilliam “Wild Bill” Wellman was not Paramount Pictures’ first choice to direct the World War I epic Wings (1927), but as a former aviator and war hero, he was the right choice. Despite months waging epic battles of his own with studio executives, “Wild Bill” managed to finish the big-budget war saga by inventing many of the techniques still used to film aerial battle scenes. The film, starring Clara Bow, broke box-office records and earned its studio the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Considered by many to be the last great film of the silent era, Wings has been cited as a major influence on such directors as Martin Scorsese and Robert Redford. Its director, who went on to direct the likes of John Wayne, James Cagney, and Gary Cooper, later earned an Oscar for writing one of Hollywood’s most loved (and often remade) films, A Star is Born. In this first-ever biography, the director’s son, William Wellman Jr., reveals the war hero, family man, occasional prankster, and underestimated visionary who changed Hollywood forever.

Augmented with personal correspondence from Wellman’s own World War I tour of duty as a fighter pilot, on-set photographs from Wings and other classic Hollywood films, and anecdotes from the back lots of the early studio system, this unique work traces the way in which the first Best Picture’s director used his own war experience to bring his epic to the screen. The versatile director also excelled at comedies such as Nothing Sacred (1937), and had a lasting influence on the gangster genre with The Public Enemy (1931), starring James Cagney. With the recent release of Wellman’s later aviation classics, Island in the Sky (1953) and The High and the Mighty (1954), both starring John Wayne, Wellman is gaining renewed attention and appreciation from a new generation of film enthusiasts. The book ends with a detailed filmography of more than 75 classic films directed by Wellman.

WILLIAM WELLMAN, Jr. has written articles for Film Comment, Films in Review, Action Magazine, Memories Magazine, and DGA News. An actor with more than 170 screen and television credits, he has also received writing credits for nine screenplays and two television specials. He created and executive produced Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick, an award-winning documentary about his father. C’est la Guerre, a biographical film of his father’s life, is currently in development.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 184 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 489 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 2006 – ISBN 0-275-98541-5

The Man Between: A Biography of Carol Reed (Nicholas Wapshott)

wapshott-nicholas-the-man-between-a-biography-of-carol-reedCarol Reed was one of British cinema’s greatest directors, creator of such classic films as Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol and The Third Man, but he himself remained an elusive and enigmatic figure, shunning the limelight his success inevitably attracted. Yet his personal life was as extraordinary as anything depicted in his films. Illegitimate son of the flamboyant Victorian actor-manager Beerbohm Tree, he worked as assistant to the prolific thriller writer Edgar Wallace, gaining a foothold in the silent-picture industry of the 1920s. His first sweetheart was the author Daphne du Maurier, and he eventually married a daughter of Edward VIII’s mistress. His work with Graham Greene on The Fallen Idol, The Third Man and Our Man in Havana was perhaps the most fruitful collaboration ever between a great author and a film director, and he was a key figure in Alexander Korda’s attempts to establish a British film industry to rival Hollywood.

Reed’s career was marked by contradictions. He always regarded himself as a technician rather than an artist, yet many of his films are distinguished by a unique visual style. He was celebrated as an actors’ director, yet he clashed memorably with Orson Welles on the set of The Third Man and with Marlon Brando on location in Tahiti for Mutiny on the Bounty. His versatility was one of his great strengths, yet it led him to accept projects unworthy of his talents.

In this, the first ever biography of Carol Reed, Nicholas Wapshott explores every aspect of his life and career. Reed emerges as a complex and deeply divided man who, though never able fully to reconcile the demands of his life and his work, was to make some of the great masterpieces of post-war cinema.

Born in 1952, NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT is a well-known journalist and is political editor of the Observer. He has written biographies of Margaret Thatcher and Peter O’Toole, and is married to author Louise Nicholson. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 376 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Chatto & Winduw, Ltd., London, 1990 – ISBN 0-7011-3353-8

Mank: The Wit, World, and Life of Herman Mankiewicz (Richard Meryman)

Meryman, Richard - Mank The Wit, World and Life of Herman MankiewiczEven for the flamboyant world of Hollywood, Herman J. Mankiewicz was an extravagant figure. He is probably best known as the primary author of Citizen Kane, one of the masterpieces of filmmaking in America. But during the 1930s and 1940s he became a living legend, for Mank was larger than life – more brilliant in his wit, learning, and conversation, more freewheeling in his capers, greater in the scale of his faults and in the self-destructiveness of his fall. He was that enormously romantic figure – the incandescent cutup who lived his life as one continuous escapade.

One of the most sought after men in his times, Mank knew everyone who was famous or infamous. A member of the Algonquin Round Table, he included among his friends William Randolph Hearst, Humphrey Bogart, Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, Greta Garbo, Orson Welles, F. Scott Fitzgerald, S.J. Perelman, Louis B. Mayer, George S. Kaufman, and the Marx Brothers, to name a few. Among the classic film scripts he wrote were Dinner at Eight, Girl Crazy, and Pride of the Yankees.

Despite his success, he failed to achieve his one great goal – to become a renowned writer. And indeed, the more he was admired for his verbal wit, the more he gambled and drank. It is the irony of Herman J. Mankiewicz’s life that his legend rests on the brilliant manner in which he achieved failure.

More than a biography, Mank is the tragedy of a great talent destroyed by the pressures and temptations of post-World War I Berlin, the speakeasy era of 1920s New York, and the age of the Hollywood moguls. And it is an unerring portrait of the extravagant world of glamour, brilliance, and make-believe in which the talent of Herman J. Mankiewicz glittered.

This book was four years in the research and writing. The author has interviewed 150 people who knew Mank, and he received full corporation of Mank’s family, including his wife, Sara – whose life with Mank is a classic love story.

RICHARD MERYMAN is a former Life magazine reporter and editor whose previous best seller, Andrew Wyeth, has become a collector’s prize.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 351 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 612 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-688-03356-3

The Man Who Invented Hollywood: The Autobiography of D.W. Griffith (edited and annodated by James Hart, including D.W. Griffith’s unfinished autobiography; foreword by Frank Capra)

Griffith, D W - The Man Who Invented HollywoodThe Man Who Invented Hollywood: The Autobiography of D.W. Griffith, is the story of the birth of an industry – motion pictures – as told in the very personal way of its greatest director, David Wark Griffith.

He came to the “flickers” when they were nickelodeon fare, a split-reel farce, and he innovated, created and molded motion pictures into a lasting art form. He’s been called the father of every technical device known to cinema direction. Dramatic use of the close-up, the fadeout, back lighting, parallel action, cross-cutting – all were perfected by D.W. Griffith.

The Autobiography, which ends in 1915 with The Birth of A Nation, was written between 1932 and 1940 with the aid and encouragement of newspaperman James Hart. It has never before been published.

The Autobiography is a sentimental tale, Victorian in outlook as was the man. The naïveté of genius is apparent as he brushes off his greatest film, Intolerance, with a refreshing lack of rhetoric. Griffith tells of his development of back lighting and the close-up; his first encounters with Mary Pickford and the Gish sisters; his search for better ways to make motion pictures “move.”

The Man Who Invented Hollywood underscores the reason why and how cinema can be good. The reason is David Wark Griffith.

For forty years, JAMES HART has been a professional freelance magazine writer. Many of his articles appeared in leading periodicals under the bylines of famous personages. One such story, under the byline of D.W. Griffith, published by the old Liberty magazine, attracted the attention of Hollywood producer Hal Roach and brought the famous motion picture pioneer back from exile to direct one more film, One Million B.C. As a Louisville and Chicago newsman in the early ’30s, Hart developed a long and intimate relationship with Griffith that led to the writing of this autobiography.

Innovations from the work of D.W. Griffith include:

The spectacle film – An exciting medium shot from The Birth of a Nation (1915). In this one motion picture, Griffith used most of the directorial techniques of film as practiced today. The Birth also was the forerunner of the spectacle and historical period films and gave birth to film as an art of realism.

The close-up – Griffith innovated in giving the close-up meaning, made it an integral part of his story-telling ability. Several scenes in The Birth of a Nation are reminders of the grim reality of war and illustrate a unique Griffith talent – the single detail that tells much… food rations are parched and dwindling, signifying the coming, inevitable defeat of the Confederacy.

The masterpiece – Misunderstood in 1916, Intolerance is now considered to be one of the two greatest motion pictures ever made (the other is The Birth of a Nation). The sheer size of the Babylonian set made Hollywood buzz – a chariot could be driven on top of a 300-foot wall! The film was innovative in that it covered four parallel stories – each in counterpoint to the other with incredibly effective cuts from story to story. No story or combination of stories was too big for Griffith’s imaginative sweep.

The Griffith heroine – Lillian Gish in Broken Blossoms (1919) – the essence of the Griffith heroine: fragile, pure, loyal, feminine… in a word, vulnerable. With Griffith, Miss Gish achieved timeless film triumphs – as Elsie in The Birth of a Nation, as True Heart Susie, as the object of the Chinaman’s delicate love in Broken Blossoms; the much-sinned-against Anna in Way Down East; and the almost-guillotined Henriette in Orphans of the Storm.

The documentary trend – Richard Barthelmess in Way Down East (1920). Griffith’s ability to find and film scenes of pastoral beauty was a trademark with him. He would go to great lengths to create rural scenes and, most importantly, use them as an active element of drama. In striving for realism, Griffith was the first director to give films a documentary quality.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 170 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21,5 cm (11 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 990 g (34,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Touchstone Publishing Company, Louisville, Kentucky, 1972 – ISBN 0-87963-001-9

The Man You Loved to Hate: Erich von Stroheim and Hollywood (Richard Koszarski)

koszarski-rochard-the-man-you-loved-to-hateHe was the most brilliant, obsessive, secretive, far-sighted, and self-destructive figure in Hollywood history. A wandering Austrian Jew, the son of a Viennese hatter, Erich von Stroheim adopted the style of an émigré aristocrat and launched a career that changed the face of American movies. Starting out as an actor, von Stroheim became “the man you love to hate,” a complex and contradictory personality who encouraged his audiences to confuse the man on screen with the one behind the camera. Before the Hollywood moguls finally had their way, he had created a handful of silent film classics that shocked his enemies and astonished his friends. Like his mentor, D.W. Griffith, he believed that film was an art form, not an investment opportunity. When his employers disagreed, the sparks flew.

Who really was von Stroheim? How did he create such grandiose projects as Foolish Wives, Greed, and Queen Kelly? And what were these films really like before censors and studio heads cut them to pieces and melted down their negatives? The Man You Loved to Hate lovingly re-creates the meteoric career of Hollywood’s most extravagant director. More than simply a biography of von Stroheim, the book demonstrates in detail just how the Hollywood studios worked during their formative years. No previous book on von Stroheim has been based on so much original research in studio archives or written by a scholar with such a firm grasp of the Hollywood production system. Richard Koszarski draws on production records, interviews with von Stroheim’s collaborators, and documents preserved by the filmmaker’s family and friends to produce an authoritative account of von Stroheim’s years as a screenwriter and director. He analyzes unproduced projects, variant treatments of completed works, and “original” conceptions of the films later truncated by the studios. The Man You Loved to Hate presents the real story of Erich von Stroheim and Hollywood – a story more fantastic than the ones he invented for the screen.

RICHARD KOSZARSKI is Historian at the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Foundation and editor of Hollywood Directors, 1914-1940 and Hollywood Directors, 1941-1976. He teaches film history at Columbia University and the School of Visual Arts and is the author of an award-winning documentary on von Stroheim, also entitled The Man You Loved to Hate.

Softcover – 343 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 521 g (18,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-19-503379-5

Marcello Mastroianni: His Life and Art (Donald Dewey)

dewey-donald-marcello-mastroianniFor more than thirty years Marcello Mastroianni has been considered the quintessestial continental. He is the classically handsome film star gifted with a voice that crosses borders even when the words might not be understood. Unpronounceable as it is to many, his surname is a bedroom word on several continents.

For nearly five decades Mastroianni’s film and stage careers have proved him to be one of the world’s most versatile performers. For every cigarette-wielding sophisticate he has played, he has portrayed twice as many priests, plumbers, con men, rabble rousers, stodgy policemen, and drug addicts. On the screen, the fabled lover of beautiful women has been an impotent cuck-old, a homosexual, and a wife beater. He was the first male actor to receive an Oscar nomination for a non-English-speaking film – Divorce Italian Style – then received two more, for A Special Day and Dark Eyes. He is widely regarded as Europe’s pre-eminent actor since the end of World War II.

While he has remained officially married to Flora Carabella for over forty years, he has had long relationships with such stars as Faye Dunaway and Catherine Deneuve. In his romance with Deneuve he even moved to France to help raise their daughter. With the exception of Dunaway (with whom he admits having had a “devastating” relationship), he has never made a secret of enduring friendships with his former lovers while still maintaining that he has had a successful marriage.

This is the story of Mastroianni’s life and career from his early days as an interpreter of broad farce to his worldwide recognition in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to his cluster of stellar performances in great roles through the years.

Mastroianni has presented the world with an indelible image of Milanese affluence, Roman decadence, Sicilian tradition, Tuscan enterprise, urban glibness, and historical vanity. No other actor in the western world has starred in as many films or performed in as many different languages as Mastroianni.

DONALD DEWEY has been a professional writer and editor for twenty-five years. His published books include the novel Reasonable Doubts, Bears, and, in 1993, The Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Teams. He has been a recipient of the Nelson Algren Prize for Short Fiction and has received awards for both his plays and as editor of the monthly Attenzione and as editorial director of East / West Network. A thirteen-year resident of Europe, he has most recently been living in New York with his wife and son.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Carol Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 1-55972-158-8

Marie Dressler: My Own Story (Marie Dressler, as told to Mildred Harrington; foreword by Will Rogers)

dressler-marie-my-own-story“Marie Dressler is the real queen of our movies. And we can say that conscientiously, because she is. There’s been nothing – nothing like her career has developed in our whole moving-picture industry; or the stage either, for that matter. I’ve known her a good many years. She was a star with a theater full of people applauding her before – when moving pictures – the only way you could move ’em was to turn the leaves of a family album. That’s when she first was a star. She was a sensational musical-comedy star when your fathers and mothers had to get a marriage license to see Niagara Falls.

She could sing. She had a beautiful voice. In later life, she did the most wonderful burlesque opera. You know, singing with a kind of comedy voice. She could do it wonderfully because she had such a wonderful voice. And she could do that better than anyone… She could dance in her younger days. And in addition, she could act; she had a tremendous lot of human quality about her in those days.

But, of course, like everything else, as the years mowed her down, there was nothing in her line on the stage anymore… But she came out… All they wanted in those days, was – give us beauty, and – you know – give us plenty of beauty – and they couldn’t come too young or too dumb. And she’s the first one to come out and kind of do away with that whole theory. She started the whole new thing: that you didn’t have to be so beautiful, and that you didn’t have to be so young…

She got a part with Greta Garbo in Anna Christie and was a sensation almost overnight… She didn’t say – I was a star, I was this, I was that. For a start she wanted to take anything, and did take anything, and really won her way up just as though she had really never amounted to anything before in her life – which she had… There was never a career – one time big and then clear low, and now up again – like hers…

We’d often talked about doing a picture together. Every time I’d meet her, she’s say – when are we going to do that picture together? I’d known her a good many years. And I’d say – well, I don’t know. I’m going to as soon as I can get a chance. Gee, I did want to do one with her… That would have been the proudest moment of my life – my whole amusement career – to say that I’d worked with Marie. Oh, she’s – she’s marvellous.

Marie Dressler has more friends among our real people of this country – I mean from the President on down. Why, she visited the White House – regardless of political faith, or anything of that kind, she has entrée into places where none of us connected to the movies – where we couldn’t get our nose in… And that’s all been done simply on a marvellous personality and a great heart.” – From The Foreword [a radio tribute by Will Rogers to Marie Dressler just before her death on July 28, 1934].

Hardcover – 290 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 14 cm (8,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 502 g (17,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1934

Marie Dressler: The Unlikeliest Star (Betty Lee)

lee-betty-marie-dresslerShe was homely, overweight, and over the hill, but there was a time when Marie Dressler outdrew such cinema sex symbols as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Jean Harlow. To movie audiences suffering the hardships of the Great Depression, she was Everywoman, and in the early 1930s her charming mixture of pathos and comedy packed movie theaters everywhere.

She left home at the age of fourteen, apprenticed as an eight-dollar-a-week chorus girl in touring stock and light opera companies, then danced and sang her way to stardom in Broadway musical comedy, vaudeville, and burlesque. She perfected her stagecraft on the Great White Way, and though she longed to play dramatic roles, she realized early that if she was going to make it big she would need to do it on talent rather than on looks.

In the early days of the century, Dressler was constantly in the headlines. She took up the cause of the “ponies” in the chorus lines, earning them better pay and benefits. She played in productions organized to raise money for the women’s suffrage movement. And during World War I she claimed she sold more liberty bonds than any other individual in the United States.

Dressler was an astute observer of public mood and taste. When she was lucky enough to find work in the newly minted Hollywood talkies, she grabbed the brass ring with fierce enthusiasm, even making three films in the year before her death, when she was so sick she had to rest between scenes on a sofa just out of camera range.

The two-hundred-pound actress’s remarkable stage presence captivated audiences even though her roles were not Hollywood beauties. She played tough, practical characters such as the old wharf rat in Anna Christie (1930), the waterfront innkeeper in Min and Bill (1931) – for which she won the Academy Award for best actress – the aging housekeeper in Emma (1932), and the title role in Tugboat Annie (1933). She spoke honestly to her audiences, and troubled people in the comforting darkness of the Depression-era movie theaters embraced her as one of themselves.

BETTY LEE is an award-winning Toronto journalist and editor.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 756 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1997 – ISBN 0-8131-2036-5

Marilyn (Jay Harrison)

MarilynMarilyn Monroe overleed in 1962, te vroeg, maar haar faam, haar image en de legende zijn sindsdien alleen maar sterker geworden. Geen enkele andere ster, hoe betoverend en beroemd ook, is op dezelfde manier in de herinnering van zoveel mensen gebleven.

Dit boek is een eerbetoon aan Marilyn Monroe; het benadert haar persoonlijkheid op een ongebruikelijke manier – het concentreert zich op specifieke aspecten van haar leven en het verkent de invloeden die haar gevormd en gemotiveerd hebben. We volgen haar vanaf het eenvoudige begin in Hollywood, via haar doorbraak in de film Niagara als Hollywoods sekssymbool, tot haar verschijning als Amerika’s godin van de liefde.

De vrouwen in haar leven worden besproken – haar gedreven en labiele moeder, haar dominante begeleidsters op acteergebied en haar mede-sterren. En de mannen – het mysterie rond de identiteit van haar vader, haar eerste ‘tiener’-huwelijk, de machtige minnaars die haar hielpen op haar weg naar de roem en degenen bij wie ze zowel lichamelijke als emotionele bevrediging zocht.

Het boek gaat in op haar streven serieus te worden genomen als actrice. Ook onderzoekt het haar betekenis – na haar dood – als voorloopster van de seksuele revolutie. In teksten en foto’s geeft dit boek een gedetailleerd verslag van het leven van Marilyn Monroe, een van de boeiendste sterren van haar tijd, die na haar dood niets van haar aantrekkingskracht heeft verloren.

Sinds hij in 1954 voor zijn schoolkrant een recensie schreef over Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, is JAY HARRISON over films blijven schrijven. “Het was de eerste keer dat ik haar zag,” herinnert hij zich, “en net als alle andere jongens van mijn leeftijd werd ik door haar betoverd. Daarna heb ik geen enkele film van haar gemist en alle oudere films gezien.” Na zijn universitaire opleiding ging Jay Harrison in de journalistiek en specialiseerde zich al snel in de ‘showbusiness,’ met special aandacht voor de filmindustrie. Verder werkte hij freelance voor kranten en tijdschriften in Engeland en Amerika. Zijn eerder verschenen boeken gaan onder andere over Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, het sudio-systeem van Hollywood, het theater en de opera.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp. – Dimensions 36,5 x 30 cm (14 x 11,8 inch) – Weight 1.990 g (70,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Rebo Productions, Lisse, The Netherlands, 1993 – ISBN 90-366-0851-1

Marilyn: A Biography (Norman Mailer)

Mailer, Norman - MarilynThis book is really two books. It is a biography, and it is also a pictorial retrospective of an actress whose greatest love affair was conceivably with the camera.

Since the text has been written by the author many consider our most important American writer, and it is his first biography, that is literary news. It is, however, much more than that. Marilyn is a major biography, a full attempt to understand a beautiful, complex, and tragic woman. Mailer further gives us an insight into her contradictions few could offer, and so her life becomes revealed in a work that will fascinate both men and women. In her life and in the mysterious circumstances of her death, she has become a symbol of the bizarre decade in which she made her impact.

During that time Marilyn Monroe was the most sought after photographic subject in the world. Lawrence Schiller was one of the young photographers who had taken some of her finest pictures. Years later, he arranged a photographic exhibit from the stills of many major photographers who had worked with her. Called ‘Marilyn Monroe – The Legend and the Truth,’ it was seen by hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and Japan. Arranged here to form a photographic essay, a remarkable counterpoint is offered to Norman Mailer’s text.

It is the publishers hope that by way of this collaboration may emerge a chronology of a woman’s emotions in a long inner life of spontaneity, upset, triumph, and dread. Let us leave it that we have two histories here, one in words and another in photographs. If successful, they will come together in the shape of an elusive search that for most mercurial charm – the identity of a lovely if seldom simple woman.

NORMAN MAILER has been electrifying the literary and journalistic worlds since the publication of The Naked and the Dead, twenty-five years ago. He has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

[Photographs by Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, George Barris, Cecil Beaton, Cornell Capa, Bruce Davidson, André de Dienes, Elliott Erwitt, Milton H. Greene, Ernst Haas, Philippe Halsman, Bob Henriques, Tom Kelley, Douglas Kirkland, Lee Lockwood, Inge Morath, Arnold Newman, Lawrence Schiller, Sam Shaw, Bert Stern, John Vachon, Bob Willoughby, William Read Woodfield]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 271 pp. – Dimensions 27 x 24 cm (10,6 x 9,5 inch) – Weight 1.540 g (54,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Grosset and Dunlap, 1973 – ISBN 0-448-01029-1

Marilyn Monroe (Joan Mellen)

Mellen, Joan - Marilyn Monroe“Ten years after her death, the woman Marilyn Monroe continues to haunt us. Her films and her life became interchangeably because Hollywood producers would have her believe that she was playing herself in the host of films which treated her as America’s favorite sex symbol. At the end of The Seven Year Itch, Tom Ewell accounts to a friend for the blonde in his kitchen, saying ‘maybe it’s Marilyn Monroe.’ She is given no name in this film rather than ‘The Girl’ because she exists only in the living fantasy of a neurotic middle-aged husband beset by a wife in the country and a persistent ‘itch’ for sensuality.” – From chapter 1, ‘The Monroe Image.’

As the leading sex symbol of the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe captivated movie audiences in such films as The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop and Some Like It Hot. Yet behind the glamor was a sensitive, frightened, painfully vulnerable woman forced to maintain the image of a mindless, always accessible female. In her amply illustrated book, Joan Mellen offers a brilliantly original analysis of Marilyn Monroe’s life and career, and a deeply compassionate portrait of an unforgettable star.

The 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 248 g (8,7 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co. Ltd., London, 1973

Marilyn Monroe: A Beautiful Child (essay by Truman Capote)

Capote, Truman - Marilyn MonroeMarilyn “blanked out the sun,” Arthur Miller said, and she still does. Marilyn Monroe: A Beautiful Child proves it once again – if there’s any need for such proof. This book is a collection of the most beautiful photographs of Marilyn Monroe who would be 75 this summer. Early pinups from when she was still Norma Jean Baker, film and publicity stills from The Asphalt Jungle to The Misfits, portraits of great photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton and Philip Halsman right up to the highlights from her legendary photo session with Bert Stern in June 1962 – MM, Hollywood’s most erotic “product” and cinema’s most lively myth, still and once more speaks best for herself.

In an introductory essay, Truman Capote (1924-1984), a brilliant chronicler of New York society, describes his own encounter with this “beautiful child.”

Hardcover – 120 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 23 cm (10,8 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 902 g (31,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Schirmer Art Books, London, 2001 – ISBN 3-88814-989-4

Marilyn Monroe: Book of 30 Postcards


Softcover – Dimensions 16 x 10,5 cm (6,3 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 134 g (4,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Magna Books, Leicester, 1992 – ISBN 1985422-319-4

Marilyn Monroe: 30 Postcards

scannen0329Softcover – Dimensions 17,5 x 12 cm (6,9 x 4,7 inch) – Weight 175 g (6,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Hercules Books, Ltd. / Robert Frederick Ltd., Ltd., 2004 – ISBN 0-7554-3737-3

Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives (Marie Clayton)

clayton-marie-marilyn-monroe-unseen-archivesEven many years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still one of the greatest legends of the twentieth century. In her movies she projected a unique and fascinating persona – a child-woman who was both innocent and full of sexuality, someone whom men desired, but who women found unthreatening. In real life, she was a beautiful and complex woman who felt deeply insecure, and who just wanted to be loved enough to wipe out her unhappy past.

Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives charts Marilyn’s fascinating life, from her unhappy childhood, through her years as a superstar, to her tragic and untimely death in 1962. The collection of photographs documents the important events in her life: her early years, her movies, her marriages to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, her battles with the studio and her decline in health. They not only include movie stills and portraits, but also many other less well-known pictures taken during her career. The photographs are accompanied by detailed and informative captions, which give a rounded portrait of one of the world’s greatest movie stars.

MARIE CLAYTON studied popular culture at Bournemouth University (UK) as part of an arts course, and went on to become a designer, journalist and author. She has a particular interest in cultural icons of the twentieth century and has written and edited several books, including The Beatles: Unseen Archives and Elvis Presley: Unseen Archives.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 384 pp. – Dimensions 17 x 13,5 cm (6,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 684 g (24,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Paragon Publishing, Bath, 2004 – ISBN 1-40542-948-8

Marilyn’s Addresses: A Fan’s Guide to the Places She Knew (Michelle Finn)

Finn, Michelle - Marilyn's AddressesDo you know the exact spot where Marilyn stood on the street in New York City for the filming of the famous sequence in The Seven Year Itch, during which her skirt billowed skywards so provocatively? Or where she lived for the first twelve days of her life? Where she went to night school when she was already an established star? Where she and Joe DiMaggio met on a blind date? Where she ate after posing nude for Tom Kelley? And where she held her secret meetings with President Kennedy?

Packed with little-known information on the star whose glamor and allure are timeless, Marilyn’s Addresses will tell you. With some 200 locations associated with her life, it is extensively illustrated with over 30 photographs.

Here the reader has the chance to get close to the legendary star and take the international Marilyn Monroe tour, coast to coast in the USA, especially including New York and Los Angeles, as well as travelling overseas to Britain and all points west. It is a unique and practical record of the extraordinary life and work of an icon for our times.

MICHELLE FINN is a serious Marilyn Monroe collector and the President of the Marilyn Lives Society.

Hardcover – 106 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 12,5 cm (8,7 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 195 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Smith Gryphon Publishers, London, 1995 – ISBN 1 85685 091 9

Marlene (Marlene Dietrich)

dietrich-marlene-marleneMarlene. Bij het horen van die naam gaan ieders gedachten uit naar Marlene Dietrich. Een diva voor generaties, een mythe. Begeerd en bewonderd. Van Lola in de Blaue Engel tot de trappen van het Concertgebouw, waar zij in de jaren zestig sidderingen door het publiek liet gaan met haar vertolking van de wereldhit “Sag’ mir wo die Blumen sind.” Later nog werd zij de meest geëerde oma van alle continenten.

In Marlene getuigt “die Dietrich” vrijmoedig van een levenslange carrière op het witte doek en op de planken. Maar ook blikt ze terug op haar jeugd, die nu eens niet voldoet aan het cliché van een armoedige afkomst. Met hart en ziel verbonden aan de stad Berlijn, belijdt ze haar liefde voor deze metropool, die vooral in de vooroorlogse periode bruiste van artistieke en maatschappelijke bevlogenheid zonder nog gevierendeeld te zijn. Marlenes levensverhaal heeft, zoals bij iedereen diepte- maar ook hoogtepunten gekend. Ze verhaalt van de vluchtige vreugden,” die het leven haar geboden heeft. Het waren vooral haar blonde haren, maar meer nog haar vermaarde benen, die brandpunten vormden van haar faam. Als dit boek een ding duidelijk maakt, is het wel dat het benen waren (en zijn), die de weelde dragen konden.

Marlene kijkt terug op een carrière van bijna zestig jaar. Al in 1929 werd ze ontdekt door de succesvolle Hollywood-regisseur Josef von Sternberg. Het werd het begin van een langdurige en innige verbintenis met de Nieuwe Wereld. Voor een ster van haar formaat was zelfs het vooroorlogse Duitsland te klein. Mannen begeerden haar, vrouwen benijdden haar. Een mystieke oogopslag, volle, erotische mond en vooral die blonde haren stonden daar borg voor. In smoking, sigaret in een mondhoek, en met een hoge hoed op de aswitte lokken werd ze door de film Die blaue Engel een idool voor miljoenen van beide geslachten.

Ze leeft nu teruggetrokken in Parijs, haar bewonderaars achterlatend met de zoete herinnering aan haar eeuwige jeugd. Het past bij het odium van geheimzinnigheid, waarmee ze zich haar hele leven omgaf. Wat dacht ze? Wat voelde ze? Waarvoor zette ze zich in? Wat liet haar koud? Hoe verliepen haar contacten met de groten der aarde? Door haar antwoorden en bekentenissen heeft Mariene Dietrich met Marlene gezorgd voor een opwindend boek. Maria Magdalena (“Marlene”) Dietrich bewijst haar miljoenenpubliek er, na 53 films, theatershows en platensuccessen, opnieuw een dienst mee. Als  officiersdochter uit Berlin-Schonberg, als studente op de Theaterschool van Max Reinhardt, als vrouw en moeder, als ster aan de zijde van von Sternberg, als Amerikaanse (genaturaliseerd in 1937), als naoorlogse show-star en vooral als levenskunstenares, geeft zij in dit boek haar publiek niet alleen begrip, maar bovenal bewondering mee voor haar zeer eigenzinnige leven aan de top.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 242 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 479 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Centerboek, Weesp, The Netherlands, 1987 – ISBN 90-5087-034-1

Marlene Dietrich (Sheridan Morley)

Morley, Sheridan - Marlene DietrichMarlene Dietrich, a name that, as Jean Cocteau once observed ‘is halfway from a caress to a whiplash’, and that now epitomises a working legend spanning half a century. From the mid-thirties to the mid-forties she was a film star, moulded by her director Josef von Sternberg into reflections of Lola-Lola, the chilly siren she immortalised in The Blue Angel. In Hollywood she would compete with Greta Garbo in the search for the lost world of romance as portrayed by such films as Morocco, Desire and Shanghai Express. After a decline in her popularity on the screen, Dietrich immersed herself in entertaining the troops during the Second World War and subsequently embarked on her now legendary cabaret career which thrives to this day.

She and her act are the most remarkable feat of theatrical engineering since the invention of the revolving stage, and age has, if anything, reinforced her voice to the point where, for songs like ‘Lili Marlene’ and ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ she seems to have within her the strength of entire armies.

In this profile Sheridan Morley examines the Dietrich legend and draws on his own interviews with her to present a portrait of an extraordinary woman who has established beyond all doubt her ability to conjure out of nowhere a kind of theatrical magic which has a little to do with music and everything to do with stardom.

SHERIDAN MORLEY, the son of Robert Morley and grandson of the late Dame Gladys Cooper, is the drama critic and arts editor of Punch. A prolific broadcaster and writer, his previous books include A Talent to Amuse, the biography of Noël Coward.

Hardcover – 128 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 413 g (14,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Elm Tree Books / Hamish Hamilton Ltd., London, 1976 – SBN 241 89348 8

Marlene Dietrich by her Daughter (Maria Riva)

Autographed copy Maria Riva

Riva, Maria - Marlene DietrichA landmark biography. The full-scale, riveting, hitherto untold story of Marlene Dietrich as only her daughter, Maria Riva – from childhood through most of her life her mother’s confident and companion – knows it and can tell it.

With her total recall of the detail and texture of her mother’s life, she powerfully evokes a woman, a career, a world. Here is Dietrich the child – the adored Maria Magdalena – raised meticulously by a mother who knew her place as a successful tradesman’s daughter in Berlin society and her duty as a good wife… the adolescent Lena, revealed in Dietrich’s voluminous and emotional long-life diaries (at age seventeen: “Somebody told me I looked like a doll one wants to keep on kissing”… “I had a very big fight with Mutti. She said that as I ‘hang’ around with all those schoolboys, that I must be boy crazy”… “Countess Gersdorf, your feet are pink, my heart is set on fire for you…”)

We see the young Marlene, the energetic, disciplined, quickly successful actress whose mother equated actors with shiftless tambourine-players thieves… Marlene about to marry Rudolph Sieber (“He was dressed like an English lord on his country estate. A little assistant director in real tweeds. Right away I knew I loved him!”)… Marlene totally trusting her husband’s impeccable instinct for an approach that would work for his actress-wife: to play vulgarity but not become it, to startle the world but maintain the aloofness of an aristocrat.

Here is Dietrich in Berlin in the 1920s, becoming recognized for her sharp wit, her bisexual sexuality; in top hat, white tie and tails (made by her husband’s tailor), visiting cabarets where transvestites congregated and performed, embodying for them all they yearned to be… Marlene seen through the eyes of her young daughter (“At age three, I knew quite definitely that I did not have a mother, I belonged to a queen”).

Dietrich is here in all of her incarnations: Sternberg’s muse and collaborator in The Blue Angel, Morocco, Shanghai Express, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman (“Mister von Sternberg is a… god! A Master! No wonder they all hate him… He paints like Rembrandt, with his lights”). And without him, Dietrich floundering until, with her understanding of what he had done and how he had done it, she was able herself to create Shanghai Lily in all her luminous beauty and to take command of Marlene Dietrich, the Movie Star.

We see Dietrich the international symbol of unattainable glamour… Dietrich as box-office poison… Dietrich reborn as (almost) the girl next door, in Destry Rides Again… Dietrich in control – of her husband, her husband’s mistress, her own daughter, her own lovers, her films (the minutest detail of costume and lighting)…

Dietrich the Romantic… Dietrich visiting Colette, talking till dawn with Erich Maria Remarque, searching for Jean Gabin in Algiers, adored by Brian Aherne, helplessly in love with Yul Brynner, palling around with Noël Coward and Cole Porter… Dietrich desiring – needing – ultimate romance, passionate declarations of eternal devotion; her lovers unwittingly playing the roles she cast them in.

Dietrich in her fifties and sixties, Vegas star, SRO concert performer around the world again, and again, and again… Dietrich in her eighties, divorcing herself from the world, making herself invisible, devoting herself to the immortality of The Legend.

But what we have said barely does justice to the rich complexity of the story told, the woman revealed, the world portrayed in Maria Riva’s astonishing work. Her biography of her mother has the depth, the range, and the resonance of the nineteenth-century novel and the conviction and feeling of life passionately recollected.

MARIA RIVA lives in Switzerland and New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 790 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.340 g (47,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-394-58692-1

Marlene Dietrich: My Life (Marlene Dietrich)

scannen0007Dietrich speaks…

Marlene Dietrich… perhaps the most glamorous woman this century. She is adored for her androgynous, yet sensual beauty, and for her impenetrable aura of mystery.

Thousands of words have been written about Marlene Dietrich, yet no book has truly captured her. Here, at last, Marlene tells her own story with passion and honesty. She recounts her childhood in war-torn Berlin, the treasured daughter of a mother whose love for the arts she inherited. She tells of her legendary discovery by the director Josef von Sternberg, who cast the naive young girl as the sleazy nightclub singer Lola in The Blue Angel; and how von Sternberg brought her to Hollywood as his protégée. She tells of her courtship by the Nazi leaders, and her refusal to return to Nazi Germany; she recalls with pride her experience under fire in the US Army and her entry with the Allied troops into newly liberated Berlin. She remembers with humour the films she made, as diverse as Blonde Venus and Shanghai Express, The Garden of Allah and Witness for the Prosecution. Above all, she tells of the giants she knew, including Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway, Noël Coward and Richard Burton.

Marlene Dietrich’s vivid personality emerges in strong opinions, fierce loves and hates. Her unmistakable voice suffuses this extraordinary book; it brims over with the wit, warmth and style which are her trademarks.

MARLENE DIETRICH was born in Berlin, and was a child at the time of the First World War. After her appearance in von Sternberg’s classic The Blue Angel, she became one of the greatest Hollywood stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Later, in the 1960s, she performed a stage show of songs and stories which was vividly popular all over the world. She now lives in Paris.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 243 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 650 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1987 – ISBN 0-297-79536-8

Marlene Dietrich: Photographs and Memories (compiled by Jean-Jacques Naudet; captions by Maria Riva, with Werner Sudendorf; from the Marlene Dietrich Collection of the FilmMuseum Berlin)

scannen0317Marlene Dietrich never threw away anything. She kept her good-luck black rag doll (it appeared with her in The Blue Angel and followed her to dressing tables on every movie set). She kept the letters (every last one) she received from her lovers and her husband of fifty-three years. She kept every article of clothing made for her by the great French couturiers and the legendary Hollywood costume designers. She kept everything.

And she believed in storage. Six storage companies, from New York to California, London, and Paris, held pieces of Miss Dietrich’s life, locked away for decades like the pieces of the life of Charles Foster Kane. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid in rental fees. After Dietrich’s death, the articles were gathered together – twenty-five thousand objects and eighteen thousand images. Some were auctioned at Sotheby’s in Los Angeles. The major pieces of Dietrich’s vast collection were assembled in an archive and given to the FilmMuseum Berlin.

Now, her treasures are brought together in 289 photographs from her own collection, with extended captions by her daughter, Maria Riva. We see Dietrich as a child, in velvet dress and golden ringlets, Dietrich as a young actress in Berlin, as the newly married Mrs. Rudolf Sieber, standing proudly with her husband. We see love letters and letters marking the ends of affairs. We see Dietrich in Hollywood with Charlie Chaplin, with Fritz Lang at the Paramount commissary. Dietrich captured in snapshots by her movie-creator, Josef von Sternberg, and Dietrich as a mother.

We see her at war in never-before-published photographs of a USO tour, in uniform (tailor-made for her, of course) disembarking from a transport plane, Dietrich with the 82nd Airborne and rolling into Germany in a U.S. tank. Here she is with her directors and fellow actors Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Ernst Lubitsch, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power. Here are portraits of her by Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Milton Greene, John Engstead. And here is Marlene, shimmering, in Las Vegas, the consummate performer, and at the Palladium in London, triumphant!

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 26,5 x 26,5 cm (10,4 x 10,4 inch) – Weight 1.735 g (61,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-375-40534-8

Marlene: The Life of Marlene Dietrich (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-marlene-the-life-of-marlene-dietrich“Hemingway wrote, ‘If she had nothing but her voice, she could break your heart with it.’ Cocteau pointed to the duality of her nature when he said, ‘Your name begins with a caress and ends with the crack of a whip.’ She is the last of the great diseuses, and is probably the only living woman who would be able to say, as she said once: ‘Hitler wanted me to be his mistress. I turned him down. Maybe I should have gone to him. I might have saved the lives of six million Jews.’ (She did, in fact, save the life of her sister, who had been sent to Belsen.) And what other woman could list Erich Maria Remarque. Maurice Chevalier, Jean Gabin, Fritz Lang, Josef von Stemberg, James Stewart, Willi Forst, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Mike Todd, Brian Aherne, John Gilbert, John Wayne and Yul Brynner among the men who loved her?

On 27 December 1976. Marlene turned seventy-five years old. A meaning of Dietrich in German is ‘skeleton key,’ a key which opens all locks; but Marlene has attempted to lock up most of her secrets, including the date of her birth. Amusingly, reference books contradict each other: Who’s Who in America omits her birth date, gives her the wrong parents, and misspells the name of her school. The British Who’s Who is equally inaccurate and settles on 1904 as a birth date; Who’s Who in France and the Oxford Companion to Film give 1902; Who’s Who in Europe, perhaps wisely, under the circumstances, does not list her at all.

Marlene has scarcely been helpful to potential biographers. She has said that she was discovered by director Josef von Stemberg in the Max Reinhardt drama school and was cast by him in her most famous role, Lola-Lola, the heartless cabaret singer who proves to be the ruination of schoolteacher Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel. Actually, she auditioned successfully for the school, reading an excerpt from Death and the Fool by Hugo von Hofmannsthal; but she failed her test before Reinhardt, reading Gretchen’s prayer in Faust, and was not accepted as a student.

Instead, she became a private pupil of Berthold Held, the head of the school. Hers was a classic Cinderella story, of a shy but pretty girl who was transformed by von Stemberg and Hollywood into the supremely glamorous figure who first conquered the world in the 1930s and who did not relinquish her control.

When the Museum of Modern Art gave a retrospective of her work in the 1950s, the historian Richard Griffith put an asterisk alongside the bulk of the German titles and a footnote reading, ‘Miss Dietrich does not recall having made these films.’ It is as though she had blotted from her mind the eight years between her lessons with Berthold Held and her appearance in The Blue Angel, and with it all memory of herself as the plump, jazzy, gemütlich figure who appeared in German films of the 1920s.

There was a strong moment in the 1929 film I Kiss Your Hand, Madame which first signalled to the world the birth of an extraordinary new screen personality. A fat man, who is trying desperately to woo the aloof beauty, says, ‘I’ll do anything for you, anything.’ She looks suggestively over a large bunch of roses he has bought and briefly, cruelly, kindles his hope. ‘All right,’ she says finally, ‘you can take my dogs for a walk.’

That same year, von Stemberg fashioned the image which was to become legendary: the image of a sensual, decadent blonde singing through clouds of cigarette smoke in an overcrowded dive; an amoral temptress in frilly pants, her gartered legs stretched seductively wide. Following The Blue Angel and her move to Hollywood from Berlin in 1930, she became a nightclub singer in von Sternberg’s Morocco, a prostitute in Shanghai Express, an unfaithful wife in Ernst Lubitsch’s Angel, and a jewel thief in Frank Borzage’s Desire.” – From The Preface.

CHARLES HIGHAM, who succeeded Rex Reed as the New York Times’ best-known interviewer of the stars, began this biography some years ago, shortly after he met Dietrich. British-born, he has published widely on show business topics and has also written four collections of poetry. His verse, highly praised and widely anthologized, has been published in the Hudson Review and the London Times Literary Supplement. His critical essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. His most recent book is The Adventures of Conan Doyle: The Life of the Creator of Sherlock Holmes. He lives in Los Angeles.

Softcover – 320 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 195 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Granada Publishing, Ltd., London, 1979 – ISBN 0 583 12916 1

Marlon Brando (Patricia Bosworth)

bosworth-patricia-marlon-brandoWhen Marlon Brando stunned Broadway in 1948, mumbling and scratching as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, he revolutionized American acting in style and sensibility with his raw psychological approach, his improvisational wildness. Patricia Bosworth, biographer of the best-selling Montgomery Clift, focuses on Brando’s great gifts, describing the gallery of indelible cinematic portraits he created, such as the paraplegic in The Men; the swaggering rebel Johnny in The Wild One, Terry Malloy, the illiterate dockworker who develops a conscience, in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (for which Brando won his first Academy Award), Vito Corleone in The Godfather (his second Academy Award), and the despairing expatriate Paul in Last Tango in Paris.

Brando has been called “the greatest actor in the world.” Bosworth acknowledges his debt to master teacher Stella Adler and director Elia Kazan, who helped shape Brando as an actor, and she explores his soaring talent, a gift so huge he often didn’t know how to control it. But she goes beyond his myth and celebrity to tell the story of his life and to explain Brando’s personal torment, portraying the farm boy from Illinois who loved his alcoholic mother more than anyone else and who wanted to use his fame to change the world – and the man who even today remains a mystery.

PATRICIA BOSWORTH’s books include her critically acclaimed biographies of Diane Arbus and Montgomery Clift and a memoir, Anything Your Little Heart Desires. She is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and writes regularly for The New York Times. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 228 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13,5 cm (7,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 336 g (11,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Group, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-670-88236-4

Marlon Brando (David Thomson)

David Thomson - Marlon BrandoMarlon Brando emerged from the method-acting workshops of 1940s New York and assaulted the Broadway stage more like a force of nature than an actor – and when that force hit Hollywood, movies changed forever. In such now-iconic roles as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979), Brando created a new and influential type of male lead – brooding, tormented, full of raw emotional energy. Brando’s often tumultuous, often controversial life has both shaped and mirrored the dark intensity of his cinematic art.

In Marlon Brando, David Thomson focuses his acute critical skills and brilliant pose style on the man whom many consider the greatest actor of our time.

DAVID THOMSON is considered by many to be the leading contemporary film critic. He writes for The New York Times, The New Republic, Sight and Sound, Film Comment, Movieline, and The Independent on Sunday. Thomson has served on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival and is on the advisory board of the Telluride Film Festival. His books include Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles, A Biographical Dictionary of Film, and Warren Beatty and Desert Eyes: A Life and Story. His most recent book is In Nevada: The Land, the People, God and Chance. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 24,5 x 18,5 cm (9,7 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 662 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER DK Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-7894-9317-9

Martin Ritt: Interviews (edited by Gabriel Miller)

scannen0006There’s no comparison between the visual scope of movies and the stage – what you can actually show with a camera and what you can only suggest in front of the footlights.”

This collection of interviews provides a revealing self-portrait of Martin Ritt (1914-1990), America’s pre-eminent maker of social-conscience films and one of the most sensitive film portraitists of the rural South.

Ritt’s Hollywood career began in 1958 with Edge of the City and ended in 1990 with the release of Stanley and Iris. In all, he directed twenty-six movies, including some of Hollywood’s most enduring films – Hud, Hombre, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Brotherhood, The Molly Maguires, The Front, and Norma Rae.

Although he gave mostly boilerplate interviews to the press when promoting a movie, Ritt provided more revealing interviews for seminars, oral histories, and documentary filmmakers. The most significant of these, published here for the first time, create a close-up portrait of this distinguished director of plays and films.

Ritt speaks eloquently about his years with the Group Theatre and recreates the passion of the director Harold Clurman. He tells how the Group shaped his ideas about art and the communal nature of the theatrical enterprise, which he extended into his work in film. He speaks of his relationship with Clifford Odets and Elia Kazan, and he talks in detail about his experiences with the blacklist, directing and acting in TV during its Golden Age, his career as a theater director, and his experiences working with such actors as Paul Newman, Sally Field, Sophia Loren, Orson Welles, and Robert De Niro. Ritt discusses his philosophy of directing, the place of film in the history of art, his quarrels with “auteur theory,” and the influence of his politics on his work.

GABRIEL MILLER, a professor of English at Rutgers University, is the author of The Films of Martin Ritt: Fanfare for the Common Man (University Press of Mississippi). Articles by him have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, American Book Review, and Literature / Film Quarterly, and other publications.

Softcover – 213 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 411 g (14,5 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2002 – ISBN 1-57806-434-1

Martin Scorsese: The Making of His Movies (Andy Dougan)

Dougan, Andy - Martin ScorseseMartin Scorsese is one of the elite band of filmmakers whose originality and craftsmanship has influenced a generation of film directors. His collaborations with Robert De Niro and skill in telling stories sets him apart as one of the all-time original directors. Andy Dougan has interviewed Scorsese many times and has talked to the stars who have appeared in his movies including, most recently, Sharon Stone, to create a fascinating inside look at the making of his movies. In addition, and for the first time, Variety, the bible of the movie business, has permitted the unabridged reviews for all Scorsese’s movies, including a full list of credits for each film, to be reproduced together creating a unique reference source.

Close Up is a series of lively anecdotal biographies of movie directors working today, concentrating on their approach to movie making. The series is illustrated with rare photographs of the directors behind the camera and includes, for the first time, a complete set of movie reviews from Variety accompanied by a complete list of credits for each movie.

When Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver blasted onto the scene in 1979 [sic] it confirmed what everyone had suspected when Mean Streets was released six [sic] years earlier: here was a huge new talent. ‘This is a powerful film… the final scene is a cinematically brilliant sequence…’ crowed Variety. At least one of Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Raging Bull and The King Of Comedy is on everyone’s list of top ten best films. After thirty years filmmaking Scorsese is one of the few directors working in Hollywood whose movies still surprise and shock. He continues to take risks and produce great movies. So what is it that drives Scorsese? What makes him take on a movie? How does he approach the script and decide what he wants up there on the screen?

ANDY DOUGAN has produced this fascinating behind-the-scenes account of how Martin Scorsese really makes movies. Andy Dougan is the author of Actor’s Director: The Authorised Biography of Richard Attenborough; Untouchable: Robert De Niro and is writing a biography of George Clooney.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 143 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 14 cm (7,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 346 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Orion Media, London, 1997 – ISBN 0-75281-175-4

Marvin: The Story of Lee Marvin (Donald Zec)

zec-donald-marvin-the-story-of-lee-marvinFor nearly thirty years Lee Marvin has raised hell on and off-screen from Hollywood to Honolulu. He is the sole remaining heir to those super-superstars who, like Humphrey Bogart, somehow seemed too big for the screen: who as people were as extraordinary as the parts they played. Marvin the actor is the definitive bully. Terrorising widows, taunting cripples, shooting, knifing, maiming – the Marvin technique is the slow burn, the neatly layered sadism. But, as Hollywood was slowly to discover, he is also a gloriously funny actor, a supreme professional, praised by every director who has had the guts to work with him. Those not intimidated by him have been amazed to discover that, beneath the belligerence, Lee Marvin is the complete gentleman. Jeanne Moreau called him ‘more male than anyone I have ever acted with.’ And Michele Triola, his former mistress, who obtained historic legal rights for common-law wives, claimed: ‘Lee is probably the most pure man I have ever known in my entire life. That’s why I have to sue him.’

Donald Zec, in his absorbing illustrated biography of Marvin, man and actor, incisively traces Marvin’s twenty-year stampede to the ‘overnight success’ of his Oscar-winning performance in Cat Ballou, and shows how, on the way, he redefined the meaning of menace in the movies. From M-Squad, the first TV cop series, where Marvin’s Lt. Ballinger carved out of nothing the prototype for latter-day Columbos and Kojaks to the accident-prone set of The Klansman, Zec gives us Marvin, acting, drinking and fighting his way to stardom, and finally achieving the simple life he had always secretly yearned for. His is the story of Hollywood’s return to honesty and of the metamorphosis of a hell-raiser into a human being.

DONALD ZEC was born in London and is best known for his Daily Mirror column on entertainment which was syndicated throughout the world. In 1967 he won the Descriptive Writer of the Year Award and in 1970 was made an OBE for his services to journalism. His previous books include Some Enchanted Egos and Sophia. He has also written The Deal, a novel about Hollywood, currently available from New English Library. He lives in London with his wife and has one son, Paul, who lectures in philosophy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 486 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER New English Library, London, 1979 – SBN 450 04115 8

The Marx Bros. Scrapbook (Groucho Marx, with Richard J. Anobile)

Marx, Groucho - The Marx Bros ScrapbookThere were many great comic acts to travel from vaudeville to the Silver Screen but perhaps none so famous as the Marx Brothers – certainly none so well known for their outrageous humor. The Marx Bros. Scrapbook is a hilariously accurate testament to that outrageousness, an amazingly candid, revealing account of the Marx brothers, both on- and offstage. Based on exclusive interviews with Groucho, Zeppo, Gummo and Susan Marx (Harpo’s wife of 28 years), Jack Benny and many other associates and artistic collaborators, it is more than just a trivia book for Marx fans – it is a delight for every moviegoer.

The Marx Bros. Scrapbook contains a long interview RICHARD J. ANOBILE had with GROUCHO MARX.

Softcover – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-06-097265-3

The Marx Brothers: A Book of 30 Postcards

the-marx-brothers-a-book-of-30-postcardsThe Marx Brothers ran through the Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s causing chaos wherever they went, at the opera, the races, in Casablanca…

They made their screen debut in The Cocoanuts (1929) and from then on their position as cinema’s most original and anarchic comedy team was unrivalled.

Green Wood present a selection of classic stills from the films of The Marx Brothers, whose spontaneous, surreal comedy continues to delight new generations of fans.

Number 10 in a series of postcard books from Green Wood which includes: Laurel and Hardy, 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 154 g (5,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Green Wood Publishing Co., Ltd., London, 1992 – ISBN 19872532-76-4

Mary Pickford: America’s Sweetheart (Scott Eyman)

eyman-scott-mary-pickfordFor some sixty years the name Mary Pickford has evoked an image of golden curls and angelic innocence. In this first major biography of Hollywood’s first superstar, film critic Scott Eyman looks beneath the façade to what critic Leon Edel called “the portrait within” and reveals a woman fifty years ahead of her time: a woman who acted, wrote and produced; who created the star system in Hollywood; who, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, founded United Artists. She was also a woman whose career made it impossible for her to live with the man she loved, and who paid and paid for her prodigious success, paving the way for the later successes of such stars as Jane Fonda and Jessica Lange.

Until now the reality behind the name Mary Pickford has remained elusive, mysterious. The highest paid and most famous woman of her era, she never appeared before the camera after the age forty, opting instead to produce films in the last fifteen years of her career for United Artists.

What drove this diminutive Canadian to become consumed by her career and to assume power in a way that was unheard of for a woman until half a century later? And why did she then walk away from that eminence and begin buying up all her old films with the intention of burning them? Scott Eyman examines, indeed recreates, the life of Mary Pickford, interviewing countless men and women who knew her well. Included is an intimate portrait of her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, whom she never stopped loving, and to Buddy Rogers, who survives her to this day. This “living” biography also includes a complete filmography, listing all of the films she made from her days at Biograph in New York City through her efforts with United Artists.

SCOTT EYMAN is the author of two previous works, including Flashback: A Brief History of Film, and is a frequent contributor to magazines and periodicals. He writes about motion pictures for The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife make their home in Wilton Manor, Florida.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 342 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 760 g (26,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 1-55611-147-9

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks: The Most Popular Couple the World Has Known (Booton Herndon)

herndon-booton-mary-pickford-and-douglas-fairbanksIt was a golden time, and they were the golden people. They were Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and surely they were the most popular couple the world has known. They were at the peaks of their careers, and because films were silent then there was no language limit to fame. They were adored in the great cities, in the jungles, and in the villages of every nation on earth. She was the most beloved woman, he the most romantic man. Their marriage was not a publicity arrangement; it was a match of consuming love – right out of a D.W. Griffith scenario.

We will never, in a less innocent world, see their like again. Their stardom was no fluke. They had physical beauty, of course, but they both had talent, intelligence, and emotional drives and wounds of remarkable intensity and similarity. During the years between their desperate climb to the top and the dissolution of their love, they had true happiness and were joined in it in the fantasies of their fans. They were loved to the point of danger. They were nearly tramped to death by their public, in London, New York, Moscow, and Tokyo. They brought romance and respect to the tawdry world of Hollywood, where they reigned as king and queen.

They made an enormous contribution to the American art form, the cinema. They produced their own films and they created the great corporation known as United Artists. They made millions from both films and huge real estate investments. Through it all they kept their friends and remained themselves. They were a perfect coincidence at the moment of the birth and glory of the film. And, of course, there was a private, inside story. It is all told here.

The veteran journalist BOOTON HERNDON, often with the assistance of his wife, Bonnie, devoted five years to the biography of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. He studied their films, interviewed more than fifty people, including their fellow stars, relatives, and friends, and read scores of books touching on their lives and the film industry and thousands of articles from newspapers and magazines dating back to the turn of the century. The key to researching the lives of these superstars, he says, is not turning up  information, but knowing what to believe. Booton Herndon lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 342 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 789 g (27,8 oz) – PUBLISHER W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0 393 07508 7

Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend (Kevin Brownlow)

brownlow-kevin-mary-pickford-rememberedBest remembered as “America’s Sweetheart,” silent-film star Mary Pickford (1892-1979) was once the most famous woman in the world, a genuine American folk heroine adored by the masses for two decades. Yet today’s audiences have little knowledge of the more than fifty feature films she made during her remarkable career, let alone her enormous behind-the-scenes power in early Hollywood. A pioneering independent star / producer and co-founder of United Artists with Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and her husband Douglas Fairbanks, Pickford exercised complete control over her films and earned the loyalty of her collaborators, who were among the best of the industry’s early directors, cinematographers, and screenwriters.

Selected from the collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s Margaret Herrick Library especially for this book, the rare film stills, production shots, and personal photographs – most never before published – reveal Pickford’s great versatility as an actress and attest to the high quality of her productions. She has been credited as the inventor of screen acting, and the naturalistic style and extraordinary pantomimic skill for which she was celebrated is captured in these striking still photographs. Equally apparent are the technical merits of her films – in particular, the stunning cinematography of Charles Rosher, Hal Mohr, and Karl Struss – and the superior craftsmanship that went into the creation of sets and costumes.

Although “the girl with the curls” built her reputation playing charming and energetic youngsters in classics such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Poor Little Rich Girl, and Pollyanna, Pickford did not limit herself to such roles, as many believe today. She was a feisty urchin in James Kirkwood’s Rags (1915); a sweatshop worker in The Eternal Grind (1916); an American rescued from a torpedoed ocean liner and held captive by German soldiers in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Little American (1917); both a beautiful, privileged invalid and a homely servant in Stella Maris (1918); an Italian lighthouse keeper who harbors a German spy in the drama The Love Light (1921), written and directed by Frances Marion; a fiery Spanish street singer in Ernst Lubitsch’s Rosita (1923); and a spunky store clerk in the romantic comedy My Best Girl (1927).

Drawing on interviews with Pickford and her former colleagues, as well as period accounts, Kevin Brownlow’s authoritative film-by-film commentaries bring the films to life for a new generation of fans. The text is full of entertaining anecdotes about the star and her circle, offering a window into the process of filmmaking in the silent era. An insightful and illuminating introduction to the actress’s career is provided by the Academy Library’s Robert Cushman, a Pickford expert and curator of the organization’s photographic stills archive, who also chose the photographs for this lavish tribute.

KEVIN BROWNLOW is a noted film historian, documentarian, and editor. In 1980, with David Gill, he produced and directed a thirteen-part television series on the silent-film era, Hollywood: The Pioneers, based on his groundbreaking book The Parade’s Gone By… (1968). Following the success of the series, Brownlow’s restoration of Abel Gance’s 1927 classic, Napoleon, was presented in London and New York with live orchestral accompaniment. For Thames TV, Brownlow and Gill have made documentaries on Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. For their own company, Photoplay Productions, they made D.W. Griffith: Father of Film and Cinema Europe. Brownlow is also the author of The War, the West, and the Wilderness (1979) and Behind the Mask of Innocence (1990), both on silent film, and a critically acclaimed biography of British director David Lean (1997). ROBERT CUSHMAN has been Photograph Curator and Photographic Services Administrator at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1972. A recognized authority on the subject of historical motion picture stills, he is responsible for acquiring, inventorying, preserving, and identifying the Library’s extensive photographic holdings, estimated to consist of seven million items. Prior to joining the Academy, Cushman served as a research fellow with the American Film Institute and produced program notes for film series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His published works include Tribute to Mary Pickford (1970) and Hollywood at Four Feet: The Story of the World-Famous Chinese Theater (1992, with Stacey Endres Behlmer).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23,5 cm (12,2 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 1.720 g (60,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, in association with the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Science, 1999 – ISBN 0-8109-4374-3

Massimo Troisi (edited by Anna Pavignano)

Pavignano, Anna - Massimo Troisi“Massimo Troisi was born in San Giorgio on February 19, 1953. His father was a railway man, his mother a housekeeper. He committed himself to theater since high school (which lasted 10 years for him rather than 5 because, as he used to say, he studied in-depth), founding the comedian group “La Smorfia,” together with Lello Arena and Enzo Decaro.

The trio went on television with the program Non Stop, and several TV appearances and tours followed. After a few years of intense collaboration, the group split and Massimo Troisi directed and starred in his first film, written with Anna Pavignano, Ricomincio da tre, a huge success for audience and critics. Two years later he made his second film, Scusateil ritardo. Then Nothing Left to Do But Cry with Roberto Begnini and Hotel Colonial directed by Cinzia Th. Torrini, with John Savage and Robert Duvall. After his third film as director and screenwriter, Le vie del Signore sono finite, he acted in three films by Ettore Scola: Splendor and What Time Is It? with Marcello Mastroianni, and The Voyage of Capitan Fracassa. He returned to directing with I Thought It Was Love. His last film, The Postman, directed by Michael Radford was based on the novel “Ardiente Paciencia” by Antonio Skàrmeta.

Massimo Troisi died on the 4th of June 1994, the day after the wrapping up of The Postman.” – From chapter 1, ‘Biography.’

This bilingual book, in Italian and in English, with the support of the Italian Ministry for Arts and Culture, includes an interview with Massimo Troisi.

ANNA PAVIGNONA, screenwriter, made her screenwriting debut with the script Ricomoncio da tre, followed by Scusate il ritardo, Le vie del Signore sono finite, I thought It Was Love and The Postman which earned her an Oscar and a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and many other  acknowledgments. Besides, with Troisi and Arena, she is the author of the TV special Morto Troisi, viva Troisi. She also wrote novels and published a child story, Il prode Matteo.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 31 cm (8,3 x 12,2 inch) – Weight 1.190 g (42 oz) – PUBLISHER Cinecittà Holding

Masters of Starlight: Photographers in Hollywood (David Fahey, Linda Rich)

fahey-david-masters-of-starlight-photographers-in-hollywoodBetween 1910 and 1970 more than three hundred still photographers plied their trade in Hollywood. Often anonymous and usually unsung, these consummate professionals had a single aim: to make mere men and women into objects of fantasy, aspiration, and longing.

Masters of Starlight is a rich volume that commemorates both the still photographers – those silent dream weavers – and the brilliance of the Hollywood stars themselves. In its glossy pages, we trace the beginnings of Hollywood still photography in Witzel’s iconic portrait of Theda Bara, Nelson Evans’s tender vision of Mary Pickford, and James Abbe’s lushly romantic photo of Lillian Gish. By the 1930s the soft, often dreamy photos of the late teens and twenties give way to highly stylized, sharply focused portraits that astonish the viewer with the sheer beauty of the sitter. Here we find the Hollywood legends in all their glory: the creamy shoulders and classic al profile of Loretta Young; a regal Marlene Dietrich, clad in a leopard-print gown, hands placed imperiously on hips; Claudette Colbert in a gleaming Egyptian headdress.

In the late forties and fifties, the pictures become more brazen. Voluptuous Kim Novak kneeling at the feet of a bare-chested William Holden and Glenn Ford embracing a satin-clad Rita Hayworth are only two of the eroticized images that somehow managed to slip by the stern eye of the Hays office. We also begin to see color work in this period: Paul Hesse’s richly sensual portrait of Lana Turner – creamy tones of skin, suit, and flaxen hair set off by the vivid contrast of black gloves, red lips, and cherry velvet bow – is a good example.

But not all is moonbeams and starlight: some of these photographs – J. R. Eyerman’s probing courtroom shot taken at the Johnny Stampanato trial, John Swope’s lonely shot of rain-slicked Sunset Boulevard – capture the darker side of Hollywood ‘s magical glow. And Sanford Roth’s pictures of Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, and Gina Lollobrigida present yet another view of the Hollywood star: the serious, hardworking professional trying to perfect a role.

Whenever possible, several examples of each photographer’s work are presented, in order to show the full range of his or her talents. The majority of the images in this volume have been taken from vintage prints – those made by the photographer or under the photographer’s supervision within three years of the original shoot. Where vintage prints were not available, new prints have been made from the photographers’ negatives or transparencies.

Based on the recent exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Masters of Starlight is a unique visual and verbal history, an evocative group portrait, not only of the luminaries of the Hollywood firmament, but of the men and women who helped shape their indelible images. The photographers whose work is assembled here have immortalized Hollywood’s most golden and resplendent era; they have truly given us a book to cherish and to remember.

DAVID FAHEY is one of the founders of the Hollywood Photographers Archives, Inc. and a co-owner of the Fahey / Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. He is an instructor / lecturer in the history of photography at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). LINDA RICH is also a founder of the Hollywood Photographers Archives, Inc. Her photographic document of ethnic neighborhoods in Baltimore was published in the book Neighborhood: A State of Mind. Ms. Rich received an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and taught photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 286 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 24,5 cm (11,2 x 9,7 inch) – Weight 1.985 g (70 oz) – PUBLISHER Ballantine Books, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-345-35509-1

Maurice Chevalier: His Life 1888-1972 (James Harding)

Harding, James - Maurice ChevalierMaurice Chevalier rose to become the world’s best-loved and highest-paid entertainer by a route that was both romantic and enthralling.

He was born in a Paris slum on the same day the Eiffel Tower was illuminated for the first time; between them they were to symbolize the city for generations throughout the world. Brought up in extreme poverty by his mother, he made his professional début at the age of twelve, singing obscene songs to café audiences of pimps and prostitutes. From these humble beginnings he embarked upon a career which lasted sixty-eight years and embraced the great days of the French music-hall, the flowering of the nineteen-twenties musical comedy, the golden age of Hollywood and the era of television.

This fascinating book traces the development of the young Chevalier as he absorbed the techniques of performers like Félix Mayol, Harry Fragson, Max Dearly, George Robey and George Grossmith. His tempestuous affair with the legendary Mistinguett completed his apprecticeship. Thereafter he went to Hollywood and became an international star of a magnitude unknown until then, admired by millions for such classic films as The Love Parade, Love Me Tonight and The Merry Widow. In his seventies, he started a new career in the cinema, which culminated in his most famous film, Gigi.

This full and authorative biography draws on unpublished material from Chevalier’s intimate associates to evoke unforgettably the world of French music-hall and Hollywood at its zenith. The pages glitter with colourful personalities like Ernst Lubitsch, Édith Piaf, Adolph Zukor, Jack Buchanan, Erich von Stroheim, Charles Aznavour, and, above all, Mistinguett, impossible in her triumphant prime and defiant in her ravaged old age.

A rich variety of illustrations from one of the finest private archives in France is included, together with a complete analytical list of Chevalier’s films.

JAMES HARDING is a leading authority on French music and literature. He writes, observed a French critic, “avec esprit, beaucoup d’humeur et un rien de férocité.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 220 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 589 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Secker & Warburg, Ltd., London, 1982 – ISBN 0-436-19107-5

Maurice Tourneur: The Life and Films (Harry Waldman)

waldman-harry-maurice-tourneurMaurice Tourneur (1876-1961), the French and American director, actor, and theatrical manager, is the focus of this work that takes a look at his life and career in the film industry. He began in France during the years 1912 to 1914, making a number of silents of which the subject was often gamin or orphan seeking shelter and love. Tourneur spent 1914-1926 in New Jersey and Hollywood, directing more than 50 films, using his French interests and talents to help shape the industry, and bringing “stylization” to the screen.

He was known in America for his mastery of lighting, design, and atmosphere. Tourneur worked in many genres, but one theme that ran throughout his work dealt with the tricks and ruses of love that women often faced – and sometimes used – to find happiness. While special attention is paid to the facts about his films, a notable feature of this work are the photographs of Tourneur and his film subjects.

HARRY WALDMAN is also the author of Scenes Unseen: Unreleased and Uncomplicated Films from the World’s Master Filmmakers, 1912-1990 and Missing Reels: Lost Films of American and European Cinema. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 174 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 504 g (17,8 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2001 – ISBN 0-7864-0957-6

Ma vie: À belles dents (Marcel Carné)

carne-marcel-ma-vie“Marcel Carné se souvient: l’école buissonnière pour fréquenter les salles obscures, ses débuts au côté de Jacques Feyder, sa rencontre avec Jacques Prévert, ses combats, ses doutes et, bien sûr, ses succès: Drôle de drame, Le Quai des brumes, Hôtel du Nord, mais aussi Le jour se lève, Les Visiteurs du soir, Les Enfants du paradis, Thérèse Raquin, Les Tricheurs… Autant de films, autant de dates dans l’histoire du septième art.

En près de soixante ans de carrière, Marcel Carné a tourné vingt-trois longs métrages. À leur générique, les plus grands comédiens: Arletty, Michèle Morgan, Louis Jouvet, Jean Gabin, Pierre Brasseur, Michel Simon, Simone Signoret, Jean·Louis Barrault, Yves Montand… Depuis son premier long métrage en 1936, Marcel Carné n’a rien entrepris que sous le signe de l’ambition. Preuve de cette exigence: ses quelque quarante projets non aboutis… De quoi faire rêver tous les cinéphiles et frémir quelques producteurs. Car rarement cinéaste aussi fêté aura dû batailler autant pour tourner les sujets de son choix et préserver son indépendance.

Le regard que Marcel Carné porte sur son propre destin, sur le cinéma français et sur tous ceux qui l’ont fait – acteurs, producteurs, metteurs en scène – est sans faiblesse ni concession.

Softcover – 438 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 770 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions de l’Archipel, Paris, 1996 – ISBN 2-84187-021-9

Max Ophuls in the Hollywood Studios (Lutz Bacher)

bacher-lutz-max-ophuls-in-the-hollywood-studiosMax Ophuls, who is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time, has long been seen as an “auteur” – the artist in complete control of his work. Lutz Bacher’s examination of his American career gives us a unique perspective on the workings of the Hollywood system and the struggle of a visionary to function within it. He thus establishes clear connections between the production contexts of Ophuls’ American films and their idiosyncratic style.

Drawing on documents in many archives and on interviews with more than sixty of Ophuls’ contemporaries, Bacher traces the European director’s struggle to find a niche in the U.S. film industry. He describes how Ophuls ran the gamut from ghost writing to substitute directing, to a debilitating association with Preston Sturges and Howard Hughes, to making four films – Letter from an Unknown Woman and Caught among them – in thirty months, and then returning to Europe with a runaway production that was to have starred Greta Garbo. Throughout, Bacher demonstrates that Ophuls’ bending of conventional Hollywood methods to his own will through compromise and subversion allowed him to achieve a style that was both uniquely American and a point of departure for his later work. A rare synthesis of production history, stylistic analysis, and biography, this book is essential reading for serious film scholars and fans of the director’s work.

LUTZ BACHER teaches film and photography in the department of communications at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Mobile Mise en Scène, the standard work on long-take camera movement.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 376 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 854 g (30,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1996 – ISBN 0-8135-2291-9

Max Ophüls par Max Ophüls (Max Ophüls; translated from German by Max Roth; preface by Friedrich Luft)

scannen0276“Il était tellement agile, tellement alerte, pleine d’une souple vivacité. Max Ophüls dominait immédiatement la pièce dans laquelle il pénétrait. Lucide, dynamique, animé d’une grâce nerveuse, il possédait cette gaieté explosive que le ciel accorde à quelques rares élus.

Comme il aimait rire! A chacune de nos rencontres, je cherchais aussitôt le moyen d’alimenter sa fringale d’humour. Je lui racontais des échos et des potins du théâtre berlinois, j’imitais nos connaissances communes, vedettes ou amis. Et, régulièrement, Ophüls illustrait cette locution quelque peu excessive qu’emploient certains auteurs: il se tordait de rire. Même lorsque mes histoires n’étaient pas vraiment drôles, il y puisait un profond plaisir. Il aimait tout ce qui était humain – il aimait rire, il aimait vivre.

Il était pourtant d’un tempérament plutôt timide. Il ne se sentait guère à l’aise dans la cohue des réceptions mondaines. Il s’arrangeait pour prendre à l’écart les gens qui l’intéressaient. On avait l’impression qu’il se refusait à gaspiller, dans la foule, sa passion du contact direct. Il préférait choisir ce qui pouvait apaiser sa faim. Et il avait faim de chaleur humaine.

De taille moyenne, la tête ronde, intelligente, Max Ophüls était massif, nerveux, très viril. Son élégance, d’un style extrêmement personnel, frappait autant que sa mobilité nonchalante. La voix possédait une intensité particulière, une sonorité étonnante. En parlant, il gesticulait volontiers. Je le soupçonnais de n’avoir acheté ses grosses lunettes en écaille – sans cesse, il les tirait de la poche, les remettait, les reprenait – que pour occuper ses mains. Lorsqu’il discourait, il les avait plus souvent dans les doigts que sur le nez.

Chez lui, l’on se rendait compte combien un metteur en scène digne de ce nom reste metteur en scène même en dehors du travail. Il recouvrait tout d’une atmosphère spécifique – l’atmosphère Ophüls. N’importe quel cadre, du moment que Max s’y trouvait, en recevait aussitôt la marque. Il semblait modeler immediatement, à sa façon, les éléments les plus fortuits, comme pour obéir à une impulsion irrésistible. Le restaurant banal où il était attablé depuis quelques minutes prenait comme par enchantement cet aspect mystérieux et fascinant que l’on trouve dans ses films. Le bureau où il bavardait, avec des amis ou des étrangers, paraissait bientôt transformé de manière à exprimer sa personnalité, quoique, manifestement, il n’eût rien fait pour obtenir cette transformation.

Tant que durait sa présence, n’importe quel salon, n’importe quelle réunion semblait subir cette magie. Max était toujours “de service” – à sa façon, celle de l’artiste né. Il paraissait mettre l’empreinte de son style sur tout ce qu’il touchait, recréant sans cesse les objets et les personnages qui l’entouraient, aussi indifférents, aussi quelconques qu’ils fussent.

Je l’ai rencontré dans des pays différents, et dans les milieux les plus divers. Pourtant, l’évocation de ces rencontres me laisse une impression d’unité. Que ce fut à Hollywood, lors d’une garden-party où se bousculaient vraies et fausses célébrités, dans un restaurant de gare, au fin fond de l’Ecosse, dans un café parisien ou dans un estaminet berlinois, minable et légèrement crasseux – toujours, c’était lui qui façonnait le décor. Il modifiait toutes les teintes, il mettait tout au diapason de sa mélodie.

Ophüls était un cosmopolite. Il tournait ses films en Allemagne et en France, en Italie, dans les Pays-Bas et aux Etats-Unis. Il faillit même tourner en Union Soviétique. En général, on le considère comme un Viennois de Paris, ou encore, comme un Français auquelle Bon Dieu aurait accordé cette légèreté autrichienne que le monde entier adore et admire.

Pourtant, il ne passa à Vienne que quelques mois. Pourtant, il parlait français avec un accent accusé, dur, nettement germanique. Lorsque l’un de ses films français fut doublé en Allemagne, il s’exclama: ‘Formidable! Enfin, je  comprends chaque mot!'” – From The Preface by Friedrich Luft.

Hardcover – 237 pp. – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 368 g (13 oz) – PUBLISHER Robert Laffont, France, 1963

Mayer and Thalberg: The Make-Believe Saints (Samuel Marx)

Marx, Samuel - Mayer and ThalbergIt was Hollywood’s greatest studio, a city in itself, with schools, a hospital, police and fire departments, dining halls, streetcars – all contained within fifty-three acres of Culver City, California. There were two dozen soundstages, a gigantic park that could be converted into anything from a football field one day to the gardens at Versailles the next, storerooms with millions of dollars’ worth of antique furniture and wardrobes fit for princes and paupers…

What made Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer great, however, was not its possessions but its people, the men and women who put together and starred in the motion pictures it produced – and particularly the two men who created it all, Louis B. Mayer and Irving G. Thalberg.

Rich with anecdotes and never-before-told stories, The Make-Believe Saints is and eye-witness look at the way Hollywood really was in its golden years.

Samuel Marx was MGM’s story editor throughout most of the thirteen years that Mayer and Thalberg worked together to make the staggering total of five hundred feature motion pictures, discovering and inspiring a remarkable group of producers, directors, actors and technicians.

“The difference in age wasn’t the only contrast between them,” writes Samuel Marx. “Thalberg was naïve, Mayer was sharp. Thalberg was frail, Mayer was robust. Thalberg was retiring, Mayer was pugnacious. Thalberg was searching for new meanings in life, Mayer was satisfied with the old.”

The Make-Believe Saints reveals them exactly as they were – both in public and in private – and how the powerful combination of their contrasting personalities and abilities made them an unparalleled success. Samuel Marx also presents unique accounts of the trials and tribulations of the filming of such pictures as The Big Parade, Grand Hotel and Mutiny on the Bounty… and revealing portraits of Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, John Gilbert, Norma Shearer, Buster Keaton, Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, and more.

Here, too, for the first time, are the true stories behind many legends: the rise and fall of John Gilbert; the chance discovery of Garbo; the panicky transition from silents to sound; the real reason for the suicide of Jean Harlow’s husband; the literati’s (Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Lillian Hellman, William Faulkner, Anita Loos – and many others) initiation into Hollywood; the details of Mayer’s secret obsession with a starlet; the “on-and-off” romancing of Norma Shearer and Thalberg.

Going behind the glamorous façade of Hollywood, Samuel Marx has written an in-depth profile of movies as an industry; the fascinating business of creating films, the deal making, the high finance, the heartbreak and hassle, the power and the politics. But more than an ingratiating portrait of a unique era, The Make-Believe Saints is the story of an extraordinary partnership – the father-son relationship between Mayer and Thalberg – from the day it began until Thalberg died, by which the association had disintegrated into bitterness and rivalry.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 273 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 696 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-394-48842-3

Me and My Shadow: A Family Memoir – Living With the Legacy of Judy Garland (Lorna Luft)

luft-lorna-me-and-my-shadowsBorn into the twin shadows of a famous mother and older sister, Lorna Luft was always referred to as Judy Garland’s “other daughter.” But the little girl who first performed “Jingle Bells” at the tender age of four on stage with her mother was blessed with her own talent, zest for living, and knack for survival. This is the first insider portrait of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated families – and a remarkably intimate and loving chronicle of an astonishing childhood and a struggle to overcome a legacy of fame and self-destructive behavior.

The question follows her to this day: “What’s it like to be Dorothy’s daughter?” Although by appearances glamorous and at times truly thrilling, growing up as the daughter of Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft was anything but a journey over the rainbow. With unsparing candor, Lorna Luft reveals a rare story of a little girl, her half-sister Liza Minnelli, and baby brother trying desperately to hang on to the mother whose life seemed destined to burn brightly but briefly. A beautiful and brilliant performer, Judy was a warm and funny woman who loved her children unconditionally – but she was also the victim of a powerful dependence on alcohol and prescription drugs, which eventually claimed her life. Now her daughter, Lorna, makes an extraordinary journey back into the spiral of love, addiction, pain, and loss that lurked behind a charmed façade. Filled with behind-the-scenes dramas, hilarious untold stories, and little-known details of Garland family life, it is a tribute to Lorna’s victory over her own past. The proud mother of two children, she has at last laid the groundwork that enables her to share the tale only she could tell, unveiling the intensely personal side of life as Judy Garland’s daughter.

Ultimately a story of forgiveness and hope, of love and its limitations, My and My Shadows is a deeply moving testament to the healing powers of embracing one’s past, facing one’s demons, and charting a course of self-love and discovery.

LORNA LUFT made her television debut singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on her mother’s 1963 Christmas special. She has appeared on and off Broadway in Lolita, Promises, Promises, and Snoopy; in national tours of Grease, They’re Playing Our Song, and Guys and Dolls; at the Rainbow Room, the Hollywood Bowl, and the White House; in the television series Trapper John, M.D., and Caroline in the City; and as Paulette in the movie Grease 2. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and daughter.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 417 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 730 g (25,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Pocket Books, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-671-01899-X

Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck: The Golden Years at Twentieth Century-Fox (selected and edited by Rudy Behlmer; foreword by Philip Dunne)

Behlmer, Rudy - Memo from Darryl F ZanuckOne of Hollywood’s towering figures for almost half a century, Darryl F. Zanuck presided over Twentieth Century-Fox from 1935 to 1956. These were the golden days when stars like Marilyn Monroe, Henry Fonda, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple, Don Ameche, Gregory Peck, Tyrone Power, Carmen Miranda, and even Bette Davis roamed the lot; when such giants as John Ford, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Elia Kazan, Nunnally Johnson, and Otto Preminger ruled the sets; and when such blockbusters as The Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve, The King and I, Miracle on 34th Street, The Day the Earth Stood Still, How Green Was My Valley, Laura, Twelve O’Clock High and Viva Zapata! filled the screen.

Rudy Behlmer, whose now classic Memo from David O. Selznick was called “the most revealing, penetrating book on filmmaking I know” by director King Vidor, performs the same service for Zanuck in this first-time-ever collection of his personal correspondence to the directors, writers, actors, technicians, and studio executives who made the period magical. Here is a from-the-top, at-the-moment, insider’s look at the myriad elements that went into the production of a feature film during the colourful days of the old studio system, from the man who pulled it all together. And, like all important histories, Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck is equally revealing about the way things work today.

A treasure trove of legend and lore, insights and nostalgia, Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck is as entertaining as it is informative, and full of secrets and surprise. Illustrated with photographs as intimate and candid as the correspondence itself, it offers a chronicle of Hollywood’s most glamorous age and rich testimony to the taste, showmanship, and vision of its most resilient, efficient, and enduring producer.

RUDY BEHLMER spent many years as a television director, producer and executive in Hollywood. He is the author of Inside Warner Bros., Behind the Scenes, and five other books, as well as countless magazine articles about movies and moviemaking. Behlmer has taught on college campuses and lectured at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America. He has also contributed to a wide variety of documentaries and videos about Hollywood’s Golden Age. Rudy Behlmer, his wife, Stacey, and their golden retriever, Elsa, live in Southern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 276 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 624 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-8021-1540-3

Memo from David O. Selznick (selected and edited by Rudy Behlmer; introduction by S.N. Behrman)

behlmer-rudy-memo-from-david-o-selznick“One day in the winter of 1947, my agent, Harold Freedman, called me to say that David O. Selznick wanted me to work on the filmscript of Robert Nathan’s novel Portrait of Jennie. Freedman asked me to read the novel, as Selznick was going to call me to discuss it.

I read the book at once. It is gracefully written and I appreciated the style, but it encountered at once an almost congenital prejudice of my own: it was a fantasy, a literary form I have never eared for. (I think this prejudice started when I was a boy in Worcester, Massachusetts, and ushering in the Worcester Theatre. During a performance of Peter Pan, the ineffable Maude Adams rushed to the footlights and implored me to believe in fairies. I believed in Maude Adams, but somehow, I resisted the larger assignment.) Also, I kept stumbling on discrepancies in the Jennie narrative.

Selznick’s call came late that night. My notes were ready. I brought up various points. Selznick managed to defend some of the discrepancies, but several stumped him. ‘Why don’t you ask the author?’ I said. ‘He’s out there in California.’ ‘I did,’ said David, ‘but he didn’t know.’ Finally David said, ‘Let’s make a deal. I’m coming to New York. We’ll argue it out. If you persuade me, I won’t make the film. If I persuade you, you’ll write it.’ This seemed eminently fair – I agreed.

Selznick arrived several days later, with two secretaries. He was preparing a memorandum to meet my queries. We made a date to meet at ten o’clock that night in his suite at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel. A wan and exhausted secretary made her exit just as I came in. She had been working since early morning.

David was in wonderful form. To read his critical memos does not altogether convey the essence of his personality. Even though he drove the directors who worked for him crazy, in person he was genial, affectionate, and warm.

We got to talking about the story. The stubborn discrepancies remained; David could not dissipate them. I did not think it necessary to tell him that I could not go to work on it with these jagged points unresolved. Nor did I remind him of his promise not to make the film if he could not persuade me. The discussion went on and on. It got to be 3 AM David, I knew, often worked all night on problems in his films, but I said I had to go to bed. I headed for a closet where I had left my hat and coat. David shouted a warning.

‘Don’t go in there,’ he cried. ‘There’s a dead secretary in there!’ The conference ended in laughter. Many conferences with David ended in laughter.

The whole Selznick family had limitless energy. The Selznick boys, Myron and David, had sniffed the smell of celluloid from infancy. Their father, Lewis J. Selznick, was one of the pioneer film producers who, at his apogee, could call himself a film magnate. Myron was a maverick character who refused to be swamped by the elegancies of upper-class Hollywood. When he became a leading agent, he set his own disreputable style and was the pet of many writers, even among those who were not his clients.

David’s lifelong ambition was to produce on his own. There is a moving letter here to his father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, asking to be released from his MGM contract. David had been placed in a high-salaried position at Metro after he married Mayer’s daughter, Irene. The marriage was a happy one for many years, but David’s sensitivity to the charges of nepotism was acute. These charges were rife; they gave birth to the mocking phrase, “the son-in-law also rises.” David finally left Metro and his $ 4,000 a week job and raised the capital to start Selznick International Films.” – From The Introduction by S.N. Behrman.

Hardcover – 518 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.180 g (41,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1972 – SBN 670-46766-9

Mémoires de cinéma: Une vie et des films (Mylène Demongeot; préface de Jacques Fieschi)

scannen0243Une évocation avec humour et passion des plus grands moments du cinéma de Mylène Demongeot. Des succès du dernier Fantômas (1967) à Camping (2009).

À la fin des années 50, Mylène Demongeot est une star. Depuis la sortie des Sorcières de Salem en 1957, sa carrière est lancée. Des films comme Bonjour tristesse, Les Trois Mousquetaires, La Bataille de Marathon ou les trois Fantomas s’enchaînent jusqu’à sa rencontre en 1966 avec Marc Simenon.

Elle change alors radicalement de vie pour se consacrer entièrement à son mari, entame une carrière de productrice par amour et se trouve confrontée à maintes situations, parfois difficiles, souvent burlesques.

Au décès de Marc, en 1999, elle reprend courageusement en main sa carrière d’actrice et renoue avec le cinéma en tournant 36, quai des Orfèvres, La Californie, Camping I et II ou Les Toits de Paris et, plus récemment, Si tu meurs, je te tue.

Ces Mémoires de cinéma se lisent aussi comme le roman d’une vie; d’anecdote en anecdote, et surtout grâce à son sens de l’autodérision et sa joie de vivre, Mylène Demongeot nous donne une magnifique leçon de sagesse et nous parle avec émotion et sincérité de la passion de sa vie: le cinéma.

MYLÈNE DEMONGEOT est l’auteur de plusieurs ouvrages dont Tiroirs secrets (Pré aux Clercs, 2001) et Le piège, l’alcool n’est pas innocent (Flammarion, 2008).

Softcover – 248 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 430 g (15,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Hors Collection, 2011 – ISBN 978-2-258-09002-6

Memoirs of a Star (Pola Negri)

Negri, Pola - Memoirs of a StarAn exotic beauty, a series of intense love affairs, a quick temper and a strong will, a remarkable talent and a devotion to excellence – these were the natural gifts and the publicist’ legends that made Pola Negri one of the greatest stars ever to brighten the silver screen. Hers was a life of glamour, passion, wealth and success. But it was also filled with struggle, disappointment, heartbreak, and tragedy. In this book, Pola Negri has recorded for the first time the dramatic events of her life and career, providing a stunning picture of Negri the star, of Negri the woman, and of the fantastic world of illusion-making in which she lived.

She describes her childhood of an aristocratic but impoverished mother and a revolutionary father in a brutally oppressed Poland. She recounts her meteoric rise, first in the theater, then in Germany’s booming young film industry. She tells of the many men she has loved and the two she married, of her triumphant return to Berlin at the height of her career and her flight to the beginning of the Second World War, of her quiet retirement and her successful comeback in The Moonspinners.

But the focus of her attention is on Hollywood in its Golden Age, on the personalities, films, and causes célèbres that swirled around her in that remarkable era. She sets the record straight on such highly publicized incidents as her affair with Charlie Chaplin. And there is a moving account of her romance with Rudolph Valentino. Her success brought her in contact with virtually all the great artists from the 20s and the 30s, in both Europe and America, and these memoirs are studded with character sketches – sometimes touching, sometimes amusing, always revealing, of men and women like Sarah Bernhardt, George Bernard Shaw, Wallace Reid, Eleanora Duse, Max Reinhardt, Greta Garbo, Wallace Beery, Feodor Chaliapin, and many others.

This is, in short, an autobiography filled with great names, great drama, and much more: the grace, the style, the art, and the charisma that makes it truly the Memoirs of a Star.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 453 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 892 g (31,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1970

Memories: An Autobiography by Ethel Barrymore (Ethel Barrymore)

Barrymore, Ethel - MemoriesThe story begins in Philadelphia in the last century with her remarkable grandmother, Mrs. John Drew, founder of an exceptionally fine stock company and undisputed head of a unique household – people of infinite gaiety and humor, to whom the theater was life itself. Georgie Drew Barrymore, “a tall, fair, slender girl with blue eyes,” and her startingly handsome husband Maurice, Mama and Papa, came and went, objects of glamour and worship to a shy little girl. Uncle Jack and Uncle Googan (John and Sidney Drew) were other romantic and intermittent figures in the family circle. And of course there were brothers Lionel and young Jack, companions in adventure.

Those early years were starred for young Ethel by a wonderful tour with Madame Modjeska – followed by two magical years in England, then convent school with dreams of becoming a musician.

But suddenly she was fifteen. It was presumed that she knew how to act without being told anything, and, though she had not known that she was to go on the stage, she was moved around like a pawn in a state of half-dazed excitement, taking the parts assigned to her and receiving little or no salary. It was while she was on her first tour, with Uncle Jack, that a reviewer took note of “an opalescent dream named Ethel Barrymore”; and on this same tour she came to know something of the American cities which would welcome her warmly for the next half century, to meet people in many worlds – of society and the arts – who would be her friends for life.

An opportunity to go to London with William Gillette in Secret Service was followed by an engagement there with Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry and a social success in England which had reverberactions across the Atlantic. Back in America, there was the first personal triumph, as Madame Trentoni in Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. Other triumphs followed: A Country Mouse, Alice Sit-by-the-Fire, Our Mrs. McChesney, The Twelve Pound Look, Déclassée, The Constant Wife, The Corn Is Green, and many, many more. The years were full and satisfying for the most part, rich in friends and fun and excitement, but they were not without hardship and heartbreak too.

On her seventieth birthday, friends of Ethel Barrymore honored her not only as “America’s greatest artist” but as a woman – beautiful, vital, generous, warm, with a world of interests from books to baseball. It is so that she reveals herself through these memoirs: a superlative artist, and a human being of spirit and charm, whose story is a living piece of contemporary America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 563 g (19,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper and Brothers, New York, New York, 1955

The Memory Of All That: Love and Politics in New York, Hollywood and Paris (Betsy Blair)

blair-betsy-the-memory-of-it-allIn her enchanting memoir, Betsy Blair tells the story of her life, from her days growing up in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, the epitome of the “nice kid,” a redheaded girl next door, nurtured by her mother to believe that she could be and do anything (her dream: to be a great actress like Duse or to dance with Fred Astaire). She writes about dancing in the chorus of Billy Rose’s nightclub, the Diamond Horseshoe – she was picked out of six hundred girls by the club’s choreographer, Gene Kelly, then a little-known Broadway hoofer.

She writes about their whirlwind courtship. Kelly gave the sixteen-year-old dancer a Grade-A New York education – galleries, museums, classical music, a Marxist study group, visits to Harlem’s Apollo Theater and the Cotton Club to hear Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. She writes about their wedding: Kelly proposed at the fountain of the Plaza Hotel, then whisked her off to Hollywood when he was signed by David O. Selznick. We see Kelly making his first musical with Judy Garland (For Me and My Gal) while Betsy was the young wife and soon-to-be mother… the fun they had as Gene Kelly starred flying higher and higher among the stars at MGM. She writes about their famous Saturday night parties (among the regulars: George Cukor, Vincente Minnelli, Leonard Bernstein. Lena Home, Noël Coward, even Greta Garbo), their racing version of charades (they shouted, lost tempers, and collapsed on the floor laughing), their legendary Sunday afternoon volleyball games (the competition was lethal), all the while Betsy rejecting the Hollywood system (no swimming pool; no fancy cars; fur coats for premieres only). And throughout, she gives us, as never before, a sense of what Hollywood was like then, of the village they lived in called Beverly Hills (Betsy went everywhere barefoot and in blue jeans), of Rodeo Drive (it was like Main Street, U.S.A. – it had a grocery store, a book shop, a dry cleaner, a drugstore). She writes movingly about her work as an actress and – under Gene’s tutelage – her growing political activism, which led her to the Communist Party (Kelly warned her she’d be “the worst Communist in the world”; the party concurred and turned her down because of her too-famous husband).

She writes of the blacklist, when the town split in two – subpoenas issued, rumors everywhere – and the optimism of the thirties and forties came to an end… and of the terrifying moment when she found herself blacklisted, finally breaking it by landing the part of Clara in the Hecht-Hill-Lancaster production of Marty.

And she makes us understand why and how she ultimately burst out of the cocoon of her idyllic marriage and fairy-tale life – moving to Europe to begin anew as an expatriate living in Paris, coming into her own as an actress, winning the Golden Palm at Cannes for Marty, working with such directors as Michelangelo Antonioni and Costa-Gavras, living in an entirely different society that included Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Marguerite Duras, and Luis Buñuel. And finally meeting, falling in love with, and marrying the director Karel Reisz.

BETSY BLAIR was born in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. She was a child model, became a chorus dancer at fifteen, and appeared on Broadway in Panama Hattie and William Saroyan’s The Beautiful People. She was married to Gene Kelly for sixteen years and appeared in such plays as Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, as well as Sabrina Fair and The Rainmaker. She appeared in many motion pictures, including A Double Lift, Kind Lady, The Snakepit, and Marty, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Betsy Blair lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 341 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 598 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-375-41299-9

The Men Who Made Hollywood: The Lives of the Great Movie Moguls (Michael Freedland)

Freedland, Michael - The Men Who Made HollywoodThe Hollywood moguls were mostly Jewish immigrants who had worked their way up from poor backgrounds. They were remarkably entrepreneurs, the likes of whom will probably never be seen again. Sam Goldwyn, Jack L. Warner, Harry Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Harry Cohn, Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky ruled the movie empires in the golden age of Hollywood.

These Tinseltown giants liked to be seen at race meetings as proof  of their social standing, were loyal to their wives but made good use of the casting couch and, despite their origins, were as American as apple pie – perhaps more so. The stories of their rise to the top are as fascinating as they are entertaining.

When Harry Cohn, iron dictator of Columbia Pictures, died, a rabbi was asked if there was anything good that could be said of him. ‘”Sure,” he replied, “he’s dead.” MGM’s Louis B. Mayer regarded himself as the head of a big family – and if one of his ‘children’ was out of line, his solution was to punch them on the jaw. Jack L. Warner was determined that the studio bearing his name should deliver quality products. Brother Harry Warner looked upon things differently: “I don’t want it good,” he once said, “I want it Tuesday.”

The Men Who Made Hollywood is a fascinating look at the godfathers of cinema – the men who really did make Hollywood and, in doing so, created the first and arguably most important art form of the 20th century. Based on interviews with family members, actors, producers and directors, this is a frank and detailed portrayal of the extraordinary lives of these powerbrokers, from their backgrounds and motivations to their love lives and quarrels.

MICHAEL FREEDLAND is an author, journalist and BBC broadcaster. He has written over 40 books, many of them telling the stories of the Hollywood greats, from Frank Sinatra to Al Jolson. He also writes regularly for national newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 246 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 540 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER JR Books, London, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-906217-63-1

The Men Who Made the Movies (Richard Schickel)

scannen0236The Men Who Made the Movies evolved from a memorable TV series first shown in the United States (where it was named by the New York Times as one of the outstanding programmes of the year) and since screened in England on BBC2. Richard Schickel encouraged eight directors – Frank Capra, George Cukor, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh, and William A. Wellman – to reminisce about their working lives, which spanned the most intriguing decades of American filmmaking. In speaking with them, he found in those men a special quality: ‘They felt in their bones the character and quality of a vanished America.’ There was something valuable to be learned from them, not merely about the cinema, but about the conduct of life.

Each director created a canon of work that even today sustains critical analysis without sacrificing popular appeal. Moreover, each maintained his artistic integrity while working in an atmosphere generally credited with ruining rather than nurturing talent – Hollywood. In their conversations with Schickel, these giants of the cinema talk about their lives and their attitudes – attitudes which, as Schickel writes in his excellent introduction, were ‘composed of a toughness that was never harsh, a pride in achievement that was never boastful, a self-reliance and an acceptance of the difficulties under which they had laboured which contained neither self-pity nor a desire to blame others for the things that had gone wrong.’

Rich in behind-the-scenes stories about such modern classics as It Happened One Night, Dawn Patrol, The Champ, Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Roaring Twenties, as well as in anecdotes about the men and women of Hollywood, this book will stand as an enduring tribute to the men who made the movies.

RICHARD SCHICKEL was the producer of the television series, The Men Who Made the Movies, which was nominated for an Emmy in the United States and named one of the outstanding television programmes of 1973 by the New York Times. The programmes have since been screened on BBC2. Mr. Schickel was the film critic for Life until it ceased publication in 1972. He is now an arts critic on Time and writes and directs for television. His previous books include The Disney Version, The Fairbanks Album, and Douglas Fairbanks: The First Celebrity.

[Interviews with Frank Capra, George Cukor, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh, William A. Wellman]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 308 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 757 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Elm Tree Books / Hamish Hamilton Ltd., London, 1977 – SBN 241 89583 9

Merchant of Dreams: Louis B. Mayer, M.G.M. and the Secret Hollywood (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - Merchant of DreamsAt its peak in the 1930s and 1940s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer could boast of having “more stars than the heavens,” including Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Norma Shearer, Van Johnson…

All owed their careers to mogul Louis B. Mayer, the brilliant, mercurial chief of perhaps the greatest movie studio of all time. Now best-selling author Charles Higham fully reveals the character and genius of this complex “merchant of dreams.”

Higham follows Mayer from his birth in a ghetto in Ukraine, to his poor of idyllic boyhood in Canada, to his entry in show business via vaudeville. He details Mayer’s precarious early years as a pioneer in silent films, his move to Hollywood and his commitment to talking pictures (Garbo Talks!).

Among Higham’s revelations: how Mayer rescued Jews from Nazi Europe while Loew’s, Inc., his parent company, was still trading with Hitler and Mussolini; how he protected Garbo while she operated as a secret agent for the Allies; how he covered separate alleged acts of manslaughter committed by Clark Gable and John Huston; and how he conducted a love/hate relationship with boy genius Irving Thalberg, who betrayed him repeatedly.

And there is the personal side: his clashes with two headstrong daughters: Irene (Mrs. David O. Selznick), who became a successful theatrical producer, and Edith (Mrs. William Goetz), one of Hollywood’s legendary hostesses, and his own romantic involvements.

With the first-time cooperation of Mayer’s family and surviving associates, Higham weaves a gripping account of the public successes and private agonies of the man who personified the Hollywood mogul.

CHARLES HIGHAM is the author of The Duchess of Windsor; The Secret Life; Elizabeth and Philip; Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart; Errol Flynn: The Untold Story, and Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn. A former correspondent for the New York Times and Regents professor of Commonwealth Literature at the University of California, he makes his home in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 488 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 938 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 1-55611-345-5

The Merchant Prince of Poverty Row: Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures (Bernard F. Dick)

Dick, Bernard F - The Merchant Prince of Poverty RowBen Hecht called him “White Fang,” and director Charles Vidor took him to court for verbal abuse. The image of Harry Cohn as vulgarian is such a part of Hollywood lore that it is hard to believe there were other Harry Cohns: the only studio president who was also head of production; the ex-song plugger who scrutinized scripts and grilled writers at story conferences; a man who could look at actresses as either “broads” or goddesses.

Drawing on personal interviews as well as previously unstudied source material (conference notes, memos, and especially the teletypes between Harry and his brother Jack), Bernard Dick offers a radically different portrait of the man who ran Columbia Pictures – and who “had to be boss” – from 1932 to 1958.

A latecomer to the movie business, Harry turned to film only after Jack won acclaim as an editor at Universal. Harry’s determination to eclipse Jack drove him to gain control of Columbia and to woo talent like Frank Capra who could achieve his goal of transforming a Poverty Row studio into one of the majors (while maintaining some of the lowest budgets in Hollywood). A study of Columbia’s 1930s films, most of them rarely shown, proves that Capra / Cohn – not “Capracorn” – was studio policy during that crucial decade.

By interweaving biography, studio history, and film criticism, Dick argues for a new approach to the studio heads of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Harry Cohn was Columbia, and Columbia’s pictures were Harry Cohn in all his complexity.

BERNARD DICK is professor of English and comparative literature at Farleigh Dickinson University, author of The Star-Spangled Screen: The American World War II Film and Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten, and editor of Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 228 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 632 g (22,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1993 – ISBN 0-8131-1841-7

Mervyn LeRoy: Take One (Mervyn LeRoy, as told to Dick Kleiner; foreword by Jack L. Warner)

leroy-mervyn-mervyn-leroy-take-oneThis is the frank, intimate autobiography of one of Hollywood’s most consistently successful motion picture directors – a giant in the film industry with more than seventy-five pictures to his credit, including such classics as Little Caesar, I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, Quo Vadis, Oil for the Lamps of China, Waterloo Bridge, Tugboat Annie, Anthony Adverse, The Wizard of Oz, Random Harvest, Mister Roberts, The Bad Seed, No Time for Sergeants, Johnny Eager, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Little Women, The FBI Story, Gypsy, and Madame Curie. He also has the unique distinction of having had twenty pictures shown in Radio City Music Hall.

LeRoy began his career hawking newspapers in San Francisco at the age of ten after his father’s death. Soon he got a bit part in the play Barbara Frietchie, which cast the die for his love affair with show business. Winning a stage contest for the best imitation of Charlie Chaplin earned for him a solo act stint with Sid Grauman’s gaudy midway show. Then he joined with Clyde Cooper to play the vaudeville circuits billed as “LeRoy & Cooper, Two Kids and a Piano.”

After World War I he left vaudeville to try his luck in Hollywood, starting off as a wardrobe assistant and graduating to a job with William DeMille. He finally found his true role when he was assigned to direct Mary Astor and Lloyd Hughes in No Place to Go, followed by Harold Teen – and the rest is history: a span of eventful years that comprises the most memorable era in the industry and shows in graphic detail LeRoy moving serenely in the company of such giants as Jesse L. Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, Jack L. Warner, Irving G. Thalberg, and Louis B. Mayer in addition to Hollywood’s greatest stars and several whom he discovered (such as Clark Gable and Lana Turner).

Co-author DICK KLEINER is a native of New York but a Californian by adoption. He majored in journalism at Rutgers University, then spent four years as a radio intercept operator in the U.S. Signal Corps’ signal intelligence units. In 1947 he joined NEA’s Newspaper Enterprise Association – and has been with that organization since that date. He has served in the Cleveland and New York bureaus and since 1964 has been NEA’s West Coast editor based in Los Angeles. He has written hundreds of magazine articles, several songs, and this is his fifth book, following The Ghost Who Danced with Kim Novak, The World’s Worst Wisher, ESP and the Stars, and Index of Initials and Acronym.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 681 g (24,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Hawthorn Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1974

The Meryl Streep Story (Nick Smurthwaite)

Smurthwaite, Nick - The Meryl Streep StoryMeryl Streep is the actress who once said to her agent, ‘l’ve got to do something outside of my experience. Put me on the moon.’

In terms of her stage and film career, Streep has reached for the moon, and few would deny that she has made a perfect landing, though not without taking some immense risks to get there. In her short professional career she has been a swashbuckling Kate in Taming of the Shrew, a clowning child in Alice in Wonderland, a manipulative lawyer in The Seduction of Joe Tynan, a literate lesbian in Woody Allen’s Manhattan, a working-class girlfriend in The Deer Hunter, the bewildered wife of an advertising executive in Kramer vs Kramer, a Victorian enigma in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a tragic Polish refugee in Sophie’s Choice and a gum-chewing industrial agitator in Silkwood. Yet these roles, it seems, have barely brushed the surface of what Meryl Streep has to offer. She possesses that very rare ability to become someone completely different in every role she takes on – and to compel you to watch her every move. She has been variously described as a young Bette Davis, a suffering madonna, the Eleanor Roosevelt of actresses, a tigress – but such labels are mere reflections of her multi-faceted personality and phenomenal talent. In this book her story is told, often in her own words or in the words of people who have been closely associated with her, for the first time.

Softcover – 128 pp., index – Dimensions 30 x 21,5 cm (11,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Beaufort Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8253-0229-3

Meryl Streep: The Reluctant Superstar (Diana Maychick)

maychcick-diana-meryl-streepFrom her first appearance in Joseph Papp’s Trelawny of the Wells to her stunning portrayals of Linda in The Deer Hunter and Karen in Silkwood, and Oscar-winning performances in Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice, this is an intimate look at one woman’s meteoric rise to stardom.

The difficult relationship with Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer, and her happier partnerships with other performers such as Jeremy Irons and Cher, are some of the stories explored in this warm and personal portrait of this compelling star – the self-possessed and astonishing talent who took the acting world by storm, and still refuses to play the glamorous role of “public figure.” Never a prima donna, always a dedicated and driven artist, Ms. Streep has consistently refused to sacrifice her moral and artistic  standards for the more popular banners of fame and fortune.

This is her story, shot through with Meryl’s own voice as Diana Maychick skillfully blends interviews with the star and those who know and have worked with her, with an informative and articulate narrative to create an intimate and moving account of her life and career to date.

DIANA MAYCHICK is entertainment columnist for the New York Post. She has interviewed a great many stars from Sophia Loren to Peter O’Toole, but still finds Meryl Streep the most intriguing celebrity she’s ever met. Ms. Maychick graduated from Vassar College, where Ms. Streep also took her degree. Ms. Maychick received her Master’s degree in writing from the Johns Hopkins University, where she taught creative writing. She has won Vassar’s Rose Fellowship in Creative Writing and the Callenwode Prize for Writers, as well as various journalism awards. She is married to L. Avan Borgo. They make their home in Manhattan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 365 g (12,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, London, 1984 – ISBN 0-86051-308-4

Mes année folles (Marcel Dalio; récit recueilli par Jean-Pierre de Lucovich)

dalio-marcel-mes-anees-follesÀ tout ceux qui ont bien voulu m’écouter parler depuis 1899, je dédie ces mémoires d’un “fond de teint”…

En soixante ans de music-hall, de théâtre et de cinéma, Marcel Dalio, l’une des dernières grandes figures du cinéma français d’avant garde, a tout vu et tout et tout entendu. Ses amis se nommaient Pierre Brasseur, Joseph Kessel, Édith Piaf, Pierre Lazareff, Marcel Auchard, Jules Berry, Arletty, Jean Renoir…

Pendant la guerre, le merveilleux interprète de La règle du jeu et de Pépé le Moko se retrouve à Hollywood, avec Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, Darryl F. Zanuck.

Cent trente films, deux guerres, deux marriages: les années folles de Marcel Dalio ont été bien remplies.

Softcover – 319 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 191 g (6,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions J.-C. Lattès, 1976

Me: Stories of My Life (Katharine Hepburn)

At long last: Katharine Hepburn on Katharine Hepburn.

In that inimitable Hepburn voice – witty, intelligent, candid, immediate – she tells us the stories of her life (“And when I say stories I’m afraid I mean flashes – this – that – no no the other thing”) and takes us back to her childhood, into her family life… to her early days in New York and Hollywood… through the ups and downs of her career… into the sanctuaries of her private life… through her long friendship with Spencer Tracy… into her close collaboration with many of the leading actors, directors and producers of the past sixty years…

Throwing aside her performing personality (“that creature”), she reveals the person behind the persona in a vivid, unforgettable self-portrait: Katharine Hepburn as we have never seen her before.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 420 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 867 g (30,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-679-40051-6


MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot (Steven Bingen, Stephen X. Sylevster, Michael Troyan; foreword by Debbie Reynolds)

bingen-steven-m-g-m-hollywoods-greatest-backlotMGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot is the illustrated history of the soundstages and outdoor sets where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced many of the world’s most famous films.

During its Golden Age, the studio employed the likes of Greta Garbo, Fred Astaire, and Clark Gable, and produced innumerable iconic pieces of cinema such as The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain, and Ben-Hur. It is estimated that a fifth of all films made in the United States prior to the 1970s were shot at MGM studios, meaning that the gigantic property was responsible for hundreds of iconic sets and stages, often utilizing and transforming minimal spaces and previously used props to create some of the most recognizable and identifiable landscapes of modern movie culture.

All of this happened behind closed doors, the backlot shut off from the public in a veil of secrecy and movie magic. MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot highlights this fascinating film treasure by recounting the history, popularity, and success of the MGM company through a tour of its physical property. Featuring the candid, exclusive voices and photographs from the people who worked there, and including hundreds of rare and unpublished photographs (including many from the archives of Warner Bros.), readers are launched aboard a fun and entertaining virtual tour of Hollywood’s most famous and mysterious motion picture studio.

STEVEN BINGEN is the author of Warner Bros.: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of and has contributed to numerous books, documentaries, and magazines. He holds a staff position at Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, aiding in the preservation and management of the studio’s legend and legacy. He lives in Los Angeles. STEPHEN X. SYLVESTER is a filmmaker and historian who was lucky enough to have explored MGM’s legendary backlots in 1968 and 1975. Those experiences were the genesis for this book and sparked a decades-long obsession that would ultimately lead to numerous studio oral histories. He lives in Los Angeles. MICHAEL TROYAN is the author of A Rose for Mrs. Miniver: The Life of Greer Garson and has contributed to Disney A-Z, The Disney Villains, and The Disney Poster Book. Troyan has worked as an archivist and consultant at two of Hollywood’s major studios. He lives in Northern California. DEBBIE REYNOLDS is an internationally acclaimed actress, singer, and dancer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 28,5 cm (8,9 x 11,2 inch) – Weight 1.500 g (52.8 oz) – PUBLISHER Santa Monica Press LLC, Solana Beach, California, 2011 – ISBN 978-1-59580-055-8

The MGM Stock Company: The Golden Era (James Robert Parish, Ronald L. Bowers)

Parish, James Robert - The MGM Stock Company, The Golden EraJune Allyson was born in the Bronx, Edward Arnold once considered running for Republican Senator from California. Brawny Wallace Beery entered show business as a chorus boy. At 61, Marie Dressler made a major comeback and became MGM’s highest paid star. A clerk in MGM’s legal department saw young Ava Gardner’s photo in the window of a New York photographer and distributed 60 copies throughout the MGM offices. Stewart Granger’s real name was James Stewart (any wonder why he changed it!).

These are just some of the thousands of cinematic facts in The MGM Stock Company: The Golden Era. This reference directory to gigantic MGM – home to “more stars than are in the heavens” – is a cornucopia of film lore, with carefully detailed biographies and career studies of nearly 150 studio greats from June Allyson to Robert Young. This volume also stars Fred Astaire, Mary Astor, Lew Ayres, Lucille Ball, all three Barrymores, Leslie Caron, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Jimmy Durante, Nelson Eddy, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Greer Garson, John Gilbert, Jean Harlow, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Van Johnson, Gene Kelly, Hedy Lamarr, Angela Lansbury, Mario Lanza, Myrna Loy, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, Maureen O’Sullivan, Walter Pidgeon, Eleanor Powell, Jane Powell, William Powell, Luise Rainer, Mickey Rooney, Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Robert Walker, Johnny Weissmuller, Esther Williams, and nearly 100 more of the film lot’s magical stars and beloved supporting players. Also included are feature film listings for each talent profiled. Rich in quotes from the stars themselves, replete with fascinating salary statistics and contemporary reviews, The MGM Stock Company: The Golden Era is an anatomy of Hollywood’s greatest studio and its glittering array of contracted notables during the lot’s magical heyday.

[Portraits of June Allyson, Leon Ames, Pier Angeli, Edward Arnold, Fred Astaire, Mary Astor, Lew Ayres, Fay Bainter, Lucille Ball, Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Freddie Bartholomew, Wallace Beery, Marrie Blake, Ann Blyth, Lucille Bremer, Virginia Bruce, Billie Burke, Spring Byington, Louis Calhern, Leslie Caron, John Carroll, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Cyd Charisse, Gladys Cooper, Jackie Cooper, James Craig, Joan Crawford, Hume Cronyn, Arlene Dahl, Marion Davies, Laraine Day, Gloria DeHaven, Melvyn Douglas, Tom Drake, Marie Dressler, Jimmy Durante, Nelson Eddy, John Ericson, Madge Evans, Mel Ferrer, Anne Francis, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Betty Garrett, Greer Garson, Francis Gifford, Connie Gilchrist, Gloria Grahame, Stewart Granger, Kathryn Grayson, Virginia Grey, Sara Haden, Jean Hagen, Jean Harlow, Richard Hart, Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, Katharine Hepburn, Jean Hersholt, John Hodiak, Fay Holden, Lena Horne, Marsha Hunt, Ruth Hussey, Jose Iturbi, Claude Jarman Jr., Jackie “Butch” Jenkins, Rita Johnson, Van Johnson, Howard Keel, Gene Kelly, Deborah Kerr, Hedy Lamarr, Fernando Lamas, Angela Lansbury, Mario Lanza, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Myrna Loy, Keye Luke, Jeanette MacDonald, Marjorie Main, The Marx Brothers, Marilyn Maxwell, Laurentz Melchior, Una Merkel, Ann Miller, Ricardo Montalban, Robert Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead, Frank Morgan, Karen Morley, George Murphy, Margaret O’Brien, Virginia O’Brien, Maureen O’Sullivan, Reginald Owen, Cecilia Parker, Jean Parker, Susan Peters, Walter Pidgeon, Eleanor Powell, Jane Powell, William Powell, Frances Rafferty, Rags Ragland, Luise Rainer, Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Richards, Mickey Rooney, Selena Royale, Rosalind Russell, Ann Rutherford, Norma Shearer, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, Robert Sterling, James Stewart, Dean Stockwell, Lewis Stone, Margaret Sullavan, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Taylor, Phyllis Thaxter, Marshall Thompson, Lawrence Tibbett, Franchot Tone, Audrey Totter, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Robert Walker, Virginia Weidler, Johnny Weissmuller, James Whitmore, Dame May Whitty, Esther Williams, Keenan Wynn, Robert Young]

Hardcover – 862 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.320 g (46,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Ian Allan Ltd., Shepperton, Surrey, 1973 ISBN 07110 0501X

The MGM Story: All 1,709 films of MGM Described and Illustrated in Color and Black and White (John Douglas Eames)

Eames, John Douglas - The MGM Story“My first task in the preparation of this book – compiling a complete list of MGM pictures – presented an awkward question. What is an MGM picture? Obviously, one made by MGM. But, especially in the company’s later years, there have been many MGM releases made entirely by, or in conjunction with, independent producers – and the release was not always world-wide. Where should the line be drawn? I decided to include every film distributed by MGM in both the United States and Great Britain, this being as good a rule of thumb as any. So you will find herein, along with MGM’s own productions, semi-outsiders ranging from ‘spaghetti westerns’ to Gone With The Wind.” – From The Author’s Note.

For the first time in one volume, all 1,709 films produced and distributed by MGM are individually covered in text and pictures.

Enter the gates of MGM and relive the glamour and nostalgia from 1924-1975. Meet the stars and learn the details of their careers. Meet the producers and directors, writers and photographers that donned the MGM set.

The author has drawn on his 38 years with MGM to amass the history, the legends, and the inside stories. Finally, there are so many previously unpublished stills among the vast collection.

Here is Hollywood at your fingertips.

Softcover – 400 pp., index – Dimensions 31,5 x 23,5 cm (12,4 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 2.035 g (71,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-517-526131

MGM: When the Lion Roars (Peter Hay)

Hay, Peter - MGM When the Lion RoarsIn 1924, when Metro Pictures merged with Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions, MGM leapt into film history to become one of the most famous movie studios ever created. It produced or distributed some of the world’s most beloved movies (Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Gigi); introduced, promoted, and featured stars of a quality, a tempestuousness, and a vibrancy never to be seen in quite the same way again (Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Greer Garson, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Kelly); created screen couples with whom audiences fell in love again and again (Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, William Powell and Myrna Loy, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn); developed series (The Thin Man, Andy Hardy, Tarzan), shorts (Our Gang, The Little Rascals), animated cartoons (Tom and Jerry); produced some of the world’s greatest musicals (An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain), the most poignant romances (Waterloo Bridge, Camille, The Clock), and the most ambitious spectacles (Ben-Hur, Marie Antoinette, San Francisco, The Good Earth). MGM monopolized the movie magazines, affected fashion and interior design around the world, created make-up and hair trends, sold war bonds and made well over 1,000 films of indescribable value before the star contract system, which had sustained the studio’s incredible output, came to an end around 1959.

MGM: When The Lion Roars, illustrated with hundreds of full-color and black-and-white photographs, posters, lobby cards, magazine covers and other memorabilia, is certainly the most ambitious and luxurious exploration of the studio ever published. Written principally by Oxford University Press author Peter Hay, the book takes an inside look at the MGM kingdom: the people who ran it (the legendary Louis B. Mayer and his production genius, Irving G. Thalberg) and the 25,000 people who worked for MGM (including the brilliant costume designer Adrian, the cultured art decorator Cedric Gibbons; Jack Dawn, the impresario of make-up; producers David O. Selznick, Hunt Stromberg, Arthur Freed; directors King Vidor, Woody Van Dyke, Victor Fleming, Vincente Minnelli; writers, songwriters and lyricists, cameramen, still photographers, and sound technicians).

Through addition text created by some of the industry’s most respected writers (Woolsey Ackerman, Robert S. Birchard, David Chierichetti, Hiro Clark, Vic Cox, Lee Davis, Daniel Eagan, John Fricke, Howard Mandelbaum, Richard P. May, Linda Sunshine, Lena Tabori, Marc Wanamaker) special subjects, such as The Launching of a Star, The Creation of a Fantasy, The Advent of Sound, Kids on the Lot, The Evolution of a Musical, The Boldest, Funniest Cartoons in the Business, will be covered.

The illustrations for this volume are by courtesy of dozens of private collectors, the Turner Entertainment Company, and the Los Angeles Foundation archives in Los Angeles.

This book is a companion to the six-hour mini-series on Turner Network Television (TNT) in March 1992.

PETER HAY was born in Budapest and educated at Oxford. An expert in script development, he is founding Artistic Director of First Stage in Hollywood. He has taught at universities in Canada and the United States, most recently at the Department of Theater, Film and Television at the UCLA. Hay is the author of seven books, including several popular volumes of anecdotes, published by Oxford University Press. Judith Crist called Broadway Anecdotes “a delightful feast,” while The Los Angeles Times wrote of his Movie Anecdotes, “Hay is a generous storyteller… he has gathered the oral tradition of the Hollywood tribe with both love and cunning.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23,5 cm (12,2 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 2.235 g (78,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Turner Publishing, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, 1991 – ISBN 1-878685-04-X

Mia Farrow (Sam Rubin, Richard Taylor)

rubin-sam-mia-farrowKnown and admired for her brilliant performances in such films as Rosemary’s Baby, Broadway Danny Rose and Hannah and Her Sisters, Mia Farrow, the blonde, waif-like and enigmatic actress has hit the international headlines on several occasions in her brief life, and this fascinating biography goes beyond those headlines to reveal the true woman.

At the tender age of seventeen she set out to make her name in show business, and it took the critics and public a matter of months to realize her talent. Signed up by Twentieth Century-Fox for the new soap opera Peyton Place, her career has since gone from strength to strength. Her love affairs with three world-famous men – Frank Sinatra, Andre Previn and Woody Allen – have each left their indelible mark on Mia’s development, but it is her role as mother to nine children which is the one most important in her life, the one which has given her the most satisfaction. Her fight to adopt five of her children and her staunch stand against abortion reveal her as a woman of true strength and vision.

This frank and candid account will fascinate readers who want to know more about the woman who has made headline news for over two decades and the actress who has given us such varied portrayals in her film roles.

SAM RUBIN and RICHARD TAYLOR are both film journalists. They live in Hollywood.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 163 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 390 g (13,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, Ltd., London, 1990 – ISBN 0-86051-639-3

Michelangelo Antonioni: Een compleet overzicht van al zijn films (Suzanne Chatman; editor, Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-michelangelo-antonioni“In 1993 ontving Federico Fellini de ere-Oscar (“als eerbetoon aan een van de meestervertellers van het grote scherm”). Twee jaar later kreeg Michelangelo Antonioni het ere-Oscarbeeldje (“als erkenning voor een van de grote visuele stylisten uit de filmindustrie”) uit handen van Jack Nicholson, de hoofdrolspeler in een van Antonioni’s beste films, The Passenger (1974). Deze prijs was des te opmerkelijker omdat Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer een recordbedrag had verloren met de productie van Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (1970).

Het is opvallend dat Fellini als een meesterverteller wordt omschreven en Antonioni als een groot visueel stylist. Toch was Fellini’s visuele creativiteit even spectaculair als zijn verteltalent, en ook Antonioni’s vertelstijl doet – althans in een aantal van zijn films – niet onder voor zijn beelden. Deze twee grote Italiaanse regisseurs werkten ooit samen op de set van Lo sceicco bianco (1952). Hoewel vrienden voor het leven, hadden ze allebei zeer uiteenlopende artistieke visies.

Hoewel Antonioni’s prestaties pas die nacht door Hollywood erkend werden, waren Europese intellectuelen zich al vijf decennia lang bewust van zijn kwaliteiten. Een zeer veelzeggende en indrukwekkende verklaring over Antonioni kwam van de beroemde criticus Roland Barthes. Zijn lofrede in briefvorm, Cher Antonioni genoemd, werd op 28 januari 1980 aan Antonioni overhandigd tijdens een ceremonie waarbij hij van de stad Bologna de Archiginnassio d’oro omving. Barthes’ brief is compact en inzichtelijk, en tevens een van de elegantste stukken die ooit geschreven werden over deze regisseur. Het is de moeite waard deze brief te bestuderen aan de hand van voorbeelden uit het oeuvre van de regisseur.

Barthes dicht Antonioni drie deugden toe, namelijk “waakzaamheid, wijsheid en… kwetsbaarheid.” Barthes is van mening dat Antonioni, die zich zijn gehele carrière als modernist profileerde, waakte voor het gebruik van ouderwetse normen en waarden, vooral met betrekking tot persoonlijke (in tegenstelling tot de politieke of historische) ervaringen. Voor Barthes betekent waakzaamheid dat de artiest de wereld zorgvuldig en aandachtig waarneemt en onderzoekt, in plaats van deze te willen ontwikkelen of veranderen. Dit is zeker geen mechanisch onderzoek. Een film van Antonioni is niet alleen een weerspiegeling van de werkelijkheid maar ook een moiré replica, één met een bewerkt oppervlak. Of, om nog een andere metafoor te gebruiken, Barthes meent dat de intentie van Antonioni, net als die van schilders als Georges Braque en Henry Matisse, de creatie van een stemming is. Antonioni spant zich in om “de achterliggende betekenis van dat wat de mens zegt, vertelt, ziet of voelt subtiel naar voren te brengen, vanuit de veronderstelling dat deze betekenis niet ophoudt met hetgeen gezegd wordt maar verdergaat.” Barthes doelt hier op meerdere betekenissen van het woord ‘subtiel,’ zoals ‘verfijnd,’ ‘scherpzinnig,’ ‘kritisch,’ ‘ingenieus,’ maar ook de minder voor de hand liggende betekenis van ‘zeer geraffineerd.’ Vanwege deze gave kunnen artiesten als Antonioni de veranderingen in de geschiedenis handig volgen.

Antonioni erkende in een interview zijn behoefte om “de realiteit weer te geven in termen die niet volledig realistisch zijn.” Hij werkte niet met eindeloze fantasie, zoals Federico Fellini, of met het harde straatrealisme van Roberto Rosselini’s Roma, città aperta (1945) en Vittorio de Sica’s Ladri di biciclette (1948). De enige uitzondering hierop is zijn eerste film, de documentaire Gente del Po (1943-1947). Dit was een voorloper van de neorealistische beweging en hij werd tegelijk met de film Ossessione (1942) van Luchino Visconti, in de Po-delta opgenomen.” – From chapter 1.

Softcover – 191 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 20 cm (9,8 x 7,9 inch) – Weight 862 g (30,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen GmbH, Köln, Germany, 2004 – ISBN 3-8228-3581-1

Michèle Morgan: Les yeux du souvenir (Christian Dureau)

scannen0323Devenue la star du cinéma français après que Gabin lui ait dit : “T’as de beaux yeux, tu sais,” Michèle Morgan est restée pendant plus de vingt ans l’actrice préférée du public grâce à son talent, sa beauté et sa sympathie.

Ses amours avec Jean Gabin, Henri Vidal, Gérard Oury, ses amitiés pour Jean Marais, Bourvil, Louis de Funès, ses tournages avec Marcel Carné, Jean Delannoy, Robert Hossein, ont popularisé davantage encore son image de femme exceptionnelle, admirable.

Sa vie, c’est aujourd’hui la peinture, la haute couture, la poésie, mais c’est toujours aussi le cinéma.

A 10 ans, elle voulait déjà devenir actrice. Son rêve s’est réalisé au-delà de toute espérance. Revivons-le avec elle.

Hardcover – 110 pp. – Dimensions 24,5 x 17 cm (9,7 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 466 g (16,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Didier Carpentier, Paris, 2010 – ISBN 978-2-84167-681-1

Micheline Presle: Di(s)gressions (conversations avec Stéphane Lambert)

Presle, Micheline - Di(s)gressions“Je suis une rêveuse.” Tel pourrait bien être le fil conducteur du parcours de Micheline Presle. Elle fait sa première apparition devant la caméra à l’âge de quinze ans au côté de Charles Trenet. Avant la guerre, elle tourne ses deux premiers films en vedette, sous la direction de G.W. Pabst et Abel Gance: sa carrière est lancée.

Dans les anées quarante, de Falbalas au Diable au corps, elle devient l’une des actrices préférées du public, avant qu’un amour ne l’entraîne brusquement à Hollywood. À son retour en France, au début des années cinquante, sa carrière semble brisée. Cette cassure va pourtant marquer l’impulsion d’un nouvel élan: tourner la page du cinéma d’antan. Guidée par une insatiable curiosité, Micheline Presle est sollicitée par une nouvelle génération de réalisateurs, redevient l’une des comédiennes les plus populaires grâce aux Saintes chéries, alterne au théâtre succès et spectacles plus en marge avec Jean-Michel Ribes et Jérôme Savary, fréquente assidûment les salles obscures en perpétuelle quête de découvertes et communique à sa fille, Tonie Marshall, la fibre du cinéma.

Cette conversation menée en zigzag, comme une constante digression, retrace le chemin atypique d’une actrice, couronnée par un César d’honneur en 2004, qui a traversé les époques sans jamais se quitter. Ce livre, né de la rencontre amicale avec un jeune écrivain, n’a d’autre prétention que de ressembler à celle qui y a imprimé sa voix.

STÉPHANE LAMBERT est écrivain, journaliste et éditeur. Il dirige la Maison du Spectacle La Bellone à Bruxelles.

Softcover – 197 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 311 g (11 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Stock, Paris, 2007 – ISBN 978-2-2340-5950-4

Micheline Presle: La belle de Paris (Christian Dureau)

scannen0514Micheline Presle, avec Danielle Darrieux et Michèle Morgan, est la troisième grande dame du cinéma français, toujours présente sur les écrans après une exceptionnelle carrière de près de 80 années. De Félicie Nanteuil au Diable au corps, du Roi de coeur à Peau d’âne, elle a multiplié les rôles passionnants, au cinéma comme au théâtre.

Quant à la télévision, elle y a fait l’une de ses plus populaires créations auprès de Daniel Gélin dans Les saintes chéries durant les années 60.

Grâce à son éternelle jeunesse, elle continue d’allier la beauté à l’élégance, le charme parisien au talent.

Hardcover – 141 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Editions Carpentier, 2013 – ISBN 978-2841678112

Mijn vader Charlie (Charlie Chaplin, Jr., with N. and M. Rau; originally titled My Father Charlie Chaplin)

chaplin-jr-charles-mijn-vader-charlie“In februari 1931, na de premiere van City Lights in New York, begon vader aan een lange reis rond de wereld. Maar hij zou niet de enige Chaplin zijn die op reis ging. Er was besloten dat Syd en ik, toen vijf en zes jaar oud, ook een grote reis zouden maken. Moeder had het jaar daarvoor een vakantie doorgebracht in Europa, en zij dacht dat we het leuk zouden vinden een poosje in Frankrijk te zijn en nog een taal te leren zolang we zo klein waren. Nana zou met ons meegaan.

Syd en ik hadden toen al ontdekt dat vader een vast recept had om de aandacht te trekken. We behoefden alleen maar zijn Kleine Vagebond te imiteren, en we werden overal met applaus en gelach ontvangen. Maar we hadden nog geen notie van z’n werkelijke betekenis in de buitenwereld. Dat openbaarde zich aan ons op de dag dat we aan boord gingen van de Ile de France in de haven van New York. Vlak voordat we zouden afvaren, klom er een hele zwerm verslaggevers aan boord, om met ons te praten. Er zullen zowat twintig fotografen geweest zijn met klikkende toestellen en flitslampen, die het gewichtige feit wilden vastleggen dat de jongetjes Chaplin naar Europa gingen.

In Frankrijk werden we op dezelfde uitbundige manier ontvangen. Misschien was het enthousiasme daar nog wel groter, want vader, bij de Fransen bekend als Charlot, is daar altijd buitengewoon populair geweest. ‘Dus jullie zijn nou de jongetjes Chaplin,’ zeiden de mensen dan met eerbied in hun stem. ‘Weten jullie wel wat een beroemde acteur jullie vader is? Jullie moeten er trots op zijn dat jullie de zoons van de grote Charlot zijn.’” – From chapter 7.

Hardcover – 336 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 671 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Scheltens & Giltay, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Million Dollar Mermaid: An Autobiography (Esther Williams, with Digby Diehl)

Wiliams, Esther - The Million Dollar MermaidNot since David Niven wrote the best-selling The Moon’s a Balloon and its sequel Bring on the Empty Horses has one of Hollywood’s great stars written with such genuine wit and candor about what it was like to work in the movie factories; where actors were pampered and coddled, yet expected to work without complaint for long, hard hours; what it was like to be young and sexy and to be turned into an object of desire for millions of moviegoers, what it was like to live in a world of almost total unreality, yet be expected to go about the business of finding a mate and raising a family, and avoiding personal scandal at all costs.

Now, for the hundreds of thousands of people who read and loved both of Niven’s books, comes Esther Williams’s wonderfully witty, fresh, and frank autobiography, all about an eighteen-year-old girl who reluctantly answers the siren call of MGM – at the time, the most powerful and prestigious movie studio in the world – and who soon finds herself launched on a career that will last more than twenty years, during which time she will help to create a genre of film that seems almost unimaginable today, yet which still holds all its original freshness and fascination, and who becomes during those years one of the world’s top box-office stars.

Williams calls MGM her “university,” and the education she got there was one in how to project glamour and femininity, how to make yourself desirable while always, always playing the lady. No one who went through that university has ever written before with such absolute candor about what it was really like – the affairs, the gossip, the tricks of the trade, the competition, the deals, the fights, and the methods the studios had for keeping their stars in line.

With a sharp mind and a rapier wit, Esther Williams brings to life those times and those bigger-than-life people, telling her stories with respect, yet with clear-eyed candor. Filled with behind-the-scenes gossip and tales of real life in a fantasy world, The Million Dollar Mermaid is the book legions of film fans have been waiting for.

ESTHER WILLIAMS, retired from the screen since the 1960s, has continued to live in California where she runs a business that sells and promotes her own line of bathing suits, and licenses her name to swimming pools and swimwear. In addition, she was recently involved in the inauguration of synchronized swimming as a competitive event at the Olympics. She is married and lives in Beverly Hills. DIGBY DIEHL, co-author, is a popular media critic and the author of several books. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 416 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 734 g (25,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-684-85284-5

The Missing Reel: The Untold Story of the Lost Inventor of Motion Pictures (Christopher Rawlence)

rawlence-christopher-the-missing-reelWhy did a pioneering inventor of the movie camera vanish without trace on the eve of his success? In September 1890 the French inventor Augustin Le Prince boarded a train in Dijon, France, for Paris. For three years he had struggled to perfect a motion-picture camera and projector. Now he was on his way home to Leeds before travelling on to New York to present the world début of moving pictures.

But Le Prince never reached Paris; and in New York, his wife Lizzie waited in vain. He was never seen again. Instead of Le Prince, it was Thomas A. Edison who claimed first place in the race for one of the most lucrative technological discoveries of all time.

This is the untold story of Le Prince’s disappearance, of the inventor’s restless obsession and of his family’s tragic determination to prove that he was the true father of film. It is a detective story and a literary tour de force, brilliantly reconstructing the optimistic mood of a time when it seemed art and science could save humanity. It is the dramatic tale of ruthless skulduggery on the part of the American corporate battalions. And it is a story of individual hope and betrayal which spans a century and two continents from the streets of nineteenth-century Leeds to the deserted beaches of Fire Island in the 1920s, to London, Paris, New York in the 1890s and an attic in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1988.

Delicately unfolding the layers of history that conceal one of the great enigmas of early cinematic history, film director and art historian Christopher Rawlence has drawn on an abundance of hitherto unexplored archive material to write an extraordinarily innovative thriller and a contemporary investigative classic.

CHRISTOPHER RAWLENCE was born in 1945 and was brought up on a farm. He learnt how to be a detective at the Courtauld Institute of Art and subsequently taught art history at University College, London. At the same time he co-founded the Red Ladder Theatre, a political theater company for which he acted, wrote and directed. Since 1980 he has been writing and directing for television. Recent films include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and The Missing Reel. He is married and has two daughters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Collins, London, 1990 – ISBN  0-00-215187-1

“Mister Abbott” (George Abbott)

abbott-george-mister-abbottToday George Abbott is the undisputed dean of Broadway directors (A Girl to Remember, which he is to direct in the spring of 1964, will be his 104th Broadway show), and he has been connected with more hits than anyone in the history of the American theater. In these pages he writes in fascinating detail about the shows in which he has been involved, either as actor, writer, director or producer, in the last fifty years. Here are stories about the theater and its personalities, sound advice to would-be actors, directors and producers, backstage lore and anecdotes – all related with the frank and pungent ‘Abbott touch.’

But this provocative and forthright autobiography does not concern itself solely with the theater. Mr. Abbott tells the reader of his childhood in upstate New York and Cheyenne, Wyoming, of military school in Nebraska, of his undergraduate days at the University of Rochester, of Professor Baker’s theater workshop at Harvard, of his two marriages, and of his controversial theories on such diverse subjects as success, funerals, sex, money, marriage, health and happiness.

In the last half-century (this autobiography is published on November 25, 1963, the fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance on Broadway), Mr. Abbott has known or worked with almost every celebrity in the entertainment world. Crowding these pages are portraits of David Belasco, Harpo Marx, Tallulah Bankhead, Leonard Bernstein, Larry Hart, Comden and Green, Alexander Woollcott, John O’Hara, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bobby Griffith, Irving Berlin, Jerome Robbins, Jeanne Eagels, Harry Cohn, Jed Harris, Richard Bissell, Claudette Colbert – and many, many more. Mr. Abbott writes about his friends and enemies with more candor and gusto than is customary, but perhaps the most remarkable feature of this book is the fact that the author is just as ruthlessly honest in his appraisal of himself. Abbott admirers will discover too many warts in this self-portrait, and even any detractors will find it difficult to say anything about him that he has not exposed – better and more authoritatively – himself.

Mister Abbott is the story of a fabulously successful showman whose zest for life and remarkable knowledge and memories of Broadway will absorb anyone interested in the American theater.

GEORGE ABBOTT: “I have a daughter and three grandchildren. I like exercise: swimming, tennis, dancing and, of late, golf. I prefer to have lunch with men and dinner with women. In the spring and fall I live in New York, in the summer in the Catskills, and in the winter in Florida. My office, which I share with Harold Prince, is an exciting place. I love planning shows, writing, casting and rehearsing, but I dread opening nights.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 279 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 389 g (13,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1963

Mitchell Leisen: Hollywood Director (David Chierichetti)

chierichetti-david-mitchell-leisenMitchell Leisen’s lengthy film career, which spanned the silents through the advent of television, began in 1919 when he was hired as a costume designer by Cecil B. DeMille. In the 1920s he moved up to set design and art direction, and in the 1930s he began directing. As a director, Leisen’s unique cinematic eye was responsible for To Each His Own, Easy Living, Lady in the Dark, Hands Across the Table, Midnight, Remember the Night and Death Takes a Holiday.

His story, told in the words of Leisen and the producers, stars (Ray Milland, Olivia de Havilland, Claudette Colbert and others), writers and technicians who worked with him, is a fascinating study of Hollywood’s golden age.

DAVID CHIERICHETTI is the author of Hollywood Costume Design, co-author of The Movie Poster Book and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times on the subjects of art and fashion. He teaches English and Art at a Los Angeles middle school.

Softcover – 343 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 707 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Photoventures Press, Los Angeles, California, 1995 – ISBN 0-929330-04-8

Mob Culture: Hidden Stories of the American Gangster Film (edited by Lee Grieveson, Esther Sonnet, Peter Stanfield)

scannen0287Sinister, swaggering, yet often sympathetic, the figure of the gangster has stolen and murdered its way into the hearts of American cinema audiences. Despite the enduring popularity of the gangster film, however, traditional criticism has focused almost entirely on a few canonical movies such as Little Caesar, Public Enemy, and The Godfather trilogy, resulting in a limited and distorted understanding of this diverse and changing genre.

Mob Culture offers a long-awaited, fresh look at the American gangster film, exposing its hidden histories from the Black Hand gangs of the early twentieth century to The Sopranos. Departing from traditional approaches that have typically focused on the “nature” of the gangster, the editors have collected essays that engage the larger question of how the meaning of criminality has changed over time. Grouped into three thematic sections, the essays examine gangster films through the lens of social, gender, and racial / ethnic issues.

Destined to become a classroom favorite, Mob Culture is an indispensable reference for future work in the genre.

LEE GRIEVESON is the director of the graduate program in film studies at University College London. ESTHER SONNET is a principal lecturer and head of media at the University of Portsmouth. PETER STANFIELD is a senior lecturer in film studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Softcover – 311 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 598 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford International Publishers, Ltd., 2005 – ISBN 978 184520 330 6

The Moguls (Norman Zierold)

Autographed copy Norman Zierold

zierold-norman-the-mogulsThe Selznicks – The audacious Lewis J. Selznick ended in bankruptcy, but his sons swore to vindicate him, Myron as an agent of frightening power and David as Hollywood’s most prestigious producer (Gone With the Wind) and star maker (Vivien Leigh and Jennifer Jones). Carl Laemmle, the patriarch of Universal City, loved personal publicity so much that even the ‘Keep off the grass’ signs on the lot bore his signature, and at one time as many as seventy of his relatives were on the payroll, known as Laemmle’s Foreign Legion. Dreaming of glory he tried to hire the Pope with no success, lost Irving G. Thalberg over money, and let Bette Davis go with the remark “She has as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville.” Samuel Goldwyn – An invitation to dinner at the Goldwyns was once the barometer of social acceptance in Hollywood. He launched Laurence Olivier in America and fought with him behind the scenes of Wuthering Heights. And he’s the man who said, “You can include me out,” and “I don’t care if this picture doesn’t make a nickel, I just want every man, woman, and child in America to see it.” B. P. Schulberg, production chief of Paramount Pictures, 1925-32, discovered Clara Bow and Gary Cooper and brought Dietrich over from Germany. At his peak he was making $ 10,000 a week, but then came the Depression, a love affair, a broken marriage, gambling, and the bottle. By 1949 he was begging for a job in Daily Variety and telling his son, Budd Schulberg, the novelist, that his final wish was for his ashes to be blown in the face of Louis B. Mayer.

From Selznick and Goldwyn to Cecil B. DeMille and Darryl F. Zanuck, here are the sovereigns and sahibs of the movie industry in the heyday of their power when they ruled the big studios and the big stars, the golden time of the twenties, thirties, and forties before television took over their mass audience.

Like “Our Crowd,” the great Jewish families of New York, they came from the ghettos and little towns of Europe to take menial jobs in turn-of-the-century America before finding their way into the field of entertainment. The Moguls portrays the relationships between them and between their families, the roads they used to come to power, how they governed their film realms, and what success meant in their changing lives. The author writes candidly of their complex personalities, of their achievements and blunders, and of their alternating generosity and cruelty in their dealings with the stars, writers, and directors they employed.

Immensely rich in personal reminiscence and anecdote – thanks to the more than 200 interviews conducted by the author – The Moguls is a fresh and amusing look at as original and colorful a band of impresarios as ever breathed the air of capitalism.

NORMAN ZIEROLD’s previous books include a study of another and no less bizarre facet of Hollywood life, The Child Stars. Mr. Zierold was an editor on Theatre Arts and Show magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 354 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 682 g (24,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Coward-McCann, Inc., New York, New York, 1969

Mommie Dearest (Christina Crawford)

crawford-christina-momie-dearestChristina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest made an indelible impression on America’s cultural landscape: it enjoyed 42 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, spawned a cult film classic based on the book, and placed the issue of family violence in the national spotlight.

Issues of family violence brought to light then have yet to be resolved today and the book still stands as a catalyst for change. Christina Crawford is an internationally recognized, best-selling author and advocate for adoption reform, the rights of women and children, and a pioneer in making family violence an issue of national concern.

CHRISTINA CRAWFORD, born June 11, 1939, is an American writer and actress, best known as the author of Mommie Dearest, an autobiographical account of alleged child abuse by her adoptive mother, famous Hollywood actress Joan Crawford. She is also known for small roles in various television and film projects, such as Joan Borman Kane in the soap opera The Secret Storm and Monica George in the Elvis Presley vehicle Wild in the Country.

Softcover – 312 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 178 g (6,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Berkley Publishing Corporation, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-425-04444-0

Montgomery Clift (Patricia Bosworth)

bosworth-patricia-montgomery-clift“The little dinner party on May 12, 1956 at Elizabeth Taylor’s home high in the hills of Coldwater Canyon was in honor of Montgomery Clift. Monty, as he was called by everyone who knew him, was Elizabeth Taylor’s dearest friend. Monty Clift was at the peak of his career in 1956. The first actor to defy Hollywood’s studio system and win, he had always refused to be typecast as a conventional romantic hero. Instead, in the preceding eight years, he had chosen to play a series of complex, original, offbeat characters in such movies as Red River, The Search, From Here to Eternity, and I Confess. He had already been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Now he was starring opposite Elizabeth Taylor in a gargantuan, wide-screen, Civil War epic entitled Raintree County, which MGM had budgeted at $ 5 million. The first movie Monty and Elizabeth had made together, A Place in The Sun, was already being described as the emblematic film of the 1950s. They hoped Raintree County would be as successful.

Monty and Elizabeth talked a lot about Raintree County during that dinner party on May 12. They kidded each other about how gorgeous and young the cameraman, Bob Surtees, was making them look in the first rushes; they talked about how they looked on film because there didn’t seem much else to say. The party wasn’t going very well.

The other guests, Rock Hudson and his secretary Phyllis Gates, and the actor Kevin McCarthy wandered around the sparsely furnished living room trying to keep conversation going while Taylor’s husband, Michael Wilding, lay on the not-too-clean white couch, the victim of a back spasm.

For part of the evening, Monty lounged on the floor. He had not bothered to shave, and a stubble of beard coated his cheeks; still, it was easy to see why he was called the most beautiful man in the movies. Every so often, Elizabeth punctuated the conversation by putting another Sinatra record on the hi-fi. Monty kept jumping up to help her. He also poured the warmish rosé which the Wildings had in endless supply, but Monty refused to drink any himself. He said he was exhausted.

At eleven-thirty he excused himself politely and left, accompanied by Kevin McCarthy, who was going to drive ahead of him in his car and guide him down the canyon to Sunset Boulevard. Monty’s parting words to the group were: ‘Kevin has to help me down that mountain or I’ll drive around in circles all night.’ Then Monty got into his car and, following Kevin, started driving down the steep, winding, dark road. About twenty minutes later Kevin was back, pounding on Elizabeth’s front door and yelling hysterically, ‘Monty’s been in an accident! I think he’s dead!’

When Elizabeth and the others reached Monty’s car at the foot of the hill, they saw the automobile crushed against a telephone pole. There was broken glass and blood everywhere. Blood spurted onto Elizabeth’s silk dress as she crawled over the front seat and cradled Monty’s head in her lap. She looked down into his face, which was a bloody unrecognizable pulp. He stirred in her arms and moaned. He was alive, but his nose was broken, his jaw shattered, his cheeks severely lacerated, and his upper lip split completely in half.

Montgomery Clift survived that night and lived for ten more years, but his real death occurred as he lay bleeding and half-conscious in Elizabeth Taylor’s arms. Nothing would ever be the same for him after that.” – The Prologue.

Softcover – 433 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 10,5 cm (7,1 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 253 g (8,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-553-17002-3

Monthly Film Bulletin 1980-1981, issues 552-575

Monthly Film Bulletin 1980
January-December (issues 552-563)
252 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1981
January-December (issues 564-575)
260 pp.

Hardcover – 512 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.710 g (60,3 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1980-1981

Monthly Film Bulletin 1982-1983, issues 576-599

Monthly Film Bulletin 1982
January-December (issues 576-587)
304 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1983
January-December (issues 588-599)
355 pp.

Hardcover – 659 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 2.255 g (79,5 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1982-1983

Monthly Film Bulletin 1984-1985, issues 600-623

Monthly Film Bulletin 1984
January-December (issues 600-611)
392 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1985
January-December (issues 612-623)
392 pp.

Hardcover – 784 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 2.550 g (89,9 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1984-1985

Monthly Film Bulletin 1986-1987, issues 624-647

Monthly Film Bulletin 1986
January-December (issues 624-635)
388 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1987
January-December (issues 636-647)
384 pp.

Hardcover – 772 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 2.505 g (88,3 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1986-1987

Monthly Film Bulletin 1988-1989, issues 648-671

Monthly Film Bulletin 1988
January-December (issues 648-659)
380 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1989
January-December (issues 660-671)
380 pp.

Hardcover – 760 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 2.500 g (88,1 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1988-1989

Monthly Film Bulletin 1990-1991, issues 672-687

Monthly Film Bulletin 1990
January-December (issues 672-683)
372 pp.

Monthly Film Bulletin 1991
January-April (issues 684-687 – ceased publication in April 1994)
118 pp.

Hardcover – 490 pp., index (film titles / directors) – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.845 g (65 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1990-1991

The Moon’s a Balloon (David Niven)

niven-david-the-moons-a-balloonDavid Niven – humorist, actor, and gentleman extraordinary – has had one of the most varied lives and most spectacular film careers of our time. Expelled from school and baptised by the army, his early years held the key to his triumphant future: his charm, wit and daredevilry. Only Niven could allow the most staggering piece of good luck to whisk him from penury to Hollywood and stardom. Here he tells all: his wartime service and his return to America; the ghastly tragedy of his first wife’s death; the day he was fired by Samuel Goldwyn and the night when he won a Hollywood Oscar.

Beginning with the tragic early loss of his aristocratic father, then regaling us with tales of school, army and wartime hi-jinx, Niven shows how, even as an unknown young man, he knew how to live the good life. But it is his astonishing stories of life in Hollywood and his accounts of working and partying with the legends of the silver screen – Lawrence Oliver, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Noël Coward and dozens of others, while making some of the most acclaimed films of the last century – which turn David Niven’s memoir into an outright masterpiece.

An intimate, gossipy, heartfelt and above all charming account of life inside Hollywood’s dream factory, The Moon’s a Balloon is a classic to be read and enjoyed time and again.

Softcover – 336 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 206 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Coronet Books, London, 1971 – ISBN 0 340 15817 4

Motion Picture Almanac 1994, 65th Edition (edited by Barry Monush)

motion-picture-almanac-1994The Year in Review – There was much good fortune to be spread around as 1992 showed a profit increase of nearly 60 % for five major studios: Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Fox, Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia / TriStar), and Paramount. There was more good news to come as the summer of 1993 set box office records, passing the previous record holding season, summer ’89, with revenues of more than $ 2 billion.

Universal Pictures led the pack during this lucrative summer season with the phenomenally successful dinosaur thriller Jurassic Park. Adapted from the smash best-seller by Michael Crichton, directed by reliable hit-maker Steven Spielberg, and boasting the most talked-about special effects of their time, the movie was guaranteed to strike it rich and did, breaking one record after another. These records included the biggest opening weekend in movie history (approx. $ 48 million), largest single day total ($ 17.6 million), and shortest time to reach the $ 200 million mark (23 days). By the end of August Jurassic Park had taken in more than $ 300 million U.S. dollars and was still posting impressive returns as autumn arrived. The movie’s magic touch continued throughout Europe where it grossed an amazing $ 287 million by mid-September with plenty more to come. Jurassic Park‘s final total will place it in the number two spot on the U.S. box office chart of all-time hits, second to Universal and Steven Spielberg’s earlier triumph, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

There were many other success stories during the year. The crowning touch on Clint Eastwood’s critical and commercial success Unforgiven (Warner Bros.) was a pair of Academy Awards – for best picture of 1992 and best director. The brooding, anti-violence Western had captured several critics’ citations and continued to lure steady audiences since its August 1992 opening. By the following summer the film had passed the $ 100 million mark. No sooner had Unforgiven finished its run when Eastwood appeared in Columbia / Castle Rock’s thriller In the Line of Fire and had a second $ 100 million hit on his hands.

The Walt Disney Company did the unthinkable by surpassing the triumph of its 1991 animated feature Beauty and the Beast, with an even bigger box office hit, Aladdin. Aided by another award-winning Alan Menken score, state-of-the-art animation, and the vocal talents of Robin Williams, the Arabian Nights fantasy became the movie to see during the holiday season and the highest grossing movie released in 1992 ($ 215,700,000 as of Labor Day ’93). Disney’s other big news was its surprise purchase of the independent company Miramax Films for a figure estimated between $ 60 – $ 80 million. Under the new agreement Miramax would function as a division of Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, but still maintain operations as its own production, marketing and distribution company.

The film that no doubt helped to increase Disney’s interest in buying the NY-based indie was Miramax’s incredibly successful The Crying Game. Bolstered by some of the most favorable reviews of the year and a secret “twist” in the story that had everyone talking but not giving anything away, the British-Irish political thriller / love story went far beyond anyone’s wildest expectations making $ 62.5 million. In the winter of 1993 the company scored another unexpected hit with the Mexican drama Like Water for Chocolate. With more than $ 16 million earned in 6 months’ time the movie stood a good chance of becoming the all-time top-grossing foreign-language film to play in America. In addition to Miramax’s Australian dance film Strictly Ballroom ($ 11,660,000), other independent money makers included the Samuel Goldwyn Company’s latest Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing ($ 20,000,000 as of Labor Day ’93), and New Line Cinema’s grim, inner-city drama Menace II Society ($ 27,000,000).

Among the other box office winners for the various majors were: Paramount’s romantic drama Indecent Proposal ($ 106,100,000) and the Tom Cruise vehicle from the top best-seller The Firm ($ 147,680,000 by Labor Day ’93); Columbia Pictures’ bizarre stylized version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula ($ 82,500,000), the Tom Cruise-Jack Nicholson courtroom drama A Few Good Men (Castle Rock, $ 141,220,000) and Bill Murray’s comic-fantasy Groundhog Day ($ 70,820,000); Warner Bros.’ big budget update of the tv series The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford ($ 133,000,000 by Labor Day ’93 and still going strong), Steven Seagal’s biggest action adventure to date, Under Siege ($ 83,570,000), the Kevin Costner-Whitney Houston love story The Bodyguard ($ 121,950,000), Dave the political satire starring Kevin Kline ($ 63,110,000), and Free Willy the most popular feature from the studio’s new Family Entertainment division ($ 67,150,000, Labor Day ’93); 20th Century Fox’s Macaulay Culkin sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York ($ 171,710,000) and the colonial adventure The Last of the Mohicans ($ 70,100,000); TriStar’s Sylvester Stallone’s highscale adventure Cliffhanger ($ 82,120,000), and the romantic comedy of the year Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan ($ 110,100,000, Labor Day ’93); and Universal’s Oscar-winning showcase for Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman ($ 62,770,000).

Unfortunately there was little of this money coming into the industry’s two perpetually problem-plagued majors: MGM and Orion. While MGM showed decent but unremarkable $ 20 million-plus figures on both Untamed Heart and Benny & Joon, there was nothing but bad news for Orion. Finally unleashing three of its long-on-the-shelf titles, Love Field, Married to It, and The Dark Half, the company had major disappointments with each. Hoping to get back into current film production, and not just concentrate on distributing older titles, Orion Pictures formed a joint venture with Metromedia Co. under the name Orion Productions Co. to help finance its new product.

MGM left its long-established base of Culver City and moved into its new headquarters in Santa Monica, eventually dismissing chairman Alan Ladd, Jr. and replacing him with former Paramount head Frank Mancuso, Jr. in hopes of injecting some new life into the ailing business. Credit Lyonnais, the French bank which owns MGM, provided the studio with a $ 190 million credit facility in the spring of 1993 and then followed with another $ 210 million that summer. Operating plans included reviving the dormant United Artists division. Unfortunately the first new UA feature Son of the Pink Panther had a quick demise. Ted Turner and the Turner Broadcasting System were eager to enter the moviemaking business and offered between $ 415- $ 500 million to purchase New Line Cinema Corp. In addition TBS would also assume some $ 50 million in existing debt from the film company. At the same time Turner also hoped to take over Castle Rock Entertainment. The company was asking for $ 100 million plus the assumption of approximately $100 million more in liabilities. Final negotiations were underway in September of ’93.

Most theater chains still refused to book films given an “NC-17” rating despite hopes that this revamping of the previous “X” would put an end to such resistance. A handful of independent “art-house” movies were content to receive the “NC-17” and play minimal bookings. These included two Australian productions, Wide Sargasso Sea (Fine Line Features) and Romper Stomper (Academy Entertainment), and the controversial Harvey Keitel police drama Bad Lieutenant (Aries Films). On the other hand, several movies chose to edit footage to lessen the rating from “NC-17” to an “R” including Louis Malle’s Damage (New Line Cinema), the Madonna vehicle Body of Evidence (MGM), MGM’s erotic love story The Lover, the offbeat drama Boxing Helena (Orion Classics), John Woo’s action thriller Hard Target (Universal) and the Brad Pitt road movie Kalifornia (Gramercy Pictures). In July 1993 brief rating explanations for all rated movies were offered to the public by way of MovieFone. This way moviegoers could find out why the current releases were rated as they were.

In December 1992 Loews’ 19th Street Theatre in Manhattan premiered the first live-action interactive film, I’m Your Man. During the 20 minute short three color codes would flash on the screen at certain points during the action asking for a decision to advance the plot. Audience members would then respond by pressing the corresponding color button of their choice on a pistol grip attached to the arm of each seat. After tallying the votes electronically the film would continue its story according to what the majority had dictated by pressing their buttons. This experimental movie continued its run in U.S. theaters throughout 1993.

Minor Oscar controversies erupted prior to the actual spring ceremonies. The Academy voted to dispense with two traditional categories – documentary short and live-action short, feeling that both “have long ceased to reflect the realities of theatrical motion picture distribution.” An unexpected outcry from various filmmakers and Academy members caused the rapid reinstatement of both categories. There was, however, no bending to the decision to eliminate one of the year’s foreign-language film nominees from the voting ballot. A Place in the World was disqualified after it was discovered that the movie was not a Uruguayan film as originally stated but primarily Argentine. A lawsuit on behalf of the film’s director was brought against the Academy but dismissed by the court. On Oscar night only four nominees, instead of the customary five, were read from the nominations list.

Hardcover – 736 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (4,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Quigley Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-900610-48-4

Motion Picture Almanac 1995, 66th Edition (edited by Barry Monush)

motion-picture-almanac-1995The Year in Review – As Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park continued to dominate world box offices throughout 1993 and into 1994, the filmmaker managed to achieve a second resounding triumph for the same studio, Universal, with the December release of Schindler’s List. Confounding the skeptics, the director’s 3 hour and 15 minute, black and white examination of the Holocaust earned some of the best reviews ever bestowed upon a motion picture, captured a slew of critics awards, won Oscars for best picture and director and became a box-office sensation, taking in $ 95 million in the U.S. alone.

The following summer Disney ruled the box-office with the phenomenal popularity of its newest animated feature, The Lion King, which managed to top the studio’s previous champ, Aladdin, by grossing over $ 260 million by September, making it the biggest hit in the history of the Disney Company. In an unprecedented move the studio pulled the movie from circulation that same month with the intention of re-opening it at Thanksgiving to give it a fresh new start. Unexpectedly, in the wake of this triumph, one of the executives most responsible for the recent renaissance of the animation industry, Jeffrey Katzenberg, resigned as chairman to be replaced by former 20th Century Fox chairman and current Caravan Pictures president Joe Roth.

Following a long bidding war Paramount was purchased, in March of 1994, by Sumner Redstone’s Viacom Inc. emerging victorious over Barry Diller’s QVC Network. The company promptly scored the greatest box-office success in its history with the Tom Hanks drama-comedy Forrest Gump, which took in $ 250 million by mid-September with no end to its cash flow in sight. The studio’s third installment of the Jack Ryan adventure series Clear and Present Danger managed to top the $ 100 million mark in a little over a month in release.

Tom Hanks’ drawing power was proven not only with the millions of customers he brought to the offbeat Gump but more significantly with TriStar’s controversial Philadelphia. Hanks’ Academy Award-winning performance as a gay lawyer dying from AIDS was crucial in getting audiences to overcome the usual resistance to films involving homosexuality as well as AIDS, this being Hollywood’s first big budgeted studio release on the latter subject.

A new star to reckon with emerged in comedian Jim Carrey, formerly of TV’s In Living Color, as he scored an unexpected smash to the tune of $ 72,220,000 with the wild comedy Ace Ventura – Pet Detective. The Warner Bros. release was, by a wide margin, the most successful film released during the first four months of the year. To prove that Carrey’s drawing power was no fluke a second vehicle, New Line’s fantasy The Mask, did even better, being one of eight summer releases to gross more than $ 100 million.

The movie industry’s current, unimaginative trend of adapting old TV series garnered mixed results. While The Fugitive solidified its triumph by earning an Oscar nod for best picture, there were bad reviews and decent money from a big screen version of The Beverly Hillbillies (20th Century Fox), disastrous results from Orion’s Car 54, Where Are You?, and out-and-out blockbusters from Universal’s The Flintstones ($ 129,130,000) and Warner Bros.’ Maverick ($ 100,000,000).

20th Century Fox clearly dominated the action field in the summer of ’94 with the Keanu Reeves-starrer Speed ($ 116,700,000) and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s super-expensive True Lies ($ 135,130,000 as of mid-September). The studio had also ruled Christmas of ’93 with the Robin Williams drag comedy Mrs. Doubtfire which earned $ 219,140,000, making it the second highest grossing film of 1993.

On the independent front Miramax continued to reign with New Zealand’s The Piano which the critics fell all over themselves to overpraise, resulting in $ 40 million in the U.S. and an onslaught of acting awards for star Holly Hunter. The newly established Gramercy Pictures made its mark with the British comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral to the tune of  $ 52,730,000. In addition to The Mask, New Line Cinema was fortunate to have picked up the ultra-violent The Crow from Paramount after the latter backed out of distributing the troubled thriller after its star, Brandon Lee, was killed on the set. Despite, or because of, its gruesome background, the film took in over $ 50,000,000.

An audit by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young for NATO reported, in March of 1994, that ticket prices for 1993 indicated a slight decrease over the past four years. The yearly average in 1993 was $ 4.14, down from $ 4.15 in 1992, $ 4.21 in 1991 and $ 4.23 in 1990. By taking peak box office revenues and dividing by the average ticket price the report results suggested that admissions were in fact at their highest point since 1960. Later that year, however, New Yorkers saw an unwelcomed increase from $ 7.50 per ticket to $ 8.00.

The first electronic presentation of motion pictures in U.S. theaters came via a revival series debuting in Dallas / Fort Worth in August 1994 by way of a collaboration between United Artists Theatres and American Movie Classics. Such movies as Frankenstein, Sunset Boulevard, Rear Window, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s were shown in UA Theatres running on laser disc players and then projected onto the movie screens. This technology was said to offer 60-75 % of the quality of regular 35mm projection, opening the doors to a future without film projectors.

The possibility of a “double standard” with the MPAA ratings board was the issue in two vastly different cases where films were awarded NC-17 ratings. Gramercy Pictures’ love story involving black teenagers, Jason’s Lyric was slapped with the unwanted rating, resulting in the obligatory editing job by its director, Doug McHenry. However, when the images of a naked couple in the movie’s advertising were still deemed unacceptable by the board McHenry made accusations of racism. Was it possible that two black people making love
was somehow less acceptable to the board than two white people in the same act? MPAA head Jack Valenti dismissed the controversy as a publicity ploy, as he did in the case of Hollywood Pictures’ erotic thriller Color of Night. This time the NC-17 was taken away once all footage of frontal nudity of star Bruce Willis was snipped out. There was, however, no objection to the full exposure of co-star Jane Marsh. This was not the first case leading some filmmakers to believe that there was an element of sexism when it came to giving out ratings.

The building of a 24-screen multiplex near Dallas-Fort Worth by AMC was only the first of several proposals by various circuits to continue expanding the amount of theater screens across the country. The 80,000 square foot Texas theater would become the largest complex in the country.

Hardcover – 736 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (43,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Quigley Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-900-610-52-2

Motion Picture Players’ Credits: Worldwide Performers of 1967 through 1980 With Filmographies of Their Entire Careers, 1905-1983 (Jeffrey Oliviero)

oliviero-jeffrey-motion-picture-players-creditsMotion Picture Players’ Credits seeks to establish – in many cases for the first time in print – coverage on the accomplishments of some 15,000 worldwide motion picture performing artists from the late 1960s, through 1980. The starting date for qualification of the players included herein is 1967. Note that actors and actresses whose motion picture careers ceased in 1966 or before will not be found in this edition; missing as well will be those who have appeared in films only in 1981 or later. All the rest – running the gamut from world-renowned superstars to the briefest of brief-staying bit-part players – are brought into perspective in the pages to follow, with all of their known motion picture credits given (through 1983).

A general sociological and artistic “renaissance” took place in the world in the 1960s and this also made its presence felt in the entertainment media. Cinematic voices were heard from more diverse (if disparate) factions than at any time before. Films from all over the world achieved a considerable degree of influence during this era, which also saw independent (even exploitation and underground) productions vying for audience attention alongside the more traditional, studio-sanctioned motion pictures.

An effort has been made here to see that contributors in a performing capacity to all the thousands of films released during this nearly fifteen year period focused on should have their just rewards in print. All are within as a result of the index approach adopted for this research, and thereby, it is hoped, the somewhat arbitrary selection (that has oftentimes prevented previous publications on this subject from reaching their true level of completeness) has here been avoided.

Alphabetically-arranged entries are comprised of

1 The player’s official screen name as well as any alternate billing or pseudonyms professionally used. I have not sought to include original (born) names, which in other books or promotional matter seem to proliferate at times more as folklore than fact and in which case are very often impossible to verify.

2 The player’s date of birth and, when applicable, date of death. Accuracy in this area has proven to be one of the greater challenges of this undertaking, partly owing to some performers’ reluctance to be completely forthcoming on the subject and partly due to the scarcity of documentation to be found for so many of those in question. Nonetheless, more often than not dates are featured, these derived from either a consensus of sources cited or, to an equal degree, through information furnished by the player. Failing both other published sources or player input, whenever possible, vital records (birth, death and marriage certificates) have been ascertained; this has permitted publication of illuminating facts on many players not available anywhere else. Furthermore, about one quarter of the deceased players are revealed as such for the very first time in print in this book. Players who have died after January 1, 1985, will not be reflected as deceased in this present edition.

3 A concise, usually single-sentence, description and career profile – these always intending to encompass nationality, typical screen persona or capacity, professional background, and marriage / family data relevant to the theatrical profession.

4 The player’s filmography. Offered for all is a complete (designated with the abbreviation “c”), or as complete as can possibly be ascertained, chronological listing of titles / dates of all known screen appearances for any given actor or actress. I have made it a rule to include not only feature films but also short / documentary / instructional films, off-screen voice-overs / narrations / song vocals, and also made-for-television movies-of-the-week (the latter have greatly proliferated in recent times, augmenting many modern-day players’ entries considerably). No filmography has been intentionally summarized or highlighted, but when it is known that there are likely to be more film contributions attributable to a player than those noted, “i” (for incomplete) will appear prior to the start of a filmography listing. Entries bearing neither complete nor incomplete indicators will be presumed complete (or complete to the very best of my knowledge) and will certainly match, and in most cases exceed (and supersede), any such coverage on the subject hitherto available. Film titles and release dates are always intended to be those of the country (and language) in which they originate. Filmographies begin as early as 1905 but the cutoff for inclusion of credits in this edition is December 31, 1983.

5 Titles of television series, serials and programs in which the player had a continuous length-of-run part to play. These are unfortunately confined to U.S. and (some) U.K. players, as material on television series for performers elsewhere has not proven readily available.

6 For living players I have ventured to supply a current address or contact, offered with albeit a grain of salt. As is widely known, those in the theatrical profession are, because of the nature of the industry, transient for much of the time. I’ve included addresses nonetheless to illustrate what country or locale (i.e. Southern California, New York, etc.) the player has maintained as his or her last known base of operations. Many addresses will be those of a talent agent but be warned agencies frequently change hands, move offices, drop clients or cease operations, so if you are in any way serious about getting in touch with a specific performer, it may require a bit of investigation. My best advice is to get a hold of an updated issue of any of the several directories or annuals listed in this book’s bibliography. Prizes awarded to actors and actresses will be found in the player’s respective filmography listing, parenthetically noted after the title of the film in which it occurred. All nominees and winners of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Awards listed herein will have their accolade mentioned, as will many recipients (and nominees) of the British Film Award and the French Academy Award (César), in addition to first prize takers at the Film Festivals (Berlin, Cannes and Venice) and critics’ panels (New York Film Critics, National Society of Film Critics and National Board of Review). With regard to alphabetical order, compounded surnames bearing the articles Da, De, Di and Del have been alphabetized as if one word (for example, Denver is to be found before De Wolf). Compounded surnames with the article Van in them are in the V chapter as if one word, but bear in mind German or Flemish surnames with von in them differentiate on this aspect and can generally be expected to be indexed under the capitalized portion of the surname (e.g., Max von Sydow is in the S chapter). Mac and Mc are treated as one, spelled M-A-C, as are Saint and St.

My apologies are extended to all in any instance where errors in citation occur in the pages to follow. Great pains have been taken to insure both completeness and accuracy, but as always with any work of such length, oversights are inevitable. Finally, I wholeheartedly extend the invitation to any reader who may be able to either improve or correct any of this book’s contents to please contact me. Similarly, despite my great good fortune in the area of correspondence with many of the players featured in this book, there remain far more than I would like for whom my best efforts have failed to yield either concrete particulars or present whereabouts. I should be most eager to hear from any of these elusive players who might be reading this and will happily assimilate any details they might furnish on their lives and careers into future editions of this book. I can be reached c/o McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640.” – The Preface.

Hardcover – 1.013 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 21,5 cm (11,2 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 2.235 g (78,8 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1991 – ISBN 0-89950-315-2

Mountain of Dreams: The Golden Years of Paramount Pictures (Leslie Halliwell)

Halliwell, Leslie - Mountain of DreamsThis unique book on the golden age of Hollywood tells its fascinating story through a panoply of rich, visual documentation – photos, illustrations, printed ephemera, memorabilia plus over 400 vintage Paramount ads. With intriguing authenticity, Mountain of Dreams recreates the life of a major studio – the most fabulous of all the “dream factories.” Avoiding the middle-class realism of MGM, and focusing more on sardonic high-life romances, Paramount employed the most sophisticated and worldly talent of the day, such as Ernst Lubitsch, Maurice Chevalier, Billy Wilder, Marlene Dietrich, Cary Cooper, and William Powell.

Press books – particularly from the twenties and the thirties – are prize collector’s items since very few studios kept their archives intact. Paramount is one of the rare exceptions and therefore, Leslie Halliwell (British TV personality and author of the international best-seller, The Filmgoer’s Companion) was able to compile this evocative panorama of a major studio in the heyday of its creativity and success.

The selections start at the dawn of the talkies and end at a time when the golden glitter dreams of Hollywood were about to be shattered by post-war disillusionment and the advent of that technological demon, television, Mountain of Dreams is an archaeological trip, a magic carpet (as they used to say in Hollywood), to a world of miracles, hoopla, promotional hype, vast exaggeration and great fun!

This is no scholarly, somber history of a studio, but an authentic – and often hilarious – picture of a studio in action as revealed by the movies it produced, the stars it created and the promotion it used to sell its product to millions of movie-goers.

It is a galaxy of films and a galaxy of stars with vivid portraits of many of Hollywood’s greatest: Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Bob Hope, Ronald Colman, Charles Boyer, Maurice Chevalier, William Powell, George Raft, Clara Bow, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, Mae West, and Marlene Dietrich, to name just a few.

So, “hurrah for Hollywood, where every mechanic can be a panic” and hurrah for Halliwell’s Mountain of Dreams!

Leslie Halliwell buys most the feature films and series screened by the ITV British television network. An enthusiast since childhood, he has been a film reviewer and playwright, was the man behind Granada’s long-running Cinema series and advised on the junior version of Clapperboard. He is the author of, among others, the giant international best-seller The Filmgoer’s Companion, and the forthcoming Halliwell’s Film Guide.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 196 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 21,5 cm (11,2 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 983 g (34,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Stonehill Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-88373-036-7

Mou$e Entertainment: De Geschiedenis van Walt Disney & Company (Rein Van Willigen)

van-willigen-rein-mouseEindelijk: het eerste oorspronkelijk Nederlandse boek over ‘s werelds grootste en meest intrigerende entertainment-concern.

Mou$e Entertainment belicht het bedrijf van vele kanten – en natuurlijk een stuk vrijmoediger dan het in de eigen publicaties van het bedrijf gebeurt. Het opent met de levensloop van Walt Disney. Na diens overlijden raakt het bedrijf in een creatieve malaise. Met de komst van Michael Eisner beleeft het bedrijf opnieuw gouden tijden – maar het gaat nu om een ander soort bedrijf: een keihard dollar-imperium.

Disney heeft de wereld veroverd – zonder bloedvergieten. Dit oer-Amerikaanse bedrijf heeft de grenzen geslecht, met kwalitatief hoogstaande films als Fantasia, Bambi, Aladdin en The Lion King, met onverwoestbare figuren zoals Mickey Mouse, Goofy en Donald Duck, en met niet te evenaren themaparken. De Disney-formule slaat aan bij volwassenen en kinderen over de hele wereld. Hoe kan dat?

De schrijver, REIN VAN WILLIGEN, een erkende Disney-deskundige en -verzamelaar, houdt zich al ruim vier decennia bezig met het fenomeen Disney.

Softcover – 194 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 17 cm (9,1 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 478 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Kritak, Leuven, Belgium, 1999 – ISBN 90 6168 573 7

Movie Anecdotes (Peter Hay)

hay-peter-movie-anecdotes“Hollywood,” Walter Winchell quipped, “is where they shoot too many movies and not enough actor. Always looking for an angle, always scheming, always the scene of clashing egos, the movie industry is where they place you under contract instead of under observation – and if you don’t have anything nice to say, write it down.” “In 1940, I had my choice between Hitler and Hollywood,” French director René Clair recalled, “and I preferred Hollywood – just a little.”

In Movie Anecdotes, Peter Hay treats us to a delightful ride through the world that has captivated audiences for almost a century, with stories that are often hilarious, sometimes tragic, but always entertaining. He takes us from the round-and-tumble days (where one studio paid Pancho Villa  $ 25,000 to launch his attacks only in daylight, after a film crew had set up) to the studio era (when Joan Crawford refused to cross the street on the MGM lot except in a chauffeured limousine) to the shenanigans of today’s global industry. Here are stories about all the legends: Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Mae West, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Sophia Loren, John Wayne and, of course, Ronald Reagan. There are the great directors, from D.W. Griffith, Alfred Hitchcock, Luchino Visconti, John Huston, John Ford, to Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Sergei Eisenstein and Woody Allen. And Hay has selected tales of the writers, the wits, and the grand moguls, including perhaps the largest collection of Goldwynisms – both genuine and apocryphal.

Along with the laughter, this volume recreates the conflicts that have torn the movie world, from battles over money and contracts, to discrimination, divorces, and scandals. Colorful, incredible, bitter, funny – the stories about moviemaking are as fantastic as the pictures themselves. Now they have been gathered together in an irresistible bouquet that is certain to delight every movie buff and provide fascinating insights for serious students of film.

Born in Budapest and educated at Oxford, PETER HAY has taught at several universities in Canada and the United States. An expert in script development, he is founding artistic director of First Stage in Hollywood. Hay is the author of Theatrical Anecdotes, which Clive Barnes described as “full of wit and wisdom,” and the recent Broadway Anecdotes, acclaimed by Judith Crist as “a delightful feast … bright and breezy and informative.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 713 g (25,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-19-504594-7

The Movie Book: A Comprehensive, Authorative, Omnibus Volume on Motion Pictures and the Cinema World (Steven H. Scheuer)

Scheuer, Steven H - The Movie BookThis is an enormous, comprehensive, authoritative, decade-by-decade, genre-by-genre, must-have, can’t-do-without pictorial survey of motion pictures and the cinema world.

Its more than 400 superb pictures – scene stills, portraits, and on-the-set shots of moviemaking in progress – are the result of imaginative and persistent research. Many of them are historically rare, an unusual circumstance considering the years of digging by the archaeologists of motion pictures. Many prints also have been struck from original, or near-to-original, negatives and are therefore of extremely high quality. They provide fantastic illustration for every period and every aspect of The Movie Book.

Author STEVEN H. SCHEUER lives and works in America. He has written Movies on TV, is the editor of TV Key, a daily service reviewing movies on television for some 200 major newspapers, and is executive producer and moderator of the award-winning weekly television program, All About TV. He is also the possessor of a most phenomenal motion picture memory bank.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 384 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 22,5 cm (12 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.685 g (59,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Octopus Books, Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 7064 04661

Movie Classics (edited by Allan Hunter)

hunter-allan-movie-classics“The essential qualities of a Movie Classic can sometimes prove elusive. The contenders for the accolade covered within these pages certainly include a selection of the most popular films ever made, the most critically lauded and the most commercially successful of all time – but the book is not primarily concerned, Guinness-like, with records of the biggest or the best, however compelling the information.

A Movie Classic can perhaps only be measured on an unscientific scale of public affection and esteem. Films like Battleship Potemkin and Citizen Kane are clearly Movie Classics because they have profoundly influenced the shape of the moviemaking landscape and their impact on the art form has stood the test of time. The sheer popularity of Gone With the Wind or The Sound of Music, the symbolic significance of a Rome, Open City or Breathless in heralding new trends in cinema techniques or the awards showered upon Ben-Hur or Dances With Wolves more than earn them a place in the roll-call of greats.

Sometimes it is only posterity that can bestow classic status upon a specific title. When Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life was released just after World War II, it wound up over $ 500,000 in the red and failed to receive a single Oscar. Capra was felt to have lost his popular touch and the career of star James Stewart was seen to falter after a five-year absence at war. However, subsequent generations have taken the film to their hearts, admiring the humanity of Capra’s vision and the richness of Stewart’s performance; the film is now a rep house, video and television perennial and as much a part of the Yuletide season as presents and Santa Claus.

French filmmaker Jean Vigo died tragically young in Paris in 1934 believing that his final film L’Atalante had been a failure after brutal interference from its distributor. However, the years have allowed restorations to be made and his original intentions to be vindicated, resulting in acclaim for one of the most romantic of French features. From L’Atalante to Touch of Evil, It’s a Wonderful Life to Night of the Hunter, the book is full of titles that were disowned, maligned or merely misunderstood at the time of their initial release but now stand unquestioned in the pantheon of greats.

The selection of titles, which runs chronologically from The Great Train Robbery in 1903 to Silence of the Lambs in 1991, therefore represents the gamut of what constitutes a film classic whether it is the sheer entertainment value of Singin’ in The Rain and Casablanca that can be seen time and time again, the controversy and passions aroused by Peeping Tom or Fatal Attraction or the unchallenged artistry of a Buster Keaton comedy, a Fred Astaire musical routine or an Ingmar Bergman drama.

The films chosen for inclusion within the book have been heavily influenced by the research undertaken for the earlier Chambers Film and Television Handbook. Material originally compiled for that volume by the current editor, Kenny Mathieson and Trevor Johnston has been completely revised, corrected where necessary, and expanded to fit the form of this new book. Numerous new entries have also been researched and written by myself and Kenny Mathieson.

Each film is now represented by an entry that provides a short plot synopsis, selected technical credits, a cast list and a commentary which aims to give background detail on the production of a film or pinpoint its significance within cinema history, or the career of a particularly innovative filmmaker. Where relevance and space permits the entry also conveys a sense of the film’s box-office performance and whether it received Oscar awards. Throughout the book films are listed in alphabetical order with the foreign-language films listed under the name by which they are best known in the UK. Thus Kurosawa’s epic will be found under The Seven Samurai and not Shichinin No Samurai whilst Federico Fellini’s study of decadent Roman mores will be found under La Dolce Vita rather than The Sweet Life.

The aim of this book is to provide an easy reference for those seeking a sense of the landmarks of world cinema and an instant aide-memoire for all those who have looked back in langour on the memory of a film that moved, informed, delighted or entertained them.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 19,5 x 13 cm (7,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 342 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER W & R Chambers, Ltd., Edinburgh, 1992 – ISBN 0-550-17008-1

Movie Clips (Patrick Robertson)

robertson-patrick-movie-clipsAt last, here is a book that brings together the very best in movie trivia to delight and amaze with its wealth of revelatory and tantalizing titbits. Amusing anecdotes, cutting quotes, firsts, mosts, bests, worsts and much, much more – all are listed here, covering the complete history of the silver screen.

Completely updated, and with a new color section, Movie Clips delights in the eccentricities of Hollywood and the greats of Britain and rounds up the latest news from all over the world.

Whether you are an ardent film buff or an occasional cinemagoer, Movie Clips will become a much-thumbed addition to your bookshelves. Don’t lend this book to your friends; you will never get it back!

PATRICK ROBERTSON has had a passion for the movies which began at the age of three when he was taken to see For Me and My Gal an a wet afternoon in Lyme Regis in 1943. In his spare time he runs a props hire business, supplying vintage magazines, comics and newspapers for set dressing in film and television productions. He is also Chairman of the Ephemera Society and author of The Shell Book of Firsts and the Guinness Book of Film Facts and Feats.

Hardcover – 144 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 12 cm (8,5 x 4,7 inch) – Weight 364 g (12,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Guinness Superlatives, Ltd., Enfield, Middlesex, 1989 – ISBN 0-85112-329-5

Movie Comedy Teams (Leonard Maltin; introduction by Billy Gilbert)

maltin-leonard-movie-comedy-teams“This new edition of Movie Comedy Teams incorporates a number of additions and corrections which have come to light since the book first appeared, along with a few changes in opinion. It seemed unwise and unfeasible to rewrite an entire book to accommodate new research and new thoughts, however, so basically the book remains the same. New viewpoints and new information have appeared – and will continue to appear, in new works. For this book, my hope remains constant: that it does justice to some great talents and their filmed work.” – Leonard Maltin

Their names evoke a Golden Age of movie comedy – an age of slapstick and vaudeville, pratfalls and puns.

In this complete book on these famous comic teams, writer-critic Leonard Maltin tells how they got together and why they broke up, reveals their private sorrows and public triumphs, and lovingly analyzes the high – and low – points of their film careers.

[Profiles on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Clark and McCullough, Wheeler and Woolsey, The Marx Brothers, Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts, Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly, George Burns and Gracie Allen, The Three Stooges, The Ritz Brothers, Olsen and Johnson, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Moran and Mack, Smith and Dale, The Wiere Brothers, Mitchell and Durant, Fibber McGee and Molly, Brown and Carney, Noonan and Marshall, Rowan and Martin]

Softcover – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 229 g (8,1 oz) – PUBLISHER New American Library, New York, New York, 1970

The Movie Greats (Barry Norman)

norman-barry-the-movie-greatsHollywood – the town where dreams, reputations and fortunes were made and broken, found and lost. For at least three decades it attracted the brightest talents in the world, and from them created the greatest film personalities the world has ever seen. You could be a great actor without being a star – but you could never be a star without Hollywood.

This is Barry Normans tribute to same of the most memorable stars – both British and American – ever to grace a Hollywood screen, and like its best-selling predecessor, The Hollywood Greats, it is based on his own highly successful BBC-TV series. Entertaining, witty, and often touching, The Movie Greats is a fascinating look at the lives and personalities of people we could never really know, but will never be able to forget.

[Portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Peter Finch, Groucho Marx, Jack Hawkins, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Donart, Gracie Fields, Leslie Howard, Charlie Chaplin, Hollywood]

Softcover – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 12,5 cm (7,5 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 225 g (7,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Arrow Books, London, 1981 – ISBN 0 09 929170 3

Movie Heaven (various authors)

coppola-eleanor-movie-heavenEmpire, Britain’s biggest-selling movie magazine, brings you Movie Heaven, an anthology of new film writing. A very long way from a collection of critical essays, Movie Heaven attempts to get to the bottom of what films really do for people – how we’re shaped by the cinema, in big ways and small, in serious ways and, frankly, inane ones. We hope it rings some bells.

Movie Heaven features David Cavanagh on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; Andrew Collins on 1970s disaster movies; Eleanor Coppola on the filming of Apocalypse Now; Mark Ellen on the majesty of Withnail & I; David Gritten on witnessing Spielberg make history in Poland; Chris Heath on movies that make you sick; Tom Hibbert on the Henley Regal; Nick Hornby on Saturday mornings at the ABC; Gerald Kaufman on searching for movie locations; Barry McIlheney on his first Cannes; Kim Newman on how he fell into movie criticism through unemployment and desperation; Tony Parsons on stumbling out of A Clockwork Orange; Philip Ridley on the night Close Encounters Of The Third Kind nearly killed him.

Softcover – 123 pp. – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 78 g (2,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Empire Magazine, 1995

Movie Icons: Brando (F.X. Feeney; edited by Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-movie-icons-brandoHad he not been an actor, Marlon Brando once wrote, he would have become a criminal – specifically, a con artist. Take him at his word. Too many complain that Brando, the greatest actor of his generation, wasted his life in futile rebellions and left far too few masterworks in his wake, especially measured against his potential; but considering his sincere confession of criminal potential, we can be grateful for the little we do have. The actor who starred so unforgettably in A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild One, On the Waterfront, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Last Tango in Paris certainly owes no apologies to posterity.

The Hollywood Icon series: people talk about Hollywood glamor, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. Hollywood Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema.

These 192-page books are visual biographies of the stars. For each title, series editor PAUL DUNCAN has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 398 g (14 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-8228-2002-5

Movie Icons: Chaplin (David Robinson; edited by Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-movie-icons-chaplinCharles Chaplin’s Little Tramp is the supreme icon of motion pictures – still recognized and loved throughout the world, more than 90 years since he first burst on the screen. The shabby little figure – with derby hat, too-tight jacket, oversized boots and pants, dandified bow tie, and swagger cane – seemed to symbolize the hopes and fears, defeats and optimism of all humanity. Chaplin’s own biography was a rags-to-riches story that saw the product of a destitute childhood in Victorian London become one of Hollywood’s first millionaires and the owner of his own studio before he was 30. His supreme gift was to transform his experience and knowledge of the human lot into comedy, for which his invention and skill have never been surpassed. People talk about Hollywood glamor, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons.

Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. Hollywood Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema. This 192-page book is a visual biography of Charlie Chaplin. Editor PAUL DUNCAN has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 394 g (13,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-8228-2005-6

Movie Icons: Eastwood (Douglas Keesey; edited by Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-movie-icons-eastwoodHaving starred in 44 films and directed 27, Clint Eastwood is a living legend. This book traces the evolution of his star persona from the mysterious gunslingers he played in such Westerns as the Dollars Trilogy, High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider, and Unforgiven, to the rogue cops and other troubled macho heroes he brought to life in the Dirty Harry films, The Gauntlet, Tightrope, Heartbreak Ridge, and In the Line of Fire. Along the way, Eastwood has also surprised his fans by taking uncharacteristic roles in comedies (Every Which Way But Loose), adventure films (White Hunter, Black Heart), and romantic movies (The Bridges of Madison County). In addition, no book on Eastwood would be complete without a look at some of the most acclaimed films he has directed, including Bird, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Flags of Our Fathers.

The Hollywood Icon series: people talk about Hollywood glamor, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. Hollywood Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema.

This 192-page book is a visual biography of Clint Eastwood. Editor PAUL DUNCAN has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 401 g (14,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-8228-2004-9

Movie Icons: Monroe (F.X. Feeney; edited by Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-movie-icons-monroe“Forget everything you think you know about this person,” Elia Kazan cautioned, in his autobiography. The icon we cherish under the name Marilyn Monroe was in truth the inspired creation of a smart, voluptuous, star struck and self-motivated fantasist named Norma Jean Mortenson. A pure product of Hollywood, she abides across time as brightly as two other self-inventors, Charlie Chaplin and Cary Grant. Few things make an afterlife blaze more mythically than a sexual reputation – ask Cleopatra. Norma Jean paid a huge price to become Marilyn, yet here she is – still setting the bar high for all other would-be goddesses.

The Hollywood Icon series: people talk about Hollywood glamor, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. Hollywood Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema.

This 192-page book is a visual biography of Marilyn Monroe. Editor PAUL DUNCAN has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 395 g (13,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-8228-2117-6

Movie Icons: Welles (F.X. Feeney; edited by Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-movie-icons-wellesA recognized prodigy at age 10, world famous by age 23, Orson Welles was a triple magician of theater, radio, and film – and by age 25 a promising figure in American politics. President Franklin D. Roosevelt encouraged him to try a run for the Senate; newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst branded him a pariah. But by the time he turned 30, Orson Welles’ professional success ended irreversibly; from then until the day he died, he endured ridicule and reproach over what many judged his “failure.” Few knew how feverishly he had persisted as an independent filmmaker. Now, decades after his death, “new” work keeps emerging, and his reputation as an undefeated genius and creator only grows.

The Hollywood Icon series: people talk about Hollywood glamor, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. Hollywood Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema.

This 192-page book is a visual biography of Orson Welles. Editor PAUL DUNCAN has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 398 g (14 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen, Köln, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-8228-2003-2

Movie Love: Complete Reviews 1988-1991 (Pauline Kael)

Kael, Pauline - Movie LoveThe New Yorker‘s inimitable film critic offers a sparkling collection of her latest reviews, 1988-1991.

With the publication of I Lost It at the Movies in 1965, Pauline Kael turned routine movie reviewing into an unprecedented popular art form, and she has maintained her supremacy at it ever since. Movie Love, her tenth collection, brings together all her reviews from October 1988 to March 1991, when she chose to retire as the New Yorker‘s regular film critic. More than 80 movies receive the legendary full-length Kael treatment. Among them are Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Dangerous Liaisons, Rain Man, Batman, Let’s Get Lost, Casualties of War, Dead Poets Society, My Left Foot, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Enemies: A Love Story, Goodfellas, The Grifters, The Godfather Part III and Vincent & Theo. Kael is not only a marvellous critic, she is also a marvellous writer, which makes her unmatchable and her books  indispensable. In Movie Love, she continues to disturb, explain, entertain and enlighten.

PAULINE KAEL is the author of 12 books of film criticism, including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Deeper Into the Movies, When the Lights Go Down, Taking It All In, State of the Art and Hooked, all available from Marion Boyars. She is the only film critic to win a National Book Award. She lives in Great Barrington, Massachussets.

Softcover – 348 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 480 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Marion Boyars Publishers, Ltd., London, 1992 – ISBN 0-7145-2953-2

Movie Love in the Fifties (James Harvey)

“What I set out to do here is to help you see movies better – to experience them more deeply and sharply and richly,” says critic, playwright, and essayist James Harvey. Acclaimed for his style and insight, Harvey takes us scene by scene, line by line, through the most important moments of a film, sharing his acute powers of observation and revealing layers of meaning in even the most familiar movies.

In mapping the progression from 1940s film noir to the living-room melodramas of the 1950s, Harvey illustrates how the femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Bennett) becomes first blander and blonder (Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds) and then younger and more traditionally sexy (Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly). He also traces the transformation as women are finally replaced as objects of desire by the new boy-men – Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, James Dean. Turning to the directors, Harvey discusses the films of Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo), Max Ophuls (The Reckless Moment), Orson Welles (Touch of Evil), and Robert Siodmak (Christmas Holiday), as well as the quintessential 1950s directors Nicholas Ray, who made movies in the old Hollywood tradition (Johnny Guitar), and Douglas Sirk, who created unforgettable images of suburban wasteland (Imitation of Life, Magnificent Obsession). Finally, he considers the “serious” directors, such as Stanley Kramer and Elia Kazan, whose films exhibited powerful new realism. Comprehensive, insightful, and written with intelligence, humor, and affection. Movie Love in the Fifties is a masterful work of American film and cultural history.

Softcover – 448 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 670 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-306-81177-4

Movie-Made America: How the Movies Changed American Life (Robert Sklar)

scannen0045Here is a lively, highly informative history of American movies that, as Professor Frank Freidel of Harvard writes, combines “social history, economics and a precise and effective sense of film criticism.”

Movies were the first twentieth-century mass medium, and largely by chance, the first big American movie audiences and moviemakers came from the immigrant, working-class segments of the population. Movies therefore became a challenge to American big business and American culture, both of which had been controlled by the Establishment. This, Sklar suggests, is one reason why, from their very beginning, movies have been hounded by censorship.

This book does three things: it traces the influence movies had on American society during the years when innumerable Americans young and old modeled themselves and their behavior on their favorite movie stars and movies; it shows the effect of the movie industry on the American economy; and it offers fresh and provocative interpretations of such movie milestones as D.W. Griffith’s early epics, silent comedy (Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd), the two golden ages of 1930s movies, Walt Disney cartoons and Frank Capra’s social comedies. It explains the movies’ downfall in the 1950s, which, Sklar contends, was not due solely to television, and it suggests the movies’ possible future. Exploring simultaneously Hollywood aesthetics, economics and culture, it offers a fascinating, comprehensive picture of the role that movies have played in American life.

ROBERT SKLAR was born in 1936 and was educated in the public schools of Long Beach, California, and at Princeton University. After working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, he received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 1965. He is a historian and writer on twentieth-century American culture and society, and is the author of F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Last Laocoön and editor of The Plastic Age, an anthology on 1920s culture. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and has taught overseas in New Zealand and Japan. A faculty member at the University of Michigan, he lives in Ann Arbor, and is the father of two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 910 g (32,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-394-48327-8

Movie Magic: The Story of Special effects in the Cinema (John Brosnan)

brosnan-john-movie-magicThe job of the special effects man in the cinema is – quite simply – to achieve the impossible. His stock-in-trade includes not only the standard ravages of nature (flood, fire, storm, earthquake) but also supernatural phenomena (ghosts, giants and monsters from outer space) and such man-made horrors as atomic holocaust and Dr. Frankenstein. The boundless dreams and wildest imaginings of the scriptwriter constitute his daily bread-and-butter – and usually have to be effected as cheaply. From the trick photography of Georges Méliès’s Trip to the Moon (1902), through King Kong and The Invisible Man to James Bond and the ‘ultimate trip’, 2001: A Space Odyssey, John Brosnan tells the ingenious and bizarre story of the people, the skills and the techniques behind some of the most extraordinary sequences in the history of the cinema. Using explanatory diagrams, over 120 unusual and impressive illustrations, and first-hand interviews with experts in the USA and Britain, he examines both photographic effects – rear projection, travelling mattes, optical printers, etc. – and mechanical effects – car crashes, explosions, bullet hits, and so on. He also covers the specialized field of stop-motion animation.

The result is a book of endless fascination to all who are interested in the cinema – especially to those whose sense of wonder has been aroused by epic illusions like the parting of the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, the battle with the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts, or the war scenes in Battle of Britain or Tora! Tora! Tora! For the first time the role of the ‘movie magician’ – as engineer, inventor and dreamer – has been accorded its proper place in the story of film.

JOHN BROSNAN was born in Perth, Australia, in 1947. He has published one book to date – James Bond in the Cinema – and has written a number of science fiction short stories. Before arriving in England in 1970 he wrote film reviews for a variety of Australian publications. He now lives in London. Movie Magic is in the same illustrated format as Stunt, John Baxter’s highly successful story of the great movie stuntmen, which inspired a special season of films at London’s National Film Theatre and which ‘supersedes all other books on stunting in the cinema… a lucid, entertainingly anecdotal account, with sensibly chosen illustrations’ (Christopher Hudson, The Spectator).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 18 cm (9,5 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 722 g (25,5 oz) – PUBLISHER MacDonald and Jane’s, London, 1974 – ISBN 0 356 04699 0

Movies and Money (David Puttnam)

Autographed copy David Puttnam, Nov. ’98

Puttnam, David - Movies and MoneyFrom David Puttnam – producer of such modern film classics as Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Midnight Express, and The Mission, and the only European to have run a major Hollywood studio – an insightful and provocative history that explains the personalities and events which shaped film’s transformation from a technological curiosity into one of the world’s most powerful cultural and economic forces.

From the early rivalry between its inventors to the power-brokering and political influence of today’s mega-stars; from Zukor and Laemmle to Ovitz and Eisner; from the serendipitous discovery of Los Angeles (“Flagstaff no gooo,” wired Cecil B. DeMille. “Want authority to rent barn for $ 75 a month in place called Hollywood”) to the exploitation and depredation of Europe’s film culture in the name of the marketplace, Puttnam captures the urgency and wonder that swept through a young industry and set it spinning on an axis of money and power. Movies and Money chronicles the unprecedented collision between art and commerce, and incisively analyzes its implications in today’s global arena.

Puttnam’s engaging history is also an impassioned polemic: from the moment Thomas Edison stole the first crude attempt at a movie camera from the French scientist Étienne Jules Marey, Hollywood and Europe have existed, the author claims, in a state of undeclared hostility – hostility that has occasionally erupted into open battle for control of the century’s most powerful artistic medium. And this battle, he contends, will ultimately determine the nature of Europe’s cultural identity, He also argues forcefully for the intelligent application of the language and techniques of cinema to education, urging filmmakers to make films that challenge and inspire as well as entertain.

Ten years after his abrupt departure from Columbia, Puttnam re-enters the debate about cinema with characteristic audacity, with the irreverence of an iconoclast and the canniness of a seasoned player. Movies and Money is a book that will change our understanding of the history – and future – of film.

DAVID PUTTNAM is the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Midnight Express, Local Hero, and The Mission. He was chairman of Columbia Pictures from 1986 to 1988 and now works principally in the field of education, serving as an adviser to a number of UK government departments; as chancellor of the University of Sunderland; and as a governor and lecturer at the London School of Economics. In 1995 he received a knighthood for his services to the British film industry, and in August 1997 he was appointed to the House of Lords. He divides his time between England and Ireland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 337 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 718 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-679-44664-8

Movies and Money (David Puttnam)

Autographed copy David Puttnam, Nov. ’98

Puttnam, David - Movies and MoneyFrom David Puttnam – producer of such modern film classics as Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Midnight Express, and The Mission, and the only European to have run a major Hollywood studio – an insightful and provocative history that explains the personalities and events which shaped film’s transformation from a technological curiosity into one of the world’s most powerful cultural and economic forces.

From the early rivalry between its inventors to the power-brokering and political influence of today’s mega-stars; from Zukor and Laemmle to Ovitz and Eisner; from the serendipitous discovery of Los Angeles (“Flagstaff no gooo,” wired Cecil B. DeMille. “Want authority to rent barn for $ 75 a month in place called Hollywood”) to the exploitation and depredation of Europe’s film culture in the name of the marketplace, Puttnam captures the urgency and wonder that swept through a young industry and set it spinning on an axis of money and power. Movies and Money chronicles the unprecedented collision between art and commerce, and incisively analyzes its implications in today’s global arena.

Puttnam’s engaging history is also an impassioned polemic: from the moment Thomas Edison stole the first crude attempt at a movie camera from the French scientist Étienne Jules Marey, Hollywood and Europe have existed, the author claims, in a state of undeclared hostility – hostility that has occasionally erupted into open battle for control of the century’s most powerful artistic medium. And this battle, he contends, will ultimately determine the nature of Europe’s cultural identity, He also argues forcefully for the intelligent application of the language and techniques of cinema to education, urging filmmakers to make films that challenge and inspire as well as entertain.

Ten years after his abrupt departure from Columbia, Puttnam re-enters the debate about cinema with characteristic audacity, with the irreverence of an iconoclast and the canniness of a seasoned player. Movies and Money is a book that will change our understanding of the history – and future – of film.

DAVID PUTTNAM is the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Midnight Express, Local Hero, and The Mission. He was chairman of Columbia Pictures from 1986 to 1988 and now works principally in the field of education, serving as an adviser to a number of UK government departments; as chancellor of the University of Sunderland; and as a governor and lecturer at the London School of Economics. In 1995 he received a knighthood for his services to the British film industry, and in August 1997 he was appointed to the House of Lords. He divides his time between England and Ireland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 337 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 718 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-679-44664-8

The Movies in the Age of Innocence (Edward Wagenknecht)

wagenknecht-edward-the-movies-in-the-age-of-innocenceThis exuberant survey of the short but rich life of the silent screen ranges from the early pioneer one-reel films to the first full-length features, the memorable classics and, with the coming of talkies, the end of an era.

While the major filmmakers and stars of silent movies generally did not survive the transition to sound, their achievements in a pioneer industry and art form enjoy new recognition and acclaim today. Directors like D.W. Griffith and Erich von Stroheim, actors like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish are the commanding figures in a narrative that is strong in depth of research and enlivened by the authors infectious delight in his subject.

EDWARD WAGENKNECHT (1900-2004) was the author of well over 60 titles, covering a wide variety of subjects, most notably British and American literary biography and criticism. In addition to his work on the early film, he wrote of still earlier actors and actresses from the legitimate stage, and of the history of New England and Chicago.

Softcover – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 472 g (15,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Proscenium Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-87910-098-2

The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me (Lillian Gish, with Ann Pinchot)

Autographed copy ‘In remembrance’, Lillian Gish

Gish, Lillian - The Movies, Mr Griffith and Me (hb)This colorful, moving memoir is more than the story of one of the greatest stars of all time; here, for the first time, Lillian Gish takes us through the history of the moving picture industry itself.

Beginning with her life as a child actress at the turn of the century, Miss Gish portrays her long years as a silent film star, her first experience in sound films, her successful return to the theater after years in movies, and her recent television appearances.

The story of Lillian Gish is inseparable from the history of movies in America: from the early days, when the pioneers of the industry worked long hours through hardship and cold, public criticism, the horrors of war, and the poverty of the Depression, united by their common vision of the greatness that was to be.

Through warm remembrances Miss Gish gives us insights into the people and events that shaped the development of modern films. Here are glimpses of the giants of film and theater: Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, Erich von Stroheim, Greta Garbo, Noël Coward, John Gielgud, and many, many others. She brings to life the courageous and innovative David Wark Griffith, the father of film art, whose consuming passion was to create new and better ways to tell a story on celluloid. A long-time member of his company and his lifetime friend, Miss Gish separates the man from the legend. Hard-working, perfectionistic, striving always to reach new heights, he was also tender, generous, sensitive, and hopelessly impractical with money. Lillian Gish’s account of the Griffith years gives us an intensely human view of a great man, as well as the inside story of the making of such early film classics as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, Way Down East, and Orphans of the Storm.

Here is a monument to the golden days and to those who made them memorable. Enhanced by photographs of LILLIAN GISH in many of her most famous roles, this book is a tribute to a great actress and a great lady. It is also a tribute to a man, an industry, and an era. ANN PINCHOT is the author of twelve books, and has published numerous shorter works in major magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 948 g (33,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1969

The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me (Lillian Gish, with Anne Pinchot)

gish-lillian-the-movies-mr-griffith-and-meLillian Gish, who was to earn the undisputed title of ‘First Lady of the Silent Screen,’ was born in 1896 and made her acting debut at the age of five in a stage melodrama. A little later she was a very minor member of a company led by Sarah Bernhardt. But it was a chance meeting with Gladys Smith, another child actress, that transformed her career. Gladys had changed her name to Mary Pickford, and she was able to introduce Lillian and her younger sister Dorothy to director D.W. Griffith, who hired them both (and their mother) for their first film.

It was the Griffith connection that was to bring in its train her greatest film triumphs. His films, strong in sentiment, pathos and triumphant virtue, admirably suited her deceptively fragile looks and spiritual vibrance. The power of the films they made together was largely due to the rapport between them, and their shared admiration, as her autobiography amply shows. Griffith himself once said of Lillian Gish: “She is not only the best actress in her profession, but she has the best mind of any woman I have ever met” – a quality she was to evince when she directed sister Dorothy in a film before her 24th birthday. With Griffith, Lillian Gish has left a legacy of notable performances, especially in Broken Blossoms, True Heart Susie, Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm.

When they amicably parted ways in the early 1920s, Lillian Gish was able to command a huge fan following, and consequently script and director control. She exercised her privileges astutely, and two of her finest films, The Scarlet Letter and The Wind, were directed by Victor Sjostrom, the Swedish director known to modern audiences for his debut acting performance in Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. With the coming of sound, Hollywood rejected Lillian Gish – not because of any inability to speak dialogue, but because her innocent image made her unfashionable. She returned to the stage, where she won acclaim in such classics as Uncle Vanya, Camille and Hamlet (with John Gielgud).

But she has made occasional returns to the movies since the 1940s, most notably as the indomitable spinster in Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, as the neglected corpse in Robert Altman’s The Wedding and, most recently, with Bette Davis in Lindsay Anderson’s The Whales of August. She is also no stranger to television, frequently lectures, and in 1970 was awarded a special Oscar for her years of achievement.

Softcover – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 502 g (17,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbus Books, London, 1988 [reprint of the 1969 version]– ISBN 0-86287-393-2

Movie Star Homes: The Famous and the Forgotten (Judy Artunian, Mike Oldham)

artunian-judy-movie-star-homesA guided tour of the manions where movie stars have hung their hats.

From Gloria Swanson’s 1918 Hollywood bungalow to Brad Pitt’s Beverly Hills estate, Movie Star Homes: The Famous to the Forgotten profiles the extravagant, lavish, and eccentric residences of the rich and famous. Each of the entries includes a photo of the star and brief summation of the star’s career, the address of the star’s home, a photo of the home as it looks today, and fascinating facts about the residence.

In addition to magnificent mansions, the homes where celebrities lived before they became famous are also featured, such as Natalie Wood’s humble 1945 residence and the home of Buster Keaton before he built his famed Italian villa in Beverly Hills.

Softcover – 309 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 507 g (17,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Santa Monica Press LLC, Santa Monica, California, 2004 – ISBN 7-891661-38-8

Movie Stars in Bathtubs (compiled by Jack Scagnetti)

Scagnetti, Jack - Movie Stars in BathtubsMovie Stars in Bathtubs is a unique book. Filming scenes in bathrooms: showing stars in the bath or in the shower, once a shocking sight to audiences, has become commonplace in motion pictures. Some of Hollywood’s most memorable moments revolve about such scenes. However, what we take for granted today once involved a great pioneering effort by directors who, as far back as half a century ago, set the stage for this development.

As far back as May, 1918, when the Famous Players-Lasky motion picture studios in Hollywood released a movie called Old Wives for New, there was quite an uproar by some film critics because of some of its bathroom scenes. Said one critic: “Disgusting  debauchery… most immoral episodes.” Said another: “Classy… but rough in spots.”

By the late 1960s the entire scene changed and what was once taboo, became acceptable to the public at large and criticism had practically ceased.

The purpose of this volume is to do what has not been done before in book form: to present in photographic fashion an informal variety of scenes filmed in bathtubs as shown on the screen over recent decades. The second purpose of this book is to share with our readers some of the more entertaining and memorable scenes – some going back to the silent screen era. Here will be found gorgeous females, and handsome males, and many delightful scenes of males and females together. Also featured are comics in bathtubs, as well as children and animals.

All of what follows is presented in good taste, and, we hope will be accepted as a facet of an interesting side of movie memories so precious to many Americans.

JACK SCAGNETTI, former editor of Popular Hot Rodding, and once a copy director for a Detroit automotive advertising agency, has written numerous articles on automobiles for car enthusiasts. He has co-authored two books, Famous Custom and Show Cars, and Cars of the Stars, both with George Barris. In addition, he is currently completing a book entitled The  Intimate Life of Rudolph Valentino, to be completed in 1975.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 22 cm (11 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 676 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., Middle Village, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8426-0196-3

Movie Stars, Real People, and Me (Joshua Logan)

logan-joshua-movie-stars-real-people-and-me-hcHere is Josh Logan – director of Bus Stop, Picnic, South Pacific, Sayonara, Mister Roberts, Fanny, Paint Your Wagon, and Camelot – in action on Broadway, in Hollywood with a brilliant assortment of personal friends and some of the biggest stars of all time, including Greta Garbo, Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Clint Eastwood, Humphrey Bogart, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Kim Novak, Marilyn Monroe, Mel Brooks, Princess Margaret, William Holden.

Here are the episodes that would never be played on stage, the scenes the camera would never record, the successes, the disasters, the fabulous parties, the private moments of pathos, tenderness, and hilarity among family and friends.

Hardcover – 346 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 522 g (18,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1978

Movie Stars, Real People and Me (Joshua Logan)

loga-joshua-movie-stars-real-people-and-me-pocket“I was going to direct a motion picture for the first time in seventeen years. With one telephone call, Harry Cohn had saved my professional life. And he had done it by offering me a major picture, though since 1938 all of my work had been on the stage. Granted, I’d had some big successes to my credit: This Is the Army, Annie Get Your Gun, Mister Roberts, South Pacific, Wish You Were Here, and the play of Picnic. But I’d also had two manic breakdowns and had just recovered from the second one. Harry Cohn’s was the first post-illness offer I got. As they say in the fan magazines and gossip columns, this was my chance for a comeback. And what a chance: the movie of Picnic.

I had really loved the play. Maybe it was those teenage years I had spent in the Middle West that helped me catch fire at the story of Hal Carter, a young, muscular vagabond who rode a freight into town to see his rich college pal, Alan Benson, and stayed on to find himself involved with Alan’s fiancée, Madge, the prettiest girl in town. The force of the growing physical attraction between those two led to events affecting not only them but everyone around them in the town.

So for Harry Cohn’s sake and particularly for mine, I couldn’t make the major mistake of miscasting Madge. Yet I have read often – once in Harry Cohn’s biography and several times in interviews with Kim Novak – that I never wanted Kim to play the part, that Harry Cohn gave me orders that if I did not use her I would have to give up directing the picture. Nonsense. All he asked was that I consider her carefully. ‘If she isn’t right for the part,’ he said, ‘you’ll find out, I’m sure.’

And the moment I saw her I was absolutely stunned by her beauty. On talking with her, it struck me that she was very close spiritually to the part of Madge. When she told me how her family always said that she was the pretty one and her sister was the bright one, it struck me that Kim had actually been living inside Madge all her life. But if the spirits matched, the looks did not. At least not with Kim’s short, slightly lavender, mannish haircut. I went to the hair department of the studio, which made for her a superb, dark-auburn, waist-length wig. When Kim appeared on the test stage with that long dark hair, wearing a simple cotton dress, I thought I had never seen as near as the ‘girl on the cover of a candy box,’ which is the way I always pictured Madge.” – From chapter 2, ‘Kim Novak in a Pinch.’

Softcover – 573 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 301 g (10,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-440-16117-7

Movie Studios of Culver City (Julie Lugo Cerra, Marc Wanamaker)

cerra-julie-lugo-movie-studios-of-culver-cityAfter watching pioneer filmmaker Thomas H. Ince film one of his famous Westerns on Ballona Creek, city founder Harry Culver saw the economic base for his city. Culver announced plans for the city in 1913 and attracted three major movie studios to Culver City, along with smaller production companies. “The Heart of Screenland” is fittingly etched across the Culver City seal. These vintage images are a tour through the storied past of this company town on the legendary movie lots bearing the names of Thomas H. Ince, Hal Roach, Samuel Goldwyn, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lorimar, MGM-UA, Columbia, Sony Pictures, Cecil B. DeMille, RKO-Pathe, David O. Selznick, Desilu, Culver City Studios, Laird International, the Culver Studios, and such nearly forgotten mini-factories as the Willat Studios. On these premises, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, and other classics were filmed, along with tens of thousands of television shows and commercials featuring Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and many others.

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

JULIE LUGO CERRA, Culver City’s official historian, dovetails her unique sense of industry history in the city with the evocative images of Bison Archives, one of Southern California’s largest historical-image collections, owned by co-author and film historian MARC WANAMAKER.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 313 g (11 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2011 – ISBN 978-0-7385-8200-9

“Movies Were Always Magical”: Interviews with 19 Actors, Directors, and Producers from the Hollywood of the 1930s through the 1950s (Leo Verswijver; foreword by Ronnie Pede)

verswijver-leo-movies-were-always-magicalThis work is a compilation of interviews with 19 film actors, directors and producers who were all part of the studio system that made mid-century Hollywood such a powerful and illustrious city. Each of the celebrities interviewed for this work have made lasting contributions to the film industry, and some of them continue to do so. Pat Boone, Jeff Corey, Kathryn Grayson, Beverly Garland, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Jane Greer, Stanley Kramer, Janet Leigh, Joan Leslie, Sheree North, Janis Paige, Luise Rainer, Paula Raymond, John Saxon, Vincent Sherman, Robert Wise, Jane Withers, Jane Wyatt and Fred Zinnemann speak candidly about their work and experiences in Hollywood and share many of their memories. Each interview is followed by a complete filmography, giving such information as the U.S. distributor, year of release, director, producer, screenwriter, editor, composer, running time, and the cast for each film.

LEO VERSWIJVER is a teacher. He lives in Kapellen, Belgium.

[Interviews with Pat Boone, Jeff Corey, Kathryn Grayson, Beverly Garland, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Jane Greer, Stanley Kramer, Janet Leigh, Joan Leslie, Sheree North, Janis Paige, Luise Rainer, Paula Raymond, John Saxon, Vincent Sherman, Robert Wise, Jane Withers, Jane Wyatt, Fred Zinnemann]

Softcover – 254 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 7 inch) – Weight 487 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2003 – ISBN 0-7864-1129-5

The Movie Treasury: Gangster Movies, Gangsters, Hoodlums and Tough Guys of the Screen (Harry Hossent)

Hossent, Larry - Gangster MoviesExciting movies about organized crime and the mobsters, hoods and tough guys who not only terrorized each other but thrilled many a respectable moviegoer; movies like Little Caesar, Scarface and Public Enemy which represented gangster-ridden Chicago in the heyday of Al Capone and immortalized the names of such great stars as Paul Muni, Edward G. Robinson  and James Cagney. And movies about the gangsters and lawbreakers of today like The Godfather and The French Connection.

In between there are fascinating details of dozens of memorable movies, a host of cops, private eyes and hoods, and hundreds of exciting stills of the action.

The author, HARRY HOSSENT, has two hobbies, movies and motor cars. A journalist and a novelist, he says, “I’ve seen most films and driven most makes of car – but there are still plenty of both to try.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21 cm (11,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 950 g (33,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Octopus Books, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 7064 0370 0

The Movie Treasury: Monsters and Vampires, Spine-Chilling Creatures from the Cinema (Alan Frank)

Frank, Allan - Monsters and VampiresSince George Méliès before the turn of the century, horrific creatures of the imagination have stomped, slithered, smashed and savaged their terrible way through the cinema, leaving a trail of happy – if briefly terrified – victims slumped in their seats. In this book that most evil yet sexually attractive of screen monsters, the vampire, is given a new transfusion. Early vampire films are discussed, illustrated with rare stills from archives, and the careers of the two greatest screen vampires – Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee – are treated in depth. Then come some real monstrous delights: man-made creatures (Frankenstein’s Creature, The Fly, Godzilla), men-transformed-into-monsters (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mummy), the immortals (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong), and some unwelcome visitors from outer space. Fully illustrated with over 190 stills in color and black-and-white.

ALAN FRANK is a keen movie fan, especially addicted to those larger than life, infinitely menacing screen monsters. He has also written the popular Horror Movies in this series.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21 cm (11,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 938 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Octopus Publishing, Ltd., London, 1976 – ISBN 0764 05250

The Movie Treasury: Science Fiction Movies (Philip Strick)

strick-philip-science-fiction-moviesA wide-ranged account of science fiction in the cinema with detailed discussion of many of the films mentioned. All the popular, and disturbing, themes are treated, from films about alien visitors, space flight and scientists on the rampage to films about political pressure and experiments with time perspective. The highly informative text includes an unusually wide and interesting range of films from early classics like Homunculus, Metropolis, War of the Worlds to more contemporary films like 2001, The War Game, A Clockwork Orange.

Illustrated with over 170 color and black and white stills, many of which have never been published before.

PHILIP STRICK, film distributor and producer, lecturer and critic, is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and The Monthly Film Bulletin. Since 1969 he has run an annual lecture course on science fiction for London University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21 cm (11,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 740 g (26,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Gallery Press, London, 1976 – ISBN 0 904644 90 1

The Movie Treasury: Thriller Movies, Classic Films of Suspense and Mystery (Lawrence Hammond)

Hammond, Lawrence - Thriller Movies‘The suspense is killing me – and I like it!’ The excellent stills and text in this book combine to show the ingredients of the classic movies of suspense and mystery. A shadow crosses a hallway… a man hangs by his fingertips from a ledge high above city streets and the guttering begins to crumble… a closed door conceals someone unexpected… the audience movies to the edge of their seats… gripped, or gripping on each other.

This book is about the great cliff-hangers such as The Lonedale Operator, The Maltese Falcon, North by Northwest and a host of other movies evoking such great names as Alfred Hitchcock, D.W. Griffith, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Cary Grant, and many other memorable stars, all of them masters of the thriller movie.

The author, LAURENCE HAMMOND, has been a life-long addict of the cinema. As a journalist, film critic and writer, whose stories have been bought by Hollywood, and as a literary agent, he knows the movie business from both sides of the screen.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21 cm (11,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 959 g (33,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Octopus Books, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 7064 0371 1

The Movie Treasury: Western Movies, The Story of the West on Screen (Walter C. Clapham)

clapham-walter-c-western-movies‘Things were simpler on the wide prairee’: this may be one of the reasons of the universal appeal of the West and Western movies. This book tells the magnificent story of the West on screen, from the trail-blazing days of The Great Train Robbery, made in 1903, to such modern favorites as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Along the trail you will meet a host of great Western movies and equally great stars such as John Wayne, James Stewart and Gary Cooper, whose contributions are immeasurable. This book is not only about the making of the Western and the people who made them, but also of the whole historical backcloth of the Western movie.

To the author, WALTER CLAPHAM, writing about movies is not a new experience. He has been a journalist all his life and has worked as a film and theater critic. He is also the author of four novels.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21 cm (11,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 969 g (34,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Octopus Books, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 7064 0373 8

Moving Pictures: An Autobiography (Ali MacGraw)

macgraw-ali-moving-picturesIn 1970, when the movie Love Story hit the theaters, Ali MacGraw became an instant superstar, capturing the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans throughout the world. Strikingly beautiful, unabashedly intelligent, and married to Hollywood’s pre-eminent film executive, Robert Evans, she seemed to lead a storybook life. And when she later embarked on a passionate love affair with legendary actor Steve McQueen, women everywhere wished they were in her shoes. But the reality – and the woman – were not always what they seemed.

Now, in her wry, witty, and refreshingly frank autobiography – written by the actress herself – Ali MacGraw, gorgeous and gutsy at fifty, discloses the truth behind the myth, the marriages, the Hollywood hype, and the ups and downs of her career. With the role of Jenny in Love Story, Ali MacGraw left behind forever her New England upbringing and her days as a New York career girl: assistant to fashion empress Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar, reluctant model for painter Salvador Dali, and savvy stylist for a fashion photographer. In Hollywood she lived in fairy-tale luxury with husband Robert Evans, then seemed to throw it all away when she fell in love with moody film idol Steve McQueen. McQueen longed to live simply, almost reclusively, and at his insistence Ali gave up acting at the peak of her fame – a decision from which her film career would never recover.

Six tumultuous years later the marriage ended, and both her acting and personal life hit bottom. A lifelong pattern of destructive sexual attractions continued, and a devastating review of her acting was followed by a week of blackout drinking. When a friend persuaded her to go to a recovery clinic, Ali felt she only needed a “tune-up.” What she got instead was lifesaving help.

Now ALI MacGRAW takes stock of her life: revising the dreamy, mythical childhood she once invented for a Time cover story, describing the heady early years in New York, the transformation – that never quite “took” – by the Hollywood machine, and the realities she faces today as a woman who hopes her greatest adventures are yet to come. Moving Pictures recounts Ali MacGraw’s journey to self-acceptance. In it, readers will be disarmed to meet the woman who can finally write, “At long last I am beginning to feel comfortable that I am wearing the right costume – my own skin.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 228 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 524 g (18,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Press, London, 1991 – ISBN 0-593-02342-0

Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince (Budd Schulberg)

Schulberg, Budd - Moving PicturesIn the same way that another child would know a London street or a remote country village and all it inhabitants like the back of his hand, Budd Schulberg’s memories are steeped in Hollywood where his father, the great B.P. Schulberg, was head of Paramount. As a small boy, he was fussed by Clara Bow, hid with a friend on the MGM lot to throw ripe figs at passing stars (scoring a bull’s eye on Greta Garbo) and gazed mystified from the shadows of a New York film set as the young Mary Pickford sobbed her way through a heart-rending scene. To a child in the 1920s Hollywood was a paradise, a magical world where he could play with lions and alligators, ride his bicycle down lanes of palms and pepper trees and make lemonade from his own lemon tree. It was also a place where the giants of the film industry – actors, directors and movie moguls – were an unexpected part of his everyday experience.

Budd Schulberg’s parents came of immigrant Jewish stock. His father had set his sights on the film business from his schooldays, and was ready making a name for himself by the time Budd was born in New York in 1914. At the end of the First World War the family moved West to Hollywood, and from then on the boy’s life became that of the privileged son of movie royalty.

Both parents were strong, dominant characters: his father was a flamboyant womanizer whose meteoric (although temporary) rise in Paramount earned him the wealth to indulge a reckless taste for gambling; his mother a fierce optimist and a persistent trend-setter who remained loyal to her husband long after he had ceased to want or deserve her trust. In consequence, Budd was a cautious and timid child, afflicted with stammering and fainting fits, and mortally afraid of the young starlets who lavished attention on him in the hope of currying favour with his father. His pursuits were too modest and solitary: breeding home pigeons and reading the classics.

Despite this lack of confidence, Hollywood absorbed Budd as it had absorbed his parents. In due course he was employed by Paramount’s publicity department to write stories about the ambitions of the stars before they became famous, and he has since gone on to write a notable series of screenplays (including the brilliant On the Waterfront) and to publish novels, biographies and plays.

Recollections of the early Hollywood days and its personalities are legion. What makes Moving Pictures unique is the intimate knowledge acquired by the boy as he grew up in his parents’ glittering world. Many people remember Louis B. Mayer, Jack L. Warner and Harry Cohn, but Budd Schulberg remembers their fathers who, with his own grandfather, banded together to establish the first Hollywood synagogue. His book is an informal but historic document of the growth of one of the most revolutionary industries of the twentieth century. Rich in anecdote, it recaptures the atmosphere and excitement of the burgeoning mecca of the film world at the zenith of its golden age.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 501 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 997 g (35,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Souvenir Press, Ltd., London, 1981 – ISBN 0 285 62525 X

Murder Hollywood Style: Who Killed Jean Harlow’s Husband? (Samuel Marx, Joyce Vanderveen)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Softcover – 271 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 184 g (6,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arrow Books, London, 1994 – ISBN 0-09-961060-4

Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - Murder in HollywoodFor more than eighty years, the famous unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the legendary bisexual film director, has generated debate and controversy.  Now, best-selling author Charles Higham has solved the covered-up crime at last. Murder in Hollywood unveils the astonishing corruption and intrigue of Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties – and the film industry moguls’ complete domination of the city’s authoroties.

When it was discovered that a famous star of the day had probably killed Taylor, a massive cover-up began – from the removal of crucial evidence to the naming of innocent people as killers – which has continued until now to protect the truth. Murder in Hollywood goes beyond the killing to unearth unknown details about the life of Taylor before his arrival in Hollywood, as well as the stories and histories buried by the crooked authorities and criminals involved in the case. The author’s exclusive interviews with the culpable star, his unique possession of long-vanished police records, and the support of the present-day Los Angeles county coroner – who examined the evidence as if the murder had taken place now – have ensured a hair-raising thriller.

Charles Higham successfully presents the most plausible and convincing solution to the mystery yet.  In the process he paints a vivid portrait of Hollywood in the 1920s – from its major stars to its bisexual subculture. The result is a compelling answer to a long-standing mystery and a fascinating study of a place, and an industry that, as today, let people reinvent themselves. Murder in Hollywood is more extraordinary than any crime of fiction and more exciting than any action adventure movie.

CHARLES HIGHAM, critically acclaimed writer, poet, critic, and playwright, is a literary and film detective. Among his many publications, The Duchess of Windsor, Kate, Bette, and Marlene, biographies of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich, have earned him high positions on best-seller lists and prestigious literary prizes. After holding the post of Regents Professor and writer in residence at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he was the Hollywood feature writer for the New York Times from 1970 to 1980. Charles Higham’s biography Howard Hughes: A Secret Life is a basis for the Martin Scorsese film The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 227 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 467 g (16,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 – ISBN 0-299-20360-3

My Autobiography (Charles Chaplin)

chaplin-charles-my-autobiography-hcHe was born in 1889, in London – the son of struggling variety artists – his father, a vaudevillian who died young; his mother, a spirited music-hall soubrette who lost her voice and, eventually, her reason. His childhood was pure Dickens – in and out of the workhouse, then a hand-to-mouth existence as a juvenile actor. At 21, member of a traveling music-hall company, he came to America. And the infant movie industry stumbled upon the greatest star it was ever to find.

Everything in his autobiography makes fascinating reading: his boyhood; the London theater of Dion Boucicault and William Gillette; the early free-wheeling days of the movies; how he evolved his style and his plots; how he chose his leading ladies; his sudden, dazzling success; his encounters with great stars and world figures from Mary Pickford to Gandhi to Bernard Shaw to Gertrude Stein to Anna Pavlova to Franklin D. Roosevelt; his emotional involvements and his four marriages. He sets it all down in extraordinary detail and in a manner intensely personal.

He describes how, suddenly, “the tramp” was born. “I was in my street clothes and had nothing to do, so I stood where Sennett could see me… ‘We need some gags here,’ he said, then turned to me. ‘Put on a comedy make-up, anything will do.’ I had no idea what make-up to put on… However, on the way to the wardrobe, I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat… I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was… When I entered [the hotel lobby set], I felt I was an impostor posing as one of the guests, but in reality I was a tramp just wanting a little shelter. I entered and stumbled over the foot of a lady. I turned and raised my hat apologetically, then turned and stumbled over a cuspidor, then turned and raised my hat to the cuspidor. Behind the camera they began to laugh…”

The great Hollywood days are recreated as never before. He speaks with candor of the stormy postwar years – the humiliations of the paternity suit brought against him on the eve of his marriage to Oona O’Neill, and the political accusations that made him decide to leave the United States. And in the finale he writes with evocative warmth of the happy ending – his serene, idyllic life in Switzerland with Oona and their eight children.

Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography – the outspoken memoir of a great artist – is sure to be one of the most wanted, enjoyed and widely discussed books of the decade.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 512 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 971 g (34,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1964

My Autobiography (Charles Chaplin)

chaplin-charles-my-autobiographySaved from a life of hardship by his unsurpassed comic genius, Charlie Chaplin went on to win the hearts of nations with his unforgettable films.

Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin’s father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered bouts of insanity. Despite his tragic childhood. his gift for making people laugh was soon recognized and he embarked on a filmmaking career that would bring him immeasurable success, as well as controversy, particularly in the United States.

Chaplins immortal creation, the tramp, blended humour with pathos and in classic films such as City Lights, The Great Dictator and Limelight left audiences laughing through their tears. Yet Chaplin had to survive the coming of sound and fight political and sexual censorship and state persecution on his way to becoming the best-loved screen legend in the history of the cinema.

Softcover – 494 pp., index – Dimensions 19,5 x 12,5 cm (7,7 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 328 g (11,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Books, London, 1992 [reprint of the 1964 edition] – ISBN 0-14-015828-6

My Father – My Son: An Autobiography (Edward G. Robinson, Jr., with William Dufty)

robinson-jr-edward-g-my-father-my-sonMy Father: ‘The image of Little Caesar haunted me all my life. Whether I made good or got into trouble, I was never accepted on my own. I was always tagged as the son of Little Caesar.’

My Son: ‘Trouble was the thing that could make us a family. Trouble could take three busy, self-centered people rattling around in a million-dollar menage in Beverly Hills and bring us together – really together.’

From the moment he was born, Edward G. Robinson, Jr., was destined to have everything. Reared in a Hollywood mansion by a famous father and a gifted mother, young Eddie was literally showered with love. He was handsome, talented, charming, wealthy – he was truly a boy with the rosiest of futures. And yet, the life that began with the fanfare of photographers’ flashbulbs almost ended twenty years later when, alone and rejected, Edward G. Robinson, Jr., took an overdose of sleeping pills.

Today, at 24, Eddie looks back without bitterness and without anger, as he tells his own story – as he gives a truly personal account of growing up in a Hollywood goldfish bowl – of adult passions simmering in a boy’s immature frame – of the effects of living in the towering shadow of a world-famous father – of the struggle for individuality – and the pathetic loss of that struggle.

In this great book, which is destined to become a classic of its kind, Eddie takes us through his childhood – heartbreakingly lonely days in private school – an agonizing and humiliating initiation ceremony – expulsion from school after school – to his almost weekly brushes with the law. We are drawn into the Hollywood life of the Robinson family, the lavish birthday parties for the young son, the European tours, the glitter and splendor of Movieland, the fabulous life of the motion picture idols.

We watch Edward, Jr., become roaring drunk at eleven, entertain the exotic French star Arletty at thirteen, become a “man of the world” at sixteen. We experience the anguish of Little Caesar himself when he tries to fight his way back from defeat and frustration and blacklisting; and we understand the great provocation that caused father to say to son: “Don’t bother me with your problems. I’m making a picture now. Get off my back!”

The highlight of this brilliant self-portrayal is reached when Eddie describes the despondency that led to his suicide try and his reactions as he faded into a world of unreality, with only a stomach pump between him and death. Yet, when his future looked bleakest, when he faced only prison, disgrace and despair… a little white pill, Antabuse, saved his life. Ironically, the place he found he could face the future because he was finally accepted on his own – was in prison.

This book is not an apologia and refreshingly, it is not a psychoanalysis of his parents. It is a sincere, straightforward, often sad story of a boy trying every way he knew, moral and immoral, legal and illegal, to be his own master – not just his father’s son – until he was finally able to say: “The past is past. The future doesn’t scare me.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 316 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 607 g (21,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Frederick Fell, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 1958

My Father’s Daughter (Tina Sinatra, with Jeff Coplon)

sinatra-tina-my-fathers-daughterHe was a movie star, the king of nightclubs, the definitive recording artist of his time. He stamped his sense of style on the postwar generation. His death at 82 was mourned the world over by people who heard his music as the soundtrack of their lives, and who saw him as one of their own. Frank Sinatra seemed to have it all: genius, wealth, the love of beautiful women, glamorous friends from Las Vegas to the White House. Why then would Tina Sinatra, his younger daughter, refer to his death as an “escape”? What happened to make his life so difficult?

In this startling and remarkably outspoken memoir, Tina Sinatra reveals to us an acutely restless, lonely and conflicted man – especially in affairs of the heart. Through his marriages and front-page romances and the melancholy gaps between, Frank Sinatra searched for a contentment that eluded him. He was drawn to gifted, talented women, but when they failed to provide the support and attention he needed, he became angry and frustrated. Tina Sinatra’s view of her father was unique. The youngest of three children, she was born during his first flush of stardom, six months before he left her mother, Nancy, to pursue actress Ava Gardner.

By the time Tina entered school, her father had married Ava, the great passion of his life. Tina liked Ava, found her “easy to be with, and… genuinely interested in us.” A dozen years later, Tina would form a close friendship with her father’s third wife, Mia Farrow, only three years Tina’s senior. Through these years Frank Sinatra continued to remain devoted to his three children – and to their mother as well, for this is also the portrait of an extraordinary bond and a very special kind of family.

Then Barbara Marx appeared on the scene. A former Vegas showgirl, she quickly severed her ties to husband Zeppo Marx (known as the “unfunny Marx Brother”). She soon became Sinatra’s constant companion and eventually his fourth wife. Tina initially welcomed Barbara, and hoped the relationship would provide her father with the attention he needed. But it wasn’t long before Tina came to fear that Barbara was trying to erase Sinatra’s children from his life.

She was forced to watch helplessly as her father, running from his own discontent, pursued a grueling performance schedule well into his seventies. She saw him risk his health and his own proud professional standards. Worst of all, she saw her father become joyless, beaten down, and depressed. Tina became alienated for a time – an estrangement that ended when Sinatra fell gravely ill. Over the last eighteen months of his life she became closer to him than ever, as she came fully to understand the complex emotional package of the brightest, most enduring star of our age.

My Father’s Daughter, with its unflinching account of Sinatra’s flaws and foibles, will shock many of his fans. At the same time, it is a deeply affectionate portrait written with love and warmth, a celebration of a daughter’s fond esteem for her father and respect for his great legacy. The world remembers Frank Sinatra as one of the giants of show business. In this book from someone inside the legend, Tina Sinatra remembers him as something more: a father, and a man.

TINA SINATRA was the executive producer of Sinatra, an award-winning five-hour miniseries based on her father’s life that aired in 1992 on CBS. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 606 g (21,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-684-87076-2

My Fifteen Minutes: An Autobiography of a Child Star of the Golden Era of Hollywood (Sybil Jason)

Autographed copy To dear Kevin & Dan, Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I had writing it! Blessings, Sybil Jason. 2005

Sybil Jason was Warner Bros.’ first child star. Friend of Humphrey Bogart, Roddy McDowall, Freddie Bartholomew, Shirley Temple and dozens of other Hollywood stars, her fan club is still international. Her captivating story is enriched with over 100 rare photos from her personal collection.

“Although it may seem like 15 minutes to Sybil Jason who was born with every gift the angels could bestow, those of us in the audience saw her pictures and watched her more than hold her own with the biggest stars Warner Bros. could offer. I have never forgotten that amazing and enchanting child. The cameras never caught her ‘acting.’ She was simply being and doing what she loved. It was real to her. It was ‘happening.’ She was and is a natural joy and still shines with her gift of happiness.” – Ann Rutherford. “This bright, gifted child star of the Golden Era has turned her extraordinary blue eyes away from acting and has created this delightful book of insider stories about the legendary Hollywood she has known. Congratulations, dear friend. Much love and good luck.” – Joan Leslie. “To be a friend of Sybil Jason you know you have a real friend. She has a sense of humor and a way of knowing how you feel and is willing to help in any way. The years go by but Sybil remains Sybil… a treasure for all who are blessed by her friendship. I know Bill [Mauch] feels the same way.” – Bob Maunch

Softcover – 199 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 341 g (12 oz) – PUBLISHER BearManor Media, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, 2005 – ISBN 1-59393-023-2

My Fifteen Minutes: An Autobiography of a Child Star of the Golden Era of Hollywood (Sybil Jason)

Sybil Jason was Warner Bros.’ first child star. Friend of Humphrey Bogart, Roddy McDowall, Freddie Bartholomew, Shirley Temple and dozens of other Hollywood stars, her fan club is still international. Her captivating story is enriched with over 100 rare photos from her personal collection.

“Although it may seem like 15 minutes to Sybil Jason who was born with every gift the angels could bestow, those of us in the audience saw her pictures and watched her more than hold her own with the biggest stars Warner Bros. could offer. I have never forgotten that amazing and enchanting child. The cameras never caught her ‘acting.’ She was simply being and doing what she loved. It was real to her. It was ‘happening.’ She was and is a natural joy and still shines with her gift of happiness.” – Ann Rutherford. “This bright, gifted child star of the Golden Era has turned her extraordinary blue eyes away from acting and has created this delightful book of insider stories about the legendary Hollywood she has known. Congratulations, dear friend. Much love and good luck.” – Joan Leslie. “To be a friend of Sybil Jason you know you have a real friend. She has a sense of humor and a way of knowing how you feel and is willing to help in any way. The years go by but Sybil remains Sybil… a treasure for all who are blessed by her friendship. I know Bill [Mauch] feels the same way.” – Bob Maunch

Softcover – 199 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 341 g (12 oz) – PUBLISHER BearManor Media, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, 2005 – ISBN 1-59393-023-2

My First Hundred Years in Hollywood (Jack L. Warner, with Dean Jennings)

warner-jack-l-my-first-hundred-years-in-hollywood“I never want to see that deadly place again. They tell me I should. They say, ‘You ought to see the place where you died, Jack. You should stop and look at that curve. The natives will show you where your body was found. It might slow you down a bit next time.’

But I don’t want to see that place, and I don’t want to know where it is. Ever. I may have to pass that way again, and I don’t want to be conscious of it, or have any frightened thoughts about it.

Since autobiographies usually start with a birth, I thought it would be a plot switch to start with a death. Mine.

Few man have the opportunity, as I did, to see headline newspaper headlines such as these: ‘Jack Warner near death in accident,’ ‘Jack Warner dying,’ ‘Jack Warner reported dead,’ and thus read their own obituaries. I stood at one side, like a sort of embodied spirit, and watched the first moves in a kind of ghoulish conflict among those who hoped to take over my office on the lot. The stage was all set for a revolution at Warner Brothers, and I suspect there were quite a few people in Hollywood who were stunned when I double-crossed them by refusing to die. It was August 5, 1958.” – From Chapter 1.

Hardcover – 331 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 574 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1994

My Hollywood: When Both of Us Were Young – The Memories of Patsy Ruth Miller (Patsy Ruth Miller; introduction by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.)

miller-patsy-ruth-my-hollywood-when-both-of-us-were-youngPatsy Ruth Miller began her film career in 1921, a year when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was taking out full page ads with the bold headlines “Out of 20,000 hopefuls only 5 make a living in the Movies and only one becomes a Star!” Patsy Ruth Miller was that one in 20,000.

Had she not become a movie star she would have been one of America’s best screenwriters or novelists. Her writing has an intimacy which will involve you in her memories to such a degree that you will forget that you are reading a book and soon find yourself in the magic land of Hollywood it its Golden Years. She has appeared in over seventy films, nine plays and has written and had produced four theatrical productions. Her time is now spent between her estate in New England and a home in Palm Desert, where she continues writing and enjoying life in the company of many friends from her early film days and there after.

JEFFREY CARRIER, who wrote her filmography and assisted in research for this book, is a journalist and film student at New York University and is presently working on a book about Jennifer Jones. Part two of this double volume contains the restored The Hunchback of the Notre Dame, Universal 1923, by Philip J. Riley, with an introduction by George Turner, author of The Making of King Kong and Forgotten Horrors, Volume Three in the MagicImage Ackerman Archives Series.

Patsy Ruth Miller in a telephone conversation:

Operator: Will you accept a collect call from Jeffrey Carrier in Mountain City, Tennessee?
Me [Patsy Ruth Miller]: Yes, of course, I’ll accept the call.
Jeff: Hello, Miss Miller? This is Jeff. I hope you don’t mind me calling collect. You see, I’m in this bookstore, and I’m calling from a pay phone, and I didn’t have enough change.
Me: That’s perfectly all right, but what’s the matter? Is anything wrong?
Jeff: Well, I was browsing through some books, and there’s one about old movie actresses, and you were in it. (Long pause.)
Me: Yes? So I’m in it. What’s so unusual about that?
Jeff: Well, it says that you’re dead! It says you died in 1981!
Me: Oh, come now, Jeff. If I had died that long ago, I’d have known about it by now, wouldn’t I ?
Jeff: Of course… I mean – well, I knew you weren’t. I mean – it gave me a funny feeling. They had a picture of you in the book.
Me: Was it a good one?
Jeff: Yes, it was a pretty one.
Me: Good. Maybe I’d better call the publisher and explain to him that they made a slight mistake. Do you think they’ll believe me?
Jeff:  I should hope so! You know, I’ll just bet that’s the reason you weren’t invited to be in that hundredth birthday party for Hollywood. After all, The Hunchback of the Notre Dame was a very important picture, and you’re the only member of the cast who’s still alive. In fact, you and Lillian Gish are about the only living actresses who remember when Vine street had wooden sidewalks and pepper trees lined both sides of a dirt road! I’ll bet they thought you were dead!
Me: Hmmm… I never thought of that. You’re probably right. Well, they could have called and asked me. What an opportunity I missed to be able to say, The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” I’ll probably never get another chance.
Jeff: I hope I haven’t bothered you
Me: Not at all, Jeff. It was very sweet of you to be concerned. And now, what’s the lesson for today?
Both: Don’t believe everything you read!

In this fascinating collection of memories that is exactly what you can do! Believe everything you read!

Hardcover, dust jacket – 442 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 21,5 cm (11,2 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 1.850 g (65,3 oz) – PUBLISHER O’Raghailligh Ltd, Publishers, 1987 – ISBN 929127-01-3

My Husband, Rock Hudson: The Real Story of Rock Hudson’s Marriage to Phyllis Gates (Phyllis Gates, with Bob Thomas)

Gates, Phyllis - My Husband, Rock HudsonRock Hudson told a close friend shortly before his death that he had loved only two people in his life. After thirty years of silence, one of them, Phyllis Gates, finally sets the record straight.

As the beautiful and innocent young secretary to Henry Willson, one of Hollywood’s most powerful agents, Phyllis Gates fell in love first with the glamorous world of Hollywood and then with its dashing new star, Rock Hudson. During their romantic affair and, ultimately, marriage, Phyllis led a life of unrivalled glamour – making friends with stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as well as visiting the sets of film classics such as Giant and Written on the Wind.

But despite their closeness and the real love that existed between them, happiness soon turned to despair. In this candid and moving autobiography, Phyllis Gates tells the extraordinary story of a relationship that was at once joyful and tragic.

PHYLLIS GATES never remarried after her divorce from Rock Hudson. She has lived in Paris and New York, and currently lives in California, where she is an interior designer. Veteran Hollywood writer BOB THOMAS is the author of a number of celebrity biographies, including I Got Rhythm!: The Ethel Merman Story; Astaire: The Man and the Dancer; and Golden Boy: The Untold Story of William Holden.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 232 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 408 g (14,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Angus & Robertson, Publishers, London, 1987 – ISBN 0-207-15784-7

My Life East and West (William S. Hart; edited by Martin Ridge)

Hart, William S - My Life East and WestThe Lakeside Classics 1994 edition, My Life East and West, is the autobiography of William S. Hart. While not the first movie cowboy, this movie giant from the silent film era surely had the largest folowing. He was idolized by millions and ranked alongside Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin.

Hart’s story exemplifies the American dream. He grew up as part of a loving and caring family that just couldn’t get ahead financially. His boyhood years during the 1870s and 1880s instilled in him an appreciation of frontier values and an insight into cowboy life. His close contact with Sioux Indians helped him understand and appreciate their culture and life. As he matured, the stage beckoned; he left home to act in the legitimate theater. He learned his vocation by studying with top teachers in New York and Europe. He then traveled with companies of actors and, finally, landed leading parts on the New York stage.

Soon after the movie era began, Hart saw his first Western film. Because it lacked authenticity, he knew at once that his own experiences, and his love of the West, would surely allow him to do a better job as an actor and filmmaker. So, it was off to Hollywood and great succcess.

To serve as editor of this volume, the publisher again chose Dr. MARTIN RIDGE, recently retired Senior Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Ridge did much to secure illustrations found at several Southern California repositories. We believe you will find this Prologue, Epilogue, and footnotes will offer insights into Hart’s unique character, as well as an interesting overview of the theater and movie industries during that period. This is Dr. Ridge’s third book in the Lakeside Classics series; he also edited the 1988 and 1989 volumes.

Hart’s autobiography was originally published in 1929. We believe ours to be the first reprinting. Because of its length, it was necessary for Dr. Ridge to edit the text to produce a book length that fits nicely with other selections in the series. As is our practice, we have corrected the text for misspelling and stilted sentence correction. The editing in no way affects the author’s thoughts, or expressions.

Various film industry repositories offered promotional photos, lobby cards, and still photos from Hart’s films. Finding pictorial evidence of Hart’s family and his years on the stage was more difficult. Each page of illustrations carries a citation as to the repository that so graciously made these likenesses available. We appreciate their generosity.

Hardcover – 417 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 421 g (14,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The Lakeside Press / R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1929 (1994 reprint)

My Life in Three Acts (Helen Hayes, with Katherine Hatch)

hayes-helen-my-life-in-three-actsHelen Hayes had been on stage, screen, and television for more than fifty years. In that time she moved among the world’s most famous and talented people. She speaks with wit, wisdom, and candor on topics both public and private, offering behind-the-scenes portraits of great personalities, telling of the advice older actors gave her and how she in turn gave advice.

She treats us to delightful anecdotes about Ethel Barrymore, John Ford, and Al Capone, at the same time reflecting more seriously on the painful parts of her life. Written just three years before her death, this is an engrossing account of a rich, productive life.

Softcover – 266 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 359 g (12,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-671-73537-3

My Life So Far (Jane Fonda)

Autographed copy Jane Fonda

Fonda, Jane - My Life So FarShe is one of the most recognizable women of our time. America knows Jane Fonda as an actress and an activist, a feminist and a wife, a workout guru and a role model. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, Fonda reveals that she is so much more. From her youth among Hollywood’s elite and her early film career to the challenges and triumphs of her life today, Jane Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes “can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently.”

Fonda divides her “life so far” into three acts. In Act One, she writes about her childhood, first films, and marriage to Roger Vadim. At once a picture emerges: a child born to the acting legend Henry Fonda and the glamorous society princess Frances Seymour. But these early years are also marked by profound sadness: her mother’s mental illness and suicide when Jane is twelve years old, her father’s emotional distance, and her personal struggle to find her way in the world as a young woman.

In Act Two, Fonda lays the foundation for her activism. Even as her career takes flight, she highlights her struggle to live consciously and authentically while remaining in the public eye. Here she recounts her marriages to Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, and examines her controversial and defining involvement with the Vietnam War. As her film career grows, Fonda learns to incorporate her roles into a larger vision of what matters most in her life – and in the process she wins two Academy Awards, for Klute and for Coming Home.

In Act Three, Fonda begins the work of a life-time – living consciously in a way that might inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Surprising, candid, and wonderfully written, Jane Fonda’s My Life So Far is filled with insights into the personal struggles of a woman living a full and engaged life.

JANE FONDA was born in New York City in 1937. She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, and Vassar College. Fonda later studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg and became a member of the Actors Studio in New York. Her subsequent work on stage and screen earned numerous honors, including two Best Actress Academy Awards – for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978) – and an Emmy Award for her performance in The Dollmaker (1984). Fonda has also been a successful producer; her credits include The China Syndrome (executive producer), 9 to 5, On Golden Pond, and The Morning After. Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with the release of Jane Fonda’s Workout in 1982, which remains the top-grossing home video of all time. She then produced twenty-three subsequent home exercise videos, thirteen audio recordings, and five best-selling books. She now focuses her time on activism and philanthropy in such areas as adolescent reproductive health, pregnancy prevention, and building resiliency in girls and boys by addressing destructive gender stereotypes. In 1995 she founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP), which she chairs. In 2002, she opened the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at Emory University’s School of Medicine. She lives in Atlanta.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 599 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.010 g (35,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-375-50710-8

My Life With Chaplin: An Intimate Memoir (Lita Grey Chaplin, with Morton Cooper)

chaplin-lita-grey-my-life-with-chaplinIn November, 1924, Charlie Chaplin had everything – success, wealth, absolute power over his own studio, luxury undreamed of in his poverty-ridden childhood. He also had a pregnant, frightened, sixteen-year-old bride named Lita Grey, a child he had taken under his wing at twelve and into his bed at fifteen.

For Chaplin it was a second scandalous marriage to a teenage girl – and not the last in a tempestuous, headline-haunted life. For Lita it was the beginning of a nightmare that would climax in a bizarre divorce circus – a months-long sensation that festooned the front pages with lurid charges of sadism, adultery, and sexual perversion, rapidly followed by counter-charges of promiscuity and fortune-hunting.

When the clouds of publicity had settled, Lita had won her freedom, custody of their two children, almost a million dollars, and an international notoriety that was to haunt her for the rest of her public and private life. In his own autobiography, Chaplin refused to discuss this incredible chapter in his life – but his refusal has only resulted in raising the ghost of scandal so long interred. In these pages Lita Grey Chaplin tells the secret story, never before told, of those stormy years – the weekends at San Simeon and Pickfair, the friendships with the famous and the infamous, the incredible moments of passion and brutality in the company of a mercurial genius whose strange appetites became almost as famous as the great comic role that he created, the beloved “Little Tramp.”

This is the true, first-hand story of one of Hollywood’s most shocking and long-lived scandals. But it is much more – it is a privileged, unique look inside the world of Charlie Chaplin at its most exciting peak, seen through the eyes of a woman who knew him as intimately as any human being ever could.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 325 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 582 g (20,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Bernard Geis Associates, 1966

My Luck of Stroke (Kirk Douglas)

Autographed copy Kirk Douglas

Douglas, Kirk - My Stroke of LuckIn decades since he took to the stage and screen, Kirk Douglas has starred in eighty-three films and nine plays, written seven books, and made a remarkable commitment to humanitarian causes throughout the world. Known  internationally and across generations for playing the indomitable Spartacus, topping international best-seller lists, and building parks and schools in troubled communities, Kirk Douglas is a legend in his own time and serves as an inspiration to us all.

Now, in My Stroke of Luck, his vivid and very personal reflection upon his extraordinary life, Kirk Douglas finally completes his story by offering a candid and heartfelt memoir of where it all went right. Written in his own words, Douglas offers tender vignettes in tribute to the childhood that shaped him, the wife and devoted family who supported him, and the life-changing event that helped him to appreciate the gifts given to him over his eighty-three years.

Revealing for the first time not only the incredible physical and emotional toll of his debilitating stroke, but how it has changed his life for the better, Douglas offers the lessons that saved him and helped him to heal. Alongside his heartfelt advice and insight, he also shares warm memories involving some of the most famous figures of our time – including Burt Lancaster, Michael J. Fox, and Gary Cooper – as well as others who have soared to greatness in the face of adversity.

Touching and funny, inspiring and uplifting, Kirk Douglas traces how his greatest setback became a source of strength and renewal – leading him to find the eighth decade of his life the most fulfilling yet. Charming, soulful, and filled with personal insights and never-before-seen personal photographs, My Stroke of Luck is an intimate look at the real person behind the fabulous talent – and at a life lived to its very fullest.

KIRK DOUGLAS has been a Hollywood legend for more than half a century. His eighty-three films include Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Lust for Life. In addition, his company, Bryna, has produced such classics as Spartacus. He is the author of two memoirs, The Ragman’s Son and Climbing the Mountain, three novels, and two children’s books. Douglas has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the President, as well as numerous other awards and honors. Currently he serves as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department and the Legion de Honneur in France. The father of four sons and grandfather of five, he lives with his wife, Anne, in Beverly Hills.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 196 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13 cm (7,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 316 g (11,1 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-06-000929-2

My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-my-lucky-starsThrough four decades and more than forty films, Shirley MacLaine has been one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, dazzling us with remarkable performances in movies such as The Apartment, The Turning Point, and Terms of Endearment. Now the Academy Award-winning actress turned internationally renowned memoirist takes up her pen to write about the subject she knows best – Hollywood. In My Lucky Stars, a moving, insightful, and disarmingly honest book, she looks back over her forty years as an actress to reveal how the land of dreams and its artistic community – the actors, directors, and producers who became her mentors, lovers, antagonists, and friends – shaped her life, her craft, and the woman she’s become.

She was a small-town girl with old-fashioned values, a Broadway dancer who’d grown up in the disciplined world of ballet. Then Alfred Hitchcock decided to cast an unknown in his movie The Trouble With Harry, and the nineteen-year-old hoofer went from grueling workouts and eight shows a week to the pampered yet bewildering life of a star in a town where the line between fantasy and reality is often blurred.

Shirley made a madcap movie with her childhood idols Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis – and witnessed the trauma of their breakup. She was part of Sinatra’s clan and learned to roll with the punches during wildly unpredictable shoots. And in the middle of Two for the Seesaw and My Geisha, she found herself head over heels in love with her complex leading men. Here she writes perceptively of these special people and pays tribute to many other stars she cherishes, among them Jack Lemmon, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson, and Barbra Streisand.

The leading actress in some of the most memorable films ever made, nominated six times for an Oscar, Shirley also offers a fascinating glimpse into how she builds her characters – detail by detail – from the outside in. She shares, with sometimes startling candor, highlights of her professional relationship with the demanding genius Bob Fosse, the story of the friction on the set of Terms of Endearment; the truth about falling in love on location, and what it’s like to take the stage with the legendary Sinatra today. And for the first time she tells the full story of Hollywood’s most unconventional marriage – her own.

A fascinating memoir by a reigning survivor of one of the world’s toughest industries, My Lucky Stars goes beyond the typical Hollywood tell-all. It is a rare and authentic view of an artist’s life, filled with risk, daring, and the drive to understand and filled with those Hollywood stars we have admired, idolized, and even loved.

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

Hardcover, dust jacket – 381 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 771 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-553-09717-2

My Movie Business: A Memoir (John Irving)

irving-john-my-movie-businessJohn lrving’s memoir begins with his account of the distinguished career and medical writings of the novelist’s grandfather Dr. Frederick C. Irving, a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, and includes Mr. lrving’s incisive history of abortion politics in the United States. But My Movie Business focuses primarily on the thirteen years John Irving spent adapting his novel The Cider House Rules for the screen – for four different directors.

Mr. Irving also writes about the failed effort to make his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie; about two of the films that were made from his novels (but not from his screenplays), The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire; about his slow progress at shepherding his screenplay of A Son of the Circus into production.

Not least, and in addition to its qualities as a memoir – anecdotal, comic, affectionate, and candid – My Movie Business is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay.

The photographs in My Movie Business were taken by Stephen Vaughan, the still photographer on the set of The Cider House Rules – a Miramax production directed by Lasse Hallström, with Michael Caine in the role of Dr. Larch. Concurrently with the November 1999 release of the film, Talk Miramax Books will publish John Irving’s screenplay.

JOHN WINSLOW IRVING is the author of nine novels, among them A Prayer for Owen Meany and A Widow for One Year.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 170 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 14,5 cm (9,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 461 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-375-50368-4

My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retired Actor (Alec Guinness; preface by John le Carré)

Guinness, Alec - My Name Escapes Me“When I am asked, which is all too often, if I have retired, I am inclined to assume a pained expression and deny it. At eighty-two I am well past my sell-by date and I doubt if any part, however small, would tempt me. The difficulty is the chore of learning (I used to be reasonably reliable and fairly quick) and diminishing physical vitality, both of which would choke any creative effort. So I am happy to scribble instead.” Gladly, Sir Alec Guinness’s “scribbling” has taken the form of this insightful, witty diary, a best-seller in England. Best known for his roles in films as varied as Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars, Guinness is one of the most distinguished – and beloved – movie actors of his generation. His  charmingly sincere diary entries offer a glimpse of the private side of his often very public life.

What makes Guinness such a fine and versatile actor is precisely what also makes him a good diarist: an ironically observant eye. In his diary, which covers the eighteen months from January 1995 to June 1996, he reveals the inner life of a hugely successful actor while remaining completely accessible. This work is, at the same time, a poignant account of a man corning to terms with being eighty-two and its accompanying infirmities and a delightfully humorous record of his extemporaneous opinions and careful reflections. Certain interests and preoccupations recur: theater and films, of course, but also books and paintings; the church, sometimes held up for amused observation, more often the focus of a personal faith; food and drink, whether fish ‘n’ chips with a group of fellow actors or a solitary entrecote at the Connaught; and the delights of being at home with his wife in the Hampshire countryside.

Though Guinness shows a keen interest in contemporary events and culture (such as taking a perhaps surprising pleasure in the Wallace and Gromit cartoons), he also brings to the diary some fascinating anecdotes from his long and distinguished acting career and new tales of his current friendships. As John le Carré says in his preface: “Though scarcely a comfortable companion, Guinness treasures his close friendships. Inevitably there is a strand of poignancy in this diary as friends die and memorial services are attended. Yet the pleasure and fun to be had with close friends like Alan Bennett, Irene Worth, Lauren Bacall, and Piers Paul Read form a strong backbone to this marvelously entertaining diary.”

Sir Alec’s writing reveals the octogenarian spryness of a civilized mind and a beguiling mixture of the meditative and the hedonistic. His power to lovingly describe subtle details – from the changing weather to the Italian countryside – fills the pages with a luminosity that any writer must envy but every reader will enjoy.

SIR ALEC GUINNESS was born in London in 1914, began his professional acting career in 1933, and established himself as one of the outstanding actors of stage and screen. His many films include Oliver Twist, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Bridge on the River Kwai (for which he won an Oscar), Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and the Star Wars trilogy. He has also won acclaim on the stage and on television, most famously for playing George Smiley in the TV adaptation of John le Carré’s novels. Guinness’s autobiography, Blessings in Disguise, was published in 1986. He was knighted in 1959 and made a Companion of Honour in 1994. JOHN LE CARRÉ, the well-known best-selling novelist, has most recently published The Tailor of Panama.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 214 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 452 g (15,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking / The Penguin Group, New York, New York, 1990ISBN 0-670-87589-9

My Name Is Michael Caine: A Life in Film (Anne Billson)

billson-anna-my-name-is-michel-caineIn the ’60s, after films like The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin, Michael Caine could be identified simply by his heavy glasses. Zulu, in which Caine played and looked the part of an aristocratic officer, made him a star. Since then, with a few exceptions when he has played the part of a foreigner (The Last Valley, The Eagle Has Landed), Caine’s deadpan cockney tones have been his trademark.

His scrupulous professionalism has kept him in continuous work, even when the films themselves have been fairly terrible. Despite lapses such as The Swarm and Ashanti, Michael Caine has revealed a remarkable range as an actor – from Alfie to Get Carter to Sleuth, The Man Who Would Be King, Educating Rita and Hannah and Her Sisters.

Humorous yet hard-edged, he is one of the few enduring stars of international cinema. Acerbic, informed, stylish, Anne Billson’s reviews for Time Out and the Sunday Correspondent have made her one of Britain’s premier movie critics. Caine, Billson and over a hundred photographs are a superlative combination.

ANNE BILLSON was born in Southport in 1954 and brought up in Exeter and Croydon. After studying Graphic Design at Central School of Art and Design in London, she worked as a secretary, shop assistant, cinema cashier and photographer before becoming a full-time writer and film critic. She has since contributed to a variety of British, American and Japanese publications. She now lives in Cambridge.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19 cm (9,8 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 756 g (26,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Muller, London, 1991 – ISBN 0 09 075055 5

My Secret Mother Orna Moon (Richard de Mille)

de-mille-richard-my-secret-mother-lorna-moonRichard de Mille was raised amid the glamour and luxury of early Hollywood, an adopted son of Cecil B. DeMille and his wife, Constance. From age eight he wondered about his birth parents, his curiosity piqued by odd hints dropped by friends and family members, and by his own remarkable resemblance to Cecil’s father. After sixty years of pursuing his secret mother, de Mille writes the true story of her life and of the perfect conspiracy that made him a full but far from ordinary member of the de Mille family.

That lost mother turned out to be Lorna Moon, a newspaperwoman, screenwriter, and best-selling novelist, a woman who had been born in a small village in Scotland and who later became an exotic figure of silent-film-era Hollywood. She lived about a mile from the house in which Richard grew up, and had a love affair that produced the infant boy who was adopted by Cecil and Constance in 1922.

With fairness and understanding, de Mille recalls his childhood. His recounting of his investigation into is mother’s life and death is suspenseful and poignant. This story is both memoir and mystery, with a serious sense of history and a winning sense of humor.

RICHARD DE MILLE has been a science fiction and popular writer, television director, think-tank researcher, and university professor. His books include The Don Juan Papers. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-374-21757-2

My Side of the Road (Dorothy Lamour, as told to Dick McInnes)

lamour-dorothy-my-side-of-the-roadWith this eye-opening autobiography, one of Hollywood’s most durable personalities reveals a surprisingly dramatic private life that’s scarcely suggested by her glamorous screen image.

The exotic costumes of the Road pictures hid a woman of extraordinary versatility: beauty contest winner, comedienne, radio star, fashion model, nightclub singer, vaudeville trouper, war bond saleswoman, dramatic actress, musical comedy star, divorcee, stuntwoman – and dedicated wife and mother. Few movie buffs know that Dorothy Lambour was voted Miss New Orleans only after a successful tour on the Fanchon and Marco circuit – only to wind up running an elevator for a living. She sang with Rudy Vallee and Herbie Kay (who became her first husband) – and was one of the most reluctant stars Hollywood ever created. She never accepted Louis B. Mayer’s offer of a screen test. Cast as star of her first film, The Jungle Princess, she was mortified by her sarong costume, her appearance in the rushes, and by the outrageous publicity Paramount created to launch her career.

She hit her stride during Hollywood’s heyday, when off-camera events often eclipsed what the public saw on screen. Here she reveals her experiences with co-workers like Betty Grable, John Wayne, Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray, Anthony Quinn, Ray Milland, Alan Ladd, Mae West, Cecil B. DeMille, Carole Lombard, John Ford and Robert Preston… Why The Hurricane‘s crew held a grudge against Jon Hall, and how they exacted their revenge… How love scenes with William Holden and Tyrone Power were ruined by an appendectomy and a whoopee cushion, respectively… The violent and oft-censored behavior of her chimpanzee co-stars… How she doffed her sarong for serious dramatic roles in Wild Harvest, Manhandled, and Medal for Benny… The inspired wisecrackery on Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy’s first Road to Singapore, the bitter wrangles over the final Road to Hong Kong… and the name of the woman identified as Dorothy Lamour at Crosby’s funeral.

After her wartime marriage to Air Corps Lieutenant William Howard, she raised two sons while expanding her career into personal appearances, nightclubs, and the legitimate theater. Even as her film career seemed to dim; she appeared at the London Palladium and later undertook a gruelling national tour in the title role of Hello, Dolly! Now, she shares the tragic story of her husband’s final illness, and her resolve to keep on fulfilling her duties to her public, her family – and ultimately, to herself. Illustrated with photographs from her personal collection, this is the self-portrait of an artist whose rare honesty and character, warmth and courage have, until now, been known only to a privileged few.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 613 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1980 – ISBN 0-13-218594-6

My Side: The Autobiography of Ruth Gordon (Ruth Gordon)

Autographed copy For Gereva, with love, Ruth Gordon

“Ruth Gordon was ever so gay as Nibs,” wrote Alexander Woolcott about her first performance in a 1915 revival Peter Pan. It was Miss Gordon’s first press notice, and there have been few times since that she has not triumphed both on and off the stage. Here, written on the eve of her eightieth birthday, is the entire story beginning on the way when, as a young Ruth Jones from Wollaston, Mass., she was overwhelmed by Hazel Dawn’s performance in The Pink Lady. What followed is lovingly told in this grand and glorious autobiography: the early days barnstorming through the country on one-night stands; her later successes – Seventeen, Saturday’s Children, Serena Blandish, Ethan Frome, The Country Wife, Over Twenty-One, The Matchmaker; her movie roles in Rosemary’s Baby, Harold and Maude, Where’s Poppa?

Here, too, told with remarkable candor, are the private moments in a lifetime: her marriage to a rising young actor who died on the brink of great success, her affairs with two of the theater’s legendary producers, her long and happy marriage to Garson Kanin, with whom she collaborated on a series of popular films, including Adam’s Rib, A Double Life, Pat and Mike and The Marrying Kind. Miss Gordon’s cast of characters reads like a Who’s Who of theater and film in the twentieth century so that her book abounds with marvelous stories about Thornton Wilder, Robert E. Sherwood, Edward Sheldon, Greta Garbo, Somerset Maugham, Katharine Cornell, Humphrey Bogart, George S. Kaufman, and dozens more.

Probably no actress has ever had quite so much to tell about herself or told it so well, with such great style, sophistication, wit, and feeling. Miss Gordon’s presence reigns throughout – from trouper, to wife, to mother, to playwright, to Star. My Side is absolutely enchanting and extraordinary: there is nothing quite like Ruth Gordon by Ruth Gordon.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 502 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.025 g (36,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-06-011618-8

My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe (Berniece Baker Miracle, with Mona Rae Miracle)

baker-miracle-bernice-my-sister-marilynThe first time Berniece Miracle saw Norma Jeane’s face was in a blurry junior high school portrait that came with a letter from this sister she’d never known. She kept the letter, and she kept the photo of the pretty twelve-year-old face. Before long, it would be the most famous face in the world.

Yes, Marilyn Monroe had a sister. And in My Sister Marilyn, Berniece Baker Miracle tells the story you’ve never heard before: the story of the private person rather than of the calendar girl – of Marilyn the sister, of Marilyn the daughter, of Marilyn the aunt. Berniece and Marilyn had different fathers but the same mother, whose mental illness affected both their lives. The sisters grew up seven years and a continent apart – Marilyn (then Norma Jeane) in the care of her mother’s California friends; Berniece with her father’s family in Kentucky.

Not until Berniece was nineteen and Norma Jeane twelve did the two sisters learn of each other. It was during the final years of the Depression, and at first neither could afford the cross-country trip to meet in person. So Berniece and Norma Jeane exchanged letters, photographs, and phone calls, forging a lasting bond. Their relationship continued, with letters and visits even after Marilyn’s fame made this difficult. Berniece and her daughter, Mona Rae, treasured their time spent with this beautiful young woman just starting her modeling and acting career. When Marilyn died in 1962, it was Berniece who flew to Califomia to help Joe DiMaggio with the funeral arrangements, even picking out the dress Marilyn was buried in.

In My Sister Marilyn, Berniece Baker Miracle and Mona Rae Miracle share memories of their famous relative – a story they have kept private since the early days of Marilyn’s fame – and forty-two photographs and letters, most of which are published here for the first time. Their book is unlike what we have come to expect in a celebrity biography. Their purpose is the opposite of sensationalism: they want Marilyn’s fans to know the warm-hearted woman they knew – the one who sent them her favorite dresses, repeatedly warned them about protecting their privacy, and tried to provide her schizophrenic mother with a home even as her own world became increasingly troubled.

BERNIECE BAKER MIRACLE grew up in Kentucky and has worked as a manufacturing inspector, costume designer, and bookkeeper. MONA RAE MIRACLE was born in Kentucky and graduated from the University of Florida. She studied acting with Lee and Paula Strasberg and has worked as a teacher, librarian, and writer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 238 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 15,5 cm (7,7 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 462 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1994 – ISBN 1-56512-070-1

My Story (Marilyn Monroe; new introduction by Andrea Dworkin)

monroe-marilyn-my-story“Success came to me in a rush. It surprised my employers much more than it did me. Even when I had played only bit parts in a few films, all the movie magazines and newspapers started printing my picture and giving me write-ups. I used to tell lies in my interviews – chiefly about my mother and father. I’d say she was dead – and he was somewhere in Europe. I lied because I was ashamed to have the world know my mother was in a mental institution – and that I had been born ‘out of wedlock’ and never heard my illegal father’s voice.

I finally straightened these lies out, and I was surprised at the way the magazines and newspapers treated my ‘new confessions.’ They were kind and none of them picked on me. Just as I was beginning to go over with the public in a big way, I got word that my ‘nude calendar’ was going to be put on the market as a Marilyn Monroe novelty. I thought this would push me into the cold again. A writer I met laughed at my tears.

‘The nude calendar is going to put you over with the biggest bang the town has heard in years,’ he said. ‘The same thing happened in the 20s to a girl who was on the verge of movie fame. She couldn’t quite seem to excite the movie-queen-makers of the studios. She was called unphotogenic and ‘good for a small part but definitely not star material.’ ‘Like me,’ I said. ‘Yes,’ the writer said. ‘Then one day a studio official giving a party got hold of a two-reel film in which the girl had performed. The film was intended for rental to stag parties. In the picture this young girl danced entirely in the nude. The dance was also vulgar and suggestive. As a result every movie producer or director who saw the stag film became haunted with the nude performer. They vied for her services as if she were the only female on tap, and the only full set of secondary female characteristics in Hollywood. She became famous in a few months and is still famous today [and one of my worst detractors].’

It turned out very much like that for me, too. Everybody in the studio wanted me as a star in his movie. I finally went into Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and after that, How to Marry a Millionaire. I liked doing these pictures. I liked the fact that I was important in making them a great financial success and that my studio cleaned up a fortune, despite that its chief had considered me unphotogenic. I liked the fact that the movie salesmen who came to Hollywood for a big studio sales rally whistled loudest and longest when I entered their midst.

I liked the raise I finally received to twelve hundred a week. Even after all the deductions were taken from my salary it remained more money a week than I had once been able to make in six months. I had clothes, fame, money, a future, all the publicity I could dream of. I even had a few friends. And there was always a romance in the air. But instead of being happy over all these fairytale things that had happened to me I grew depressed and finally desperate. My life suddenly seemed as wrong and unbearable to me as it had in the days of my early despairs.” – Chapter 28, ‘My fight with Hollywood.’

Hardcover – 143 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 383 g (13,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Cooper Square Press, New York, New York, 1974 / 2000 – ISBN 0-8154-1102-2

My Story: An Autobiography (Mary Astor)

Astor, Mary - My StoryHer name was Lucille Langhake. She was a farm girl from the Middle West, a lonely beautiful child who became the tormented victim of her parents’ greed. At twenty she was a star, the pampered, glamorous movie queen known to the world as Mary Astor.

She tells here of her dizzying rise to fame she was far too young to control; of her stormy love affairs and their tragic consequences; of her desperate struggle to keep her child free from the shame and smear of scandal; and finally, without nothing ahead but emptiness and humiliation, of her magnificent victory over her own weakness – a victory which led to the impressive theatrical and television career she has achieved today.

Mary Astor has told her story with great courage and truthfulness. This candid, fascinating self-portrait reveals in harsh outlines and gentle reflections the glittering success, the heartbreaking defeats, and the spiritual fulfillment of an extraordinary woman.

MARY ASTOR – “I know I will carry many scars, as most of us do, but they don’t concern me any more. I know that all my habits of thinking are not going to disappear like that, but I recognize them, I beat their ears back when they appear… I find that living on a ‘today’ basis is the real trick. To look ahead too far is too great a burden. What ‘might’ happen next week or next year can be disturbing, the panic of losing, or the unrealistic unexperienced joy of gaining. Anticipating to a certain extent is prudent, and pleasant, if I know it will never happen completely as anticipated… Sometimes I feel as though I were living in another dimension. I wish I had thought of the phrase someone used: ‘wearing life like a loose garment.’ I go to work on a picture, and of course I still have to get up at five-thirty. But it’s easy – I can eat a good breakfast, for one thing; and my mind is not on the fact that it would have been pleasanter to stay in bed. As I get into the car there’s a bright star still shining in the sky and a pinkish-bluish tinge on the horizon…’

Hardcover, dust jacket – 332 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 494 g (17,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1959

My Vagabond Lover: An Intimate Biography of Rudy Vallée (Eleanor Vallée, with Jill Amadio)

Autographed copy Dec 5th, 1996 – To Den Lois and Jim, You are a charming couple – “Rudy time was our time” and now “My time is your time.” God Bless, Eleanor Vallée

Vallée, Eleanor - My Vagabond LoverThere was Rudy Vallée, The Vagabond Lover. From his early days in radio to his later years on the big screen and on Broadway, Vallée made women swoon for seven decades. A legend in the entertainment industry, Vallée’s career includes numerous firsts, famous feats, and unforgettable moments that helped make Hollywood what it is today. Vallée hosted America’s first call-in talk show, The Fleischmann Hour, on NBC Radio. He invented the singing style known as “crooning,” seduced audiences with the mellow tones of his saxophone, and recorded thousands of songs. He later went on to star in the Broadway hit How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and make over thirty-three movies with co-stars like Jayne Mansfield and Elvis Presley.

Eleanor Vallée was a teenager when she fell in love with the middle-aged heart-throb. She shared over thirty years of her life with him, and in My Vagabond Lover, she takes you inside their glamorous life in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Eleanor reveals the man behind the megaphone, takes you backstage, and gives you a peek into the private lives of a cast of Hollywood celebrities. Also included are more than seventy previously unpublished photographs, ranging from classic film scenes to shots of the Vallées with their friends at their Beverly Hills mansion; personal letters from Rudy’s friends; his private diary entries; and rare memorabilia such as sheet music from the 1930s.

Rudy Vallée was a Hollywood anomaly, a multitalented performer whose enchanting voice and on-screen charms transfixed not only his millions of fans but also some of the greatest names in the entertainment industry – many of whom became lasting friends. Eleanor was there for it all, and in this fascinating portrait of a legend, she gives you an unprecedented look at real life among the stars.

ELEANOR VALLÉE shared her life with Rudy Vallée for over thirty years. She is involved in numerous philanthropic organizations and was voted Woman of the Year by the Mary and Joseph League in 1992. In addition to being an actress, Eleanor currently co-hosts a cable program called VIPs. She lives in Los Angeles with her poodle, Princess Valentine. JILL ARNADIO has authored and collaborated on several books. As a journalist, she has written hundreds of magazine articles for publications including Entrepreneur and Longevity. Jill lives in Newport Beach, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 260 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 644 g (22,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1996 – ISBN 0-87833-918-3