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Vanessa Redgrave: An Autobiography (Vanessa Redgrave)

Redgrave, Vanessa - Vanessa Redgrave‘I have just spoken with Vanessa Redgrave,’ Tennessee Williams said. ‘She is the greatest actress of our time.’ From her appearance as Rosalind in As You Like It at Stratford in 1961, through The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to Orpheus Descending and The Three Sisters, with her sister Lynn and niece Jemma, she has cast a spell on theater-goers wherever she has performed. Her work in the cinema has been equally highly praised and includes Blow-Up, Isadora, Julia, for which she won an Oscar, Agatha and The Bostonians. More recently, she appeared in Wetherby, Prick Up Your Ears, Second Serve and The Ballad of the Sad Café.

Now, for the first time, Vanessa Redgrave has written about her life as an actress – from the moment the Principal of her drama school warned her that at 5 foot 11 inches she was too tall to succeed, and she should not expect to achieve anything noteworthy until her thirties. She writes in full about the ups and downs of her career – her terrifying loss of confidence on stage in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – and generously about her fellow actors and directors.

Previously reticent about her personal life, she reveals what it was like to be born into the fourth generation of a famous theatrical family. Her mother is the actress Rachel Kemspon, her father the actor and film star Sir Michael Redgrave; and both her brother, Corin , and sister, Lynn, joined her on the stage. In 1961 she married the director Tony Richardson and they had two daughters, Natasha and Joely Richardson, both now successful in their own right. Vanessa had her third child, Carlo, with Italian actor Franco Nero, whom she met when they were both starring in the film Camelot.

Above all, Vanessa Redgrave shows how her twin pursuits of acting and politics have been fulfilled throughout an extraordinary and often controversial career. It traces her interest in politics from an early age through her radicalism during the Vietnam war to her membership of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, now the Marxist Party, and her work for the Palestinian people. Explaining that her political beliefs are inextricably bound up with her work as an actress, she tells both what this has cost her in terms of persecution and misunderstanding – recounting the highly publicized law cases against The Observer newspaper and the Boston Symphony Orchestra – and the support and affection her work has brought her.

Vanessa Redgrave is the honest, moving and compelling life-story of one of the most famous actresses on stage and screen today.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 302 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 679 g (24,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Hutchinson, London, 1991 – ISBN 0-09-174593-4

Vanity Will Get You Somewhere: An Autobiography (Joseph Cotten)

Cotten, Joseph - Vanity Will Get You SomewhereJoseph Cotten’s story begins in Tidewater, Virginia, moves on to an episode as a Miami ‘potato salad’ tycoon and then brings us to his first big break as an actor, in the New York theater. Cotten describes how he met the flamboyant Orson Welles – at a radio audition at which Welles set a wastepaper basket on fire – and their involvement with the Mercury theater. This led to Cotten’s first film role, as Orson’s co-star in Citizen Kane, quickly followed by parts in The Magnificent Ambersons and The Third Man. Orson – perhaps the only man to use Churchill as a stooge while trying to set up a film deal – was a lifelong friend of Cotten’s, and this autobiography was one of the last works he read before his untimely death in 1985.

Cotten takes us behind the scenes of his stage plays and films, recalling amusing and intimate stories of his adventures with Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, David Niven, David O. Selznick, Alfred Hitchcock and many others.

Sensitive to his own motivations, frank about his marriages and warmly revealing about himself and his friends, Cotten has written much more than the usual film star biography. His skills as an actor have made him a master of character and dramatic momentum, and he brings the same talents to his writing. Vanity Will Get You Somewhere is a generous, loving and humorous portrait of a man without a shred of vanity in his nature – and of his friends and colleagues in the larger-than-life world of show business.

JOSEPH COTTEN was born in Petersburg, Virginia. After becoming a stage actor he joined the Mercury Theater with Orson Welles, which led him to Hollywood and starring in sixty films, including Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Shadow of a Doubt and Gaslight. Mr. Cotten lives in Palm Springs, California, with his wife, the British actress Patricia Medina.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 776 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 730 g (25,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbus Books, Ltd., London, 1987 – ISBN 0-86287-366-5

Van Johnson: MGM’s Golden Boy (Ronald L. Davis)

Davis, Ronald L - Van JohnsonVan Johnson’s dazzling smile, shock of red hair, and suntanned freckled cheeks made him a movie-star icon. Among teenaged girls in the 1940s, he was popularized as the bobbysoxer’s heartthrob.

He won the nation’s heart, too, by appearing in a series of blockbuster war films – A Guy Named Joe, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Weekend at the Waldorf, and Battleground.

Perennially a leading man opposite June Allyson, Esther Williams, Judy Garland, and Janet Leigh, he rose to fame radiating the sunshine image Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chose for him, that of an affable, wholesome boy-next-door. Legions of adoring moviegoers were captivated by this idealized persona that generated huge box-office profits for the studio.

However, Johnson’s off-screen life was not so sunny. His mother had rejected him in childhood, and he lived his adult life dealing with sexual ambivalence. A marriage was arranged with the ex-wife of his best friend, the actor Keenan Wynn. During the waning years of Hollywood’s Golden Age, she and Johnson lived amid the glow of Hollywood’s A-crowd. Yet their private life was charged with tension and conflict.

Although morose and reclusive by nature, Johnson maintained a happy-go-lucky façade, even among co-workers who knew him as a congenial, dedicated professional. Once free of the golden-boy stereotype, he became a respected actor assigned stellar roles in such acclaimed films as State of the Union, Command Decision, The Last Time I Saw Paris, and The Caine Mutiny.

With the demise of the big studios, Johnson returned to the stage, where he had begun his career as a song-and-dance man. After this, he appeared frequently in television shows, performed in nightclubs, and became the legendary darling of older audiences on the dinner playhouse circuit. Johnson (1916-2008) spent his post-Hollywood years living in solitude in New York City.

This solid, thoroughly researched biography traces the career and influence of a favorite star and narrates a fascinating, sometimes troubled life story.

RONALD L. DAVIS is the author of Hollywood Beauty: Linda Darnell and the American Dream, John Ford: Hollywood’s Old Master, and Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne. He is a professor of history at Southern Methodist University and the general editor of University Press of Mississippi’s Hollywood Legend Series.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 15,5 cm (8,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 557 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001 – ISBN 1-57806-377-9

Variety Film Reviews 1907-1920, Volume 1

Variety Film Reviews Vol 1 1907-1920

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.670 g (58,9 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-83522779-0

Variety Film Reviews 1921-1925, Volume 2

Variety Film Reviews Vol 2 1921-1925

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.935 g (68,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5201-3

Variety Film Reviews 1926-1929, Volume 3

Variety Film Reviews Vol 3 1926-1929

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.815 g (64,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1930-1933, Volume 4

Variety Film Reviews Vol 4 1930-1933

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.950 g (68,8 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

Variety Film Reviews 1934-1937, Volume 5

Variety Film Reviews Vol 5 1934-1937

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.060 g (72,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1938-1942, Volume 6

Variety Film Reviews Vol 6 1938-1942

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.245 g (79,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1943-1948, Volume 7

Variety Film Reviews Vol 7 1943-1948

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.925 g (67,9 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

Variety Film Reviews 1949-1953, Volume 8

Variety Film Reviews Vol 8 1949-1953

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.145 g (75,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1954-1958, Volume 9

Variety Film Reviews Vol 9 1954-1958

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.015 g (71,1 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

Variety Film Reviews 1959-1963, Volume 10

Variety Film Reviews Vol 10 1959-1963

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.085 g (73,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1964-1967, Volume 11

Variety Film Reviews Vol 11 1964-1967

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.745 g (61,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1968-1970, Volume 12

Variety Film Reviews Vol 12 1968-1970

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.040 g (72,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1971-1974, Volume 13

Variety Film Reviews Vol 13 1971-1974

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.185 g (77,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1975-1977, Volume 14

Variety Film Reviews Vol 14 1975-1977

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.915 g (67,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1978-1980, Volume 15

Variety Film Reviews Vol 15 1978-1980

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

It is noted that Variety did not list running times until March 1923. Also, prior to July 1927, feature-length features were not distinguished from short subjects; all reviews are therefore included in these pages before that date, but only feature-length, theatrical films are reproduced after July 1927.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.130 g (75,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8240-5202-1

Variety Film Reviews 1907-1980 Index, Volume 16

Variety Film Reviews Vol 16 1907-1980 IndexThe reviews in this collection are published in chronological order, by date on which the review appeared. The date of each issue appears at the top of the column where the reviews of that issue begin.

The reviews continue through that column and all following columns until a new date appears at the top of the page. Where blank spaces occur at the end of a column, this indicates the end of that particular week’s reviews. An index to film titles (1907-1980), giving date of review, is published in the 16th volume of this set.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.180 g (41,6 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

Variety Film Reviews 1981-1982, Volume 17

Variety Film Reviews Vol 17 1981-1982

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety’s Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

This is the first additional volume (with all the film reviews from 1981-1982) to the original series of Variety Film Reviews which covered the years from 1907 to 1980.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.730 g (61,0 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

Variety Film reviews 1983-1984, Volume 18

Variety Film Reviews Vol 18 1983-1984

The 46,000 movie reviews contained in this twenty-volume set of Variety’s Film Reviews are complete and comprehensive reproductions of the original film reviews in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

Variety took note of the film branch of show business in 1907. Coverage of film was inconsistent in the early years and was, in fact, discontinued completely between March 1911 and January 1913, when reviews became a regular, permanent feature of the publication.

This is the second additional volume (with all the film reviews from 1983-1984) to the original series of Variety Film Reviews which covered the years from 1907 to 1980.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.105 g (74,3 oz) – PUBLISHER R.R. Bowker, New York, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-8352-2782-0

The Variety History of Show Business (Peter Bart, J.-C. Suarez, J. Spencer Beck)

The Variety History of Show BusinessThere’s no business that’s bigger or more exciting than show business, and for almost a century Variety has been the single most authoritative and influential publication devoted to the entertainment industry, including the worlds of movies, television, theater, and live performance. With colorful lingo that has enriched the American language, a talent for spotting trends and events long before anyone else does, and statistics to back up its hunches, Variety is one of the most widely known and oft-quoted periodicals in our movie-mad, celebrity-obsessed world.

If Variety could go back and cover the great events of show-business history with all the style, verve, and insight for which it’s famous – and add dramatic, revealing photographs – the result would be The Variety History of Show Business. Each of forty chapters focuses on a pivotal event, introduces its key players, and explores its longterm impact on show business. The reader journeys to Hollywood in 1913, where Cecil B. De Mille shoots The Squaw Man and inadvertently brings an entire industry West; to the opening night of Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon in 1920, which establishes Broadway as a center for serious theater; to the premiere of the first talking picture in 1927 and the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946; to the final concert of the most popular singing group of the ’60s and the first broadcast on MTV in 1981. Along the way, we meet the actors, entertainers, producers, directors, writers, agents, financiers, and a host of other colorful characters who people the world of entertainment.

PETER BART is the Editorial Director of Variety Inc. and the Editor of Variety magazine. The quintessential Hollywood insider, he was formerly the senior vice president of MGM-UA, as well as an independent producer and top executive at Lorimar Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. He is the author of two novels, Destinies and Thy Kingdom Come, and Fade Out: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM. J.-C. SUARES has written, designed or illustrated numerous books, including Manhattan, Couture, Visions of Paradise, and Socks Goes to Washington. He has designed and redesigned publications such as New York, The Advocate, The New Times Book Review, and Variety. J. SPENCER BECK was formerly Executive Editor of Connoisseur and an editor at Fame and Interview magazines. He is a New York-based writer and editor.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 222 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 23 cm (11,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.300 g (45,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-8109-3926-6

Variety Movie Guide: The Very Best Reviews from Over 5,000 Reviews from 1914 to 1991 (edited by Derek Elley; foreword by Sir Richard Attenborough)

Variety Movie GuideVariety is the world’s most respected entertainment newspaper. Founded in 1905, it covers virtually the entire history of twentieth-century cinema. Throughout the eighty years plus of its existence, its legendary film reviews, which began in 1907, featured all the classics of the silent era. By the time the talkies came along Variety was reviewing most of the films produced, continuing this tradition to the present day.

The Variety Movie Guide is an A-Z collection of over 5,000 film reviews, ranging from the classics and the cult movies to the Academy Award winners and latest blockbusters, all reviewed by staff writers at the time of release in Variety‘s inimitable house style. With quality and authority as its hall mark, The Variety Movie Guide is an indispensable work of reference for everyone who loves movies.

DEREK ELLEY was born in London and studied Classics at Cambridge University. During the past 20 years he has contributed to a large number of film publications, including Variety, Films & Filming, Screen International, Film Review, and Monthly Film Bulletin. Since 1973 he has been involved with the annual International Film Guide (now published under the auspices of Variety) and is well known as a specialist on European and East Asian cinema, and film music. Film festivals he has advised on include London and Washington. He is author of The Epic Film: Myth and History and is currently completing A Handbook of Chinese Cinema: The Films and Filmmakers of Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 704 pp., [directors] index – Dimensions 28 x 20,5 cm (11 x 8,1 inch) – Weight 1.695 g (59,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Inc., London, 1991 – ISBN 0-600-57222-6

Variety Obituaries 1905-1928, Volume 1

Variety Obituaries Vol 1 1905-1928This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.095 g (73,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0835-9

Variety Obituaries 1929-1938, Volume 2

Variety Obituaries Vol 2 1929-1938This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.880 g (66,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0863-7

Variety Obituaries 1939-1947, Volume 3

Variety Obituaries Vol 3 1939-1947This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.885 g (66,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0837-5

Variety Obituaries 1948-1956, Volume 4

Variety Obituaries Vol 4 1948-1956This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.960 g (69,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0838-3

Variety Obituaries 1957-1963, Volume 5

Variety Obituaries Vol 5 1957-1963This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.830 g (64,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0839-1

Variety Obituaries 1964-1968, Volume 6

Variety Obituaries Vol 6 1964-1968This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.710 g (60,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0840-5

Variety Obituaries 1969-1974, Volume 7

Variety Obituaries Vol 7 1969-1974This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.895 g (66,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0841-3

Variety Obituaries 1975-1979, Volume 8

Variety Obituaries Vol 8 1975-1979This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.880 g (66,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0842-1

Variety Obituaries 1980-1983, Volume 9

Variety Obituaries Vol 9 1980-1983This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.805 g (63,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0833-X

Variety Obituaries 1984-1986, Volume 10

Variety Obituaries Vol 10 1984-1986This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.600 g (56,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8240-0844-8

Variety Obituaries 1905-1986 Index, Volume 11

Variety Obituaries Vol 11 Index 1905-1986This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.705 g (60,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-8240-0845-6

Variety Obituaries 1987-1988, Volume 12

Variety Obituaries Vol 12 1987-1988This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.315 g (46,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-8240-0846-4

Variety Obituaries 1989-1990, Volume 13

Variety Obituaries Vol 13 1989-1990This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.395 g (49,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-8240-0847-2

Variety Obituaries 1991-1992, Volume 14

Variety Obituaries Vol 14 1991-1992This fourteen-volume set of Variety Obituaries is a complete and comprehensive reproduction of the original obituaries as published in Variety during the years that each volume covers.

For the early years of Variety (1905-1910), before the establishment of a regular obituary column, all obituaries and new stories – headlined and unheadlined – are included. For post-1910 issues, the following are included: all weekly obituary columns, all specialized obituary columns, all related news stories cited within individual obituaries, all other headlined news stories en editorials covering the deaths of individuals whose careers or families were connected (however peripherally) with show business.

Not included are news stories concerning the deaths of individuals whose careers or personal lives were not connected with show business (e.g., audience members who died during or following a performance, amusement park fatalities, circus patrons killed by animals, etc.).

The resulting compilation – more than 90,000 items – is the largest collection of show business obituaries from 1905 to 1992 ever compiled on paper.

Hardcover – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.195 g (42,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-8240-0848-0

Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake (Veronica Lake, with Donald Bain)

Lake, Veronica - VeronicaIn Hollywood’s wildest years, a precocious beauty from Brooklyn, with an unruly mop of hair over one eye, burst on the scene to become an overnight star. In a brief period of time she made twenty-six pictures, became one of the country’s top box-office attractions, and then disappeared. After twenty years of rumors, the same girl made headlines when she was “rediscovered” as a waitress in a New York restaurant. Now she makes perhaps the boldest headlines of all with this book – for these are the uninhibited reminiscences of Constance Ockleman, who was made by Hollywood into Veronica Lake.

What distinguishes Miss Lake’s story from that of most film stars is that she walked out on Hollywood when she was at the top, and walked out forever. She was created by the film industry, but she fought it on her own terms. She is the first major star to tell the story not only of how she succeeded, but also of how she failed. In fact, her story of a woman on the way out and on the way down – what she calls the “unsuitable” life story – is as interesting as the answers she is able to give to the questions that are inevitably asked about Hollywood.

This is a frank, no-holds-barred story in which the author does not spare herself as she relives her Hollywood triumphs, her marriages, her relationships with her children, and her contacts with filmdom’s great names. There is an astringent and likable quality about Veronica Lake’s personality which comes through the writing, and which makes Veronica one of the most unusual film-star autobiographies ever written. Illustrated with 32 photographs.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 488 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, New York, New York, 1971 – ISBN 0-8065-0225-8

Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic (Dan Auiler; foreword by Martin Scorsese)

auiler-dan-vertigoAlfred Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological masterpiece Vertigo – in which obsessive ex-cop James Stewart pursues troubled loner Kim Novak through the streets of San Francisco – is one of the most dissected, discussed, and revered movies of all time. In style, in technique, most of all in its very personal content, it is among the most darkly fascinating statements any filmmaker has ever mounted. Many have seen it as a kind of Hitchcock confessional; others celebrate it as a rare instance of a director mobilizing the studio system in service of his own idiosyncratic vision. Upon the film’s recent triumphant restoration, it captivated audiences all over again. The New York Times called Vertigo “way ahead of its time,” and raved that “nowhere else did Hitchcock’s professionalism yield such feverish results.” The Los Angeles Times reflected, “It’s more impressive today than forty years ago.” And The Village Voice called it, quite simply, “the ultimate movie.”

Now, for the first time, the story of this remarkable film is revealed. Writing with the full cooperation of the director’s family and many crew members, and the film’s restoration team, Dan Auiler offers up a remarkable in-depth re-creation of Hitchcock’s signature thriller. Through an extensive review of early script drafts, detailed interviews with the participants, and many archival materials, Auiler leads us down the winding path that brought this spellbinding and desperately romantic film to the screen. Hitchcock’s working style was a unique blend of inspiration and method, and in these pages we watch him at work on every stage in the film’s development – from his analysis and transformation of the original story to his execution of each shot in the film. Scores of production notes, sketches, and storyboards – some in Hitchcock’s own hand – are included, along with a generous array of stills from the film and its restoration. The result is one of the most thorough and illuminating studies of a single film ever published, and a testament to the enduring power of Hitchcock’s masterwork of suspense and obsession.

DAN AUILER, a film collector, teacher, and historian, lives in Los Angeles, California; he is currently at work on an authorized survey of Alfred Hitchcock’s entire canon, to be published in celebration of his centenary in 1999. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 220 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 19,5 cm (9,5 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 703 g (24,8 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-312-16915-9

A Very Dangerous Citizen: Abraham Lincoln Polonsky and the Hollywood Left (Paul Bulhe, Dave Wagner)

Buhle, Paul - A Very Dangerous CitizenWhen he was summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951, Abraham Lincoln Polonsky (1911-1999) was labeled “a very dangerous citizen” by Harold Velde, a congressman from Illinois. Lawyer, educator, novelist, labor organizer, radio and television scriptwriter, film director and screenwriter, wartime intelligence operative, and full-time radical romantic, Polonsky was blacklisted in Hollywood for refusing to be an informer. The New York Times called his blacklisting the single greatest loss to American film during the McCarthy era, and his expressed admirers include Harry Belafonte, Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Warren Beatty and Steven Spielberg. In this first critical and cultural biography of Abraham Polonsky, Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner present both an accomplished consideration of a remarkable survivor of America’s cultural cold war and a superb study of the Hollywood left.

The Bronx-born son of immigrant parents, Polonsky – in the few years after the end of World War II and just before the blacklist – had one of the most distinguished careers in Hollywood. He wrote two films that established John Garfield’s postwar persona, Body and Soul (1947), still the standard for boxing films and the model for such movies as Raging Bull and Pulp Fiction; and Force of Evil (1948), the great noir drama that he also directed. Blacklisted, Polonsky quit working under his own name, yet he proved to be one of television’s most talented writers, most notably in the scripts he created for the acclaimed series You Are There. He also wrote one of the most compelling films about racism in the United Stated, Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), for which he received screen credit only in the 1990s. Later in life he became the most acerbic critic of the Hollywood blacklist’s legacy while writing and directing films such as Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1970).

A Very Dangerous Citizen goes beyond biography to help us understand the relationship between art and politics in American culture and to uncover the effects of U.S. anticommunism and anti-Semitism. Rich in anecdote and in analysis, it provides an informative and entertaining portrait of one of the most intriguing personalities of twentieth-century American culture

DAVID BUHLE is Lecturer in the American Civilization Department at Brown University and co-author of Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist (1997).

DAVE WAGNER is a Political Editor of the Arizona Republic.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 275 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 593 g (20,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Regents of the University of California, 2001 – ISBN 0-520-22383-7

Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (Michael Sragow)

Sragow, Michael - Victor Fleming An American Movie MasterThe full-length, definitive biography of the legendary director of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Victor Fleming was the most sought-after director in Hollywood’s golden age, renowned for his ability to make films across an astounding range of genres – westerns, earthy sexual dramas, family entertainment, screwball comedies, buddy pictures, romances, and adventures. Fleming is remembered for the two most iconic movies of the period, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but the more than forty films he directed also included such classics as Red Dust, Test Pilot, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Captains Courageous. Paradoxically, his talent for knowing how to make the necessary film at the right time, rather than remaking the same movie in different guises, has resulted in Victor Fleming’s relative obscurity in our time.

Michael Sragow restores the director to the pantheon of our greatest filmmakers and fills a gaping hole in Hollywood history with this vibrant portrait of a man at the center of the most exciting era in American filmmaking. The actors Fleming directed wanted to be him (Fleming created enduring screen personas for Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Gary Cooper), and his actresses wanted to be with him (Ingrid Bergman, Clara Bow, and Norma Shearer were among his many lovers).

Victor Fleming not only places the director back in the spotlight but also gives us the story of a man whose extraordinary personal style was as thrilling, varied, and passionate as the stories he brought to the screen.

MICHAEL SRAGOW is the movie critic for the Baltimore Sun and contributes regularly to The New Yorker. He has also written for Salon, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among many publications. He edited the Library of America’s two volumes of James Agee’s work, as well as Produced and Abandoned: The National Society of Film Critics Write on the Best Films You’ve Never Seen. He lives with his wife, Glenda Hobbs, in Baltimore.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 645 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.090 g (38,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-375-40748-2

A Victorian in Orbit: The Irreverent Memoirs of Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Sir Cedric Hardwicke, as told to James Brough)

Hardwicke, Cedric - A Victorian in OrbitSir Cedric Hardwicke, one of the world’s most versatile actors, tells us candidly that he has broken most of the Ten Commandments, even to killing Germans in the First World War. But there is another badly needed commandment, not brought down by Moses: “Thou shalt never be stuffy.” This one Sir Cedric has obeyed.

A Victorian in Orbit is not just another name-dropping memoir, nor is it a chronological record of parts played and past triumphs. It is a delightfully amusing, occasionally acerb and always highly irreverent look at a life spent entirely in the profession by one of the theater’s most distinguished and articulate protagonists.

Sir Cedric Hardwicke was born in the last decade of Victoria’s reign, in a small town some ten miles from Birmingham. The son of a hard-working doctor, he saw the unspeakable slums of the factory workers and promptly decided that if this was the real world, the world of make-believe was for him. Despite his father’s steadfast refusal to see his son “make a fool of himself,” Cedric took himself to London and began his studies there at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The rest is theatrical history.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote to his friend Hardwicke, “You are my fifth favorite actor; the other four being the Marx brothers.” And one of the most interesting features of A Victorian in Orbit is the depiction of the warm relationship between Hardwicke and Shaw, who not only wrote but directed several of the plays in which Sir Cedric appeared, such as Caesar and Cleopatra and The Apple Cart. Many hitherto unpublished letters of Shaw are included in the book, and their work together sheds new light on many of G.B.S’s ideas on the theater and acting.

Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s career has taken him literally all over the world and dramatically into nearly every century. He has played opposite most of the great leading ladies of our time and, while he can’t remember the names of the plays, he guesses he has acted in more than 200. Sir Cedric has a good many opinions about the state of the theater today – both along Shaftesbury Avenue and on Broadway – and he is not unwilling to unburden himself of them.

Here, then, is that rara avis, a theatrical memoir written with great wit, with boundless good humor, common sense, and keen perception. It is a must for every enthusiastic theatergoer.

JAMES BROUGH, a magazine editor and writer, is a former newspaperman who has served in London, Washington, and New York. He acknowledges being a starry-eyed amateur actor at 19, and his first book, Ed Wynn’s Son, was published by Doubleday in 1959. Mr. Brough lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife and two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 492 g (17,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1961

A View from a Broad (Bette Midler)

Midler, Bette - A View From a BroadThe Divine Bette Midler, superstar and yenta, fresh from her extraordinary success on stage and screen, now makes her literary debut. Drawing upon the experiences of her first world tour – what she calls “my monumental shlep’ ‘- Miss M gives us her incomparable views from abroad, complete with spectacular on-the-spot photographs that will knock you off your buns.

From the foggy, boggy banks of the Thames across all of Europe and on to Australia (“truly an astonishment of nations”), we follow Miss M and her incredible cast of Harlettes, musicians, choreographers, road men, wardrobe co-ordinators and over 2,000 pairs of shoes. On the way she makes an unparalleled entrance as a hot dog-mustard and relish glistening in the lights; enjoys an unscheduled stop-on location for the filming of the Swedish masterpiece, Thighs and Whispers; and introduces some astonishing stage personae such as Dolores de Lago, the Toast of Chicago, a sequined mermaid in a starfish bra.

On planning her world tour: “Slander, not geography, had always been my strongest suit. The closest thing I had ever had to a foreign experience was Ahmet Ertegun, record executive and Turk.”

On beginning her career in a Turkish bath: “Tm certain that whatever I may do in my life, whatever I may achieve, the headline of my obituary in The New York Times will read: Bette Midler Dead; Began career at continental baths.”

On growing up in Hawaii: “Lately I have begun to embroider the tale something fearful to include cockfights, Tong Wars, furious Fire Goddesses, volcanic eruptions and escapades with all branches of the armed forces.”

On audiences in Germany: “The women’s faces had a set, mannequin-like attitude, very Helmut Newton. The men tended to have a bit more expression but also a lot more leather, and they tended to come in irons of every imaginable variety from metal-studded chokers to handcuffs. Sitting in my dressing room and listening to the clanging of metal as the audience came in, I thought I was about to perform for a chain-link fence.”

On her fans: “In some strange way, they give – to me – meaning. I always feel more solid, more real, when they’re around. They make me think that maybe there is more to me than I know.”

BETTE MIDLER is, without a doubt, an original – outrageous, bawdy, touching, innocent – one of the truly unique personalities of our time. Like the woman herself, A View From A Broad is simply Divine.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18,5 cm (10,2 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 596 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1980 – ISBN 0-671-84780-8

Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography (Victoria Price)

Price, Victoria - Vincent Price a Daughter's Biography“My father understood that in order to succeed in Hollywood you have to be good copy… In taking each event of his life and transforming it into a story, he was also crafting a good read in a publicity column, a hearty laugh at a cocktail party, a riveting anecdote for an interview. In my father, the public and the private man had become inextricably entangled. He had long ago learned to hide his intimate self behind a glamorous façade. True intimacy, for my father, had become almost impossible. And although, by the end of our time together, much of our closeness had indeed been recaptured, for me there were still too many questions left unanswered.”

“After my father died, it fell to me to put his affairs in order. As I sorted through his papers, I was frequently overtaken by a sense that I was searching for something. From time to time I stumbled across a little treasure… Whenever my father had a spare moment, he used whatever piece of paper was handy – an airline ticket envelope, a paper place mat, hotel notepads – to jot down his stories and his thoughts… I uncovered two manuscripts of almost completed memoirs …. I transcribed over two hundred pages of taped conversations between my father and me, which capture his inimitable style of expression, witty and fluent. These recount his marvelously eventful life… These are the stories he wanted me to hear and to tell others. They are his legacy to me.”

“And so I became my father’s biographer… needing to make sense of his life for myself and because it became important to me to tell others about a remarkable man. Despite being plagued by the nagging question “How well can any child know the truth of a parent’s life?” I have chosen to tread the fine line between daughter and biographer.” – from Vincent Price

Vincent Prince is a true Hollywood legend, whose vast and distinguished career – as the voice of The Saint on radio, in such unforgettable films as House of Wax and The Fly, and on the Broadway stage – spanned more than a half-century. In addition to being an icon of stage and screen large and small, Price was also an avid art collector, a gourmand, a dashing and relentless charmer, and a loving father. His daughter Victoria was born shortly before Price turned fifty-one, at the height of his popularity. Though the star’s busy film schedule took him in and out of his young daughter’s life, he was always a larger-than-life presence and at the same time he was, simply, her father.

Victoria adored him, and despite his harrowing schedule, their relationship was close. That is, until Price married his third wife, the headstrong and independent actress Carol Browne. Victoria was a girl of twelve, and her new stepmother resented the strong relationship between father and daughter, and consequently did much to keep the two apart. Late in Price’s life, however, he and his daughter were brought together again for some of their most memorable times.

In this elegant biography-cum-memoir, Victoria Price reveals a man both complex and human. An actor of range, he starred in both the film noir milestones Laura and the Biblical classic The Ten Commandments. As a “pre-war anti-Nazi sympathizer,” he was graylisted during the Red scare of the 1950s – until, in a desperate gesture, he signed a secret oath that saved his career. And his passion for the arts gave him a second life as an erudite columnist and collector, even as his films graced drive-ins nationwide. Victoria Price’s account of her father’s life is full and candid: both his passionate and charismatic public persona and his conflicted inner life are treated with curiosity and understanding.

Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography is, in short, the thorough – and uniquely intimate – life of a legend.

VICTORIA PRICE is a television screenwriter and is also at work on a study of Rainer Maria Rilke and his circle. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 371 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 763 g (26,1 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1999 ISBN 0-312-24273-5

The Virgin Film Guide, Based on the Definitive Intustry Database (by the editors of CineBooks)

Film Guide - The Seventh Virgin Film GuideThe Virgin Film Guide is drawn from the constantly updated database of CineBooks, the film and TV industry’s own preferred information source. It is as a result the most authoritative movie A-Z ever published. Now fully revised and updated to include the very latest UK releases, the seventh edition of The Virgin Film Guide contains in-depth articles on every key international film, from the 1930s to the present day; a thorough assessment of each film – with unprecedented accuracy and detail; essential facts – plus fuller, more informative entries than any other contemporary guide; detailed plot breakdowns, cast and production credits – written and compiled by experts; comprehensive Oscars information, with full details of winners and nominees for every film included.

Since its inception in 1985, CineBooks has been the premier film information source for industry professionals, scholars and buffs as well as the general filmgoer. With more than 50 contributors and researchers around the world, CineBooks is recognised for the depth and accuracy of its coverage.

Already acclaimed by those in the know, The Virgin Film Guide sets standards which no other guide can hope to match.

The Virgin Film Guide is the definitive film reference for all serious film fans.

Softcover – 858 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 18,5 cm (9,1 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 1.340 g (47,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1998 – ISBN 0-7535-0248-8

Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh (Alexander Walker)

Walker, Alexander - Vivien“My birth sign is Scorpio and they eat themselves up and burn themselves out. I swing between happiness and misery. I am part prude and part non-conformist. I say what I think and I don’t pretend and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions.” – Vivien Leigh

When Vivien Leigh died in 1967, headlines around the world proclaimed, “Scarlett O’Hara is Dead!” Perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, Vivien Leigh became the very embodiment of the roles she made famous, from Gone With the Wind’s immortal heroine to her harrowing portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Vivien’s beauty, determination, and enormous charisma were her triumph, whether it was a matter of charming George Bernard Shaw in order to become his personal choice for Caesar and Cleopatra or David O. Selznick to land the part of Scarlett – or winning the then-married Laurence Olivier as her husband. Her twenty-years’ partnership with Olivier, both onstage and off, made them the “royal couple” of the theater, and garnered unparalleled critical and popular acclaim.

But the achievement had its darker side, for Vivien became so immersed in her roles that she began to take on their characteristics in real life – often at enormous cost: playing Blanche DuBois actually “tipped her into madness”; and while filming Ship of Fools, she found herself hammering co-star Lee Marvin’s face with very real – and painful – blows of her spiked heel. The public glamour of her fairy tale marriage to Olivier – so desperately important to them both – hid a private nightmare of violence and frequent infidelity. She was consumed by devastating battles against tuberculosis, to which she finally succumbed, and manic-depression, which she sought to keep at bay through a voracious sexual appetite, having affair after affair – sometimes serious, as with Peter Finch, sometimes with whichever taxi driver happened to bring her home.

Based on previously unpublished interviews with her friends, family, and colleagues, as well as with Vivien Leigh herself, Vivien is an extraordinary picture of a unique and complex woman, as willful as she was beautiful, who knew what she wanted – whether the coveted role of Scarlett or that, equally coveted, of Lady Olivier – and got it. With its telling anecdotes, fascinating insights, and unforgettable glimpses into Hollywood’s heyday, it is sure to stand as the definitive portrait of one of the most talented and tormented actresses of all time.

ALEXANDER WALKER has been the film critic for the London Evening Standard since 1960 and is a regular columnist for British Vogue. He was born in Ireland, and educated in his native land, on the continent, and in the United States. He has twice been named Critic of the Year in the British Press Awards. Alexander Walker’s previous books include best-selling biographies of Greta Garbo, Peter Sellers, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and Bette Davis, as well as a history of the British cinema and several studies of the star system. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 342 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 637 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1987 – ISBN 1-55584-080-9

von Stroheim (Thomas Quinn Curtiss; preface by René Clair)

curtiss-thomas-quinn-von-stroheimErich von Stroheim, one of the great film directors, had a colorful, stormy and tragic career. His masterpiece, Greed, was cut to one-fourth its intended length by hack film cutters. Two-thirds through the shooting of Merry-Go-Round, he was replaced by a minor director on Irving G. Thalberg’s orders. Near the completion of The Merry Widow, after extracting the first good acting job of Mae Murray’s career, he was fired by Louis B. Mayer. After his painstaking work on The Wedding March, the film was released in a butchered version that he disowned. Queen Kelly, which starred Gloria Swanson and was financed by Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., was left unfinished, though some critics believe it might have become his best film. His version of Walking Down Broadway, one of the first films with a lesbian theme, was suppressed. And so on.

Nevertheless, his films, even when watered down, were so original and powerful that they had a tremendous influence on film history. It is impossible to understand American films thoroughly without an accurate knowledge of von Stroheim and his work. This has not been possible up to now, because so much misinformation and so many distorted facts have clung to his “legend.”

Thomas Quinn Curtiss, drama critic of the Paris Herald Tribune and a long-time friend of von Stroheim, tells the complete story of this great director’s life and work for the first time. He replaces the “legend” with truth, basing his book on personal conversations, unpublished records, and original research. These pages contain the true details of von Stroheim’s years of poverty in New York, following his flight from Vienna at age twenty-four; his first marriage in San Francisco, before he got a job in the movies as a stunt man in The Birth of a Nation, and the crucial roles that D.W. Griffith, John Emerson, Douglas Fairbanks, Carl Laemmle, Irving G. Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer and others played in his career. The story of Greta Garbo’s friendship, at the time von Stroheim was down and out and banned from the MGM studio, is one of the most moving in the book.

von Stroheim’s popularity in his later years in France, dating from La Grande Illusion, contrasts with his villainous role as “The Man You Love to Hate” in Hollywood during World War I. In his preface to this book, René Clair lists von Stroheim and Chaplin as the two great originals of the screen. As a sympathetic portrait of a difficult artist, von Stroheim is the definitive book on the subject.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 355 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 861 g (30,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 374-2-8520-9

Voor altijd James Bond – Memoires (Roger Moore, with Garth Owen; originally titled My Word Is My Bond)

moore-roger-voor-altijd-james-bondKnap, zelfverzekerd en in alle opzichten de typisch Engelse gentleman: Roger Moore speelde de hoofdrol in een paar onvergetelijke films en tv-series. Maar het bekendst is hij als de hoffelijkste 007 in de geschiedenis van de James Bond-films, een rol die hij zevenmaal speelde, onder meer in Live and Let Die en For Your Eyes Only.

Zijn hele persoonlijkheid straalt stijl en het goede leven uit, en hij heeft wereldwijd miljoenen fans. Voor de allereerste keer kijkt hij terug op zijn bekendste rollen, en hoe het was om samen te werken met sterren als Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Lana Turner, Michael Caine en Sean Connery. Hij vertelt over zijn persoonlijke leven, met herinneringen aan zijn jeugd in Londen, de Tweede Wereldoorlog, zijn vier huwelijken en zijn kinderen. Ook is hij zeer openhartig over zijn strijd tegen prostaatkanker. Voor altijd James Bond is een eerlijke, geestige en ontwapenende autobiografie, met veel nooit eerder gepubliceerde privéfoto’s.

ROGER MOORE werd op 14 oktober 1927 geboren in Londen. Hij werd bekend door zijn rollen in The Saint en Ivanhoe, alvorens echt door te breken als James Bond, een rol die hij van 1973 tot 1985 vervulde. Sinds 1991 is hij special ambassadeur voor UNICEF.

Softcover – 349 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 698 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Uitgeverij Forum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2008 – ISBN 978-90-492-0011-4

Wake Me When It’s Funny (Garry Marshall, with Lori Marshall; foreword by Penny Marshall)

Autographed copy To Bob, Have “Happy Days” in your life! Garry Marshall

Marshall, Garry - Wake Me Up When It's FunnyGarry (“allergic to everything but success”) Marshall takes the reader on an intimate, often painfully honest, behind-the-scenes journey into the world of show business from Lucy to Laverne to Pretty Woman. He reveals his childhood, growing up in a family where his grandmother once said, “Garry, I’ll give you a dollar if you’ll stop bleeding,” his early days in the 1960s as a shy and nervous writer on New York’s nightclub circuit where a comedian once set his jokes on fire, and moves on to the peak of sitcom success in the late 1970s when he produced four of the five top-rated network television series. Suffering from the pain of TV burnout, he switches to the world of movies where he has directed Julia Roberts, Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Jackie Gleason, Tom Hanks, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and others.

Marshall’s book mixes in advice on how to create comedy (pain plus time equals humor), tricks on how to swim the TV waters (he was a legend in his own time slot), shortcuts to shooting movies (use whipped cream instead of soap in nude shower scenes), and ways to beat the system (let them think it’s their idea). Anecdotes abound regarding his career as an actor in films, such as the casino owner in Lost in America, and television, where he has a recurring role as a temperamental network executive on Murphy Brown. This book is an illuminating road map for those looking to break into Hollywood as well as a survival guide for those looking to stay there.

GARRY MARSHALL has written scripts for Lucille Ball, Dick Van Dyke, Joey Bishop, Danny Thomas, and Jack Paar; produced and created fourteen prime-time series, including The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy (and at the other end of the spectrum – the ill-fated Me and the Chimp); directed various major motion pictures including The Flamingo Kid, Nothing in Common, Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, and Pretty Woman; and written a number of stage plays that were performed on and Off-Broadway to good reviews and bad. He is a man who knows the entertainment industry inside and out and shares the insights and lessons that he has learned during his thirty-five-year career. LORI MARSHALL has a bachelor of science and master of science in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School. She has written for many national magazines and newspapers, and currently works as a freelance journalist in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband, Bill Fricker. The last time she worked this closely with her father was at the age of eight, when she appeared on The Odd Couple as a nervous piano player at Oscar Madison’s wedding.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 304 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 657 g (23,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Adams Publishing, Holbrook, Massachusetts, 1995 – ISBN 1-55850-526-1

Walking Shadows: Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst, and Citizen Kane (John Evangelist Walsh)

walsh-john-evangelist-walking-shadows“Especially intriguing, to me at any rate, is the truly startling fact that [Citizen Kane] was the product of a newcomer to Hollywood, a neophyte twenty-four-year-old who, in his first effort at movie-making, did something that no one could have predicted. Without any apparent need or reason, he chose to mount an attack on one of the day’s most formidable public figures, targeting his private not primarily his public character… The full story of this pivotal episode in Hollywood history, in other words, has yet to be told. Most particularly, the part played by the vengeful William Randolph Hearst and his many willing abettors in their bitter, months-long anti-Kane campaign stands in need of more searching study. His probable manipulation of the 1942 Academy Awards, for instance, and his link to the sad downfall of Kane’s female lead, Dorothy Commingore, cry out for investigation.” – From The Prologue.

Walking Shadows dramatically dissects the wild, high-profile battle between newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and brash young actor, director, and filmmaker Orson Welles over Welles’s groundbreaking film Citizen Kane. In 1940 and 1941 it became the center of public controversy and scandal, especially in Hollywood where Welles’s own stark honesty and blatant self-confidence heightened the drama.

Citizen Kane portrays the ruthless career of an all-powerful magnate bearing (not accidentally) a striking resemblance to Hearst, who immediately tried to kill the picture. John Evangelist Walsh here illuminates the conflict between these two outsize personalities and brings Hearst’s vengeful anti-Kane campaign to the fore. He provides thorough documentation, supplemental notes, and an extended bibliography.

JOHN EVANGELIST WALSH, an independent scholar and writer, is the author of almost twenty works of history and biography, including The Execution of Major Andre; Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution; Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe; and Moonlight: Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial. Three of his books were nominated for an Edgar and the prize was won for Poe the Detective: The Mysterious Circumstances Behind the Mystery of Marie Roget. The second of his two books about Abraham Lincoln, The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend, was a finalist for a Gettysburgh prize. Among his other books are biographical works on Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and John Keats. He has also written about the search for St. Peter’s grave, the Holy Shroud of Turin, and the Wright Brothers. The father of four, he lives with his wife in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 301 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 13 cm (8,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 462 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 2004 – ISBN 0-299-20500-2

Walt Disney: An American Original (Bob Thomas)

thomas-bob-walt-disney-an-american-originalFrom a small town in Missouri to the hearts of people throughout the world, from Mickey Mouse to the City of Tomorrow, father of Minnie, Donald and Goofy, creator of Bambi, Pluto and Dumbo, producer of Fantasia, Snow White and Mary Poppins, founder of his own fantasy empire – Disneyland and Disney World.

Here is the fabulous rags-to-riches tale of the wizard of animation – that warm-hearted. sharp-witted entrepreneurial genius. Here are the sometimes overwhelming odds he faced and the brilliantly bold ways he overcame them. Here is the man who brought color and sound to animation, laughter and hilarity to the screen, and top-rate entertainment into every nation in the world.

Walt Disney is an American hero – the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, BOB THOMAS produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend – the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas’ biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.

Softcover – 414 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 242 g (8,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Softcover Books, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-671-81242-4

Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince (Marc Eliot)

scannen0102Everyone remembers him as the creator of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Fantasia. His films and characters inspired the great Disney theme parks. A creative genius, Walt Disney brought love and laughter to children everywhere.

Now for the first time, Marc Eliot presents the real Walt Disney. The author reveals Walt Disney’s twenty-five-year association with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, serving as a Hollywood-based official informant before being promoted to the rank of Special Agent in Charge, rooting out Communists, subversives, and Jews. A lifelong anti-Semite, he absorbed his prejudice from his father, a strict fundamentalist who believed in corporal punishment and forced child labor.

Walt Disney’s phobic behavior is examined in detail, as is his obsessive hand washing, heavy drinking, and sexual inadequacies. Unwilling to accept his father’s violence as a form of love, and unwilling to “prove” his own identity, he feared he had actually been adopted in infancy and was illegitimate. He spent a lifetime searching for his real mother.

Marc Eliot shows how these psycho-sexual conflicts drove Walt to the depths of lifelong despair and how they found expression in his “classic” animated characters and films, now so deeply embedded in American culture. In fact, they were created by a man who used to wealth and prestige they gave him to mold a nightmare empire of vengeance and power.

Told against a panoramic view of Hollywood’s golden age of glamour and backdoor politics, Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince is a fascinating work that concludes with a look into the Disney empire as it exists today.

MARC ELIOT spent four years researching the life of Walt Disney. He interviewed dozens of Disney’s professional associates as well as friends and relations, some of whom have never before cooperated with a Disney biographer. Eliot is the author of six books, including Down Thunder Road, the best-selling biography of Bruce Springsteen, and Rockonomics, and is currently writing a screenplay for Columbia Pictures. He divides his time between homes in New York and Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 713 g (25,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Carol Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 1-55972-174-X

The Walter Lantz Story With Woody Woodpecker and Friends (Joe Adamson; introduction by Frank Capra)

Adamson, Joe - The Walter Lantz StoryThis is the story of a master craftsman and innovator. Best known as the creator of Woody Woodpecker, the mischievous cartoon character, Walter Lantz is an animator, producer, and philanthropist. After a half century of bringing laughter to the world, he now largely dedicates his life to bringing joy to the underprivileged. Today, in countries all around the globe, Walter Lantz and his wife Gracie – the voice of Woody – entertain the bedridden and bring smiles to faces that had forgotten how to smile.

In this highly entertaining biography, you’ll witness not only the development of a gifted artist but also the growth of the cartoon industry into a multimillion-dollar business. A behind-the-scenes account of animation from its inception during the early years of this century up to the present day, it chronicles technical developments such as simultaneous sight and sound and Technicolor. Against this background unfolds the story of a talented artist with imagination, determination, and a little bit of luck. Truly the dean of American animators, Walter Lantz was recently presented with an Academy Award for special achievement, after sixty years of service in the entertainment industry.

JOE ADAMSON is the author of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo, as well as the writer-editor of the PBS special The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 254 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 508 g (17,9 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-399-13096-9

Walter Matthau (Allan Hunter)

Hunter, Allan - Walter MatthauOnce described as ‘about as likely a candidate for stardom as the neighbourhood delicatessen man,’ Walter Matthau has worked long and hard to achieve public recognition. At the age of forty-five he found the perfect role in The Odd Couple on Broadway and became the oldest overnight success in showbusiness. He quickly established himself as a top box-office attraction, won an Oscar for his part as the conniving, shyster lawyer in The Fortune Cookie and has continued to delight audiences with a string of movie hits including The Sunshine Boys, Kotch, Charley Varrick, The Front Page, The Bad News Bears and House Calls.

This first ever biography chronicles Matthau’s colorful story: his tough childhood in New York; his early jobs as boxing instructor, basketball coach and filing clerk; his lifelong (and very expensive) addiction to gambling; his distinguished Air Force service; the years as a villain in films like King Creole with Elvis Presley; the heart attack which almost ended his bid for film stardom, but which he dismisses thus: ‘My doctor gave me six months to live, and then when I couldn’t pay the bill, he gave me six months more’; the disastrous making of Hello, Dolly! with Barbra Streisand and happier partnerships with Jack Lemmon, Neil Simon, George Burns and Glenda Jackson.

Still at the pinnacle of his profession, Matthau’s sardonic humor is as sharp off-screen as it is on film, and he comments: “I’m really a retired actor practising his former skills but I only do films now.”

ALLAN HUNTER is the author of Alec Guinness on Screen, Local Hero: The Making of the Film (co-written with Mark Astaire) and Burt Lancaster: The Man and his Movies. He writes on the cinema for various publications including Films and Filming, Focus on Film and Scottish Field as well as for several regional newspapers. He has also published his own arts magazine, The Entertainer. He lives in Edinburgh.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 208 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 518 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., Inc., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03372 9

Walter Wanger: Hollywood Independent (Matthew Bernstein; foreword by Robert Wise)

bernstein-matthew-walter-wagnerWalter Wanger: Hollywood Independent examines the life of one of Hollywood’s most vivid and influential figures of the golden era of American cinema – Hollywood’s first Ivy League producer. It also opens an incomparable window into the role of the producer and the workings of the film industry during the heyday of the studio system.

The long, colorful career of Walter Wanger (1894-1968) is one of Hollywood’s greatest untold stories. Married to actress Joan Bennett, he is perhaps best remembered for shooting her lover in a Beverly Hills parking lot and for his later involvement with the catastrophic Cleopatra. But Wanger was an intellectual sophisticate and a socially conscious movie executive who produced provocative message movies and glittering romance melodramas. His career started at the powerful Paramount studio in the 1920s, and in subsequent decades Wanger worked at virtually every major studio as either contract producer or an independent. He produced a spate of American film classics, including Queen Christina with Greta Garbo, John Ford’s Stagecoach, Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street, and Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Boy Snatchers.

Wanger’s influence and his astute skills as a producer have received remarkably little attention, and, as Matthew Bernstein demonstrates in this insightful and engaging biography, the producer’s life was fraught with contradictions and conflicts. A Dartmouth graduate, he rose to prominence at a time when articulate, college-educated producers were unknown. Although he touted the social value of the cinema, most of his own sixty-five films were markedly devoid of such value. And despite his surface appearance as a self-righteous rebel who railed at the strictures of the system, Wanger was fundamentally a satisfied representative of the American film industry.

Bernstein examines each of Wanger’s personal contradictions within the social and economic context of Hollywood film production from the 1920s to the 1960s. He defines the flexible nature of the term “producer” in golden-age Hollywood and shows how Wanger’s efforts to produce films independently were often compromised by the omni-potent studio system. Based on interviews with film industry veterans, including Joan Bennett, director Robert Wise, and writer-director-producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and drawing on Walter Wanger’s personal papers and studio correspondence, this comprehensive biography brings to life a distinctive and unjustly forgotten film personality. It also offers a new appreciation of the often undervalued work of the producer in filmmaking and of the producer’s influence on the history of American cinema.

MATTHEW BERNSTEIN is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Emory University. A former coordinating editor of The Velvet Light Trap, he has published essays and reviews in Cinema Journal, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, Journal of Film and Video, and Wide Angle.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 464 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.055 g (37,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 – ISBN 0-520-08127-7

Wanderer (Sterling Hayden)

Hayden, Sterling - WandererFourteen years ago, when it was first published, Wanderer startled the reading world. Here was no simple narrative of a sea voyage, and here was the antithesis of a self-serving  Hollywood memoir.

Sterling Hayden was at the peak of his earning power as a star when he suddenly quit. He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts, and, broke and an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer – bound for the South Seas.

Long before he was an actor, Hayden was a seaman. He had sailed before the mast and as mate and captain in sailing ships. He had been a Grand Banks fisherman. Then Hollywood offered him a screen test. Pushed to stardom, he became the leading man to one of the screen’s most beautiful women, and the money began to flow. With money and fame, however, came a gnawing dissatisfaction with his life.

His attempt to escape launches this autobiography. lt is the candid, sometimes painfully revealing confession of a man who scrutinizes his every self-defeat and self-betrayal in the unblinking light of conscience. It is also the triumph of a complex and contradictory man, still a rebel and a seeker, undefeated by his failure to find himself in love, adventure, drink, or escape to the South Seas.

It is, as Eugene Burdick said of it, “utterly fascinating, written by a man who has been able to achieve an honesty about himself which is almost unique.”

STERLING HAYDEN lives part-time in Connecticut and part-time on a Dutch canal barge in Paris. His most recent book is the best-selling Voyage, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 434 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 15 cm (8,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 730 g (25,8 oz) – PUBLISHER W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1963 / 1977 – ISBN 0-393-07521-4

The Warner Brothers (Michael Freedland)

Freedland, Michael - The Warner BrothersFor two generations the brothers Warner personified Hollywood and the moguls who dictated the movie-going habits of people the world over. The children of poor immigrants from Tsarist Russia grew up to become part of – and to shape – one of the wealthiest and most glamorous industries in the world. And Jack L. Warner came to personify the cliché of the self-made tycoon. Michael Freedland explores the history of this remarkable phenomenon, putting each of the four brothers into the context of the company and the background of the industry itself, and looks at their own personal relationships. It was the Warners who brought sound to the cinema with the world’s first ever ‘talkie’ – The Jazz Singer – and having done that, launched first the musical film and then the era of the gangster picture.

The Warner Brothers is also the story of the stars themselves, the actors and actresses who became internationally famous through Warner Bros’ films: Edward G. Robinson, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney. There was even a dog: Rin Tin Tin.

Michael Freedland has explored his subject by interviewing many of the people who worked in the film industry: the stars, choreographers, producers, directors. The result is a mine of anecdotal and first-hand information which strips away many of the myths and provides a rich and colorful portrait of a now-vanished era. “This is not yet another studio story,” says the author. “Certainly it is not another long critique of the films Warner made. There have been too many of those. Instead it is a story of the brothers themselves, of the men who made the movies, and in so doing made themselves.”

MICHAEL FREEDLAND is regarded as an authority on the history of films and the film history. This is his thirteenth book, all of which have been about star personalities in the history of entertainment. He writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic and has broadcast in the United States and Australia as well as Britain, where he has his own BBC weekly radio programme. Michael Freedland is married with three children and lives in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and Bournemouth.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 490 g (17,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Harrap Ltd., London, 1983 – ISBN 0 245-53827-5

Warner Brothers Presents: The Most Exciting Years – from The Jazz Singer to White Heat (Ted Sennett)

Sennett, Ted - Warner Brothers PresentsFatally wounded py police bullets, kingpin gangster Edward G. Robinson cries: “Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?”

Hundreds (or what seems like hundreds) of blonde chorines in hoop skirts swirl around the stage to The Shadow Waltz while playing illuminated white violins.

In a furious burst of action, Errol Flynn escapes hanging at the last minute… thanks to those brave, merry lads of Sherwood Forest.

Turning murderess Mary Astor over to the police, detective Humphrey Bogart spits out: “I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck.”

To the strains of It Can’t Be Wrong, transformed spinster Bette Davis gazes at her married lover, Paul Henreid, as he lights up two cigarettes.

There were hundreds of these memorable moments in the Warner movies of the Thirties and the Forties. They are all recreated in loving detail by Ted Sennett in this profusely illustrated, memory-jogging book.

Warner Brothers made the most skillful, most exhilarating, most entertaining films of those decades. This book recalls the best of them and makes them live again for nostalgic moviegoers. All the gods and goddesses who peopled these films are present and accounted for, from snarling tough guys like Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson to leading ladies both demure (Olivia de Havilland) and sexy (Ann Sheridan); from “prestige” stars like Paul Muni and George Arliss (with “Mister” before both names) to such reliable “stock company” players as Frank McHugh, Alan Hale and Glenda Farrell.

Here are the gaudy musical extravaganzas like 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933 with their fantastic Busby Berkeley production numbers; no-holds-barred crime and social dramas such as The Public Enemy and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang; emotion-charged dramas like Dark Victory and The Old Maid that had women weeping at the woes of Bette Davis; swashbucklers such as Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk in which dashing Errol Flynn led two different pirate crews to sweeping victory. Here, too, are some of the most popular and most celebrated films ever made: Casablanca (“Play it, Sam”), Yankee Doodle Dandy (“My mother thanks you. My father thanks you.”), The Letter (“With all my heart, I still love the man I killed.”) and To Have and Have Not (“All you have to do is whistle.”)

“Old” movies? Hardly. They are forever young to the movie fans who remember them fondly – and to the brand-new fans who are happily discovering them for the first time.

TED SENNETT has written extensively about the movies for such publications as Variety and Films in Review. He is a publishing executive and lives with his wife and three children in New Jersey.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 428 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 1.070 g (37,7 oz) – PUBLISHER A Castle Books, Inc., Edition, 1971 – ISBN 0-87000-136-1

Warren Beatty (Suzanne Munshower)

Munshower, Suzanne - Warren BeattyWarren Beatty may be ‘pretty and cute’ as his best buddy, Jack Nicholson, has described him, but there’s a whole lot more to the man than just his pretty face.

Suzanne Munshower’s splendid biography follows Beatty’s career from his first dazzling performance in Splendor in the Grass to his own production of Bonnie and Clyde – an electrifying movie that made cinema history – Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. Then on August 6, 1979, Warren Beatty began shooting Reds, his masterpiece. A movie that ran originally to 130 hours, cost up to 50 million dollars, and took ten months to shoot, with the transportation of the crew, cast and equipment between America, England, Spain and Finland, Reds brought Beatty the Oscar for Best Director in 1982 and established him as a filmmaker of immense talent and energy. His next project, also discussed within these pages, is a major film about Howard Hughes.

Warren Beatty’s success with women is part of his legend, and in this lively profile we meet his leading ladies – Joan Collins, Natalie Wood, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Michelle Phillips, Diane Keaton et al – none of whom made a husband out of America’s most eligible bachelor. Warren’s other passionate lifelong interest is politics, and his espousal of the liberal cause could well be the next major challenge in the 46-year-old actor’s life.

Part romantic, part pragmatist, there is no doubt that Warren Beatty is  a superbly talented man, both devastating to women and fascinating to men.

SUZANNE MUNSHOWER is the author of John Travolta, Lee and Farah Majors, and Margaret, The Imperfect Princess. She also writes contemporary romances and has been the editor of a leading fan magazine. She lives in New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 191 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 480 g (16,9 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen, London, 1983 – ISBN 0 491 03431 8

The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper (Dominick Dunne)

dunne-dominick-the-way-we-lived-thenMesmerizing, revelatory text combined with more than two hundred photographs – most of them taken by the author – is a startling illustrated memoir that will both astonish and move you.

When Dominick Dunne lived and worked in Hollywood, he had it all: a beautiful family, a glamorous career, and the friendship of the talented and the beautiful. He also had a camera and loved to take pictures. These photographs, which Dunne carefully preserved in more than a dozen leather-bound scrapbooks – along with invitations, telegrams, personal notes, and other memorabilia – record the parties, the glittering receptions, and senes from the everyday lives of the Dunnes and those they knew, including Jane Fonda, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Roddy McDowall, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Brooke Hayward, Jennifer Jones, and David O. Selznick. You’ll meet them all in this fascinating book – captured in snapshots as these celebrities relax at poolside barbecues, gossip at cozy get-togethers and dance at the Dunnes’ dazzling black-and-white ball. And you’ll meet Dunne’s beautiful wife, Lenny, and his children, Griffin Dunne, Alex Dunne and Dominique Dunne, as they celebrate Christmases, birthdays and graduations.

But, most of all, you will meet Dominick Dunne and learn about the peaks and valleys of his years in Hollywood, the disastrous turn his life took, and the long road back that led to his triumphant career as a writer. With its engaging photographs and candid text, The Way We Lived Then is a riveting and unvarnished account of a life among the stars and a life almost lost.

DOMINICK DUNNE is the author of five best-selling novels and two collections of essays, as well a Special Correspondent to Vanity Fair magazine. He lives in New York City and Hadlyme, Connecticut

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 19,5 cm (10,2 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 944 g (33,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-609-60388-4

W. C. Fields & Me (Carlotta Monti, with Cy Rice)

Monti, Carlotta - W C Fields & MeIn 1932, startlet Carlotta Monti met the Great One on a back lot at Paramount. Eyeing her hula costume, he flicked away his cigar. “Merely a precaaauuuution,” he asided, “I don’t want to start a grass fire.”

For the next fourteen years, Carlotta was “Woody’s” mistress, sharing his bed, board and bar in a series of rented mansions. She witnessed his bickering with directors and studios, his exhuberant pranks and verbal pyrotechnics. She was present as “Uncle Willie” played host to screen writer Gene Fowler, directors Gregory La Cava and Eddie Sutherland, to Edgar Bergen, John Barrymore, and other wits and Hollywood greats, until the very end of his tragic battle with alcohol.

This intimate, insightful memoir is packed with bizarre anecdotes (Fields fell under a flight of stairs and thanks to his juggler’s balance, spilled not a drop of the martini in his hand), exclusive reminiscences (“When I was in Africaaa, living on the bark of the hukapuka tree…”), and provactive, aucious, often ribald glimpses into the private life of one of Hollywood’s most outrageous personalities.

CARLOTTA MONTI studied dancing with Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis and Madame da Silvia. She was first spotted by MGM director Fred Niblo at the Jonathan Club. Thereafter, she appeard in  – among many others – the original versions of Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments; The Merry Widow, One night of Love, The Bengal Lancers, and was under contract to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Samuel Goldwyn, and W.C. Fields. Miss Monti presently lives in Hollywood. CY RICE attended Missouri University and Washington University in St. Louis and later wrote for television for Ralph Edwards. He has worked on the Kanses City Star, Burlington, Vt. Daily News and owned and edited a weekly newspaper, the Schroon Lake [New York] Press. During World War II he served as a combat correspondent attached to the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. He is the author of twelve other books and has sold several hundreds stories to national magazines. Presently, Mr. Rice lives with his wife, Kathryn, in a small redwood house in Los Angeles with a twenty mile view.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 227 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971 – ISBN 0-13-944454-8

We Barrymores: The Life Story of a Fabulous Member of a Fabulous Family (Lionel Barrymore, as told to Cameron Shipp)

barrymore-lionel-we-barrymoresAre there any greater stage names than Barrymore? As a family, the Barrymore-Drew clan must be unique. And although few theater-goers outside America will have seen Ethel and John and Lionel Barrymore on the stage, any movie-goer will know them and love them. Yes, Barrymore is a name of magic, a name that will conjure up tremendous stage and screen memories in a very large number of people all over the world.

Last year we published – with great success – Billie Burke’s autobiography With a Feather on My Nose. Her collaborator in that enchanting book was Cameron Shipp. When it was agreed that Cameron Shipp should work with Lionel Barrymore to produce a book of the fabulous Barrymore family with Lionel as the ‘spokesman,’ we were – as publishers – excited. The result, We Barrymores, exceeds our highest expectations. Lionel swears that Cameron Shipp has the heart of a Borgia and the curiosity of a postmistress, and that he plied him with cold beer in heroic efforts to extract the more hilarious tales in this autobiography. That may be. That may also be what makes this urbane and witty story of the entire Drew-Barrymore clan such royal entertainment. There are wonderful Barrymore anecdotes throughout and only Lionel could have written with such intimacy and tenderness of Ethel and John.

Ethel turned at once to the stage. John and Lionel first took a swat at several other careers, which ended either abruptly or dismally or both. But Broadway always called them back for the acclaim which is every Barrymore’s due. Lionel led the way to Hollywood, where he was to remain as one of the greatest character actors of our time. World-famous names blazon the pages of We Barrymores. From stage stars such as Tree, Hawtrey, Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Maude Adams to film stars such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and – a most delightful picture this – Greta Garbo.

We Barrymores is a wonderful book of the stage.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 13,5 cm (7,9 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 393 g (13,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Peter Davies, London, 1950

De Wereld van de Comedy (Thomas Leeflang)

leeflang-thomas-de-wereld-van-de-comedyNa De Wereld van Laurel en Hardy nu in dezelfde uitvoering van dezelfde auteur een boek over de onvolprezen collega’s van Stan en Oliver: Abbott en Costello, Charlie Chaplin, de Drie Stooges, Harold Lloyd, Dean Martin en Jerry Lewis, de Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, enzovoorts. Een nieuwe generatie ontdekt via de televisie de genialiteit van deze komieken uit de Gouden Jaren van Hollywood.

Een boek vol biografische en filmografische gegevens, aangevuld met achtergrondverhalen over de regisseurs, de studio’s, de ‘gags’ en de onderlinge concurrentiestrijd. Laurel en Hardy zijn natuurlijk in een apart hoofdstuk in tekst en beeld aanwezig.

Wie genoten heeft van De Wereld van Laurel en Hardy, zal ook dit boek niet ongelezen willen laten.

Softcover – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 518 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Van Holkema & Warendorf / Unieboek b.v., Houten, The Netherlands, 1986 – ISBN 90 269 5115 9

De Wereld van Laurel en Hardy (Thomas Leeflang)

leeflang-thomas-de-wereld-van-laurel-en-hardyStan Laurel (1890-1965) en Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) vormden het beste ‘comedy team’ dat de film voortbracht. Een publiek dat hen nooit aan het werk heeft gezien, bestaat niet. Ze zijn internationaal bekend bij jong en oud en dat terwijl Laurel en Hardy in 1950 hun laatste film maakten.

De Wereld van Laurel en Hardy bevat een volledige filmografie, de ontroerende levensbeschrijvingen van Stan Laurel en Oliver Hardy, gegevens over de studio’s, de regisseurs, de (introductie)muziek, de gags, de teksten, de concurrenten, en nog veel meer.

Geïllustreerd met schitterende scènefoto’s en offscreen opnamen, waarvan een groot aantal niet eerder werd gepubliceerd. Een boek even boeiend as de films zelf. Er in lezen en kijken is als het ware een groot feest der herkenning.

Softcover – 158 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 512 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER Van Holkema & Warendorf / Unieboek b.v., Houten, The Netherlands, 1985 – ISBN 90 269 5114 0

Werner Herzog: Cobra Verde Filmbuch (Bruce Chatwin)

Chatwin, Bruce - Werner Herzog Cobra VerdeWerner Herzog gibt bei den Proben zu den Dreharbeiten sein letztes: Er demonstriert, wie Sklaven ausgepeitscht werden. Er schreibt in seiner Filmerzählung Cobra Verde (erschienen bei Hanser, 1987): “Der Platz Pelourinho in Salvador de Bahia, der Platz des Schandpfahls, des Prangers. Hier werden die Sklaven öffentlich ausgepeitscht… Sein Hemd hat man ihm heruntergerissen. Auf seinen schon blutigen Rücken schlägt ein anderer Sklave, dem man dafür offensichtlich Privilegien gegeben hat, erbarmungslos ein.”

Die Filmequipe von Werner Herzog mit dem Hofstaat seiner Königlichen Hoheit Nana Agyefi Kwame II von Nsein und der Dorfbevölkerung am Ende der  Dreharbeiten. Der Palast von Abomey wurde eigens für den Film Cobra Verde in Tamale, Ghana, gebaut.

Standfotograf Beat Presser bei den Dreharbeiten zu Cobra Verde in den Goldminen der Serra Pelada, Brasilien. Als Standfotograf dokumentierte Presser schon den Film Fitzcarraldo von Herzog.

Softcover – 151 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 22 cm (11 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 645 g (22,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Edition Stemmle, Schaffhausen, Germany, 1987 – ISBN 3-7231-0975-8

The Western Films of John Ford (J.A. Place)

place-j-a-the-western-films-of-john-ford“The greatest value of art lies in its ability to express feelings, its capacity to move one’s emotions. Whether it is expressed through a Bach chorale, a Leonardo painting, a Michelangelo statue, a Donne poem, or a Shakespeare drama, a work’s only claim to being an artistic masterpiece lies in its power to elicit emotional responses from people of every generation since it was created.

The popular arts of our age are music and film, and both in their finest forms appeal to emotions. The impoverishment of painting, sculpture, theater, and literature as art forms in the twentieth century has been brought about by the abstraction of emotion into intellectual and scientific expression. Thus, in the current vogue of regarding cinema as art, the conspicuously ‘intellectual’ films are often those which are most honored, since they are most like other ‘respectable’ art forms today. Even within this framework, the films of John Ford are among the most highly regarded American films; yet meaningful criticism has yet to be written on his work. With few exceptions, articles and books about his career are anecdotal, descriptive, or venerative without being critical, insightful, or illuminating. Perhaps this is because John Ford’s films move people emotionally more than challenge them intellectually, and it is difficult to write coldly and analytically about the profound experiencing of these films. This experience cannot he communicated through the written word, regardless of its evocative power; the films must be seen. The purpose of this work is to examine the emotions Ford creates in his Westerns.

John Ford worked in the motion-picture industry almost from its very beginnings. Although his films cover a number of varied subjects – Westerns, historical dramas, comedies, romances, detective films, political pictures – they represent a unified body of work of an acutely sensitive artistic consciousness. There is a world view in his work that deepens and develops throughout his career, that reflects and filters through his artistic vision the mythology of modern America.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 274 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 705 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1974 – ISBN 0-8065-0594-X

The Westerns: A Picture Quiz Book (John Cocchi)

cocchi-john-the-westerns-a-picture-quiz-bookThis book brings together 238 superb stills from the Westerns, 1903 to 1975, and poses stimulating questions about each still for you to answer. Who directed Duel in the Sun? What was John Wayne’s first starring film? Who was known as King of the Cowboys? Can you name the only Western made by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy? And who played Steve McQueen’s mother in Junior Bonner?

These and many other questions are offered for your enjoyment, along with great moments from some of the finest Westerns ever made: The Great Train Robbery, The Iron Horse, Union Pacific, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, The Virginian, High Noon, Shane, The Big Country, Rio Bravo, The Professionals, The Wild Bunch, and more. Special sections cover Academy Awards, Great Directors, John Wayne, Serials, Musicals, Comedies, Remakes, “B” Stars, Big Stars, and Everybody Made Westerns. You are sure to find many of your favorite actors and actresses in their greatest Western roles, plus outstanding Western stars such as Tom Mix, William S. Hart, Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and others.

When you finish answering the questions, including looking up the answers you don’t know, you will still have a fine collection of photographs on that ever-popular movie genre, the Western.

Softcover – 130 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 21 cm (9,3 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 331 g (11,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Dover Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-486-23288-3

West Hollywood (Ryan Gierach)

gierach-ryan-west-hollywoodWest Hollywood, which began as Sherman, a rail yard town, played an integral role in creating the “Hollywood” film industry while it grew up alongside the fashionable Beverly Hills to house the service industries needed by these wealthy neighbors. During Prohibition, the still unincorporated area was the site of the entertainment industry’s watering holes and gambling parlors, and nicknames such as the “Sinful Drag,” “The Adult Playground,” and “Hollywood’s Soul” were bestowed upon West Hollywood’s world-famous Sunset Strip, where today’s visitors can still dance in the footsteps of legends like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. As time marched on, the predominantly renter, Jewish, gay, and senior citizen residents of the progressive-minded area determined to step out of the shadows of nearby communities and create a city of their own, an effort that caused some controversy but resulted in the incorporation of West Hollywood in 1984. Since incorporation West Hollywood has been a beacon of hope, drawing refugees from Russia and around the world to its tolerant streets.

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

Illustrated with more than 200 historic photographs drawn from the archives of the city, the Sherman Library, and area universities, as well as the private collections of longtime residents, this new retrospective pays tribute to the people, places, and events that have shaped the history of this unique community and continue to move it towards the future. Local journalist and historian RYAN GIERACH is an active member of the West Hollywood community.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 325 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2003 – ISBN 0-7385-2850-1

We Will Always Live in Beverly Hills: Growing Up in Crazy Hollywood (Ned Wynn)

wynn-ned-we-will-always-live-in-beverly-hillsNed Wynn is the son of film actor Keenan Wynn, and the grandson of immortal movie and radio comedian Ed Wynn. He is also the stepson of Van Johnson and was doted on in his childhood by the likes of Ava Gardner, Greer Garson, and Tyrone Power. For Ned, the entrée to Hollywood’s privileged inner circle was automatic, but it was never easy. He attended schools, summer camps, and birthday parties with the children of immortals: Sean Flynn, Christina Crawford, and Peter and Jane Fonda. He worked as a bit actor on the set of several Jerry Lewis comedies, and he became part of the more-or-less permanent cast of extras who appeared in the beach blanket movies. His debut in a nonspeaking summer-stock role provoked a storm of congratulatory telegrams from such luminaries as Gene Kelly, Peter Lawford, and Robert Wagner.

Yet through it all, Ned remained detached, “treading the fine line between being an exotic ornamental, a kind of professional pal, and an insider who never really belonged.” The role of alienated scion of Hollywood royalty played well for years. Ned spent his days on the beach, coasted as an extra, and hung out: with Dennis Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys, John Phillips of The Mamas and Papas, and Terry Melcher, producer of the Byrds. Eventually, he found himself in the service of Maharishi and – when this spiritual quest faded – he returned to Los Angeles and near oblivion.

Yet Ned’s story is hardly tragic. The humor, the affection, the talent, and ultimately the will to live that guided him through have now brought us this powerful and affecting memoir of a boy growing up in Hollywood, and becoming a man.

NED WYNN has survived it all and, yes, still lives in Southern California, where he writes screenplays, magazine articles, and, now, books.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 616 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-688-08509-1

Whatever Became of…? (Richard Lamparski; introduction by Cleveland Amory)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-1One of the most fascinating subjects, when more than two people get together, is catching up on “Whatever became of … ?” whether it’s Uncle George, an old school teacher, or a world-famous personality like Gene Tunney. Richard Lamparski won’t be much help on Uncle George or the school teacher, but he can help on Gene Tunney – and Christine Jorgensen and Charles Lindbergh and Sally Rand and Miss America of 1919 – and, in this unique book, 95 others.

Illustrated with then-and-now photographs, the author has written an entertaining, comprehensive (and compassionate) text – a nostalgic reverie of background about the once-famous great and small, swingers and squares, beauties and beasts, from childhood through to what each personality is doing now. Here, in one concise collection, is the opportunity to satisfy your curiosity about those you once knew and loved, who have stepped out of the spotlight and into the shadows.

Whatever Became Of? is more than an exercise in nostalgia. It is a record of the personalities who fashioned, beyond normal proportion, the shape and color of the present day – a diverse group of people, most of whom are still living, some of whom may have lost a bit of their glitter, but none of whom will ever be forgotten by all of the people all of the time.

Softcover – 208 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 118 g (4,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Ace Publishing, New York, New York, 1967

Whatever Became of…? Third Series – The Story of What Happened to More Famous Personalities of Yesteryear (Richard Lamparski)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-3Who was the best-remembered personality in your lifetime – whatever became of him? Richard Lamparski knows all the favorites and he brings you up to date about them with “before” and “after” pictures – and with no punches pulled – in his third book in this now famous series.

Based on Lamparski’s national network radio interview show of the same name, heard over WBAI in New York, KPFA in San Francisco, KPFK in Los Angeles, and KPFT in Houston, here are the backgrounds from childhood – to rise – to retirement activities of Tokyo Rose, the woman accused of broadcasting propaganda from Japan during World War II; the Andrews Sisters, the world-famous musical trio; Christine Keeler, the call girl whose activities brought down England’s Tory government in 1963; Sherman Adams, the central figure in the scandal that rocked the Eisenhower administration; Earl Browder, America’s former “Head Red”; “Stella Dallas,” the widely beloved fictional character of the radio; the Mad Russian, Bert Gordon, the dialect comedian; Spanky McFarland, the fat boy of Our Gang comedies; Marie Wilson, radio’s dumb but lovable blond, and over ninety other former household names.

Serialized in many newspapers and magazines throughout the country and chosen by a major book club, the first volumes of Whatever Became of…? have achieved such popularity that TV rights have been sold to a major television producer who will adapt them for a television series.

RICHARD LAMPARSKI is eminently qualified to play this game of Celebrity 20 Questions; in addition to his radio show he has worked in television, radio, and motion pictures as a public relations executive and an associate producer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 207 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 516 g (18,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1970 – ISBN 0-517-50443X

Whatever Became of…? Fourth Series – The Story of What Happened to More Famous Personalities of Yesteryear (Richard Lampirski)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-4Whatever became of Hedy Lamarr, the sultry star who made front-page news when she was arrested for shoplifting? Or Maria Rasputin, the daughter of Russia’s mad monk? Richard Lamparski, bon vivant, man-about-town, and talented radio and TV personality answers these questions and those about ninety-eight others of yesteryear’s famous in his fascinating fourth volume to his best-selling Whatever Became of…? series.

Where is Sherry Britton, the famed Leon & Eddie’s nightclub stripper, the G.I.’s pin-up from Europe to the Pacific? Or Rosa Ponselle, the opera star, the greatest prima donna of her time? Whatever became of Mary Astor, the notorious actress whose attempted suicide, alcoholism, and divorces were more talked about than her pictures? And John Profumo, the Englishman whose affair with a call girl almost brought down the Macmillan government – what is he doing now?

Richard Lamparski knows all, and more importantly tells all, basing his selections on fan mail, phone calls, and personal inquiries from readers all over the country. This newest book is as chock – full of titillating tidbits as former volumes. With “before” and “after” pictures, here is the lowdown on a hundred former luminaries, including that fabulous car salesman Mad Man Muntz, Rochester, the Shadow, the Pickens Sisters, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, Kay Kyser and Ish Kabibble, Gloria Jean, Jack Armstrong (“The All-American Boy”), Snooky Lanson, Zeppo Marx, James Cagney, Ben Blue, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Army Secretary Stevens of the Army-McCarthy hearings, and Dagmar.

First volumes of Whatever became of…? have achieved such popularity that they have been serialized in many newspapers and magazines throughout the country and chosen by a major book club. This fourth volume of Whatever Became of…? will join the other three as one of the most entertaining and informative volumes about the world of the famous and the infamous. It will appeal to all those who are enchanted with the nostalgic era of bygone years and with the lives of the stars.

RICHARD LAMPARSKI is highly qualified to answer everyone’s favorite questions about his favorite celebrities. In addition to his radio show Whatever Became of…? he has worked in television, radio, and motion pictures as a public relations executive and an associate producer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 207 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 466 g (16,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1970 – ISBN 0-517-504251

Whatever Became of…? Fifth Series – The Story of What Happened to More Famous Personalities of Yesteryear (Richard Lampirski)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-5Have you ever wondered whatever became of Gene Tierney, the movie beauty of Heaven Can Wait and The Razor’s Edge? Or Michael Wilding, the British actor who was Elizabeth Taylor’s second husband? Now, in Richard Lamparski’s fifth foray into the world of those faded luminaries everyone loves to remember, he answers everyone’s favorite question about celebrities.

Here is the inside story of what happened to Henry Armstrong, the only boxer to hold three World Championships at the same time; Ruth Etting, superstar of the 1920s and 1930s whose life was riddled with scandal; Herbert A. Philbrick, the double agent who became a household word at the height of the Cold War; Jane Froman, the popular singer who was crippled in a plane crash and whose ordeal was dramatized in the movie With a Song in My Heart; Lili St. Cyr, the famous striptease artist who has seven ex-husbands; Burt Ward, the Boy Wonder of TV’s Batman series; and Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the history-making U-2 spy plane.

Each description of the hundred personalities is complete with then-and-now photographs that enhance the text and information on how each got started, how they reached their height of fame, what happened to them, and, of course, where they are now.

RICHARD LAMPARSKI has based his selections on fan mail, phone calls, and personal inquiries from readers all over the country, and this latest volume includes such fascinating celebrities as Mickey Cohen, Captain Midnight, George “Foghorn” Winslow, Cecilia Parker, Frances Dee, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Gale Storm, Donna Reed, Perle Mesta, The Seven Little Foys, Jack La Rue, Darryl Hickman, Jose Iturbi, and many, many more. Whatever Became of…? will delight all movie buffs, nostalgia fans, and anyone interested in the effects of time on the men and women who made headlines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 207 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 549 g (19,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-517-516853

Whatever Became of…? Ninth Series (Richard Lamparski)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-9This all-new ninth series of Whatever Became Of…? features more than 200 black-and-white photographs – many never before published – and in-depth information tracking down the most asked about personalities, including many from TV’s hall of fame. The eighth series of Whatever Became Of…? has sold more than 65,000 copies, and it’s still going strong!

Attractively designed in a double-page spread format, Whatever Became Of…? ninth series profiles more than 100 celebrities in “then” and “now” photographs. Wonder what became of Denise Darcel, Alan Young, the original “Auntie Mame,” Sammy Kaye, or Dagmar? Have the whereabouts of Dennis Day, Bobby Sherman, or Elia Raines got you stumped? Look no further.

Whatever Became Of…? traces the careers of Bob Cummings, Butch from “Our Gang,” John Cameron Swayze, Russ Tamblyn from “Peyton Place,” and TV’s Captain Midnite, as well as countless others in this new edition. Whatever Became Of…? has long been a popular favorite with nostalgia buffs, trivia freaks, and media experts. This exciting new ninth edition is guaranteed to appeal to Depression babies and baby boomers everywhere!

RICHARD LAMPARSKI is the author of the previous eight books in the popular Whatever Became Of...? series. He is well-known throughout North America for his frequent appearances on radio shows and on television programs such as “Good Morning, America,” “Today,” and “Late Nite America.”

Softcover – 205 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 19 cm (9,1 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 486 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-517-55541-7

Whatever Became of…? Tenth Series (Richard Lamparski)

lamparski-richard-whatever-became-of-10Here is the tenth of Richard Lamparski’s famous and highly successful Whatever Became Of…? series. It features 100 new profiles of the most-asked-about movie stars and TV personalities. Hundreds of never-before-published facts, dates, and bits of information about these celebrities are included in their profiles. And 200 then-and-now photographs show each of them as they appeared as stars and as they look today.

Wonder whatever became of Vilma Banky, Carmen Cavallaro, Danielle Darrieux, Margaret Hamilton? Have the whereabouts of Alice Faye, Joan Bennett, and Turhan Bey got you stumped? Look no further. Whatever Became Of...? traces the careers of Eddie Mayehoff, Eugene “Porky” Lee, Burr Tillstrom, Cornel Wilde, Hadda Brooks, Madge Kennedy, “Little Maria” Marilyn Wood, “Waldo” Darwood Kaye, and many others. Whatever Became Of…? books have long been popular with nostalgia buffs, trivia freaks, and movie and TV aficionados everywhere.

RICHARD LAMPARSKI is the author of nine previous books in the Whatever Became Of...? series. He is well-known in North America, Australia, and the British Isles for his radio and television appearances.

Softcover – 214 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 19 cm (9,1 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 475 g (16,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-517-56229-4

What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy? The Autobiography of Hollywood’s Pioneer Child Star (Diana Serra Cary [the former Baby Peggy])

Autographed copy To Eric Van Young, Best regards, Diana Serra Cary, Baby Peggy 10/2/96

scannen0146Long before Shirley Temple’s curls bounced their way into America’s heart, Baby Peggy lit up marquees from coast to coast. She was the original child star produced by Hollywood and her amazing journey set the pattern for all those who followed.

Discovered when she was only nineteen months old, Baby Peggy with her angelic face and expert mugging for the camera entertained audiences across the nation and around the world. She starred in a series of short two-reel comedies, completing 150 of them by the time she turned three. The now internationally famous star moved on to feature-length films, including her biggest box-office smash, Captain January (later remade with Shirley Temple). By her fifth birthday, Baby Peggy’s films were earning as much as Charlie Chaplin’s, and she herself was a millionaire, having signed a three-film $ 3.5 million contract. Just like in her movies, a rosy life seemed sure.

Establishing a disgraceful tradition for the parents of child performers, Baby Peggy’s mother and father, emotional children themselves, squandered her fortune. Soon Baby Peggy was supporting her family on the vaudeville circuit. She provides a rare look at this forgotten world and its colorful performers – Al Jolson, Eddie Foy, and the young Ginger Rogers, among many others. A cycle of continuous performances ground her down while enriching her profligate parents. By thirteen, again destitute, Baby Peggy tried for her third comeback in the era of the talkies. The result was near-starvation in the Great Depression on the one hand and lifelong friendships with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney on the other.

In What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy? Diana Serra Cary (as Baby Peggy is now called) looks back over her incredible life as a child superstar. She reveals the awesome burdens she carried. Seen through her memories, the turbulent lives of child stars such as Gary Coleman, Michael Jackson, and Drew Barrymore make much more sense.

Beyond that, What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy? follows the shared infancy of a girl and an industry. The silent-film era was as rich in personalities as it was in art. In Baby Peggy, we are privileged to have one of the few remaining eyewitnesses to the birth of a phenomenon that has so affected our lives.

DIANA SERRA CARY, the former Baby Peggy, has spent her adult life as a freelance writer and trade book buyer. Her works include The Hollywood Posse and Hollywood’s Children. She lives with her husband in Hollister, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 347 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 775 g (27,3 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-312-14760-0

Whatever Happened to Hollywood? (Jesse L. Lasky, Jr.)

scannen0001The young boy grew up in a dream world, Hollywood rajahs brooded in their Spanish-style palaces while millions eagerly awaited their next celluloid pronouncement. Stutz Bearcats and Rolls-Royces sailed down Hollywood Boulevard, their riders clad in silks and satins, trailing clouds of mink in the faces of their police escorts. Mock gun battles and lunatic Keystone Cops chases took place in the streets, and over it all hung the dust of unpaved roads and the sweet, pervasive aroma of orange blossoms.

Jesse Lasky, Jr., is the son of one of Hollywood’s greatest pioneers, and his childhood and adolescence were spent in an era that was as fabulous (and is now as extinct) as the Roman Empire under Nero. With honesty and gusto and in a wealth of anecdotes, Lasky tells of these halcyon days and the Empire’s decline and fall, when the stock market crashed, ushering in the hungry thirties, and his father was wiped out overnight.

From being the pampered son of one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Lasky was forced to take a job in a hack studio churning out “B” movies. There he enjoyed a brief moment of glory when Jean Harlow, then at the height of her fabulous career, “adopted” him on the rebound of her broken romance with screen smoothie William Powell. Lasky records his years of struggle to achieve success as a screenwriter. His boyhood friendships with the greats and near-greats were of no use to him at all, proving the old axiom that you can be forgotten in Hollywood if you take time out to cross the street. Some of his most turbulent experiences came at the hands of the legendary Cecil B. DeMille, his father’s old business partner. DeMille was a benevolent tyrant, a monster of egocentricity. Lasky became one of DeMille’s top scriptwriters, and his stories of working on such DeMille epics as Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments could only be Hollywood stories.

Whatever Happened to Hollywood? is much more than the history of an era. It is the rich, zestful, fast and funny personal chronicle of one man’s journey through an amazing never-never land of make-believe, peopled by con-men, suckers, larger-than-life characters, has-beens and never-has-beens. It’s a Hollywood script with a cast of thousands – and it’s all true!

JESSE L. LASKY, JR. lives in London with his writer wife, Pat Silver. In addition to film and TV scripts, he has written several novels.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 349 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 615 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Funk & Wagnalls, 1975 – ISBN  0-308-10172-3

What Ever Happened to Robert Aldrich? His Life and His Films (Alain Silver, James Ursini; foreword by Burt Lancaster)

silver-alain-whatever-happened-to-robert-aldrichApocalypse Anytime! was the title of a 1994 three-week retrospective of Robert Aldrich’s films at the New York’s Lincoln Center. The series was aptly named if only because it included pictures like the director’s acknowledged film-noir masterpiece, Kiss Me Deadly, of which The New York Times wrote, “No one… is likely to forget its vision of a Southern California so spiritually parched that a single match struck at the wrong moment could unleash the fires of hell.”

A streak of anarchism and a distrust of authority marked much of Aldrich’s work, reflecting his continuing struggle to deal with the American Dream and the dreams of Hollywood. The scion of a wealthy, powerful family (his cousin Governor Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was only the most famous of his relatives), Aldrich used his “connections” to do no more than land a low paying production clerk’s job at RKO Studios in the early 40s.

From this beginning he went on first to become the assistant director to various filmmakers, many of whom were later blacklisted, and eventually to serve two terms as president of the Directors Guild of America. Though his political sentiments were staunchly liberal and pro-labor, they did not prevent him from using the profits from his 1967 smash, The Dirty Dozen, to acquire his own film studio (which went broke in four years). But whether he was capitalist and entrepreneur or union leader or screenwriter, producer, and director, Aldrich, who died in 1983, remained the insider who was also the outsider, the Hollywood player who “stayed at the table” while hating the game, and the man who found his most memorable heroes among social misfits doomed by their refusal to conform.

In this book, the authors of The Vampire Film and More Things Than Are Dreamt Of combine a biography of Aldrich with a critical survey of all his films. First acclaimed by the French New Wave, they ranged from exposés of the “Industry” – The Big Knife and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? – to World War II action features – Attack and The Dirty Dozen – to revisionist westerns Apache and Ulzana’s Raid – to protest dramas – The Twilight’s Last Gleaming and The Longest Yard.

Containing more than 125 photographs and a detailed filmography, this book, as readable as it is authoritative, brilliantly illuminates the work of a director who has finally come into his own.

ALAIN SILVER wrote The Samurai Film and, with Elizabeth Ward, Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles and The Film Director’s Team. His reviews and articles have appeared in Film Comment, Movie, Wide Angle, Photon, and The Los Angeles Times. He has produced feature films, documentaries, and music videos. JAMES URSINI wrote Preston Sturges: An American Dreamer and he has contributed articles to Mediascene, Cinema (U.S.), and Cinefantastique. He has taught filmmaking at UCLA and other colleges. He and Alain Silver co-wrote More Things Than Are Dreamt Of and The Vampire Film, both from Limelight Editions, and David Lean and His Films. They also co-edited the 3rd Edition of Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference and Film Noir Reader, which is forthcoming from Limelight. Both authors live in the Los Angeles area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 390 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 735 g (25,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Limelight Editions, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-87910-185-7

What’s On At the Movies? Golden Memories of the Silver Screen (David Lazell)

lazell-david-whats-going-on-at-the-picturesHollywood’s golden years were brief but glorious; 50 years from orange grove to tawdry Tinseltown. Yet, as David Lazell points out in this highly personal, hugely humorous and deeply informative peep behind the silver screen, there was much more to “the pictures” than swash and buckle and sweet romance.

MGM once boasted it had more stars than heaven and, for picture purposes, there they were, lined up alongside mighty mogul Louis B. Mayer… Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland. But for them, and for other mighty conglomerates like Warner Brothers, Paramount and 20th Century Fox, this was merely the summit of a saga that began with the early camera cranking of Friese-Greene, Le Prince and Muybridge and continued, via CinemaScope and Fantasound and even greater (and more bizarre) innovations, to perpetuate cinema as an art form.

There are regular features in Evergreen magazine called “Cinemagic” and “Stars of the Screen” and, in this ebullient narrative, Mr. Lazell charts his own love affair with the cinema. He recalls the characters of his youth – the commissionaire whose lost property collection included false teeth, wet and dry – and the primitive picture houses where a man with a broom was employed to push the patrons further along the benches. Then there was the esoteric Co-Op Film Society (monologues by Stanley Holloway) and the lengthy pensioners’ shows – you might not have been a pensioner when you went into the auditorium but, by golly, you felt like one when you came out.

Mr. Lazell deftly paints with words, from the silent slapstick of Chaplin to the sophistication of Ivor Novello and Ronald Colman, from the delicacy of Jessie Matthews to the colorfuI capes of Mickey Mouse. His canvas is as wide as the unfortunate Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle; his colors as rich as Sam Goldwyn’s saucy aphorisms (some of which, and those of other screen czars, are happily scattered through the text). Remember, this is an idiosyncratic artist at work… where else would you find whole chapters devoted to the Welsh cinema, the Aldwych farceurs and Will Rogers, all written with an admirer’s ardour?

As to the future, we learn from the past. There are wise words about the growth of the British film industry, ventures that seemed great on paper (like Leslie Howard’s stake in a comedy film company which like its base, went West), and the sheer waste of money on “turkeys” that gobbled up cash and reputations with equal gusto; plus predictions about the ongoing rivalry (or is it co-habitation?) with TV.

So dim the lights and let the organist entertain. Sit back, relax and watch the curtains part. The spotlight is focused on a sea of flickering images and the show is about to start. Soon, we guarantee, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Born within ear-shot of Marconi’s radio beam for Croydon airport, DAVID LAZELL has been in turn a student of sociology, and advertising and marketing man and (all too briefly) a Butlin Redcoat. He lives near Loughborough in Leicestershire and is a regular contributor to Evergreen magazine. He is the author of two companion volumes entitled What’s On the Wireless? and What’s On the Box?

Hardcover, dust jacket – 239 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 15 cm (8,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 417 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Evergreen, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 1995 – ISBN 0 95224413 1 5

When Do I Start? A Memoir (Karl Malden, with Carla Malden)

scannen0280Karl Malden’s book made me laugh and cry. It’s a poignant yet humorous life story of one of the world’s best actors. You must read it. – Kirk Douglas

As an actor, Karl Malden has won both an Oscar and an Emmy, in a career that has spanned over fifty years. In this witty, frank, graceful memoir, filled with unforgettable anecdotes of the stage and screen, he writes with uncomplicated directness, insight, and humor of his life as an actor and of the people he worked with in plays like All My Sons and A Streetcar Named Desire, and films such as On the Waterfront, Baby Doll, One-Eyed Jacks, I Confess, Gypsy, Patton, and Nuts.

Of Montgomery Clift: “His life was an accident waiting to happen.”
Of Vivien Leigh: “Unlike Jessica [Tandy], who was as gracious and well-grounded a human being as you could hope to meet, Vivien was more like Blanche herself. She had a more tenuous relationship with reality.”
Of Marlon Brando: “Ultimately I grew to look forward to the challenge of playing with Marlon. I am competitive enough to flatter myself into believing I could keep up with him. And that is why I say I believe playing with Marlon consistently brought out the best in me. I guess, in the final analysis, it is impossible to beat genius, but it can be fun to try to match it.”
Of Barbra Streisand: “Nuts was Barbra’s picture from start to finish. She wanted the film, like everything else she does, to be perfect. I respected that about her enormously; however, she wanted that so desperately that it was sometimes destructive for the morale of the company, and, I think, even for herself.”
Of Elia Kazan: “Kazan was the great psychological mind of the theater. In subtle ways, he got to know the people he was working with so well that he knew more about what made them tick than they did themselves. Often, he manipulated actors and their off-stage relationships… You never knew what he had told other people about you, or if what he had told you about the other people was true. He just presided over the production like some magic puppeteer jerking the strings of his actors.”

Malden writes with passionate intensity about his childhood and his upbringing, and about the enormous influence his father – a proud, traditional, and authoritarian Serb – had over him, giving him the values that have sustained him throughout a long career. He also writes in fascinating detail of his experiences at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, and of the changes in Hollywood that came with the demise of the moguls like Louis B. Mayer, Jack L. Warner, and Darryl F. Zanuck: “I never thought I’d say it, but I miss those guys,” he writes. “These men loved the business and loved being competitive with one another. They were the hub of the business. Now it’s the banks and the agents.”

Always the consummate professional, Karl Malden writes of the challenge and the reward of acting: “In a profession that is all illusion, it doesn’t leave much room for the actor to have any illusion about himself. An actor must have a very hard-boiled look at himself and continually assess his talents and his shortcomings… Just like the writer facing the blank page, the actor starts fresh every single time.” His book is as tough, honest, and unsparing as the man himself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 685 g (24,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-684-84309-9

When Hollywood Came to Town: A History of Moviemaking in Utah (James V. D’Arc)

v-darc-james-when-hollywood-came-to-townFor nearly a hundred years, the state of Utah has played host to scores of Hollywood films, from potboilers on lean budgets to some of the most memorable films ever made, including The Searchers, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Footloose, and Thelma & Louise. This book is telling how these films were made, what happened on and off set, and more. As one Utah rancher memorably said, Hollywood moviemakers “don’t take anything but pictures and don’t leave anything but money.”

JAMES V. D’ARC, Ph.D., is Curator of the BYU Motion Picture Archive, the BYU Film Music Archive and the Arts and Communications Archive of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University. He directs the BYU Motion Picture Archive Film Series, produces a CD series of original motion picture soundtrack, and appears on DVD documentaries dealing with classic films. For over 30 years, Dr. D’Arc has lectured internationally on motion picture history and has taught film courses at BYU. He lives in Orem, Utah.

Hardcover – 303 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 21 cm (8,3 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.210 g (42,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Gibbs Smith, Layton, Utah, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-1-4236-0587-4

When Hollywood Had a King: The Reign of Lew Wasserman, Who Leveraged Talent into Power and Influence (Connie Bruck)

bruck-connie-when-hollywood-had-akingThe Music Corporation of America was founded in Chicago in 1924 by Dr. Jules Stein, an ophthalmologist with a gift for booking bands. Twelve years later, Stein moved his operations west to Beverly Hills and hired Lew Wasserman. From his meager beginnings as a movie-theater usher in Cleveland, Wasserman ultimately ascended to the post of president of MCA, and the company became the most powerful force in Hollywood, regarded with a mixture of fear and awe.

In his signature black suit and black knit tie, Wasserman took Hollywood by storm. He shifted the balance of power from the studios – which had seven-year contractual strangleholds on the stars – to the talent, who became profit partners. When an antitrust suit forced MCA’s evolution from talent agency to film- and television-production company, it was Wasserman who parlayed the control of a wide variety of entertainment and media products into a new type of Hollywood power base. There was only Washington left to conquer, and conquer it Wasserman did, quietly brokering alliances with Democratic and Republican administrations alike.

That Wasserman’s reach extended from the underworld to the White House only added to his mystique. Among his friends were Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, mob lawyer Sidney Korshak, and gangster Moe Dalitz – along with Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and especially Ronald Reagan, who enjoyed a particularly close and mutually beneficial relationship with Wasserman. He was equally intimate with Hollywood royalty, from Bette Davis and James Stewart to Steven Spielberg, who began his career at MCA and once described Wasserman’s eyeglasses as looking like two giant movie screens.

The history of MCA is really the history of a revolution. Lew Wasserman ushered in the Hollywood we know today. He is the link between the old-school moguls with their ironclad studio contracts and the new industry defined by multimedia conglomerates, power agents, multimillionaire actors, and profit sharing. In the hands of Connie Bruck, the story of Lew Wasserman’s rise to power takes on an almost Shakespearean scope. When Hollywood Had a King reveals the industry’s greatest untold story: how a stealthy, enterprising power broker became, for a time, Tinseltown’s absolute monarch.

CONNIE BRUCK has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1989; she frequently writes about business and politics. In 1996, her profile of Newt Gingrich won the National Magazine Award for reporting, her second. Bruck is the author of Master of the Game and The  Predators’ Ball. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 512 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 861 g (30,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-375-50168-1

When In Disgrace (Bud Boetticher)

Autographed copy Muy buena suerte, Budd Boetticher

Boettischer, Budd - When in Disgrace“Budd Boetticher is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, gifted director, ex-boxer, bullfighter, superb horseman and raconteur… As my director in Bullfighter and the Lady, he took me on some of the wildest adventures of mu life. He’ll do the same for the reader-” (Robert Stack)

“In outline it goes sometimes like this: in 1960 Bud Boetticher, product of a well-to-do Midwest family, amateur bullfighter, highly successful director of films starring such popular actors as Randolph Scott, James Coburn, Richard Boone, Lee Marvin, Joseph Cotten, Rock Hudson, Anthony Quinn, Glenn Ford, et alios – went to Mexico to film a documentary. It was to be about his great friend, matador Carlos Arruza, probably Latin America and Spain’s greatest hero. Seven years later he returned to Hollywood with the complete footage. During that time he went through a divorce, a passionate love affair with a top Mexican star, near starvation, a jail sentence, a Kafaesque stint in an insane asylum, an almost fatal lung ailment, the near-loss of his project, chicanery and treachery at every turn, the death of most of his technical crew, and finally, devastatingly, the sudden death of the star subject, Arruza himself” (Barnaby Conrad)

Life around Budd was always exciting… What a character!” (Robert Mitchum)

OSCAR BUDD BOETTICHER – known as Budd – was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 29, 1916. His films include Bullfighter and the Lady, Seven Men From Now, The Tall T, Ride Lonesome, Comanche Station, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond – and his classic documentary, Arruza.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 397 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18,5 cm (10,2 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 1.240 g (43,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Neville, Santa Barbara, California, 1989

When I Was Young (Raymond Massey)

massey-raymond-when-i-was-youngTo the countless accolades he has received for his performances in theater, films, and television, Raymond Massey can add the distinction of composing this delightful, self-contained first volume of his autobiography.

When I Was Young recapitulates the period from Massey’s birth in 1896 to the early 1920s, smoothly setting forth the “disunity that troubled the first quarter century of my life before I became an actor.” Born to an affluent family in Toronto, Ontario, and enjoying the luxuries of private school, travel, and kind parents, Massey soon enough met with adversity as a nineteen-year-old lieutenant in a Canadian artillery corps during World War I. After being wounded on the Western Front and serving as an artillery instructor for an R.O.T.C. unit at Yale University, he concluded his war experience in Vladivostok, as part of the abortive Allied expedition against the Bolsheviks in Siberia. Two years at Oxford University preceded his return to Toronto and assumption of a place in the family farm-implement business. The rewards of plows, reapers, and cream separators soon gave way to the lure of Shakespeare, Shaw, and Ibsen, however. At volume’s end, Massey is about to return to London to take the plunge into the hazardous waters of professional acting. The author’s remarkable powers of recall and his attention to detail bring to life the nuances, the feel of this horse-drawn age, whether he is re-creating the pastoral pleasures of rural Ontario, trench warfare in Belgium, rowing in the Henley Regatta, or the thrill of first seeing the Barrymores on stage. His is a graceful, humorous, self-deprecating, but wise reminiscence.

Fifty years of superlative acting and directing have made RAYMOND MASSEY an outstanding figure in theatrical history. On the London stage he has starred in such plays as St. Joan, Five Star Final, and I Never Sang for My Father, and directed some 35 plays, including Grand Hotel and The Silver Tassie. He made his New York stage debut as Hamlet, and starred in Broadway productions such as Candida, Ethan Frome, Pygmalion, and Abe Lincoln in Illinois. More than 60 films have been graced with his performances, including The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Prisoner of Zenda, East of Eden, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Arsenic and Old Lace.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 271 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown & Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1976 – ISBN 0-316-54977-0

When the Movies Were Young (Mrs. D.W. Griffith [Linda Arvidson])

arvidson-linda-when-the-movies-were-youngThis biography on D.W. Griffith, first published in 1925, was written by screen actress Linda Arvidson, Griffith’s wife from 1906 until they separated in 1912 (and officially divorced in 1936), and covers his very early years at Biograph in New York.

“Just off Union Square, New York City, there is a stately old brownstone house on which future generations some day may place a tablet to commemorate the place where David W. Griffith and Mary Pickford were first associated with moving pictures. Here has dwelt romance of many colors. A bird of brilliant plumage, so the story goes, first lived in this broadspreading five-story old brownstone that still stands on Fourteenth Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, vibrant with life and the ambitions and endeavors of its present occupants.

Although brownstone Manhattan had seen the end of peaceful Dutch ways and the beginning of the present scrambling in the great school of human activity, the first resident of 11 East Fourteenth Street paid no heed – went his independent way. No short-waisted, long and narrow-skirted black frock-coat for him, but a bright blue affair, gold braided and gold buttoned. He was said to be the last man in old Manhattan to put powder in his hair.

As he grew older, they say his style of dressing became more fantastic, further and further back he went in fashion’s page, until in his last days knickerbockers with fancy buckles adorned his shrinking limbs, and the powdered hair became a periwig. He became known as ‘The Last Leaf.’

A bachelor, he could indulge in what hobbies he liked. He got much out of life. He had a cool cellar built for the claret, and a sun room for the Madeira. In his impressive reception room he gathered his cronies, opened up his claret and Madeira, the while he matched his game-cocks, and the bets were high. Even when the master became very old and ill, and was alone in his mansion with his faithful old servant, Scipio, there were still the rooster fights. But now they were held upstairs in the master’s bedroom. Scipio was allowed to bet a quarter against the old man’s twenty-dollar note, and no matter how high the stakes piled, or who won, the pot in these last days always went to Scipio. And so ‘The Last Leaf’ lived and died.

Then in due time the old brownstone became the home of another picturesque character, Colonel Rush C. Hawkins of the Hawkins Zouaves of the Civil War. Dignified days, when the family learned the world’s news from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Paper and the New York Tribune, and had Peter Goelet and Moses Taylor for millionaire neighbors. For their entertainment they went to Laura Keene’s New Theatre, saw Joe Jefferson, and Lotta; went to the Academy of Music, heard Patti and Clara Louise Kellogg; heard Emma Abbott in concert; and rode on horseback up Fifth Avenue to the Park.

Of an evening, in the spacious ballroom whose doors have since opened to Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Mack Sennett, the youths, maidens and young matrons in the soft, flickering light of the astral lamp and snowy candle, danced the modest cotillon and stately quadrille, the while the elders played whist. Bounteous supper – champagne, perhaps gin and tansy.

But keenly attuned ears, when they paused to listen, could already hear off in the distance the first faint roll of the drums in the march of progress. ‘Little Old New York’ was growing up and getting to be a big city. And so the Knickerbockers and other aristocracy must leave their brownstone dwellings for quieter districts further uptown. Business was slowly encroaching on their life’s peaceful way.

Another day and another generation. Gone the green lawns, enclosed by iron fences where modest cows and showy peacocks mingled, friendly. Gone the harpsichord, the candle, the lamp, to give way to the piano and the gaslamp. Close up against each other the buildings now nestle round Union Square and on into Fourteenth Street. The horse-drawn street car rattles back and forth where No. 11 stands with some remaining dignity of the old days. On the large glass window – for No. 11’s original charming exterior has already yielded to the changes necessitated by trade – is to be read ‘Steck Piano Company.’

In the lovely old ballroom where valiant gentlemen and languishing ladies once danced to soft and lilting strains of music, under the candles’ glow, and where ‘The Last Leaf’ entertained his stal wart cronies with cock fighting, the Steck Piano Company now gives concerts and recitals. The old house has ‘tenants.’ And as tenants come and go, the Steck Piano Company tarries but a while, and then moves on. A lease for the piano company’s quarters in No. 11 is drawn up for another firm for $ 5,000 per year.

In place of the Steck Piano Company on the large window is to be read – ‘American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.’ However, the name of the new tenant signified nothing whatever to the real estate firm adjacent to No. 11 that had made the new lease. It was understood that Mutoscope pictures to be shown in Penny Arcades were being made, and there was no particular interest in the matter. The ‘Biograph’ part of the name had little significance, if any, until in the passage of time a young actor from Louisville, called Griffith, came to labor where labor had been little known and to wonder about the queer new job he had somewhat reluctantly fallen heir to.

The gentlemen of the real estate firm did some wondering too. Up to this time, the peace of their quarters had been disturbed only by the occasional lady-like afternoon concert of the Steck Piano Company. The few preceding directors of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company had done their work quietly and unemotionally. Now, whatever was going on in what was once “The Last Leaf’s” gay and elegant drawing-room, and why did such shocking language drift through to disturb the conservative transactions in real estate!

‘Say, what’s the matter with you – you’re dying you know – you’ve been shot and you’re dying! Well, that’s better, something like it! You, here, you’ve done the shooting, you’re the murderer, naturally you’re a bit perturbed, you’ve lots to think about – yourself for one thing! You’re not surrendering at the nearest police station, no, you’re beating it, beating it, you understand. Now we’ll try it again. That’s better, something like it! Now we’ll take it. All right, everybody! Shoot!’ The neighborhood certainly was changing.” From chapter 1, ‘Eleven East Fourteenth Street.’

Hardcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Arno Press, New York, New York, 1977 [exact reprint of the 1925 first edition] – ISBN 0-405-09119-2

When the Shooting Stops… the Cutting Begins: A Film Editor’s Story (Ralph Rosenblum, Robert Karen)

rosenblum-ralph-when-the-shooting-stopsThe screening room was barely relit and I could already feel the tremendous anxiety that had built up during the making of Woody Allen’s first film, Take the Money and Run. The producer spoke first: could I fix the film? The picture was so choppy and uneven that I couldn’t be sure that the material would survive an overhaul. A few days later a truck delivered two hundred boxes of film to my office, and I spent the next two weeks screening a collection of skits that were fantastically original, charming, and funny in absolutely unexpected ways. A publisher stumbling upon the unpublished notebooks of a young Robert Benchley might have felt the same way. I began to reconstruct the movie, juggling the material to create a rhythm, replacing the music, and finally asking Allen for a new ending, a demand I would repeat on three of our next four films together.

Here is the fascinating story of one of the most important and least-known jobs in moviemaking – film editing – told by one of its outstanding wizards, Ralph Rosenblum, whose credentials include six Woody Allen pictures, as well as The Pawnbroker, A Thousand Clowns, Fail Safe, and The Night They Raided Minsky’s.

After the actors have gone, along with the countless others who help to create a movie, the editor sits in the dark with hours and hours of unfinished film. Rosenblum, a feisty perfectionist with a trenchant sense of humor, shows us what goes on in the cutting room – not through a technical manual but through a vivid, witty, revealing, and often suspenseful tale that every moviegoer will laugh with, groan over, and marvel at. There is the eternal battle of artistic egos: read about Mel Brooks and The Producers. There’s the agony of finding too much good film: read the heartbreaking section on the brilliant  performance that had to be cut from Goodbye Columbus. And, above all, there’s the exhilaration of helping to create a classic: read about how a rambling and abstract social commentary called Anhedonia gradually took shape in the cutting room as the wry and touching love story eventually titled Annie Hall.

Rosenblum and co-author Robert Karen have written one of the most illuminating, controversial, and terrifically entertaining books about America’s favorite art form. You will never see a movie in quite the same way again.

RALPH ROSENBLUM, an editor for 35 years, began cutting documentaries with Sidney Meyers and Helen van Dongen. He has been the editor of more than thirty feature films, and won the British Academy Award for his work on Annie Hall. ROBERT KAREN has written for The Nation, New York, Vogue, and Newsday, on political, cultural, and psychological subjects. He is now writing Top Dog, Bottom Dog, a book about power in everyday life.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 635 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Viking Press, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-670-75991-0

When the Smoke Hit the Fan: A Reminiscence of the Theater, Movies and T.V. (Ralph Bellamy)

Bellamy, Ralph - When the Smoke Hit the FanDuring the filming of The Secret Six, I was dining alone one night at Henry’s Restaurant, owned by Charlie Chaplin. Gable came in and sat with me. After he had ordered, he asked, “What do you think of all this out here?”

“I don’t know yet,” I answered. “I haven’t been here long enough to form an opinion.”

“I just got eleven thousand dollars for playing a heavy in a Bill Boyd Western,” he exclaimed. Eleven thousand dollars!” he went on almost in disbelief. “No actor’s worth that. This can’t last. I’ve got myself a room at the Castle Argyll (an inexpensive hostelry at the top of Vine Street) and a secondhand Ford. I’m socking away everything I can and I’m not buying anything I can’t put “On the Chief.” This just can’t last.” – From When the Smoke Hit the Fan.

Ralph Bellamy was actor, manager and stagehand before the world knew about theatrical unions, method acting and unemployment insurance. He was a fedgling performer in the teens and twenties, when “paying your dues” meant anything from loading boxcars with scenery to playing two or three roles in one play. America was making theatrical history – first with stock companies, tent shows and vaudeville, and later with sound films, radio drama and live television – and Bellamy experienced it all.

He started his own stock company, ad-libbed on live radio, suggested lightning improvements for television and instituted major reforms through the newly born actors’ unions. His friends included James Cagney, Pat O’Brien and Spencer Tracy, Frank Morgan and Frank McHugh, and he worked with everyone from Barbara Stanwyck to Barbara Walters.

With comments from his theatrical acquaintances in addition to his own charming anecdotes, Bellamy chronicles his career from the first role to his memorable portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello. His memoir is an entertaining reminiscence of a time when there was truly “no business like show business.”

RALPH BELLAMY was born in the Middle West and has played in almost every city in the country that has a theater. Besides resident stock, touring companies, he has ninety-seven features to his credit plus an Oscar nomination, and Emmy and an Emmy nomination. He has been president of the Actors Equity Association and one of the organizers of the Screen Actors Guild. For his 1958 Broadway performance in Sunrise at Campobello he received the Antoinette Perry Award, the Della Austrian Award and the Drama League Award, and won the Variety Annual New York Drama Critics Poll.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 255 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 460 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-385-14860-7

When the Stars Went to War: Hollywood and World War II (Roy Hoopes)

Hoopes, Roy - When the Stars Went to WarNineteen thirty-nine was Hollywood’s Golden Year, when, incredibly, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, and Wuthering Heights were all lighting up the silver screen. Outside of Hollywood it was, of course, a terrible time, the year Hitler invaded Poland, the year “the lights went out all over the world.”

In 1941, when the United States entered World War II, along with her vast resources and manpower she  contributed a major weapon whose patriotic muscle has never been fully appreciated: the Hollywood star.

Like people all over America, the movie stars of Hollywood would always remember exactly what they were doing when they heard about Pearl Harbor. But from then on, their wartime experience would have a different and special flavor. They were, after all, very rich, very famous, and extremely visible.

Often told in the performers’ own words, When the Stars Went to War is the story of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., James Stewart, Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, and the other leading men who went into combat. It is the story of Carole  Lombard, Bette Davis, Groucho Marx, James Cagney, Greer Garson, and a host of others who raised millions for the war effort by selling bonds, and of such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich, Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Jack Benny, who put themselves in considerable danger entertaining troops at the front.

And, of course, it is the story of the ones who stayed behind: those who tried to enlist and were turned down, those who were given cushy home-front jobs, those who passed the time having love affairs with the spouses or lovers of fellow actors had gone to war – the hardworking and the guilt-ridden.

Perhaps the stars’ most important contribution to the war effort was the films they made, films that kept up morale and inspired America’s fighting men. As one young G.I. put it, “Somehow it’s better to be fighting for Lana Turner than it is to be fighting the Great Reich… because she is all our girls rolled into one.”

In When the Stars Went to War, author Roy Hoopes tells the stories of hundreds of leading and lesser stars and what they did during the war. As entertaining as an issue of Photoplay, it is written with a frankness even that notorious scandalmonger Louella Parsons would have admired.

ROY HOOPES, the Washington bureau chief of Modern Maturity magazine and the author of several books, including biographies of James M. Cain and Ralph Ingersoll and an oral history of the World War II home front, has been a film buff all his life. Born in Salt Lake City, he lives with his wife, Cora, near their two sons, Spencer and Tom, and their families, in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., and in Dewey Beach, Delaware.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 357 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 711 g (25,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1994 ISBN 0-679-41423-1

Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? (Tod Benoit)

benoit-tod-where-are-they-buried“The locations of famous graves, and especially the puzzle of exactly how to find them, appealed to me as a kind of offbeat treasure hunt,” admits the author of this remarkable compilation of final resting places. But as he became more deeply immersed in the process, he grew more philosophical about the endeavor: “The very human desire to ‘live on’ is affirmed by the importance and elaborateness of our cemeteries, our penchant for visiting and caring for them, and the universally accepted notion of ‘respect for the dead.’ Every tombstone, a kind of waypoint between life and death, confirms individuality. ‘I was somebody,’ they seem to say.”

Tod Benoit’s passion led him on a journey across the country and around the world in search of the gravesites, monuments, memorials, and tombstones of hundreds of our heroes and anti-heroes, people he considered to be the most significant influences on our lives and our culture. In order to share the results of his exploration and open doors for aspiring tombstone travelers everywhere, he has compiled this irresistibly browsable guide to the lives, deaths, and permanent addresses of more than 450 cultural icons from the worlds of sports, music, film, television, literature, politics, and other realms of human achievement. Within the pages of Where Are They Buried? you’ll find criminals and crime-solvers, B-movie actors and baseball players, presidents and protesters, songbirds and lovebirds, comedians and con-men. Some rest in elaborate mausoleums, some slumber beneath modest headstones, and some have simply been scattered to the wind. (A few have even been shot into space.)

In each case, Tod provides an informative and entertaining capsule biography full of little-known facts, a detailed description of the death and disposition of the remains, and very specific directions to the location and site of the grave. He even shares his secrets for finding where someone is buried, and for gaining access to some of the more private sites – though his tone is always one of respect. As he says, “I’ve conscientiously maintained a model of decorum, and… I trust you’ll preserve this tradition.”

Where Are They Buried? is nothing less than a pop-cultural roadmap for anyone fascinated by celebrity, history, and travel.

After earning an engineering degree at the University of Massachusetts, TOD BENOIT spent ten years incarcerated in Corporate America, profoundly disturbed that his biography might someday mirror that of Ivan Ilych’s, as told by Leo Tolstoy. In 1997, he redirected his efforts and has since spent his days on assorted far-flung adventures, from mountainbiking the Continental Divide to hitchhiking the wilds of South America. For the moment, he’s moored in Lyttelton Harbor, New Zealand, aboard the sloop Mauritinia, balancing a tightrope between exhilarating enterprise and financial insolvency. Tod is eager to address any comments or criticism emailed to him at tbenwa@usa.net.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 560 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 13,5 cm (9,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 1.010 g (35,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Black Dog & Leventhal, Publishers, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 1-57912-287-6

Where Have They Gone? (Bruce McColm, Doug Payne)

mccolm-bruce-where-have-they-goneThe entertainment industry can be exceedingly cruel to performers. Rising stars are hyped feverishly and then unceremoniously discarded when their popularity wanes. That’s especially true in the case of rock acts. Hundreds of rock stars have quickly become chart-toppers, only to, just as swiftly, disappear from sight. Life goes on for these former superstars but where have they gone?

In this fascinating, photo-crammed volume authors Bruce McColm and Doug Payne will reacquaint you with some of rock’s greatest stars. You’ll learn what has happened to each performer since the glory years. You’ll find out about their careers, their personal lives, and their remembrances of how it once was.

[Portraits on Brenda Lee, Archie Bell, Bobby Rydell, Del Shannon, Gene Chandler, Johnny Tillotson, Tommy James, Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds, Johnny Maestro, Tommy Sands, Dion, Mark Dinning, Bill Medley, Tony Williams, Bobby Vee, Dave Clark, Sheb Wooley, Steve Alaimo, Dolores Kenniebrew, Freddy Cannon, Bill Pinckney, Gary Lewis, Tom Guiliano, Sam Samudio, Lou Christie, Peter Noone, Bobby Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Billy Joe Royal]

Softcover – 245 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 133 g (4,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Grosset & Dunlap, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-448-17025-6

Which Reminds Me (Tony Randall, with Michael Mindlin)

randall-tony-which-reminds-meTony Randall’s wit, intelligence, prodigious memory, and unreasonable love of storytelling is amply demonstrated in this vastly entertaining collection of show business stories.

These delightful tales about himself and others begin with young, stage-struck Randall’s arrival in New York to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse with the great Sanford Meisner. First came a few bit parts, then some hilarious misadventures, and finally a role on Broadway in Caesar and Cleopatra with Katharine Cornell. His career was launched. Eventually he shared the stage with such theatrical luminaries as Ethel Barrymore, Lilli Palmer, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Paul Muni and the screen with Rock Hudson, Doris Day, David Niven, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, and Debbie Reynolds. But he became a household name as an actor in television sitcoms, initially with Wally Cox in Mr. Peepers and ultimately with his portrayal of the fastidious Felix Unger in the long-running series The Odd Couple. Through it all, nothing escaped Randall’s remarkably alert eye and ear for the amusing.

Which Reminds Me… it began over lunch at the Russian Tea Room. Tony and his longtime friend and co-writer Michael Mindlin traded jokes and one-upped each other; soon each anecdote led to one better and into this wonderful collection of show business stories.

TONY RANDALL is a national treasure. He has acted in the theater, motion pictures, radio, and television for the past forty years. He lives in New York City and is currently trying to establish an American classical repertory theater. MICHAEL MINDLIN has had varied and extensive experience in show business both in the United States and abroad: in advertising and publicity for motion pictures, the theater, and ballet; as a documentary filmmaker; and as a production executive for various major studios and independent film companies.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 262 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 629 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-385-29785-8

Who Killed Hollywood? … and Put the Tarnish on Tinseltown (Peter Bart)

bart-peter-who-killed-hollywoodWho killed Hollywood? Who’s responsible for studios hellbent on assembly-line “event” pictures? Why are production costs so high that no one can take artistic risks? Who decided that the studios should be a development arm of theme parks? What happened to putting actual stories with characters onscreen? And while we’re at it, what happened to taste? Where are the believable human characters buried? Are all the execs out of control? How does so much money get spent for so little?

Who Killed Hollywood? is a passionate love / hate letter to the film industry. In it, Peter Bart pulls together his best columns from Variety and GQ. He groups them, juxtaposes them, and interprets them, outlining in detail the history and inner workings of Hollywood. This could only be done by someone powerful enough to phone any star or head of studio and have his calls taken on the first ring.

In story after story, Bart shows how the major studios have diverted their energies away from production of the shrewdly crafted pictures that once made the industry powerful. There isn’t, for example, much range or innovation in the movies. There is only a handful of salable subjects – natural disasters, aliens, dinosaurs, ghosts, monsters, or any combination thereof. All are subjects easily parlayed into theme-park environments, action figures, video games, and clothing lines. Similarly, since Jaws twenty years ago, there’s been a very short list of acceptable settings. The 1998 Academy Award nominations for best picture all went to films set in Elizabethan times or during World War II. A few years ago it looked as though Pulp Fiction and other independent films were going to save showbiz. Now independent producers like Miramax and New Line have been acquired by conglomerates. Who and what will resurrect Hollywood? Peter Bart has the answers.

PETER BART is editor-in-chief of Variety, Daily Variety, and Daily Variety-Gotham Edition. A true Hollywood insider, he has been a studio executive at Paramount and MGM/UA, and a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He is the author of The Gross, Fadeout: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM, and two novels. His columns in GQ and Variety are widely respected, if not feared, in the industry.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 398 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 728 g (25,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Renaissance Books, Los Angeles, California, 1999 – ISBN 1-58063-116-9

Who Played Who in the Movies (Roy Pickard)

pickard-roy-who-played-who-in-the-movies“This volume is the third in a quartet of reference books begun by The Oscar Movies and The Hollywood Studios. Its aim is a simple one, namely to answer questions about who has played who in the movies, settle long-standing arguments and provide information not readily available in existing books of its kind. Above all, it tries to delete, as much as possible, those two words most disliked in film reference works – ‘includes’ and ‘etc.’

Set out in an A-Z format by name of character, the book provides immediate answers to such frequently asked questions as: How many times has James Bond been played on screen? Or Jack The Ripper? Or Miss Marple? Or Buddy Holly? Or Henry VIII? Or Al Capone? Or Fanny Brice? Or ‘Dirty Harry’ Callahan? The net, which incorporates several hundred entries, is cast that wide. Great care has been taken to ensure that the book contains something for everyone. Personal preference has been set aside so that The Good, The Bad and The Ugly can be included.

Who Played Who In The Movies attempts to be a book for all seasons. No previous book has devoted itself entirely to this one aspect of movie reference. This volume therefore fills a gap. Hopefully, it fills it in an entertaining and lively manner for although it has been compiled after months of exhaustive research at the British Film Institute and correspondence with Institutes all over the world, it is meant, on occasion to amuse as well as be a useful browse for information. Who Played Who In The Movies concentrates on sound cinema (although it frequently mentions the silent days) and is international in scope. The main yardstick for the inclusion of each character is that he or she should have been the subject of at least one major film biography. The entries also combine fiction with fact and include many of the most famous characters in world literature. Much of the information is published here for the first time.

Each entry is prefaced by an introductory paragraph about each character, then followed by comprehensive listings detailing the number of times the character has been portrayed on film. These listings are broken down thus: name of actor, name of film, its director, country of origin and year of release. Porn movies such as The Erotic Adventures Of Zorro have been omitted as they bear little or no relevance to serious screen interpretations. So too have ballet and opera films. Also, most (although not all) Made-for-TV movies which, for some reason, fail to hold the same attraction as old cinema films and, as a general rule, disappear after one showing, never to appear again.

Chief amongst my reference sources have been the pages of Variety, the Monthly Film Bulletin of the British Film Institute, the Catalogues of the American Film Institute and Denis Gifford’s invaluable British Film Catalogue. Hundreds of other magazines and books, too numerous to mention here, were consulted and double checked. Obviously, no film book will ever be 100 % correct in the information that it provides. But this book is a serious attempt to present comprehensive facts about a hitherto frequently neglected aspect of the movies. It is, in short, a beginning. At the moment, it is right up to date. I hope that it remains so for many years to come. Please do not hesitate to write to me, c/o my publishers Frederick Muller, if you discover any omissions or mistakes or feel that other characters should be included. All suggestions will be carefully noted and taken into account when future editions of the book are being prepared. Happy browsing.” – The Preface.

Softcover – 248 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 460 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Schocken Books, New York, New York, 1981 – ISBN 0-8052-0676-0

Who the Devil Made It (Peter Bogdanovich)

bogdanovich-peter-who-the-devil-made-itPeter Bogdanovich, director, screenwriter, actor and critic, interviews sixteen legendary directors of the first hundred years of film – from Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh to Leo McCarey, Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Lumet. The conversations brought together in this book give us a history of the movies. They are the stories of pioneers who came to the picture business from many worlds. Some were adventurers (running away to sea; joining Pancho Villa) before finding their place in the movies. Some were football stars, some electrical engineers, lawyers, auto mechanics, airplane designers. Some were trained in silent movies (Allan Dwan, Raoul Walsh, Fritz Lang, Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock). Many of them were men who lived to the hilt and brought to their work the residue of their earlier experiences.

Here talking with Bogdanovich are: Allan Dwan, director of more than four hundred movies, from silent one-reelers to 1950s Westerns; inventor of the “mercury vapor” light and the crane shot (devised to help D.W. Griffith solve a problem in shooting Intolerance); creator of the first screen idol, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.; discoverer of Rita Hayworth, Carole Lombard, Ida Lupino and six-year-old Natalie Wood. “I went out – not to Hollywood, because there were no studios in Hollywood… After a long search, I found our company in a little hotel. There were about eight actors, a lot of cowboys… everyone was sitting there doing nothing. I said, ‘Why aren’t you working?’ They said, ‘Our director has been away on a binge for two weeks.’ I wired the Chicago office: ‘Disband the company. You have no director.’ They wired back: ‘You direct’ … I said, ‘What do I do?’ The actors gave me a megaphone and said, ‘You yell ‘Come on!’ or ‘Action!’ The cameraman will start turning the camera, and we’ll ride over the hill.”’

Fritz Lang, one of the most powerful directors in pre-Hitler Germany (the other was Lubitsch), who in 1933 was asked by Goebbels to run the Nazi film industry, accepted the offer and fled the same night to Paris, and then to Hollywood. Twenty-four films later: “I first came to America briefly in 1924… The first evening we were still enemy aliens, so we couldn’t leave the ship. It was docked somewhere on the West Side of New York. I looked into the streets – the glaring lights and the tall buildings – and there I conceived Metropolis.”

Howard Hawks, whose films include To Have and Have Not, Scarface, Red River and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He was never a tastemaker’s hero nor the subject of any chic cult, but regarded as a master by many. Bringing Up Baby “had a great fault… There were no normal people in it. Everyone you met was a screwball and since that time I have learned my lesson and I don’t intend ever again to make everybody crazy.” Edgar G. Ulmer, assistant to F.W. Murnau on The Last Laugh, Sunrise and Tabu, then a legendary underground figure who made poverty row classics like The Black Cat, Bluebeard and the ultimate one-dark-night-as-I-was-driving picture, Detour. On The Last Laugh, “We really had only one thing to sell… Emil Jannings’ face… The camera was supposed to be on top of Jannings as he walked through that lobby and got into the elevator. We didn’t have telescopic cameras or lenses then, we had the 50mm lens, we didn’t know about the 75 and everything up to 1,000 now. Later we were walking down the Kurfürstendam [Boulevard, in Berlin] to have dinner. A woman, with twins in a baby buggy, was rolling along and I suddenly stopped and said, ‘What’s going to stop us from putting the camera on a buggy?’ We tried and tried, and we built the first dolly.”

Here as well are Josef von Sternberg, Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Chuck Jones, Joseph H. Lewis, Don Siegel, Otto Preminger and Frank Tashlin, talking about actors, directing, the studios. Their richly illuminating conversations with Bogdanovich combine to make this a riveting chronicle of Hollywood and picture-making.

PETER BOGDANOVICH is the author of ten books, including This Is Orson Welles and John Ford. He is also the director of eighteen films, including The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, Texasville and Mask. He lives in Los Angeles and New York City.

[Interviews with Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Chuck Jones, Fritz Lang, Joseph L. Lewis, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, Frank Tashlin, Edgar G. Ulmer, Raoul Walsh]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 849 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.695 g (59,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0679-44706-7

Who the Hell’s In It: Portraits and Conversations (Peter Bogdanovich)

bogdanovich-peter-who-the-hells-in-itPeter Bogdanovich, known primarily as a director, film historian and critic, has been working with professional actors all his life. He started out as an actor (he debuted on the stage in his sixth-grade production of Finian’s Rainbow); he watched actors work (he went to the theater every week from the age of thirteen and saw every important show on, or off, Broadway for the next decade); he studied acting, starting at sixteen, with Stella Adler (his work with her became the foundation for all he would ever do as an actor and a director).

Now, in his new book, Who the Hell’s in It, Bogdanovich draws upon a lifetime of experience, observation and understanding of the art to write about the actors he came to know along the way; actors he admired from afar; actors he worked with, directed, befriended. Among them: Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, John Cassavetes, Charlie Chaplin, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Ben Gazzara, Audrey Hepburn, Boris Karloff, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Frank Sinatra and James Stewart. Bogdanovich captures – in their words and his – their work, their individual styles, what made them who they were, what gave them their appeal and why they’ve continued to be America’s iconic actors.

On Lillian Gish: “The first virgin hearth goddess of the screen… a valiant and courageous symbol of fortitude and love through all distress.” On Marlon Brando: “He challenged himself never to be the same from picture to picture, refusing to become the kind of film star the studio system had invented and thrived upon – the recognizable human commodity each new film was built around… The funny thing is that Brando’s charismatic screen persona was vividly apparent despite the multiplicity of his guises… Brando always remains recognizable, a star-actor in spite of himself.”

Jerry Lewis to Bogdanovich on the first laugh Lewis ever got on stage: “I was five years old. My mom and dad had a tux made – I worked in the borscht circuit with them – and I came out and I sang, ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ the big hit at the time… It was 1931, and I stopped the show – naturally – a five-year-old in a tuxedo is not going to stop the show? And I took a bow and my foot slipped and hit one of the floodlights and it exploded and the smoke and the sound scared me so I started to cry. The audience laughed – they were hysterical… So I knew I had to get the rest of my laughs the rest of my life, breaking, sitting, falling, spinning.”

John Wayne to Bogdanovich, on the early years of Wayne’s career when he was working as a prop man: “Well, I’ve naturally studied John Ford professionally as well as loving the man. Ever since the first time I walked down his set as a goose-herder in 1927. They needed somebody from the prop department to keep the geese from getting under a fake hill they had for Mother Machree at Fox. I’d been hired because Tom Mix wanted a box seat for the USC football games, and so they promised jobs to Don Williams and myself and a couple of the players. They buried us over in the properties department, and Mr. Ford’s need for a goose-herder just seemed to fit my pistol.”

These twenty-five portraits and conversations are unsurpassed in their evocation of a certain kind of great movie star that has vanished. Bogdanovich’s book is a celebration and a farewell.

PETER BOGDANOVICH is the author of thirteen books, including Who the Devil Made It, as well as This Is Orson Welles, The Cinema of Howard Hawks and John Ford. Bogdanovich has directed such plays as The Big Knife, Camino Real and Once in a Lifetime. His films include Targets, The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon and They All Laughed. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire and the New York Observer.

[Portraits on and conversations with Stella Adler, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, James Cagney, John Cassavetes, Charlie Chaplin, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Ben Gazzara, Lillian Gish, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Boris Karloff, Jack Lemmon, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Sal Mineo, Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Perkins, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, John Wayne]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 528 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 930 g (32,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-375-40010-9

Wie vermoordde Marilyn Monroe? (Charles Hamblett; originally titled Who Killed Marilyn Monroe?)

hamblett-charles-wie-vermoordde-marilyn-monroeVraag het degenen die het weten kunnen. Sophia Loren bijvoorbeeld. Zij zal u antwoorden: “Ik heb gehuild toen ik hoorde, dat Marilyn dood was. Ze vertelden het me in het ziekenhuis van Tirrenia, bij Pisa, waar ik behandeld werd voor een virusinfectie. Ze zeiden dat zij zelfmoord had gepleegd. Zelfmoord! O God, waarom moesten ze dat afschuwelijke woord gebruiken dat, hoe dan ook, de verborgen sneer inhoudt van een mislukking, het leven aan te kunnen? Wat weten ze af van de onmenselijke druk, die er op Marilyn heeft gelegen, van de hel waar zij doorheen is gegaan? Alleen Marilyn zou ons hebben kunnen vertellen waarom zij stierf – welke martelingen het waren, die haar de dood in dreven…”

Een jong loketverkoopstertje van een grote bioscoop in San Francisco barstte in tranen uit en huilde ontroostbaar. Een agent van politie schoot gealarmeerd toe. Nee, zij was niet beroofd – zij had alleen zojuist gehoord dat Marilyn Monroe de hand aan zichzelf had geslagen. John Huston zei: “Ik kan het gewoonweg niet geloven dat een kaartjesverkoopster om Marilyn heeft gehuild. Niemand in Hollywood huilt echte tranen. Wij kunnen ons ergens verschrikkelijk schuldig voelen, maar ècht huilen – nee.”

In deze enkele woorden ligt het ‘waarom’ en ‘wie’ besloten: Marilyn Monroe werd vermoord door Hollywood.

Softcover – 211 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 12,5 cm (7,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 299 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER H. Meulenhoff, Den Haag, The Netherlands, 1966

Wie zijn ogen niet gebruikt, is een verloren mens (Hans Heesen, in gesprek met Georges Sluizer)

scannen0515Nederlands meest kosmopolitische filmmaker Georges Sluizer (Parijs, 1932) vertelt vrijuit over zijn avontuurlijke leven en zijn passie voor film.

George Sluizer kreeg les van Jean Renoir en leerde het vak van Bert Haanstra. Hij at uit vuilnisbakken en bietste geld van de maffia om te kunnen filmen. Hij maakte deel uit van de Nederlandse skiploeg en trok met sleehonden door Groenland, filmde op de toendra’s van Siberië en in het regenwoud van het Amazonegebied. Joris Ivens benoemde hem tot erfgenaam en Antonioni vroeg hem als rechterhand. Hij ontmoette John F. Kennedy, kreeg het inwonerschap van Brazilië en werd ereburger van Palestina. Hij bedankte voor Schindler’s List, vocht met Klaus Kinski en was chauffeur van Mick Jagger. Hij ontving prijzen en doodsbedreigingen, ontdekte Johanna ter Steege en raakte Nastassja Kinski kwijt aan Roman Polanski. Hij maakte de thriller die Stanley Kubrick jaloers maakte en de film die door de dood van River Phoenix onvoltooid moest blijven.

Auteur HANS HEESEN is publicist en scenarioschrijver, en Hoofd Scenario aan de Nederlandse Filmacademie.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 396 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979 – ISBN 978 90 388 9624 3

Wife of the Life of the Party: A Memoir (Lita Grey Chaplin, with Jeffrey Vance; foreword by Sydney Chaplin)

Grey Chaplin, Lita - Wife of the Life of the PartyWife of the Life of the Party is the memoir of the late Lita Grey Chaplin (1908-1995), the last surviving wife of Charles Chaplin and the only one of Chaplin’s wives to have written an account of life with him. Her memoir is an extraordinary Hollywood story of someone who was there from the very beginning. Born Lillita Louise MacMurray in Hollywood, she began her career at twelve with the Charlie Chaplin Film Company, when Chaplin selected her to appear with him as the flirting angel in The Kid. When she was fifteen, Chaplin signed her as the leading lady in The Gold Rush and changed her name to Lita Grey. She was forced to leave the production when, at the age of sixteen, she became pregnant with Chaplin’s child. She married Chaplin in Empalme, Mexico in November 1924.

The Chaplins stayed together for two years. Lita bore Chaplin two sons: Charles Chaplin, Jr., and Sydney Chaplin. In November 1926, after Lita discovered that Chaplin was having an affair with Merna Kennedy (Lita’s best friend, whom she had persuaded Chaplin to hire as the leading lady in The Circus), Lita left Chaplin and filed for divorce in January 1927. It was one of the first divorce cases to receive a public airing. The divorce complaint ran a staggering 42 pages and fed scandal with its revelations about the private life of Charles Chaplin. Lita’s divorce settlement of $ 825,000 was the largest in American history at the time.

Lita authorized the publication of My Life with Chaplin in 1966. The book was mainly the creation of her co-author, Morton Cooper, who re-wrote her manuscript. Lita was never happy with the many inaccuracies and distortions of that book. Wife of the Life of the Party is not to be seen as a supplement to her early book, but rather Lita’s own version of her life, told for the first time.

JEFFREY VANCE, a student of the art of Charles Chaplin and the silent cinema since childhood, is a writer, historian, and lecturer whose friendship and close collaboration with Chaplin’s second wife, Lita Grey Chaplin, led to the completion of this volume. Vance holds a master of arts degree in English literature from Boston University and works in the film industry as an archivist. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (9,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 587 g (20,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1998 – ISBN 0-8108-3432-4

William Desmond Taylor: A Dossier (Bruce Long; editor’s foreword by Anthony Slide)

Autographed copy For Barry Whitney! – Bruce Long

long-bruce-william-desmond-taylor“In large part because of the manner of his passing, William Desmond Taylor is one of the few directors from the silent era whose name is known outside of a small circle of film buffs and scholars. Alice Terry once commented to me that the biggest thing her leading man, Rudolph Valentino, did was to die while still at the height of his fame. Much the same thing might be said of Taylor. However, unlike Valentino’s death, Taylor’s passing was the result of an unsolved murder, which has fascinated historians and the American public for almost 70 years, and which has been the subject of two recent books – A Cast of Killers by Sidney Kirkpatrick and A Deed of Death by Robert Giroux – each of which attempts to prove a motive for and the identity of the perpetrator of the crime, with reasonable degrees of success.

It might be interesting to consider what would have happened to Taylor’s career had he not been struck down by an unknown assassin on February 1, 1922. Would he have survived the coming of sound? Possibly, but only as a director of minor B features, much in the manner of Christy Cabanne. Equally, he might not have been able to obtain further directorial work, and could possibly have ended his career in the film industry as an extra or “bit” player as did former directors, Lloyd Ingraham and Oscar Apfel. Would he have been weIl off? I think not. Taylor does not appear to have been too careful in saving his money up to the time he was murdered. His past life would probably have caught up with him, and whatever his ex-wife did not get, the Wall Street crash would have wiped out.

On the evidence of the few William Desmond Taylor films which have survived (preserved at the Library of Congress, the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive), it is obvious that he was not a great director. Competent and reliable are two adjectives which come to mind in discussing Taylor’s work, but they are adjectives which, equally, could be used to describe the careers of countless other directors from the silent era, men such as Christy Cabanne, Edward Sloman, Reginald Barker, or Rupert Julian. Taylor lacked the flair of Allan Dwan or Marshall Neilan, but his films are certainly on a par with those produced by other contract Paramount directors of the late teens or early twenties.

However, as becomes obvious from a reading of this book, Taylor was considered a leading figure in the film industry during most, if not all, of his directorial career. His work on the studio floor and in the promotion and defense of the film industry made him an important figure in the late teens. It is quite remarkable just how much publicity Taylor generated, and even more remarkable is that Bruce Long has been able to gather this documentation into readable, and annotated, form.

I first became familiar with Bruce Long’s dedication to documenting the career of William Desmond Taylor when he sent me the first issue of his short-lived Taylorology (Fall 1985), possibly the first and only periodical devoted to the career of one director. A year later, the second issue appeared, and it was an extraordinary and incisive dissection of Sidney Kirkpatrick’s book, A Cast of Killers. When the third issue arrived (by this time, I believe, Kevin Brownlow, Robert Giroux and I were the only subscribers left), I decided it was time to invite Long to gather his materials into book form for publication in the Filmmakers series. The result is a magnificent work of resource and reference.” – The Editor’s Foreword by Anthony Slide

Hardcover – 457 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (9,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 704 g (24,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1991 – ISBN 0-8108-2490-6

William Fox: A Story of Early Hollywood 1915-1930 (Susan Fox, with Donald G. Rosellini)

Fox, Susan - William Fox“I begin this story with some hesitation, because to recount the rise and fall of my great-grandfather, William Fox, I must refer to those other important figures who created the motion picture industry. A group of young, fearless businessmen who through performers, stories, sets, cameras and theaters waged an unceasing and bitter war for supremacy. The only constant in the motion picture industry of the silent era was unrelenting change.

The period between 1915 and 1925 was a time of constant progress for Fox Film, the result of the release of a profitable run of pictures that brought William Fox to a prominent, but by no means dominant, position. The industry consisted of many studios competing for a share of the theatergoing public. Barriers to entry were low, which meant that anyone with a flair for the theatrical, a story, the wherewithal to lease studio space, and a ramshackle old camera could and did make pictures.

A.P. Giannini’s Bancamerica, along with the prestigious Wall Street investment houses of Goldman Sachs, Kuhn, Loeb, and Lehman Brothers, were ready and willing to finance the production of pictures. Money was there for the asking. As a result, a colossal mound of debt would build on studio balance sheets – a debt that would feed and swell through the easy-money days of the 1920s until it would reach staggering proportions.

In their day-to-day lives, silent film producers faced the ever-present threat of insolvency. A bad film here, a poor showing there, and it was over. There were plenty of casualties strewn across the fruited Hollywood landscape, with changing studio signs testifying to the intense rivalry that existed in the industry. The possibility of extinction was no more than a thousand feet of film away.

Industry fundamentals could be summed up in two sentences: pull patrons into theaters; sell them things they want to eat and drink, a formula that hasn’t changed to this day. Though his early pictures were not considered major artistic accomplishments, William Fox patched together a simple formula that featured cowboys and Indians, or vampires, with an occasional journey to the melodramatic. Most importantly, the top line usually exceeded costs, because Fox Film turned out pictures quickly and inexpensively.

Even if critics panned Fox pictures, who really cared? Audiences were flocking to theaters to see them, and that was all that mattered to William Fox. He learned that to build a studio on one or two stars was like playing roulette. Fame was fleeting, scandal lurked around every corner, an irreconcilable difference with a director could and did stop production, illness could paralyze a project, and the public’s taste could and did change with frightening speed. In response to the constant threat of business interruption, William Fox diversified his roster of players and replenished it with new faces on a regular basis. Early stars like Theda Bara, Tom Mix, William Farnum and Buck Jones kept the studio afloat.

To keep up with the undisputed industry leader, Paramount’s Adolph Zukor, William Fox expanded capacity both in film production and film exhibition, vertically integrating the company. Over time, he was forced to dilute his original 51 percent stake to something less substantial. To avoid a loss of management control, he followed the practice of the time and kept more than half of the voting shares of both Fox Film and Fox Theaters in his name. All voting power in Fox Film lay in 100,000 shares of Class B stock, of which William Fox owned 50,101 shares. All voting power in Fox Theaters lay in a corresponding 100,000 shares of Class B stock, the entire issue of which belonged to my great-grandfather.

In 1927, while his business was still expanding, William Fox began to acquire theaters by the chain instead of by the unit, and the studio began experimenting with the talking picture. It came time for him to hire an investment banker, because the conversion to sound and the acquisition of theaters could no longer be financed through internally generated funds. Thus the firm of Halsey, Stuart and the venerable Harold Leonard Stuart, its president, entered the scene.” – From The Introduction by Susan Eva Fox.

William Fox: A Story of Early Hollywood 1915-1930 is a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes workings of daily Hollywood and the power plays that led to the downfall of one of Tinseltown’s brilliant pioneers.

Hardcover – 320 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 564 g (19,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Midnight Marquee Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 2006 – ISBN 1-887664-62-9

William Friedkin: Films of Aberration, Obsession and Reality – Expanded and Updated 2nd Edition (Thomas D. Clagett)

clagett-thomas-d-william-friedkinAcademy Award-winning director William Friedkin, long recognized for his technical brilliance, has had a career marked by tremendous successes and great failures. Among his successes are two very popular and highly regarded films, The French Connection and The Exorcist, both considered classics of their respective genres.

Friedkin, who worked his way up in a Chicago television station from mailroom employee to director of local live broadcasts while still in his teens, began directing features in 1967. His films include The Night They Raided Minsky’s, screen adaptations of Pinter’s The Birthday Party and the popular off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band, Sorcerer, The Brink’s Job, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., The Guardian, Rampage, Blue Chips, Jade, and Rules of Engagement.

This well-written, insightful study of Friedkin’s films, which is based on nearly 100 interviews with the director and his colleagues, pays particular attention to the evolution of his cinematic style and choice of subject material. New to the second edition, in addition to many small changes and updates of the book’s existing material, are three chapters covering the last five years of Friedkin’s work – which includes the much-publicized re-release of his director’s cut of The Exorcist.

THOMAS D. CLAGETT is a writer whose first novel won the 1999 America’s Best Competition. He has worked for seventeen years as an assistant editor.

Softcover – 457 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 17,5cm (8,9 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 756 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Silman-James Press, Beverly Hills, California, 2003 – ISBN 1-879505-61-4

Will Rogers: A Biography (Ben Yagoda)

yagoda-ben-will-rogersWill Rogers was a true American icon. From the early 1920s until his death in a plane crash in 1935, he was the most popular man in the United States. His newspaper column was read daily by 40 million people. He was our biggest radio entertainer, lecturer, movie star, and homespun sage. Now the first biographer with complete access to Rogers’s letters and unpublished writings enables us at last to understand the man – and his remarkable connection to his fellow Americans – against the backdrop of a nation on the move from the Civil War through the Great Depression.

Will Rogers, who loved to remind us that he was one-quarter Cherokee, was born in Oklahoma (then Indian Territory) to a family of money and influence. We see him running away from school to work as a cowboy in Texas, journeying to Argentina, and finally landing in South Africa, where he became a trick rider and roper in a Wild West show. We see him back in America, in vaudeville early in this century, developing a cowboy “yokel” personality that won over Flo Ziegfeld and earned for Rogers top billing at the Follies above even Eddie Cantor, W.C. Fields, and Fanny Brice. We see him, now a national figure, as wit and pundit – his newspaper comments on everything from Charles Lindbergh’s flight to FDR’s election eagerly read and everywhere quoted. And the selections included here pungently evoke moods, events, and politics of the Jazz Age and the Depression years.

As his story progresses, his decency, common sense, and clarity shine out and we begin to comprehend why he was so beloved, so wildly popular, that in 1932 there was serious talk of his running for President. Yagoda shows why Rogers’s down-home populism sometimes approached but never reached a radical position, and behind the supremely public persona he reveals as well the profoundly private man, in whose personal letters we glimpse unsuspected insecurities.

Authentically unpretentious, skeptical yet optimistic, good-humored to the core yet capable of the sharpest comment (he once attributed Thanksgiving to Pilgrims “who would give thanks every time they killed an Indian and took more of his land”), Rogers is brilliantly revealed in this rich, astute, and engaging portrait – the man all America loved but, until now, has not really known.

BEN YAGODA is an assistant professor of English and a member of the journalism program at the University of Delaware. Formerly a movie critic for the Philadelphia Daily News and an editor at Philadelphia magazine, he has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, American Heritage, GQ, The New Republic, and many other publications. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their two daughters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 409 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 864 g (30,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-394-58512-7

Will Rogers in Hollywood: An Illustrated History of the Film Career of America’s Favorite Humorist (Bryan B. Sterling, Frances N. Sterling; Introduction by James Blake Rogers)

Sterling, Bryan B - Will Rogers in Hollywood“I was in pictures before they were referred to by press agents as an art. I was in Hollywood away back, when some of these big stars now were just learning to get married. In other words, I am what you call a pioneer. I am all right in anything while it’s in its crude state, but the minute it gets to having any class, why, I am sunk. After anything begins to take itself seriously, I have to gradually drop out, sometimes suddenly. You see, pictures have to undergo a poor, or what Will Hayes would call ‘mediocre,’ stage, before they can get to be big. Well, there is the stage that I assisted the great film industry through. The minute they commenced to getting better, why, my mission had been fulfilled.” – Will Rogers.

Few people realize that America’s favorite humorist, Will Rogers, was also one of the nation’s most popular film stars in the early days of Hollywood. From 1918 until his tragic death in Alaska in an airplane crash in 1935, Rogers made more than 60 movies. He could not only twirl a rope and tell a joke, but he could act, and during this period he worked with Sam Goldwyn, Hal Roach, and other industry giants in both silent and sound films. And in hundreds of speeches, newspaper columns, and impromptu remarks, he gave America a running commentary of his experiences with moviemaking and the foibles of the people who made them. His witticisms, though good-natured in spirit, were very sharp and are as relevant today as ever.

Bryan and Frances Sterling have produced a comprehensive record of these films, including cast and production credits, plot synopses, more than two hundred rare photographs, and, most important of all, Rogers’ own words on his years with the film industry. No one but Rogers himself could have provided us with such endearing, witty, self-deprecating, and homespun opinions on the mad world of Hollywood and how it really worked.

BRYAN B. STERLING is probably the foremost authority on the films and writings of Will Rogers. He is the author of A Will Rogers Treasury, The Will Rogers Scrapbook, and The Best of Will Rogers. He selected and edited material for the award-winning stage play Will Rogers, U.S.A., starring James Whitmore. At present Mr. Sterling edits the nationally syndicated column “Will Rogers Says:” which has more than 20 million readers. FRANCES N. STERLING has, for the past twenty-four years, been associated with her husband’s research. She is also a free-lance writer in her own right.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 182 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 790 g (27,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-517-55264-7

Will There Really Be a Morning? An Autobiography (Frances Farmer)

Farmer, Frances - Will There Really Be A Morning hc“Between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-eight I made nineteen motion pictures and appeared in three Broadway shows, as well as seven stock productions. I had the lead in more than thirty dramatic shows on radio and went on countless personal appearances. My career was fast-paced, but I was torn with inner conflicts. I had never been able to adjust to the pressures of Hollywood, and I realized too well that I was one of the most unpopular stars within the industry… I remember reading an article in which one of my directors said, ‘The nicest thing I can say about Frances Farmer is that she unbearable.’ He was no doubt correct, for I found Hollywood and the motion picture industry equally unbearable.

During this unhappy period my marriage came disastrously to an end, and in the fall of 1943, a frightened, overworked and embittered young woman, I collapsed and was sent to the Screen Actors Sanatorium… Perhaps if I had ever been left alone during that confinement, I would have reconciled the problems in my life, but my father, who was an attorney, secured a court order and had me extradited to my home state of Washington with my mother as my legal guardian.

When I returned home, though my career and personal life were a shambles, I still had hope of gathering the shattered pieces and somehow fitting them together again… But in my thirtieth year all my hopes came to an abrupt and frightened halt. On the morning of May 22, 1945, I reached the point of no return.” – From Will There Really Be a Morning?

This chilling self-portrait of the once well-known motion picture actress who spent much of her adult life in a mental institution is one of the most forthright, harrowing self-analyses of schizophrenia that have ever been recorded.

Acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful women and critically acclaimed as an actress, Frances Farmer suddenly toppled from stardom and plunged headlong into the terror-ridden world of the insane. With uncomfortable candor she documents the brutal details of those isolated years in a mental hospital and her solitary struggle for reality.

When she was released after seven years of horror, many of them spent in the animal cages of the violent ward, her poignant determination to recivilize herself and survive drove her into a deep personal crucible. Under an assumed name and cut off with any ties from the past, she worked in a small town in northern California. During this bleak period she used all her strength and intelligence to rid her mind of its shadows. Three years later she moved to San Francisco and took a job as a reservation clerck at the Palace Hotel. When she was recognized as Frances Farmer, newspapers across the country printed the story that she had been “found.” Offers came from television and movies, but she was hesitant te resume her former career. However, she used a guest appearance on a network show, This Is Your Life, as a wedge to carry her back to her first love, the stage.

Summer stock brought her to Indianapolis and to a point in her rehabilitation where she could undertake her own local television show and play lead roles in Midwest theaters. Still struggling against her other destructive self and the terror that seemed predestined to engulf herself, she gradually inched her way into a world she had never known… a world of lucidity and serenity.

In the strength and calmness that surfaced during her final, physical illness, Frances Farmer reaffirmed that despite the twisted nightmare journeys, life itself is something of value and a reason for survival. Her unadorned, searing narrative was completed a few days before her death.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 611 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1972 – SBN 399-10913-7

The Wind at My Back: The Life and Times of Pat O’Brien (Pat O’Brien)

Autographed copy To Betty. Love, Pat O’Brien 6/15/68

O'Brien, Pat - The Wind at My Back“We six performers, frightened as we were, proceeded to do the show. Because of complete blackout of all power lines, we were forced to improvise. Six soldiers lay on their backs and held candles, acting as human footlights. We played across their bellies – and all the time I could picture the Japs advancing.

There were many patrols out on active duty who could not see the first show, so like heroes we decided to stay and do another show. By this time we could see the flashes of gunfire on the horizon and the sound of firing real close. I couldn’t believe I had really acted myself into a real battle. In spite of our trembling, we gave another show for the men who came off duty later that night. It was nerve-racking, and I wonder if we really were amusing and entertaining.

It was I saw a real war as I packed for the getaway. Sound and fury were all around us as we prepared to fly out, but there was no plane. The trick was to get out of the area. The demolition squads had been ordered to blow up the airfield installations. The majority of the troops were standing by to evacuate. General Vincent wanted to get us out first. He radioed to General Chennault for a passenger plane… Near dawn, General Chennault came through – a plane had flown in for us, and we said farewell to lousy Luchow and were on our way to Chungking.

I used to lie awake at night in the midst of a Burmese jungle and talk to myself, ‘You are 44 years old. Have a wife and three kids. What are you doing in this itchy, stinking hell hole?’ But next day when we would be doing a show and could see those boys’ faces light up, I knew why I was over there. I was trying for one crazy moment to make life worth living for these poor kids who maybe were never going to get back home.” – An excerpt from The Wind at My Back.

Crammed with stories and anecdotes of the greats and the not-so-greats of Hollywood and Broadway, penned in an informal, conversational style that reflects the insouciant charm and wit of the O’Brien himself, The Wind at My Back is an intimate, behind-the-scenes view of the theater world – revealing in all its glamour, tawdriness, greatness, and hard work what an actor must do to get to the top.

Pat tells of the years of his youth as the son of Irish immigrants in Milwaukee, his early, struggling days playing bit parts, the days of Hollywood’ s Golden Era, his tours during the war to front lines in China, Burma, and New Guinea, and of the present, when he is a favorite performer in summer stock and on the night club circuit. As he recreates the roles which brought him his greatest successes – Knute Rockne… the reporter in The Front Page, Father Duffy in The Fighting 69th, the priest, warden or gangster in gangster movies with James Cagney, George Raft, and Edward G. Robinson – Hollywood, and what makes it tick, come alive.

But there is far more to this book than a famous actor’s experiences. Pat O’Brien has always lived deeply and closely with his faith; it is part of his everyday life and being. Time and again, in these pages, he touches on subjects of universal interest – home, family, decent living, religious faith, and all the old-fashioned, but essential, virtues. How strongly he feels family ties is evident in an anecdote about his presentation to Queen Elizabeth of England. When he heard that the wives and husbands of the actors and actresses in the group being presented were not to be in attendance, Pat refused to go along without his wife. As a result, the wives and husbands of all were presented.

The Wind at My Back bas a warm humanity that sets it apart from other Hollywood success stories, for Pat O’Brien is a success as a human being.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 331 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 533 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1964

“Wirf weg, damit du nicht verlierst…”: Lilian Harvey, Biographie eines Filmstars (Uwe Klöckner-Draga)

klockner-draga-uwe-lilian-harvey-biografie-eines-filmstarsIn den dreißiger Jahren kannte sie jedes Kind, Männer vergötterten sie, Frauen sahen in ihr ein Vorbild an Grazie und Charme: Lilian Harvey (1906-1968) – einst Mythos von Millionen Kinobesuchem in aller Welt. Die vorliegende Biographie zeichnet ein umfassendes Lebensbild der Harvey: die Kindheit in London, der Wechsel der Familie nach Berlin und Lilians wenig bekannte Anfänge als Tänzerin und Schauspielerin, danach die großen Berliner Filmjahre bei der UFA bis 1932, die Geburt des Leinwand-“Traumpaars” Harvey / Fritsch, der Welterfolg der Filmoperetten Die drei von der Tankstelle, Der Kongreß tanzt und Ein blonder Traum.

Nach zwei erfolgreichen, ausführlich dokumentierten Jahren in Hollywood kehrte die Harvey 1935 noch einmal nach Deutschland zurück, wo sich nun das NS-Regirne etabliert hatte. Ihre Filrnarbeit bei der UFA wird zusehends erschwert und 1939 endgültig beendet, da die Harvey durch das Eintreten für verfolgte Kollegen und “mißliebige” Äußerungen bei den Behörden als “verdächtig” eingestuft ist, auch die Gestapo beobachtet sie.

Mit der Entscheidung, ins Exil zu gehen, beginnt der zweite Teil dieses ungewöhnlichen Lebens. Lilian Harvey leistet zunächst in Frankreich mit großern Einsatz caritative Arbeit, was ihr den Beinamen “Engel von Antibes” einbringt. 1941 emigriert sie in die USA, arbeitet zunächst zwei Jahre lang als Rot-Kreuz-Schwester in Los Angeles und “meldet” sich dann ab Mitte 1944 als Bühnenschauspielerin “zurück.” Alle Versuche, wieder in Hollywood Fuß zu fassen, waren gescheitert.

Ende 1946 kehrt die Harvey nach Europa zurück. Die folgenden zwei Jahrzehnte bis zu ihrem Tod sind gekennzeichnet durch den tragischen Konflikt, der im Titel des Buches zum Ausdruck kommt: Sie will nicht wahrhaben, daß sich der einstige Ruhm nicht erneuern läßt, daß die Zeit eine andere ist. Sie will den Ruhm nicht “wegwerfen,” und so verliert sie schließlich das Glück des Lebens.

Mehrere Versuche eines künstlerischen Neuanfangs scheitern, wo sie auftritt, gilt der nostalgische Jubel des Publikums fast ausschließlich den “alten Zeiten.” Einsam und schwerkrank, stirbt Lilian Harvey 1968 in einer Klinik an der Côte d’Azur.

UWE KLÖCKNER-DRAGA lebt als Schauspieler und Regisseur in Berlin und Paris. Im Ergebnis langjähriger Recherchen zeichnet der Autor anhand von Archivdokumenten, Lebenszeugnissen der Harvey, Äußerungen ihrer Freunde und Kollegen sowie aus eigenen persönlichen Erinnerungen ein intimes Porträt des Filmstars.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 416 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 723 g (25,5 oz) – PUBLISHER edition q, Berlin, 1999 – ISBN 3-86124-500-0

Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood’s First Openly Gay Star (William J. Mann)

Mann, William J - WisecrackerIn 1930 William Haines was Hollywood’s number-one box-office draw – a talented, handsome, wisecracking romantic lead. After leaving acting he went on to become the interior designer to Hollywood’s elite – everyone from Carole Lombard and Jack L. Warner to Nancy Reagan – and to such clients as Ambassador Walter Annenberg, who commissioned him for the American Embassy in London. Through it all, he never disguised who he was: off-screen, he was openly gay to reporters and studio chiefs alike, and at his side at all times was his lover, Jimmie Shields. In a world where truth is often distorted in the funhouse mirror of Hollywood, Billy Haines lived a completely authentic life.

At his moviemaking peak his easy, witty rapport with the press allowed him to deflect questions about why he’d never married. In the era before the Production Code was laid down as law in 1934, Hollywood was a haven for freethinkers and free-lovers, with an amazingly rich gay subculture; Billy Haines personified the experience of many gay actors of the time. Protected by a careful collaboration between studio and press, Billy and Jimmie became screenland’s top hosts in their sumptuous home, dubbed the Haines Castle by Tallulah Bankhead.

Here is William Haines’s virtually unknown story – rich in detail, revelations, and scandal. As the political climate in Hollywood changed, Billy refused to go along. He bucked studio pressure to stop carousing and get married, leading to skirmishes with Louis B. Mayer and the police; there was even a violent encounter with gay-bashing white supremacists in 1936. Here, for the first time, the stories of Hollywood’s gay stars are seen in context with their times and with one another, revealing a pattern of intimidation by the studios and, ultimately, the establishment of the Hollywood closet. Alone among his contemporaries – Ramon Novarro, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power – Haines refused to play the game, and so was booted out.

In the end, however, he triumphed: in his new profession of interior design Billy gained Hollywood’s abiding respect, and his union with Jimmie Shields lasted nearly fifty years. Joan Crawford, their best friend, called them “the happiest married couple in Hollywood.” With a cast of characters that includes Clark Gable, George Cukor, Cole Porter, Clifton Webb, Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, and William Randolph Hearst, Wisecracker is an astonishing narrative of newly discovered gay history, a chronicle of high Hollywood, and – at its heart – a great and enduring love story.

WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of the novel The Men from the Boys. An award-winning journalist, he was the publisher of Metroline, the acclaimed New England news-magazine, and is a contrtibutor to Architectural Digest, The Boston Phoenix and The Advocate. He lives in Northampton and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 444 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 806 g (19,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-670-87155-9

Wishful Drinking (Carrie Fisher)

Autographed copy Carrie Fisher

scannen0190Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir. In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and best-selling action figure at the age of nineteen.

Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It’s an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty – Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher – homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

Wishful Drinking, the show, has been a runaway success. Entertainment Weekly declared it “drolly hysterical” and the Los Angeles Times called it a “Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes.” This is Carrie Fisher at her best – revealing her worst. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor.

CARRIE FISHER, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, became an icon when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her star-studded career includes roles in numerous films such as The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. She is the author of four best-selling novels, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, and Postcards from the Edge, which was made into a hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Fisher’s experience with addiction and mental illness – and her willingness to speak honestly about them – have made her a sought-after speaker and respected advocate. She is truly one of the most magical people who walks among us.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 163 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 360 g (12,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-4391-0225-1

With a Feather On My Nose (Billie Burke, with Cameron Shipp)

burke-billie-with-a-feather-on-my-noseThis is the life story of an actress, a beautiful redheaded actress who lived and played in a glittering era now gone but fondly remembered. Although she attained moments of great fame and happiness, she never knew security. Like her father, the well-known clown, she went through life with a feather on her nose.

Celebrities crowd the pages in Billie Burke’s sprightly recollections of the days when she was the toast of London and Broadway. Sir Charles Hawtrey and Somerset Maugham were among her admirers, and the people whose lives touched hers include the Barrymores, James M. Barrie, Will Rogers, Marilyn Miller, Samuel Goldwyn, Eddie Cantor and dozens equally famous.

Billie met Flo Ziegfeld at a fancy dress ball, and a hectic courtship followed. The marriage was the sensation of the day – opposed by everybody. Billie Burke tells with frankness and good humor what The Great Ziegfeld couldn’t say about her life with Flo. She became “one of the most jealous women in the world” – jealous of the entire Ziegfeld chorus line. But she held the fabulous man who once drove four zebras down the Champs Elysées and stuck with him until his tragic death. Penniless, but with a multitude of friends, the gay redhead began a new career in Hollywood.

There is a good deal of surprise in store for the people who know Miss Burke either as the original flapper or as a flute-voiced scatterwit. She likes to be funny, and her story is spicy with amusing anecdotes, but there is salt and plenty of wit in it too. This charming recreation of her spectacular life will captivate the two generations who have loved her.

CAMERON SHIPP, the well-known Hollywood reporter is a North Carolinian and a former literary editor of the Charlotte, North Carolina News. He spent five years in Hollywood as assistant publicity director for Warner Brothers and publicity director for David O. Selznick. When he began to get callouses on his ulcers, he retired to an office over his garage in Glendale and started writing for magazines. Collier’s. Saturday Evening Post, Coronet, Esquire, Holiday, and Today’s Woman are among the publications which have accepted his articles. He tries to keep his work varied, writing about everything from film personalities to the Stone Age Indians in Mexico. His hobbies are avocado culture and a printing press, the latter used chiefly to astonish and insult his friends.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 272 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 14 cm (7,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 520 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., New York, New York, 1948

Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (Cari Beauchamp)

beauchamp-cari-without-lying-down-hcWednesday evening, November 5, 1930, Fiesta Room of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California.

As Frances Marion rose to accept the Academy Award for Screenwriting for her original story The Big House, she became the first woman writer to win an Oscar. Since 1917, she had been the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood – male or female – and was hailed as ‘the all-time best script and story writer the motion picture world has ever produced.’

Just forty and ‘as beautiful as the stars she wrote for,’ Frances was already credited with writing over one hundred produced films. Her importance to MGM was reflected by the fact that films she had written were nominated this evening in seven of the eight award categories – every one but Interior Decoration. As she looked out from the podium at the six hundred people gathered at the Ambassador, she saw the faces of the friends she had literally grown up with in the business since first arriving in Los Angeles in 1912.

There was Mary Pickford, who called Frances “the pillar of my career,” for she had written Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Pollyanna, A Little Princess, and a dozen more of Pickford’s greatest successes. Frances was also her best friend and had seen her through her divorce from Owen Moore and marriage to Douglas Fairbanks: Frances and Mary had even honeymooned with their new husbands together in Europe. Irving G. Thalberg was the ‘boy genius of Hollywood,’ but Frances called him ‘my rock of Gibraltar’ and he was the only man in the room whose opinion she truly valued and respected. He in turn ‘adored her and trusted her completely.’

Greta Garbo still only spoke Swedish when Frances met her sitting on the sidelines of the set of The Scarlet Letter and tonight she was nominated for Best Actress in Anna Christie, adapted for the screen by Frances Marion. Norma Shearer was now the “Queen of the Lot,” but she was still fighting for roles when Frances first knew her, long before she married her boss Irving G. Thalberg. Tonight, Norma was nominated for Best Actress in Their Own Desire, adapted for the screen by Frances Marion. Clarence Brown was nominated for Best Director for Anna Christie and had come a long way since being the assistant on The Poor Little Rich Girl in 1917 when he witnessed the ‘spontaneous combustion’ created by Frances and Mary Pickford as they worked together.

Marie Dressler had been a top vaudeville star when Frances was a cub reporter interviewing her in 1911, but Marie’s career was over and she was facing dire poverty fifteen years later when Frances wrote the films that brought her to Hollywood to become MGM’s top moneymaker. The next year she would win the Best Actress award for the role Frances wrote for her in Min and Bill. Gloria Swanson was one of Hollywood’s most glamourous stars; she was married to a count and spent a fortune on maintaining her fabulous wardrobe. Tonight, Gloria was only weeks away from learning that she too had been duped by a treacherous Joseph P. Kennedy, just as Frances had been two years earlier.

Hobart Bosworth was the éminence grise of the industry, having acted in over three hundred films, but in 1914 he owned the studio where Frances was first hired as an actress and assistant to the director Lois Weber at fifteen dollars a week. Conrad Nagel was tonight’s master of ceremonies and a popular star, but Frances had first seen him as a young man rehearsing on the Broadway stage in 1915. She had sat alone in the theater that day with the impresario William Brady, who hired her on the spot to write for his World Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where she spent over a year honing her skills. Samuel Goldwyn had been the first to raise her salary to $ 3,000 a week in 1925 after she wrote some of his biggest hits, including Stella Dallas and The Winning of Barbara Worth. Louis B. Mayer was now her boss at MGM, the largest and most successful studio in Hollywood, but he had pinched Frances’s rear end the first time he hired her to write a script at his then small studio only seven years earlier. George Cukor was still a young emerging talent at RKO, but they were to become lifelong friends after making Dinner at Eight and Camille together. Cukor called Frances a ‘Holy Wonder – so ravishingly beautiful and so talented.’

And there was Adela Rogers St. Johns, her friend since their girlhood in San Francisco. Adela would also be nominated for Best Original Story in 1932, but lose to Frances when she won her second Oscar for The Champ. Yet Adela harbored no jealousy of the woman she claimed was ‘touched with genius. As a writer, she is the unquestioned head of her profession. As a woman, she is a philanthropist, a patroness of young artists, and herself the most brilliant, versatile and accomplished person in Hollywood.’

Few knew or loved the industry as Frances did, yet after she said her demure ‘Thank you very much’ and returned to her seat, she studied the statuette and decided, ‘I saw it as a perfect symbol of the picture business: a powerful athletic body clutching a gleaming sword, but with half of his head, the part which held his brains, completely sliced off.’ Privately, she was proud of her Oscar for The Big House because she had conquered a variety of obstacles to create a realistic film where for the first time audiences heard prison doors slam shut, inmates’ steps shuffle down the corridors, and metal cups bang on the mess tables. Writing of that night, several historians called Frances Marion ‘the author of The Big House and just about everything else at MGM’ but she called herself ‘a mouse at the feast’ that was Hollywood. She habitually used self-deprecating humor as her armor against the professional and personal challenges and tragedies she faced.

Eventually Frances was credited with writing 325 scripts covering every conceivable genre. She also directed and produced half a dozen films, was the first Allied woman to cross the Rhine in World War I, and served as the vice president and only woman on the first board of directors of the Screen Writers Guild. She painted, sculpted, spoke several languages fluently, and played ‘concert caliber’ piano. Yet she claimed writing was ‘the refuge of the shy’ and she shunned publicity, she was uncomfortable as a heroine, but she refused to be a victim.

She would have four husbands and dozens of lovers and tell her best friends she spent her life ‘searching for a man to look up to without lying down.’ She claimed the two sons she raised on her own were ‘my proudest  accomplishment’ – they came first and then ‘it’s a photofinish between your work and your friends.’

Her friendships were as legendary as her stories and some of the best were with her fellow writers for during the teens, 1920s, and early 1930s, almost one quarter of the screenwriters in Hollywood were women. Half of all the films copyrighted between 1911 and 1925 were written by women. While Photoplay mused that ‘strangely enough, women outrank men as continuity writers,’ it wasn’t strange to them. Women had always found sanctuary in writing; it was accomplished in private and provided a creative vent when little was expected or accepted of a woman other than to be a good wife and mother. For Frances and her friends, a virtue was derived from oppression; with so little expected of them, they were free to accomplish much.

They were drawn to a business that, for a time, not only allowed, but welcomed women. And Cleo Madison, Gene Gauntier, Lois Weber, Ruth Ann Baldwin, Dorothy Arzner, Margaret Booth, Blanche Sewall, Anne Bauchens, and hundreds of other women flocked to Hollywood, where they could flourish, not just as actresses or writers, but also as directors, producers, and editors. With few taking moviemaking seriously as a business, the doors were wide open to women. Frances maintained they took care of each other and claimed, ‘I owe my greatest success to women. Contrary to the assertion that women do all in their power to hinder one another’s progress, I have found that it has always been one of my own sex who has given me a helping hand when I needed it.’

Today, names of screenwriters like Zoe Akins, Jeanie Macpherson, Beulah Marie Dix, Lenore Coffee, Anita Loos, June Mathis, Bess Meredyth, Jane Murfin, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Sonya Levien, and Salka Viertel are too often found only in the footnotes of Hollywood histories. But seventy years ago, they were highly paid, powerful players at the studios that churned out films at the rate of one a week. And for over twenty-five years, no writer was more sought after than Frances Marion; with her versatile pen and a caustic wit, she was a leading participant and witness to one of the most creative eras for women in American history. This is her story.” – From The Prologue.

CARI BEAUCHAMP masterfully combines biography with social and cultural history to examine the lives of Frances Marion and her many female colleagues who helped to shape filmmaking from 1916 through the 1940s. Frances Marion was Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter – male or female – for almost three decades, wrote almost 200 produced films, and won Academy Awards for writing The Big House and The Champ.

Hardcover – 475 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 775 g (27,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A Lisa Drew Book / Scribner, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-684-80213-9

Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (Cari Beauchamp)

beachamp-cari-without-lying-downWednesday evening, November 5, 1930, Fiesta Room of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California.

As Frances Marion rose to accept the Academy Award for Screenwriting for her original story The Big House, she became the first woman writer to win an Oscar. Since 1917, she had been the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood – male or female – and was hailed as ‘the all-time best script and story writer the motion picture world has ever produced.’

Just forty and ‘as beautiful as the stars she wrote for,’ Frances was already credited with writing over one hundred produced films. Her importance to MGM was reflected by the fact that films she had written were nominated this evening in seven of the eight award categories – every one but Interior Decoration. As she looked out from the podium at the six hundred people gathered at the Ambassador, she saw the faces of the friends she had literally grown up with in the business since first arriving in Los Angeles in 1912.

There was Mary Pickford, who called Frances “the pillar of my career,” for she had written Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Pollyanna, A Little Princess, and a dozen more of Pickford’s greatest successes. Frances was also her best friend and had seen her through her divorce from Owen Moore and marriage to Douglas Fairbanks: Frances and Mary had even honeymooned with their new husbands together in Europe. Irving G. Thalberg was the ‘boy genius of Hollywood,’ but Frances called him ‘my rock of Gibraltar’ and he was the only man in the room whose opinion she truly valued and respected. He in turn ‘adored her and trusted her completely.’

Greta Garbo still only spoke Swedish when Frances met her sitting on the sidelines of the set of The Scarlet Letter and tonight she was nominated for Best Actress in Anna Christie, adapted for the screen by Frances Marion. Norma Shearer was now the “Queen of the Lot,” but she was still fighting for roles when Frances first knew her, long before she married her boss Irving G. Thalberg. Tonight, Norma was nominated for Best Actress in Their Own Desire, adapted for the screen by Frances Marion. Clarence Brown was nominated for Best Director for Anna Christie and had come a long way since being the assistant on The Poor Little Rich Girl in 1917 when he witnessed the ‘spontaneous combustion’ created by Frances and Mary Pickford as they worked together.

Marie Dressler had been a top vaudeville star when Frances was a cub reporter interviewing her in 1911, but Marie’s career was over and she was facing dire poverty fifteen years later when Frances wrote the films that brought her to Hollywood to become MGM’s top moneymaker. The next year she would win the Best Actress award for the role Frances wrote for her in Min and Bill. Gloria Swanson was one of Hollywood’s most glamourous stars; she was married to a count and spent a fortune on maintaining her fabulous wardrobe. Tonight, Gloria was only weeks away from learning that she too had been duped by a treacherous Joseph P. Kennedy, just as Frances had been two years earlier.

Hobart Bosworth was the éminence grise of the industry, having acted in over three hundred films, but in 1914 he owned the studio where Frances was first hired as an actress and assistant to the director Lois Weber at fifteen dollars a week. Conrad Nagel was tonight’s master of ceremonies and a popular star, but Frances had first seen him as a young man rehearsing on the Broadway stage in 1915. She had sat alone in the theater that day with the impresario William Brady, who hired her on the spot to write for his World Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where she spent over a year honing her skills. Samuel Goldwyn had been the first to raise her salary to $ 3,000 a week in 1925 after she wrote some of his biggest hits, including Stella Dallas and The Winning of Barbara Worth. Louis B. Mayer was now her boss at MGM, the largest and most successful studio in Hollywood, but he had pinched Frances’s rear end the first time he hired her to write a script at his then small studio only seven years earlier. George Cukor was still a young emerging talent at RKO, but they were to become lifelong friends after making Dinner at Eight and Camille together. Cukor called Frances a ‘Holy Wonder – so ravishingly beautiful and so talented.’

And there was Adela Rogers St. Johns, her friend since their girlhood in San Francisco. Adela would also be nominated for Best Original Story in 1932, but lose to Frances when she won her second Oscar for The Champ. Yet Adela harbored no jealousy of the woman she claimed was ‘touched with genius. As a writer, she is the unquestioned head of her profession. As a woman, she is a philanthropist, a patroness of young artists, and herself the most brilliant, versatile and accomplished person in Hollywood.’

Few knew or loved the industry as Frances did, yet after she said her demure ‘Thank you very much’ and returned to her seat, she studied the statuette and decided, ‘I saw it as a perfect symbol of the picture business: a powerful athletic body clutching a gleaming sword, but with half of his head, the part which held his brains, completely sliced off.’ Privately, she was proud of her Oscar for The Big House because she had conquered a variety of obstacles to create a realistic film where for the first time audiences heard prison doors slam shut, inmates’ steps shuffle down the corridors, and metal cups bang on the mess tables. Writing of that night, several historians called Frances Marion ‘the author of The Big House and just about everything else at MGM’ but she called herself ‘a mouse at the feast’ that was Hollywood. She habitually used self-deprecating humor as her armor against the professional and personal challenges and tragedies she faced.

Eventually Frances was credited with writing 325 scripts covering every conceivable genre. She also directed and produced half a dozen films, was the first Allied woman to cross the Rhine in World War I, and served as the vice president and only woman on the first board of directors of the Screen Writers Guild. She painted, sculpted, spoke several languages fluently, and played ‘concert caliber’ piano. Yet she claimed writing was ‘the refuge of the shy’ and she shunned publicity, she was uncomfortable as a heroine, but she refused to be a victim.

She would have four husbands and dozens of lovers and tell her best friends she spent her life ‘searching for a man to look up to without lying down.’ She claimed the two sons she raised on her own were ‘my proudest  accomplishment’ – they came first and then ‘it’s a photofinish between your work and your friends.’

Her friendships were as legendary as her stories and some of the best were with her fellow writers for during the teens, 1920s, and early 1930s, almost one quarter of the screenwriters in Hollywood were women. Half of all the films copyrighted between 1911 and 1925 were written by women. While Photoplay mused that ‘strangely enough, women outrank men as continuity writers,’ it wasn’t strange to them. Women had always found sanctuary in writing; it was accomplished in private and provided a creative vent when little was expected or accepted of a woman other than to be a good wife and mother. For Frances and her friends, a virtue was derived from oppression; with so little expected of them, they were free to accomplish much.

They were drawn to a business that, for a time, not only allowed, but welcomed women. And Cleo Madison, Gene Gauntier, Lois Weber, Ruth Ann Baldwin, Dorothy Arzner, Margaret Booth, Blanche Sewall, Anne Bauchens, and hundreds of other women flocked to Hollywood, where they could flourish, not just as actresses or writers, but also as directors, producers, and editors. With few taking moviemaking seriously as a business, the doors were wide open to women. Frances maintained they took care of each other and claimed, ‘I owe my greatest success to women. Contrary to the assertion that women do all in their power to hinder one another’s progress, I have found that it has always been one of my own sex who has given me a helping hand when I needed it.’

Today, names of screenwriters like Zoe Akins, Jeanie Macpherson, Beulah Marie Dix, Lenore Coffee, Anita Loos, June Mathis, Bess Meredyth, Jane Murfin, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Sonya Levien, and Salka Viertel are too often found only in the footnotes of Hollywood histories. But seventy years ago, they were highly paid, powerful players at the studios that churned out films at the rate of one a week. And for over twenty-five years, no writer was more sought after than Frances Marion; with her versatile pen and a caustic wit, she was a leading participant and witness to one of the most creative eras for women in American history. This is her story.” – From The Prologue.

CARI BEAUCHAMP masterfully combines biography with social and cultural history to examine the lives of Frances Marion and her many female colleagues who helped to shape filmmaking from 1916 through the 1940s. Frances Marion was Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter – male or female – for almost three decades, wrote almost 200 produced films, and won Academy Awards for writing The Big House and The Champ.

Softcover – 475 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 14,5 cm (9,1 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 669 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Los Angeles, California, 1997 – ISBN 0-520-21492-7

The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History (John Fricke, Jay Scarfone, William Stillman; introduction by Jack Haley, Jr.)

Fricke, John - The Wizard of Oz, The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial HistoryMGM’s screen classic The Wizard of Oz has been seen and enjoyed by more people than any other entertainment. And this celebratory volume, especially compiled to herald the film’s fiftieth anniversary, provides the perfect guide down the Yellow Brick Road and through the glory of Hollywood at its creative peak.

The saga of Oz is told in exciting detail and accompanied by more than 400 illustrations, half of them in color and many never before published. As the film’s official commemorative history, this is the only new examination of the picture produced with complete access to all surviving MGM archives: photographs, studio memos, letters, contracts, and special effects worksheets. The book also draws for the first time on the combined personal mementos of several of the Oz cast and staff; the private resources of film libraries, historians, and collectors; and the files of the International Wizard of Oz Club and its members.

Beginning with an evocative introduction by Jack Haley, Jr., the three co-authors have assembled a comprehensive tribute, written from years of their own enthusiastic research and annotation. This special celebration traces the evolution of Oz from its legendary  beginnings as a children’s book to its development by the finest talents Hollywood had to offer and its subsequent success as a movie and television classic. The lavish volume  includes: over seventy makeup and costume portraits, featuring the blonde Dorothy, the alternate ruby slippers, the Munchkins, the Winged Monkeys, and bizarre discarded conceptions of the famous Oz celebrities; more than two dozen rare photographs from the first two weeks of filming (all of which was scrapped and never seen in the finished picture); stills and script pages from three musical numbers filmed but cut from the release print; Technicolor test frames of candid moments on the set; exclusive behind-the-scenes and production pictures; plus unique and exciting looks at the Oz characters, scenes, and songs that were dropped from the script, the painstaking casting process (including the eight actors considered for the title role, the first choices for the parts of the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow, and the creation of the original Wicked Witch: sequined,  glamorous, and evilly beautiful), the awesome scope of the publicity campaign: posters, lobby cards, newspaper and magazine photographs, “Ozzy” games and toys, the fabulous premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway – and the mostly rapturous (sometimes prophetic) critical response, the triumph of Oz abroad: foreign language posters, Oz books, and other items, the unsurpassed thirty-year success of the film as an annual television event, and the happily unique position of Oz as a cornerstone of American popular folklore.

Here is the complete, incomparably illustrated chronicle of an unparalleled screen hit – a book for any and all who have loved the magic and enchantment of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz.

JOHN FRICKE is past editor of the International Wizard of Oz Club magazine. While still a teenager in 1969, he researched and wrote for the club the first historical account of the making of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz. He has provided editorial guidance for several books on Judy Garland and was creative consultant for the award-winning PBS program, Judy Garland: The Concert Years. JAY SCARFONE has collected MGM Oz memorabilia since childhood, and his articles on that topic have appeared in several collector’ s magazines. Scarfone, like his co-authors, is a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club. WILLIAM STILLMAN is a Pennsylvania free-lance illustrator whose drawings have appeared in the magazine Oziana. An expert on old and new Oz film collectibles, he has written for such publications as Collectors Showcase.

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 0 340 50848 5

Wolf Man’s Maker: Memoir of a Hollywood Writer (Curt Siodmak)

Siodmak, Curt - Wolf Man's MakerCurt Siodmak is perhaps best known for his cult horror movies, such as The Wolf Man and Son of Dracula. These films were featured as part of Universal Studios’ classic horror genre along with the Frankenstein movies. Wolf Man’s Maker, Siodmak’s personal story, itself reads like a riveting drama. In addition to the stories of working in Hollywood during the golden era, Siodmak tells of having experienced two world wars, immigration to England and the United States, and countless adventures in between.

In Wolf Man’s Maker, Siodmak recalls being forced to immigrate to the United Stated in the 1930s as the Nazis took power in Germany. As a Jewish immigrant, Siodmak’s experiences of immigrating and becoming Americanized powerfully affected his perception of freedom and of human dynamics. Siodmak’s stories, through the genres of sci-fi and horror, reflect the historical perspective as well as his intent to convey universal human truths through his writing. With fifty-six films to his credit, Siodmak wrote more than two dozen novels, including Donovan’s Brain and For Kings Only. Donovan’s Brain, hailed by Stephen King as a unique work that surpasses the originality of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, was adapted into a radio presentation by Orson Welles.

CURT SIODMAK, born in 1902, mas a major contributor to Germany’s influential interwar film industry as well as Hollywood’s golden era. One of the founding members of the Writers Guild of America, this outstanding and prolific writer was recently awarded the Commander’s Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. His death in the Summer of 2000 marks the end of a remarkable career that spanned nearly a century.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 455 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 868 g (30,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Maryland, 2001 – ISBN 0-8108-3870-2

Women in Hollywood: From Vamp to Studio Head (Dawn S. Sova)

sova-dawn-b-women-in-hollywoodThe history of Hollywood is also a history of women working in the industry – writing, directing, producing, and making highly successful films, behind as well as in front of the camera. Yet the role of women in movies, aside from their more visible on-screen presence, has largely been ignored.

Indeed, female film pioneers co-founded studios, directed and wrote many early screenplays, and edited numerous box-office blockbusters. Dawn B. Sova now tells the story of the women who shaped the Hollywood as we know it today – from director Lois Weber, who in 1918 commanded the queenly sum of $ 5,000 a week, to the breakthroughs of the 1990s, when Sherry Lansing was named to head 20th Century Fox, Dawn Steel headed Columbia Pictures, and actresses like Jessica Lange, Goldie Hawn, and Sally Field formed their own production companies. But to get there, the battle was uphill most of the way. For after the creative chaos of film’s early days, conglomerates and industry rules limited whatever power women had created for themselves.

It took eight decades for women to meet their male counterparts once again on equal ground. Women in Hollywood, while chronicling the achievements of film stars and other famous actresses, focuses on the unknown women who were in the forefront of the film industry, among the early directors and screenwriters – long before they came to prominence again as studio executives in the nineties. Here is an indispensable and largely neglected chapter in the 100-year history of Hollywood.

DAWN R. SOVA, Ph.D. is the author of eight books, including Agatha Christie A to Z, The Encyclopedia of Mistresses, and Sex and the Single Mother. She teaches a film course at Thomas Edison State College and teaches writing at Montclair State University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 225 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 555 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Fromm International, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-88064-232-7

The Women’s Book of Movie Quotes (compiled and edited by Jeff Bloch)

scannen0094“They say a moonlit deck is a woman’s business office.” – Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941). “Peel me a grape.” – Mae West in I’m No Angel (1933). “You are not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.” – Kathleen Turner to William Hurt in Body Heat (1981). “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” – Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias (1989). “Will you take your hands of me? What are you playing, osteopath?” – Rosalind Russell to Cary Grant in His Girl Friday (1940). “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” – Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950).

More than 650 of the funniest, smartest, gutsiest, nastiest, sexiest, and simply greatest quotes in celebration of women in the movies.

A festival of women in their most memorable, quotable movie moments, this captivating compendium presents a queen’s ransom of gems spoken on love, sex, marriage, careers, men, clothes, motherhood, murder – and more. Enlivened with dozens of photos, it’s an entertaining star-quoting spree with stacks of candid comebacks, sly jokes, and unforgettable dialogue.

Softcover – 212 pp., index – Dimensions 16 x 15,5 cm (6,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 273 g (9,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Carol Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-8065-1629-1

The Women Who Write the Movies: From Frances Marion to Nora Ephron (Marsha McCreadie)

McCreadie, Marsha - The Women Who Write the MoviesNo juicy parts for women? It depends on where you look. Since the earliest days of the movies, women have been writing them – scripts for tear-jerkers, comedies, mysteries, and serious drama – even Westerns. In The Women Who Write the Movies, Marsha McCreadie tells the story of these women.

In Hollywood’s youth, women pioneered in screenwriting for silent films, often networking between friends: Jeannie Macpherson, Frances Marion, and Adela Rogers St. Johns, among many others, were billed alongside the top directors. With the advent of talkies and into the 1930s and 1940s, famous writers Dorothy Parker and Anita Loos wrote scripts for box-office hits such as A Star Is Born and Jean Harlow’s Red-Headed Woman. And Catherine Turney wrote the searing Mildred Pierce – uncredited until now.

After World War II, women writers began to drop out of sight, with notable exceptions such as Ida Lupino, Betty Comden, and Dorothy Kingsley. And in the 1960s and early 1970s innovative scripts were written by Elaine May and Penelope Gilliatt, followed by screenplays from contemporary writers like Nora Ephron and Leslie Dixon.

McCreadie’s extensive research details the fascinating careers of all the important contributors so far, from Elinor Glyn, herself a noted actress, who wrote It, starring Clara Bow, which redefined the title word and made the “It Girl” an international sensation; up to Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose beautifully detailed and literate films win accolades everywhere; to Callie Khouri, whose script for Thelma and Louise broke new ground in portraying the battle of the sexes.

You will find here not only a treasury of new information about women screenwriters, but examples of the scripts themselves and plenty of photographs of the women who write the movies. Scripts tell the time. Women’s history, film history, politics, the development of screenwriting technique – these subjects and more are thoroughly explored in these pages.

MARSHA McCREADIE is the author of Women on Film: The Critical Eye, which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, and The Casting Couch and Other Front Row Seats, a collection of her film reviews and related articles. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Premiere, the Village Voice, and Film Comment. She was the daily film reviewer at the Arizona Republic, and most recently reviewed independent films for the Bergen County Record in New Jersey. McCreadie lives in New York City with her husband, Bob KeIler, who makes sets for films and television.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 241 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 575 g (20,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Birch Lane Press, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 1-55972-251-7

Woody Allen: An Illustrated Biography (Myles Palmer)

Palmer, Myles - Woody AllenScene: at seven each morning. America’s comic conscience gets out of bed in his penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, overlooking the lakes and trees of Central Park. He puts on the same  cloths he wore in Annie Hall, writes all day, then goes out for a late dinner at Elaine’s with such pals as collaborator Marshall Brickman, actor Michael Murphy and Saturday Night Live producer Jean Doumanian. He comes home. From his terrace, where he filmed many of the cityscapes for the opening montage of his masterpiece, he looks out over Manhattan. New York is his town, and it will always be.

In his new book, MYLES PALMER takes an appreciative look at the multi-faceted still developing talent that is Woody Allen, from the neurotic humorist of the 60s to the filmmaker with a hugely personal view of life in the 80s.

Softcover – 142 pp. – Dimensions 27 x 20,5 cm (10,6 x 8,1 inch) – Weight 495 g (17,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Protheus Publishing Group, London, 1980 – ISBN 0 906071 39 9

Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam (edited by Richard J. Anobile)

Anibile, Richard J - Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam

“On screen a debonair man deftly woos a sophisticated woman. Watching that screen, a sad-eyed young man attempts to show his sweetheart that he loves her.

The young man fumbles for a while, but try as he may, he still can’t seem to overcome being shy. Then, taking his cue from the obviously seasoned screen lover, Buster Keaton finally musters the courage to kiss the woman he has wanted from the outset of reel one. That was 1924. The film is Sherlock Jr.

Forty-eight years later another young man searches the screen looking for that same confidence. Woody Allen latches on to Bogart, his ultimate fantasy of the perfect lover, who provides him the courage to begin being himself. The film is Play It Again, Sam.” – From The Introduction.

A frame-by-frame frolic through Woody Allen’s great classic film, with more than 1,000 photos of Allen, Diane Keaton, Humphrey Bogart, and Ingrid Bergman. And of course, all the greatest lines.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 27 x 20,5 cm (10,6 x 8,1 inch) – Weight 614 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Grosset & Dunlap, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-448-14389-5

Words Into Images: Screenwriters of the Studio System (Ronald L. Davis)

scannen0278Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System is an engaging look into the inner workings of Hollywood’s big studio system as experienced by thirteen veteran screenwriters. All taped between 1980 and 1991 and all previously unpublished, these interviews are novel and  insightful. Interviewer Ronald L. Davis draws the screenwriters into explorations of a broad range of topics, including studio politics, production problems, frustrations caused by directors and producers, and the contributions and difficulties presented by movie stars.

In most cases, these writers were resigned to being part of a team assigned the high-pressure, high-volume task of turning out commercial entertainment for mass audiences. Sometimes they knew they were working on low-budget productions or rehashes of previous projects. Yet these conversations reveal how writers found satisfaction in jobs well done and aspired to graduate to quality films. In some cases, they labored on novels or plays penned during private hours.

Conducted after all the writers had retired from or moved beyond the studio system, these interviews offer a candid, vivid, under-documented vision of American moviemaking during Hollywood’s heyday.

RONALD L. DAVIS is professor emeritus of history at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of The Glamour Factory: Inside Hollywood’s Big Studio System.

[Interviews with Charles Bennett, Melville Shavelson, Robert Nathan, Philip Dunne, Ring Lardner Jr., Robert Pirosh, Edmund North, Julius J. Epstein, Robert Buckner, Oscar Saul, William Ludwig, Mary Anita Loos, Winston Miller]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 226 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 516 g (18,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2007 – ISBN 978-1-57806-964-4

The Wordsworth Dictionary of Film Quotations (compiled and edited by Tony Crawley)

crawley-tony-dictionary-of-film-quotations“’Actors’, said Glenn Ford (TV Times, 1972), ‘feel they must act when they’re interviewed – compelled to give an answer, pose as experts on things they know nothing about. It’s a better policy to keep your mouth shut.’ This book, therefore, is dedicated, to those that didn’t – in particular, to the best interviewees in my career: Michael Caine, John Cleese, Joan Collins, Gérard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Jessica Lange, Robert Mitchum, Meryl Streep, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Roger Vadim. And John Huston – in fighting form to his last words, according to his son, Danny, on American television: ‘How many rifles you got?’ ’28, John.’ ‘Plenty of ammo?’ ‘Yes, John.’ ‘Then, knock ’em dead, kid!'” – From The Introduction by Tony Crawley.

This essential guide for film fans contains over 2,000 quotations and anecdotes encapsulating the wisecrack and sideswipes of the movie world. A comprehensive index directs the reader to the sayings of the Hollywood and European stars, directors and writers of the last 40 years, from Mae West and W.C. Fields to Kevin Costner, Julia Roberts, and Steven Spielberg, while the arrangement under topics makes the book a browser’s paradise.

Softcover – 296 pp., [authors’] index – Dimensions 20 x 12,5 cm (7,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 211 g (7,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Wodsworth Editions, Ltd., Ware, Hertfordshire, 1991 – ISBN 1-85326-329-X

The World According to Hollywood, 1918-1939 (Ruth Vasey)

vasey-ruth-the-world-according-to-hollywoodThe most visible cultural institution on earth between the World Wars, the Hollywood movie industry tried to satisfy worldwide audiences of vastly different cultural, religious, and political persuasions. The World According to Hollywood, 1918-1939 shows how the industry’s self-regulation shaped the content of films to make them salable in as many markets as possible. In the process, Hollywood created an idiosyncratic vision of the world that was glamorous and exotic, but also oddly narrow.

Ruth Vasey shows how the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), by implementing such strategies as the industry’s Production Code, ensured that domestic and foreign distribution took place with a minimum of censorship or consumer resistance. Drawing upon MPPDA archives, studio records, trade papers, and the records of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Vasey reveals the ways the MPPDA influenced the representation of sex, violence, religion, foreign and domestic politics, corporate capitalism, ethnic minorities, and the conduct of professional classes.

Vasey is the first scholar to document fully how the demands of the global market frequently dictated film content and created the movies’ homogenized picture of social and racial characteristics, in both urban America and the world beyond. She uncovers telling evidence of scripts and treatments that were abandoned before or during the course of production because of content that might offend foreign markets. Among the fascinating points she discusses is Hollywood’s frequent use of imaginary countries as story locales, resulting from a deliberate business policy of avoiding realistic depictions of actual countries. She argues that foreign governments perceived movies not just as articles of trade, but as potential commercial and political emissaries of the United States. Just as Hollywood had to persuade its domestic audiences that its products were morally sound, its domination of world markets depended on its ability to create a culturally and politically acceptable product.

RUTH VASEY is a lecturer in the School of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is a contributor to two forthcoming books, The Oxford History of World Cinema and Movie Censorship and American Culture.

Hardcover – 299 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 615 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER University of Exeter Press, Exeter, Devon, UK, 1997 – ISBN 0 85989 553 X

The World and Its Double: The Life and Work of Otto Preminger (Chris Fujiwara)

Fujiwara, Chris - The World and Its DoubleOtto Preminger was one of Hollywood’s first truly independent producer-directors. He sought to address the major social, political, and historical questions of his time in films designed to appeal to a wide public. Blazing a trail in the examination of controversial issues such as drug addiction (The Man with the Golden Arm) and homosexuality (Advise and Consent) and in the frank, sophisticated treatment of adult material (Anatomy of a Murder), Preminger in the process broke the censorship of the Hollywood Production Code and the blacklist. He also made some of Hollywood’s most enduring film noir classics, including Laura and Fallen Angel.

An Austrian émigré, Preminger began his Hollywood career in 1936 as a contract director. When the conditions emerged that led to the fall of the studio system, he had the insight to perceive them clearly and the boldness to take advantage of them, turning himself into one of America’s most powerful filmmakers. More than anyone else, Preminger represented the transition from the Hollywood of the studios to the decentralized, wheeling-and-dealing New Hollywood of today. Chris Fujiwara’s critical biography – a detailed new look at the director’s life and legacy – follows Preminger throughout his varied career, penetrating his carefully constructed public persona and revealing the many layers of his work.

CHRIS FUJIWARA is the author of Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall, the general editor of Defining Moments in Movies, the editor of the online film-criticism magazine Undercurrent, and a film critic for the Boston Phoenix and other publications. He is currently at work on a study of the films of Jerry Lewis.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 479 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 883 g (31,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, Inc., New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-571-21117-3

World Film Directors, Volume One 1890-1945 (edited by John Wakeman)

Wakeman, John - World Film Directors IWorld Film Directors is a two-volume biographical / critical dictionary of major filmmakers from all countries, covering the entire history of the medium from 1890 to the present. Each director is treated in a separate essay that includes a detailed, chronological account of the subject’s life and work and a summary of critical opinion. A complete filmography and a selective bibliography of books and articles are appended to each sketch.

World Film Directors provides detailed, sympathetic overviews of a kind that have long been available for artists in other fields of creative endeavor, but not in film, where the criteria of critical evaluation are still being evolved. It is hoped that these two volumes, which offer biographical coverage on an international scale, will serve as a starting point both for students of the medium and the general reader.

The 199 directors included in Volume I were all born before 1920 and were working in the field before 1950: they include the pioneers of cinema, the greats of the silent film era, studio artists of the 1930s and 1940s in the United States and Europe, specialists in expressionist film, poetic realism, the Western, screwball comedy, and film noir, and a number of experimental filmmakers. Volume II, which deals with more recent filmmakers, reflects the expansion of cinema after World War II in Eastern Europe and the Third World, as well as continuing coverage of developments in the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, France, Great Britain, West Germany, and Italy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.247 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 2.215 g (78,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-8242-0757-2

World Film Directors, Volume One 1890-1945 (edited by John Wakeman)

Wakeman, John - World Film Directors IWorld Film Directors is a two-volume biographical / critical dictionary of major filmmakers from all countries, covering the entire history of the medium from 1890 to the present. Each director is treated in a separate essay that includes a detailed, chronological account of the subject’s life and work and a summary of critical opinion. A complete filmography and a selective bibliography of books and articles are appended to each sketch.

World Film Directors provides detailed, sympathetic overviews of a kind that have long been available for artists in other fields of creative endeavor, but not in film, where the criteria of critical evaluation are still being evolved. It is hoped that these two volumes, which offer biographical coverage on an international scale, will serve as a starting point both for students of the medium and the general reader.

The 199 directors included in Volume I were all born before 1920 and were working in the field before 1950: they include the pioneers of cinema, the greats of the silent film era, studio artists of the 1930s and 1940s in the United States and Europe, specialists in expressionist film, poetic realism, the Western, screwball comedy, and film noir, and a number of experimental filmmakers. Volume II, which deals with more recent filmmakers, reflects the expansion of cinema after World War II in Eastern Europe and the Third World, as well as continuing coverage of developments in the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, France, Great Britain, West Germany, and Italy.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.247 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 2.215 g (78,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-8242-0757-2

World Film Directors, Volume Two 1945-1985 (edited by John Wakeman)

Wakeman, John - World Film Directors, Volume TwoWord Film Directors is a two-volume biographical / critical dictionary of major filmmakers from all countries, covering the entire history of the medium from 1890 to the present. Each director is treated in a separate essay that includes a detailed, chronological account of the subject’s life and work and a summary of critical opinion. A complete filmography and a selective bibliography of books and articles are appended to each sketch.

Word Film Directors provides detailed, sympathetic overviews of a kind that have long been available for artists in other fields of creative endeavor, but not in film, where the criteria of critical evaluation are still being evolved. It is hoped that these two volumes, which offer biographical coverage on an international scale, will serve as a starting point both for students of the medium and the general reader.

The 200 directors included in Volume I were all born before 1920 and were working in the field before 1945: they include the pioneers of cinema, the greats of the silent film era, studio artists of the 1930s and 1940s in the United States and Europe, specialists in expressionist film, poetic realism, the Western, screwball comedy, and film noir, and a number of experimental filmmakers. Volume II, which deals with more recent filmmakers, reflects the expansion of cinema after World War II in Eastern Europe and the Third World, as well as continuing coverage of developments in the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan and Western Europe.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.204 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 18 cm (10,2 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 2.120 g (74,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-8242-0763-7

World of Laughter (Kalton C. Lahue)

lahue-kalton-c-world-of-laughterWhat was the world’s zaniest police force – the one you wouldn’t dare call if you were in trouble? The Keystone Cops, of course – the brain children of Mack Sennett. In the early years of the century, at practically any movie theater in the United States, Sennett’s special brand of comedy was showing: custard pies flying all over the place, cops falling headlong into the mud, cars careening madly along the edges of cliffs, motorcycles mowing down pedestrians, and buildings exploding out of sheer frustration. Sennett was responsible for provoking more laughter than any other individual in the world.

But there were many other laugh makers. The era of the silent motion-picture comedy, beginning in 1910 and ending about 1930, was made memorable by such geniuses as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Ben Turpin, and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle – the list goes on and on. This is a history of the major films, firms, actors, and directors who produced them. It will be a delight for nostalgia buffs and for younger readers who would like to know about one of the most creative eras in American film making.

KALTON C. LAHUE is an avid student of motion-picture history. He is the author of Continued Next Week: A History of the Moving Picture Serial and co-author of Kops and Custards: The Legend of Keystone Films and Glass, Brass, and Chrome: The American 35mm Miniature Camera, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Softcover – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 13 cm (7,9 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 401 g (14,1 oz) – PUBLISHER University of Oklahoma Press, Oklahoma, 1966

A World of Movies: 70 Years of Film History (Richard Lawton)

Lawton, Richard - A World of MoviesHere at last is a book which ranges through Hollywood’s vast history, from the early flickering images to modern glossy techniques, and samples the finest films from England, Sweden, Germany, Russia, France and Italy.

Great stars and films start up from 350 pages of brilliant photographs (many never before published) beautifully reproduced in black and sepia duotone (sepia for the early photographs, adding a touch of period flavor and authenticity). And there are 32 pages of full color photos – some among the first color portraits of stars ever made.

A concise and readable history of the movies, together with captions which accompany the photographs throughout, makes A World of Movies an all encompassing, captivating volume. It is a book to idle and browse through, a book for reference, and a book to conjure up soaring fantasies of a fabulous, crazy industry.

From A World of Movies – Lana Turner is the power behind the Schwab’s drugstore myth. There she sat, perched like a profane angel on a soda fountain stool. Along came the producer and said, “You want to be in movies?” And she did.

There has to be something coy and cuddlesome about a gangster known as “Bogie” – even if he is a cynical tough like Humphrey Bogart. But the name seems right enough, for Bogie always played a sort of grumpy child, balefully observing a world he didn’t much care for. Women described him as gentle and charmingly old-fashioned. But director Stanley Kramer said of him, “He had the damnedest facade of any man I ever met in my life. He was playing Bogart all the time, but he was really a big, sloppy bowl of mush.”

Katharine Hepburn’s continued success has seemingly convinced her of the efficacy of her tough Yankee philosophy, while turning her into something of an American institution – a cliché she would pre-emptorally eschew. And that’s the fun of her! She’s set for a challenge every dav and merrily scales mountain upon mountain. At this point she is so adored by her cohorts – who are legion – any untoward remark might end up in a lynching.

Alfred Hitchcock, that bizarre and portly Englishman, has sat in Hollywood for at least two generations hatching spine-chilling plots which he then films with the most precise and meticulous working methods imaginable. His taste and flair for the macabre as well as his fascination with crime are particularly English traits which he has never lost track of. The French have been unusually taken with his work, and his influence on a generation of French filmmakers has been immense.

RICHARD LAWTON, a native of Martha’s Vineyard, has published two previous books on movies, The Image Makers and Grand Illusions. He received his training at the Rhode Island School of Design and Southeastern Massachusetts University. He now lives on a farm in South County, Rhode Island.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 381 pp., index – Dimensions 29 x 22 cm (11,4 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.745 g (61,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-440-08586-1

Worms In the Winecup: A Memoir (John Bright; introduction by Patrick McGilligan)

bright-john-worms-in-the-winecupWorms in the Winecup is the extraordinarily hard-hitting autobiography of John Bright, a screenplay writer who gained a major reputation with his first Hollywood script, Public Enemy, the classic gangster drama starring James Cagney. The book provides a vivid, often savage, commentary on Hollywood and the motion picture industry, with uncompromising portraits of Darryl F. Zanuck, Mae West, Errol Flynn, John Barrymore, B.P. Schulberg, Walter Wanger, John Howard Lawson, Elia Kazan, and countless others, including his writing partners, Kubec Glasmon and Robert Tasker. Bright writes of the Communist Party in Hollywood, the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, and the House Committee on Un-American activities.

At times bitter, at times tragic, this book is refreshingly frank and open, so much so that it could never have been published while John Bright was still alive. Bright is honest as he discusses his wartime experiences and his “exile” in Mexico. Complete with a filmography and an introduction by distinguished film historian Patrick McGilligan, Worms in the Winecup is both entertaining and thought-provoking. An emotional and insightful read for students of political history, film scholars, screenwriters, and film enthusiasts.

JOHN BRIGHT (1908-1989) was a prominent figure in the history of American screenwriting. Among the major Hollywood films with which Bright was involved, are Taxi (1932), The Crowd Roars (1932), If I Had a Million (1932), She Done Him Wrong (1933), Our Daily Bread (1934), Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), The Brave Bulls (1951), and Johnny Got His Gun (1971).

Hardcover – 260 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 15,5 cm (8,7 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 489 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2002 – ISBN 0-8108-4425-7

Worth Exposing Hollywood: Frank Worth’s Glamorous and Unpublished Hollywood Photographs, 1939-1964 (photographs by Frank Worth; text by Austin Mutti-Mewse, Howard Mutti-Mewse)

worth-frank-worth-exposing-hollywoodLos Angeles, December 2000. Following his death, the family of penniless ‘Reluctant Genius’ Frank Worth cleared through his dusty and muddled possessions. They came across a series of incredible photographs, many of legendary Hollywood stars. His relatives knew that he’d been friends with the likes of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, and that he’d also earned his living as an often-uncredited freelance photographer. But what they then discovered in his jumbled apartment, was a remarkable photograph collection more precious than could ever have been anticipated. There were more than 10,000 black and white and color photographs, the majority of which were unpublished. Frank Worth had recorded a personal and unique history of the last golden era of Hollywood.

The collection consists of some outstanding images from Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding to the infamous shot of Marilyn Monroe with her dress blowing up, taken late one evening on location in New York for the film The Seven Year Itch (1955). The photo of Marilyn includes director Billy Wilder and was taken seconds before the News Syndicate photographer’s famous shot. Frank only released his photo many years later, for a one-off publication in Variety, part of a featured tribute to Billy Wilder.

The majority of the photographs in the collection are from in the nostalgic era of the 1940s and 50s. Significantly, since Frank Worth was a close friend to many of the stars, his pictures capture something very different to those of his contemporaries. Just some of the screen legends featured, are James Dean, Gregory Peck, Jayne Mansfield, Barbara Stanwyck, Ava Gardner, Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Natalie Wood, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Groucho Marx, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Garrett, Russ Tamblyn, Ginger Rogers, Lauren Bacall, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Ann Miller, Fred Astaire, Abbott & Costello.

Identical twin brothers, AUSTIN and HOWARD MUTTI-MEWSE, harbour a mutual passion for cinema that dates back to their early childhood. Born in Weybridge, Surrey in 1972, they were raised on a diet of black and white movies. This fascination made way for written correspondence with many of Hollywood’s film legends, including Lillian Gish, James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis. In June 1993, an exhibition of their collected ephemera was held at The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in London. The Daily Telegraph hailed it, ‘A must for all fans of the cinema.’ That same year, the brothers visited California and met with some of their ancient pen pals for the first time. Subsequent trips to the USA followed and a decision was made to record these former actor’s stories on film. Following the completion of their Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design, Austin and Howard have been diligently working to raise finance for this documentary, I Used To Be In Pictures. A chance meeting with Barbara Broccoli, daughter of the late ‘James Bond’ producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, has fortuitously helped the brothers to realise the project. Both Austin and Howard live in London and independently work as freelance journalists for broadsheet newspapers, magazines and film websites.

Hardcover – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 23 cm (10,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.290 g (45,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Cinemage Limited, London, 2002 – ISBN 0-9543703-0-9

Writers in Hollywood 1915-1951 (Ian Hamilton)

hamilton-ian-writers-in-hollywood-1915-1951In 1928 there was universal mirth when Hollywood put out one of the first big talkies and described it as ‘The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, with additional dialogue by Sam Taylor’. Who, the world still wonders, was Sam Taylor?

Whoever he was, he was certainly the first in a long, sometimes distinguished line of writers who were ‘additional’ to the main thrust of the movie-making business, and who rarely received fair credit (Chandler described the screenwriter as ‘an employee without power of decision over the uses of his craft, without ownership of it, and, however extravagantly paid, without honor for it’). F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Aldous Huxley and Nathanael West, among numerous lesser names – many of these purchased geniuses found the process impossible to swallow and were to lament the selling of their souls. But then there was the money…

Writers in Hollywood 1915-1951 is a fascinating and comprehensive history of the relationship between Hollywood and the written word, beginning with the shock of the first talkies; continuing through the thirties, when the left-wing Screen Writers Guild struggled into existence to pursue labour-union objectives – its leaders were denounced by Jack L. Warner as ‘communists, radical bastards and soap-box sons of bitches’; and ending in the fifties with the purges and witch-hunts of McCarthy.

IAN HAMILTON was born in 1938 and was educated at Darlington Grammar School and Keble College, Oxford. He has published two collections of poetry, two volumes of criticism, a biography of Robert Lowell, and In Search of J.D. Salinger, which was published in 1988.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 326 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1990 – ISBN 0-434-31332-7