‘Every picture tells a story,’ luidt het gezegde. Indien deze stelling klopt, wat zijn dan de waarde en het belang van een degelijk en gefundeerd filmboek? Welke verdoken verhalen, groot en klein, waardevolle achtergrond en historische inzichten kunnen we dan terugvinden in filmboeken die zich toespitsen op de geschiedenis van de zevende kunst? Vandaar, ook al heeft niemand erom gevraagd, volgt hier een overzicht van filmboeken die, althans volgens ondergetekende, van hoogstaand niveau zijn en/of een onmiskenbare meerwaarde betekenen inzake hun collectieve filmhistorische bijdrage. Het zijn de pakweg 1.800 filmboeken waarover we beschikken, die van hieruit als researchmiddel worden gebruikt, en die de voorbije decennia gaandeweg werden aangeschaft.

De bijhorende beschrijving is geen review, maar wel de reproductie die vermeld wordt op de flappen van de dust jacket, of in geval van een softcover uitgave, de info die de uitgever op de achterzijde van het boek heeft vermeld. Uitzonderlijk, bij gebrek aan beide zijn, met de correcte vermelding, enkele paragrafen uit het voorwoord, introductie, of uit een hoofdstuk overgenomen om de toon van het boek te verduidelijken. Hoe dan ook zijn het steeds vrij accurate impressies van het boek, vergelijkbaar met de trailer van een film. In hun geheel overstijgen ze met vérve hetgeen Google of Wikipedia te bieden heeft.

De boeken zijn alfabetisch gerangschikt, te beginnen met “About John Ford” (1999, van auteur en filmmaker Lindsay Anderson), tot en met “Zorina” (actrice Vera Zorina’s autobiografie uit 1986) als afsluiter; de volledige lijst is eveneens beschikbaar op deze blog.

About John Ford (Lindsay Anderson)

Anderson, Lindsay - About John FordThe career of John Ford, America’s greatest film director, spanned nearly half a century. With masterpieces that range from The Iron Horse in 1924 to The Informer in 1935, from Stagecoach and The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 to The Searchers in 1956, he was one of the world’s most popular film makers, and one of the most universally admired. About John Ford is a critical appreciation and personal tribute. Its comprehensive survey of Ford’s work has the authority of a writer who was himself a distinguished film maker, and the portrait which emerges has the vividness and warmth of friendship.

Lindsay Anderson was a young critic and apprentice film maker when he met John Ford for the first time in 1951. He was also a devotee of Ford’s work, and his early writings were the first to draw serious attention to his films. An odd, abrasive relationship developed, and their paths continued to cross until they met for the last time when Anderson visited Ford at his home in Palm Desert, shortly before he died in 1973. During these years, with films like If… and O Lucky Man!, and with a succession of theater productions in London and New York, Lindsay Anderson himself became a director of international reputation. But he never lost his admiration for Ford and his obsessive enthusiasm for his work. This book is the result.

About John Ford is not a work of hagiography. As well as recording Anderson’s meetings with Ford, it contains key pieces of criticism never before published in book form and contains an altogether new assessment of Ford’s later work, together with an interpretation of his achievement as an artist. The book is rounded off by full and illuminating letters from Ford’s principal writing collaborators (Dudley Nichols, Frank Nugent and Nunnally Johnson); and by conversations with four actors who knew him well and worked with him, Henry Fonda, Harry Carey, Jr., Robert Montgomery and Donald Donnelly.

In its combination of personal fondness and understanding with authorative critical assessment, About John Ford is a unique contribution to the literature of the cinema.

Softcover – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 24,5 x 19 cm (9,7 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 644 g (22,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Plexus, London, 1999 – ISBN 0-85965-014-6

Above the Line: Conversations About the Movies (Lawrence Grobel)

Grobel, Lawrence - Above the LineAbove the Line is a dazzling gathering of insights and anecdotes from all corners of the film industry – interviews that reveal the skills, intelligence, experiences, and emotions of eleven key players who produce, write, direct, act in, and review the movies: Oliver Stone, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Robert Evans, Lily Tomlin, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Harrison Ford, Robert Towne, Sharon Stone, and Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. Witty, scathing, gossipy, generous, the interviewees show what just make the movies work from “above the line” – from the perspective of those whose names go above the title. Each of these gifted individuals represents a piece of the puzzle that gives rise to some of the best in moviemaking today.

LAWRENCE GROBEL has been a free-lance writer for more than thirty years and has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Playboy, Movieline, and many other periodicals. Playboy called him “the interviewer’s interviewer” after his historic interview with Marlon Brando; more recently he made news as a result of his controversial interview with Governor Jesse Ventura. Grobel has written several books, including Conversations with Capote, Talking with Michener, and The Hustons. He lives in Los Angeles.

Softcover – 398 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 558 g (19,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 2000 ISBN 0-306-80978-8

Academy Awards: An Ungar Reference Index (compiled by Richard Shale)

shale-richard-academy-awardsThis is the most complete book on the subject ever published. It tells you quickly who won, who was nominated, and when – and much more. It gives you three different ways to find information on the awards: by category, by year, by name (as listed in the only complete index of its kind).

If you know only the category (who won an Oscar, or two, for best director or for cinematography or special effects), you can check the entries under Directing (or other categories) for an overview of all nominees and all winners. If you know only the year (were there any winners in Special Effects in 1945), the entries in the Chronological listing will tell you promptly. If you know only the name (did Johnny Mercer ever win an Oscar for one of his songs, and did he write the words or the music), see the comprehensive Index and find out whether Mercer was ever nominated (he was if he’s listed), and the page that will tell you whether he won.

And there is more. Nominating and voting procedures are explained for each category, even those no longer in existence. A concise essay on the history of the Academy, including the ten-year labor struggle in Hollywood that nearly destroyed it. A fully annotated bibliography. And, of course some interesting illustrations that highlight behind-the-scene figures as well as movie stills.

Who will use this definitive Academy Awards? Everyone curiously interested in film history. Critics, journalists, students, for whom it will be a mine of accurate information. And you movie buffs or nostalgia devotees – this is your book. An Ungar Film Library classic, and it belongs in everyone’s personal film library.

RICHARD SHALE put this book together. Needless to say, he is an avid moviegoer. Aside from this avocation, he has a Ph.D. in American culture from the University of Michigan and teaches in the English Department of Youngstown State University, Ohio. His articles on aspects of the movies have appeared in several film periodicals.

Softcover – 615 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 883 g (31,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-8044-6860-5

Accidentally on Purpose: An Autobiography (Michael York)

Autographed copy For Bob, with every good wish, Michael York

York, Michael - Accidentally on PurposeBeing a professional actor was like progressing through an archipelago of islands that represented the chain of disconnected jobs. Sometimes the wind and current were strong, making interisland sailing quick and straightforward; at others, you could be becalmed, and then suddenly storm-tossed with no friendly port in view. Often fog descended and, disoriented, you could find yourself sailing in the wrong direction. But when the sun shone and the fair wind followed there was no more exhilarating way of exploring this extraordinary world.

Accidentally on Purpose tells the story of Michael York’s career from his days as an amateur, when he showed early promise both in Michael Croft’s fledging Youth Theatre and at Oxford. He made his professional debut in rep, then moved on to Laurence Olivier’s newly formed National Theatre. There he worked with Franco Zeffirelli, who was to provide York with his film debut in The Taming of the Shrew, opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Since then, York’s talents have taken him all over the world and into virtually every acting medium. Highlights of his career include Accident, Romeo and Juliet, The Three Musketeers and, of course, Cabaret.

This is the story of a love affair with the most capricious of professions, a rare glimpse of the glory–and grit–off camera and behind the scenes. It is also the story of a life as rich with drama and poignancy as the many roles this classically trained actor has brought to the screen and stage. York writes movingly of his marriage to photographer Pat McCallum, a happily-ever-after romance played out against an ever-changing backdrop of exotic locales. And he tells of the kaleidoscope of friendships – with Tennessee Williams, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, and Cary Grant, among others – that his talent and travels have brought him.

Accidentally on Purpose mines rich seams of experience, bringing to light the creativity, humor, and excitement that are the true repertoire of this modern-day “travelling player.” From the dimming of lights to curtain down, it is a memorable performance.

MICHAEL YORK lives with his wife, Pat, in Los Angeles, California

Hardcover, dust jacket – 432 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 756 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-671-68940-1

Acte de Présence: Mijn Leven en Werk (Willeke Van Ammelrooy, with Wienke Swierstra)

van-ammelrooy-willeke-acte-de-presenceIn het jaar dat ze vijfenzestig wordt, blikt Willeke van Ammelrooy, al sinds begin jaren zeventig een van de meest besproken persoonlijkheden van ons land, terug op haar leven. Het is niet voor niks dat ze juist in de afgelopen maanden besloot om aan de hand van vergeelde foto’s en memorabilia uit de dozen bij haar op zolder herinneringen op te halen aan vijfenzestig jaar succes, teleurstelling, glamour, liefde en verdriet. Aan de tumor die werd geconstateerd, en de zware operatie die noodzakelijk bleek. Maar vooral ook aan een nieuwe stroom filmsuccessen die ze beleeft in de nazomer van haar indrukwekkende loopbaan.

In gesprek met Nienke Swierstra vertelt Willeke uiterst openhartig over de grote en kleine liefdes in haar leven en over trouw blijven aan jezelf. Ze gaat in op loyaliteit, misleiding en integriteit in de filmwereld, de haat-liefdeverhouding met de pers, de kunst van het (film)acteren en op het veelbewogen jaar dat achter haar ligt en dat haar sterker maakte dan ooit.

WILLEKE VAN AMMELROOY (1944) behoort al decennia tot de top van de Nederlandse filmwereld. Rollen in producties als Mira, Lijmen / Het been, The Lake House en Antonia, in 1996 bekroond met een Oscar, bezorgden haar ook succes in het buitenland. Voor haar werk ontving Van Ammelrooy in 2008 de Rembrandt Oeuvre Award en in 2009 werd ze benoemd tot erelid van de NBF, de beroepsvereniging van film- en televisiemakers. NIENKE SWIERSTRA (1963) is freelance journaliste en tekstschrijfster.

Softcover – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 411 g (14,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Uitgeverij L. J. Veen, Amsterdam / Antwerpen, The Netherlands / Belgium, 2009 – ISBN 978-90-204-0988-8

The Actors’ Director: Richard Attenborough Behind the Camera (Andy Dougan; introduction by Steven Spielberg)

dougan-andy-the-actors-directorRichard Attenborough is one of the world’s greatest film directors. Throughout the world he has the respect and admiration of his peers. Yet Britain’s greatest living director, and arguably the most successful ever, is almost a prophet without honor in his own land.

Although he has been honored by his country for his services to the industry over more than 50 years, the establishment critics lie in wait for his every film. From his directing debut 25 years ago with Oh! What A Lovely War, he has attracted in equal measure both brickbats and bouquets. His film Shadowlands confounded the critics, attracting glowing praise and setting house records all over the world. Shadowlands won the award for Best British Film at this year’s BAFTA awards. Attenborough himself received a special award in thanks and recognition of his service to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

To mark his silver anniversary as a director, Lord Attenborough speaks at length for the first time about his career behind the camera. He tells how he knew ‘bugger all’ about being a director when Sir John Mills gave him the script for Oh! What A Lovely War. From there he has gone on to taste the Oscar-winning triumph of Gandhi and the critical disaster of A Chorus Line. He tells of his anger at the way A Chorus Line was received and how he was virtually blackmailed into directing the World War II epic A Bridge Too Far.

The Actors’ Director features an introduction by the world’s biggest Attenborough fan, Steven Spielberg. There are also contributions from some of the biggest names in the movies, including fellow Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Kline, Sir John MilIs, Ann-Margret, Robert Downey, Jr., and Simon Ward.

ANDY DOUGAN is the film reviewer of the Evening Times newspaper in Glasgow. He has his own movie programme on Radio Clyde and broadcasts regularly on BBC Scotland. He has been a lifelong movie fan since his father took him to see The Magnificent Seven, The Alamo and El Cid in the space of ten days at the tender age of five. His fascination with the films of Richard Attenborough began when he saw A Bridge Too Far in 1977 and was astonished that any man could tell a moving and coherent story in spite of the presence of so many star names. The Actors’ Director is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19 cm (9,8 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 753 g (26,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Mainstream Publishing, London, 1994 – ISBN 1-85158-672-5

Actors on Red Alert: Career Interviews With Five Actors & Actresses affected by the Blacklist (Anthony Slide)

slide-anthony-actors-on-red-alertThe anti-Communist hysteria that began in the 1930s became a political cause célèbre in 1938 when the House of Representatives established the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Soon thereafter, the creation of the blacklist in the late 1940s brought the Hollywood film and television community into the fold. Provocatively capturing the controversy and sentiments surrounding this period of political imbalance, Actors on Red Alert explores the repercussions of the blacklist through career interviews with five prominent actors and actresses: Phil Brown, Rose Hobart, Marsha Hunt, Marc Lawrence, and Doris Nolan.

ANTHONY SLIDE has published many books and articles on the performing arts. He is a highly respected scholar of film history, and has authored such books as The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry (1998), On Actors and Acting (1998), and Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian (1997).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 172 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 359 g (12,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1999 – ISBN 0-8180-3649-1

Actress: Postcards From the Road (Elizabeth Ashley, with Ross Firestone)

ashley-elizabeth-actress-postcards-from-the-roadThe raw power and honest toughness of this memoir sets it apart from any other Broadway-Hollywood story ever written. Elizabeth Ashley’s portrayal of the conflict between personal integrity and the success system doesn’t defer to the rules of the game – any more than her life does.

At twenty-three, Ashley had already achieved what most actresses spend decades striving for. Starring on Broadway in Barefoot in the Park, a play that Neil Simon had written for her, she was a Tony Award-winner, heading for a promising career in Hollywood. Ten years and two husbands later, Ashley was a has-been, a dirty word among Hollywood power brokers, desperate to find any acting job that would support her and her child. She had talent, ambition, beauty and intelligence – what had gone wrong?

In Actress you’ll meet the players in the dirtiest game in town – the theatrical casting game – as you’ve never seen them before. Ashley writes with hard-nosed and sometimes shocking insight into what it means to be a determined woman, dedicated to her craft, driven to success and yet filled with the needs and fears of any woman. Her account of the making and breaking of her Hollywood marriage to actor George Peppard, her struggle to regain her career, and her personal escapades provide one of the most realistic pictures we’ve ever been given of the actress-woman-survivor and the world in which she lives.

ELIZABETH ASHLEY’s long list of Broadway and Hollywood credits includes Take Her, She’s Mine, Barefoot in the Park, the American Shakespeare Festival’s production of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra with Rex Harrison, Ship of Fools, The Carpetbaggers, The War Between the Tates and Coma. ROSS FIRESTONE is a free-lance writer and editor whose special interests are the theater and movies.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 252 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 520 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER M. Evans & Company, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-87131-264-6

The Address Book: Direct Access to Over 3,000 Celebrities, Corporate Execs, and Other VIPS (Michael Levine)

Levine, Michael - The Address BookDo you know how to reach: Cindy Crawford, Magic Johnson, H. Ross Perot, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Luke Perry, Garth Brooks, John F. Kennedy Jr., the Princess of Wales, Gloria Steinem, Michael Jordan, and Ann Richards? WeIl, you can find all of their mailing addresses in The Address Book, now in its latest, sixth edition. Used by everyone from the White House staff to Barbara Walters, this remarkable book contains confidential addresses of thousands of the world’s most powerful, popular, and influential people. Completely revised and updated to include the addresses of the people you’ll most want to contact, The Address Book is a must for every home and office.

Regarded as one of Hollywood’s brightest business executives, author MICHAEL LEVINE heads a major entertainment public relations firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and London, representing more than a hundred top celebrities. Mr. Levine lives in Los Angeles.

Softcover – 279 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 309 g (10,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Putnam Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1993 – ISBN 0-399-51793-6

Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s – Letters of Valeria Belletti (edited by Cari Beauchamp; foreword by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.)

Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary is an insider’s view of the film studios of the 1920s – and the first from a secretary’s perspective. Rich in gossip, it is also an eyewitness report of Hollywood in transition. In the summer of 1924, Valeria Belletti and her friend Irma visited California, but instead of returning home to New York, the twenty-six-year-old Valeria decided to stay in Los Angeles. She moved into the YWCA, landed a job as Samuel Goldwyn’s personal and social secretary and proceeded to trip over history in the making. As she recounts in her dozens of letters to Irma, Valeria Belletti encountered every type of Hollywood player in the course of her working day: moguls, directors, stars, writers, and hopeful extras. She shares news about Valentino’s affairs, Sam Goldwyn’s bootlegger, the development of the “talkies,” her own role in helping to cast Gary Cooper in his first major part and much more – often in hilarious detail. She writes of her living and working conditions, her active social life, and her hopes for the future – all the everyday concerns of a young working woman during the jazz age. Alternating sophistication with naiveté, Valeria’s letters intimately document a personal journey while giving us a unique portrait of a fascinating era.

Hardcover – 231 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 414 g (14,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2006 – ISBN 0-520-24551-2

Adventures With D. W. Griffith (Karl Brown; edited and with an introduction by Kevin Brownlow)

Brown, Karl - Adventures With D W Griffith (hc)Karl Brown, who became a famous cameraman (The Covered Wagon) and film director (Stark Love, the lyrical silent film about North Carolina mountaineers), was in his youth an eyewitness to and participant in the momentous occasions in the history of Hollywood films – the production of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of  a Nation and Intolerance. Having been employed as an assistant to G.W. Bitzer, he was on the firing line of all the major Griffith films until Broken Blossoms. As the introduction says, “His extraordinary story represents the most exciting, and the most perceptive, volume of reminiscence ever published in cinema.”

When he went to work in 1914, in the Griffith studio at the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, Karl Brown was still a teenager, with a sharp and penetrating eye. Recently discovered in obscure retirement in Hollywood, he was persuaded by Kevin Brownlow to set down his story. His memory proved to be astonishing: he has provided so much new and detailed information on this early period that the published sources have become outdated. Brownlow calls this narrative “a dramatic, and often hilarious, story of a boy trying to cope with a complex technical process, and helping to make history… Everyone who loves films should be grateful that, when D.W. Griffith was working on his greatest pictures, Karl Brown was there – on our behalf.”

KEVIN BROWNLOW, film director and author of the widely praised film book, The Parade’s Gone By, has edited the text and written the introduction. There is a generous selection of photographs, many of them provided by Karl Brown, as well as a few diagrams and maps he has drawn.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 624 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-374-10093-4

Adventures With D. W. Griffith (Karl Brown; edited and with an introduction by Kevin Brownlow)

Karl Brown, the 16-year-old kid who fast-talked his way into D.W. Griffith’s film company, was a keen observer of and participant in two of the most momentous occasions in film history – the production of The Birth of a Nation and of Intoterance. Discovered in retirement by film director and author Kevin Brownlow, who has also contributed the introduction to this book, he was persuaded to tell the story of his beginnings on Griffith’s crew. What emerges is a detailed and highly personal eyewitness account of D.W. Griffith, his world, and a bygone era of filmmaking.

Griffith’s unique contribution to cinema resulted from his extraordinary gift for knowing what an audience wanted: “Make them laugh, make them cry, and make them wait.” He had the ability to construct powerful dramatic effects in his imagination, but he was dependent on the wizardry of his technicians to translate his visions into reality.

Through Brown, we meet the men who have remained nameless until now: Joe Aller and Abe Scholtz, who spent their careers processing Griffith’s films, “Fireworks” Wilson, the one-armed pyrotechnics expert who managed the battlefield explosions in The Birth of a Nation, and “Spec” Hall, who designed and supervised the construction of the mammoth Babylonian sets of Intolerance.

And there are intimate glimpses of Griffith himself at work. Accounts of production problems are juxtaposed with Griffith’s eccentricities – running footraces with his crew, dancing with Lillian Gish, singing an aria, or speaking in verse under the influence of one poet or another. Thirty-six pages of photographs and sketches give us behind-the-scenes pictures of Hollywood: a street corner with California bungalows in the foreground and the towers of Intolerance looming in the distance; a shot of the demolished set taken by Brown himself; and, sporting a coolie hat, as he directed through a megaphone – Griffith, launching an art and an industry.

As Brownlow states in his introduction, “Everyone who loves films should be grateful that, when D.W. Griffith was working on his greatest pictures, Karl Brown was there – on our behalf.”

KARL BROWN was second cameraman, under the famous G.W. (Billy) Bitzer, on Intolerance. He later became chief cameraman on the historical spectacle The Covered Wagon. In 1927, he directed the classic semi-documentary, Stark Love. From 1938 to 1942, he wrote scripts for Boris Karloff’s Columbia pictures. KEVIN BROWNLOW is a film director and the author of the widely praised book, The Parade’s Gone By.

Softcover – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 434 g (15,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 1976 – ISBN 0-306-80032-2

An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (Christopher Andersen)

Anderson, Christopher - An Affair to RememberShe was a living legend, a symbol of fierce independence who defied convention to live life on her own terms. He was the greatest screen actor of all time, the personification of the rock-solid American male. During their twenty-six years together, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy mesmerized the world with their famous on-screen chemistry like no other couple. Yet their private love affair – which ended only with Tracy’s death in 1967 – remained shrouded in secrecy.

Now, as Hepburn turns ninety, international best-selling author Christopher Andersen draws on his own extensive conversations with Kate – as well as those who knew the legendary duo intimately – to paint the first full, inspiring portrait of these beloved American icons and the life they shared. As Andersen did in Jack and Jackie, in An Affair to Remember he reveals the strength, wit, and dignity that characterized this historic partnership – and offers stunning new revelations, including new information about Hepburn’s pre-Tracy affairs with Howard Hughes and others; the five family suicides that haunted Kate her entire life – and ultimately shaped her approach to the man she loved; Tracy’s other women – from Joan Crawford and Loretta Young to Gene Tierney and Grace Kelly; why Kate never forgave Ingrid Bergman for having a secret romance with Spencer; the true, shocking extent of Tracy’s alcoholism and undiagnosed depression; his erratic, often violent behavior, and how Kate bravely tried to tame the demons that drove him; how J. Edgar Hoover came close to destroying their careers; never-before-told details of their physical relationship – including how Kate helped him to overcome impotency; the real reason why Tracy would not divorce his wife, Louise, and marry Kate – and what Kate would have said had he asked her.

An Affair to Remember is, first and foremost, a poignant love story – the often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always captivating portrait of a Great American Romance.

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. A former contributing editor of Time and senior editor of People, Andersen has also written hundreds of articles for a wide range of publications including Life magazine and The New York Times.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 336 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 711 g (25,1 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-688-15311-9

Afterglow: A Last Conversation with Pauline Kael (Francis Davis)

davis-farncis-afterglowIn September of 2001 movie lovers lost one of their greatest friends – a friend who never tired of championing the best that the movies could offer and didn’t shrink from taking to task any film, director, or actor she thought had it coming. Pauline Kael’s insight and bitting wit won her singular respect in both movie and literary circles, as well as a passionate following for her New Yorker columns and her inimitably titled collections such as I Lost It at the Movies and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Shortly before her death, Kael sat down with Francis Davis to chat for a series of conversations about her life and work – and, of course, the movies. Among the many things she talks about are her childhood, her early days as a critic, her career at the New Yorker, the directors she knew (for better or worse), her disappointments on recent cinema, and her renewed interest in television. It’s funny, it’s controversial, it’s right-on-the-mark – and time and again you realize that no one would have dared to say that in just that way, except Pauline Kael.

FRANCIS DAVIS is a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly and writes regularly for the New York Times and The New Yorker. He is the author of Like Young and the forthcoming Francis Davis Reader, which Da Capo will publish in fall 2008. He lives in Philadelphia.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 134 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 12,5 cm (8,3 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 270 g (9,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002 – ISBN 0-306-81192-8

After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis (Susan Bluestein Davis, with Hilary de Vries)

davis-susan-bleustein-after-midnightBrad Davis lived a life that mirrored the intensity of his star-making performance in the film Midnight Express. Filled with hope after defeating the alcohol and drug addiction that almost destroyed his career, he was then devastated to learn, in 1985, that he was HIV-positive. He soon discovered that behind the red ribbons of Hollywood was an unforgiving world, and recognized the irony of what he had to do to survive as an actor: he had to live a lie.

Susan Bluestein Davis, Brad’s wife and partner for twenty years, is keenly aware of the realities of today’s Hollywood that demand this heart-wrenching story be told. With an affecting voice, she reveals the highs and lows of an explosive career, the nightmare of addiction, and the heartbreak of AIDS: caring for a loved one who is dying, combating rumours that are almost as corrosive as the disease, and keeping the most important element of your life a secret. A startling take on the entertainment world, After Midnight is also a powerful chronicle of Susan and Brad’s enduring love, the kind that provides comfort and hope against great challenges.

They met in New York in the mid-1970s: Susan, a young agent in training for Broadway’s hottest agency; and Brad, a handsome, ambitious kid armed with a drawl and a raw talent for dazzling both the sexes – a James Dean sprung from the imagination of Tennessee Williams. Their bond, tested by Brad’s incendiary moods and promiscuous appetites, carried them from the off-Broadway theater world to Hollywood. Every success lived in the shadow of his addictions, until he went into recovery. But nothing prepared Brad and Susan for the ultimate exile of the AIDS-infected actor in a town where image is all; together, they chose to hide his condition from the Hollywood community – until the moment his suffering finally ended.

Harboring no illusions about the complicated life she shared with Brad, or even his own responses during and after his death, Susan Bluestein Davis tells an unflinchingly honest story. For anyone who has ever been tempted to walk way from life’s adversities, After Midnight is a powerful remembrance that must be read.

SUSAN BLUESTEIN DAVIS is an Emmy Award-winning casting director. She lives with her and Brad’s daughter, Alexandra, in California. HILARY DE VRIES has written about Hollywood for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 299 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 654 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Pocket Books, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-671-79672-0

The Age of McCartyism: A Brief History with Documents (Ellen Schrecker)

schrecker-ellen-the-age-of-mccarthyismIncorporating important recent scholarship, this popular supplement combines a comprehensive essay on the history of McCarthyism with compelling documents that trace the course of anti-Communist furor in the U.S. The volume’s 95-page essay follows the campaign against domestic subversion from its origins in the 1930s through its escalation in the 1940s to its decline in the 1950s. The second part includes over 47 original documents (including 6 new sources) – congressional transcripts, FBI reports, speeches, and letters – that chronicle the anti-Communist crusade. The essay and documents have been thoroughly updated to reflect new scholarship and recently revealed archival evidence of Soviet spying in the U.S. Also included are headnotes to the documents, 15 black-and-white photographs, a glossary, a chronology of McCarthyism, a revised bibliographical essay, and an index.

ELLEN SCHRECKER (Ph.D., Harvard University) is associate professor of history at Yeshiva University, where she has taught since 1987. Her book, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (1986), won the History of Education Society’s Outstanding Book Award for 1987. Schrecker is the author of numerous publications about various aspects of the McCarthy era. She is currently writing a general history of McCarthyism.

Softcover – 274 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Bedford Books, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-312-08349-1

The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael (edited by Sanford Schwartz)

kael-pauline-the-age-of-moviesPauline Kael’s I Lost It At the Movies (1965) marked the emergence of a major modern critic: fearless, impassioned, caustically funny, alert to the nuance of the smallest detail. “Film criticism is exciting just because there is no formula to apply,” she observed, “just because you must use everything you are and everything you know.” Between 1968 and 1991, as regular film reviewer for The New Yorker, Kael used those formidable tools to shape the tastes of a generation, enthralling readers with her gift for capturing, with force and fluency, the essence of an actor’s gesture or the full implication of a cinematic image. Kael called movies “the most total and encompassing art form we have,” and she made her reviews a platform for considering both film and the worlds it engages, crafting in the process a prose style of extraordinary wit, precision, and improvisatory grace.

To read The Age of Movies is to be swept up into an endlessly revealing and entertaining dialogue with Kael at her witty, exhilarating, and opinionated best. She was, in the words of editor Sanford Schwartz, “a romantic and a visionary” who “believed that movies could feed our imaginations in intimate and immediate – and liberating, even subversive – ways that literature and plays and other arts could not.” Coming into her own as a writer during a time of cultural turmoil and remarkable cinematic accomplishment, she became one of the great chroniclers of that time and of the movies that were so central to it.

Her ability to evoke the essence of a great artist – an Orson Welles or a Robert Altman – or to celebrate the way even seeming trash could tap deeply into our emotions was matched by her unwavering eye for the scams and self-deceptions of a corrupt movie industry. Coming into her own as a writer during a time of cultural turmoil and remarkable cinematic accomplishment, she became one of the great chroniclers of that time and of the movies that were so central to it. Here are her appraisals of the films that defined an era – among them Breathless, Bonnie and Clyde, The Leopard, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Nashville – along with many others, some awaiting rediscovery, all providing the occasion for masterpieces of observation and insight, alive on every page.

SANFORD SCHWARTZ, editor, writes for The New York Review of Books. His essays and reviews have been collected in The Art Presence and Artists and Writers, and he is the author of critical biographies of the nineteenth-century Danish painter Christen Købke and the twentieth-century English artist William Nicholson. He and Pauline Kael were friends for many years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 828 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.015 g (35,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Library of America, 2011 – ISBN 978-1-59853-109-1

Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography (Piers Paul Read)

read-piers-paul-alec-guinnessSir Alec Guinness was one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century. With a talent recognized by discerning critics from the very first appearance on the stage, he gained a world-wide reputation playing roles on screen such as Fagin in Oliver Twist and The Man in the White Suit. His performance as Colonel Nicholson in Bridge on the River Kwai won him an Oscar and, in later years, he captivated a new generation of admirers as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Ben Kenobi in Star Wars.

Guinness was a man who vigorously guarded his privacy and, despite publishing an autobiography and two volumes of his diaries, he remained an enigma to the general public and a mystery even to his family and closest friends.

After his death in August 2000, his widow Merula asked the author Piers Paul Read, who had been a friend of her husband, to write his authorised biography. Given full co-operation by the Guinness family and free access to Sir Alec’s papers, including his private and unpublished diaries, Read has written an enjoyable, yet penetrating and perceptive account of an intriguing and complex man.

Read shows how Guinness’s quirks of character and genius had roots in the circumstances of his early life. His marriage to Merula Salaman, a young actress of great promise, is chronicled by the many hundred letters Guinness wrote to her when serving in the Navy during World War II, while his post-war diaries reveal that readjustment to civilian life was traumatic, with doubts about his talent and a confusion about his sexual nature leading to bouts of severe depression.

Guinness’s conversion to Catholicism in 1956 partly exorcised his demons but he never wholly escaped the contradictions in his life – his domestic ties vying with wayward passions, a yearning for holiness with an intolerance of constraint, a raw sensitivity to the feelings of others with an irascible and domineering nature. Yet from the diaries and letters to his friends quoted extensively in this biography, there emerges a man of great compassion, generosity, wit and charm – intellectually curious, a talented writer, a great gossip, bon viveur and munificent host.

PIERS PAUL READ is the author of thirteen acclaimed novels, most recently Alice in Exile, and four works of non-fiction, among them a history of the crusading order, The Templars and the international best-seller Alive! Past novels have won the Hawthornden Prize and the Geoffrey Faber, Somerset Maugham and James Tait Black Awards. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 632 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 977 g (34,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London, 2003 – ISBN 0-7432-0729-7

Alexander Korda: The Man Who Could Work Miracles (Karol Kulik)

kulik-karol-alexander-kordaMore than any other man, the Hungarian film producer-director, Sir Alexander Korda was considered the saviour of the British film industry in the 1930s. He had worked in Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Hollywood before settling in London. Twice in his 40-year career he created empires of international influence, and for a time was hailed as the biggest film producer and star-maker outside Hollywood. His charm, intellect and flamboyant style were legendary long before his death in 1956, and he became the world’s first film knight. Films like The Four Feathers, The Thief of Bagdad, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Rembrandt and The Private Life of Henry VIII confirmed that for 25 years Alex Korda was the most imaginative and courageous man at work in the British films. This masterly biography is full of anecdote and critical insight, and contains a full filmography, bibliography and index.

KAROL KULIK was born and raised in California. She received a BA in Film from UCLA in 1969 and a postgraduate diploma from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1971. From 1976 to 1981 she worked at the National Film and Television School, and created and ran the London Market, a media trade fair, between 1981 and 1986. Since 1988 she has been President of Euro Aim, an EEC initiative in audio-visual distribution. Karol Kulik researched this book for five years, at the Slade Film Unit, in Budapest and Vienna, with access to many of Korda’s friends and associates. It is the standard work on Korda.

Softcover – 407 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 597 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1990 – ISBN 0-86369-446-2

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (Stephen Rebello)

rebello-stephen-alfred-hitchcock-and-the-making-of-psychoHere, for the first time, is the complete inside story of the making of Psycho. The author takes us behind the scenes to witness the creation of one of the cinema’s boldest and most influential films. From Hitchcock’s private files, in-depth interviews with the stars, writers and technical crew, we get a unique picture of the master at work.

Psycho came close to not being produced. The reader’s report said, ‘impossible to film.’ Paramount refused to produce the film. However, Hitchcock personally bought the film rights to Robert Bloch’s novel. He then decided to finance the picture himself, but with no blockbuster stars, no exotic locations, no top screen writers, no big budget and to film it himself in black and white.

Using newly-discovered material, the author shows how Hitchcock overcame studio politics, censorship and feisty collaborators. Along with other unique insights – including an account of Bernard Herrmann’s breathtaking film score – the author gives a day-by-day inside view of the master director at work, creating one of cinema’s most daring, ground-breaking and dark thrillers.

STEPHEN REBELLO is a film journalist and the author of Reel Art – Great Posters from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen and several screenplays. He contributed to magazines such as American Film, Cinéfantastique, Playboy and many others. The book contains 16 pages of photographs highlighting dramatic scenes from Psycho.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 489 g (17,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Marion Boyard Publisers, Ltd., London, 1990 – ISBN 0-7145-2915-X

Alfred Hitchcock: Een compleet overzicht van al zijn films (Paul Duncan)

duncan-paul-alfred-hitchcock“Aan het begin van zijn filmcarrière kwam Alfred Hitchcock regelmatig met een paar vrienden bijeen om te klagen over de mensen en gebeurtenissen in de filmindustrie. Ze noemden zichzelf  ‘The Hate Club.’ Het was voor hen een informele manier om hun frustraties te uiten, maar ook een nuttige manier om van elkaar te leren. Tijdens een ontmoeting moesten ze allemaal de volgende vraag beantwoorden: “Voor wie maak je films?” De andere filmmakers zeiden “de distributeurs” of “het publiek,” maar Hitchcock was terughoudend met zijn antwoord. Uiteindelijk zei hij: “Voor de pers.” Hij redeneerde dat de pers het publiek beïnvloedde, wat weer de distributeurs en filmhuizen beïnvloedde. Ook zei Hitchcock: “Wij [de regisseurs] maken een film succesvol. De naam van de regisseur moet door het publiek worden geassocieerd met kwaliteit. Acteurs komen en gaan, maar de naam van de regisseur moet in het geheugen van het publiek zijn geprent.”

Hitchcock handelde zijn gehele carrière volgens deze overtuiging en nam regelmatig filmrecensenten mee uit eten, gaf openhartige interviews en schreef meer dan zestig artikelen voor filmbladen en andere publicaties. (Tijdens een van die diners verontschuldigde een recensent zich voor een slechte recensie een paar weken eerder. Hitchcock zei haar zich geen zorgen te maken, omdat zij haar werk moest doen, net zoals hij het zijne.) Zijn vasthoudende en professionele manier van zelfpromotie – zijn naam verscheen altijd boven de titel van zijn films, hij speelde vaak een klein rolletje in zijn eigen films en presenteerde in de jaren 50 de langlopende televisieserie Alfred Hitchcock Presents – zorgde ervoor dat hij een van de bekendste filmmakers van zijn generatie werd. Ook gebruikten filmrecensenten en -theoretici films als Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest en Psycho als voorbeelden, omdat, zoals David Thomson zei, deze films “veel zeggen over de manier waarop we verhalen bekijken en erop reageren… Hitchcock werd een manier om de film te definiëren, een man die zich verdiepte in het bewegende beeld en de dwangmatige emoties van de kijker.”

In een interview legde Hitchcock enthousiast uit hoe zijn werk praktisch en technisch in elkaar zat. Jules Dassin, die Hitchcocks technieken op de set van Mr. & Mrs. Smith bestudeerde, herinnerde zich dat Hitchcock tijdens een lunch de camerastandpunten en andere filmtechnieken uitlegde door ze op servetten voor Dassin uit te tekenen.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 20 cm (9,8 x 7,9 inch) – Weight 866 g (30,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Taschen GmbH, Köln, Germany, 2003 – ISBN 3-8228-2695-2

Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews (edited by Sidney Gottlieb)

gottlieb-sidney-alfred-hitchcock-interviewsEven twenty years after his death and nearly fifty or more years after his creative peak, Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) is still arguably the most instantly recognizable film director in name, appearance, vision, and voice. Long ago, through a combination of timing, talent, genius, energy, and publicity, he made the key transition from proper noun to adjective that confirms celebrity and true stature. It is a rare filmwatcher indeed who cannot define ‘Hitchcockian.’

Such films as Psycho, North by Northwest, Spellbound, Vertigo, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Notorious, and The Birds, made the Hitchcock imprint synonymous with both stylish, sophisticated suspense and mordant black comedy. He was one of the most interviewed directors in the history of film. Among the hundreds of interviews he gave, those in this collection catch Hitchcock at key moments of transition in his long career – as he moved from silent to sound pictures, from England to America, from thrillers to complex romances, and from director to producer-director.

These conversations dramatize his shifting attitudes on a variety of cinematic matters that engaged and challenged him, including the role of stars in a movie, the importance of story, the use of sound and color, his relationship to the medium of television, and the attractions and perils of realism. His engaging wit and intelligence are on display here, as are his sophistication, serious contemplation, and playful manipulation of the interviewer.

SIDNEY GOTTLIEB, a professor of English at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, is the editor of Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews.

Softcover – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 430 g (15,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2003 – ISBN 1-57806-562-3

Alice Faye: A Life Beyond the Silver Screen (Jane Lenz Elder)

Elder, Jane Lenz - Alice Faye, A Life Beyond the ScreenAlice Faye’s sweet demeanor, sultry glances, and velvety voice were her signatures. Her haunting rendition of “You’ll Never Know” has never been surpassed by any other singer. Fans adored her in such films as Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Rose of Washington Square, Tin Pan Alley, Week End in Havana, and Hello, Frisco, Hello.

In the 1930s and 1940s she reigned as queen of 20th Century Fox musicals. She co-starred with such legends as Shirley Temple, Tyrone Power, Carmen Miranda, and Don Ameche and was voted the number-one box-office attraction of 1940, placing ahead of Bette Davis and Myrna Loy. To a select cult, she remains a beloved star.

In 1945 at the pinnacle of her career she chose to walk out on her Fox contract. This remarkable episode is unlike any other in the heyday of the big-studio system. Her daring departure from films left Fox mogul Darryl F. Zanuck and the rest of the movie industry flabbergasted. For years she had skirmished with him over her roles, her health, and her private life. His heavy-handed film editing of her fine work in Otto Preminger’s drama Fallen Angel, a role she had fought for, relegated Faye to the shadows so that Zanuck could showcase the younger Linda Darnell.

After leaving Fox, Faye (1915-1998) devoted herself to her marriage to radio star Phil Harris, to motherhood, and to a second career on radio in the Phil Harris – Alice Faye Show, broadcast for eight years. She happily gave up films in favor of the independence and self-esteem that she discovered in private life. She willingly freed herself of the “star-treatment” that debilitated so many of her contemporaries. In the 1980s she emerged as a spokeswoman for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, touring America to encourage senior citizens to make their lives more meaningful and vital.

Before Betty Grable, before Marilyn Monroe – Alice Faye was first in the lineup of 20th Century Fox blondes. This book captures her special essence, her work in film, radio, and popular music, and indeed her graceful survival beyond the silver screen.

JANE LENZ ELDER, a librarian at Southern Methodist University, is the author of Across the Plains to Santa Fe and The Literature of Beguilement: Promoting America from Columbus to Today. She is co-editor of Trading in Santa Fe: John M. Kingsbury’s Correspondence with James Josiah Webb, 1853-1861.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 313 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 15,5 cm (8,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 628 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 1-57806-210-1

All About All About Eve (Sam Staggs)

Staggs, Sam - All About All About EveAll About Eve – the title evokes all that’s witty and bitchy and wonderful in classic Hollywood movies. To millions of fans this movie means more than most: it turns up on everyone’s ten-best lists and appeals not only to mainstream movie lovers but to a rabid cult audience as well.

All About Eve is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It’s full of old-fashioned  larger-than-life stars – Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gary Merrill, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Thelma Ritter, Celeste Holm – and it’s the source of dozens of famous lines, including the immortal “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

But there’s more – much more – to know about All About Eve. Now, for the first time, the full story is told. Sam Staggs has written the definitive account of the making of this fascinating movie and its enormous influence both in film and popular culture. He tells readers all about the picture and all about those who made it – nothing short of everything.

Everything about the famous European actress who Bette Davis’s Margo Channing was based on – and why Tallulah Bankhead was wrong, but not entirely, in suspecting that Margo was based on her. Everything about the hot-blooded romance that developed between Bette Davis and Gary Merrill almost from the first day of shooting and the stormy marriage that resulted. Everything, too, about George Sanders, whose jealous wife Zsa Zsa Gabor forbade him to speak to Marilyn Monroe on the set or off. And, of course, everything about Marilyn Monroe, whose career might have run out of gas without the rush it got from All About Eve.

Then there’s Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who wrote and directed the movie and whose career after Eve careened from one artistic obituary to another. And Edith Head, who designed that unforgettable off-the-shoulder cocktail dress for Bette Davis. And, of course, everything about Bette herself, on screen and off; she claimed that All About Eve resurrected her from the dead. All About All About Eve is not only full of rich detail about the movie, the director, and the stars, but also about the audience who loved it when it came out and adore it to this day.

SAM STAGGS’s first book was MMII: The Return of Marilyn Monroe. He has also written for a number of magazines, including Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, and Art News. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 388 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 629 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-312-25268-4

The All-Americans (James Robert Parish, Don E. Stanke)

parish-james-robert-the-all-americansIt may be hard to believe, but it was only a few decades ago that Hollywood’s films were considered ambassadors for the American way of life. Those motion pictures featured many fine actors who represented the best the United States had to offer – among them, seven outstanding male performers. Somehow or other, these seven men captured the essence of America. Was it their laconic, low-key, almost shy, but strong emotion? Or was it the sort of screen role they typically played: a hero without heroics, quietly going about his business? Just what was the secret of their “All-American” cinema presence?

The All-Americans provides expansive career studies of these seven actors, detailed filmographies, and penetrating accounts of their off-camera lives. The result is a long overdue chronicle of seven Hollywood worthies representing the clean-cut American guy who could always be depended upon in films to do the right thing, and still head off into the sunset with the heroine. The seven wholesome leading men profiled in The All-Americans are: Gary Cooper – “That fellow is the world’s greatest actor.” – John Barrymore. Henry Fonda; an ageless picture of integrity. William Holden – “He is beyond acting. You never doubt or question what he is.” – Billy Wilder. Rock Hudson, the very handsome leading man who, surprisingly, had superb acting talents. Fred MacMurray, for decades, his perfected double-take and patented smile kept him at the top of his professional game. Ronald Reagan – did studio mogul Jack L. Warner know he was responsible for his star’s integrity and future entry into politics? James Stewart, a magical capacity for sincerity and believability. This then is the impressive line-up featured in The All-Americans.

Softcover – 448 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 1.035 g (36,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Rainbow Books, Carlstadt, New Jersey, 1977 – ISBN 0-89508-011-7

Allan Dwan: The Last Pioneer (Peter Bogdanovich)

Bogdanovich, Peter - Allan Dwan the Last Pioneer“There will never again be a movie career like Allan Dwan’s. Over fifty years, he directed at least 400 pictures, and produced, wrote or supervised as many more. Film history being the mess it is, his exact total is not likely to be known, but certainly two-thirds of that opus – almost the whole silent period – is virtually lost forever. The few examples that remain from those more carefree times make it clear that the years before 1929 – when he had the most independence – were his most creative, valuable and successful.

This is not necessarily to diminish his talkies, but after the coming of sound the assignments were so often unworthy of him and the restrictions such that it is amazing he was able to produce as many good films as he did. Through it all, his professionalism, humour and enjoyment in the actual job of picture-making never lessened. The movies have been his vocation, and he has been true to that calling.

To follow Dwan’s career is to watch the evolution of an art. He came into pictures in 1909, less than a year after Griffith made his first film. Sixteen months later, he was directing. Three Million Dollars (1911), shot in his fifth month as a director (and already close to his fortieth one-reeler), reflects the primitive beginnings. The technique is still not much different from Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903): the camera records the entire action of each scene from one set-up – usually a medium long-shot – without cutting it up. Though the pacing of actors is pretty fast (they are generally natural, too), and the locations all look real, Dwan obviously had not yet been exposed to Griffith’s work, by which he admits being profoundly influenced.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 200 pp. – Dimensions 17 x 15,5 cm (6,7 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 352 g (12,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Praeger Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1971

All My Yesterdays: An Autobiography (Edward G. Robinson, with Leonard Spigelgass)

robinson-edward-g-all-my-yesterdaysEdward G. Robinson, one of the most celebrated film stars of all time, was born in Bucharest, Rumania, and his family emigrated to America when he was nine. He was educated at public schools in New York and, briefly, at C.C.N.Y. before training for the stage, when he changed his name from Emanuel Goldenberg to Edward G. Robinson.

Starting in stock, he shifted to road companies and finally played five different roles in Under Fire for the Selwyns – all for one salary. He proceeded through more than forty plays to become a Broadway star. In the late 1920s he met Gladys Lloyd, who was appearing with Fred Astaire in Funny Face, and eventually married her. Meanwhile, he was cultivating his other loves – art and music – and soon built a great collection of original paintings which was later valued at over $ 3 million.

Robinson at first despised movies, but economic pressures persuaded him to go to Hollywood. He made one silent film, then hit the jackpot with his brilliant portrayal of the vicious gang leader in Little Caesar. It was followed by many other great movies such as Five Star Final, Double Indemnity, and Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet. During all this activity he identified with political and social causes, putting his reputation on the line for anything that had to do with peace, democracy, and the betterment of minorities. This resulted in his being blacklisted as a Communist sympathizer. He fought back in every conceivable way and finally returned to the theater for two hit plays: Darkness at Noon and The Middle of the Night.

Meanwhile, the marriage to Gladys, who gave him a son, Edward G. Robinson, Jr., brought its special torments and ended in divorce and a property settlement that saw the breakup of the art collection. However, he found love and peace again with his second wife, Jane, and together they began and completed another picture collection. In a period when most actors retire, Robinson kept working in films only to be felled by a heart attack in Africa and, later, a near-fatal auto accident in Beverly Hills. In the last years he weathered one bout with cancer but succumbed to the second.

Though he did not live to receive the Honorary Oscar for his major contribution to the film industry, it didn’t matter, for in his seventy-nine years he had had almost every other honor that man is capable of having – and every other grief.

LEONARD SPIGELGASS and EDWARD G. ROBINSON were friends for more than forty years and enjoyed many mutual interests – social, political, and gastronomic. In the course of a spectacular literary career, Spigelgass has written seventy-five movies, five plays, and four books and is currently a full professor at the University of Southern California. His most successful movies include I Was A Male War Bride and Gypsy, which starred Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood. Among his Broadway hits were A Majority of One and Dear Me, The Sky Is Falling.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 344 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 873 g (30,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Hawthorn Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1973

All the Stars in Heaven: Louis B. Mayer’s M-G-M (Gary Carey)

Carey, Gary - All The Stars In Heaven - Louis B Mayer's MGMTo his admirers he was “L.B.” or “Louie.” To his detractors his bad qualities were summed up by Bosley Crowther’s epithet Hollywood Rajah. But to friend and foe alike, Mayer was a human dynamo. “I’ll go down on my knees and kiss the ground talent walks on,” was a staple of his conversational repertoire. Like his slogan, Mayer seems corny today, a bit overblown and old-fashioned: precisely the qualities that now attract us to many of the movies his studio produced during the quarter century of his tenure.

During the reign of Louis B. Mayer, MGM boasted of “more stars than there are in heaven.” An exaggeration, but not without some truth. This was the era when the leading Hollywood studios were turning out forty to fifty pictures a year. It was a time when people went to the movies for fun and to see how their current screen favorites were getting along; to see whether Tracy had finally succeeded in cutting Hepburn down to size; to check out Norma Shearer’s latest wardrobe or Andy Hardy’s latest romance; to gaze at their heroes and heroines, the great majority of whom resided at MGM: Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Ramon Navarro, Lana Turner…

However much the Thalbergs and the Selznicks may have dazzled us with their creative brilliance, their continued existence was predicated on men like Mayer, whose simple but basic values and sheer enthusiasm for talent and movies fostered the emergence of that naïve thrill that is, after all, what Hollywood is all about.

In this definitive – and fair – appraisal of Mayer and the studio that bears his name, distinguished film biographer Gary Carey traces a classic American success story, the story of a young second-generation Jewish boy whose name was synonymous with big-time Hollywood.

GARY CAREY is the well-known author of many books on film, including Doug and Mary and Katharine Hepburn. Now teaching Shakespeare and modern drama at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he is a past member of the staff of the Museum of Modern Art’s film department. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 737 g (26,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Dutton Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1981 – ISBN 0-525-05245-3

All Those Tomorrows: An Autobiography (Mai Zetterling)

Zetterling, Mai - All Those TomorrowsFrom Stockholm’s slums to the glitter of Hollywood, Mai Zetterling traversed a road that brought the Swedish movie star full circle from sexy blonde to award-winning feminist film director acclaimed in a man’s world. She tells the story of this journey – at once magical, moving, hilarious and incredible – in an autobiography written with stunning honesty and piercing self-awareness.

Mai Zetterling grew up a street kid in the tough part of town, wretched, unloved and virtually illiterate, her adolescence marked by sordid sexual encounters, until at age sixteen she was set on the path to the stage by a teacher who changed her life. Then came her start at The National Theatre of Sweden, followed by a seven-year film contract in England which first brought her to international attention.

Hollywood beckoned with a co-starring role with Peter Sellers in Only Two Can Play, but Mai and Tinseltown made a poor match. She felt like a creature from another planet and refused to conform. As a survivor of the sex-crazed, pin-up-hungry world of Hollywood in the forties and fifties, Mai paints a devastatingly corrosive portrait of the movie capital she refused to be consumed by. When she turned down a chance to make a film with Gregory Peck in favor of returning to the London stage to star in an Ibsen play, she was thought to be certifiably insane.

Mai Zetterling takes us through each stage of her life as wife to two husbands and a mother. With unusual candor she recounts her relationship with her lovers, including Herbert Lom, Peter Finch, and Tyrone Power, with whom she had a much publicized and passionate affair. Strong-willed, determined, and highly gifted, Mai Zetterling describes how she learned to make her way in a man’s world to finally become a success on her own terms without losing her warmth, strength and relentless love of life. All Those Tomorrows is an inspiring book about a woman for whom nothing came easy but for whom everything is possible.

MAI ZETTERLING is the author of two novels, Night Games and Birds of Passage, a collection of short stories, Shadow of the Sun, and a children’s book, The Cat’s Tale.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 230 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 14 cm (8,3 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 405 g (14,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-394-55602-X

All-Time Movie Favourites (Joel W. Finler; introduction by Dustin Hoffman)

Finler, Joel W - All-Time Movie FavoritesComedies, thrillers, epics, musicals, musicals, love stories, westerns, war films, and others.

200 of the screen’s greatest hits from the beginning of cinema history to the present day are featured in this book. The stories of how these films were made, the reasons for their fame, and the influence of the stars and producers involved are described in detail. The revealing ideas and criticisms of many directors and actors are quoted throughout and add a new dimension to the drama of twentieth century film making which is unfolded in this comprehensive and fascinating survey.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 189 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 969 g (34,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Sundial Books Limited, London, 1975 – ISBN 0 9044230 13 9

Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man (Pat Hitchcock, with Laurent Bouzereau)

hitchcok-pat-alma-hitchcockAlfred Hitchcock’s films are a testament to his perfectionism and his autonomy. But although he was a true auteur, there was still one person whose ideas and advice he valued above all others: his wife, Alma. Who was the woman behind the most famous film director in the world? What was her impact on one of the most creative and successful collaborations in film history?

Alfred and Alma’s daughter, Pat Hitchcock O’Connell, now offers rare insight into the life and career of her mother and father, and finally reveals Alma’s extraordinary contribution to the Hitchcock legacy. A film cutter at England’s Twickenham Studio, she quickly became adept at all aspects of film production. But it wasn’t until she crossed paths with a certain young director that her future in the industry was set – as a devoted wife and culinary master, loving mother, and long-time advisor on Hitchcock’s films. From scriptwriting and casting to editing and assistant directing, Alma Hitchcock became a revered source of artistic inspiration to her husband for more than half a century.

Filled with fascinating personal anecdotes, Alma Hitchcock is also Pat Hitchcock’s story – that of a young girl growing up in Hollywood, and her own on-set experiences in such films as Psycho and Strangers on a Train. With behind-the-scenes stories, moving testimonies from friends and family, and never-before-seen personal photos from the Hitchcock family album – as well as some of her mother’s favorite recipes – Pat Hitchcock O’Connell generously illuminates the astounding lives and careers of her parents as only a daughter could.

PAT HITCHCOCK O’CONNELL is the only child of Alfred and Alma Hitchcock. Her credits as an actress include Psycho, Strangers on a Train, and Stage Fright. She has also appeared in several episodes of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She lives in California. LAURENT BOUZEREAU is an author and documentary filmmaker. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 289 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Berkley Books, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-425-19005-6

À l’ombre de moi-même: Carnets de tournage et entretien avec Pascal Bonitzer (Catherine Deneuve)

deneuve-catherine-a-lombre-de-moi-memeVous préparer au moindre. Des petits cahiers, journaux de tournage intimes, compagnons de mes doutes, écrits presque toujours à l’étranger, certains il y a longtemps. Solitaires, exaltés, découragés, critiques. Bruts. Quelques remords mais pas de regrets. – Catherine Deneuve.

Pour la première fois de sa vie, Catherine Deneuve publie six carnets de tournage, les seuls qu’elle ait tenus en quarante ans de carrière, de Tristana de Luis Buñuel à Dancer in the Dark de Lars von Trier. On y découvre une femme au travail, parfois en détresse, toujours passionnée et assez solitaire. Jamais une actrice ne se sera livrée ainsi avec autant d’honnêteté et de modestie, mais surtout de vérité: ces carnets n’étaient pas destinés à la publication lors de leur écriture.

Afin de les mettre en lumière et en perspective, un entretien exclusif avec le cinéaste et scénariste Pascal Bonitzer clôt ce livre qui ne ressemble décidément à aucun autre. Ni complaisant ni condescendant, on n’y entend ni ragots ni commérages, mais le son d’une voix brisée, entêtante, qui nous raconte le cinéma.

Softcover – 281 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 177 g (6,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Editions Stock, 2004 – ISBN 2-253-11090-6

Al Pacino: In Conversation With Lawrence Grobel (Lawrence Grobel; foreword by Al Pacino)

grobel-lawrence-al-pacino-in-conversation-with-lawrence-grobelFor more than a quarter century, Al Pacino has spoken freely and deeply with acclaimed journalist and best-selling author Lawrence Grobel on subjects as diverse as childhood, acting, and fatherhood. Here, for the first time, are the complete conversations and shared observations between the actor and the writer; the result is an intimate and revealing look at one of the most accomplished, and private, artists in the world.

Pacino grew up sharing a three-room apartment in the Bronx with nine people in what he describes as his ‘New York Huckleberry Finn’ childhood. Raised mostly by his grandparents and his mother, Pacino began drinking at age thirteen. Shortly after he was admitted to the renowned High School for Performing Arts, his classmates nicknamed him ‘Marlon,’ after Marlon Brando, even though Pacino didn’t know who Brando was. Renowned acting coach Charlie Laughton saw Pacino when he was nineteen in the stairwell of a Bronx tenement, and the first words out of Laughton’s mouth were ‘You are going to be a star.’ And so began a fabled, lifelong friendship that nurtured Al through years of not knowing where his next meal would come from until finally – at age twenty-six – he landed his first salaried acting job.

Grobel and Pacino leave few stones unturned, touching on the times when Pacino played piano in jazz clubs until four a.m. before showing up on the set of Scarecrow a few hours later for a full day’s work; when he ate Valium like candy at the Academy Awards; and when he realized he had been in a long pattern of work and drink.

As the pivotal character in The Godfather trilogy and the cult classic Scarface, Pacino has enshrined himself in film history. He’s worked with most of Hollywood’s brightest luminaries such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, Michael Mann, Norman Jewison, Brian De Palma, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams, among many others. He was nominated for eight Academy Awards before winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Scent of a Woman. Pacino still seems to prefer his work onstage to film and, if he’s moved by a script or play, is quick to take parts in independent productions.

Al Pacino is an intensely personal window into the life of an artist concerned more with the process of his art than with the fruits of his labor, a creative genius at the peak of his artistic powers who, after all these years, still longs to grow and learn more about his craft. And, for now, it’s as close to a memoir as we’re likely to get.

LAWRENCE GROBEL is the New York Times best-selling co-author with Montel Williams of Climbing Higher, as well as the author of the national best-seller Conversations With Capote and Conversations with Brando. A contributing editor at Playboy and Movieline’s Hollywood Life, he has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Details, Entertainment Weekly, and many others. The winner of a PEN Special Achievement Award, he is also the author of The Art of the Interview. He teaches at UCLA.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 245 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 563 g (19,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon Spotlight Entertainment / Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 978-1-4169-1211-8

Always Home: 50 Years of the USO, The Official Photographic History (Frank Coffey; special foreword by Hob Hope)

Coffey, Frank - Always HomeAn emotionally evocative trip down memory lane, Always Home is the official photographic history of the United Service Organizations – the nonprofit group that has served the special needs of America’s transient military personnel and families since 1941. Whether it be donuts in a railway station, a cold drink and conversation in a canteen, or an all-star show, the USO has meant – and continues to mean – a little bit of home in a faraway place. Where we have gone, the USO has followed.

Always Home is a stunning words-and-pictures celebration of fifty years of American history and popular culture. Written and compiled by noted screenwriter Frank Coffey, it features Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr., John Wayne, Loretta Lynn, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Kaye, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, and a cast of thousands – of USO volunteers.

From the steamy hell of Guadalcanal to the frozen mountains of Korea, from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Saudi Arabia, the USO has always been there. Produced with the USO, this official photographic history is a tribute to the millions of GIs the USO has served – and to the stars and ordinary Americans who have served them through the USO.

FRANK COFFEY, a former book and magazine editor, is the author of four novels as well as numerous magazine and newspaper pieces. The son of a decorated World War II B-26 pilot, he has had a lifelong interest in military history. Now a screenwriter and journalist, he lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 174 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 978 g (34,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Brassey’s, Inc., New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-08-040576-2

American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking (Jeanine Basinger)

basinger-jeanine-american-cinema-one-hundred-years-of-filmmakingThis extraordinary book, published to commemorate the centennial celebration of the birth of American film and a 10-part television series to be aired on the 320 PBS stations beginning in January 1995, surveys the phenomenon that is Hollywood, past and present.

The movies, like no other art form, are deeply embedded in the American psyche. They are our heritage and our entertainment. In a text as epic in scope as its subject, and drawing on exclusive interviews with actors and filmmakers conducted specifically for the American Cinema project, author Jeanine Basinger presents the evolution of the Hollywood saga, from its early roots in rural California to an industry that has adapted to – and thrived during – such metamorphoses as the advent of sound, the “threat” of foreign films and of television, and even the age of the conglomerate.

Basinger examines in depth the language of film-focusing on the nature of the art form during the “golden age” as well as in the age of television – and its power, in Hollywood’s skilled hands, to keep you in your seat and forever coming back for more. With more than 300 illustrations from the world’s leading film archives, including some never before published, this book celebrates the best of American films, from the glamorous defining films of  Hollywood in such favorite genres as the screwball comedy and the western to today’s blockbusters and film-school generation of directors, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola. Also included are the new filmmakers redefining the Hollywood film today.

JEANINE BASINGER Is Chair of the Film Studies program and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University and the author of A Woman’s View and The “It’s a Wonderful Life” Book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 304 pp., index – Dimensions 29 cm x 26 cm (11,4 x 10,2 cm) – Weight 1.820 g (64,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-8478-1814-4

American Film Directors: A Library of Criticism (compiled and edited by Stanley Hochman)

Hochman, Stanley - American Film DirectorsAmerican Film Directors, the first in a projected new series, puts together from many often inaccessible sources  a remarkable survey of what film critics  – and others interested in films – have been writing about American film directors and their work since the heyday of the silents. Represented are sixty-five major film-makers whose reputations were made by the mid-1960s, and almost 300 critics, American and European. Each director’s career is assessed in generous excerpts drawn from specialized periodicals, general publications, collections of criticism, histories of the movies, and books on specific directors. All selections are arranged chronologically under each director’s name; full bibliographical reference is supplied for each excerpt to facilitate further study.

The plan of the book makes it possible to follow the development, or decline and fall, of individual directors. The reader is rewarded with fascinating insights into changing standards of taste and into the response of film-makers and critics to technical innovations such as sound, color, and the wide screen.

Much of the material gathered here is all but unavailable to the average student of film buff; for example, the selections from treasured and tattered volumes of Photoplay, National Board of Review, Vanity Fair, Révue du Cinéma, New Masses, Sight and Sound, New York Dramatic Mirror, World Film News, etc., as well as from classic studies such as Louis Delluc’s Cinéma & Cie, or Maurice Bardèche and Robert Brasillach’s The History of Motion Pictures. This book includes such critical surprises as novelist Theodor Dreiser on Mack Sennett, actor Harry Bauer on D.W. Griffith, playwright Robert E. Sherwood on Rex Ingram, and poet Louise Bogan on F.W. Murnau. There are also film-makers commenting on one another: Pare Lorentz on Frank Capra, or Farnk Capra on Henry King, Gregory LaCava and others.

Important contemporary critics such as Pauline Kael, Richard Schickel, Dwight Macdonald, Andrew Sarris, John Simon, and Stanley Kauffmann are represented, as are such interesting critics of the past as James Shelley Hamilton, Burns Mantle, Mordaunt Hall, and Richard Griffith. In addition, attention is directed to the work of the many fine critics who now and in the past have contributed to our understanding of an art still in its relative infancy.

The volume concludes with extensive filmographies for the individual directors, and a detailed index of critics and film titles. A Library of Film Criticism should prove to be indispensable for reference, and unmatched for browsing. Students, journalists, librarians, and devoted moviegoers will find it one of the most compete and valuable of all books on film.

STANLEY HOCHMAN received his M.A. from Columbia University and studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he first began attending ciné clubs, and at the University of Florence. His publications include translations from both French and Italian, several of them – including Émile Zola’s Germinal – done in conjunction with his wife, Eleanor. He contributed extensively to the recent Encyclopedia of World Drama.

[Essays on Frank Borzage, Richard Brooks, Clarence Brown, Tod Browning, Frank Capra, John Cassavetes, Charles Chaplin, James Cruze, George Cukor, Michael Curtiz, Cecil B. DeMille, William Dieterle, Allan Dwan, Robert J. Flaherty, Victor Fleming, John Ford, John Frankenheimer, D.W. Griffith, Henry Hathaway, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Thomas H. Ince, Rex Ingram, Elia Kazan, Buster Keaton, Henry King, Stanley Kramer, Stanley Kubrick, Gregory La Cava, Fritz Lang, Mervyn LeRoy, Anatole Litvak, Frank Lloyd, Pare Lorentz, Ernst Lubitsch, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Rouben Mamoulian, Joseph L. Man kiewicz, Lewis Milestone, Vincente Minnelli, F.W. Murnau, Mike Nichols, Arthur Penn, Edwin S. Porter, Otto Preminger, Robert Rossen, Victor Seastrom [Victor Sjöström], Mack Sennett, Josef von Sternberg, George Stevens, Erich von Stroheim, John Sturges, Preston Sturges, Maurice Tourneur, W.S. Van Dyke, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh, Andy Warhol, Orson Welles, William A. Wellman, Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Fred Zinnemann]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 590 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.055 g (37,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Frederick Ungar Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-8044-3120-5

The American Film Industry (edited by Tino Balio)

This, the first systematic and unified history of the American movie industry, will be welcomed by students, scholars, and all with a lively interest in the film. Tino Balio has searched out key prepublished materials from a wide variety of sources spanning more than seventy-five years, and has enlisted other contributions written especially for this collection, in order to give the reader an opportunity to discover how the movie industry has really worked, from its beginnings as a novelty right up to the present day of  conglomerate corporation control.

Unlike all other American art forms, film has always had a great number of constraints influencing it. These influences, say Ballo, must be understood in order to gain a truer understanding and appreciation of the art of the medium, for no art exists in a vacuum – least of all, film. In these pages, Balio guides the reader in an exploration of the effects of technological invention and development, financing, studio organization and procedures, distribution and exhibition trade practices, economic forces, and changing legal restraints. Each, as the reader will discover, left its indelible mark on the screen.

The American Film Industry is divided into four sections, each covering a specific time period from the industry’s birth in 1896 to the present. Balio has written introductory historical surveys of each period, placing in helpful perspective the articles which follow. The articles themselves cover such subjects as the kinetoscope, the star system, the coming of sound, the structure of the industry and competition practices, censorship, foreign markets, the influence of television, 1950s blacklisting, anti-trust actions, and recent trends.

Prepublished articles, selected for their liveliness as well as their accuracy, include those from Fortune, Sight and Sound, and other scholarly and industry journals and monographs. Among those articles written especially for this survey are Censorship: From The Miracle to Deep Throat, by Richard S. Randall (author of Censorship of the Movies, Wisconsin, 1968), The Coming of the Talkies: Invention, Innovation, and Diffusion, by J. Douglas Gomery, Hollywood’s International Market, by Thomas H. Guback (author of The International Film Industry, Indiana, 1969), and Nickelodeon Theaters, 1905-1914: Building an Audience for the Movies, by Russell Merritt. Editor Balio contributes an article on the founding of United Artists during the rise of the star system, which is based largely upon the unique United Artists collection now housed in the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, at Madison.

As a classroom text and as an interesting and useful volume for film buffs, The American Film Industry offers a highly readable and inclusive history of the industry available nowhere else.

TINO BALIO, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars (Wisconsin, 1975) and the co-author, with Lee Norvelle, of The History of the National Theatre Conference (Theatre Arts Books, 1970).

Softcover – 499 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 693 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1976 – ISBN 0-299-07004-2

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Film Beginnings 1893-1910, Film Entries

american-film-institute-catalog-film-beginnings-1893-1910“As the twentieth century in America has advanced, so has the art of film. A hundred years ago, some saw film as an amusing toy with a doubtful future. But when technology was married to artistry, then film began its march through the century. On the 100th anniversary of film, we welcome an opportunity to look back at its origins. With the American Film Institute’s publication Film Beginnings, 1893-1910, we have that opportunity.

Of the 17,000 films scrupulously recorded in this catalog, film preservationists estimate that about ten percent are known to survive. Perhaps many hundreds remain to be found. The first film Thomas Edison made in his “Black Maria” studio in 1893 still exists: Fred Ott’s famous sneeze. From that moment in time, film developed rapidly and its classic genres were defined early: narratives such as The Adventures of Dollie (1908); adaptations such as Camille (1910); documentaries such as Carriers at Work, U.S.P.O (1903) and travel and nature films.

The hand-cranked camera began its ubiquitous penetration of every aspect of public and private life. It created a record of the times and historical figures, from Admiral Dewey (1899) to the electrocution of a rogue elephant on Coney Island in 1903. The names of famous directors began to appear: D.W. Griffith, and Edwin S. Porter and the face of one who might be called the first movie star, Florence Lawrence, ‘The Biograph Girl,’ became familiar to viewers. As the compilers of this pioneering catalog tell us, the early industry was not as primitive as was hitherto understood.

The journey initiated by the American Film Institute in 1967 has been long. The chronicle of early films now takes its place beside those of the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s and the 1960s. The institute’s Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States is indispensable to scholars, a treasure for film students, and a major resource for the public. We are proud to be a partner with the American Film Institute as it records in sophisticated and accessible form the history and documentation of the moving image in the United States. These films are a series of windows through which we can catch a glimpse of yesterday, examine our history and see the face of the present reflected and illuminated in images of the past.” – Foreword by Jane Alexander.

Hardcover – 1.217 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.630 g (92,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1995 – ISBN 0-8352-0440-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Film Beginnings 1893-1910, Indexes

american-film-institute-catalog-film-beginnings-1893-1910Film Beginnings, 1893-1910 has seven separate indexes to assist the researcher. Readers familiar with indexes in other volumes of the AFI Catalog will notice some differences here. Previous AFI Catalog volumes have indexed film titles chronologically by year, then alphabetically within each year. Because of the importance of the evolution of the medium of motion pictures during the period covered by Film Beginnings, it was decided that for this volume films should be listed chronologically, according to the specific date, rather than year of release. Thus, the reader will find that films released in 1907, for example, can be traced from 5 January through 30 December. Films for which the year of release and the month are known, but with undetermined day of release are listed at the beginning of a specific month. Films for which neither the exact day, month or year of release have been determined, are listed at the end. In cases in which two or more films share the same release date, titles are arranged alphabetically.

While each of the indexes adopts this same basic arrangement, please consult the brief Introduction to each index for specific information on that index. Following the indexes, a Selected Bibliography of books mentioned within the entries is provided. As many of the books listed in the Selected Bibliography are cited by title within the Film Beginnings text volume, books are arranged alphabetically by title.” – The Introduction to the Index Volume.

Hardcover – 547 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.390 g (49,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1995 – ISBN 0-8352-0440-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1911-1920, Film Entries

american-film-institute-catalog-1911-1920-met-index“When the American Film Institute was established in 1967, the newly formed Board of Trustees identified the preservation of our national film heritage as its first priority. But as the institute set about the task of organizing a national preservation effort, progress was hindered by the lack of a reliable, comprehensive source of information detailing the production of the American film industry.

In 1968, the AFI launched an ambitious documentation project: The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures. This series will eventually provide complete cataloging on every feature, short, and newsreel produced by the American film industry since 1893. The first volume, listing American features from 1921 to 1930, was published in 1971. In 1976, a second volume covering 1961-1970 appeared. The current volume has been in preparation since 1983, and research is well along on volumes documenting 1931-1940 and the pre-teen era.

To produce an AFI Catalog volume means years of arduous, painstaking work. Our staff of film scholars and historians examine and compare films, books, journals, and public, corporate and personal records to achieve the most accurate, comprehensive documentation possible. This commitment to quality in creating the national filmographic record would not be possible without equal commitment and generosity on the part of our benefactors. The National Endowment for the Humanities has played a leadership role in supporting the Catalog since its inception. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts also have provided support, encouragement, and understanding throughout the project that have allowed us to achieve our goals.

And, over the years, the effort has been enormously rewarding. The author, historian, and Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel J. Boorstin called the Catalog ‘an unequalled guide to the film sources of our history,’ and the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., said of the twenties volume, ‘The AFI twenties Catalog is not only a triumph of exact scholarship; it is also endlessly absorbing as an excursion into cultural history and national memory.’

As the institute enters its third decade, we are proud to present the third volume of the AFI Catalog, documenting American feature films produced between 1911 and 1920. In the years since the inception of the Catalog project, the field of film studies has made tremendous advances. The teens volume has benefited from this development and will unlock the period for film scholars. Although the teens was an enormously significant decade for film, it has been neglected because of the scarcity of accurate information and the inaccessibility of the films. And while there is a tendency to view the teens as the infancy of the movies, we know today that cinema during the period was already a mature art and a highly developed industry.

The teens saw the rise of feature-length film and the consequent development of a cinematic language and narrative forms. The star system came into being in the teens; D.W. Griffith, Thomas H. Ince, and Cecil B. DeMille became household names, and the first generation of cinema ‘moguls’ created the studios that have since dominated American film. The balance of film production shifted from the East Coast to a Southern California town whose name would soon become synonymous with American film: HoIlywood. And while this expanding industry was creating entertainment at a feverish pace, the movies did not turn away from the great social ferment of the era. Changes in American society involving morality and institutions, the Great War, and our national identity – changes that affected every facet of life – were captured by the cinema.

The preservation of our film heritage remains the Institute’s first priority. In the twenty years since our establishment, we have seen the field expand from a handful of archives to an ever-growing network of institutions concerned with the preservation, study and sharing of our motion picture heritage. As a result of NEA Chairman Frank Hodsoll’s commitment to film and television preservation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the AFI established the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the AFI in 1983 to provide national focus and coordination for the archival community. Work on the AFI Catalog resumed and the National Moving Image Database project was initiated. These programs, along with the administration of the NEA Preservation Grants program, continue the American Film Institute’s dedication to preserving our national film and television heritage.

In the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-1920, scholars, historians, and film lovers have a new tool for exploring our collective past. We are very proud of this latest contribution to America’s cultural history and national memory.” – The Preface by Jean Firstenberg.

Hardcover – 1.081 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.830 g (99,8 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-520-06301-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1911-1920, Film Entries

american-film-institute-catalog-1911-1920-met-index“When the American Film Institute was established in 1967, the newly formed Board of Trustees identified the preservation of our national film heritage as its first priority. But as the institute set about the task of organizing a national preservation effort, progress was hindered by the lack of a reliable, comprehensive source of information detailing the production of the American film industry.

In 1968, the AFI launched an ambitious documentation project: The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures. This series will eventually provide complete cataloging on every feature, short, and newsreel produced by the American film industry since 1893. The first volume, listing American features from 1921 to 1930, was published in 1971. In 1976, a second volume covering 1961-1970 appeared. The current volume has been in preparation since 1983, and research is well along on volumes documenting 1931-1940 and the pre-teen era.

To produce an AFI Catalog volume means years of arduous, painstaking work. Our staff of film scholars and historians examine and compare films, books, journals, and public, corporate and personal records to achieve the most accurate, comprehensive documentation possible. This commitment to quality in creating the national filmographic record would not be possible without equal commitment and generosity on the part of our benefactors. The National Endowment for the Humanities has played a leadership role in supporting the Catalog since its inception. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts also have provided support, encouragement, and understanding throughout the project that have allowed us to achieve our goals.

And, over the years, the effort has been enormously rewarding. The author, historian, and Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel J. Boorstin called the Catalog ‘an unequalled guide to the film sources of our history,’ and the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., said of the twenties volume, ‘The AFI twenties Catalog is not only a triumph of exact scholarship; it is also endlessly absorbing as an excursion into cultural history and national memory.’

As the institute enters its third decade, we are proud to present the third volume of the AFI Catalog, documenting American feature films produced between 1911 and 1920. In the years since the inception of the Catalog project, the field of film studies has made tremendous advances. The teens volume has benefited from this development and will unlock the period for film scholars. Although the teens was an enormously significant decade for film, it has been neglected because of the scarcity of accurate information and the inaccessibility of the films. And while there is a tendency to view the teens as the infancy of the movies, we know today that cinema during the period was already a mature art and a highly developed industry.

The teens saw the rise of feature-length film and the consequent development of a cinematic language and narrative forms. The star system came into being in the teens; D.W. Griffith, Thomas H. Ince, and Cecil B. DeMille became household names, and the first generation of cinema ‘moguls’ created the studios that have since dominated American film. The balance of film production shifted from the East Coast to a Southern California town whose name would soon become synonymous with American film: HoIlywood. And while this expanding industry was creating entertainment at a feverish pace, the movies did not turn away from the great social ferment of the era. Changes in American society involving morality and institutions, the Great War, and our national identity – changes that affected every facet of life – were captured by the cinema.

The preservation of our film heritage remains the Institute’s first priority. In the twenty years since our establishment, we have seen the field expand from a handful of archives to an ever-growing network of institutions concerned with the preservation, study and sharing of our motion picture heritage. As a result of NEA Chairman Frank Hodsoll’s commitment to film and television preservation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the AFI established the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the AFI in 1983 to provide national focus and coordination for the archival community. Work on the AFI Catalog resumed and the National Moving Image Database project was initiated. These programs, along with the administration of the NEA Preservation Grants program, continue the American Film Institute’s dedication to preserving our national film and television heritage.

In the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-1920, scholars, historians, and film lovers have a new tool for exploring our collective past. We are very proud of this latest contribution to America’s cultural history and national memory.” – The Preface by Jean Firstenberg.

Hardcover – 1.081 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.830 g (99,8 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-520-06301-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1911-1920, Indexes

american-film-institute-catalog-1911-1920-met-index“The AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-1920 has seven separate indexes to assist the researcher. Unlike the previous two volumes of the Catalog, the teens volume separates personal name and corporate entries into two indexes. In addition, we have provided a complete chronological list of film titles, a Genre Index, and a Geographic Index which were not in previous Catalogs. A Subject Index and a Literary and Dramatic Source Index are also provided.

We have indexed all elements of the catalog following the same basic arrangement: alphabetical heading followed by a chronological, then an alphabetical, list of film titles. An asterisk following a film title indicates that the credit is mentioned in the note rather than in the main body of the entry for that film.

A brief explanation is provided for the user at the beginning of each index. Following the Geographic Index we provide a bibliography of books for further research.” – The Introduction to the Index Volume.

“In this index films are listed alphabetically under the year of release. Films whose release dates may have been in either of two years, for example 1914 or 1915, are listed between the entries for the two years. Films whose release dates cannot be determined are listed at the end under 19–.” – Chronological Index of Film Titles.

Hardcover – 476 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.470 g (51,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-520-06301-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1911-1920, Indexes

american-film-institute-catalog-1911-1920-met-index“The AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-1920 has seven separate indexes to assist the researcher. Unlike the previous two volumes of the Catalog, the teens volume separates personal name and corporate entries into two indexes. In addition, we have provided a complete chronological list of film titles, a Genre Index, and a Geographic Index which were not in previous Catalogs. A Subject Index and a Literary and Dramatic Source Index are also provided.

We have indexed all elements of the catalog following the same basic arrangement: alphabetical heading followed by a chronological, then an alphabetical, list of film titles. An asterisk following a film title indicates that the credit is mentioned in the note rather than in the main body of the entry for that film.

A brief explanation is provided for the user at the beginning of each index. Following the Geographic Index we provide a bibliography of books for further research.” – The Introduction to the Index Volume.

“In this index films are listed alphabetically under the year of release. Films whose release dates may have been in either of two years, for example 1914 or 1915, are listed between the entries for the two years. Films whose release dates cannot be determined are listed at the end under 19–.” – Chronological Index of Film Titles.

Hardcover – 476 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.470 g (51,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-520-06301-5

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1921-1930, Film Entries

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1921-1930When the history of the twentieth century in America is written it will include as one of its highlights the growth and flowering of a new art form – one which began as a kind of toy and grew into a device for communication, art, and industry whose dimensions and significance continue to expand. In fact, in the early days, films grew so fast that there was little time for looking back. Allan Dwan, a director of the 20s and 30s, wrote me recently saying that he never dreamed that another generation would have an interest in his work and consequently he kept no prints or scripts of his films. So records of this past have been sparse, and so too the surviving films.

More than half of the pictures made in the United States had been lost or destroyed and two-thirds of the twentieth century had passed when the American Film Institute came into being in 1967. One task of the Institute is to recover the surviving films – nearly 4,500 are already in the AFI Collection at the Library of Congress – and another is to recover and organize the data which can document the history of an art. The present volume is the centerpiece of a comprehensive reference work on American cinema. Though not the first in the order in which the complete set of volumes will stand on the shelf, it is nevertheless a fine choice to introduce the work. It describes films of a decade that witnessed the zenith of the silent film and the introduction of sound.

The Credit Index chronicles the founding of thousands of careers in meticulous detail. Every credit of men and women like William A. Wellman, Mary Pickford, Frank Capra, and Harold Lloyd is listed whether the credit was as actor or writer, as director or assistant. And every career is included whether the assistant remained an assistant or went on to greater things. This information has been compiled by a small staff that has been rigorous in its attention to accuracy and completeness of information; no credit is too small, no career too brief. The same is true of the corporate structures that came into being. The giants are here – MGM, Fox, Paramount, United Artists – with every film they produced, and so are hundreds of will-o’-the-wisp companies that failed to survive their first film and vanished without a trace except the film that bears their name.

This volume reflects a great era in human creativity. A decade of adventure for thousands of artists and craftsmen who invested their lives to creating moving pictures. They did it well. It is to their memory that this volume is dedicated.” – Foreword by George Stevens, Jr.

Hardcover – 936 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.120 g (74,8 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1971 – ISBN 0-520-20969-9

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1921-1930, Indexes

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1921-1930“All personal and institutional or corporate names credited in this Catalog with any aspect of film production and distribution, the performance of film roles, and authorship of original literary, dramatic, and other works from which the films were derived are listed in this Credit Index. Each unique name, whether personal or institutional, appears only once; and subordinated to it, as explained below in detail, the films credited to the name are listed. Literary and dramatic source credits are separately listed beginning on page 1449.

In the interest of historical accuracy the compilers have endeavored, insofar as possible or feasible, to render the name credits exactly as expressed, contemporaneously, for the films concerned. Allowing for misspellings or inconsistencies in the sources used – and these discrepancies the compilers have been at pains to reconcile – there still results in the production of an index of this proportion by computer methodology the separation of the data subjoined to each variation in the rendering of the same name. It is believed, however, that film scholarship will more greatly benefit from such separation than it would have benefited from an arbitrary decision on the part of the compilers to establish an ‘authority’ list to which all names in the descriptive entries, and by extension in the index, would be made to conform.

Nevertheless, especially for the benefit of the novice in film research, appropriate cross-references are provided from one variation to all others whenever there is no reasonable doubt about the same identity. Special pains have been taken to separate data relating to two or more persons known by exactly the same name, but here again film scholarship, it is to be hoped, will recognize the difficulty of making a determination of this kind without great risk of error. In consequence, it remains for the researcher himself to establish, for whatever purpose, the extent to which any unique name in this Credit Index actually identifies two or more persons of that same name.

In the alphabetization of personal names having capitalized prefixes (such as De, Du, La, or Van), the prefix governs the arrangement; and it should be noted that in the descriptive entries themselves, and in consequence in this Credit Index, the compilers have consistently capitalized such prefixes and (with the exception of Me, Mac, and Le in the context LeRoy) spaced between the prefix and the surname. This procedure may offend the purist, but in no other way could a single identity – rendered, say, variously as DeMille, De Mille, deMille, and de Mille – be retrieved under one heading.

Production and distributing companies are, insofar as possible, given the names they employed at the time of film release, and no attempt has been made to cross-reference these names to reflect their corporate histories. The user will find, for example, data separately presented under the headings Metro Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp., and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. For corporate or firm names the name-reversal technique is not employed – Norma Talmadge Productions, for instance, is entered under N – but each such name is cross-referenced, as necessary, from the appropriate surname.

The films credited to each unique name are listed chronologically by year of release (or, if release date has not been determined, the year of production or of copyright), then alphabetically by film title. Though no page references are given, the descriptive entries may be readily found in the alphabetically arranged Catalog or, perhaps more conveniently, by means of the entry number following each title.” – The Credit Index.

Hardcover – 717 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.695 g (59,8 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1971 – ISBN 0-520-20969-9

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1931-1940, Film Entries A-L

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1931-1940“It is a pleasure to welcome the publication of another volume of The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States. This reference work presents the record of the film industry during the 1930s, an era many of us associate with the Depression, but a period that was marked by extraordinary creativity in filmmaking. There were excellent productions of well-loved classics, such as Pride and Prejudice and David Copperfield, and the period produced classics of its own, such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and A Star Is Born. These are the years that gave us The Grapes of Wrath, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. This is the time when Hollywood began producing hit musicals like Top Hat, which brought song and dance and a new group of talented stars to enthusiastic audiences.

The world of 1930s filmmaking is still very accessible. Several generations have had the opportunity to view the standard repertory of film history via television or videocassette, and to become acquainted with screenplays, actors, actresses, and directors. Many thirties film plots have been revived and refilmed for later audiences, but the originals are still viewed over and over again. We can safely assume that even though fashions in dress and automobiles will continue to change, the appeal of these works will endure.

As a reference source, the thirties Catalog is invaluable. The staff members who produced it are veterans of many hours of research in film libraries and archives nationwide, and they have adhered to exacting standards of description and verification. Going beyond the films themselves, they have searched contemporary printed sources for authoritative information on each title, from the relatively obscure to the well-known. The resulting Catalog will provide assistance to a wide audience of users. Casual browsers will want to read the plot summaries and make notes for later viewing. Those who wish to follow their favorite stars or types of films will be able to locate them using the comprehensive indexes. Students and scholars who are interested in such topics as the studio system and the work of well-known directors can use the catalog as a point of entry into the literature. The Catalog will provide them with the citations to other relevant printed sources that are necessary to facilitate research.

For many disciplines of the humanities that use films as art or evidence, the AFI Catalog series provides the definitive record of our motion picture heritage. At the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are proud to be able to support the Catalog as a significant resource for understanding modern American culture.” – The Foreword by Lynne V. Cheyney.

Hardcover – 1.265 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.815 g (99,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1993 – ISBN 0-520-07908-6

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1931-1940, Film Entries M-Z

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1931-1940“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support the careful research and superb scholarship that is the hallmark of The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States. Viewing and cataloging more than 5,000 features produced during the 1930s is a monumental undertaking, one that the staff of the AFI Catalog has accomplished with diligence and remarkable skill. Now, for the first time in film history, scholars and researchers have a comprehensive and authoritative guide to every American feature made during that decade.

When one thinks of the films of the 1930s, classics such as Gone With the Wind, 42nd Street, It Happened One Night and The Philadelphia Story come to mind. But these are just a few of the thousands of feature films made during the decade. One thing is certain: the 1930s were a golden age in American motion picture history. With the publication of this latest volume of the AFI Catalog, covering the years 1931-1940, we have a wonderful opportunity as never before to explore this era of our film heritage.

Preserving America’s filmic past is a multifaceted task, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to the full spectrum of projects undertaken by the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at AFI. Among them are: the AFI / NEA Film Preservation Program, which for nearly two decades has provided grants for film preservation at archives across the country, and the National Moving Image Database (NAMID), which will make information from both the AFI Catalog and the physical holdings of American archives available on a computerized database.

In this volume of the AFI Catalog, the films of the 1930s come into focus as never before. With the invaluable information gathered in this volume, scholars, researchers, and film lovers can gain insight and knowledge into this fascinating era in the history of America’s indigenous art form.” – Foreword by John E. Frohnmayer.

Hardcover – 1.343 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.945 g (103,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1993 – ISBN 0-520-07908-6

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1931-1940, Indexes

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1931-1940The AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 has ten separate indexes to assist the researcher. Unlike the first two volumes of the Catalog, the 1910s and 1930s volumes separate personal name and corporate entries into two indexes. In addition, the user is provided with a complete Chronological List of Film Titles, a Genre Index, a Geographic Index, a Subject Index and a Literary and Dramatic Credit Index. New to the 1930s Catalog are a Songwriters and Composers Index, reflective of all music composition credits, a Series Index, which indexes all films made during the decade as parts of series, such as Blondie or The Three Mesquiteers. and a Foreign Language Index for films made in languages other than English.

All elements of the Catalog are indexed following the same basic arrangment: alphabetical heading followed by a chronological, then an alphabetical list of film titles. An asterisk (*) following a film title indicates that the credit is mentioned in the note rather than in the main body of the entry for that film, but is from a contemporary source. A [Note] indicates that the name in the note is either from a modern source or is in some peripheral way connected to the film. An [App] indicates that the film is included in the Appendix, rather than the main section of the film entries volumes.

A brief explanation is provided for the user at the beginning of each index. Following the Literary and Dramatic Credit Index, a select bibliography of books for further research is provided.” – From The Introduction to the Index Volume.

Hardcover – 1.181 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.615 g (92,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1991 – ISBN 0-520-07908-6

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1941-1950, Film Entries A-L

amercan-film-institute-catalog-of-motion-pictures-in-the-united-states-feature-films-1941-1950“Old movies are like old friends: their companionship is always welcome. For the generation of Americans who came of age during the 1940s, the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-1950 will provide a special trip down memory lane. For those who grew up later, the Catalog will serve as a unique window on American attitudes and customs of the decade.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to sponsor AFI’s book series documenting the history of American motion pictures. Begun thirty years ago to establish a permanent record of American film history, the series entails an ongoing, gargantuan research effort by a small but dedicated team at AFI. Thanks to their work, the nation is acquiring a first-rate reference tool that is of enormous benefit to historians and general audiences alike. In this present volume, you will find detailed information – plot summaries, producers, actors and actresses, and background material – for 4,316 films made during the 1940s.

Do you want to see how Hollywood portrayed World War II during the decade in which the war occurred? Check out the war-film genre, including the entries for Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Bataan, Action in the North Atlantic and Twelve O’Clock High.

How about life on the homefront? Take a look at the entries for Since You Went Away, Tender Comrades and Hail the Conquering Hero. Post-war life? Try The Best Years of Our Lives, Home of the Brave, Till the End of Time and It Happened on 5th Avenue. Interested in the hit musicals of the period? Look up Meet Me in St. Louis, State Fair and Take Me Out to the Ball Game. It’s all right here, and more. You are sure to find what you are looking for, and the Endowment is proud to be associated with this impressive work.” – Foreword by William R. Ferris.

Hardcover – 1.438 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 3.610 g (127,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1999 – ISBN 0-520-21521-4

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1941-1950, Film Entries M-Z

amercan-film-institute-catalog-of-motion-pictures-in-the-united-states-feature-films-1941-1950“Movies have had an important influence on my life. Like most Americans, I spent countless Saturday afternoons at the local movie theater, mesmerized by Westerns, war and gangster films, and of course, cartoons. Today, as an adult, I can see how films, particularly of the 1940s, mirrored many of the changes taking place in American society at that time, as our nation moved from the brink of World War II to the advent of the Cold War.

With the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-1950, the American Film Institute has provided American film buffs, historians and interested moviegoers alike with an invaluable snapshot of American motion pictures – and of our nation. American film, that creative merging of theater and technology, is one of the most significant and influential art forms, and the decade of the 1940s produced some of our nation’s most memorable classics – Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Meet Me in St. Louis, It’s a Wonderful Life and Fantasia. The era was also noted for advancing and perfecting such innovative techniques as the flashback, the ‘subjective’ camera, realism and Technicolor. The films of the 1940s, and the technology used to make them, are an indelible part of our artistic heritage.

The films are made even more meaningful with the knowledge that those times were extremely challenging for the American film industry. Toward the end of the decade, our society experienced a population shift to the suburbs, the break-up of studio-owned theater chains, the rise of television and the beginning of blacklisting and McCarthyism in Hollywood. American culture can be eternally grateful to those artists who continued to produce such extraordinary artistic creations under such difficult circumstances.

The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project and the valuable work of AFI to document and preserve this very significant part of America’s cultural heritage.” – Foreword by Bill Ivey.

Hardcover – 1.438 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 3.585 g (126,5) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1999 – ISBN 0-520-21521-4

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1941-1950, Indexes

amercan-film-institute-catalog-of-motion-pictures-in-the-united-states-feature-films-1941-1950The AFI Catalog of Feature Films has nine separate indexes to assist the researcher: a Chronological Index of film titles, a Personal Name Index, a Corporate Index, a Subject Index, a Genre Index, a Series Index, a Songwriter and Composer Index and a Literary and Dramatic Source Index. Entries within all of the indexes have the same basic arrangement: alphabetical headings followed by chronological, then alphabetical listings of film titles.” – From ‘The Introduction to the Indexes.’

“In this index, films are listed alphabetically under the year of release. Films that may have been released in either of two years, for example 1944 or 1945, are listed only once, under the first possible year of release. The same would be true for films that were released in blocks that began in one year and ended in another, for example, films released between December 1941 and February 1942, would be listed under 1941. Films for which release dates cannot be definitively determined are listed under the most likely release year, followed by a question mark, for example, 1948?” – From ‘Chronological Index of Film Titles.’

Hardcover – 1.115 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.910 g (102,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1999 – ISBN 0-520-21521-4

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1961-1970, Film Entries

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1961-1970“This, the second volume of The American Film Institute Catalog to be published, is concerned exclusively with feature-length films which were released and exhibited commercially in the United States between 1 January 1961 and 31 December 1970. To reflect the international nature of filmmaking during the decade and to indicate the extensive financial and artistic involvement of the United States in the production of films abroad, as well as the impact of foreign filmmaking upon American filmmakers and audiences, we have expanded our coverage to include not only those productions for which United States participation could be documented, but all films meeting the above criteria of length and release, regardless of country of origin. To be included in the Catalog a film must have been exhibited commercially in a motion picture theater, or, in the case of various ‘experimental’ or independent films, in places where a price of admission was required. Furthermore, to be accepted for inclusion each film had to have a running time of 45 minutes or more and had to be available with English-language soundtrack or subtitles. Not found in this volume are films made for television and not theatrically released; foreign language films released only in original language version; films shown only at academic institutions, museums, or festivals; and educational, industrial, or government films not given commercial exhibition.

We have compiled the information contained in the Catalog from a multiplicity of sources in many languages. Among the bodies of records consulted were film periodicals and books, including numerous monographs; reviews of films in the press; the motion picture records of the U.S. Copyright Office; pressbooks, press sheets, and other studio and distributor publicity material; the records of the Maryland State Board of Censors; film catalogs issued by many organizations, including the Canyon Cinema Cooperative, the Center Cinema Cooperative, the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, the Film-Makers’ Distribution Center, the Independent Film Importers and Distributors of America, and the National Association of Theatre Owners; program notes from a variety of sources, including the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque and the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film; film festival programs; directories and catalogs of national production from many countries; published and unpublished screenplays; company records; and, in many cases, the films themselves and individuals involved in their production and distribution. Among the most essential of our reference sources were Boxoffice, the British Film Institute Film Title Index, The Film Daily Year Book of Motion Pictures, Filmens hvem-hvad-hvor, Filmfacts, Index de la Cinématographie française, Monthly Film Bulletin, Motion Picture Exhibitor, The New York Times Film Reviews, Screen World, and Variety.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 1.268 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.710 g (95,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1976 – ISBN 0-520-20970-2

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Feature Films 1961-1970, Indexes

the-american-film-institute-catalog-feature-films-1961-1970“All personal, group, institutional, and corporate names credited in the Catalog with any aspect of film production and distribution or with the performance of film roles are listed in the Credit Index. The arrangement of the names is alphabetical, and the films credited to each name are listed chronologically by years of release in the United States, then alphabetically by film title. Each title is accompanied by an entry number, which also follows the film title in the descriptive entry and may be used as a finding aid.

We have endeavored to render the name credits exactly as expressed in our sources for the film concerned. Because of the size of the index and the number of variations in the rendering of names by our reference sources, we have not been able to identify in every instance variant credits representing the same person or individual names that may be shared by more than one person. As far as our sources have permitted, however, we have appended qualifiers to distinguish two or more persons known by exactly the same name and have provided cross-references to identify persons known under multiple names. We have not attempted to uncover the identity of persons who worked only under pseudonyms; but in the case of foreign productions, cross-references are provided to identify pseudonyms used in United States release versions.

In the alphabetization of personal names with prefixes, the following rules have been applied as consistently as possible. English: indexed under the prefix; Mc and Mac file as Mac. Afrikaans, Dutch and Flemish: indexed under the prefix (Van, Van der). French: indexed under the prefix if the prefix consists of an article or a contraction of an article and a preposition (Le, La, Des); under the part of the name following the preposition if the prefix consists of a preposition or a preposition followed by an article. German: indexed under the part of the name following the prefix if the prefix consists of a preposition or a preposition followed by an article (von, von der). Italian: indexed under the prefix (De, Del, DeUa). Portuguese: indexed under the part of the name following the prefix (da, dos). Scandinavian languages: indexed under the part of the name following the prefix (von, af). Spanish: generally indexed under the part of the name following the prefix (de, de la, del); when the prefix consists only of an article, indexed under the article. (For each country involved in production, we have relied on film reference sources originating in that country for the indexing of names: and individual variations have been accepted in preference to these general rules. In all cases where the name is indexed under a prefix, the prefix is capitalized in the descriptive entry.) – The Credit Index.

Hardcover – 976 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 2.155 g (76 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1976 – ISBN 0-520-20970-2

American Film Now: The People, the Power, the Money, the Movies (James Monaco)

monaco-james-american-film-nowHollywood movies today are bigger – but are they better than ever? In this major examination of modern American cinema, one of our leading film critics ponders this question – and produces a wide-screen picture of the answer.

Here in detail are the careers and creative milestones of the new “Whiz Kids” of Hollywood – such glittering names as Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman, Paul Mazursky, and Francis Ford Coppola. Here are the new masters of comedy – Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen. Here are the blockbusters that made fiscal history – Jaws, The Exorcist, The Godfather, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Nashville, Superman, and all the others. Here, too, are the masterpieces that passed unnoticed, and the disasters that Hollywood would like to forget. Here are the new writers turning out novelizations of screenplays and screenplays of novels, and the current and rising stars who collectively represent America’s vision of glamour and aristocracy. Above all, here is a bottom-line report on the new economics that have turned Hollywood from an old-fashioned industry centered on making movies into a “leisure-time” business obsessed with making money for corporate owners.

Add to this a complete rundown of the top critics’ choices for the best films of the decade, and a comprehensive “Who’s Who” in current American filmmaking, and you have American Film Now – the definitive guide to the film industry as it is today and as it will be tomorrow.

Softcover – 536 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 16 cm (9,1 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 802 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER New American Library, New York, New York, 1979

American Film Studios: An Historical Encyclopedia (Gene Fernett)

fernett-gene-american-film-studios“It would have been impossible to include herewith all the American theatrical film studios. If that had been attempted, this volume would have been far too unwieldy. For this reason you will find no study of the Durango Production Company, organized in 1915 by James Jarvis and W. Goff Black, the outfit which in 1918 filmed a version of General Custer’s last stand, employing backgrounds around Dolores, Colorado. There is no mention, either, of the branch studio operated by Selig Polyscope of Chicago at Canon City, Colorado, which in 1912 and 1913 operated in the 300 block of Main Street and later at Fourth and Main, with film players Tom Mix, Myrtle Stedman, William Duncan, and Joe Ryan playing in Selig productions made there. When Selig withdrew that company to Prescott, Arizona, in the fall of 1913, the studio at Fourth and Main was taken over by a newly home-grown firm, Colorado Photo-Play Company, which induced former Selig actress Josephine West, as well as producer-director O.B. Thayer and cameraman Owen Carter to remain in Canon City. Dreadfully underfinanced, Colorado Photo-Play was quickly destroyed in an expensive lawsuit involving the accidental drowning of Grace McCue while she was appearing in a scene along the Arkansas River, just west of Canon City.

G.M. (“Broncho Billy”) Anderson came from Essanay in Chicago to film the first of his westerns near Boulder, Colorado, but after he and his crew had barely begun the series, they pulled out, continuing on to California for completion of their weekly film releases.

Yet the state of Colorado, blessed as it is with awesomely beautiful scenery, has remained a favorite destination for “location shooting” of scenes for such films as Secret of Convict Lake (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952) and the Clark Gable picture Across the Wide Missouri (1951). The neighboring state of Texas has figured more than peripherally in theatrical film production, beginning as long ago as 1913 when the Satex firm was organized, its studio and offices in a decrepit warehouse at 13th and Lavaca streets in Austin. That firm seems to have produced no more than a single picture, a three-reeler titled Their Lives by a Slender Thread. It is obvious why such firms as Satex aren’t explored at length in this volume.

Of course many on-location sequences for numerous theatrical features have been shot in Texas, perhaps most ambitious and expensive of which was John Wayne’s production The Alamo, much of which was filmed in and around a full-scale reproduction of the Alamo, Wayne’s expensive money-loser having been made near the town of  Brackettville, about 120 miles west of San Antonio. You will find no mention in the text of this volume regarding the Nola Film Company, the 1915 New Orleans studio at which actress Leatrice Joy is said to have made her first screen appearances, nor is there mention of 1914’s Esperanto Pictures, which played out its one year of life, during which its titular head, J.A. Servis, grandly held his headquarters at 1613 Dime Bank Building, Detroit.

In Southern California alone there were no fewer than 49 motion picture studios in 1921, according to a count by an enthusiastic Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. Exactly why it was that the American film industry chose to gravitate westward to California is not clear even at this date. Arizona, after all, made many attempts at getting itself established as the nation’s center for production of theatrical pictures. Selig Polyscope, Eclair (a French firm with main studios in the U.S. at Ft. Lee, N.J.), Lubin (Philadelphia) and others tried their hands at operating branch studios in Arizona, but none chose to make the state its main headquarters. The delightfully bogus “Colonel” William N. Selig, whose studio headquarters was in Chicago, invested so much in real estate around the city of Prescott, Arizona, that his “Diamond S” ranch evolved from a place where Selig westerns were made, to the status of a movie site within a working cattle ranch, the branding irons of which were a likeness of the Selig motion picture logo.

Tom Mix, as bogus a cowboy as “Colonel” Selig was a military man, not only came to screen fame as a Selig “cowboy,” but eventually purchased a ranch near the Diamond S.

Real estate prices were reasonable and land plentiful in Arizona in those days; however that was also true of California, a state with a greater variety of scenery. California won out. Thus it was that Southern California by 1921 had such film studios as Morosco, Chester Comedies, Pallas, Selig, Bronx Studios, William S. Hart Company, Willis & Inglis, Brentwood Film Corporation, Berwilla, Reelcraft, Francis Ford Studios, Clermont Photoplays, Hollywood Studios, and the busy sprawling lot that in that year was still the Robert Brunton Studios and which now is Paramount.

All those were in operation in those days, though there was some evidence that there were simply too many studios there: one at 651 Fairview in Los Angeles and one situated at Nat Goodwin Pier, Santa Monica, were closed down. Thoroughly bewildering as this array of studios undoubtedly seems to the reader, it does not touch upon those studios which are given fairly detailed coverage in one of the major entries in this book. The reader will note that at times this author was forced to use photos and illustrations of substandard quality. While this is regrettable, it is my belief that it is more important to use them to depict the studios, sets and actors, etc., that were a part of motion picture history. However poor some may be, they still aid in the understanding of this book.” – From The Foreword.

The business of filmmaking began with the Thomas Edison Studio in West Orange, New Jersey. Many studios have come and gone since then. From the little guys like feisty Mark Dintenfass and his 1905 “Actophone” unit (an unlicensed Pathé camera furtively grinding out films in defiance of the Motion Picture Patents Company) to heavyweights like Samuel Goldwyn and MGM, 66 studios of all sizes and specialties are covered in this book. The culmination of many years of exhaustive research, these detailed histories discuss films, stars, successes, and catastrophes. Numerous rare photographs are included.

GENE FERNETT spent many years in the motion picture industry, working as a director and scriptwriter. He was also a college professor, author, and big band leader. He lived in Ingram, Texas.

Hardcover – 295 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 589 g (20,8) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1988 – ISBN 0-89550-250-4

American Original: A Life of Will Rogers (Ray Robinson)

scannen0044Hailed by The New York Times as “America’s Aristophanes,” Will Rogers was one of this century’s most astute and beloved humorists. If, as he often remarked, that he never met a man he didn’t like, it is also true that Rogers never met a man he didn’t like to make fun of. Everyone from congressmen and Presidents to Hollywood movie moguls and wealthy industrialists bore the brunt of his gently lacerating wit – and seemed, mostly, to be charmed in the process. So popular did Rogers become – through dozens of films, a daily column that ran for nine years in newspapers across the country, and countless lectures and stage performances – that he was often urged to run for Congress and even the Presidency. Upon receiving a mock appointment as Congressman-at-Large for the whole United States, Rogers protested, “I regret the disgrace that’s been thrust upon me here tonight. I’ve tried to live my whole life so that I would never become a congressman.”

In American Original, Ray Robinson chronicles the trajectory of Will Rogers’ remarkable life. Written with engaging immediacy and filled with a wealth of delightful anecdotes, this lively portrait follows Rogers from his childhood in the Indian Territory of what is now Oklahoma, to his first spellbinding lariat performances in the Wild West shows (where he would often lasso prominent audience members and drag them on stage), to his stardom in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies, to his early silent movies and the later “talkies,” and finally to his astonishing influence as a “cowboy philosopher” columnist read by over 40 million Americans. Far more than other biographers, Robinson excels at conveying Rogers’ impact as a political commentator (“I belong to no organized political party. I am a Democrat.”) and his great success as an actor in Hollywood, where he was the leading star of Fox Films. And along the way, Robinson paints a vibrant portrait of one of America’s most colorful eras. We follow the early evolution of modern entertainment, enjoy vivid snapshots of W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Florenz Ziegfeld, Eddie Cantor, Samuel Goldwyn, Shirley Temple, and John Ford, and, perhaps most important, witness the major political events of the era through Will Rogers’ uniquely perceptive eyes.

American Original succeeds most appealingly in bringing Will Rogers before us with all the spontaneity, intimacy, and honesty of a live performance. In it we are given front row seats to the life of a character unabashedly American and unforgettably original.

RAY ROBINSON is a veteran magazine editor and sportswriter. He is the author of the widely acclaimed biography Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time, Oh, Baby, I Love It!, with Tim McCarver, and Matty: An American Hero. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 578 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-19-508693-7

American Prince: A Memoir (Tony Curtis, with Peter Golenbock)

Autographed copy Tony Curtis

scannen0169“All my life I had one dream and that was to be in the movies.”

He was the Golden Boy of the Golden Age. A prince of the silver screen. Dashing and debonair, Tony Curtis arrived on the scene in a blaze of bright lights and celluloid. His good looks, smooth charm, and natural talent earned him fame, women, and adulation – Elvis copied his look and the Beatles put him on their Sgt. Pepper album cover. But the Hollywood life of his dreams brought both invincible highs and debilitating lows. Now, in his captivating, no-holds-barred autobiography, Tony Curtis shares the agony and ecstasy of a private life in the public eye.

No simple tell-all, American Prince chronicles Hollywood during its heyday. Curtis revisits his immense body of work – including the unforgettable classics Houdini, Spartacus, and Some Like It Hot – and regales readers with stories of his associations with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, director Billy Wilder, and film industry heavyweight Lew Wasserman, as well as paramours Natalie Wood and Marilyn Monroe, among others.

As forthright as he is enthralling, Tony Curtis offers intimate glimpses into his succession of failed marriages (and the one that has endured), his destructive drug addiction, and his passion as a painter. Written with humor and grace, American Prince is a testament to the power of living the life of one’s dreams.

TONY CURTIS is one of Hollywood’s greatest stars. Today, he lives with his wife, Jill, outside of Las Vegas, where he continues to create paintings that have made him famous as a visual artist the world over. They are the founders of the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit foundation that rehabilitates abused and neglected horses for adoption. Visit them at PETER GOLENBOCK has written six New York Times best-sellers over a thirty-year career. In 2006 he co-wrote the best-selling Idiot with then-Boston Red Sox, now-New York Yankee outfielder Johnny Damon. His book, Seven, about Mickey Mantle, was publsihed in 2007.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 364 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 688 g (24,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Harmony Books, New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-307-40849-5

America’s Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Sarah Bradford)

bradford-sarah-americas-queenJacqueline Kennedy Onassis has captivated the American public for more than five decades. From her introduction to the world as “debutante of the year” in 1947 to her death in 1994, she truly remained America’s answer to royalty. In America’s Queen, the acclaimed biographer of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Grace presents the real Jackie in a sympathetic but frank portrait of an amazing woman who has dazzled us since her teenage years.

Sarah Bradford has written a timely celebration of a life that was more private than commonly supposed. The range of her interviews is extraordinary. We hear from people from every era of Jackie’s life, including many who have never spoken in such depth on record before –  childhood intimates, Bouvier and Auchincloss relations, Kennedy family members and friends, Washington insiders, observers of the Onassis years, and admirers and colleagues from her professional life in New York. Using the insights gained from these remarkable reminiscences, Bradford is able to make a coherent picture out of the otherwise disparate and puzzling chapters of Jackie’s life, from the aristocratic milieu of Newport and East Hampton to political Washington, the Greek isles, and New York’s publishing community.

Jackie’s privileged upbringing instilled rigid self control while her expedient marriage into the overwhelming Kennedy clan consolidated her determination. Revealing new testimony from many of the couple’s friends shows the profound complexities both of this apparently very public relationship and of her controversial marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Here is the private Jackie – neglected wife, vigilant mother, and working widow.

Complete with rare and previously unseen photographs from the private collections of Jackie’s friends and family, America’s Queen portrays the woman behind the public persona – resourceful, controversial, loving, demanding, giving – in the most complete, and completely convincing, life story yet written.

SARAH BRADFORD is a historian and biographer. She is the best-selling author of several biographies, including Disraeli, selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, George VI; Princess Grace, and The New York Times best-seller Elizabeth. Married to the Viscount Bangor, she lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 500 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 826 g (29,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-670-89191-6

Among the Rugged Peaks: An Intimate Biography of Carla Laemmle (Rick Atkins)

Autographed copy Carla Laemmle

atkins-rick-beyond-the-rugged-teeth“Some movie fans may ask, who is Carla Laemmle? Let’s begin at the beginning. Nearly 100 years ago she was born Rebekah Isabelle Laemmle, the only daughter of Joseph and Carrie “Belle” Norton Laemmle, who were residents of Chicago, Illinois. It is this period of American history that sets her story apart from other film bios, for Rebekah Isabelle, or Carla as she became known, is the niece of the late movie mogul, Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures Corporation.

Carl Laemmle and his older brother, Joseph, were German immigrants who had successfully made “good” in America. However, as Joseph advanced in years, his brother, Carl, asked that he and his family relocate to California. In January 1921, at the age of 11, young Carla with her parents and maternal grandmother, Emogene Isabelle Norton, made the big move from Chicago to Universal City, California, a fledgling six-year-old incorporated community on 230 acres of land in Lankershim Township, which is on the north side of the Hollywood Hills. Mr. Laemmle purchased it for $ 165,000,00. Universal City was dedicated solely to the making of motion pictures.

Carla had studied dance since the age of six and won notoriety in Chicago as a prodigious success. Upon arrival in California, she was enrolled in the Ernest Belcher School of Dance. At the age of 16, then known as Beth Laemmle, she was cast in a small part as the Prima Ballerina in the 1925 Universal production, The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, “the man of a thousand faces.”

Growing up at Universal was a life-changing experience for Miss Laemmle. She witnessed the filming of several of her uncle’s classic movie productions, many of which took place on the backlot. A small part in a 1931 Universal movie would earn Carla Laemmle a cult following. The movie was Dracula, which starred Bela Lugosi.” – From the Prologue.

Softcover – 220 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 390 g (13,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Midnight Marquee Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-887664-91-2

Andrzej Wajda: History, Politics, and Nostalgia in Polish Cinema (Janina Falkowska)

Falkowska, Janina - Andrzej WajdaThe work of Andrzej Wajda, one of the world s most important filmmakers, shows remarkable cohesion in spite of the wide ranging scope of his films, as this study of his complete output of feature films shows. Not only do his films address crucial historical, social and political issues; the complexity of his work is reinforced by the incorporation of the elements of major film and art movements such as Socialist Realism, Italian Neorealism, the documentary tradition, French New Wave, Surrealism, the grotesque, the theater of the absurd, propaganda film, Polish Romantic tradition and many other artistic phenomena (jazz, Polish student subculture). It is the reworking of all these different elements by Wajda, as the author shows, which give his films their unique visual and aural qualities.

JANINA FALKOWSKA is Professor in the Film Studies Department at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, specializing in East-Central and Western European cinemas. Her publications include The Political Films of Andrzej Wajda (Berghahn Books 1996), National Cinemas in Post-War East-Central Europe (ed.), and, co-authored with Marek Halthof, The New-Polish Cinema (Flick Books 2003).

Hardcover – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 626 g (22,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Berghahn Books, New York, New York, 2007 – ISBN 1-84545-225-9

And the Show Goes On: Broadway and Hollywood Adventures (Sheldon Leonard; foreword by Andy Griffith)

leonard-sheldon-and-the-show-goes-onIn a career that has spanned more than 60 years, Sheldon Leonard, among his many other accomplishments, has never lost his sense of humor. It is this quality that provides the driving force of his memoir, recapturing those antic moments and the comic routines, the gags and the pratfalls, and the enormous joie de vivre that have marked his wonderfully creative and eventful life.

Born in New York City, Leonard spent his first decade in show business on Broadway, appearing in such smash comedy hits of the 30s as Three Men on a Horse, Having Wonderful Time, and Kiss the Boys Goodbye. But when he answered the call from Hollywood, it wasn’t long before he dropped the comic mask to assume his most enduring movie image, the gun man / gangster who was to share the screen with William Powell, Myrna Loy, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, as well as Abbott and Costello – and to menace them all. Though he appeared in memorable films like Tortilla Flat, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Guys and Dolls, he was almost always typecast as the heavy. And so, as the 50s began, it was time for his career to change direction, heading first for radio and then for the advancing ice floe known as television.

And, of course, in television Leonard has made his greatest contribution to popular entertainment. Occasionally as actor, more often as writer, but mainly – and resoundingly – as producer and director, his credits include some of the most successful and beloved TV series of our time, among them The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and I Spy. Leonard’s account of how these series were created and sustained is in many ways the heart of his memoir. In this strange new world his close encounters with actors, writers, sponsors, and networks are vividly and often hilariously recalled, and his pioneering work in location shooting for I Spy yields a worldwide travelogue, from Mexico to Morocco, with stops in Italy, Hong Kong, Greece (during a revolution), China, and the Soviet Union.

Leonard’s enviable record and his remarkable multifaceted career are recalled to life here with gusto, honesty, barbed wit, and no regrets. How can there be any regrets when Leonard continues his 63-year love affair with his wife Frankie, when his co-workers and friends have ranged from Clare Booth Luce and Jack Benny to Charles Laughton and Bill Cosby, when his golf handicap is down and the blue marlin are running – and when his 87 years have been filled with laughter? Laughter that he is only too happy to share.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 229 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 561 g (19,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Limelight Editions, 1995 – ISBN 0-87910-184-9

Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen (Rob Edelman, Audrey E. Kupferberg)

edelman-rob-angela-lansbury-a-life-on-stage-and-screenTo millions of television viewers both here and abroad Angela Lansbury is Jessica Fletcher, mystery-writer sleuth on the long-running hit television series Murder, She Wrote. But in fact Ms. Lansbury is much more than that. She earned renown as a character actress in films in the 1940s and added luster with stardom on Broadway before achieving fame on the small screen.

Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen is an up-close and intimate portrait of one of America’s most popular and admired actresses. It follows her career from its beginning in such films as Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, State of the Union, and The Manchurian Candidate to her conquest of Broadway. There she won additional kudos and cemented for all time her status as show business legend by starring in the smash-hit musical Mame. No Great White Way one-shot, she went on to win three other Tony Awards after Mame – in Gypsy, Dear World, and Sweeney Todd. In the 1990s, she introduced herself to a whole new generation in her role as Mrs. Potts in the animated feature Beauty and the Beast.

Lansbury’s life has been a fascinatingly active one. At an age when most young women are thinking about proms and Saturday night dates, Lansbury was already an MGM contract player. And this was after a brief career as a chanteuse in a Montreal nightclub. When others her age were deciding on a college major, she had already received two Academy Award nominations. Today, in her early seventies, she is a vital spirit who relishes each new creative endeavor.

Still, Lansbury’s career has had its share of failures and frustrations. In her twenties she was usually cast as “the other woman” or a middle-aged heavy. And her life, off camera, while mainly happy and fulfilled, has been touched by high drama. Her much-loved father passed away when she was only nine years old, and she came to America as a refugee from the London blitz. Her first marriage, to actor Richard Cromwell, was brief and controversial. Although her second marriage to Peter Shaw has been lasting and gratifying, their two children temporarily became victims of the 1960s drug culture.

Ultimately, this book is a warm, deeply human portrait of a woman who continues to respond to the triumphs and tragedies of an extraordinary life.

ROB EDELMAN is contributing editor to Leonard Maltin’s Movie and Video Guide and director of programming at Home Film Festival, which rents select videotapes by mail throughout the country. His work appears in several books, and he has written for dozens of periodicals (from American Film to the Washington Post). AUDREY E. KUPFENBERG is a film consultant, archivist, and appraiser. She is the former director of the Yale Film Study Center, assistant director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute, and project director of the American Film Institute Catalogue. She and Mr. Edelman are married and live in upstate New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 287 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Birch Lane Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 1-55972-327-0

De Animatiefilm Vóór en Na Walt Disney: Een Historisch-Artistiek Panorama (Robert Vrielynck)

Vlierynck, Robert - De Animatiefilm Voor en Na Walt DisneyWeinig of niets van wat door mensen wordt ondernomen, is alomvattend en volmaakt. Deze waarheid ervaart ook degene, die over animatiefilm schrijft en aldus poogt dit medium dichter bij het publiek te brengen. Ofschoon door velen nog steeds als marginaal beschouwd, was de animatiefilm reeds het voorwerp van een onoverzichtelijke hoeveelheid publicaties allerhande. Het kon dan ook geenszins de bedoeling zijn hier nu de som van dit alles te brengen en al het voorheen gepresteerde overbodig te maken.

De enige overmoed die werd opgebracht bestond erin waar nodig historische of chronologische rechtzettingen te doen en waar mogelijk nieuwe visies te ontwikkelen met de bedoeling een juist inzicht in de behandelde stof te bewerkstelligen. Bovendien werd gewillig rekening gehouden met de wens van de uitgever om naar een algemeen en jeugdig publiek toe te schrijven, omdat zulks een uitstekende gelegenheid bood belangstelling te wekken bij oningewijden en ze meteen een werk van blijvende waarde te bezorgen.

Om de leesbaarheid maximaal te vergroten, wordt in een glossarium toelichting verschaft over de gebruikte termen en worden de belangrijkste procédés beschreven. Tevens worden de biografieën van een aantal vooraanstaande cineasten op overzichtelijke wijze in een lexicon samengebracht. Specialisten en kenners hoeven dus de wenkbrauwen niet te fronsen; zowel schrijver als uitgever vonden het jammer niet uitgebreider en vollediger te kunnen zijn. De opdracht liet zulks niet toe. Niettemin zullen beiden zich gelukkig prijzen wanneer blijkt dat weer eens ruimere belangstelling is ontstaan voor de animatiefilm, die door haar veelzijdige aspecten jong en oud kan boeien.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 210 pp. – Dimensions 26,5 x 21,5 cm (10,4 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 1.080 g (38,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Meddens, 1981

Anita Loos: A Biography (Gary Carey)

Carey, Gary - Anita LoosAlthough it was her slice-of-flapper-life novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that made her an international celebrity in 1925, Anita’s output – of screenplays, stories, plays, articles and more – was enormous, and her career spanned seventy years. She was a celebrated Hollywood figure until her death in 1981; she moved in the literary circles of the twenties, thirties and forties; and on the 100th anniversary of her birth, she remains the enduring symbol of the Age of the Flapper. And yet, Anita Loos was a much more complicated woman than her work suggests. Now, drawn on previously unpublished diaries, letters and scrapbooks, Gary Carey – author of highly praised biographies of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and of Louis B. Mayer – gives us the first full-scale life.

Anita Loos was as much a product of the Victorian era in which she was born (1888) as the flaming-youth decade in which she made her name. Her diaries reveal a woman who was disciplined, resilient, and morally fastidious. And though she enjoyed the company of the hustlers, kept ladies, and con men she immortalized in her writing, it was her very difference from them that enabled her to portray them with such insight and humor. It was her mixture of the raffish and the bourgeois that made for her – and her work – a unique and lasting place within our culture.

We see her as a teenager in San Diego taking bit parts in local productions to please her father, whom she adored and through whom she got her first taste of life among the roués. We see her, as her family finances shrink, becoming a dependable provider at nineteen, beginning to write – by age twenty-four she had sold four filmscripts to D.W. Griffith’s Biograph Company.

We see her writing scripts for Fairbanks and Pickford (The New York Hat), Jean Harlow (it was Anita who created the concept of the Blonde Bombshell), William Randolph Hearst (for his mistress Marion Davies)… beginning to publish stories in Vanity Fair.

We witness the birth of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – as she writes it to amuse her pal H.L. Mencken – and the furor that surrounded its publication; the first edition selling out immediately  without benefit of reviews, and numbering among its earliest fans William Faulkner, James Joyce, and Aldous Huxley… and we see how the book became its author’s entrée into the world of cultural “demigods” she had admired since girlhood. We follow her friendships with Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Constance Talmadge, Huxley, Chaplin, The Cole Porters, Cecil Beaton, and Helen Hayes. We see her writing for Broadway (Gigi, Chéri, Blondes) and Hollywood (Red-Headed Woman, Riffraff, San Francisco, The Women, Susan and God, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and many others). And we follow the long, rocky course of her mostly unhappy marriage John Emerson, a producer much less successful than, and very jealous of, his wife.

And throughout, beneath the mask of independence and insouciance that Anita Loos showed the world, we see the shy, deeply reserved woman who worked exceptionally hard not only to earn recognition as a writer but to be as witty, amusing, and worldy-wise as the characters she so brilliantly created.

Anita Loos is a revelation of a true American original.

GARY CAREY was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Columbia University. He is the author os All the Stars in Heaven, Doug and Mary, Katharine Hepburn: A Hollywood Yankee, Marlon Brando: The Only Contender and Judy Holliday: An Intimate Life Story. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 331 pp., index – Dimensions 24,5 x 16 cm (9,7 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 791 g (27,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-394-53127-2

Anita Loos Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction by Anita Loos, Creator of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (edited and annotated by Cari Beauchamp, Mary Anita Loos)

beauchamp-cari-anita-loos-rediscoveredAnita Loos (1888-1981) was one of Hollywood’s most respected and prolific screenwriters, as well as an acclaimed novelist and playwright. This unique collection of previously unpublished film treatments, short stories, and one-act plays spans fifty years of her creative writing and showcases the breadth and depth of her talent. Beginning in 1912 with the stories she sent from her San Diego home to D.W. Griffith, through her collaboration years later with Colette on the play Gigi, Anita Loos wrote almost every day for the screen or stage, or for book or magazine publication. The list of stars for whom she created unforgettable roles includes Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, and Carol Channing.

This collection was personally selected by Anita’s niece and close friend, the best-selling author Mary Anita Loos, together with the acclaimed film historian Cari Beauchamp. Their essays are laced throughout the volume, providing fascinating introductions to Anita’s writings and offering previously untold insights and behind-the-scenes stories about Anita – her life, her friendships, and her times.

CARI BEAUCHAMP is the author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (California, 1998) and Hollywood on the Riviera: The Inside Story of the Cannes Film Festival (1992). Mary Anita Loos is the author of A Pride of Lovers (1981), The Barstow Legend (1978), Belinda (1976), and The Beggars Are Coming (1974).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 636 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2003 – ISBN 0-520-22894-4

Anjelica Huston: The Lady and Her Legacy (Martha Harris)

harris-martha-anjelica-hustonHollywood has never seen a dynasty like the Hustons. Three generations of the Huston clan have made film history by twice winning dual Oscars. First John Huston won an Academy Award by directing his father, Walter, in the Oscar-winning role of the old prospector in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Then, almost forty years later, John won himself another Oscar for directing daughter Anjelica in her Academy Award-winning role of Maerose Prizzi in Prizzi’s Honor.

Although Anjelica may have inherited a legacy of theatrical talent, her quest for fame and success got off to a rocky start. The daughter of the hell-raising, philandering, and brilliantly talented director John Huston and his fourth wife, the ballerina Enrica Soma, Anjelica grew up in a sheltered lrish castle. At sixteen, Anjelica was suddenly thrust into the limelight when her father cast her in a leading role in A Walk With Love and Death. The film was a critical and commercial disaster; Anjelica felt as if she had let her father down. And then, just as Anjelica was faced with unflattering reviews of her screen debut, her mother died in a fatal car  accident.

Slowly, but with an iron will, Anjelica has persevered on a course that has won her respect and acclaim. From the modeling career that was launched when Richard Avedon’s photographs of her were featured in Vogue, to her fifteen-year relationship with Jack Nicholson, to her highly praised performances in Garden of Stone and The Dead, Anjelica has proven that she can accomplish whatever she desires.

Some stars are “discovered,” but Anjelica climbed to the top by herself and made the whole world take notice. This absorbing, detailed biography of the Academy Award-winning actress tells how she did it.

MARTHA HARRIS lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 206 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-312-02541-6

Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend (Graham Russell Gao Hodges)

russel-gao-hodges-graham-anna-may-wongAnna May Wong is, undoubtedly, the most luminous Chinese American actresses ever to grace the silver screen. Between 1919 and 1960 she starred in over fifty films and shared equal billing with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Marlene Dietrich, and Warner Oland. But her life, though glamorous, is almost the prototypical story of an immigrant’s difficult path through America. Born in Los Angeles in 1905, she was the second daughter of eight children born to a laundry-man and his wife. Growing up in Los Angeles fuelled her fascination with Hollywood, and in 1919 she secured a small part in her first film, The Red Lantern with Alla Nazimova. Her most famous film roles were in Toll of the Sea, Piccadilly, The Thief of Bagdad, Daughter of the Dragon, and, most importantly, Shanghai Express, opposite Marlene Dietrich. Anna May Wong was an international celebrity whose friendships with intellectuals and artists included the famed Chinese actress Butterfly Wu, Walter Benjamin, Carl Van Vechten, Paul Robeson, Edward Steichen, and Mei Lan Fan. Even though Anna May Wong made many landmark films, discrimination against Asians in Hollywood insured that she was passed over for the lead role in the film version of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth. Apparently Wong was “too Asian” for the role. The British Film Institute recently released a newly restored version of Wong’s classic film Piccadilly and the world will, once again, thrill to the artistry of this great actress. Graham Hodges’ biography of Anna May Wong rediscovers one of Hollywood’s most legendary actresses and is a must for film lovers.

GRAHAM RUSSELL GAO HODGES is Professor of History at Colgate University and is the author of many books on New York City and African American history.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 284 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 643 g (22,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Palgrave MacMillan, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 0-312-29319-4

Ann-Margret: My Story (Ann-Margret with Todd Gold)

Ann-Margret - Ann-Margret My StoryAnn-Margret has dazzled screen and stage audiences as few entertainers in our time. Her appearance in movies such as Bye Bye Birdie, Carnal Knowledge, and Tommy, and in the acclaimed television miniseries The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and Queen, and her recent record-breaking shows at Radio City Music Hall have made her a woman loved and admired, not just for her beauty and her legend, but for herself.

Yet until now the public has known only Ann-Margret the star. Finally we hear from Ann-Margret the woman.

For years the Hollywood gossip mills portrayed her as self-destructive, an actress of bristling nerves, a wife controlled by a Svengali husband, and finally, a tragic heroine. For the first time, Ann-Margret opens the door to her private world, in a memoir that tells her life as it really was. Relentlessly honest, these pages are filled with warmth, wit, poignancy, and truth.

Readers wil learn of her moving, longtime relationship with Elvis Presley; her battle with and inspiring recovery from alcohol abuse; her loss and reclamation of her self-esteem; and her harrowing twenty-two-foot fall onstage, after which doctors feared she would never dance again. Readers will also learn the story behind her twenty-nine-year love affair with husband Roger Smith, and of his battle with myasthenia gravis, a disease that forced Ann-Margret, who had always been protected by her husband and family, to take control of not only her life but her husband’s as well. Here, too, are wonderful behind-the-scenes tales about co-stars Bette Davis, George Burns, John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, and Steve McQueen, to name a few.

But Ann-Margret: My Story is ultimately about this remarkably candid woman herself, finding her own way, seeking independence, becoming an accomplished actress and – more important – a woman of guts, humor, energy, and inspiration.

ANN-MARGRET lives with her husband and business partner, Roger Smith, in Beverly Hills. TODD GOLD, the co-author of numerous best-selling  autobiographies, lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 336 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 753 g (26,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Orion Books, Ltd., London, 1994 – ISBN 1-85798-366-6

Anne Baxter: A Bio-Bibliography (Karin J. Fowler)

Fowler, Karen J - Anne Baxxter A Bio-BibliographyActress Anne Baxter made her Broadway debut at age thirteen and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in films at age twenty-three. In a long and successful career on stage, screen, radio, and television, she played her most memorable roles as Sophie MacDonald in The Razor’s Edge (1946) and as Eve Harrington in All About Eve (1950), two enduring film classics. Baxter also led a diverse personal life, including an arduous and lonely stint as a pioneer wife in the Australian outback, which was related in her best-selling memoir, Intermission: A True Story (1976).

This bio-bibliography describes her life and career in a biography and chronology, and details her achievements in the different production media, with full credits, synopses, and review sources provided for the films and plays. An extensive bibliography notes focused and passing treatment of Baxter in a wide variety of books and periodicals.

Hardcover – 296 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 664 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1991 – ISBN 0-313-27543-2

Anthony Hopkins: Too Good to Waste (Quentin Falk)

falk-quentin-anthony-hopkins-too-good-to-wasteNow 52 of age, Anthony Hopkins is enjoying the most successful period of his acting career, having created a string of memorable roles – on film, stage and television – including King Lear, Donald Campbell, Captain Bligh, Quasimodo, Pierre in War and Peace, Lambert Le Roux in David Hare’s Pravda and culminating in the tragically and ironically lovelorn Rene Gallimard in M. Butterfly, the phenomenal Broadway and West End stage hit.

Yet success has not come easily. Dogged by insecurity stemming from a lonely childhood and underachievement at school, Hopkins started to drink heavily just as his acting career seemed poised to take off. He put his professional reputation in jeopardy by arguing with directors and storming out of the National Theatre, and left his first wife and baby daughter for the indulgences of a Hollywood career.

In 1975, he woke up in a hotel room in Phoenix, Arizona, with no recollection of how he had got there. He suddenly found divinely inspired strength to declare his alcoholism openly and make a fresh start. For this, the first-ever authorized biography, QUENTIN FALK has interviewed family, friends, colleagues and critics about this remarkable actor’s life and career – a career that was, as Hopkins eventually admitted to himself, too good to waste.

Softcover – 210 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 458 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1995 – ISBN 0-352-32663-8

Anthony Mann (Jeanine Basinger)

Basinger, Jeanine - Anthony MannDirector of such often-revived films as Winchester ’73, The Glenn Miller Story, and El Cid, Anthony Mann enjoyed a lasting and important career as one of Hollywood’s premier filmmakers. Mann’s Westerns, noir pictures, and epics are admired and studied by fans and scholars alike, and he was an expert in the fundamental elements of cinema (movement and placement of the camera, composition in the frame, and careful editing). Jeanine Basinger’s Anthony Mann, which places the director’s visual style at the center of its analysis, was among the first formal studies of any filmmaker, and it set a standard in the field over twenty-five years ago. Long out of print and much in demand, this pioneering book is now available again, featuring complete coverage of those Mann films not discussed in the original work, as well as over fifty rare film stills. Wesleyan is proud to issue this expanded edition of an essential text, making it available to new generations of filmgoers and readers.

JEANINE BASINGER is Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University, founder and curator of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, and the author of nine books on film, including Silent Stars (1999) and The Star Machine (2007). She is a trustee of the National Board of Review and a trustee emeritus of the American Film Institute.

Softcover – 215 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 358 g (12,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut, 2007 – ISBN 0-8195-6845-7

The Apu Trilogy (Robin Wood; edited by Ian Cameron)

wood-robin-the-apu-trilogy“One likes to begin a book with a bit of controversy, punching a few critical noses and offering one’s own for the return poke or smash that all too seldom comes. The reader always enjoys finding a few insults bandied around: aside from the dubious pleasure of sharing in a probably quite unjustified feeling of superiority, it gives him the sense that there must be some issue at stake for him to make up his own mind about. Alas, in the case of Satyajit Ray, it is next to impossible to achieve this desirable effect: there seems never to have been any controversy about him.

This certainly does not mean that there is uniformity of opinion about the value of his work: the critics with whom my own name has most often been linked, the founders and authors of Movie, reject him to a man. But then ‘reject’ is altogether too strong a word. Rather, they offer him the insult that is beyond insult: they ignore him. One once told me that Pather Panchali ‘seemed quite a nice little film,’ which seems to be about the maximum enthusiasm Ray’s films have aroused in those quarters. Critics who detest Jean-Luc Godard and Ingmar Bergman usually find them sufficiently interesting and stimulating to be worth the bother of attacking, but Ray appears to provoke in his detractors nothing more intense than apathy. Where most of Godard’s detractors wouldn’t dream of missing a new Godard film, there is a general sense among Ray’s that Mahanagar and Charulata wouldn’t be worth the time and bus fare. The corollary is that Ray’s admirers (in print at least) tend to be critics of the conservative Establishment. Film enthusiasts who don’t know Ray’s war well at first hand probably build up a mental image of it as the sort of primitive and literary cinema that has a solid, dull worthiness but is difficult spontaneously to enjoy or get excited about.

I propose to begin by attempting to do the detractors’ work for them: to elaborate, out of the shrug of indifference which is the most those hostile to his work seem willing to offer, a case against Ray (in order, naturally, refute it); to imagine, that is, the obstacles that interfere with other people’s response to films that have always communicated very directly and movingly to me.” – From The Introduction.

Satyajit Ray’s Panther Panchali was the first Indian film to gain much critical acclaim abroad. The remaining films in the trilogy, Aparajito (The Unvanquished) and The World of Apu, confirmed, even increased Ray’s reputation. This volume analyses the three films which remain Ray’s best-known work.

Softcover – 95 pp. – Dimensions 16,5 x 15 cm (6,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 133 g (4,7 oz) – PUBLISHER November Books, Ltd., London, 1972 – SBN 85631 002 6

Are the Stars Out Tonight? The Story of the Famous Ambassador Hotel and Cocoanut Grove, “Hollywood’s Hotel” (Margaret Tante Burk)

burk-margaret-tante-are-the-stars-out-tonight“Two points I want to make. The first, the story of the great Ambassador Hotel had to be told. For it was and is a vital cog, a veritable chronological moving part and motivation in the wheels of Los Angeles and Hollywood, then and now. A Los Angeles that keeps exploding with its newness and uniqueness, and a Hollywood that is legend second only to Camelot itself… a kingdom like Oz, a glory such as Greece, and a grandeur not unlike Rome.

And in the Ambassador that is home to both, this dazzling past, the hotel’s famous and beauteous people’s astonishing stories had never been recorded for posterity. Would that I could have had this warehouse of plots when I was penning stories for films and magazines. It’s safe to say that millions of features, articles and columns have been written but no real honest-to god book. Dramatic and historical data yes, but so voluminous with its thousands of characters and events, that no one dared tackle it until she came face to face, ear to ear and eye to eye with it. She? That’s the second point.

Every once in a while you see somebody and think, ‘Ah, there’s somebody I’d like to meet!’

And not often, but once in a while, you meet that person and say to yourself, ‘Now, this is someone I’d like to know better!’ And then every day, month or year you are glad you met her and richly delighted as you know her better. Having set that all down, then comes to me first of anybody, very clearly the name Margaret Burk. Of course, obviously since Mrs. Burk is the famed and coast to coast and border to border popular public relations executive, including in her portfolio the great and unequalled Ambassador Hotel, she has known and been loved by and leaned on by all the famous stars of every walk of life who have lived for five minutes or five years at the Ambassador. I want to put this down very carefully and clearly…

I have never known any woman so truly kind and so utterly without self-aggrandizement in my life. She is always thinking about you… about your needs or want… never about herself.

Because of these rare qualities she has been confided in… talked to… sought out… by all the greats that pass through this internationally loved hotel… and I should say with the greatest guest list of any hotel in America. Her mind being both dramatic and sensitive she has been told and remembered tales only she has heard. How she manages to be top in her field and retain such dignity… I don’t know. But she does. And it is we who are hoping she will enjoy and keep us under her wing. She has aided the Ambassador in becoming one of the really rare places.

As a journalist friend of mine Jane Gilman wrote, ‘The six most valuable words in many an Angelino’s vocabulary are: “I’m a friend of Margaret Burk’s.’ These may lead you into an interview on a television show, a recording contract, an art exhibit, a meeting with a celebrity or main attraction of an event that attracts thousands. ‘She thrives on challenge and hospitality, and when the phone rings in her plaque and trophy decorated office at the Ambassador, she is ready to help… whether business or no.’ You see what kind of a person I’m telling you about? And the natural outcome of the two coming together was Are the Stars Out Tonight?  You’ll be titillated reading about the famous elegant hotel in the very middle of the picture industry all these years. But also about the Social Elite and the Literary Lions and the Financial Fraternity who are her friends seeking both her advice and company. I know I have. Gosh, l’m glad I know her! And can sign myself her loving and admiring friend, Adela Rogers St. Johns.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 616 g (21,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Round Table West, Los Angeles, California, 1980 – ISBN 0-937806-00-5

Arletty: Confidences à son secrétaire (Michel Souvais)

Souvais, Michel - Arletty, confidences à son secrétaireArletty est née en 1898. Elle a connu deux siècles, deux guerres, l’occupation, le music-hall, la gloire, la peur, les femmes, les hommes. Elle a fréquenté des hommes politiques, des philosophes, des nobles, des comédiens, des dramaturges, des peintres et des écrivains. Elle s’est faite rebelle, froide, câline, spirituelle, piquante, amante, humaine, odieuse: insaisissable. Comme le prouve cette biographie.

Secrétaire particulier d’Arletty de 1978 à 1990, Michel Souvais est devenu bien plus que l’ami de la Grande Dame. Il est devenue son confident. Aujourd’hui, il revient sur le destin hors normes de l’une des figures les plus populaires et les plus légendaires de la scène et du grand écran.

Une biographie touchante et des anecdotes pleines de sensibilité et sans aucun voyeurisme, témoignage du respect profond et sincère de l’auteur pour elle dont il a partagé les dernières années.

Comédien, artiste-teintre et écrivain, MICHEL SOUVAIS, arrière-petit-fils de la Goulue, est né à Paris, dans l’êle de la Cité en 1946.

Softcover – 206 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 293 g (10,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Publibook, Paris, 2006 – ISBN 274833224-5

Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography (Wendy Leigh)

leigh-wendy-arnoldHe’s “Arnold” to millions of fans around the world. Bodybuilding legend. Box-office superstar. Kennedy family member. But until now the real story of Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been told.

At the time of his fairy-tale marriage to Maria Shriver, his fans believed they knew all there was to know about this phenomenally successful self-made man. At twenty-one, he’d come to America from an obscure village in Austria, armed with little more than a perfectly muscled body and a fierce ambition. Nevertheless, he’d gone on to win the Mr. Olympia crown an unprecedented seven times, transforming bodybuilding into an internationally recognized sport. Then, despite a thick accent and little acting experience, he’d tackled Hollywood and emerged a major hit in such movies as Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, Predator, and, later, Twins, becoming a millionaire many times over along the way. And, of course, he’d been linked with numerous beautiful women. Now his dazzling alliance with the Kennedy clan seemed to be the ultimate prize in a stunning rags-to-riches tale.

But what the public knows is only part of the truth. Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography tells the whole story. Based on two years of research on both sides of the Atlantic and scores of personal interviews with Arnold’s colleagues, lovers, relatives, childhood companions, friends, and rivals, the portrait that emerges is often startling. Complex, intelligent, driven, sometimes ruthless, often manipulative, Arnold is a man who has allowed little to stand in the way of his meteoric rise to success.

Journalist Wendy Leigh goes beyond the public image and explores Arnold’s troubled boyhood, his tortured relationship with his father, his sexual exploits, and his lifelong penchant for often-cruel practical jokes – jokes from which not even Maria is spared. From mentor Joe Weider to friend Kurt Waldheim, from the longstanding feud with Sylvester Stallone to the love affair with Brigitte Nielsen, from small-town gyms to celebrity mansions, the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fascinating chronicle of talent, drive, bravado, charm, and opportunism.

WENDY LEIGH is an international journalist who began her career at BBC Television in London and whose articles have appeared in publications such as New Woman, Woman, US, People, Elle, and Cosmopolitan. She and her husband, Stephen Karten, who worked on this book, live in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 716 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Congdon & Weed, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1990 – ISBN 0-86553-216-8

L’Art du cinéma (Pierre Lherminier)

scannen0002Que le cinéma, le plus jeune des arts, apparaisse comme un pur divertissement ou une forme d’expression artistique aussi noble que la peinture, la musique ou les lettres, on ne peut nier l’importance qu’il a dans le monde entier. Derrière les images et les sons, la pensée de l’artiste (qu’il soit metteur en scène, comédien, scénariste, opérateur, monteur…) est présente et effective. Quelle est cette pensée, quels problèmes se posent à ces artistes, quelles solutions leur donnent-ils d’un film à l’autre ?…

A toutes ces questions répond l’anthologie. L’art du cinéma. Pierre Lherminier y a recueilli les textes capitaux, les propos les plus significatifs de tous ceux à qui le cinéma doit d’être un Art et non une simple industrie. Tous ceux qui ont fait eux-mêmes le cinéma s’expriment ici en hommes de métier sur ce métier et sur leur art.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 628 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 770 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Edition Seghers, 1960

The Art of Living Well: Looking Good, Feeling Great (Joan Collins)

Autographed copy Joan Collins

Collins, Joan - The Art of Living WellJoan Collins is one of the most glamorous women in the world, and in The Art of Living Well she reveals the secrets of how to look amazing, whatever your age. In her latest book, Joan shares many of her life experiences and the methods she has learned about how to deal with the bad and the good things in life. She will show you how to feel better about yourself inside and consequently you will look better.

The book includes glamour and how to achieve it: Joan writes about the women she admires including Audrey Hepbum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and her own mother; exercise: Joan’s program is suitable for all women. She is photographed step-by-step as she works out with her daughter Katy. Looking good takes discipline and organization and Joan does these exercises several times a week wherever she is in the world. Joan’s makeup secrets: Joan is photographed from bare faced to fully made up. This chapter includes tricks she learned from leading Hollywood make-up artist Whitey Snyder, who also worked closely with Marilyn Monroe. Joan’s top tips on eating super-healthily for super-youth and super-energy. This chapter also includes recipes from her favorite restaurants around the world.

Relationships, love and sex: Joan talks frankly about “everyone’s favorite subject,” including her relationship and marriage with Percy Gibson, tips on finding the right man and her views on sexual freedom for women. Skincare secrets, including Joan’s secrets for great skin.

Assertiveness: how to speak your mind, how to say no and mean it and how to avoid being manipulated. Also, Joan’s views on financial independence and how she handles difficult people and situations. Entertaining: Joan has thrown many parties in her life and a chapter is devoted to entertaining in her unique and individual style, including the full story of her wedding. Dressing for yourself and your lifestyle: clothes to suit all body shapes. Joan is  photographed in a series of classic outfits to form a basic wardrobe of 20 pieces. How to mix couture with high street and her advice on being well dressed.

Happiness: everyone’s ultimate goal. Joan has seen many highs and lows in her life and she reveals what makes her happy, how she handles conflict and bad times and her personal advice for happiness. Exclusive pictures by celebrity photographer Brian Aris, who photographed Joan’s marriage to Percy Gibson. Plus pictures from Joan’s private collection, all previously unpublished. Frank, insightful and delightfully entertaining, Joan Collins will show you how, as the years go by, you can be glamorous and stylish, look stunning, be sexy and have masses of energy… you can be just like Joan!

JOAN COLLINS is one of the most recognizable women in the world. As an actress she has appeared in over 55 films and 50 TV shows, excluding the internationally renowned Dynasty, which not only ran for nine years on prime-time television, but still plays worldwide and has made Joan, as Alexis Carrington Colby, an icon of glamour and an inspiration to many women. She has starred on Broadway and in the West End and amassed dozens of glittering awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actress. Joan has published ten books, six inspirational and autobiographical, and four novels, including her recent best-seller, Star Quality. She was honored by the Queen in 1997 with an OBE for services to drama.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 19,5 cm (9,5 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 939 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, Illinois, 2007 – ISBN 978-1-4022-0942-0

The Art of the American Film 1900-1971 (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - The Art of the American Film 1900-1971If any art form can properly be associated with America, surely it is the motion picture. The collected body of American film has succeeded in entertaining people throughout the world, as well as producing an admittedly smaller body that be called works of art. It is these films, and the artistic elements of other films, that are the subject of Charles Higham’s sweeping study, the first step-up-to-date history of the American film since 1939.

Basing his survey on close first-hand study of the films themselves, the author begins by discussing the evolution of the medium in the hands of such pioneers as Griffith and Ince. His fresh critical approach is intentionally at odds with the despressingly standardized analyses of most historians. Higham’s discussion moves from the directors whose work is of a largely rural bent – from Griffith in a direct line through Henry King, King Vidor and John Ford – to the school of urban sophistication fathered by Lubitsch and DeMille and continuing in Cukor, Wyler, and Capra. He shows how the gradual urbanization of the whole of American society in this century gradually destroyed the rich vein of pastoral cinema.

Higham richly illuminates the complex texture of the American film by separating out various schools, lines of influence, and development of styles. Above all, he is concerned to show how, in spite of the monolithic hardness of “the industry,” art and artists have miraculously managed to survive. No major figure is omitted, and many films thought to have been lost are discussed here at length. Through these pages, the reader can see how, in a mere seventy years, the American cinema has developed as an indigenous form, sharing with American literature and painting its humanists and anti-humanists, its sophisticated and its primitives, its pessimists and its optimists. And the collective nature of the medium is fully explored, showing the various contributions of the cinematographer, writer and actor to each film in turn.

Poet, teacher, critic, CHARLES HIGHAM brings an especially sensitive eye to bear on American film. For this major study, he worked closely with archives on both coasts, including the Library of Congress and George Eastman House. He is the author of Hollywood in the Forties, Hollywood Cameramen, and The Films of Orson Welles, and has been Regents Professor, teaching poetry and film, at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 322 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 921 g (32,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Anchor Press / Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-385-06935-9

As I Am: An Autobiography (Patricia Neal, with Richard Deneut)

neal-patricia-as-i-amPatricia Neal’s story is the stuff that legends have been made of: The American Mother Courage with the rich molasses voice and the smoldering eyes who has been through it all and beaten the odds to become the fiery inspiration for living life to its fullest. From a triumphant career as a Tony- and Academy Award-winning actress, she has faced devastating challenges and losses – sometimes privately, sometimes before an audience of millions: a notorious and passionate long-running love affair with Gary Cooper; the brain-damaging injury of her young son, Theo, followed with tragic speed by the death of her little daughter, Olivia; a crushing series of three near-fatal strokes and a miraculous recovery that made headlines around the world; and then, as the world continued listening to fairy-tale stories of her marriage to writer Roald Dahl, the wrenching and fruitless battle to keep her husband.

It was only at that point, when she believed she had lost everything, that Patricia Neal began to write… and in the process, to face her greatest challenge yet: to remember it all; to take stock and make sense of the turbulent events of her life, a life full of unimaginable heartache and joy. It was a five-year struggle, which she confronted, characteristically, with heroic strength, anger, and humor – a process of head-on confrontation with the ghosts and demons from her past and present. Once again, she has emerged victorious, with As I Am, one of the most stunning autobiographies you will ever read.

Many have spoken and written about Patricia Neal and her valiant battles against adversity. Now, she speaks for herself, correcting the record and telling for the first time her own story of a life that has been even more dramatic than we have ever realized. She writes, brilliantly and candidly, about her relationship with Gary Cooper, which now takes its rightful place as one of the legendary Hollywood romances; about her as one of our most sensational and celebrated actresses; about the special terror and grief of helplessly watching her son and daughter in danger; about having to learn to walk, talk, and even think all over again after her stroke, and then grappling to regain the will to live; all about her tempestuous marriage to Dahl, a man who loved her and ignored her, hurt her and helped her by turns, and who finally left her; and in the face of all this, about managing to come back unbeaten again and again through the power of faith and spirit, in the process growing into the very definition of the word ‘survivor.’

And it is all written with the full force of her legendary personality, at once gutsy, witty, heartbreaking, and brutally honest, with a bad girl’s bravado and an earth mother’s compassion. Here is Patricia Neal in her greatest role, as the indomitable heroine of her own incredible real-life story. The supporting players are some of the most remarkable figures of our time, including Ernest Hemingway, Ronald Reagan, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett, Paul Newman, John Wayne, Jack L. Warner, Elia Kazan and Eugene O’Neill.

Even the multitudes of her admirers who have followed each courageous step of Patricia Neal’s life will be thrilled and surprised by the portrait that appears in this extraordinary work – a larger-than-life, but at the same time touchingly human and downright earthy woman. As I Am is every bit as unforgettable as Patricia Neal herself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 372 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 541 g (19,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1988

Astaire: The Man, The Dancer (Bob Thomas)

Thomas, Bob - Astaire The Man, The DancerIn January of 1933 a young Broadway star named Fred Astaire entered the RKO studios for a screen test. “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances,” was the reaction of one official. Thus began the amazing film career of one of the world’s most celebrated dancers. Born Frederick Austerlitz, the son of an Austrian immigrant, Astaire soon traveled to New York with his mother and sister Adele. Together, the two young children would survive the grueling life of vaudeville road shows to become the biggest stage stars of the day, glorified and adored on both sides of the Atlantic. Starring in such hits as Lady Be Good, Funny Face, and The Band Wagon, the two worked directly with such artists as Irving Berlin, Fritz Kreisler, and George and Ira Gershwin. However, their success as a team would come to an end in 1932, after Adele quit the stage to marry the English nobleman Lord Charles Cavendish. Left to go it alone, “Moaning Minnie,” as his sister affectionately dubbed him, approached the Broadway stage with apprehension. And, just as he had feared, critics lamented the loss of Adele: “An Astaire must dance and still does very well – but not for the general good is he now sisterless.”

Undaunted by his sister’s departure and his poor screen test, Fred returned to Hollywood to be paired with another young dancer, Ginger Rogers. Rogers, who was concentrating on moving away from dancing and into straight acting, was against the idea of playing next to Astaire. However, their first attempt as a team, Flying Down to Rio, would prove to be the beginning of the most successful and dynamic partnership Hollywood has ever produced. Astaire and Rogers embodied a new kind of romance, supremely sophisticated yet accessible to everyone. Together they would go on to star in such memorable films as The Gay Divorcee, Roberta, Top Hat, Swing Time, and Shall We Dance?

In Astaire: The Man, The Dancer, Bob Thomas draws upon his forty-year friendship with Astaire in recreating the life and work of the man whose characteristic grace and style were admired for generations. Always hesitant to talk about himself, Astaire, for the first time, comments on his early youth; how he and the great choreographer Hermes Pan created his famous dance routines; each of his twenty-one dance partners, including Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, the erratic Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, and Barrie Chase; and his passion for horse racing. He discusses how the devotion of his fans has brought him out of retirement several times; his marriage to his first wife Phyllis and her untimely death; and his love affair and marriage with a woman forty-four years his junior, jockey Robyn Smith.

Astaire: The Man, The Dancer captures the elegance and mystique of the most recognized and loved figure ever to dance across the silver screen. During nearly eighty years in every major entertainment medium, he has  persevered and excelled. He never quit, never passed up an opportunity to push himself and the dance to new levels of achievement. Astaire: The Man, The Dance – the first complete, up-to-date biography – is a fitting tribute to the man and his art.

BOB THOMAS has known Fred Astaire for over forty years and interviewed him many times. Thomas is the author of over twenty books, including biographies of Brando, Disney, and Joan Crawford. His most recent book, Golden Boy: The Untold Story of William Holden, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1983. He lives in Encino, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 701 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1984 – ISBN 0-312-05783-0

As Time Goes By: Memoirs of a Writer (Howard Koch)

Koch, Howard - As Times Goes By Memoirs of a WriterHoward Koch first came to the attention of the American public on October 30, 1938, when his radio script for The War of the Worlds caused thousands of people to believe that an interplanetary battle had begun in Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Fear and panic spread throughout the East as multitudes phoned the police, sought refuge in shelters, or prayed for deliverance from aliens.

When the dust finally settled on the East Coast, there were neither Martians nor Howard Koch – he had moved to California to become one of Hollywood’s outstanding screenwriters. His screen career spans three major Hollywood studios and two decades, including his scripts for such movies as The Sea Hawk, The Letter, Sergeant York, Mission to Moscow, Letter From an Unknown Woman, and his Oscar-winning script for Casablanca, perhaps the most popular movie of all time.

Howard Koch’s memoirs include stories and anecdotes on the making of all these movies and on their stars, from Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, and Joan Fontaine to Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, and Gary Cooper. But the book also details his work for Broadway stage, his childhood in upstate New York, and much, much more, for Howard Koch’s career almost came to an end when Hollywood in the 1950s suddenly found itself the subject of one of the most devastating witch-hunts in U.S. history.

Koch was exiled from Hollywood and forced to go to Europe to find work. The book details the intricacies of the McCarthy politics in the fifties, Koch’s flight overseas with his family, and his eventual victory in having his name removed from the blacklist that halted his career. Koch returned to the United States to write movies for Steve McQueen, Susannah York, and Sandy Dennis.

Today HOWARD KOCH lives with his wife, Anne, in Woodstock, New York, where he is still writing for both Hollywood and Broadway.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 220 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 474 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-15-109769-0

Audrey: An Intimate Collection (Bob Willoughby)

Willoughby, Bob - Audrey an intimate collectionHis eyes for a bankable behind-the-scenes story, and personal treatment of his subjects, made Bob Willoughby one of the most successful magazine photographers in the United States.

Living in Hollywood, his first assignments were generally centred around the world of film making. One of the first of these was with a young actress names Audrey Hepburn, the fresh-faced star of William Wyler’s 1953 film, Roman Holiday, and his intimate collection of photographs maps the friendship that developed between the photographer and the woman that so enchanted him.

As Willoughby’s career took off so did Audrey’s, his lens capturing her rise to iconic status from behind the closed-set doors of films such as Green Mansions, The Children’s Hour, Paris When It Sizzles and My Fair Lady. Bob also recorded cherished personal moments between Audrey, husband Mel Ferrer and son Sean Hepburn Ferrer, as well as the succession of animals that became part of her extended family. As only such a personal anthology could, Willoughby’s photographs capture Audrey’s natural, unaffected joie de vivre, and add another dimension to an on-screen persona that had the power to touch the hearts of everybody who saw her perform.

Softcover, dust jacket – 216 pp. – Dimensions 30,5 x 24 cm (12 x 9,5 inch) – Weight 1.305 g (46 oz) – PUBLISHER Vision On Publishing, Ltd., London, 2002 – ISBN 1-903399-26-2

Audrey Hepburn (Barry Paris)

Paris, Barry - Audrey HepburnShe was the most beautiful film and fashion statement of her era, with or without the Givenchy designs. She was a ballet dancer, who never performed in a ballet. She was the world’s highest-paid film actress, who never took an acting lesson. She was Audrey Hepburn, and she had the aura of a beloved real-life princess.

With unprecedented access to family and friends, never-before-published photographs and meticulous research, biographer Barry Paris gives us a vibrant new portrait of Hepburn. Beginning with her childhood in Nazi-occupied Holland, he weaves the tale of her storybook career, its dizzying launch after the liberation, her title role on Broadway in Gigi, and her Oscar- and Tony-winning performances within the same year of her arrival in America. In the late 1950s and the 1960s, her star shone brighter with leads in Sabrina, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Wait Until Dark and My Fair Lady.

Over the years, Hepburn kept herself remote from Hollywood and the international filmmaking set. Some regarded her as a snob. But her isolation grew largely from her need to overcome a desperate sense of insecurity. Her son Sean Ferrer says it related back to “the loss of her father to the war, and to the fear that never left her… of having to perform, of the fact that she wasn’t as beautiful as other women, and therefore, she had to work harder… than anyone else.”

In 1980 she met and fell in love with Rob Wolders, the widower of Merle Oberon. With his assistance, from 1988 until the end of her life, Hepburn became special ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund. Her trips to Ethiopia and Somalia demonstrated her whole-hearted and tireless commitment. Never before had so great a star so vigorously lent herself to such a crusade.

Audrey Hepburn had a lasting influence on the way women look, dress and play the female role. In more than forty years, she starred in only twenty films, yet as Barry Paris deftly illustrates, she became the lady women have emulated for over half a century.

BARRY PARIS is the author of the acclaimed biographies Louise Brooks and Garbo. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and American Film. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, the actress and singer Myrna Paris, and their children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 452 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 896 g (31,6 oz) – PUBLISHER G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-399-14056-5

Audrey Hepburn: A Bio-Bibliography (David Hofstede)

Hofstede, David - Audrey Hepburn a Bio-BibliograhyThough starring in only some twenty films and two engagements on Broadway, Audrey Hepburn earned her reputation through the quality of her work rather than the quantity of her performances. She was never driven by her career, and took years off between movies to spend with her family. As a child growing up in Arnhem when the Nazis invaded Holland, Hepburn witnessed the tragedy of war first-hand, and the impact of her experiences led her to a strong devotion to humanitarian causes.

This book chronicles the career of Audrey Hepburn and sheds light on her private and enigmatic life. The brief biography included in the volume overviews her experiences and provides a context for her work as a performer. The entries that follow are devoted to her individual performances and include cast and credit information, plot synopses, excerpts from reviews, and critical commentary on her work. Entries are grouped in chapters devoted to her stage, film, radio, and television appearances, while appendices list her awards. An annotated bibliography lists and describes sources of additional information about this enchanting performer.

Hardcover – 237 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 581 g (20,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1994 – ISBN 0-313-28909-3

Audrey Hepburn: A Life in Pictures (edited by Yann-Brice Dherbier; foreword by Hubert de Givenchy)

Dherbier, Yann-Brice (ed) - Audrey Hepburn a Life in PicturesThere is no need to introduce Audrey Hepburn. She has become such an icon of cinema and fashion with her timeless style, the epitome of beauty, chic and glamour, that her image is now imprinted upon the collective consciousness. Audrey was always immaculate, whatever she wore. Whether it was just a ‘little black dress’ or an haute couture gown by Givenchy, she wore it with grace and elegance. Awarded an Oscar for her role in Roman Holiday in 1954, she became a legend with Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. But behind the style and the glamour of the big screen lay a sensitive woman who never forgot her childhood experience of war, and who selflessly gave her time to the famine sufferers of Africa as an ambassador for UNESCO.

It is this rare, exceptional woman that we rediscover in Audrey Hepburn: A Life in Pictures.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 18 cm (8,3 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 800 g (28,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Anova Books Company Ltd., London, 2009 – ISBN 978 186205 828 6

Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers (Sean Hepburn Ferrer)

Autographed copy For Leo, that you … (unclear) this undying effort for our business… and for my mother… All the Best, Sean Hepburn Ferrer (signature)

Ferrer, Sean Hepburn - Audrey HepburnMy mother’s life was a success; she was graced with good choices. The first choice she made was her career. Then she chose her family. And when we, her children, were grown and started our lives, she chose the less fortunate children of the world. She chose to give back. In that important choice lay the key to healing and understanding something that had affected her throughout her entire life: the sadness that had always been there.’

In an era of Hollywood icons, no star shined brighter than Audrey Hepburn. Her charm, her grace, her frail humanity and, of course, her stunning face delighted moviegoers across the world. On-screen and onstage she dazzled millions as Gigi, Eliza Doolittle and Holly Golightly. But to her son Sean she was simply ‘Mummy’.

In the first insider portrait of Audrey Hepburn, Sean Hepburn Ferrer offers an intimate glimpse into the life of Hollywood’s most celebrated actress. In this emotional and candid memoir, Sean tells his mother’s remarkable story, from her childhood in war-torn Holland to the height of her fame to her autumn years far from the camera and the crush of the paparazzi. It is a rare look at Audrey not from the photographer’s lens, but through the eyes of the son who adored her.

Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit features nearly three hundred photographs, documents and artwork by Audrey herself, many of which have previously been unavailable. In this unprecedented memoir, Sean Hepburn Ferrer remembers the actress the world adored as only a son can.

More than a Hollywood biography, Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit is about the relationship between a son and his mother. Sean introduces us to an Audrey who was as profoundly sad as she was beautiful. Helpless to change the cruelties of the world and powerless against her own insecurities, Audrey was a devoted mother to Sean – “my best friend,” he calls her – and his brother Luca. When they were older, they were proud to see her mother use her fame to help the children of the world who were in need. As the spokeswoman for UNICEF, Audrey brought worldwide attention to the tragic lives of millions of impoverished children. And now Sean Hepburn Ferrer continues that work with the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund (, to which he has donated his proceeds from this book.

SEAN HEPBURN FERRER was born in films. His mother is Audrey Hepburn, his father Mel Ferrer. He has worked in all aspects of motion picture development, production, post-production and marketing. Sean founded the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund to continue his mother’s legacy to helping children in need all over the world. Educated in Europe and fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese, he lives in Santa Monica and Tuscany with his wife and two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 230 pp. – Dimensions 26 x 20,5 cm (10,2 x 8,1 inch) – Weight 1.075 g (37,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Atria Books, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-671-02478-7

Audrey: Her Real Story (Alexander Walker)

Walker, Alexander - Audrey, Her Real StoryAlexander Walker’s Audrey: Her Real Story is a triumph of research and insight, distinguished by the shrewd empathy that made his previous biographies best-sellers.

Drawing on his thirty-years acquaintance with Audrey, interviews with her closest associates and original documents in Hollywood, Britain, Ireland and Holland, Walker shows us the hopes, dreams, and darkest fears of a woman whose entire life was overshadowed by a terrible family secret. It was a secret which could have destroyed Audrey’s career, which was frequently on the very edge of discovery, but which she carried unspoken to her grave. In this book, the real story is told for the first time.

Audrey was beautiful, graceful, warm, effervescent. Without breaking her spell, Walker analyses her ascent to power and world fame, tracing the extraordinary combination of luck and talent that allowed a fragile little girl from a broken family, who nearly died in Hitler’s occupied Europe, to conquer, in one miraculous year, both the New York stage (as the impish Gigi) and the Hollywood screen (as the truant princess in Roman Holiday).

Through a broken engagement, two failed marriages and an ill-fated affair with William Holden, the family life Audrey desperately yearned for always eluded her. Then finally, she found her purpose. In a heartbreaking reflection of her own war-torn childhood, she devoted her last years to an unflinching campaign to help the starving children of Africa, even while her own life was being drained away. Audrey was unique, a star utterly unlike the others. Her story will move you to tears.

ALEXANDER WALKER is the author of nearly twenty books about the cinema and its stars, including best-selling biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich and Vivien Leigh, and the authorized life of Peter Sellers, as well as standard works on the coming of the Talkies, a monograph on Stanley Kubrick and the fullest account to date of the British film history from 1960 to 1985. He has been the London Evening Standard‘s influential film critic since 1960, has twice been named ‘Critic of the Year’ in the annual British press awards and is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. A prolific broadcaster on television and on radio, he wrote and narrated four series of Film Star for the BBC. He was born in Ireland, and educated there, on the continent and in the United States. He lives in London and between writing, reading and viewing makes skiing his obsession.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 319 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 724 g (25,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1994 – ISBN 0 297 81437 0

Audrey Hepburn: The Captivating Story of Hollywood’s Princess (Ian Woodward)

Woodward, Ian - Audrey HepburnShe was ‘enchanting,’ ‘moon-kissed,’ ‘elfin’ – a star possessed of an indefinable magic that could never be tarnished by success. And yet the irresistible actress who won an Academy Award at twenty-four had only wanted to be a dancer…

As a child Audrey Hepburn lived in luxury, until the Nazi occupation of Holland turned her into a street-wise waif. How she survived the war, and the penniless years that followed, is as amazing as her meteoric rise to fame. In this fully illustrated biography Ian Woodward examines Hepburn’s many stage and film successes, including Gigi, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady and Roman Holiday. She has starred with the most illustrious men, from Gregory Peck to Sean Connery, and is today a twice-divorced multi-millionairess. Yet Audrey Hepburn retains the humility of one who learnt at an early age that ‘human relationships are the most important thing of all.’

Softcover – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 551 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co, Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0-86379-057-7

Autobiografie (Rutger Hauer, with Patrick Quinlan, Monique Brandt; originally titled All Those Moments)

hauer-rutger-rutger-hauer-autobiografieRutger Hauer is niet weg te denken uit de Nederlandse film- en televisiegeschiedenis, met de succesvolle Nederlandse serie Floris en de films Turks Fruit en Soldaat van Oranje. Zijn acteertalent bleef ook internationaal niet onopgemerkt, waardoor het Rutger Hauer lukte wat vele acteurs niet lukte: doorbreken in Hollywood.

Dit is het indrukwekkende levensverhaal van een eigenzinnige vijftienjarige die uitgroeide tot en acteur van wereldformaat. Rutger Hauer vertelt openhartig over zijn visie op Amerika en Nederland en de roerige filmindustrie. Daarnaast neemt hij ons mee naar de filmsets van de klassieke sciencefictionfilm Blade Runner, de roemruchte films Flesh + Blood, Buffy, Batman Begins, Mentor en dé cultfilm van 2005, Sin City.

RUTGER HAUER zet zich met zijn Starfish Association in voor met HIV besmette kinderen en zwangere vrouwen. De opbrengsten van dit boek komen ten goede aan deze organisatie.

Softcover – 216 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 429 g (15,1 oz) – PUBLISHER De Boekerij bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2007 – ISBN 978-90-225-4728-1

The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille (Cecil B. DeMille; edited by Donald Hayne)

De Mille, Cecil B - AutobiographyThe name of Cecil B. DeMille has become a household word to generations of moviegoers throughout the world. It has been linked with great accomplishment – and controversy – in the popular arts. Now the man himself steps out of the myth in his own vigorous, entertaining life-story that may well become one of the most significant and widely-read autobiographies of his time. His outspoken, often moving book reveals the humor, the imagination and the faith that made him a master of his industry and of his craft.

Writing with all the customary clarity and force, the author takes you back in time to a nostalgic earlier day of the American theatre. You meet, through his eyes, the men and women who have become the legends of our stage… Maude Adams, riding gaily on 8-year old Cecil’s sled… Evelyn Nesbitt, already a beauty at sixteen, at Mrs. Henry DeMille’s boarding school, pursued by the impetuous John Barrymore who left love letters for her on the tennis court… David Belasco, director and impressario, who lived with the DeMille family… E.H. Sothern and Charles Frohman, who, with Belasco, molded the author’s early career as actor and playwright… Mary Pickford, the idol of the silent films.

Cecil B. DeMille now reveals how Hollywood began… the amusing last-minute decision on the station platform at Flagstaff, Arizona, that brought them out to California… how his first film, The Squaw Man, was made in a stable with the stalls doubling as dressing rooms. Here is the inside story of the struggles, the mishaps, the pitfalls and dangers of the early days of Hollywood… the struggle to survive against “the Trust” and its hired strong-arm men… the attempted sabotage of DeMille’s precious film… the two attempts, from ambush, on the author’s life.

You’ll never forget the hair-raising scenes that occurred offstage and that threatened to destroy the infant company, such as the time a demented manager who came to shoot DeMille was hired as a stunt man… or the time when an enraged bull tossed, then charged, the matador of Carmen while the others helplessly looked on. You, too, will hold your breath with the crew and the cast of The Virginian as an escaped rattlesnake coils under the legs of the star. You’ll witness the disastrous showing of The Squaw Man that threatened DeMille with bankruptcy and failure.

Moviegoers will enjoy the author’s informative and authoritative asides on movie-making techniques – the problems of shooting, editing, casting, directing and acting, and the special effects of which DeMille was a master.

DeMille’s book reveals how the Bible exerted an unwavering influence on his personal and professional life… and how through his great religious films, The King of Kings and The Ten Commandments, he came to be called “a prophet in celluloid” by Billy Graham. Here is the inside story of DeMille’s historical refusal to pay a one-dollar assessment to a union’s political treasury and how this changed the course of his later years.

Here, too, are the memorable stories behind his epical films, such as The Plainsman, The Buccaneer, Union Pacific, North West Mounted Police, Reap the Wild Wind, The Story of Dr. Wassell, Samson and Delilah, The Greatest Show on Earth.

A novel based on DeMille’s life would seem incredible. Yet every moment of this drama lived by this creator of drama who was also a businessman, banker, aviator, and fighter for his beliefs, is true – a vivid, swift-moving, inspiring story of a dynamic, many-sided human being.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 465 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.045 g (36,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1959

The Autobiography of Will Rogers (Will Rogers; selected by and edited by Donald Day; foreword by Jim Rogers, Will Rogers, Jr.)

rogers-will-the-autobiography-of-will-rogersWill Rogers always said that he never met a man he did not like. Certainly he himself was one of the most universally beloved Americans of our century. Now Will tells his own story in his own words – the remarkable and revealing story of his life, his times, his experiences, his travels, and the many famous people who were his friends.

Will’s story covers the full span of his life, from his childhood and the days when he was a real cowboy riding the range, on through the exciting and eventful years during which his name became familiar all over the world. He tells about his modest beginnings, his part-Cherokee Indian heritage, his rodeo adventures, his first engagements in vaudeville, and then his Broadway triumph. From there the path of his career broadened and his popularity was unlimited as an entertainer and lecturer, as a newspaper and magazine columnist, and as a star of radio and motion pictures.

He visited every State of the Union and more than once circled the globe. Among his host of friends were such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth, Eddie Cantor, Al Smith, and two Presidents, Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge. And Will’s salty, colorful, perceptive impressions of the places he saw and the people he knew are all here in his Autobiography.

Best of all, here are the cream of Will’s unforgettable comments, observations, jokes, sayings, and opinions on just about everything and everyone – Democrats, Republicans, Hollywood, Disarmament, Russia, women’s clothes, diplomats, flying, city people vs. small town people, banquets, politicians, newspapers, war and peace, and anything else that was on his lively and searching and well-informed mind. Full of wit and wisdom, of common sense and sound advice, Will’s words, like his personality, are part of our American heritage.

Certainly we will remember Will’s wonderful movie characters, such as David Harum, Judge Priest, a Connecticut Yankee. But what we remember best about Will Rogers is Will himself – his homely philosophy, his delightful humor, his honest and unaffected concern for the truth and for the rights and happiness of his fellow citizens.

Here is your chance, in the pages of this book, to hear Will speak again, to meet with him and learn from him and, above all to enjoy the warmth of his personality and the refreshment of his words. They are words which are as timely today as when Will was alive, and because the story of his life and his thoughts is also the story of the years just past, his book has added value as a history of those years and as a guide for our future.

One of Will’s most famous sayings was: “It’s great to be great but it’s greater to be human.” His Autobiography is proof of his own humanity, of his greatness. And the fact that the American public has quickly lifted his story to best-seller heights of popularity is proof that Will is still very much alive in our hearts and minds.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 395 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 14 cm (8,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 499 g (17,6 oz) – PUBLISHER People’s Book Club, Chicago, Illinois, 1935, 1949

Ava (Charles Higham)

scannen0102Her husbands and lovers included Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw, and Mickey Rooney, Howard Hughes, Howard Duff, and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin. She was one of the last of the great Hollywood sex goddesses, studio packaged – her personal and screen lives deeply intertwined in a way that happened only in America in the heyday of the movies. She became one of the first of the liberated women, making her own life rules, choosing her own men. She was, and is, Ava – Ava Gardner – and in this penetrating biography, based in large part on interviews with those who knew her best, those who worked with her and those who lived with her, we get a definitive picture of a flamboyant, obsessive, compelling woman.

Ava Gardner got to Hollywood as the result of a silent screen test: her southern accent was too strong to be transmitted. She was 18; she knew nothing about acting; her motions were clumsy. But she projected sex: as MGM’s publicist said, there wasn’t a man who saw that test who wouldn’t have liked to take her to bed.

She learned how to move, how to act, how to speak – and she learned of her power over others. She had made a bet that within a year of reaching Hollywood, she would marry the biggest movie star in the world. And she did: Mickey Rooney.

Here is their story and that of the other men in her life: her husbands, her lovers, her special friends – including Ernest Hemingway and Robert Graves. And here are the behind-the-scenes stories of the movies that made her a star: The Killers, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Mogambo, The Barefoot Contessa, Bhowani Junction, Night of the Iguana. The result is not just a biography, but a colorful story of the heyday of moviemaking.

CHARLES HIGHAM is Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times and the author of eight previous hooks on Hollywood. He makes his home in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 267 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 487 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-440-01394-1

Ava Gardner: “Love Is Nothing” (Lee Server)

server-lee-ava-gardnerMen, literally, had to prop themselves against buildings when she walked by – she was that beautiful. She was the sex symbol who dazzled all the other sex symbols. She was the temptress who drove Frank Sinatra to the brink of suicide and haunted him to the end of his life. Ernest  Hemingway saved one of her kidney stones as a sacred memento, and Howard Hughes begged her to marry him but she knocked out his front teeth instead.

Her charismatic presence, jaw-dropping beauty, and fabulous, scandalous adventures fueled the legend that Ava Gardner became: one of the great icons in Hollywood history – star of The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Night of the Iguana – one of the few stars whose actual life was grander and more colorful than any movie.

Ava Gardner: “Love Is Nothing” is the first complete biography of this extraordinary figure, the barefoot farm girl from North Carolina who became a Hollywood goddess. Prodigiously researched, the book is filled with fresh insight from hundreds of exclusive interviews with Ava’s colleagues, close friends, and lovers. Written with great style and a sense of time and place, it is a vivid recreation of a life of incredible glamor, hedonism, and self-destruction, a life painted in bold colors on a spectacular public canvas: big-studio Hollywood in the forties and fifties; MGM musicals and the birth of film noir; exotic locations from Pakistan, East Africa, and tropical Mexico to Sinatra’s Las Vegas, the Rome of La Dolce Vita, and the Spain of fearless bullfighters and murderous dictators.

But no less a spectacle is Ava’s tumultuous private life and inner torment, the price she paid for her great fame and beauty, and her lifelong, darkly romantic search for love. Lee Server’s account of the Gardner-Sinatra romance and marriage is the most detailed yet of this legendary pairing and full of new and sometimes shocking information about their passionate, stormy relationship.

Gardner’s last years were spent in London, and Server’s chapters about that solitary time in her life, when disease sprang up and attention died down, are raw and moving. Ava Gardner: “Love Is Nothing” is both an exceptional work of biography and a richly entertaining read – colorful, outlandish, and surprising. This is the definitive biography of Hollywood’s most glamorous, restless, and uninhibited star.

LEE SERVER is a writer, biographer, and chronicler of pop culture. His previous biography, Robert Mitchum: “Baby, I Don’t Care,” was named a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 551 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 997 g (35,2 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-312-31209-1

Ava: My Story (Ava Gardner)

gardner-ava-ava-my-story“If I don’t tell my side of the story,” Ava Gardner said, “it’ll be too late, and then some self-appointed biographer will step in and add to the inaccuracies, the inventions and the abysmal lies that already exist.

I want to tell the truth… about the three men I loved and married: Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. I want to write about the Hollywood I knew from the early forties when I arrived wide-eyed from the cotton and tobacco fields of North Carolina, about the films I made, many in exotic settings all over the world, and the real behind-the-scenes stories, often a damn sight more dramatic than the movies themselves.

I want to remember it all, the good and bad times, the late nights, the boozing, the dancing into dawns, and all the great and not-so-great people I met and loved in those years.”

Over a period of more than two years, Ava Gardner filled some ninety tapes with the memories of her life as a sharecropper’s daughter turned legendary screen star, completing the last tape just a few months before her sudden death in January 1990. And here, now, is her story, as only Ava can tell it, as straightforward, irreverent and exciting as the woman herself.

The seventh child of a kindly farmer and his gregarious wife, she grew up a risk-taking tomboy who was happiest running barefoot through the fields. She was a pretty girl who knew what it was like to be dirt poor, and in 1940, at the age of eighteen, she was about to be transformed overnight from North Carolina hillbilly to MGM starlet. Within six months she was socializing with stars such as Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter Lawford, dancing at Ciro’s and the Trocadero and married to Mickey Rooney, the most popular entertainer in America. And that was only the beginning.

Over the next four decades Ava Gardner would dazzle the world with memorable roles in such film classics as Show Boat, The Bible and The Night of the Iguana. Here, she recalls the early days, from posing for cheesecake photos ‘sultry enough to melt the North Pole’, to battling stage fright with a shot of bourbon; from making The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Barefoot Contessa, movies that brought her international fame, to her Oscar-nominated performance in Mogambo, playing opposite her screen idol, Clark Gable.

Here, too, with characteristic candour, Ava reveals her tempestuous private life: the three stormy marriages that ended in divorce; the passionate affairs with matadors and movie stars; the complex twenty-year friendship with eccentric multi-millionaire Howard Hughes; the romantic dreams, the doubts, the battles off screen and on; the wild times, and later, the quiet times of a hard-living, hard-loving screen siren who was rightly called the most irresistible woman in the world.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 315 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 653 g (23,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Press, London, 1990 – ISBN 0-593-2191-6

Avec ces yeux-là (Michèle Morgan)

Morgan, Michele - Avec ces yeux-làDe bonnes fées ont présidé à la naissance de Michèle Morgan. Comment en douter? A cinq ans, un astrologue lui prédit un destin exceptionnel. A dix ans, chaque fois qu’on lui demande ce qu’elle veut faire plus tard, elle répond invariablement: “du cinéma.” Huit ans plus tard, lors-qu’elle apparaît dans Le quai des brumes, son regard fait chavirer le cœur de la France entière et entre à jamais dans la légende.

Toutefois, les astres ne sont pas les seuls artisans de cette réussite éclatante, ni ce regard célèbre qui a fait dire à Jean Gabin: Avec ces yeux-là… Son destin, Michèle Morgan a été la première à y croire et à le vouloir, donc à le forger. La chance a fait le reste: une carrière qui, de Gribouille au Chat et la Souris – soixante films en tout – a fait de Michèle Morgan I’un des personnages-clés du cinéma français.

Cependant, les peines et les larmes ne l’ont pas ménagée. Michéle Morgan a connu toutes les épreuves qu’une femme peut rencontrer sur sa route. Elle a dû mener deux combats harassants et dramatiques: le premier pour reconquérir Mike, le fils de son premier mariage avec l’Américain Bill Marshall; le second pour tenter vainement d’arracher son second mari, Henri Vidal, à un terrible fléau…

Aujourd’hui, Michèle Morgan a retrouvé l’équilibre et la joie de vivre auprès de deux hommes: l’auteur et réalisateur Gérard Oury, et Mike, marié, et grâce à qui elle est devenue aussi la plus belle des grand-mères.

Softcover – 330 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 575 g (20,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Robert Laffont-Opera Mundi, Paris, 1977

A-Z of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion (Glenn Mitchell; foreword by Kevin Brownlow)

mitchell-glenn-a-z-of-silent-film-comedySilent film comedy is not just Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and the Keystone Cops – though all of these illustrious names are thoroughly covered in Glenn Mitchell’s encyclopedic treatment of the subject.

Silent comedy is not exclusively American – although American acts familiar and unfamiliar are fully covered, from Mack Swain and Anita Garvin to John Bunny, Winsor McCay and the hitherto obscure Snakeville Comedies. Women are not forgotten – such as Gale Henry, Alice Howell, and Mabel Normand. Acts from outside the USA include Britain’s popular Fred Evans (‘Pimple’) and France’s Andre Deed. Pioneer comedy filmmakers such as George Albert Smith are also given extensive coverage.

Our view today of the silent era is a distorted one, in which few names bulk large and many others are forgotten. Glenn Mitchell unearths many lost gems of a bygone era – the era when audiences first learned how to laugh.

GLENN MITCHELL is an internationally recognized authority on early cinema comedy. He is a film journalist and a specialist in all forms of comedy, animation and music-hall. His previous publications, The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia, The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia and The Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia are best-sellers.

Softcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 18,5 cm (9,8 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 699 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER B. T. Batsford, Ltd., London, 1998 – ISBN 0-7134-7939-6

Babe: The Life of Oliver Hardy (John McCabe)

mccabe-john-babe-the-life-of-oliver-hardyThis fascinating biography traces the life and times of one of the best loved film comics of all time. Through a frustrating boyhood to wordwide renown as half of the greatest comedy team in the history of Hollywood, Babe Hardy’s interest in films and filmmaking developed as he began to watch some of the comedies that were being made. In 1913 at the age of twenty-one, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to join Lubin Motion Pictures and launch a long and hilarious career.

However, Babe’s life was not all laughter and fun. Despite many thrilling moments of professional triumph, his performance was overshadowed by a depressing paradox: all his life he despised being overweight, yet his comic identity relied on him remaining that way. It was only in the last part of his life that he found comfort and contentment which he had sought throughout the years.

This definitive biography does full justice to Oliver Hardy’s genius, bringing to brilliant life a colorful career and an extraordinary man.

JOHN McCABE is an established writer on theatet and cinema in America, and is the authorized biographer of Laurel and Hardy. Of his book Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy, the Times Literary Supplement said: ‘Remarkable… positively miraculous… apart from the rather greedy wish for more of everything, it is difficult to see how this book could be improved upon.’ His biography of Stan Laurel – The Comedy World of Stan Laurel – received similar praise. The author divides his time between two homes, one in New York and the other in Michigan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 486 g (17,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Citadel Press Book, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-8065-1187-7

Baby Doll: An Autobiography (Carroll Baker)

baker-carroll-baby-dollCarroll Baker found stardom curled up in a crib and sucking her thumb in Baby Doll. 1956 also saw the release of Giant in which she played the daughter of Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, a girl of wealth and breeding – the antithesis of Baby Doll. Not only was she hailed worldwide for her beauty and sensuality, but esteemed critics acclaimed her as the ‘best new dramatic actress in motion pictures’.

During her next eight fame-packed years, Carrol Baker reaffirmed the accolades with a series of excellent performances. In 1964, her passionate portrayal of the sexually aggressive bombshell in The Carpetbaggers resulted in mass hysteria to proclaim her as a Love Goddess. After Silvia and Harlow, she was places on the Sex Symbol pedestal shared by such beauties as Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner. Then, in 1967, Carroll Baker suddenly disappeared from Hollywood. Whatever happened to Baby Doll?

In this refreshingly honest autobiography, Carroll Baker reveals the woman behind the doll – a story of triumph and tragedy, fame and infamy. She courageously shines the spotlights into the corners of her life telling the story of her tumultuous marriages, her emotional collapse and hard-earned recovery. There are marvellous stories, too, of the people she has worked with – among them Robert Mitchum, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Elia Kazan.

CARROLL BAKER lives in London with her actor husband, Donald Burton. She continues to work in television and films both in this country and America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 767 g (27,1 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03452 0

Back Lot : Growing Up With the Movies (Maurice Rapf)

rapf-maurice-growing-up-with-the-moviesBecause of the glamor of the movie business and its tendency to attract attention from the press, much of its past is shrouded in fabrication and skewed by the Hollywood publicity machine. This book tells the story of the heyday of MGM from one who was there: Maurice Rapf tells what it was like to grow up as the son of a great Hollywood producer – Harry Rapf, one of the founders of MGM – and to be on the lots, seeing the way the movie business really worked.

Rapf went on to write screenplays and be blacklisted during the 1950s – providing a fascinating account of another key era of American film. Part autobiography, part history, this book is a priceless glimpse into the development of the twentieth century’s most important art form.

MAURICE RAPF grew up in Hollywood and worked as a screenwriter from 1936 to 1947. He has credits on thirteen movies, his last produced assignments for Walt Disney including Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart, and Cinderella. In 1966 Rapt returned to his alma mater, Dartmouth College, and founded the school’s film studies program. He is now director emeritus of film studies and an adjunct professor who teaches Writing for the Screen every winter term. His autobiography was written aboard a Blue Star freighter traveling between Los Angeles, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Seattle.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 210 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 444 g (15,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1999 – ISBN 0-8108-3583-5

Backstory: Interviews With Screenwriters of Hollywood’s Golden Age (edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGilligan)

mcgilligan-pat-backstory“Backstory” is a screenwriter’s term for what happens in a plot before the screen story begins. In this volume a delightfully acute and articulate band of screenwriters tell their side of what happened, on and off the set, before the cameras rolled. Their reminiscences are both entertaining and instructive for anyone who cares about the art of film – past or present. Together, the interviews comprise an affectionate group portrait of movie writers at work.

The illustrious line-up includes Alfred Hitchcock’s collaborator Charles Bennett; the novelists Niven Busch, W.R. Burnett, and James M. Cain; the fixer-upper Lenore Coffee; the comedy writers Julius J. Epstein and Norman Krasna; the sophisticated husband-and-wife team Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett; the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers writer Allan Scott and the James Bond interpreter Richard Maibaum; that witty gentleman Donald Ogden Stewart; and three of Hollywood’s best adaptors: Philip Dunne, John Lee Mahin, and Casey Robinson.

Writers who came to Hollywood met severe demands in the early years of sound film. Among the new “talk experts” imported from the East Coast were playwrights, journalists, essayists, songwriters, advertising copywriters, and press agents. But whatever their backgrounds, their Hollywood mission was to strike a balance between the old visual dominance and the new requirements of dialogue – which had to be expressive, playable, interesting, even witty, yet stay within the morality of the Hayes Code office. And their stories had to have the structural clarity and strength to play for vast millions of weekly viewers. The writers of the thirties created the basic rules that screenwriters still abide by today.

If the newcomers had a certain sameness on the surface, they were disparate under the skin and not necessarily comradely with one another. Cliques and claques emerged – old-timers who did not mix with the young blood, originators who sneered at dialogue specialists, social realists who belittled comedy, liberals who challenged reactionaries, and so on. But the best of the writers in all categories managed to earn an embarrassingly good living and even to impart something of themselves to the films they wrote. Surprisingly often, their work lives on – on the late show, in videocassette, and in the memories of viewers.

Their often acid commentaries help round out the history of screenwriting, give fascinating background on the creation of screen classics, and offer the reader valuable insight into many tricks of the trade.

PAT McGILLIGAN has been a staff critic and arts reporter for the Boston Globe, arts editor of The Real Paper in Boston, contributing editor of American Film, and senior editor of Playgirl. He has written for The Velvet Light Trap, Take One, Focus on Film, Film Quarterly, Film Comment, and Sight and Sound; the best-known of his books is Cagney: The Actor as Auteur. He is now writing a biography of the director Robert Altman for St. Martin’s Press.

[Interviews with Charles Bennett, W.R. Burnett, Niven Busch, James M. Cain, Lenore Coffee, Philip Dunne, Julius J. Epstein, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Norman Krasna, John Lee Mahin, Richard Maibaum, Casey Robinson, Allan Scott, Donald Ogden Stewart]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 382 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 722 g (25,5 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1986 – ISBN 0-520-05666-3

Backstory 2: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1940s and 1950s (edited and with an introduction by Pat McGilligan)

mcgilligan-pat-backstory-2“Backstory” is the screenwriter’s term for what happens in a plot before the screen story begins. In this companion volume to McGilligan’s widely praised Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood’s Golden Age, fourteen studio scribes active in later decades rail and reminisce about their fifty-plus years of inventing and scripting movies.

The 1940s were a period of transition for the motion picture industry, from an era of hope and glory and the upheavals of World War II to a postwar era of caution and confusion. The 1950s brought a great decline in the number of films produced and led to the extinction of that peculiar creature, the contract writer.

The survivors of Hollywood’s most productive years remain wonderfully talkative, however. In this lively collection of interviews they contribute useful writing tips, radical correctives to screen history and industry folklore, and just plain fascinating gossip. As a whole, the interviews provide a compelling biographical close-up of an entire generation of men and women whose talent, vision, and tenacity were critical to the institution we know as “Hollywood.”

PAT McGILLIGAN writes regularly for American Film, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, and Sight and Sound. His books include a definitive biography, Cagney: The Actor as Auteur, and notable biographies of directors Robert Altman and George Cukor. He lives with his wife and two children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

[Interviews with Leigh Bracket, Richard Brooks, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Garson Kanin, Dorothy Kingsley, Arthur Laurents, Ben Maddow, Daniel Mainwaring, Walter Reisch, Curt Siodmak, Daniel Taradash, Philip Yordan]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 417 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 736 g (26 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1991 – ISBN 0-520-07169-7

Backstory 3: Interviews With Screenwriters of the 60s (edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGilligan)

mcgilligan-patrick-backstory-3The Backstory series of unique “oral histories” chronicles the lives and careers of notable Hollywood screenwriters – in their own words. The first Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood‘s Golden Age focused on the early sound era and the 1930s. Backstory 2 featured Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1940s and 1950s. Backstory 3 takes up the history of American screenwriting in the 1960s, through the experiences of fourteen key scenarists. These lively interviews, conducted by Pat McGilligan and others, feature Jay Presson Allen, George Axelrod, Walter Bernstein, Horton Foote, Walon Green, Charles B. Griffith, John Michael Hayes, Ring Lardner Jr., Richard Matheson, Wendell Mayes, Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr., Arnold Schulman, Stirling Silliphant, and Terry Southern.

The series has proven useful and edifying for film students, scholars, and historians, for screenwriters and other professionals, and for film buffs in general. Applauded by reviewers and named among the “100 essential film books” by a Los Angeles Times-appointed panel, it is cited often and quoted in many film histories.

PATRICK McGILLIGAN, a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has written acclaimed biographies of James Cagney, Robert Altman, George Cukor, Jack Nicholson, and a new biography of director Fritz Lang, called Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast. His Backstory series for the University of California Press, like the Nicholson biography, has been translated into several foreign languages.

[Interviews with Jay Presson Allen, George Axelrod, Walter Bernstein, Horton Foote, Walon Green, Charles B. Griffith, John Michael Hayes, Ring Lardner Jr., Richard Matheson, Wendell Mayes, Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., Arnold Schulman, Stirling Silliphant, Terry Southern]

Softcover – 428 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 668 g (23,6 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1997 – ISBN 0-520-20427-1

Backstory 4: Interviews With Screenwriters of the 1970s and 1980s (edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGilligan)

mcgilligan-patrick-backstory-5Continuing Patrick McGilligan’s highly acclaimed series on Hollywood screenwriters, these engrossing, informative, provocative interviews give wonderfully detailed and personal stories from veteran screenwriters of the seventies and eighties focusing on their craft, their lives, and their profession. Backstory 4 is a riveting insider’s look at how movies get made; a rich perspective on many of the great movies, directors, and actors of the seventies and eighties; and an articulate, forthright commentary on the art and the business of screenwriting.

The screenwriters interviewed for this volume include well-known Oscar winners as well as cult filmmakers, important writers who were also distinguished directors, and key practitioners of every commercial genre. These writers have worked with Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Peter Bogdanovich, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Clint Eastwood, and other film giants of the so-called New Hollywood. The stories of their collaborations – some divine, some disastrous – provide some of the most fascinating material in this volume. They also discuss topics including how they got started writing screenplays, their working routines, their professional relationships, their influences, and the work of other major writers and directors.

[Interview with Robert Benton, Larry Cohen, Blake Edwards, Walter Hill, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Lawrence Kasdan, Elmore Leonard, Paul Mazursky, Nancy Meyers, John Milius, Frederic Raphael, Alvin Sargent, Donald E. Westlake]

Hardcover – 424 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 818 g (28,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2006 – ISBN 0-520-21459-5

Backstory 5: Interviews With Screenwriters of the 1990s (edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGilligan)

mcgilligan-patrick-backstory-5Patrick McGilligan continues his celebrated interviews with exceptional screenwriters in Backstory 5, focusing on the 1990s. The thirteen featured writers – Albert Brooks, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nora Ephron, Ronald Harwood, John Hughes, David Koepp, Richard LaGravenese, Barry Levinson, Eric Roth, John Sayles, Tom Stoppard, Barbara Turner, and Rudy Wurlitzer – are not confined to the 1990s, but their engrossing, detailed, and richly personal stories create, in McGilligan’s words, “a snapshot of a profession in motion.” Emphasizing the craft of writing and the process of collaboration, this new volume looks at how Hollywood is changing to meet new economic and creative challenges.

Backstory 5 explores how these writers come up with their ideas, how they go about adapting a stage play or work of fiction, how they organize and structure their work, and much more.

[Interviews with Albert Brooks, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nora Ephron, Ronald Harwood, John Hughes, David Koepp, Richard LaGravenese, Barry Levinson, Eric Roth, John Sayles, Tom Stoppard, Barbara Turner, Rudy Wurlitzer]

Hardcover – 252 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 543 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2010 – ISBN 978-0-520-25105-2

Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball (Stefan Kanfer)

kanfer-stefan-ball-of-fireFor over fifty years Lucille Ball has been one of television’s most recognizable faces, an iconic figure of American comedy whose best work is rightly compared to Charlie Chaplin’s.

To viewers all over the world, Ball remains the ultimate screwball housewife, getting in and out of outlandish scrapes with hilarious finesse. But now Stefan Kanfer’s biography looks behind the image, tracing Ball’s comedic genius to its beginnings in a lonely childhood in upstate New York. She yearned to make people laugh, to attain stardom and love. For a while she had nothing to show save for a string of bit parts and disappointing affairs. And then a Cuban bandleader called Desi Arnaz came into her life to make her wealthy and famous – and nearly destroyed her in the process.

En route Kanfer chronicles the runaway success of the sitcom I Love Lucy, the fiery marriage and eventual split from Desi, and Ball’s struggles to manage both a business empire and her own rebellious children.

Ball of Fire is a moving, entertaining, and definitive study of the most popular woman in television history.

STEFAN KANFER is the author of The Eighth Sin, A Summer World, The Last Empire, Seriouys Business and Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx. He was a writer and editor for Time magazine for more than twenty years. He lives in New York and on Cape Cod.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 361 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 651 g (23 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber Limited, London, 2005 – ISBN 0-571-22030-4

Barbara Stanwyck (Al DiOrio)

diorio-al-barbara-stanwyckNominated for the Oscar four times and the recipient of an honorary award in 1982 for her lifetime career achievement, Barbara Stanwyck is one of the last great thirties’ stars. She has always had the reputation of a tough-as-nails dame, a total pro, but her millions of fans do not know that this self-reliant exterior hides a life of heartbreak and hardship.

Born Ruby Stevens in Brooklyn, Barbara Stanwyck was orphaned in early childhood, raised by an older sister, and left school at thirteen to work in a department store. But she trained herself as a dancer and won a spot with the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1928, Barbara moved to HoIlywood where she began an exceptionally productive career, starring in such films as Stella Dallas, The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number and Executive Suite. She was also seen by millions on television in the popular Big Valley, and – more recently – in the massively successful adaptation of The Thorn Birds.

The great love of Barbara’s life was the extraordinarily handsome Robert Taylor, whom she married in 1939. Their marriage ended in a shattering divorce. There were other romances, an estrangement from her son, and a reclusive retirement that almost rivals Garbo’s for secrecy.

Barbara Stanwyck tells the untold story of a great star, a liberated woman in an unliberated time. With a full filmography and sixteen pages of photographs, this volume will make a handsome addition to every film buff’s collection.

AL DIORIO works for an advertising agency in Manhattan, and lives in Philadelphia. He is also the author of Little Girl Lost, a biography of Judy Garland.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 231 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 536 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Inc., London, 1983 – ISBN 0 491 03373 7

Barbra: A Biography of Barbra Streisand (Donald Zec, Anthony Fowles)

zec-donald-barbra-a-biography-of-barbra-streisandShe’s a star. No qualifications, a star. Larger than life, greater than the sum of her parts, attracting not just attention but a crowd. On the screen, on stage, singing, shopping, in love and at home, she’s news.

She’s difficult, impossible even. She demands complete control – direction, writing, lighting, camerawork, hairdressing. She costs a fortune. Working with her can be hell. She’s rude, overbearing, unrelenting, loud. A perfectionist, without respect for feelings or reputations. And she’s right.

Because these are the top entertainment awards: in films, the Oscar; in television, the Emmy; for records, the Grammy; in the theatre, the Tony. And only one person has ever won them all: Barbra Streisand. By the age of 27. Follow that!

And the book? ‘Absorbing and disturbing,’ Newcastle Journal; ‘Written with masterly care,’ Manchester Evening News; ‘Fascinating,’ The Times.

Softcover – 384 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 255 g (9 oz) – PUBLISHER New English Library, London, 1981 – ISBN 0-450-05398-9

Barbra, The First Decade: The Films and Career of Barbra Streisand (James Spada)

spada-james-barbra-the-first-decade-the-films-and-career-of-barbra-streisand“Barbra Streisand’s first decade in show business has been one of unparalleled success. In ten short years, and before her thirtieth birthday, she had conquered Broadway, London, the recording industry, the concert circuit, television and finally and most triumphantly Hollywood. A superstar in a generation otherwise without them, she is a star in the great tradition of stars, inspiring fierce loyalty and worship not seen since the days of Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland.

Under any circumstances, Barbra’s magnificent talents – a beautiful, pure singing voice and marvellous comedic timing – would have made her a star. That she has transcended that designation can be traced to many diverse elements of her personality, and the public’s. Streisand’s story is the epitome of the American Dream. She is the homely, awkward, lonely outsider with pent-up talent who has to fight rebuffs, scepticism and outright rejections in order just to be heard, and whose determination and faith in herself keep her going until she makes it to the pinnacle of success. This Cinderella tale, told by Barbra with a flair after her initial Broadway successes, struck a responsive chord in the American public, and it helped to make her an object of cult-worship by millions. She was the embodiment of their dreams, their one hope that they too might succeed against the odds, and they became her loyal partisans.

But unlike Cinderella, Barbra Streisand stayed a Princess. Or rather, she evolved into one. By the time she made her first film, Funny Girl, the homely and awkward young girl was being called beautiful and graceful, and she was. It wasn’t the beauty which left-handed compliments had called ‘the beauty of her talent,’ it was true beauty, and while certainly not in the classic Hollywood mold, it was nonetheless real. Like so many of the great stars before her, Barbra Streisand has screen presence: that indescribable magic which makes it virtually impossible to watch anyone else when she is on screen. Her personality comes across beautifully on celluloid. She is alternately vulnerable, coy, charming, sexy, glamorous and endearing. She can thus at the same time make women want to emulate her and men want to protect her. Most of all, she makes people want to see her: in an era of which it has been said, ‘There are no stars anymore; today, the plot’s the star,’ Barbra Streisand is, in the words of Pauline Kael, ‘a complete reason for going to a movie.’” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 224 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 620 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1974 – ISBN 0-8065-0515-X

Bardot: An Intimate Biography (Willi Frischauer)

frischauer-will-bardot-an-intimate-biography“When Brigitte Bardot says, ‘I will not be held to what I said last year – or yesterday,’ I suspect that she may not want to be held to that statement either. A creature of moods who lives for the moment, she has never revealed more of herself than what she thought and felt at the time, and much of what she has said over the years was colored by the demands of publicity and image-building. While rejecting the Bardot legend, she has astutely helped to perpetuate the Bardot myth, and, for someone so anxious not to be tied down, has been remarkably consistent in this respect.

Because I set out to discover the reality behind the legend and myth I have concentrated on what Brigitte did rather than on what she said and have quoted her only to put her words into the context of her actions, Although I do not entirely accept the simplistic view that Bardot is a creation of the media, the running commentaries which have accompanied her from her beginnings are an integral part of her story. The world’s most photographed woman, her face and her body have been implanted on our minds by a generation of film and press cameramen but these images are not always a reliable mirror of her personality.

First on the scene with a deep analysis of the Bardot phenomenon was Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre’s companion. In her apotheosis, Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome, she defended Brigitte against philistine attacks, but has since denounced ‘women who have the misfortune to find sex with men so pleasurable that they become more or less dependent on them’ – which sounds like a stem criticism of the Bardot ethos.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 214 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 149 g (5,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Sphere Books, Ltd., London, 1978

Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda: The Memoirs of Roger Vadim (Roger Vadim)

vadim-roger-bardot-deneuve-and-fonda-the-memoirs-of-roger-vadim“This book is dedicated to my future grandchildren. If one day they should feel the impulse to discover what their grandfather or grandmother was like, I shudder to think of the image they would piece together from the thousands of articles, stories and biographies that have appeared in more than fifty countries over the past three decades.

What has been published about Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim isn’t always inaccurate; it’s just that the spotlight often distorts the truth. Even worse is the distortion caused by our gluttonous, information-stuffed society’s habit of labelling or pigeonholing everyone. I don’t like the idea of being buried without having the chance to set the record straight.

But there is one other reason for this book: the need to speak of the joys, the pleasures, the sorrows and the wild times I have known at the sides of three remarkable women. I was unable to resist the desire to open the coffer of the past in which so many unique treasures have been stored. I didn’t want to end my life as a miser hoarding these wonderful memories and images – fairy-tale images which will, one day, have vanished with me to the land where all is erased.

Brigitte, Catherine and Jane: three modern fairy-tale princesses. But fairy tales are also tales of cruelty, although fortunately they usually have happy endings. I want to speak of these adolescents, these young girls, and who they were before they became fairy-tale princesses. I knew them well, these future stars with whom I shared life before they went on to sparkle on screens all over the world. It is their astonishing transformation – often painful, always fascinating – that I am going to tell you about.” – The Preface.

Softcover – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 218 g (7,7 oz) – PUBLISHER New English Library, London, 1987 – ISBN 0-450-40797-7

Bardot la légende (Henry-Jean Servat)

Bardot la légendePetite-fille de son siècle, Brigitte Bardot nous a appris  à aimer, plusieurs décennies durant, le cinéma, la grâce, la fraîcheur, la drôlerie, l’amour, l’irrespect, l’engagement et la lutte. Avec, parfois, des excès mais aussi un débordement de franchise, d’honnêteté et d’inconscience qui continuent, plus d’une demi-siècle après ses débuts, à la rendre attachante, originale, insolente, moderne et inclassable. Brigitte Bardot a distillé des mots, régenté une mode, organisé un monde qui n’est plus, après son passage, le même qu’avant. Voilà déjà 36 ans, qu’un beau soir de l’année 1973, Bardot a décidé d’arrêter le cinéma et de ne plus jamais montrer sa tête face à une caméra dans un film, mais il y a eu et il y aura, de toute éternité, sur la planète, “les années Bardot”, prouvant que Brigitte n’a pas fait son temps mais a bel et bien façonné son époque.

HENRY-JEAN SERVAT rend hommage à la star d’un cinéma de rêves, à la militante de la cause animale, à l’une des plus belles femmes de tous les temps, à celle que des millions d’hommes ont désirées dans ce grand et bel ouvrage illustré de photos rares, d’affiches de films, de couvertures de magazines, de lettres personelles, jalonné d’interviews inédits (Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sylvie Vartan, Michèle Morgan) et de souvenirs affectueux.

Softcover – 176 pp., index – Dimensions 34,5 x 27,5 cm (13,7 x 10,8 inch) – Weight 1.155 g (40,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Hors Collection, 2009 – ISBN 978-2-258-07057-8

Bardot l’indomptable (Alain Wodrascka, François Bagnaud; photos commentées par Brigitte Bardot)

Wodrascka, Alain - Bardot l'indomptableBelle et libre, Brigitte Bardot qui deviendra en 1956 “le rêve impossible des hommes mariés” – selon la prédiction de Roger Vadim, son premier mari et Pygmalion – s’est hissée en vingt en un ans de carrière au rang des artists françaises les plus renommées de la planète. À son actif, 46 films et plus 80 chansons. Actrice instinctive, ella tourné pour les plus grands réalisateurs: Godard, Clouzot, Malle, Autant-Lara, Vadim… Et alors qu’elle donne la réplique à Jean Gabin, Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Annie Girardot ou Jean-Pierre Cassel, la muse provocante des années 50 inspire d’immenses auteurs-compositeurs, à commencer par Serge Gainsbourg, qui écriront pour elle des chansons mythiques.

De l’éducation stricte et bourgeoise de son enfance à son statut incostesté de “star,” jusqu’à sa décision en 1973 d’arrêter sa carrière pour se consacrer aux animaux, B.B., la rebelle, est une femme engagée, amoureuse et souvent incomprise. Icône des sixties, elle incarne dans l’imaginaire collectif une certaine idée de la beauté française et fait rêver le monde entier à la seule évocation de ses initiales. Bardot l’indomptable, sex-symbol qui bouleversa les mœurs de son époque, scintille au firmament des étoiles éternelles.

Véritable odysée dans la mythologie de la star, cette biographie riche de 250 photos et documents souvent inédits et pour partie commentés par Brigitte Bardot elle-même, retrace ce parcours flamboyant et atypique.

Écrivain et parolier, ALAIN WODRASCKA est un biographe de référence en matière de chanson française. Passionné, il découvre très tôt Marie Lafôret, France Gall, avant de rencontrer Barbara, puis Claude Nougaro avec qui entretiendra une longue amitié. Auteur d’une trentaine d’ouvrages, il a notamment publié des biographies consacrées à: Barbara, Nougaro, Ferré, Souchon / Voulzy, Gainsbourg, Johnny Hallyday, Brel, Bashung, France Gall, Véronique Sanson… et tout récemment Renaud. FRANÇOIS BAGNAUD, admirateur et ami de Brigitte Bardot, a collaboré avec elle à ses quatre best-sellers. Fort de cette expérience enrichissante, il devient conseiller littéraire en 1997 et participe à la supervision de nombreux ouvrages, ceux consacrés à B.B. mais aussi des biographies de Barbara, Colette Renard, Marilyn Monroe, Tino Rossi, Martine Carol…

Softcover – 160 pp. – Dimensions 29 x 22,5 cm (11,4 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 951 g (33,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Hugo & Cie, Paris, 2011 – ISBN 9782755608717

The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood (James Kotsilibas-Davis)

kotsilibas-davis-james-the-barrymoresWhen Lionel Barrymore made his first film in 1912 in a seedy loft in lower Manhattan, the Barrymores were already the first family of Broadway. These were theater people, serious actors, artists. For them, making films was dirty work and the only stimulant for mucking around in the movies was the obvious one – money. Yet when the film business moved west to that godforsaken wasteland known as Hollywood, so did the Barrymores. Despite disdain, “disgrace” and often denial, the Barrymores left us hundreds of monumental movie triumphs, culminating in Rasputin and the Empress, in which John, Lionel, and Ethel each had starring roles.

The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood chronicles the films of each Barrymore in fascinating detail, but this book is much more than a mere film story. Here also are the personal lives of each: we live the superlative success and gaudy decline of Jack; we experience the myriad talents as well as the personal frustrations of Lionel, we relish the biting wit and indomitable spirit of Ethel. Finally, we witness the rarely studied lives of Barrymore children and grandchildren, especially Diana and John, Jr., who most profoundly experienced both the gifts and the blows of the remarkable Barrymore legacy.

Woven into the glittery Barrymore tapestry are rich anecdotes of other Hollywood kings and queens including Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, John Gilbert, Irving G. Thalberg, George Cukor, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, to mention only a few. In a panorama even D.W. Griffith would approve, here is the greatest of Hollywood stories and the history of America’s quintessential theatrical family.

JAMES KOTSILIBAS-DAVIS has harbored an interest in the theater – and particularly the Barrymores – since his childhood days in Worcester, Massachusetts. His first book, Great Times, Good Times: The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore, the romantic, engrossing story of the founding father, garnered fine reviews and served as the roots for this book, which completes the saga of the Barrymore dynasty. In addition to writing for Life magazine for many years, Mr. Kotsilibas-Davis has also served as the film critic for Penthouse magazine. He lives in Manhattan and on Cape Cod.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 376 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 19,5 cm (9,5 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 1.125 g (39,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1981 – ISBN 0-517-528967

Bébé: The Films of Brigitte Bardot (Tony Crawley)

crawley-tony-bebe-the-films-of-brigitte-bardot“Brigitte Bardot is no creation – more a recreation. No manufactured, Svengali dream-wish fulfilment, not of Vadim, nor anyone else. She is a state of mind, body and spirit. An attitude of body, as critic Raymond Durgnat specified; and a delight in it. A product, not entirely rare, of her time – not ours. Of Paris under the Nazi heel, of the Occupation and the preoccupation with treacherous Vichy politicking, black-market bitterness and the post-’45 French youthful delight in slick American commercialism. In order to sell by demand, first a demand has to be created – and that is where Roger Vadim strolled in. With him, and in the company of several like-minded attitudinists, the lucidly amoral, splendidly disdainful creature to be labelled BB was already self-established before Vadim drew it into the light of cinema projection. For some, the myth has stilled; the attitude remains, however, having drastically liberated much of the world’s mores and, thereby, its tensions. She is past 40 now, an almost sacrilegious statement, not that many will, or can, believe it to be true. Attitudes do not age as fast as flesh. ‘I am Brigitte Bardot,’ says she. ‘And that Brigitte Bardot – the one I see in the magazines and the newspapers, the one up on the screen, that Brigitte Bardot will never, for example, be 60.’ Nor she will.

Her devastating image – and note, she mentioned the press media version of it before the screen’s – is time encapsulated for ever. Like Greta Garbo – yet more blatantly, courageously; living dangerously in the ever-staring public eye – Bardot is untouched by age or reason and endures for her most ardent or even lukewarming devotees, the same as she always was, and surely, always will be. The essence of youth. Ageless youth. Her youth; our youth. A hank of hair, lank of leg, never considered classically beautiful (whatever that may mean), but with a mouth, a male chauvinist pig’s dream of a mouth, and an androgynous figure of unbridled, and suggestively ambiguous, sensuality. This is the girl who washed away the pimples of global adolescence… while still struggling with eczema herself. She made growing up a distinct pleasure, chasing off post-war restraints and attacking the ruling-class hypocrisy with a warming, thrilling gusto. That girl is now a woman, she could be a grandmother before the end of this decade; yet the image, the mouth, the perfectly proportioned frame, reek no less of sexual musk. She remains no less a siren, no less a fond dream of an entire generation… or three.” – From the chapter ‘Bébé Doll: the fesses that launched a thousand strips.’

Softcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 903 g (31,9 oz) – PUBLISHER LSP Books, London, 1975 – ISBN 0 85321 068 3

Been There, Done That: An Autobiography (Eddie Fisher, with David Fisher)

fisher-eddie-been-there-done-thatEddie sang at local fairs, talent contests, and bar mitzvahs, until at age fourteen, he got a job singing on Philadelphia radio shows for twenty-five dollars a week. A few years later, a stint at the Copacabana launched him into Dreamland. Suddenly the Jewish kid from Philly and his golden sound were sending millions of fans screaming to their feet. More than just the music, it was his personality, his great charm, the exuberance with which he lived his life, that attracted hordes of screaming teenage girls, the bobby-soxers. By the time he was twenty-one he was one of the most popular entertainers in America, bigger even than Frank Sinatra, with an income in the millions. His life quickly evolved into a whirl of women, money, and fame. It was the quintessentiatial American success story, the rise and rise of “the Coca-Cola Kid.”

For the next two decades he ran with the best and brightest, seeing it all, doing it all, seeing it all done to everyone. Eddie’s story is more than just an entertainer’s memoir: it’s the insider tale of two decades of American pop culture and celebrity royalty. Here is a man who romanced, charmed, seduced, and married Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, and Elizabeth Taylor. He drank and caroused far into the night with the likes of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. His affairs with women from Ann-Margret to Mamie Van Doren were legendary. He shared mistresses with John F. Kennedy, Sam Giancana, and Frank Sinatra, and was welcomed everywhere from the White House to Las Vegas, back when such a thing actually meant something.

Eddie’s a natural storyteller, with a captivating story to tell, of beautiful women and fascinating men, wild parties and cool nightclubs, and the American dream seen through the blazing Technicolor lens of the sixties and seventies. It’s Eddie’s life, and for the first time, it’s all here.

EDDIE FISHER is a singer and entertainer. He was previously married three times, to Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens. He now lives happily with his wife Betty Lin in San Francisco and remains close to his children, including Carrie Fisher and Joely Fisher. DAVID FISHER is an author and journalist who has written books for Ed McMahon, George Burns, Leslie Nielsen, and several top sports figures.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 341 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 699 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 0-312-20972-X

Before Hollywood: Turn-Of-the-Century American Film (various authors)

before-hollywoodBefore Hollywood presents a fascinating survey of the first two decades of American cinema. From 1895 to 1915 filmmakers began to explore and define the limits and resources of their new medium. Before Hollywood, based on research in America’s leading film archives, examines a selection of sixty-nine rare surviving silent films, many of which have not been seen since their initial release. Shot at Vitagraph, Biograph, Edison, and other early studios in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and along the Eastern seaboard, as well as at some of the pioneering studies on the West Coast, the films range from several seconds to ninety minutes long, and all provide provocative insights into turn-of-the-century American values.

Among the genres represented are animations, documentaries, travelogues, comedies, dramas and melodramas, Westerns, and serials, some by such celebrated innovators as D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. Also represented are such stars as Mary Pickford, Blanche Sweet, Mabel Normand, and William S. Hart. The authors provide individual commentaries on the sixty-nine films (each illustrated by a frame still), some including quotes from reviews of the period. In addition, Before Hollywood features nine intriguing essays on film preservation and various aspects of early American cinema such as scene design, images of women, the changing status of the film actor, dream visions, and cinematography. The book is richly illustrated with period photographs depicting film production, theaters, advertising, and more. With a bibliography and index, Before Hollywood is a resource of lasting importance.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 169 pp., index – Dimensions 30 x 22,5 cm (11,8 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 984 g (34,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Hudson Hills Press, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-933920-91-1

Before I Forget: An Autobiography (James Mason)

mason-james-before-i-forgetJames Mason first won fame as the charismatic star of such classic films as The Seventh Veil and Fanny by Gaslight, going on to become an American idol and England’s most popular actor. His successes include such sensational box-office smashes as A Star Is Born, Rommel The Desert Fox, North by Northwest, and the controversial Lolita. He has acted with Judy Garland, Margaret Lockwood, Ann Todd, Cary Grant and Peter Sellers.

His performance and character on and off-screen have won him the praise and scorn of Hollywood’s sharpest critics.

But this is not just the record of a brilliant and controversial film actor: it is also the story of a determined Yorkshire boy who worked his way through English provincial theatre companies to the boards of the Old Vic. Before I Forget is a frank and fascinating self-portrait of one of the greatest stage and screen actors of our time.

JAMES MASON has been an outstanding star of the British and American screen for nearly forty years.

Softcover – 466 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 250 g (8,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Sphere Books, Ltd., London, 1981 – ISBN 0-7221-5763-0

Before, In and After Hollywood; The Autobiography of Joseph E. Henabery (edited by Anthony Slide)

Henabery, Joseph E - Before, In and After Hollywood“Late in life, I came to realize that my movie career started long before I ever entered a studio. Today, I am positive that the events of my very early days, the period of my business life, and the total experience of twenty-five years of living before I started in pictures contributed greatly to my success.” – From Part 1 of Before, In and After Hollywood.

In 1914, a young midwesterner quit his railroad job to break into the Hollywood motion picture boom. Starting as a crowd extra, Joseph Henabery landed the coveted role of Lincoln in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. Impressed by Henabery’s energy and honesty, Griffith made him his assistant for Intolerance. Later, as a director, Henabery worked at the major studios with stars such as Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino and knew Cecil B. DeMille, Erich von Stroheim, and Louis B. Mayer, among others. His silent-film career was crowned by the Paramount production of The Stranger, based on a John Galsworthy story. He pioneered sound short-subjects for Vitaphone Studios in Brooklyn and later directed World War II training films for the Army Signal Corps in Astoria.

Between 1915 and the introduction of sound more than a decade later, silent film was a work in progress. Henabery, described by Griffith scholar Richard Schickel as an extraordinarily versatile and free-spoken man, contributed to the development of film, not only as a director, but also as a researcher, writer, makeup artist, actor, mechanic, architect, scenic designer, special effects innovator, and photographer. His autobiography, Before, In and After Hollywood, was completed in 1975 shortly before his death. Film students, historians, and scholars will find that it contains unique documentation of a fascinating era in film.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 345 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 623 g (22,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1997 – ISBN 0-8108-3200-3

Behind the Mask of Innocence – Sex, Violence, Prejudice, Crime: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era (Kevin Brownlow)

Brownlow, Kevin - Behind the Mask of InnocenceDuring the first twenty years of this century, crime, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, venereal disease, abortion, poverty, racism – all the problems that torment America today – were rampant, disrupting the lives of millions. Many contemporary silent films depicted a society shielded by ‘a mask of innocence’; but there were others – hundreds of them, both serious and exploitative – that went behind that mask, to reveal the deep rents these problems tore in the social fabric. A tragic number of these films have been lost, but almost all of them are vividly re-created for us in this definitive study. Cinema historian Kevin Brownlow has delved deeply into contemporary sources to describe the context, creation, plot, and reception of the movies that showed America its true face – extraordinary documents that still have the power to move us, although we can know many only through this book.

This is the final segment of Kevin Brownlow’s trilogy, of which the first two volumes were The Parade’s Gone By… (1968, about the entertainment movies of the Twenties) and The Way, the West, and the Wilderness (1979).

KEVIN BROWNLOW is a film historian whose other books include Hollywood: The Pioneers and Napoleon. He is a documentary filmmaker and has recently completed a trilogy of films on Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 579 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 18,5 cm (10,2 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 1.675 g (59,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan Cape, Ltd., London, 1990 – ISBN 0-224-02903-7

Behind the Scenes of Otto Preminger (Willi Frischauer)

Frischauer, Willi - Behind the Scenes of Otto PremingerOtto Preminger is one of the very few film directors whose name is as famous as those of his stars. He has had a phenomenal career directing a string of famous films. In recent years, he has acquired recognition as one of the cinema’s outstanding stylists.

From his early days in Vienna, Preminger was stagestruck. Eventually he became a protégé of Max Reinhardt. As a brilliant young producer he directed many plays and one film in Vienna. In 1935 he left Austria for America and a new career. Beginning, unhappily, at Twentieth Century-Fox, he returned to Broadway for a time as a director. His first Hollywood success, Laura, was followed by dozens of movies, some famous, some forgotten.

Preminger made a specialty of films on controversial subjects: The Man With the Golden Arm (drugs), Anatomy of a Murder (sex crime), Advice and Consent (political corruption, homosexuality). He himself is a thoroughly controversial character. His rages are famous, and he has personally involved himself in bitter controversy over such films as Exodus and The Cardinal, never afraid of making enemies, and all too often succeeding.

WILLI FRISCHAUER was born in Vienna (1906), the youngest of five sons of a famous lawyer. After studying at Vienna and London Universities, he joined the family weekly, Wiener Sonn-und-Montags-Zeitung, in Vienna, becoming Acting Editor at the age of 23. In 1935 he was appointed press representative of the Austrian Chancellor in London, where he settled finally in 1938. Since then Frishauer has been a special features writer for Odhams Press in London, and he has traveled widely as a war correspondent and on other assignments covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the United States. Mr. Frischauer has written many books including Twilight in Vienna, Houghton Mifflin, 1938; The Rise and Fall of Herman Goering, Houghton Mifflin, 1950; Himmler, Beacon Press, 1952; Grand Hotels of Europe, Coward, McCann, 1966; Onassis, Meredith, 1968; The Aga Khans, Hawthorn, 1970; David Frost, Hawthorn, 1971. Willi Frischauer has known Preminger for more than forty years, since they were both young men in Vienna. He has painted a fascinating picture of his old – if not always warmest – friend, a picture which is neither flattering nor hostile, but intimate and truthful.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 279 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 496 g (17,5 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-688-00262-5

Behind the Scenes: The Making of… (Rudy Behlmer)

behlmer-rudy-behind-the-scenes-the-making-ofThis is a rare “behind-the-scenes” view of all the machinations, foibles, triumphs and happy accidents that were the making of some of America’s greatest films. The author follows each film from nascent story ideas through the screenplay, the studio politics, the shoot, the edit, the censorship quarrels, and finally, into theatrical release.

Mr. Behlmer’s research into original source materials offers the reader a meticulously accurate “backstory” on each of the sixteen films, and a fascinating study of Hollywood in the heyday of the great American movie. This expanded edition of America’s Favorite Movies: Behind the Scenes is an invaluable source book for both the serious film student and the casual film buff.

Author-producer-director Rudy Behlmer has been involved with film and television for thirty-five years. He has lectured on film and related subjects at Cal State University, Northridge, Art Center College of Design, and USC. He is the author of Inside Warner Bros. and Memo from David O. Selznick, and the co-author of The Films of Errol Flynn and Hollywood‘s Hollywood. This book includes the making of The Maltese Falcon, Singin’ in the Rain, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Stagecoach, A Streetcar Named Desire, Tarzan and His Mate, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The African Queen, All About Eve, Casablanca, Frankenstein, The Grapes of Wrath, Gunga Din, High Noon, Laura, Lost Horizon.

Softcover – 343 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 595 g (21,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Samuel French, Hollywood, California, 1990 – ISBN 0-573-60600-5

Behind the Screen (Samuel Goldwyn)

goldwyn-samuel-behind-the-screen“It was something more than nine years ago that I walked into a little motion-picture theatet on Broadway. I paid ten cents admission. As I took my seat, a player-piano was digging viciously into a waltz. Upon the floor a squalid statuette lay under its rain of peanut-shells.

And all around me men, women, and children were divided between the sustained comfort of chewing-gum and the sharp, fleeting rapture of the nut. Only a decade ago! Yet this was a representative setting and audience for motion-pictures. Likewise typical was the film itself. For, as were practically all productions of that day, this was only one or two reels. And, faithful to the prevailing tradition, the drama of tonight was Western. I looked at the cowboys galloping over the Western plains, and in their place there rose before me Henry Esmond crossing swords with the Young Pretender, wiry young D’Artagnan riding out from Gascony on his pony to the Paris of Richelieu,  Carmen on her way to the bull-fight where Don Jose waited to stab her.

Why not? Here was the most wonderful medium of expression in the world. Through it every great novel, every great drama, might be uttered in the one language that needs no translation. Why get nothing from this medium save situations which were just about as fresh and unexpected as the multiplication tables? When I went into that theater I had no idea of ever going into the film business. When I went out I was glowing with the sudden realisation of my way to fortune. I could hardly wait until I told my idea to my brother-in-law, Jesse L. Lasky. ‘Lasky, do you want to make a fortune?” With these words I burst in upon him that evening. Lasky, who was at that time in the vaudeville business, indicated that he had no morbid dread of the responsibility of great wealth. ‘Very well, then,’ I continued. ‘Put up some money.’ ‘In what?’ ‘In motion-pictures,’ I answered. ‘Motion-pictures!’ scoffed he. ‘You and I would be a fine pair in that business – me, a vaudeville man, and you, a glove salesman! What do we know about the game? Besides, how about the trust?’ His last words touched upon a vital issue in the screen industry of that period. The truth of it was that motion-picture theaters throughout the country were practically at the mercy of ten companies which, for the privilege of showing pictures, collected a weekly license fee of two dollars each, from fifteen thousand theaters. I shall not enter here into the argument by which the combine justified their taxation. I shall merely remark that the existent system presented an obstacle worthy of consideration. However, all the way home I had been preparing an answer to this protest of Lasky’s, and now I eagerly put it forth. ‘Give the public fine pictures,’ I urged. ‘Show them something different from Western stuff and slap-stick comedies and you’ll find out what will become of the trust. And why should your entertainment have to be so short? If it’s a good story there’s no reason why it couldn’t run through five reels. I tell you the possibilities of the motion-picture business have never been touched. We could sell good films and long films all over the world.’ – From chapter 1.

This work, written by one of the founders of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production company, discusses some of the more important actors and actresses that made Hollywood famous. Goldwyn was known for employing famous writers and actors for films and is one of the most important founders of modern film making today. Includes such actors and actresses as Mary Pickford, Fanny Ward, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Garden, Jackie Coogan, Rudolph Valentino, Pola Negri, Mae Murray, and many others.

Hardcover – 263 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15,5 cm (8,7 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 620 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER George H. Doran Company, New York, New York, 1923

Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood 1910-1969 (William J. Mann)

Mann, William J - Behind the ScreenWilliam J. Mann’s Behind the Screen is a thoughtful and eye-opening look at the totality of the gay experience in studio-era Hollywood. Much has been written about how gays have been portrayed in the movies, but until now, no book has looked at their influence behind the screen. Whether out of or in the closet, gays and lesbians have played a significant role in shaping Hollywood from the very beginning. Gay actors – from the screen’s first matinee idol, J. Warren Kerrigan, through Ramon Novarro, Marlene Dietrich, Clifton Webb, and Rock Hudson – have defined movie stardom. Gay directors and producers – such as George Cukor, James Whale, Dorothy Arzner, and Ross Hunter – have long been among the most popular filmmakers. In fact, gay set and costume designers – Adrian, Travis Banton, Orry-Kelly, and George James Hopkins, among many more – created the very look of Hollywood.

Based on seven years of exacting research – scrupulously documented – Behind the Screen chronicles an era never before seriously or thoroughly considered. With a historian’s precision, Mann sets the story of Hollywood’s gays in context with their times – from the free-loving Roaring Twenties through the conservative Depression years to the progressive flowering of World War II and the turbulent backlash of the McCarthy era. He describes which fields offered gays the most freedom and which de facto barred their entrance.

Mann examines not only the working conditions of Hollywood’s gays but also their after-hours’ pursuit of Los Angeles’s rowdy gay underground. With the recollections of dozens of survivors, Mann has woven together unpublished memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and scrapbooks to assemble the first thoughtful analysis of the gay experience during cinema’s initial fifty years.

While always concious and sensitive to the shifting social construction of homosexual desire and identity, Behind the Screen remains a platform for a whole new way of seeing both the Golden Age of Hollywood and the history of gay men and lesbians. It is destined to become a classic of film literature.

MICHAEL J. MANN is the critically acclaimed author of Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood’s First Openly Gay Star, as well as the novels The Men from the Boys and The Biograph Girl. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 422 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 680 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER Viking, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-670-03017-1

Being and Becoming (Myrna Loy, with James Kotsibilas-Davis)

Myrna Loy’s ravishingly witty portrayal of Nora Charles in The Thin Man movies of the 1930s and 1940s elevated her to near-icon status as the wife every man wanted and every woman wanted to be: she created one of the most loved and timelessly entertaining characters in film history and became, herself, one of the most popular Hollywood actresses ofher time. (A poll of twenty million fans crowned her Queen of the Movies; women flocked to plastic surgeons to be given “the nose”; in the laboratories of the Manhattan Project, where uranium was code-named Tuballoy, thorium became Myrnaloy.) Now, with candor and warmth, this most private of stars takes us from the Montana of her girlhood (Gary Cooper lived down the street) to her beginnings in the Hollywood of the 1920s, and beyond. We see this red-haired cattleman’s daughter, because of her unique beauty – Charles Laughton would later describe her as “Venus de Milo at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine” – cast as every kind of exotic. We follow her from silents to sound as her career is catapulted, in 1934, into the highest orbit by the first of six Thin Man movies she made with William Powell. She perceptively profiles Rudolph Valentino, who discovered her, and Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Tyrone Power, Jean Harlow, Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman, and the others with whom she worked, played, and formed lasting friendships. We see her on the sets of her early movies and at the social center of Hollywood, New York, and Washington, with the fascinating but often troublesome men she married.

With the onset of World War II she develops the activist in herself while working for the Red Cross and carrying on a long-distance mutual infatuation with F.D.R. Over the years she would support the United Nations, fight the onslaught of Joseph McCarthy and the witch hunts of the 1950S, and serve on civil rights commissions. She participates in the presidential campaigns of Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, and Eugene McCarthy, works with Harry Truman, Dean Acheson, and Eleanor Roosevelt – and shares with us her astute perceptions of them all. We see her career enter a new phase, as she moves to more mature roles with unusual grace and success; and she gamely tries television and theater at a time of life when most performers would be content to rest on their laurels.

Interspersed with Loy’s lively and revealing narrative are the words of friends from her childhood and youth as well as reminiscences by colleagues such as William Powell (“Even my best friends never fail to tell me that the smartest thing I ever did was to marry Myrna Loy on the screen”), Loretta Young, Rosalind Russell, Spencer Tracy, Burt Reynolds, and Cary Grant, who said that Loy acted with “a supreme naturalness that had the effect of distilled dynamite.”

What emerges from this book – a personal account as direct as it is entertaining – is the portrait of a talented, spirited, indomitable woman: in other words, the real Myrna Loy.

JAMES KOTSILIBAS-DAVIS met MYRNA LOY when he was a writer / reporter for Life while working on a story about celebrities in politics. Their friendship prospered during the years when he wrote his two-volume Barrymore saga (Great Times, Good Times: The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore and The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood), and ultimately led to their collaboration on this book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 372 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 989 g (34,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-394-55593-7

Being Red: A Memoir (Howard Fast)

fast-howard-being-red-a-mamoirFrom 1944 to 1957, Howard Fast was a member of the Communist party. Begun with patriotic and idealistic zeal, ending with dismay at ideological rigidity and the appalling revelations about the Stalinist era in Khrushchev’s famous “secret” speech, it was a political affiliation destined to affect Fast’s life beyond politics, often beyond reason.

Author of such internationally acclaimed best sellers as The Last Frontier, Citizen Tom Paine, and Freedom Road, Fast was at the peak of his career when he joined the Party, fresh from a stint as writer and originator of the wartime Voice of America. But the years that followed – what Fast calls the “mini-terror” – were the years of the McCarthy witch-hunt and the blacklist, of paranoia and betrayal, one of the most shameful periods in American history. Fast’s life became one of tapped phones, FBI surveillance, thwarted attempts to publish, and even a prison sentence for refusing to give names to the HUAC.

Being Red is an intimate memoir of that extraordinary time and one of the most revealing looks we have had yet at the workings of the Communist Party in America. It is the story of one man’s rise from poverty, his courage in the face of a hostile government, his struggles of conscience, and the terrible price paid for good intentions. Here is a remarkable personal story that sheds new light on a dark time.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 696 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990 – ISBN 0-395-55130-7

Bekoorlijk: Het Leven van Audrey Hepburn (Donald Spoto; originally titled Enchanting)

scannen0310Bekoorlijk is de biografie die Audrey Hepburn verdient: een levendige en gedetailleerde beschrijving van een turbulent leven en wereldwijde roem. Nooit eerder kreeg een biograaf rechtstreeks toegang tot al haar intimi, haar recent ontdekte brieven en persoonlijk archief. Het levert een adembenemend portret op van Audrey’s jeugd tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog in Arnhem, de moeizame relatie met haar moeder en vader, de jaren als actrice in Londen en haar doorbaak in Hollywood. Ook wordt ons een inkijkje vergund in haar stormachtige huwelijk met Mel Ferrer en haar vele liefdesaffaires.

Audrey Hepburn werd wereldberoemd om haar elegantie, stijl en filmtalent. Ze schitterde in films als Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina en Roman Holiday met hoofdrolspelers als Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart en Cary Grant. Alles wat ze aanraakte veranderde in goud. Desondanks verlaat ze op het hoogtepunt van haar roem Hollywood om tot haar dood in haar geliefde Afrika voor UNICEF te werken.

DONALD SPOTO is een gerenommeerd auteur van succesvolle biografieën, onder andere over Jacky Kennedy Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel en Ingrid Bergmann. Donald Spoto woont in Denemarken.

Softcover – 343 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13 cm (8,3 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 525 g (18,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Uitgeverij Archipel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2006 – ISBN 90 6305 245 6

Beneath Mulholland: Thoughts on Hollywood and Its Ghosts (David Thomson)

thomson-david-beneath-mulhollandDavid Thomson is at his incomparable best in this stunning collection of essays on Hollywood films – their stars and the illusions they create. He explores a sort of twilight zone where film actors and the characters they play become part of our reality, as living beings and as ghosts, residing on or buried beneath Mulholland Drive, or wandering among us.

Like all of Thomson’s writing on the movies, Beneath Mulholland is rich in its understanding of Hollywood, laced with irony, thoroughly provocative and brilliantly creative. There is also a steady fascination with love, sex, death, voyeurism, money and glory, all the preoccupations of Los Angeles – or of that movie L.A. whose initials, Thomson says, stand for Lies Allowed.

He writes about James Stewart in Vertigo, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, Cary Grant (“Having fun, perched somewhere between skill and exhilaration, Grant is both the deft director of the circus and a kid in love with the show”), Greta Garbo (“She knows that she is a latent force that works in the minds of audiences she will never meet”) and about stardom in general: “The star is adored but not liked: that is the consequence of a religious respect that enjoys no ordinary relations with the object of its desire.”

Entering another dimension, we meet James Dean at age 50 – he survived the car crash – and discover how his career developed (and how it affected Paul Newman’s). We see what happened to Tony Manero (John Travolta) after Saturday Night Fever ended and how Susie Diamand (Michelle Pfeiffer) moved on when The Fabulous Baker Boys was over. We are given a rollicking but instructive version of how Sony learned to live and die in Hollywood. We learn the 20 Things People Like to Forget About Hollywood (“All People in Hollywood Are Dysfunctional” is the first). And there is insight into How People Die in Movies – “the empire of bang bang.”

Dazzling in its range, its style and its wisdom, Beneath Mulholland immeasurably enlarges and enriches our already undying memories of, and pleasure in, the Hollywood movie.

DAVID THOMSON is the author of A Biographical Dictionary of Film (three editions), Showman: The Life of David 0. Selznick, Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles and three works of fiction: Suspects, Silver Light and Warren Beatty and Desert Eyes. His writing has appeared in Film Comment, Movieline, Vanity Fair, The New Republic and Esquire, to which he contributes a monthly column on the movies. Thomson lives in San Francisco with his wife and their two sons.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 268 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16,5 cm (9,5 x 6,5 inch) – Weight 619 g (21,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-679-45115-3

The Bennett Playbill (Joan Bennett, with Lois Kibbee)

Bennett, Joan & Kibbee, Lois - The Bennett PlaybillThis is the story of a star and her equally famous family. Joan Bennett writes of her own life and recalls the fame of five generations of acting tradition – a tradition that spanned two continents and 200 years of theater history.

The family tree begins with great-great-grandfather, Will Wood, who was a strolling player in eighteenth-century England and branches out to include all the generations, most especially Joan’s father. Richard Bennett’s career in the American theater is legendary. Handsome, high-spirited and unpredictable, he was constantly in and out of newspaper headlines. But he was also a brilliant actor who enriched Broadway’s Golden Era of Frohman, Belasco, the Barrymores, and Maude Adams by introducing Eugene O’Neill’s first full length play to the New York stage. The three Bennett daughters – Constance, Barbara and Joan – inherited the celebrated Bennett temperament and produced their own headlines during Hollywood’s most dazzling era.

Joan Bennett became one of Hollywood’s most prominent stars soon after her first movie in 1929. Her screen career was abruptly ended 22 years and 65 films later by the personal disaster of the Walter Wanger / Jennings Lang shooting in 1951. She salvaged her career by turning to legitimate theater, and is now seen daily by millions on the daytime serial, Dark Shadows.

Miss Bennett writes of her personal dramas and those of her volatile family with honesty, humor and candor. She speaks frankly about her marriages, her children, her career, her full life that was sometimes turbulent, sometimes sad, but always rich with the sense of commitment to life. The Joan Bennett who emerges from this autobiography is a resilient, mature woman of style.

LOIS KIBBEE is an actress, director and writer. She has appeared in 300 plays and has directed 50 stage productions. This is her second book collaboration and she is currently working on a third.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 332 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 645 g (22,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1970 – SBN 03-081840-0

The Best of MGM (Elizabeth Miles Montgomery)

scannen0332It would be hard to imagine Hollywood without the studios of MGM. From 1924, when their first hit, He Who Gets Slapped, starring John Gilbert, Norma Shearer and Lon Chaney, was produced, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films have included many of the all-time greats. Here are silent favorites such as Greed and The Big Parade, horror movies such as Freaks and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Spencer Tracy, war movies such as 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and Mrs. Miniver, musicals such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and An American in Paris, as well as blockbusters such as Dinner at Eight, A Night at the Opera, The Wizard of Oz, It’s Always Fair Weather, Ben-Hur, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and of course, Gone With the Wind.

The claim of ‘more stars than there are in heaven’ was not an idle boast. Beginning with Lillian Gish and Buster Keaton in the twenties, the MGM roster included such as luminaries as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ronald Colman, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. The only movie made by Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, The Guardsman, was made by MGM, as was the only film with all three Barrymores, Rasputin and the Empress.

More recently there have been such diverse films as Dr. Zhivago, with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie; The Sunshine Boys, with Walter Matthau and George Burns, and Network, with Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch. MGM has also made great compilations of their own best musicals – That’s Entertainment, Parts I and II, and their latest, That’s Dancing.

Lavishly illustrated with more than 240 stills and posters in color and black and white, The Best of MGM is a nostalgic compilation of Hollywood’s finest movies made by Hollywood’s finest studio. It is a must for every film buff, and for everyone who ever wanted to meet Judy Garland in St. Louis, Thank Heaven for Little Girls with Maurice Chevalier in Gigi, or go Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly.

ELIZABETH MILES MONTGOMERY was born in New York and saw her first movie, a revival of Steamboat Round the Bend (1935), starring Will Rogers, at the age of six. While attending the Rockland County Day School in Congers, New York, she took advantage of early dismissal on Fridays to spend the afternoon at the movies. She holds a BA in history from Hollins College in Virginia, where she also showed films for the student activities office. Mrs. Montgomery has worked for National Education Television, in advertising and, for the last ten years, in publishing in New York, London and Connecticut. She currently lives in Noroton, Connecticut, with her husband. She still knows how to thread a 16-mm projector and has seen Zulu (1964) 23 times.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.260 g (44,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Hamlyn Publishing Group, Twickenham, Middlesex, 1986 – ISBN 0-600-50261-9

Bette Davis: A Biography (Barbara Leaming)

leaming-barbara-bette-davisBette Davis was one of the greatest acting talents the screen has ever known, yet no previous book has gone beyond the glittering Davis legend to explore the real woman. In the first major biography of Davis since her death, Barbara Leaming tells the full, extraordinary story, with objectivity and passion.

Bette Davis has always aroused controversy: her famous legal battle with Warner Bros., her four husbands, the shocking book written by her daughter B.D. Hyman. Yet she has always been seen as the heroine – until now. In this revelatory book, Barbara Leaming gives us a bracing cautionary tale of the dark side of power in Hollywood, and how a woman who amassed more power than any Hollywood actress before or since used that power to destroy others, her own family, and – in the end – herself. It is a story of abandonment, alcoholism, domestic violence, obsessive-compulsive behavior, religious fanaticism, and insanity.

Barbara Leaming has drawn on hundreds of hours of conversation with Davis’s friends, lovers, professional associates, and family members. In addition, she has combed through thousands of documents, including Davis’s personal diaries, scrapbooks, unpublished letters, and copiously annotated scripts. The result is a compelling portrait that redefines one of Hollywood’s most misunderstood legends.

BARBARA LEAMING is the author of Orson Welles: A Biography and If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth. She lives in Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 397 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 752 g (26,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-671-70955-0

Bette Davis: An Intimate Memoir (Roy Moseley)

Moseley, Roy - Bette Davis, An Intimate MemoirBette Davis has always been the subject of controversy. From her tumultuous relationships with her co-stars and her family to the dramas of her public persona, she captured the imagination and the adoration of fans around the world.

Roy Moseley was first star-struck by Bette Davis when, as an adolescent he watched her on the big silver screen. Years later, in a remarkable series of coincidences, he met his idol and went on to form a deep friendship with her that could have led him to the altar as her fifth husband.

Here he writes of the glamorous, fiery Bette Davis as she has never been revealed – up close, in shockingly intimate detail – as he records their fifteen years together. That tour takes them from London to New York to Ms. Davis’ house in Westport, Connecticut, to the boulevards of Hollywood.

Their relationship, which survived the tempest that followed Bette Davis wherever she went, is captured fully in this touching, warm, and at times funny memoir that gives unique insight into what life day-by-day was like with a living legend. Here, revealed for the first time, is the truth behind the stories told by Bette Davis, her daughter B.D. and other close friends, as well as Bette Davis’ opinions of her fellow stars and the world she knew so well.

This memoir, originally published in England just before Miss Davis’ death in August 1989, contains an afterword written especially for the American edition recounting Miss Davis’ reaction to the truth of her life and her long-time companion recorded it.

ROY MOSELEY is an internationally known theatrical agent and author of show-business biographies, including those of Rex Harrison and Roger Moore, and (co-authored with Charles Higham) Merle Oberon and Cary Grant. He makes his home both in the United Kingdom and in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 526 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 1-55611-218-1

Bette Davis Speaks (Boze Hadleigh)

Hadleigh, Boze - Bette Davis SpeaksBette Davis’s career boasted both quality and quantity. She was a box-office superstar and consummate actress. And since her death, het cult has grown with a new generation of fans fascinated by the strong female behind the iconoclastic performer whose Hollywood career spanned the early 1930s and the late eighties.

Bette Davis Speaks is the first interview book with the late legend. Unlike the spate of prior biographies, in Bette Davis Speaks the leading lady and woman-ahead-of-her-time speaks for herself in more than a dozen interviews conducted by journalist and author Boze Hadleigh from the mid-1970s on.

Davis candidly discusses her “lonely life” with four husbands and several beaux, her costars and rivals, and other leading ladies. She dishes on friends and associates and shares her regrets over failed relationships, flop movies, the “hell” of growing old.

Davis was looked on by some as a demanding woman and hard to deal with, but the work was always the thing for her, the movie. With her acid tongue and wit, she did not mind ruffling feathers if it meant a better film. Ultimately, putting her craft above all else is what made her such a compelling actress.

Bette Davis Speaks also features mini-interviews with people in Davis’s life, which shed greater perspective on its starry subject. Among them are Bette’s fourth husband, Gary Merrill; her pal Joan Blondell; her female costar Agnes Moorehead; her male costar Peter Lawford; her Baby Jane director Robert Aldrich.

BOZE HADLEIGH’s eight previous books include two interview collections, Hollywood Lesbians and the gay-themed Conversations With My Elders. Also the best-selling Hollywood, Babble On. He divides his time between Beverly Hills and Sydney, Australia.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 536 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade Books, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 1-56980-066-9

Bette, Rita, and the Rest of My Life: An Autobiography (Gary Merrill)

merrill-gary-bette-rita-and-the-rest-of-my-lifeFor ten years he was turbulently married to one American legend, Bette Davis. For the next four he was the lover of another, Rita Hayworth. Handsome, kind, funny, and casual, actor Gary Merrill has a reputation as a hard-drinking, boisterous Hollywood bad boy. No doubt he is eccentric: a very masculine man who wears a skirt as he plays golf with some of the world’s most famous actors, politicians, and socialites.

He is also a distinguished actor of stage, screen, TV, and radio – from the movie masterpieces All About Eve and Twelve O’Clock High to his present career, in his seventies, as one of the most sought-after voices for television advertising. But Gary Merrill also has a side that few of his fans know about: a passionate commitment to social justice that saw him marching with Martin Luther King at Selma, protesting the war in Vietnam, and being a witness for peace in Nicaragua.

And this is the man who, twenty-five years after his marriage to Bette Davis ended, ran ads in The New York Times and other newspapers urging people not to buy the book attacking Bette which was written by her ungrateful daughter B.D.

As Bette Davis writes: “Gary had enormous gifts.” One is a gift for telling stories. He has assembled many of them here with the help of his old friends, writers John and Jean Cole. Besides the revelations about Bette and Rita, there are stories of Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, and a cast of superstars from the thirties through the eighties. Gary Merrill, most of all, is an original. His vivid personality has sometimes made his life more difficult; his individualism has also been his salvation. He has been true to himself.

Bette and B.D. and others have written their books. Now Gary, with his typical honesty, sets the record straight.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 272 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 696 g (24,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Lance Taplay, Augusta, Maine, 1988 – ISBN 0-912769-13-0

Betty Garrett and Other Songs: A Life on Stage and Screen (Betty Garrett, with Ron Rapoport)

Autographed copy For Leo, with love and admiration, Betty Garrett, April 2004

Garrett, Betty - Betty Garrett and Other SongsDuring her sixty years in show business, Betty Garrett has sung with Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman, danced with Gene Kelly and Martha Graham, acted with Orson Welles and Jack Lemmon, and traded one-liners with Carroll O’Connor and Penny Marshall. But none of her plays, movies, or television roles can match the drama of her life. Betty Garrett and Other Songs is the story of a woman who became one of Broadway’s biggest stars, made several classic MGM musicals, married a handsome movie star, had two children, and could scarcely believe her happiness and good fortune. Then one day the House Un-American Activities Committee came to call.

In this hilarious, moving, bawdy, and ultimately triumphant memoir, Betty Garrett tells how she and her husband, Larry Parks, rebuilt their lives and careers after falling victim to the Hollywood blacklist and how, after Parks’ tragic death at the age of sixty, she went on to achieve some of her greatest personal and professional satisfaction. Betty Garrett’s experiences with many of the finest actors, writers, composers, and directors of this century – and with movie moguls like Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn – provide a compelling inside look at a Broadway and a Hollywood that no longer exist. Hers is a story of a great American life.

“Betty Garrett is not a survivor,” a critic once noted, “she is as prevailer.”

BETTY GARRETT starred on Broadway in Call Me Mister and in such classic movie musicals as On the Town and My Sister Eileen. She also played Irene Lorenzo in the television series All in the Family and Edna Babish-DeFazio in the television hit Laverne and Shirley. RON RAPOPORT is a writer, an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, and a sports commentator on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 705 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Madison Books, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 1-56833-098-7

Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges (James Curtis)

Curtis, James - Between Flops“Preston Sturges is the foremost filmmaker ever developed by the American film industry / art... Between Flops recounts with compassion and wit the story of Preston’s wild, shoot-the-rapids life… James Curtis’s book is a lamentably overdue and richly merited tribute to Preston Sturges, Master.” – Garson Kanin

In the decade of the 1940s, a remarkable string of vibrant and original films captivated America. Many were commercial as well as critical successes. All bore the distinctive imprint of their maker, a man as colorful as his most memorable characters.

Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. He not only wrote such films as The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, he also directed them, at the rate of two a year. He opened the door for an entire generation of writers-turned-directors and made some of the most popular comedies of the sound era. At his peak, he earned the third-highest salary in the country. He was an inventor, songwriter, actor, playwright, restaurateur, industrialist, and winner of an Academy Award. He even owned a production company, with his temperamental equal Howard Hughes.

Yet, barely ten years after it began, it was over. Alienated by his reckless zeal for perfection, the studios turned away from him. Unable to work, Sturges took his young family to Europe, where he struggled desperately in growing obscurity for a chance to work the old magic just one more time.

Drawn from interviews, letters, and other primary source materials, this is the first full-length biography of a legendary American filmmaker, a man who made and lost two fortunes and whose genius shown brightly, as he put it, “between flops.”

JAMES CURTIS, born in Los Angeles, works in the areas of instructional design and technical and promotional writing. He is the author of a book on director James Whale. Mr. Curtis is married and lives in Placentia, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 339 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 845 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-15-111932-5

Beverly Hills: An Illustrated History Featuring Interviews With Celebrity Residents (Genevieve Davis)

Davis, Genevieve - Beverly HillsFrom an agricultural beginning to “hometown to the stars,” Beverly Hills has thrilled and delighted the rest of the country as the most celebrated west coast enclave of the rich and famous. Originally settled by magnates and businesspeople such as oilmen Kirk B. Johnson and Max Whittier, in 1920 the character of Beverly Hills was changed forever. That was the year that Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford took up residence at Pickfair, starting a trend that continues today, making Beverly Hills one of the nation’s best-known communities. Simultaneously, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive began to compete with and surpass other shopping districts for the title of the most fashionable retail center in metropolitan Los Angeles. Likewise, the city’s downtown has become an important center for professional and business offices as well.

This fascinating story of Beverly Hills is written by Genevieve Davis, author of three historical romance novels. The magic and sparkle of Beverly Hills’ past is made to come alive as never before. In addition, this handsome volume is enhanced by more than 250 photographs, many never before published.

The vibrant historical narrative and the unique illustrations are only part of the Beverly Hills story. Beverly Hills’ colorful past, as well as the city’s dynamic present, is brought to life through an exciting series of interviews with many of Beverly Hills’ resident luminaries. Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Ann Miller, and Irving Stone are but a few of the personalities represented in this section, titled “That Fabled Place.” The interviews are conducted by Kathleen MacKay, former People magazine staffer.

There is an additional special section, “Partners in Progress,” that highlights the diverse businesses and organizations that provide the economic life of Beverly Hills. This chapter is researched and written by Robert Kelly, local writer and business historian.

Beverly Hills: An Illustrated History is a unique look, from the inside as well as the outside, at one of the west coast’s most famous communities. This interesting and informative book is sure to be a treasured volume in personal libraries everywhere for years to come.

GENEVIEVE DAVIS is the author of three historical romances: A Passion in the Blood (Simon and Schuster), Children of Passion (Pinnacle), and Fancy (Jove). In a review of her first book, the Los Angeles Times observed, “Historical novelists should have a special kind of empathy, almost a form of ESP, to bring alive, in their own time, historical figures as convincing characters. Genevieve Davis possesses this trait, applies it persuasively…” Ms. Davis brings an extra measure of enthusiasm to the writing of this comprehensive and authoritative chronicle of Beverly Hills, combining her passion for history and for this magical city. She lives a “rural” life on three acres in Beverly Hills, where she grows her own vegetables, dabbles in medieval cookery, and occasionally sallies forth to Rodeo Drive. Ms. Davis is married and has two daughters. Business historian ROBERT J. KELLY is co-founder, vice-president, and treasurer of Kelly, Peck Associates, Inc., a Southern California communications firm that publishes a local financial / business newspaper. A veteran writer, Kelly has ghost-written several articles on corporate financial planning techniques that have appeared in national and regional journals such as Pacific Banker, the ABA Banking Journal, and The Journal of Commercial Bank Lending. He was also Business Historian for Windsor Publications’ Pasadena: Crown of the Valley and Burbank: An Illustrated History.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 206 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 23 cm (12,2 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 1.215 g (42,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Windsor Publications, Inc., Northridge, California, 1988 – ISBN 0-89781-238-7

Beverly Hills 1930-2005 (Marc Wanamaker)

wanamaker-marc-beverly-hills-1930-2005Nowhere on earth are sequels and the success that fosters them more apparent than in Hollywood’s bejeweled bedroom, Beverly Hills. This continuation of the history begun in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America: Early Beverly Hills presents a compendium of vintage photographs depicting America’s one community that’s most synonymous with wealth. However, the Great Depression hit here, too, and the book depicts that as well as the subsequent recovery and boom years, homes of the stars, influence of the close proximity to Hollywood, and the chic shops and restaurants that keep the tourists coming. From the Brown Derby to the Beverly Theatre, from the Harold Lloyd Estate to Jack L. Warner’s digs, from the Beverly Hills Hotel’s changes to those that created a new Beverly Hills Civic Center, these are the Beverly Hills facts that have been the bases for all of those Hollywood fictions.

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.

MARC WANAMAKER owns Bison Archives, one of Southern California’s largest repositories of historic photographs, from which he selected these rare images. A consultant on more than 100 documentaries and the author of Arcadia Publishing’s Early Beverly Hills, Hollywood: Past and Present, and other books, Wanamaker is a founding board member of the Beverly Hills Historical Society.

Softcover – 126 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 326 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2006 – ISBN 0-7385-4659-3

Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro (André Soares)

soares-andre-beyond-paradise-the-life-of-ramon-novarroRamon Novarro was for years one of the top actors in Hollywood – the first Latin American performer to become a Hollywood superstar. Born Ramón Samaniego to a prominent Mexican family, Novarro arrived in Hollywood in 1916 as a refugee from the civil wars that rocked Mexico in the early twentieth century. By the mid-1920s, he had become one of MGM’s most important leading men, going on to star in a series of new-classic films, including The Student Prince, Mata Hari, and the original version of Ben-Hur. He shared the screen with the era’s most important leading ladies, such as Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer, and became Rudolph Valentino’s main rival in the “Latin Lover” category. But despite his considerable professional accomplishments, Novarro’s most enduring claim to fame is his tragic death – his bloodied corpse was found in his house on Halloween 1968 in what has become one of the most infamous scandals in the vast lore of Hollywood.

Novarro was a lifelong bachelor who had carefully cultivated his image as a man deeply devoted to his family and to his religious convictions. His murder shattered that image as news reports revealed to the general public that the dashing screen hero had not only been homosexual, but had been killed by two young male hustlers. Since then, his death has achieved near mythic proportions. Increasingly outlandish stories have become accepted as truth, obscuring Novarro’s notable professional legacy.

Beyond Paradise presents for the first time a full picture of the man who made motion picture history – from his amazing rise to stardom to the destructive conflicts faced by this traditional Catholic Mexican man who was also a gay film star. Compellingly told and impressively researched – including original interviews with Novarro’s surviving friends, family, co-workers, and the two men convicted of his murder – Beyond Paradise provides unique insights into the ground-breaking life and career of one of the most important early Hollywood stars – a man whose myth continues to fascinate today.

ANDRÉ SOARES was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and currently operates a translation business, working for numerous major American corporations. He is the author of several screenplays and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 400 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 777 g (27,4 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-312-28231-1

Big Screen, Little Screen (Rex Reed)

reed-rex-big-screen-little-screenRex Reed, one of the wittiest and most important writers on the entertainment scene today, is distinguished as a critic who is greatly concerned with the quality of visual mass media, as a dynamic adversary of pretentiousness, vulgarity, and mindlessness in the cinema, and as an interviewer / actor who is familiar with the motion picture industry from the inside. His humor is wickedly hilarious, his sarcasm rapier-sharp, his social commentary relevant and often devastating – whether he is discussing the merits of a motion picture, reporting on the hectic, zany events at Cannes, searingly criticizing underground and pornographic movies, or giving a wildly funny tongue-in-cheek rundown of television’s Saturday morning cartoons.

Collectively, these articles provide fresh insights into the workings of the “fabulous” film industry and a lively overview of the entertainment scene in general over the past two years. Big Screen, Little Screen should be read by all movie and TV enthusiasts – and by anyone concerned with the medium – and the future – of motion pictures and television.

Big Screen, Little Screen: a highly readable collection of reviews and articles (originally written for Women’s Wear Daily, Holiday; and The New York Times, from 1968 to the present) on a great variety of subjects.

Rex Reed speaks out on the Big Screen:
On Barbra Streisand: No more cracks about Barbra Streisand’s nose. After Funny Girl, they’ll be as obsolete as Harold Teen comics… In the most remarkable screen debut I will probably ever see in my lifetime, the toadstool from Erasmus High School has been turned into a truffle.
On movies: Hollywood is currently being buried with a spectacular kind of death rattle, made by men who are running scared… I don’t often stand on soap boxes, but after observing at close range a three-ring circus like Myra Breckinridge, I am convinced that if American films are to have any future at all, they must be made on relatively little money…
On Truffaut’s The Wild Child: The Miracle Worker with escargot on its breath…
On The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: Maggie Smith has the face and the voice of a thousand-page novel… She is the actress of the year, the freshest, most creative force to happen to movies in a very long time.
On Andy Warhol: … it has recently been brought to my shocked attention that there are enough fools Out There still willing to pay three bucks and sometimes more to see his peep shows… The only shocking thing about these stag movies is that… Andy and his Super-jerks haven’t been turned in to the Better Business Bureau.

Rex Reed speaks out on the Little Screen:
On commercials: I wonder what Dick Cavett’s early-morning consumers thought when, after interviewing Christine Jorgensen, he broke for a Niagara Starch commercial called “The First Drag Race for Women”?
On Saturday morning cartoons: In last Saturday’s lineup I counted 37 brain concussions, 25 felonies, 40 criminal assaults, and 20 brutal murders. Fine heritage of stalwart virility we’re teaching to the people in whom we’re placing the future hopes of our country, right, all you guys at the networks?
On the youth market: Television’s stubborn insistence on outdating itself has never seemed more flagrant than in the new Saturday morning Archie Andrews kiddie show on CBS… The only thing wrong with this show is it comes about fifteen years too late. It’s probably a lot healthier for kids than all the vampires and lesbian warriors from outer space on the other Saturday morning kiddie shows, but just as unreal. This gang is as antiquated as Fritzi Ritz in wedgies.
On Angela Lansbury: Though her appearances are rare, Angela Lansbury blossoms on the television screen like a bright yellow chrysanthemum in a season of drought.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 433 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 835 g (29,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1968

Billy Bitzer: His Story – The Autobiography of D. W. Griffith’s Master Cameraman (Billy Bitzer; introduction by Beaumont Newhall)

bitzer-billy-his-storyJohann Gottlob Wilhelm Bitzer – Billy Bitzer to the film world – was one of the first and greatest men to stand behind a movie camera. The early Biograph films, one of the high marks in the history of photography, were his work. Bitzer, who was at Biograph before D.W. Griffith, taught the novice director and learned from him; together they made an unbeatable team. With Griffith, Bitzer went on to the superb, Brady-like Civil War camera work of The Birth of a Nation, the spectacular photography of Intolerance, and later triumphs.

Despite his German name, Billy Bitzer was as American as apple pie. A native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, he was first a silversmith and then an employee of the Magic Introduction Company, a novelty firm, which soon got involved in the infant movie business through William Kennedy Dickson, an associate of Edison’s. This group founded The Biograph Company, and Bitzer aided them in the construction of one of the first film cameras, weighing almost a ton. Bitzer not only mastered the rudiments of photography, but soon became a veteran photographer of hundreds of films. It was the combination of Griffith’s imagination and Bitzer’s technical knowledge that provided the basis for the early grammar of film.

In the 1930’s Bitzer joined the staff of the Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art, and died in California in April 1944. His autobiography, which has never before been published, is presented as he wrote it, vivid and straightforward in expression, expert in the knowledge and lore of a craft in which he was a pioneer, and a pleasure to read. Beaumont Newhall, curator emeritus of photography at Eastman House in Rochester, has written an introduction. The appendix contains the first complete Bitzer filmography. Billy Bitzer: His Story is an authentic document and a basic source book in the history of American films.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 266 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 603 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Straus and Giraux, New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-374-11294-0

Billy Wilder in Hollywood (Maurice Zolotow)

zolotov-maurice-billy-wilder-in-hollywoodBilly Wilder is, to his biographer Maurice Zolotow, one of the most sophisticated and sharp-witted men about Hollywood, an exuberant creative spirit, a volatile, outspoken and rebellious character. He is also one of filmland’s most successful citizens – a winner of six Oscars, an extremely talented producer, director and writer.

His story takes us behind the scenes of his films, into the social life of Hollywood and inside the power struggles of the studios. It tells of his dynamite-laden experiences with Marilyn Monroe, his weird encounters with Erich von Stroheim and Otto Preminger, his rapid-fire game of on-set badinage with Walter Matthau, his creative build-up of Jack Lemmon, and contains stories of the many stars and personalities whose lives have intersected his.

This is a fast and funny book because Billy Wilder’s that way: fast, furious, devastatingly amusing, with a wit that transforms mundaneity into sheer hilarity. His co-operation with Maurice Zolotow has insured that the essence of his personality comes through to make this book great reading, great entertainment.

MAURICE ZOLOTOW has been called ‘the Boswell of Broadway and Hollywood’, and has specialised in portraits of men and women of the American theater, films and television. He is the author of eight previous books which include Marilyn Monroe (translated into nine languages and considered a masterpiece of film biography) and Shooting Star, a biography of John Wayne.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 364 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 15 cm (8,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1977 – ISBN 0 491 02291 3

Billy Wilder: Interviews (edited by Robert Horton)

horton-robert-billy-wilder-intervies“When somebody turns to his neighbor and says, ‘My, that was beautifully directed,’ we have proof that it was not.”

Always daring Hollywood censors’ limits on content, Billy Wilder directed greats such as Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Ginger Rogers, Marlene Dietrich, Kirk Douglas, Audrey Hepburn, and Gary Cooper. Billy Wilder: Interviews follows the filmmaking career of one of Hollywood’s most honored and successful writer-directors and spans over fifty years.

Wilder, born in 1906, fled from Nazi Germany and established himself in America. In collected interviews this book traces his progress from his Oscar-winning heyday of the 1940s to the 1990s, in which he is still witty, caustic, and defiant.

He tells the stories behind his brilliant direction of such classics as Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Stalag 17 (1953), Sabrina (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Some Like It Hot (1959), and The Apartment (1960), among others.

A dazzling raconteur, Wilder spins marvelous anecdotes on the subject of show business, Wilder also delivers penetrating and instructive observations on his craft. On screen, his special blend of cynicism and romanticism was always expressed in a style that avoided showiness.

ROBERT HORTON is the film critic for The Herald in Everett, Washington. His work has been published in Film Comment, New York Newsday, American Film, and the Seattle Weekly.

Softcover – 200 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 378 g (13,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001 – ISBN 1-57806-444-9

The Biograph Girl: A Novel of Hollywood Then and Now (William J. Mann)

Mann, William J - The Biograph GirlGrab your seat for a wild rollercoaster ride through the 20th century, led by a sassy, chain-smoking 107-year-old actress named Florence Lawrence. From her vaudeville childhood as “Baby Flo, The Child Wonder Whistler” to the snowy Bronx backlot where she shot her first motion picture, the lovely Florence Lawrence commanded – and demanded – attention. By 1910, she was the legendary, enegmatic Biograph Girl, hounded by shrieking fans and blinding flashbulbs – the world’s very first movie star.

Yet, inevitably, the rabid interest in her faded – far too soon for a girl whose true identity had been lost amidst the glamorous trappings of Hollywood’s golden dawn. Reduced to MGM walk-on roles, a bedraggled, forgotten Florence Lawrence finally ended her life in 1938 with a lethal ingestion of ant paste… or did she?

Sixty years later, the fiercely competitive Sheehan twin brothers, Richard and Ben, discover a fiesty, mysterious old lady named Flo Bridgewood telling tales of the McKinley assassination and the sinking of the Titanic. The twins share little more in common than identical features and a burning ambition to succeed. Muscular golden boy Richard is a gay journalist with too many credit cards and an unproduced screenplay in his drawer. Rebellious Ben is a notorious womanizer and independent filmmaker whose one success a decade ago was supposed to be his ticket to fame. Neither suspects that a chance meeting is about to launch them into a mystery-shrouded journey that spans not just an entire century, but one woman’s remarkable life – and supposed death.

But what of the girl they buried in 1938, whom the Beverly Hills Hospital identified as Florence Lawrence? What was Flo’s connection to her death? The questions begin to mount. How – and why – did Flo stage her own death sixty years before? What other secrets does The Biograph Girl hold – and will her current turn in the spotlight end with the same kind of tragedy as the last?

Like Christopher Bram’s Father of Frankenstein, The Biograph Girl takes a little-known but significent historical character and brings her back to full-fleshed life. With a supporting cast of characters that include D.W. Griffith, Clark Gable, Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, John Waters, Rosie D’Donnell and Oprah Winfrey, The Biograph Girl is truly a chronicle of the 20th century – a sweeping epic packed with history, wisdom, humor, passion, and the golden age of movies.

WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of the best-selling novel The Men from the Boys, as well as the Lambda Literary Award-winning Wisecracker. Presently at work on a study of the Hollywood studio era, he lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 457 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 805 g (28,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Kensington Books, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 1-57566-559-X

The Birth of a Nation Story (Roy E. Aitken, as told to Al P. Nelson)

scannen0187“The Birth of a Nation motion picture, produced in 1915 and directed by the talented David Wark Griffith, was the first twelve reel motion picture ever made. This Civil War and Reconstruction period film with its stirring battle scenes and portrayal of the confused, tragic postwar years, has been viewed by more than 100,000,000 Americans. The picture has been acclaimed for its stirring, panoramic sweep, its artistry and the introduction of many new movie techniques.

Some persons and groups bemoan the continued exhibition of the picture due to the racial problems in the story, which is adapted from Thomas Dixon’s novel, The Clansman. The co-authors of the Birth of a Nation story, especially Roy E. Aitken, who owns controlling interest in the Birth of a Nation film, have clung tenaciously to the facts in relating the dramatic events surrounding the producing of this American epic, and its exhibition over a period of almost fifty years.

The record reveals that many minority groups have persistently and vigorously boycotted the showing of this motion picture, claiming that it creates racial problems. Perhaps it is the misfortune of the Negro race that certain members of it are shown to disadvantage in the Birth of a Nation film. History has shown that the minority of the liberated Negroes who were involved politically in the turbulent Reconstruction period were usually spurred to action and dominated by unscrupulous white carpetbaggers.

The white man, the red man, the yellow man, and the brown man have no monopoly on cruelty, hate, greed, rape or any other human failing. This has often been demonstrated in newspaper and magazine articles, in plays, short stories and novels. When the factual or fictional spotlight turns upon the Negro, as it does in some measure in the Birth of a Nation movie, he has no choice but to bear the scrutiny and the ignominy of it. In company with his white, red, yellow and brown brothers, he can only hang his head in shame. From such universal shame, perhaps Man will identify and study his family racial problem and begin to try to solve it.

This is said to be the age of inquiry and scientific approach. We ask readers of this book to regard this reportorial account of the Birth of a Nation story as an account of the impact of a great motion picture upon three generations of Americans. If the Birth of a Nation movie has a little dust on its garments and mud on its feet, these have inevitably been gathered by following realistic characters who almost always have feet of clay.

That the Birth of a Nation evidences much historical accuracy, and also dramatic truth, is attested by the many requests that come annually from colleges, universities, museums, private art and film groups, and others, to show the picture. Recently, parts of this historic film were shown on the British Broadcasting System and on the National Broadcasting System.

In a lengthy opinion on the Birth of a Nation in 1915, the National Board of Censorship said, in part, ‘If the picture tends to aggravate serious social questions and should therefore be wholly forbidden, that is a matter for the action of those who act on similar tendencies when they are expressed in books, newspapers or on the stage. On what basis of reasoning should a film play be repressed whose subject matter has already been allowed the freest circulation both in a novel and in a play?’” – The Foreword

“My brother Harry Aiten and I were viewing television in our family home in Waukesha, Wisconsin, one warm spring evening in April 1954, when the telephone rang. Harry answered as I turned down the television sound. ‘Hollywood calling,’ said the operator in a carefully measured tone. ‘I have a call for Harry Aitken. Is he there?’ ‘This is he,’ Harry said quietly, and waited. An assured, confident voice boomed over the wires. ‘Hello, Mr. Aitken. Are you the Aitken who owns controlling interest in the Birth of a Nation movie?’

‘I am.’ Harry was not overly excited. We often received phone calls from people connected with theaters, universities, museums, and film societies wanting to show this famous Civil War period movie. For such is the interest in this, the most controversial motion picture of all time, which we, Harry and I, initially financed in 1913-14 and have been distributing ever since. A picture which Variety Magazine reported two hundred movie critics voted the greatest motion picture produced during the first fifty years of the industry.

‘I’m Phil Ryan,’ the HolIywood caller said. ‘I represent a group of bankers and movie executives who are interested in remaking the Birth of a Nation as an entirely new picture.’ Harry was taken aback and did not answer for a moment. This was the kind of production offer we had been working and hoping for ever since sound had been put on the old silent movie, back in the 1930s. ‘Hello-Hello-‘ came back Ryan. ‘Did you hear me, Aitken?’

‘I heard you,’ Harry finally replied. ‘You wanted to know if we’d deal on our rights to the Birth, Yes, we would. But we’d want a sizable sum – perhaps three-quarters of a million dollars. It’s a great picture. Still playing after forty years in this country and in Europe. No one knows which Civil War picture grossed more – the Birth or Gone With the Wind. They’re both top-notchers.’ ‘I know that,’ said Ryan, ‘but the Birth would have to be remade carefully and at a great cost to become a big box-office attraction again. When can we get together in Milwaukee to talk about a deal? My backers want action.’

Harry and Ryan talked for several more minutes. They finally agreed for Harry and me to confer with Ryan two days later at the Plankinton Hotel in Milwaukee. I saw that Harry’s hands were trembling as he put the receiver back on the cradle, and I’ll confess that my heart was pounding, too. Was this the big deal we had looked for through the lean income years since 1930?

The Birth’s lush earnings had lasted from 1915 through 1926 – an estimated gross of $ 60,000,000 paid by more than 100,000,000 movie patrons anxious to see the popular picture that had revolutionized the making of movies. All this despite bitter censorship battles, vigorous minority groups’ opposition, picketing, and even political interference.  Controversial? Yes, even today. No other motion picture has won more lavish praise, or been more bitterly condemned. And this is the exciting photoplay to which Harry and I have played nursemaid and guardian for almost fifty years. Harry died in 1956. Today I am the sole guardian of the great picture, which, despite its stepped-up film speed in the sound version, still creates tremendous excitement wherever it is exhibited.

Controversial, too, was the ownership of the picture when it was first produced in 1914. D.W. Griffith, although he was our director and his salary was paid by our Majestic Film Company, let it be known, intentionally or unintentionally, that he owned the picture. He did not, and he later had to backtrack on his claim. The truth is that the Birth of a Nation should be credited to a triumvirate. Thomas Dixon, the author and a Baptist preacher, wrote the books, The Leopard’s Spots and The Clansman, on which the photoplay was based. David Wark Griffith directed the picture masterfully. And my brother Harry and I raised the initial $ 59,000 to finance the picture and have always held controlling interest in Epoch Producing Corporation, the company which owns the copyright.

Griffith’s name is plastered all over the prints of the film and was featured in newspaper and magazine advertisements. He is entitled to that glory, perhaps, because he reached artistic heights in that movie which brought the motion picture to maturity. But Griffith, although he had many opportunities to do so, never gave author Dixon much credit or recognition, nor did he credit Harry and me for our herculean efforts in obtaining the original financing to put the Birth into production.

Why he did not, we never knew. But Thomas Dixon smarted under the slight for many years and frequently told Harry and me so. We felt as Dixon did that the great Griffith could have been a bit more gracious to his associates – to put it mildly.” – From chapter 1, ‘An Offer Is Made.’

Hardcover – 96 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 567 g (20 oz) – PUBLISHER William W. Denlinger, Middleburg, Virginia, 1965

Birth of the Motion Pictures (Emmanuelle Toulet)

toulet-emanuelle-birth-of-the-motion-pictureOne evening in December 1895, a crowd of Parisians gathered to see the world change: it was the first public presentation of a device called the cinématographe.

Unimpressed, the audience watched as the image of a street was projected onto a screen.

But when a horse suddenly came into view, pulling a cart, they were stunned. They knew they had seen the future. The motion picture had been born.

EMMANUELLE TOULET is a curator in the Department of Entertainment Arts at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, where she is in charge of the film collection. She has published several articles, principally on the history of French silent films and on safeguarding our cinematographic heritage.

Softcover – 175 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 12 cm (6,9 x 4,7 inch) – Weight 258 g (9,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-8109-2874-4

Blackface to Blacklist: Al Jolson, Larry Parks and “The Jolson Story” (Doug McClelland)

McLelland, Doug - Blackface to BlacklistThe Jolson Story, a landmark Hollywood musical biography, brought has-been blackface singer Al Jolson one of show business’ great comebacks, made a star of Larry Parks, the young “B” movie actor who played him, and spawned a sequel. For the first time, McClelland tells the story of how these films were made. Subsequently, in the anti-Communist climate of 1951 America, Larry Parks’s career was destroyed when he admitted he had been a Communist. The story of Parks’s downfall is a major section of the book, as is the graphic portrayal of that dark period in American history. With biographical profiles of all significant contributors to the Jolson sagas and many rare photos.

Hardcover – 284 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 491 g (17,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1987 – ISBN 1 86105 947 7

Blacklisted: The Film Lover’s Guide to the Hollywood Blacklist (Paul Buhle, Dave Wagner)

Buhle, Paul - Blacklisted, The Film Lover's Guide to the Hollywood BlacklistIn Blacklisted, Buhle and Wagner have put together the definitive guide to the films, directors, stars, writers, designers, producers and anyone else who was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the notorious Hollywood blacklist era.

With over 2000 entries, including such films as Roman Holiday and Bridge on the River Kwai, Blacklisted is the ultimate film lover’s guide to Hollywood’s darkest days.

PAUL BUHLE founded the Oral History of the American Left archive at New York University. DAVE WAGNER has co-authored a number of books with Paul Buhle, including the recent Radical Hollywood and Hide in Plain Sight (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

Softcover – 255 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 19 cm (9,1 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 599 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Palgrave Macmillan, New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 1-4039-6145-X

Blind In One Ear (Patrick Macnee, with Marie Cameron)

Autographed copy Patrick Macnee

MacNee, Patrick - Blind in One EarWith mischievous and irreverent humor, Patrick Macnee, star of the 1960s TV series The Avengers, shows that life is stranger than fiction. His wealth of adventurous anecdotes includes heroic deeds, like his rescue of eight chimps from the burning home of a Hollywood animal trainer, and some not so heroic, like his eighteen-vodka airplane ride with Richard Burton.

But his best stories are about the characters from his childhood in a lunatic, upper-class household. At an early age, his eccentric and beautiful mother took him to live with her lesbian lover, “Uncle Evelyn,” whose neighboring mansion housed quite a harem. Despite her dislike of little boys, Evelyn paid for Patrick’s education until he was expelled from Eton for his activities as a bookie and seller of pornography. His father, an alcoholic racehorse trainer, provided for Patrick by giving him the inside tips for his book.

Needless to say, the rest of his life was not dull, perfect training for the imperturbable John Steed! Macnee takes us from his not-so-humble beginnings to his well-known role in The Avengers, which is now being made into a major motion picture with Mel Gibson.

PATRICK MACNEE has worked in theater throughout the world since 1939, interrupted only by service in the Royal Navy in the Second World War. He appeared, notably, on Broadway in the award-winning play Sleuth. His movie career includes The Elusive Pimpernel, A Christmas Carol, The Sea Wolves, and A View to a Kill. Macnee has just completed So Long My Prince for director Andrew McLaglen. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Baba.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 298 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 535 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Mercury House, Incorporated, San Francisco, California, 1989 – ISBN 0-916515-58-3

Bob Hope: Portrait of a Superstar (Charles Thompson)

thompson-charles-bob-hope-portrait-of-a-superstarBob Hope on Hollywood: “It is the only industry in the world where people refuse to get out of their swimming pools until conditions improve.” On women: “I never give them a second thought – my first thought covers everything.” On golfing with Gerald Ford: “He draws a big crowd – you know how people gather at the scene of an accident.”

Charles Thompson explores the life behind the wisecracks of the man who came from the London suburbs of Eltham to become the world’s most endearing and enduring superstar.

CHARLES THOMPSON was born in London in 1945. He has worked in public relations and in journalism, and as a radio and television producer with the BBC and Thames Television. He has known Bob Hope for more than ten years and has handled Hope’s media and press affairs in Britain, as well as producing radio and television programmes about him. Charles Thompson is also the author of The Complete Crosby.

Softcover – 250 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 10,5 cm (7,1 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 158 g (5,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Fontana / Collins, England, 1981 – ISBN 0-00-636431-4

Bob Rafelson: Hollywood Maverick (Jay Boyer)

Boyer, Jan - Bob RafelsonThrough the years Bob Rafelson has resisted the designation of auteur, arguing that the films he makes reflect his desire to go where his interests lead him. Although he does not bring to his work the single, overwhelming presence of an auteur, his films – Head (1968), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), Stay Hungry (1976), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Black Widow (1985), Mountains of the Moon (1990), and Man Trouble (1992) – reveal a consistency of concerns and methods. The recognition of identity – the yearning to locate ourselves in time and space – is paramount in a Rafelson film, which invariably imposes the question, “How do we become who we are?” Another consistency in Rafelson films is the means by which the question is resolved: confrontation. “Confrontation is what defines a person,” Rafelson has said. “If you’re not able to do that, then you’re unable to be tender. With confrontation you are constantly discovering who you are. I’d hate to think I knew who I was and was content to be that. There’s always another aspect of yourself to discover. It’s not religious, really. Although I am, I hesitate to say, spiritual. Just say I’m questing.”

In this in-depth analysis of Bob Rafelson’s eight films, Jay Boyer discusses the ideas and technique of this maverick director, whose Five Easy Pieces has long been cited by cultural historians as encapsulating the conflicted, cynical mood of the Vietnam-era generation. Boyer takes a particularly close look at the search for identity that seems to consume most of Rafelson’s characters, from the members of the media-created musical group the Monkees in Rafelson’s first film, Head, to the British explorer Sir Richard Burton in Mountains of the Moon, which Rafelson considers his best film. Boyer offers provocative discussions of The King of Marvin Gardens, which has been hailed for the extraordinary performances Rafelson was able to elicit from his actors, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, the casting and making of which became something of a Hollywood cause célèbre. Boyer also examines the long artistic relationship the director has had with actor Jack Nicholson, who served as the inspiration for several Rafelson characters (most notably Bobby Dupea in Five Easy Pieces), and with various cinematographers, including Laszlo Kovacs.

JAY BOYER teaches courses in American film and literature at Arizona State University.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 143 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 348 g (12,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Twayne Publishers, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-8057-4612-9

Bogart: A Life in Hollywood (Jeffrey Meyers)

meyers-jeffrey-bogart“When a man’s partner’s killed, he’s supposed to do something about it.” “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine!” “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” The voice is unmistakable. Humphrey Bogart, the most popular American actor of the twentieth century, appealed equally to men and women. Jeffrey Meyers has written the most complete, the most discerning, and the most authoritative life. His powerful research has tracked down all sorts of material previously unknown.

Humphrey Bogart was the scion of a rich and socially prominent New York family. His father was a surgeon who in later years declined into drug addiction; his mother, a successful portrait painter who used her obedient son as a model. Humphrey was a poor student and welcomed the interruption to his education of World War I. He played dozens of roles in Broadway plays in the 1920s, mostly in short runs, until he created Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, which typecast him in Warner Brothers gangster films for a decade. He broke through to stardom after he teamed up with John Huston in The Maltese Falcon, and took his place in the Hollywood firmament with the legendary acting ensemble of Casablanca. He survived three tempestuous and childless marriages (his third wife, Mayo Methot, whom he nicknamed “Sluggy,” went so far as to stab him), but at the height of his career he found happiness, and children, with the youthful Lauren Bacall.

Jeffrey Meyers, the distinguished literary biographer, enlarges the scope of his  biographical gift by concentrating on an actor. He cuts through Hollywood hype and gossip to get at the human and artistic qualities that made Bogart great. The biographer of Hemingway sees in Bogart many of the characteristics shared by the supreme novelist and treats Bogart as a professional actor, conveying his ways of working, his dedication and concentration on the set, his love of privacy, his caustic wit and plain life as well as his stoical and tragic way of dying.

JEFFREY MEYERS has written lives of Katherine Mansfield, Wyndham Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Lowell and his circle, D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, and Robert Frost. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is now writing a life of Gary Cooper.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 369 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 724 g (25,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-395-77399-7

Bogart & Bacall (Joe Hyams)

hyams-joe-bogart-bacall“Later Bogie would say that it was Betty’s height that first impressed him, that and the way she moved with catlike grace. After being married to her for eleven years he would remark that of all the women he knew she had the most class. ‘A lot of broads in this town, but I married a lady with class,’ he would say of her admiringly in that distinctive voice of his that mated with hers so perfectly.

Even today, seeing her from a distance on a city street striding easily, with head thrown back, you would know why she interested him from the day they met, when she was only nineteen and he was forty-four. She was no ordinary girl then, just as today she is an extraordinary woman. Many things would change in the nearly two decades since his death, but even today, when she is fifty, seen close-up and without make-up, her face has not lost its distinctive line, but it is her eyes that rivet you. Feline, clear, gray, unwavering, penetrating, studying and sometimes mocking, making no attempt to hide the fact that they are evaluating, judging and assessing you. And if you are found wanting or ordinary or dull they will shut you off.

But the most formidable thing about her today is her presence. She is never just anyplace, she dominates her surroundings, be they a party or a stage. She had immediate impact in the first film she made with Bogie, but success and maturity have added the element of charisma. After Bogart’s death in 1957 she would go through tortured times trying to find her place in life, seeking a replacement for the irreplaceable man who molded, shaped and made her into the woman she is today. Much of him rubbed off on her: the loyalty to old friends, the belief in morality and goodness, the dedication to being professional.

But not all that rubbed off is pleasant in a woman. The hard-boiled, sardonic attitude that was part of his character and hers, when she was young, is not always charming in an older woman. But it is as much a part of her as it was a part of him because they were, in the final analysis, mirror images of each other.

This book is not about Betty today, however. It is about the Lauren Bacall of thirty years ago, when she first went to Hollywood as an unknown, a teenager, and fell in love with Humphrey Bogart, the most popular film star of his time. Mostly it is about the two people whose romance and marriage captured the imagination of people the world over and has endured beyond his death to become a legend in our time.” – The Prologue.

“If you want anything, just whistle,” Lauren Bacall said that to Humphrey Bogart on the set of To Have and Have Not. The phrase was to echo across America as a love affair was begun on-screen and off. The 44-year-old movie tough guy and the 19-year-old model from New York turned make-believe into reality with a successful marriage that lasted ‘until death did them part.’

JOE HYAMS, who knew both Bogie and Betty intimately, tells their story. He goes ‘behind the glamor of the legends,’ says the San Diego Union, and ‘seems to get inside the two stars.’

Softcover – 245 pp., index – Dimensions 18 x 10,5 cm (7,1 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 165 g (5,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1975

Bogart: In Search of My Father (Steven Bogart; foreword by Lauren Bacall)

Bogart, Steven - Bogart, In Search of My FatherBogart: In Search of My Father is an intimate biography of the world’s biggest movie star, written by his son.

Humphrey Bogart is one the world’s most enduring stars. When he died in 1957, he left behind a treasure trove of unforgettable movies such as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The African Queen, a famous widow, Lauren Bacall, a daughter Leslie and a son, Stephen.

Stephen, who was only ten years old, felt overwhelmed by his father’s legend, a father he never had time to know. For many years he tried to ignore the relationship and forge his own identity, until, now a father himself, he decided to confront his past – to explore his memories of the man Humphrey Bogart was and to search for the deeper legacy he left his son.

In doing so, he was helped by friends of his father, like Katharine Hepburn, Peter Ustinov and Sybil Burton, and the children of people who knew him, such as Angelica Huston and Liza Minnelli. He also talked to Hollywood old-timers – agents, camera men, writers. With candour, wisdom and insight, Stephen explores his father’s story and reveals a stratling new portrait of the human side of Humphrey Bogart.

STEPHEN BOGART is a television producer for Court TV. He also writes crime novels, the first of which, Play It Again, is published by Pan. He is married and has three children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 286 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 603 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1995 – ISBN 0 283 06255 X

Bogey: The Films of Humphrey Bogart (Clifford McCarty)

mccarty-clifford-the-films-of-humphrey-bogart“He was featured in a long series of crime pictures, prompting one reviewer to write that ‘guns and Bogart go together like July and Jap beetles.’ Occasionally, as in Stand-In and Dark Victory, he was given a chance to act without a gun up his sleeve, but usually he was cast as the heavy, by picture’s end dead or in prison. During his years in gangster parts he fought continually with Jack L. Warner for better roles, not unaware that most of those assigned him were beneath his ability.

‘I’m known as the guy who always squawks about roles, but never refuses to play one,’ he once said. ‘I’ve never forgotten a piece of advice Holbrook Blinn gave me when I was a young squirt and asked him how I could get a reputation as an actor. He said, ‘Just keep working.’ The idea is that if you’re always busy, sometime somebody is going to get the idea that you must be good.’ He even culled a certain amount of enjoyment from his type casting: ‘When the heavy, full of crime and bitterness, grabs his wounds and talks about death and taxes in a husky voice, the audience is his and his alone.’

Bogart’s career reached a turning-point with High Sierra. He was still a gangster, but this time a sympathetic one, and the public demanded to see more of the dynamic man who was a real actor. With his next picture, The Wagons Roll at Night, Bogart received top billing, and thereafter never got anything less. In 1941 he brought private-eye Sam Spade brilliantly to life in the ‘sleeper’ of the year – The Maltese Falcon. Perfectly cast, with John Huston’s taut script and direction, it remains to this day the finest mystery film ever made. One more picture like the Falcon was all Bogart needed.

What he got was Casablanca. Warners’ masterly production, the work of Bogart and the stunning cast, and the incredible timeliness of the picture made it one of the biggest money-makers in the company’s history. With Casablanca, Bogart reached a level of popularity that he maintained for seven years: from 1943 to 1949 he ranked among the top ten money-making stars. In 1945 he married his leading lady in To Have and Have Not, Lauren Bacall, after a well-publicized courtship. Their second film together, The Big Sleep, was advertised as ‘the picture they were born for.’ Bogart was now at the peak of his popularity and was the highest-paid actor in the world. In 1947 he formed his own company, Santana Pictures, and made four films as his own employee. In 1948 he starred in John Huston’s memorable allegory of greed, riches and disaster, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He received high praise from the critics for his performance as the paranoid prospector, but the public resented his change of character. He returned to the familiar Bogart role in Key Largo, one of his most successful films. It may even be said to be the last of the ‘Bogart pictures’ in the sense that the character he played fell into the mold established by Casablanca.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 201 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 652 g (23 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1973 – SBN 8065-0001-8

Bogie: The Authorised Biography of Humphrey Bogart (Joe Hyams; introduction by Lauren Bacall)

hyams-joe-bogie“Bogie used to say rather wistfully that as a kid he always felt a bit cheated that because he was born on Christmas Day he never had a birthday. And now he has one every day.

There is not a good friend or acquaintance of Humphrey Bogart’s whose life was not better for having known him and whose life is now less good because he’s not around. There are few people in one’s life that leave much of a mark – a lasting one. Bogie surely did and, remarkably, Bogie does. No one who knew him, even a little, could forget him – neither could those who never knew him at all. And no one would ever want to. One had to recognize his respect for human dignity – the balloons he pricked were always overblown. He was able to cope with the world he lived in, no matter what it was, because of his purity of thought. He is the only man I have ever known who truly and completely belonged to himself. That was one of his major attractions for other men, I think. In the motion picture business – the goldfish bowl as he called it, in which he lived with all the temptations and attractions of easy, high living; the acceptance of glamor as reality; shading of the truth – he had absolute clarity of purpose. His friends, the most talented and intelligent of them, were in awe of his concepts. ‘How did he do it all and how did he do it without being a bore, without sacrificing his wit, humor, his magic as a man?’ He did it because his convictions about life, work, and people were so strong they were unshakable. Nothing – no one – could make him lower his standards, lessen his character.” – From The Introduction by Lauren Bacall.

Off-screen as tough a guy as on, always larger than life, Bogie was Hollywood’s sweet-water dose of late-night rum, who at the darkest hour would intoxicate an entire culture and by a generation’s dreams earn himself immortality. He married four times: most violently to Mayo Methot, who tried to carve him up with a kitchen knife; most happily to Lauren Bacall, 25 years his junior. This is his story, the real legend of Bogie.

Softcover – 189 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 167 g (5,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Mayflower Books, Ltd., Frogmore, 1966

Boris Karloff: A Bio-Bibliography (Beverley Bare Buehrer)

This reference work on British-born screen actor Boris Karloff (1887-1969, born William Henry Pratt) presents a comprehensive record of the life and career of this famous performer.

The volume begins with a biography, which succinctly presents the facts of Karloff’s life. A chronology of his significant achievements follows. The remaining chapters overview Karloff’s broad career.

Chapters document and comment upon his film, stage, radio, and television performances. A discography is included as well. The book concludes with an annotated bibliography of books and articles about Boris Karloff, along with a comprehensive index.

Hardcover – 283 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 659 g (23,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1993 – ISBN 0-313-27715-X

Boris Karloff: A Gentleman’s Life (Scott Allen Nollen; with the participation of and foreword by Sara Jane Karloff)

nollen-scott-allen-boris-karloff-a-gentlemans-life“When Scott Allen Nollen first approached me about doing another Karloff book, I must admit that my first reaction was ‘Why another? So many have been done.’ And I knew my father’s reaction would have been ‘What’s the big fuss? Local boy makes good. So what?’

Since his death in 1969, wonderful books about my father have been written. Some cover just his career, while others blend the man and his work. That, of course, is the case with my godmother Cynthia Lindsay’s warm and loving family-authorized Dear Boris.

However, after reading Nollen’s book Boris Karloff: A Gentleman’s Life, I realized just how beautifully he has captured the essence of my father. Nollen’s lifelong study of Boris Karloff, his extensive research, combined with his use of heretofore unseen photographs and untold family anecdotes, has made this book the ultimate Boris Karloff biography. I was particularly delighted to see that my mother, Dorothy Stine Karloff, is given her place alongside my father during the very important years of 1930-46. And what glorious years those were.

Boris Karloff was revered by his fellow actors, who referred to him as ‘the consummate professional,’ ‘the actor’s actor.’ Nollen’s book Boris Karloff: A Gentleman’s Life reminds those of us who knew and loved Boris Karloff just how lucky we were to have had him touch our lives. Thank you, Daddy. Thank you, Scott Allen Nollen.” – From The Foreword by Sara Jane Karloff.

Softcover – 355 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 17,5 cm (9,8 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 627 g (22,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Midnight Marquee Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1999 – ISBN 1-887664-23-8

Boris Karloff: The Man Remembered (Gordon B. Shriver)

shriver-gordon-b-boris-karloff-the-man-rememberedSince his death in 1969, Boris Karloff remains one of Hollywood’s most famous figures. He is still revered for his talent, his many qualities that earned him admiration and respect, and, of course, his landmark role as the Monster in the 1931 movie classic Frankenstein.

This biography, the result of many years of interviews and extensive research, examines Karloff the person, as well as the actor. His work (which lasted more than half a century) in films, radio, television, and the theater is covered in detail, highlighted with accounts by many who knew him and worked with him. Among the contributors are Robert Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Ray Bradbury, Julie Harris, Tony Randall, Ronald Reagan, Eli Wallach, and Jonathan Winters. With the support of the Karloff family, Gordon Shriver pays tribute to this much-loved performer who will never be forgotten.

A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, GORDON SHRIVER’s interest in Boris Karloff has spanned more than thirty years. At San Francisco State University, he received a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, and went on to work in radio news. He has written for Cult Movies and Famous Monsters of Filmland. He lives in Norcross, Georgia.

Softcover – 208 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER PublishAmerica, Baltimore, Maryland, 2004 – ISBN 1-4137-1049-2

Born to Lose: The Gangster Film in America (Eugene Roscow)

Roscow, Eugene - Born to Lose, the Ganster Film in AmericaA lavishly illustrated, definitive study of American gangster movies, this intriguing history shows how the genre developed out of American culture and reflected it. Film, history, and nostalgia buffs will welcome its recreation of an era – the names, the faces, the headlines, the glamour, the lawless excitement – that have made crime pay, and pay handsomely, at the box-office. The author believes that gangster pictures are more than simple, action-packed dramas about violent criminals driven by dreams of success. The recurring characters, stories, themes, motifs, and iconography, he says, are actually a self-image of American capitalist and urban society. Indeed, the rise and development of gangster films parallels that of organized crime in America.

Rosow’s behind-the-camera saga begins in the early 1900s with the amazing nickelodeon. He talks about the early gangland films (The Musketeers of Pig Alley in 1912, The Gangster and the Girl in 1914) and the true emergence of the gangster movie with Underworld in the roaring ’20s. Gangsters became associated with money, sex, booze, gambling, style, and the high living that made cities such sinful and attractive places in the popular imagination. Then came the ’30s and Depression when people flocked to movies of the underworld to watch cocky, confident, assured people forcing the breaks to come their way.

Although much of the book concentrates on the Prohibition Era and the Depression and the classic gangster films that emerged in those periods – Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Scarface, and others – Rosow also deals with organized crime, with its Mafia aspects, big business techniques, and its strong links with government, especially during the Nixon Administration.

Parading through this full-blooded and often bloody history are celebrated names: the legendary stars (Joan Blondell, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, etc.); the powerful banks who invested in and then dominated Hollywood; real-life gangsters (Lansky, Siegal, Capone); movie moguls, some of whom had started out as gangsters themselves. It’s a rousing tale of business espionage, legal muscle, strong-arm thugs, gang raids; of film stolen, pirated, and smuggled with all the ingenuity of today’s drug runners.

An important feature of the book is the “filmography”: brief descriptions, plots, and credits for nearly 80 significant gangster films from Little Caesar to the two Godfather films. The author’s brilliant selection of illustrations (378 in all) add enormously to the authenticity and reference value of this highly entertaining book. EUGENE ROSCOW is a filmmaker-historian and free-lance writer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 422 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 19 cm (9,5 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 1.015 g (35,8 oz) – PUBLISHER The Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-19-502382-X

Brando: A Life in Our Times (Richard Schickel)

schickel-richard-brando-a-life-in-our-timesBrando brooding. It was a sight never before seen in the movies. In films like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild One, On The Waterfront he redefined the nature of screen heroism, redefined the standards of screen acting and helped the entire post-war generation to define itself. In the process he became something more than a star; he became a cultural icon, one of those rare figures whose public life permanently invades, and in some measure shapes, our private reveries.

A distinguished critic recalling. Richard Schickel is a member of that generation that came of age as Marlon Brando entered his first claims on the world’s attention. In this book he recreates the excitement, the danger, the controversy of the years when Marlon Brando challenged, and upended, everyone’s ideals of heroic performance and everyone’s ideas of how a movie star’s life should be lived. More than that, the author recreates the era in which Brando came of age: Hollywood in crisis, America addled by anxious prosperity and Cold War conformities, and an alien culture – youth – forming within the larger one.

A life that is more than a ‘life.’ Marlon Brando was the product of an archetypal American adolescence – at once rebellious and dutiful. In his young manhood he knew fame and achievement as everyone dreams of it – vast, sudden, overwhelming. In maturity he alternately despised and embraced his own gifts and the gifts the world insisted on pressing upon him. In age, his life has been touched by tragedy. In tracing this life, as notable for its enigmas and its refusals as it is for its ambiguous triumphs, Richard Schickel has provided the first serious, deeply considered analysis of all of Marlon Brando’s movies, offering fresh and often surprising judgements on his work and the conditions under which it was performed.

Writing in a unique tone – at once intimate and ironic – drawing on his remarkable sense of film and social history, the author places the films firmly within the context of their times. More importantly, he also places the troubled, troubling life of his subject in the context of our lives, showing how Brando has reflected and refracted the hopes of his own theatrical generation, influenced the aspirations of those who have followed him, helped determine the relationship of celebrities to their own fame and, above all, defined his public’s relationship with the movies, with stardom and with the life of the times they have shared with Marlon Brando.

The text is illustrated with 90 quintessential black and white images of Brando.

RICHARD SCHICKEL combines three careers – as a film critic, as an author and as a writer-producer of television specials. He began writing film reviews for Life in 1965, and switched to Time in 1972 where he continues to contribute a weekly review. He has written many books, the majority of which deal with films and filmmaking. They include The Disney Version, the definitive study of the life, times and art of Walt Disney, and The Men Who Made the Movies, interviews with distinguished American movie directors as well as monographs on Cary Grant and James Cagney. His masterly biography of D.W. Griffith received the British Film Institute Book Award. Richard Schickel has also made a number of documentary films about the movies and these include three films about the making of George Lucas’ Star Wars saga as well as portraits of James Cagney and Gary Cooper. His articles, numbering in the hundreds, have appeared in most of America’s leading magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 583 g (20,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Pavilion Books, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 1-85145-047-5

Brando: A Life in Our Times (Richard Schickel)

schickel-richard-brando-a-life-in-our-timesBrando brooding. It was a sight never before seen in the movies. In films like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild One, On The Waterfront he redefined the nature of screen heroism, redefined the standards of screen acting and helped the entire post-war generation to define itself. In the process he became something more than a star; he became a cultural icon, one of those rare figures whose public life permanently invades, and in some measure shapes, our private reveries.

A distinguished critic recalling. Richard Schickel is a member of that generation that came of age as Marlon Brando entered his first claims on the world’s attention. In this book he recreates the excitement, the danger, the controversy of the years when Marlon Brando challenged, and upended, everyone’s ideals of heroic performance and everyone’s ideas of how a movie star’s life should be lived. More than that, the author recreates the era in which Brando came of age: Hollywood in crisis, America addled by anxious prosperity and Cold War conformities, and an alien culture – youth – forming within the larger one.

A life that is more than a ‘life.’ Marlon Brando was the product of an archetypal American adolescence – at once rebellious and dutiful. In his young manhood he knew fame and achievement as everyone dreams of it – vast, sudden, overwhelming. In maturity he alternately despised and embraced his own gifts and the gifts the world insisted on pressing upon him. In age, his life has been touched by tragedy. In tracing this life, as notable for its enigmas and its refusals as it is for its ambiguous triumphs, Richard Schickel has provided the first serious, deeply considered analysis of all of Marlon Brando’s movies, offering fresh and often surprising judgements on his work and the conditions under which it was performed.

Writing in a unique tone – at once intimate and ironic – drawing on his remarkable sense of film and social history, the author places the films firmly within the context of their times. More importantly, he also places the troubled, troubling life of his subject in the context of our lives, showing how Brando has reflected and refracted the hopes of his own theatrical generation, influenced the aspirations of those who have followed him, helped determine the relationship of celebrities to their own fame and, above all, defined his public’s relationship with the movies, with stardom and with the life of the times they have shared with Marlon Brando.

RICHARD SCHICKEL combines three careers – as a film critic, as an author and as a writer-producer of television specials. He began writing film reviews for Life in 1965, and switched to Time in 1972 where he continues to contribute a weekly review. He has written many books, the majority of which deal with films and filmmaking. They include The Disney Version, the definitive study of the life, times and art of Walt Disney, and The Men Who Made the Movies, interviews with distinguished American movie directors as well as monographs on Cary Grant and James Cagney. His masterly biography of D.W. Griffith received the British Film Institute Book Award. Richard Schickel has also made a number of documentary films about the movies and these include three films about the making of George Lucas’ Star Wars saga as well as portraits of James Cagney and Gary Cooper. His articles, numbering in the hundreds, have appeared in most of America’s leading magazines.

Softcover – 221 pp., index – Dimensions 20 x 12 cm (7,9 x 4,7 inch) – Weight 354 g (12,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Pavilion Books, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 1-85793-275-7

Brando for Breakfast (Anna Kashfi, with E.P. Stein)

Brando, Anna Kashfi - Brando for BreakfastMarlon Brando and Anna Kashfi’s life together was doomed. His kinky sexuality, his contempt for his life as an actor, the torment of a mind muddled with immature philosophical speculations, his wild and funny-sad eccentricity were too much for Anna Kashfi and their marriage. But during the years of their long courtship, Marlon Brando poured out his feelings; acted out his neuroses; flaunted his sexual compulsions; talked of the universe, of brothels, of acting technique and actors, of his overreaching ambitions.

In this highly intelligent and gracefully written book you will be able to see how the roles Brando created intertwined with the man he was: the slob of A Streetcar Named Desire; the existential hell-raiser of The Wild One; the sexual oddball of Last Tango in Paris; the idealist manqué of On the Waterfront; the outlaw tyrant of The Godfather.

ANNA KASHFI and E.P. STEIN have written much more than a Hollywood memoir. There is compassion in Brando for Breakfast, and there is anger. Anna Kashfi shows the ability to admire Brando’s greatness even as she rails against his imperfections. She also shows an understanding of her own failures, which drove her, almost fatally, to seek solace in drink, drugs, and madness.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 273 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 626 g (22,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-517-536862

Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me (Marlon Brando, with Robert Lindsey)

brando-marlon-brandoThis is Marlon Brando’s own story, and his reason for telling it is best revealed in his own words: “I have always considered my life a private affair and the business of no one beyond my family and those I love. Except for moral and political issues that aroused in me a desire to speak out, I have done my utmost throughout my life, for the sake of my children and myself, to remain silent… But now, in my seventieth year, I have decided to tell the story of my life as best as I can, so that my children can separate the truth from the myths that others have created about me, as myths are created about everyone swept up in the turbulent and distorting maelstrom of celebrity in our culture.”

To date there have been over a dozen books written about Marlon Brando, and almost half of them have been inaccurate, based on hearsay, sensationalist or prurient in tone. Now, at last, fifty years after his first appearance on stage in New York City, the actor has told his life story, with the help of Robert Lindsey. The result is an extraordinary book, at once funny, moving, absorbing, ribald, angry, self-deprecating and completely frank account of the career, both on-screen and off, of the greatest actor of our time. Anyone who has enjoyed a Brando film, will relish this book.

Co-author ROBERT LINDSEY, Chief West Coast correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of The Falcon and the Snowman, A Gathering of Saints and other books, and also collaborated with Ronald Reagan on his autobiography, An American Life.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 468 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 992 g (35,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 09679-41013-9

Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman (Caryl Flinn)

Flinn, Caryl - Brass DivaBroadway star Ethel Merman’s voice was a mesmerizing force and her vitality was legendary, yet the popular perception of La Merm as the irrepressible wonder falls far short of all that she was and all that she meant to Americans over so many decades. This marvelously detailed biography is the first to tell the full story of how the stenographer from Queens, New York, became the queen of the Broadway musical in its golden age. Mining official and unofficial sources, including her personal scrapbooks and, for the first time, interviews with Merman’s son, Caryl Flinn unearths new details of Merman’s life and finds that behind the high-octane personality was a remarkably pragmatic woman who never lost sight of her roots.

Brass Diva takes us from Merman’s working-class beginnings through the extraordinary career that was launched in 1930 when, playing a secondary role in a Gershwin Brothers’ show, she became an overnight sensation singing I Got Rhythm. From there, we follow Merman’s hits on Broadway, her uneven successes in Hollywood, and her afterlife as a beloved camp icon. In this definitive work on the phenomenon that was Ethel Merman, Publishers Weekly says, “Flinn masterfully analyzes Merman’s work on stage, screen and TV with a sophisticated eye for detail that will delight theater buffs.”

CARYL FLINN lives and works in Tuscon, where she is Professor of Women’s Studies and Media Arts at the University of Arizona. She is the author of The New German Cinema: Music, History, and the Matter of Style (UC Press) and Stains of Utopia: Gender, Nostalgia, and Hollywood Film Music, as well as co-editor, with James Buhler and David Neumeyer, of Music and Cinema.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 542 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 937 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2007 – ISBN 978-0520-22942-6

Brigitte Bardot (beschreven door Françoise Sagan; gefotografeerd door Ghislain Dussart)

Bardot, BrigitteDeze beelden, door Françoise Sagan op haar eigen scherpzinnige wijze van een boeiend en analytisch commentaar voorzien, weerspiegelen tien jaar van het leven van Brigitte Bardot, als vrouw en als actrice.

Een zeer hechte en broederlijke vriendschap met La Bardot heeft Ghislain Bussart in staat gesteld deze oogst van grappige, ontroerende, verrassende, maar bovenal schitterende foto’s voor u te vergaren. Zij doen de mythe Bardot vervagen om in ruil hiervoor de buitengewone schoonheid te tonen van een vrouw die zichzelf omschrijft als wispelturig maar niet onberekenbaar, arrogant maar o zo verlegen, vrolijk maar een beetje te gevoelig, weemoedig maar met gevoel voor humor.

Brigitte Bardot werd op 28 september 1934 te Parijs geboren. Op achttienjarige leeftijd had zij reeds carrière gemaakt als fotomodel. Het was Marc Allégret die haar in de filmwereld introduceerde (Futures vedettes, 1954) en in contact bracht met zijn assistent, de voormalige Paris-Match-journalist Roger Vadim. Onder regie van Vadim maakte Brigitte Bardot haar eerste grote film (Ét Dieu créa la femme, 1956) die haar ster tot ongekende hoogten deed rijzen. Vele beroemde films volgden, zoals La vérité, Vie privée, Le mépris, Boulevard du Rhum, Viva Maria en Les pétroleuses. De laatste jaren doet Brigitte Bardot het met filmen wat kalmer aan en houdt zij zich hoofdzakelijk bezig met maatschappelijke activiteiten van uiteenlopende aard.

FRANÇOISE SAGAN werd op 21 juni 1935 te Carjac als Françoise Quoirez geboren. Ook zij begon haar carrière op achttienjarige leeftijd. Haar romandebuut Bonjour Tristesse was meteen een wereldsucces. Hoofdthema in het boek en ook in de latere romans en toneelstukken is de levenswijze van een nieuwe generatie jonge mensen, wier bestaan zich afspeelt binnen de kleine wereld van de decadente bourgeoisie, waar liefde het voornaamste tijdverdrijf vormt, een wereld die zij op zeer lucide manier beschrijft. Françoise Sagan heeft naast een aantal toneelstukken onder meer op haar naam staan Un certain sourire, Aimez-vous Brahms?, La chamade, Un peu de soleil dans  l’eau froide, Des bleus à l’âne, Un profil perdu en Réponses. Binnenkort zal zij haar debuut als filmregisseuse maken.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 122 pp. – Dimensions 33,5 x 24,5 cm (13,2 x 9,7 inch) – Weight 1.150g (40,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Elsevier, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)   / Brussels (Belgium), 1974 – ISBN 90 10 01538 1

Brigitte Bardot (Sam Lévin)

Lévin, Sam - Brigitte Bardot

Hardcover – 106 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 22 cm (9,8 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions PC, Paris, 2001 – ISBN 2-912683-01-7

Brigitte Bardot: Le mythe éternel (Dominique Choulant)

Choulant, Dominique - Brigitte Bardot le mythe éternel“Je n’arrive pas toujours à imaginer que je suis Bardot. Je me force même à ne pas y penser. Parce que, tu sais, être Bardot, c’est une foutue responsabilité. (…) Parfois, j’ai des moments de révolte et je me dis que je suis Brigitte, une femme comme les autres. Et ce n’est pas vrai. (…) Je ne peux rien faire comme les autres femmes, moi: entrer dans un tabac pour acheter des cigarettes, me promener dans la rue, aller au cinéma… Tout ça, c’est exclu. Alors, tu penses bien que face à un homme, le problème est gratiné. Parce que, si j’arrive parfois à oublier que je suis Bardot, lui il ne l’oublie jamais!”

Icône incontestée du 7e art, idéal féminin, sex-symbol international, mais aussi fervente ambassadrice de la cause animale, Brigitte Bardot n’a jamais fait de compromis. Les actes ont toujours suivi les paroles. Au début de sa carrière au cinéma, elle annonçait déjà qu’elle arrêterait dès qu’elle n’éprouverait plus le plaisir de jouer, et effectivement elle le fit.

Brigitte Bardot, le mythe éternel reprend les événements les plus marquants de la vie de la star, les moments de bonheur intense et de gloire comme ceux d’extrême vulnérabilité et de tristesse, tout en laissant une large place à la voix de BB. En effet, celle-ci déroule, tout au long du récit, sa pensée, ses ressentis, les hommes qu’elle a aimés, les films qui l’ont rendue célèbre, les rencontres avec les plus grands, ainsi que les lieux fameux, Saint-Tropez et La Madrague, qui ont jalonné son parcours exceptionnel.

Mais cet ouvrage est bien plus que cela encore. Bienavant le drame de la mort de Lady Di, il pointe du doight les débuts d’une certaine presse, dite “à scandale”, et le rôle grandissant des paparazzi, représentants des dérives d’une société sand frontieère morale.

DOMINIQUE CHOULANT, né en 1963, résidant à Toulouse, est un cinéphile passionné depuis de son plus jeune âge. Il a déjà publié deux autres biographies: de Martine Carol (en 1997) et de Marilyn Monroe (en 2006), ainsi qu’un roman d’amour, Même si… (en 2004).

Softcover – 295 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Autres Temps Éditions, Paris, 2009 – ISBN 978-2-84521-373-9

Brigitte Bardot: Plein de Vue (Marie-Dominique Lelièvre)

Leliièvre, Marie-Dominique - Brigitte Bardot plein la vueElle était la plus belle. Elle a éclipsé toutes les autres. Vadim lui a offert la célébrité, Godard un chef-d’œuvre, Gunter Sachs sa fortune, Kate Moss et Beauvoir leur admiration. Son énergie fracassante, sa franchise et ses amours tissent sa légende.

Elle est avant tout une petite fille mal aimée qui ne tenait pas spécialement à faire du cinéma. Une jeune bourgeoise devenue une star à son corps défendant. A mi-parcours, elle a sabordé sa carrière pour se mettre au service des animaux. Il y a un mystère Bardot.

La plus célèbre des Françaises reste une inconnue. S’appuyant sur des témoignages inédits, l’enquête de Marie-Dominique Lelièvre en dresse un portrait neuf.

Softcover – 345 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 396 g (14 oz) – PUBLISHER Flammarion, Paris, 2012 – ISBN 978-2-0812-4624-9

Brigitte Bardot: Un hommage photographique (Suzanne Lander; préface de Henry-Jean Servat)

Lander, Suzanne - Brigitte Bardot, un hommage photographiqueBelle et rebelle… Brigitte Bardot en trois cents citations et autant de photos.

Belle, insolente, libre, Brigitte Bardot a toujours été insaisissable. Trois cents photos et autant de citations de proches ou d’elle-même témoignent ici du parcours exceptionnel de la femme et de l’actrice. Roger Vadim, Serge Gainsbourg, Michèle Morgan, Paco Rabanne, Pierre Arditi et bien d’autres encore disent toute l’admiration qu’ils portent à celle qu’ils ont bien connue et qui a profondément marqué son temps.

Retour en images et en mots sur une légende du cinéma.

Hardcover – 541 pp., index – Dimensions 13,5 x 18 cm (5,3 x 7,1 cm) – Weight 1.085  g (38,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Hors Collection, Paris, 2011 – ISBN 978-2-258-08956-3

Brigitte Bardot: Vies privées (entretien avec Henry-Jean Servat)

Bardot, Brigitte - Vies PrivéesBrigitte Bardot a accepté pour la première fois de nous parler à cœur ouvert de sa vie. Un récit intime et très personnel qui dessine un visage méconnu de la star qui se révèle comme une femme blessée, attachante et généreuse. Une femme fidèle à elle-même, bien loin des polémiques médiatiques et des engagements politiques qu’on lui a récemment attribués. Dans ce livre, elle exprime ses fêlures, ses peines et ses combats alors que son image aura été sa pire ennemie.

Brigitte Bardot revient avec nostalgie sur son enfance bourgeoise et préservée, sur ses amours nombreuses, mais toujours sincères (de Vadim à Bernard d’Ormale, en passant par Trintignant, Charrier, Sacha Distel…), ainsi que sur sa carrière au cinéma, qu’elle considère avoir arrêté juste à temps pour sauver sa peau, contrairement à son amie Romy Schneider et à Marilyn Monroe…

HENRY-JEAN SERVAT, l’ami et le confident, a tissé au fil des années des liens privilégiés avec Brigitte Bardot et nos offre cette interview exclusive et intime.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 138 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 25,5 cm (10 x 10 inch) – Weight 998 g (35,20 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Albin Michel, Paris, 2006 – ISBN 2-226-15205-9

Brigitte Bardot: Vue par Léonard de Raemy (avec la collaboration de François Bagnaud)

de Raemy, Leoanrd - Brigitte BardotBrigitte Bardot, en légendant plus de 110 photos, pour la plupart inédites ou rarement vues, a souhaité rendre hommage à son ami Léonard de Raemy qui, durant plus de 25 années de collaboration, a su la photographier avec talent et respect lors de tournages des films, de présentations de mode et de reportages plus intimes.

Son fils, Marc de Raemy a voulu témoigner de l’admiration qu’l porte à son père, en sélectionnant parmi des milliers de photographes, celles concernant Brigitte Bardot, star internationalle et sex-symbol des années 60. François Bagnaud les a commentées avec passion et admiration.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 139 pp. – Dimensions 29,5 x 29,5 cm (11,6 x 11,6 inch) – Weight 1.230 g (43,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Didier Carpentier, Paris, 2011

Brigitte Helm: Der Vamp der deutschen Films (Daniel Semler)

scannen0284Sie hieß eigentlich Brigitte Eva Gisela Schittenhelm und wollte Astronomin werden. Aber ihre verwitwete Mutter sieht in ihr schon früh einen Filmstar und schafft es, Thea von Harbou und Fritz Lang für Brigitte zu interessieren. Da ist sie eine knapp siebzehnjährige Internatsschülerin. Sie macht Probeaufnahmen für das Ufa-Großprojekt METROPOLIS, bekommt die weibliche Doppelrolle der Maria, bewältigt die Drehzeit von 17 Monaten offenbar ohne Schaden und wird 1927 aus dem Stand heraus ein deutscher Weltstar.

Sie kriegt von der Ufa einen Zehnjahresvertrag, dreht mit Karl Grune (Am Rande der Welt, 1927), Georg Wilhelm Pabst (Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney, 1927), Henrik Galeen (Alraune, 1928). Ihr Image wird der deutsche Vamp mit der statuenhaften Schönheit. Weil sie mit diesem Klischee unzufrieden ist, prozessiert sie (vergeblich) gegen die Ufa, um andere Rollenangebote zu bekommen. Sie schafft den Übergang zum Tonfilm (Die Singende Stadt, 1930), spielt noch einmal die Alraune (unter Richard Oswald, 1930), dreht in England (The Blue Danube, 1932), verkörpert in Karl Hartls Die Gräfin von Monte Christo (1932) eine Filmkomparsin, die zuerst zur Hochstaplerin und dann zum Star wird. Ihr letzter Film hat den Titel Ein Idealer Gatte (1935). Dann zieht sie sich vom Film zurück und heiratet einen reichen Unternehmer.

So erzählt, ist das die Geschichte einer kurzen, heftigen Karriere mit einem zweifelhaften Happyend. Aber der Brigitte Helm-Mythos gibt mehr her. Er handelt von einer Branche, die sich damals radikal verändert, von einem Land, das in den Abgrund einer rassistischen Diktatur gerät, von Frauenbildern, die zu verkörpern einer Schauspielerin Lust und Frust bereiten kann, von Regisseuren, Produzenten, Kameraleuten, Schauspielpartnern, von denen sie gehasst oder geliebt wird, die ihr aber nicht nahe kommen können.

Das ist eine Menge Stoff für einen Biografen, und Daniel Semler hat sich tief in die Archive vergraben. Weil er dort viele Fundstücke gemacht hat, versteckt er sich über weite Strecken hinter all den wunderbaren Texten und Zitaten, die er entdeckt hat. Insofern ist dieses Buch vor allem eine Dokumentation jener spannenden zehn Jahre zwischen 1925 und 1935, in denen Brigitte Helm Objekt der publizistischen Begierde war und sich viele an ihr abgearbeitet haben: Arnheim, Eisner und Kracauer, aber auch die Filmkritiker und Gesellschaftsreporter, deren Namen heute keiner mehr kennt. Schön und zugleich schrecklich sind die Geschichten ihrer Leidenschaft für schnelle Autos, die mit zwei schweren von ihr verschuldeten Verkehrsunfällen endete.

Es gibt keine Autobiografie von Brigitte Helm, sie hatte keine Fernsehauftritte, ging in keine Talkshow, gab keine Interviews. Sie starb am 11. Juni 1996. Ihr Rückzug aus der Öffentlichkeit besitzt eine Garbo-Dimension. Und wenn man die vielen Szenenfotos, die faksimilierten Zeitschriftenartikel und die Illustriertenporträts dieses Buches betrachtet, wundert man sich, dass es nicht schon früher erschienen ist. Denn es erzählt uns von deutscher Filmgeschichte, deutscher Zeitgeschichte, deutscher Kulturgeschichte und deutscher Frauengeschichte. Aber so ein Buch braucht seine Zeit.

In die Gestaltung und den Druck dieses Bandes hat der Verleger viel Mühe investiert. Am Ende weiß man, dass dies auch ein Fanbuch ist, das nur einer wie Michael Farin zustande bringen kann. Und man verzeiht ihm wieder einmal, dass er so lange gebraucht hat, ein Versprechen einzulösen.

Softcover – 336 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 978-3-93-6298-56-7

Bring On the Empty Horses (David Niven)

niven-david-bring-on-the-empty-horsesHere is Niven at his best. He and Errol Flynn were filming The Charge of the Light Brigade for a director, Michael Curtiz, ‘whose Hungarian-orientated English was a joy to us all.’ High on the rostrum he decided the moment had come to order the arrival on the scene of a hundred riderless chargers. “Okay,” he yelled into a megaphone, “Bring on the empty horses!”

Bring on the Empty Horses is the second part of David Niven’s internationally best-selling autobiography, following the superbly entertaining The Moon’s a Balloon. Both books were highly acclaimed by the critics and remain as wonderful reminders of a much-loved actor who epitomised, for many, the essential British gent, even when surrounded by the stars of Hollywood.

DAVID NIVEN was an English actor and novelist. He wrote four books. The first, Round the Rugged Rocks, was a novel which appeared in 1951 and was forgotten almost at once. In 1971, he published his autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon, which was well-received, selling over five million copies. He followed this with Bring On the Empty Horses in 1975, a collection of highly entertaining reminiscences from Hollywood’s “Golden Age” in the 1940s. It now appears that Niven recounted many incidents from a first person perspective which actually happened to other people, and which he borrowed and embroidered. In 1981, Niven published a second and much more successful novel, Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly, which was set during and after World War II, and drew on his experiences during the war and in Hollywood. He was working on a third novel when his health failed in 1983.

Softcover – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 215 g (7,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Hodder and Sougton, Ltd., Sevenoaks, Kent, 1975 – ISBN 0 340 20915 1

British Film Actors’ Credits, 1895-1987 (Scott Palmer)

palmer-scott-british-film-actors-credits-1895-1987“In writing this book I have attempted to list virtually every British actor or actress who could be considered to have worked in films, with complete filmographies through December 1987. My primary rule was to include performers who made at least three films; however there are forty or so that I have listed who appear in two films. These exceptions were made because the person either was in an important film or played a key role; I also believe that some of these people appeared in other films I could not trace. I am aware that to list every actor and every film is not possible, nevertheless this is what I have attempted to do.

There are nearly 5,000 performers listed here, along with a quarter of a million film titles. The entire range of films is covered from 1895. The book is divided into two parts: the sound era, which has most of the entries, and the silent era, with about 700 names. Actors listed in this second section made no appearances after 1928. Actors whose careers spanned both talking films (which began in Britain in 1929) and silents are listed in the larger first section.

Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Australian, Canadian, South African, and other British Commonwealth performers are included; British-born actors whose films were made outside the United Kingdom (as in Hollywood) are also, as well as those born in foreign countries who filmed in Britain. Birth and death dates are given when they could be traced. Because there are so many small-part players listed, there are a number whose vital dates could not be found. A brief character description is followed by the list of films, in chronological order. I have tried to give the year the film was completed and also the original title; I beg the reader’s indulgence if any errors have occurred. A great number of television films have been included; they are not specifically indicated, however. In a number of cases, television films have turned up in the cinema when crossing the Atlantic. I have also given the year of each actor’s first stage appearance if I could find it, as the great majority of these people began their careers on the stage. There are also a few special features in this book including a section on those people bestowed titles, a list of those players who have 100 or more films to their credit, and a section on awards (British and American Academy).” – From The Preface.

Hardcover – 917 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.395 g (49,2 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1988 – ISBN 1-558-62166-0

British Film Institute: Film and Television Handbook 1992

british-film-institute-film-and-television-handbook-1992“As we move towards the establishment of the single European market after 1992, the BFI is determined to ensure that Britain’s audiovisual industries are fully informed of all the new opportunities that will be on offer. In order to unravel some of the accompanying complexities, this latest edition of the BFI’s Handbook contains for the first time a comprehensive overview of European film and television, together with a useful reference section listing the relevant organisations active in Europe.

However, despite the imminent single European market, many in this country who seek funding for their work within the moving image culture face increasingly difficult times and the BFI is committed to helping them in every possible way. The Downing Street seminar in June 1990, described in the Handbook’s wide-ranging review of the year, is just one of the high profile initiatives designed to help remedy this situation. On a smaller scale, we hope that the section on funding (another new feature of the Handbook) will clarify some possible routes through this difficult terrain.

Other innovations in this publication include a look back at the year in radio, a medium which, of course, bears directly on the BFI’s broadcasting interests. We have also addressed the issue of access to the cinema for people with disabilities, in line with our commitment to equal opportunities for all. In addition to these invaluable new features, the 1992 BFI Handbook also contains all the usual comprehensive reference sections which those who use it regularly have come to depend upon over the years and which also accurately reflect the scope of the BFI’s activities and concerns.” – The Foreword by BFI’s Chairman Sir Richard Attenborough.

Softcover – 332 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 552 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER British Film Institute, London, 1991 – ISBN 0-85170-317-8

A British Picture: An Autobiography (Ken Russell; foreword by Melvyn Bragg)

Russell, Ken - A British PictureThe autobiography of Britain’s most controversial film director, the maker of Women in Love, The Devils, The Music Lovers, Tommy and The Rainbow, is as unconventional and brilliant as his best films. Moving with astonishing assurance through time and space, Russell recreates his life in a series of interconnected episodes – his thirties childhood in Southampton, his first sexual experience watching Disney’s Pinocchio, his schooldays at the Nautical College, Pangbourne and early careers in the Merchant Marines and the Royal Air Force, dancing days at the Sheperd’s Bush Ballet Club and of course his career as a filmmaker beginning with an extraordinary interview with Huw Wheldon, for a job on Monitor. Full of marvellously funny anecdotes and fascinating insights, this is a remarkable autobiography.

“I owe my autobiography to all who denigrate me or don’t understand me. Maybe they’ll understand me even less. But I think it’ll contain some sort of truth about me that isn’t contained in crude assessments. It’s about somebody who doesn’t, on the face of it, seem too political, too committed, or press his working class background. I can’t be fitted in any of those pigeonholes. My autobiography’s a dismissal of all that crap. It’s a picture if imagery and bizarre happening and fun and contradiction and crazy dialogue. It’s a montage, it’s an event, but it’s not conventional.” – Ken Russell

Softcover – 310 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 510 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER Southbank Publishing, London, 1989 – ISBN 978-1-904915-32-4

Broadway Anecdotes (Peter Hay)

hay-peter-broadway-anecdotesIn this marvelously entertaining collection of stories, Peter Hay takes us along that sparkling thoroughfare known as the Great White Way. Called the Street of the Midnight Sun by “Diamond Jim” Brady and immortalized by Walter Winchell and Damon Runyon as the Hardened Artery or Main Stem –  Broadway is the embodiment of the history of live entertainment in America, and Peter Hay has captured it in all its dazzling diversity.

Everything that Broadway is known for is here: the “legitimate” theater, its stars and famous shows, the musicals, producers, hangouts, nightclubs, columnists, agents, vaudeville and burlesque, off-Broadway and the road. From the first time Americans took to the stage in the colonies in the 1660s to the tragic decline of the acting career of Edwin Booth (brother of John Wilkes), and from the trouble with nude dancing in Oh Calcutta! to the dry wit of Tallulah Bankhead’s comment to Tennessee Williams on the film version of Orpheus Descending (“Darling, they’ve absolutely ruined your perfectly dreadful play”), Broadway Anecdotes throws a unique, theatrical spotlight on American history. We learn how Marilyn Monroe managed to remain anonymous on New York City streets simply by changing her walk, how Mae West whiled away her time in jail on an obscenity conviction, and that even the incomparable Katharine Hepburn suffered setbacks early in her career. (Dorothy Parker wrote of one of her performances: “Miss Hepburn played the gamut from A to B.”)

A delightful collection of verbal snapshots of this vibrant world, Broadway Anecdotes is packed with the legends and lore, the humor and philosophy of a place where understudies still stand by with dreams of overnight stardom, shows still close before they open, and people keep singing in the rain. Anyone who has ever been touched by the magic of Broadway will treasure it.

PETER HAY has taught drama at several universities and is founding artistic director and dramaturge at First Stage, a non-profit theater group in Los Angeles. He is the author of Ordinary Heroes and several anecdote books including Theatrical Anecdotes.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 395 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 772 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-19-504621-8

Broken Silence: Conversations With 23 Silent Film Stars (Michael G. Ankerich)

ankerich-michael-g-broken-silence“Stirring up and recording memories is what this book is all about. Over a four-year period, I sought out and interviewed twenty-three individuals who worked in silent films. Lina Basquette was the first interview (1987), Dorothy Janis the last (1991). All of the quoted material in each chapter is from these interviews unless there is an indication otherwise. The biographical text I have supplied in addition is partly from these interviews and partly simply factual material from a variety of standard sources.

To understand the silent era better, I approached a group of former film players who enjoyed various levels of success, played a wide range of roles, appeared with some of the era’s leading directors and players, and worked at a variety of studios, on both the East and West coasts. Most importantly, I wanted to talk with those who were enthusiastic about sharing memories of their lives and careers with me. Many of my subjects were at first just names I came across in film encyclopedias or learned about through conversation. Each was an individual with experience before the camera in silent films. Some, like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Eleanor Boardman, Ethlyne Clair, and Muriel Ostriche, had no real ambition of becoming film stars; others, like Lew Ayres, Dorothy Gulliver, Marion Mack, and George Lewis, had burning motivations and could close their eyes and see their names in lights.

A number of them – Joyce Compton, Frank “Junior” Coghlan, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Baby Marie Osborne, and Lois Moran, for instance – were led into the business by their parents. Several – Gladys Walton, Patsy Ruth Miller and Dorothy Janis, for example – were discovered while visiting Hollywood. Their experiences, their motivations, their circumstances made up a story I wanted to help them tell.

Of the three interview methods I used – in person, phone, and mail – the most effective was the in-person interview where I sat face-to-face in my subject’s home or another meeting place. The conversation flowed better, and the responses were much more spontaneous. The in-person interviews provided the opportunity to record atmosphere, and much was learned from facial expressions and body language.

The mail interviews (where the subject answered questions sent through the mail) allowed careful thought and consideration to the questions under sometimes less strenuous conditions than face-to-face encounters. However, they gave little opportunity to follow up on a question. Additional questions were asked later by phone or during subsequent visits. A filmography – arranged alphabetically by year – follows each chapter.

Why write a book about individuals who worked in films so long ago? That question haunted me in the beginning, but with the passage of time, the answer began to be clear. Writing this book could be viewed as a race against time, a race that was quickly taking the memories away. Even before this manuscript was finished, five of my subjects (Madge Bellamy, Marion Mack, Lois Moran, Muriel Ostriche, and Eddie Quillan) were gone. Considering this book was the first – and in several cases the last – opportunity many of these twenty-three people had to muse in print about their past, think how useful this collection of memories could be in fifty years when a film enthusiast comes across one of these names and wants to know more. The photographs are from my collection except as noted.” – From The Preface.

This is a collection of 23 original interviews with stars of the silent screen, with biographical information and a filmography included for each.

MICHAEL G. ANKERICH is a writer whose work focuses on the silent film era of Hollywood. A former newspaper reporter, he has written extensively for Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Hollywood Studio Magazine, which featured his interview with Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) on the 50th anniversary of the release of Gone With The Wind. He can be reached at his website

[Interviews with Lew Ayres, William Bakewell, Lina Basquette, Madge Bellamy, Eleanor Boardman, Ethlyne Clair, Frank “Junior” Coghlan, Joyce Compton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dorothy Gulliver, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Dorothy Janis, George Lewis, Marion Mack, Patsy Ruth Miller, Lois Moran, Baby Marie  Osborne, Muriel Ostriche, Eddie Quillan, Esther Ralston, Dorothy Revier, David Rollins, Gladys Walton]

Hardcover – 319 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 634 g (22,4 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1993 – ISBN 0-89950-835-9

Budd Schulberg: A Bio-Bibliography (Nicholas Beck)

beck-nicholas-budd-schulbergFor more than six decades, Budd Wilson Schulberg has known success in virtually every category of American writing. Raised in the Hollywood of the 1920s as the privileged son of a pioneer studio mogul, Schulberg achieved fame as novelist, short story writer, playwright, Oscar-winning screenwriter, and boxing historian.

Schulberg also became a central figure in the entertainment industry’s political turmoil of the 1940s and 50s, fleeing first from the Communist Party’s attempts to control his writing, then testifying as a co-operating witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and finally emerging as a leader of the nation’s non-Communist Left. Schulberg chronicled these events in the country’s leading newspapers and intellectual journals.

He has also been acquainted with and written about many other American writers and their difficulties in maintaining or recapturing early success: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Nathanael West, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, John O’Hara, Irwin Shaw and many others. Budd Schulberg: A Bio-Bibliography is the first overview of Schulberg’s career from 1937 to 2000 (his autobiography, Moving Pictures, covers his life only to age seventeen).

NICHOLAS BECK is a retired professor of journalism, which he taught at California State University, Los Angeles. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for United Press International.

Hardcover – 197 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 404 g (14,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2001 – ISBN 0-8108-4035-9

Bullets over Hollywood: The American Gangster Picture from the Silents to The Sopranos (John McCarty)

scannen0288Back-alley Bogart… Brando the dealmaker… Speakeasies and tommy guns and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre…

Dark, ambiguous, and exciting, the gangster movie has never waned in popularity – and the allure of the gangster as anti-hero remains as powerful as the days of the Prohibition were long. From Scarface to Carlito’s Way, from The Godfather to The Road to Perdition, from Once Upon a Time in America to Chicago, gangland on the screen is as seductive as ever.

In Bullets over Hollywood, film scholar John McCarty traces the history of mob flicks and reveals why the films are so beloved by Americans. As McCarty demonstrates, the themes, characters, landscapes, and stories of the gangster genre have proven resilient enough to be updated, reshaped, and expanded upon to connect even with today’s young audiences. Packed with revelatory behind-the-scenes anecdotes and information about real-life hoods and their cinematic alter egos, illuminating analysis, and a solid historical perspective, Bullets over Hollywood will be the definitive book on the gangster movies for years to come.

JOHN MCCARTY is an adjunct professor of cinema in the Department of Theatre at SUNY, and the author of more than thirty books, including The Fearmakers, The Sleaze Merchants, and The Films of Mel Gibson. He lives in upstate New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 323 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 598 g (21,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 0-306-81301-7

Burt Lancaster (Robert Windeler)

windeler-robert-burt-lancasterA star since his very first film, The Killers, in 1946, Burt Lancaster at the age of seventy-one and after seventy-one films is still one of Hollywood’s most durable and bankable actors. A self-admitted ‘difficult and exasperating man,’ Lancaster has fought with virtually every director, producer and co-star in his pursuit of an astonishing variety of roles. In the process, he has cared little about the idea of a consistent public image. From his early work in Gunfight at the OK Corral, From Here to Eternity and his Oscar-winning portrayal of Elmer Gantry, to his recent roles in Atlantic City, Local Hero and The Osterman Weekend, Lancaster has consistently cast himself against type.

He has been weak, heroic, romantic, deadbeat, a con man, a courtier, a killer and the killed – whatever seemed right to him at the time. And his leading ladies have ranged from Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn and Deborah Kerr, to Claudia Cardinale and Nastassia Kinski.

One director he has worked with, Luchino Visconti (The Leopard), said of Burt that he was ‘very complex, at times autocratic, rude, strong, romantic, understanding, sometimes even stupid, and above all mysterious.’

Here for the first time are all the Burt Lancasters: New York’s East Harlem kid and the cultured art collector, opera buff and cooker of pasta, who has lived in Rome part-time for two decades; the dedicated family man, the staunch, outspoken proponent of liberal political principles; the Depression-era acrobat who swung his way up from three dollars a week to the big-time big-top; and the movie star who started at the top and stayed there.

ROBERT WINDELER is the author of the best-selling Sweetheart: The Story of Mary Pickford and of biographies of Shirley Temple and Julie Andrews, all published by W.H. Allen. His weekly Hollywood column appears in 375 newspapers in North America with a readers hip of 30 million. He lives in California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 217 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 537 g (18,9 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., Ltd., Londen, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 03172 6

Burt Lancaster: An American Life (Kate Buford)

buford-kate-burt-lancaster-an-american-lifeStartlingly handsome, witty, fanatically loyal, charming, scary, and intensely sexual, Burt Lancaster was the quintessential bête du cinéma, one of Hollywood’s great stars. He was, as well, an intensely private man, and he authorized no biographies in his lifetime. Kate Buford is the first writer to win the co-operation of Lancaster’s widow, close friends, and colleagues, and her book is a revelation.

Here is Lancaster the man, from his teenage years, bolting the Depression-era immigrant neighborhood of East Harlem where he grew up for the life of a circus acrobat – then the electric New York theater of the 1930s, then the dying days of vaudeville. We see his production company – Hecht-Hill-Lancaster – become the biggest independent of the 1950s, a bridge between the studio era and modern filmmaking. With the power he derived from it we see him gain a remarkable degree of control, which he used to become the auteur of his own career. His navigation through the anti-Communist witch-hunts made him an example of a star who tweaked the noses of HUAC and survived. His greatest roles – in Sweet Smell of Success, Elmer Gantry, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Swimmer, Atlantic City – kept to the progressive edge that had originated in the tolerant, diverse, reforming principles of his childhood. And in the extraordinary complete roster of his films – From Here to Eternity, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Leopard, 1900, and Field of Dreams, among many others – he proved to be both a master of commercial movies that pleased a worldwide audience and an actor who pushed himself beyond stardom into cinematic art. Kate Buford has written a dynamic biography of a passionate and committed star, the first full-scale study of one of the last great unexamined Hollywood lives.

KATE BUFORD has been a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition since 1994 and has written for the New York Times and Architectural Digest. She is the author of several articles on the movies for Film Comment, including the first retrospective analysis of Burt Lancaster’s career – the project that launched this biography. She has two children, Lucy and Will, and lives in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 447 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 869 g (30,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A.Knopf, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-679-44603-6

Burt Reynolds (Sylvia Safran Resnick)

Resnick, Sylvia Safran - Burt ReynoldsHere, at last, is the authorised biography of one of today’s biggest box office superstars whose boyish charm and daredevil sexiness have won him the adulation of millions. Burt Reynolds turned to a career in acting only after a serious car accident shattered his dreams of professional football fame. Starting as a stuntman, he eventually landed a part in the television series Gunsmoke and has now appeared in over twenty-five films including Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Starting Over and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

His controversial appearance as a nude centrefold in Cosmopolitan magazine had a strong impact on his career; as did his marriage to Judy Carne of Laugh-In fame, and his affairs with Dinah Shore, Sally Field and Lonnie Anderson. His own views on his work and his relationships are revealed here with amusing candour. What emerges in this lavishly illustrated biography is an intimate, affectionate portrait of an ambitious, hard-working actor and director; a warm-hearted, honest man who has always shown considerable respect for his adoring fans, and who has always been prepared to give them more.

Softcover – 222 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 20,5 cm (11 x 8,1 inch) – Weight 793 g (28 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co., Ltd., London, 1983 – ISBN 0-86379-000-3

The Busby Berkeley Book (Tony Thomas, Jim Terry, with Busby Berkeley; foreword by Ruby Keeler)

Thomas, Tony - The Busby Berkeley Book“I met Buzz [Busby Berkeley] for the first time when I was brought from New York to Hollywood in 1932 to appear in 42nd Street. Buzz had a reputation as a man who created fantastic musical numbers on Broadway and had already made a few movies. But it was what he did in 42nd Street that made his name. Until then movie musicals had not been particularly impressive. The advent of sound had touched off a deluge of celluloid musicals, but the public quickly tired of seeing photographed singing and dancing. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck had to talk Warner’s into doing 42nd Street; he believed that a lavishly made musical with the best talent and proper presentation would bring the public to the box office in droves. What he needed was a brilliantly imaginative man to create and stage the musical numbers. Busby Berkeley was that man.

It was a fabulous era. Buzz created a wonderful world of his own, full of photographic trickery and hordes of pretty girls performing amazing routines. He was wild and daring and made his own rules, and in doing so he made music. All through the 1930s he dominated Warner Brothers’ musical world with his fanciful geometric patterns, his bizarre montages of camera angles, his famous overhead shots, his kaleidoscopic effects, his cascades of design – in short, with his highly cinematic imagination.” – From The Foreword by Ruby Keeler.

Softcover – 192 pp., index – Dimensions 30 x 22,5 cm (11,8 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 830 g (29,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A & W Visual Library, New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-89104-005-6

Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase (Marion Meade)

Meade, Marion - Buster Keaton Cut to the ChaseJoseph Frank “Buster” Keaton, one of the most distinguished filmmakers in cinematic history, was a brilliant comedian whose films seem untouched by time. A complete artist, Buster Keaton conceived, wrote, directed, acted and even edited most of his ten feature films and nineteen short comedies, which represent some of the finest silent films ever made. With a face of stone that could impart a thousand nuances of hapless despair and a mind that engineered some of the most intricate moments of slapstick comedy ever captured on celluloid, Keaton became an icon of the American cinema.

Marion Meade’s biography goes behind the scenes at the making of Keaton’s masterpice The General, selected by the American Film Institute as one of the five best silent films of all time; details his experiences acting with Charlie Chaplin in the film Limelight; reveals his role in one of Hollywood’s most infamous sex scandals involving Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

Meade’s portrait of this brilliant artist also goes beyond the legend to reveal more details about the private Keaton than any previous work: the anguish of child abuse, his lifelong struggle to conceal the lack of his most educational skills, the alcoholism that practically ended his career and life, the women and the marriages.

Buster Keaton is based on four years of research and more than two hundred interviews with people who knew, worked with, and loved him, including Billy Wilder, Leni Riefenstahl, Gene Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Irene Mayer Selznick, and Bill Cosby, as well as members of Keaton’s family, some of whom had refused to speak to biographers and journalists up until now. The book also has never-before-seen photographs, contributed by Keaton’s estate. No lover of cinema should miss this startling, moving account of a great man and his troubled life.

MARION MEADE is the author of several biographgies, including Dorothy Parker: What Fesh Hell Is This? She studied at Northwestern University and later received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 440 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 839 g (29,6 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-06-017337-8

Buster Keaton: Der Augen-Blick des Schweigens (Robert Renayoun)

benayoun-robert-buster-keaton“Die Unsterblichkeit Buster Keatons liegt in seinem Blick… Sein tiefdunkles Auge,  bewundernswert starr und noch träumerischer, schwermütiger und unbeweglicher als sein berühmtes Leinwandantlitz, durchdringt uns sagittal aus der Großaufnahme seiner Existenz heraus. Das Gesicht Keatons ist häufig bewegt, Gefühle huschen darüber hinweg, sein Mund ist beweglich, willensstark, von Grübchen umgeben, die bei aller Unterdrückung des Lächelns Andeutungen von Trotz, Ungeduld und selbst manche Nuancen des Vergnügens umschreiben.

Mit seiner Gesichtsstruktur, in der sich Schatten und Licht verfingen, mit tief eingelegten  Flächen und hageren Backenknochen, umhüllt sich Keaton selbst mit jener Düsternis, die van ihm ausgeht, wie dies in ihrer jeweiligen Glanzzeit auch Rudolph Valentino, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Louise Brooks und Jean Shrimpton gelang.

Für die Komik ist Keaton das, was die Garbo für den Liebesfilm war: eine Art Brücke, die in die Unendlichkeit strebt.” – Robert Benayoun

Hardcover, dust jacket – 205 pp. – Dimensions 30,5 x 24 cm (12 x 9,5 inch) – Weight 1.265 g (44,6 oz) – PUBLISHER BAHIA Verlag GmbH, München, Germany, 1983 – ISBN 3-922699-18-9

Buster Keaton: Interviews (edited by Kevin W. Sweeney)

Sweeney, Kevin W - Buster Keaton InterviewsWith his trademark porkpie hat, floppy shoes, and deadpan facial expression, Buster Keaton (1895-1966) is one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood’s silent and early sound eras. His elaborate sets, careful camerawork, and risky pratfalls have been mimicked by film comedians for generations. His short films, including One Week and Cops, and his feature-length comedies, such as Sherlock Jr., Go West, and The General, routinely appear on critics’ lists of the greatest films of all time.

Buster Keaton: Interviews collects interviews from the beginning of his career in the 1920s to the year before his death. The pieces here provide a critical perspective on his acting and cinematic techniques. Although the collection begins in the 1920s, at the height of Keaton’s career, they also give insight on his work in Hollywood and television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Including pieces by Studs Terkel and Rex Reed, as well as a French interview that has never before appeared in English, the book is a valuable resource on one of cinema’s early geniuses.

KEVIN W. SWEENEY is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Tampa.

Softcover – 242 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 416 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2007 – ISBN 978-1-57806-963-7

Buster Keaton Remembered (Eleanor Keaton, with Jeffrey Vance)

keaton-eleanor-vance-jeffrey-buster-keaton-rememberedKnown for his legendary “stone face” and incredible physical gags, Buster Keaton (1895-1966) is one of the greatest artists in film history, a comic genius who conceived, directed and acted in nineteen short films and ten silent features that today remain unsurpassed marvels of comic invention and technical precision.

Yet Keaton saw his role as simply to make people laugh. “No man,” he said, “can be a genius in slap-shoes and a flat hat.” But then, no one could turn out masterpieces such as Our Hospitality (1923), Sherlock, Jr. (1924), The Navigator (1924), The General (1926), and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928).

Buster Keaton Remembered is a unique illustrated survey of Keaton’s life and films, recalled by his wife of twenty-six years, the late Eleanor Keaton, and film historian Jeffrey Vance. Keaton’s career was fascinating and dramatic, spanning the history of twentieth-century American comedy. An intuitive artist who learned his craft in vaudeville, he possessed perfect comic timing and was an inspired inventor of mechanical gags. Locomotives, steamships, prefabricated houses, and other inanimate objects came to life as characters in Keaton’s celluloid world.

Drawing on personal and professional papers, produced and unproduced scripts, studio records, and scrapbooks, as well as Eleanor Keaton’s memories and anecdotes, the book provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of Keaton’s movie making – where he found his ideas, how he developed his elaborate stunts, the innovative techniques he and his crew employed. Lively commentaries on each of the films are accompanied by classic stills and never-before-published photographs from the Buster Keaton Collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“Buster Keaton’s comedy endures,” according to Vance, “not just because he had a face that belongs on Mount Rushmore, at once hauntingly immovable and classically American, but because that face was attached to one of the most gifted actors and directors to ever grace the screen.” Today, a new generation is discovering the timeless appeal of Keaton’s hilarious, whirlwind comedy, set against visually stunning backdrops and locations, and masked behind an unflinching, stoic veneer.

ELEANOR KEATON (1918-1998) was born and raised in Hollywood. She worked at virtually every major film studio as a dancer in musicals. In 1938 she met Buster Keaton during a game of bridge; they were married two years later. The couple worked together in theater and on television for the next twenty-five years, until Buster died in 1966. Eleanor Keaton finished working on this book just before her death in October 1998. JEFFREY VANCE is a film archivist and an authority on silent-film comedy. He collaborated on two books on Chaplin: Wife of the Life of the Party with Lita Grey Chaplin and Making Music With Charlie Chaplin with Eric James. Vance has been involved in the restoration of many silent films, including the Buster Keaton films released as The Art of Buster Keaton. He earned an M.A. degree in English literature from Boston University and lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 238 pp., index – Dimensions 31 x 24 cm (12,2 x 9,5 inch) – Weight 1.610 g (56,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-8109-4227-5

Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat (Edward McPherson)

mcpherson-edward-buster-keaton-tempest-in-a-flat-hatThis fresh biography by an accomplished young writer who spent more than a year and a half repeatedly watching and admiring more than 60 Buster Keaton films traces Keaton’s career from his early days in vaudeville – where, as a rambunctious five-year-old, his father threw him around the stage – to his becoming one of the brightest stars of silent film’s Golden Age.

Taking what he knew from vaudeville – ingenuity, athleticism, audacity, and wit –  Keaton applied his hand to the new medium of film, proving himself a prodigious acrobat and brilliant writer, gagman, director, and actor. Between 1920 and 1929, he rivaled Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, and even Charlie Chaplin as the master of silent comedy by writing, directing, and starring in more than 30 films. This book celebrates Keaton in his prime – as an antic genius, equal parts auteur, innovator, prankster, and dare devil – while also revealing the pressures in his personal and professional life that led to a collapse into drunkenness and despair before his triumphant second act as a television pioneer and Hollywood player in everything from beach movies to Beckett. McPherson describes the life of Keaton – in front of the camera and behind the scenes – with the kind of exuberance and narrative energy displayed by the shrewd, madcap films themselves.

EDWARD McPHERSON is a writer who has contributed to such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, I.D., and Esopus. He grew up in Texas. He saw his first Buster Keaton film in a class at Williams College, but the obsession didn’t bloom until he moved to New York to work for Talk magazine. Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat is his first book. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 549 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Newmarket Press, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 1-55704-665-4

By All Means Keep On Moving (Marilu Henner, with Jim Jerome)

henner-marilu-by-all-means-keep-on-movingFrom her hilarious television debut as Elaine Nardo on the landmark comedy Taxi to her work with Burt Reynolds on the beloved Evening Shade to Malibu, her current talk show, Marilu Henner has become one of America’s favorite – and most outspoken – actresses. Now, Marilu gathers her incredible energy, refreshing wit, and uninhibited style to tell a Hollywood success story as it has never been told before. Whether she’s talking about life on the set or her passionate affairs, recounting hilarity or heartbreak, or chatting about John Travolta, Steve Martin, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, or Richard Gere, the sexy, brash Marilu pulls no punches. With an irrepressible appetite for life and a generous spirit, Marilu brings us her unique tale… and her inspirational prescription for fun and happiness.

As a kid in Chicago, Marilu didn’t want to just be a performer, she yearned for stardom. And her large Catholic Polish-Greek family was just eccentric enough to nurture such crazy dreams – her mother ran a dancing school in the garage and regularly took the nuns bra shopping at Vassarette. From her church singing debut at age three to a part in the original community theater production of Grease, Marilu always knew she preferred cabaret to catechism. But before her first big break, she endured a tragedy that forever changed her life: her father’s death of a heart attack at age fifty-two under shocking circumstances. It began an ebb and flow of sadness and joy in Marilu’s life: not long after the funeral, she was in rehearsals for the national company of Grease, bonding with a kindret spirit who would figure prominently in her life thereafter – the young John Travolta.

Marilu has always indulged her lust for life, whether it meant seizing the moment with Johnny or jetting off to Venice to immortalize a phrase “ring around the collar” in one of the many commercials that paid her early rent. But it was with the career-making role of Elaine Nardo on Taxi that the world first came to love Marilu’s sultry lunacy. So did her co-stars Tony Danza and Judd Hirsch, and Marilu writes candidly about the relationships ignited on the set of Taxi. Along the way, she weathered a tempestuous marriage to actor Frederic Forrest. There would be many more adventures before she found her soulmate.

Still extremely close to all her brothers and sisters, Marilu cherishes her family even more since the early deaths of her parents. Now happily married to director-producer Robert Lieberman, she is the proud and ecstatic mother of baby Nicky (“Pregnancy after forty – what a cliffhanger!”). She has found an internal harmony that has given her a whole new energy. Looking and feeling her all-time best, Marilu lives life with a passion that will strike a chord with every woman – and man – who has ever chased a dream.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 308 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 676 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Softcover Books / Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1994 – ISBN 0-671-78446-3

By a Stroke of Luck! An Autobiography (Donald Ogden Stewart)

Stewart, Donald Ogden - By a Stroke of LuckThe active career of Donald Ogden Stewart spans over thirty of the most important years in American cultural history. Boyhood in ‘Middle America’, the cultural flamboyance of Paris in the twenties, the excitement of Hollywood in the thirties, and political activism in the forties – Donald Ogden Stewart calls it all just A Stroke of Luck.

Stewart was born in 1894 in Columbus, Ohio, and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. For a few years after his graduation he pursued a business career that was singularly unrewarding, both financially and intellectually. With typical modesty he says that in 1921 he had his first major bit of luck. On the recommendation of F. Scott Fitzgerald he showed a literary parody to Edmund Wilson, then assistant editor of Vanity Fair. Wilson laughed aloud – and the real career of Donald Ogden Stewart was launched.

In his life story he recalls his relationships with the most stimulating people of his time. Account of his friendships with Scott Fitzgeral, Clark Gable, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Edmund Wilson, Charles Chaplin, Robert Benchley and John Dos Passos, among others, provide the reader with a vast array of insights and anecdotes.

The Philadelphia Story and A Woman’s Face are just two of the many movies which film devotees will know and remember well. His political conscience and anti-fascist activities ultimately made him a victim of the notorious witch hunts of the early fifties. He and his wife, Ella Winter, have lived in London since 1952.

This very professional story-teller writes his autobiography with all the wit and verve of his other works. Anyone fascinated with the literary world of the twenties, the Hollywood of the thirties and forties, and the American political shame of the fifties will be enchanted by this warm life story.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 302 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 713 g (25,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Paddington Press, Ltd., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8467-0063-8

By Myself (Lauren Bacall)

bacall-lauren-by-myselfNo more intriguing, exciting or lovable figure had ever dazzled Hollywood when Lauren Bacall lifted her eyes towards Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not and said, ‘You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve?’ Only one year after the funny, ambitious, stage-struck New York Jewish girl left her life as theater usherette, model, worshipper of Bette Davis and bit-part actress on Broadway, she was being hailed as a glorious combination of all that was best in Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West and Katharine Hepburn. The eighteen-year-old innocent who nervously wondered how a virgin might manage to look sexy, who created ‘the look’ because she couldn’t stop her head from trembling on the first day of shooting except by keeping her chin firmly glued to her chest, had Bogie and the world at her feet.

‘No one has ever written a romance better than we lived it,’ she says of her life with Bogie. It went from furtive, often hilarious rendezvous required to keep the wrath of director Howard Hawks and Bogie’s wife at bay, to their farmhouse wedding which was only officially sealed when Bogie turned to his bride and said, ‘Hello, Baby’; and the birth of their first child, Stephen, whom Bogie almost immediately wanted to put at the helm of his sailboat and take off to Romanoff’s for lunch. It is a love story full of what the author calls ‘every hokey, sentimental, funny, profound feeling there was to have’.

It is little wonder that when Bogie’s long and heart-breaking battle with cancer was finally lost, an unfillable void seemed to open up before the 31-year-old widow. An exciting, if ill-fated and over-publicized affair with the unpredictable Frank Sinatra led merely to emotional disaster. Marriage to Jason Robards was destined never to work – badly timed – too soon – too emotional – impossible. But Lauren Bacall has never been, and will never be, a quitter. It is to the love of an extraordinary mother and family, and to Humphrey Bogart’s uncompromising values which always forced her professional standards higher, that she attributes her determination to rise again in her career. After leaving Hollywood, she was next to conquer the Broadway stage, where she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in Applause.

Close friends like Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Adlai Stevenson and David Niven have given her their unfailing support. And certainly she has given to them – and to countless others all over the world – more humor, sanity, warmth and vitality than can ever be measured. This book is witness to those qualities – as full of love, laughter and honesty as Lauren Bacall herself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 377 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 813 g (28,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan Cape, Ltd., London, 1979 – ISBN 0 224 01692 X

By Myself and Then Some (Lauren Bacall)

Autographed copy Lauren Bacall

bacall-lauren-by-myself-and-then-someThe epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood’s most celebrated couple.

But when Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall and their children had to take everything he had taught them and grow up fast. In a time of postwar communism, Hollywood blacklisting, and revolutionary politics, she mixed with the legends: Ernest Hemingway, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Kennedy, and Gregory Peck. She was engaged to Frank Sinatra and had a turbulent second marriage to Jason Robards. But Bacall never lost sight of the strength that made her a superstar, and she never lost sight of Bogie.

Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Bacall brings her inspiring memoir up to date, chronicling the events of the past twenty-five years, including her recent films and Broadway runs, and her fond memories of many close lifelong friendships. As one of the greatest actresses of all time turns eighty, By Myself and Then Some reveals the legend in her own beautiful frank words – encapsulating a story that even Hollywood would struggle to reproduce.

LAUREN BACALL was spotted by Howard Hawks when she was on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar at eighteen. Her distinctive title – The Look – followed her first film To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart, and together they had one of the greatest love affairs of all time. Bacall went on to make more than fifty films and continues to be a major presence in the industry. She is the recipient of many lifetime achievement awards, two Tony awards, two Golden Globes, and an Oscar nomination. She is the mother of Stephen, Leslie, and Sam, and continues to live in New York City with her beloved papillon, Sophie. “She’s a real Joe. You’ll fall in love with her like everybody else.” – Humphrey Bogart

Hardcover, dust jacket – 506 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 915 g (32,3 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-06-075535-0

Cagney by Cagney (James Cagney)

Cagney, James - Cagney by Cagney‘Here are some reminiscences that might add up to a book,’ writes James Cagney in the introduction to his autobiography. They certainly do – Cagney by Cagney is an exhilarating account of the great man and an absorbing record of the people he has encountered throughout his long and eventful life. Indeed, as he says, ‘People fascinate the hell out of me.’

Cagney was born at the turn of this century in New York City, a sickly child, not expected to live. The family was poor and life was tough for all the Cagney children; they soon learned the vital art of self-defence. The early training in street fighting was to be put to good use later in Hollywood where, incidentally, he was careful to fake his punches.

In 1918  he joined the Student Army Training Corps at Columbia University where he was able to continue his life-long interest in art. He also failed oral reading – he spoke too quickly! – and was the only member of the band who was unable to read music.

Cagney’s first show-business experience was in drag as a chorus girl in a production called Every Sailor. After this any regular job was tedious. In his next musical show he met the girl he later married, Frances Willard Vernon, with whom he has hived happily ever since and about whom he writes with great affection. On the recommendation of Al Jolson he went to Hollywood in the early thirties with a three week guarantee. He stayed for thirty-one years, making six pictures in the first forty weeks. However life for an up-and-coming star was far from glamorous, it was very dangerous, particularly at the time before safe ‘exploding’ bullets had been invented and genuine bullets were fired.

So for those who see Cagney only as a fast talking, quick-shooting gangster, the hero and villain of so many movies, here is the complete and authentic story, from the streets of New York to stardom and reverence.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 202 pp. – Dimensions 21 x 13,5 cm (8,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 489 g (17,2 oz) – PUBLISHER New English Library, London, 1976

Call Me Lucky: Bing Crosby’s Own Story (Bing Crosby, as told to Pete Martin; introduction by Gary Gibbins)

crosby-bing-call-me-lucky-bing-crosbys-own-storyBing Crosby once said, when asked to explain his successes, “Every man who sees one of my movies or who listens to my records or who hears me on the radio, believes firmly that he sings as well as I do, especially when he is in the bathroom shower.” And it’s not surprising that his classic autobiography, Call Me Lucky, is written in the casual, confident tone of a man singing in the shower. In these pages, Bing tells us how he developed his unique style to produce an unequalled string of hit jazz and pop records, and shares memories about music, horses, golf, movies, and contemporaries – Bob Hope, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, to name just a few. Writing at the apex of his fame, Crosby looks back on a rich and absorbing life and – a phenomenal career – and says with Bingian modesty, hey, Call Me Lucky.

PETE MARTIN was a writer for the Saturday Evening Post; he co-wrote Bob Hope’s autobiography, Have Tux, Will Travel. GARY GIDDINS is an award-winning critic, writer, and columnist for The Village Voice. His books include Celebrating Bird, Rhythm-a-Ning, Riding on a Blue Note, Satchmo, and, most recently, Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams – The Early Years, 1903-1940.

Softcover – 344 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 402 g (14,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001 [reprint of the 1953 edition] – ISBN 0-306-81087-5

Camera Over Hollywood: Photographs by John Swope 1936-1938 (introduction by Dennis Hopper; essay by Graham Howe)

swope-john-camera-over-hollywood“Swope shows us Hollywood as a working town full of hope, struggle, and success in unequal proportions. He sees the men and women who make the movies as regular folk be they his friends, the stars, or the would-be actors, extras, and grips wailing for their unemployment checks. But the ironies of Hollywood did not escape Swope. He saw clearly that all these very real people were in the business of creating an elaborate unreality.” – Graham Howe

While working as an assistant producer, photographer John Swope (1908-1979) captured behind-the-scenes images of 1930s Hollywood. His photographs give a peek into the working-day lives of film stars, extras, and crew members – the creators of Hollywood’s golden era. Among the luminaries photographed by Swope were his close friends James Stewart and Henry Fonda, as well as Norma Shearer, Burgess Meredith, Olivia de Havilland, Charles Boyer, and W.C. Fields. Camera Over Hollywood is a unique, vintage portrait of Hollywood as it really was.

Hardcover – 143 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 26 cm (11,2 x 10,2 inch) – Weight 1.165 g (41,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Art Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-891024-08-6

Cancer Schmancer (Fran Drescher)

drescher-fran-cancer-schmancer“Dear Friend, All I’ve got to say is, to hell with cancer! This book’s about schmancer! Laughing at the crazy things life offers even when it’s biting you in the ass. And diligence that pays off. Here I’ll be telling it like it was – and is – so you won’t have to go through what I did.

Who knew when I was a chubby kid from Queens what a roller coaster my life was going to be! After The Nanny ended, I divorced my husband, started living on my own, and began dating for the first time since high school. I wanted to feel free as a bird, but instead was weighed down by troubling symptoms. And so began my two-year, eleven-doctor odyssey in search of a diagnosis and cure. Don’t let what happened to me happen to you. Every doctor I saw held a different view. More than one told me I had a premenopausal condition common in middle-aged women (middle-WHAT???). Finally, after insisting an more tests, I proved that my body was telling the truth – something was terribly wrong. Doctors are fallible, so open your mouth! Thank God I did, because my attitude saved my life.

Just as I was getting serious with a man sixteen years my junior (What’s the matter? He’s very mature!) my worst fears were confirmed. I was told I had cancer and would need a radical hysterectomy. Was I going to die? Would I require radiation? How much does a uterus weigh? Maybe I wouldn’t need that diet after all…

What I learned about myself, the depth of my relationships, and cancer – tests, treatment, recovery, and follow-up – could fill a book. So here it is. All of it: the laughter, the sorrow, the happiness and the horror. Everything that I learned the hard way and then some. So pour yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and let’s dish… Luv, Fran”

FRAN DRESCHER was a co-creator, executive producer, writer, director, and star of the Emmy-winning hit series The Nanny. The New York Times best-selling author of Enter Whining, she has starred in such films as The Beautician and the Beast, Doctor Detroit, and Cadillac Man. She had featured roles in many other films, including This Is Spinal Tap, Ragtime, Saturday Night Fever, and Jack. Ms. Drescher lives by the beach and has been cancer-free for the past two years. A Patient Advocate on the External Advisory Board for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Ms. Drescher is also the 2002 recipient of the Public Service Award from the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 236 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 453 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-446-53019-0

Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl (Eric Gans)

scannen0104Despite appearing in twenty-eight movies in little over a decade, Carole Landis (1919-1948) never quite became the major Hollywood star her onscreen presence should have afforded her. Although she acted in such enduring films as A Scandal in Paris and Moon over Miami, she was most often relegated to supporting roles. Even when she played the major role in a feature, as she did in The Powers Girl and the film noir I Wake Up Screaming!, she was billed second or third behind other actors.

This biography traces Landis’s life, chronicling her beginnings as a dance hall entertainer in San Francisco, her career in Hollywood and abroad, her USO performances, and ultimately her suicide. Using interviews with actors who worked with Landis, contemporary movie magazines and journals, and correspondence, biographer Eric Gans reveals a tragic figure whose life was all too brief.

Landis’s big break came in 1940 with Hal Roach’s One Million B.C. She appeared in thirteen Twentieth Century-Fox pictures between 1941 and 1946. In 1942-43, Landis entertained troops in England and North Africa in the only all-female USO tour. The trip led to her memoir, Four Jills in a Jeep, and a Fox movie of the same title. After her last American film in 1947, she completed two projects in England while having an affair with married actor Rex Harrison. Tormented by a love that could not lead to matrimony and depressed about growing older, she took a fatal drug overdose on July 5, 1948.

ERIC GANS is professor of French at University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous books including most recently The Scenic Imagination: Originary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day, and his articles have appeared in many periodicals.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 282 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 15,5 cm (8,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 585 g (20,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-60473-013-5

Carole Lombard (Leonard Maltin)

Maltin, Leonard - Carole Lombard“Categorizing Carole Lombard as a comedienne – as most latterday writers and fans have done – is doing an injustice to one of the brightest talents that ever graced a Hollywood film. Lombard was a superb actress (as well as a great beauty), and her success in screwball-comedy roles tended to obscure the fact that she was often seen to equal advantage in dramatic films.

The image of Lombard as a “screwball” was enhanced by her off-screen shenanigans, which were legendary. An enthusiastic prankster and party-goer (as well as an imaginative party-giver), Carole was known to millions of fans for her unscripted antics through the pages of Photoplay and other fan magazines, creating an impression almost as strong as the one forged by her screen appearances.

Comedy gave Lombard also her greatest career break, after years of humdrum roles as nominal leady to most of Paramount’s male stars. The very idea of so beautiful a woman tackling wacky comedy endeared her to thirties audiences, who then demanded that she appear in such film exclusively. When the actress bolted and sought greater variety, her popularity slipped, even though her choice of dramatic vehicles was quite sound. Then Lombard moved into another role – as one of the reigning queen of Hollywood, the wife of movieland’s undisputed “King,” Clark Gable. Their seemingly perfect marital union added yet another dimension to Lombard’s public image – and to her private personality.

It’s nearly impossible to find a Hollywood colleague of Lombard’s with a bad word to say about her. A girl who grew up in the movie world, she earned the love and respect of all who knew her, for her forthrightness, her beauty, her contagious sense of fun, and her enormous talent, although not necessarily in that order. She swore like a sailor, looked like a million bucks, and when given the chance, outclassed and outacted all the glamour girls and trained actresses in Hollywood. There was only one Carole Lombard.” – From The Introduction by Leonard Maltin.

One of the screen’s most beautiful and scintillating actresses, Carole Lombard was equally adept at playing boisterous comedy and poignant drama. In his amply illustrated book, Leonard Maltin covers the tragically brief life and career of this unforgettable star, and discusses, with warmth and perception, the movies that glowed with her presence.

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

Softcover – 157 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 154 g (5,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1976

Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado (Wes D. Gehring; foreword by Scott Robert Olson)

gehring-wes-d-carole-lombardFor millions of fans during the 1930s, an actress from Fort Wayne, Indiana, personified the madcap adventures of their favorite farm of screen comedy-screwball. Nicknamed “The Hoosier Tornado” for her energetic personality, Carole Lombard did as much as anyone to define the genre, delighting audiences with her zany antics in such films as Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, and To Be or Not to Be. She also captured America’s attention through her romance with and eventual marriage to screen idol Clark Gable.

In this inaugural volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press’s Indiana Biography Series, Wes D. Gehring, a noted authority on film comedy, examines Lombard’s legacy, focusing on both the public and private figure from her early days as merely beautiful window dressing in Mack Sennett silent films, to her development as the leading motion-picture comedienne of her time, to her tragic death in a January 1942 plane crash following a successful war-bond rally in Indianapolis. He also explores the rapport this sometimes “Profane Angel” (Lombard swore like a sailor) enjoyed with not only directors, but also the blue-collar workers who toiled on movie sets. The biography also features a foreword written by Scott Robert Olson, dean of the college of  communications, information, and media, and professor of communication studies at Ball State University.

In her comedic roles, Gehring states in the book, Lombard offered the life lesson that “the irrational mind – crazy Carole – stood a much better chance of surviving in the equally irrational modern world.” Lombard’s film persona continues to survive in the public’s collective conscious. “Her screwball herome is as significant for modern audiences as yesteryear’s more traditional literary figures,” Gehring writes.

Nationally respected for its publication program, the Indiana Historical Society Press has always excelled particularly in one area: telling the life and times of those who have had an impact on the Hoosier State. The Press continues this tradition with its new Indiana Biography Series, which pairs writers with Indiana subjects of note. Future volumes in the series will highlight such personalities as Jonathan Jennings, Gus Grissom, Thomas Marshall, James Dean, Meredith Nicholson, Susan Wallace, David L. Chambers, and Cleo Blackburn.

WES D. GEHRING is a professor of film at Ball State University and an associate media editor for USA Today magazine, for which he also writes the column Reel World. Gehring is an award-winning author of nineteen books, the majority of which are biographies. These include works on Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Robert Benchley, Leo McCarey, Laurel and Hardy, Red Skelton, and Irene Dunne (forthcoming). His other books include eight volumes of genre criticism and a humor text, Film Classics Reclassified. Gehring’s articles, comic essays, and poems have appeared in numerous journals.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp. – Dimensions 19,5 x 13,5 cm (7,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 418 g (14,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Indiana Historical Society Press, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2003 – ISBN 0-87195-167-3

Le Carré de Pluton: Mémoires (Brigitte Bardot)

Bardot, Brigitte - Le carré de PlutonJe venais d’avoir 39 ans… A peine sortie du tourbillon de la vie d’une star, Brigitte Bardot se lance dans un combat sans merci contre l’injustice et la cruauté envers les animaux. Elle dénonce tous les excès, toutes les horreurs, prenant tous les risques comme dans sa campagne pour les bébés phoques ou contre les sacrifices sanglants et illégaux de l’Aïd-el-Kébir.

Mais ce second volume est avant tout le récit de la vie d’une femme qui se bat contre la solitude, les faux-semblants, qui essaie de préserver ses choix, ses goûts. Les amitiés et les amours se mêlent aux déceptions et aux trahisons. L’alcool, les nuits blanches n’ont plus le même sens…

Brigitte Bardot raconte tout avec cette formidable vitalité, avec ce même talent dans le récit qui animait Initiales B.B., cette même voix inimitable, cette même violence dans les passions et dans les peines.

Souvent l’humour reparaît. Portraits féroces, démêlés avec ses gardiens, la vie quotidienne à Saint-Tropez. Portraits tendres, ses parents, ses fidèles compagnons à quatre pattes, ses amies, le long défilé des êtres chers qui disparaissent. Les hommes de ce deuxième versant de sa vie, sans oublier les périodes noires, celles qui font que ce livre s’appelle Le Carré de Pluton*.
* Le Carré de Pluton: configuration astrale, confrontation avec les forces de possession, synonyme de destruction et de renouveau.

Softcover – 396 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (9,5 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 869 g (30,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Grasset & Fasquelle, 1999 – ISBN 2 246 59501 0

Cary Grant: Een Dubbelleven (Charles Higham, Roy Moseley; originally titled Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart)

higham-charles-cary-grant-een-dubbellevenIn een onderzoek naar de geschiedenis van Hollywood noemde People Magazine in 1987 Cary Grant, samen met Greta Garbo, de grootste der sterren. Zeker is, dat geen enkele acteur, of het zou Clark Gable moeten zijn, de romantische aantrekkingskracht van Cary Grant heeft kunnen evenaren; in de kunst van de romantische komedie kent Grant zijn gelijke niet. Zijn leven lijkt één lange opeenstapeling van benijdenswaardige minzaamheid, ongeëvenaarde glamour, puissante rijkdom en een even gevarieerd als gepassioneerd liefdesleven.

Andere sterren van het witte doek, het podium of uit de politiek, verbleken bij de overrompelende uitstraling van zijn uiterlijk en persoonlijkheid. Supermannen als Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope en Jack Benny benijdden hem om zijn sophistication.

Maar wie was de werkelijke Cary Grant? Deze autobiografie onthult welke verscheurde persoonlijkheid schuil ging onder het bedrieglijke pantser van de gelukkige superster. Grant blijkt vooral een vat vol tegenstrijdigheden te zijn geweest. Hij bezat huizen in Beverly Hills, Malibu en Palm Springs, was eigenaar van twee Rolls Royces, liet al zijn kleren – en zelfs schoenen – speciaal voor hem maken. Toch bleef hij in zijn hart altijd een ‘working class hero’ uit het Amerikaanse Westen. Ook al dichtten miljoenen hem het comfortabele, onbekommerde bestaan van de aanbeden ster toe, een groot deel van Grants leven was vol pijn soms zelfs een marteling. Hoewel hij trouwde met een handvol aantrekkelijke vrouwen, was hij bisexueel en had hij affaires met grote mannen als de multimiljonair Howard Hughes en Randolph Scott.

Zijn moeder, Elsie Maria Leach, was wreed en streng en verpestte zijn jeugd. Bovendien zijn er sterke aanwijzingen dat zij niet zijn echte moeder was. Dat zou een zekere Lilian zijn geweest, een joodse vrouw. Mogelijk verklaart dat waarom Grant zich in 1904, toen dat nog nauwelijks werd gedaan, liet besnijden.

Als acteur kon Grant tijdens opnamen het ene moment de lieveling van elke regisseur zijn en een toonbeeld van meegaandheid, om het volgende moment de hele set tot wanhoop te brengen door eindeloos te zeuren over futiliteiten. Ook kon hij uit gemakzucht zijn prachtige huizen verslonzen om zich dan redeloos op te winden over de kleur van een deurknop. Het fascinerende levensverhaal van Cary Grant is dus veel minder een onafgebroken komedie dan tot voor kort werd aangenomen. Charles Higham en Roy Moseley hebben de tragikomedie van Grants leven met geschiedkundige precisie en vol vaart beschreven.

Softcover – 304 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 553 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Centerboek, Weesp, The Netherlands, 1989 – ISBN 90-5087-079-1

Casablanca (edited by Richard J. Anobile)

Anobile, Richard J - Casablanca“Here is the complete Casablanca. Not just a script with a few meaningless stills bound into the center, but the entire film reconstructed through the use of over 1,400 frame blow-ups. The basic shortcoming of those plentiful script books which clutter bookstore shelves is that it is very unnatural to read dialogue and camera directions of a film already produced. The characterizations brought to the film by the actors are lost along with the subtle remarks of the director’s camera. Here, almost every aspect of the film is presented to give you a complete record of Casablanca in book form. I am pleased to be able to add Casablanca to the Film Classics Library and am grateful to have been able to have had a conversation with Ms. Ingrid Bergman. I hope the interview will give you an interesting insight into the making of this film.” – From The Introduction by Richard J. Anobile.

This book is the most accurate and complete reconstruction of Casablanca in book form with over 1,500 frame blow-up photos shown sequentially and coupled with the complete dialogue from the original soundtrack, allowing you to recapture this film classic in its entirety.

Softcover – 256 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 745 g (26,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Pan Books, Ltd., London, 1974 – ISBN 0 330 24214 8

Casablanca: As Time Goes By… 50th Anniversary Commemorative (Frank Miller)

Casablanca - Miller, Frank - As Time Goes By 50th Anniversary CommemorativeThe leading lady was the producer’s second choice. The leading man avoided his co-star between love scenes for fear of his wife’s jealousy. Two of the stars didn’t want to be in the movie in the first place. And nobody knew how the picture would end until the day they shot the final scene. Yet out of this chaos came one of the most enduring film favorites of all time – Casablanca.

For the first time, here is the whole story of Warner Bros. Production No. 410, from the original play that laid its foundations, through casting, writing, shooting, and post-production, to the series of lucky breaks that created one of the most everlastingly popular films of the last fifty years.

At every step along the road to Casablanca, the picture’s creators had to make choices that meant the difference between triumph and flop. Ronald Reagan was initially announced to play one of the male leads. Producer Hal Wallis considered Ella Fitzgerald as Sam the piano player. Composer Max Steiner tried to cut ‘As Time Goes By.’ And sometimes the participants managed to make the right choices in spite of themselves.

Lavishly illustrated with a collection of photos, memos, blueprints and posters never before assembled in one book, Casablanca: As Time Goes By… paints the most complete picture ever of a movie that has mesmerised film-lovers and romantics for half a century.

FRANK MILLER first discovered the world of the silver screen at age six when an aunt took him to one of the last cinema screenings of The Wizard of Oz. On his own personal trip down the yellow brick road, he acquired some other favourite films – Citizen Kane, The Thing (From Another World), The Lady Eve, In a Lonely Place, The Bandwagon, Surf Nazis Must Die – and a Ph.D. in dramatic literature and criticism. He also hosted a radio show in Tennessee, reviewing film and television, and has written for television. In the theater he has directed productions of Henry V, Fallen Angels and Lend Me a Tenor and has built a reputation as a respected acting teacher in America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22,5 cm (11,2 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.205 g (42,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Virgin Books, London, 1992 – ISBN 1-85227-411-5

Casablanca: Behind the Scenes – The Illustrated History of One of the Favorite Films of All Time (Harlan Lebo; foreword by Julius Epstein)

lebo-harlan-casablanca-behind-the-scenesThe scene is burned into the memory of every film fan – a fogbound airport, a pair of desperate refugees struggling to escape to freedom, the one man who can save them, and a diabolical Nazi trying to stop them.

The scene comes from the closing moments of Casablanca, which starred Humphrey Bogart in his greatest role, along with Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains. Casablanca has become the proudest achievement of Warner Bros. Pictures, a film for the ages that has been called “the best Hollywood movie of all time.”

But the real-life story behind the making of Casablanca proved to be as dramatic as the action depicted on the screen, as Hollywood’s most dynamic studio was caught up in the real-life drama of America’s first terrifying days of involvement in World War II. The whole story of how this classic was put together – both onscreen and backstage – is captured in Casablanca and includes rarely seen interviews with the stars of Casablanca and behind-the-scenes details about the making of the film; never-before-published candid photographs, confidential correspondence from the Warner files, and notes and records from the production; the complete cast list, production credits, and reviews of the film.

HARLAN LEBO is director of communications for the College of Letters and Science at UCLA. His first book, Citizen Kane: The Fiftieth Anniversary Album, was described as “the definitive work on America’s greatest film.” Lebo lives in Los Angeles.

Softcover – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 18,5 cm (9,3 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 457 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Fireside, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-671-76981-2

Cassell’s Movie Quotations (Nigel Rees)

rees-nigel-cassells-movie-quotationsIn Cassell’s Movie Quotations, Nigel Rees draws on a lifetime’s passion for the cinema to bring together a hugely entertaining and breathtakingly comprehensive collection of over 4,000 quotes. Great and memorable lines from the movies are uniquely coupled with quotable comments by and about filmmakers and film-goers. The book also celebrates the language of cinema – its catchphrases and titles, its slogans and clichés. Above all, Cassell’s Movie Quotations quotes the professionals – the actors, directors, producers and the critics – and tell us what they love, loathe and lament about the business, the pictures, the players – and each other.

NIGEL REES is an author whose most recent books are the Cassell Companion to Quotations and the Cassell Dictionary of Humerous Quotations. He is the deviser and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s enduringly popular series Quote… Unquote, through which he has become an authority on the popular use of language in quotations, idioms, slogans, catchphrases and clichés. He lives in Notting Hill, London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 432 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 19,5 cm (9,8 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 1.365 g (48,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Cassell & Co., London, 2000 – ISBN 0-304-35369-8

The Casting Couch and Me: The Inhibited Memoirs of a Young Actress (Joan Wood)

Wood, Joan - The Casting Couch and MeJoan Felicity Wood is an actress. How she became one, where she started, and what she went through to get there are all told with candor and frankness in The Casting Couch and Me.

“Casting couch creeps want nothing more than a quick release. Supply-and-demand. Give-and-take. Buyers and sellers.” The bastions of show biz, these “creeps” can make or break a young actress. Enthusiastic and vulnerable, portfolio in hand, tempted by grandeurs of elusive stardom, the young actresses have one thing in common: a constant glimmer of hope.

With no elusiveness, and portfolio in hand, Joan Wood tells her story. Humorous at times, sad at others, she recalls those trying tromps through the streets from one audition to another, one office to another, one small role to another, always competing for that one “big chance.” And when it comes knowing it’s just the beginning. She remembers those Broadway “producers” who audition their young hopefuls on seedy casting couches; the “managers” who are really pimps for visiting VIP’s; the “photographers” who specialize in getting into the act.

JOAN WOOD’s story is her own, but also that of a thousand others. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but innocence is hardly their specialty. Her’s is a story about those precocious, uninhibited nymphets who yearn to become stars and what happens when their dreams collide with the facts of life. Some make it, some don’t.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 216 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 413 g (14,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Walker and Company, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-8027-0452-2

A Cast of Killers (Sidney D. Kirkpatrick)

kirkpatrick-sidney-d-a-cast-of-killersOn February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant. Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after. When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well-known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers? Despite a full-scale investigation, the case was never solved; for sixty years it has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal.

In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor’s death, the great King Vidor, whose directing credits include Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun, and War and Peace, determined to solve the mystery, which had haunted him throughout his career, in order to make a film about it. Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded, where dozens of professional detectives had failed, in discovering the identity of the murderer. But because his findings were so explosive, he decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away.

After Vidor’s death in 1982, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor’s authorized biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor’s murder and Vidor’s investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingenue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary’s domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor’s homosexual houseman; and Taylor’s secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor’s mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail.

SIDNEY KIRKPATRICK has an M.F.A. in film from New York University. A journalist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, he lives with his wife in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 301 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER E.P. Dutton, New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-525-24390-9

Cast of Thousands: A Pictorial Memoir of the Most Glittering Stars of Hollywood and the Most Dazzling of the World’s Literary and Social Lights (Anita Loos)

Loos, Anita - A Cast of ThousandsAnita Loos… known, loved, and wooed by the greatest celebrities of our time, creator of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, author of A Girl Like I, Kiss Hollywood Good-by, and the screenplay for Gigi, now shares her collection of memories, photos, and anecdotes of a life spanning over 80 years, roaming from New York to Hollywood to Paris to Berlin to Rome. It features an all-star cast of the most famous and fabulous personalities of the stage and screen – including Carol Channing, Helen Hayes, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Harpo Marx, Clark Gable.

Sparkling stories about her friends and admirers and intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stars are counterpointed by striking, sometimes surprising, candid photos of the great and famous on and off their guard. You’ll be privy to a firsthand glimpse of the early days of movie-making as Miss Loos spins tales of her years writing scenarios for D.W. Griffith and risqué gags for Mack Sennett. You’ll share with her the first rush of fame after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes became a classic. And you’ll hobnob with the many celebrities who have been her friends and co-conspirators in the great adventure of a career filled with glamour and excitement.

Anita Loos’ life has truly starred a cast of thousands, and as the ultimate star of her own saga, she has made Cast of Thousands one of the most dazzling books to emerge from Hollywood… or from anywhere.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 279 pp., index – Dimensions 27 x 24 cm (10,6 x 9,5) – Weight 1.635 g (57,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-448-12264-2

Cecil B. DeMille (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-cecil-b-de-milleCecil B. DeMille. His name alone conjures up extravagant Biblical epics like The Ten Commandments, The King of Kings, Samson and Delilah, and The Sign of the Cross, full of teeming crowd scenes, half-naked revelers worshiping golden idols, Christians bravely facing lions, and other grandiose visions. While most regard him simply as an exploitative cynic who craved commercial success at any cost, Higham shows us a much deeper and more complex portrait. The DeMille who emerges here is a true artist gradually overwhelmed by financial pressures. A moralist and perfectionist, stubborn, decent, loyal, and ruthless when he had to be, DeMille believed devoutly in the Bible, and made films with missionary zeal to uplift the masses in an age of materialism and hedonism. We see how DeMille struggled throughout his career with powerful studio magnates (e.g., Adolph Zukor of Paramount) and with the star mannerisms of his leading ladies including Mary Pickford, Claudette Colbert, Gloria Swanson, Hedy Lamarr, and Paulette Goddard – not to mention the very real physical dangers of making many spectacular scenes. DeMille’s larger-than-life career and films typify the American dream, and thus continue to touch the hearts of millions.

CHARLES HIGHAM is a frequent Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times, and the author of Ziegfeld, The Films of Orson Welles, and The Celluloid Muse: Hollywood Directors Speak, among other books about the movies.

Softcover – 335 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 528 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-306-80131-0

Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art (Sam Louvish)

Louvish, Simon - Cecil B De MilleCecil B. DeMille is Hollywood’s most enduring legend, remembered, and often reviled, for his grandiose biblical sagas, such as Samson and Delilah and his 1956 version of The Ten Commandments, with its cast of tens of thousands before computer graphics made the modern epic mundane. Many judged DeMille a dinosaur both for his movies and his ultraconservative politics. But in his vision of the Bible as an American frontier narrative he recast this old trend in American culture as a cinematic precursor of the “neoconservatism” of our own times.

The paradox of DeMille goes deeper, as despite his fame, most of his seventy films, of which fifty were silent pictures, remain unknown even to avid film fans, though his first 1923 version of The Ten Commandments and his 1927 tale of Jesus Christ, King of Kings, linger in the imagination. A founder-pioneer of Hollywood as an industry, DeMille was an unsung auteur, a master of increasingly bizarre narratives, with tales of adultery and divorce, hedonism and sin, in an age in which modernity, the consumer society, and the pursuit of money made America a battlefield of clashing values and temptations.

SIMON LOUVISH tells the tale of Cecil B. DeMille through his work: a major reexamination of Hollywood’s most monumental founder. Savant or sinner, artist or hack, defender of freedom or a hypocritical opportunist who embraced the golden calf of sheer commercialism, DeMille is a pervasive puzzle – a mirror of the larger puzzle and contradictions of America itself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 507 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 801 g (28,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2007 – ISBN 978-0-312-37733-5

Cecil B. DeMille and American Culture: The Silent Era (Sumiko Higashi)

higashi-sumoki-cecil-b-de-mille-and-american-cultureCecil B. DeMille and American Culture shows that the director best remembered today for overblown biblical epics was in fact one of the most remarkable pioneers in the film industry during the Progressive Era. In an innovative work that illustrates the intersection of cultural history with cultural studies, Sumiko Higashi describes how DeMille artfully introduced cinema – yet to achieve legitimacy as an art form –  into middle-class culture. He accomplished this by emphasizing the function of spectacle in public venues such as stage melodramas, department store displays, Orientalist world’s fairs, civic pageantry, and lantern slide lectures, as well as in elaborate parlor games.

DeMille established his signature as a film author by articulating middle-class ideology across class and ethnic lines. In addition, he became a trendsetter in the 1920s with set and costume designs that transformed the sentimental heroine into the “new woman.” His work strongly influenced advertisers to mold a consumer culture based on female desire. Drawing on untapped material in the DeMille Archives and other collections, Higashi provides imaginative readings of DeMille’s early feature films. She explores them in relation to the dynamics of social change and demonstrates the extent to which the emergence of popular culture was linked to the genteel tradition.

SUMIKO HIGASHI is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York, Brockport, and author of Cecil B. DeMille: A Guide to References and Resources (1985).

Softcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 461 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 – ISBN 0-520-08557-4

A Celebration of Gone With the Wind (Adrian Turner)

turner-adrian-a-celebration-of-gone-with-the-windGone With the Wind is the most commercially successful film ever made and consistently tops polls as everybody’s favorite movie. Now 50 years old, the film retains all the excitement, romance and glamor that captivated audiences in America in 1939 and in Britain in 1940, when millions poured into cinemas to see it during the Blitz. In this lavishly-illustrated book, we go behind the scenes to see how the film was made – the inspired determination by its producer, David O. Selznick, the hiring and firing of directors, cameramen and scriptwriters, the casting of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and the year-long search to find the perfect Scarlet O’Hara. And then there was the agony of the editing, the first sneak previews, the sneers from the Hollywood trade press, and at long last, the triumphs of the Atlanta premiere and ten Academy Awards.

For the first time, color frame enlargements have been produced to enable readers to follow the entire film virtually scene-by-scene with captions drawn largely from direct quotes from the soundtrack. This is a unique pictorial record of a motion picture that sums up both the madness and the genius of the Hollywood system, and the men and women who made Gone With the Wind.

ADRIAN TURNER is the author of Journey Down Sunset Boulevard: The Films of Billy Wilder and Hollywood 1950s. His reviews, interviews and features have appeared in the Guardian, The Times, the Observer, Radio Times and Time Out, for which he currently reviews the films on television. A former programme officer and now consultant of the National Film Theatre, London, he also co-scripted four series of BBC-TV’s Film Buff of the Year.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 189 pp. – Dimensions 31,5 x 25,5 cm (12,4 x 10 inch) – Weight 1.550 g (54,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Gallery Books, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-8317-3913-4

Celebrity Circus (Charles Higham)

Higham, Charles - Celebrity Circus hcWelcome to noted Hollywood reporter Charles Higham’s spectacular circus – a rich collection of his most outstanding interviews with celebrities on both sides of the camera.

Here are the personal actions of some of the greatest stars of Hollywood. Katharine Hepburn: “It was my idea for Chanel to say ‘Shit!’ in Coco…” Roman Polanski: “Sharon Tate’s sister called. She’s hemorrhaging. She’s ill, alone, and frightened. Oh God, what’s wrong with young people today?” Mae West: “When I’m dead, won’t you come up and see me sometime?” Dina Shore: “I was stricken with polio as a child. I lad to learn to walk twice over. I’ve been shy and withdrawn ever since.” Paul Newman: “I want to live in the Australian outback. With little food and water. Wouldn’t that be a good life for a son of a bitch?” Robert Blake: “The networks are run by deadheads. The script is crap. Television is impotent. American men are impotent.” Lucille Ball: “I was gored by a bull. My nose caught fire. I smashed the cast on my leg…” Orson Welles and Francis Ford Coppola: “Please dear New York Times, don’t publish Charles Higham’s articles on us…”

And more from an all-star cast including Julie Andrews, Mary Pickford, Kirk Douglas, Robert Young, Edward G. Robinson, Gene Kelly, Christopher Isherwood, and Paul Anka.

Called by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer “a one-man revolution in writing about movies,” CHARLES HIGHAM proved it with his brilliant and controversial The Films of Orson Welles. Since then he has written the best-seller Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn and hit biographies of Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Ava Gardner, Cecil B. DeMille, and Flo Ziegfeld. For nine years he has profiled stars in The New York Times. He lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on a new biography of Errol Flynn.

[Interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Jerry Lewis, Dinah Shore, Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Julie Andrews, Joan Blondell, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Paul Anka, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Mary Miles Minter, Robert Wagner, Robert Young, David Steinberg, Mercedes McCambridge, Paul Newman, Mary Pickford, Tiny Tim, Edward G. Robinson, Francis Ford Coppola, William Peter Blatty, Robert Aldrich, Don Siegel, Brian De Palma, Christopher Isherwood, King Vidor, Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Vadim, George Sidney, Paul Schrader, William Wyler, Roman Polanski, Robert Wise, Maria Rasputin, Ralph Bakshi, Raoul Walsh, François Truffaut, Orson Welles]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 322 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-440-01210-4

Celebrity Circus (Charles Higham)

higham-charles-celebrity-circus“Katharine Hepburn opens the front door herself. ‘You must come and look at my Christmas wreath,’ she says, as, together with her secretary, a gentle English lady called Phyllis, she ushers me into the living room of her West Hollywood cottage. She walks over to the sparkling winter fire, picks up the green wreath, and shows me its intricately woven leaves. ‘I made it myself, I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve done.’

She so often plays embittered, broken-down old women on the screen it’s a relief to find her as alive with enthusiasm as a young girl, cheeks ruddy with sunburn, movements quick and precise, her figure almost as attractively skinny as it was when she played The Philadelphia Story more than thirty years ago.

Her living room has the leathery simplicity of an old sea captain’s. Above the cheerful fire welcoming the visitor on a chilly, foggy California afternoon, stands a handsome model of an antique sailing ship, and on the walls sparkling landscapes of Cuba, exquisitely painted by Hepburn herself. She curls up contentedly as a cat in a big black chair, looking affectionately around the room as though seeing it for the first time: reflected flames flickering on brassware, wood rubbed to a fine polish.

At sixty-four, the star has the same agreeable shiny, well-worn look, an Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire with the fine lines of a Connecticut gentlewoman, cheekbones delicately chiseled, nose sharply patrician, jaw strong and determined, and a mind of piercing sharpness which can throw cold water on all pretentiousness. Only the smoky, blue-green eyes suggest the pain she obviously still feels after the death of her adored companion, Spencer Tracy.” – From the interview with Katharine Hepburn.

[Interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Jerry Lewis, Dinah Shore, Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Julie Andrews, Joan Blondell, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Paul Anka, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Mary Miles Minter, Robert Wagner, Robert Young, David Steinberg, Mercedes McCambridge, Paul Newman, Mary Pickford, Tiny Tim, Edward G. Robinson, Francis Ford Coppola, William Peter Blatty, Robert Aldrich, Don Siegel, Brian De Palma, Christopher Isherwood, King Vidor, Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Vadim, George Sidney, Paul Schrader, William Wyler, Roman Polanski, Robert Wise, Maria Rasputin, Ralph Bakshi, Raoul Walsh, François Truffaut, Orson Welles]

Softcover – 348 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 224 g (7,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-440-11210-9

Celia Johnson: A Biography (Kate Fleming)

Fleming, Kate - Celia JohnsonDame Celia Johnson is possibly best remembered for her role as Laura Jesson in David Lean’s classic film, Brief Encounter. In fact, her acting career spanned more than fifty years before her death in 1982. This was one of the finest periods of British acting and she appeared with many of the greatest names, like Marie Tempest, Gerald du Maurier and Nigel Playfair. She began her film career during the Second World War when she was chosen by Noël Coward to play his wife in In Which We Serve. This Happy Breed followed and then Brief Encounter, the final few days’ filming of which was interrupted by VE Day celebrations.

In 1935 Celia Johnson married Peter Fleming, brother of Ian, a brilliant travel writer and essayist. Now their daughter, Kate Fleming, has written this personal biography, drawing on her own memories of her mother, on reminiscences of friends and colleagues, and on her parents’ letters. The result is an engrossing portrait of one of Britain’s best-loved stars, and a vivid picture of the golden age of British film.

KATE FLEMING is the elder daughter of Celia Johnson. She read Russian at Oxford University and has written a book on the Churchill family. She and her husband, John Grimond, have three daughters. They live in London but spend school holidays in Orkney and Oxfordshire.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 613 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1991 – ISBN 0 297 81188 6

The Celluloid Muse: Hollywood Directors Speak (Charles Higham, Joel Greenberg)

Higham, Charles - The Celluloid MuseThe Celluloid Muse is a series of self-portraits of fifteen of the directors who helped to make the American cinema great. Each is based on taped interviews, and each has an introduction in which Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg take the reader into the world behind the Hollywood façade and describe the director’s milieu and personality.

Among the subjects are Alfred Hitchcock, describing with characteristic cynicism the making of his thrillers; Fritz Lang, talking of his obsession with man’s predestined fate; John Frankenheimer, conveying a remarkable tension as he tells how he cleared his way through the television and motion picture jungle; Vincente Minnelli, recalling the making of such celebrated musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis and An American in Paris; Rouben Mamoulian, disclosing the secret of the famous one-take transformation of Fredric March as Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde in his 1932 film; Billy Wilder, acidly and incorrigibly misanthropic; George Cukor, sophisticated director of women stars; Robert Aldrich, King Vidor, Lewis Milestone, and many others.

For sheer range of inside information on the making of many famous motion pictures, The Celluloid Muse is perhaps unequaled in the literature of the cinema. There are numerous illustrations, as well as filmographies of the directors, and a special preface setting the Hollywood scene.

CHARLES HIGHAM was born in London in 1931, the son of the well-known advertising magnate of the thirties, Sir Charles Frederick Higham. He has published four volumes of poetry, the latest being Noonday Country (1969) but is better known as a writer on film for such periodicals as Sight and Sound, the London Magazine, and the Hudson Review. Film critic of the Sydney Morning Herald since 1968, he has recently been Regents Professor, teaching film and literature, at the University of California. Co-author with Joel Greenberg of Hollywood in the Forties (1968), he has also written a recently published controversial study of Orson Welles. JOEL GREENBERG, born in Jerusalem in 1934, has written extensively of film for a number of publications including Sight and Sound and Film Journal, of which he was for a time co-editor. He is also a freelance writer and co-author with Charles Higham of Hollywood in the Forties.

[Interviews with Robert Aldrich, Curtis Bernhardt, George Cukor, John Frankenheimer, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Rouben Mamoulian, Lewis Milestone, Vincente Minnelli, Jean Negulesco, Irving Rapper, Mark Robson, Jacques Tourneur, King Vidor, Billy Wilder]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 268 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 648 g (22,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1969

Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies (James Sanders)

Sanders, James - Celluloid Skyline New York and the MoviesA tale of two cities, both called “New York.”

The first is a real city, an urban agglomeration of millions. The second is a mythic city, so rich in memory and association and sense of place that to people everywhere it has come to seem real: the New York of films such as 42nd Street, Rear Window, King Kong, Dead End, The Naked City, Ghostbusters, Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, and Do the Right Thing – a magical city of the imagination that is as complex, dynamic, and familiar as its namesake of stone and steel.

As James Sanders shows in this deeply original work, the dream city of the movies – created by more than a century of films, since the very dawn of the medium itself – may hold the secret to the glamour of its real counterpart. Here are the cocktail parties and power lunches, the subway chases and opening nights, the playground rumbles and observation-deck romances. Here is an invented Gotham, a place designed specifically for action, drama, and adventure, a city of bright avenues and mysterious sidestreets, of soaring towers and intimate corners, where remarkable people do exciting, amusing, romantic, scary things. Sanders takes us from the tenement to the penthouse, from New York to Hollywood and back again, from 1896 to the present, all the while showing how the real and mythic cities reflected, changed, and taught each other.

Lavishly illustrated with scores of rare and unusual production images culled from Sanders’ s decade-long research in studio archives and private collections around the country, Celluloid Skyline offers a new way to see not only America’s greatest metropolis, but also cities the world over.

JAMES SANDERS, an architect, is the co-writer with Ric Burns of the seven-part, fourteen-and-a- half-hour PBS series New York: A Documentary Film – which received an Emmy Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award – and co-author with Burns and Lisa Ades of its companion volume, New York: An Illustrated History. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Architectural Record, and Interiors, and has produced exhibitions on New York housing and the urban heritage of 42nd Street. Mr. Sanders, who maintains a design practice in Manhattan, has completed projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Parks Council, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and other civic groups and commercial clients in New York and California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 495 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 21 cm (10,2 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 1.685 g (59,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-394-57062-6

Change Lobsters – and Dance: An Autobiography (Lilli Palmer)

Autographed copy Lilli Palmer

Palmer, Lilli - Change Lobsters - and DanceFrom her teens when her promising acting career in Germany was cut short by Hitler’s rise to power, to her cabaret acts as a refugee in Paris, small parts in British films, marriage to Rex Harrison, Hollywood and Broadway stardom, scandal and divorce, remarriage and new career, Lilli Palmer’s life has been a constant “changing of lobsters,” of picking up the pieces and continuing the dance. With amazing candor and humor – often at her own expense – Miss Palmer tells about her life, both public and private, and the many fascinating personalities she has met along the way.

Lilli Palmer shares her deeply personal childhood memories and recalls the close family ties in her 1920’s bourgeois Berlin home; her debut as a seventeen-year-old at the Darmstadt State Theater and the shock of discovery that as a Jew she would not be permitted to continue her career; work with her sister as refugees in Paris, literally singing for their supper in cabarets and strip clubs in homemade dresses of green taffeta; her persistent attempts to break into British films while facing daily threats of deportation until her “discovery” by Alexander Korda; her meeting with and marriage to Rex Harrison, which had such promising beginnings but ended under tragic circumstances.

With insight and always with warmth and understanding, Miss Palmer tells about her arrival with Rex in Hollywood and the endless rounds of parties and drinking and dallying that culminated in the sensational Carole Landis suicide and the subsequent departure of the Harrisons from Hollywood. Miss Palmer’s fantastic Broadway successes, her visit with George Bernard Shaw, her friendship with the Windsors and Greta Garbo climaxed by the hilarious Portofino harbor dunking party, her meeting with Helen Keller, her friendships with Noël Coward and Laurence Olivier, her return to Broadway, the breakup of her marriage and divorce that enabled Harrison to marry the dying Kay Kendall, and her remarriage to actor / author Carlos Thompson – all are told with wit and charm and are marked by a refreshing frankness seldom found in the memoirs of an actress. But Miss Palmer is much more than an actress: she is also an accomplished painter whose works have been shown in major galleries, a producer and host of European television programs, and finally, an author, whose book has topped European best-seller lists for nine months.

During her colorful career, LILLI PALMER came in contact with numerous famous personalities. There’s Fritz Lang, her first Hollywood director and stern taskmaster; Gary Cooper, who helped her feel at ease; the unrelenting Hedda Hopper; and Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire, William Holden, David Niven, Ronald Colman. And there are the plays and movies: The Four Poster; Bell, Book and Candle; Body and Soul; Counterfeit Traitor; Cloak and Dagger. But above all, there is… Lilli Palmer.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 320 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 844 g (29,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Macmillian Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-02-594610-2

The Chaplin Encyclopedia (Glenn Mitchell)

mitchell-glenn-the-chaplin-encyclopediaThe Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia is the definitive A-Z guide to cinema’s greatest comedian. Glenn Mitchell includes rare treasures for all Chaplin fans: seldom-seen footage from Chaplin’s early years in Hollywood, unpublished stage material from 1906-1910, and a fascinating eyewitness account of Chaplin’s earliest days with Fred Karno.

Aside from such Chaplin esoterica, the Encyclopedia contains full information on all Chaplin’s films from the earliest short silents and the feature-length classics of the twenties and thirties, to The Great Dictator, Limelight and other Chaplin talkies. Full details are included on the “lost” movies such as The Professor and How to Make Movies, as well as a wealth of hitherto uncollected anecdote.

Also included is information on newsreels, stage work, Chaplin’s collaborators, and much more. Full, detailed credits are given for all of Chaplin’s films.

GLENN MITCHELL is an internationally recognized authority on cinema comedy of the early twentieth century. He is a film journalist and a specialist in all forms of comedy, animation and music-hall. His previous publications, The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia and The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia, are best-sellers.

Softcover – 288 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 18,5 cm (9,8 x 7,3 inch) – Weight 871 g (30,7 oz) – PUBLISHER B. T. Batsford, Ltd., London, 1997 – ISBN 0-7134-7938-8

Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (Jeffrey Vance)

vance-jeffrey-chaplin-genius-of-the-cinemaCharlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was the first global cinema star and one of the greatest comedy geniuses the world has ever known. His creation, the Tramp, remains to this day the most universal representation of humanity in the history of film. “You know this fellow is many-sided,” wrote Chaplin of his character, “a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”

The Tramp’s relentless pursuit of the fruits of abundance and happiness and his righteous battles against those who bar his way, reflect the same struggles that consumed Chaplin throughout most of his life. Indeed, Chaplin’s description of his multi-dimensional screen character is also fitting of the artist himself: an actor, writer, director, producer, editor, and composer with more than seventy-five years of creative accomplishment.

Produced with full access to the Chaplin family archives, this book chronicles his entire complex life story in 500 photographs – many of them recently discovered and never before published – newly printed from the original negatives especially for this volume. Author Jeffrey Vance draws on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account, describing in lively detail the atmosphere on Chaplin’s film sets and his relations with the cast and crew, his first attempts at comedy sequences that later became famous, the development of his scenarios and characters, and the main themes and ideas that persist through the major Chaplin films: The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952).

Chaplin’s enthralling rags-to-riches life story is also represented in these pages, every stage of which is documented in pictures: his poverty-stricken childhood in late-Victorian London, where he began his career as an entertainer in the music halls; his unparalleled success in Hollywood, from the rough-and-tumble Keystone shorts to the feature-length masterpieces made under his complete artistic control; his numerous romances and four marriages; his political persecution during the anti-communist witch hunts; and his happy years of quiet, self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema is the essential volume on the extraordinary life and career of the incomparable comedian, groundbreaking filmmaker, and multifaceted public figure who left an indelible imprint on cinema and culture.

JEFFREY VANCE is a film historian and an authority on silent-film comedy. He is the author of Abrams’ Buster Keaton Remembered and Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian. He collaborated on two previous books on Chaplin: Wife of the Life of the Party with Lita Grey Chaplin and Making Music With Charlie Chaplin with Eric James. Vance has been involved in the presentation and the restoration of many silent films, including archiving Chaplin’s own film materials on behalf of the Chaplin family’s Roy Export Company Establishment. He earned an M.A. degree in English literature from Boston University and lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 397 pp., index – Dimensions 30,5 x 23 cm (12 x 9,1 inch) – Weight 2.310 g (81,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, New York, 2003 – ISBN 0-8109-4532-0

Chaplin: His Life and Art (David Robinson)

Robinson, David - Chaplin His Life and ArtThis is the authorized, definitive biography of the man who has often been called the greatest comic genius the world has ever seen. The author has obtained the authorization of Chaplin’s widow, Lady Oona, for unprecedented access to Charles Chaplin’s closely guarded archive of private papers, records, letters, and photographs.

Chaplin was a man plagued by loneliness and driven by the search for artistic perfection. His life was an extraordinary dramatic one, and David Robinson explores the often tragic story of Chaplin’s alcoholic father; his mentally disturbed mother; his marriages to very young women, including the legendary film star Paulette Goddard; the “white slavery” case against him; and his persecution by anti-Communist forces during the McCarthy era, including the FBI, which ultimately forced Chaplin to leave America.

Chaplin contains many provocative revelations and previously unknown and unpublished information about Chaplin’s private life, romances and business dealings – and about the making of his magical films. The book vividly recreates the different worlds in which Chaplin moved: from Victorian and Edwardian London, through the glamorous birth and sad decline of Hollywood’s studio system, to the nightmare of McCarthyism, after which America once again came to adore the “Little Tramp,” the hero of the underdog, the drol genius who could make America laugh during the Depression when nothing else but bootleg gin could.

Illustrated with eigthy pages of rare photographs from the Chaplin family albums, Chaplin contains a detailed chronology, filmography, list of theater tours, list of important people in Chaplin’s life, index, and bibliography. This is a major work on a fascinating subject.

DAVID ROBINSON is the film critic for The Times of London; before that he was the film critic for the Financial Times in the United Kingdom. He is the only journalist to have been given access to the private Chaplin archive. Mr. Robinson’s collections of pre-cinema apparatus and film posters have been the subject of a number of exhibitions throughout Europe. His previous books include World Cinema, Hollywood in the Twenties, The Great Funnies and Buster Keaton.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 792 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.350 g (47,6 oz) – PUBLISHER McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-07-053181-1

Chaplin’s Girl: The Life and Times of Virginia Cherrill (Miranda Seymour)

Seymour, Miranda - Chaplin's GirlIn 1931, City Lights introduced Charlie Chaplin’s new female star to the world. The film – defiantly silent in the age of talkies – was an immediate and international hit. The actress who played the romantic lead had never been on screen or stage before. Chaplin’s film turned her into the most famous girl in the world. And, like Rhett Butler, the most famous girl in the world didn’t give a damn.

Virginia Cherrill was the beautiful daughter of an Illinois rancher, who ran away to live through some of Hollywood’s wildest years. She was the adoring first wife who broke Cary Grant’s heart when she left him; who turned down the gloriously eligible Maharajah of Jaipur to befriend his wife and rescue her from purdah. Virginia Cherrill presided, during the thirties, over one of England’s loveliest houses, as the Countess of Jersey. Everybody sought her friendship. All that eluded her was love. And when she found it, she gave up all she had to marry a handsome and penniless Polish flying ace, whose dream it was to become a cowboy.

In this glorious, and undiscovered story of Hollywood, international high society, wartime drama and romance, Miranda Seymour works from unpublished sources to recapture the personality of a woman so vividly enchanting that none could resist her. This is the story of Cinderalla in reverse: of the poor girl who won everything – and gave up all for love. Breathtakingly romantic, exquisitely written, this is the stuff that dreams are made of …

MIRANDA SEYMOUR, author of the award-winning In My Father’s House has written many acclaimed novels and biographies, including lives of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Ottoline Morrell and Helle Nicen the Bugatti Queen.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 369 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 476 g (16,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-84737-125-6

Chaplin: The Tramp’s Odyssey (Simon Louvish)

Louvish, Simon - Chaplin, The Tramp's OdysseyAn Everyman who expressed the defiant spirit of freedom, Charlie Chaplin was first lauded and later reviled in the America that made him Hollywood’s richest man. He was a figure of multiple paradoxes. Simon Louvish’s new book, following his five major biographies of comedy’s classic stars, from W.C. Fields to Laurel and Hardy and Mae West, looks afresh at the “mask behind the man.”

Louvish charts the tale of the Tramp himself through his films, from the early Mack Sennett shorts through the major features (The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, et al.). He retrieves Chaplin as the iconic London street kid who carried the “surreal” antics of early British music hall triumphantly onto the Hollywood screen. Louvish also looks anew at Chaplin’s and the Tramp’s social and political ideas – the challenge to fascism, defiance of the McCarthyite witch hunts, eventual “exile,” and last mature disguises as the serial killer Monsieur Verdoux and the dying English clown Calvero in Limelight.

This book is an epic journey, summing up the roots of comedy and its appeal to audiences everywhere, who reveled in the clown’s raw energy, his ceaseless struggle against adversity, and his capacity to represent our own fears, foibles, dreams, inner demons and hopes.

SAM LOUVISH was born in Glasgow in 1947 and grew up in Israel. Later he decamped to the London School of Film Technique, where he became involved in the production of a series of independent documentary films. He also published a memoir of his Israeli days as well as a series of novels set mainly in the Middle East. Since 1979, he has also been teaching film at the London Film School and writing for various newspapers and magazines. Louvish is the author of definitive biographies of the great clowns of screen comedy, including Man on the Flying Trapeze: The Story of W.C. Fields, Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers, and Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy. Further film biographies include Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Mae West: It Ain’t No Sin, and Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 123 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 553 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-0-312-58169-5

Character People (Ken D. Jones, Arthur  F. McClure, Alfred E. Twomey)

Jones, Kevin D - Character People“In this book we have attempted to rescue a part of the artistic achievements of the ‘character people’ in the American motion picture. Almost certainly some critic will label our effort a ‘nonbook’. We make no apologies, however, and offer this book to readers to share in our admiration for these overlooked professional actors who often labored in an unfair anonymity. The effects of their participation in American film for more than four decades speak for itself. (…) We have been guided by the principle that as historians we should be concerned with breaking through the formalism of written history and record a distinctive aspect of American experience.” – From The Preface.

[Short biographies and stills of character actors including Pedro Armendariz, Donald ‘Red’ Barry, Robert Benchley, Hobart Bosworth, Hume Cronyn, George Dolenz, Louise Dresser, Jack Elam, Sessue Hayakawa, Eileen Heckart, Walter Huston, Mercedes McCambridge, Strother Martin, Butterfly McQueen, Adolphe Menjou, Frank Morgan, Carroll O’Connor, Osgood Perkins, Irving Pichel, Jason Robards Sr., Dame Margaret Rutherford, George Sidney, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Lee Van Cleef, Ray Walston, Joe Yule]

Softcover – 209 pp. – Dimensions 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 678 g (23,9 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1979 – ISBN 0-8065-0701-2

Charles Boyer: The Reluctant Lover (Larry Swindell)

Swindell, Larry - The Reluctant Lover Charles BoyerCharles Boyer, the “great lover,” was the definition of polished European virility in the thirties and forties, and mesmerized his co-stars with the same masterful ease that he wooed his fans into theaters. Larry Swindell shows here that although this consummate actor, son of the French bourgeoisie, always retained a balanced perspective in the face of his worldwide celebrity, the public, understandably, did not. The Boyer myth grew to such proportion that it achieved a life of its own. Much like Bogart’s “Play it again, Sam,” Boyer’s “Come wiz mee to zee casbah,” was never spoken by him except in the popular imagination.

In this richly detailed biography, Larry Swindell dispels the myths and reveals the professional and personal contrasts of a man whose career began in ways more fabulous than the imaginings of any studio publicity department: he rose from obscurity to become the overnight sensation of Parisian theater when on twenty-four hours’ notice he replaced the ailing lead in a major production. A dazzling survivor in an industry of notorious failures, he was passionately devoted to his art, his country, and his wife.

With the Golden Age of Hollywood as a backdrop, Boyer’s personal and professional lives are explored; his reputation as the “great louvair,” (enhanced as much by his real-life romance with his wife as by the casting of such leading ladies as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Katharine Hepburn), his involvement with the French Resistance movement, and his friendships with such Hollywood greats as Henry Fonda, David Niven, and Ingrid Bergman.

LARRY SWINDELL is the author of The Last Hero: A Biography of Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Body And Soul: John Garfield, and Screwball: Carole Lombard.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 434 g (15,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1983 – ISBN 0-385-17052-1

Charles Bronson Superstar (Steven Whitney)

whitney-steven-charles-bronson-superstar“When director John Sturges was given the chore of directing a rip-off version of Akiro Kurosawa’s Japanese classic The Seven Samurai, his first job was to locate seven actors with enough charm and panache to carry the drama. He succeeded brilliantly, so well, in fact, that his The Magnificent Seven reached even greater world-wide popularity than Kurosawa’s film. Granted, the critics for the most part still lambasted it as a poor imitation of the original, yet audiences seemed to prefer the two hours it took Sturges to tell the story over the three hours and twenty minutes it took Kurosawa to relate his.

Perhaps the major differences between the films were also indicative of the differences between the film industries of two nations. Sturges apparently felt the prime ingredient was the charm of the actors. Yul Brynner, enormously popular at the time, was cast in the lead, and although none the other six actors rounding out the seven was a star, five of them would become stars before the decade ended. Steve McQueen, who had made such a good impression in Never So Few, was back, and this film really turned the tide for him. Horst Buchholz was a young leading man in Europe, and on strength of his performance here he was able to get starring parts for the next few years. Robert Vaughan, although sometimes looking out of place in the hills of Cuernavaca, was around the corner from his successful The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series. James Coburn was to play a succession of toughs early in the 1960s, only to have a comic role in The Americanization of Emily to win him stardom. And Charles Bronson, who was to wait, characteristically, longest for his fame. Even Eli Wallach, who played the villanous Mexican bandit Calvera, was to achieve a modicum of film success over the following years. Of the original magnificent seven, only Brad Dexter failed to gain greater roles in films or television.” – From chapter 7, ‘Bronson.’

Softcover – 316 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 197 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Hodder and Soughton, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1980 – ISBN 0 340 24854 8

Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor (Simon Callow)

callow-simon-charles-laughtonHe worked with Cecil B. DeMille, Alexander Korda, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, Tyrone Guthrie, David Lean, and Billy Wilder. He collaborated with Berthold Brecht and Joseph Losey on the first production of Galileo. His career spanned fifty films and forty stage roles. And his Hunchback, Henry VIII, and Captain Bligh remain the stock-in-trade of countless mimics.

No previous account of the difficult, ugly, magnetic genius of Charles Laughton has approached the depth and quality of Simon Callow’s magnificent biography, which spans the actor’s early years in England at his parents’ seaside hotel, through the West End, Hollywood, and Broadway, to his final climatic assumption of the role of Lear at Stratford.

As a fellow actor, Callow is able to recreate each of Laughton’s performances, however eccentric or mundane, with complete understanding. Callow’s empathy with Laughton embraces both his professional struggles and his lifelong battle to come to terms with his homosexuality and his thirty-year marriage to Elsa Lanchester. Writing with wit and passion, Callow packs the book with the fascinating fruits of his research – conversations with surviving friends and lovers, contemporary articles and reviews, and illuminating assessments of Laughton’s craft based on the study of every extant foot of film. Callow gets right inside the skin of Laughton and shows us the truth behind this legend in his own lifetime who nonetheless counted himself a failure.

“Simon Callow is a phenomenon among actors,” writes director Peter Hall. “He is not only a brilliant and exuberant performer; he is a writer – and a very good one too. His biography of Laughton is an excellent and entertaining read, movingly told.” Still in his thirties, the London-born SIMON CALLOW has played an astonishing range of parts in the theater, translated (Cocteau and Kundera), directed opera as well as plays, and appeared on television and in, among others, the films Amadeus, A Room with a View, and, most recently, Maurice. He is also the author of the widely praised earlier book, Being an Actor.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 674 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-8021-1047-9

Charlie Chaplin (John McCabe)

McCabe, John - Charlie ChaplinHere at last is the definitive Chaplin biography – a magnificent new portrait of the artist by noted film historian John McCabe.

The published accounts of Chaplin’s life, by himself and others, differ widely – and John McCabe has set out to find the truth behind the endless legends, misconceptions, and errors surrounding Chaplin’s extraordinary odyssey, both public and private.

McCabe, the biographer of Stan Laurel and George M. Cohan, has drawn not only from the available record but also from personal interviews, including his remarkable conversations with Stan Laurel, who knew Chaplin in his formative years on the English music hall stage.

And McCabe has brought to this work his own affectionate and probing insights into the elusive character and overpowering artistry of Charles Spencer Chaplin. The result is a warm and richly illuminating look at a true phenomenon of our times – at an enormously complicated man, born and raised in the slums of Victorian London, who turned the straightforward craft of slapstick into an art that astonished the world. With twenty-nine black-and-white illustrations, including a number of rare photographs; a select bibliography, filmography; and index.

Like Gaul, JOHN McCABE’s career is divided into three parts. He began professional life as a child actor, appearing through the years with various companies until as an adult he became director/producer of his own stock company at the Milford Playhouse, Milford, Pennsylvania. After obtaining the Ph.D. degree from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, he entered academic theater, teaching acting at City College of New York, Wayne State University, Interlochen Arts Academy, and New York University. At New York University he headed the Department of Dramatic Art. In recent years he has become a show business biographer, writing among other books Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy; George M. Cohan: The Man Who Owned Broadway, and The Comedy World of Stan Laurel. John McCabe lives with his wife and three children on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 297 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 458 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-385-11445-1

Charlie Chaplin (John McCabe)

mccabe-john-charlie-chaplin-pocketPerhaps no artist of this century has been as assessed and analyzed as Charlie Chaplin – or so little understood as a human being. Film historian John McCabe has at last given us the first major biography of both Chaplin the man – deeply shy, heartily gregarious, politically controversial, and incurably romantic – and Chaplin the artist – the greatest comedian-actor of the century.

JOHN McCABE’s career is divided into three parts. Entering the theater as a child, he was a professional actor into adulthood, ultimately directing his own repertory company. After graduating from the University of Detroit and gaining a Master of Arts, in 1951 he came to England where he studied for three years at The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon. There he received a Ph.D. in English Literature and returned to the United States to teach. In recent years McCabe has become the biographer of Stan Laurel and George M. Cohan. In writing this biography of Charlie Chaplin he has drawn not only on the available records but also on personal interviews, including his remarkable conversations with Stan Laurel, who knew Chaplin in his formative years on the English music hall stage. He has brought to this work his own affectionate and probing insights into the elusive character and overpowering artistry of Charles Spencer Chaplin. John McCabe lives with his wife and three children on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

Softcover – 297 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 197 g (6,9 oz) – PUBLISHER A Magnum Book, London, 1978 – ISBN 0 417 03340 0

Charlie Chaplin (Ronald M. Hahn, Volker Jansen)

Jansen, Volker - Charlie Chaplin“In siebzig Jahren wird es ein Filmmuseumgeben, und die Filmleute werden manchmal hineingehen und sich im kühlen Vorjührungsraum, wo die besten Jahrgänge lagern, einen alten Meister zeigen lassen, der durch eine Expertise von Geheimrat Coogan als eigenhändig erklärt und im Kunsthandel auf hunderttausend Mark geschätzt ist; da werden sie eine Stunde auf ihren Sitzen zappeln und dann mit verdrehten Augen auf die Strafte torkeln wie betrunkene Enten, und dann werden sie mit fehlerfrei synchronisierter sowie verschleierter Stimme einander ins wulstige Ohr flüstern: Kunststück, ein echter Chaplin!” – Rudolf Arnheim in Die Weltbühne, Nr. 27, vom 2.7.1929

Dieser Bursche ist sehr vielseitig; er ist ein Tramp, ein Gentleman, ein Dichter, ein Träumer und ein einsamer Bursche. Immer hofft er, es möge ihm etwas Romantisches und Abenteuerliches begegnen. Er möchte die Menschen glauben machen, er sei ein Wissenschaftler, ein Musiker, ein Herzog oder ein Polospieler. Und dabei ist er durchaus imstande, fortgeworfene Zigarettenstummel aufzuheben oder einem Säugling einen Lutscher wegzunehmen. Ja, wenn die Gelegenheit es verlangt, wird er sogar einer Dame einen Tritt in den Allerwertesten versetzen.

Softcover – 149 pp. – Dimensions 29,5 x 22 cm (11,6 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 726 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Taco Verlagsgesellschaft und Agentur mbH, Berlin, Germany, 1987 – ISBN 3-89268-023-X

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews (edited by Kevin J. Hayes)

hayes-kevin-j-charlie-chaplin-interviews“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.”

In late 1914, Charlie Chaplin’s name first began appearing on marquees. By the end of the following year, moviegoers couldn’t get enough of him and his iconic persona, the Little Tramp. Perpetually outfitted with baggy pants, a limp cane, and a dusty bowler hat, the character became so beloved that Chaplin was mobbed by fans, journalists, and critics at every turn.

Although he never particularly liked giving interviews, he accepted the demands of his stardom, giving detailed responses about his methods of making movies. He quickly progressed from making two-reel shorts to feature-length masterpieces such as The Gold Rush, City Lights, and Modern Times.

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews offers a complex portrait of perhaps the world’s greatest cinematic comedian and a man who is considered to be one of the most influential screen artists in movie history. The interviews he granted, performances in and of themselves, are often as well crafted as his films. Unlike the Little Tramp, Chaplin the interviewee comes across as melancholy and serious, as the titles of some early interviews – “Beneath the Mask: Witty, Wistful, Serious Is the Real Charlie” or “The Hamlet-Like Nature of Charlie Chaplin” – make abundantly clear.

His first sound feature, The Great Dictator, is a direct condemnation of Hitler. His later films such as Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight obliquely criticize American policy and consequently generated mixed reactions from critics and little response from moviegoers. During this late period of his filmmaking, Chaplin granted interviews less often. The three later interviews included here are thus extremely valuable, offering long, contemplative analyses of the man’s life and work.

KEVIN J. HAYES is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His previous books include Poe and the Printed Word, Folklore and Book Culture, and An American Cycling Odyssey, 1887, among others. He has been published in Film Criticism, Literature / Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, and other periodicals.

Softcover – 150 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 – ISBN 1-57806-702-2

Charlie Chaplin: Intimate Close-Ups (Georgia Hale; edited with an introduction and notes by Heather Kiernan)

hale-georgia-charlie-chaplin-intimate-close-upsIn her eighties Georgia Hale presented a slightly disconcentring figure, with her elaborate maquillage, flowing blonde hair, and eyelashes of extravagant length. But within minutes of meeting her, you quite forgot this somewhat incongruous mask and saw only the fine dark eyes of the sweet, wise, loyal, honest, plucky woman who for so long – and understandably – held the affections of Charles Chaplin.

Her book is a touching, frank self-portrait, relating a life handicapped to the end by the lack of confidence ingrained in childhood by her discouraging father, yet always inspired by an undivided devotion to Chaplin that began long before she met him and continued to the end of both their lives. It is a real and profound love story, even if for much of the time it was unilateral. Nor does the intensity of her passion ever blind her: her picture of the two aspects of her hero – Charlie and Mr. Chaplin – is shrewdly realistic. It is fortunate for film history that this singular and delicate memoir is now available; and even more satisfying that Georgia has found an editor who so well succeeds in combining a scholar’s rigour with manifest affection for her author. – David Robinson, historian and former critic of The Times, London

HEATHER KIERNAN, a freelance writer and editor, was educated at Toronto and Cambridge, England.

Softcover – 215 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 443 g (15,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1999 – ISBN 1-57886-004-0

Charlie Chaplin: The Art of Comedy (David Robinson)

Robinson, David - Charlie Chaplin, The Art of Comedy“My own concept of humor is… the subtle discrepancy we discern in what appears to be normal behavior. In other words, through humor we see in what seems rational, the irrational; in what seems important, the unimportant. It also heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity. Because of humor we are less overwhelmed by the vicissitudes in life. It activates our sense of proportion and reveals to us that in an overstatement of seriousness lurks the absurd.” – Charles Chaplin in My Autobiography (1964).

In 1914 Charlie Chaplin emerged from the costume shed at Hollywood’s Keystone’s studios wearing baggy pants, and ill-fitting jacket and a small bowler hat – and so the tramp, the character the whole world knows and loves, was born. Here is the story of Charlie Chaplin: his brilliant career as actor, writer, producer and director, as well as his often troubled private life – his love affairs, his pursuit by the FBI and his break with the United States. An acute observer of human nature and the comic possibilities of everyday life, Chaplin changed the course of filmmaking for ever.

Softcover – 143 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 12,5 cm (6,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 216 g (7,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Thames and Hudson, London, 1996 – ISBN 0 500 300631

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde (Frederick Sands; originally titled Charlie and Oona: The Story of a Marriage)

sands-frederick-charlie-en-oona-chaplin-een-leven-vol-liefdeWeinig mensen weten hoeveel verdriet Charlie Chaplin tijdens zijn leven heeft gehad. Over die ‘onbekende’ Charles Spencer Chaplin schrijft Frederick Sands, jarenlang vriend én buurman van de Chaplins.

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde vertelt over het huwelijk van Charlie Chaplin en Oona O’Neill. Hoe een man van vierenvijftig – die reeds drie keer gehuwd was geweest – en een beeldschoon meisje van achttien verliefd op elkaar werden, trouwden en acht kinderen kregen.

Voor Oona betekende deze verbintenis een breuk met haar vader en het einde van haar eigen filmcarriére. Na een huwelijk van drieëndertig ‘stralende, gelukkige jaren’ zorgt Oona thans voor de laatste periode van Chaplins leven.

Charlie en Oona Chaplin: Een leven vol liefde is de geschiedenis van twee zeer bijzondere mensen.

Softcover – 206 pp. – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Teleboek bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1978 – ISBN 90 6122 466 7

Charlton Heston’s Hollywood: 50 Years in American Film (Charlton Heston, with Jean-Pierre Isbouts)

Heston, Charlton - Charlton Heston's HollywoodCharlton Heston has been making Hollywood history for the past fifty years. He is one of the few living actors who has worked with so many of this century’s great directors: Cecil B. DeMille, Orson Welles, William Wyler, James Cameron, and many more in between. Heston’s story reflects the evolution of postwar Hollywood. At every pivotal juncture, from the birth of nationwide TV, to the advent of today’s new media, Heston has been in the lead – at the forefront of the entertainment field.

Charlton Heston’s Hollywood offers and in-depth and up-to-the-minute look at this legendary actor’s long and illustrious career. It features behind-the-scenes accounts from every one of Heston’s major films, with inside stories about the cast and crew, anecdotes from the shoot, and notes on how the film fared upon release. It also includes countless recollections about the many great actors, directors, and producers that Heston worked with, including James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Marlene Dietrich, Janet Leigh, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner, Hal Wallis, Sam Zimbalist, Richard D. Zanuck, Laurence Olivier, Sophia Loren, David Niven, Ava Gardner, Sam Peckinpah, Anthony Mann, John Gielgud, Edward G. Robinson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, David Carradine, Kim Basinger, Vanessa Redgrave, Henry Fonda, and Kenneth Branagh.

The book also chronicles Heston’s behind-the-scenes efforts, including his work on behalf of the civil rights movement and the troops in Vietnam, as well as for the Screen Actors Guild, the American Film Institute, and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Packed with over 200 photographs, many of which have never been published, sketches drawn by Heston on the sets of his films, and a complete filmography, Charlton Heston’s Hollywood is a must-have for Heston fans and for movie buffs of every stripe.

CHARLTON HESTON is a best-selling author of In the Arena, An Actor’s Life, Beijing Diaries, Charlton Heston Presents the Bible, and To Be a Man: Letters to My Grandson. JEAN-PIERRE ISBOUTS is an award-winning screenwriter and producer who specializes in historical and cultural programming. In 1995 he wrote and produced Charlton Heston’s Voyage Through the Bible on CD-ROM.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 222 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22,5 cm (11,2 x 8,9 inch) – Weight 1.100 g (38,8 oz) – PUBLISHER GT Publishing, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 157719357-1

Charlton Heston: The Actor’s Life – Journals 1956-1976 (Charlton Heston)

heston-charlton-journals-1956-1976‘Through the book we come to know a different Charlton Heston: a loving family man of great decency, talent and humor: a hard-working real-life twentieth-century hero’ – Chicago Post-Tribune

Charlton Heston remembers it all, from the cold-water flat in a New York slum to the top of the greatest show on earth – Hollywood. He opens his heart, soul and personal diaries in The Actor’s Life. Here are twenty years of insight and experience with directors Cecil B. DeMille, William Wyler, Orson Welles, George Stevens, Sam Peckinpah; stars Gary Cooper, Edward G. Robinson, Lawrence Olivier, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner.

Also his movies such as Ben-Hur, Khartoum, Planet of the Apes, Earthquake; and, with his family, the hard-won accomplishments of a solid marriage and beloved children that make Heston’s one of the truly original Hollywood stories – on camera and off.

Softcover – 482 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 12,5 cm (7,9 x 4,9 inch) – Weight 305 g (10,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1977

Chevalier: The Films and Career of Maurice Chevalier (Gene Ronggold, DeWitt Bodeen; foreword by Rouben Mamoulian)

ringgold-gene-chevalier-the-films-and-career-of-maurice-chevalier“At 83, Maurice Chevalier was much too young to die. He still possessed an amazing amount of creative energy and a youth’s enthusiasm for his art. He was born the year the Eiffel Tower was built, and like it he became the symbol of Paris. Unlike it, he could travel and sing. He appeared in films and in person in most countries of the world and was embraced by every nation as partly their own. There are singers, actors, entertainers, but there is only one Chevalier. He is unique, and being unique, he is indestructible. As a performer, he was totally integrated and the whole of him was much bigger than the sum of his various talents. His stylized silhouette, the saucy angle of his straw hat, his smile, the way he moved, sang and talked was not only artistically perfect, but spiritually uplifting to young and old. He radiated optimism, good will and above all the joie de vivre that every human being longs for.

Yet, when I first knew him, these qualities seemed to belong only to Chevalier, the entertainer, not the man. This was forty years ago, when I directed him in Love Me Tonight. I had never witnessed such a sharp schism in any performer before. He would come on the set, slouching, sit in a corner looking as unhappy and worried as a homeless orphan. When I called him to shoot the first song, I thought it would be a disaster. He shuffled to his position, drooping head, frowning, dejected. We started the camera, I said: ‘Action!’ and then a complete transformation took place – there he was: happy, debonaire, truly filled with that joy of living. The take was perfect. Then, as I said ‘Cut,’ the light went out of him. He walked back to his corner like a tired man, looking hopelessly miserable, as before. Through Love Me Tonight we became very good friends. As a person, I found him insecure and old in spirit; yet, in a way, he was also like a schoolboy in need of affection, encouragement and friendship. Consciously or unconsciously, he seemed to hold the Hellenistic principle that friendship is superior to love.” – From The Foreword by Rouben Mamoulian.

Softcover – 245 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 891 g (31,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1973 – ISBN 0-8065-0483-8

Child Star: An Autobiography (Shirley Temple Black)

temple-shirley-child-starFor the first time, Shirley Temple Black – the quintessential child star of the 1930s and 1940s – tells in her own words the colorlul story of her life as an actress. In this long-awaited autobiography, she reveals that for the captivating girl who seemed to have everything, all was not always well aboard the ‘Good Ship Lollipop’.

Born in 1928 in Southern California, Shirley Temple was a phenomenon from the start. She began acting at the extraordinarily early age of three, often in exploitative films directed and produced by abusive studio executives. But Shirley’s talent and perseverance could not be thwarted, and she soon entered a fruitful relationship with Twentieth Century-Fox. Before long, she was making films with the top stars of the day including Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard, Lionel Barrymore, Joel McCrea, Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Joseph Cotten, Claudette Colbert and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

There was something magical about Shirley Temple that transcended barriers of race and nationality. Her worldwide popularity was second to none; her winsome spirit charmed everyone she met from the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, downwards – as did her astonishing performances in over forty films, including such classics as Stand Up and Cheer, Baby Take a Bow, Bright Eyes (in which she sang ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’), Curly Top, The Littlest Rebel, and Wee Willie Winkie. In Child Star, Shirley Temple Black reveals the whole story, the ups and downs of life as a Hollywood prodigy – including numerous kidnap threats and even a murder attempt against her. She writes about her relationship with her parents – and discloses how her complex finances were managed. Shirley also tells of her fairy-tale marriage, at the age of seventeen, to the handsome soldier Jack Agar – the dream that soon turned into a nightmare when she discovered her husband’s dalliances with alcohol and other women. But Shirley was destined to meet and fall in love with Charlie Black, a former naval officer. She has been happily married to him for thirty-eight years.

Child Star is perhaps the most authentic and honest account to date by a major celebrity about what it was like to live and work in the golden era of Hollywood. Filled with revelations and personal anecdotes, Child Star is at once candid, funny and poignant. Every page until its inspiring finale reflects the warm, bright, indomitable spirit that has entranced the world for over fifty years.

SHIRLEY TEMPLE BLACK was United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana and a United States representative to the United Nations. She has three children and a granddaughter and lives with her husband in northern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 547 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 965 g (34 oz) – PUBLISHER Headline Book Publishing PLC, London, 1988 – ISBN 0-7472-0143-9

Christmas at the Movies: Images of Christmas in American, British and European Cinema (edited by Mark Connelly)

Connelly, Mark - Christmas at the MoviesCinema and Christmas are intertwined. Cinema has helped to make Christmas the international festival it is now, with movies, from It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street to Home Alone or When Harry Met Sally, contributing to the contemporary definition of Christmas as a social not a religious occasion.

Christmas at the Movies explores the great Christmas films of American and European cinema, as well as some of the lesser-known ones that highlight the ways in which Christmas has been celebrated, perceived and presented in American society and cinema. The contributors look at the various versions of A Christmas Carol, examine the wartime Christmas of British and American cinema and reinterpret It’s a Wonderful Life in the context of an America in the aftermath war. They show how French Christmas movies can veer from nostalgic longing to raw realism and how Russian cinema has broken free from Christmas clichés. They uncover the dark side of Christmas in the Christmas horror movie and explore the mix of Christmas and violence in such films as Lethal Weapon and Home Alone. They revisit the ‘traditional’ English family Christmas and present a radical rethink of Santa Claus himself.

Entertaining and illuminating, providing a brand new perspective on Christmas and the rituals that the celluloid world has given us, this is a gift of a book for everyone interested in cinema.

MARK CONNELLY is Reuters Lecturer in Media and Propaganda History at the University of Kent and Canterbury and is the author of Christmas: A Social History (I.B. Tauris).

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 1 86064 397 3

Christmas in July: The Life and Art of Preston Sturges (Diane Jacobs)

jacobs-diane-christmas-in-julyIn this first critical biography of Preston Sturges, Diane Jacobs brings to life the great comic filmmaker whose career Andrew Sarris described as “one of the most brilliant and bizarre bursts of creation in the history of the American cinema.” Sturges’s life was as feverishly paced and as filled with galvanizing changes in luck as any of his films. Jacobs draws on a wealth of letters and manuscripts – some never before revealed – and interviews with people who knew Sturges – including three of his wives – to portray this fascinating, contradictory man. In addition to discussing the major films, she examines heretofore uncirculated plays, film scripts and stories. Jacobs shows that Sturges was highly creative even near the end of his life, when many believed he had lost his touch.

Sturges secured his place in film history as the creator of such Hollywood classics as The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, and The Palm Beach Story. Another of his films, Christmas in July, provides an apt title for the story of his feast-to-famine career. After his first Broadway success with the play Strictly Dishonorable, Sturges followed the Algonquin set to Hollywood in the early thirties. In 1939 he became the first screenwriter to win the right to direct his own script – the result was the Oscar-winning The Great McGinty.

Creator of some of America’s most popular films, including Unfaithfully Yours, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero, Sturges was the third highest-paid man in the United States by the late 1940s. He owned a swank Hollywood restaurant and enjoyed the reputation of an ebullient raconteur as well as a world-famous filmmaker. A little over a decade later, Sturges died in New York, impoverished and rejected by Hollywood.

The euphoria of success, the fitfulness of luck, and the promise and poignancy of the American Dream – the themes of Sturges’s work also marked his life. In chronicling his remarkable career, Diane Jacobs illuminates the contributions and complexities of a great American film artist.

DIANE JACOBS has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Village Voice. She is the author of Hollywood Renaissance (Delta 1977) and “… but we need the eggs”: The Magic of Woody Allen (St. Martin’s Press 1982).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 525 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.045 g (36,9 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1992 – ISBN 0-520-07926-4

Cinema: A Critical Dictionary – The Film-Makers, Volume One [Aldrich to King] (edited by Richard Roud)

Roud, Richard - Cinema, A Critical Dictionary volume oneRarely does a work appear matching historical facts with breadth and depth of critical appraisal on the scale offered in this book. Richard Roud, himself a distinguished writer on film, has drawn together an authorship of outstanding international film critics, including Andrew Sarris, Penelope Houston, Henri Langlois, Arlene Croce, John Russell Taylor and Gavin Millar. Their combined insight and expertise has produced an astounding compendium, in which a groundwork of fact leads on to vivid descriptions of films and their making, and to intriguing and authoritative assessments of directors, genres and schools, each seen against a background of politics, personalities, commerce or art. In these two volumes there are over 200 articles, every one supplemented by Richard Roud’s own comments, which are sometimes controversial, always perceptive, and in each case underpinned by a selective bibliography. Each volume is copiously illustrated with stills chosen by the editor, many of them not previously released and all calculated to sharpen either memories or curiosity.

The result is a publishing landmark: a work essential both to the student of film and to the critical cinemagoer – a book that will challenge received opinion and offer its own idiosyncratic views.

RICHARD ROUD is Director of the New York Film Festival, and former programme director of the National Film Theatre and the London Film Festival. A regular contributor to Sight and Sound, he has also written for the New York Times, Cahiers du Cinéma, Encore, Encounter, etc. From 1963-70 he was film critic of the Guardian, for which he is now Roving Arts Critic. He is the author of two volumes, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Marie Straub, in the Cinema One series published by Secker & Warburg. He is now preparing a biography of the late Henri Langlois.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 550 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 17 cm (9,8 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 1.230 g (43,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1980

Cinema: A Critical Dictionary – The Film-Makers, Volume Two [Kinugasa to Zanussi] (edited by Richard Roud)

Roud, Richard - Cinema, A Critical Dictionary volume twoRarely does a work appear matching historical facts with breadth and depth of critical appraisal on the scale offered in this book. Richard Roud, himself a distinguished writer on film, has drawn together an authorship of outstanding international film critics, including Andrew Sarris, Penelope Houston, Henri Langlois, Arlene Croce, John Russell Taylor and Gavin Millar. Their combined insight and expertise has produced an astounding compendium, in which a groundwork of fact leads on to vivid descriptions of films and their making, and to intriguing and authoritative assessments of directors, genres and schools, each seen against a background of politics, personalities, commerce or art. In these two volumes there are over 200 articles, every one supplemented by Richard Roud’s own comments, which are sometimes controversial, always perceptive, and in each case underpinned by a selective bibliography. Each volume is copiously illustrated with stills chosen by the editor, many of them not previously released and all calculated to sharpen either memories or curiosity.

The result is a publishing landmark: a work essential both to the student of film and to the critical cinemagoer – a book that will challenge received opinion and offer its own idiosyncratic views.

RICHARD ROUD is Director of the New York Film Festival, and former programme director of the National Film Theatre and the London Film Festival. A regular contributor to Sight and Sound, he has also written for the New York Times, Cahiers du Cinéma, Encore, Encounter, etc. From 1963-70 he was film critic of the Guardian, for which he is now Roving Arts Critic. He is the author of two volumes, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Marie Straub, in the Cinema One series published by Secker & Warburg. He is now preparing a biography of the late Henri Langlois.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 570 pp., index (for volumes one and two) – Dimensions 25 x 17 cm (9,8 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 1.275 g (45 oz) – PUBLISHER Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1980

The Cinema of Carl Dreyer (Tom Milne)

Milne, Tom - The Cinema of Carl Dreyer“Perhaps the most perfect epitaph in the entire history of the cinema comes in the last scene of Dreyer’s last film, when Gertrud, now old and grey and solitary and awaiting death in the security of her memories, murmurs with the majestic quietude of complete self-fulfilment. ‘I have known love.’ Not, one notices, ‘I have loved’ or ‘I have been loved,’ but the all-embracing, almost Olympian splendor of ‘I have known love.’ No better phrase could be found to define the profound involvement that bound Dreyer to the cinema in a relationship which spanned nearly fifty years but only fourteen films, each one painfully squeezed out of reluctant financiers while millions were being squandered in Hollywood, in Paris, in London, and each one quietly adding its chapter to the greatest and most loving voyage of exploration of the human soul the cinema has yet witnessed.

I only met Dreyer once, at the Venice Film Festival of 1965, less than three years before his death and only nine months after the disastrous world premiere of Gertrud in Paris, when the whole pack of French critics united to heap insult upon scorn and incomprehension. Somehow, although Gertrud was well on the way towards rehabilitation by then, Dreyer’s participation in the Festival reflected his curiously ambivalent position in the cinema as the filmmaker everybody nominally reserves as one of the true great, but whom few people actually admire or make any effort to understand.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 191 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 200 g (7,1 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 498 07711 X

The Cinema of Edward G. Robinson (James Robert Parish, Alvin H. Marill)

Marrill, Alvin H - The Cinema of Eward G RobinsonThe Cinema of Edward G. Robinson covers the famed actor’s spectacularly successful film career from The Bright Shawl (1923), through classics of the gangster genre like Little Caesar (the 1931 film is still the one most people associate with Robinson), his superbly polished performance as poker player Lancey Howard in The Cincinnati Kid, through his latest role to date in The Song of Norway (1970).

The authors have provided a complete filmography – containing casts, credits, and character names), plus a synopsis of each film and rare photos for each of EGR’s 86 feature films to date. In addition, contemporary reviews have been provided for the feature films. A compendium of the actor’s stage, radio, and television performances has also been included.

In an extensive introductory essay, the authors have traced Robinson’s rise as a noted Broadway actor in the 1910s and 1920s, then continue on to his film career, which reached a spectacular peak with Little Caesar and has continued onward at high momentum right up to the present.

Although Robinson is best known for his gangster roles (and to this day a Robinson “gangster” imitation is standard repertoire for nearly every impressionist in show business), he is far more versatile than this. Only about a quarter of his roles have called for gangster portrayals. “In about an equal number,” the authors note, “he was the unswerving, if occasionally unappreciated, upholder of law and order. He also limned five ‘real’ people, appearing in two of the finest biographical films ever made; he won and lost the girl an equal number of times (nine); and he confronted Humphrey Bogart five times… four as the good guy.”

The authors have also quoted extensively from Robinson himself, including interviews especially for this book, which helps to give an additional insight into the actor’s approach to his career and his ability to overcome his handicaps. (“If I were just a bit taller and I was a little more handsome or something like that,” he has admitted, “I could have played all the roles I have played, and played many more.”)

The Cinema of Edward G. Robinson is an outstanding book of its kind. Thorough, well-researched, accurate, it is a fitting tribute to one of the screen’s most talented, versatile, and successful leading men.

JAMES ROBERT PARISH, a New York-based free-lance writer, was born near Boston on April 21, 1944. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he is a member of the New York Bar. During the mid-1960s, he was a publicist at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts. As president of Entertainment Copyright Research Co., Inc., he headed one of the major researching facilities in the United States for the film and television industries. Later he was a film interviewer-reviewer for Motion Picture Daily and Variety. He has also worked as a film publicist in New York. He has been responsible for such reference volumes as The American Movies Reference Book: The Sound Era, TV Movies, The Emmy Awards: A Pictorial History, The Fox Girls, and The Great Movie Series. In the works is a book tentatively titled The Slapstick Queens. Mr. Parish is a frequent contributor to the entertainment journals here and abroad. ALVIN H. MARILL is a life-long cinema student and credit-watcher. In his home town of Brockton, Massachusetts, he had the distinction of attending the closing performances of four of the city’s six movie houses and was a spectator when another burned to the ground. A graduate of Boston University, he has been a writer-producer in radio, both in Boston and in New York, was a free-lance critic for the Quincy (Massachusetts) Patriot-Ledger, and has reviewed films for Radio New York Worldwide. He is a frequent contributor to a number of serious cinema publications and is co-author of a series of screen personality books, including Boris Karloff: A Pictorial Study and Errol Flynn: A Pictorial Study.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 922 g (32,5 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., Inc., Cranbury, New Jersey, 1972 – ISBN 0-498-07875-2

The Cinema of Ernst Lubitsch: The Hollywood Films (Leland A. Poague)

poague-leland-a-the-cinema-of-ernst-lubitschIn 1946 Ernst Lubitsch was honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his “distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture.” Lubitsch excelled as a director of historical epics, tart social satires, fluid and elegant musicals, and marvelously witty and inventive comedies. In The Cinema of Ernst Lubitsch Leland A. Poague extends the investigation of Hollywood comedy that he began in The Cinema of Frank Capra. In this study he offers a detailed analysis of Lubitsch’s Hollywood films, paying particular attention to the changing relationship of style to theme as evidenced in Lubitsch’s best-known works.

The first chapter, “Time and the Man,” compares The Marriage Circle to The Shop Around the Corner, pointing out that the former film is the more ingenious stylistically and thematically, and that the latter film is more good-natured and hopeful, embodying a more humane version of life and time.

The second chapter, “Frivolity and Responsability,” attends to the relationship between satire and romance in Lubitsch. In Lady Windermere’s Fan, for example, Lubitsch bears down on the disharmony between social decorum and personal integrity. In The Student Prince he again considers the conflict of social duty and individual desire, but tends to emphasize the tragedy of lost innocence rather than satirize the circumstances that require innocence to yield to experience. Finally, in The Merry Widow, Lubitsch extends his critique into the realm of romantic, musical-comedy myth.

The third chapter, “Self-Aware Illusions,” considers the relation of illusion to reality as evidenced in One Hour With You, Trouble in Paradise, and To Be or Not To Be. All three films are concerned with characters who manipulate appearances, for good or for ill.

In chapter four, “Love Paradise (Uncertain Feelings),” So This Is Paris, The Love Parade, and Ninotchka are discussed by Dr. Poague as evincing a gradual change in Lubitsch’s attitudes toward love, marriage, and sexual relationships. From an emphasis on upper-class marriages gone awry, Lubitsch shifts focus to look at the dynamics of rejuvenation in marital relationships.

The final chapter, “Age Shall Not Wither,” concentrates in detail on the last two films that Lubitsch saw through to conclusion: Heaven Can Wait and Cluny Brown. Both films, according to Dr. Poague, are deeply concerned with time, morality, and the kind of responsible actions people can take in the face of the inevitable.

Born December 15, 1948, in San Francisco, California, LELAND A. POAGUE teaches literature and film criticism at the State University College at Geneseo, New York. He holds degrees from San Jose State College and the University of Oregon, and has contributed articles on literature, film, and popular culture to Modern Drama, Film Quarterly, Literature / Film Quarterly, and The Journal of Aesthetic Education, among others. He has published a full-length study of Frank Capra, and he is currently writing studies of Billy Wilder and Leo McCarey. Dr. Poague is married and is the father of a recently born daughter, Amy Elizabeth.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 183 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 17 cm (9,5 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16,0 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1978 – ISBN 0-498-01958-6

The Cinema of John Frankenheimer (Gerald Pratley)

Pratley, Gerald - The Cinema of John Frankenheimer“I think anyone who is a responsible individual, is concerned with getting a point across in a film. Although the first responsibility of anyone who makes a film is to involve the audience, I believe films are much more than a popular entertainment. The represent the most universal means of communication in the world today, with the possible exception of music. Certainly much greater than television, which is comparatively local. When you make a film, you know there is every chance it will be shown throughout the world. Through the medium of film we try to communicate with all kinds of people and get certain ideas across in the most artistic way we know. I have had very few restrictions placed in my way when it comes to expressing myself. I think talent finds its own level in life and those who are recognized, deserve to be recognized and those who are not, don’t deserve to be.” – Preface by John Frankenheimer.

Softcover – 240 pp. – Dimensions 16,5 x 13,5 cm (6,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 259 g (9,1 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co, Ltd., New York, New York, 1969 – SBN 498 07413 4

The Cinema of Joseph Losey (James Leahy)

Leahy, James - The Cinema of Joseph Losey“I like theater, I like films, these two things are my life, and almost entirely my life, and they are so concentrated and involved that they very often seriously interfere with, if not exclude, private life; but they also make private life possible. But nothing could be worth the anguish and the hard work and the distress of work in those mediums that are combinations of the commercial and the free unless you are dealing successfully enough with problems to disturb people. And this again comes back to that hideous business which has been a kind of byword of film finance and film distribution and exhibition: ‘It’s entertainment,’ or ‘Is it entertainment?’ or ‘It’s not entertainment.’ What is entertainment? Entertainment, to me, is anything that is so engrossing, so involves an audience single or en masse that their lives for that moment are totally arrested, and they are made to think and feel in areas and categories and intensities which aren’t part of their normal life. And anything that can arrest me to that degree – whether it’s music, painting, a human being, a landscape, the sensation of being alive in various ways – is entertainment, is something that lifts life a little bit out of its rut into some other category, temporarily or permanently a little bit further. But entertainment simply for the sake of oblivion is like all the other ways of getting through life and wasting time. What’s the horrible phrase everybody uses? Killing time, killing time, as if time were there to be killed, which it isn’t.” – From The Introduction by Joseph Losey.

Softcover – 175 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 184 g (6,5 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1967

The Cinema of Martin Scorsese (Lawrence S. Friedman)

friedman-lawrence-s-the-cinema-of-martin-scorseseMartin Scorsese is undeniably one of the most accomplished and successful filmmakers of our time. He is at the vanguard of the sixties’ generation of filmschool students, which include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian DePalma, and Steven Spielberg.

From the urban violence and psychosis of Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Goodfellas, to the romanticism of The Age of Innocence, the drama of Raging Bull, and the supremely provocative Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese has not compromised his vision. Kundun, just completed, promises another transcendent film experience.

Scorsese has wrestled with his ambivalence over both his Catholicism and his Sicilian-American heritage. By considering each of Scorsese’s films and studying them thematically, Lawrence S. Friedman reveals the unique patterns of the popular moviemaker’s career.

LAWRENCE S. FRIEDMAN is author of Understanding Isaac Bashevis Singer, Understanding Cynthia Ozick and Understanding William Goldig.

Softcover – 200 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 326 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Continuum Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-8264-1077-4

The Cinema of Max Ophuls: Magistral Vision and the Figure of Woman (Susan M. White)

White, Susan M - The Cinema of Max OphulsMax Ophuls (1902-1957), long considered to be a major influence on the French New Wave, was an extraordinarily profilic director, with more than 200 plays and 21 feature-length films, made in five countries, to his credit. In The Cinema of Max Ophuls, Susan White considers the entire span of Ophuls’ career in cinema from a perspective made possible by recent theoretical advances in film studies. White offers an unparalleled look at the noted director’s work, and demonstrates that the concerns of film authorship and spectatorship are not mutually exclusive.

Drawing upon current scholarship on auteurism, spectatorship, and gender  difference, Susan White re-examines particular strands in European and American film history from 1932 to 1955, with a central concern for the positioning of women in Ophuls’ films. The Cinema of Max Ophuls explores the representation of women as commodoties, the tension between movement and statis, the question of voice and its relation to visuals, Ophuls’ response to the plight of European Jewry, and his critique of bourgois society.

Illustrated with almost fifty frame enlargments and film publicity shots, The Cinema of Max Ophuls is the most comprehensive, up-to-date volume on this great director’s work. In this combination of film analysis, theory and criticism, it uniquely transects the fields of European and American film history and feminist cultural studies.

SUSAN M. WHITE is Associate Professor of Film and Literature in the Department of English at the University of Arizona. She is the the film editor for Arizona Quarterly.

Softcover – 384 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 685 g (24,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Columbia University Press, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 978-0-231-10113-4

The Cinema of Otto Preminger (Gerald Pratley)

Pratley, Gerald - The Cinema of Otto Preminger“I live in the United States. I originally was born in Vienna, and lived there a long time. In the United States, one of the most precious rights we have is the right of free expression. I have had trouble with censorship, with the small movie, The Moon Is Blue, because in 1953 people objected to the word ‘virgin,’ which is hard to believe. I could have easily made a few cuts and compromised, but I feel that in our own fields, as motion picture directors, newspapermen, writers, whatever we are, we have not only the right, but the duty to defend this right of free expression. Because if this right detoriates, that is the first step to dictatorship, to totalitarian government, and no totalitarian government, whether on the Right or on the Left, could ever exist with its citizens having the right to speak freely. I think it is very important for us to fight for this right and that is why I have always fought censorship and won. There is no censorship in the United States. I hope it will stay like this. This is my answer to questions about censorship. My views have never changed.” – From The Introduction – Otto Preminger, Ontario Film Theatre, Toronto, October 1970.

Otto Preminger is one of the American cinema’s most eminent figures. From dramatic entertainments like Laura and Anatomy of a Murder to films touching the larger issues of the post-war world like Exodus and Advise and Consent, he has proved his thoughtfulness and versatility. This lively guide to his work has been compiled by GERALD PRATLEY, the distinguished Canadian critic.

Softcover – 192 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 206 g (7,3 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co, Ltd., New York, New York, 1971 – SBN 498 07860 4

The Cinema of Robert De Niro (James Cameron-Wilson)

cameron-wilson-james-the-cinema-of-robert-de-niroRobert De Niro is an enigma. A box-office superstar, his face known to millions, De Niro manages to keep his personal life out of the news. An intensely private man, he is dedicated to his art. So dedicated that he will put on sixty pounds to portray and ageing boxer (Raging Bull), teach himself to play the saxophone (New York, New York), acquire a perfect Sicilian accent (The Godfather, Part II), learn the Catholic Mass by heart (True Confessions), or spend two weeks driving a yellow cab around New York’s seediest districts (Taxi Driver).

De Niro is perhaps the most respected and versatile actor of our age, an actors’ actor as well as a favorite amongst the fans. His involvement in his art is total and his policy of turning down the ‘big bucks’ in order to make films which interest him personally, has resulted in some of the most critically acclaimed films of recent cinema history, including 1900, Once Upon a Time in America, and The Mission.

But, as author James Cameron-Wilson describes in his book, De Niro’s films are not merely a success from the critic’s point of view. He has also participated in some of the biggest money-spinners of all time, such as The Godfather, Part II and The Deer Hunter. De Niro is both cult figure and box-office success; a consummate actor and a screen idol. Yet this double Oscar winner is perhaps the best known and least understood actor of our time. So who is Robert De Niro?

As Cameron-Wilson investigates and examines the career of De Niro, through meticulous research and candid interviews with De Niro’s colleagues, what emerges is the first in-depth profile on De Niro, the Man.

The Cinema of Robert De Niro, fully illustrated with over seventy photographs, provides a fascinating and revealing insight into one of the contemporary cinema’s most ambitious and charismatic performers.

Softcover – 156 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 342 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Zomba Books, London, 1986 – ISBN 0-946391-80-7

The Cinema of Roman Polanski (Ivan Butler)

Butler, Ivan - The Cinema opf Roman PolanskiThis study of Roman Polanski and his films to date was already approaching completion when his wife, Sharon Tate, whom he married in 1968, met her death in circumstances which shocked the world. A tragedy so appalling and so meaningless, and following so closely on the equally untimely death of his close friend Krzysztof Komeda, composer for almost all his films, might well have broken a man of weaker calibre and lesser courage. As the book goes to press, however, Roman Polanski is already well advanced on his next film.

“Roman Polanski was born to Polish parents in Paris on August 18, 1933; three years later the family returned to Poland and settled in Krakow. During the war, when he was eight years old, both his parents were taken away to a Nazi concentration camp and he was left entirely on his own, surviving as best he could with a succession of Polish families. During this terrible ‘wartime’ period, he says, the ‘pictures’ were an escape and a refuge.” – From chapter 1, ‘The Man.’

The contents of this book are: The man; The shorts; Knife in the Water; Repulsion; Cul-de-Sac; Dance of the Vampires; Rosemary’s Baby; The director.

Softcover – 190 pp. – Dimensions 16 x 13,5 cm (6,3 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 203 g (7,2 oz) – PUBLISHER A. S. Barnes & Co., New York, New York, 1970 – SBN 498 07712 8

Cinema Sequels and Remakes, 1903-1987 (Robert A. Nowlan, Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan)

nowlan-robert-a-cinema-sequels-and-remakes-1903-1987“The motion picture industry has wholeheartedly endorsed the adage ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ by returning again and again to stories which had already been filmed – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. The new productions have not always been faithful re-creations as in the case of 1952’s The Prisoner of Zenda which was a scene-for-scene remake of the 1937 classic. Just as often, the setting has been completely changed as is the case with the caper classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950) which in 1958 showed up as the western The Badlanders.

Other examples of remaking movies include the production of a musical version of a previously filmed story as with 1948’s Summer Holiday, a tuneful retelling of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! which was filmed in 1935. Then there are movies which are not so much remakes as the telling of the same basic story from a different point of view. For instance, My Darling Clementine and Gunfight at the OK Corral, both westerns, deal with the showdown between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, and the Clanton gang.

In terms of sequels, a popular device has been to revisit a story by introducing a son or daughter faced with similar problems as were their parents in earlier movies. Examples include Son of Monte Cristo and Dracula’s Daughter. Sequels also are designed to follow the further adventures of a character as in the case of The Bells of St. Mary’s, which allowed audiences to further enjoy Bing Crosby’s performance as the charming Catholic priest introduced in Going My Way. If this device is used more than once or twice, what we have is a series. The basic difference between a sequel and one film in a series is that in the former, the story of a previous movie is continued in some way, whereas in the case of the latter, there is no real connection between the films, save some central characters who reappear. In the James Bond movies, for instance, 007, Miss Moneypenny, M and Q have for the most part been constants.

While sources exist which list remakes and sequels of certain movies, the sheer number of such entries seemingly has forced the authors of these materials to merely give the most basic information about the movies, the source of their story, their year of release and production company or country of origin. This book will include such information, but in addition will provide a description of the story of the movies and their remakes or sequels, a comparison of the productions, and for each movie featured, its director, screenwriter, main characters and the leading performers in the films.

To produce a source with so much information makes it necessary to limit the number of primary films in one volume, leaving other pictures and their remakes and sequels for a second or even third volume to be produced at a later time. Having made this decision, we adopted the following guiding definition of which movies will be included in this first volume. All films, silent or sound, from the genres of drama, action-adventure, romance, comedy or thriller, which have at least one English-speaking sound remake or sequel, will be treated as primary films, and together with their remakes and sequels will be featured. The entries in the book will be an alphabetical listing of the movies, with listings of remakes and sequels giving a reference to the primary film where they are discussed.

Although many genres for primary films have been excluded for this volume, the book does include certain musicals, westerns, horror and science fiction films when these are remakes or sequels to some given primary film. Every effort has been made to include every primary film and remake or sequel which satisfies our criteria, but we are certain that some of our readers will feel that we have omitted a movie which meets our definition. If so, the omission is merely an oversight and we would be happy to learn of such instances. On occasion, we found claims of remakes or sequels of movies mentioned in one or another of our sources which was never corroborated by any other authority. Rather than to repeat what may be a fiction, we have chosen not to honor any claim of remakes or sequels unless it is made in more than one reliable source.

Readers will note that the extent of the commentary for the various entries varies greatly. This is deliberate, with greater discussion being given to movies which have had the greatest impact on the motion picture industry. This doesn’t mean that they are the authors’ personal selection for the best movies – only that we feel there is more that can and should be said about the particular movies.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 954 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 1.435 g (50,6 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1989 – ISBN 1-55862-102-4

Cinema ’79 (edited by David Castell)

castell-david-cinema-79“Identity is the most fashionable theme in movies just now, whether it’s the identity problems of Gena Rowlands in Opening Night and Dirk Bogarde in Despair or the identity changes between Robert Altman’s Three Women and between Ellen Burstyn and Melina Mercouri in A Dream of Passion.

With fewer people going to the cinema, but more people seeing films than ever before, the cinema has an identity crisis of its own. How should it square up to the formidable combined challenge of television and home cassettes? Were this year’s films the ones audiences wanted to see? And did we need cinemas to see them?” – From chapter 1, ‘Can This Be a Golden Period for the Silver Screen?’

Softcover – 141 pp., index – Dimensions 30 x 21 cm (11,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 471 g (16,6 oz) – PUBLISHER BCW Publishing, Ltd., Isle of Wight, 1978 – ISBN 0 904159 50 7

City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield (Robert Sklar)

Sklar, RObert - City BoysBeginning with The Public Enemy, produced by Warner Bros. in 1931, James Cagney established a new cultural type on the American screen and in the world’s imagination. That “type”, later developed by Humphrey Bogart and John Garfield, was the urban tough guy – small, wiry, savvy, and street-smart. Often presented as a gangster, newspaper reporter, or private eye, the “city boy” seemed the quintessential product of urban America, although he was more a model for his audience than a mirror of social actuality. While blending the stories of the professional and political lives of Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield into one fascinating narrative, Robert Sklar probes the cultural forces that produced this vivid cultural icon and examines its power over masculine self-definition.

Cagney and Bogart, whose legends have grown over time, and Garfield, whose work has been unfortunately neglected, are portrayed here in relation not only to their films and their screen personas but also to their working environment. Sklar gives a real sense of the intensity with which each of them struggled to control his own work in the face of the power of Warner Bros., whose effort to produce socially concious movies did not prevent the company from exploiting its stars. The book also describes the involvement of the three stars with political causes and their response to attacks mounted by right-wing elements against “leftists” in the entertainment industry. Moving beyond conventional film criticism, which has largely ignored the importance of performance, City Boys reveals the inseparability of actors’ professional lives, American societal struggles, and media representations.

ROBERT SKLAR is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. Among his works are Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies (Random House) and Prime-Time America: Life On and Behind the Television Screen (Oxford).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 713 g (25,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1992 – ISBN 0-691-04795-2

City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures (Bernard F. Dick)

dick-bernard-f-city-of-dreamsHorror films. Deanna Durbin musicals. Francis the talking mule. Ma and Pa Kettle. Ross Hunter weepies. Theme parks. E.T. Apollo 13. These are only a few of the many faces of Universal Pictures.

In February 1906, Carl Laemmle, German immigrant and former clothing store manager, opened his first nickelodeon in Chicago. He quickly moved from exhibition to distribution and soon entered the realm of film production. A master of publicity and promotions, within ten years “Uncle Carl” had moved his entire operation to southern California, founded a city, and established Universal Pictures as one of the major Hollywood studios.

His son took over in 1929 and the quality of the Universal product improved. In time Universal found its niche in horror films featuring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, comedies starring Abbott and Costello and W.C. Fields, and low-budget musicals. But Carl Laemmle, Jr. proved less adept than his father at empire building. Eventually he was forced out by financial difficulties, opening the way for a string of studio heads who entered and exited one after another.

Thus the age of corporate Hollywood arrived at Universal Pictures earlier than at other studios. The Universal-International merger in 1946, Decca’s stock takeover in the early 1950s, and MCA’s buyout in 1962 all presaged today’s Hollywood, where the art of the deal often eclipses the art of making movies.

So what makes Universal unique? The studio as “city,” the fascination with backlot tours, today’s theme park slogan, “Ride the Movies,” all emphasize Universal’s strong sense of place. Stars and executives have come and gone, shaping and reshaping the studio’s image, but through it all Universal’s revolving globe logo has remained on movie screens around the world. And, unlike several other studios of Hollywood’s golden age, Universal still makes movies today.

BERNARD F. DICK, director of the School of Communication Arts at Fairleigh Dickinsen University, Teaneck Campus, is the author of a number of film studies, including The Star-Spangled Screen: Hollywood and the World War II Film and Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 249 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 684 g (24,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1997 – ISBN 0-8131-2016-0

Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild (David Stenn)

Stenn, David - Clara Bow Runnin' WildShe was the legendary “It” Girl, the embodiment of the Roaring Twenties. She was the hottest box-office draw during Hollywood’s Golden Silent Era, a time when a hundred million people went to the movies every week. Se was gorgeous, sexy and wild, “someone to stir every pulse in the nation.” Her numerous lovers (including Gary Cooper and Victor Fleming) shocked even the sexually promiscuous Hollywood movie colony. She was a breathtakingly talented actress who broke all the rules of Tinsel Town… until she herself was finally broken. She was only twenty-five years old.

Clara Bow was born in Brooklyn in 1905, into a family beset by poverty, violence and insanity. She won her first movie part through a Fame and Fortune Contest, infuriating her jealous mother, who tried to slit her throat with a butcher knife. Clara escaped to Hollywood, where she began turning out movies that soon made her one of America’s most popular stars. In one month she set a record of 45,000 fan letters. But fame didn’t spare her years of reckless mismanagement by producer B.P. Schulberg, one of many men who ruthlessly exploited her. At the peak of her career, Clara was the film industry’s most overworked and underpaid superstar. Her increasingly erratic personal life left her socially ostracized and she was, as Photoplay wrote, “on a toboggan.” Scandals involved gambling, sexual misconduct, and embezzlement made by headlines that were to devastate her. By 1931, she said, “This ain’t no life. The fun’s all gone.” Verging on collapse, Clara was devoured by the vicious and insatiable press, and spent the rest of her life in isolation and sickness.

Riveting and tragic as any screenplay, Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild is the real-life story of a doomed woman whose eight-year reign as America’s foremost screen actress and subsequent disintegration is at once harrowing and heroic. No other book so poignantly captures the glitter and glamour of Hollywood in the twenties, and the woman who symbolized it.

DAVID STENN was born in Chicago, graduated from Yale in 1983, and moved to Hollywood, where he wrote scripts of Hill Street Blues and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and worked under exclusive contract to Universal Studios. He now lives in New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 338 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 705 g (24,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-385-24125-9

Clark Gable: A Personal Portrait (Kathleen Gable)

Autographed copy Dear Eleanor, Happy Holidays. Fondly, Kathleen Gable. 1962

Gable, Kathleen - Clark GableThe widow of America’s most beloved screen idol presents a warm, tender portrait of Clark Gable – the man, the husband, the star – as only she could tell it.

Here in fascinating text and a rich array of photographs – many never before published – are scenes and stories of Clark and Kay at home, on location, on hunting trips… flashbacks to Clark’s boyhood, early career and rise to fame… along with pictures of the Gable ranch and candid photos of John Clark Gable, born too late to see his famous father.

Kay Gable tells of her first meeting with Clark; their memorable, first date, their courtship and elopement, and their happy years of marriage. She shares with you little-known facts about her husband: though he loved the challenge of the outdoors and was an outstanding sportsman, he was an avid reader of Shakespeare and enjoyed a wide variety of books. He was a friend to the friendless, and always had time to lend a helping hand to novice actors on the movie set. He formed his friendships on each person’s individual merits.

More than a personal portrait of a great screen star, or the life of Clark and Kay Gable as husband and wife, here is the tender revelation of a woman and her wise philosophy for all women who have been, or hope to be, in love.

This handsome volume will be treasured for years to come, as a lasting tribute in words and pictures to a great man and a gifted actor.

KATHLEEN GABLE, born in Erie, Pennsylvania, only 60 miles from Clark’s birthplace, was a leading model and actress before their marriage. She first met Clark in 1942 and though they lost track of each other for awhile, they renewed their friendship to marry in 1955.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 153 pp. – Dimensions 25 x 18 cm (9,8 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 544 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1961

Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice (David J. Skal, Jessica Rains)

Autographed copy David J. Skal, Jessica Rains

scannen0144Late in Claude Rains’s distinguished career, a reverent film journalist wrote that Rains “was as much a cinematic institution as the medium itself.” Given his childhood speech impediments and his origins in a destitute London neighborhood, the ascent of Claude Rains (1889-1967) to the stage and screen is remarkable. Rains’s difficulties in his formative years provided reserves of gravitas and sensitivity, from which he drew inspiration for acclaimed performances in The Invisible Man (1933), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Casablanca (1942), Notorious (1946), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and other classic films.

In Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice, noted Hollywood author / writer David J. Skal draws on more than thirty hours of newly released Rains interviews to create the first full-length biography of the actor who was nominated multiple times for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Skal’s portrait of the gifted actor also benefits from the insights of Jessica Rains, who provides firsthand accounts of the enigmatic man behind her father’s refined screen presence and genteel public persona.

As Skal shows, numerous contradictions informed the life and career of Claude Rains. He possessed an air of nobility and became an emblem of sophistication, but he never shed the insecurities that traced back to his upbringing in an abusive and poverty-stricken family. Though deeply self-conscious about his short stature, Rains drew notorious ardor from female fans and was married six times. His public displays of dry wit and good humor masked inner demons that drove Rains to alcoholism and its devastating consequences.

Skal’s layered depiction of Claude Rains reveals a complex, almost inscrutable man whose nuanced characterizations were, in no small way, based on the more shadowy parts of his psyche. With unprecedented access to episodes from Rains’s private life, Skal tells the full story of the consummate character actor of his generation. Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice gives voice to the struggles and innermost concerns that influenced Rains’s performances and helped him become a universally accepted Hollywood legend.

DAVID J. SKAL is the author of numerous books about film and popular culture, including Hollywood Gothic and The Monster Show. A frequent lecturer and talk-show guest, Skal has produced over a dozen documentaries about Hollywood history, including special-edition DVDs about Claude Rains’s The Invisible Man and Phantom of the Opera. He welcomes reader responses at his official website, JESSICA RAINS, the only child of Claude Rains, is a producer and actress whose performance credits include The Sting, Pete and Tillie, Islands in the Stream, and Portnoy’s Complaint.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 290 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 725 g (25,6 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-8131-2432-2

Claudette Colbert (William K. Everson)

Everson, William K - Claudette Colbert“In the Hollywood of the thirties and the forties, dominated by elegance, glamour, production expertise and lush escapism, Claudette Colbert was one of its most representative stars. Despite her natural skills and theatrical background, she – or the image that came to be Claudette Colbert – was essentially a Hollywood product. She was sleek, svelte, sophisticated and chic – far more so than any real woman had the ability or opportunity to be. But she was also warm, vivacious and possessed of both charm and a sense of humor – qualities that can’t be mass produced, no matter how complex the machinery. She used these qualities to transcend the image that Hollywood created for her, and then she used the image, instead of letting it use her.” – From chapter 1, ‘The Colbert Mystique.’

Madcap heiresses. Tenacious wives. Understanding mothers. In a long and remarkable film career, Claudette Colbert has played them all – and more – with her own inimitable charm and finesse. William K. Everson’s book combines a discerning text and many memory-jogging photographs to capture the special quality of an actress cherished by moviegoers.

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

Softcover – 158 pp., index – Dimensions 19 x 13 cm (7,5 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 164 g (5,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Publications, New York, New York, 1976

Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty (Bernard F. Dick)

scannen0103Claudette Colbert’s mixture of beauty, sophistication, wit, and vivacity quickly made her one of the film industry’s most famous and highest-paid stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Though she began her career on the New York stage, she was beloved for her roles in such films as Preston Sturges’s The Palm Beach Story, Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra, and Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, for which she won an Academy Award. She showed remarkable prescience by becoming one of the first Hollywood stars to embrace television, and she also returned to Broadway in her later career.

Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty is the first major biography of Colbert (1903-1996) published in over twenty years. Bernard F. Dick chronicles Colbert’s long career, but also explores her early life in Paris and New York. Along with discussing how she left her mark on Broadway, Hollywood, radio, and television, the book explores Colbert’s lifelong interests in painting, fashion design, and commercial art. Using correspondence, interviews, periodicals, film archives, and other research materials, the biography reveals a smart, talented actress who conquered Hollywood and remains one of America’s most captivating screen icons.

BERNARD F. DICK is professor of communication and English at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is the author of Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars; Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood; Forever Mame: The Life of Rosalind Russell (University Press of Mississippi); and other books.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 329 pp., index – Dimensions 20,5 x 15,5 cm (8,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 660 g (23,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-60473-087-6

Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (Kirk Douglas)

douglas-kirk-climbing-the-mountainWith the simple power and astonishing candor that made his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son, a number one international best-seller, Kirk Douglas now shares his quest for spirituality and Jewish identity – and his heroic fight to overcome crippling injuries and a devastating stroke.

On February 13, 1991, at the age of seventy-four, Kirk Douglas, star of such major motion-picture classics as Champion, Spartacus, and Paths of Glory, was in a helicopter crash, in which two people died and he himself sustained severe back injuries with debilitating long-term effects. As he lay in the hospital recovering, haunted by the tragedy, he kept wondering: why had two younger men, whose lives were in front of them, died, while he, who had already lived his life fully, survived? The question drove this son of a Russian-Jewish ragman to a search for his roots and on a long journey of self-discovery – a quest not only for the meaning of life and his own relationship with God, but for his own identity as a Jew. Through the study of Torah, Kirk Douglas found a new spirituality and purpose to life. His newfound faith deeply enriched his relationship with his own children and taught him – a man who had always been famously demanding and impatient – to listen to others and, above all, to hear his own inner voice.

With the narrative skill that has made him a successful novelist, Kirk Douglas not only takes the reader through his own near-death experience but tells the story of his stubborn struggle to make sense of his own life, to come to terms with the reality of death, and to answer the ‘big questions’ that eventually confront us all. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Who is God? It is a story that takes him from his harsh childhood of poverty in Amsterdam, New York, through a life of unexpected blessings – fame, success, artistic achievement, love, wealth – to Israel, in search of the deeper meaning of his heritage, and into his own heart and soul, to discover who he is and why he is still alive.

His story is rich with wonderful anecdotes about those who have shared his life, from the famous, like his old friend Burt Lancaster, to the many unknown strangers who came forward to help him, teach him, and support him during his physical struggle to regain movement and speech. It is a story about a man who has everything and discovers, in old age, that there is much more – a story about human courage, divine grace, and the real blessings of life, and a story that has meaning for every one of us, man and woman, Jew and Gentile, young and old.

Unsparing, frank, deeply passionate, Climbing the Mountain is also an unflinching, moving, and intimate account of Douglas’s courageous fight to recover from a stroke that left him unable to speak. He tells the reader just what it is like for a great actor to lose his vehicle of self-expression, and of the long, difficult task of learning to talk again, by means of laborious exercises – a struggle that he made public in his triumphant appearance at the 1996 Academy Awards ceremony to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award before an audience of millions.

Told with warmth, wit, much humor, and deep passion, Climbing the Mountain is inspirational in the very best sense of the word.

KIRK DOUGLAS, born Issur Danielovitch, is one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, with more than eighty films to his credit. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 269 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14 cm (8,5 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 369 g (13 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-684-84415-X

Clint: A Retrospective (Richard Schickel; introduction by Clint Eastwood)

scannen0168Clint Eastwood has achieved an iconic status unmatched in the history of cinema. For more than six decades, he has been making outstanding films, first as a leading actor and subsequently as an intellingent and questening director.

This sumptuous retrospective – filled with more than two hundred essential photographs – offers an intimate insight into Clint Eastwood as a filmmaker who has made history both in front of and behind the camera. His remarkably prolific and varied career is appraised by the distinguished writer and award-winning documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel, while Eastwood himself provides a personal introduction.

Clinton Eastwood, Jr., was born in 1930. His father, a victim of the Depression, moved frequently around California seeking work, and the young boy was always the new kid in school. A reluctant draftee into the army, the holder of a string of different jobs, Clift drifted into acting. He made his name as the heartthrob in the TV western Rawhide, which ran for seven years, then took a risk with Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964), which, as the first of the “Spaghetti Westerns,” reinvented a genre.

It was his portrayal of the tough ironic cop touched by loneliness in Dirty Harry (1971) that made Clint a superstar. His directorial debut – Play Misty for Me, a thriller about obsession – was released that same year. Several now-classic films soon followed: High Plains Drifter (1973), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – regarded by many, including Clint, as one of his best – Every Which Way But Loose (1978), and the first two Dirty Harry sequels.

Having collaborated with Clint over the years, Richard Schickel is especially qualified not only to review Clint’s career as an actor and director but also to consider the themes that have emerged in his work. Nearly every character Clint has played on screen is working-class and an outsider, right up to Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino (2008); and his filmmaking style is working-class too – simple, direct, low-budget. Then there is his obsession with families, including the drunken, dying blues singer of Honkytonk Man (1982) who becomes an unlikely father figure, and the shattering family portrait in Mystic River (2003). He has also addressed what it means to be male and American in the modern world in films such as Tightrope (1984) and the anti-Western Unforgiven (1992), in which he questions the nature of heroic behavior.

Complete with a comprehensive filmography, this book is a fitting tribute to a movie icon whose achievements have enriched our culture and illuminated the times in which we have lived.

RICHARD SCHICKEL is a documentary filmmaker, movie historian, and film critic who has published more than thirty books and produced, written and directed more than thirty films for television. Among his recent films are You Must Remember This, a five-part history of Warner Bros.; Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin; Woody Allen: A Life in Film; Scorsese on Scorsese; Watch the Skies!, a history of the 1950s science fiction; and Ron Howard: 50 Years in Film, which is the twentieth in the series of portraits of great American filmmakers he has been making in the past four decades. His many books about film include You Must Remember This, the companion volume to the television series; Film on Paper, a collection of essays; Elia Kazan: A Biography; The Essential Chaplin, an anthology of critical writings about the great comedian; The Disney Version, a study of the life, times and art of Walt Disney; D.W. Griffith: An American Life; Brando: A Life in Our Times; Clint Eastwood: A Biography; and Good Morning, Mr. Zip Zip Zip, a memoir of his formative movie going years. Schickel was a film critic for Life and Time for forty-three years, received an honoray doctorate from the American Film Institute, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship. His many awards include the British Film Institute Book Prize, the Maurice Bessy Prize for film criticism, the National Board of review’s William K. Everson Award, and the Telluride Film Festival Silver Medal for his contributions to film history.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp. – Dimensions 30 x 25 cm (11,8 x 9,8 inch) – Weight 2.335 g (82,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Sterling Publishing Company, New York, New York, 2010 – ISBN 978-1-4027-7472-0

Clint Eastwood: A Biography (Richard Schickel)

Schickel, Richard - Clint EastwoodFor thirty years Clint Eastwood has been at the top of his profession, first as an actor and more recently as a director. But despite his vast fame, he remains either little known or misunderstood. Richard Schickel’s biography, the first to tell his story with the kind of intimacy only Eastwood’s co-operation could provide, explores the contradictions between the generally perceived image of the man and the realities of his personality and career.

Through extensive, exclusive interviews with Eastwood (and the friends and colleagues of a lifetime), Richard Schikel has penetrated a complex character who has always been understood too quickly, too superficially. We see restless adolescence lead to his tentative days as a Hollywood studio contract player; an unexpected break in the TV series Rawhide; the gamble of making spaghetti Westerns, the high-impact Dirty Harry movies that reinforce his screen identity; the increasingly respected directorial career; the critical breakthroughs of The Oulaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy and Tightrope, and the Oscar-winning success of Unforgiven and a place of honour as both an American icon and one of the most admired figures in his profession.

Here, Eastwood’s monumental reserve is pierced to reveal the anger and the shyness, the shrewdness and the brutal frankness, the self-deprecating humour and the powerful will, the radical independence and the contradictory communal impulse that have helped him forge a remarkable bond with an ever-widening audience.

RICHARD SCHICKEL, film critic of Time magazine for the last two decades, is the author of twenty books, including the definitive study of Walt Disney and biographies of D.W. Griffith, Cary Grant, James Cagney and Marlon Brando. He has made a large number of television documentaries on the movies and has taught film history and criticism at Yale and USC. He has known Clint Eastwood for fifteen years.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 557 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 925 g (32,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Jonathan Cape, London, 1996 – ISBN 0-224-03811-7

Clint Eastwood: All-American Anti-Hero (David Downing, Gary Herman)

downing-david-clint-eastwood-all-american-heroClint Eastwood is the world’s biggest cinema’s box-office star. Today, the man whose fame is built on his ability to speak volumes by saying nothing, is modern legend. Eastwood began his film career as a Hollywood extra, getting his first big break as Rowdy Yates in the classic TV Western Rawhide.

He became a symbol of the free-wheeling sixties, playing the violent anti-hero of a series of Italian Westerns, before returning to Hollywood as a superstar. In the seventies, he emerged in a different but no less successful role as the rogue cop hero of the Dirty Harry trilogy.

Here at last is an authorative and perceptive account of this film phenomenom. Lavishly illustrated with stills and other photographs and including an up-to-date filmography.

Softcover – 144 pp. – Dimensions 25,5 x 18 cm (10 x 7,1 inch) – Weight 346 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Omnibus Press, London, 1977 – ISBN 0 86001 412 6

Clint Eastwood: Interviews (edited by Robert E. Kapsis, Kathie Coblentz)

kapsis-robert-e-clint-eastwood-interviewsClint Eastwood (b. 1930) is the only popular American dramatic star to have shaped his own career almost entirely through films of his own producing, frequently under his own direction. Few other actors have directed themselves so often. He is also one of the most prolific filmmakers, directing thirty-three features since 1971.

As a star, Clint Eastwood is often recalled primarily for two early roles – the ‘Man with No Name’ of three European-made Westerns, and ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan, the uncompromising cop who spoke softly and carried a big gun in five movies. But like few other stars, Eastwood has shaped his career by appearing almost exclusively in films he produced or co-produced, frequently under his own direction. No other contemporary dramatic star has directed films so often.

His acclaim as a director began in the late 1970s and reached a peak with the 1992 release of his Oscar-winning Unforgiven. Eastwood has steered a remarkable course as an independent filmmaker. He is a film industry insider who works through the Hollywood establishment system, yet he remains an outsider by steadfastly refusing to heed cultural and aesthetic trends in film production and style.

Films he directed have examined artists’ lives (Honkytonk Man, 1982; Bird, 1988; White Hunter, Black Heart, 1990) and called into question his own star image (The Gauntlet, 1977; Bronco Billy, 1980; Unforgiven, 1992) while remaining accessible to a popular audience.

The interviews collected here range over the nearly three decades of Eastwood’s directorial career. The emphasis is on practical filmmaking issues and on his philosophy of filmmaking. Nearly half are from British and European sources. The latter, appearing in English for the first time, show how Europeans were praising him as a director while many American critics had not yet acknowledged him as an actor of merit.

ROBERT E. KAPSIS, author of Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation, is a professor of sociology and film studies at Queens College, CUNY. Since 1995 he has been executive producer of American Film Masters. KATHIE COBLENTZ is a special collections cataloguer at the New York Public Library. She also works on the American Film Masters series.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15,5 cm (9,1 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 679 g (24 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 – ISBN 1-57806-069-9

Cloris: My Autobiography (Cloris Leachman, with George Englund)

Autographed copy Cloris Leachman

Leachman, Cloris - Cloris An AutobiographyShe’s one of the most acclaimed, and unpredictable, actresses of our time. Transforming herself with every role, Cloris Leachman has been dazzling audiences for decades with her unusual gift for both comedy and drama. She’s appeared in 11 Broadway plays, 57 films, and 137 television shows – and has earned 16 awards and 23 nominations. Now, for the first time, the incomparable Cloris Leachman reflects on her amazing life and illustrious career.

From her hometown in Des Moines, Iowa (where she first saw Katharine Hepburn perform on stage, never imagining they would one day do Shakespeare together), to the bright lights of Broadway (where she had to work up the nerve to sing for Rodgers and Hammerstein to get the lead in South Pacific) to the television studios of L.A. (where she hopped on producer James Brooks’s lap to land the role of Phyllis), Cloris’s journey has been filled with laughter and tears, marriage and motherhood, tragedy and triumph.

With surprising candor, she talks about her experiences at the Actor’s Studio, her “Peck’s bad boy” behavior on the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her work with Mel Brooks and other filmmakers, her return to sitcoms with The Ellen Show and Malcolm in the Middle, and her difficulty shaking oft the roles she immerses herself in. She shares wonderfully revealing anecdotes about her co-stars and friends: Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and the Kennedy family. She reveals her source of inspiration behind High Anxiety (giant fake breasts) and The Last Picture Show (a disturbing childhood incident). Finally, she speaks frankly about being a celebrity icon, trying to balance her family, career, and boundless creativity energy. This is the real Cloris Leachman as you’ve never seen her before.

CLORIS LEACHMAN is an award-winning star of stage, screen, and television. Recently she won her ninth Emmy, the most ever earned by an actor, and became a great-grandmother, an event that has given her an interesting new perspective on life. GEORGE ENGLUND is a producer, director, and writer. He is also the author of The Way It’s Never Been Done Before: My Friendship with Marlon Brando. He currently lives in California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 281 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 543 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Kensington Books, New York, New York, 2009 – ISBN 978-07582-2963-2

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond and the Dark Hollywood Dream (Sam Staggs)

Staggs, Sam - Close-Up on Sunset BoulevardBilly Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, a classic film noir and also a damning dissection of the Hollywood dream factory, evokes the glamour and ruin of the stars who subsist on that dream. It’s also one long in-joke about the movie industry and those who made it great – and who were, in turn, destroyed by it. One of the most critically admired films of the twentieth century, Sunset Boulevard is also famous as silent star Gloria Swanson’s comeback picture.

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard tells the story of this extravagant work, from the writing, casting and filming to the disastrous previews that made Paramount consider shelving it. It’s about the writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett – sardonically called “the happiest couple in Hollywood” – and their raucous professional relationship. It’s about the art direction and the sets, the costumes, the props, the lights, and the cameras, and the personalities who used those tools to create a cinematic work of art.

Staggs goes behind the scenes to reveal: William Holden, endlessly attacked by his bitter wife and already drinking too much; Nancy Olsen, the cheerful ingenue who had never heard of the great Gloria Swanson; the dark genius Erich von Stroheim; the once-famous but long-forgotten “Waxworks”; and, of course, Swanson herself, who – just like Norma Desmond – had once been “the greatest star of them all.”

But the story of Sunset Boulevard doesn’t end with the movie’s success and acclaim at its release in 1950. There’s much more, and Staggs layers this stylish book with fascinating detail, following the actors and Wilder into their post-Sunset careers and revealing Gloria Swanson’s never-ending struggle to free herself from the clutches of Norma Desmond.

Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard also chronicles the making of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical production of Sunset Boulevard and the explosive diva controversies that dogged it. The book ends with a shocking example of Hollywood life imitating Hollywood art. By the last page of this rich narrative, readers will conclude: We are those “wonderful people out there in the dark.”

SAM STAGGS is the author of the acclaimed All About “All About Eve” and a novel, MMII: The Return of Marilyn Monroe. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 420 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 638 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2002 – ISBN 0-312-27453-X

Colleen Moore: Silent Star Talks About Her Hollywood (Colleen Moore)

Moore, Colleen - Silent Star“I was the spark that lit up Flaming Youth,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble.”

In 1926, the heyday of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin, the number one box-office attraction in the country was a spirited young actress named Colleen Moore, and the “trouble” she caused began with the most fateful haircut since Samson’s. A few years earlier, in order to wangle a part in a movie, she had bobbed her hair. When she appeared on the screen with her shorn locks, audiences gasped. Filmdom’s first flapper was born.

When Colleen Moore first stepped in front of the camera in 1917, Hollywood was little more than a citrus grove. She grew up with the movies, and in this wonderfully gossipy memoir she tells the story of Hollywood’s silent era – from oranges to cheesecake, from sunlight to klieg, and from the carefree days of youth and innocence to the scandal-packed days of the Twenties and Thirties. She also tells her own story, in itself a drama of ever-increasing fame and fortune in her career, measured against the relentless heartbreak of her private life.

And because Colleen Moore knew everyone who was anyone in that golden age she drops more names than Grauman has foorprints in front of his Chinese Theater: Tom Mix, Lillian Gish, D.W. Griffith, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, Clara Bow, Theda Bara, Greta Garbo – the list goes on and on.

Providing her own version of numerous scandals which rocked Hollywood in the early days, she digs behind the dirt and innuendoes. In frank, appraising glimpses, she reveals the real story of Jean Harlow’s marriage to Paul Bern, the facts behind the rumors of John Gilbert’s downfall, the pathetic truth of the Fatty Arbuckle tragedy, and the off-screen life of Rudolph Valentino.

But Colleen Moore needs no supporting cast. Star of such films as Flaming Youth, Sally, Oh Kay, Lilac Time, Naughty But Nice, ans So Big, as well as being the prototype of the flapper in the John Held cartoons, she has achieved in her life the unbeatable combination she once attributed to another – humor, heart, and box-office.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 262 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 639 g (22,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1968

Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio (edited by Bernard F. Dick)

dick-bernard-f-columbia-studiosThe recent $ 3.4 billion purchase of Columbia Pictures by Sony Corporation focused attention on a studio that had survived one of Hollywood’s worst scandals under David Begelman, as well as ownership by Coca-Cola and David Puttnam’s misguided attempt to bring back the studio’s glory days. Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio traces Columbia’s history from its beginnings as the CBC Film Sales Company (nicknamed “Corned Beef and Cabbage”) through the regimes of Harry Cohn and his successors, and concludes with a vivid portrait of today’s corporate Hollywood, with its investment bankers, entertainment lawyers, agents, and financiers.

Bernard F. Dick’s highly readable studio chronicle is followed by thirteen original essays by leading film scholars, writing about the stars, films, genres, writers, producers, and directors responsible for Columbia’s emergence from Poverty Row status to world class. This is the first attempt to integrate film history with film criticism of a single studio.

Both the historical introduction and the essays draw on previously untapped archival material – budgets that kept Columbia in the black during the 1930s and 1940s, letters that reveal the rapport between Depression audiences and director Frank Capra, and an interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter Daniel Taradash. The book also offers new perspectives on the careers of Rita Hayworth and Judy Holliday, a discussion of Columbia’s unique brands of screwball comedy and film noir, and analyses of such classics as The Awful Truth, Born Yesterday, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, Anatomy of a Murder, Easy Rider, Taxi Driver, The Big Chill, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Last Emperor.

Amply illustrated with film stills and photos of stars and studio heads, Columbia Pictures includes a brief chronology and a complete 1920-1991 filmography. Designed for both the film lover and the film scholar, the book is ideal for film history courses.

BERNARD F. DICK is professor of English and comparative literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck. His many books on film include Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 293 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 656 g (23,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1992 – ISBN 0-8131-1769-0

Come by Sunday: The Fabulous, Ruined Life of Diana Dors (Damon Wise)

Wise, Damon - Come By SundayDiana Dors, shamelessly peroxided and breathtakingly cantilevered, was synthetic vulgarity personified in Britain during the 1950s.

She made dozens of indifferent ‘glamour’ films yet is remembered as an actress for only one role – that of a plain condemned woman in Yield to the Night. She scandalized tabloids and society alike, she mixed with criminals – including the Kray twins – and other forms of low life. As often as she rose and glittered, she plunged and failed. But in high times and low she remained cheerfully unrepentant and against the odds she was, and remains, an icon – someone people genuinely loved.

Her legend and all her peroxide paradoxes are properly explored for the first time here in Come by Sunday. How did mousey Diana Fluck – with her terrifyingly manipulative mother and a pubescent penchant for the GIs stationed near Swindon – become a bombshell which Britons were proud to compare with Marilyn Monroe? Why did the disastrous marriages, hopeless assaults on Hollywood, numerous brushes with the law, excesses, bankruptcies, widespread disdain of her tacky, tawdry ‘taste’ do nothing to tarnish her glow in a pinched and glamour-starved 1950s and why, how, did she restrain such affection?

Damon Wise, with immaculate research and in conversation with many of her friends and fellow actors, scrutinizes the questions and provides a marvellous, thoughtful portrait of a life which should seem tragic, closing as it did after protracted cancer followed by a near-immediate suicide of her heart-broken reckless husband, Alan Lake. Hardly a charmed life, despite the Rank Charm School grounding, yet the story of Diana Dors is one of life-affirming bravery, good humour and brilliant style.

‘Miss Tits and Lips’ has at last received the loving care and attention she deserves – a junk shop Venus no more.

DAMON WISE is film editor of Neon. He lives in London. This is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 518 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1998 – ISBN 0 283 06305 X

The Comedy World of Stan Laurel (John McCabe)

mccabe-john-the-comedy-world-of-stan-laurelThe Comedy World of Stan Laurel is a vivid and intimate biography of one of the all-time masters of comedy. John McCabe follows Stan Laurel’s career from his early days in British variety, his arrival in the United States, the first films, to his teaming up with Oliver Hardy in 1936 and their meteoric rise to fame.

Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Stan Laurel) was born on June 16, 1890 in Ulverston in North Lancashire (presently Cumbria), England. Stan’s first professional theatrical engagement was as a boy-comedian at the Britannia Theater in Glasgow. He would become a film legend, and one-half of the world-famous comedy team of Laurel & Hardy. Stan Laurel’s film career spanned 35 years and 182 pictures. The official teaming of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy took place in 1927 with the release of Duck Soup. Laurel & Hardy made 117 films together between 1926 and 1952. “The Music Box” won the 1932 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Subject. It was the only Laurel & Hardy film to win such an award.

In 1961, Stan was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an Oscar for his creative pioneering in the field of comedy. Stan’s only regret was that Oliver was not there to share in the recognition. Stan Laurel passed away on February 23, 1965, after suffering a heart attack.

Based on the author’s many conversations with Laurel and those close to him, this biography paints an appealing portrait of a warm and generous man – a man who left a rich but simple legacy to millions: laughter.

Softcover – 221 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 13,5 cm (8,5 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 343 g (12,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Robson Books, Ltd., London, 1975 – ISBN 0-86051-635-0

The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (Walter Goodman; foreword by Richard H. Rovere)

goodman-walter-the-committee“If the House Committee on Un-American Activities had not been invented, there would be no good reason for it to exist. But exist it does, and this chronicle is designed neither as polemic nor, emphatically, as apologetics. That is not to suggest that I am lacking in opinions about the Committee and all that it has represented for three decades; the reader will have to go no great distance before he can clear me of that crime at least. But while I would be dismayed at a charge of indifference, it was never my principal intention to produce a document for service in the fitful campaign for abolition. Such documents have been produced, on both sides of the case, and whatever their individual merits, all are hobbled by constraints endemic to the form. Still, a reader approaching a book on so controversial a subject is entitled to know something of the author’s stance. As a liberal – I confess it, though I fear to think what the word may convey to any given reader – I find myself fraternally troubled by the dilemma which the Committee has from the first constituted for liberals in this country. The Communists, despising us, have exploited our good names for their own interests. The hunters of Communists, despising us, have offended our dearest beliefs and attacked our cherished causes. We can, it seems to me, do nothing but bear up – continue to oppose the Committee, continue to champion the political freedoms of persons who, we know, mock us for soft-headedness, and make clear that we are doing so not out of misplaced affection for totalitarians of the left but out of reverence for liberty. How liberals have reacted to the Committee’s recurrent challenges is one theme of this book, but not the theme. That is not so readily summarized. I began my research in the belief that the Committee’s activities have a good deal to tell us about the nation that has endured them for thirty years, the system that has sustained them, and the times to which they have lent inimitable color. I complete the writing with the hope that some of this may be found in these pages.” – Walter Goodman

Probably no institution in American life has aroused more angry opposition or more fervent support than the House Committee on Un-American Activities. And few have reflected so symptomatically the changing political currents of the past three decades – from the last days of the New Deal to the waning of the Cold War.

This engrossing book is the first attempt to look at the Committee’s long, turbulent career with a cold eye, and to tell its history not as friend or enemy, but as concerned observer. Here is the whole panoply of memorable events and characters: the anti-Nazi Sam Dickstein, the Committee’s founding father; the shrewd back-country demagogue Martin Dies; the ineffable John Rankin and the egregious J. Parnell Thomas; Hiss and Chambers in their dramatic confrontation; the Hollywood Ten; Richard Nixon and Eleanor Roosevelt; Harry Dexter White and G. Racey Jordan; Bishop Oxnam and Harold Velde; Francis Walter and Arthur Miller; the Klan’s Robert Shelton and Joe Pool; the crowded gallery of “Fifth Amendment” witnesses. In short, all the people who have run the Committee or collided with it over the years. Mr. Goodman also assesses the sources of the Committee’s power, the issues it has raised for civil liberties, its accomplishments (such as they were), and the anguished response of the liberal community.

As Richard H. Rovere writes in his Foreword: “The Committee is far more than a history of the Committee. It is a work that contributes greatly to our understanding of the American Left in the mid-twentieth century and also, to a slightly lesser extent, of the American Right. Mr. Goodman deals sharply with both these movements, and I suspect that some of his younger readers will be impatient with him for the even-handedness of his contempt for the Stalinist Left and the yahoo Right. These of us who want Jefferson’s America to survive and perhaps in time prevail will find guidance and a fortifying good humor in this admirable book.”

WALTER GOODMAN was born in New York City and received his B.A. degree in Economics from Syracuse University and his M.A. in Philosophy from Reading University in England. His reviews and articles have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Life, The New Republic, Commentary, Redbook, and The American Scholar. He is the author of two earlier books about contemporary American life: The Clowns of Commerce, a report on the world of advertising, and All Honorable Men, a study of ethics in big business, politics, and the mass media. Mr. Goodman lives with his wife and two sons in Greenburgh, New York.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 564 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 1.040 g (38,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, New York, 1968

Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company (Harry Carey, Jr.)

Autographed copy All the best to you and Yanzi – Harry Carey Jr. 7-’95

Carey, Jr, Harry - Company of HeroesWhen Harry Carey, Sr., died in 1947, director John Ford cast Carey’s 26 year-old son, Harry, Jr. in the role of The Abilene Kid in 3 Godfathers. Ford and the elder Carey had filmed an earlier version of the story, and Ford dedicated the Technicolor remake to his memory.

Company Of Heroes is the story of the making of that film, as well as the eight subsequent Ford classics. In it, Harry Carey, Jr., casts a remarkably observant eye on the process of filming Westerns by one of the true masters of the form. From She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Wagonmaster to The Searchers and Cheyenne Autumn, he shows the care, tedium, challenge, and exhilaration of movie-making at it’s highest level. It is the most intimate look of John Ford at work ever written.

He also gives us insightful and original portraits of the men and women who were part of Ford’s vision of America: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, and Ben Johnson. Funny, insightful, and brutally honest, Company Of Heroes is a rip-roaring good read that presents the remarkable life story of Harry Carey, Jr., and his many and continuing fine performances.

HARRY CAREY, Jr. was born in Saugus, Califomia. He has appeared in over 100 feature films and scores of television shows. His screen credits include 3 Godfathers, The Searchers, Wagonmaster, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, and five other John Ford films. His recent films include The Long Riders, The Whales Of August, Crossroads and Tombstone. He and his wife Marilyn live in Durango, Colorado. Company Of Heroes is his first book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 218 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 508 g (18,3 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1994 – ISBN 0-8108-2865-0

Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1979 (Vincent Terrace)

terrace-vincent-complete-encyclopedia-of-television-programs-1947-1979The only complete, photographic guide to all network and syndicated TV shows, both prime-time and all other times, including “soaps,” children’s shows, game shows, cartoons, talk shows, etc., as well as prime-time adventure shows, spies, Westerns, comedies, crime and police shows, and all other categories.

“Here, at last is the definitive historical compendium of network and syndicated television programs and series from the dim days of the mid-forties to last season. Vincent Terrace has labored arduously to present a worthwhile reference work, one that is entertaining as well. He has succeeded.” – Berkeley Independent / Gazette

The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1979 is an invaluable reference work, a delight to leaf through, and an absolute must for the true TV fan. Besides that, it’ll make you an expert the next time you get into a trivia battle with a friend.” – Albuquerque Journal

Softcover – 589 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 17,5 cm (9,8 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 1.020 g (36 oz) – PUBLISHER A.S. Barnes & Company, New York, New York, 1980

The Complete Films of Frank Capra (Victor Scherle, William Turner Levy)

scherle-victor-the-complete-films-of-frank-capra“In 1939, after winning five Academy Awards (one more was yet to come), Capra left Columbia Pictures for total independence as a filmmaker. Then from 1942 through 1945, he served the people of the United States in a very special way, by making orientation films for the armed forces. His success won him the respect of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, even of Marshal Stalin – and, more importantly for him, the friendship of a great American, General George C. Marshall.

Capra returned to a changed Hollywood, made several estimable pictures, including his own all-time favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life, four science films for television, and a film for New York’s 1964-65 World’s Fair, and then retired. Retired? Not quite. He wrote his autobiography and now fills his days attending showings of his films and answering questions about their making – all over the world. Chiefly, he enjoys spreading the doctrine of optimism to American college students; but in Canada, Britain, France, India, Iran – everywhere – he answers the call of young people, of film festivals, of the State Department. An ambassador of American verve and a symbol of the American dream come true, Frank Capra continues to serve his nation and his art.

This, then, is the record of the work of a man who felt that no two pictures were alike, that each was a living part of his perception. He was inseparably bound to the world celluloid made possible, and he could function best in the vortex that is directing – a general in charge of a technical army that assisted him in creating a unique result. He sought the right themes: ‘Drama has to do with a man striving to make a choice. Which way will it go? When we want to know that,’ he said to the authors, ‘we’re involved.’

He added, ‘And actors are the only way directors can communicate with the audience. I remember countless inspired moments when an actor’s character would really come alive because the actor added that extra something a director couldn’t foresee. I loved them for that!’” – From the chapter ‘Frank Capra’s Wonderful Life.’

Softcover – 278 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 942 g (33,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1992 – ISBN 0-8065-1296-2

The Complete Films of Laurence Olivier (Jerry Vermilye)

vermilye-jerry-the-complete-films-of-laurence-olivier“Was he really, in his lifetime, the greatest living actor? Quite likely he was. It would be a hard title to disprove. Nevertheless, it would seem that Laurence Olivier did it all. Blessed in his prime with the sort of striking good looks that, coupled with an excellent speaking voice and physique, can assure an actor of longevity as a leading man of all the entertainment media, Laurence Olivier was not satisfied to ride to success on his surface attributes. Unimpressed by his own appearance (long-standing dissatisfaction with his nose moved him to sport a wide succession of false ones in many of his roles), the actor had no wish to ride to beckoning Hollywood fame in his youth as a second-string Ronald Colman, despite a remote resemblance to the older British actor. Instead, he realized the more fascinating challenges of so-called ‘character’ acting and, by the early forties, this barely thirty-plus young movie star was already portraying middle-aged romantic roles in hit movies like Rebecca (1940) and That Hamilton Woman (1941), as well as such foreign-accented younger parts as the French-Canadian trapper of 49th Parallel (1941) and the visiting Russian engineer of The Demi-Paradise (1943). In Carrie (1952), Olivier had his first American role, and in The Beggar’s Opera (1953), he raised his own, untrained singing voice in a costume musical. At thirty-seven, with a thorough background in Shakespearean theatre, Olivier moved into territory where no predecessor had succeeded – not only starring in a major film version of the Bard’s Henry V (1944) but directing it as well – and all of this accomplished under the most difficult and challenging of times, for Britain was, of course, embroiled in World War II.

An outwardly modest man of sound breeding and well-controlled temperament, Laurence Olivier was nevertheless forced to contend with the praise and acclaim attendant on a multitude of acting awards, apart from the signal honor of knighthood at forty, and a peer of the realm, earning the (unprecedented for an actor) title of Lord Olivier in 1970, aged sixty-three.

Despite three marriages – all to actresses – and four children, acting remained, if not his greatest love, his eternal mistress. And, when the tribulations of age, disease, and physical infirmity precluded the repetitive demands of stage performance, Olivier shifted his thespian commitments exclusively to films and television. There, despite a paucity of parts worthy of his talents, he continued to work, painful and debilitating illness notwithstanding. To inquisitive interviewers, he said he did it for the money – that he needed it to support his young, second family. But those who knew him best realized that it was the work that kept him going – that, absolutely refusing to retire, helped him reach the ripe age of eighty-two.

Most probably, Laurence Olivier’s greatest acting accomplishments occurred in the living theatre. But, of course, those performances are dust, remaining only in the mortal memories of those who were present at the time. We have only the old theatrical programs and production photographs as evidence that such events ever happened. Otherwise, the wide spectrum of Olivier’s incredible talent, range, and professional daring continues to be available for evaluation as long as the existence of film and video.” – From the chapter ‘Laurence Olivier.’

Softcover – 287 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 936 g (33 oz) – PUBLISHER Carol Publishing Group, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-8065-1302-0

Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood (Mick LaSalle)

scannen0297Between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema were modern. They took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women acted only after 1968.

Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties – good or bad – sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars came along and blasted away these stereotypes. Garbo turned the femme fatale into a woman whose capacity for love and sacrifice made all other human emotions seem pale. Meanwhile, Norma Shearer succeeded in taking the ingenue to a place she’d never been: the bedroom. Garbo and Shearer took the stereotypes and made them complicated.

In the wake of these complicated women came others, a deluge of indelible stars – Constance Bennett, Ruth Chatterton, Mae Clarke, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich, Kay Francis, Ann Harding, Jean Harlow, Miriam Hopkins, Dorothy Mackaill, Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West, and Loretta Young – who all came into their own during the pre-Code era. These women pushed the limits and shaped their images along modern lines.

Then, in July 1934, the draconian Production Code became the law in Hollwood and these modern women of the screen were banished, not to be seen again until the Code was repealed three decades later.

Mick LaSalle, film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, takes readers on a tour of pre-Code films and reveals how this was the true Golden Age of women’s films, and how the movies of the pre-Code are still worth watching. The bold, pioneering, and complicated women of the pre-Code era are about to take their place in the pantheon of film history, and America is about to reclaim a rich legacy.

MICK LASALLE is the film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and teaches a class at the University of California at Berkeley on pre-Code film. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 293 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 647 g (22,82 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-312-25207-2

Concious Creation: Directing Energy to Get the Life You Want (Dee Wallace)

scannen0335One of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses, Dee Wallace shares her amazing journey to healing and happiness in her groundbreaking work, Conscious Creation. Best known for her role as the mother in E.T. – The Extraterrestrial, Wallace relates her inspiring story of finding the path “back home.”

We are all creating. Every thought, belief and action is a creation, but most of us are not creating consciously. From the commercials of disease and remedies that we are inundated with to conversations of lack and fear we have over coffee, most of us are unconsciously focusing our energy to create the very things we don’t want. When we say, “I am ___,” it directs the Universe to create that statement. It is time we became victors, not victims. Conscious Creation is easy: when we consciously choose to love ourselves, live in love, celebrate our power, demonstrate our abundance, and contribute positively to the creative force, there is nothing we cannot experience as joy and success. We are created magnificent. Choose to know that. Choose to be conscious of creating your life. Choose. Love. Demonstrate. Celebrate. You are here to be happy.

DEE WALLACE is an international actress, speaker, and healer. Known for her starring role as the mother in E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, her credits include more than one hundred films and several television series. Wallace has appeared on numerous talk shows including Oprah, The O’Reilly Factor and Good Morning America.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 132 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 402 g (14,18 oz) – PUBLISHER iUniverse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-595-50714-6

Confessions of an Actor: An Autobiography (Laurence Olivier)

olivier-laurence-confessions-of-an-actorIn this long-awaited autobiography, Laurence Olivier describes his eventful public and private life as only he can. The most admired and daring performer of his age, Olivier is naturally best remembered for his great classic roles at the Old Vic, and for his magnificent Shakespearean films Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III, but it was with Rebecca and Wuthering Heights that he also became an international film star of the first rank – a position he has constantly reaffirmed in contemporary roles, from Archie Rice in The Entertainer to Lord Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited. In farce, melodrama and comedy, too, his mercurial brilliance has been recognizable behind an astonishing variety of disguises. His pre-eminence and commanding presence have made him the foremost actor of our day.

Yet, while his autobiography is a compelling and wonderfully illuminating account of a unique and triumphant professional life, full of deep insights and wonderful show business anecdotes about Olivier’s many decades of work in the theater and films, it is also a profoundly moving and passionately personal account of his own emotional life – his childhood; his first marriage, to Jill Esmond; the tempestuous relationship with Vivien Leigh; and his deeply fulfilling marriage to Joan Plowright. Advance reviewers have hailed the book for its “startlingly frank revelations” – particularly the details of the long stormy love affair and marriage of Olivier and Vivien Leigh.

Seldom has any great figure of the theater written with such passion, affection, candor and wit about his countless friends and colleagues. Most of his close relationships have grown from his work. He first met his lifelong friends Ralph Richardson and Noël Coward at rehearsals more than fifty years ago. He recalls, too, all the great stars of stage and screen he has known, including the Lunts, Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Danny Kaye, John Mills, Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock.

With insight and humor, Olivier retells the story of his glittering sixty-year career – as an actor, as a filmmaker whose revolutionary innovations in motion picture technique have made Shakespeare a living experience for countless moviegoers, as a director and producer whose stewardship of the National Theatre of England renewed a noble tradition and introduced some of the greatest modern masterpieces into the English repertoire.

Confessions of an Actor is the story of a life that has combined the heights of artistic endeavor with the rivalry and glamour of show business in a way that is unique. No other classical actor has been such a dazzling star. No other star has been such a magnificent actor. His memoirs are filled with “an unabashed self-delight that remains undimmed at 75.”

Hardcover, dust jacket – 348 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 573 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1982 – ISBN 0-671-41701-0

Confessions of a Sex Kitten (Eartha Kitt)

kitt-eartha-confessions-of-a-sex-kittenOrson Welles called her “The most exciting woman in the world.” He was talking about the legendary Eartha Kitt – the pioneer black entertainer who broke race and sex barriers while shocking and seducing audiences around the world.

In these pages, this stunning, sexy, fiercely independent woman relates the story of her extraordinary life. It’s a life in which she was closely involved with personalities as varied as Sammy Davis Jr., Orson Welles and her “soulmate,” James Dean. In forceful articulate prose, Ms. Kitt reveals how a combination of talent, steel nerves and  occasional visits from a lady named Luck lifted her from a childhood split between rural poverty in South Carolina and Harlem. “I have no idea how old I am,” she writes. “Believe it or not, I have no paper that says I was ever born. Maybe that’s why they call me a legend, because I don’t really exist.” A self-made Cinderella, this orphan from the backwoods takes us on an unforgettable journey of her often harrowing life. Each success seemed to be shadowed by tragedies including treacherous lovers, jealous rivals, and crooked night-club owners.

She suffered – and, as she readily acknowledges, sometimes enjoyed – the conflicts of a great talent tucked into the body of the classic “sex kitten” – a role she played with gusto, as when she appeared as the Catwoman on the Batman television series.

Eartha Kitt involved herself in taking what she saw as “the right path” – an uncompromising integrity that led her into conflict with the Black Panthers, when she supported the non-violence movement of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and with Lyndon B. Johnson, when she took a very public, very early stance against the Vietnam War. When she spoke out at a White House lunch hosted by Lady Bird Johnson in January 1968, her remarks were heard around the world. In return, she was branded a “sadistic nymphomaniac ” by the CIA.

For years after that incident, she had difficulty in getting work in the American entertainment industry. Still she persevered. She recorded gold records and Number #1 hits, among them classics such as Santa Baby, Old Fashioned Girl and I’m Still Here. She taught herself to sing in ten languages including Turkish and Hebrew – and when she wanted to learn about the new physics, she tracked down Albert Einstein in Princeton for a one-on-one interview.

Blacklisted by Lyndon Johnson and the CIA, she survived by becoming a headliner all over again in England – but never gave up her American residency or citizenship.  Today Eartha Kitt has come into her own. She is acclaimed one of the world’s best all-around female entertainers of any color. She has won awards and nominations for her work on stage and in film, both as an actress and as a singer, And when you read her compelling story in Confessions of a Sex Kitten, you’ll understand how she got that way and why she is very different and never dull.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Barricade Books, Inc., London, 1989 – ISBN 0-942637-33-X

Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Genre (edited by Jay Beck, Vicente Rodríguez Ortega)

Contemporary Spanish cinema and genreThis volume is the first English-language collection exclusively dedicated to the study of genre in relation to Spanish cinema. Providing a variety of critical perspectives, the collection gives the reader a thorough account of the relationship between Spanish cinema and genre, drawing on case studies of several of the most remarkable Spanish films in recent years.

The book analyses the significant changes in the aesthetics, production and reception of Spanish film from 1990 onwards. It brings together European and North American scholars to establish a critical dialogue on the topics under discussion, while providing multiple perspectives on the concepts of national cinemas and genre theory.

In recent years film scholarship has attempted to negotiate the tension between the nationally specific and the internationally ubiquitous in discussing how globalisation has influenced film making and surrounding cultural practice. These broader social concerns have prompted scholars to emphasise a redefinition of national cinemas beyond strict national boundaries and to pay attention to the transnational character of any national site of film production and reception. Paying close attention to the specifics of the Spanish cinematic and social panorama, the essays investigate the transnational economic, cultural and aesthetic forces at play in shaping Spanish film genres today.

JAY BECK is Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University. VICENTE RODRÍGUEZ ORTEGA is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Drama and Film at Vassar College.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 310 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2008 – ISBN 978 07190 7775 3

The Continental Actress: European Film Stars of the Postwar Era – Biographies, Criticism, Filmographies, Bibliographies (Kerry Segrave, Linda Martin)

segrave-kerry-the-continental-actressTable of contents – Italian actresses; Anna Magnani, Silvana Mangano, Giulietta Masina, Pier Angeli, Gina Lollobrigida, Elsa Martinelli, Virna Lisi, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Vitti, Laura Antonelli.

Greek actresses: Irene Papas, Melina Mercouri.

French actresses: Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Anouk Aimée, Leslie Caron, Brigitte Bardot, Capucine, Françoise Dorléac, Marie-France Pisier, Maria Schneider, Dominique Sanda, Isabelle Hupert, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Fanny Ardant.

German actresses: Maria Schell, Romy Schneider, Senta Berger, Elke Sommer, Hanna Schygulla, Nastassja Kinski.

Scandinavian actresses: Ingrid Thulin, Harriet Anderson, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullman, Anita Ekberg, Britt Ekland.

Hardcover – 314 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 603 g (21,3 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1990 – ISBN 0-89950-510-4

Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era (edited and introduced by Matthew Bernstein)

bernstein-matthew-controlling-hollywood“We currently take for granted the fact that most films made in Hollywood today are created and shown without hindrance. It was not always so. Throughout the history of American movies, there have been countless, often furious struggles to control or influence what could be produced and what could be seen. The cinema has been the most frequent target of the censoring impulse in this century because partly film was the first visual and aural mass entertainment form of the twentieth century, and its power seemed overwhelming. Moreover, film was the most popular mass medium during its first fifty years.

This volume explores some of these many efforts at censorship and self-regulation, in the belief that Americans should neither forget nor dismiss the colorful and varied history of attempts to control the film industry simply because today other media (television, rap music, the internet) occupy what was film’s hotly contested position. Movies still generate vigorous controversy from time to time as part of what has come to be called “the culture wars.” Moreover, we know a great deal about those historic efforts concerning movies, which have many similarities – and enormous relevance – to current debate about those media. And, of course, we have much more to learn.

Scholars usually distinguish broadly between two kinds of control over movie content. One is external to the film industry. Historically, it took the official form of state and city censors (the film industry called this “local” or “political” censorship), who to some degree reflected a consensus of values and attitudes held by a dominant group in that locale. In cinema’s earliest years, official censorship could involve theater licensing. But beginning with Chicago in 1907, it entailed a government body that assessed the moral qualities of particular films – the “prurient” sexuality of Jane Russell’s character in The Outlaw (1942 and 1946), for example, or the unsettling “social equality among the races” in Lost Boundaries (1949).

Often such boards were created in response to public protests against the films, either nationally or locally. Be they women’s committees of the teens in the 1920s, the Catholic Legion of Decency from the 1930s to the 1960s, or diverse “cultural identity” groups of the 1980s, protest groups could and did bring varying degrees of pressure and persuasion to bear on the movie studios in an attempt to regulate their movie content.” – From The Introduction.

Hardcover – 292 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 613 g (21,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1999 – ISBN 0-8135-2706-6

Conversations in the Raw: Dialogues, Monologues, and Selected Short Subjects (Rex Reed)

Reed, Rex - Conversations in the Raw“I don’t know what people expect her to be like from the roles she plays, but she’s no fading Colette heroine. She’s no femme fatale either. The tender qualities she showed in her early films are only youthful memories now. Her manner is tough. There’s a rough, fruit-peel texture to her skin. A hard smile braces the edges of her mouthher hair is rinsed into an unstylish mop with a mind of its own, and maybe it’s my imagination, but the air around her table seems slightly blue, possibly from being sprayed with so many four-letter words.”

The description is of Simone Signoret, and there’s only one interviewer in the world who could have written it: Rex Reed. Reed, whom Time magazine calls “the most entertaining new journalist in America,” completely revolutionized the old game of interviewing celebrities with his unblinkingly candid and often savage portraits that have appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and in his earlier best-selling book, Do You Sleep in the Nude?

Whether it’s Bette Davis opening up about her problems with men, or Oskar Werner confessing his own superiority; whether it’s Patty Duke describing her childhood, or Leslie Caron fending off Warren Beatty’s telephone interruptions by telling him to walk around the block; whether it’s Jon Voight talking about male hustlers in the 42nd Street area trying to pick him up, or Patricia Neal reliving the nightmare of three near-fatal strokes… all the close-ups in this book have one thing in common: Rex Reed has managed to capture his subjects in those oft-guard moments when they are most truly themselves.

Read Conversations in the Raw and pick your own favorites. Discover why the Boston Globe has said: “Reading Rex Reed is like going to a party where he’s the host and half the celebrities are loathsome. half are lovely, and the lot is pretty damned lively.”

[Interviews with Bette Davis, Ruth Gordon, Jane Wyman, Ingrid Bergman, Myrna Loy, Uta Hagen, Simone Signoret, Patricia Neal, Zoe Caldwell, Oskar Werner, Colleen Dewhurst, Irene Papas, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joseph Losey, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Jean Seberg, Mart Crowley, Leslie Caron, Burt Bacharach, George Sanders, James Earl Jones, China Machado, Oliver Reed, Jon Voight, Carol White, Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, Patty Duke]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 15 cm (8,7 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 554 g (19,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The World Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1969

Conversations With Capote (Lawrence Grobel; foreword by James A. Michener)

grobel-lawrence-conversations-with-capoteIn these extraordinary conversations, recorded over the last two years of Truman Capote’s life, the genius that elevated talk to art and gossip to literature lives on. The unique voice that emerges from these pages will capture you instantly, hold you bedazzled to the last razor-tipped barb and brilliant insight, and like the finest of Capote’s writings, leave you both exhilarated and moved.

Only Capote could divulge what he does in the way that he does about such figures as John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Norman Mailer, Montgomery Clift, André Gide, Marilyn Monroe, Lee Radziwill, Tennessee Williams, Lee Harvey Oswald, J.D. Salinger, and Elizabeth Taylor, to mention but a few of the rich, the famous, the powerful, and the notorious whom Capote captures in often shocking – and always revealing – anecdotes and personal opinions.

Equally candid and illuminating are Capote’s revelations about himself – his childhood and early fame, his difficulties with drugs and alcohol, his homosexuality, his assessment of his talent and his work, including the story of the writing of In Cold Blood and its aftermath. Here, too, are his hard-as-diamond views of what makes writing good, who among his fellow writers have attained that standard, and who he thinks the biggest phonies are.

Between July 16, 1982, when he first met Truman Capote, and August 25, 1984, when Capote died, writer Lawrence Grobel had many sessions with Capote for what they both agreed would be the definitive in-depth interview with the great writer. Tragically, it also turned out to be his last. Here, published for the first time, is the remarkable result of those conversations. As startling, candid, and controversial as the man himself, Conversations With Capote takes its place as a key part of the Capote legacy. People will be reading and talking about this book for a long time to come.

LAWRENCE GROBEL has been called “The Interviewer’s Interviewer” by Playbay magazine, for which he has done 15 interviews, including ones with Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Barbra Streisand, Henry Fonda, Patricia Hearst, Joan Collins, and John Huston. In addition, he is the author of stories, articles, and screenplays, and has recently completed a novel. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 244 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER New American Library, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-453-00494-6

Conversations With Joan Crawford (Roy Newquist; introduction by John Springer)

newquist-roy-conversations-with-joan-crawford-hardcoverFrom 1962, when they first met, until the last few months of her life, author Roy Newquist interviewed Joan Crawford on more than twenty occasions. In 1977 he secured her assistance in editing a portion of their interviews for a McCall’s Magazine feature. She was of great help in preparing the story, but died before the issue appeared.

In the complete interviews Joan Crawford emerges as a woman who will surprise those familiar with her life and career, to say nothing of the countless readers who relished her daughter’s revelations in Mommie Dearest. Without fear or inhibition, Miss Crawford discusses her career in depth, the films she respects and those she acknowledges as “bombs.” She speaks in detail about her husbands, all four of them, and her lovers (including her marathon friendship with Clark Gable, a relationship which continued until his death). She talks frankly about her days at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and at Warner Bros., about her fellow players and her leading men, which included almost every male star in the Hollywood roster. She talks about her children, providing the background for her daughter’s treatment of her in Mommie Dearest. She talks about her days with her last husband, Alfred Steele, and the loneliness of her final years in her east side New York apartment.

The portrait we see is that of an honest, strong-willed, tough woman, a loyal friend and an implacable enemy. Her longtime friendships were legendary. She even replied personally to every Christmas card sent her. When they last met, just a few months before her death, Newquist told her about the forthcoming McCall’s feature. She shrugged and asked, “Why bother? The only important parts of me are on film.” Newquist does not believe she was entirely correct. And when you read this book, neither will you.

ROY NEWQUIST has been a prolific feature writer for such diverse publications as the Chicago Tribune and the Palm Springs Life. In the course of a long career he has interviewed dozens of film stars as well as social, political and sports luminaries. When Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy filmed Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, Newquist was on the set almost every day of shooting. His interviews with the stars were published in a successful book, A Very Special Friendship. Mr. Newquist now works and lives on the West Coast.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 175 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15 cm (9,3 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 511 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1980 – ISBN 0-8065-0720-9

Conversations With John Schlesinger (Ian Buruma)

Buruma, Ian - Conversations With John SchlesingerThe British director John Schlesinger was one of the cinema’s most dynamic and influential artists. Now, in Conversations With John Schlesinger, acclaimed writer Ian Buruma, Schlesinger’s nephew, reveals the director’s private world in a series of in-depth interviews conducted in the later years of the director’s life.

Here they discuss the impact of Schlesinger’s personal life on his art. As his films so readily demonstrate, Schlesinger is a wonderful storyteller, and he serves up fascinating and provocative recollections of growing up in a Jewish family during World War II, his sexual coming-of-age as a gay man in conformist 1950s England, his emergence as an artist in the “Swinging 60s,” and the roller-coaster ride of his career as one of the most prominent Hollywood directors of his time.

Schlesinger also discusses his artistic philosophy and approach to filmmaking, recounting stories from the sets of his masterpieces, including Midnight Cowboy; Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Marathon Man; and The Day of the Locust. He shares what it was like to direct such stars as Dustin Hoffman, John Voight, Sean Penn, Madonna, and Julie Christie (whom Schlesinger is credited with discovering) and offers his thoughts on the fickle nature of fame and success in Hollywood.

Packed with wit and keen insight into the artistic mind, Conversations With John Schlesinger is not just the candid story of a dynamic and eventful life but the true measure of an extraordinary person.

Softcover – 177 pp. – Dimensions 20 x 13 cm (7,9 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 171 g (6,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 0-375-75763-5

Conversations With Marilyn (W. J. Weatherby)

Weatherby, W J - Conversations with Marilyn“Most of this book is based on two dusty, fading old shorthand notebooks that contained long accounts of conversations I had with Marilyn Monroe toward the end of her life.

I first met her in Reno in 1960, two years before she died, when she was making what was to be her last movie, The Misfits. I was a newspaper reporter covering the event. She knew then that we were meeting so that I could write about her, and she was suitably cautious – or as cautious as she ever was. But later, when I came to know her better in New York, we met on the understanding that we were talking privately and that I wouldn’t write about it, at least not then, and she was more relaxed and forthcoming.

We used to meet in a bar on Eighth Avenue, a plain place for real drinkers who liked their money’s worth in the glass and didn’t care much about the surroundings; not a place where you would expect to find a movie star. She was invariably in disguise, usually wearing a head scarf, a blouse, sloppy pants, and no makeup. I hadn’t recognized her the first time I saw her dressed that way in Reno, and she was seldom recognized in New York when I was with her.” – From chapter 1.

Softcover – 229 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 13,5 cm (8,1 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 307 g (10,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Paragon House, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 1-55778-512-0

Conversations With Marlon Brando (Lawrence Grobel)

Grobel, Lawrence - Conversations with Marlon BrandoIn 1978, Lawrence Grobel achieved the impossible: he secured an interview with Marlon Brando. Not only that – he was invited to spend ten days on Brando’s Pacific island where guarded conversation soon relaxed into freewheeling discussion round a surprisingly diverse range of topics, from bad directing to women. A portion of this extraordinarily candid material was used in a Playboy article at the time, but until now the full interview has not been published. It forms, together with subsequent conversations with Brando and Grobel’s own astute observations of the man, the actor, the husband, the father in crisis, a unique insight into the towering talent and the ferociously private man.

Brando reveals how and why he came to be so reclusive, what he hates about myth-making, stars who endorse politicians and the ‘monster’ Charlie Chaplin. He also explains what he respects about the American Indian, slapstick comedy and Elia Kazan. His opinions on books, God, suing people, drugs (which he doesn’t take), fatherhood and the ‘crazy viscosity of some people’s saliva’ turn an exclusive interview into a spectacularly unpredictable one. Also well captured are tranquil picnics, games with children, and ham-radio evenings on the island.

Marlon Brando emerges as a fascinating hybrid – of the serious and the impish, the intellectual and the intuitive, the solitary and the hugely public. Above all, he is reluctant and roguish but superbly incisive communicator.

LAWRENCE GROBEL is the author of The Hustons, of which Frederic Raphael wrote in the Sunday Times, ‘a delicious, wicked guide’ and which J.P. Donleavy thought ‘quite marvellous,’ and Conversations With Capote for which he was given a special achievement award by the Los Angeles Chapter of Pen. Grobel lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 176 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 450 g (15,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Bloomsbury Publishing, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 0 7475 0816 X

Conversations With the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age at the American Film Institute (George Stevens, Jr.)

stevens-jr-george-conversations-with-the-great-moviemakersThe first book to bring together the interviews of master moviemakers from the American Film Institute’s renowned seminars – a series that has been in existence for almost forty years, since the founding of the Institute itself. Here are the legendary directors, producers, cinematographers and writers – the great pioneers, the great artists – whose work led the way in the early days of moviemaking and still survives from what was the twentieth century’s art form. The book is edited – with commentaries – by George Stevens, Jr., founder of the American Film Institute and the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies’ Harold Lloyd Master Seminar series. Here talking about their work, their art – picture making in general – are directors from King Vidor, Howard Hawks and Fritz Lang (“I learned only from bad films”) to William Wyler, George Stevens and David Lean. Here, too, is Hal B. Wallis, one of Hollywood’s great motion picture producers; legendary cinematographers Stanley Cortez, who shot, among other pictures, The Magnificent Ambersons, Since You Went Away and Shock Corridor and George Folsey, who was the cameraman on more than 150 pictures, from Animal Crackers and Marie Antoinette to Meet Me in St. Louis and Adam’s Rib; and the equally celebrated James Wong Howe. Here is the screenwriter Ray Bradbury, who wrote the script for John Huston’s Moby Dick; Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, and the admired Ernest Lehman, who wrote the screenplays for Sabrina, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and North by Northwest (“One day Hitchcock said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do a chase across the face of Mount Rushmore.”‘). And here, too, are Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini (“Making a movie is a mathematical operation. It’s absolutely impossible to improvise”).

The conversations gathered together – and published for the first time – are full of wisdom, movie history and ideas about picture making, about working with actors, about how to tell a story in words and movement. A sample of what the moviemakers have to teach us: Elia Kazan, on translating a play to the screen: “With A Streetcar Named Desire we worked hard to open it up and then went back to the play because we’d lost all the compression. In the play, these people were trapped in a room with each other. As the story progressed, I took out little flats, and the set got smaller and smaller.” Ingmar Bergman on writing: “For half a year I had a picture inside my head of three women walking around in a red room with white clothes. I couldn’t understand why these damned women were there, I tried to throw it away… find out what they said to each other because they whispered. It came out that they were watching another woman dying. Then the screenplay started – but it took about a year. The script always starts with a picture.” Jean Renoir on actors: “The truth is, if you discourage an actor you may never find him again. An actor is an animal, extremely fragile. You get a little expression, it is not exactly what you wanted, but it’s alive. It’s something human.” And Alfred Hitchcock – on Hitchcock: “Give [the audience] pleasure, the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”

GEORGE STEVENS, Jr., is an award-winning writer, director and producer, and founder of the American Film Institute. He has received eleven Emmys, two Peabody Awards and seven Writers Guild of America Awards for his television productions, including the annual Kennedy Center Honors, The Murder of Mary Phagan and Separate but Equal. His production The Thin Red Line was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture. He worked with his father, acclaimed director George Stevens, on his productions of Shane, Giant and The Diary of Anne Frank and in 1962 was named head of the United States Information Agency’s motion picture division by Edward R. Murrow. Stevens was director of the AFI from 1967 until 1980, before returning to film and television production. He lives in Washington, D.C.

[Interviews with Ray Bradbury, Richard Brooks, Frank Capra, William Clothier, Stanley Cortez, George Cukor, Federico Fellini, George Folsey, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, James Wong Howe, John Huston, Elia Kazan, Gene Kelly, Stanley Kramer, Fritz Lang, David Lean, Ernest Lehman, Mervyn LeRoy, Harold Lloyd, Rouben Mamoulian, Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir, George Stevens, King Vidor, Hal B. Wallis, Raoul Walsh, Billy Wilder, Robert Wise, William Wyler, Fred Zinnemann]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 710 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.190 g (42 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2006 – ISBN 1-4000-4054-X

Coppola (Peter Cowie)

Cowie, Peter - CoppolaNo director expresses the drive and invention of the new American cinema so brilliantly as Francis Coppola. At the age of 32 he became a superstar in Hollywood with his gangster movie, The Godfather, which rapidly climbed to the top of the all-time box-office hits. Two years later, he won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festval for The Conversation, and his savage epic of the Vietnam war, Apocalypse Now, established Coppola as the most visionary and charismatic film-maker of his generation.

This first major portrait of Coppola, the man and the movie-maker, goes behind the cameras to track the creative and financial turmoil involved in his productions. Peter Cowie has spent three years researching this project, interviewing Coppola’s friends and colleagues, analyzing a man who by 1982 had won five personal Academy Awards and was over $ 20 million in debt following the desastrous failure of One From the Heart.

A superb director of actors, Coppola has introduced such talents as Frederic Forrest, Matt Dillon, Nicolas Cage, Talia Shire, and Tom Cruise. Many of the greatest screen actors of the past twenty years have done their finest work in his films: Brando in The Godfather, Gene Hackman in The Conversation, Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, Jeff Bridges in Tucker, Robert Duvall in just about everything.

Peter Cowie paints a vivid and penetrating portrait of a man whose films have a strange knack of mirrowing his own dramatic, sometimes tempestuous, life.

PETER COWIE is founding editor of International Film Guide, the author of books on Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman, as well as histories of film-making in various European countries. He contributes to newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the London Sunday Times and Observer, and Sight and Sound. Peter Cowie is sometime Regents’ Lecturer in Film Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. He was born in the same year as Francis Coppola.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 270 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 739 g (26,1 oz) – PUBLISHER André Deutsch, Ltd., London, 1989 – ISBN 0233 98333 3

Un cri dans le silence: Révolte et nostalgie (Brigitte Bardot)

Bardot, Brigitte - Un cri dans le silenceCe livre choc, sans concession, que Brigitte Bardot a souhaité écrire, seule, à La Madrague, entourée de ses animaux, exprime ses états d’âme actuels: sa révolte face à un monde en perdition et ses illusions perdues.

Sa révolte, car aujourd’hui, la liberté, qu’elle a si bien incarnée dans les années 60, est mise en cage, maltraitée, comme celle des animaux qu’elle défend avec passion. Notre éternelle “star” française, légende vivante, fustige avec ce franc-parler qui la caractérise, notre société, ses lâchetés et ses dérives ; la complicité devant l’injustice, les profiteurs du système, le nivellement par le bas de nos traditions et des valeurs de la France.

Et puis sa nostalgie, car Brigitte, enfin libre et sereine, se souvient de ce temps où, adulée par tous, elle décida que “réussir sa vie”, ce n’était pas seulement “réussir dans la vie” et elle choisissait en solitaire, avec courage et sans regrets, de s’investir dans un combat difficile: la protection animale. Pour retrouver des valeurs essentielles bafouées par l’Etre humain: l’amour et la compassion, le respect et l’harmonie.

Ce cri, son Cri dans le silence, est un formidable appel au bon sens, à la liberté d’expression et à un retour nécessaire vers la confiance et l’espérance.

Softcover – 171 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 14 cm (8,9 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 249 g (8,78 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions du Rocher, Monaco, 2003 – ISBN 2 268 04725

Crucified Heroes: The Films of Sam Peckinpah (Terence Butler)

butler-terence-crucified-heroes-the-films-of-sam-peckinpahSam Peckinpah is so well-known as a director of Westerns that critics have tended to class him as simply another exponent of the American tough guy ethos. Yet far from subscribing wholeheartedly to this, Peckinpah’s work exposes an underlying drama of loneliness and despair. Examining his achievement from this perspective, Terence Butler sees Peckinpah as standing in the forefront of a peculiarly American struggle against a repressive puritanism.

The director’s controversial fascination with violence is seen as the expression of a struggle to transcend isolation. His commitment to a frontier ideal of freedom, while romantic, has contemporary relevance in showing how society can function in order to break people.

TERENCE BUTLER is a teacher of Modern Languages in London and he has written on films for Movie magazine.

Softcover – 125 pp. – Dimensions 20,5 x 15 cm (8,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 298 g (10,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Gordon Fraser, London, 1979 – ISBN 0 86092 009 7

Cruel City: The Dark Side of Hollywood’s Rich & Famous (Marianne Ruuth)

scannen0012Hollywood. The name itself has been a beacon for the ambitious since the world of film first established itself in the California hills. For generations, the young, the beautiful and the talented have flocked to the coast of California to bask in the sun and seek fame and fortune in the movies. Few – very few – became stars.

In Cruel City, Marianne Ruuth writes of those few, particularly of their disappointments, their despairs and their disasters. Early in the history of the film industry – capitalizing on many filmgoers’ beliefs that Hollywood stars are the characters they portray – Hollywood’s leaders set themselves – and their stars – to adhering to that illusion, aided by a press corps easily as ambitious and manipulated as the stars themselves.

The relationship between Hollywood film studios and the press has, at best, always been an uneasy “marriage of convenience.” Some private lives were laid bare, while others were carefully shielded. Against this sordid panorama, “Fatty” Arbuckle would be crucified by a vehement press: the “Black Dahlia” would be dismembered in a vacant lot; William Desmond Taylor would be murdered and Clara Bow would watch her name dragged across the face of the tabloids to enable her studio to break her contract.

These are the stories Marianne Ruuth has to tell.

Cruel City is the first book of its kind to reveal the control once exerted by the industry, and by the press itself, on the lives and careers of the film greats. Included are the true stories, some harrowing and some saddening, of Inger Stevens, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, D.W. Griffith, Bob Crane, James Dean, Natalie Wood and many others.

Today, the film industry is, for the most part, run by corporate boards of directors with little personal interest in the people who turn out their product beyond the bottom line of the profit and loss statements. In today’s climate of the television blitz, the press is no longer considered a valid manipulative tool.

Marianne Ruuth has created a doorway into yesterday that will present the reader with a slashing, vicious glance at a world that once existed under the Hollywood sun.

MARIANNE RUUTH is the author of The Supremes: Triumph and Tragedy and more than a dozen other books. Formerly president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, she has been widely published in the United States and Europe. A contributing uniter and researcher for The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century and The Chronicle of America, Ms. Ruuth chaired Women In Film International and is a member of MENSA. She resides in Hollywood.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 555 g (19,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Roundtable Publishing, Inc., Malibu, California, 1991 – ISBN 0-915677-48-2

Culver City (Julie Lugo Cerra)

cera-julie-lugo-images-of-america-culver-cityPart Mayberry and part Peyton Place, Culver City has provided the backdrop for Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, Men In Black, Jerry Maguire, The Andy Griffith Show, Batman, Lassie, and the films of Laurel & Hardy. Gwen Verdon grew up here, and so did The Little Rascals. Gene Kelly sang in the rain. Harrison Ford commanded Air Force One. But before glitz and glamour set up shop, the open fields of Culver City were peacefully inhabited by the Gabrielino Indians. Spanish grazing grants of 1819 set the stage for development, and in 1913, Harry Culver announced his ambition to found a city. Two years later, Thomas H. Ince broke ground on Culver City’s first major studio. A star was born.

Images of America: Culver City guides you on a VIP back lot tour of a movie town’s pioneering moments.

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

JULIE LUGO CERRA, the honorary city historian for Culver City, is a sixth-generation Californian with family ties dating back to the founding of the pueblo of Los Angeles. Her previous book, Culver City: Heart of Screenland, is in its second printing.

Softcover – 128 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 324 g (11,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2004 – ISBN 978-0-7385-2893-9

Culver City: The Heart of Screenland  (Julie Lugo Cerra)

Cerra, Julie Lugo - Culver CityThe band of native warriors rowed down the mighty river. The year was 1915, and real estate man Harry Culver was watching Thomas H. Ince film a Western. Fascinated, Culver convinced Ince to relocate his motion picture studio to prime property in fledgling Culver City.

The real natives of this area, the Gabrielino Indians, were long gone. Los Angeles was in the midst of a glitzy, decades-long real estate boom. And Harry Culver, dreamer and entrepreneur, was developing the balanced residential / commercial community that would become known as “The Heart of Screenland.”

In this bright new history of Culver City, author Julie Lugo Cerra captures the community’s past in a narrative brought to life by colorful personalities, events, and facts. Culver City: The Heart of Screenland pans across the decades, with close-ups on the region’s earliest inhabitants, Harry Culver’s city – building efforts, the studios of MGM, Hal Roach, and Thomas H. Ince, and the growth of a contemporary community.

The author’s text is illuminated by more than a hundred black-and-white historical photos and twelve pages of colorful, contemporary plates. A final chapter written by Cynthia Simone spotlights some of the individuals and organizations who have contributed to the building of Culver City and the publication of this commemorative book.

JULIE LUGO CERRA has been collecting data for years about one of her favorite subjects – Culver City. In addition to actively raising funds for community projects, she is a founder of the Culver City Historical Society and has served as president of the society, the Board of Education, and other organizations. She has been honored with numerous community service awards. The author’s dedication to her city grows from deep roots: she is a second-generation native of the city and a sixth-generation Californian descended from the Lugos, a Spanish landgrant family. She is also the owner of a local business, Cerra Enterprises, a communications consulting firm. Julie Lugo Cerra has developed a number of historical tours of the area and is the author of short histories for schools and the historical society. She is the author of the historical overview accompanying the society’s “Game of Culver City.” The author holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Northridge, and has also studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. About the corporate historian, CYNTHIA SIMONE is a business writer specializing in corporate and marketing communications. As an editor, writer, and photographer, her professional experience includes working with a variety of industries. Through Simone Communications, which she established in Orange County in 1982, she provides creative editorial services for clients, many of whom have international interests. Before starting her business, Simone was public relations specialist and senior editor for Chevron Corporation in San Francisco. Her articles have been published in a number of magazines and newspapers. Cynthia Simone is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In addition, she has studied photography at the University of California, Irvine, and international business at the University of Southern California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 164 pp., index – Dimensions 29 x 22 cm (11,4 x 8,7 inch – Weight 894 g (31,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Windsor Publications, Inc., Chatsworth, California, 1999 – ISBN 0-89781-441-X

Cut, Print and That’s a Wrap: A Hollywood Memoir (Paul A. Helmick)

Helmick, Paul A - Cut, Print, and That's a WrapOver the course of his 50 years in the industry, Paul A. Helmick worked behind the camera with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – from directors Howard Hawks and John Ford to movie stars John Wayne, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe. Serving as an assistant director on such films as Monkey Business, Rio Bravo, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How Green Was My Valley, and The Defiant Ones, he recalls the people he worked with at their best, their worst, and their quirkiest, and he relates with wit his career as a major-studio hired gun.

Brimming with anecdotes and photos, this memoir invites the reader behind the scenes of more than two dozen feature films.

Retired from a career in TV and film, PAUL A. HELMICK lives in Grenada Hills, California.

Softcover – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 340 g (12 oz) – PUBLISHER McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2001 – ISBN 0-7864-0845-6

Cybill Disobedience (Cybill Shepherd, with Aimee Lee Ball)

Autographed copy Cybill Shepherd

Shepherd, Cybill - Cybill DisobedienceFew women in the past three decades have lit up the American imagination like Cybill Shepherd. From wholesome beauty queen to saucy cover girl, from heartbreaking movie star (The Last Picture Show) to one of television’s most beloved comediennes (Moonlighting and Cybill), she has imbued each of her roles – right down to her current passions as devoted mother of three, champion of women’s issues, and sultry cabaret singer – with an indomitable spirit that has made her, at fifty, a female icon to an entire generation. Now in her much-anticipated memoir, she tells her remarkable story with humor, pathos, and more highlights than her famously blond hair. Cybill has absorbed the lessons of Southern womanhood, including the whispered message about sex: wait until you’re married, then you won’t enjoy it, and certainly never speak of it. She gleefully disobeyed these and other rules of decorum in a career laced with controversy, featuring unforgettable cameos by Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles, Robert De Niro, and Jeff Bridges. Whether stepping on Elvis’s blue suede shoes or going toe-to-toe with Bruce Willis, Cybill has never held anything back, and it’s all in Cybill Disobedience, including: the night a network executive tried to barter thirteen episodes for a horizontal tour of Cybill’s bedroom; why she’ll never be invited back to Ryan O’Neal’s beach house or Marlon Brando’s island; the time she greeted David Letterman in nothing but a towel; the real reason two of television’s most popular and acclaimed series died premature deaths; how she made Richard Nixon blush for the first and only time in his life.

From her Memphis roots to her insider’s track in Hollywood, Cybill Shepherd is a woman who has weathered every onslaught and withstood every rebuke to emerge as a luminous model of endurance, courage, and an insatiable lust for life.

AIMEE LEE BALL has co-authored several books including No Time to Die with Liz Tilberis. She has written about health, politics, business, and the arts for many national magazines including New York, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New York Times. She lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 294 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 662 g (23,4 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-06-019350-6

The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship and the Production Code from the 1920s to the 1960’s (Leonard J. Leff, Jerold L. Simmons)

Leff, Leonard J - The Dame in the KimonoIn 1929 the Jazz Age ended and American morals turned conservative. Threatened with official censorship, the movie moguls opted to police themselves before the government did it for them.

The Production Code, administered by strong-willed Joseph I. Breen, began as the studios’ ‘silent partner’, both defending movies from the censors and making sure Hollywood behaved. But all too often the producers and directors who had welcomed the Code found themselves pitted against its inflexible guidelines, and self-protection gave way to a debate over the limits of artistic freedom – a debate that mirrored America’s own changing mores.

The Dame in the Kimono is the first in-depth history of the Production Code and film censorship, focusing on some of Hollywood’s most controversial films: from Mae West’s early sex comedies and Gone With the Wind to such milestones as A Streetcar Named Desire, Lolita and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Funny, insightful and beautifully written, The Dame in the Kimono reveals the Production Code as a not-so-silent partner which strongly influenced screen content for nearly half a century.

LEONARD J. LEFF is professor of English at Oklahoma State University, and the author of Hitchcock and Selznick, which won the British Film Institute Book of the Year Award in 1988. JEROLD L. SIMMONS teaches American history at the University of Nebraska.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 350 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 765 g (27,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1990

A Damned Serious Business: My Life in Comedy (Rex Harrison; postscript by Maggie Smith)

Harrison, Rex - A Damned Serious BusinessFor more than sixty-five years his self-deprecating wit, impeccable timing, and upper-crust elegance made Rex Harrison the reigning king of high comedy. In plays and  films such as My Fair Lady, Doctor Dolittle, and Anne of the Thousand Days, he charmed audiences throughout the world – and he did so with such enormous ease one would think he wasn’t acting at all.

Now, in a warm and wonderfully humorous memoir completed shortly before his death, Rex Harrison reveals the secrets behind his comedic success. From mangling Shakespeare in Richard III to starring in a history-making Broadway triumph, this fascinating man’s career is proof positive that comedy is… A Damned Serious Business.

“Go into your father’s business, do anything, but don’t go on with acting,” said the director of the Liverpool Repertory Theatre to sixteen-year-old Rex Harrison. But instead of quitting, the bumbling boy who kept flubbing his lines went on to win international acclaim, three Tony Awards, an Oscar, and, in 1989, a knighthood.

While Harrison drew great pleasure from wine, women, and song – as well as country weekends with Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, David Niven, and Orson Welles – his greatest passion was acting. Here he describes the hardship of the early touring days, playing in one grim little town after another; the elation of winning a part in the biggest comedy of the thirties; and the satisfaction of becoming and honest-to-goodness household word as everyone from royalty to café society came to see him perform.

After serving in the RAF in World War II, Harrison was lured to Hollywood to make films, including Anna and the King of Siam and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. But the sunny, monied land was not to his liking and he soon escaped back to a stage career in London and New York. His theatrical immortality was assured in 1956, when, after grueling rehearsals and terrifying tryouts, the curtain rose on the extraordinary musical, My Fair Lady.

Rex Harrison’s portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins made theater history, and My Fair Lady itself went on to set Broadway musical box-office records. Here is the inside story of how this incredible show was made – and how close Harrison came to turning down the role. Here, too, are Harrison’s heart-wrenching memories of the tragedy that was playing out at home while he was wowing them onstage.

A consummate professional, Rex Harrison continued to give great performances well into his ninth decade. When he died in June 1990, he was starring on Broadway in The Circle, working up to the very end as he’d always wished. “Nobody’s as interesting to spend an evening with as a really good part,” he said. Now, for everyone who has ever been enchanted by the suave and engaging Rex Harrison, here are the actor’s own reminiscences of all those interesting evenings.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 701 g (24,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1991 – ISBN 0-553-07341-9

Dance While You Can (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dance-while-you-can“On the deepest, most personal level, I needed to work out who my parents were and what they had been to me. I knew that I couldn’t get on with my work and the rest of my life until I had. I had written so much about inner peace, balance, and harmony in cosmic terms, when all of it really came down to fallout from Mom and Dad on this earth. What a joke. You think you have a handle on God, the Universe, and the Great White Light until you go home for Thanksgiving. In an hour, you realize how far you’ve got to go and who is the real turkey.”

At the age of fifty-seven, after nearly four decades in Hollywood, Academy Award-winning actress and entertainer Shirley MacLaine is still moving us to laughter and tears in major film roles, still high-kicking on stage in live performances – and still searching for the truth within herself. In this, her most intimate memoir yet, she examines with courage and candor her feelings about aging, relationships, work, her parents, her daughter, and her own future as an artist and as a woman.

“There was a hidden agenda in our family. Warren and I were not only driven to fulfill our parents’ unrealized dreams but, in the process, to prove Mother correct in her aspirations for us in spite of our father’s fears and his harshly critical attitude toward our efforts… We had to do it. We had to be there. We couldn’t disappoint her, or the audience, or ourselves… In other words, there was no way Warren and I wouldn’t become stars.”

In Dance While You Can, Shirley examines the powerful familial forces that have shaped her life, legacies of a strong-willed mother whose own longing to be acknowledged propelled Shirley and her brother, Warren Beatty, to success, and of a father whose fear of failure inspired her always to prepare for the worst. She reflects on her relationship with her daughter, Sachi, and their separation during some of Sachi’s childhood years spent in Japan with her father. With affection and humor she recalls her own formative years in a Hollywood that made magic, not just money, learning her craft beside legendary stars like Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, and Debbie Reynolds, whose life in part inspired Shirley’s bravura role in Postcards from the Edge.

Finally, Shirley writes with honesty and incisive detail about her decision to return to the stage with a new show. Finding it both frightening and liberating, she reveals how it felt to lose her footing, and her confidence, when a series of devastating injuries forced her into knee surgery – and how she grew from the insecurity of aging and emotional anguish to stand on her own two feet with a new, more mature and centered perspective.

Illustrated with thirty-two pages of personal family photographs, here is a rich, revealing look at a woman in the prime of her life and at the height of her powers as an artist. Astonishingly frank about what it is to be alone at this time in her life, her sexual identity and sometimes wobbly self-esteem, how she has struggled to cope with fears of success and failure; how she deals with creative pressures, and her constant quest for understanding her deeper identity – this is the down-to-earth book Shirley MacLaine’s readers have long awaited.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE’s accounts of her professional and personal journeys have each been national and international best-sellers, beginning with the publication of Don’t Fall Off the Mountain in 1970. Five additional autobiographical works have followed: You Can Get There from Here (1975), Out on a Limb (1983), Dancing in the Light (1985), It’s All in the Playing (1987), and most recently, Going Within (1989).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 303 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 574 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Press, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-593-02446-X

Dancing in the Dark: Words by Howard Dietz (Howard Dietz; foreword by Alan Jay Lerner)

Dietz, Howard - Dancing in the DarkA major figure from the golden era of American entertainment, has written his own book in his own inimitable way. The liveliest memoir since Moss Hart, Howard Dietz writes with all the humor and charm that made him the celebrated wit of Broadway and Hollywood.

“Dancing in the Dark,” “Give Me Something to Remember You By,” “Alone Together,” “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan,” “If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You,” “By Myself,” “That’s Entertainment,” are but a few of the hits from the 20’s, 30’s and beyond, written with music by Arthur Schwartz, that have become a permanent part of American popular music. As Alan Jay Lerner says in his introduction, “they have that special grace, that warm elegant glow that hangs a smile around you.”

His stories will hang a smile around you too. Howard Dietz, who lived a double life as lyric writer for musical shows and as chief of publicity and advertising for MGM, worked and played with the most gifted, famous, difficult and amusing figures of stage and screen. The gifted were very gifted – Vivien Leigh, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Beatrice Lillie, Ethel Merman. The famous and sometimes difficult were those Hollywood legends – Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Aileen Pringle, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Nicholas Schenck, Irving G. Thalberg. The amusing were delightful – such famous wits as Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, George Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott, Mrs. Patrick Campbell.

No one was or is more entertaining than Howard Dietz himself, the man who said “A day away from Tallulah is like a month in the country,” or “Louella Parsons can spell everything but words.” “I went to the Algonquin,” he writes of his early literary days, “and watched the Round Table eat.” His publicity stunts were inspired. He made “I want to be alone” the Garbo hallmark, had Leo the MGM lion flown coast-to-coast by one of the first transatlantic pilots, planned mass hysteria for the 1939 premiere of Gone With the Wind in Atlanta.

At the same time, he was writing lyrics and librettos for 32 Broadway musicals. (The full lyrics to 30 of his best-known songs are included here.) Such shows as, The Little Show, The Band Wagon, At Home Abroad, Inside U.S.A. brought the revue form to a peak of perfection unrivaled before or since (Brooks Atkinson wrote about The Band Wagon – “The musical theater will never be the same again”), and Dietz’s remarks on its development and on lyric writing are fresh and unique.

Dietz was not only a master of the popular song – he was also commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera to write new English lyrics for Die Fledermaus and La Bohème and his deft treatment reflects the versatility of his talent.

HOWARD DIETZ has enjoyed the first 77 years of his remarkable life immensely. With Dancing in the Dark, you will too.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 370 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 876 g (30,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Quadrangle / The New York Times Book Co., New York, New York, 1974 – ISBN 0-8129-0439-7

Dancing in the Light (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dancing-in-the-lightNow, at a turning point in her life, comes her most revealing and exciting book yet. Outspoken, controversial, talented, and perceptive Shirley MacLaine now takes us on an intimate and fascinating personal odyssey. In 1984 she won an Oscar, starred on Broadway, wrote the best-selling Out on a Limb – and turned fifty years old. At this special time, in this special year, she was now ready to resume the spiritual journey she had begun in her early forties. In Dancing in the Light, Shirley MacLaine bares her innermost self and explores the lives, both past and present, which touched and affected her own. She sheds new light on her loves, her losses, her childhood, her passions, and her inner drives and ambitions. She asks poignant questions and finds surprising answers. She challenges her beliefs and confronts her conflicts. Ultimately, she takes us with her through a life-altering experience that provides a stunning new vision of herself, her future… and the fate of our world.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE is an Academy Award-winning American film and theater actress, well-known not only for her acting, but for her devotion to her belief in reincarnation. She is also the writer of a large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her new age beliefs, such as solipsism, as well as her Hollywood career. She is the older sister of Warren Beatty.

Softcover – 405 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 212 g (7,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-553-17312-X

Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies (Stephen M. Silverman; introduction by Audrey Hepburn)

silverman-stephen-h-dancing-on-the-ceilingThe first book to explore the life and extraordinary work of the legendary moviemaker who directed Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, and Funny Face, from the author of David Lean (“Silverman has captured one of the world’s truly great filmmakers” – Billy Wilder). Stanley Donen is the man who forever changed the Hollywood musical, moving it away from the Busby Berkeley extravagance to a felt integration of the songs and dances. He is also the man who helped shape the sophisticated romance exemplified by Indiscreet and Charade.

The author, with Donen’s cooperation, has brilliantly revealed Donen’s fifty-year career – first in the theater, next in Hollywood, and then abroad. We see Donen’s collaborations with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. And we see his work with Rodgers and Hart, Alan Lerner, Comden and Green, Roger Edens, Arthur Freed, Michael Kidd, and Bob Fosse.

We watch Donen growing up in the South in the 1930s, seeking refuge at movies, watching Fred Astaire dance on the screen, and forever changed by it. And then at sixteen, fleeing to New York, where he lands his first job in the chorus of the groundbreaking musical Pal Joey, directed by George Abbott, starring Gene Kelly… and appearing next in Best Foot Forward.

We follow Donen west, to MGM (first he was a chorus boy, then assistant choreographer)… next embellishing Anchors Aweigh, dreaming up the almost technically impossible notion of having its star, Gene Kelly, dance next decade making one great musical after another. We hear Donen’s recollections of life and work on the sets of Singin’ in the Rain, Royal Wedding, Funny Face, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, On the Town, The Pajama Game, Indiscreet, Charade, Two for the Road, Arabesque, Bedazzled, and other movies he directed. We see him through the eyes of more than one hundred of his contemporaries whom, in addition to Donen himself, Silverman has interviewed at length, from Kay Thompson and Billy Wilder to Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, Debbie Reynolds, Gregory Peck, and Cyd Charisse.

Dancing on the Ceiling gives, close up, a great director and a lost Hollywood on whose silver screen wit and charm abounded.

STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN has taught at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is the author of four books. His articles have appeared in Vogue, Mirabella, The London Times Magazine, and Travel & Leisure. He lives in New York City.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 390 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 758 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-679-41412-6

Dangerous Friends: At Large with Huston and Hemingway in the Fifties (Peter Viertel)

viertel-peter-dangerous-friendsErnest Hemingway kept warning the young Peter Viertel to “stop whoring for Hollywood.” But Hemingway was not a young man beckoned by the promise of travel to Paris, Africa, Spain; by the lure of money; by the exciting life in the film world among the most brilliant stars and directors of his time.

Peter Viertel, whose first novel was published to glowing reviews when he was only eighteen, and who had just returned from the fighting in World War II, was a handsome writer born of parents of the European intelligentsia, exiles from Hitler’s Europe. Brought up in Hollywood, in a household where Greta Garbo (his mother’s closest friend), Bertolt Brecht, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, and Franz Werfel were constant guests, young Peter yearned to be an American. In need of money to support writing novels and his wife, Jigee, Viertel turned to writing scripts for Hollywood, where he soon found himself in the orbit of John Huston, the legendary director of The Maltese Falcon.

Huston’s appetites were voracious, his personality larger than life. He acquired women and horses with equal gusto, and roamed the world looking for adventure. It was at this time that Viertel also met his idol Hemingway, who admired and encouraged the younger writer’s fiction. Throughout the fifties, “Papa” Hemingway, exhorting Peter to turn his back on Hollywood’s glamour and concentrate on novel writing, and Huston, representing Hollywood’s mania and excess, vied for Peter’s soul.

In these entertaining and revealing memoirs, Peter Viertel offers us a rare and candid glimpse of these “dangerous friends” and of the other remarkable personalities he came to know. There is Luis Miguel Dominguín, the famous Spanish bullfighter, who introduced Peter to the excitement and perils of the ring. There are Orson Welles, always searching for funds for his idiosyncratic films, and the irrepressible Slim Keith. And there are Peter’s romances, full of joy and scandal, with the movie star Ava Gardner, the highly sought-after model Bettina Graziani (who left Peter for Aly Khan), and Deborah Kerr, the beautiful screen actress who became his second wife.

Peter Viertel evokes this lost era – when shipboard romances on Atlantic crossings were de rigueur and the term “jet set” had not yet been coined – with wit and an eye for the telling detail. But this is also the powerful story of a man’s search for clues to his identity, a man trying to learn from, without being consumed by, his “dangerous friends.”

PETER VIERTEL is the author of six novels, among them White Hunter, Black Heart, which was based on his experiences with John Huston during the filming of The African Queen; it was recently turned into a feature film starring Clint Eastwood. His most recent novel is American Skin, which was published in 1984. He divides his time between Klosters, Switzerland, and Marbella, Spain.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 285 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 770 g (27,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-385-26046-6

Danielle Darrieux: 80 ans de carrière (Christian Dureau)

dureau-christian-danielle-darrieuxIngénue dans les années 30, femme fatale durant les sixties, mamie aujourd’hui, Danielle Darrieux a traversé l’histoire du cinéma telle une merveilleuse étoile brillant au firmament.

Discrète au quotidien mais omniprésente dans son métier, belle toujours, exigeante aussi, elle restera à jamais l’une des plus grandes stars françaises de l’écran.

D’une longévité exceptionnelle, nulle part au monde égalée, elle va fêter cette année ses 80 ans de carrière.

Un événement qu’on se doit d’honorer par ce livre-souvenir qui se veut un hommage avant tout.

Hardcover – 142 pp. – Dimensions 24,5 x 17 cm (9,7 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 593 g (20,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Éditions Didier Carpentier, Paris, 2011 – ISBN 978-2-84167-741-2

Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning, Hollywood’s Master of the Macabre (David J. Skal, Elias Savada)

Skal, David J - Dark Carnival The Secret World of Tod BrowningOne of the most original and unsettling filmmakers of all time – the creator of the horror classics Dracula and Freaks, among others – Tod Browning is also one of the most enigmatic directors who ever worked in Hollywood. A complicated, troubled, and fiercely private man, he confounded would-be biographers hoping to penetrate his secret, obsessive world – both during his lifetime and afterward.

Now, film historians David J. Skal and Elias Savada, using newly discovered family documents and revealing unpublished interviews with friends and colleagues, join forces for the first full-length biography of the man who earned a reputation as “the Edgar Allan Poe of the cinema.” The authors chronicle Browning’s turn-of-the-century flight from an eccentric Louisville family into the world of carnival sideshows (where he began his career literally buried alive) and vaudeville, his disastrous first marriage, his rapid climb to riches in the burgeoning silent film industry, and the alcoholism that would plague him throughout his life. Browning’s legendary collaborations with Lon Chaney, Sr., and Bela “Dracula” Lugosi are explored in depth, along with the studio politics that ended his career after the bizarre circus drama Freaks – a cult classic today – proved to be one of the biggest box-office disasters of the early thirties.

Illustrated throughout with rare photographs, Dark Carnival is both an artful, often shocking portrait of a singular film pioneer and an illuminating study of the evolution of horror, essential to an understanding of our continuing fascination with the macabre.

DAVID J. SKAL is the author of Hollywood Gothic, “The ultimate book on Dracula” (Newsweek) and The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and other publications, and on the television series Biography. ELIAS SAVADA, a film historian, copyright researcher, and archival programming consultant, is director of the Motion Picture Information Service in Bethesda, Maryland. He recently compiled The American Film Institute Catalog: Film Beginnings, 1893-1910.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 359 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz)) – PUBLISHER Anchor Books, New York, New York, 1995 – ISBN 0-3858-47406-7

Dark City: The Film Noir (Spencer Selby)

selby-spencer-dark-city“Film noir is a historical, stylistic and thematic trend that took place primarily, but not exclusively, within the generic complex of the American crime film of the forties and fifties. The term was first introduced by French cinéaste Nino Frank in 1946. For many years it was known only to the French, who seemed to be the only ones equipped (critically or otherwise) to grapple with its definition and / or historical implications. The high water mark of this period of film criticism came with the publication of Borde and Chaumeton’s Panorama du Film Noir Americain in 1955. After that not much was heard about film noir from the French or anyone else. Then in the late sixties, the term began cropping up in English and American criticism. Higham and Greenberg’s Hollywood in the Forties, published in 1968, was the first book in English to devote an entire chapter to “black cinema.” This landmark was followed by Raymond Durgnat’s The Family Tree of Film Noir, published in 1970. And while Durgnat’s description of eleven film noir themes represented the first important attempt in English criticism to define noir, the article actually created almost as many confusions as it resolved about the subject.” – From The Introduction.

The most complete reference to the dark 40s and 50s stylistic dramas, the first section has a lengthy analytical essay as well as detailed plot descriptions and credits for 25 classics – such as The Maltese Falcon, Laura, and Detective Story. The second section is an annotated filmography including major credits and short descriptions of nearly 500 films. Also included are appendices listing every film noir by both director and chronological order, off-genre noirs, and other films bearing important relationships to the noir cycle.

SPENCER SELBY lives in Oakland, California.

Hardcover – 255 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 527 g (18,6 oz) – PUBLISHER St. James Press, London, 1984 – ISBN 1-55862-099-0

Dark Lady of the Silents: My Life in Early Hollywood (Miriam Cooper, with Bonnie Herndon)

scannen0256More than the memoirs of one of the greatest actresses of silent films – an intimate of D.W. Griffith who played leading roles in both Birth of a Nation and Intolerance – more than the autobiography of a dazzling public personality who knew all the greats of her era from the Duke of Windsor to William Randolph Hearst, this is the spellbinding story of a spirited, highly intelligent woman who grew up with America’s favorite industry – motion pictures.

When Miriam Cooper started making movies, there was no Hollywood. There were only a few small studios in New York, and there was D.W. Griffith. Miriam Cooper was lucky enough – and beautiful and talented enough – to begin working with the best. She became part of Griffith’s company and stayed with him until she married one of his assistants, Raoul Walsh, who went on to become another of Hollywood’s greatest directors.

Griffith was the top; no one ever questioned it. “Once you worked for Griffith, you compared everybody with him.” And here, in Miriam Cooper’s vivid memories, is Griffith the artist and Griffith the man – a consummate technician, a great creator, and a very human person. (Mae Marsh tabbed him Mr. Heinz. He was always adding new actresses to the company, and she insisted he had 57 varieties.)

But D.W. Griffith is only one of the host of greats who passed in and out of Miriam Cooper’s life and about whom she is more than outspoken. Charlie Chaplin: “One of the most depressing people I ever knew.” Erich von Stroheim: “A foul-mouthed, terrible man.” John Barrymore: “To me The Great Profile was just another lecherous drunk.” Theda Bara: “She was overweight, coarse, and unattractive. She kept walking into cameras.” And Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle (here for the first time is the true story behind the scandal that ruined him): “Even for a comedian he was particularly vulgar.”

And there are hundreds of others: Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were just the nice couple down the block who gave terrific but strictly nonalcoholic parties. Carole Lombard was a great practical joker who, after seeing Gable in a film, sent him a large ham. And Valentino was merely a polite house guest.

All these people were part of an industry, an industry that Miriam Cooper, like the rest of America, fell in love with. But unlike the rest of America, Miriam Cooper knew it from the inside and watched it grow and change. Sometimes the change was for the better, as when the once “disreputable” movie people began to find social acceptance and were even invited to the White House to meet President Wilson. But mostly the changes were, in Miriam Cooper’s opinion, tragic. In place of the great artists like D.W. Griffith stood the businessmen of the industry – moguls who cared less about the quality of a film than about how much money it would gross; promoters who drove the stars as “hot properties” to be fully exploited before their popularity waned. It was a glittering world, a glamorous world, but for many who were beaten down by the system, it became a harsh and hellish world.

Miriam Cooper was not one of those fatalities. She loved the movies and appreciated all they made possible for her. She lived a full life both in and out of films. Now she has written the warm and witty and very human story of that life.

BONNIE HERNDON, wife of author Booton Herndon, is a freelance writer and researcher. For many years she was a columnist for the Charlotte Daily Progress.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 256 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 624 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-672-51725-6

Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino (Emily W. Leider)

leider-emily-w-dark-loverEmily W. Leider takes an in-depth look at the silver-screen legend who forever changed America’s idea of the leading man: a frightened young fellow who became the cinematic sex-god of his day.

Tango pirate, gigolo, powder duff, Adonis – all have been used to describe the silent-film icon known as Rudolph Valentino. From his early days as Rudolfo Guglielmi, a taxi dancer in New York City, to his near apotheosis as the ultimate Hollywood heart-throb, Valentino (often to his distress) occupied a space squarely at the centre of controversy. In this thoughtful retelling of Valentino’s short and tragic life – the first fully documented biography of the star – Emily W. Leider looks at the Great Lover’s life and legacy, and explores the events and issues that made him emblematic of the Jazz Age. Valentino’s androgynous sexuality was a lightning rod for fiery and contradictory impulses that ran the gamut from swooning adoration to lashing resentment. He was reviled in the press for being too feminine for a man; yet he also brought to the screen the alluring, savage lover who embodied women’s darker, forbidden sexual fantasies.

In tandem, Leider explores notions of the outsider in American culture as represented by Valentino’s experience as an immigrant who became a celebrity. As the silver screen’s first dark-skinned romantic hero, Valentino helped to redefine and broaden American masculine ideals, ultimately coming to represent a graceful masculinity that trumped the deeply ingrained status quo of how a man should look and act.

EMILY W. LEIDER is the author of Rapid Eye Movement and Other Poems, California’s Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times, and Becoming Mae West. She also edited Yesterday: The Memoir of a Russian-Jewish Family. She lives in San Francisco.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 514 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 936 g (33 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 2003 – ISBN 0-571-21818-0

Dark Star: The Untold Story of the Meteoric Rise and Fall of the Legendary John Gilbert (Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, with John R. Maxim; introduction by Garson Kanin)

gilbert-fountain-leatrice-john-gilbert-dark-starJohn Gilbert is often remembered for his scorching love scenes with Greta Garbo in silent films, as well as a costly failure in “talkies” who died young because of alcohol and a broken heart. The truth is far different, as his daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain reveals for the first time. She interviewed hundreds of people who worked with and respected her father – directors, writers, cameramen, actors, and actresses – and they remember a much different John Gilbert: not just a romantic idol, but one of the most innovative and admired stars of his day. As the fledgling MGM’s biggest star, he had hit after hit: He Who Gets Slapped, The Merry Widow, The Big Parade – huge critical as well as commercial successes. Box-office records were set and then broken when Gilbert co-starred with Greta Garbo (his off-screen lover as well) in Flesh and the Devil, Love, and A Woman of Affairs.

Gilbert’s career declined not because of his unsuitability for talking pictures (he spoke in a light baritone), but because of the implacable hatred of Louis B. Mayer, the tyrannical head of MGM. Gilbert and Mayer clashed repeatedly over artistic and personal differences. As a result, Mayer swore to destroy the studio’s biggest star: he cast Gilbert in third-rate movies and spread false stories about his drinking and unreliability. He may even have tampered with the soundtrack of Gilbert’s first talkie to make his voice sound laughably high-pitched.

John Gilbert, both a creator and victim of the movie industry, in many ways symbolizes the potent magic of Hollywood. Dark Star restores his reputation as one of the most gifted stars of the silent era and ensures that his work will live on.

LEATRICE GILBERT FOUNTAIN is John Gilbert’s daughter. She lives in Riverside, Connecticut. JOHN R. MAXIM is a novelist living in Westport, Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 287 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 595 g (21 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1985 – ISBN 0-312-18275-9

A Darling of the Twenties (Madge Bellamy; introduction by Kevin Brownlow)

Bellamy, Madge - A Darling of the Twenties“Madge Bellamy is revealing her turbulent life not simply to warn the embers of memory in her old age. She is trying to confront the strange and willful personality that was hers – sixty years ago.

You may not have heard from Madge Bellamy. That’s not her fault. Her films have mostly disappeared, and the handful that survived are seldom revived. But she was an important Hollywood star of the twenties. She also had the reputation of being hard to handle. She was unconventional, impulsive, and extremely beautiful; it’s suprising that no one has made a film about her. Once this book is out, maybe they will.

Madge Bellamy – her real name is Margaret Philpott – was born in the last year of the nineteenth century. (…) We can look back on the silent era as a period of astonishing achievement, but the Hollywood system had its victims. This is the dramatic and touching case history of one of them.” – From The Introduction by Kevin Brownlow.

Softcover – 201 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 692 g (24,4 oz) – PUBLISHER The Vestal Press, Ltd., Vestal, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-911572-75-9

David Janssen: My Fugitive (Ellie Janssen, as told to J.D. Michael Phelps)

janssen-ellie-david-janssen-my-fugitiveHere is a touching and revealing account of Ellie Janssen’s tumultuous 12-year marriage to one of the nation’s most admired actors. Offered is a behind-the-scenes view of TV’s original Emmy-winning Fugitive.

Readers are treated to a candid and close-up look of the celebrities – and their love interests –  Hollywood, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, from the mid-50s through the early 70s. It sheds light on the private lives of those who take up the limelight and center-stage of the fast-paced entertainment world.

David Janssen is Dr. Richard Kimble, fugitive on the run from the law. It’s 1963 and the first episode of the hit-TV show has him sentenced to death for murdering his wife. He becomes America’s favorite man on the lam, running straight to the top of the ratings charts. The series ends in 1967 with a record-breaking result: 72% of the nation’s sets are captively tuned in as he clears his name. Long before Harrison Ford’s blockbuster adaptation, David Janssen was “Mr. Prime-time.”

Off-camera David Janssen was very different than the person America idolized. He was chronically in fear of being unemployed. He drank to excess, had numerous affairs and ironically, walked out on his first wife, Ellie, during a star-studded party celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary.

For Ellie it was a roller-coaster ride from the day she arrived in Las Vegas and started dating Frank Sinatra. She reveals publicly, for the first time, her unwanted pregnancy and abortion (Sinatra wasn’t told) during this steamy romantic relationship. Ellie first met David Janssen during a Halloween party in Hollywood while he starred in the Richard Diamond Private Eye series. She describes in vivid detail life with a star – and of a marriage gone bad. When sultry Suzanne Pleshette is hired as a guest star on the series, David begins an illicit affair with her. Ellie remains faithful though she feels betrayed. There were many affairs, including a fling with Angie Dickinson, shortly before her stardom on TV’s Police Woman.

By the time the longest playing divorce in California court history wraps up (Ellie hired noted divorce attorney Marvin Mitchelson), David had all the money and a new bride – Dani Greco. Ellie wound up with a nervous breakdown. A month after declaring his intent on divorcing Dani to “save his sanity,” David Janssen was dead. The rumors and suspicions about his sudden death at age 48 are covered in detail and Ellie explains how this man who was adored by millions, could no longer run from himself.

ELLIE JANSSEN, David’s first wife, lives in Hollywood, CA. She speaks out now so the public can appreciate the man behind the legendary actor. She wants to correct an often distorted tabloid record of their lives. Ellie also wants to expose the truth about Hollywood’s true friends – and its back-stabbers. J.D. MICHAEL PHELPS works as a paralegal and Chief Investigator in a Miami, FL, law firm specializing in criminal defense.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 149 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 439 g (15,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Lifetime Books, Hollywood, California, 1994 – ISBN 0-8119-0797-X

David Lean (Kevin Brownlow)

brownlow-kevin-david-leanThe life and its biographer provide a landmark work on the cinema. Emerging from a childhood of nearly Dickensian darkness, David Lean found his first great success as a director of the appropriately titled Great Expectations.

There followed his legendary black-and-white films of the 1940s and his four-film movie collaboration with Noël Coward. Lean’s 1955 film Summertime took him from England to the world of international moviemaking and the stunning series of spectacular color epics that would gain for his work twenty-seven Academy Awards and fifty-six Academy Award nominations. All are classic, including The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India.

Kevin Brownlow, a film editor in his own right and author of the seminal silent film trilogy initiated with The Parade’s Gone By…, brings to David Lean’s biography an exhaustive knowledge of the art and the industry.

The vastness of his scholarly and entertaining enterprise is augmented by sixteen pages of scenes from Lean’s color films, thirty-two pages from his black-and-white movies, and throughout the text a vast number of photographs from his life and location work.

KEVIN BROWNLOW, who lives in London, is a historian of silent films, which he began collecting at the age of eleven. He has written about them in The Parade’s Gone By…; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Behind the Mask of Innocence; Hollywood: The Pioneers; and Napoleon: Abel Gance’s Classic Film.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 809 pp., index – Dimensions 25,5 x 17,5 cm (10 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 1.665 g (58,7 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-312-16810-1

David Lean: An Intimate Portrait (Sandra Lean, with Barry Chattington)

lean-sandra-david-lean-an-intimate-portraitFrom lowly beginnings in the film industry as a tea boy at Gaumont-British Studios, David Lean quickly became the most sought after editor in the business berore moving behind the camera. His first taste of directing came with Noël Coward on the wartime classic In Which We Serve. It was the launch of a monumental directorial career. Fifteen further films followed, from This Happy Breed to A Passage to India, which among them garnered a phenomenal fifty-seven Academy Award nominations, winning twenty-eight. He twice received the award for best director, first for A Bridge on the River Kwai and then for a film that is still as popular as it was on its release, Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean was also responsible for launching many distinguished cinematic careers among them those of Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.

In this individual, yet objective account of David Lean’s life and work, his wife, Sandra Lean, and Barry Chattington shed light on the many aspects of the director’s personality. So often his films reflected his own character traits: his hopes, his fears and his contradictions. He was a complex and demanding man for whom cinema was all: fiercely loyal to his film “family” yet often estranged from his blood relations. With an outstanding collection of images that reveals so much about his life both on and off the film set, David Lean: An Intimate Portrait is an essential book for any fan of his films. Filled with the often poignant memories of Sandra Lean it is a fascinating portrait of a flawed yet hugely talented and inspirational director.

SANDRA LEAN was born and educated in the North of England. She studied dance and theatre and then went on to study languages in France and Spain. She lived in Portugal for eight years before returning to become an art dealer of old master paintings. She had been doing this for fourteen years when she met David Lean. They spent seven years together and married in 1990. BARRY CHATTINGTON started his career as a film editor, before becoming a director. For two years he was chairman of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. He now divides his time between writing, running a film production company and an interactive multimedia company. He lives in London.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 240 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 26 cm (9,8 x 10,2 inch) – Weight 1.485 g (52,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Universe Publishing, New York, New York, 2001 – ISBN 0-7893-0626-3

Deadly Illusions: Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern (Samuel Marx, Joyce Vanderveen)

Marx, Samuel - Deadly IllusionsIn 1932, Paul Bern, one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s top producers, was found shot to death in his Beverly Hills home just two months after marrying Jean Harlow, motion pictures’ newest, most beautiful and most glamorous star.

Samuel Marx was the MGM story editor at the time. He knew both Bern and Harlow intimately. In fact, along with Irving G. Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer, he was one of the first people at the house that morning – even before the police. The scene gave every indication that it was a suicide. There was a bizzare note apparently addressed to Jean Harlow, who was said to have spent the night at her mother’s house.

The studio’s version that Bern had taken his own life because he was impotent was accepted at face value. Even a staged inquest supported such a conclusion.

But after years of investigation – discovering lost grand jury files and interviewing people who knew Bern, Harlow and the inner workings of MGM – Samuel Marx and Joyce Vanderveen have reconstructed this absorbing account of how Paul Bern really met his death. It involves a powerful studio determined not to let scandal destroy its most important new property, a district attorney who could look the other way, and the secret life of a man who thought he had buried his past forever.

With an extraordinary cast of characters that ranges from Mayer himself to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Deadly Illusions rips the lid off the studio cover-up with compelling evidence that Bern was murdered – and why.

SAMUEL MARX was MGM story editor for many years and produced films as well as several books on Hollywood, including Mayer and Thalberg. JOYCE VANDERVEEN was a prima ballerina and has acted in television and film. They both live in the Los Angeles area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 271 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 623 g (22 oz) – PUBLISHER Random House, New York, New York, 1990 – ISBN 0-394-58218-7

Dean & Me (A Love Story) (Jerry Lewis, with James Kaplan)

lewis-jerry-dean-and-me-a-love-storyThey were the unlikeliest of pairs – a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, New Jersey. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records onstage. But the moment they got together, something clicked – something miraculous – and audiences saw it at once.

Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end – and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.

After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers – Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies – their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart.

In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-Fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man. In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great – and most underrated-comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.

JERRY LEWIS and Dean Martin sandwiched sixteen money-making films in between nightclub engagements, recording sessions, radio shows, and television bookings during their ten-year partnership. Over the following years Lewis remained in the spotlight as the creator and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies, and scored triumphs in stage appearances in Europe, where he has been hailed as one of the greatest director-comedians of the twentieth century. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and has received numerous other honors for his tireless efforts in the fight against the forty neuromuscular diseases. JAMES KAPLAN has written novels, essays, and reviews, as well as over a hundred major profiles for many magazines, including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and New York. In 2002, Kaplan co-authored the autobiography of John McEnroe, You Cannot Be Serious, which was an international best-seller (and #1 on the New York Times list). He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and three sons.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 628 g (22,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 0-7679-2086-4

Dear Boris: The Life of William Henry Pratt a.k.a. Boris Karloff (Cynthia Lindsay)

Lindsay, Cynthia - Dear BorisHe scared us witless, and he won our hearts. He was Frankenstein’s Monster, rising to stardom encased in sixty-five pounds of putty and padding. No matter how horrific the roles (in The Mummy, The Ghoul, The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Body Snatcher, and scores of others), he made them as vulnerable – almost human – as they were frightening, and softened our fear even as he sparked it. He was Boris Karloff: the epitome of horror, one of Hollywood’s greatest and most productive stars.

But Boris himself – private, even secretive – has eluded his biographers and his fans. Now one of his closest friends for more than thirty-five years gives us a book that at last reveals the fascinating and complex man behind the makeup, a man whose nature was completely at odds with the roles that made him famous, a man who was always “dear Boris” to his friends.

We follow him from the days when he was still Billy Pratt, a young émigré from establishment England, working in the backwoods of Canada as a ditch digger, coal shoveler, horse trainer; then, when he realized he “had” to be an actor, joining touring stock companies from Karloops, British Columbia, to Minot, North Dakota, and hitting almost every small town in between. (At twenty-seven – even then he was heavily made up – he played a sixty-year-old banker, his hair covered with cornstarch, his face wrinkled by streetcar paint.) On to Hollywood (the small, lazy town fast becoming the capital of the silents), where he nearly starved rather than give up acting. His first job: one day as a walk-on in Pavola’s full-length feature, The Dumb Girl of Portici).

Then the years of up-and-down work as an extra and bit-player – until 1931 (talking pictures are here to stay) and Boris gets his first big break in Howard Hawks’s The Criminal Code (Hawks later claimed that this movie gave Karloff his “face”). A few months later, he grabs a part spurned by half a dozen actors (including Bela Lugosi), all unwilling to have their faces contorted by makeup and hidden from the camera – and Karloff becomes the Frankenstein Monster and the Monster becomes (and stays) world famous. Dozens of offers to play every kind of monster, villain, and creep pour in to one of Hollywood’s gentlest and most generous actors.

His astonishingly prolific career encompassed more than 160 movies, numerous stage roles (in Peter Pan, The Lark, and, of course, Arsenic and Old Lace), radio and television shows (he was host of the popular “Thriller Theater” and was a regular on “Information Please”), recordings for children and for the blind. Even in his final years, weak and ill, always with the support of his wife, Evie, he went on working – a legend, recognized and loved by millions.

Then there was the ultra-private private life – the early secret marriages and divorces, his wives themselves never really knowing how many Mrs. Karloffs had preceded them – and never really minding. (Asked about Boris’s previous wives, one Mrs. Karloff remarked, “I’m sure Boris would have told me if I asked… One doesn’t ask people about their pasts…”) And his fatherhood (the author of this book is godmother to Boris’s only child, Sara Jane). And his great gift for friendship.

With the full cooperation of the Karloff family and of his many friends, CYNTHIA LINDSAY has written a rich and personal portrait of the outstanding man and actor. She has compiled the most complete Karloff filmography ever assembled, plus stills (many never published before) from his films. And in addition, there are many photographs that until now have been in the private possession of the Karloff family.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 273 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 19,5 cm (9,5 x 7,7 inch) – Weight 955 g (33,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-394-47579-8

Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant (Dyan Cannon)

Autographed copy All love, Dyan Cannon

Cannon, Dyan - Dear CaryHe was the most charming, handsome, romantic, and famous leading man in the world… what could possibly go wrong?

With unparalleled honesty, Dyan Cannon shares the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of her magical romance and stormy marriage to screen legend Cary Grant.

He was the ultimate star, defining Hollywood glamour as well as cinematic achievement. She was a bright new actress, beautiful and funny, who would one day prove her talent by being the first woman to receive Academy Award nominations for her work on-screen and behind the camera.

When he asked to meet Dyan, she assumed it was for an acting part, but he had a different role in mind for her… and so began a storybook romance that brought her to dizzying heights. On his arm, she found herself traveling in the inner circles of power and glamour in which Cary Grant was king, with friends such as Noël Coward, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and so many others considered Hollywood royalty.

Behind closed doors, she discovered a Cary no one knew. A thoughtful, caring, and private person, with dark family secrets that weighed heavily on him. He was a man contending with the swan song of an astonishing film career while her career was just beginning. Despite the age difference, they fell in love, got married, and had a beautiful daughter together. Happily Ever After still proved elusive, and their relationship was beset with tragic twists and turns. It took a tremendous toll on Dyan as she struggled to keep her heart and mind intact.

With rare photos and never-before-seen letters and notes from Cary Grant, Dear Cary is told with poignancy and hard-won wisdom. For anyone who has ever loved and lost, Dyan Cannon’s memoir is an exploration of what love means, and an inspirational story of surviving life’s slings and arrows.

DYAN CANNON is an award-winning film and television actress, director, screenwriter, editor and producer. She is the first woman in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences to be nominated for Oscars both as an actress and as a filmmaker. She has matched those two honors with two Golden Globe award nominations for her acting, and won one, to which she added a New York Film Critics award. Dyan Cannon lives in Hollywood and is at courtside for every Los Angeles Lakers home game.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 344 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 592 g (20,9 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 2011 – ISBN 978-0-06-196140-3

Dear Me (Peter Ustinov)

Ustinov, Peter - Dear Me hcOf Russian, French and – somewhat in the wings – Ethiopian origin, Peter Ustinov was born in London and was educated at Westminster School. It was difficult for a boy in the 1930s to be called von Ustinov, have a father and an uncle who had flown in the German Air Force, and, to be plunged into an English public school. He was not exactly at home anywhere and yet is the swiftest man to adapt himself to new people and new backgrounds, He can take on the coloring, accent, mannerisms of people he meets and reproduce them within seconds. This side is very familiar to his world-wide public to whom he is well known as brilliant playwright, versatile actor, director, set and costume designer, and an entertainer of wide and diversified talent. There is also Peter Ustinov, C.B.E., Rector of Dundee University for six years, tireless worker and propagandist for UNICEF, and thoughtful, philosophical citizen of the world.

In his memoirs he tells us about his extraordinary background and antecedents, his remarkable parents, his early experiences in the theater, his rather un-martial years as a private in the British army and his post-war success as playwright and stage and screen actor. There are many excellent stories, some hilarious and others which are moving or very revealing of both the people he is writing about and about himself. Not unexpectedly Dear Me (the author frequently addresses himself throughout the book in this manner to point out his own failings, inconsistencies, or omissions) is as unique as is Peter Ustinov himself.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 288 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 717 g (25,3 oz) – PUBLISHER William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1977 – ISBN 0 434 81711 2

Dear Me (Peter Ustinov)

ustinov-peter-dear-mePeter Ustinov had his first acting lessons from a parrot, spent much of his childhood as a motor car, and played his first stage role as a pig (when his performance was deemed ‘adequate’). Since then he has become the playwright, actor, author, designer, director, film star and entertainer par excellence so familiar to his world-wide public. He is also Sir Peter Ustinov Kt., CBE, Chancellor of Durham University, tireless worker and propagandist for UNICEF, and thoughtful, philosophical citizen of the world.

Comic, controversial and full of anecdotes about the rich and famous, Peter Ustinov’s autobiography reveals a courageous and exquisitely funny man, engaged in a lifelong search for truth.

PETER USTINOV was born in London in 1921, of Russian, French and Ethiopian descent. During the war he served with the Royal Sussex Regiment and the RAOC, and he wrote his first play, House of Regrets, which was produced in 1942. His other plays include Romanoff and Juliet, Photo Finish and The Love of Four Colonels. He directed and acted in the award-winning Billy Budd and was the author and co-director of School for Secrets. His acting roles have ranged from Nero to Hercule Poirot. He has produced operas and his books include novels, short stories and My Russia (1983). He was the Rector of Dundee University for six years and is a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. For many years he has worked on behalf of UNICEF and in 1974 he was awarded the Order of the Smile for dedication to the idea of international assistance to children. He was awarded the CBE in 1975 and he was knighted in 1990. He lives in Switzerland.

Softcover – 374 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 11 cm (6,9 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 245 g (8,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Mandarin Softcovers, London, 1977 – ISBN 0-7493-1311-0

The Death of James Dean: The Untold Story Behind the Mystery (Warren Newton Beath)

beath-warren-newton-the-death-of-james-deanOn September 30, 1955, James Dean was awakened at 7:30 in the morning in his home in Sherman Oaks, California, outside Los Angeles. He had entered the air races at the Salinas airport and planned to drive the 300 miles in his new Porsche 550 Spyder, along with his mechanic. A little more than ten hours later, Dean was dead, killed in a violent car crash only 70 miles from his destination.

Since that day thirty years ago, countless rumors and conflicting reports have obscured the truth of what happened in that crash, and the mystery surrounding Dean’s death has never been fully explained. Now, using previously unpublished information including the transcript of the inquest into the accident, Warren Beath has pieced together the first hour-by-hour account of all the events that led to Dean’s death, providing the most thorough and accurate picture yet published. What really happened on that fall day in 1955? How fast was James Dean going when he collided with that other car on old Highway 466? Was he in fact behind the wheel at the time? Did he die instantly, or was he conscious for those few moments before the end? Did the driver of the other car see Dean coming? Who was to blame for the accident? And was the inquest into Dean’s death a cover-up?

In answering these and many more questions, Beath creates a spine-tingling mystery story that teases the truth out of the welter of contradictory evidence. By focusing on the stories of some of the fans whose lives revolve around the dead movie star, Beath also reveals the makings of the powerful mythology that keeps hundreds of thousands around the world enthralled and obsessed with every detail of his hero’s brief life. In its chillingly real account that follows Dean to his rendezvous with death, and its perceptive portrait of the cult that was born after it, The Death of James Dean creates a deeply moving collage of the legacy of passion – the rage to live and the rage to die – of which James Dean is the supreme symbol.

WARREN BEATH was born in California in 1951. He graduated from Fresno State University and has always lived in or around Bakersfield, California, where many of the events in The Death of James Dean take place. He became interested in James Dean about seventeen years ago and owns one of the largest private collections of James Dean memorabilia, including autographs, movie stills, documents and photos. He is currently researching 1950s country music figures from around the Bakersfield area.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 202 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 492 g (17,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Grove Press, Inc., New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-394-55758-1

Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir (Arthur Lyons; foreword by Gerald Petievich)

Lyons, Arthur - Death on the Cheap The lost B moviesRobert Mitchum once said about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: “Hell, we didn’t know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts.”

Film noir was made to order for the “B,” or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made due with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines. In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such “neo-noir” films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L.A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected – “lost” to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap.

ARTHUR LYONS is the author of eighteen fiction and non-fiction books, including The Dead Are Discreet and other mysteries featuring the private eye Jacob Asch. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

Softcover – 212 pp., index – Dimensions 23 x 15 cm (9,1 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 346 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Da Capo Press, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 0-306-80996-6

Debbie: My Life (Debbie Reynolds, with David Patrick Columbia)

reynolds-debbie-debbieEveryone called her “the kid.” The kid sister. The kid with personality. The kid with guts. She came from an impoverished Texas and California background and wanted to be a gym teacher. She was a Girl Scout who entered a beauty contest because she wanted a free scarf and blouse. And then, at sixteen, Mary Frances Reynolds won a Miss Burbank contest title and a Warner Brothers screen test. That kid became Debbie Reynolds.

Debbie: My Life is the autobiography of one of America’s most dynamic legends. It is the personal story of a young girl thrown headfirst into the massive Hollywood moviemaking machine. It is the story of a survivor, who, through a long and checkered career, lives on in such classic movies as Singin’ in the Rain, How the West Was Won, Tammy and the Bachelor, Mary, Mary, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. And it is the story of her widely publicized and envied marriage to Eddie Fisher, which blew apart when he embarked on a scandalous love affair with Elizabeth Taylor. Debbie Reynolds was part of the Hollywood others only dreamed about. And when it was gone she continued to forge a career in nightclubs, television, and theater that culminated with her Broadway appearance as Irene – for which she was nominated for a Tony before the show had even opened. Today, happily married to real-estate developer Richard Hamlett, Debbie Reynolds continues to be as vital and endearing an entertainer as she was in her earliest film roles.

Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly, Shelley Winters, Glenn Ford, Robert Wagner, Fred Astaire – Debbie Reynolds knew them all. Debbie: My Life is her story – a vivid remembrance of the Golden Age of Hollywood and of the devastating price of success. From her turbulent second marriage to the gambling, womanizing businessman Harry Karl to her hard-won and enduring relationship with her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, and her son, Todd Fisher, Debbie: My Life is an act of courage from a woman who has touched us all with performances that will never be forgotten.

DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA is a Los Angeles-based writer who has always had an avid curiosity about the personalities who inhabit the Dream Factory. This is his first published book.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 446 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 833 g (29,4 oz) – PUBLISHER William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-688-06633-X

Deborah Kerr (Eric Braun)

Braun, Eric - Deborah Kerr“Sweet virgin, you have a very spiritual face!”

This pronouncement by Gabriel Pascal, the legendary Hungarian film producer, heralded the rise to fame and stardom of Britain’s best-loved gift to Hollywood Deborah Kerr. The description took a lot of living down, and Deborah, a star in her second film and her first West End play, arrived in America with the reputation of being only a “lady,” but, in the words of Sir Laurence Olivier, “unreasonably chaste” as well. She exemplified both qualities on the screen with enormous success for years, until the “perfect English rose” image was shattered by her inspired performance of a nymphomaniac in From Here to Eternity.

From then on her incredible versatility and drawing power on both sides of the Atlantic made her friends wherever she went. One such friend is the present biographer, Eric Braun, who has followed her life and career ever since working on one of her early British hits, and with whom she has cooperated fully in this fascinating and colorful story. The result is an engaging, delightful, and revealing account of one of the most personable women ever to appear on stage or screen.

ERIC BRAUN, a British M.A. and compulsive cyclist, has, for most of his adult life, specialized in writing about the entertainment scene. Born within the sound of Bow Bells and educated at the Oratory and St. Edmund’s College, Ware, he ran away to see six films a day – his personal record at the present time – and entered the film industry as a fourth assistant director (actually ‘runner’) in his early teens by lying about his age, a habit which still persists.

Emerging to take a degree in English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he went into publicity with Anna Matthews, representing such stars as Dorothy Dickson, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine, Ruby Murray and Beryl Reid. Prompted by an abhorrence of motorized vehicles he dedicated himself to two wheels in early youth: travels abroad include trips to interview Marlene Dietrich in Paris, Gracie Fields in Capri and Jean Sablon in the South of France. Since 1951 he has covered 210,000 miles awheel and contributed exclusive articles on such stars as Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Veronica Lake and Mae West; the present book is the result of a reunion with Deborah Kerr on behalf of Films and Filming, for which he has been a regular critic since the late sixties.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 577 g (20,4 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1977 – ISBN 0-312-18895-1


A Deed of Death: The Story of the Unsolved Murder of Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor (Robert Giroux)

Giroux, Robert - A Deed of DeathWho killed William Desmond Taylor? In 1922 he was a top director at Paramount – responsible for the huge success of the films of one of the great stars of the day, Mary Miles Minter, who was madly in love with him (she was twenty, he was fifty). But he loved Mabel Normand, a star at the Goldwyn studio, a drug addict who asked his help in fighting her addiction. His murder was a sensation in its day and has remained an unsolved mystery. Robert Giroux has uncovered and reveals for the first time what probably happened.

A Deed of Death, beautifully written and lavishly illustrated, brings back almost forgotten aspects of the early days of movie-making – the post-World War I drug culture and the boomtown atmosphere, with its mixture of naiveté and quasi-sophisticated decadence, that so strongly colored the HoIlywood of silent films.

ROBERT GIROUX is a bookman-editor, publisher, writer, and reader. He has been associated with Farrar, Straus & Giroux since 1955 and has worked with some of the most eminent writers of our time. In 1987 he received the National Book Critics Circle Award “for his distinguished contributions to American literature as editor and publisher.” In the same year he received the Alexander Hamilton Medal from Columbia University. He is also the author of The Book Known as Q: A Consideration of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 275 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 14,5 cm (9,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 589 g (20,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1990 ISBN 0-394-58075-3

Dennis Hopper: Movie Top Ten (edited by Jack Hunter)

movie-top-ten-dennis-hopperDennis Hopper is one of the most talented but controversial actors of recent decades, almost as notorious for his off-screen hell-raising as he is for his roles in such powerful movies as his self-directed The Last Movie, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and Tim Hunter’s River’s Edge.

Jack Hunter (author of film studies Inside Teradome and Eros in Hell) has selected his own chronological Top Ten of Dennis Hopper’s movies, which are analyzed in illustrated, in-depth essays by some of the best cutting-edge film critics of today. The result is both an incisive overview of Dennis Hopper as an actor, and an anthology of films by some of the leading cult directors of recent decades such as Wim Wenders, Tobe Hooper, David Lynch, Tim Hunter, Henry Jaglom, Curtis Harrington, and Dennis Hopper himself.

Featured films are Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, The Last Movie, River’s Edge, Out of the Blue, Paris Trout, Tracks, Night Tide, The American Friend, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Softcover – 152 pp., index – Dimensions 24,5 x 17 cm (9,7 x 6,7 inch) – Weight 412 g (14,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Creation Books, 1999 – ISBN 1-871592-86-0

Depardieu: Biografie (Marianne Gray)

gray-marianne-depardieu-biografieHet turbulente leven van Gérard Depardieu zou het onderwerp kunnen zijn van een boeiende speelfilm. Hij werd geboren in 1948 als zoon van een metaalbewerker in een saai provinciestadje in Midden-Frankrijk, en was al op twaalfjarige leeftijd even groot als nu. School was niet erg aan hem besteed en hij begon een zwervend bestaan door Europa te leiden tot hij op zestienjarige leeftijd door een vriend mee naar Parijs werd genomen om toneellessen te volgen.

De schrijfster Marguerite Duras ontdekte Depardieu en gaf hem een rol in haar film Nathalie Granger. Zes maanden later toonde hij zijn dierlijke aantrekkingskracht overduidelijk in Les valseuses van Bertrand Blier. Sindsdien speelde Depardieu hoofdrollen in tientallen kwaliteitsfilms, zoals Camille Claudel, Danton, Cyrano de Bergerac en Columbus: 1492.

Deze actuele biografie geeft een levendig en inzichtelijk beeld van een fascinerende persoonlijkheid.

MARIANNE GRAY is filmcriticus en heeft een eigen filmmaatschappij: The Opera House Ltd.

Softcover – 202 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 386 g (13,6 oz) – PUBLISHER De Kern, Baarn, The Netherlands, 1991 – ISBN 90-325-0410-X

The Detective in Film: A Pictorial Treasury of the Screen Sleuth From 1930 to the Present (William K. Everson)

“The detective story, already confusing and defiant of categorizing in the literary field, presents a great morass to the motion picture scholar. Obviously, there is no debate where the filmed adventures of the great detectives of fiction are concerned: the ‘official’ detectives – from Sherlock Holmes through Philo Vance, Charlie Chan and Sam Spade up to Mike Hammer – belong. But what, then, of the comic strips or boys’ dime novel heroes – from Britain’s Sexton Blake and Dick Barton to America’s Dick Tracy? And where does one draw the line between a Dick Tracy and a superhero like Batman, who certainly uses the superficial paraphernalia of the classic scientific detective, even if his deductions are mainly a matter of the scriptwriters feeding him the right inspiration at precisely the right moment. For that matter, many of the more ‘respectable’ detectives of film and fiction – including those British stalwarts, Sir Nayland Smith (Fu Manchu’s perennial nemesis) and James Bond – are likewise men of action first and sleuths second, operating on infallible intuition and on anticipating, and outguessing, the next moves of their opponents.” – From The Introduction.

Softcover – 247 pp., index – Dimensions 27,5 x 21 cm (10,8 x 8,3 inch) – Weight 852 g (30,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1972 – ISBN 0-8065-0448-X

De Toth on De Toth: Putting the Drama in Front of the Camera (edited by Anthony Slide)

de-toth-andre-de-toth-on-de-tothAndré De Toth is a ‘director’s director,’ a special category that speaks for itself. – Martin Scorsese

In Fragments, André De Toth took his readers on a roller-coaster ride through his films. He gave scant mention to his film work.

In De Toth on De Toth, he redresses the balance and expounds – in his own exuberant style – on his filmmaking career. The cast of characters includes his wife – the luminous Veronica Lake – as well as stars such as Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, David Niven, Vincent Price, Dick Powell, as well as John Ford, Jack L. Warner and a whole host of others in the Hollywood firmament.

De Toth speaks about the heroic skills of stunt men, describes his work on Lawrence of Arabia and on Superman, and reveals how a one-eyed director could make the 3-D masterpiece, House of Wax. Above all, this book is addressed to the directors of the future and provides invaluable guidance and practical advice to those who aspire to become filmmakers themselves.

Softcover – 182 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 16 cm (9,3 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 263 g (9,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Faber and Faber, London, 1996 – ISBN 0-571-17730-1

Detour: A Hollywood Story (Cheryl Crane, with Cliff Jahr)

crane-cheryl-detourIt was one of Hollywood’s most shocking and scandalous tragedies – the Good Friday 1958 slaying of screen goddess Lana Turner’s mobster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, by Turner’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane. Now, thirty years later, Cheryl finally tells what really happened that terrible night, offering a searing, moving, and always gripping account, not just of the Stompanato stabbing, but of what led up to it and what came after. It is, as she puts it, the story of how a “young life of promise and privilege made a detour through hell.”

In Detour: A Hollywood Story, Cheryl Crane vividly recalls the phenomenal pleasures and brutal pains of growing up as a Hollywood “star baby” in the 1940s and 1950s – a time when the glamour factories were at their peak. She remembers playing in the backyard with Liza Minnelli and being serenaded by Frank Sinatra. But she also recalls a movie-star mother willing to give everything but her time, and a series of “uncles” and stepfathers, some of whom ignored her, others of whom lied to her – and one of whom repeatedly raped her.

Cheryl’s unhappy young life really began to unravel the night of April 5, 1958. Though a coroner’s jury ruled the Stompanato killing justifiable homicide and Cheryl was never charged with any crime, the tragedy sent her spinning on a downward spiral of head-line-grabbing custody fights, desperate runaway attempts, reform-school incarcerations, and mind-numbing drugs. By the time Cheryl was seventeen, she was institutionalized, straightjacketed in a padded cell.

But though she was brutally victimized, Cheryl Crane refused to remain a victim. A determined young woman, she fought and ultimately overcame the anguish and notoriety of her horrific childhood, going on to a brilliant business career and, more important, eventually achieving a loving reconciliation with her famous mother. The dictionary defines a detour as “a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route.” That’s how Cheryl looks at the horrors of her past – as a temporary interruption that love and determination finally overcame.

In Detour, she summons up a vanished world of elegant nightclubs, wild parties, and unrivaled luxury – a world where manufactured dreams too often turned into inescapable nightmares – to tell an intensely personal story that is both compelling and ultimately inspiring.

CHERYL CRANE lives in San Francisco. CLIFF JAHR has written for numerous national magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 306 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 467 g (16,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Abdor House / William Morrow, New York, New York, 1988

Diaries: Volume One, 1939-1945 (Christopher Isherwood; edited and introduced by Katherine Bucknell)

Bucknell, Katherine - Christopher Isherwood Diaries Volume One 1939-1960In 1939 Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden emigrated together to the United States. These diaries, covering the period up to 1960, describe Isherwood’s search for a new life in California, where he eventually settled.

The diaries tell how Isherwood became a disciple of the Hindu monk Swami Prabhavananda; about his pacifism during World War II; about his work as a screenwriter in Hollywood and his friendships with such gifted artists and intellectuals as Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Igor Stravinsky, Aldous Huxley, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Charles Laughton, and David O. Selznick – many of whom were émigrés like himself.

Throughout this period, Isherwood continued to write novels and sustain his literary friendships – with E.M. Forster, Somerset Maugham, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and others. He turned to his diary several times a week to record jokes and gossip, observations about his adopted country, philosophy and mystical insights. His devotion to his diary was a way of accounting for himself; he used it as both a discipline and a release. In spare, luminous prose, he also revealed his most intimate and passionate relationships, particularly with Bill Caskey and later with the very young Don Bachardy.

CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD, among the most celebrated writers of his generation, was born in Cheshire, England, in 1904. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine, and then turned to writing his early novels, All the Conspirators (1928) and The Memorial (1932). Between 1929 and 1939, he lived mostly abroad, the first four years in Berlin and then elsewhere in Europe, where he wrote The Last of Mr. Norris (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which later inspired the musical Cabaret.

Following his move to the United States (he became an American citizen in 1946), Isherwood wrote five more novels, including Down There On a Visit and A Single Man, a travel book about South America, and a biography of the great Indian mystic Ramakrishna.

During the 1970s, he began producing a series of autobiographical books: Kathleen, Christopher and His Kind, My Cum and His Disciple and October, an excerpt from his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy. Isherwood died in January 1986.

KATHERINE BUCKNELL received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and was a Junior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. She edited and introduced W.H. Auden’s Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928 (Princeton University Press, 1994) and also introduced The Mortmere Stories by Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward (Enitharmon Press, 1994). She is co-editor, with Nicholas Jenkins, of the Auden Studies series (Oxford University Press) and is a founder of the W.H. Auden Society. She lives in London with her husband and their two children.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 1.048 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.540 g (54,3 oz) – PUBLISHER HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York, 1996 – ISBN 0-06-118000-9

Dino: The Dean Martin Story (Michael Freedland)

freedland-michael-dino-the-dean-martin-storyBorn in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1917, Dino Paul Crocetti started life wanting to be a boxer. But his ‘manager’ never even taught him how to bind his hands beneath the boxing gloves, and they have borne the scars ever since. This made him think twice when asked to be a croupier in the local casino. But he was good at it – and he was well-liked, particularly by the women
who said the tunes he hummed as he rolled the wheel brought them luck. More truthfully, they found his voice very sexy.

This entertaining biography of Dean Martin tells of his legendary partnership with Jerry Lewis; of his lifelong friendship with ‘ol blue eyes Frank Sinatra; of his film career in which he has played alongside such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and John Wayne in such films as The Young Lions, Some Came Running and Rio Bravo; and of his own TV series in the sixties on which everybody who was anybody appeared. It also tells the story of his three marriages and hints at the possible reconciliation with his second wife, Jeanne.

But Dean Martin is essentially a private and complex man – few people know about his chronic claustrophobia, and his manic fear of hospitals. Here, for the first time, is the whole story – as colorful and witty as the man himself.

MICHAEL FREEDLAND has written many biographies of international entertainment personalities including such well-known names as Al Jolson, Irving Berlin, James Cagney, Fred Astaire, Sophie Tucker, Errol Flynn, Gregory Peck, Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn. As a journalist he writes regularly for a variety of newspapers and magazines both in England and abroad, and he has his own BBC radio programme. He is married and lives in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and in Bournemouth.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 191 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 473 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER W. H. Allen & Co, Inc., London, 1984 – ISBN 0 491 13263 3

Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis (Tullio Kezich, Alessandra Levantesi; originally titled Dino: De Laurentiis, la vita e i film)

kezich-tullio-dino-the-life-and-films-of-dino-de-laurentiisIn a career that has spanned six decades, Dino De Laurentiis has walked the cutting edge of filmmaking. He has personified the powerful, visionary Hollywood producer for one reason: he invented the role. Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis celebrates this living legend and his passionate, exhilarating life in the pictures. How a kid from the Neapolitan sticks managed to compile such an impressive resume is itself a fascinating tale.

De Laurentiis was born not far from Naples in 1919. His father owned a small pasta factory, and the teenage Dino roamed the peninsula as a sales representative. He then became an apprentice actor who gravitated towards the least celebrated aspect of movie making: producing. From the beginning of his career, Dino was determined to transform the provincial Italian cinema into a world famous industry. Borrowing money left and right, forming and dissolving a famous partnership with Carlo Ponti – who married Italian film goddess Sophia Loren – De Laurentiis built a production empire and an enormous studio complex named, appropriately, Dinocittà (Dino’s city). In Italy, he worked with Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, and Vittorio De Sica, resulting in groundbreaking films – La Strada, Dov’è la libertà and The Bandit. Knowing no English, the unstoppable De Laurentiis later sailed to the United States and went on to produce American classics: Serpico, Three Days of the Condor, Ragtime – and hundreds more. His killer instincts for art and commerce have never abandoned him, nor has his sheer enthusiasm: “I love my work,” he insists. ”I’ve always believed that you can’t make movies if you don’t passionately love the cinema.”

Based on extensive interviews with De Laurentiis, his family, and his colleagues and filled with extraordinary photographs, this sweeping biography by Italian film critics Tullio Kezich and Alessandra Levantesi takes us from Italy to Hollywood and back, exposing the inner workings of the silver screen and luminaries including Roberto Rossellini; Vittorio De Sica; Robert Altman; Ridley Scott; Martin Scorsese; Roman Polanski; and many more. Recently updated for an American audience, Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis is a chronicle of high art, entrepreneurial daring, box-office savvy, and that peculiarly Italian zest for la dolce vita.

Dino De Laurentiis has produced over 600 films including the latest Hannibal Lecter film Red Dragon. He is currently producing Baz Luhrmann’s epic film Alexander the Great starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He divides his time between Italy and California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 721 g (25,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Miramax Books, New York, New York, 2004 – ISBN 078686902-X

Directed by Vincente Minnelli (Stephen Harvey; foreword by Liza Minnelli)

harvey-stephen-directed-by-vincente-minnelliIn a career spanning over thirty years from World War II to the 1970s, Vincente Minnelli was one of the most honored directors in the history of the American screen. The acknowledged master of the movie musical (Cabin in the Sky, Meet Me in St. Louis, Yolanda and the Thief, The Pirate, An American in Paris, The Band Wagon, Gigi), Minnelli also triumphed at everything from sophisticated comedy (Father of the Bride, The Long Long Trailer, Designing Woman, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father), to period biography (Lust for Life) and melodrama (The Clock, Madame Bovary, The Bad and the Beautiful, Some Came Running, Home from the Hill, Two Weeks in Another Town).

While astonishingly varied in their range, Minnelli’s films express a style and sensibility that are unique and unmistakable. His assured and innovative use of color, his exceptionally fluid camerawork, and his extraordinary eye to detail are the hallmarks of a director who, more than any of his colleagues of comparable status, flourished within the confines of the studio system. Yet beneath their surface beauty his films, often as not, conveyed an underlying melancholy far removed from the cheery optimism that marked the standard MGM fare during his tenure there. It is Minnelli’s enduring achievement to have explored these contradictions; in so doing, he brought vigor, eloquence, and taste to the popular values of his time.

In Directed by Vincente Minnelli, author and film critic Stephen Harvey chronicles this outstanding director’s career with comprehensive descriptions of the making of each of his thirty-four films and an in-depth look at the operations of MGM during its heyday. With skill, insight, and humor, Harvey examines both Minnelli’s working methods and his professional rapport with stars such as Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Gene Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, and Barbra Streisand, as well as his relationships on and off the set with his wife Judy Garland and daughter Liza Minnelli.

Handsomely designed, Directed by Vincente Minnelli is illustrated throughout with 50 full-color and 166 black-and-white film stills, set shots, design sketches, and photographs from the Minnelli family’s personal collection, many of which have never been before published. Stephen Harvey had the full cooperation of MGM, the Turner Entertainment Co., Liza Minnelli, and the director himself prior to his death in 1986.

STEPHEN HARVEY is Associate Curator in the Department of Film of The Museum of Modern Art. His previous books include a monograph on Fred Astaire; and his essays on film have appeared in such volumes as Jean Cocteau and the French Scene, Anna Magnani, and Rediscovering French Film. He has contributed articles to the New York Times, the Village Voice, Newsday, The Nation, Film Comment, Premiere, and American Film. Harvey also wrote the documentary film Sanford Meisner: The Theater’s Best-Kept Secret. In 1985, the government of France named him a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 315 pp. – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.475 g (52,0 oz) – PUBLISHER The Museum of Modern Art / Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-87070474-5

Directing the Film: Film Directors on Their Art (Eric Sherman)

sherman-eric-directing-the-filmIn Directing the Film, seventy-five important European and American directors explore film from the director’s chair. Gathered from seminars and oral histories sponsored by the American Film Institute, sensitively arranged by Eric Sherman, here are the words of professionals dissecting every aspect of their trade: casting, budgets, who uses a storyboard and why, the relative importance of script and improvisation, working with actors, staging cameras, special effects, editing, and much more.

The range and diversity of directors represented amounts almost to an embarrassment of riches: Howard Hawks, Stan Brakhage, Federico Fellini, George Cukor, John Cassavetes, King Vidor, Bernardo Bertolucci, Samuel Fuller, Arthur Penn, Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Miloš Forman, John Huston, Costa-Gavras, Roger Corman, Louis Malle, Roberto Rossellini, etc. Since “there have evolved nearly as many theories of film directing as there are directors,” these men and women reveal instructive disparities in the way they approach their art or craft (itself a bone of contention). In reminiscing about their own films, they also produce an array of flavorful anecdotes, such as the rationale behind the enigmatic last shot of Greta Garbo in Queen Christina; how Cassavetes’s Shadows was funded by radio appeal; how the chase scene in The French Connection was cut to an unheard rock song.

Eric Sherman’s framing comments and interpolated essays further clarify the differences in directors’ scope of vision and methodological style, which contribute so materially to the effect of finished films. As a storehouse of practical wisdom on every aspect of making films, and as a rich mine of film tore, Directing the Film is an invaluable resource for film students, would-be directors, and buffs.

ERIC SHERMAN is the son of Hollywood director Vincent Sherman, a graduate of Yale University, and the co-author (with Martin Rubin) of The Director’s Event. He has written extensively for film periodicals, and has written, directed, and produced documentaries on philosopher Paul Weiss and jazz musician Charles Lloyd. He lives in Malibu, California.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 352 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 783 g (27,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1976 – ISBN 0-316-78541-5

Directors Close-Up: Interviews with Directors Nominated for Best Film by the Directors Guild of America (moderated and edited by Jeremy Kagan)

kagan-jeremy-directors-close-upSince 1992, the Directors Guild of America has hosted annual seminars featuring its nominees for outstanding film directing. Since its inception, film and television director Jeremy Kagan has moderated these sessions, in which the finest contemporary directors weigh in on every aspect of the filmmaking process. In this second edition of Directors Close Up, Kagan has culled the most insightful and entertaining responses from these acclaimed directors. From script development through pre-production, production, and post-production, they offer personal insights into every step of the creative process, including their takes on the best and worst aspects of their profession. In addition to those featured in the previous edition, this volume includes all participants from 2000 through 2005 and contains personal materials from many of the directors, including storyboards, script notes, sketches, and on-the-set photos. Directors Close Up will be of interest to both professional and aspiring directors, as well as film fans who enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpses into movie making.

Jeremy Kagan works as a director, writer, and producer in feature films and television. His credits include such films as Heroes, The Chosen, and The Journey of Natty Gann. He won an Emmy in 1996 for directing an episode of the series Chicago Hope. He is a professor at the University of Southern California, has served as the Artistic Director at the Sundance Institute, and is on the National Board of the Directors Guild.

[Interviews with Roberto Benigni, James L. Brooks, James Cameron, Sofia Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Stephen Daldry, Frank Darabont, Andrew Davis, Clint Eastwood, Marc Forster, Mel Gibson, Taylor Hackford, Curtis Hanson, Scott Hicks, Ron Howard, Peter Jackson, Spike Jonze, Neil Jordan, Ang Lee, Mike Leigh, Barry Levinson, Baz Luhrmann, John Madden, Michael Mann, Rob Marshall, Sam Mendes, Anthony Minghella, Mike Newell, Christopher Nolan, Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski, Michael Radford, Rob Reiner, Gary Ross, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Soderberg, Oliver Stone, Barbra Streisand, Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant, Peter Weir, Robert Zemeckis]

Softcover – 340 pp., index – Dimensions 25 x 17,5 cm (9,8 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 758 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2006 – ISBN 0-8108-5712-X

The Director’s Event: Interviews with Five American Film-Makers (Eric Sherman, Martin Rubin)

Sherman, Eric - The Director's EventThe American film industry is changing. The old order – the Hollywood-based studio production – is breaking down. The new order – independent companies and independent projects – is rising. Rising with it is a new generation that looks to film as a means of creative expression. Eric Sherman, in his foreword to the book, writes about why this shift occurred: “We either like a film or dislike it according to the feelings it gives us. The nature of these feelings determines the ultimate emotional power of any film… We believe that the feelings in a film come from its director. Sometimes, we begin to get similar feelings and perceive similar ideas throughout several films directed by one person. The more we see his films, the more we realize that he is not telling separate and unrelated stories. We sense that he is expressing the same personal ideas – images infused with themes – throughout his works. Because of his films’ consistencies, we sense that at some level, he is no longer concerned with isolated effects, but with expressing his own unique view of the world.”

This book examines the forerunners of this new order by studying the careers of five American film artists.

Abraham Polonsky, blacklisted in 1949, will introduce a new movie, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, already the subject of articles in The New York Times and various film magazines.
Budd Boetticher directed a series of Randolph Scott Westerns in the 1950’s that have achieved a “cult” status among film buffs.
Peter Bogdanovich, author of books on John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock, has become the first American film critic to direct his own features.
Arthur Penn’s depiction of conflict and violence in Bonnie and Clyde, as well as his comment on the hippy scene in Alice’s Restaurant, speaks directly to our time.
Samuel Fuller’s career has been a constant war against studio control. He has won a Venice Film Festival Award (Pickup on South Street) and the reverence of students of cinema art from Godard to Sherman and Rubin.

While an undergraduate at Yale University, where he was Executive Director of the Yale Film Society, ERIC SHERMAN made an hour-long documentary film on Charles Lloyd, shown at the 1969 New York Film Festival. Following his graduation in 1968, he made a feature-length film inspired by Thomas Mann’s “Mario and the Magician.” Mr. Sherman is currently filming a documentary about the folk-rock musical, Hair. MARTIN RUBIN served as the New Journal‘s movie review editor and was Chairman of the Yale Film Society. His next project is a book on the American filmmaker Douglas Sirk.

[Interviews with Abraham Polonsky, Budd Boetticher, Peter Bogdanovich, Arthur Penn, Samuel Fuller]

Hardcover, dust jacket – 200 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 16 cm (8,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 621 g (21,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Atheneum, New York, New York, 1969

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Byron Haskin (interviewed by Joe Adamson)

adamson-joe-byron-haskin“Byron Haskin belonged to that small group of filmmakers who began work before the studio system fully defined an industrial pattern for the production of motion pictures and remained active from silent film into the era of filmed television. His experience is a microcosm of Hollywood’s salad days.

These pages vibrate with life, for Byron Haskin had the greatest gift to which a director can aspire: he was a storyteller. The reader will see that he was modest about even his most impressive achievements (he never bothers to mention his Academy Award or nominations) and critics are probably correct when they describe Byron Haskin as a highly gifted craftsman rather than as an auteur who carried a personal vision from one project to the next. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful book because of Haskin’s insight into human nature, his astonishing recollection of detail, his vivid language and his wise perspective on a career of immense and varied accomplishment. This oral history also benefits from empathy between the subject and his interviewer. Joe Adamson had authored three books of film history, written a television special and a low-budget feature, and produced an award-winning short; however, he had never met Mr. and Mrs. Haskin when I sent him to Montecito in quest of a consent to tape. All barriers of age tumbled and as they spoke, they became close friends.

The Oral History of Byron Haskin was transcribed and edited by Adele Field. Joe Adamson continued to extend close attention at every stage, and Mr. Haskin did much of the polish work for the published version, reading and approving page proofs less than two weeks before his death on April 16, 1984. To Terry Haskin, herself a published novelist, we extend ten thousand thanks for as many good ideas and amenities.” – From The Introduction by David H. Shepard.

Hardcover – 314 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 539 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1984 – ISBN 0-8108-1740-3

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Curtis Bernhardt (interviewed by Mary Kiersch)

kiersch-mary-curtis-bernhardt“From 1924 to 1964, Curtis Bernhardt directed over forty films with consistent talent, imagination and innovation. Many were completed in the face of obstacles and pressures which might have defeated a director of less energy and resourcefulness: miniscule budgets (War), Nazi oppression (The Tunnel), technological change (The Last Company), and studio politics from Berlin to Hollywood. Bernhardt was not afraid to take personal or professional risks, and the national cinemas of Germany, France and America are significantly richer for his contributions.

After brief military service in World War I, Bernhardt trained as an actor. He worked his way up through regional theaters to become a leading actor on the stage of Berlin’s avant-garde Renaissance Theatre. During that cultural apotheosis known as ‘Berlin in the Twenties,’ Bernhardt enjoyed both success and scandal. Soon he was directing plays, and it wasn’t long before Bernhardt was challenged by an art form with which he was refreshingly inexperienced and unfamiliar. War, his first film, was shot in 1924-25 and financed by the German Communist Party. Made for the slight sum of 16,000 marks, it utilized actual combat footage and a “taxi-driven” camera to drive home its strong anti-war message. Paradoxically, another of his early films was financed and supervised by the Catholic Church!

Bernhardt directed eight silent films with contributors of extraordinary stature: Carl Zuckmayer, Béla Balázs, Lupu Plek, William Dieterle, Albert Steinrück, Fritz Rasp and Fritz Kortner. He fought with his producers and persuaded them to let him cast Marlene Dietrich in her first starring screen role; The Woman Every Man Desires was made over a year before von Sternberg “discovered” her unique talents. Three nascent directors gained their initial experience with Curtis Bernhardt: Henry Koster, Robert Siodmak and John Brahm.

In 1928, Joe May recruited Bernhardt to direct The Last Company, ‘the first sound film of any artistic significance made by the UFA’ (Kurt Riess). After the premiere, the head of UFA proclaimed Bernhardt ‘the young genius of the film industry.’ Barely thirty and working with such diverse and formidable talents as Carl Mayer, Asta Nielsen and Luis Trenker, Bernhardt was one of the three most-in-demand directors in Germany. But the enormous popularity of The Rebel proved a mixed blessing for the young Jewish ‘upstart,’ Goebbels publicly announced his admiration for the picture, adding that flit could never have been conceived in the degenerate mind of a Jew. Within hours, Bernhardt was on his way to Paris, where he hoped to work in safety on The Tunnel, a story of workers digging an undersea route between England and France.

Instead, the French producers ordered him to Munich for the shooting of the film’s German version. All guarantees had been given by the German Ministry of Propaganda for his safety. So, in 1933, Bernhardt was the only Jewish director allowed to work in Germany. He was harassed officially and unofficially by the Nazis throughout the production. The instant that shooting was completed, an arrest order was issued. This time, Bernhardt’s escape was more expensive and more dangerous. When he arrived back in Paris, he knew that his career in Germany was over.

His films made during the French-English period often reflect the predicament of a refugee. His characters suffer from a painful and involuntary alienation from the past, a tormented and transient present, and only a half-hearted belief in a viable future. In The Beloved Vagabond, Maurice Chevalier wanders through Europe after an unhappy love affair. Charles Vanel in Carrefour plays an amnesiac trying to reconcile a criminal past with a respectable, bourgeois present.

When Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Russia in 1939, Bernhardt realized that he must get out of Europe. Wanted as a Jew in Germany, as a German in France, and facing internment in England, his only option was America. Bernhardt made his way to Hollywood by the most remarkable luck and the constant support of Henry Koster – his only friend in the film capital. Screenings of Carrefour brought him offers from MGM and Warner Bros. He signed a seven-year contract with the latter, and so began his long and stormy relationship with Jack L. Warner in 1939.

Bernhardt directed nine films (and one ‘loanout’) for Warner in the forties. Juke Girl (1942) with Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan remains a classic of the proletarian genre for which the studio was renowned. For Conflict (1944), he drew atypical performances from Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in this story of a wife killer and the psychiatrist who frames his confession. On Million Dollar Baby Bernhardt met the young writer, Jerry Wald. Both at Warner and after, the two worked together as much as possible in a professionally and personally felicitous relationship.

The little critical attention which Bernhardt has received in this country rests mainly on his postwar ‘film noir.’ In A Stolen Life, Bette Davis plays the demanding dual role of twins with opposing temperaments. To increase the realism on this technically challenging project, Bernhardt helped to invent a matte system which allowed the twins to be photographed together with a moving camera, to touch each other within the shot, and to cast naturalistic shadows on each other. For Possessed, where Joan Crawford plays a comatose schizophrenic, Bernhardt also devised the most extraordinary series of subjective shots and environments to get the audience inside the mind and feelings of the character. After Warner Bros., Bernhardt continued in the noir mood at MGM with High Wall. It remains another technically fascinating film, one of the most intense and artful depictions of the traumas facing the returning G.I. At RKO, he made Payment on Demand with Bette Davis. A film which dispassionately observes the American institutions of marriage and divorce, its use of translucent sets was both daring and evocative.

After Warner, Bernhardt was happy for his independence. He eschewed a contract offer from Samuel Goldwyn to be a top director at Goldwyn Studios, and began to work at MGM on a film-to-film basis. With the exception of Universal, Bernhardt worked at every major studio in Hollywood during the fifties, and he met every technical novelty within the industry with considerable taste and tolerance. Miss Sadie Thompson remains the only ‘ungimmicky’ 3-D opus in existence. Beau Brummell and Interrupted Melody demonstrate a rare understanding of the increased visual and narrative possibilities with CinemaScope. His version of The Merry Widow is one of the lavish, graceful and amusing operettas of that era. After working overseas from Italy to Brazil, Bernhardt returned to Warner to direct Kisses for My President in 1964.

Bernhardt married for the first time in 1936. His wife, Pearl Argyle, was the former prima ballerina with the Sadlers-Wells Company in England. Steven Bernhardt, their elder son, is a producer and is a member of the Directors Guild of America. Tony Bernhardt, their younger son, is a scientist in Northern California. In 1963, Bernhardt married Anne-Maria Wickert, a stage actress in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf. Until Mr. Bernhardt’s death in 1981, the couple made their home in Pacific Palisades, California, where Mrs. Bernhardt still resides. In 1970, the German Ministry of the Interior cited Bernhardt for his ‘long years and extraordinary work in the German film industry’ at a special ceremony at the Berlin Festival.” – From ‘Curtis Bernhardt, An Introduction by Mary Kiersch.’

Hardcover – 194 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 384 g (13,5 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1986 – ISBN 0-808-1870-1

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: David Butler (interviewed by Irene Kahn Atkins)

atkins-irene-kahn-david-butlerThe continuing Directors Guild of America Oral History series records the achievements and personal insights of pioneers in the fields of film, television, and radio. The present volume, compiled from interviews conducted by Irene Kahn Atkins, documents the outstanding career of David Butler, a multi-talented filmmaker whose career began as an actor with D.W. Griffith, King Vidor, and other silent film luminaries.

After becoming a distinguished director in his own right, Mr. Butler went on to direct over sixty features, as well as numerous television episodes. David Butler’s story is a revealing and entertaining journey through behind-the-scenes Hollywood from its early beginnings to the days of the “baby boomer” generation’s favorite filmed TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s.

The late IRENE KAHN ATKINS, daughter of famed lyricist Gus Kahn, was a music editor and conducted oral histories of craftsmen in music and sound for the American Film Institute and Yale University, as well as for the Directors Guild of America (her other oral histories in this series include Henry Koster and Arthur Jacobson). She also published Source Music in Motion Pictures (Fairleigh Dickinson).

Hardcover, dust jacket – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14,5 cm (8,7 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 572 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1993 – ISBN 0-8108-2705-0

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Henry Hathaway (interviewed by Polly Platt; edited, and introduction by Rudy Behlmer)

behlmer-rudy-henry-hathaway“Colorful and anecdote rich, director Henry Hathaway was certainly a ripe subject for an extended oral history when Polly Platt broached the subject in 1973. Hathaway was just one film short of retiring from an exceptionally long career in the business – starting as a child actor in films in 1911 under Allan Dwan’s direction at the American Film Company. He became a property man at Universal in the teens (along with propman John Ford), at Goldwyn in 1920, and at Paramount in the early 1920s. He graduated to assistant director at Paramount in 1924, making many films with renowned directors such as Josef von Sternberg, Victor Fleming, and William K. Howard.

Hathaway finally became a director at Paramount in 1932, making the popular Zane Grey Westerns featuring Randolph Scott. Soon, he was making big important successes such as The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), and Spawn of the North (1938) before leaving Paramount for a long-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox, where he worked with studio head Darryl F. Zanuck on such films as Kiss of Death (1947), Call Northside 777 (1948), The Desert Fox (1951), and Niagara (1953). In 1960, he started to freelance, directing How the West Was Won (1962) and True Grit (1969), among a variety of other films in various genres.

Hathaway had a reputation of being a tough, no-nonsense, and rather obsessed director. But he was always a thorough professional. His recollections about working on several occasions over the years with his friends Gary Cooper and John Wayne and his experiences directing the still budding Marilyn Monroe, little Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, and the brilliant but exasperating Orson Welles are particularly colorful and insightful.

Polly Platt, who conducted the interviews, is the first woman to become a production designer in the Art Directors Guild. Some of her feature film credits as a production and costume designer include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc?, The Bad News Bears, The Witches of Eastwick, and Terms of Endearment (for which she was an Academy Award nominee). She wrote the story and screenplay for Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby, was the executive producer on James L. Brooks’s Broadcast News, and was the producer of Say Anything, Bottle Rocket, and The War of the Roses. She served as co-producer on Evening Star, the sequel to Terms of Endearment. Platt also worked closely with her first husband, Peter Bogdanovich, on his 1971 documentary Directed by John Ford and on his interview books with Ford and director Allan Dwan. Her background and frame of reference provide an added dimension to the interviews.

Although she always intended to edit the oral history, Polly Platt’s increasingly busy schedule over the years prevented this. A few years ago, Adele Field, at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) – special projects department, asked if I would be interested in editing and annotating the long-dormant interviews, which were originally conducted under the auspices of the American Film Institute’s oral history program and were later transferred to the DGA when its oral history program was set up by David Shepard. After reading the transcript and realizing the historical significance and vast span of Hathaway’s reminiscences, I readily accepted. I am indebted to my wife, Stacey, for her considerable help with the many supplementary sections.

In 1999 Zack Reed, then national executive in charge of special projects at the DGA, met with Tony Slide of Scarecrow Press and me and activated arrangements to have the work published in book form. The Guild’s Pamela Kile was very helpful in preparing the manuscript for publication and Luisa Ribeiro carefully prepared the index.

Within these pages, Hathaway takes us through the studio systems of the times, and because he came up from the ranks, his behind-the-scenes perspective is particularly illuminating.” – From The Introduction by Rudy Behlmer.

This collection of interviews traces the career of filmmaker Henry Hathaway from his beginnings as a child actor for the American Film Company in 1911 through his directorial triumphs How the West Was Won (1962) and True Grit (1969). Begun as a special project for the American Film Institute, this oral history has now been edited and is being released for the first time in book form.

POLLY PLATT, production designer, screenwriter, and producer of such films as Broadcast News, Pretty Baby, and The War of the Roses conducted the interviews and intended to edit them herself, but her busy career prevented her from completing the project. Now edited for release, this collection contains Hathaway’s fascinating reflections about the studio system and working with such Hollywood luminaries as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, James Stewart, and Shirley Temple. A must for any Hollywood history buff.

Hardcover – 280 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 13,5 cm (8,7 x 5,3 inch) – Weight 431 g (15,2 oz) – PUBLISHER The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 2001 – ISBN 8108-3972-5

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: Henry Koster (interviewed by Mary Kiersch)

atkins-irene-kahn-henry-koster“Although I had seen many films that Henry Koster had directed and his name was a familiar one to me, I had never met him before we started the interviews for this oral history. It seemed that he would be a good oral history subject for several reasons: he had written and directed many European films before making a very smooth transition to a long career of filmmaking in Hollywood; he had directed in a variety of film genres, both silent and with sound, from advertising cartoons to CinemaScope epics; he had been associated with some of Hollywood’s most distinguished and interesting personalities – actors and actresses, writers and producers.

As the interview progressed, it was evident that Mr. Koster was, indeed, a good oral history interviewee. He had an excellent recall of what he – and I, too – considered important in the day to day, year by year, chronicle of a director at work. Most of his anecdotes reflect the satisfaction of cooperative working experiences and the achievement of many fine dramatic moments in his films.

Mr. Koster made every effort to assist me in my research, especially concerning most of the European films, for which credits and other records are scarce or nonexistent. His son Robert also helped with titles and cast lists. Helpful, too, were the screenings of fifteen Henry Koster pictures at the Directors Guild offices. Although Mr. Koster was invited to these, he declined, saying he knew the movies backwards and forwards, which I am sure is true. All the interviews took place in the Kosters’ home, in a relaxed, leisurely atmosphere. Although the drive from my home to the Kosters’ home in Camarillo was a rather long and arduous one for me, Mr. Koster was most co-operative about scheduling our meetings to avoid peak traffic hours on the Ventura Freeway. Since our interviews took place from January through April 1982, the drive gave me a chance to enjoy the lengthening days and the greening of the hills of the San Fernando Valley. For those Easterners who still grumble that there are no seasons in Southern California, springtime on the Ventura Freeway should be a required excursion.” – From ‘Interview History’ by Irene Kahn Atkins

Hardcover – 178 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 368 g (13 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1987 – ISBN 0-8108-1983-X

A Directors Guild of America Oral History: King Vidor (interviewed by Nancy Dowd, David Shepard)

dowd-nancy-king-vidor“When The American Film Institute’s oral history project was active in the early 1970s under sponsorship of the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, King Vidor was among the most significant artists chosen for interviews. Vidor’s  autobiography, A Tree Is A Tree, had appeared in 1953; however, AFI wanted to supplement the book. Not only had Vidor completed years of subsequent professional activity; MGM had completed a restoration program which made it possible to discuss most of his best films in the stimulating environment of a fresh look. I recommended that Nancy Dowd, who had become interested in Vidor’s work when a student at UCLA, be commissioned as oral historian, and I witnessed the excitement when they viewed films like Happiness, Wild Oranges, and Show People – she for the first time, he for the first time in almost half a century. The freshness and immediacy of the interview is due in large part to those screening opportunities provided by AFI with the cooperation of MGM and other producers. Before the project was completed, Nancy Dowd and AFI parted company, AFI’s oral documentation program changed direction, and the 46 completed tapes gathered dust for years before Ms. Dowd delivered them to the Directors Guild of America for finishing into the present volume. In the edited transcript, Mr. Vidor’s remarks were somewhat rearranged to reflect the chronology of his career, rather than the random order of the original film screenings which stimulated the interview sessions. The inevitable trailings and inconsistencies of transcribed speech have been silently corrected, and many isolated reflections on various subjects have been moved to locations to which they seemed more logically suited. As the Nancy Dowd interview ended with King Vidor’s last commercially produced motion picture, I recorded a final session early in 1980 summarizing Mr. Vidor’s career and discussing his personal films produced since 1959. The transcribing of interviews was accomplished under Directors Guild auspices while Edward Schilling and Adele Field did all of the organizing, checking and editing. I functioned as general editor throughout the project; however, readers should note that while we have made the manuscript error-free to the best of our collective ability, neither King Vidor nor Nancy Dowd passed final judgment on this written record.” – Introduction by David Shepard.

King Vidor died peacefully at his ranch in Paso Robles on November 1, 1982. As his family subsequently gathered his belongings from various homes and storerooms, it became clear that he had preserved an amazing collection of personal and professional papers. One small trunk became the basis for Sidney Kirkpatrick’s best-selling book A Cast of Killers (1986), and the entire collection was subsequently donated to the University of Southern California where it is available to researchers. Other collections of Vidor papers may be found at the UCLA Research Library and at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The volume of material is daunting, but would make possible a definitive biography of a pioneer film artist who was also a beautiful and extraordinary human being.

Hardcover – 309 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (8,7 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 558 g (19,7 oz) – PUBLISHER The Directors Guild of America / The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey, 1988 – ISBN -08108-2161-3

The Directors – Take One (Robert J. Emery)

Emery Robert J - The Directors Take OneBased on the Silver Plaque-winning Encore documentary series, The Directors – Take One is a fascinating compilation of thirteen profiles of today’s most-acclaimed directors, based on extensive interviews with them and the stars who worked with them.

In this remarkable volume, writer / director Robert Emery has assembled a veritable who’s who of Hollywood directors, from Robert Wise and Sidney Lumet to Ron Howard and Spike Lee, to discuss the intricacies of their craft. Providing brief informative introductions for each director, Emery then lets the directors speak for themselves, taking the reader on an unforgettable tour of their careers and behind the scenes of their landmark films. The array of directors provides something for everybody: Robert Wise’s early editing work with Orson Welles and uncredited direction on The Magnificent Ambersons; Norman Jewison’s determination to make the controversial In the Heat of the Night in 1966; the financial and societal pressures on Spike Lee during the filming of Malcolm X; William Shatner’s indelible influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween; and James Cameron’s titanic battle to make what became the most successful film in history. Complete with a full filmography and list of awards for each director, The Directors is an essential addition to any movie fan’s library.

[Interviews with Robert Wise, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, James Cameron, Spike Lee, Richard Donner, Norman Jewison, John Carpenter, John Frankenheimer, Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Rydell, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Sidney Lumet]

Softcover – 414 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 573 g (20,2 oz) – PUBLISHER TV Books, New York, New York, 1999 – ISBN 1-57500-087-3

The Directors – Take Two (Robert J. Emery)

scannen0295Based on the award-winning documentary series, The Directors – Take Two is a fascinating compilation of thirteen profiles of today’s most acclaimed directors, based on extensive interviews with them and the stars who worked with them.

In this remarkable second volume of The Directors, writer / director Robert Emery assembles a veritable who’s who of Hollywood directors discussing the intricacies of their craft. Providing an informative introduction for each, Emery then lets the directors – from Rob Reiner and Alan J. Pakula to Garry Marshall and John Badham – speak for themselves, taking the reader on an unforgettable tour of their careers and behind the scenes of their landmark films. The array of directors offers something for everybody: Terry Gilliam on shooting Monthy Python and the Holy Grail in four and a half weeks on a minimal budget in the highlands of Scotland; Joel Schumacher on the cast of St. Elmo’s Fire and how they became the “Brat Pack”; and Robert Zemeckis, who emerged with Back to the Future from behind a stack of rejection letters, box-office busts, and the critique that “nobody is interested in time travel.” Complete with a full filmography and list of awards for each director, The Directors – Take Two is an essential addition to any film fan’s library.

[Interviews with Rob Reiner, Joel Schumacher, Robert Zemeckis, Alan J. Pakula, John G. Avildsen, Garry Marshall, John McTiernan, Martha Coolidge, Herbert Ross, William Friedkin, Arthur Hiller, Terry Gilliam, John Badham]

Softcover – 238 pp. – Dimensions 22,5 x 15 cm (8,9 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 534 g (18,8 oz) – PUBLISHER TV Books, New York, New York, 2000 – ISBN 1-57500-129-2

The Disney Films (Leonard Maltin)

Maltin, Leonard - The Disney FilmsA fascinating tribute to the talent and genius of the man who brought more joy to the motion picture screen than any other, The Disney Films documents Walt Disney’s monumental contribution to both movies and television – his enormous creativity and innovative ability. From the groundbreaking cartoon The Three Little Pigs to the smash hit Mary Poppins, this delightful and informative book covers Walt Disney’s greatest achievements, including the metamorphosis of the simple animated cartoon into a new and uniquely expressive art form.

In this comprehensive volume Leonard Maltin also provides biographical notes that trace Disney’s rise from commercial artist to producer of his first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Plane Crazy, through more than thirty years of phenomenal worldwide acclaim. Everything Disney undertook blossomed under his careful guidance – early silent cartoons, talking cartoons, live-action short subjects, over eighty feature films, hundreds of television shows, even a wealth of public-service and wartime films. Why they succeeded, how Disney himself felt about his work, and why the public was so eager to pay him homage is carefully examined and explained by the author.

Much of the book is devoted to Disney’s most significant work, the feature films. Leonard Maltin provides a brief plot summary for each, as well as keen critical commentary. In addition, he includes smaller chapters on the short subjects, the television shows, and the films released since his death.

Now the wonders of Disney’s magical world are completely captured; everyone can relive these memorable moments from the past or experience them for the first time in these pages: the antics of the seven dwarfs as they welcome Snow White; Pinocchio’s terrors inside the giant whale Monstro; Fess Parker’s vivid portrayal of Davy Crockett; Alice at the tea party with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare; the majesty of The Living Desert. Here are all of Walt Disney’s most unforgettable feature films, including Fantasia, Peter Pan, The Shaggy Dog, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Cinderella, and scores more.

The Disney Films is a brilliant testimonial that will prove invaluable not only to cinema lovers and students but to all who want to know more about the genius and talent of the man whose impact on movies and on the world will be felt forever.

LEONARD MALTIN is one of the country’s leading film historians, having written five books on film, and edited Film Fan Monthly for the past seven years. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Variety, TV Guide, Film Comment, and other leading publications, and he is currently editor of the Curtis Film Series. He also writes on another pet topic, jazz, for Down Beat and The Village Voice.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 312 pp., index – Dimensions 28,5 x 22 cm (11,2 x 8,7 inch) – Weight 1.330 g (46,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1973 – ISBN 0-517-500469

Distinguished Company (John Gielgud)

scannen0003‘In my childhood, boyhood and adolescence I was not only stagestruck, but obsessed by the fascination of the many great theatrical personalities of the day, memories which have obstinately remained most vividly with me ever since.’

In this book one of our greatest actors recalls with affectionate nostalgia the renowned theater figures in the early decades of this century, many of whom he knew and acted with in later life.

Sir John’s ‘distinguished company’ includes Mrs Patrick Campbell, Sir Charles Hawtrey, Marie Tempest, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Gertrude Lawrence, not forgetting – among his own famous relatives – the legendary Ellen Terry, her brilliant son Edward Gordon Craig, and many more ‘immortals’. He recalls their artistry, their wit, and eccentricity (tragic or comic) with a sure instinct for revealing intimate detail, and, in doing so, richly evokes the flavour of the period and the magic of its artistic life.

The author’s infectious warmth for his subject is evident throughout, making this a highly entertaining and absorbing book. The text is perfectly matched by sixteen pages of photographs.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 123 pp., index – Dimensions 22,5 x 14,5 cm (8,9 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 347 g (12,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Heibemann, London, 1972 – ISBN 0 435 18353 2

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: California (edited by Slaney Begley, Joanne Levêque, Zoë Ross)

eyewitness-travel-guides-californiaThe DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California is your indispensable guide to this beautiful part of the world. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floorplans and reconstructions of the must-see sites, plus street-by-street maps of all the fascinating cities and towns. The new-look guide is also packed with photographs and illustrations leading you straight to the best attractions on offer.

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California will help you to discover everything region-by-region; from local festivals and markets to day trips around the state. Detailed listings will guide you to the best hotels, restaurants, bars and shops for all budgets, whilst detailed practical information will help you to get around, whether by train, bus or car. Plus, DK’s excellent insider tips and essential local information will help you explore every corner of California effortlessly.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California showing you what others only tell you.

Softcover – 632 pp. – Dimensions 22 x 13 cm (8,7 x 5,1 inch) – Weight 872 g (30,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Dorling Kindersley, Ltd., London, 2004 – ISBN 0-7513-4811-4

Donna Reed: A Bio-Bibliography (Brenda Scott Royce)

Donna Reed has been called everyone’s favorite mother and her recognition as such has stood the test of time. But before she became known as the ultimate mom for her role on The Donna Reed Show, Miss Reed was already a veteran film actress with almost forty films to her credit. Among these are her performances in It’s a Wonderful Life and From Here to Eternity. Her role in the latter garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. This book is a comprehensive reference to the life and work of Donna Reed for use by researchers as well as fans.

Performing arts researcher Brenda Scott Royce has compiled a self-contained reference work to Donna Reed’s career and life. A brief biography begins the book, followed by detailed examinations of Miss Reed’s work in motion pictures, television, and radio. Also listed are media reviews of her work, a listing of awards and nominations, and a chronology of major events in her life. An annotated bibliography follows these sections, and it lists all articles and other items about Donna Reed that appeared in major magazines, fan magazines, books, and newspapers. The entries in each section are cross-referenced for easy referral by the reader. This bio-bibliography will be an important addition to libraries with a performing arts collection, students of media arts, and Donna Reed fans.

Hardcover – 143 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 454 g (16 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1990 – ISBN 0-313-26806-1

“Don’t Fall Off the Mountain” (Shirley MacLaine)

maclaine-shirley-dont-fall-off-the-mountain“I’ve always felt that I would never develop into a really fine actress because I cared more about life beyond the camera than the life in front of it. Over the years my search became broader and broader. After two months on a picture my car seemed to veer toward the airport of its own accord. I still loved acting and enjoyed it. I was a professional, but basically I was more interested in the people I played than the movies I played them in…” – Shirley MacLaine.

An outspoken thinker, a keen observer, a truly independent woman, SHIRLEY MacLAINE takes us on a remarkable journey into her life and her inner self. From her Virginia roots, to stardom, marriage, motherhood and her enlightening travels to mysterious corners of the world, her story is exciting and poetic, moving and humorous – the varied and life-changing experiences of a talented, intelligent and extraordinary woman.

Softcover – 292 pp. – Dimensions 17,5 x 10,5 cm (6,9 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 164 g (5,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1970

Don’t Mind If I Do (George Hamilton, with William Stadiem)

Autographed copy George Hamilton

scannen0137Don’t let that tanned, handsome, charming surface fool you. Beneath the bronzed façade is a mischievous mind with a wicked wit. George Hamilton doesn’t miss a thing. With a front row seat for classic Hollywood’s biggest secrets and scandals, George has the intelligence, heart, and unflappable spirit to tell his story, and the story of Tinseltown’s heyday, with great good humor and delicious candor – as only he can. From Where the Boys Are to Dancing With the Stars; from Mary Pickford to Elizabeth Taylor; from small-town Arkansas to the capitals of Europe – it’s all here, and George has lived to tell and to laugh about it.

As the child of a Dartmouth-educated band-leader father and a glamorous Southern debutante mother whose marriage crumbled early on, George had a childhood filled with misadventures and challenges that his mother always seemed able to turn from tragedy to comedy. Her idea of changing the family’s fortunes involved a trip cross-country with three sons and a poodle in a Lincoln Continental, making stops along the way to search for husband / father number three. And she was quick to recognize that George’s potential success lay in Hollywood.

George starved nobly for his art in the late 1950s, but was soon starring in major motion pictures directed by the likes of Vincente Minnelli and Louis Malle. He has forgotten more about Hollywood than most movie experts will ever know and shares intimate and hugely entertaining stories of his friendships with Cary Grant; Brigitte Bardot; Robert Mitchum; Merle Oberon; Mae West; Sammy Davis, Jr.; and Judy Garland – not to mention Lyndon B. Johnson and Elvis’s Colonel Tom Parker as well as the King himself – among others. The world is Hamilton’s oyster, and this ultimate insider is ready to share it with us. So fasten your seat belt. We’ll tell you when it’s safe to move about the cabin again.

GEORGE HAMILTON received a seven-year contract from MGM in 1958. During the 1960s he appeared in films alongside legends Kirk Douglas, Olivia de Havilland, and Natalie Wood and in 1969 began his television career with Lana Turner on The Survivors. Hamilton later starred in movies such as the classic comedy Love at First Bite and The Godfather, Part III as well as television’s Dancing With the Stars and Broadway’s Chicago. He lives in Los Angeles. WILLIAM STADlEM is the co-author of the New York Times best-sellers Mr. S and Marilyn Monroe Confidential.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp. – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 509 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York, 2008 – ISBN 978-1-4165-4502-6

Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking: A Biography of Darryl F. Zanuck (Mel Gussow)

gussow-mel-dont-say-yes-until-i-finish-talkinDarryl F. Zanuck is a living relic, the last of the great movie moguls. In the course of nearly five decades, he has been involved with well over 600 films. As head of production, first at Warner Brothers, then at 20th Century-Fox, he retained personal control over every film at the studio, from original concept to final cut. Through financial crises and personal crises, through changes in the structure of the film industry and changes in the taste of the film audience, he has remained a major power.

The elements that made his most remarkable successes and his most spectacular failures, the unusual talents that gained him wide respect in the film community, and the real person behind the larger-than-life legend – all the facets of the man and his career are examined in this fascinating portrait of a bold, brilliant, and enigmatic man.

Mel Gussow has filled the book with candid, revealing comments drawn from extensive interviews with Zanuck himself, with his family and friends, and with many of the writers, directors, actors and actresses who have worked with him – as well as from memos and letters and Gussow’s own keen analysis of many Zanuck pictures. The result is a thorough, absorbing biography that captures all the color and complexity of the individual who is Darryl F. Zanuck.

MEL GUSSOW is a reviewer and reporter on cultural affairs for The New York Times. His articles and reviews have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, McCall’s, New York, and other national magazines.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 318 pp., index – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 538 g (19 oz) – PUBLISHER Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1971

Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me (Bob Hope, with Melville Shavelson)

hope-bob-dont-shoot-its-only-me“The terrible thing about growing older is that it lasts so long. You start telling jokes to make a living and one morning you wake up and find you’ve written the history of half a century. Or your writers have. Accidentally, I have no regrets. I’ve known most of the great personalities of our time, in politics, sports, and show business. I’ve flown a few million miles and been fortunate enough to meet thousands of our men and women in uniform, in war and peace, and have had as guests on my shows some of the most beautiful women in the world. If I had my life to live over again, I wouldn’t have the strength. But I’d like to try.

Writing this book is as close as I can get to living it all again. Maybe it will help you to remember, too. As I look back at all the jokes I have told over the years, some good and some that I wrote myself, I realize now that what they are really about is America. They are about what has happened to this country in this critical, tumultuous, crazy, terrible, wonderful half century we’ve just stumbled through.

I’m only an adopted son. I was born in England and left as soon as I realized I couldn’t become king. My mother took all her children on a boat to the New World. It wasn’t first class, but we had a lot of fun playing with the cattle. Of course, when we got here, we had to learn the language. And then, in this country, I fell in love. Sometimes I do my best to hide it, but I’ve got a real crush on America. Nobody ever had a girl like her. Nobody ever gave me as much affection, as much honor, or as much real estate. In a way, in this most democratic of democracies, I sometimes feel like a king.

How did it happen? Why me? I come from a family of seven boys, and the only thing we all had in common was that none of us ever won the Academy Award. Of course, the others weren’t really trying. Did some giant iron claw in the sky drop me into the one place in history where a fellow who barely got out of high school would have a school at Yale named after him? Where three wars in rapid succession would give him a captive audience of fighting men and women who were so glad to be alive they were ready to laugh at anything to prove it?

I’m no philosopher. I’m no historian. Maybe those who are will find some hidden depths in this story I’m going to tell, simply the story of what the United States of America was laughing at in the past fifty or so years, before getting up the next morning and going out to battle with the enemies all of us have to face: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. This is a love song to my girl: America, warts and all.” – From The Preface.

He’s been shelled, bombed and shot at on battlefields from North Africa to Europe, the South Pacific to Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. In Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me Bob Hope says thanks for the memories – which all began in Britain in 1903.

Moving to America aged four, he was a vaudeville dancer in his 20s, went on to become a star of radio, stage and screen and from 1940 started a career which was to take over his life and take him all over the world – entertaining the troops – and rubbing shoulders along the way with Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Jayne Mansfield, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Winston Churchill, several US Presidents and millions of G.I.s. His autobiography is a barrage of quick fire wit.

Softcover – 315 pp. – Dimensions 18 x 11 cm (7,1 x 4,3 inch) – Weight 230 g (8,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Pan Books, Ltd., London, 1991 – ISBN 0-330-31829-2

Don’t Tell Dad: A Memoir (Peter Fonda)

fonda-peter-dont-tell-dadIn a rip-roaring ride through the ’60s and up to the present day, Peter Fonda – son of Henry Fonda, sister of Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda – boldly recalls his turbulent life, sharing with readers for the first time the true stories behind the legends, famous and infamous, surrounding himself and his family.

Everyone knows Peter Fonda as the star of Easy Rider, the quintessential ’60s film he co-wrote and acted in with Dennis Hopper. But now the public is treated to the real Peter Fonda – the man behind the legend who has never been revealed. He spares no details about his cold and distant father (who was consumed by his career and many marriages), his mother’s suicide (which his family tried to hide), and their effects on him and his sisters. He provides many anecdotes about growing up with Jane, their coming of age exploits, and the many ups and downs of their life with their father.

Fonda also includes vivid tales of his own escapes – riding motorcycles with Marlon Brando in Rome, stories about his step-grandfather Oscar Hammerstein, getting acting tips from James Caan, his first on-screen kiss with Sandra Dee, hanging out with Salvador Dali, taking acid with the Beatles, youthful acting experiences with Warren Beatty, and his first introduction with pot. He describes the darker times as well: his friend Bridget Hayward’s suicide, his doomed first marriage, his best friend Stormy’s suicide, and the nightmare that would haunt him for life. There are never-before-told details about the making of Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson: how “monkee money” financed the project, and how he convinced Bob Dylan to allow them to use his songs in the movie.

Peter Fonda’s memoir is as much a poignant personal story as it is the story of one of the greatest Hollywood families – one of which the country has often seen its own reflection. From abysmal experiences in boarding school to his childhood attempts to understand his stern father to his own daughter’s success in Hollywood, Peter Fonda tells the tale with the humor and compelling frankness of a natural storyteller.

PETER FONDA is currently involved in independent filmmaking as an actor and director. His most recent film was Ulee’s Gold. He lives with his wife in Montana.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 498 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 939 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Hyperion, New York, New York, 1998 – ISBN 0-7868-6111-8

Doris Day: Her Own Story (A.E. Hotchner)

a-e-hotchner-doris-day-her-own-storyThis unusual collaboration in the form of an autobiography brings together a highly skilled professional writer and the film superstar who never enjoyed being thought of as Miss Coody Two-shoes. For the first time, Doris Day tells the story behind the headlines of her private life – three marriages, real and rumored affairs, and professional triumphs countered by personal tragedies.

At thirteen Doris was in a car hit by a train, and for a while she expected to be crippled for life. At sixteen she was earning her living on the road singing with bands. At seventeen she married a man who turned out to be a psychopathic sadist. She talks of many other things she never told anyone before, and her book is as compelling as it is honest. Mr. Hotchner, the author of Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir, has enriched her story with candid interviews with her son, Terry Melcher; her mother; her friends, and many of the people she has worked with including Bob Hope, James Garner, and Jack Lemmon. In this perceptive book, “the girl next door” turns out to be an inspiring woman of unique courage and strength.

A.E. HOTCHNER is the author of over 350 articles and short stories in national magazines. He has written two novels, The Dangerous American and Treasure. His three nonfiction books are Papa Hemingway, King of the Hill, and Looking for Miracles. Papa Hemingway was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and it has been published in twenty-five foreign editions and eighteen different languages. He is the author of a play, The White House, which was performed on Broadway in 1964 with Helen Hayes in the lead. He has written original dramas for Playhouse 90 and other major dramatic programs. Mr. Hotchner was born in St. Louis, Missouri. After obtaining A.B. and LL.B. degrees from Washington University, he was admitted to the Missouri bar and practiced law in St. Louis. During World War II he served with the 13th Wing, A.A.F. Antisubmarine Command, and also on the staff of Air Force magazine. He now lives in Westport, Connecticut.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 305 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 762 g (26,9 oz) – PUBLISHER Wiliam Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-688-02968-X

Dorothy Parker: A Bio-Bibliography (Randall Calhoun)

Calhoun, Randall - Dorothy Parker A Bio-BibliographyJournalist, poet, prose and fiction writer, and well-known wit, the inimitable Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) had something to say about virtually all her contemporaries among the literati, and they returned the favor in full measure. This well articulated primary and secondary bibliography covers the complete canon and its critical reaction, with illuminating annotations complemented by a biographical sketch.

Included also are three personal views of Parker –  by Joseph Bryan, III, Richard Lauterbach, and Wyatt Cooper. The accumulated evidence suggests that Parker should be considered a major figure in American letters not just America’s wittiest woman who happened to write.

Dorothy Parker’s screenplays include A Star Is Born (1937), Sweethearts (1938), Saboteur (1942) and The Fan (1949) .

Hardcover – 174 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 456 g (16,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1993 – ISBN 0-313-26507-0

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? A Biography (Marion Meade)

Meade, Marion - Dorothy Parker“I was just a little Jewish girl trying to be cute.” So Dorothy Parker described herself at the end of her life. That self-deprecating comment sums up her flamboyant life with remarkable understatement.

Before the age of thirty-five, Dorothy Parker was known as the wittiest woman in America. Her most casual remarks were repeated and printed. In fact, there was scarcely a bon mot of the day that was not attributed to her. She lived with hedonistic flair: luncheons with George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woolcott, and Franklin P. Adams; evenings at the theater and later a tour of fashionable speakeasies and brothels with Robert Benchley; weekends at the Long Island house parties that Fitzgerald would memorialize in The Great Gatsby; vacations in France with Sara and Gerald Murphy. During the Depression, she and her husband were earning $ 5,200 a week in Hollywood, where her friends and fellow writers included Lillian Hellman, S.J. Perelman, Nathanael West, and William Faulkner. Her commitment to left-wing politics added higher drama to her life during the 1930s and later during the McCarthy period.

Superficially, at least, she seemed to have everything worth having and to know everyone worth knowing. Yet behind the wisecracks, the dazzling wordplay, and the whirlwind of high living was a wealth of private sadness: two broken marriages and a succession of lacerating love affairs, a string of suicide attempts and abortions, heavy debts, and even heavier drinking. The rage behind her wit had indeed turned in on her. She became a victim of her own neuroses, not unlike her friend Zelda Fitzgerald.

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? is the definitive biography of a unique colorful woman and a glittering portrait of her times. This is an enthralling, authoritative, and entertaining study of an extremely complex woman who was at the epicenter of an electrifying age.

MARION MEADE has written a widely acclaimed biography Eleanor of Aquitaine, and a novel entitled Stealing Heaven: The Love Story of Eloise and Abelard. She lives in Manhattan.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 458 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 947 g (33,4 oz) – PUBLISHER Villard Books, New York, New York, 1988 – ISBN 0-394-54440-4

Douglas Fairbanks (Jeffrey Vance)

scannen0002This deft amalgam of biography, film history, and analysis is a superb portrait of a true pioneer who was critically important to the creation of cinema as the defining art form of the twentieth century. Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) was not only one of the first film superstars, he was also a screenwriter, a major independent producer during the silent film era, a founder of United Artists, and a founder and the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The optimism, energy, and huge success during the 1920s of his best-remembered films – The Mark of Zorro, Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, and The Black Pirate – made Fairbanks a popular hero throughout the world and showcased his talents as a creative producer whose work set the standard for excellence.

Douglas Fairbanks takes the full measure of the star’s remarkable life. Jeffrey Vance bases his portrait on a rich array of sources, including Fairbanks’s personal and professional papers and scrapbooks, newly available documents and rediscovered films, and his own extensive interviews with those who knew or worked with Fairbanks. Engagingly written and sumptuously designed, with 237 photographs, the book goes behind Fairbanks’s public persona to thoroughly explore his art and his far-reaching influence.

JEFFREY VANCE is a film historian, producer, archivist, and lecturer as well as the author of an acclaimed trilogy of books on the great triumvirate of silent-film comedy: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema, Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (with Suzanne Lloyd), and Buster Keaton Remembered (with Eleanor Keaton). Silent Partners, formed with Tony Mazietta, is his production company. He lives in Los Angeles.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 368 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 1.225 g (43,2 oz) – PUBLISHER University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles, California, 2008 – ISBN 978-0-520-25667-5

Douglas Fairbanks: The First Celebrity (Richard Schickel)

Schikel, Richard - Douglas Fairbanks the First CelebrityIn 1915 the great film director D.W. Griffith was uncertain about how to use the young actor his studio had just plucked from a successful career in light comedy on Broadway. He was not an outstanding actor, but during the next fifteen years Douglas Fairbanks, with his extraordinary athletic prowess, charm, gaiety and good humor, would become one of the first and best-loved celebrities of the silent era. His heroic and mock-heroic roles (from Robin Hood to Zorro to the Thief of  Bagdad); his marriage to the foremost female star ‘America’s Sweetheart’ Mary Pickford; the glitter of life at their palatial home ‘Pickfair’ high in Beverly Hills; their formation, with Charlie Chaplin, of United Artists; their worldwide, whirlwind tours – all added lustre to the image. The Fairbanks’ cavalcade was held bouyant by an ever eager and demanding public. But such adulation was short-lived, as with the arrival of the Talkies, Hollywood changed for ever and the fickle public turned to new idols.

Richard Schickel, in his profile of Douglas Fairbanks, examines the actor against the background of his time and considers the implications on our society of the early days of cinema and the ‘star’ system they created. At a time when the proliferation of celebrities, hailed for their well-knownness and not for any skill or triumph, is the plague of the media age, it is clear that  Fairbanks and his contemporaries taught us how to worship at this temple of false gods.

RICHARD SCHICKEL was the film critic for Life magazine until it ceased  publication in 1972. He is now an arts critic on Time and writes and directs for television. His previous books include The Disney Version and The Fairbanks Album.

Hardcover, dust jacket – 160 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 15 cm (9,5 x 5,9 inch) – Weight 461 g (16,3 oz) – PUBLISHER Elm Tree Books, London, 1976 – SBN 241 89443 3

Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character (Alistair Cooke)

Cooke, Alistair - Douglas FairbanksOriginally published in 1940, Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character was the second in a monographic series conceived by The Museum of Modern Art’s founding film curator, Iris Barry, to provide historical and aesthetic perspective on key film collections in the Museum’s care. They were part of a coordinated program of activities that included the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of films, research and writing on the cinema, and the distribution of artistically important films to educational institutions. World War II ended this series of books just as it was beginning, making instant collector’s items of the original limited editions, The present facsimile edition makes this sought-after publication again available to fans and scholars of the early film.

This volume first appeared in conjunction with the Museum’s landmark exhibition The Career of the Late Douglas Fairbanks. The retrospective was the first to feature the career of a famous screen star, and was the Museum’s most successful film series of its day. This book, by the distinguished journalist and broadcaster Alistair Cooke, analyzes the combination of showmanship, super-hero athletics, and all-Americanism that made Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., an internationally admired Hollywood star.

Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character is reissued as it first
appeared in 1940, both as a companion piece to the first volume in the series, Iris Barry’s D.W. Griffith: American Film Master, and as an enduring study of one of that era’s most remarkable pop icons.

Hardcover – 35 pp., index – Dimensions 26 x 19 cm (10,2 x 7,5 inch) – Weight 314 g (11,1 oz) – PUBLISHER The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1940 (2002 reprint) – ISBN 0-87070-684-5

Down the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of The Wizard of Oz (Doug McClelland)

McClelland, Doug - Down the Yellow Brick RoadWhat fun it is to travel behind the scenes with Doug  McClelland, to discover how they made the movie everyone cherishes. Combining a diverting text with more than 100 wonderful photographs – many published for the first time – the author takes us “over the rainbow” with Dorothy and her friends on that timeless journey down the Yellow Brick Road.

Here is the story behind The Wizard of Oz, showing how the production, the cast and the glorious music all joined to create the legendary movie that remains a joy forever.

DOUG McCLELLAND grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where he became assistant theater editor of The Newark Evening News. Later, as editor, he was one of the founders of Record World Magazine in New York. Today a freelance writer on film, McClelland has authored two previous books, The Unkindest Cuts and Susan Hayward: The Divine Bitch. He has written for such periodicals as After Dark, Film Fan Monthly, Films and Filming, Screen Facts, Films in Review, Filmograph and Quirck’s Reviews, is further represented in the anthologies The Real Stars, The Real Stars # 2 and Hollywood Kids. In addition, he has been research consultant on many volumes dealing with motion pictures. McClelland says that he has realized a life-long ambition with Down the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of The Wizard of Oz, to wit: writing a book concerning his favorite musical comedy star, Judy Garland.

Softcover – 158 pp. – Dimensions 27,5 x 21,5 cm (10,8 x 8,5 inch) – Weight 473 g (16,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Pyramid Communications, Inc., New York, New York, 1976

Drama Queens: Wild Women of the Silver Screen (Autumn Stephens)

stephens-autumn-drama-queensHollywood. “A place of mad night life, riotous living, orgies, careers that shot up like meteors and crashed down like lead, uncontrolled extravagances, unbridled love affairs and – in a word – SIN,” silent film star Louise Brooks once wrote. SIN, of course, was what that scandalous sex goddess lived for, and the Tinseltown she described was her kind of town… until the Paramount powers-that-be tried to clue her in to the concept of the work ethic.

Like Brooks, myriad other feminine free spirits have flocked to our famous film capital over the years. Some, of course, have been lured by the decadent attractions of a realm where playing make-believe is a way of life, and fantasy objects are notoriously free to pursue their own fantasies. (The kind, needless to say, that would never play in Peoria.). Others have coolly assessed the career options available to persons without penises, and concluded that their faces – or other flawless body parts – really are their fortunes.

Then, too, before the rise of the infamously sexist studio system in the mid-1920s, few other venues offered the tremendous opportunities available to women writers, directors, producers, and other professionals who starred behind the camera. (Believe it or not, women ruled the movie-making industry prior to 1920 – not only did they outnumber men, but their work was considered superior.)

From erotic icons to ball-busting deal-makers, from self-made vamps to congenital tramps, from gnarly non-conformists to flaming crusaders, some of this century’s most outrageous scene-makers have called Hollywood home. Here are their sexy, shocking, inspiring – and, yes, deliciously SIN-ful stories.

Softcover – 224 pp., index – Dimensions 17,5 x 17,5 cm (6,9 x 6,9 inch) – Weight 357 g (12,6 oz) – PUBLISHER Corani Press, Berkeley, California, 1998 – ISBN 1-57324-136-9

A Dreadful Man: A Personal Intimate Book About George Sanders (Brian Aherne, with George Sanders, Benita Hume)

aherne-brian-a-dreadful-manIn 1972, Broadway and movie actor George Sanders committed suicide at the age of 65 because, he wrote in a note he left, “I am bored.” Brian Aherne, himself a famous and distinguished actor, was one of Sanders’s close friends. In this intimate biography, he takes us into the private life of an amazingly talented star whose unpredictable behavior and brash temperament often led the author to joke that he was “a dreadful man,” but who was nonetheless capable of genuine kindness and compassion.

Sanders was undeniably a remarkable character. As a young man in the Argentine, he shot a man in a duel. While living in California, he was offered the lead in the Broadway production of South Pacific after spending $ 5,000 to make a record of himself singing Some Enchanted Evening and sending it to Rodgers and Hammerstein, only to turn the role down. Always obsessed with escaping taxes, he turned his life into a continual worldwide excursion and lost over a million dollars in speculative business deals.

Aherne recalls Sanders’s brief, stormy and often hilarious marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor, his long and happy marriage to Benita Colman, his sad deterioration and tragic death. A Dreadful Man is a splendid examination of a complex and fascinating personality. At the same time, it is a touching and extraordinary book about the friendships in a group of exceptionally gifted, talented and charming people: Sanders, mercurial, quixotic and moody; Benita Hume, Ronald Colman’s widow, who eventually married Sanders; and Brian Aherne himself, not to mention a cast of equally distinguished players, who move through this brilliant narrative and those remarkable, lively and fascinating letters with wit and con brio. Brian Aherne is one of England’s most notable contributions to the theatrical world. In the fifty years that cover his remarkable career, he has starred in thirty-seven motion pictures and countless radio and television shows, and the impressive list of his theater appearances in three countries is very long. His autobiography, A Proper Job, was greeted with enthusiasm by readers and critics alike. His account of his successful and marvelously varied life has the vitality, hu