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Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star (Tab Hunter, with Eddie Muller)

hunter-tab-tab-hunter-confidentialWelcome to Hollywood, circa 1950, the end of the Golden Age. A remarkably handsome young boy, still a teenager, gets “discovered” by a big-time movie agent. Because when he takes his shirt off young hearts beat faster, because he is the picture of innocence and trust and need, he will become a star. It seems almost preordained. The open smile says. “You will love me,” and soon the whole world does.

The young boy’s name was Tab Hunter – a made-up name, of course, a Hollywood name – and it was his time. Stardom didn’t come overnight, although it seemed that way. In fact, the fame came first, when his face adorned hundreds of magazine covers; the movies, the studio contract, the name in lights – all that came later. For Tab Hunter was a true product of Hollywood, a movie star created from a stable boy, a shy kid made even more so by the way his schoolmates – both girls and boys – reacted to his beauty, by a mother who provided for him in every way except emotionally, and by a secret that both tormented him and propelled him forward.

In Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, Hunter speaks out for the first time about what it was like to be a movie star at the end of the big studio era, to be treated like a commodity, to be told what to do, how to behave, whom to be seen with, what to wear. He speaks also about what it was like to be gay, at first confused by his own fears and misgivings, then as an actor trapped by an image of boy-next-door innocence. And when he dared to be difficult, to complain to the studio about the string of mostly mediocre movies that were assigned to him, he learned that just like any manufactured product, he was disposable – disposable and replaceable.

Hunter’s career as a bona fide movie star lasted a decade. But he persevered as an actor, working continuously at a profession he had come to love, seeking – and earning – the respect of his peers, and of the Hollywood community. And so Tab Hunter Confidential is at heart a story of survival – of the giddy highs of stardom, and the soul-destroying lows when phone calls begin to go unreturned; of the need to be loved, and the fear of being consumed; of the hope of an innocent boy, and the rueful summation of a man who did it all, and who lived to tell it all.

TAB HUNTER, a star of screen, stage, and television, has appeared in more than fifty films, including Damn Yankees, Battle Cry, That Kind of Woman, Ride the Wild Surf, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Polyester, and Lust in the Dust. He continues to work as a film producer and lives in southern California. EDDIE MULLER, an authority on film noir, is the author of Dark City Dames and two other books on the subject, as wel as two mystery novels, The Distance and Shadow Boxer. He lives in the San Francisco area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 378 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 781 g (27,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2005 – ISBN 1-56512-466-9

Take Two: A Life in Movies and Politics (Philip Dunne; foreword by Anthony Lewis)

Autographed copy Philip Dunne

Dunne, Philip - Take TwoThe son of humorist Finley Peter Dunne (“Mr. Dooley”), Philip Dunne was born to liberal politics. But as a studio reader in Hollywood in 1930 he could not have imagined the blacklist and witch hunts that would threaten him and countless others in the 1940s and 1950s and would lead him to play a central role in defending constitutional rights through Americans for Democratic Action and the Committee for the First Amendment.

Dunne describes with charm and humor his forty-year career at 20th Century-Fox as screenwriter, director, and producer. His many films include How Green Was My Valley, Ten North Frederick, The Rains Came, Stanley and Livingstone, The Late George Apley, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. His close-up portrait of Darryl F. Zanuck is valuable and long overdue. He assaults the Auteur Theory in pungent terms, gives us practical insights into writing and directing, and entertains us with anecdotes of life on the Fox lot and in Hollywood in the Golden Age and of his wartime service with Nelson Rockefeller and Elmer Davis. He also gives us fresh perspectives (contradicting some recent revisionists) on the ideological confusions of pre-World War II Hollywood – confusions that led inevitably to some of the worst excesses of the McCarthy and House Un-American Activities Committee era.

Twice nominated for the Academy Award, Dunne also holds the two highest awards of the Writers Guild of America: the Laurel Award for life achievement and the Valentine Davies Award for public service. He is the author of Mr. Dooley Remembers, an informal biography of his father. During World War II he was chief of motion-picture production for the Office of War Information, Overseas. The father of three daughters, Dunne and his wife, the former Amanda Duff, live in Malibu, California, where he maintains his lifelong interest in politics and the protection of civil liberties. His Take Two is a highly entertaining and thoughtful record of a colorful life at the creative center of the entertainment world – and of a consistent, articulate political liberalism.

A liberal in this terrifying century, PHILIP DUNNE has been called, in and out of print, “from right to left, a crypto-fascist, ‘social-fascist’ quack, rightist, reactionary, undercover FBI agent, pseudo-liberal, bleeding-heart liberal, leftist, socialist, radical, Marxist, fellow-traveler, comsymp, Communist stooge, and Communist.” In the entertainment world, his life has included such as Ethel Barrymore, John Ford, Gary Cooper, Darryl F. Zanuck, Arturo Toscanini, and Elvis Presley; in politics, both Roosevelts, Adlai Stevenson, Juan Perón, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and Ronald Reagan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 355 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 16 cm (9,1 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 731 g (25,8 oz) – PUBLISHER McGraw Hill Book Company, San Francisco, California, 1980 – ISBN 0-07-018306-6

A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood’s Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler (Jan Herman)

Herman, Jan - A Talent for Trouble“He could make your life a hell – but I would have jumped into the Hudson River if this man had told me to.” – Bette Davis

A Talent for Trouble tells the spellbinding tale of Hollywood’s quintessential director, William Wyler. It chronicles his rise from obscurity to master filmmaker, as well as his stormy affairs with some of the top stars of filmdom’s Golden Age. It captures his beguiling personal charm, his physical and moral courage, and probes his private tragedies and political bravery.

William Wyler was Laurence Olivier’s mentor, the love of Bette Davis’s life, John Huston’s best friend, Audrey Hepburn’s discoverer and Barbra Streisand’s father figure – and much more. His major motion pictures were touchstones for an entire generation. He made thirty-two of them (and as many silents), including Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Letter, The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, Roman Holiday, The Heiress, Ben-Hur and Funny Girl.

Wyler’s pictures won thirty-eight Academy Awards in all, twice as many as any director’s. Their 127 Oscar nominations – half of them in best picture, director and acting categories – are not remotely approached by the closest competition. Wyler also guided more actors to Academy Awards than anyone – thirteen of thirty-five nominations. And he himself won three Oscars of twelve nominations, in addition to Hollywood’s most prestigious prizes, the Irving G. Thalberg Award, the D.W. Griffith Award and the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.

In the words of his confidante and frequent collaborator Lillian Hellman, he was “the greatest of all American directors.” For Graham Greene, to see a Wyler picture was “to watch with incredulous pleasure nothing less than life.” That still holds. Directors as varied as Mike Nichols, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese regard Wyler with awe three-quarters of a century after he first came out to Hollywood.

A Talent for Trouble was written with the cooperation of the Wyler family, who provided access to William Wyler’s previously undiscovered private papers. The book is based also on the author’s extensive research and interviews with more than a hundred of Wyler’s stars, professional associates and friends.

JAN HERMAN is an award-winning journalist who covers theater for the Los Angeles Times. He has written on movies, popular culture and the arts as a columnist and reporter for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. His work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Partisan Review, and The Journal of Film History. Herman is also coauthor of a work of short fiction, Cut Up or Shut Up, with an introduction by William S. Burroughs. Born and brought up in New York City, he lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 515 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 878 g (31,0 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-399-14012-3

Tales from the Casting Couch: An Unprecedented Candid Collection of Stories, Essays, and Anecdotes by and About Legendary Hollywood Stars, Starlets, and Wanna-bes… (edited by Michael Viner, Terrie Maxine Frankel)

Autographed copy To Leo, a pleasure meeting you – Best wishes – Kathleen Hughes. I think you’re too young to read this book. But – my best, Stanley Rubin

Viner, MIchael & Frankel, Terrie Maxine - Tales from the Casting CouchTales from the Casting Couch journeys behind the scenes into the secret side of Hollywood, revealing how the industry’s most celebrated stars got their big breaks. Written by and about many of the industry’s biggest stars, casting directors, and producers, this collection of never-before-told stories, written from the perspective of industry insiders, is jam-packed with surprises. If you are searching for insight into how to get your own break in Hollywood, or simply want to discover the embarrassing secrets that many stars would prefer to remain untold, Tales from the Casting Couch is a must.

Whether it is the sexy story of how a conniving casting agent tried to trick Donna Mills into doing much more than just a reading for a part, the tale of Jerry Seinfeld’s adventure with a spitting fish, an account of how Andy Garcia wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when it came to a part he wanted, or the sordid saga of Angelyne’s attempt to untangle herself from the ‘Octopus Director,’ Tales from the Casting Couch has it all. There is even a special chapter about how many of Hollywood’s famous animal actors landed their first big roles.

Between laughs, discover how Hollywood really works and who has the final word in casting. Also, find out how the right person can lose the part during a reading, and learn when an actor is being too pushy. It may come as a surprise to find out where casting directors really look for new talent, and why the best talent may not always win out at an audition.

A collection of anecdotes that range from the hilarious and the heartbreaking, to the sexually surprising and unspeakable, Tales From the Casting Couch not only fascinates, but serves as an excellent tool for discovering what really makes Tinseltown tick.

MICHAEL VINER is co-founder and president of Dove Audio, Inc. He is the author of several books, a screenwriter, and has produced both feature films and television movies. Viner was also the producer of Sammy Davis, Jr.’s hit, “Candy Man.” TERRIE MAXINE FRANKEL is an author, screenwriter, and creative producer. She is an active member of the Producers Guild of America, and Permanent Charities Committee organizations. Frankel is a long-standing and respected member of the Hollywood community.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 296 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 591 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Dove Books, Inc., Beverly Hills, California , 1995 – ISBN 0-7871-0226-1

Talking Films (edited by Andrew Britton)

Britton, Andrew - Talking FilmsOn May 20, 1980 Gene Kelly was interviewed on the stage of the National Film Theatre in London. The interview marked the beginning of a regular series of lectures sponsored by the Guardian. They have since become one of the most distinctive and popular features of the NFT’s programme. The Guardian lectures have helped to make the NFT unique among the great cinematheques of the world. During the eleven years since that first talk, hundreds of major figures from the world of film and television – directors and actors, writers and  producers, composers and animators, broadcasters and critics – have contributed to the series. One of two of the lectures have been broadcast, but in most cases they have only been accessible to people who were lucky enough to be in London ‘on the day’. This book brings together eleven of the most stimulating, entertaining and memorable talks from the first eleven years.

ANDREW BRITTON is the author of Katharine Hepburn: The Thirties and After. He is a member of the editorial boards of Movie and CineAction!, to which he has contributed numerous articles, and he is currently working on two books, Reading Hollywood and The Politics of Documentary Filmmaking.

[Interviews with Jack Lemmon, David Puttnam, Delphine Seyrig, Satyajit Ray, Raymond Williams, Robert Mitchum, Margarethe von Trotta, Gene Kelly, Dirk Bogarde, Yves Montand, Michael Cimino]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 266 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 619 g (21,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Fourth Estate, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 1-872180-17-5

Talking Pictures: The Story of Hollywood (Barry Norman)

norman-barry-taking-picturesTalking Pictures is Barry Norman’s witty, informative and hugely enjoyable portrait of Hollywood and the Hollywood movie. Starting with the premiere of The Jazz Singer on 6 October 1927, the film that revolutionised the industry by including the screen’s first spoken words, Talking Pictures follows the major events, trends, personalities and films that have played a part in the story of Hollywood.

Barry Norman, with his distinctive style and humor, examines a wide range of aspects, including the studio system with its one-time tyrannical hold over the stars, the impact of the Second World War and the strange and terrifying postwar era of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He discusses the depiction of sex in the movies plus the parallel story of censorship and the development of the western (‘America’s most significant contribution to the cinema’) as well as the B movie and the crime movie. He also looks at Hollywood today and the implications of the industry’s frenetic wooing of youthful audiences.

Lavishly illustrated in color and black and white, Talking Pictures, though based on the major BBC 1 television series, extends beyond the range of the ten programmes. As with Barry Norman’s previous highly successful books on Hollywood stars – The Hollywood Greats, The Movie Greats and The Film Greats – it will delight, inform and entertain anyone who is intrigued by the magic of Hollywood.

BARRY NORMAN is a regular newspaper, magazine and radio contributor, but is best known for his cinema programmes on BBC Television, including Film ’87 and The Hollywood Greats. His wife, Diana, is a novelist. They have two daughters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 343 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19,5 cm (9,8 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 1.080 g (38,1 oz) – PUBLISHER BBC Books / Hodder and Soughton, London, 1987 – ISBN 0 340 38916 8

Talking Pictures: With the People Who Made Them (Sylvia Shorris, Marion Abbott Bundy; foreword by Robert Altman)

Shorris, Sylvia - Talking PicturesProducers, screenwriters, gaffers, camera operators, key grips, sound men, and scriptgirls – with a list of behind-the-scenes movie makers that reads like a Busby Berkeley roll call, Talking Pictures presents a lively, firsthand view of Hollywood from the bottom up.

The nearly forty interviews collected here chronicle the Golden Age of Hollywood, when major movie studios produced some of America’s favorite films. By hearing firsthand about the machinations of Hollywood moguls like Louis B. Mayer and Darryl F. Zanuck, we learn how studios were run and how decisions about movies were made. From lesser known players we see how informal Hollywood was, how easy it was to get a job, how crucial a role nepotism played, and how careers were open to craftsmen and con men alike.

Seven years in the making, Talking Pictures is a unique behind-the-scenes look at the movies and the people who make them, and a tribute to the remarkable men and women responsible for captivating American audiences in a way that may never be seen again.

A lifelong lover of the movies, SYLVIA SHORRIS was an assistant to Spyros Skouras, president of Twentieth Century-Fox. With her husband, Earl Shorris, she co-edited While Someone Else Is Eating, a book about the effects of the Reagan years on the poor. She lives in New York City. MARION ABBOTT BUNDY worked for many years in book publishing and recently co-edited Fire in the Hills, an anthology commemorating the 1991 Oakland/Berkeley firestorm. She lives in Berkeley, California. ROBERT ALTMAN is the director of such acclaimed films as M*A*S*H and the recent Short Cuts, as well as The Player, among the most effective film evocations of life behind the screen ever produced.

[Interviews with assistant director Arthur Jacobson; first assistant camera operator Al Keller; agent Sam Jaffe; production manager Joseph J. Cohn; producer Jack Cummings; producer Frank McCarthy; reader Eleanor Wolquitt; screenwriter John Bright; screenwriter Lester Cole; studio representative Nancy Green; story editor William Fadiman; script girl Florence Mack; assistant director Francisco Day; grip Jim Noblitt; gaffer Ed Rike; director of cinematography George Folsey; visual effects director of photography Linwood Gale Dunn; soundman Ralph Butler; soundman Edward Bernds; composer Jule Styne; lyricist Sammy Cahn; carpenter Bob Flatley; property master Tommie Hawkins; costume designer Anna Hill Johnstone; art director Arthur Lonergan; production designer Harry Horner; extra Eve Ellman Boyden; stunt woman Cynthia Lindsay; tap dancer Fayard Nicholas; son and grandson Daniel Selznick; daughter Maxine Marx; wife Florence Haley; international film editor Herbert Wrench; film editor Rudi Fehr; publicity director Hubert Voight; booker Jules Green]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 372 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 733 g (25,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The New Press, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 1-56584-175-1

Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember (Stuart Oderman)

Oderman, Stuart - Talking to the Piano PlayerFrom the prolific fingers of master silent movie pianist Stuart Oderman comes a collection of rare interviews with some of the most important people of a bygone film era: Marlene Dietrich, Frank Capra, Colleen Moore, Jackie Coogan, Madge Bellamy, Aileen Pringle, Allan Dwan, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Loos, Anita Garvin, Leatrice Joy, Dorothy Davenport (Mrs. Wallace) Reid, Patsy Ruth Miller, Ann Pennington, Claire Windsor, Betty Bronson, Billie Rhodes, Minta Durfee, Jerry Devine, Lois Wilson and Constance Talmadge.

Includes photographs taken at the time of their interviews. All photos and many of these interviews have never been seen before outside of this collection.

STUART ODERMAN, author of five plays produced in New York City, is best known since 1959 as a pianist accompanying silent films. He has published numerous articles chronicling the artists who were important to the silent era. He turned his knowledge and expertise into two acclaimed books: Lillian Gish: A Life on Stage and Screen (2000) and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle (1994).

Softcover – 174 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 305 g (10,8 oz) – PUBLISHER BearManor Media, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, 2005 – ISBN 159393013-5

Tallulah Bankhead: A Scandalous Life (David Bret)

Bret, David - Tallullah Bankhead, A Scandalos LifeMarlene Dietrich called her ‘the most immoral woman who ever lived’, Cecil Beaton described her as a ‘wicked archangel’; but no one summed up better the fascinating woman than Tallulah herself, in an endless succession of anecdotes and one-liners, peppered with the expletives that became her trademark.

Born in Alabama in 1903, she became a big star in London in the early 1920s. Branded an ‘unsafe and unsavory person’ by the Hays Commission in America in the early 1930s, her career went from tremendous stage success in such hits as The Little Foxes and Fallen Angels, to appearances in some of the worst plays ever written, which she turned into triumphs by improvising lewd and outrageous asides to satisfy the cravings of her largely gay audiences.

Confessing to over 500 love affairs with both men and women, Tallulah married just once – to a man who divorced her citing mental cruelty. A headline writer’s dream throughout her life, at the height of her fame she was said to drink two bottles of bourbon a day, smoke 100 cigarettes and take pills to help her sleep, pills to keep her awake, and pills to help her cope with the pills.

But while there always seemed to be someone on hand to record Tallulah’s indiscretions, the other side of her personality went largely unrecorded. She raised vast amounts of money for children’s charities; delivered stringent speeches against communism and racial and sexual prejudice, and actively supported the presidential campaigns of two close friends: Truman and Kennedy.

In this highly entertaining book David Bret tells Tallulah’s story in the only way it could be told: with shocking honesty and wit. What emerges is a vivid portrait of an immoral and wicked woman who was every inch a star and remains one of the greatest legends this century has ever seen.

DAVID BRET’s first biography, The Piaf Legend, was published in 1988 to great critical acclaim. Biographies of the French star Mistinguett and Maurice Chevalier followed, and Marlene Dietrich, one of his closest friends, was the subject of his fourth book, which was fully authorized by Marlene and published shortly after her death in 1993. His most recent books have been Morrissey: Landscapes of the Mind, a best-selling biography of the singer / songwriter, and Gracie Fields, a highly praised portrait of the legendary star.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 625 g (22,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, Ltd., London, 1996 – ISBN 1 86105 015 1

Tallulah: Darling of the Gods (Kieran Tunney)

Tunney, Kieran - Talullah, Darling of the Gods“Two hours after we met, Tallulah was in the bathtub, I on the edge of it, drinking champagne.”

Kieran Tunney and Tallulah Bankhead met in her Buffalo hotel suite. The young Irish playwright and the celebrated American actress took to each other at once, and were to go on meeting until Tallulah died twenty-one years later.

Shortly before her death, Tallulah proposed that Tunney write a book about her. “Write about me… Tallulah. What you saw and heard. Not about the Bankhead family, proud though I am of them, or Alabama. Don’t drag up those old cracks of mine – ‘Pure as the driven slush,’ ‘There’s less here than meets the eye,’ and so on. Just present me as you know me.”

This is that book, an intimate portrait which uncannily catches Tallulah Bankhead’s strange and beguiling personality. Here is the famous Tallulah, a genuine original, a woman of boundless energy, limitless loquacity, outrageous humor and compulsive generosity. Infuriatingly unpredictable, Tallulah was as gallant and reckless as any of the heroines she portrayed so convincingly on stage and screen.

Kieran Tunney pays tribute to the legend as well as to its more complicated reality, and in his pages Tallulah occupies the center of the stage with all her customary assurance.

Nothing is concealed. With a dramatist’s ear for dialogue and sharp recall of conversation, Tunney succeeds in making a living legend live again.

Heralding the British publication of Tallulah: Darling of the Gods, Michael Holroyd, author of Lytton Strachey, says, “For those who want to read about Tallulah, this is the book they will want to read.” Dame Sybil Thorndike calls the Tunney biography “marvellous and compulsive reading.”

KIERAN TUNNEY whose plays have been staged in Dublin, London and New York, lives in New York and London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 228 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 15 cm (8,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 573 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – SBN 0-525-21395-3

Tallulah: My Autobiography (Tallulah Bankhead)

Bankhead, Tallulah - TallulahThe world’s number one authority on one of its liveliest topics has at last been persuaded to tell the whole story. She does it with frankness and humor, and the result is a whirlwind of a book, charged with the glamour of a Broadway first night, sparkling with the zest and excitement of a remarkable personality. Tallulah, by Tallulah, casts its leading lady in her most entertaining and spectacular role – herself.

It’s a role that has been played to the hilt, beginning when Tallulah, precocious child of an aristocratic Alabama clan, first cracked the dignity of her father’s congressional friends with her songs and recitations. It has been played on the stage and off, in New York, London and Hollywood, in pump-rooms, palaces and ball parks, in headlines and hearsay. Unflinching, she sets the record straight about her friendships and fracases with the likes of Greta Garbo, the Barrymores, Katharine Hepburn, Gilbert Miller, Lillian Hellman, Billy Rose, Noel Coward, Fred Allen, Thomas E. Dewey, Henry Luce and Harry Truman.

Here are her unorthodox and provocative views on love, money, drinking, drugs and the New York Giants. Here, too, are her own indignantly hilarious answers to those colorful rumors about her private life which have been multiplying ever since Tallulah, on her first fling at show business, elevated eyebrows at the Algonquin Round Table. There she was to leave Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alec Woollcott, Robert Sherwood and others honing their wits, while she sailed, brazen and broke, for England.

Thus, the Thames, not the Hudson, was first destined to be set ablaze by Tallulah. London audiences, swooning legions of them, were soon bombarding her dressing room – and that was years before Sinatra was invented. Her sulphurous performances as the designing female in plays like The Garden of Eden and The Creaking Chair transformed these dramatic turkeys into hits – and Hollywood and Broadway were now shouting for her return.

Tallulah came back, and she has been making history on the front page, the theatrical page and the sports page right up to this very moment. Her millions of radio listeners to The Big Show were merely newcomers to the huge public for whom the name Tallulah connotes everything from high art to high living. Without doubt the brightest band in the theatrical spectrum, Miss Bankhead has been accused by an admirer of having burned through four lives in the space of one. In Tallulah, readers will find the truth about all her lives – and about much more not expected or suspected.

Tallulah will ruffle plumes, raise hackles, knock a good many conventions off their pedestals and do so at a high pitch of brilliance and entertainment. It will blaze new trails in self-portraiture with the same free-swinging independence that has made Tallulah the most talked-about figure in show business. A glimpse at the first chapter will show you why it promises to be the most talked-about autobiography of the year.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 13,5 cm (8,1 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 484 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Sears Readers Club, Chicago, Illinois, 1952

The Talmadge Sisters (Anita Loos)

loos-anita-the-talmadge-girlsThe lovely faces of Norma and Constance Talmadge are well known to all silent-movie buffs, but most people don’t realize that behind all that glamour were two extremely funny women who enjoyed their work immensely and never made the mistake of taking it too seriously. In this delightful memoir, Anita Loos, who wrote many scripts for them and became a close friend of the Talmadge family, describes the antics not only of Norma and Constance – or Dutch, as she was called – but also of their plain sister Natalie, who was married to Buster Keaton, and of their witty mother, Peg, whose sharp perceptions and tongue managed to get the girls into the limelight and keep them there.

Among the intimate and amusing details of their lives and loves, the author sprinkles little-known facts that help account for the considerable success of the Talmadge girls on screen. Norma, for instance, had a natural poker face and no acting technique, so she never ran the risk of overacting and appeared to be mistress of the art of understatement. Dutch, on the other hand, was a born clown who needed no prompting to turn her talents into a million-dollar career.

Anita Loos takes her readers on a glorious romp through the twenties in Hollywood, New York, and Europe and brings the age to life as only she can do. As a special bonus, she has included twenty-four pages of photographs, many of them never before published, and her original script for the silent film A Virtuous Vamp.

ANITA LOOS, the diminutive brunette whose Gentlemen Prefer Blondes became a world-famous classic, wrote many scripts during the silent-film era and was a close friend and confidante of most of the stars she worked with – the Talmadges, Douglas Fairbanks, Mabel Normand, Lillian Gish, and dozens of others. She is the author of two previous memoirs, A Girl Like I and Kiss Hollywood Good-by, as well as a recent illustrated book, A Cast of Thousands.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 204 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 15 cm (8,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 443 g (15,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-670-69302-2

The Talmadge Sisters, Norma, Constance, Natalie: An Intimate Story of the World’s Most Famous Screen Family (Margaret Talmadge; introduction by Ellis Parker Butler)

talmadge-margaret-l-the-talmadge-sisters“For two reasons, I am glad to write this introduction to The Talmadge Sisters. One is, that it is always a pleasure to be even so slightly connected with those who have become famous through clean effort, and the other is, that l am glad to have my name here. I believe that the motion picture is still in its very earliest infancy and that many years hence, a copy of this book will be among the documents thumbed over by those preparing to write a History of the Beginnings of the Motion Picture, and that my name on this page may be the only remaining evidence that I ever existed.

The motion picture seems to me the most tremendous invention since the invention of printing. Its effect on the world and man’s existence is destined to be, I believe, vastly more important than it is now. No one connected with its origin ever imagined it would have the influence that it now has. A few years ago when the motion picture was a mere toy, added to each end of vaudeville programs as a novelty, few could foresee its vast future. Today, it is the greatest amusement and informative vehicle in the world, excepting only the printed word.

There was a time when the two powerful formative influences were the pulpit and the stage. Then intelligence was limited and confined to towns and cities and the stage spoke only to a small group. Today, intelligence is widespread, and the stage, because of its limitations, cannot reach far. The motion picture is the stage enormously multiplied, just as the printed word was an enormous multiplication of the old-time, hand-inscribed book.

In another form, the motion picture is the printed word translated into action and made more effective and vital. That action is more effective than cold print, is amply shown by the haste of legislatures to enact film censorship laws. On the screen, that which in print was cold and lifeless, becomes vivid and expressive. The motion picture is print that has come alive and that uses gestures, and acts out its meaning. It is the stage plus the printing press. It is a tremendous thing! But it is still an infant. It is doing some foolish things and some crazy things, and some very brilliant and wise and admirable things, like a child.

Anyone looking over the field of motion pictures will say, ‘But look at the trash that is filmed! You talk about the great future for the motion picture, but it is foolish to imagine that there can ever be a time when there will be no ‘blood-and-thunder’ trash when every motion picture will be fine and noble and perfect.’ I agree! And never will there be a time when all printed books will be fine and noble and perfect. Printers will always print trash; there will always be ‘dime novel’ literature and cheap, gaudy clothes. But I do not have to buy dime novels or wear shrieking clothes. I feel that many motion picture patrons are even now beginning to recognize that the producer who says, ‘Aw, pish! Pictures is pictures!’ is wrong, and that the exhibitor who does not consult our tastes is a failure.

The solution is, that in the future the producer will know his audience and the exhibitor will know his. This is already coming about. There will be ‘dime novel’ producers and theaters and there will be ‘high grade’ producers and theaters. Then this great motion picture industry will move with giant strides and, in working to that, those who – like the Talmadge sisters – become known as appearing in a recognizable type of good picture, are helping the audiences, the producers and the exhibitors to find the right road.

This book about Norma, Constance and Natalie is most naïve and appealing and much of its interest to me is in the picture it leaves of a fond mother telling with pride of the amazing accomplishments of her daughters, just as other entirely human mothers might do. Surely a mother who has noticed the first signs of talent and has seen that talent expand until it has won her daughters world-wide fame, must have something especially interesting to say about them. It is a rather remarkable human document; I cannot remember any other quite like it.” – Introduction by Ellis Parker Butler.

Hardcover – 245 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 14 cm (7,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 584 g (20,6 oz) – PUBLISHER J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924

Tarzan, My Father (Johnny Weissmuller, Jr., with William Reed, W. Craig Reed)

Weissmuller, Jr, Johnny - Tarzan, My FatherTarzan: My Father is the portrait of the best-loved Tarzan: Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller. Johnny Weissmuller, Jr., Tarzan’s only son, offers an intimate look at his father’s early life, middle years, and later decline: swimming training, Olympic triumphs, failed marriages, a Hollywood life as Tarzan of the Apes and subsequent career as Jungle Jim. When Weissmuller Sr. sought a divorce from Johnny Jr.’s mother, her revenge was to cut him off his children for seven years. But Johnny Jr. was later reunited with his father, and the close bond of family and friendship that grew between them has granted Johnny Jr. a view of Tarzan’s life shared by one else.

This book tells Johnny Weissmuller’s own version of his experiences at the hands of the major Hollywood studios. Johnny Jr.’s inside perspective on his father’s life and career includes interviews with his father’s former wives, co-stars, celebrity friends, recollections and conversations with his father over the years, and family stories involving Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart and Red Skelton. The result is a tale of Hollywood at its legendary peak and a sensitive but unsentimental portrayal of the man  who was Tarzan to movie fans around the world.

Actor and longshoreman JOHNNY WEISSMULLER, Jr., lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife. Weissmuller served on the Executive council of the Screen Actor’s Guild’s Minorities Committee for fourteen years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 229 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 531 g (18,7 oz) – PUBLISHER ECW Press, Toronto, 2002 ISBN 1-55022-522-7

Tarzan of the Movies: A Pictorial History of More Than Fifty Years of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Legendary Hero (Gabe Essoe; foreword by Joan Burroughs Pierce)

Essoe, Gabe - Tarzan of the Movies“Tarzan of the Apes is an important member of the Burroughs family. In addition to growing up on the Tarzan novels written by my dad, Edgar Rice Burroughs, we have been very close to the Tarzan movies.

I, personally, vouch for our involvement in films because I married Jim Price, the lead in the last silent Tarzan feature picture, Tarzan and the Golden Lion, in 1928. He, as Tarzan, and I, as Jane, also made the first serialization of dad’s books in the early 1930s. This series authentically followed his writings.

My father was never able to understand why the Tarzan motion pictures would not follow his stories more closely. He wrote such a fantastic wealth of material and it seemed to him that some of it should have been suitable for the screen. Instead, Hollywood writers changed the stories and created their own version of dad’s hero. For years he tried in vain to get film producers to maintain an integrity with his work. Finally, he gave up, frustrated, and let them do what they were going to do anyway.

It is the hope of ERB, Incorporated, and the entire family that someday we will eventually see films produced from the Tarzan books as they were written. If by no other means possible, we may even produce the films ourselves.” – The Foreword by Joan Burroughs Pierce.

Softcover – 208 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 640 g (22,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1968 ISBN 0-8065-0295-9

Television & Video Almanac 1995, 40th Edition (edited by Marry Monush)

television-and-video-almanac-1995The Year in Review – When Fox Inc. announced that it was joining forces with New World Communications Group, thereby snapping up twelve affiliates from across the country, CBS was hit the hardest, losing eight stations. Later that year the network faced a possible merger with Barry Diller’s QVC Network, a plan that fell through by mid-summer. As its reward for weathering a tense year CBS emerged victorious for the third season in a row as the rating’s champ, a feat helped immeasurably by its broadcasting of the Winter Olympics. Otherwise it was déjà-vu at the top of the ratings’ chart with the same three standbys contributing to the year’s high audience figures: the 26-year old 60 Minutes (at number 2), Murder, She Wrote in its tenth year (the number 9 spot) and Murphy Brown in its sixth season (just out of the top ten, at number 11).

The season’s second place network, ABC, did capture the number one position with Tim Allen’s sit-com Home Improvement, still hot in its third year. The network also had two dependable winners in Roseanne (number 4 in its sixth season) and Coach (number 8, also in its sixth year). In fact ABC had more programs in the top ten than any network including the two highest rated new 1993-94 entries, These Friends of Mine (re-dubbed Ellen, after its star, Ellen DeGeneres, for the 1994-95 season; at number 5) and Grace Under Fire (at number 6). Both followed in the successful footsteps of Home Improvement and Roseanne by featuring stand-up comics in the leading roles (Brett Butler being the star of Grace). Monday Night Football rounded out the top ten in its 24th year with the network. ABC’s most talked-about offering, the racy police drama NYPD Blue, defied public protests to gain wide critical acclaim and large audiences, tying for the number 21 position and earning a record 26 Emmy Award nominations. Another popular comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, gave NBC its top program for the year with Seinfeld landing in third place. After losing its smash hit Cheers after eleven years, the network segued directly into the new season with a spin-off, Frasier, winding up with its most successful new show and the Emmy Award for best comedy series.

Of course the networks were no more satisfied with the Nielsen Ratings this season than they had been in past years. The company’s closest rival, Arbitron, decided to bail out of the rating-tracking field at the end of 1993. As a result ABC, CBS and NBC announced a multi-million dollar plan for Statistical Research Inc. to develop a new way of accurately assessing the number of people tuned in to which programs.

The networks were far happier with the fact that competition from cable TV seemed to be less of a worry than it had been in recent years. Basic cable growth showed a leveling off in 1993 while all three networks reported ratings increases of about 3 %. Operators could not help but blame the price regulations and rate reductions imposed by the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. A different form of competition, however, loomed in the announcement that both Warner Bros. and Paramount would be starting their own networks in January of 1995.

After the failed QVC merger CBS found itself being eyed for ownership by the Walt Disney Company, while there was a possibility of NBC being purchased by Time Warner. Many speculated that the 1995 expiration of a Federal rule monitoring the amount of programming the networks were able to produce for themselves was a factor in these companies expressing interest.

Due to the baseball strike in the summer-fall of 1994, television found itself at a loss for some of its most reliable programming, not to mention one of the major networks being deprived of showing the World Series for the first time in broadcast history. Because of the aforementioned Fox Inc. purchase of twelve affiliates the other networks were scrambling to purchase stations to avoid confusion and loss of ratings among viewers, often resulting in the move to much weaker UHF bands. A total of 25 U.S. cities were to be affected by these changes within the course of the new TV season.

The NBC mini-series World War II: When Lions Roared was technologically significant, being the first major U.S. program shot in the high definition television format. Little mention was made of this due, of course, to the fact that there was no system for transmitting or receiving it in this country. Meanwhile, in Japan, sales of high definition sets continued to meet with little enthusiasm from consumers who were showing much greater interest in wide-screen televisions.

Hardcover – 751 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.230 g (43,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Quigley Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-900610-53-0

Tell It to Louella (Louella Parsons)

parsons-louella-tell-it-to-louellaFor years the people with the frontpage names in the world of motion pictures have been telling their secrets to Louella Parsons. Being “the first to know” is quite a responsibility for an alert reporter, but Louella has also been the first to know when to hold back a story. As a result the stars, producers, directors and the studios have learned to call her first when there is news.

During World War II Louella’s first book, The Gay Illiterate, was a big best-seller. This perceptive and entertaining book, written some eighteen years after the other, is not so much an autobiography as it is an affectionate and revealing review of the past two decades in Hollywood. It includes long profiles of Clark Gable, Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando,  Elizabeth Taylor, and Judy Garland. Now many stories can be told without betraying confidences or revealing sources. Only Louella could write about Howard Hughes, for example, so critically and yet with such objectivity.

More than any other Hollywood columnist, Louella has had a vital interest in the young people of Hollywood and the new frontiers of Hollywood at home and abroad. Because Louella has never stopped being a movie fan herself, this book carries all the excitement of tomorrow’s news.

LOUELLA PARSONS was born Louella Oettinger in Freeport, Illinois. At sixteen she became a reporter and at eighteen she married John D. Parsons. A year later her daughter Harriet was born. Parsons was wounded in World War I and died on board ship. She married her second husband, Dr. Harry W. Martin, in 1930, and he died in 1951. For nearly forty years Louella Parsons has reported the greatest stories to come out of  Hollywood. Her widely syndicated column leads the field in newspapers all over the world. She has had many honors, but none that pleased her more than a Doctor of Letters degree from Quincy College, Illinois. In July 1961, Miss Parsons received Italy’s Star of Solidarity, first class, the highest honor the Italian government can bestow upon a woman. It was given to “the most brilliant columnist of movieland – for contributions to the success of the motion picture industry all over the world.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 316 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 512 g (18,1 oz) – PUBLISHER G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1961

Tell It to the Mountain: From the Glitter of Hollywood, Through Siucidal Despair, to the Light of Salvation (William R. Lasky, with James F. Scheer)

lasky-william-r-tell-it-to-the-mountainHis father was the co-founder of Paramount Pictures with a fortune at one time amounting to multimillions of dollars. His family owned a twenty-room New York City apartment on Fifth Avenue and a California mansion with twenty-seven servants’ rooms and five Rolls-Royces in the garages. There was a lavishly equipped private railroad car to carry them from one coast to the other. Their friends and neighbors as he grew up included Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Gary Cooper, Marion Davies, and Uncle Samuel Goldwyn.

Yet, years later, the day came when William Lasky, in blackest despair, wanted only death. If he could find a means that would not harm others, he would end the life that had become such a burden to him. Then he remembered his childhood governess and her stories of Jesus. He dropped to his knees at his bedside and prayed the only prayer he knew: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” Then, looking up, he heard himself saying: “Jesus, help me!” This is the story of how Jesus did.

WILLIAM R. LASKY, the son of Hollywood magnate Jesse L. Lasky and the nephew of Samuel Goldwyn, worked on many famous Hollywood films in capacities ranging from animal trainer to assistant director. Still active in the film industry, Mr. Lasky is now president of the Beverly Hills Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship and much in demand as a speaker. JAMES F. SCHEER is a friend of William Lasky’s and a professional writer whose work has appeared in many periodicals, including Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, The American Bible Society Record, and Modern Screen.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 421 g (14,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday and Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-385-11366-8

Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist (Patrick McGilligan, Paul Buhle)

McGilligan, Patrick - Tender ComradesIn October of 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee launched hearings in Washington, D.C., to investigate Communist influence in the motion picture industry. Writers, actors, directors, and other industry figures were called before HUAC and commanded to “name names”: to save themselves by betraying their colleagues. In what amounted to a signal instance of cultural repression, those who defied HUAC were shouted down – and marked down on lists that ruined their lives and careers. And they have never been given their full chance to speak… until now.

In the pages of Tender Comrades, thirty-six blacklist survivors tell their life stories. Together their voices form a unique collection of Hollywood profiles in courage. For years before 1947, a close-knit left-wing  and liberal community had thrived in Hollywood, taking stands on controversial issues and causes while making some of the finest films of the 1930s and 1940s. Hardly a circle bent on revolt, these individuals were, rather, committed to integrating their humanism into their lives and work. When they were blacklisted and driven from the industry – some into false identities, some out of the country altogether – the world of film suffered an immeasurable loss.

Among those interviewed in the book are a number of notable personalities of that time: two of the Hollywood Ten; seminal directors of film noir; starring actresses and equally memorable supporting players; several of Hollywood top screenwriters. Others, less known to the general public, will be rescued from obscurity by the memorable stories they offered here. Their stories span nearly a century, from sharing family backgrounds, through the long, dark night of the blacklist, up to recent dispatches from the Hollywood front, where a handful of still-active ex-blacklistees soldier on today.

The only book to tell the story of the blacklist in the words of its victims, Tender Comrades is the definitive portrait of Hollywood’s ignoble high noon.

PATRICK McGILLIGAN’s biographies of film figures include Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; Jack’s Life: A Biography of Jack Nicholson; George Cukor: A Double Life; and Robert Altman: Jumping Off the Cliff. He is currently working at work on biographies of Clint Eastwood and Alfred Hitchcock. Also the editor of the Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters, he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Historian PAUL BUHLE founded the Oral History of the American Left archive at New York University and has produced more than twenty books of political history. A visiting associate professor in American civilization at Brown University, he lives in Rhode Island.

[Interviews with Norma Barzman, Ben Barzman, Leonardo Bercovici, Walter Bernstein, John Berry, Alva Bessie, Allen Boretz, John Bright, Jean Rouverel Butler, Hugo Butler, Jeff Corey, Jules Dassin, Edward Eliscu, Anne Froelick, Bernard Gordon, Faith Hubley, John Hubley, Marsha Hunt, Paul Jarrico, Mickey Knox, Millard Lampell, Ring Lardner Jr., Robert Lees, Alfred Lewis Levitt, Helen Slote Levitt, Abraham Polonsky, Maurice Rapf, Betsy Blair, Martin Ritt, Marguerite Roberts, John Sanford, Joan LaCour Scott, Adrian Scott, Lionel Stander, Bess Taffel, Frank Tarloff, Bernard Vorhaus, John Weber, John Wexley, Julian Zimet / Julien Havely]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 776 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (43,2 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-312-17046-7

Thalberg: Life and Legend (Bob Thomas)

Thomas, Bob - Thalberg Life and LegendIn the Golden Age of Greece, gods and goddesses disguised themselves as mortals and roamed the face of the earth. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, mortals disguised themselves as gods and never left MGM. But, of course, they were the lucky ones, for, in the interval between World Wars, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was indisputably the Olympus of Movieland. How this motion picture studio was able to gain such ascendancy in a brash, highly competitive industry is one of the most fascinating chapters in the annals of film-making. It is also primarily the story of one man – Irving Thalberg.

Thalberg, who is almost invariably referred to as the “Boy Wonder of Hollywood,” arrived at the confluence of Sunset and Vine when he was scarcely out of school. By the time he was twenty years old, he was head of production at Universal and already displaying flashes of that remarkable genius for developing stars and doctoring scripts that was to make his name a legend in the lands of legends.

It was in partnership with Louis B. Mayer, that Thalberg really came into his own. Forming the combine of MGM, he converted the studio into the greatest film factory in movie history. With the true impresario’s gift for artistic merit and financial gain, he presented Garbo in Anna Christie, the Lunts in The Guardsman, Clark Gable and Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty, John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore in Rasputin and the Empress, Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard in Romeo and Juliet, the Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera, and many others.

The record of this extraordinary life – the early success, fantastic achievement, ideal marriage (to Norma Shearer), and untimely death – was to furnish F. Scott Fitzgerald with the material for the hero of his final, unfinished novel The Last Tycoon. Now, in this definitive biography of Thalberg, the legend comes to life.

BOB THOMAS graduated from UCLA, and after serving in the army, joined the Los Angeles bureau of Associated Press. Drawing on a long-standing interest in entertainment derived from his father’s work in publicity at major Hollywood studios, he became, at the age of twenty-two, Hollywood columnist for AP. He retains that position today in addition to writing such books as King Cohn, The Flesh Merchants, and Dead Ringer. Mr. Thomas lives in Encino, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 415 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 844 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1969

Thalberg: Life and Legend (Bob Thomas; foreword by Peter Bart; introduction by Bob Thomas)

thomas-bob-thalberg-life-and-legend

“In one respect, Thalberg: Life and Legend [1969] was the most difficult biography I have undertaken. Thalberg had died thirty years before, and many of the major figures in his career had died as well. Although he was often seen in the spotlight with his wife, the glamorous Norma Shearer, he was essentially a private man. He rarely made speeches, declined most interviews, wrote little but studio memos. Most of those I interviewed were elderly, and their recollections could be sketchy. Of the sixty-three people I interviewed, only two remain alive.

For each of the biographies I have written in the series on Hollywood moguls, I have sought a defining theme. King Cohn: The Life and Times of Hollywood Mogul Harry Cohn was shaped as a vaudeville, a succession of acts, some comic, others tragic, aimed at depicting an outrageous studio boss and the milieu he ruled. Selznick became a dynastic saga of an early film entrepreneur who had been ruined by his competitors and two sons who struggled to vindicate the family name. Clown Prince of Hollywood, the Jack L. Warner biography, depicted an ex-vaudevillian who achieved the pinnacle of Hollywood power despite his boorishness. Walt Disney: An American Original sought to fathom the enigma of a man with little education and few artistic skills whose astonishing genius created lasting works of motion picture art.

Because there had been few obstacles to Thalberg’s ascent to power and little conflict in his personal life, his biography took the farm of a romance, as epitomized in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last, unrealized novel, The Last Tycoon. Indeed, Thalberg played a major role in a romantic age – the rise of the American film, from silents to talkies – and his love affair with Norma Shearer and his early death add to the romantic drama.

Aside from locating a theme, a biographer is lucky if he finds one person who can provide the key to the biographical subject’s life and character. In the case of Thalberg, that person was Howard Strickling. To many outsiders, Howard Strickling seemed a distant, shadowy, possibly dangerous player in the movie game. As publicity chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for half a century and trusted advisor to Louis B. Mayer, he held power over scores of film stars. A whisper in Mayer’s ear about a star’s misbehavior could mean the end of a career, some believed. Strickling never replied to such speculation. His credo dictated that a publicist remain in the background. His only loyalty was to Louis B. Mayer and MGM.

To my pleasant surprise, Strickling offered total cooperation with my research and gave me valuable insight about the relationship between Thalberg and Mayer. Even though the completed book sometimes portrayed Mayer unfavorably, Strickling never complained. He even praised the book to the widow Thalberg and urged her to help promote it. Norma agreed, but then she flew off to Sun Valley to ski with her second husband.

Today’s makers of films know little more about Irving G. Thalberg than the fact that his name appears on an award presented on occasion by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to producers who have accumulated a respectable body of work. Toilers in the film medium can recite whole speeches from Bogart movies and analyze the editing of Citizen Kane. But Irving G. Thalberg? I believed the Thalberg story was worth telling in 1969, and I believe it is equally instructive today. When the Academy announced that Steven Spielberg would receive the Thalberg Award in 1986, he expressed a desire to know more about the man whose bust is on the statuette. I sent him a copy of Thalberg, and it may (or may not) have influenced his acceptance speech. Spielberg, whose films to that point had been characterized by the adroit use of special effects. remarked in part: ‘I’m told that lrving G. Thalberg worshipped writers. And that’s where it all begins: that we are first and foremost storytellers. And without, as he called it, ‘the photoplay,’ everybody is simply improvising. He also knew that the script was more than a blueprint, that the whole idea of movie magic is that interweave of powerful image, and dialogue, and performance, and music, that can never be separated. And when it’s working right, can never be duplicated or ever forgotten… Most of my life has been spent in the dark watching movies. Movies have been the literature of my life. The literature of Irving G. Thalberg’s generation was books and plays.  They read the great words of the great minds. And I think in our romance with technology and our excitement exploring all the possibilities of film and video, we’ve partially lost something that we now have to reclaim. I think it’s time to renew our romance with the word. I’m as culpable as anyone in having exulted the image at the expense of the word. But only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers…” – The Introduction by Bob Thomas, February 29, 2000, Encino, California.

Softcover – 400 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13 cm (7,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 500 g (17,6 oz) – PUBLISHER New Millennium Press, Beverly Hills, California, 2000 [reprint of the 1999 edition] – ISBN 1-893224-18-X

Thalberg: The Last Tycoon and the World of M-G-M (Roland Flamini)

Flamini Roland - Thalberg, The Last TycoonHere, at last, is the first major biography of Irving Thalberg, one of the most influential and fascinating figures in 1920s and 30s Hollywood and the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon.

Born with a weak heart and told by doctors that he would not live past thirty (he died at thirty-seven), Thalberg lived and worked with an uncommon intensity. At the age of twenty-three, he joined forces with Louis B. Mayer to build MGM into Hollywood’s biggest and most successful studio, noted for its style, glamour, uncompromising production standards, and vast roster of stars. His vision shaped the writing, casting, and editing of every MGM film, including Ben-Hur, Grand Hotel, Mutiny on the Bounty, and A Night at the Opera.

Although he tried to thwart the development of the Screen Writers Guild, Thalberg helped establish the Academy Awards, and to this day the Oscars’ Irving G. Thalberg Award honors Hollywood’s great producers. His legendary financial astuteness even led him to tailor MGM’s movies to the standards of Nazi propaganda chief Dr Goebbels in order to ensure their distribution in Germany.

This is a rich, colorful biography, filled with revelations about Thalberg’s relationships with stars from Gable and Garbo to the Marx Brothers, his battles with Mayer, Sam Goldwyn, Harry Cohn, and the other Hollywood moguls, and his marriage to Norma Shearer, the actress he so wanted the world to love.

ROLAND FLAMINI is the author of Scarlett, Rhett and a Cast of Thousands. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Malta.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 704 g (24,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Andre Deutsch, London, 1994 – ISBN 0 233 98882 3

Thank Heaven: A Memoir (Leslie Caron)

scannen0107From her first appearance on screen as Gene Kelly’s luminous partner in An American in Paris to her shattering Emmy-award winning performance as a rape victim in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Leslie Caron has enchanted and moved motion picture, theater and television audiences for over five decades. Her remarkable breadth as an actress has enabled her to create such unforgettable roles as Gigi, in which she transforms herself from an ebullient girl into a ravishing young woman; the orphan Lili; and the despairing unwed mother of The L-Shaped Room. The hallmark of every Caron performance is a radiant candor, an ability to chart the inner lives of her characters with a stunning emotional directness.

That same quality is at the heart of her memoir, Thank Heaven, a wry, poignant, and unguardedly frank account of her remarkable life. She vividly evokes her childhood with a distant American mother and courtly French father, and her idyllic Summers at her grandparents’ estate in the Pyrenees – a childhood that was cut short by the German invasion of France and all the deprivations that accompanied the Occupation. After the war Caron became a precocious star with Roland Petit’s Ballets des Champs-Élysées, until the day she was spotted by Gene Kelly and soon afterward – much to her consternation – invited to Hollywood.

Still a teenager, chaperoned by her mother, and speaking little English, MGM’s newest discovery found Hollywood little to her liking, but An American in Paris made her an overnight star and set the course for the rest of her life. From there she had a string of successes, and Caron shares her memories of working with actors such as Kelly, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Maurice Chevalier, and Warren Beatty – with whom she had a very public and (in her telling) a very funny love affair. There are also unforgettable portraits of the artists who provided Caron the most sustenance during these years: the great director Jean Renoir and his wife, Dido, and the writer Christopher Isherwood. When Caron met the director Peter Hall, she married him and moved to London, where she not only became a mother but one of the city’s most popular hostesses, until finally abandoning both her marriage and her London life to return to acting.

Perhaps the most moving section of Thank Heaven is Caron’s pensive account of the past two decades of her life, in which she unexpectedly becomes an inn-keeper and faces the struggles of becoming “an aging actress” and of desperation and alcoholism, a dark period from which she emerges with strength, determination, and dignity.

Here is the rare Hollywood memoir that is as bracing in its wit and frankness as it is deeply moving in its honesty – an unforgettable self-portrait of an endlessly fascinating woman.

LESLIE CARON has been nominated for two Academy Awards, for Lili and The L-Shaped Room, won an Emmy in 2007 for her role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and continues to act today, starring most recently in Chocolat and Le divorce. She lives in Paris and owns and operates the Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, France.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 532 g (18,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking Penguin, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-670-02134-5

Theda Bara: A Biography of the Silent Screen Vamp, With a Filmography (Ronald Genini)

genini-ronald-theda-bara“I heard of Theda Bara occasionally while growing up. I probably even saw the newspaper on the day she died, but it did not really register with me, as I was only eight. My grandmother may have mentioned her, as she always mentioned the actors and actresses she recognized on television’s afternoon movies – especially the dead ones. Occasional references to her in various histories, novels and films undoubtedly helped to spark the interest which developed into this book.

I began to wonder who this character was, this vampire lady, this first star who is now nearly forgotten. For let there be no misunderstanding: Theda Bara, with her talents and her foibles, was America’s first star – a totally created character, one who was in real life no more like the creature created by a film studio than an apple is like a grape. She was given an invented name, an evil persona, and a fictional history, and the public swallowed it; meanwhile others, less virtuous, were upheld as the epitome of innocence. The public believed. Why? Mencken said that one could not go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, and this case would seem to support his contention.

I do not want to overstate Theda Bara’s importance. Compared to such early giants of the film industry as D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and the super-producers William Fox, Cecil B. DeMille, Adolph Zukor and Carl Laemmle, she is a relatively minor figure. Consequently, little can be found concerning her career other than a few words in the larger film history studies. Yet her career as screen vamp should not be underrated, for it is she who began the long line of Hollywood stars who, with little real acting ability of their own, have been built up by publicity departments into super-personalities who fade quickly when public interest can no longer be sustained on publicity alone. She was the first sex goddess, exploited until there was no new titillation left to give the public, unable to fall back on native talent. A long line follows her, with most of her successors meeting a similar sad end thanks to the fickleness of the public.” – From The Preface.

Despite being a mediocre actress with less than classic beauty, Theda Bara was one of Hollywood’s leading performers in the early years of cinema. Her  success was mostly due to Fox Studio’s publicity: they made her a screen vamp and used her to titillate the public. And Theda Bara, ambitious and nearing 30 when she made her first film, enthusiastically played the role.

In real life, Theodosia Goodman bore little resemblance to the vampish Theda Bara character. But the studio-created persona, with the invented name, evil personality and fictional history, was a major star. Though her films were often trite, poorly acted, extravagant and crude, the public packed movie houses. But her film career ended once the public tired of the persona. Through contemporary newspaper accounts, film reviews, interviews and other sources, this is a comprehensive account of the life and times of one of Hollywood’s first female stars.

RONALD GENINI is a retired high school history teacher living in Fresno, California.

Hardcover – 158 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 381 g (11,2 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1996 – ISBN 0-7864-0202-4

There Really Was a Hollywood: An Autobiography (Janet Leigh)

She was born Jeanette Helen Morrison, a shy, sensitive, extremely pretty only girl of a teenage couple. As her parents moved from town to town and as bright Jeanette was skipped ahead from grade to grade, she found comfort and continuity in het weekend stays with her “babysitter,” the movies. By age eighteen, Jeanette was a senior in college and possessed three things: a devastating secret, a new marriage, and an uncertain future. And then Norma Shearer saw her photograph and took it back to Hollywood…

This is the candid, passionate, often dazzling autobiography of one of the best-loved actresses in Hollywood, Janet Leigh, the star of such film favorites as Little Women, My Sister Eileen, Prince Valiant, Touch of Evil, Scaramounche, The Vikings, Bye Bye Birdie, The Manchurian Candidate, and, of course, Psycho, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.

Focusing on the years 1946-62, Janet’s story encompasses the time of the great Hollywood transition: the decline of the legendary movie studios, the advent of television, and the rise of the independent studios that would change the professional face of Hollywood forever. Janet’s own story is one of an ingenue who joined the “family” at mighty MGM, a beautiful actress who dated most eligible bachelors (and fended off the persistent cloak-and-dagger advances of Howard Hughes), an international star whose marriage to and divorce from Tony Curtis made for one of the most publicized relationships in history, and a dynamic public figure whose energy and zest for life are fueled by her private role as a mother and a wife.

Full of touching, funny and often outrageous stories about her friends and colleagues, There Really Was a Hollywood is ultimately the story of one woman’s growth and her survival in an industry that has destroyed so many of its own.

JANET LEIGH lives in Beverly Hills, California, and Sun Valley, Idaho, with her husband of twenty-two years, Robert Brandt. She is currently at work on a novel set in Hollywood.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 322 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 515 g (18,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-385-19035-2

They Can Kill You… But They Can’t Eat You: Lessons from the Front (Dawn Steel)

steel-dawn-they-can-kill-youThey Can Kill You… But They Can’t Eat You is the raw and personal story of one woman’s American dream – of her dazzling, difficult, inspiring fight to the very top of the male ladder of success. A college dropout from a family in turmoil – a woman with no money, no connections, nothing but guts and ambition – Dawn Steel rose through the ranks to become president of Columbia Pictures in 1987, the first woman to run a major motion picture studio.

This is a story of Hollywood glamour… of hit movies, star-studded parties, and celebrity friends… but it is also a story of tears shed behind a closed office door. It’s about being labeled “tough, ballsy, aggressive, unfeminine,” often by people who’d never met her; about deciding whether she should have a family; about learning how to be tough, not hard. Most of all, it’s about what it means to achieve success, power, and happiness as a woman.

After dropping out of college, Dawn Steel moved to New York City with little more than a willingness to improvise and be creative in order to succeed. She landed a job as a receptionist at a small company, went to work for Penthouse, got into a little trouble as an entrepreneur marketing Gucci toilet paper, and eventually soared to phenomenal success, moving from the president of production at Paramount Pictures to the presidency of Columbia Pictures in 1987. The hit movies she worked on include Flashdance, Awakenings, Top Gun, The Untouchables, The Accused, Flatliners, Ghostbusters II, Fatal Attraction, and the restored Lawrence of Arabia.

In this riveting insider’s view of Hollywood power, politics, and stars, Dawn Steel recounts her time at Paramount as one of the “Killer Dillers,” the legendary few marked by brilliance, youth and ambition, who went on to run Hollywood. She absorbed strategies and know-how from the powerful: Michael Eisner, Barry Diller, Mike Ovitz, Ray Stark, Herbert Allen, Victor Kaufman, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Her network of friends and business relationships reads like a Who’s Who in Hollywood: Barbra Streisand, Syvester Stallone, Tom Cruise, Cher, Madonna, Kevin Costner, Jodie Foster, and Martin Scorsese, to name a few. Steel achieved incredible success and learned life’s most valuable lessens, but not without sacrifice. She discovered that “they can kill you, but they can’t eat you” after she lost her job while giving birth to her daughter.

From the multibillion-dollar corporate takeovers that ripped through Hollywood in the ’80s to her dramatic departure from Columbia Pictures, Steel knows all the moves and all the players, and shares the priceless experience of making it in one of the most ruthless businesses in the world. For every woman (or man) who knows there’s a great person in there dying to escape, but lacks the confidence or tools to truly express oneself… for every woman trying to get out of the typing pool… for every woman who wants to be valued for cherishing her role as a mother… for corporate vice-presidents who are as sick as Dawn Steel was of wanting to be one of the boys… for every woman who, just as she conquers the next step, wonders “so what do I do now,” Dawn Steel offers hard-won insights to help accelerate the trip, eliminate some of the angst and pain, and create a spirit of optimism and hope.

Full of heart, wit, and street-smart wisdom, Dawn Steel’s unforgettable journey to the top and beyond delivers superb Hollywood entertainment, a poignant story of self-discovery, and startlingly candid lessons for our time.

DAWN STEEL now heads Steel Pictures. She is married to producer Charles Roven and has a six-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 344 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 650 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-671-73832-1

“They’re Here…” Invasion of the Body Snatchers: A Tribute (edited by Kevin McCarthy, Ed Gorman; introduction by Dean Koontz)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the most ingenious and influential works of science fiction ever to “take over” the public imagination. Based on the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (author of the classic Time and Again), this cult classic has become the ultimate metaphor for alienation, conformity, and the struggle of the human spirit. It has inspired three motion pictures – and terrified three generations of fans.

Now this fascinating companion volume – edited by Kevin McCarthy, the star of the original film, and Ed Gorman – explores the enduring power and popularity of The Body Snatchers phenomenon. Filled with photographs, interviews, personal commentaries, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes – it is, at once, a tribute to director Don Siegel’s 1956 film noir classic of Red Scare paranoia, a reassessment of the 1978 and 1997 remakes, and an homage to the brilliant fiction of author Jack Finney.

[Interviews with Kevin McCarthy, Philip Kaufman, Robert H. Solo, W.D. Richter, Abel Ferrara]

Softcover – 273 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 318 g (11,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Berkley Boulevard Books, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-425-16527-2

They Still Call Me Junior: Autobiography of a Child Star, with a Filmography (Frank “Junior” Coghlan; foreword by William C. Cline)

coghlan-frank-junior-the-still-call-me-junior“This is the story of my now 71 years in the motion picture and television industries, from my first role in 1920 at the age of three, to being a featured player in ‘The Republic Pictures Story’ that ran on the American Film Classics cable network in 1991 and the 1992 PBS special Shirley Temple – America’s Little Darling. Many of my contemporary kid actors have written, or co-authored, a book about their years as a child performer. Too many of them fill countless pages bemoaning the fact that they never had a normal childhood and were forced to work by parents seeking riches and the glory to satisfy their own egos. I don’t feel that way about my early days since I cherish those memories. At age nine I spent two weeks at the Grand Canyon working for Cecil B. DeMille in The Road to Yesterday where I even had the fun of riding a burro deep into the canyon each day to reach our location site. Because I had to shoot a bow and arrow in this film, the ever meticulous C.B. had me to the studio daily taking archery lessons for two weeks before production started.

This role led to a five-year contract where I attained stardom at age 11. Imagine the joy as a ten-year-old spending six weeks at sea in a real three-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel in The Yankee Clipper with my idol William Boyd. In my very next film I spent four weeks on the playing field with the 1927 New York Yankees when I played their bat boy in Slide, Kelly, Slide. I even got to meet Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Then I lived for three weeks in a tent city our studio built on the Navaho Indian Reservation near Monument Valley in Arizona working in The Last Frontier, again with William Boyd. Later I played a jockey in three films and did my own riding in Racetrack, Kentucky Blue Streak, and Charlie Chan at the Race Track. Then I worked in three serials. I played Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans with Harry Carey and was Jackie Cooper’s pal Ken in Scouts to the Rescue.

In 1941 I played the role that still has me invited to film festivals, when I was Billy Batson in the classic action serial Adventures of Captain Marvel, now considered by most radio fans and critics to be the finest serial ever made. There I was, the young radio reporter who was granted the right to utter the magic word ‘Shazam’ and be transformed into Captain Marvel, ‘the world’s mightiest mortal.’ Now, how can you top memories like that?” – From The Preface.

Once called the “perfect example of a homeless waif” by director Cecil B. DeMille, Junior Coghlan acted in movies for over 70 years. Perhaps best remembered for his role as Billy Batson in the Republic serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel, he has worked with many of the legends of Hollywood, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, and Shirley Temple. Included here are the stories of Coghlan’s 23-year naval service (he enlisted as an aviator during World War II and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander) and his eight years as the naval liaison and technical advisor on such films as The Caine Mutiny and Mr. Roberts. A filmography traces his career.

FRANK “JUNIOR” COGHLAN, Jr., made 129 film and television appearances between 1920 and 1974. His joke when he visited McFarland in the early nineties was to say with a twinkle in his eye just “They still call me Junior,” referring to his Hollywood and naval friends.

Hardcover – 369 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 708 g (25 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland and Co, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1993 – ISBN 0-89950-762-X

Things I Did and Things I Think I Did: A Hollywood Memoir by Jean Negulesco (Jean Negulesco)

Negulesco, Jean - Things I Did and Things I Think I DidHere is the delightful memoir in words and pictures of artist, writer, director, and now raconteur par excellence Jean Negulesco. The author has been –  through luck, enterprise, and an overwhelming romanticism – a part of our century’s most vibrant cultural history, and now presents an uncensored peek into the private lives of the personalities he has known.

Born in Rumania, Negulesco first fled to the adventure that was an artist’s life in the Paris of the twenties, where his friends were Brancusi and Modigliani, Utrillo and Giacometti; then on to the Riviera, where he supported himself as a “professional dancer” at the Hotel Negresco, twirling the daughters of rich American families, switching to their more lucrative mothers at the sound of the tango; later to Hollywood, the very citadel of dreams, where he directed such classics as Johnny Belinda, Daddy Long Legs, and How to Marry a Millionaire.

Here, then, are his loving recollections, written with an acute eye and a refreshing candor. We witness the last dance of Isadora Duncan – fat and fortyish, the shapeless muse transcends her ugliness and creates a miracle; the dinner parties of William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies; the mannerisms of Bette Davis and the valiancy of Marilyn Monroe; the profanity of Peter Lorre; the fiendish antics of Humphrey Bogart and the beloved tyranny of Jack L. Warner.

Lavishly illustrated with photographs and the author’s own extraordinary drawings, Things I Did... and Things I Think I Did is a collection of enchanting observations, their common thread the magic of Jean Negulesco, who, at eighty, is still a child of fortune.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 317 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 19 cm (9,5 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 826 g (29,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Linden Press / Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-671-50734-6

The Things I Had to Learn (Loretta Young, as told to Helen Ferguson)

Young, Loretta - The Things I Had to LearnHere is the frank, personal revelation of a glamorous actress – Hollywood’s most awarded star. Upon a canvas of rich autobiographical incident, this portrait discloses the dreams and disappointments, the weaknesses and the strength of a radiant woman who grew up, in and with Hollywood. Its studio stages are her “home town.”

It tells of her as an eager child, a headstrong girl and as a gracious, disciplined woman. It reveals with inspiring candor what Loretta Young had to learn, how she learned it and what she still hopes to learn. Her story is told with engaging humor and characteristic honesty, as she shares the source of the courage necessary to build, and to maintain, her unparalleled star-status.

Loretta’s way of expressing gratitude for the help her friends have given her – sometimes unknowingly – is to write them thank-you letters. Here, for the first time, she discloses her acknowledgments to Father Keller for showing her how to accept the limitations of responsibility; to Irene Dunne for a lesson in unconsciousness; to George Arliss for teaching her team play; to many others for their little contributions to the person she wished to become.

While her grateful thanks to all her “teachers” is placed firmly on the record, above all and most of all, she has recorded her gratefulness to God and her unswerving faith in the power of prayer.

Shared, too, is what Loretta has learned in the world of fashion, grooming, beauty, charm and glamour; what she has learned in the areas of emotion, ambition, discipline, responsibility and obligation. Her stories prove how rewarding it is to give credit where credit is due and the desolate destructiveness of jealousy, envy and self-righteousness. Told is her joyful learning to trust the unchanging, unchangeable, eternal power of Love; of learning to meet the demands and challenges of being true to oneself; of the enrichments to be gained only through giving, and of the imperative success-requirements: consideration for others, respect for one’s self and for all of God’s children – everywhere; thoughtfulness, kindness, good manners, honor, sportsmanship – and HARD WORK.

This book speaks directly, simply and intimately to the heart of anyone who will listen. Loretta Young delivers the kind of message one longs for – but seldom gets – from one’s closest friend.

HELEN FERGUSON, one-time Hollywood screen and stage star, retired as an actress, became a top Hollywood Public Relations and Career Counsellor. Loretta Young has been her client, and her friend, for nineteen years. Miss Ferguson’s professional background, and her thorough, understanding affection are authoritatively apparent in The Things I Had to Learn.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 603 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1961

Things I’ve Said, but Probably Shouldn’t Have: An Unrepentant Memoir (Bruce Dern, with Christopher Fryer, Robert Crane)

Dern, Bruce - Things I've Said, But Probably Shouldn't HaveHe is one of Hollywood’s hardest-working actors and most outrageous personalities. His career has run the gamut from B movies to Z movies to becoming an Oscar nominee and has included some of the most indelible performances in modern cinema. He has worked with practically every iconic actor and director in the last fifty years – and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks about all of them.

Now Bruce Dern tells all in Things I’ve Said, but Probably Shouldn’t Have. In this uniquely entertaining memoir, he looks back over his amazing life and career, including his unforgettable work in Silent Running, Family Plot, Coming Home, Monster, and other films. He holds nothing back as he writes about working with Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock, John Frankenheimer, Claude Chabrol, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Bob Dylan, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Jane Fonda, John Wayne, and many more. He reveals why he wasn’t interested in potentially career-making roles in The Godfather and Gandhi, and why, after he was already famous, he agreed to star in The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, the second best two-headed transplant movie of 1971.

You’ll also find out why he became estranged from his prestigious family over a typo in The New York Times and learn about his experiences as father and mentor to actress Laura Dern. Along the way, he gives key insights into how placing artistic challenge over career development has kept one of Hollywood’s greatest actors from also being one of its most famous and rich. He also talks about the single best moment he’s ever had in a movie in his career – and why he would not make that film today.

Sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious, Things I’ve Said, but Probably Shoudn’t Have is a wild ride as compelling as the many roles Bruce Dern has played in his long and adventurous run on stage and on screen.

BRUCE DERN is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actor and early member of the Actors Studio. His multi-era career includes memorable roles in genre classics, including They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Coming Home, The Great Gatsby, The Wild Angels, Silent Running, That Championship Season, and All the Pretty Horses. For many filmgoers, he will always be the guy who killed John Wayne in The Cowboys. He currently stars as Frank Harlow on the hit HBO series Big Love. CHRISTOPHER FRYER and ROBERT CRANE are also the authors of Jack Nicholson: Face to Face.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 298 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 526 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-470-10637-2

A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking (Samuel Fuller, with Christa Lang Fuller, Jerome Henry Rudes; introduction by Martin Scorsese)

fuller-sam-a-third-faceIn his new book, Samuel Fuller, independent director-producer extraordinaire, tells the story of his life, a life that spanned most of the twentieth century. His twenty-nine tough, gritty pictures made from 1949 to 1989 set out to capture the truth of war, racism, and human frailties, and incorporate same of his own experiences.

He writes of his years in the newspaper business – selling papers as a boy on the streets of New York, working for Hearst’s New York Journal American, first as a copyboy, then as personal runner for the famous Hearst editor in chief Arthur Brisbane. His film Park Row was inspired by his years as a reporter for the New York Evening Graphic, where his beat included murders, suicides, state executions, and race riats – he scooped every other New York paper with his coverage of the death by drug overdose of the legendary Jeanne Eagels.

Fuller writes about hitchhiking across the country, seeing America firsthand at the height of the Great Depression. He writes of his years in the army… fighting with the first infantry division in World War II, called the Big Red One… on the front lines during the invasion of North Africa and Sicily, and landing on Omaha Beach on D Day, June 6, 1944. These experiences he later captured in his hugely successful pictures The Big Red One, The Steel Helmet, and Merrill’s Marauders, which was based on the true story of a three-thousand-man infantry that fought behind enemy lines in Burma in 1944.

Fuller talks about directing his first picture (he also wrote the script), I Shot Jesse James... and how, as a result, he was sought after by every major studio, choosing to work for Darryl F. Zanuck of Twentieth Century Fox. We see him becoming one of the most prolific, independent-minded writer-directors, turning out seven pictures in six years, among them Pickup on South Street, House of Bamboo, and China Gate. He writes about making Underworld U.S.A., a movie that shows how gangsters in the 1960s were no longer seen as thugs but as “respected” tax-paying executives… about the making of the movie Shock Corridor – about a journalist trying to solve a murder in a lunatic asylum – which exposed the conditions in mental institutions… and about White Dog (written in collaboration with Curtis Hanson), a film so controversial that Paramount’s then studio heads, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner, refused to release it. Honest, open, engrossing. A must for anyone interested in movies.

SAMUEL FULLER was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1912. He wrote, produced, and directed twenty-nine films and wrote eleven novels. Fuller lived in Los Angeles with his wife and their daughter and died at the age of eighty-five in 1997. A Third Face was completed by his wife, Christa Lang Fuller, and Jerome Henry Rudes, Samuel Fuller’s longtime friend. CHRISTA LANG FULLER was born in Winterberg, Germany. As an actress, she appeared in New Wave films directed by Jean-Luc Godard. She graduated from UCLA, where she received a master’s degree in French literature. She was married to Samuel Fuller in 1967 and lives in Los Angeles, California, with their daughter, Samantha, and grandchild, Samira. JEROME HENRY RUDES was born in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas and received a master’s degree in film from Northwestern University. In 1984, he created the French-American Film Workshop in Avignon, France (now the Avignon Film Festival), and in 1995 started the Avignon / New York Film Festival. Rudes lives in New York and Provence.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 592 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 1.110 g (39,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-375-101659-2

Thirty Years of Treason: Excerpts from Hearings before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, 1938-1968 (selected and edited by Eric Bentley)

bentley-eric-thirty-years-of-treason”If the American people is not the freest ever, it is the best supervised and most listened in on. For Big Brother isn’t of 1984, he has been watching us for some decades now. Some think his name is Hoover. In which case his Little Brother’s name is HUAC.”

As the testimony Eric Bentley has culled from the thirty-year record of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings demonstrates with painful clarity, HUAC grew from a panel investigating possible subversive activities in America “upon a dignified plane,” into a monstrous and unrelenting accusatory finger which almost no one was safe to turn from or face without embarrassment.

Edited and transcribed for this volume by our leading historian and critic of the drama, “the record,” Mr. Bentley reports, “changes from pathos to farce, from catastrophe to monotony, from tragedy to absurdity.” He focuses on HUAC’s confrontations with and treatments of artists, intellectuals, and performers, not only because of his natural interest in the theater, but because HUAC itself betrayed a theatrical bias. It called as witnesses performing artists, screenwriters, producers, and playwrights, and – especially during the era of Joseph McCarthy – displayed the whole affair on national television. Thus what took place in the hearing room did so in a richly theatrical atmosphere, and for the benefit of a large audience.

The result here is a highly readable and totally absorbing collection of significant excerpts from those hearings. Background material from forgotten (and often bitterly shocking) newspaper and magazine articles which ran concurrently with the hearings is included. Mr. Bentley’s invaluable explanatory passages provide the proper context, while he saves his personal commentary on the committee’s various achievements and contributions to American history for a separate conclusion.

But the record speaks for itself. Lest we torget, the committee inflicted real casualties: professional and social ostracism, divorce, voluntary exile, even suicide were the lot of many hundreds of witnesses. In the sixties things changed: witnesses now confronted HUAC with a devastating and somewhat comic combination of intelligence and gall, creating popular folk heroes out of themselves. After the “new” committee’s (“new” in the sense that the old HUAC’s name was changed to the House Internal Security Committee) harassment of so-called radical speakers on college campuses in October 1970, these “old” records serve as a warning for the future, and at the same time make living documents out of history.

ERIC BENTLEY for nearly two decades after 1950 held the influential post of Brander Matthews Professor of Dramatic Literature at Columbia University. His drama reviews, which appeared in The New Republic during the middle 1950s, were collected in his book What Is Theater? The Life of the Drama came out of his 1960-1961 lectures as Harvard’s Charles Norton Professor of Poetry. After he had publicly sided with the Columbia students during their 1968 campus revolt, he began contributing to the radical revaluation of America that has marked recent years with essays published in the New American Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere. He also wrote several polemic entertainments at this time, notably A Time to Die and a Time to Live, and The Red, White and Black. His record album, Bentley on Brecht, preserved Bertolt Brecht’s encounter with HUAC and also marked the beginning of Thirty Years of Treason.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 991 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.690 g (59,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 670-70165-3

This Is Hollywood: An Unusual Movieland Guide (Ken Schessler)

Schessler, Ken - This Is Hollywood“First of all, Hollywood is not just the area centered around Hollywood and Vine. Its undefined boundaries are vast, extending from the San Fernando Valley, to the Pacific Ocean. Since the birth of the movies in Los Angeles in 1909, Hollywood’s fabled pioneers and stars have not only left their imprints in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese, but in countless other places in the Los Angeles area where the Hollywood history buff and explorer, or just plain fan, can find exciting history at every turn.” – From The Introduction in Ken Schessler’s This Is Hollywood: An Unusual Movieland Guide

A Hollywood classic, Ken Schessler’s This is Hollywood is in its 24th year as Hollywood’s #1 sightseeing and historical guide.

Written by one of Hollywood’s top historians, and newly updated in 2002, it contains fascinating stories on Hollywood murders, scandals, haunted houses, historical sites, landmarks and even graves of the stars. It includes 45 detailed maps, over 50 photos, and sections on Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Softcover – 95 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 11,5 cm (8,5 x 4,5 inch) – Weight 139 g (4,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Ken Schessler, Redlands, California, 2003 – ISBN 0-915633-00-0

This Is My Song: A Biography of Petula Clark (Andrea Kon)

kon-andrea-this-is-my-song-a-biography-of-petula-clarkPetula Clark must surely be the most enigmatic British pop star. Since hitting the spotlight at the age of ten when she first captured the hearts of the wartime public across the world with a magical performance on the It’s All Yours programme of the BBC’s British Empire Service, she has appeared in more than thirty British and American films, cut millions of discs in a variety of languages and risen from being the pure English ‘Our Pet’ to becoming France’s own ‘Petulante Petula’ and finally America’s Queen of ‘Downtown’ and an internationally acclaimed star.

Yet, until now, little has been known of the real person behind the headlines. Never before has she spoken of her true relationship with her father and of her battle to lose the ‘little girl’ image he so painstakingly manufactured around her. Nor of the two, true loves of her life which preceded her marriage to her French husband and manager, Claude Wolff. Or of the mystery illness which has led to enormous speculation about her present health.

In this book and for the first time she tells, with her friends, the real and often sad story  behind the public smile. How she saved Harry Belafonte from humiliation; why she has always loathed comparison with Julie Andrews; what she thinks of Fred Astaire, Peter O’Toole, John Lennon and Roddy Llewellyn and why she never did get to sing Charlie Chaplin’s final song. So many unanswered questions have always surrounded this tiny lady whose name has become a household word. This book, complete with many unique photographs, attempts to answer them all.

ANDREA KON was born in London and educated at Kingsbury County Grammar School. She obtained a diploma in journalism from Regents Street Polytechnic, and has worked as a journalist for the past nineteen years. She presently writes human interest stories for major national newspapers and magazines. Andrea is married to a chartered accountant and has two teenage daughters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 571 g (20,1 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1983 – ISBN 0 491 02898 9

This Is Orson Welles (Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich)

bogdanovich-peter-this-is-orson-welles-hc“When I have talked with him, I feel like a plant that has been watered.” – Marlene Dietrich

Film and theater director-innovator, radio producer, actor, writer, painter, narrator, and magician, Orson Welles was the last true Renaissance man of the twentieth century. From such great work in radio as the epoch-making “War of the Worlds” and the famous voice of “The Shadow knows!” to his cinematic masterpieces Citizen Kane, Othello, The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil, and the wonderful but still unreleased The Other Side of the Wind, Welles was a central figure in the art of our time. With This Is Orson Welles, though, we get to meet the Welles we wish we’d always known ourselves – the world’s master storyteller.

A collection of penetrating, fascinating, witty, and wild conversations between Welles and acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich, spanning nearly ten years and eight cities around the world, This Is Orson Welles is filled with Orson’s signature joie de vivre, and it reveals the great man’s own thoughts on his work in radio, theater, film, and television; his comments on Hollywood and Broadway producers, directors, and stars; and his wonderful views of life: the difference between feline and canine people; why men like magic shows and women don’t; why actors are the third sex.

This is the book that Welles ultimately considered his autobiography, but it’s a memoir like no other. Epic in scope, but always as magnificently engaging as Welles himself was in real life, This Is Orson Welles will leave you agreeing with Marlene Dietrich, who also said (using Welles’ words from Touch of Evil): “He was some kind of man. What does it matter what you say about people?”

[GEORGE] ORSON WELLES was born in 1915 and died in 1985. His biography can be no briefer than the length of this book. PETER BOGDANOVICH is the award-winning director of such films as The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc?, and Mask; he is also the noted author of several books, including John Ford, Pieces of Time, and the best-selling memoir The Killing of the Unicorn. He lives in Los Angeles. JONATHAN ROSENBAUM is the author of Moving Places and the co-author of Midnight Movies; he is the Chicago Reader’s film critic and he lives in Chicago.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 533 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.035 g (36,5 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-06-016616-9

This Is Orson Welles (Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich)

welles-orson-this-is-orson-welles“These interviews were recorded on reel-to-reel tape. Why they have taken so long to reach print is a complicated story. When Peter Bogdanovich first met Orson Welles in Los Angeles toward the end of 1968, he had already published monographs on Welles, Howard Hawks, and Alfred Hitchcock for the Museum of Modern Art, as well as interview books with John Ford and Fritz Lang, and directed one feature (Targets). During those same years, Welles had made The Trial (1962) and Chimes at Midnight (1966) and acted in a good many other films while trying to raise money for his other film projects.

Bogdanovich’s sixteen-page The Cinema of Orson Welles (1961) – written for the first Welles retrospective in the United States, one organized by Bogdanovich for the Museum of Modern Art – differs strikingly from other American critical treatments of Welles, especially during this period, by arguing that Welles ‘developed much further both technically and intellectually’ after Citizen Kane: e.g., ‘The photography and what remains of Welles’ original editing mark [Mr. Arkadin] as perhaps Welles’ most ambitious film to date’; ‘Technically, Touch of Evil is Welles’ most advanced film.’

Bogdanovich recalls their 1968 meeting and their mutual decision to do a book together in the Introduction which follows, written especially for this volume. The interviews began in Welles’ bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel and resumed as Bogdanovich joined Welles on location for Catch-22 in Guaymas, Mexico, and then continued sporadically at various places in Europe and the United States. During this same period – 1969 to 1972 – Bogdanovich published two lengthy broadsides defending Welles against his detractors – ‘Is It True What They Say About Orson?’ in the New York Times, and ‘The Kane Mutiny’ in Esquire. According to Bogdanovich, as the book developed, its collage structure and its emphasis on the fact that the interviews occurred in different locations stemmed from Welles himself, and one can see in both these conceptual ideas rather precise parallels to the films Welles was making over the same period – the giddy globetrotting in F for Fake and Filming Othello and the array of diverse overlapping ‘documentary’ materials in the still unreleased The Other Side of the Wind.

As Bogdanovich describes it, what usually happened was that he would edit and arrange the material after it had been transcribed and submit versions of each section to Welles. Months later, Welles would send these back, either retyped or with handwritten changes; some chapters went through two or three such revisions, with Welles often rewriting Bogdanovich’s comments as well as his own.” – From The Preface by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Softcover – 533 pp., index – Dimensions 19,5 x 13 cm (7,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 511 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, London, 1993 – ISBN 0-00-638232-0

This Life (Sidney Poitier)

poitier-sidney-this-life“From my seven-dollar-a-week room on 118th Street, I would go to wherever my job happened to be, work my customary eight hours, then back to Harlem. One day while browsing through the listings for chauffeurs, maids, dishwashers, porters, janitors, etc., my attention was drawn to the theatrical page and an article under the heading ‘Actors Wanted by Little Theatre Group.’

Now, I knew I couldn’t read too well, I knew that. And I knew I had an accent – a bad, crippling accent. I knew those things, but what I hadn’t come to grips with until then was that if I didn’t do something about myself, I would be trapped forever as a dishwasher. Here I am, I’m eighteen years of age, and if I live to be eighty, for the next sixty-two years I’m going to be a dishwasher.

People will walk by me and I won’t register. I will always feel inadequate. That will be my destiny if I do not, by myself, take my life into my own hands and work out something worthwhile.” Sidney Poiter

Softcover – 370 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 212 g (7,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Ballantine Books, New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-345-29407-6

This ‘n That (Bette Davis, with Michael Herskowitz)

Davis, Bette - This 'n That“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale from infinite variety,” wrote Shakespeare of Cleopatra. If the Bard of Avon had been a Hollywood screenwriter, Bette Davis would have played the part.

This ‘n That is by a super actress and an extraordinary human being. It is full of fabulous anecdotes as well as opinions pro and con on a wide range of subjects. A woman of strong appetites and opinions, Miss Davis minces no words. In frank, no-nonsense terms she talks about her stroke and mastectomy and inspires us with the story of her complete recovery – a lively and encouraging account shot through with the star’s unique blend of spunk and wit.

The real terror for Bette Davis was the possibility that she would never work again. For her, this would have been a living death. It was Kathryn Sermak, her assistant of eight years, who had full faith in her employer’s ability to come back. Day after day, hour after hour, Kathryn would say, “We’ll make it.” And they did. Without Kathryn, Bette admits with undying gratitude, she might never have been well enough to work again. Now, in her mid-seventies, Bette Davis has completed two TV film specials, and is about to start on two more.

Bette Davis is famous for being as unsparing of herself as she is of others. Among the “others” in this book are the President of the United States, who was a contract player at Warner Bros. when she was; Joan Crawford, her costar in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Helen Hayes, Bette’s costar in her first film after her illness, Murder with Mirrors.

But This ‘n That is much more than a collection of anecdotes. Miss Davis writes lovingly and with astonishing insight about the joys, the sorrows, and the responsibilities of being a mother and a mother-in-law – “the most difficult responsibility of them all.” As a grandmother of four grandsons, she reminisces over the joys and disappointments of seeing what kind of parents her children have become and what kind of people their children will be.

This is a unique and controversial book by one of the most incandescent and unconventional acting talents of all times, as magnetic and supremely colorful as the lady herself. “If everyone likes you, you’re doing your job wrong,” Miss Davis declares. And when asked if she is a “liberated” woman, she answers, “I was born liberated.” This book bears her out.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 207 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 638 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-399-13246-5

This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me: An Autobiography (Norman Jewison; foreword by John Patrick Shanley)

Autographed copy To Leo. Enjoy! Norman Jewison

Jewison, Norman - This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me, An AutobiographyFor over forty years, Norman Jewison has been one of Hollywood’s preeminent storytellers. His films have spanned every genre, from drama to comedy to musical to action, and have been embraced by audiences and critics alike. Throughout his career, Jewison has shown an honesty, humor, and unflappable spirit that have made him one of Hollywood’s best-loved and most successful directors, culminating in an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999.

In this candid and witty autobiography, Jewison reveals how he went from a quiet childhood in Canada to the heady world of entertainment, working with the biggest stars and winning some of the most sought-after awards. He began his career in television, earning three Emmy Awards for his work with luminaries such as Harry Belafonte, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra, but soon made the move to the big screen. In Hollywood, he started out directing romantic comedies with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, but soon proved himself adept as an independent filmmaker with The Cincinnati Kid, starring a young Steve McQueen.

Jewison – or the “Canadian Pinko” as John Wayne called him – has been a tireless promoter of civil rights around the world in both his films and life. His pre-glasnost comedy The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! made him one of the first Western directors to go behind the Iron Curtain. Robert Kennedy became a friend after supplying details of his own experiences in the South for the making of In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier. The landmark film went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but not before Jewison, Poitier, and the rest of the crew spent a tense, sleepless night in a Southern motel. In the eighties and nineties, his films A Soldier’s Story and The Hurricane with Denzel Washington each received worldwide acclaim for their portrayal of some of the most fundamental issues of race in America.

No matter what genre, Jewison’s films were career highlights for countless actors, and he offers never before told tales of his own working relationships with the stars and studios. How did he, a Canadian-Christian, get to direct the hit musical Fiddler on the Roof? How did the rugged, motorcycle-riding Steve McQueen convince Jewison he could play the sophisticated Thomas Crown? How did Jewison help invent the futuristic sport of Rollerball? How did Moonstruck reverse a box-office curse and go on to become a smash success and multiple Oscar-winner?

This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me reveals the little-known details in these funny, charming stories of life on the other side of the camera that are sure to become the stuff of Hollywood legend.

NORMAN JEWISON has been a vibrant force in the motion picture industry for more than forty years. His films have been celebrated at the Academy Awards, having received a total of forty-six nominations. He has been personally nominated for three Best Director awards and in 1999 received the Irving G. Thalberg Award for lifetime achievement. He has won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the Donatello Award from Italy, and numerous international prizes. Norman Jewison currently has two films in development. He lives on a working farm in Ontario, Canada.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 302 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 619 g (21,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Dunne Books, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-312-32868-0

Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Pioneer (Brian Taves)

Taves, Brian - Thomas InceThomas H. Ince (1880–1924) turned movie-making into a business enterprise. After progressing from actor to director and screenwriter, he revolutionized the motion picture industry by developing the role of the producer. In addition to building Inceville, the first major Hollywood studio, he was responsible for more than eight hundred films.

Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Pioneer chronicles Ince’s life from his early career on the stage to his sudden death just before Ince was about to join forces with media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. In November 1924, the two longtime friends met to plan a powerful combine; Hearst wished to produce his films at Ince’s studio, and Ince would in turn bring Hearst magazine stories to the screen. Days after the meeting, Ince suddenly succumbed to ulcers and heart disease – the toll of writing, directing, producing, and editing hundreds of films since 1910. Rumors began to spread, instigated by some of Heart’s enemies, and Ince’s own movie exposé of yellow journalism in the previous year had earned him a measure of press enmity. In this comprehensive new biography, Brian Taves tells the true story of one of silent cinema’s most influential moguls.

Thomas Ince reveals not only the end of Ince’s career but also the intense years he spent as a leader of the film industry. Assigned by Carl Laemmle to direct the movies of Mary Pickford and sent to film in Cuba, Ince learned the value of filming on location. When he headed to southern California, he used the surrounding landscape as the setting for his authentic westerns. Realism became the keynote for Ince’s films, whether he tackled social issues such as poverty and addiction, re-created Civil War battles, or cast the first Hollywood films with Asian actors in lead roles. Many diverse talents including Sessue Hayakawa, William S. Hart, Charles Ray, and John Gilbert became stars under Ince’s tutelage. In later years, melodrama became Ince’s focus as he explored the changing position of women in America with films such as the silent version of Anna Christie (1923). Based on the surviving films, corporate papers, and accounts from popular and trade journals at the time, Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Producer recounts a remarkable saga, providing a vivid glimpse inside the world of a silent-era filmmaker.

BRIAN TAVES is an archivist with the Library of Congress. He is the author of P.G. Wodehouse and Hollywood: Screenwriting, Satires, and Adaptations; Robert Florey, The French Expressionist; The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure Movies; and numerous articles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 367 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2012 – ISBN 978-0-8131-3422-2

Those Were the Days, My Friend: My Life in Hollywood With David O. Selznick and Others (Paul Macnamara)

Macnamara, Paul - Those Were The Days, My friendThose Were the Days, My Friend is Paul Macnamara’s fascinating and entertaining reminiscence of his work as director of advertising and publicity for David O. Selznick in the 1940s. Macnamara paints a vivid and highly personal portrait of the legendary Hollywood producer, recalling his endless memoranda, his quixotic behavior, his marriage to actress Jennifer Jones, and his determination to market her as an international star.

Among the films discussed by Macnamara are Duel in the Sun, The Paradine Case, Portrait of Jennie, and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. A flight to New York is delayed to await Selznick’s arrival, films are pulled from release at his whim, and when Macnamara meets the producer for the last time, he is planning a musical version of Gone With the Wind. While David O. Selznick is the focal point of the book, it also contains remembrances of many other personalities, including William S. Paley, Gloria Swanson, Howard Hughes, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, and Cary Grant. Macnamara remembers his dealings with William Randolph Hearst and the newspaper gossip columnist Louella Parsons. He writes of planning Shirley Temple’s marriage, and of the making of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Moon Is Blue.

Those Were the Days, My Friend will delight anyone interested in Hollywood’s golden age with its unique look at the work of a major industry publicist. It is an insider’s view of Hollywood that will appeal to both insiders and outsiders.

Hardcover – 196 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 395 g (13,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1993. ISBN 0-8108-2694-1

Three Classic Screen Comedies Starring Harold Lloyd (Donald W. McCaffrey)

mccaffrey-donald-w-three-classic-silent-screen-comedies-starring-harold-lloydThe focus of this book is on three of Harold Lloyd’s features, Grandma’s Boy (1922), Safety Last (1923), and The Freshman (1925), and it presents a thorough investigation of the structure, characters, and comic techniques employed in these films. Each was viewed in detail through the construction of a shot-by-shot scenario as a record of the most minute actions in the movies, and each work was viewed at least six times. Also important to the investigation were journalistic reviews of the twenties, present-day reflections, and basic comic theory, which areas help flesh out a thorough examination of film comedy.

On completion of the derailed analysis of all aspects of the films, it was found that each work presents a comic deviation from the common success story. Safety Last follows a more conventional plot line with the central character attempting to achieve success in the business world. Grandma’s Boy and The Freshman stress the young man’s struggles to be socially accepted. It was also found that Lloyd’s slapstick and genteel comic material are blended and set in certain patterns. Genteel humor is used in the frame and plotting of his stories, and a modified, milder version of the slapstick comedy of the one- and two-reel films of the formative period of silent screen comedy is used in the major comic sequences of the films. Each film develops each successive sequence with more laughable material; the strengest comic sequence in both Safety Last and The Freshman comes at the climax of the story. Grandma’s Boy, on the other hand, makes use of an extensively developed chase preceding the climactic sequence.

But patterns of organization are similar in the three films: Lloyd’s blend of two comic traditions and slapstick and genteel comedy operates in all phases of his treatment. Further, besides comic situations, he uses character to promote situation, creating unity in these works through a comic character with a strong will to succeed socially – a sharp contrast to the almost will-less comic portraits of Chaplin, Keaton, and Langdon.

Fifty-eight photographs from the three films and other works, many of them rare and not found in other books, complement the study. An accurate filmography and an account of the author’s 1965 interviews with Lloyd also provide insight into the comedian’s working method and philosophy.

DONALD W. McCAFFREY was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1926 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He has been active in promoting motion picture scholarship with the international organization The Society for Cinema Studies, and has served as its secretary and councilman. In 1965 he interviewed Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton for several of his major studies, and has developed a research method of examining comic films in detail by studying visual and verbal humor through the use of editing viewer and tape recorder. Dr. McCaffrey has also interviewed film director Frank Capra, and has lectured on silent screen comedy for a special radio series presented by the Voice of America in 1972. Author of numerous articles on silent and sound screen comedy published in Britain and the United States, Dr. McCaffrey has also written three previous books: Four Great Comedians: Chaplin, Lloyd, Keaton, Langdon; Focus on Chaplin; and The Golden Age of Sound Comedy. He is presently Professor of Cinema in the English Department at the University of North Dakota.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 16,5 cm (10 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 645 g (22,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Farleigh Dickinson, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1976 – ISBN 0-8386-1455-8

3-D Hollywood: A Spectacular Collection of Never-Before-Seen Photographs of Hollywood Stars Reproduced in Stunning 3-D (edited by Suzanne Lloyd Hayes; photographs by Harold Lloyd)

Lloyd Hayes, Suzanne - 3-D HollywoodAfter he retired from the screen in the 1930s, silent film comedian Harold Lloyd was free to pursue his favorite hobby, photography. Beginning in the mid-1940s, Lloyd spent more than two decades using a 3-D camera to take pictures of his friends and neighbors – among them Bob Hope, Gary Cooper, Alan Ladd, Richard Burton, Dick Powell, Roy Rogers, eighteen-year-old Candice Bergen, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and many others. Among these photos are more than a dozen striking unpublished pictures of Marilyn Monroe, some of them taken at Lloyd’s magnificent Beverly Hills estate, Greenacres. All of the photos in the book are reproduced in vivid 3-D.

The photos have been chosen by Suzanne Lloyd Hayes, Lloyd’s granddaughter, who grew up with her grandparents and who provides a foreword recalling her grandfather’s passionate dedication to his photography.

SUZANNE LLOYD HAYES grew up at Greenacres, the Beverly Hills home of her grandparents Harold and Mimi Lloyd. She lived there until her grandfather’s death in 1971. Since his death, she has been restoring his films and cataloging his photographs. She was the executive producer of a documentary about her grandfather, Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, which was shown on the American Masters series on PBS and was nominated for an Emmy Award. Ms. Hayes lives in Beverly Hills with her husband and two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 95 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 26,5 cm (10,2 x 10,4 inch) – Weight 784 g (27,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-671-76948-0

3-D Movies: A History and Filmography of Stereoscopic Cinema (R.M. Hayes)

hayes-r-m-3-d-movies“In the late summer of 1960 I was twelve years old and very excited about seeing a movie called September Storm in 3-D. Exactly how I knew it was in 3-D has long been lost in the mists of time, for the film was not advertised with that catchterm. It was promoted as being in Stereo-Vision. In any event I somehow knew it was 3-D, and I wanted very badly to see it. Fortunately it opened at one of the local cinemas within a couple of days of its New York engagement and I was there Saturday afternoon with my fifteen cents and my two brothers. (Incredible to think a first run theater still had fifteen cent admission for twelve and under and thirty-five cent admission for adults in 1960. This was the last summer of such prices, and by the summer of my thirteenth year the ticket rates were thirty-five cents for twelve and under and seventy-five cents for adults. Even with my modest allowance I was able to see many movies from the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties before other things occupied my attention.)

On first entering the theater I was assaulted by a familiar aroma: the distinctive smell of plastic polarized stereoscopic viewers. I clearly remembered the smell from the fifties. The CinemaScope screen at this particular theater (which was destroyed by fire in 1967 and by such event removed from my life a place I had a very strong fondness for) was extremely large. By comparison with today’s narrower scope screens it was nothing less than gigantic.

September Storm filled this massive silver sheet in vivid color. But I was a bit disappointed. The images on the screen had a great deal of ‘ghosting,’ the rather unpleasant double imaging seen by most on their television sets, though not really as bad as that. (For the readers lucky enough to be on cable systems this multiple TV image may be alien to you, but for the reader still forced to rely on ‘aerial’ reception you can understand very well the type picture I mean.) I did not understand why and kept looking back toward the projection booth from which two separate beams of light emitted. Later my mother asked me how the picture looked and I told her, ”They had only two projectors and they should have had three.’ Thus was my ignorance of the principles of stereoscopy, not only as it related to movies, but to reality. Apparently my mother shared this same lack of knowledge.” – From The Foreword.

3-D Movies is the first full and accurate history of the 3-D film from the earliest part of the twentieth century to the present. Full technical specifications are included, sometimes with equipment photos. An exhaustive filmography covers over 200 films with never-before-published credits and details. The serious researcher and 3-D fan alike will be delighted to find here details unavailable from any other source on such features as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dial M for Murder, House of Wax, Captain EO, Metalstorm, Hondo, Kiss Me Kate, Miss Sadie Thompson… The book is profusely illustrated with stills, ad illustrations and behind-the-scenes photos.

R.M. HAYES is a commercial ads producer in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hardcover – 414 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 734 g (25,9 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1989 – ISBN 1-55862-164-4

The Times We Had: Life With William Randolph Hearst (Marion Davies; edited by Pamela Pfau, Kenneth S. Marx; foreword by Orson Welles)

davies-marion-the-times-we-had“He took a beautiful, warm-hearted girl and made her the best-known kept woman in America and the butt of an infinity of dirty jokes, and he did it out of love and the blindness of love.” So wrote Pauline Kael of William Randolph Hearst, one of the most extravagant men the  world has ever seen, and Marion Davies, the charming, guileless comedienne with whom he fell in love. The wealthy publisher kept Marion as his mistress and idolized her for more than three decades. While his wife remained in the East, Marion reigned with him in the midst of incredible splendor at his estate in San Simeon, California. He launched her into an ill-fitting career of movie stardom, and before he was through she had made more than forty-five films – each of which received floods of publicity from the great empire of newspapers he controlled.

Here is the fabulous story, never told before, of Marion’s life at the top during Hollywood’s heyday. It is told in Marion’s own words. Before she died, Marion Davies made an extensive series of tape recordings, which were discovered a year before this book was published. She talked freely about the years she shared with Hearst, about their friendship and their love affair, about her career, about the charismatic world of glittering and talented celebrities who populated their life, and about the life style they created – which made them one of the most notorious couples of their time.

She talks with becoming modesty: “I was no actress.” Through her commentary runs a mixture of gratitude and resentment toward Hearst, of awe and contempt, of warmth and frustration. There is arrogance, and there is love. She is refreshingly simple and direct. Her wit scathes. Together with countless photographs, never before published, recording the parties and people, the public and most private moments, and crowded with faces we instantly recognize, here is a love story, a Pygmalion story, the story of a woman exploited and fighting back by exploiting in turn, a fable of power, an idyll of Hollywood kings, bringing alive a unique time and place that will never be again.

PAMELA PFAU, of San Francisco, and KENNETH S. MARX, of Los Angeles, were married in Rome in 1970. Kenneth had worked for newspapers, including a Hearst publication, and for motion picture companies. Pamela had written for computers. After their North African honeymoon, they returned to Los Angeles to resume their careers. Pamela has just completed a term as president of California’s Honeywell Computer Users Croup.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 276 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 898 g (31,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-672-52112-1

Tiroirs secrets (Mylène Demongeot)

Autographed copy Très amical souvenir, Mylène Demongeot, 2014

scannen0145À la sortie des Sorcières de Salem, en 1956, Mylène Demongeot devient une star, aussi bien en France qu’à l’étranger. Dès lors, tournant avec les plus grands réalisateurs, elle marque de sa beauté insouciante des films comme Bonjour Tristesse, Faibles femmes, Les garçons, Les trois mousquetaires (dans lequel elle interprète Milady), La bataille de Marathon ou les trois Fantomas, jusqu’à sa rencontre coup de foudre avec Marc Simenon, le fils de Georges, en 1966.

Elle change alors radicalement de vie, devient productrice par amour et tourne de plus en plus avec son mari. Vedette emblémathique, insolente et fraîche, des années soixante, elle incarne la joie de vivre. Pourtant, si elle a connu de grands moments de bonheur, elle a aussi eu sa parts de malheurs.

Évoquant, avec beaucoup d’humour, ses passions et ses tournages, Mylène Demongeot raconte au quotidien sa vie d’actrice, ses partenaires, ses enthousiasmes de débutante éperdument éprise de Gérard Philipe, et l’existence survoltée d’une star de l’époque. Le tout avec un recul et un sens de l’autodérision qui font de la lecture de ces Tiroirs secrets un moment à la fois jubilatoire et nostalgique.

Softcover – 316 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 14 cm (8,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 355 g (12,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Le Pré aux Clercs, 2001 – ISBN 2-84228-131-4

‘Tis Herself: A Memoir (Maureen O’Hara, with John Nicoletti)

O'Hara, Maureen - 'Tis Herself“You are about to read the tale of the toughest Irish lass who ever took on Hollywood and became a major leading lady… In a career that has lasted more than sixty years, I have acted, punched, swashbuckled, and shot my way through an absurdly masculine profession… As a woman, I’m proud to say that I stood toe-to-toe with the best of them and made my mark on my own terms. I’m Maureen O’Hara and this is my life story.” – From chapter 1.

In language that is blunt, straightforward, and totally lacking in artifice, Maureen O’Hara, one of the greatest and most enduring stars of Hollywood’s “Golden Era,” for the first time tells the story of how she succeeded in the world’s most competitive business.

Known for her remarkable beauty and her fiery screen persona, Maureen O’Hara came to Hollywood when she was still a teenager, taken there by her mentor, the great actor Charles Laughton. Almost immediately she clashed with the men who ran the movie business – the moguls who treated actors like chattel, the directors who viewed every actress as a potential bedmate.

Determined to hold her own and to remain true to herself, she fought for roles that she wanted and resisted the advances of some of Hollywood’s most powerful and attractive men. It was in the great director John Ford that she first found someone willing to give her a chance to prove herself as an important actress. Beginning with the Academy Award-winning “How Green Was My Valley,” she went on to make five films with Ford and through him first met the great John Wayne, with whom she also made five films.

In O’Hara, Ford had found his ideal Irish heroine, a role that achieved its greatest realization in The Quiet Man. And in O’Hara, John Wayne found his ideal leading lady, for she was perhaps the only actress who could hold her own when on screen with “The Duke.” Ford, however, was not without his quirks, and his relationship with his favorite actress became more and more complex and ultimately deeply troubled. The on-screen relationship between Wayne and O’Hara, on the other hand, was transformed into a close friendship built on mutual respect, creating a bond that endured until his death.

Writing with complete frankness, O’Hara talks for the first time about these remarkable men, about their great strengths and their very human failings. She writes as well about many of the other actors and actresses – Lucille Ball, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, John Candy, Natalie Wood, to name a few – with whom she worked, but ultimately it is about herself that she is most revealing. With great candor and a mixture of pride and regret, she reflects on just how this young girl from Ireland made it to America and onto movie screens all around the world. There were missteps, of course – a troubled and deeply destructive marriage, a willingness to trust too readily in others – but there were triumphs and great happiness as well, including her marriage to the aviation pioneer Brigadier General Charles F. Blair, who tragically died in a mysterious plane crash ten years after their marriage.

Throughout, ‘Tis Herself is informed by the warmth and charm and intelligence that defined Maureen O’Hara’s performances in some sixty films, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Miracle on 34th Street to The Parent Trap to McLintock! to Only the Lonely. ‘Tis Herself is Maureen O’Hara’s story as only she can tell it, the tale of an Irish lass who believed in herself with the strength and determination to make her own dreams come true.

MAUREEN O’HARA has homes in St. Croix and Ireland. JOHN NICOLETTI is a Hollywood screenwriter. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 323 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN0-7432-4693-4

Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (Tony Curtis)

curts-tony-tony-curtis-the-autobiographyEven Elvis wanted to be like Tony Curtis. But, for that matter, almost every man in the fifties and sixties wanted to be Tony Curtis – including Tony Curtis himself. What nobody knew was that, all the while, Bernie Schwartz of the Bronx was keeping just a step ahead of the crowd, trying to invent Tony Curtis for himself.

From his boyhood in the Depression-era New York streets – back when he was a fast-footed, quick-witted kid, the son of Hungarian-Jewish immigrants – through forty years as an eminent screen idol, Tony Curtis’s story is a skeptic’s trip through the Elysian fields of stardom.

He credits the Cary Grant film Destination Tokyo with inspiring him to leave high school and enlist for submarine service in World War II. But when he came to Hollywood, after studying at New York’s Drama Workshop with Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte, he followed his own imperatives. Pigeonholed as a “baron of beefcake” through many of his early roles, he finally broke out with lead parts in the hard-hitting social films Sweet Smell of Succes and The Defiant Ones. And his classically outrageous performance in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot marked him permanently as the kind of actor who would go a long way to prove his versatility.

Tony Curtis: The Autobiography pulls no punches. Curtis debunks myths of stardom and glamour with a raw, uncensored, street-honed New York bite. The scope of his memoirs includes: rooming with Marlon Brando in Hollywood in the late forties; a glamorous marriage to Janet Leigh in 1951, and the extraordinary days during his first flush of success; his co-billed star role in The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier; the first time a black actor received such attention; his social involvement with Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack”; the making of Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (including details of the legendary bath scene with Laurence Olivier); a fully detailed description of his descent into alcohol and cocaine addiction in the 1970s and 1980s; and his therapeutic, ongoing work as a visual artist, drawing his inspiration from Matisse and Joseph Cornell.

Tony Curtis met and worked with all the acting and directing icons of his day, and this book is a candid and tantalizing probe inside the classic years of the movie business – both the incredible decadence and the numbing, grinding hard work. Curtis was once undervalued as just a pretty face, but in reality he was a dogged student of film technique; his insights on how actors were trained, used, and often destroyed by elements beyond their control have an obsessive truth-seeking quality to them. Here, too, is the dark side of Hollywood glamor; as embodied by the sad stories of Marilyn Monroe and Sharon Tate – and Curtis’s own scrapes with disaster.

From swashbuckling films of the forties to recent movies like Nicholas Roeg’s Insignificance and the Martin Scorsese production Naked in New York, Curtis’s storybook career makes him the most penetrating, firsthand performer-authority on Hollywood that we have. Controversial, flip, shot through with a charming defiance and an off-the-wall sense of humor; Tony Curtis: The Autobiography must be read by anyone in love with American movies and the truth behind the icons.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 805 g (28,4 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-688609759-6

Too Young to Die (Patricia Fox-Sheinhold)

Fox-Sheinwold, Patricia - Too Young to DieRudolph Valentino, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley… these are some of the stars whose stories are told in this book. Too Young to Die is a handsomely designed and printed volume that will enhance the home library. It is a treasury of documented material about some very famous people from the era of the 20s to the 70s. They are all luminaries whose names and careers are known and loved by millions of fans.

These facts and pictures, gathered from many sources. have all been especially chosen for their fascination. Each biography tells of the star’s endless search for love, praise, applause, adulation and affection. It also lists every film or record that the entertainer was involved in.

Too Young to Die is filled with hundreds of revealing photographs, some of which have never before been published. It also contains a portfolio of pictures in glowing color. When you finally put down Too Young to Die, you will say, as the author does, “Some made it, some didn’t. Some could handle it, some could not. All died trying…”

[Table of contents: Rudolph Valentino, Jeanne Eagles, Jean Harlow, George Gershwin, Carole Lombard, John Garfield, Hank Williams, James Dean, Mike Todd, Buddy Holly, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, Sam Cooke, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Jimy Hendrix, Bruce Lee, Jack Cassidy, Elvis Presley, Brian Epstein, Otis Redding, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Duane Allman, Jim Croce, Bobby Darin, Cass Elliot, Sal Mineo, Flo Ballard, Freddie Prinze]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 356 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.190 g (42,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-517-311550

Traci Lords: Underneath It All (Traci Elizabeth Lords)

lords-traci-traci-lords-underneath-it-all“I sat down in the school cafeteria with the day’s offering of mystery meat and Jell-O on my lunch tray. I tried to ignore the table of jocks snickering behind me when one approached with a nudie magazine in hand. SMACK!… it landed on my table. On the cover was a young girl in a pleated skirt with her hands over her breasts. I choked on my food. Oh God, it was me!

How does a teenager go from high school sophomore to the most recognized porn star in the world overnight? Twelve-year-old Nora Kuzma traveled with her mother and three sisters to Southern California in search of a stable life. But years of sexual abuse and parental neglect drove her onto the streets of Hollywood and straight to the door of a nude modeling agency.

Struggling to survive, she assumed the name Traci Lords and became a Penthouse centerfold. By age fifteen she was a word-famous porn queen drowning in a sea of sex, drugs, and lies until the FBI raided her home just days after her eighteenth birthday.

Traci Lords: Underneath It All is the powerful, uncensored, and inspirational story of how a young girl made peace with her past and triumphed over impossible odds to become a successful actress, recording artist, and, most improbably of all, a happy and healthy woman.

TRACI ELIZABETH LORDS has starred in dozens of films and television shows, including Cry Baby, Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers, Melrose Place, and First Wave. Her groundbreaking album 1,000 Fires was a critical and dance club hit. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats. This is her first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 638 g (9,3 x 6,1 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-06-050820-5

Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Memoir (Garson Kanin)

Autographed copy Garson Kanin, NYC, 1971

Kanin, Garson - Tracy ad Hepburn“It was always Tracy and Hepburn,” Garson Kanin recalls. The billing never changed: the gentleman preceded the lady. Once, when the celebrated author-director chided Spencer Tracy for his insistence on first billing, Spencer said, “Why not?” his face full of innocence. “Well, after all,” his friend replied, “she’s the lady. You’re the man. Ladies first?” “This is a movie, chowderhead,” said Spence, “not a lifeboat.”

They were one couple everyone knew but no one really knew anything about. What kept these two – so opposite in taste and technique – so fiercely together for twenty-seven years?

Garson Kanin remained close to the two great stars throughout their long friendship. He has shared his experience and his affection for them with us by recounting – through personal anecdotes as unpredictable and astonishing as Tracy and Hepburn themselves – the times – troubled, hectic, or satisfying – that they spent in Hollywood, New York, London, and Paris: and how it is for Kate today.

Kanin gives us his Kate – the born eccentric, charming, brilliantly inventive, and determined – as she conquers every obstacle: getting around a no-ladies-in-trousers rule in a stuffy London hotel; dealing with a surprise “coaching” session from John Barrymore, persuading the entire crew on a New York construction site to cease drilling during her major number in the Coco matinees across the street.

Here is Spence, the greatest screen actor of his generation: sharp, magnanimous, joking, tense, he receives an unforgettable lesson in projection from Laurette Taylor, inspiration from George M. Cohen; he forces his desegregation of Washington, D.C.’s National Theater; he becomes an involuntary member of an acrobatic act at the Lido in Paris. This book  is a joyous tribute to two extraordinary people.

GARSON KANIN has made important contributions to nearly every field of the entertainment world. After beginning as a musician, then stage director, and later director, he became a Hollywood phenomenon at twenty-four when he began directing a string of remarkable films, from A Man to Remember to Tom, Dick and Harry. He directed, among others, Carole Lombard, Charles Laughton, Cary Grant, David Niven, Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers, and Lucille Ball. As Captain Kanin of the United States Army, he co-directed, with Carol Reed, the official record of Operation Overlord for General Eisenhower. Titled The True Story, it won an Academy Award. With his wife, Ruth Gordon, he collaborated on Adam’s Rib and Pat and Mike for Tracy and Hepburn. He has written four novels, a new libretto for Die Fledermaus (which he directed for the Metropolitan Opera Company), screenplays, and plays, including Born Yesterday. On Broadway, he directed The Diary of Anne Frank, Years Ago, A Hole in the Head, Funny Girl, and his own Do Re Mi. His most recent books are Remembering Mr. Maugham and Cast of Characters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 307 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15,5 cm (8,7 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 594 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 670-72293-6

The Tragic Secret Life of Jayne Mansfield (Raymond Strait)

strait-raymond-the-tragic-secret-life-of-jayne-mansfieldHaving spent ten years as Jayne Mansfield’s press secretary, Raymond Strait knows intimately both the public image and the private person that were Jayne Mansfield. Sitting through hundreds of hours of interviews and private conversations – not only with Jayne but also with her husbands, her lovers, and her children – gave Ray the opportunity to present a revealing portrait of the woman. He records her drive for fame and success and her overpowering need to be loved and to love, needs that led her into numerous affairs with rich and powerful men –  including President John F. Kennedy – and with younger men from all walks of life. And he discusses frankly Jayne’s ultimately successful plan to become pregnant by Nelson Sardelli because she wanted to have an Italian child.

Known to millions as the consummate sex symbol who rivaled Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield received more press coverage than anyone else in Hollywood. The headlines were often sensational, causing society matrons and Baptist ministers to shake their heads and point their fingers. But under those sensational headlines there was a woman of greater complexity than any reporter could hope to understand. Strait goes below the surface to examine Jayne’s emotions and motivations, revealing the truth about her many loves, her three unsuccessful marriages, her love affair with Mickey Hargitay that lasted to the end, and her battle against and her surrender to alcohol and drugs.

The Tragic Secret Life of Jayne Mansfield is no mere chronicle of the Mansfield career, nor is it a dewy-eyed account written by an adoring fan; it is a moving, sometimes witty, sometimes sad story that unflinchingly tells exactly who Jayne Mansfield really was.

The public image was one of glamor and star quality, an image reflected in the pink palace and fabulous designer clothes: definitely, Jayne was not “the girl next door.” However, no biography would be honest if it did not attempt to examine the less glamorous aspects of Jayne’s life – her gradual mental and emotional deterioration under the influence of alcohol, amphetamines, and LSD. It would be easier to remember Jayne as warm and loving toward her children, a fact that was true during most of her life, but a probing biography demands that we examine the true story behind her eldest daughter Jayne Marie’s demands to be placed in protective custody after having been severely beaten. The Tragic Secret Life of Jayne Mansfield is not a sugar-coated biography that shrinks from the task of honest biography.

RAYMOND STRAIT, now a professional writer and columnist, served as Jayne Mansfield’s press secretary for ten years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 207 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 634 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1974 – ISBN 0-8092-8400-6

Travels in Greeneland: The Cinema of Graham Greene (Quentin Falk, revised and updated edition)

falk-quintin-travels-in-greenland-the-cinema-of-graham-greeneRightly regarded as one of this century’s literary giants, Graham Greene has had his work translated to the cinema more than any other major contemporary writer. Quentin Falk examines all aspects of Greene’s involvement with the world of films, including his distinguished stint as film critic in the 1930s. Contrasts are made between the work he himself adapted for the screen such as The Third Man and Our Man in Havana, and the work that has been adapted by others, like The Heart of the Matter and The Honorary Consul. This new edition also takes in several recent adaptations of Greene’s work for television.

QUENTIN FALK, author of books on Graham Greene (nominated for a Mobil British Film Institute Award in 1985), Lew Grade, the Rank Organisation and Anthony Hopkins, is editor of the monthly movie magazine Flicks. A former editor of Screen International, he also contributes regularly to the Mail on Sunday, the Guardian and 7 Days.

Softcover – 235 pp., index – Dimensions 19,5 x 12,5 cm (7,7 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 227 g (8,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Quartet Books, Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0-7043-0115-6

Travolta to Keaton*: Intimate Visits With Today’s Superstars *Diane. Not Buster (Rex Reed)

reed-rex-travolta-to-keatonWhat Rex Reed does for a living is listen. He listens while today’s most glamorous and fascinating men and women tell him about their lives and their loves, about sex and money and Hollywood and each other.

He listens and then he tells all – in the intimately sensational celebrity interviews that have made him a superstar in his own right.

[Interviews with John Travolta, Fred Zinnemann, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Burt Reynolds, Marthe Keller, Richard Gere, Sophia Loren, Jack Lemmon, Dorothy McGuire, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Liza Minnelli, Roger Moore, Melina Mercouri, Marsha Mason, Jacqueline Bisset, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, Candice Bergen, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Burt Lancaster, Bonita Granville, Geraldine Page, Lauren Hutton, Michael Winner, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Chita Rivera, Susan Clark, John Schlesinger, Jon Voight, Diane Keaton]

Softcover – 217 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 136 g (4,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Berkley Books, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-425-04510-2

A Tree Is a Tree: An Autobiography (King Vidor)

Vidor, King - A Tree Is a TreeKing Vidor was one of the true originators  of American cinema. As a director he remained active for over forty years (1918-1959). Nominated five times for an Academy Award in the best director category, in 1979 he was honored with a special Academy Award for his ‘incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator.’ Among the many films that Vidor directed are The Big Parade, The Crowd, Hallelujah, Billy the Kid, Street Scene, Our Daily Bread, Duel in the Sun, The Fountainhead, War and Peace, and Solomon and Sheba.

A Tree Is a Tree offers the reader both a portrait of Hollywood from its earliest days through its ‘golden age,’ and a fascinating insight into the thoughts and workings of one of its most creative craftsmen – King Vidor.

“What sets his [Vidor’s] book apart is what sets his work apart, a stubborn belief in the camera and in all who seek to inquire into its unknown powers.” – Saturday Review. “This is one of the very few first-rate books about motion pictures, and the best yet written by a Hollywood moviemaker.” – Chicago Tribune.

Softcover – 317 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 13,5 cm (8,1 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 437 g (15,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Samuel French, Hollywood, California, 1952 (1981 reprint) – ISBN 0-573-60602-1

Les trois glorieuses: Danielle Darrieux, Michèle Morgan, Micheline Presle (Henry-Jean Servat)

servat-henry-jean-les-trois-glorieusesDanielle Darrieux, Michèle Morgan et Micheline Presle, nées à quelques années de distance, sont apparues sur les écrans juste avant-guerre.

Elles ont traversé les plus glorieuses années du cinéma français sans jamais cesser de se croiser et de se frôler sur les plateaux et dans nos souvenirs.

C’est un hommage ému que leur rend ici Henry-Jean Servat en racontant combien leurs trajectoires artistiques sinon leurs destinées privées tissent d’innombrables liens entre elles. Elles incarnent à jamais trois visages de la Française rêvée.

Auteur de nombreux ouvrages, HENRY-JEAN SERVAT est journaliste et écrivain. Grand reporter à Paris-Match, il est aussi chroniqueur pour France 2.

Softcover – 268 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm ((9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 364 g (12,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Pygmalion, Paris, 2008 – ISBN 978-2-756-0193-5

True Britt (Britt Ekland)

Ekland, Britt - True Britt hc“I am not a courtesan or a promiscuous woman, but I need to love and to be loved. My work, my whole way of being, cannot function without emotional nourishment.” – Britt Ekland

Britt Ekland is one of the most stunning personalities of our time. Born Britt-Marie Eklund, she was catapulted into the limelight of international fame when the world discovered a major new talent in the form of this Swedish blonde bombshell. Married at twenty-one to actor Peter Sellers, Britt has since been the friend and companion of many major celebrities of the film and pop world. In particular, her romance with rock star Rod Stewart received a storm of publicity on both sides of the Atlantic. In her autobiography Britt tells the story of her public and private life with compelling honesty and candor, giving us a unique and tantalizing insight into the real woman behind the myths and legends.

The real Britt is fascinating enough to rival any myth. She was a young impressionable Swedish actress when her marriage to Sellers thrust her into the public eye. But the strains of living with a comic genius, who could make millions laugh on screen but was often cold and unpredictable behind the cameras, eventually proved too much, and the marriage ended tragically in divorce. Her highly publicized relationship with Stewart began as a fantasy come true and ended a nightmare, spawned by the fast-paced and far-out hazards of the pop world. Along the way, such celebrities as Warren Beatty, George Hamilton, and Ryan O’Neal have also figured in her life.

True Britt is a unique and incredible portrait of a beautiful woman who has lived, loved, and survived in the glittering, often heartbreaking world of superstars.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 242 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 466 g (16,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1980 ISBN 0-13931089-4

True Britt (Britt Ekland)

ekland-britt-true-britt“I am not a courtesan or a promiscuous woman, but I need to love and to be loved. My work, my whole way of being, cannot function without emotional nourishment.” – Britt Ekland

Britt Ekland is one of the most stunning personalities of our time. Born Britt-Marie Eklund, she was catapulted into the limelight of international fame when the world discovered a major new talent in the form of this Swedish blonde bombshell. Married at twenty-one to actor Peter Sellers, Britt has since been the friend and companion of many major celebrities of the film and pop world. In particular, her romance with rock star Rod Stewart received a storm of publicity on both sides of the Atlantic. In her autobiography Britt tells the story of her public and private life with compelling honesty and candor, giving us a unique and tantalizing insight into the real woman behind the myths and legends.

The real Britt is fascinating enough to rival any myth. She was a young impressionable Swedish actress when her marriage to Sellers thrust her into the public eye. But the strains of living with a comic genius, who could make millions laugh on screen but was often cold and unpredictable behind the cameras, eventually proved too much, and the marriage ended tragically in divorce. Her highly publicized relationship with Stewart began as a fantasy come true and ended a nightmare, spawned by the fast-paced and far-out hazards of the pop world. Along the way, such celebrities as Warren Beatty, George Hamilton, and Ryan O’Neal have also figured in her life.

True Britt is a unique and incredible portrait of a beautiful woman who has lived, loved, and survived in the glittering, often heartbreaking world of superstars.

Softcover – 243 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 148 g (5,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Berkley Books, New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-425-05341-5

Turnaround: A Memoir (Miloš Forman, with Jan Novak)

forman-milos-turnaroundMiloš Forman was orphaned in a small Czechoslovakian town during World War II: he was eight years old when his father was taken by the Gestapo and ten when his mother was taken away as well.

Much of his subsequent life was living out of a suitcase and nurturing his dream of making films. He is the director of such Czech film classics as A Blonde in Love and Fireman’s Ball. However, it was when he emigrated to New York that his international reputation was secured and his vision fully realized with Taking Off, Hair, Ragtime, Valmot and especially One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, both of which won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture of the Year. All display Forman distinctive artistry.

This frank, vibrant, passionate memoir – written with novelist Jan Novak – brings the traumatic experience of Eastern Europe in this century brilliantly to life and takes the reader inside the very process of artistic creation.

MILOŠ FORMAN was born in 1932 in central Bohemia. He now lives in New York City. JAN NOVAK was born in Kolín, in the former Czechoslovakia, in 1953. He is the author of two novels, Willy’s Dreamkit and The Grand Life. He lives with his family in Chicago.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 295 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 671 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1993 – ISBN 0-571-17289-X

TV Guide: The First 25 Years (compiled and edited by Jay S. Harris)

Harris, Jay S - TV Guide the First 25 YearsTV Guide, in the first twenty-five years since its birth, in April 1953, has published more than 10,000 articles and features touching on virtually every aspect of television in the United States and, to some extent, in foreign countries. This book is a selection of pieces that have appeared in the magazine during that period. The articles have been reprinted intact. However, because of the unavailability of some of the original photographs, new ones, with new captions, have been substituted.” – From The Preface.

Dragnet. Groucho. The Honeymooners. Johnny Carson. The assassination of John F. Kennedy. Barbara Walters. The $ 64,000 Question scandal. Sesame Street. Howard Cosell. Apollo 11. Roots. Fred Silverman. Sports. The news. The specials. The soaps. Even the commercials.

A quarter century of TV passes before your eyes exactly as it was recorded by the most successful magazine ever published, TV Guide. Here are over 120 selections that feature the great moments and fascinating trivia, the passing parade of personalities and programs, the most eloquent supporters and most biting critics. With a treasury of vivid photos, including full-color reproductions of TV Guide’s most memorable covers, and more than 25 years of prime-time schedule listings, this book is both a rich feast of nostalgia and an accurate reflection of the social and cultural history of our times.

Softcover – 319 pp., index – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 785 g (27,7 oz) – PUBLISHER New American Library, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-452-25225-3

Twentieth Century’s Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Culture of Hollywood (George F. Custen)

Custen, George F - Twentieth Century's FoxSpanning four decades and more than a thousand films, the creative output of Darryl F. Zanuck was astonishing and unparalleled. With The Jazz Singer he supervised the innovation of film sound. With The Public Enemy and Little Caesar he reinvented the gangster film. With 42nd Street he reinvigorated the musical. He set the standard for film biography with pictures such as Young Mr. Lincoln and The Story of Alexander Graham Bell. He innovated CinemaScope. And he molded the star images of James Cagney, Shirley Temple, Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Rin Tin Tin.

In this major new biography, George F. Custen illuminates Zanuck’s evolution into one of the most influential producers in American film. He explains what set him apart from rivals Irving G. Thalberg and David O. Selznick, how he developed the gritty realism that came to redefine motion pictures, and how he brilliantly predicted and capitalized on changing public tastes.

Zanuck was a man of enormous energy and eccentricity, commanding his studio with a sawed-off polo mallet. Dozens of his memorable films – including I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, The Grapes of Wrath, Gentleman’s Agreement, All About Eve, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The Robe – have come to represent the era in which they were made. Hard-boiled or nostalgic, historical or pure Hollywood, Zanuck’s films and Zanuck himself have become legends of the cinema. But what exactly was this producer’s contribution to the films he made? How did he rise from being a writer of silent serials to become head of production at Warner Brothers by his mid-twenties, and then to form his own studio, Twentieth Century-Fox, at age thirty-three?

Twentieth Century’s Fox tells the whole story – from Zanuck’s boyhood to his tumultuous years with the feuding Warners, his battles with the censors and with his own actors, and the legendary acting-out of scenes during story conferences in his famous green office. Along the way, Custen treats us to inside stories about actors such as Edward G. Robinson, Gregory Peck, and Marilyn Monroe. In never-before-published story conference notes, telegrams, and surprisingly candid anecdotes, he reveals how – more than any producer before or since – this diminutive, enigmatic fellow from Wahoo, Nebraska, changed the way we look at film.

Custen highlights the studio as the context of production. Zanuck’s ability to shape the producer’s role and the organizational style during the golden years of the studio system – with its own peculiar methods, clearly delineated rules, and pecking order – was the crucible out of which he forged a unique vision of American film and American culture.

GEORGE F. CUSTEN is the author of Bio / Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History (1992). He is Professor of Communications and Film at the City University of New York, with appointments at The College of Staten Island and The City University of New York Graduate Center. In 1995, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Twentieth Century’s Fox. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Montgomery, Vermont, with his companion, Phillip, and their whippet, Bette.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 435 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 814 g (28,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Basic Books, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-465-07619-X

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star [but don’t have sex or take the car] (Dick Moore)

moore-dick-twinkle-twinkle-little-starShirley Temple • Judy Garland • Mickey Rooney • Elizabeth Taylor • Jackie Coogan • Jane Withers • Margaret O’Brien • Roddy McDowall • Natalle Wood· Jane Powell • Donald O’Connor • Stymie. They were the idols of children and the dreams of adults all over the world, but their full story has never been told. Now the star of over 100 films – including Oliver Twist, Blonde Venus and the “Our Gang” comedies – has written a delightful, fascinating, and often shocking account of the child stars of Hollywood’s heyday – America’s most extraordinary children.

Internationally famous at the age of five… and a has-been at twelve. Lavish birthday parties… with all the presents going to orphanages. Salaries that shriveled fathers’ egos… with money spent as quickly as it was made. “As children, we tasted a life immensely privileged, but laced with deprivation,” writes Dick Moore, and here is the first book to show fully the hilarious and bittersweet stories behind the screen. The privileges of their lives – the personal servants, the public acclaim, the giant earnings – are the stuff of dreams, but under the surface lurked a nightmare. Where being a professional meant doing your own stunts. Where education was haphazard, and the demands of stage-struck parents overwhelming. Where a ten-year-old diets for two years. And where budding adolescents do everything imaginable to keep their “little girl” looks. Filled with the extraordinary stories of how they became actors, how they felt about working so young, how they felt about one another and the adults they worked with, and how so many had to learn of “real life” when their careers ran out with adolescence, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a book written in the words of the child stars whose lives it documents – and a story that could happen only in America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 303 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 615 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Harper & Row, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-06-015349-0

A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father (Chris Lemmon; foreword by Kevin Spacey)

lemmon-chris-a-twist-of-lemmonJack Lemmon was one of our most beloved movie stars. A two-time Academy Award winner, he appeared in dozens of memorable films, including such classics as Some Like It Hot, Mister Roberts, The Odd Couple, Grumpy Old Men, Missing, The Apartment, and The China Syndrome. On-screen, he came across as a kind of “everyman” – audiences loved him because they felt they knew him, because he was one of them.

In A Twist of Lemmon, Chris Lemmon shares family tales, intimate father-son conversations, and anecdotes from and about his dad. The result is a vivid and enchanting portrait of a less-than-perfect father who in some ways assumed a greater reality for his fans than he did for his son. Chris writes about the difficulty of growing up in a broken home, the treasured time spent with his father, and the friendship that evolved as they came to share their passions for both music and golf. This very personal portrait provides new insight into a man who charmed millions with his rascal’s smile and his very human vulnerability.

When Jack Lemmon died in 2001, the world lost one of its favorite actors, but Chris Lemmon lost the man he had admired above all others. A Twist of Lemmon is his warm and moving and often very funny celebration of his larger-than-life father. Joining Chris in his tribute are a number of the people who worked with Jack Lemmon over the years, including actor Kevin Spacey. In his foreword, Spacey writes, “He was a credit to his profession because he was a man whose humanity was bigger than his talent. And when you think for a moment about the size and depth of that talent, then you begin to understand how seriously he took his role as a human being.”

In this first book of its kind written about Jack Lemmon, that “human being” comes fully alive – as an actor, a father, and a best friend. It is a heart-warming and discerning look at a true American legend.

CHRIS LEMMON is a writer and actor. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children. A Twist of Lemmon is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 193 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 418 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2006 – ISBN 978-1-56512-480-6

Tyrone Power: The Last Idol (Fred Lawrence Guiles)

guiles-fred-lawrence-tyrone-power-the-last-idol“There are no more idols. No Maurice Costellos. No Valentinos. No Tyrone Powers. Our great male stars today must be of very human clay with the flaws played up instead of down, preferably a mole or two or a pronounced squint, perhaps both; comfortable to sit down with as they chat on a television show; certainly no serious threat to our romantic lives.

The last idol, Tyrone Power, was created by a vast starmaking machine, Twentieth Century-Fox. The studios’ star machine was corrupt, but it served to make Hollywood known to the most remote reaches of the earth. The process was dehumanizing, both to the star and to audiences. For a very long time, throughout the great studio period, movies had few admirers for their sake alone. The film language of D.W. Griffith or the pathos of Charlie Chaplin was seldom discussed. People spoke instead of the grandeur of Pickfair, the Fairbanks-Pickford residence; the terrible overdose death of handsome Wallace Reid, the sudden death of Rudolph Valentino, the near-ritualized death of Jean Harlow; Shirley Temple’s dramatic powers – ‘the little Duse’; the size of Garbo’s feet and the quality of her plumbing (gold taps were the much-photographed pride of her rented mansion, a gift from John Gilbert). Shopgirls shed their own identities for something close to Rita Hayworth’s or Joan Crawford’s. They wrote tons of fan mail and it was answered in due course by droves of secretaries, usually accompanied by autographed photos.

The star machine was at the heart of the studio system. It bore a considerable resemblance to racehorse breeding. The fillies and stallions were carefully groomed for the big race. It is not surprising that many studio heads, Darryl F. Zanuck and Louis B. Mayer among them, acquired stables of fine horseflesh, Zanuck for polo, which was his other passion, and Mayer for racing, which was his.” – From The Introduction.

After Tyrone Power they broke the mould. Confident and weak-willed, Tyrone was just a boy when Twentieth Century-Fox took him in hand and shaped him into a star. He had everything. Easy charm, a beautiful voice, and smouldering good looks that would assure his place as Hollywood’s most romantic matinee idol… and bring countless love-struck stars, including Lana Turner and Judy Garland, to his bed. In an era in which real acting was scarcely called for, Ty Power’s magnetism and sexual allure filled the screen. But behind the glamorous image was a man whose life and dreams were being ruthlessly crushed by the very industry which created him.

FRED LAWRENCE GUILES is the author of two previous biographies of Hollywood celebrities – Norma Jean: The Life of Marilyn Monroe, and Marion Davies. Mr. Guiles wrote the present book in co-operation with Tyrone’s sister, his close friend (Watson Webb), Tyrone Power’s three wives (Annabella. Linda Christian and Deborah Minardos), his daughters (Taryn and Romina) and many of his famous Hollywood colleagues. Between books Mr. Guiles teaches at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.

Softcover – 406 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 240 g (8,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Granada Publishing, London, 1980 – ISBN 0-583-13563-3

The UFA story: A History of Germany’s Greatest Film Company 1918-1945 (Klaus Kreiheimer; originally titled Die UFA-Story: Geschichte eines Filmkonzerns)

kreimeier-klaus-the-ufa-storyUniversum-Film AG – best known by its signature logo, UFA – was once the largest, most exciting movie company in Europe. Founded by the German High Command as a propaganda outfit during World War I, and always central to Germany’s nationalistic big-business interests, UFA was also home to the most innovative talents of the Weimar Republic: Ernst Lubitsch, Marlene Dietrich, Fritz Lang, and Emil Jannings were UFA stars; Metropolis, The Blue Angel, and Dr. Mabuse were only a few of its finest works.

Now, in this striking new book, the cultural critic and historian Klaus Kreimeier tells The UFA Story in all its multifaceted drama for the first time. From its dazzling theaters to its state-of-the-art studios and processing labs, from its comprehensive multimedia publicity campaigns to its avant-garde art films, UFA challenged Hollywood for cultural dominance and market share in Jazz Age Europe. But that is only part of the story. The simultaneous advent of sound films and National Socialism only increased UFA’s power, and it was more than ready for both. The story of UFA under Hitler is a horrifying tragedy, for although the company continued to make technically superb films – even when bombs were raining down on its studios and cinemas – it was corrupted, transformed, and eventually destroyed by the very brilliance and state-supported power that had once made it irresistible.

Kreimeier’s account of this unique company is one of uncommon verve and intelligence, and he shrewdly analyzes the forces of culture, money, and war which created UFA, which maintained it in democratic times and controlled it in fascist ones, which in other forms still dominate mass media today. From Billy Wilder to Veit Harlan, from Ludendorff to Goebbels, from Henny Porten to Hildegard Knef, from experimental film factory to the rubble of postwar Berlin, here is a panorama of German politics, economics, technology, and art – a vital chapter in the cultural history of our century.

The UFA Story daringly revises our sense of what Germany and movies were all about in Weimar and under Hitler; it also makes clear why the mythic glory of UFA’s best films is indestructible.

KLAUS KREIMEIER was cultural editor for Der Spiegel and has taught at the German Film and Television Academy. A freelance journalist, he lives in Berlin.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 451 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 911 g (32,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Hill and Wang, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-8090-9483-5

The Ultimate Hollywood Tour Book (William A. Gordon)

Autographed copy William A. Gordon

scannen0325The self-guided tours in this book help travelers discover where today’s Hollywood lives, works. The book covers a little of everything: the homes of the biggest stars of today and yesteryear; hot spots where you have the best chances of seeing stars; filming locations of classic and popular motion pictures and television shows; sites of Hollywood’s most notorious murders, scandals, and suicides; the movie studios; Tinseltown’s many hidden attractions, including castles and sites that inspired songs.

This book pays homage to Hollywood’s past, but focuses on how today’s Hollywood lives, works and plays. With 33 pages of maps and photographs.

Softcover – 272 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 392 g (13,8 oz) – PUBLISHER North Ridge Books, Lake Forest, California, 2004 – ISBN 0-937813-07-9

The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command – The Art of Performance in Acting and in Life (Darryl Hickman)

scannen0008Darryl Hickman was thirty years old, starring on Broadway in a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, when he took his first acting lesson. He had appeared in almost 100 films before he was eighteen. The director John Ford called him “a natural”; he made it all look easy. He has been an actor (The Grapes of Wrath, Network), song-and-dance man, writer, director, producer, and CBS executive.

In his new book, The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command, Hickman writes about the actors, writers and directors he came to know – and learn from – during a career that spanned four decades. He writes about how he was inspired by the ideas of the Russian master, actor-director-teacher Constantin Stanislavsky, revealing how those ideas influenced the development of his own unique Process which has informed his work as actor and teacher with workshops in New York and Los Angeles.

In this book, Hickman describes his innovative Process, a step-by-step way to learn how to act on the stage or in front of a camera. He shows you how to trust your impulses, and how to add craftsmanship and a conscious use of the mechanics of creativity to arrive at an integrated, well-balanced performance.

But The Unconscious Actor is not just for actors. It’s for everyone. We live in a performance-oriented society. High standards are demanded from us in the classroom, at the office, on the athletic field, in the boardroom, and in our personal lives. Hickman makes clear that we all have the tools to become outstanding performers, demonstrating how to make use of those tools with skill and precision. Many of those who have taken Hickman’s workshops have gone on to become award-winning actors, writers and producers, oil magnates, college professors, world-travel consultants, even top executives at Apple Computer Inc. Their stories prove that, by applying the principles outlined in this book, it’s possible for the motivated reader to reach the pinnacle of success in his or her chosen field.

DARRYL HICKMAN lives in Montecito, CA, with his wife Lynda. He is writing his next book, directing, teaching, and working hard to improve his golf swing.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 294 pp., inde – Dimensions 21,5 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 717 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Small Mountain Press, Montecito, California, 2007 – ISBN 0-9776809-2-4

The Undeclared War: The Struggle for Control of the World’s Film Industry (David Puttnam, with Neil Watson)

Autographed copy For Frank, All the very best, David Puttnam, May ’97

Puttnam, David - The Undeclared WarThe Undeclared War is a provocative, original and wonderfully entertaining account of the way in which Hollywood seized control of the world’s movie business, by one of the most articulate and controversial figures working in the industry today.

British producer David Puttnam, the only European to have run a modern Hollywood studio, provides the first comprehensive account of the struggle for sovereignty over the twentieth century’s most popular and influential medium of mass culture.

It is the inside story of a battle which began with the invention of cinema in 1895 and which has raged for the last one hundred years. It is a conflict which has pitted Hollywood moguls like Louis B. Mayer, Jack L. Warner, Lew Wasserman and Michael Eisner against politicians, tycoons and cultural élites the world over. Puttnam lays bare the way in which the moguls used their ferocious energy and ambition to develop and market the stars and stories which colonized the imaginations of audiences everywhere. He shows how generations of Europeans, from the Lumière brothers to Jean-Luc Godard and Federico Fellini, tried to create a cinema capable of withstanding Hollywood’s savage assault. And he reveals how American residents from Woodrow Wilson to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton consistently went to war on behalf of one of America’s most powerful, profitable and influential industries.

As a resuIt, Hollywood became the advance herald of empire, its global dominance the most potent and visible symbol of the Americanization of the world. ‘Donald Duck as World Diplomat,’ as one American producer put it. What had started out as an economic conflict became an ideological and cultural battle, too, a bitterly fought struggle for the hearts and minds of audiences across the world.

In The Undeclared War, David Puttnam shows just what we have gained, what we have lost, and what we still stand to lose in the battle for control of this extraordinary medium. It is a dramatic and enthralling story, one which goes to the very heart of who we are and what we wish to become.

DAVID PUTTNAM is the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Local Hero, The Killing Fields and The Mission. He was chairman of Columbia Pictures from 1986-88, and now heads his own company, Enigma Productions. In 1995 he received a knighthood for his services to the British film industry. He divides his time between England and a home in Ireland. NEIL WATSON is a writer and researcher specializing in the film and entertainment industries. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 414 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 881 g (31 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., London, 1997 – ISBN 0-00-255675-8

United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars (Tino Balio)

balio-tino-united-artists-the-company-built-by-the-stars“It is January, 1919. A convention of the First National Exhibitors Circuit is meeting at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles. On the mezzanine floor, in Parlor A, the seven members of the executive board are in session. Below them, in the lobby, the atmosphere among the sages, kibitzers, and gossipers is fraught with excitement. Rumors, conjectures, and guesses about mergers fill the air: mergers that aim to control the industry; mergers that spell the death of the star system; mergers that eliminate the small fish of filmdom. A. H. Giebler of Moving Picture World surveyed the scene and said: Did Dave Griffith eat a little snack of lunch with Sam Goldwyn, a merger was seen in the offing. Did J. D. Williams stop Adolph Zukor in the lobby and say, Dolph, this certainly beats New York for climate, the nucleus for a new combination was born. Did Winnie Sheehan shake hands with Hiram Abrams and ask him politely for news from Broadway, the name of William Fox was written large on the dope sheets…

Did those two mysterious strangers from the East, Hiram Abrams and Benny Schulberg, parade their slow and solemn way along the length of the lobby, eyes were rolled in their direction and bated voices asked: ‘What have those two wise birds got up their sleeves…?’ ‘The First National will control all the stars.’ ‘The First National is going to form a combination with Famous Players, Artcraft, Goldwyn, Metro, Fox, and after that they’ll tell the stars just where to get off in the matter of salary.’

‘Doug has signed up with First National.’ ‘Doug has done no such of a thing.’ ‘Charlie’s going to Europe… Mary will renew her contract with First National.’ ‘Mary will not.’ ‘Mary may, but Charlie won’t.’ ‘See me in the morning, and I’ll give you the whole story.’ ‘Don’t quote me, but here’s the right dope…’ Thus it went on all day long, from getting up time until hay time – everywhere – all over the big hotel, upstairs and down, in parlor, bedroom and bath, lobby, grill, tea room, candy shop and barber shop, until voices grew husky and imaginations were worn to a frazzle.

An adjustment of industry conditions was clearly imminent. Just before the convention, Richard A. Rowland, president of Metro Pictures, proclaimed that ‘motion pictures must cease to be a game and become a business.’ What he wanted was to supplant the star system, which forced companies to compete for big names and pay out-of-this-world salaries for their services. Metro, he said, would thenceforth decline from ‘competitive bidding for billion-dollar stars” and devote its energies to making big pictures based on “play value and excellence of production.’

Other moguls felt the same way. The industry had been in the grip of the star system for ten years, ever since audiences began to recognize individuals from among the uncredited players on the early screen. People began to ask, for instance, who was that little girl with the blonde curls? Or who was that little man with the funny mustache? Thereafter, as the audiences decided that they preferred this actress to that one, and as millions of fans flocked to theaters to see their favorites and stayed home when their favorites failed to appear, the balance of power shifted from the businessman to the employee. And did the salaries skyrocket: $ 100, $ 500, $ 1,000, and for the brightest and most illustrious, Pickford and Chaplin, $ 10,000 a week. Negatives that before World War I cost $ 10,000 to $ 30,000 were now requiring expenditures of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 and more, depending on the magnitude of the star. ‘Acting,’ as Benjamin Hampton said, ‘historically one of the most precarious of all professions, suddenly found itself among the best paid on earth.’ Mary Pickford, John Bunny, Francis X. Bushman, and Bronco Billy Anderson were the first to benefit from the new idolatry. Then Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Theda Bara, Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish, and a whole constellation of others.

There were other reasons for the rise in production costs. Audiences had come to prefer feature-length pictures to the one- and two-reelers and wanted stories having more than rudimentary plots. More money was needed for plays, novels, and scenarios, for better sets and more expensive costumes.  Nevertheless, the consensus in Hollywood, concurred in by supporting actors, was that too much of the gross was going to the star.

The industry was in the throes of a titanic struggle for control. There were two main protagonists: on one side stood Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players-Lasky Co., the world’s largest producer and distributor of feature films; on the other stood the First National Exhibitors Circuit, an association of powerful theater owners from around the country who banded together to curb Zukor’s growing dictatorial powers by financing productions of top stars and distributing them among themselves.” – From chapter 1, ‘Artists in Business’ (1919).

Hardcover – 323 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 559 g (19,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1976 – ISBN 0-299-06940-0

United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry (Tino Balio)

balio-tino-united-artistsOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Best Picture, 1975. Rocky, Best Picture, 1976. Annie Hall, Best Picture, 1977. Three straight – an industry record. All three pictures independently produced, all three released by United Artists.

How did United Artists – “the company built by the stars” – go from being a company near death, in 1951, to the most successful company in the history of the motion picture industry? The answers are the subject of this book. They are important, not only because they illustrate a story of business success, but because the story of United Artists is the story of the development of the modern American film industry. It was United Artists that changed the industry from one relying on the old studio system of the “golden age” into today’s modern system of independent production and distribution.

Tino Balio’s vivid history will be important reading for anyone interested in the American film industry. The history of United Artists falls into two distinct periods. Balio’s critically acclaimed 1976 book, United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, tells the story of the early era, from the time of the company’s formation in 1919 by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, to 1951, when the young lawyers Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin stepped in to rescue the company from sure oblivion. This book carries the story through the Krim and Benjamin years, up to the present – years of success marked by UA’s creative innovation, later acquisition by Transamerica, the acrimonious 1978 resignations of Krim and Benjamin, the Heaven’s Gate disaster, and the eventual sale of the company to MGM.

Krim and Benjamin brought a new entrepreneurial spirit to the company, taking on the repressive forces of the American Legion and the Production Code Administration, winning the financial support of the banks, encouraging Hollywood’s talent, and – their major innovation – financing independent productions instead of merely distributing them, as the old company had done. This bold new approach opened the door for a wealth of creative talent that had previously been stymied by Hollywood’s anachronistic studio system, in which a handful of industry moguls controlled what was to be placed on film.

By investing in talent, UA was – over a quarter of a century – able to attract many of the biggest names in the business – Otto Preminger, Stanley Kramer, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Woody Allen, the Mirisch brothers (producers of more than fifty pictures including those of such acclaimed directors as Billy Wilder, John Sturges, George Roy Hill, and Norman Jewison), Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (producers of the James Bond series), Blake Edwards (producer of the Pink Panther series), and Rocky producers Robert Chartoff and lrwin WinkIer. UA pictures grossed more than $ 10 billion in the company’s history, and won 108 Academy Awards, including ten Oscars for Best Picture – a record unmatched by any of the studios.

United Artists gave Balio free access to the company records for the purposes of this study. Because of this access, and because of the longevity of the Krim-Benjamin regime, Balio is able to analyze UA’s operations in the company’s three forms – as a private company, a public corporation, and a conglomerate subsidiary. No other book has ever provided as complete and insightful a history of a motion picture company.

TINO BALIO, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars (1976), the editor of The American Film Industry (2d ed., 1985) as well as the 22-volume Wisconsin / Warner Bros. Screenplay Series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and the co-author of The History of the National Theatre Conference (Theatre Arts Books, 1970). He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research from 1966 to 1982.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 446 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 810 g (28,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1987 – ISBN 0-299-11440-6

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror (Michael Mallory)

mallory-michael-universal-studios-monstersFrom the 1920s through the 1950s, Universal Studios was Hollywood’s number one studio for horror pictures, haunting movie theaters worldwide with the likes of Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. A lavishly illustrated book that explores all of these enduring characters and film series, Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror chronicles the mythology behind the films and offers behind-the-scenes insights into how the films were created.

With chapters covering each of the major and minor film series, the pages of this deluxe edition are punctuated with spotlight biographies of the major personalities who were responsible for the most notable monster melodramas in film history. The stories of these films and their creators are told through interviews with surviving actors and studio employees. A detailed photographic record, including many behind-the-scenes shots, completes the story of these classics. From Dracula to Frankenstein’s monster to the Wolf Man and the Invisible Man, Universal Studios Monsters is the definitive volume for film buffs.

MICHAEL MALLORY is an internationally recognized authority on 20th-century popular culture and the author of the books Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Marvel: The Characters and Their Universe, and X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe, as well as a contributor to the encyclopedic volume Animation Art. He has written more than 400 articles for newspapers and magazines, including several on monster films of Universal Pictures, for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Scarlet Street, and Millimeter.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.690 g (59,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Universe Publishing, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-7893-1896-1

Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox (Upton Sinclair)

sinclair-upton-upton-sinclair-presents-william-fox“For thirty years I have been ‘presenting’ to the public the princes, dukes and barons of our industrial feudalism. As a rule I have ‘presented’ them under the guise of fiction. Sometimes my critics have said ‘Good melodrama’ and sometimes ‘Bad melodrama,’ but always they have agreed that ‘Sinclair exaggerates.’ Learned book reviewers in Siam and Tasmania declare: ‘Such things are impossible.’ Living as far away as it is possible to get on this earth, they still feel safe in asserting: ‘America cannot be like that.’ So this time I am presenting a living man. This time I am telling a story which happened in New York City less than three years ago. This time there are names, places, recent dates and an appendix full of documents and court records. This time even Siam and Tasmania will have to admit that ‘America is like that’; for no melodrama that I have been able to invent in my thirty years of inventing has been more packed with crimes and betrayals, perils and escapes, than the story of William Fox. No thriller among the 750 feature pictures which Fox himself produced during twenty-five years as a producer was ever so perfectly constructed, with its humble hero battling his way to power, its polished villains, conspirators of high estate, each with a carnation in his buttonhole; its complications of intrigue, its mysteries, some of them never solved to this day, its cruel suffering and its grand climax – the hero escaping with the greater part of his fortune, and the villains dragged down to ruin by the judgment of an implacable Providence. A couple of months ago I had the honor of being invited to the home of a Hollywood author; one of those new-style authors of the screen-world who could not think of writing for less than $ 2,000 a week, and who live in Moorish palaces on hilltops, and have Negro servants in swallow-tail coats to serve you calavo salad and caviar sandwiches and liquids enough to float a battleship. The company fell to discussing the state of America, and I explained that when I started muckraking thirty years ago, the significant phenomenon had been the eliminating of the little business man by the big business man; but now the situation had changed, and the feature was the replacing of the big business man by the investment banker. I mentioned a case in Boston, the story of a manufacturer who had his business taken away from him by a conspiracy of bankers. He had brought suit, and after a trial lasting more than a year, the jury had given him a verdict of $ 10,000,000. My friend, the Hollywood author, broke in: ‘Sinclair, why do you fool with pikers like that, little $ 10,000,000 men? Why don’t you tell us about the $ 1,000,000,000 men, or the $ 100,000,000 ones at least?’ I answered that I had never met any $ 1,000,000,000 men, nor even $ 100,000,000 ones, and I feared that my imagination would not be equal to the task. Said my host: ‘Why don’t you write the story of William Fox? There’s one made to order for you: a plain hold-up in broad daylight – and by our most eminent and respectable financiers!’ The company talked for a while about William Fox. He had been the biggest man in the industry, the one real business man of them all, the one who could have saved them in this slump. And not because he was in trouble, but because he was so successful, because he was making too much money, the Wall Street crowd had surrounded him, blocked him off, and taken his profit-making machine away from him. And the strangest thing – when they had got it, they didn’t know what to do with it, all they were able to do was to loot the properties, and now they were a shell, ready to collapse. They had bought Fox’s business, but not his brain.'” – From The Introduction.

This antiquarian volume contains Upton Sinclair’s uniquely insightful and veritably thrilling biography of one of the most important and influential figures in motion picture history – the founder of Fox Film Corporation, William Fox. Written at a time when there was considerable controversy and turmoil between the financiers and organisers in the film industry, this sensational account of William Fox’s life offers a fascinating story of immense human interest packed with crimes and betrayals, perils and escapes.

The chapters of this book include: ‘A Feature Picture of Wall Street and High Finance,’ ‘Floyd Dell Reports to a New York Publisher,’ ‘Close Up,’ ‘Shoe-Blacking and Lozengers,’ ‘Pretzels and Buffalo Pans,’ ‘Nickelodeons and Common Shows,’ ‘The Road to Fortune,’ ‘Over The Hill,’ and more.

Hardcover – 377 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 602 g (21,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Upton Sinclair, Los Angeles (West Branch), California, 1933

Ustinov in Focus (Tony Thomas)

Thomas, Tony - Ustinov in Focus“Making films is just one of a number of creative activities in which Peter Ustinov employs his time and his efforts. He does not think of himself primarily as a film person and perhaps neither do those who know him well and admire him greatly. But in putting together this particular impression of Ustinov, I have chosen to do it by concentrating on his film work, and for two reasons: that it is the medium by which he is best known to the largest number of people, and that it is the area of his career which I am best informed. In other words, I have chosen to enter ‘Maison Ustinov’ by a side door, as I have used his films as a kind of excuse to discuss many other facets of Ustinovia.

My first meeting with Ustinov was in the Spring of 1958 in New York when he was appearing there in his play Romanoff and Juliet. I went to his apartment one afternoon as a radio interviewer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. My admiration for him until then had been one of a vague nature, and I knew little about him as a man. I found him that afternoon to be quiet, polite, gently humorous and with no effort on his part to impress me. In many years of interviewing theatrical celebrities I am hard put to think that of others who can be described in quite those same terms. He also struck me as being rather shy, which is unusual in a star of his calibre. But then, I am rather shy myself, which is unusual in an interviewer. I came away from that first meeting feeling I had perhaps met a kindred spirit, a conceit bolstered by his generous hand in pouring whiskey.” – From The Preface by Tony Thomas.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 207 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 0-498-07859-0