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Naakt: Een Autobiografie (Sylvia Kristel; originally titled Nue)

kristel-sylvia-naakt1974: De film Emmanuelle wordt een van de grootste Franse kassuccessen aller tijden. Op de filmposter een onbekend meisje van twintig jaar, met ontbloot bovenlijf en kort haar, poserend op een rieten stoel. Een nieuwe ster is geboren: Sylvia Kristel.

Emmanuelle is een fenomeen. De film draait meer dan elf jaar lang op de Champs-Elysées, in Japan en in de Verenigde Staten. Sylvia, die inmiddels een relatie heeft met Hugo Claus, gaat in Parijs wonen. Ze maakt kennis met beroemdheden als Warren Beatty, Alain Delon, Gérard Depardieu en Roger Vadim. Maar het glamourleven heeft ook zijn schaduwzijde. Drank en drugs, meerdere huwelijken die sneuvelen – meer dan eens wordt ze slachtoffer van haar eigen goedgelovigheid. Uiteindelijk gaat Sylvia terug naar Nederland, sadder but wiser. In Amsterdam bouwt ze een bestaan op als schilderes en actrice.

In Naakt vertelt Sylvia Kristel het eerlijke, aangrijpende en soms ook geestige verhaal van een bijzonder leven. Onthullend en openhartig: de autobiografie van een Nederlands filmfenomeen.

SYVLIA KRISTEL (1952) speelde in meer dan vijftig films, maar werd vooral bekend door de erotische speelfilm Emmanuelle, een van de grootse kassuccessen aller tijden. In haar autobiografie Naakt besteedt Kristel aandacht aan haar jeugd, kostschooltijd, de scheiding van haar ouders, haar relatie met Hugo Claus, haar zoon Arthur, drank- en drugsgebruik, haar leven in Parijs en de filmwereld in Los Angeles, de keelkanker die ze op latere leeftijd overwon.

Softcover – 303 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 460 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2006 – ISBN 978 90 234 2553 3

Naked Hollywood: Money and Power in the Movies Today (Nicolas Kent)

kent-nicolas-naked-hollywoodTo many, Hollywood is the Promised Land, a glittering frontier where a new star is born every fifteen minutes. To others it is Sin City, the land of lust and greed and the everlasting struggle to grab fame, and hold on to it, at any cost.

To those at its center, Hollywood is all these things: fame, sex, power – and money. From the lowliest screenwriter to the biggest studio bosses and highest-grossing stars, every player in the Tinseltown sweepstakes is after the same thing, and stars rise and fall like clockwork trying to make it. In Naked Hollywood, Nicolas Kent strips the layers of glamour off the town, revealing the machinations and manipulations that are the movie industry’s nervous system. Talking to more than a hundred of Hollywood’s brightest lights – from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Sydney Pollack to Oliver Stone – Kent uncovers the complex power struggle between studio heads, agents, directors, producers, stars, and writers, in which million-dollar deals are done on the bleachers at Los Angeles Lakers games, and a handful of people dominate this most prominent and American of industries.

NICOLAS KENT, who produced the BBC television series Naked Hollywood, founded the film magazine Stills at the age of twenty-two and was its editor until 1987. He is currently a partner in the Oxford Film Company, and lives in England.

Softcover – 255 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 14,5 cm (9,1 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 348 g (12,3 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-312-08269-X

The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography (Frank Capra; foreword by John Ford)

capra-frank-the-name-above-the-title“Frank Capra, a warm, wonderful man, has written a warm and wonderful book, on subjects which he knows as well as any man who ever lived. His genius has been applied not only to the art but to the business of making great motion pictures, and his name on the credits has assured rich satisfactions to bankers, exhibitors, stars, feature players, extras, cameramen, crew, and the theatergoing public for more than half a century. This he has accomplished without compromising his own exacting sense of the good, the beautiful, and the appropriate; without ever losing a friend or having a scene censored.

A great man and a great American, Frank Capra is an inspiration to those who believe in the American Dream. He has called his story The Name Above the Title. If he didn’t object so strongly to the trite, he might as well have named it The Land of Opportunity. For even in early youth he was no stranger to the work, the worry, and the long hours that went with being a poor immigrant boy in a dog-eat-dog society. If all this constituted a deprived childhood, Frank was too busy and too ambitious to notice. Humble beginnings have not deterred his rise to eminence in the arts, letters, and sciences. A great center of learning is proud to honor him as a distinguished alumnus. He has served his country with distinction both in civil and military life. The famous and the notable seek his acquaintance. A series of Frank Capra hits which were to become widely imitated screen classics made Columbia Pictures a major studio. He has earned more awards than he would bother to count. Success has not dulled his wit, his wisdom, or his compassion.

Others have tried to write about Hollywood. Many have failed. Capra brings to his monumental task the sure sense of the professional, and accomplishes the only definitive record I’ve ever read on the subject. His story is so rich in anecdotes – most of them heartwarming and sympathetic – that there isn’t a dull paragraph in the entire book.

For the first time, perhaps, the outsider is given an opportunity to learn how a motion picture is actually prepared, cast, written, and shot, and what it’s really like on a motion-picture set, that democratic little monarchy where a hard-nosed director of the “one-picture, one-director” school reigns as king, congress, and court of highest appeal. Frank Capra has every reason to know that it’s a good life, quite unlike any other; but only Capra has been also able to depict the agonizing responsibility and the constant struggle between the creator of motion pictures and the concepts of Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and others who would intervene.

Capra has not only achieved a place of distinction in that select company of really fine film directors – men like William A. Wellman, Fred Zinnemann, George Stevens, George Seaton, Billy Wilder, Henry Hathaway, the late Leo McCarey, and (abroad) Jean Renoir, Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, Sir Carol Reed, and David Lean. He heads the list as the greatest motion picture director in the world. If in his book he administers an occasional gentle slap on the wrist to the proud or the pompous, they can take comfort in the fact that there are picture people by the hundred who would offer their right arms up to the elbow to be mentioned in any frame of reference by a man as great as Capra in a book like his. I take pride that this American success story should have been written about the industry that both he and I love so dearly, by the only man who could have done it so accurately and so well.” – The Foreword by John Ford.

Hardcover – 513 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,3 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 1.175 g (41,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1971

Naming Names (Victor S. Navasky)

navasky-victor-s-naming-namesThe moral issues that continue to haunt the Hollywood blacklist generation have never been fully explored. This book is the first serious attemt to capture the painful history of not only the blacklist’s victims, but also the men and women who “named names,” who cooperated with the “degradation ceremonies” of congressional committees investigating Hollywood during the 1950s. Some of the people were influential and well-known – Sterling Hayden, Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg, Larry Parks; others, less famous, were caught equally in the vise of the times. Victor S. Navasky has unabashedly asked them – and their children, lawyers, therapists, and agents – why did they do what they did? His brilliant book about their answers is an extraordinary moral detective story.

The subject is cold-war Hollywood, but Mr. Navasky goes far beyond that small town and brings the subject right up to the present. For the issues posed during this peculiar episode in American history continue to reverberate through many central aspects of American life and culture.

What happens to a society when the state pressures its citizens to betray their fellows? Mr. Navasky’s dramatic essay in the sociology of indignation – combining oral history, interviews, and research, from gossip columns to the literature of social psychology – traces the consequences of what he calls the state’s adoption of the Informer Principle, according to which the informer became, for a brief and inglorious time, America’s cultural hero and prophet.

VICTOR S. NAVASKY, 48, a graduate the Yale Law School, is a journalist whose work has appeared in many forums, from the celebrated Monocle, which he helped to found, to The New York Times, where he worked as an editor. His previous book, Kennedy Justice (1971), was nominated for the National Book Award. Since 1978 he has been the editor of The Nation. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 482 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 957 g (33,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-670-50393-2

Napoleon: Abel Gance’s Film Classic (Kevin Brownlow)

Brownlow, Kevin - NapoleonOn April 7th, 1927, a remarkable film received its first showing at the Paris Opera House. In the audience, which at the end rose to its feet cheering, was Charles de Gaulle, then a young army officer, who never forgot his experience that night. What he saw was the shorter of two versions of Abel Gance’s work of genius, Napoleon, lasting over 3 ½ hours (the full version ran to nearly 7 hours), and accompanied by a 60-piece symphony orchestra and full chorus playing a specially arranged score by Honegger. The closing reels introduced the spectacular triptych technique, which predated Cinerama by 25 years.

Abel Gance had expected his Polyvision process to revolutionise the cinema, but six months later The Jazz Singer heralded the new era of talkies and Gance’s innovations, along with the epic Napoleon, were consigned to the scrap heap. Although Gance made a much shorter sound version in 1935, the original film, after unenthusiastic receptions in London and New York, simply disappeared. And Napoleon was but the first of a projected six films covering Bonaparte’s life. It cost 17 million of the 20 million francs which Gance had raised to finance all six.

The film historian and archivist Kevin Brownlow saw his first glimpse of Napoleon by chance while still a school boy. The film had been released in the late 1920s on a home-movie narrow gauge and it is doubtful whether the small London film library that sent him two reels of it in the early 1950s realised it would become a collector’s item. So captivated was Brownlow by what he saw, and so overcome by a chance meeting with Gance on one of his rare visits to London as an old man, that he decided to search for the rest of Gance’s masterpiece in the world’s archives and in private collections so as to restore it to its rightful place in film history. In all, it was to take 25 years before five hours of the original were carefully reassembled and shown, with a revised score, to rapturous audiences in performances in Britain and the United States between 1980 and 1982.

In 1966, Brownlow had published in The Parade’s Gone By… a brief account of the making of Napoleon, based largely on what Abel Gance had told him. Since then, a great deal of detailed documentation of the film’s extraordinary history has been brought to light, throwing the whole birth and death of the masterpiece into new perspective. Gance emerges as a romantic visionary with a sense of humor, tender and sympathetic towards the small concerns of his many collaborators, all of whom revered him and willingly undertook the almost superhuman effort he coaxed from them. In this new and beautifully written book, Brownlow also tells the compelling story of his worldwide quest of restoration, which continues still, a further 23 minutes of the original turning up even as the film played to packed houses in London in the summer of 1982.

KEVIN BROWNLOW’s interest in silent films dates back to the age of ten, when he began seeing them at school. He set out to be a filmmaker at the age of fourteen, but his first love has always been film history. He has written The Parade’s Gone By..., a series of interviews with the people who created the industry, and The War, the West and the Wilderness. a study of historical evidence surviving in early films. Apart from a number of short documentaries, he has written, directed and produced two feature films in collaboration with Andrew Mollo: It Happened Here (1964) and Winstanley (1975). He made the Thames Television series Hollywood and Unknown Chaplin in collaboration with David Gill.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 781 g (27,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan Cape, Ltd., London, 1983 – ISBN 0 224 02022 6

Naslagwerk over de Vlaamse Film (Paul Geens; foreword by Johan J. Vincent)

Naslagwerk over de Vlaamse FilmIn dit naslagwerk hebben de auteurs alle Vlaamse speelfilms van 1920 tot 1986 chronologisch geordend en voorzien van technische bijzonderheden, een korte inhoud en enkele relevante uitspraken van diegenen die bij de film betrokken waren.

“In de loop van de korte filmgeschiedenis is België reeds dikwijls overspoeld door buitenlandse producties die ons een vreemde cultuur opdringen. Gelukkig zijn er landgenoten die daartegen gereageerd hebben. Niet op spectaculaire wijze. Maar door films te maken die iets tonen wat buitenlandse prenten nooit kunnen bieden: nl. een beeld van onze eigen aard.

Het aangehouden protest begint nu eindelijk resultaten op te leveren. In 1986 zijn in Vlaanderen de opnamen van een tiental lange speelfilms gepland. Een absoluut record! Het enthousiasme kan blijkbaar niet op. Temeer daar voor sommige films de toeschouwers in lange rijen staan aan te schuiven, andere bekroond worden met belangrijke internationale prijzen, grote buitenlandse acteurs bereid zijn om in onze producties op te treden en een aantal recente prenten resoluut op een doorbraak op de internationale markt mikken.

Dit is dan ook het geschikte moment om zich even over het verleden te bezinnen. Het verleden is toch de basis van waaruit we het heden beter begrijpen en de weg naar de toekomst voorbereiden. Uit de pogingen van onze voorgangers kan trouwens nog heel wat geleerd worden.

Maar dan moeten we hun films in de belangstelling brengen want onbekend maakt onbemind. En ‘onbekend’ is wel het woord dat het meest van toepassing is op de geschiedenis van de Vlaamse film. Wie over dit onderwerp meer wenst te vernemen, moet zich wenden tot de Franstalige literatuur waar Francis Bolen en Paul Davay pionierswerk hebben verricht. Hun geschriften behandelen de Belgische film, waardoor heel wat Vlaamse producties niet ofwel zeer stiefmoederlijk worden benaderd. Als Franstaligen kunnen ze natuurlijk niet op de hoogte zijn van alles wat reilt en zeilt in Vlaanderen. In eigen taal zijn er wel enkele thesissen over dit onderwerp geschreven maar deze worden zelden gepubliceerd en blijven dus voor een beperkte kring van ingewijden toegankelijk. Voorts zijn er natuurlijk talrijke artikels in kranten en tijdschriften. Maar zoals het past voor deze vluchtige publicaties zijn ze zeer summier en onvolledig qua inhoud.

Onderhavig naslagwerk is in het leven geroepen om dit euvel gedeeltelijk op te lossen. Daar er geen volledig betrouwbaar basiswerk bestaat, zijn we van nul begonnen. Na het opzoeken van allerlei materiaal (artikels uit kranten en tijdschriften, persinformatie, boeken, foto’s, affiches, films,…) in verscheidene archieven, hebben we de gevonden informatie in boekvorm gegoten. We hebben niet gekozen voor een geschiedenisboek (waarin verbanden tussen de films gelegd worden) maar voor een naslagwerk: een verzameling gegevens die we prijsgeven aan uw intellectuele nieuwsgierigheid, uw analyseringstalent, uw samenvattings- en interpretatievermogen.

De enige bedoeling van dit werk is een eerste poging (niet de definitieve) te zijn tot het samenstellen van de geschiedenis van de Vlaamse film. Een boek dat misschien als basis kan dienen voor andere (historische, sociologische, thematische,…) studies?” – The Foreword by Johan J. Vincent.

Hardcover – 795 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 14,5 cm (8,3 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 1.070 g (37,7 oz) – PUBLISHER C.I.A.M. [Centrum voor Informatie over Audiovisuele Middelen], Brussel, Belgium, 1986

Natalie: A Memoir By Her Sister (Lana Wood)

wood-lana-natalieThe most intimate possible remembrance of her tempestuous life and tragic death.

Here is the book that only Natalie Wood’s sister could have written – a warm but unflinchingly candid account of a great star’s passionate love affairs, violent fights, stormy marriages, bitter divorces, and of her controversial death by drowning at the age of forty-three, stunning a nation that adored her.

Natalie Wood emerges as an impulsive, sometimes reckless person – never free of the limelight from the age of five – who could rise to heights of ferocity that make Medea look like Marjorie Morningstar.

The tumultuous love affair with Warren Beatty resounded with screams when he was late – or unfaithful. When Beatty popped back into her life, she refused to make Bonnie and Clyde, because she was afraid to leave her psychiatrist, this relinquishing a prime role to Faye Dunaway in a catastrophic career miscalculation. Of Natalie’s two marriages to Robert Wagner, her sister says: “They had to live out the dream the world had imagined for them whether or not it went sour.”

Natalie’s divorce from her second husband, Richard Gregson, rocked Hollywood. Lana, urging reconciliation, infuriated Natalie, who hissed, “Did that _________ talk you into coming here and saying this?”

In Warren Beatty and others, the Wood sisters – Lana a bosomy sexpot, Natalie a dark-eyed seductress – sometimes shared lovers and compared notes. Natalie wanted to know what kind of lover Ryan O’Neal was and Lana, an expert on the subject, replied, “He was like having a glass of champagne without knowing too much about the various brands of champagne. Special, that is, but not a whole lot more.” Lana would not have the same reservations during peak experiences with Alain Delon and Sean Connery, but Natalie complained of Elvis Presley: “He can sing but he can’t do much else.” Natalie’s friendships with Steve McQueen, James Dean, John Wayne, Nicky Hilton, Robert Redford, Nicky Adams, Dennis Hopper, Tommy Thompson, and Christopher Walken also figure in this star-studded narrative.

Revealed here for the first time are Natalie Wood’s near fatal suicide attempt, her weight problem that led to pills and mood swings, her drinking and anxiety over aging and bad roles, and her valiant plans for a comeback on the stage. “You know what I want?” she asked Lana near the end. “I want yesterday.”

“I cry for her often,” Lana concludes, “I expect I always will.”

LANA WOOD began her acting career as a young child, appearing in movies and TV shows. She later appeared in the Peyton Place TV series and the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever. She has most recently been seen on the soap opera Capitol.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 216 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14,5 cm (8,3 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 365 g (12,9 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1984

Natalie: A Memoir By Her Sister (Lana Wood)

wood-lana-natalie-a-memoir-by-her-sister“When Rebel Without a Cause was finished and screened, at last I could watch the car race without fearing for Natalie’s life. I sat engrossed as I relived the moment and then saw the cars go careening off the cliff, James Dean the victor in the chicken contest. It would go on to become one of the classic films of the 1950s, and it did much to secure Natalie’s place at the top of the list of the most popular stars in the world. She remained friends with Nicholas Ray, the director, and for many years she was close to her co-stars Nick Adams and Sal Mineo. She also had a brief and intense friendship with Jimmy Dean, who spent most of his time away from the filming with her. Nick, Sal, and Jimmy were often at our home, sitting out around the pool, eating, laughing, and playing games. I remember once discovering that if you turned a flashlight off and on fast enough and performed in pantomime, it gave the illusion of a silent movie. One of my friends and I put on a show, and everybody left the pool to come and watch us; Jimmy and Sal, Nick and Natalie were all kind, tolerant, and encouraging to me – enthusiastic supporters of my small attempts to shed my shyness. Natalie went especially out of her way to strengthen her little sister with intelligent and effective nurturing.

One by one Jimmy and Nick and Sal died – early and tragically – and finally Natalie joined them. I cannot look at Rebel, cannot look at any of Natalie’s films now. When I see them on television, I turn the set off. If my daughter is watching the film, I leave the room. My mother, on the other hand, lives in a world filled with Natalie, her movies, her scrapbooks, her memories. When she is not living in the present of my own life, she is living in Natalie’s past. She sees Natalie’s children; I do not. She sees Robert Wagner, Natalie’s last husband, from time to time; I do not. I have asked her many times why it is I am not allowed to see my nieces, why my former brother-in-law does not return my phone calls or answer my letters, yet my own daughter is taken by her grandmother to see her cousins (but only when I am at work and not aware the visit is about to take place). Her only answer is that I should call R.J., Wagner’s nickname, and apologize. She does not know what I am to apologize for, and neither do I.” – From chapter 1.

Softcover – 320 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 181 g (6,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-440-16268-8

Natalie Wood: A Life (Gavin Lambert)

Lamert, Gavin - Natalie Wood A LifeShe spent her life in the movies. Her childhood is still there to see in Miracle on 34th Street. Her adolescence in Rebel Without a Cause. Her coming of age? Still playing in Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story and countless other hit movies. From the moment Natalie Wood made her debut in 1946, playing Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles’s ward in Tomorrow Is Forever at the age of seven, to her shocking, untimely death in 1981, the decades of her life are marked by movies that – for their moments – summed up America’s dreams.

Now the acclaimed novelist, biographer, critic and screenwriter Gavin Lambert, whose twenty-year friendship with Natalie Wood began when she wanted to star in the movie adaptation of his novel Inside Daisy Clover, tells her extraordinary story. He writes about her parents, uncovering secrets that Natalie either didn’t know or kept hidden from those closest to her. Here is the young Natalie, from her years as a child actress at the mercy of a driven, controlling stage mother (“Make Mr. Pichel love you,” she whispered to the five-year-old Natalie before depositing her unexpectedly on the director’s lap), to her awkward adolescence when, suddenly too old for kiddie roles, she was shunted aside, just another freshman at Van Nuys High. Lambert shows us the glamorous movie star in her twenties – All the Fine Young Cannibals, Gypsy and Love With the Proper Stranger. He writes about her marriages, her divorces, her love affairs, her suicide attempt at twenty-six, the birth of her children, her friendships, her struggles as an actress and her tragic death by drowning (she was always terrified of water) at forty-three. For the first time, everyone who knew Natalie Wood speaks freely – including her husbands Robert Wagner and Richard Gregson, famously private people like Warren Beatty, intimate friends such as playwright Mart Crowley, directors Robert Mulligan and Paul Mazursky, and Leslie Caron, each of whom told the author stories about this remarkable woman who was both life-loving and filled with despair.

What we couldn’t know – have never been told before – Lambert perceptively uncovers. His book provides the richest portrait we have had of Natalie Wood.

GAVIN LAMBERT was born and educated in England. He coedited the film magazine Sequence withy Lindsay Anderson, was the editor if Sight and Sound and wrote film criticism for The Sunday Times and The Guardian. He is the author of four biographies – On Cukor, Norma Shearer, Nazimova, and Mainly About Lindsay Andreson – and seven novels, among them The Slide Area and The Goodbye People. His screenplays include The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, the Oscar-nominated Sons and Lovers and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 473 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 0-375-41074-0

Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood (Suzanne Finstad)

Finstad, Suzanne - NatashaNatalie Wood was always a star; her mother made sure this was true. A superstitious Russian immigrant who claimed to be royalty, Maria had been told by a gypsy, long before little Natasha Zakharenko’s birth, that her second child would be famous throughout the world. When the beautiful child with the hypnotic eyes was first placed in Maria’s arms, she knew the prophecy would become true and proceeded to do everything in her power – everything – to make sure of it.

Natasha is the haunting story of a vulnerable and talented actress whom many of us felt we knew. We watched her mature on the movie screen before our eyes – in Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, and on and on. She has been hailed – along with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor – as one of the top three female movie stars in the history of film, making her a legend in her own time and beyond. But the story of what Natalie endured, of what her life was like when the doors of the soundstages closed, has long been obscured.

Natasha is based on years of exhaustive research into Natalie’s turbulent life and mysterious drowning in the dark water that was her greatest fear. Author Suzanne Finstad, a former lawyer, conducted nearly four hundred interviews with Natalie’s family, close friends, legendary co-stars, lovers, film crews, virtually everyone connected with the investigation of her strange death. Through these firsthand accounts from many who have never publicly spoken before, Finstad has reconstructed a life of emotional abuse and exploitation, of almost unprecedented fame, great loneliness, poignancy, and loss. She sheds an unwavering light on Natalie’s complex relationships with James Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Raymond Burr, Warren Beatty, and Robert Wagner and reveals the two lost loves of Natalie’s life, whom her controlling mother prevented her from marrying. Finstad tells this beauty’s heart-breaking story with sensitivity and grace, revealing a complex and conflicting mix of fragility and strength in a woman who was swept along by forces few could have resisted. Natasha is impossible to put down – it is the definitive biography of Natalie Wood that we’ve long been waiting for.

SUZANNE FINSTAD, a former lawyer, is the award-winning author of five previous literary works, including the bestseller Sleeping With the Devil. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 454 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 820 g (28,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Harmony Books, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-609-60359-0

Nazimova: A Biography (Gavin Lambert)

Lambert, Gavin - NazimovaA major rediscovery – a full-scale biography – of the electrifying Russian-born actress who brought Stanislavksy and Chekhov to American theatre, who was applauded, lionized, adored – a legend of the stage and screen for forty years, and then strangely forgotten.

Her shockingly natural approach to acting transformed the theatre of her day. She thrilled Laurette Taylor. The first time Tennessee Williams saw her he knew he wanted to be a playwright (“She was so shatteringly powerful that I couldn’t stay in my seat”). Eugene O’Neill said of her that she gave him his “first conception of a modern theatre.” She introduced the American stage and its audience to Ibsen’s New Woman, a woman hell-bent on independence. It was a role Nazimova embodied offstage as well. When she toured in a repertory of A Doll’s House, The Master Builder, and Hedda Gabler from 1907 to 1910, she earned the then unheard-of sum of five million dollars for theatre manager Lee Shubert.

Eight years later she went to Hollywood and signed a contract with Metro Pictures (before it was MGM) and became the highest-paid actress in silent pictures, ultimately writing, directing, and producing her own movies (Revelation, Stronger than Death, Billions, Salome). Four years later she formed her own film company. She was the only actress, other than Mae West, to become a movie star at forty, and was the first to cultivate the image of the “foreign” sophisticate, soon to be followed by Pola Negri, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich. She gave Rudolph Valentino one of his earliest roles, in Camille. She discovered Natacha (Winifred Shaughnessy) Rambova, who became Nazimova’s costume and set designer and later Mrs. Rudolph Valentino; she collaborated with screenwriter June Mathis.

She entertained Charlie Chaplin, the Talmadge sisters, Leopold and Dagmar Godowsky, at her Hollywood home, The Garden not of Allah but of Alla, the center of Hollywood bohemia in the 1920s.

Djuna Barnes said of her: “What happened to Alla Nazimova as a woman, as an actress, as a thinking person… is matter for biography.” Gavin Lambert was given exclusive access to her unpublished memoirs, letters, and notes. And now fifty years after her death, eighty years after her ascendancy as a giant figure to the American public, Lambert has brilliantly re-created the life and work of this complex, dark, glamorous, and important figure.

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

Hardcover, dust jacket – 420 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 816 g (28,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-679-40721-9

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I’ve Learned (Alan Alda)

Autographed copy Alan Alda

alda-alan-never-have-your-dog-stuffedInterestingly, I wasn’t afraid. It must have been Dr. Zepeda’s quiet confidence that let me simply accept as the next logical step that this man whom I’d never seen before would now take a sharp knife, cut open my belly, and permanently rearrange my insides. And I was never the kind of person who would kiss on a first date.

Dr. Zepeda explained what he was going to do: “The blood supply of some of your small intestine has been choked off, and it’s dying,” he said. “I have to go in and resect the bad part and then sew the good parts back together.”

“Oh,” I said, “You’re going to do an end-to-end anastomosis.” He was stunned. “Yes,” he said. “How do you know that?” “I did many of them on M*A*S*H.” – From Never Have Your Dog Stuffed.

He’s one of America’s most recognizable and acclaimed actors – a star on Broadway, an Oscar nominee for The Aviator, and the only person to ever win Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, during his eleven years on M*A*S*H – during which he became the only person to win Emmys for acting, writing, and directing. Now Alan Alda has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances.

“My mother didn’t try to stab my father until I was six,” begins Alda’s irresistible story. The son of a popular actor and a loving but mentally ill mother, he spent his early childhood backstage in the erotic and comic world of burlesque and went on, after early struggles, to achieve extraordinary success in his profession.

Yet Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not a memoir of show business ups and downs. It is a moving and funny story of a boy growing into a man who then realizes he has only just begun to grow. It is the story of turning points in Alda’s life, events that would make him what he is – if only he could survive them.

From the moment as a boy when his dead dog is returned from the taxidermist’s shop with a hideous expression on his face, and he learns that death can’t be undone, to the decades-long effort to find compassion for the mother he lived with but never knew, to his acceptance of his father, both personally and professionally, Alda learns the hard way that change, uncertainty, and transformation are what life is made of, and true happiness is found in embracing them.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, filled with curiosity about nature, good humor, and honesty, is the crowning achievement of an actor, author, and director, but surprisingly, it is the story of a life more filled with turbulence and laughter than any Alda has ever played on the stage or screen.

ALAN ALDA played Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years in the television series M*A*S*H and has acted in, written, and directed many feature films. He has starred often on Broadway, and his avid interest in science has led him to his hosting PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and has been nominated for thirty-one (and has won five) Emmy Awards. He is married to the children book’s author Arlene Alda. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 561 g (19,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 1-4000-6409-0

A New Pictorial History of the Talkies (Daniel Blum; revised and enlarged by John Kobal)

Blum, Daniel - A New Pictorial History of the TalkiesOverflowing with more than 4,250 illustrations, this classic history of the talkies is now expanded and fully updated to include all the stars and near stars, their great films and unforgettable moments.

These pages trace the talkies’ growth and development from the glittering age of the Hollywood “Dream Factory” proclaming “Garbo Talks!” to the days of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca, to George C. Scott as Patton and Marlon Brando as The Godfather. There are the mobster flicks from Paul Muni in Scarface to the derring-do of Gene Hackman in The French Connection; the “tearjerkers” from Shirley Temple as Little Miss Marker to Ali MacGraw as the ill-fated heroine of Love Story; the special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Hellstrom Chronicle; the musicals from Showboat to Fiddler on the Roof; the horrors of Lugosi and the zany antics of Woody Allen.

Though the book begins as a tribute to the tinsel Hollywood, this enlarged edition reflects much of the contemporary scene and the controversial cavalcade of present-day films parading before us. There are Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Schlesinger’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday, for example, and the growing interest in the foreign cinema from The Garden of the Finzi-Continis to Visconti’s Death in Venice. No survey to the “new scene” would be complete without the emergence of the “black films” from Shaft to Sounder. The Talkies even take us underground to explore the growth of this provocative art form.

With such a vast array of stars, moments and films spanning forty-five years of movie-making, A Pictorial History of the Talkies is not only a tantalizing adventure into nostalgia, but a fully updated excursion into the ofttimes provocative present.

Softcover – 392 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 23 cm (12 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.260 g (44,4 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1973 – SBN 399-11231-6

New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide (Richard Alleman)

alleman-richard-new-york-the-movie-lovers-guideClassic film and TV locations: Marilyn Monroe’s infamous Seven Year Itch subway grating; the deli where Meg Ryan famously faked an orgasm in When Harry Met Sally; the diner where Courtney Cox (in Friends) and Kirsten Dunst (in Spider-Man) waitressed; Men in Black’s Manhattan headquarters; The Godfather mansion on Staten Island; the Greenwich apartment where Jack Nicholson terrorized Greg Kinnear in As Good As It Gets; Ghostbusters’ TriBeCa firehouse; Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Palthrow A Perfect Murder palazzo; the landmark West Side Story building that housed Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky and Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby; the Greenwich apartment of Friends; Will & Grace’s Upper West Side building; the All in the Family block in Queens; The Sopranos’ New Jersey mansion (and the real Bada Bing club); Seinfeld’s favorite diner; Sex and the City sexiest haunts; and many more.

Stars’ childhood homes: Lena Horne’s Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse; Frank Sinatra’s Hoboken row house; Barbra Streisand’s Flatbush house project; Jennifer Lopez’s Bronx block; Humphrey Bogart’s Upper West Side tenement; The Marx Brothers’ Upper East Side brownstone…

Apartments and townhouses of the silver screen’s greatest legends: Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, James Dean, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Rita Hayworth, Rock Hudson…

Plus: superstar cemeteries, major film and TV studios, historic movie palaces and Broadway theatres, star-studded restaurants and legendary hotels…

Softcover – 512 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 12,5 cm (7,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 625 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER Broadway Books, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-7679-1634-4

The New York Times at the Movies (edited by Arleen Keylin, Christine Bent; introduction by Bosley Crowther)

Crowther, Bosley - The New York Times at the MoviesWhat did some of the most respected film critics of all time – Frank Nugent, Mordaunt Hall, Bosley Crowther, and Vincent Canby – have to say about popular films when they were first released? The New York Times at the Movies contains the original reviews of over 150 film classics. These perceptive and professional reviews of 64 years of film favorites appear together with the original movie ads and hundreds of exciting photographs.

A screen full of treats, visual and verbal! From D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, the “photoplay” that thrilled audiences in 1915 to Superman in 1978 and Woody Allen’s Manhattan in 1979, the coverage in this book is – to use a stock Hollywood accolade – super colossal. “Miss Garbo is stunning in her early scenes,” reports Mordaunt Hall in his review of Grand Hotel (1932), “and the audience has seen manslaughter, gambling, a baron bent on stealing pearls, love affairs, a business deal and various other doings. And nothing ever happens!” In his overwhelmingly favorable review of Gone With the Wind (1939), Frank Nugent offers what, to us with the advantage of hindsight, is no surprise. “Understatement has its uses too,” he began, “so this morning’s report on the event of last night (the premiere of Gone With the Wind) will begin with the casual notation that it was a great show… ‘it’ has arrived at last, and we cannot get over the shock of not being disappointed; we had almost been looking forward to that.”

Bosley Crowther called them as he saw them. In 1942 he had high praise for Casablanca and for its stars, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. “In short, we will say that Casablanca is one of the year’s most exciting and trenchant films. It certainly won’t make Vichy happy – but that’s just another point for it.” The Big Sleep (1946) with Bogart and Bacall was not one of Crowther’s favorites. “If someone had only told us – the script writers, preferably – just what it is that happens in the Warners’ and Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep, we might be able to give you a more explicit and favorable report on this overage melodrama… but with only the foggiest notion of who does what to whom – and we watched it with closest attention – we must be frankly disappointed about it… and, by the way, would somebody also tell us the meaning of that title…” There is no doubt, however, what Crowther’s opinion was of the great Marilyn Monroe as she filled the screen in The Seven Year Itch (1955). “From the moment she steps into the picture, in a garment that drapes her shapely form as though she had been skillfully poured into it, the famous screen star with the silver-blonde tresses and the ingenuously wide-eyed stare eminates one suggestion. And that suggestion rather dominates the film. It is – well, why define it? Miss Monroe clearly plays the title role.”

The New York Times at the Movies is a delicious mixture of nostalgia and information. There is a security of recognition, particularly since Hollywood’s timeless films and larger-than-life stars now enter into the intimacy of our homes via TV.

Who can resist recalling Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart trudging through the river mud in African Queen (1952), Albert Finney’s orgiastic repast in Tom Jones (1963), Judy Garland’s never-to-be-topped Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Elsa Lanchester’s unusual hairdo in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Marie Dressler’s backward glance at a be-silvered Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight (1933), Alfred Hitchcock’s different perspective on our feathered friends in The Birds (1963), Charlie Chaplin’s parody of a famous world leader in The Great Dictator (1940), and Al Jolson in the first of the “talkies”, The Jazz Singer (1927). Orphans of the Storm (1922), A Night at the Opera (1935), Planet of the Apes (1968), Rocky (1976) – the tremendous scope of the silver screen over these many years is recorded in this wonderful book.

Relive your silver screen favorites, and the emotions they evoked – from the lump-in-the-throat thrills of The Phantom of the Opera and Psycho, to the hilarity of Blazing Saddles and A Night at the Opera. In reviews, movie stills and advertisements, The New York Times at the Movies captures the spirit of the films we fondly remember, and, perhaps, those we’d rather forget.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 216 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.020 g (36,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Arno Press, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-405-12415-5

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1896-1928, Volume 1

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.845 g (65,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1046-X

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1929-1936, Volume 2

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.820 g (64,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1047-8

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1937-1940, Volume 3

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.675 g (59,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1048-6

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1941-1946, Volume 4

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.685 g (59,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1049-4

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1947-1951, Volume 5

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.795 g (63,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1050-8

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1952-1957, Volume 6

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.720 g (60,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1051-6

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1958-1963, Volume 7

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.705 g (60,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1052-4

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1964-1968, Volume 8

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.855 g (65,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1053-2

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1969-1971, Volume 9

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.800 g (63,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1054-0

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1972-1974, Volume 10

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.145 g (75,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1055-9

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1975-1976, Volume 11

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.525 g (53,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1056-7

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1977-1979, Volume 12

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.465 g (87,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1057-5

The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film 1896-1979, Volume 13, Index

scannen0013The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film is a reprint collection of facsimile articles that appeared in The New York Times from 1896 to 1979. Due to the unavailability of actual pages of The New York Times, 35mm microfilm was used as source material. In order to enhance the appearance of the book and add appropriate illustrations, the publisher has taken the liberty of occasionally printing an article slightly out of chronological sequence.

Film reviews and obituaries are not included in any of these volumes.

Edited by Gene Brown, with Harry M. Geduld as advisory editor.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.440 g (50,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Times Books, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-8129-1058-3

The New York Times Film Reviews 1913-1931, Volume 1

New York Times Film Reviews 1“This collection of more than 16,000 film reviews, covering the years 1913 through 1968, is unique, the record of the growth of a popular art, written as it happened, sometimes with bland reportorial objectivity, sometimes with amusement and condescension, occasionally with moral outrage and concern, and often with surprising insight. It’s an extraordinary archive of names, titles, dates and plots, as well as of the points of view of the reporters who wrote in anonymity until October 6, 1924. On that date, The New York Times review of Ernst Lubitsch’s Three Women carried the byline of Mordaunt Hall. That Mr. Hall was the first film critic to be acknowledged with a Times byline had not so much to do with movies, which, by that time, had developed a complete vocabulary, as it had to do with what was happening at The Times, where reporters who were specialists were being given public identities.” – From The Introduction by Vincent Canby.

Hardcover – 787 pp. – Dimensions 31,5 x 23 cm (12,4 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.505 g (88,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The New York Times & Arno Press, New York, New York, 1970

Nicholas Ray: An American Journey (Bernard Eisenschitz; originally titled Roman Américain: Les vies de Nicholas Ray)

Eisenschitz, Bernard - Nicholas Ray

‘There was theatre (Griffith), poetry (Murnau), painting (Rossellini), dance (Eisenstein), music (Renoir). Henceforth there is cinema. And the cinema is Nicholas Ray.’ Jean-Luc Godard

Nicholas Ray was one of America’s most distinctive film directors. Works like They Drive by Night, In a Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar and Bigger Than Life reveal the psychic ills of the 1950s more than any other films of that period. Ray’s brooding pessimism and rebellious individualism reached their peak in his most famous film, Rebel Without a Cause.

Originally published in France, this award-winning biography definitively captures one of cinema’s greatest talents, and tells the story in such a way that Ray’s life parallels the crisis, upheavals and triumphs in American society in the twentieth century.

Softcover – 599 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1990 – ISBN 0-571-17830-8

Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director (Patrick McGilligan)

McGilligan, Patrick - Nicholas Ray - The Glorious Failure of an American DirectorFrom award-winning biographer Patrick McGilligan comes an eye-opening life of the troubled filmmaker behind Rebel Without a Cause.

Nicholas Ray spent the glory years of his career creating films that were dark, emotionally charged, and haunted by social misfits and bruised young people consumed by private anguish – from his career-defining debut, They Live by Night (1948), to his enduring masterwork, Rebel Without a Cause (1955); from the noir thriller In a Lonely Place (1950), pairing his second wife, the blond bombshell Gloria Grahame, with Humphrey Bogart, to cult pictures like Johnny Guitar (1954) and Bigger Than Life (1956). Yet his work on-screen is more than matched by the passions and struggles of his personal story – one of the most dramatic lives of any major Hollywood filmmaker.

In Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director, Patrick McGilligan offers a revelatory biography of Ray, a man whose troubled life was marked by creative peaks and valleys alike. As a young man, Ray personified the rambling spirit of twentieth-century America, learning from luminaries like Thornton Wilder and Frank Lloyd Wright; mingling with future legends like Elia Kazan, Joseph Losey, and John Houseman; and carousing with musicians like Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. Notoriously self-destructive but irresistibly alluring – to men and women alike – Ray empathized with the broken and misunderstood, a talent that allowed him to create characters of true complexity on-screen.

His youthful association with radical politics nearly killed his nascent film career – until a secret agreement to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities saved him. His tumultuous second marriage, to Grahame, was shattered after Ray found her in bed with his teenage son from his first marriage. He romanced stars and starlets, including Marilyn Monroe, Shelley Winters, Joan Crawford, and the teenage Natalie Wood, but never enjoyed a stable home life.

The triumph of Rebel Without a Cause, his masterpiece of teenage angst, led to a burgeoning partnership with James Dean, but Dean’s untimely death devastated the filmmaker, who fell into a spiral of drinking and drug addiction. Less than a decade later, Ray’s career was effectively over… until the adoration of European critics, and a frantic last-ditch burst of creativity, nearly restored him to glory before his tragic early death in 1979.

Meticulously detailed and compulsively readable, this new biography reconstructs the tortuous journey of one of the most enduringly fascinating figures in American film.

PATRICK McGILLIGAN is the author of acclaimed biographies including Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only, a New York Times Book to Remember; Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light, a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award; and Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast and George Cukor: A Double Life, both New York Times Notable Books, as well as biographies of Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Robert Altman, and James Cagney. He is also the co-author of the oral history Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist and created the highly regarded, five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 396 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979 – ISBN 978-0-06-073137-3

Nightmare Movies: A Critical Guide to Contemporary Horror Films (Kim Newman)

newman-kim-nightmare-movies“The horror film occupies a position in popular culture roughly comparable to that of horror literature. That is to say, it is generally ignored, sometimes acknowledged with bemused tolerance, and viewed with alarm when it irritates authority beyond a certain point – rather like a child too spirited to follow the rules that tradition has deemed acceptable for proper acculturation.

The problem with this position is that it is one of suffrage, begrudgingly given and subject to withdrawal when the nuisance factor becomes too high for the comfortable continuation of patronage. Like children, most of the macaberesques of film and literature content themselves with the kind of play that engenders indulgence rather than repression, limiting their activities to simplistic declamations that are easily dismissed, programmed excesses that secretly reassure parents with proof of potency, and adolescent self-mockery that reveals an ultimate loyalty to the status quo.

Occasionally, however, there appears a miraculous exception: the genuine article, an individualist whose stance is not merely an attention-getting pose, whose outrageous acts are more than a show of virility calculated to elicit favoured employment from the power élite. Such a person, if he is not broken by the system into a life of compromise and hypocrisy, is likely to become a revolutionary, a predicant, a renunciate or an artist. And of these last, some find themselves working necessarily at the limits of conscience, confronting the issues of our survival in the most extreme terms. These are the horror artists who, like the Picasso of Guernica or the de Sade of Salo or the Bosch of The Garden of Earthly Delights, can find no grounds for peace with the Iron Empire that governs us still. A man who realises that his house is on fire does not waste time adjusting to the situation, nor does he entertain any debates about social etiquette that may restrain him from removing the shackles before it is too late to save his family from burning. The message is loud, the subject clear: the crisis into which we have awakened as the millennium draws near. This book is not another armchair survey of the trite and trivial in a branch of commercialism manufactured by and for children; for that you would be better served by the fannish genre magazines with their sophomoric tributes to the masters of special effects. It is not about the mindless gore of horror-chic as it is purveyed in the trendily nihilistic market-place of the apocalypse. Nor is it about the quick fixes of titillation that fast-buck confidence agents are busy pandering as distractions from reality to ensure the commerce that depends upon our quiescence. It is not, in other words, about childish things. It gives no quarter to those who would keep us infants before the great tit of bourgeois media, but rightly disposes of them with swift and merciless disdain.

Instead it offers crucially balanced appraisals of those voices which deserve to be heard in all their subversive glory, providing a perspective by which they may be fully assessed for the first time. In place of obeisance and adulation, it evaluates with rigorous acuity, applying critical standards that have been evolving since the advent of cinema. This is a work of wit, intelligence and insight, written with protean energy in the face of the conventional wisdom that such films are juvenilia and so by their very nature inferior. Perhaps most importantly, it does not petition for the favouritism of special standards that point nowhere but back to the cradle.

It is also a readable, highly entertaining volume, as we would expect from Kim Newman, and I am sure that it is destined to provoke the sort of lively debate that can only help this field shed its puppy-fat and move on to the full empowerment of maturity. In short, this is an exceedingly non-trivial book, and I recommend it without reservation as worthy of your most careful attention.” – The Foreword by Dennis Etchison.

From Night of the Living Dead to A Nightmare on Elm Street, from Rosemary’s Baby to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare Movies is the definitive guide to the contemporary horror film. A new voice in film criticism, KIM NEWMAN reviews hundreds of famous and obscure horror films with a rare level of critical intelligence, irreverence, and wit.

Softcover – 255 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 19 cm (9,3 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 582 g (20,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Harmony Books, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-517-57366-0

Ninotchka (edited by Richard J. Anobile)

Anobile, Richard J - NinotchkaThis book is a complete and accurate description of Ernst Lubitsch’s Ninotchka (1939) in book form with over 1,500 frame blow-up photos shown sequentially and coupled with the complete dialogue from the original soundtrack.

RICHARD J. ANOBILE is one of the foremost producers of film books. He has edited several, including two on the Marx Brothers (Why a Duck? and Hooray for Capt. Spaulding!), three on W.C. Fields (Drat!, A Flash if Fields, and Godfrey Daniels!), and one on Abbott & Costello (Who’s on First?). Anobile pioneered the use of frame blow-up technique and his concept brought critical acclaim as well as a large public.

Anobile further strengthened his reputation when he co-authored The Marx Bros. Scrapbook with Groucho Marx. This bestseller is widely considered one of the finest records of American entertainment history.

Anobile studied motion picture direction and production at the City University of New York Institute of Film Technique. He is now preparing to produce feature films and writes a regular column for Argosy magazine.

Softcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 740 g (26,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Darien House, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-88201-007-7

Niven’s Hollywood (Tom Hutchinson; introduction by Peter Ustinov; afterword by David Niven, Jr.)

Hutchinson, Tom - Niven's HollywoodHollywood was David Niven’s, almost from the day he arrived in 1934 and enrolled as an extra. A contract with Sam Goldwyn was his ticket to stardom and an extraordinary life in what he called ‘Lotus Land’.

Tragically, Niven died in 1983, but he had already been delighted with a fascinating collection of photographs revealing the Hollywood in which he was so at home. These informal pictures show him and his many friends among the stars, directors and extras at ease and at work.

Tom Hutchinson knew Niven from the time when he was a rising star. His text brings the photographs into focus and he describes the Hollywood dream factory and extravagant,  carefree way of life of Niven and his friends – Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks, Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Merle Oberon, and many more. It was a way of life where everything the stars did was big news: the houses they lived in, the clothes they wore, the parties they went to, and, of course, their loves and lovers.

Niven’s Hollywood is a unique portrait of a vanished era and place in film history. It is also a tribute to a great British film star and author who, as his oldest friend Peter Ustinov recalls in his introduction, was the epitome of an English gentleman, a man of extraordinary courage whose warm, natural personality made him as much loved by other Hollywood actors as by the public.

Niven’s eldest son, David Niven, Jr., himself a highly successful film producer, adds a final word remembering his father with affection and respect.

TOM HUTCHINSON is at present film critic of the Mail on Sunday, Hampstead and Highgate Express, Photoplay and BBC Radio’s ‘Star Sound Extra’. He is a frequent contributor to The Guardian and Radio Times and is science-fiction critic of The Times. He is the author of Horror and Fantasy in the Cinema, and has written biographies of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 26,5 x 22 cm (10,4 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 875 g (30,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Salem House, Salem, New Hampshire, 1984 – ISBN 0-88162052-1

No Bed of Roses: An Autobiography (Joan Fontaine)

Autographed copy Roses to you. Joan Fontaine

Fontaine, Joan - No Bed of RosesAt age seventeen – unwelcome in the homes of either her father or her stepfather, and with only twenty-two dollars in her purse – Joan Fontaine was on her own.

Within six years she had launched a successful film career with Rebecca, and her Oscar for Suspicion made her the youngest leading lady to win the Academy Award.

Yet, as she reveals in this candid autobiography, behind a glamorous Hollywood façade her life has been marked by a broken home, harsh childhood, rivalry with her sister (Olivia de Havilland), four failed marriages, and the struggle to raise two children by herself.

Joan Fontaine is a woman who has been forced to rebuild her life not once, but many times, and her compelling story, like her life, is packed with adventure, wit, courage, and exuberant vitality.

She has charmed everyone – from Howard Hughes to Prince Aly Khan to Adlai Stevenson. She is a gourmet cook and an expert at needlepoint who also rides the hounds, loves fishing and golf, and pilots a plane.

Behind the movie star, here is an intelligent, fascinating, and very surprising woman.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 319 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 664 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-688-03344-X

Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder, A Personal Biography (Charlotte Chandler)

chandler-charlotte-nobodys-perfect-billy-wilder-a-personal-biography“‘Nobody’s Perfect’ is the line that most sums up my work,” Billy Wilder told writer Charlotte Chandler. “There is no comedy, no drama about perfect people.”

Film is the Cinderella Art of the 20th century, and Billy Wilder was one of its most legendary figures. When he died recently, Wilder left behind an incredible celluloid legacy. Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, The Apartment, Lost Weekend, Sabrina, and other Wilder films have become a part of our shared experience and collective memory.

In Nobody’s Perfect, Wilder speaks for himself, in what is as close to an autobiography as there ever will be. Charlotte Chandler, author of earlier authorized biographies of Groucho Marx and Federico Fellini, met Wilder in the mid-1970s and began a friendship that continued to his death. Over the course of more than twenty years, she interviewed not only Wilder, but many of the actors and other creative people who worked with him. The result is this remarkable book, a very personal look at one of Hollywood’s true creative geniuses.

In a life as dramatic as his films, Wilder survived World War I and escaped the Holocaust, though his mother and grandmother both died in Auschwitz. When he arrived in Hollywood, he found himself a writer without a language, a man without a country.

Wilder’s great gift as a screenwriter soon became apparent, as did his easy rapport with actors. As writer-director, he worked with such stars as Greta Garbo, William Holden, Tony Curtis, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Gloria Swanson, Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and Marilyn Monroe – most of whom were interviewed for this book.

He gave Garbo her laugh, Swanson her comeback, Holden his stardom, Lemmon a career, Matthau an Oscar, and contributed greatly to Marilyn Monroe’s immortality.

Actors from Wilder’s films talk enthusiastically about Wilder. Danielle Darrieux, the star of the first picture he directed, remembers him from 1933. Ginger Rogers tells how The Major and the Minor paralleled her own life. Jack Lemmon reveals how wearing a dress affected him as a man. Tony Curtis talks about what it was like to work with Wilder – and under Marilyn Monroe.

Chandler’s conversations with Wilder and others began when he was still a working director and continued through the time he was retired but didn’t know it. A man of the 20th century, Billy Wilder lived into the 21st century, alone from his time, a legend forever.

This revealing and vastly entertaining book is a wonderful, timely tribute to this great writer-director, a legacy of Wilder’s wit, insight and remarkable wisdom.

CHARLOTTE CHANDLER’s first book, Hello, I Must Be Going, was a national best-seller about Groucho Marx. Her second book, The Ultimate Seduction, included conversations with Mae West, Tennessee Williams, Henry Moore, Bette Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, and others. The Tennesse Williams section became the basis of a successful stage play, Confessions of a Nightingale, and The Penguin Book of Interviews selected her section on Mae West as one of the best interviews of all time. Her next book, I, Fellini, was selected as a New York Times notable book and has been published in more than twenty-five foreign editions. Chandler was a writer and producer of the Aaron Spelling / ABC movie-of-the-week, A Stranger in the Mirror, based on the Sidney Sheldon novel. She is a member of the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and is active in film preservation. She lives in New York City and is at work on a book about Alfred Hitchcock.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 664 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-7432-1709-8

Noerejev Als Valentino: Een Film Belicht (Alexander Bland; originally titled The Nuyerev Valentino Portrait of a Film)

Bland, Alexander - Noerejev als Valentino“In augustus 1926 stierf in New York de filmster Rudolph Valentino. Hij was éénendertig jaar. Vrijwel op de dag af vijftig jaar later, in augustus 1976, begonnen de camera’s opnieuw te draaien voor een film met zijn naam op de titelrol. De wonderwereld van de kunst had weer eens voor een merkwaardige wedergeboorte gezorgd. De sjeik, die een voor de vorm tegenstribbelend meisje dwars door de woestijn ontvoerde, was ten prooi aan soortgelijke emoties, maar droeg een andere naam. Rudolph veranderde in Rudolf, Valentino werd Noerejev. Op Spaanse grond beleefde een Russische Tartaar de reïncarnatie van een Italiaan in de rol van een Arabier. De vertolker van filmhelden was zelf filmheld geworden, een ster werd weer tot leven gebracht door een ster.

Het was een situatie waarin Valentino zich zeker op zijn gemak gevoeld zou hebben. Het beeld van deze eerste grote romantische superfilmster waart nog steeds door de geschiedenis van het witte doek: de man, die de hoogste toppen van de roem besteeg met alle voor- en nadelen van dien. (De Amerikaanse man, die zich bedreigd voelde door het succes van zijn exotische charme, sloeg terug door hem te beschuldigen van verwijfdheid en door praatjes rond te strooien over zijn impotentie.) Dit beeld: half held, half slachtoffer, triomferend, verslagen, soms aandoenlijk maar nooit meelijwekkend en gewapend met een uitstraling die door niets te beschadigen leek, vormde een voor de hand liggend onderwerp voor een film.

De film Valentino vond zijn oorsprong in Hollywood in de geest van twee producenten, Robert Chartoff en Irwin Winkler, die als partners gedurende elf jaar aan de wieg hebben gestaan van twintig films. “Ieder jaar weer werden we aan Valentino herinnerd door de herdenkingen bij zijn graf in Los Angeles,” zegt Chartoff. “Hij is de wegbereider voor een hele periode, hij maakt deel uit van onze legende en onze kennis, de eerste grote mannelijke, romantische hoofdrolspeler, de grote minnaar. Hij is nooit uit ons gezichtsveld verdwenen en zal dat waarschijnlijk ook nooit doen. We hebben iedere week informele besprekingen, Irwin, onze collega Gene Kirkwood en ik, en op een dag kwam de mogelijkheid tot het maken van een film over zijn leven ter sprake. Wat ons opwond was het idee van Valentino als de eerste persoonlijkheid die geschapen werd door het instrument van de massamedia toen dat nog nieuw was, en de tegenstrijdigheid tussen zijn eigen leven en zijn filmleven, tussen de echte en de fantasie – Valentino. En toen realiseerden we ons dat dit een legende was die begon tijdens het leven van onze ouders, bijna als een Griekse mythe die gisteren speelde.

En dus vroegen we Mardek Martin, een begaafd schrijver met veel belangstelling voor die periode, de nog achterhaalbare feiten te onderzoeken en een scenario te schrijven. De  geschiedenis ontwikkelde zich wel ongeveer zoals we hadden voorzien, een verhaal vol tegenstellingen, van een groot minnaar die eigenlijk zelf enorm in de war raakte door die rol, en die van een eenvoudige immigrant die onweerstaanbaar leek aangetrokken door glamour, zoals metaal wordt aangetrokken door een magneet. We wisten dat we een goed verhaal in onze vingers hadden. We klopten met onze ideeën, ons enthousiasme en met Mardeks verhaal aan bij onze financiers, United Artists, die al gauw net zo enthousiast waren als wij zelf en die beloofden ons te steunen. Toen konden we aan het werk.

De volgende stap naar het op gang krijgen van de productie was het vinden van een regisseur. ‘Eén naam schoot ons onmiddellijk te binnen. We besloten meteen dat Ken Russell de juiste man was om alle tegenstrijdigheden in dit verhaal uit te diepen en om achter de oppervlakkige feiten te gaan zoeken naar verborgen achtergronden. We kenden Russells films en hadden daar veel bewondering voor; voor ons was hij de aangewezen man. We schreven hem wat we bedacht hadden en hij stemde er ogenblikkelijk in toe deel te nemen aan ons project.’

‘Russell staat bekend als een moeilijk man dus ik was nogal zenuwachtig voor onze eerste ontmoeting in Londen,” voegt Winkler daaraan toe. “Maar hij nodigde ons uit om bij hem te eten en zodra we maar over onze ideeën spraken, luisterde hij gefascineerd toe. Er was vooral één scène die hem bijzonder goed beviel, een scène gebaseerd op de werkelijkheid, die zich afspeelde in de rouwkapel waar het echte lichaam van Valentino boven op een ijsbed lag uitgestrekt om het te beschermen tegen de New Yorkse augustus hitte, terwijl zijn familieleden, vrienden en aanbidders zich beneden druk maakten om een wassen beeld van hem. Maar je weet hoe dat gaat met films, het hele wassenbeeldenidee werd tenslotte losgelaten.'” – From chapter 1, ‘Een legende komt tot leven.’

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 24,5 x 19 cm (9,7 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 362 g (12,8 oz) – PUBLISHER A.W. Bruna & Zoon, Breda (The Netherlands) / Antwerpen (Belgium), 1977 – ISBN 90 229 7392 1

No Intermission: The Life of Agnes de Mille (Carol Easton)

easton-carol-no-intermissionsIf she had been “active in the court of Louis XIV,” wrote designer Oliver Smith, Agnes de Mille “probably would have changed the history of the world.” Indeed, Agnes did change the world – of dance. Pioneering a distinctive American style that combined elements of modern dance and ballet with a traditional folk idiom, Agnes popularized what had been an elitist art and irrevocably changed the American musical theater with her dances for Oklahoma!, Carousel, Brigadoon, and other smash Broadway musicals. Two of her ballets, Rodeo and Fall River Legend, are timeless classics.

No Intermissions is the first comprehensive biography of this giant on the American cultural scene. During a life that spanned most of this century, de Mille worked and played with a fabulous cast of characters, beginning with her family (her father was writer-director William de Mille; her uncle, the legendary Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille) and later expanding to include Charlie Chaplin, Martha Graham, Cole Porter, Noël Coward, Rebecca West, Anthony Tudor, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Drawing on unpublished papers and extensive interviews with friends, colleagues, relatives, and de Mille herself, acclaimed author Carol Easton takes us behind the scenes with Agnes de Mille – who was not only a dancer and a choreographer, but also the first woman to direct a Broadway musical, first woman president of a national labor union, bestselling author, and passionate advocate for the arts. She could be abrasive, stubborn, and rude – Jule Styne called her “a killer” – but she could also be loyal, generous, and understanding. Her staunchest critics acknowledged her courage and, even in the worst of times, her wit. No Intermissions illuminates de Mille’s struggles: to establish her reputation apart from the illustrious dynasty into which she was born; to survive a series of disastrous love affairs and professional catastrophes; to meet the conflicting demands of ambition, husband, and child; and, finally, to overcome a devastating illness. This evocative biography brings to life the inimitable combination of intelligence, artistry, and humor that was Agnes de Mille.

CAROL EASTON is the author of three previous biographies. She lives in California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 548 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 899 g (31,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-316-19970-2

Norma Shearer (Gavin Lambert)

lambert-gavin-norma-shearerShe was the personification of elegance. Throughout the twenties, thirties, and forties she was the most versatile actress at the most opulent studio in Hollywood. Without ever having appeared on stage, she inherited on screen the great Broadway roles of her time: Katharine Cornells, Lynn Fontannes, Gertrude Lawrences. No star worked harder to create an image of glamour. She was unfailingly attentive to detail, demanding that her costumes, her makeup, and, above all, her scenes, be perfect. By the time she was twenty-eight, Norma Shearer was MGM’s Queen of the Lot. On the screen she embodied sophisticated charm, and audiences adored her subtle balance of refinement and playful eroticism.

In this richly detailed biography we follow Norma Shearer from her obscure Canadian childhood through the days when she first made her way in silent films (despite D.W. Griffith’s and Florenz Ziegfeld’s pronouncements that she had no future) through her years of success – as she found her style – in talkies (Private Lives, The Divorcee, A Free Soul, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Marie Antoinette, Idiot’s Delight, The Women, and more than thirty other films). We see her play opposite the leading men of her day, among them Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone, Leslie Howard, and Tyrone Power.

We watch her first meeting with the small, fragile man she mistook for an office boy – Irving G. Thalberg, who became the crown prince of Hollywood – and her artful pursuit of him, the apple of every Hollywood mother’s eye. We follow their highly publicized, studio-sculpted, nine-year marriage – surrounded by movie-dom’s royal court, which included William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies, Anita Loos, Orson Welles, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Greta Garbo, Merle Oberon (Norma’s best friend and confidante), and David Niven. And we watch Thalberg and Shearer working as a team: he as MGM’s vice president of production, supervising forty pictures a year, meticulously shaping the perfect roles for Norma; she as the dream studio wife. We see her public triumph shadowed by Thalberg’s early death at thirty-seven (she was thirty-two), by her fierce struggle with Louis B. Mayer to retain her share (almost as great as Mayer’s) of MGM stock, by her difficulties in her role as mother to her two children, and finally by her battle from age thirty-five onward to remain, at all costs, the young, glamorous star.

Gavin Lambert, drawing on the reminiscences of Norma Shearer’s friends and colleagues as well as letters, diaries, and private papers from studio archives, has produced a fascinating biography of an extraordinary woman whose youth was the youth of MGM and whose story is the story of Hollywood in her time.

GAVIN LAMBERT is the author of seven novels, among them The Slide Area and The Goodbye People, as well as three works of non-fiction and many screenplays, including The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Inside Daisy Clover, and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 381 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 774 g (27,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Holder and Soughton, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1990 – ISBN 0-340-52947-4

Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be (Simone Signoret; originally titled La nostalgie n’est plus ce qu’elle était)

Provocative, passionate, whith that mysterious sheen that makes for star quality; intelligent, witty and involved in the social issues of her time – all this hardly begins to describe the French actress Simone Signoret.

Her story begins in prewar Paris, a time when Sartre was still teaching in a lycée and boys and girls were required to walk to school on opposite sides of the street. The war with its depreviations brings quick instruction in the real ways of the world: the ambiguities of political affiliations, the ways of coping with the invader, the realities of earning a living. She began her life as it was to be in the Café Flore, when it was the main rendezvous of the artistic and political life in Paris.

There are the interesting and amusing tales of the beginning actress, although it wasn’t long before some realized that those smoldering fires indicated a real dramatic talent. Very soon the story becomes studded with names of famous actors, writers, artists and directors. But this is very much a woman’s story so there are also her lovers, then focusing on the film director Yves Allégret, the father of her daughter. Soon there are more offers for films, and bursting onto the scene comes a tall fellow from Marseilles who is to be the man of her life, Yves Montand.

There are famous films – Casque d’Or, Room at the Top, to name only two – an Oscar, stage success in the French version of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and a growing involvement with Montand, in social issues. A fascinating trip to Russia, where Montand is very popular, culminates in a late-night supper with the entire Politburo in a private setting that shows Krushchev fairly well off the record. There is a trip to Yugoslavia and a private conversation with Tito. On visits to Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller become neighbors and friends. These are a few of the highlights.

In fact, highlights are the mark of this book. Simone Signoret’s version is hotly human, mordant, informed, courageous and dramatic. She lives a very full life and shares it fully.

A tremendous success in France – 600,000 copies sold in the first year, this book entranced people whose interest are political, dramatic and literary. It should do the same elsewhere.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 403 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 818 g (28,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 06-013986-2

 

Notes (Eleanor Coppola)

Coppola, Eleanor - NotesIn the Spring of 1976, Eleanor Coppola; her husband, Francis Coppola; and their children left California for the Philippines where Francis Coppola would film Apocalypse Now. Mrs. Coppola was asked to supervise a documentary film about the making of Apocalypse Now, and for this she scribbled notes to record the time, place and action. As the months stretched into years, Mrs. Coppola’s notes became an extraordinary record not only of the making of the movie but of the emotional and the physical price exacted from all who participated.

The production of Apocalypse Now has become a legend on its own – three years and millions of dollars spent filming in the Philippines; the destruction of the sets by a typhoon; leading man Martin Sheen’s heart attack mid-film; Marlon Brando’s awesome’s arrival, enormously overweight, to play the part of a Green Beret. The film itself became a drama of tension, passion, and catharsis.

With frame-by-frame precision, Eleanor Coppola brings us into the filmmaking drama to witness bizarre and spectacular sights: villages created and destroyed in an orgy of explosives; cadavers burning in piles; a giant stone temple built by 700 laborers and then demolished; cameras on dolly tracks floating away in a morass of mud; helicopters called off the set to fight in a civil war 150 miles away; a primitive native tribe whose members are brought onto the set and whose ritual ceremonies become part of the film itself.

Behind the scenes, other dramas unfold: Francis Coppola, taking great artistic and personal risks and suffering grave self-doubt; Vittorio Storaro working for a perfection in his cinematography that is extraordinary – and fantastically expensive; Martin Sheen reaching a point in his portrayal at which he and his character merge in a moment of intense emotion and concentration; Brando, the master of dramatic realism, attempting for the first time in his career a different style of acting; and Eleanor Coppola herself: observing; commenting; filming a documentary; acting as wife, mother and artist all at once; and struggling to maintain her control in the oppressive heat of the jungle and despite the inexorable demands placed upon her and everyone else involved – demands that will ultimately change lives.

As the focus of this remarkable journal turns to the author, Eleanor Coppola emerges as a woman of strength and complexity with human values that are rare in the film world of illusion. Her Notes take us behind the scenes of a motion picture as no other book has done, and at the same time brings us into a private world of exhilaration, pain, and dramatic conflict.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 533 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-671-24838-3

Notes on a Life (Eleanor Coppola)

Autographed copy To Leo, Best wishes, Eleanor Coppola. 2008

Coppola, Eleanor - Notes on a LifeEleanor Coppola shares her extraordinary life as an artist, filmmaker, wife, and mother in a book that captures the glamour and the grit of Hollywood and reveals the private tragedies and joys that tested and strengthened her over the past twenty years.

Eleanor Coppola’s first book, Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now, was hailed as “one of the most revealing of all firsthand looks at the movies” (Los Angeles Herald Examiner). Now the author brings the same honesty, insight and wit to this absorbing account of the next chapters in her life.

In this new work we travel back and forth with her from the swirling center of the film world to the intimate heart of her family. She offers a fascinating look at the vision that drives her husband, Francis Ford Coppola, and describes her daughter Sofia’s rise to fame with the film Lost in Translation.  Even as she visits far away movie sets and attends parties, she is pulled back to pursue her own art but is always focused on keeping her family safe. The death of their son Gio in a boating accident in 1986 and her struggle to cope with her grief and anger lead to a moving exploration of her deepest feelings as a woman and as a mother.

Written with a quiet strength, Eleanor Coppola’s powerful portrait of the conflicting demands of family, love, and art is at once very personal and universally resonant.

ELEANOR COPPOLA is an artist, a documentary filmmaker, and the author of Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now. She lives in Napa Valley, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 290 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 591 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Nan A. Talase / Doubleday, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-385-52499-5

Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman (Donald Spoto)

Spoto, James - The Life of Ingrid BergmanFor years Ingrid Bergman was called the most notorious woman in Hollywood – and one of the most shameful women of the century from her position as America’s most beautiful, admired and loved actresses, she plunged with astonishing swiftness and was, overnight, pointed out as an immoral woman – an “apostle of degradation,” according to one U.S. senator.

The cause of Bergman’s fall from public grace to national disgrace was her love affair in Italy with director Roberto Rossellini, to whom she bore a child out of wedlock while she still had a husband and a daughter in Hollywood. The scandal knocked all other international news from the headlines of the world’s newspapers in 1950.

Bergman’s life story begins with her tragic childhood in Sweden, then moves to Nazi Germany and later to Hollywood in its golden age. Arguably the most international star in the history of entertainment, she acted on stage, screen and television in five languages and won three Academy awards, a Tony and an Emmy. Even to the end, while valiantly fighting an eight-year battle with cancer, she continued to work and to earn honors and accolades, and her spirit triumphed with remarkable grace and courage.

Ingrid Bergman’s life story is as compelling as any of the women she portrayed in dozens of memorable movies and plays – an impressive list that includes Intermezzo, Gaslight, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Spellbound, Notorious, Anastasia, Hedda Gabler, Autumn Sonata and A Woman Called Golda. Whether acting the role of a saint or a sinner, Bergman found in her characters the extremes of her own passionate nature.

Bestselling biographer Donald Spoto, who knew her and had unprecedented access to her husbands, friends, lovers, directors and costars – as well as to her papers, letters and diaries – has written the definitive account of the consummate actress and brave woman. Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman is the epic story of a great actress who not only altered the shape of international celebrity but also significantly changed the world’s ideas about what a woman could be.

Here, then, is the life of a serious artist, a timeless talent, an independent spirit and, in the end, a brave and noble woman who dared to live the truth.

DONALD SPOTO, who earned a Ph.D. at Fordham University, is the author of fifteen books that have been translated into more than twenty languages – among them highly praised biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 474 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 942 g (33,2 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-06-018702-6

Now (Lauren Bacall)

bacall-lauren-nowLauren Bacall – role model and romantic heroine, movie star of five decades, two-time Tony Award-winning actress, a woman whose celebrity and glamour only increase with time. In her best-selling first book she told us the story of her remarkable journey from Brooklyn girlhood to Hollywood and Broadway stardom. In this, her spirited, straightforward, exhilarating new book she shares her experience of life.

This is the Bacall we have all come to admire – smart, funny, wise-talking to us openly, candidly. About work, its importance, its usefulness to her through the ups and downs and ups again of her career, its place in her life as a young bride, as a young mother, and today. About romance, about marriage, about loneliness… About long friendships (and how they evolved over time) with Laurence Olivier, Slim Keith, John Huston, and Leonard Bernstein. She talks about the driving impulse to make a perfect home… about the marriages of children, about being a daughter, a mother, a grandmother. About being restless, about letting go – of possessions, of expectations. About new beginnings (necessary or surprising or joyous) over the years – and now.

Reading her book is like talking to a savvy best friend who has lived deeply and is frank (and funny) about what she has seen, what she has done, and what she has learned.

LAUREN BACALL was born in Brooklyn. Her career was an all-American girl’s dream come true. Off to Hollywood at nineteen. Becoming a star before her twenty-first birthday in To Have and Have Not. Making a supremely romantic marriage. Solidifying her stardom with such films as The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, Key Largo, and How to Marry a Millionaire. Going on to Broadway triumphs, among them: Cactus Flower, Applause, and Woman of the Year. Writing her internationally best-selling memoir, and winning the National Book Award for it. Experiencing, learning, becoming the woman whose resonant and winning voice speaks to us now in her new book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 214 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 568 g (20 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-394-57412-5

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1994 (Harris M. Lentz III)

lentz-iii-harris-m-obituaries-in-the-performing-arts-1994Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1994, part of an annual series published by McFarland, includes the obituaries of 497 actors and actresses, comedians, dancers, choreographers, producers, directors, writers, cartoonists, sports figures who became performers, and many others – from the fields of film, television, radio, theater, music, dance, and all other branches of the performing arts. For each individual, the date, place and cause of death are included, along with a biography. Filmographies are provided for film and television personalities.

There are 269 photographs accompanying the biographies, all of which conclude with citations to major U.S. and British newspaper and periodical obituaries or notices reporting the death.

HARRIS M. LENTZ III, an acclaimed researcher and the author of numerous major reference works from McFarland, has incorporated his popular Classic Images column in this series, while greatly expanding the coverage (more people, fuller credits, more photographs, references to other published sources). Mr. Lentz is also the author of such other McFarland titles as Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits (in four volumes so far; Classic Images called it “an overwhelming work of tremendous reference value”; Library Journal said it was “unparalleled”; the American Library Association referred to it as a “vast collection of detail”), Western and Frontier Film and Television Credits (“exhaustive,” said Classic Images), and Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia (which the American Library Association chose as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1994), among others.

Softcover – 197 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 336 g (11,9 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1996 – ISBN 0-7864-0254-7

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1995 (Harris M. Lentz III)

lentz-iii-harris-m-obituaries-in-the-performing-arts-1995Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1995, part of an annual series published by McFarland, includes the obituaries of 580 actors and actresses, comedians, dancers, choreographers, producers, directors, writers, cartoonists, sports figures who became performers, and many others – from the fields of film, television, radio, theater, music, dance, and all other branches of the performing arts. For each individual, the date, place and cause of death are included, along with a biography. Filmographies are provided for film and television personalities.

There are 313 photographs accompanying the biographies, all of which conclude with citations to major U.S. and British newspaper and periodical obituaries or notices reporting the death.

HARRIS M. LENTZ III, an acclaimed researcher and the author of numerous major reference works from McFarland, has incorporated his popular Classic Images column in this series, while greatly expanding the coverage (more people, fuller credits, more photographs, references to other published sources). Mr. Lentz is also the author of such other McFarland titles as Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits (in four volumes so far; Classic Images called it “an overwhelming work of tremendous reference value”; Library Journal said it was “unparalleled”; the American Library Association referred to it as a “vast collection of detail”), Western and Frontier Film and Television Credits (“exhaustive,” said Classic Images), and Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia (which the American Library Association chose as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1994), among others.

Softcover – 208 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 368 g (12,9 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1996 – ISBN 0-7864-0253-9

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1996 (Harris M. Lentz III)

lentz-iii-harris-m-oituaries-in-the-performing-arts-1996Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1996, part of an annual series published by McFarland, includes the obituaries of 537 actors and actresses, comedians, dancers, choreographers, producers, directors, writers, cartoonists, sports figures who became performers, and many others – from the fields of film, television, radio, theater, music, dance, and all other branches of the performing arts. For each individual, the date, place and cause of death are included, along with a biography. Filmographies are provided for film and television personalities.

There are 318 photographs accompanying the biographies, all of which conclude with citations to major U.S. and British newspaper and periodical obituaries or notices reporting the death.

HARRIS M. LENTZ III, an acclaimed researcher and the author of numerous major reference works from McFarland, has incorporated his popular Classic Images column in this series, while greatly expanding the coverage (more people, fuller credits, more photographs, references to other published sources). Mr. Lentz is also the author of such other McFarland titles as Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits (in four volumes so far; Classic Images called it “an overwhelming work of tremendous reference value”; Library Journal said it was “unparalleled”; the American Library Association referred to it as a “vast collection of detail”), Western and Frontier Film and Television Credits (“exhaustive,” said Classic Images), and Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia (which the American Library Association chose as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1994), among others.

Softcover – 211 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 356 g (12,6 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1997 – ISBN 0-7864-0302-0

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1997 (Harris M. Lentz III)

lentz-iii-harris-m-obituaries-in-the-performing-arts-1997Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1997, part of an annual series published by McFarland, includes the obituaries of 493 actors and actresses, comedians, dancers, choreographers, producers, directors, writers, cartoonists, sports figures who became performers, and many others – from the fields of film, television, radio, theater, music, dance, and all other branches of the performing arts. For each individual, the date, place and cause of death are included, along with a biography. Filmographies are provided for film and television personalities.

There are 302 photographs accompanying the biographies, all of which conclude with citations to major U.S. and British newspaper and periodical obituaries or notices reporting the death.

HARRIS M. LENTZ III, an acclaimed researcher and the author of numerous major reference works from McFarland, has incorporated his popular Classic Images column in this series, while greatly expanding the coverage (more people, fuller credits, more photographs, references to other published sources). Mr. Lentz is also the author of such other McFarland titles as Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits (in four volumes so far; Classic Images called it “an overwhelming work of tremendous reference value”; Library Journal said it was “unparalleled”; the American Library Association referred to it as a “vast collection of detail”), Western and Frontier Film and Television Credits (“exhaustive,” said Classic Images), and Television Westerns Episode Guide (Big Reel called it “a considerable achievement”).

Softcover – 196 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 378 g (13,3 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1997 – ISBN 0-7864-0460-4

Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten (Edward Dmytryk)

Dmytryk, Edward - Odd Man OutIn 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee rudely interrupted the successful career and life of Edward Dmytryk, citing him with contempt of Congress. As a result, Dmytryk was fired by RKO and spent three years in England before returning to the United States to serve a six-month jail sentence and undergo a second round of hearings, during which he recanted and provided evidence against several of his former colleagues.

In this personal and perceptive book, Dmytryk sharply chronicles the history of a particularly turbulent era in American political life while examining his own life before and after the events universally called the witch hunts. He details his brief membership in the Communist Party of America, explaining his initial commitment to what he perceived as communist ideals of civil liberties, economic justice, and antifacism, followed by his eventual disillusionment with the party as it betrayed those ideals. He goes on to provide a fair assessment of what then happened to him and the effect it had on the rest of his life.

Dmytryk describes the activities, prejudices, and personal behaviors of all the parties enmeshed in the congressional hearings on communism in Hollywood. His reactions to other members of the Hollywood Ten and his recollection of conversations with them lend his book an immediacy that is not only informative but also absorbing. Most importantly, he does not uphold an ideology but rather presents the events as he perceived them, understood them, and responded to them. Dmytryk’s account is characterized by an openness born of a mature awareness of personal trial as history.

EDWARD DMYTRYK was the driving force behind some of Hollywood’s greatest films, especially in the film-noir genre. Dmytryk’s work on Crossfire (1947) earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He is also known for such films as Murder, My Sweet (1945), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), The Young Lions (1958), and A Walk on the Wild Side (1962). Both Crossfire and The Caine Mutiny were nominated for Academy Awards as Best Picture.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 210 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 571 g (20,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Southern Illinois University Press, Illinois, 1996 – ISBN 0-8093-1998-5

Off Camera: Leveling About Themselves (Leonard Probst)

probst-leonard-off-camera“The majority of these conversations with public artists of theater, film, and television were conducted at the New School in New York City over three semesters, from April, 1974, through June, 1975. The other interviews were conducted backstage, at the home of the person interviewed, or at his or her business agent’s office in Manhattan. The interviews in this book were recorded on tape in sessions running two to five hours. The audience at the New School asked questions in each session, and some have been used here. Many of the conversations continued long into the night after the taping. In some instances this was a second or third interview. There were no participants other than myself in interviews held outside the school, except for Martin Bregman, Al Pacino’s business manager, who joined briefly in that conversation.

I prepared for each interview by checking scores of items from newspaper files, magazines, books, and biographical collections. Occasionally, I sought out in advance persons who had been colleagues of the artists. As NBC drama critic, starting in 1960, I had seen most of the films and plays of the actors and directors and had worked with or followed the careers of those in television as part of my professional work.

For each interview I prepared as many as seventy-five questions, but discarded many as new questions emerged in the course of the conversations. The depth and range of questions varied, depending on the personal territory that person was willing to traverse. We had no agreements beforehand on questions to be asked, no prior warning or rehearsal. No question was answered with a “no comment” and none was ignored, although some deft defense mechanisms can be seen at work in some replies.

My intent in the interviews was to challenge each on his or her own ground, not to impose anyone else’s criteria, but to push each farther in the direction each had set. Also, I like to ask questions. No interview here is part of the promotion of a movie, play, book, television show, or of any product or outside project. Mike Nichols said when he saw the list of people in this book: “I see you’ve got the gang all here.” Each was selected because of excellence as an artist and because of the contribution each could make toward understanding the nature of the public artist.

No interview was postponed, no agreement for an interview, once made, verbally, was broken, no one was late for a meeting. Mike Nichols, whose tardiness is legendary, was on time. Marlo Thomas had been in bed with intestinal influenza for a week, but she came out into a black rainstorm and talked with vitality for more than two hours. A footnote to history of enological if not cultural significance: I suggested drinking wine during each conversation to introduce a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Also, I like wine. For the record, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman each decided on red Italian wine, Paul Newman brought two six-packs of beer. Elaine May sipped red French Bordeaux during the taping, but Sangria later, Shirley MacLaine chose ginger ale, Marlo Thomas – recovering from influenza – drank hot tea, Dick Cavett supplied large coffees, George C. Scott took cognac as an aperitif, Lynn Redgrave served tea in her minuscule kitchen, Mike Nichols had coffee served by a maid in his penthouse overlooking Central Park, Diana Rigg helped dispose of a bottle of red French Bordeaux, and Angela Lansbury, after rejecting a French Pouilly-Fuissé as “sour,” supplied her favorite California Chablis, chilled. Zero Mostel, Barbara Walters, Edwin Newman, Gwen Verdon, and Woody Allen settled for water or abstained.” – The Author’s Note by Leonard Probst, New York City, July 10, 1975.

LEONARD PROBST has been called “the dean of TV drama critics.” He has appeared on Today as a byline reporter on the arts, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, TV Guide, and the Village Voice.

[Interviews with Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Dustin Hoffman, Angela Lansbury, Shirley MacLaine, Elaine May, Zero Mostel, Edwin Newman, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Al Pacino, Lynn Redgrave, Diana Rigg, George C. Scott, Marlo Thomas, Gwen Verdon, Barbara Walters]

Softcover – 268 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 412 g (14,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Stein and Day Publishers, Briaircliff Manor, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8128-2473-3

Off With Their Heads! A Serio-Comic Tale of Hollywood (Frances Marion; foreword by Gloria Swanson)

“… [a] star-studded inside-Wonderland picture of Hollywood’s golden half-century… [a] panorma of Who’s Who in the film instustry.” – Publisher’s Weekly

When young Frances Marion first arrived in Los Angeles in 1913 to paint theatrical posters for Oliver Morosco, the city was – in her view – scarcely more than a provincial town. “No Jews, actors, or dogs allowed” was the edict above numerous apartment rentals signs. The actors the signs referred to where those in the “flickers,” Morosco informed her, “resented by large groups of people, mostly churchgoers, who are forming committees to keep these ragtags and bobtails off the streets and out of our parks.” Miss Marion made up her mind to finish her job quickley and clear out. Instead, nearly two years later, she signed a contract at the Bosworth Studio in a “drowsy little village called Hollywood” and began a screenwriting career that was to span half of a century.

Frances Marion is a legend in the motion-picture industry. She wrote the scenarios for many milestone silent movies, including The Foundling, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Scarlet Letter, The Son of the Sheik, Stella Dallas, and The Winning of Barbara Worth. One of the few writers who was able to make a successfull transition from silent movies to the “talkies,” she is noted for her screenplays for such classics as Greta Garbo’s Anna Christie and Camille, Marie Dressler’s and Wallace Beery’s Min and Bill, the all-star Dinner at Eight, and her Oscar-winning The Big House and The Champ.

In the course of her long and colorful career, Frances Marion knew all the greats of Hollyood’s golden years – both the stars and the tycoons of a fabulous never-to-be-forgotten era, and her book is filled with entertaining anecdotes and personal reminiscences. As Gloria Swanson says, in her introduction, “No one will be able to think about a place and time called Hollywood in quite the same way again after reading Off With Their Heads! For the bittersweet story of Judy Garland, Frances has written the indispensable scenes. In the Jean Harlow – Paul Bern mystery, Frances provides the shattering clue. Mary and Doug, Hedda and Louella, Carole and Clark, Marion Davies and W.R. Hearst, Lillian Gish, Valentino, Marie Dressler, Marlene Dietrich, Anita Loos – here they are as they were, as we knew them… [Frances Marion] was part of our lives. She is till there, bless her stout little heart. When you’ve finished her lovely book, you’ll understand why.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 356 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 775 g (27,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The McMillan Company, New York, New York, 1972

 

O.K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors (edited by Luc Sante, Melissa Holbrook Pierson)

Sante, Luc & Holbrook Pierson, Melissa - OK You Mugs“There have always been actors who are so irreducibly themselves they can be inserted anywhere. A few of these are stars, but most fall under that near-euphemistic heading of “character actors.” They are selected for their roles because they are not gorgeous enough for the leads, or because their noses have been broken one too many times, or because teenage acne and a Bronx upbringing have left unexpungeable marks. In short, they are real… They are second leads, professional villains, period specialists, reaction-shot specialists, double-take artists, actors who get hauled in whenever the script calls for a judge or a bookie or a society matron, actors who are foxes (they do too many things well to leave a specific impression), and actors who are hedgehogs (they can do only one thing, but they’ve cornered the market on it)… This is what keeps us coming back, hoping they will keep coming back.” – From The Preface by Luc Sante and Melissa Holbrook Pierson.

O.K. You Mugs is a smart and stylish anthology of original writings on character  actors – some famous, others not – who have left indelible marks on the movies and on our imaginations. Geoffrey O’Brien on Dana Andrews, Patti Smith on Jeanne Moreau, Robert Polito on Barbara Payton, Charles Simic on Gene Tierney, Mark Rudman on Jean Arthur, Ginny Dougary on Elizabeth Taylor, John Updike on Doris Day, Patricia Storace on Madhur Jaffrey, Dave Hickey on Robert Mitchum, Jacqueline Carey on Margaret Dumont, Greil Marcus on J. T. Walsh, Linda Yablonsky on Thelma Ritter – these are only a few of the twenty-six pairings of writer and actor included here. each one wickedly insightful and warmly appreciative. As Luc Sante (who profiles a “rogues’ gallery” that includes Leo G. Carroll, Wallace Beery, and Nick Adams) and Melissa Holbrook Pierson (whose subject is Warren Oates) write in their preface, “As they reappear in one film and then another, it is as if they are returning in our very dreams: these characters take on character.” In these lively and provocative essays, we are reminded in new and revelatory ways about what made these actors live so vividly on the screen. Wonderfully engaging, OK You Mugs is a singular contribution to the literature of film history and appreciation.

LUC SANTE is the author of The Factory of Facts and Low Life (both available from Vintage Books) and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. MELISSA HOLBROOK PIERSON is the author of The Perfect Vehicle. They live in Brooklyn, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 284 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 14,5 cm (7,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 429 g (15,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-375-40101-6

Oliver Stone: The Making Of His Movies (Chris Salewicz)

Salewicz, Chris - Oliver StoneOliver Stone is one of the most charismatic, unpredictable and talented writer / directors to emerge in the last twenty years. Applauded for Platoon and derided for Natural Born Killers, his individual and uncompromising style sets him apart. Chris Salewicz spent two months talking with Oliver Stone getting the inside stories of 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 Stone’s movies, including a full list of credits for each film, to he 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 director 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.

Oliver Stone is one of the few directors working in Hollywood whose movies still surprise and shock. He has received great critical acclaim and a cabinet of Oscars for such films as Platoon, Wall Street and Born on the 4th of July. Equally he has attracted the opprobrium of the press and his peers with others, notably Natural Born Killers. Whatever the reaction, few would argue that he is one of the most talented and individual filmmakers to have emerged in the last twenty years. As a director he is blunt and perfectionist, but his style on screen is very much tailored to the subject matter and the script: it is difficult to characterize the look of a Stone movie. So what is it that makes Stone tick? What motivates him to take on a movie? How does Stone approach the script and decide what he wants up there on the screen?

CHRIS SALEWICZ first met Oliver Stone in the late 1980s when presenting a film programme for MTV. He has written for The Sunday Times Independent and The Face as well as scripts and books including biographies of Paul McCartney, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 143 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 14 cm (7,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 343 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Orion Media, London, 1997 – ISBN 0-75281-039-1

On Being Funny: Woody Allen & Comedy (Eric Lax)

lax-eric-on-being-funny-woody-allen-comedyWoody Allen at work, on location: here is the essence of his works including scripts and scenes from his films.

Woody Allen on stage: “I was kidnapped once. I was standing in front of my school yard and a black sedan pulls up and two guys get out and they say to me, do I want to go away with them to a land where everybody is fairies and elves and I can have all the comic books I want, and chocolate buttons, and wax lips, you know. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And I got into the car with them, ’cause I figured, what the hell, I was home anyhow that weekend from college.”

The options for endings in comedy are limited, yet in comedy, perhaps more than in any other kind of film, a good ending is crucial. A particular problem of Woody’s is finding appropriate endings for his films.

ERIC LAX follows the development of a shy teenager who started out with an appreciate high school audience, graduated to writing jokes for columnists. and ended up a star. Lax demonstrates how Allen’s subsequent refusal to limit himself to any single shtick, his insistence on being a comic polymath who writes for the New Yorker one day and directs a film the next, is the essential element of genius. Woody Allen is observed at close range, caught in moments of reflection in fast food outfits, in hotel rooms, in his apartment. during jazz sessions, while performing, and on movie locations. He has managed to capture the essence of this extraordinary man in all his motions, complexity and wit.

Softcover – 242 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 138 g (4,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Manor Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-532-19131-6

On Cukor (Gavin Lambert)

Lamberrt, Gavin - On CukorIn an unusually candid series of taped interviews with Lambert in the early 1970s, one of Hollywood’s finest directors shared some revealing and intimate thoughts on his craft. He discussed his most famous films, including What Price Hollywood?, Dinner at Eight, Little Women, David Copperfield, Camille, Holiday, The Women, The Philadelphia Story, Gaslight, Adam’s Rib, Pat and Mike, The Marrying Kind, It Should Happen to You, A Star Is Born, and My Fair Lady.

In this fascinating text, George Cukor recalled Hollywood as it evolved during his lifetime, the movies he wanted (but was never able) to make, and the movie (Gone With the Wind) from which he was fired. He sketched vivid portraits of personal friends and professional colleagues, such as Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankhead, David O. Selznick, Vivien Leigh, Somerset Maugham, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Cecil Beaton, and many others. And this great survivor signed off with memorable advice on how to remain sane despite the humiliating reversals that fifty years of Hollywood filmmaking inevitably entails.

“There will be other studies of George Cukor, but Lambert’s will not be supplanted,” The Los Angeles Times correctly predicted when On Cukor was first published in 1972. Indeed, this rich and glorious portrait remains a seminal work about one of the film industry’s true creative geniuses.

Softcover – 276 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 483 g (17,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Capricorn Books, New York, New York, 1973 – SBN 399-50283-1

One from the Hart: A Memoir (Stefanie Powers)

Autographed copy To Leo, Stefanie Powers

Powers, Stefanie - One From the HartAn award-winning actress renowned for her television, screen and stage roles, a natural beauty groomed for show business at an early age, and an internationally recognized animal conservationist… Stefanie Powers has conquered Hollywood’s cultural shifts and her own personal challenges with resilience, self-effacing humor, and uncommon grace. Perhaps best remembered as the sexy secret agent April Dancer in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and the jet-setting, crime-solving wife of Robert Wagner in Hart to Hart, for which she received five Emmy Award nominations, Stefanie Powers began her career at the tail end of the studio system, a dynamic education in star quality and Hollywood history she happily admits was ‘one hell of a ride.’

In a lifetime peopled with celebrated dear friends and extraordinary acquaintances, no other had such a significant effect on Stefanie than Oscar-winning actor William Holden. In One from the Hart, Stefanie reveals for the first time the extraordinary nine-year relationship they shared, a transcendent love story that ended with his tragic death as a result of lifelong struggles with alcoholism. It was Holden who introduced Stefanie to a distinctive and enriching personal obsession: the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, where he worked to conserve endangered species in East Africa, long before the issue was popular. After his death, Powers established the William Holden Wildlife Foundation to carry on with his passion and his legacy to her. She built her own oasis on the foothills of Mount Kenya and lives part-time in one of the most magnificent landscapes on Earth.

This is One from the Hart, Stefanie Powers’s story of a resourceful, empowered, and atypical celebrity life, told with all the candor, wit, and wisdom that have come to embody the woman herself.

STEFANIE POWERS is probably best remembered as Jennifer Hart, the writer and distaff half of the sleuthing team in the long-running television series Hart to Hart (ABC, 1979-1984), a role she reprised in eight successive TV-movies, first on NBC and then on The Family Channel. Visit http://www.stefaniepowersonline.com

Softcover – 260 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 315 g (11,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Gallery Books, New York, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-1-4391-7210-0

100 Best Films of the Century (Barry Norman)

norman-barry-the-100-best-films-of-the-century100 Best Films of the Century presents the personal choice of Barry Norman, the leading TV critic and personality. Barry Norman’s choice ranges from the silent greats, such as The Birth of a Nation (1915) to the brilliant inventiveness of films like E.T. (1982). Amongst the best chosen from the UK are The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), The Third Man (1949), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Gregory’s Girl (1980); from France, La Grande Illusion (1937) and Les Enfants du Paradis (1945); from Italy, Bicycle Thieves (1948) and The Leopard (1963); from Japan, Rashomon (1951); from Hollywood, Gone With the Wind (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Each film chosen details the stars, the director, the director of photography, the musical director, the producer, the scriptwriter, the Oscar Awards for the year, and the film’s running time. In an introduction which is both lively and shrewd, Barry Norman outlines the history of the cinema and reveals the criteria by which he made his choice.

100 Best Films of the Century is a fascinating collection which presents and illustrates the many and diverse talents throughout the 20th century who have made the Silver Screen a magical world of entertainment, of information, of inspiration.

BARRY NORMAN is the highly popular presenter of the BBC Television film programme. He has written numerous books about films and film stars, including The Hollywood Greats and Talking Pictures: The Story of Hollywood. His novels include Have a Nice Day and The Birddog Tape.

[Alphabetical list of the 100 best films: The Adventures of Robin Hood, The African Queen, All About Eve, All Quiet on the Western Front, Apocalypse Now, Bad Day at Black Rock, Bambi, The Bank Dick, The Battleship Potemkin, The Best Years of Our Lives, Bicycle Thieves, The Big Sleep, The Birth of a Nation, Bonnie and Clyde, Breathless, Bringing Up Baby, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cabaret, Casablanca, Chinatown, Citizen Kane, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Dog Day Afternoon, Double Indemnity, Duck Soup, Les Enfants du Paradis, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Frankenstein, Genevieve, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Gold Rush, Gone With the Wind, La Grande Illusion, The Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations, Gregory’s Girl, Hannah and Her Sisters, High Noon, His Girl Friday, I Know Where I’m Going, It Happened One Night, It’s a Wonderful Life, Les Jeux Interdits, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lady Eve, The Lady Vanishes, Laura, The Lavender Hill Mob, Lawrence of Arabia, The Leopard, The Maltese Falcon, M*A*S*H, A Matter of Life and Death, Mean Streets, Modern Times, My Darling Clementine, Napoleon, Nashville, The Nights of Cabiria, Ninotchka, Oh Mr. Porter, On the Waterfront, Orpheus, Pat and Mike, Pather Panchali, Paths of Glory, Psycho, Pygmalion, Raging Bull, Ran, Rashomon, Red River, The Red Shoes, La Règle du Jeu, Richard III, The Seven Samurai, The Seventh Seal, Shane, Singin’ in the Rain, Sleeper, Some Like It Hot, Stagecoach, La Strada, Sunset Boulevard, Taxi Driver, The Thief of Baghdad, The Third Man, The Thirty-Nine Steps, To Be or Not to Be, Top Hat, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Whiskey Galore, The Wild Bunch, Wild Strawberries, The Wizard of Oz, Z]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 276 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 698 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Chapmans Publishers, Ltd., London, 1992 – ISBN 1-85592-577-X

170 Years of Show Business (Kate Mostel, Madeline Gilford, Jack Gilford, Zero Mostel)

Autographed copy Madeline Gilford, Kate Mostel

Mostel, Kate - 170 Years of ShowbusinessIn her introduction to this book, Madeline Gilford writes: “Between us, Kate and Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford and I have logged about 170 years in that crazy world called show business. We’ve known each other for a long time. We’ve worked together, we’ve gone to lots of parties together, we’ve shared some of the good times and some of the very bad times… In short, we’ve shared so much that we’ve got about a million stories about ourselves and the fascinating, amusing and exasperating people we’ve known.

One day… I decided we should put all those stories together in one place, in a book… It wasn’t easy. Zero, for example, on hearing my idea, said, ‘That Madeline Gilford is a menace.’ He would growl and complain… but after he read the first pages, he declared himself ‘in.’ In fact, he made a little writing room for Kate… and went to search out the perfect antique writing desk. So Kate and I began to meet in the evening while Jack and Zero were at the theater, after which we’d consult with the men around the edges – at night after the performances, in the bathtub, over after-theater supper…”

And thus Kate and Madeline with Zero and Jack were launched into telling the hilarious and sometimes poignant story of their thirty-year friendship and of the many more years they all worked in show business. Then, as Madeline describes, “Suddenly, with no warning, our circumstances changed. On September 8, 1977, Zero Mostel died. For a long time none of us had the heart to think about much else – we certainly didn’t have the courage to continue with our book… But one day we all began to notice that a terrible noise was following us around. The uproar was terrific. It was Zero, of course – Zero growling down at us. It was embarrassing because he was not a man who said things delicately. ‘What about that damn desk I just bought you? You’re not using that desk!’ he shouted. Roaring, carrying on, right as usual, Zero got his way.

170 Years of Show Business is the result. It starts with Kate as a child performer and takes us through her career as a ballet dancer, a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall and an actress-comedienne. Madeline went onstage at three, specializing, out of a natural talent in doing things – not exactly wrong, but differently from the other performers. Her mother, who knew a good thing when she saw a bad one, would, for example, cut the elastic on Madeline’s costume panties so that at the right moment the child lost her bloomers and all eyes were riveted upon her.

Like Madeline (and Zero and Kate), Jack Gilford had a very determined mother. This unusual Brooklyn lady was both a practical nurse and a bootlegger. She used to cook up the home-brew in her kitchen, and Jack and his brothers would deliver it in her nurse’s bag, which, by chance, was exactly the size of a gallon of liquor.

Zero Mostel’s father was for a time in charge of the certification of Jewish sacramental wine in New York. Despite this, nothing was ever sacred to Zero. Throughout his life, wherever he was, Zero performed – restaurants, subways, street corners were his stage. Once he shaved his friend Sam Jaffe in Sardi’s, using as shaving cream the whipped cream off the top of Sam’s strawberry shortcake.

There were many other funny things that happened to the Gilfords and the Mostels along the way to such hits as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Sly Fox, Save the Tiger, Rhinoceros, etc. There were also not-so-funny things – mainly the blacklist and the terrible years during which these talented people were prevented from sharing their art with their audiences as well as from earning a living.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 175 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 556 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-394-41181-1

One Lifetime Is Not Enough (Zsa Zsa Gabor, with Wendy Leigh)

gabor-zsa-zsa-one-lifetime-is-not-enoughZsa Zsa Gabor, perhaps the most controversial, charming and free-spirited celebrity of our time, finally reveals the intimate details of her remarkable life. Beginning with her childhood in a small Hungarian town, she candidly tells of the triumphs, disappointments and struggles that led her to international stardom. In her own inimitable fashion, she fills us in on the joys and crises of her nine marriages – and the remarkable men who were her husbands, including actor George Sanders and businessman / hotelier Conrad Hilton. And, between marriages, there were the lovers – including some of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men: Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery and Richard Burton among them. Plus, Zsa Zsa openly discusses her many powerful and influential friends, including the late President John F. Kennedy and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Zsa Zsa has seen it all – from the Hollywood and Washington power parties to the sets of major film productions to the inside of a Los Angeles prison – and she tells it all.

Zsa Zsa’s warm and irrepressible personal style infuses every page of her book. And through it all she maintains her sense of humor, speaks candidly and demonstrates why she continues to fascinate. Simply put, One Lifetime Is Not Enough is a delight, bubbling over with all the scandal, glamour, wit and personality that is Zsa Zsa Gabor.

ZSA ZSA GABOR is an internationally known actress and celebrity who resides in Bel Air, California, and Palm Beach, Florida. Her previous books include Zsa Zsa Gabor (with Gerold Frank) and How to Find a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Marry a Man. WENDY LEIGH, who has a degree in English Literature and the Humanities from the University of Kent at Canterbury, began her career with the BBC. She has contributed to New Woman, Elle, Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times, Sunday Express and the Mail on Sunday and is the author of Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Unauthorized Biography. Wendy lives and works with her husband, Stephen Karten, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 668 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Headline Book Publishing PLC, London, 1991 – ISBN 0-7472-0556-6

One Man Tango: An Autobiography (Anthony Quinn, with Daniel Paisner)

Quinn, Anthony - One Man TangoAnthony Quinn’s One Man Tango is about a day of reckoning unlike any other in the rich life of the legendary actor, a day that leaves him to confront a lifetime of memories, wrestle the lingering demons of his youth, and defy the passage of his time on this earth.

The story hangs on a simple frame: Quinn is painting at his Italian villa when he receives a large packing box from his first wife, Katherine DeMille. He cannot bring himself to open it, afraid of what he might find inside. Instead, Quinn leaves the box unopened, wakes before the sun the next morning, grabs his bicycle, and takes off on a reflective forty-kilometer ride over the seven hills of Rome. It is to be, quite literally, the ride of his life.

Here Quinn rediscovers himself – a child of the Mexican Revolution, smuggled into El Paso on a coal wagon; sculpting his fathers tombstone as a young boy; studying architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright; preaching for Aimee Semple McPherson; learning his craft at the hands of Michael Chekhov, Akim Tamiroff, and the great John Barrymore. Along the way there are intimate reminiscences of some of Hollywood’s brightest stars (such as Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, and Orson Welles), and reflections on the author’s short- and long-term affairs with several of Hollywood’s leading ladies (including Carole Lombard, Rita Hayworth, and Ingrid Bergman).

And there are deliberations on the making of nearly three hundred motion pictures, spanning almost sixty years, including Quinn’s defining turns in La Strada, Lawrence of Arabia, The Guns of Navarone; the performances in Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life that earned him Academy Awards; and his visionary role, immortalized on stage and screen, in Zorba the Greek.

In One Man Tango Anthony Quinn revisits his triumphs and tragedies with wit and pathos, offering readers a disarmingly candid self-portrait of one of the most powerful, multifaceted, and expressive actors of all time. One Man Tango stands as autobiographical literature of extraordinary force, a distillation of a life as brave and raw and true as the man who lived it.

ANTHONY QUINN was born in 1915 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He began acting in 1935 as a means of improving his speech. He has worked steadily since. He paints in New York and sculpts in Italy, while continuing to make motion pictures all over the world. DANIEL PAISNER has collaborated on such best-selling autobiographies as Citizen Koch (with Edward I. Koch) and Exposing Myself (with Geraldo Rivera). He is also the author of a novel, Obit, and several books of nonfiction. He teaches journalism on the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 803 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Headline Book Publishing, London, 1995 – ISBN 0-06-018354-3

One Man Tango: An Autobiography (Anthony Quinn, with Daniel Paisner)

paisner-daniel-one-man-tango-2Anthony Quinn’s One Man Tango is about a day of reckoning unlike any other in the rich life of the legendary actor, a day that leaves him to confront a lifetime of memories, wrestle the lingering demons of his youth, and defy the passage of his time on this earth.

The story hangs on a simple frame: Quinn is painting at his Italian villa when he receives a large packing box from his first wife, Katherine DeMille. He cannot bring himself to open it, afraid of what he might find inside. Instead, Quinn leaves the box unopened, wakes before the sun the next morning, grabs his bicycle, and takes off on a reflective forty-kilometer ride over the seven hills of Rome. It is to be, quite literally, the ride of his life.

Here Quinn rediscovers himself – a child of the Mexican Revolution, smuggled into El Paso on a coal wagon; sculpting his fathers tombstone as a young boy; studying architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright; preaching for Aimee Semple McPherson; learning his craft at the hands of Michael Chekhov, Akim Tamiroff, and the great John Barrymore. Along the way there are intimate reminiscences of some of Hollywood’s brightest stars (such as Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, and Orson Welles), and reflections on the author’s short- and long-term affairs with several of Hollywood’s leading ladies (including Carole Lombard, Rita Hayworth, and Ingrid Bergman).

And there are deliberations on the making of nearly three hundred motion pictures, spanning almost sixty years, including Quinn’s defining turns in La Strada, Lawrence of Arabia, The Guns of Navarone; the performances in Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life that earned him Academy Awards; and his visionary role, immortalized on stage and screen, in Zorba the Greek.

In One Man Tango Anthony Quinn revisits his triumphs and tragedies with wit and pathos, offering readers a disarmingly candid self-portrait of one of the most powerful, multifaceted, and expressive actors of all time. One Man Tango stands as autobiographical literature of extraordinary force, a distillation of a life as brave and raw and true as the man who lived it.

ANTHONY QUINN was born in 1915 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He began acting in 1935 as a means of improving his speech. He has worked steadily since. He paints in New York and sculpts in Italy, while continuing to make motion pictures all over the world. DANIEL PAISNER has collaborated on such best-selling autobiographies as Citizen Koch (with Edward I. Koch) and Exposing Myself (with Geraldo Rivera). He is also the author of a novel, Obit, and several books of nonfiction. He teaches journalism on the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 832 g (29,3 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-06-018354-3

One Reel a Week (Fred J. Balshofer, Arthur C. Miller; foreword by Kemp R. Niver)

Balshofer, Fred J - One Reel a WeekHollywood’s glories and shames have been chronicled in all too many actor autobiographies, fan-magazine accounts, and publicist-inspired “inside stories”; but the early days of the movies, when they were shot in such places as Philadelphia or Ft. Lee, New Jersey, have been known only through stereotyped legends and journalism written from hearsay long after the fact.

In this volume two veteran filmmakers, who began as cameramen in the free-wheeling early years of American film, have put on paper what they experienced and observed in the years when the patterns of the industry were being formed. They have also checked their memories against contemporary records and co-workers, to give an accurate firsthand record of these exciting years.

Their careers span the crucial period from the beginning to the consolidation of the Hollywood industry after the introduction of sound. Balshofer learned to operate a movie camera in 1905, working for the producer (and sub-rosa duper of films) Lubin; he taught the young Arthur Miller, then barely fourteen, to help him. Becoming a producer himself, and one of the founders of the New York Motion Picture Company, Balshofer moved his company to Los Angeles in 1909, while Miller went to work with Edwin S. Porter, pioneer director of The Great Train Robbery. In 1914, Miller photographed The Perils of Pauline for Pathé. Later, in Hollywood, Miller photographed such outstanding films as The Ox-Bow Incident and How Green Was My Valley, and won three Academy Awards.

From the personal stories of the two men (giving in alternating chapters with a charming cross-cutting effect) emerges an intimate account of the infant industry: the ruthless commercial piracy taken for granted by all, the attempt by a small group of men to monopolize the making of pictures, and the methods used by the independent companies to survive.

Illustrated with many working scenes from early studios, and stills from the authors’ personal archives, this intriguing book will become an important source for any reader interested in film history.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 552 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Los Angeles, California, 1967

On Location: Cities of the World in Film (Claudia Hellman, Claudine Weber-Hof; foreword by Wim Wenders)

Hellman, Claudia - On LocationAnyone who has ever visited a famous film location knows the thrilling sense of déjà vu: the feeling of having “been there before” in the movies. If this is your first time, you’ll be surprised how powerful this can be.

On Location: Cities of the World in Film presents the behind-the-scenes stories of cities and their locations – both famous and mundane – that have featured in popular films. This richly illustrated volume with a foreword by director Wim Wenders presents eighteen cities and their world-famous films: from L.A. to Paris, Beijing, Sydney, Prague, Berlin and many more. Entertaining review-style essays introduce the films and provide exact addresses of famous locations, key information for any movie traveler. Original photographs of the movie locations as well as film stills depicting iconic scenes bring the descriptions to life, so that it’s easy to relive what happened where in each film. City maps point the way to the buildings, monuments, and city squares that were made immortal on the silver screen.

Whether it’s the London train station where Harry Potter boards the Hogwarts Express, or the Caribbean flair of Havana from Buena Vista Social Club, this volume, with its mix of movie stills and striking contemporary photos, offers a lighthearted, round-the-world tour so you, too, can go “on location.” Hit the Italian nightclub where Matt Damon and Jude Law partied Americano-style in The Talented Mr. Ripley, or see Rome through the eyes of the original Paparazzo in Fellini’s new-wave epic La Dolce Vita. Walk in the footsteps of The Last Emperor in Beijing’s Forbidden City, trace Godzilla’s trail of destruction through Tokyo, or accompany Muriel on the way to her dream wedding in Sydney. From nostalgic classics to contemporary box-office hits, certain movies successfully marry plot to place in a way that is singularly memorable. Traveling to film locations is an adventure that allows you to live powerful cinematic experiences all over again – even if it’s just from the comfort of your sofa.

CLAUDIA HELLMAN is an American Studies specialist and freelance journalist who works for various travel and cultural publications. She discovered her passion for film in L.A. and New York. CLAUDINE WEBER-HOF is an architectural historian who specialized in city history during her studies at Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. She is a freelance editor and journalist. Cornwall native and photographer DAVID JOHN WEBER chose city portraits as his focus during his studies with the New York Institute of Photography. His great love is shooting photo essays of the Alps, just south of his adopted home of Münsing, Germany.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 26,5 x 22 cm (10,4 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.100 g (38,8 oz) – PUBLISHER C. J. Bucher Verlag, GmbH, Munich, Germany, 2006 – ISBN 978-3-7658-1585-0

Only Make Believe: My Life in Show Business (Howard Keel, with Joyce Spizer)

keel-howard-only-make-believeHoward Keel (1919-2004) was a major star during the golden era of Hollywood musicals, although he is perhaps best known to the younger generation for his decade-long portrayal of Clayton Farlow on the hit television show, Dallas.

Keel was born in Gillespie, IL, the son of a poor and violent coal miner who committed suicide when Keel was a young boy. His mother moved the family to Los Angeles, where Keel began taking voice lessons. He was a singing waiter and travelling entertainer when Oscar Hammerstein II gave him his “big break” by casting him in the role of Billy Bigelow in the Broadway production of Carousel. After a three-year stint playing Curly in the London production of Oklahoma!, Keel was signed by MGM in Hollywood.

He made his American film debut in 1950, as sharpshooter Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun. Next came Show Boat, and, in 1954, his best-known film and personal favourite, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. His other notable films included The War Wagon, Calamity Jane, Kiss Me Kate, Jupiter’s Darling, and Kismet.

Only Make Believe is the frank memoir of a huge film star and a stand-up guy. Keel dishes on his experiences in Hollywood, his many leading ladies – including Esther Williams, Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Doris Day – and his rocky personal life, which included three marriages, several romances with Hollywood’s leading ladies, and a lengthy affair with Marilyn Monroe. His third marriage, to a young flight attendant named Judy Magamoll lasted from 1970 until his death in November 2004.

Howard Keel struck stardom early in his life, but saw his career fade after the big Hollywood musicals fell out of fashion. He struggled through a difficult childhood, two divorces, and a declining career only to become a bigger star than ever in his 60s, playing a character on the wildly popular television soap opera, Dallas. This is his story, in his own words, published for the first time.

JOYCE SPIZER is the author of seven books and teaches creative writing.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 334 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,4 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 680 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade, Fort Lee, New Jersey, 2005 – ISBN 1-56980-292-0

Only Victims: A Study of the Show Business Blacklisting (Robert Vaughn; foreword by Senator George McGovern)

vaughn-robert-only-victimsIn a dramatic change of role, the noted film and TV star has written a lively and incisive study of the House Committee on Un-American Activities’ effect on the entertainment industry from 1938 to 1958.

On May 26, 1938, the United States House of Representatives authorized the formation of its most controversial committee to investigate alleged subversives. By the late fifties the committee had succeeded, through its much-publicized investigations, in ruining the careers of a number of Hollywood and Broadway’s top writers and performers, who were blacklisted in a reign of terror that often pitted friend against friend, rumor against rumor.

From Martin Dies’ 1938 investigation of the WPA Federal Theatre Project through the Arthur Miller-Paul Robeson passport investigation, Robert Vaughn examines the far-reaching effects of the notorious inquiries on the industry as a whole. He concludes that the committee’s primary purpose was punitive rather than legislative and that probably the most serious damage done to the American theater and allied art forms was not easily documented – the loss of all the words never written out of fear of the committee’s activities.

A fearless, valuable, and readable revelation which will be widely discussed, Only Victims is essential reading for the vast and growing audience concerned with freedom of expression.

Probably the first person in his profession to publicly criticize United States’ involvement in Vietnam, Robert Vaughn spent the last half of the sixties defending that position in hundreds of lectures and debates throughout America. He was once described by Gore Vidal as the “factual William Buckley of the left.”

ROBERT VAUGHN, chosen as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1966, received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1970 and is a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. His show business credentials include nominations for both the American and British Oscars, the Photoplay Gold Medal Award as the Most Popular Actor in America, and his television series, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., was selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as the favorite TV show in the world.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 355 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 645 g (22,8 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1972

On the Other Hand: A Life Story (Fay Wray)

wray-fay-on-the-other-hand-a-life-story“Coincidence in life, or serendipity… or the stronger word, destiny, all deserve respect and in my case, appreciation: the events that led to the making of King Kong, the fortuitous timing of the completion of the Empire State Building, the fact that the producer, Merian C. Cooper, was in New York soon after and would visualize the ending of the film, all these combined.

What does it matter that many people think that King Kong was my only film? Again and again, I hear: “I saw your film.” “Your movie was on television the other night.” King Kong does not erase the fact that I did many other films, but it is a fact that Kong is the most widely known, the most enduring. And considering the improvement in tape and laser, it is likely to go on shaping and enhancing the state of wonder in young people and even old.

My own sense of childhood wonder has always travelled with me. And that has prompted me to look again at a span of time that began in the Canadian Rockies and took me on a journey sometimes wondrous, sometimes difficult, as all lived lives are likely to have been.” – The Introduction.

Softcover – 270 pp., index – Dimensions 19,5 x 13 cm (7,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 261 g (9,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1989 – ISBN 0-297-811808-8

On the Road to Tara: The Making of Gone With the Wind (Aljean Harmetz)

harmetz-aljean-on-the-road-to-tara-the-making-of-gone-with-the-windGone With the Wind is one of the most popular and oft-discussed movies of all time, but never has the story of the making of this Academy Award-winning classic been reconstructed in such rich visual detail as in this fascinating new book. Acclaimed New York Times journalist and award-winning author Aljean Harmetz gained privileged access to the personal archives of legendary producer David O. Selznick to uncover never-before-published treasures that had been stored away for sixty years. She pored over other, previously unidentified private collections of Gone With the Wind material as well, emerging with a wealth of fresh insights and images that reveal how three years of creative endeavor transformed a best-selling novel into one of the world’s most beloved films.

In a lively and absorbing chronicle, Harmetz makes the immensity of Selznick’s task come alive: How should Tara look? How should Scarlett O’Hara wear her hair? How could the dramatic burning of a city as large as Atlanta be captured on film? And how was Rhett Butler going to say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” when the Production Code of the day forbade the use of expletives?

The answers are found here, in photographs of Vivien Leigh in various wigs, in sketches for many different versions of Tara, in letters showing how Selznick threatened and cajoled the authorities for months over Rhett’s famous line, and much, much more. On the Road to Tara brings to light prospective casting lists; actual pages from original scripts and rewrites with the producer’s and writers’ notations; miniature sets; costume sketches with fabric swatches; finished costumes that were never worn; makeup tests; storyboards; matte paintings; architectural, technical, and construction drawings for false fronts that were as carefully planned as any actual building; personal snapshots – not just familiar publicity stills – taken by the studio’s staff photographer, Fred Parrish, of both cast and crew; and many of Selznick’s famous memos that record the indecision and inspiration behind the thousands of choices he made – and remade – up to and through the release of this epic film.

Lavishly illustrated, prodigiously researched, and packed with surprises, On the Road to Tara will thrill the many millions of dedicated Gone With the Wind fans, as well as anyone who loves classic Hollywood movies.

ALJEAN HARMETZ covered Hollywood for the New York Times for twelve years, and she continues to write for the Sunday Times. She is the author of two acclaimed books about classic films – The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM, which was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the 100 best books ever written on the movies, and Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca Bogart, Bergman. and World War II. Harmetz has also written for many national magazines, publishing articles in Esquire, Mirabella, and the New Republic, among others.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 23,5 cm (11,2 x 9,3 inch) – Weight 1.605 g (56,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-8109-3684-4

An Open Book (Ruth Gordon)

Gordon, Ruth - An Open BookIn this outrageous, captivating memoir Ruth Gordon recalls the lessons she has learned from her life’s many stages.

Her remembrances carry us from Quincy, Massachusetts, to Broadway to Hollywood to London’s Old Vic. Miss Gordon takes us to screen tests, backstage, and on tour; from success to failure to success – advising us, teaching us, and showing bravery, bravado, wisdom and damnfoolishness along the way.

Ruth Gordon: An Open Book is an original, freewheeling autobiography, filled with reminiscenses and Gordonesque philospohy.

What are the lessons of a lifetime that the marvellous Ruth Gordon offers the reader for life “off stage”? Something about the undesirability of facing facts; something about the usefulness of the veil; and everything about what it takes to be a visceral legend.

The book is not about Ruth Gordon, it is Ruth Gordon.

Cast of characters (not necessarily in order of appearance): Garson Kanin, Thornton Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Mia Farrow, Arthur Rubinstein, Fanny Brice, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Alexander Woollcott, Katharine Cornell, Guthrie McClintic, Tyrone Guthrie, Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt, Noel Coward, Ethel Barrymore, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert E. Sherwood, Edith Evans, George Cukor, Helen Hayes, Harpo Marx, René Clair, Felix Frankfurter, Somerset Maugham.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 395 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 557 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-385-13480-0

An Open Book (John Huston)

huston-john-an-open-bookHe is 74 now, the veteran of 36 films (as a director), 5 marriages and innumerable friendships, practical jokes, horses, love affairs and intellectual obsessions. One of the most admired, colorful and adventurous of all American movie-makers, John Huston has been the subject of many books and many stories, some of them true. Now he tells his own story, in his own way. It is direct, unadorned and complete – and perfectly wonderful reading.

Here is Huston on stage for the first time, aged 3, dressed in an Uncle Sam suit and popping out of a band box to recite 48 verses of Yankee Doodle Dandy with appropriate gestures… in the ring at 18, boxing for small purses, taking 23 out of 25 bouts (and a broken nose) before deciding against making a career of it… trying to paint… triumphantly selling his first short story to H.L. Mencken for publication in The American Mercury. We see him down and out in London saved by a lucky screenwriting job – and an Irish Sweepstakes win… acting in Greenwich Village… going to Hollywood to work for Jack L. Warner as a writer (the script was Juarez), then directing his first picture, the classic The Maltese Falcon. Here is Huston’s war, demanding and dangerous: combat filming in the Aleutians and in Italy (San Pietro, so powerful and horrifying that the Army first banned it, releasing it only on orders from General George Marshall), a picture made in an Army psychiatric ward that has never to this day been shown, and is now presumably lost.

Here too are 30 years of movies that brought him to lasting fame, from Key Largo to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to Beat the Devil to The Man Who Would Be King to Wise Blood. We see them as years of achievement, as much with life as an art, as much with friends (and enemies) as with professional duties, a dazzling tumble of anecdotes, self-perceptions, precise (and often touching) portraits of the people he knew and worked with: Louis B. Mayer, David O. Selznick, Jean-Paul Sartre (John Huston paid him $ 25,000 to write a script for Freud, then couldn’t use it – it was more than 300 pages long), Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn (their epic fight, at a Hollywood party, lasted a solid hour and cost Flynn two broken ribs), Carson McCullers, B. Traven, Orson Welles, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando… and dozens more. He writes of his love for Ireland, where for 15 years he owned a beautiful 18th century manor house and lived the life of a hunting squire: of his delight in animals (in a fascinating passage he describes how he personally trained an Ark-full of beasts for The Bible); of his exuberant self-education in art, in literature, in the making of movies.

An Open Book is alive with John Huston’s presence: his boldness and daring, the clarity and style of his impulses, the spontaneity with which he follows – and continues to follow – his dreams. His book is the man himself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 389 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 872 g (30,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Macmillan London, Ltd., London, 1981 – ISBN 0 333 310144 4

Opposite Attraction: The Lives of Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Godard (Julie Gilbert)

gilbert-julie-opposite-attractionThis is the first joint biography of Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, the most famous war novel of all time, and Hollywood screen legend Paulette Goddard. With exclusive access to the Remarque and Goddard archives, Julie Gilbert has created a seminal work that reveals the unknown and fascinating details about the lives of these two towering and sensual figures.

Following the overwhelming success of All Quiet, Remarque was forced to flee the Nazis in 1933. Though he escaped, his sister Elfriede would meet a horrific end. Always restless and haunted by his state of exile, Remarque moved between Switzerland, Hollywood, where he womanized and wrote screenplays, and New York, where he worked on his novels and dabbled in café society. The excerpts from his never-before-published diaries document his continuing anxiety about his work and the most intimate accounts of his affairs, particularly those with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo.

In the early 1930s, propelled by her own ambition and that of her mother, Paulette Goddard arrived in Hollywood, where Charlie Chaplin put her in Modern Times. Vivacious, glamorous, and shrewd, she married Chaplin and Burgess Meredith, starred in over forty films, and was linked romantically with John Wayne and Clark Gable. The list of her admirers was long, ranging from H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and George Gershwin to Anita Loos and Diego Rivera. Gilbert ingeniously traces the lives of Remarque and Goddard from their meeting in the 1950s to their marriage in 1958 and Remarque’s death in 1970, which set off Goddard’s tragic and shocking decline. This is biography and film history at its best.

JULIE GILBERT is the author of Umbrella Steps and Ferber: The Biography of Edna Ferber and Her Circle, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in New York with her husband, and teaches fiction writing at New York University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 540 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 974 g (34,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-679-41535-1

Orchids & Salami: A Gay and Impudent Memoir (Eva Gabor; foreword by Lawrence Langner)

gabor-eva-orchids-salamiEva, the beauteous junior partner in one of the world’s most publicized sister acts – the Gorgeous Gabors – has decided that it is high time to puncture some of the hot-air bubbles that have been bobbing rosily around her head ever since she and glamor discovered each other. It takes a wild and particularly Hungarian kind of courage to break through the Mink Curtain and reveal oneself as a shrewd and determined – albeit ravishing – professional. But Eva has done just that, and in this deliciously candid memoir she emerges as warm-blooded and real as the girl next door. (You should be so lucky.)

Glamour, Eva has decided, is a rat race. “You may be stretching your torso,” she declares in a burst of confidence sprinkled with paprika, “massaging your face, sleeping special beauty sleeps, only to discover that you need a long cigarette holder. Some men will swoon over a woman wearing hip boots and carrying a sack of dead mackerel, provided she smokes a cigarette in a long holder. This makes men happy and keeps them out of the poolroom. Such men don’t really like women, but they are crazy about cigarette holders.”

Eva Gabor and bathing: “I’ll never understand why anyone should take it for granted that I spend hours in the bubble bath when I get up every morning. I don’t even understand why anyone should take it for granted that I get up every morning.” Cooking: “Every time I cook, I end up by sending down to the delicatessen. If there are any virtues I will not attain, the kitchen is where I will not attain them. I use the word ‘cook’ in its broadest sense. I make only two demands of food: that it be dead and inside a can.” Women: “As for me, I’m glad I’m a woman. As grandpa used to say, ‘Always be satisfied with your own sex, or you’ll never be satisfied with anyone else’s.'” Men: “Fundamentally, the major thing that divides the European male from the American male is the Atlantic Ocean.” Agents: “In America children have agents instead of godparents. An agent is someone you can’t get along without whom nobody needs. (This sentence is a direct translation from the Hungarian.)”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 219 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 408 g (14,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1954

Ordeal: An Autobiography (Linda Lovelace, with Mike McGrady)

lovelace-linda-ordealLinda Lovelace has spent the past few years in hiding. The actress who made porno chic has been moving from one shabby rented home to another, living on the edge of poverty, trying to put distance between herself and the nightmare of her past.

The story of her life and what happened to her – what really happened – is a modern Gothic horror tale. The personal prisoner of a sadistic monster, Linda was beaten with savage regularity, hypnotized and raped. She was threatened with disfigurement and death. A gun was held to her head and a knife to her throat. She was forced into unspeakable perversions, sold to high bidders, passed from one celebrity to another. She was forced to perform for private parties and before movie cameras. She made Deep Throat under unimaginable duress.

Throughout this endless nightmare, she made many attempts to escape. Sometimes she was betrayed by friends and relatives, but throughout her ordeal, Linda did not lose her faith in a God who would someday help her to escape. Linda can tell us how it all happened. But only you can determine why it happened. Since her escape from the man who held her in thralldom, Linda Lovelace has married and is the mother of a small son. One day, she feels, her son will ask what happened to his mother… and she intends to have the answers for him.

During the past few years Linda Lovelace has rejected “comeback” offers for pornographic movies which might make her rich. She is searching for personal peace and a normal family life. The story of Linda Lovelace had to be told. She spares neither herself nor the widely known men through whose hands she passed. It is a story of our country today – our priorities, our preoccupations and our pricetags. It is a story that should concern us all.

MIKE McGRADY, a reporter and syndicated columnist (Newsday, Los Angeles Times) for two decades, has written many books. His columns from Vietnam won the Overseas Press Club award for best interpretive reporting. He received the Headliner Award for consistently outstanding columns and he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard. McGrady was the chief catalyst for the best-selling novel Naked Came the Stranger. His most recent book was The Kitchen Sink Papers: My Life as a Househusband.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 251 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,4 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1980 – ISBN 0-8065-0687-3

The Original Million Dollar Mermaid: The Annette Kellerman Story (Emily Gibson, Barbara Firth)

gibson-emily-the-original-million-dollar-mermaidIn the early twentieth century, a young Australian woman became one of the highest paid and most adored Hollywood and vaudeville stars of the day. Her name was Annette Kellerman.

Born into a musical family in suburban Sydney in 1896, Annette’s first love was performing. Yet when she took up swimming to overcome a childhood illness, she quickly found herself breaking records and beating the boys – and loving it.

When hard times hit, Annette and her father hit for England to seek their fortune. It was to be the start of a dazzling international career. After winning over Londoners with her death-defying swims in the Thames and the English Channel, she was soon wowing them at the Palladium with her trademark vaudeville act: a performance that included diving into a giant glass tank where she captivated the crowds with her graceful and athletic underwater ballet.

Hollywood beckoned and Annette quickly became the darling the silent film era, starring in the first-ever million dollar film, A Daughter of the Gods. She was soon a household name and dubbed ‘The Perfect Woman.’ Crowds queued for blocks to see her on the screen, men flocked to catch a glimpse of her provocative costumes – or lack thereof – and women thronged to hear her views on health and fitness.

Annette’s life was often controversial but always exhilarating, and was immortalised in the 1950s Esther Williams classic The Million Dollar Mermaid. Yet she was to end her days alone and penniless on Queensland Gold Coast, selling her old fur coat to pay the bills.

Strong minded and fiercely brave, Annette Kellerman high-dived onto the international stage, challenging preconceptions of how women should look, act and think, and capturing the hearts of a generation. Here, for the first time ever, is her extraordinary story.

EMILY GIBSON is a freelance writer, researcher, producer and playwright, as well as a keen swimmer. She was a key researcher and scriptwriter for The Original Mermaid, a documentary on Annette Kellerman’s life. BARBARA FIRTH was the co-ordinator of the Sydney Opera House Archives of Theatrical Memorabilia in the 1970s when she first met Annette Kellerman and acquired her personal collection on the Opera House’s behalf. Barbara went on to become friends with Annette and her sister Mipps, who in turn appointed Barbara Annette’s authorised biographer.

Softcover – 229 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 404 g (14,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, Australia, 2005 – ISBN 1-74114-432-9

Original Story by Arthur Laurents: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood (Arthur Laurents)

Director, playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents – author of Gypsy, West Side Story, Anastasia, The Turning Point and other plays and films – takes us into his life, and into the dazzling world in which he worked, among the artists, directors, actors and personalities who came of age in the theater and in Hollywood after the Second World War.

He takes us into his boyhood in Flatbush and his days at Cornell, where he learned to write plays, learned he was homosexual, learned what his politics would be as he organized support for the Spanish Civil War and protests against campus witch hunts (these undergraduate years became the basis for The Way We Were). He takes us into his days in the Army as a sergeant (in Astoria, Queens), writing training films with Irwin Shaw, William Saroyan, John Cheever, sunbathing with William Holden and competing to see which of them could outdrink the other.

Laurents describes a wartime New York City that was vibrant, eager and sexually alive, where he wrote for radio (The Man Behind the Gun; Lux Radio Theater). He confesses his methods for devising plots: make a list of twists and turns from successful movies, number them from one to fifteen, choose at random and link them up. He describes the writing of his first successful play, Home of the Brave, about anti-Semitism (later made into a movie about racism by Stanley Kramer), and writes about getting on with pals – among them Jerome Robbins (an imp who loved to play parlor games, the sillier the better; later he testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and named names), Leonard Bernstein and Nora Kaye, later Laurents’s lover and beloved friend, then a new star in Antony Tudor’s Ballet Theatre.

In and out of bed with men as well as women, in and out of success with his work, Laurents describes his Freudian analysis with Theodore Reik, who insisted he could “cure” Laurents of his homosexuality, and cure him of what Reik diagnosed as Laurents’s “selfishness” by being paid “ten percent of vot you make.” Laurents gave; Reik took.

We see Laurents going off to Hollywood, reporting for duty at MGM, then a “feudal domain, a prisonlike fortress behind stone walls”… driving up to Irene Mayer Selznick’s house for the first time and having a sense of déjà vu (he had seen it all before in MGM pictures of tastefully grand English country houses – “No butler but yards of maids”)… writing the script for The Snake Pit… Laurents playing volleyball and charades at Gene Kelly’s with lots of liberal talk and pot-luck meals… playing in Charlie Chaplin’s round-robin “Cockamamie Tennis Tournaments”… going for a Memorial Day weekend sail with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on a 125-foot yacht, Hepburn changing into identical spotless white ducks and shirts every hour on the hour with Tracy lolling in a chair, crocked the whole trip, and Hepburn patting pillows behind his neck… Laurents writing the script for Rope, a movie with three homosexual men at its center, just as he is beginning a long affair with one of the picture’s stars, Farley Granger, as well as an intense, complicated but happy collaboration with the picture’s director, Alfred Hitchcock… and being propelled out of Hollywood for a life in Paris when his agent, Swifty Lazar, tells him, “You’re blacklisted, my dear boy… the studio said you were too expensive before I mentioned money.”

Laurents writes about his return to New York and his smash hit play, The Time of the Cuckoo, with Shirley Booth, later made into a movie called Summertime with Katharine Hepburn, then into a musical (Do I Hear a Waltz? with music by Richard Rodgers, words by Stephen Sondheim). He writes about  jump-starting Barbra Streisand’s career by casting her in her first Broadway show, I Can Get It For You Wholesale (“There was one part available – a fifty-year-old spinster. Streisand was nineteen. She came in with her bird’s nest of scraggly hair and her gawky disorganized body, clumped across the stage, took her wad of gum out of her mouth, stuck it under the chair and began to sing; eight bars into the song, I knew she had to be in the show. I checked later, no gum”). He writes about the creation of Gypsy with Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim (Laurents to Ethel Merman: “Rose is a monster. How far are you willing to go?” Merman to Laurents: ”I’ll do anything you want”)… about the directing of La Cage aux Folles… and about coming together in a complex, fraught collaboration with his three old pals Robbins, Bernstein and Sondheim for West Side Story.

Funny, fierce, honest – a life richly lived and told.

ARTHUR LAURENTS has been the recipient of awards from the American Institute of Arts and Letters, the Writers Guild of America, the Golden Globes, the Drama Desk and the National Board of Review, and is an emeritus member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild. He lives in New York City and Long Island.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 436 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 783 g (27,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-375-40055-9

Orson Welles (Barbara Leaming)

leaming-barbara-orson-wellesGenius, artist, monstre sacré – Orson Welles confides to Barbara Leaming his most intimate feelings and recollections of a brilliant and tempestuous career. Here is a remarkably detailed picture of the private Welles – from child prodigy and young lion in Dublin and New York, to the succès de scandale of his War of the Worlds broadcast and a directing career which began with the legendary Citizen Kane, made when Welles was only in his twenties; from his affairs, carousing, and stormy marriage to Rita Hayworth, to his association with Roosevelt and aspirations to the presidency. It is a picture with an all-star cast, including Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Warren Beatty, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Margaret and Prince Aly Khan.

Interspersing the story of his life with revealing close-ups of her encounters with Welles, his friends, enemies and colleagues, BARBARA LEAMING has created a uniquely balanced and utterly compelling portrait of an extraordinary man.

Softcover – 578 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 13 cm (7,9 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 501 g (17,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Phoenix, London, 1985 – ISBN 1-85799-092-7

Orson Welles (John Russell Taylor)

taylor-john-russell-orson-wellesAt sixteen, he lied his way into leading roles at Dublin’s Gate Theatre. At twenty-three, he panicked a nation with his radio version of The War of the Worlds. By the time he was twenty-four, he had been handed the golden key to Hollywood as the new wunderkind, and at the age of twenty-six he made the film which has remained immovable at the top of the world critics’ polls for the ten best films ever made – Citizen Kane. Of course, by twenty-eight he was finished and out, but since his name was Orson Welles, that is only the beginning of the story.

JOHN RUSSELL TAYLOR examines the ways the Welles legend has been constructed through the years, and how his death has shattered some of the illusions created by his many friends, and by his equally large number of enemies.

Softcover – 150 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 13 cm (7,9 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 192 g (6,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Pavilion Books, Ltd., London, 1986 – ISBN 1-86205-127-5

Orson Welles: Interviews (edited by Mark W. Estrin)

estrin-mark-w-orson-welles-interviews“As far as I’m concerned, the ribbon of film is played like a musical score, and this performance is determined by the way it is edited.”

This book of conversations reveals the majestic mind and talent of Orson Welles in an exceptional array of interviews, profiles, and press conferences tracing the half century that Orson Welles (1915- 1985) was in the public eye. Originally published or broadcast between 1938 and 1989 in worldwide locations, these pieces confirm that Welles’s career was multidimensional and thoroughly interwoven with Welles’s persona.

Welles deflates the notion of the film director’s omnipotence, insisting that it is only in the editing studio that he possesses “absolute control.” With scholarly erudition, Welles revels in the plays of Shakespeare and discusses their adaptation to stage and screen. He assesses rival directors and eminent actors, offers penetrating analyses of Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight, and The Third Man, and declares that he never made a film that lacked an ethical point-of-view.

MARK W. ESTRIN, a professor of English and film studies at Rhode Island College, is editor of Conversations with Eugene O’Neill (University Press of Mississippi) and Critical Essays on Lillian Hellman and the author of numerous articles on film and dramatic literature.

Softcover – 228 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 424 g (15 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2002 – ISBN 1-57806-209-8

Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall of an American Genius (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-orson-welles-the-rise-and-fall-of-an-american-geniusPerhaps he is best known as the creator of Citizen Kane, the controversial masterpiece against which all other movies are compared. Today’s younger generations know him as the portly, bearded gentleman with the distinguished, resonant voice who sold Paul Masson wine on television. But few know or remember that Orson Welles has led one of the most unusual lives ever documented. Here, for the first time, is the entire, fascinating story.

A teenage prodigy, Welles earned fame quickly when he made the radio broadcast America has never forgotten – the infamous War of the Worlds. A restless, maniacally driven innovator, he has revolutionized the theater, movies, and radio before he was thirty. Welles’ daring sense of experimentation would forever alter the art of filmmaking, just as his creative use of staging and lighting “freed the stage” by opening up entire new worlds of production possibilities.

But life was troublesome for this witty, bold, ruthlessly ambitious young man. He opposed and satirized the powerful and rich on stage and screen and was ostracized from their world. He drove himself and his casts and crews mercilessly. Spending money in a reckless way, he was forced to continually seek funds for his projects. He married several beautiful women, including sex goddess Rita Hayworth, but his marriages and affairs with Lena Horne and Dolores del Rio, like many of his projects, failed due to his restlessness and distractions.

Orson Welles’ life is a saga that, until now, had yet to be told accurately and completely. Painstakingly researching through thousands of documents, letters, telegrams, and diary entries, veteran biographer Charles Higham has skillfully woven together previously undisclosed information taken from Welles’ private papers (that were sold to Indiana University in an attempt to raise money), studio archives, and interviews with dozens of Welles’ associates. He has uncovered the story of Welles’ mentally troubled older brother; his avaricious guardian, Dr. Bernstein, who became romantically involved with Orson’s mother; his alcoholic father; his grandmother, who practiced black magic; his ancestors, including John Alden of Mayflower fame; his love-hate relationships with John Houseman, Alexander Korda and Peter Bogdanovich; and his friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From childhood and the early acting days in Dublin, through Voodoo Macbeth, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, and his Shakespeare trilogy, to the present, Orson Welles directly contradicts everything the man has ever said about himself in print, while presenting the true story of the genius who revolutionized the world of stage and screen. The complete look at America’s greatest actor / writer / director is destined to take its rightful place among the classic biographies and books on film and theater.

CHARLES HIGHAM, who is portrayed as a character in Welles’ still unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind, is the author of numerous biographies, including the best-sellers Bette: The Life of Bette Davis, Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn, and Errol Flynn: The Untold Story. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 373 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 781 g (27,5 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-312-58929-8

Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life (Peter Conrad)

conrad-peter-orson-welles-the-stories-of-his-lifeOrson Welles was a metamorphic man, a magical shape-changer who made up myths about himself and permitted others to add to their store. On different occasions, he likened himself to Christ – mankind’s redeemer – and to Lucifer, the rebel angel who brought about the Fall. His persona compounded the roles he played – kings, despots, generals, captains of industry, autocratic film directors – and the more or less fictitious exploits with which he regaled other people or which they attributed to him. Hailed in childhood as a genius, he remained mystified by his own promise, unable to understand or control an intellect that he came to think of as a curse; and he ended his days shilling wine and performing magic tricks on talk shows.

Rather than producing another conventional biography of Welles, Peter Conrad has set out to investigate the stories Welles told about his life – the myths and secret histories hidden in films both made and unmade, in the books Welles wrote and in those he read. The result offers a fresh, provocative look at one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of film, taking us deep into Welles’s imagination, showing how he created, and then ultimately destroyed, himself.

PETER CONRAD is the author of numerous works of criticism, including The Hitchcock Murders (Faber, 2001) and Modern Times, Modern Places, which was chosen by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of 1999. Since 1973, he has taught English at Christ Church, Oxford.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 384 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 641 g (22,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber Limited, London, 2003 – ISBN 0-571-20978-5

Orson Welles, Volume 2: Hello Americans (Simon Callow)

scannen0009When Citizen Kane, his first film, opened in 1941, Orson Welles was universally acclaimed as the most audacious filmmaker alive. But instead of marking the beginning of a triumphant career in Hollywood, the film, still regularly voted the greatest ever made, proved to be an exception in Welles’s life and work. He found it increasingly impossible to function within Hollywood’s system. Project after project foundered, either abandoned incomplete – as with his ambitious Brazilian epic, It’s All True – or, as in the case of virtually every other film he made in America, being released in very difficult form from the one he intended. Finally, in 1947, he left America for Europe, where for the better part of twenty years he lived in self-imposed exile, occasionally and briefly returning to stage a play, make a film or shoot a television drama.

In close and colorful detail, Hello Americans examines the years from Citizen Kane to Macbeth in which Welles’s Hollywood film career came apart. It offers a scrupulous analysis of the factors involved, revealing the immense and sometimes self-defeating complexities of Welles’s temperament as well as some of the monstrous personalities whith whom he had to contend. At the same time, the book gives full weight to the almost bewildering range of his activities beyond Hollywood: his serious but doomed attempts to be a radio comedian and stage magician, his flamboyant and financially desastrous endeavor to revive spectacular theater single-handidly, his newspaper culomns, the political activities into which he so passionately flung himself. And, of course, the films, as they were flawed: The Magnificent Ambersons, Journey Into Fear, The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai. The thread that runs through this apparently incoherent blur of activity is an often frustrated engagement with his native land, its faults, its dreams, its popular arts, its history. But by 1947, he had said that all he had to say to his fellow citizens; it was Good-bye Americans for two decades of endlessly experimental and innovative but essentially European work.

SIMON CALLOW is an actor, director and writer. He has appeared on the stage and in many films, including the hugely popular Four Weddings and a Funeral. Callow’s books include Being an Actor, Shooting the Actor, a highly acclaimed biography of Charles Laughton, and Love Is Where It Falls, an account of his friendship with the legendary play agent Peggy Ramsay.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 507 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 804 g (28,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-670-87256-3

Oscar Fever: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (Emanuel Levy)

scannen0473Some of the big new winners at the Academy Awards were Russell Crowe, Bob Dylan, Julia Roberts, and Steven Soderbergh. They provided a lifetime of memories for almost everyone. The reason? The Academy Awards ceremony is the single most anticipated and widely viewed spectacle in the world, with one billion spectators each year. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the original edition of this book as “a brilliant social history” and went on to say that “Levy casts a klieg light on a previously unseen social biases.” Oscar Fever looks at the Oscar Awards in a fresh and comprehensive way, showing the important place of movies in our lives and the ways we all relate to them.

EMANUEL LEVY is senior film critic for Variety and two-time president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He is also author of Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film; George Cukor: Master of Elegance, and other books.

Softcover – 370 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 624 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER The Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc., New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-8264-1346-3

The Oscar Stars from A-Z (Roy Pickard)

pickard-roy-the-oscar-stars-from-a-zOver 700 movie stars are assembled in this unique encyclopedia – the only book to feature every actor and actress ever to have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. Each performer in the four categories – best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress – is profiled, incorporating wherever possible telling quotes from the stars themselves, amusing showbiz anecdotes and snippets of outstanding movie dialogue.

Informative and entertaining, The Oscar Stars covers nearly seventy years of Academy Awards, from the presentation of the first Oscars in May 1929 to the present day. In it the leading players rub shoulders with the supporting players, the known with the unknown. For the first time in an Oscars book, the nominees – the losers as well as the winners – get their due. Roy Pickard’s lively pen portraits are full of fascinating details that will surprise even the most devoted of movie buffs. For instance, which Oscar winner recorded the voice of HAL for 2001: A Space Odyssey but was then replaced because his voice was not suitable? Who was twice nominated for an Oscar and featured uncredited as a newspaperman in Citizen Kane? Who is the only actress to win four Academy Awards?

These and hundreds of other Oscar facts adorn the pages of The Oscar Stars. Everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Emma Thompson and Richard Burton to Tom Hanks is here to take a bow – a Hollywood story with a quite remarkable cast!

ROY PICKARD has written seventeen books on the cinema, including his best-selling The Oscar Movies (now enjoying its fourth edition), and had contributed to numerous film magazines and journals. He has been involved in many radio programmes, notable the weekly film magazine Cinema 2 which he wrote and compiled for over nine years. Among the host of movie stars he has interviewed are James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Glenda Jackson, and Gregory Peck.

Hardcover – 433 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 811 g (28,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Headline Book Publishing, London, 1996

The Oscars: The Secret History of Hollywood’s Academy Awards (Anthony Holden)

holden-anthony-the-oscarsIt is watched by more than one billion people in a hundred countries worldwide. It outstrips the global ratings for any sporting event or royal wedding. Tasteless publicity stunt or sacred ritual, it has become the measure by which the world’s movies are judged. And it is the glitziest night out in Hollywood’s social calendar – the Oscar ceremony. But what lies behind all the razzamatazz? How did it all start? Can an Oscar really make or break a movie career? Why have some of the industry’s most famous names never been honored? And just how far will people go to win the 13 ½ inch statuette that has become the Holy Grail of Hollywood?

In this definitive, behind-the-scenes account of the Oscars past and present, Anthony Holden traces the event from its foundation by Louis B. Mayer in 1926 to the present day, highlighting the landmarks in the evolution of a five-minute ceremony into a six-week jamboree. From the early days of the studios’ stranglehold on Oscar voting to Joan Crawford’s challenging the system in 1945; from the notorious Hollywood ‘blacklist’ to today’s apologetic Honorary Awards; from John Wayne’s shameless Oscar-grabbing campaign in 1960 to Brando’s public rejection of one in 1972, and from Jane Fonda’s ill-advised speeches to Liz Taylor’s well-timed illnesses, the author covers every campaign and personality involved in the business of winning the most coveted doorstop in the world. Tracing the political manoeuvres behind Oscar nominations, he also exposes the often unpalatable reasons why some movie greats – Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Richard Burton and Alfred Hitchcock among them – have never won an Oscar, and why others never will.

The Oscars symbolise Hollywood in every way. They have less to do with performance than with popularity, much to do with hype and political correctness – and everything to do with money. Yet while even Hollywood may blush at the wheeling-on of dying stars to provoke standing ovations and better TV ratings, it knows it has invented the most potent publicity gimmick that any industry ever devised for itself.

Anthony Holden has written both the ultimate history of the Oscars and a classic portrait of the movie world. The product of extensive research and in-depth knowledge of the film industry, The Oscars, with its detailed lists of facts and figures, winners and losers, is an invaluable movie-goers’ reference book as well as a hugely engrossing and highly entertaining read.

ANTHONY HOLDEN’s best-selling biographies of Laurence Olivier and Prince Charles have been hailed on both sides of the Atlantic as ‘definitive.’ Born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford, Holden was an award-winning newspaper columnist and editor before becoming a full-time writer and broadcaster. His journalistic career, from Sunday Times diarist via Washington correspondent of the Observer to assistant editor of The Times, was reflected in an acclaimed anthology of his work, Of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Princes. He is also an admired translator of works from the classics to opera, including Greek Pastoral Poetry for Penguin Classics and Don Giovanni and The Barber of Seville for Jonathan Miller at the English National Opera. Holden’s last book, Big Deal: A Year As a Professional Poker Player was praised by enthusiasts ranging from Walter Matthau to Salman Rushdie. Anthony Holden lives in London, where he divides his spare time between his three sons, Arsenal FC and poker. He is married to the American novelist Cindy Blake.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 766 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (43,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Ltd., London, 1993 – ISBN 0-316-90349-3

Other People Other Places: Memories of Four Continents (Dana Wynter)

Autographed copy To Leo Verswijver, greetings! Dana Wynter. Ojai, March 2008

Wynter, Dana - Other People Other PlacesIf you ask Dana Wynter her nationality, she’ll say British Passport, Citizen of the World. She’s lived all over the world, starting life in Berlin, born of a German father and a Rumanian mother. Memories – and a skein of adventures – began in Morocco where her gynaecologist father also cared for the favorite wives of the Sultan.

Then, at three years of age it was off to Edinburgh in Scotland, and kindergarten; then to school in England. WW II brought air-raid-filled years, with her convent-academy being flattened by German bombs. Moving to Southern Rhodesia after the war with her father and stepmother, she attended Rhodes University in South Africa. Drama school, work in the theater, and radio with Orson Welles, after returning to England in the early 1950s. Live television and a play starring Vincent Price (Black-Eyed Susan) in New York.

Brought to Hollywood in 1955, landing a seven-year contract with Twentieth Century Fox, and starring in films which include D-Day Sixth of June, The View From Pompey’s Head (Secret Interlude), On The Double with Danny Kaye, Shake Hands with the Devil, and the classics Sink the Bismark and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The highlight of Dana’s early career, however, was Playhouse 90 in the 50s “The Golden Age of Television” and the three 90-minute ‘live’ teleplays she starred in then, two directed by John Frankenheimer. Later she was a guest-star in over fifty TV series-episodes. Her own, with Robert Lansing, The Man Who Never Was, lasted only one season, “Having been torpedoed by the success of Green Acres opposite us!” she says.

Dana married in 1956 and the birth of her son in 1960, was and is “the best thing that has ever happened to me, he illuminates my whole life.” In the mid-80s she took up journalism; with her own by-line in the Guardian and articles in Country Living, Image, National Review, The Irish Times and other publications. Currently living in Southern California, life continues to be the great adventure that she first started at the age of three, including an eight-engine fire in her home on the mountain where she, six cats and sundry dogs were rescued by her son. Activism against cruelty to animals consumes most of her time these days, and hence she is donating the entire net profit from the first edition of this book to The Humane Society and the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

Softcover – 154 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 236 g (8,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Caladrius Press, Dublin, 2005 – ISBN 1-59975-242-5

Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King (Foster Hirsch)

Hirsch, Foster - Otto Preminger the man who would be kingThe first full-scale life of the controversial, greatly admired yet often underrated director / producer who was known as “Otto the Terrible.”

Nothing about Otto Preminger was small, trivial, or self-denying, from his privileged upbringing in Vienna as the son of an improbably successful Jewish lawyer to his work in film and theater in Europe and, later, in America.

His range as a director was remarkable: romantic comedies (The Moon Is Blue); musicals (Carmen Jones; Porgy and Bess); courtroom dramas (The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell; Anatomy of a Murder); adaptations of classic plays (Shaw’s Saint Joan, screenplay by Graham Greene); political melodrama (Advise and Consent); war films (In Harm’s Way); film noir (Laura; Angel Face; Bunny Lake Is Missing). He directed sweeping sagas (from The Cardinal and Exodus to Hurry Sundown) and small-scale pictures, adapting Françoise Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse with Arthur Laurents and Nelson Algren’s The Man With the Golden Arm.

Foster Hirsch shows us Preminger battling studio head Darryl F. Zanuck; defying and undermining the Production Code of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Catholic Legion of Decency, first in 1953 by refusing to remove the words “virgin” and “pregnant” from the dialogue of The Moon Is Blue (he released the film without a Production Code Seal of Approval) and then, two years later, when he dared to make The Man With the Golden Arm, about the then-taboo subject of drug addiction. When he made Anatomy of a Murder in 1959, the censors objected to the use of the words “rape,” “sperm,” “sexual climax,” and “penetration.” Preminger made one concession (substituting “violation” for “penetration”); the picture was released with the seal, and marked the beginning of the end of the Code.

Hirsch writes about how Preminger was a master of the “invisible” studio-bred approach to filmmaking, the so-called classical Hollywood style (lengthy takes; deep focus; long shots of groups of characters rather than close-ups and reaction shots).

He shows us Preminger, in the 1950s, becoming the industry’s leading employer of black performers – his all-black Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess remain landmarks in the history of racial representation on the American screen – and breaking another barrier by shooting a scene in a gay bar for Advise and Consent, a first in American film.

Hirsch tells how Preminger broke the Hollywood blacklist when, in 1960, he credited the screenplay of Exodus to Dalton Trumbo, the most renowed of the Hollywood Ten, and hired more blacklisted talent than anyone else.

We see Preminger’s balanced style and steadfast belief in his actors’ underacting set against his own hot-tempered personality, and finally we see this European-born director making his magnificent films about the American criminal justice system, Anatomy of a Murder, and about the American political system, Advise and Consent.

Foster Hirsch shows us the man – enraging and endearing – and his brilliant work.

FOSTER HIRSCH is a professor of film at Brooklyn College and the author of sixteen books on film and theater, including The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, A Method to Their Madness: The History of the Actors Studio, and Kurt Weill on Stage: From Berlin to Broadway. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 573 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 972 g (34,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-375-41373-5

Out of Focus: Power, Pride and Prejudice – David Puttnam in Hollywood (Charles Kipps)

Kipps, Charles - Out of FocusOut of Focus is the insider’s view of Hollywood. Not since Adventures in the Screen Trade has there been such a revealing account of power and influence in the studios. By telling the dramatic story of the rise and fall of David Puttnam, Charles Kipps shows how and why certain projects get made into films in preference to others.

When the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields was named chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures in 1986 and given a $ 300 million production budget, he promised to break every rule the Hollywood establishment held dear. He kept that promise and, in the process, alienated the entire film community. Never before had an ‘artistic’ outsider been given command of a major film studio. Puttnam’s appointment by The Coca-Cola Company, owners of Columbia, astounded the power elite of Hollywood.

No target was too big for the charismatic studio chief. Stars like Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray and Warren Beatty soon felt his scorn. Big budgets, famous stars and well-known directors were out. Huge hits like Moonstruck and a series of sequels which were to become the most successful films of the late eighties, were turned away at the studio gates, while completely esoteric features (one was filmed in Afghan dialect) were welcomed inside. But Puttnam, always available for an interview, soon became the media’s darling.

‘The Brits are coming,’ Colin Weiland had said. But very soon the Brits were going – it was a clash of two ways of looking at films and at life – the British versus the American. The Puttnam regime lasted barely a year. He left the studio as he had entered, in a swirl of controversy. Was he fired? Or did he resign?

In Out of Focus David Puttnam gives a full and frank account of his side of the story. Also for the first time, producer Ray Stark, Warren Beatty, and many other Hollywood insiders go public with their side of one of the most compelling film stories of the decade.

CHARLES KIPPS is features editor of Variety, the ‘bible of the entertainment business.’ Before joining the staff of that publication, he was in the music business and earned nine gold records as producer or writer. This is his first book. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 336 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 664 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Century, London, 1989 – ISBN 0-7126-3911-X

Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution (Richard Fleischer; foreword by Leonard Maltin)

Fleischer, Richard - Out of the InkwellMax Fleischer (1883–1972) was for years considered Walt Disney’s only real rival in the world of cartoon animation. The man behind the creation of such legendary characters as Betty Boop and the animation of Popeye the Sailor and Superman, Fleischer asserted himself as a major player in the development of Hollywood entertainment.

Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution is a vivid portrait of the life and world of a man who shaped the look of cartoon animation. While deeply engaged with his characters, Fleischer also sought ways to improve his art through technical innovation. Among the many patented inventions Fleischer created was his Rotoscope, a device that helped track live action on-screen and revolutionized the way animated characters appeared and moved.

In the 1920s, Fleischer and his brother Dave teamed up to create a series of Out of the Inkwell films, which led to a deal with Paramount. Films featuring their character Ko-Ko the Clown introduced new special effects such as startling combinations of live action and animation. In one piece, Ko-Ko emerges from an inkblot and appears on-screen with footage of Fleischer himself. As the sound revolution hit film, the studio produced shorts featuring the characters interacting with songs. The Fleischers involved jazz artists such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong, and the sound cartoons were a howling success.

In the next decade, Fleischer Studios produced the features Gulliver’s Travels and Mr. Bug Goes to Town and soon went to work on an animated Superman series, which won widespread critical and popular acclaim. In spite of its great popularity and success, however, the studio was abruptly closed. The animated cartoon industry was shocked, and the event went unexplained for many years. Now, Max’s son Richard has at last solved the mystery of the shuttering of Fleischer Studios.

Max Fleischer’s story is one of a creative genius struggling to fit in with the changing culture of golden age cinema. Out of the Inkwell captures the twists and turns, the triumphs and disappointments, and most of all the breathless energy of a life vibrantly lived in the world of animation magic.

RICHARD FLEISCHER, the son of Max Fleischer, has directed major motion pictures such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Soylent Green, Doctor Dolittle, and Tora! Tora! Tora! and won the Academy Award for producing the documentary feature Design for Death. He published a memoir, Just Tell me When to Cry, in 1993.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 184 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 471 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky , 2005 – ISBN 0-8131-2355-0

Out On a Limb (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-out-on-a-limbAn outspoken thinker, a celebrated actress, a truly independent woman, Shirley MacLaine goes beyond her previous two bestsellers to take us on an intimate yet powerful journey into her personal life and inner self.

An intense, clandestine love affair with a prominent politician sparks Shirley MacLaine’s quest of self-discovery. From Stockholm to Hawaii to the mountain vastness of Peru, from disbelief to radiant affirmation, she at last discovers the roots of her very existence, and the infinite possibilities of life.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE opens her heart to explore the meaning of a great and enduring passion with her lover Gerry; the mystery of her soul’s connection with her best friend David; the tantalizing secrets behind a great actor’s inspiration with the late Peter Sellers. And through it all, Shirley MacLaine’s courage and candor opens new doors, new insights, new revelations – and a luminous new world she invites us all to share.

Softcover – 367 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 206 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-553-24095-1

Over Here, Over There: The Andrews Sisters and the USO Stars in World War II (Maxene Andrews, with Bill Gilbert)

andrews-maxene-over-here-over-thereMaxene, Patty and La Verne – the Andrew Sisters. Their songs and singing style immortalized the 1930s and 40s. Their upbeat, three-part harmony brightened the spirits of Americans at home and abroad during the dark years of World War II. In Over Here, Over There, Maxene Andrews and Bill Gilbert make those years come alive again in a richly nostalgic, warmly affectionate look back at a country at war – and the talented men and women who entertained the troops who were fighting it.

Touring America fifty weeks a year, singing songs like Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B, the Andrew Sisters played to standing-room-only civilian audiences in theaters and auditoriums, performed at war bond rallies in Times Square and the Hollywood Canteen, visited soldiers at military posts and hospitals, and traveled to North Africa, Sicily and Europe for the USO.

Over Here, Over There is also the story of the many other stars – Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Ann Sheridan, Kathryn Grayson, Abbott and Costello, Mickey Rooney, and Glenn Miller, to name only a few – who entertained a combined audience of 161 million servicemen and women in just four years. Here’s a singer’s soft strains of “Abide With Me” over a fresh muddy grave in Anzio… Ann Miller collapsing after twenty-four hours at a hotel-turned-hospital… Patty Andrews announcing V-J Day and the end of the war to a stunned G.I. audience in Naples.

Brimming with the energy, the excitement, the sense of camaraderie – and the music – of the times, Over Here, Over There is a lovingly crafted memoir and tribute to the unforgettable moment in our history when a unique blend of national unity, loyalty and spirit brought Americans together as never before… and never since.

MAXENE ANDREWS lives in northern California and still performs all across America. The popularity of the Andrews Sisters endures – more than a million of their tapes, records and compact discs are sold every year. In 1987, they were awarded the Defense Department’s highest civilian honor: the Medal for Distinguished Public Service. BILL GILBERT is the author of fourteen books and lives near Washington, D.C.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 260 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 591 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Zebra Books / Kensington Publishing Corp., New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-8217-4117-9