Gods and Monsters: Movers, Shakers, and Other Casualties of the Hollywood Machine


Peter Biskind - 2004
    Biskind began as a radical journalist and film critic, excavating the likes of Rocky and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot for their hidden political subtexts in small lefty rags. Now he can legitimately describe himself - as he does in his autobiographical introduction to this book - as a "recovering celebrity journalist."" The ghosts of McCarthyism and the blacklist haunt Gods and Monsters as do the casualties of the counterculture and the New Hollywood. At the heart of the book are the likes of Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford, Terrence Malick, Sue Mengers, and uber-producer Don Simpson, all of whom Biskind portrays in great Dickensian detail, charting how they have had a simultaneously strangulating and liberating effect on the industry.

All About All About Eve: The Complete Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Bitchiest Film Ever Made!


Sam Staggs - 2000
    Its old-fashioned, larger-than-life stars--including Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, and Celeste Holm--found their best roles in Eve and its sophisticated dialogue has entered the lexicon.But there's much more to know about All About Eve. Sam Staggs has written the definitive account of the making of this fascinating movie and its enormous incluence on both film and popular culture. Staggs reveals everything about the movie--from the famous European actress Margo Channing was based on to the hot-blooded romance on-set between Bette Davis and costar Gary Merrill, from the jump-start the movie gave Marilyn Monroe's career to the capstone it put on director Joseph L. Mankeiwicz's.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.

Buster Keaton: Cut To The Chase


Marion Meade - 1995
    With a face of stone and a mind that engineered breathtakingly intricate moments of slapstick, Keaton has become an icon of the American cinema. Marion Meade's definitive biography explores his often brutal childhood acting experiences, the making of his masterpieces, his shame at his own lack of education, his life-threatening alcoholism, and his turbulent marriages. Based on four years of research and more than 200 interviews with notables such as Billy Wilder, Leni Riefenstahl, Gene Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Irene Mayer Selznik, as well as members of Keaton's family who had previously refused to discuss him, Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase is a startling and moving account of the troubled life of a cinematic genius.

It's Only a Movie: A Personal Biography of Alfred Hitchcock


Charlotte Chandler - 2005
    It really is amazing." Patricia Hitchcock North by Northwest. Psycho. Rear Window. The Birds. Vertigo. When it comes to murder and mayhem, shock and suspense, the films of Alfred Hitchcock can not be surpassed. For this book, Charlotte Chandler interviewed Hitchcock, his wife, daughter, film crew members, and many of the stars who appeared in his films, including Kim Novak, Janet Leigh, Cary Grant, Tippi Hedren and James Stewart.Throughout the book, Chandler shares Hitchcock's wit and wisdom. When actors took themselves too seriously, he would remind them, "it's only a movie." Chandler introduces us to the real Hitchcock, a devoted family man and notorious practical joker, who made suspenseful thrillers mixed with subtle humor and tacit eroticism.

Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe


Fred Lawrence Guiles - 1984
    Los Angeles Times

Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful


Danny Peary - 1981
    The 100 films the author chose, of the many thousands of movies that have been made, merited inclusion because they elicit extraordinary enthusiasm from their fans, small as that group might be. And because it might be a small, though vocal group, it has, over time, become a cult of champions for a particular film, usually a film that is, in various ways, different, more daring, more peculiar, than standard cinema fare. Quality of production, acting, script--these have nothing to do with becoming a cult favorite.Detailed information and insightful commentary accompany each entry.Whether you agree with the selections or have your own special, unheralded favorites that you believe deserve inclusion, you will find "Cult Movies" irresistibly entertaining.

Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films


Matthew Field - 2015
    Broccoli’s Eon Productions has navigated the ups and downs of the volatile British film industry, enduring both critical wrath and acclaim in equal measure for its now legendary James Bond series. Latterly, this family-run business has been crowned with box office gold and recognized by motion picture academies around the world. However, it has not always been smooth sailing. Changing tax regimes forced 007 to relocate to France and Mexico; changing fashions and politics led to box office disappointments; and changing studio regimes and business disputes all but killed the franchise while the rise of competing action heroes displaced Bond’s place in popular culture. But against all odds the filmmakers continue to wring new life from the series, and 2012’s Skyfall saw both huge critical and commercial success, crowning 007 as the undisputed king of the action genre. Some Kind of Hero recounts this remarkable story, from its origins in the early 1960s right through to the present day, and draws on hundreds of unpublished interviews with the cast and crew of this iconic series.

Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes


Matthew Kennedy - 1993
    Born the child of vaudevillians, she was on stage by age three. With her casual sex appeal, distinctive cello voice, megawatt smile, luminous saucer eyes, and flawless timing, she came into widespread fame in Warner Bros. musicals and comedies of the 1930s, including Blonde Crazy, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade.Frequent co-star to James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart, friend to Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, and Bette Davis, and wife of Dick Powell and Mike Todd, Joan Blondell was a true Hollywood insider. By the time of her death, she had made nearly 100 films in a career that spanned over fifty years.Privately, she was unerringly loving and generous, while her life was touched by financial, medical, and emotional upheavals. Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes is meticulously researched, expertly weaving the public and private, and features numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues.

Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind theMaking of 13 Iconic Films


Graydon Carter - 2008
    Now, for the first time ever, Vanity Fair presents a one-of-a-kind collection featuring thirteen behind-the- scenes stories on some of cinema's most iconic films-including pictures as varied as All About Eve, Cleopatra, Sweet Smell of Success, Rebel Without a Cause, and Saturday Night Fever. For pop-culture fanatics and movie buffs alike, Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood is an irresistible glimpse at how classic films-and box office bombs-are made.

Hello, He Lied and Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches


Lynda Obst - 1996
    "Never go to a meeting without a strategy."  "Ride the horse in the direction it's going."  These are just two of the gems unearthed from the trenches of Hollywood by Lynda Obst, one of the most successful producers in the  movie business today.  In Hello, He Lied, Obst offers real, practical advice to would-be professionals in any field: "Thou shalt not cry at work," "thou shalt not appear tough," "thou shalt return all thy phone calls," and more.  She takes us inside high-pressure meetings with David Geffen, onto the set of Sleepless in Seattle, and into the heated negotiations for The Hot Zone and reveals what she's learned in more than twenty years in the business: how to swim with the sharks--and not get eaten.

Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era


Turner Classic Movies - 2006
    Produced by Turner Classic Movies, this playful and definitive guide to fifty unforgettable actresses mirrors the focus of a month-long film festival on the channel. The life and accomplishments of each actress is celebrated in an insightful career overview, accompanied by an annotated list of essential films, filmographies, behind the scenes facts and style notes, Academy Award wins and nominations. Full of delightful trivia, film stills, posters, and glamorous photos, Leading Ladies pays tribute to the most charismatic, enduring, and elegant actresses of the silver screen.

On Kubrick


James Naremore - 2007
    This book argues that in several respects Kubrick was one of the cinema's last modernists.

Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man


Mick LaSalle - 2002
    Dangerous Men takes a close look at the images of manhood during this pre-Code era, which coincided with an interesting time for men-the culmination of a generation-long transformation in the masculine ideal. By the late twenties, the tumult of a new century had made the nineteenth century's notion of the ideal man seem like a repressed stuffed shirt, a deluded optimist. The smiling, confident hero of just a few years before fell out of favor, and the new heroes who emerged were gangsters, opportunists, sleazy businessmen, shifty lawyers, shell-shocked soldiers-men whose existence threatened the status quo. In this book, LaSalle highlights such household names as James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, Maurice Chevalier, Spencer Tracy, and Gary Cooper, along with lesser-known ones such as Richard Barthelmess, Lee Tracy, Robert Montgomery, and the magnificent Warren William. Together they represent a vision of manhood more exuberant and contentious-and more humane-than anything that has followed on the American screen.

Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince


Budd Schulberg - 1981
    Moving Pictures is his fascinating remembrance of growing up amidst the glamour, swank, courage, triumphs, defeats, cabals, and double-crosses of an industry in the making. His utterly candid account includes unsparing portraits of outsized characters in all their power, venality, charm, pettiness, and vindictiveness. As a book on the early days of the movies in Hollywood, this one is hard to beat. Abundantly illustrated with black-and-white photographs.

A Passion for Life: The Biography of Elizabeth Taylor


Donald Spoto - 1995
    Along the way, she also became an award-winning actress, without training or theory, without teachers or counsel, ultimately dazzling audiences everywhere with spectacular performances. Elizabeth Taylor has lived nothing less than an extraordinarily remarkable life. With an abundance of new information, internationally acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto explores the gripping story of her brutalizing six-month marriage to compulsive gambler and hotel heir Nicky Hilton, her romances with top Hollywood directors, and her marriage to the ailing Michael Wilding. Four years later, she would be swept off her feet by showman Mike Todd, into an alternately violent and loving marriage that would end after a year with Todd's death in a plane crash, leaving Taylor, at the age of twenty-six, a twice-divorced widow with three children. Here are Taylor's years with Eddie Fisher, Republican Senator John Warner and Richard Burton, with whom she would share a hedonistic, brash lifestyle that would virtually define the 1960s jet set. These years are at last fully and richly explored with mines of fresh material, some of it shocking, some of it funny, all of it shedding new light on the complexities of the most beguiling star in movie history. Spoto candidly explores all the highs and lows of Taylor's exploits both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Throughout the course of her tumultuous marriages, Taylor never stopped making movies, and from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Cleopatra to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Taylor dazzled audiences with performances that won her two Academy Awards. The cast of supporting players in her life is unparalleled and never less than fascinating: here are Louis B. Mayer and Jack Warner, Montgomery Clift and James Dean, Tennessee Williams and Franco Zeffirelli, Malcolm Forb