From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Actor Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar and longtime best friend, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, unraveling mysteries for fans (like, who is Steven? And what’s with that hospital on Guerrero Street?)—as well as the most important question: how the hell did a movie this awful ever get made? But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
"An incredible read." —Richard Donner, Director
"People always ask me about life after childhood stardom. What would I say to parents of children in the industry? My only advice, honestly, is to get these kids out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives." —Corey Feldman
The New York Times Bestseller
A deeply personal and revealing Hollywood-survival story.
Lovable child star by age ten, international teen idol by fifteen, and to this day a perennial pop-culture staple, Corey Feldman has not only spent the entirety of his life in the spotlight, he's become just as famous for his off-screen exploits as for his roles in such classic films as Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. He's been linked to a slew of Hollywood starlets (including Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Marcil, and adult entertainer Ginger Lynn), shared a highly publicized friendship with Michael Jackson, and with his frequent costar Corey Haim enjoyed immeasurable success as one half of the wildly popular duo "The Two Coreys," spawning seven films, a 1-900 number, and "Coreymania" in the process. What child of the eighties didn't have a Corey Feldman poster hanging in her bedroom, or a pile of Tiger Beats stashed in his closet?
Now, in this brave and moving memoir, Corey is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.
While Corey has managed to overcome the traps that ensnared so many other entertainers of his generation—he's still acting, is a touring musician, and is a proud father to his son, Zen—many of those closest to him haven't been so lucky. In the span of one year, he mourned the passing of seven friends and family members, including Corey Haim and Michael Jackson. In the wake of those tragedies, he's spoken publicly about the dark side of fame, lobbied for legislation affording greater protections for children in the entertainment industry, and lifted the lid off of what he calls Hollywood's biggest secret.
Coreyography is his surprising account of survival and redemption.
The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.
With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.
The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.
Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. Rob Lowe's New York Times bestselling autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, shares tales that are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
Introduction by New York Times bestselling author and famous minor television personality John Hodgman
One of my dad’s favorite jokes about getting older was: “I went out for coffee when I was twenty-one and when I got back I was fifty-eight!”
I get what he meant now. Time flies. My first book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor, was published back in 2001 and it chronicles the adventures of a “mid-grade, kind of hammy actor" (my words), cutting his teeth on exploitation movies far removed from mainstream Hollywood.
This next book, an “Act II” if you will, could be considered my “maturing years” in show business, when I began to say “no” more often and gravitated toward self-generated material. Taking stock in the overall quality of my life, I fled Los Angeles and moved to a remote part of Oregon to renew, regroup and reload.
If that sounds tame, the journey from Evil Dead to Spider-Man to Burn Notice was long, with plenty of adventures/mishaps along the way. I never pictured myself hovering above Baghdad in a Blackhawk helicopter, facing a pack of wild dogs in Bulgaria, or playing an aging Elvis Presley with cancer on his penis - how can you predict this stuff? The sheer lunacy of show business is part of the fun for me and I hope you'll come along for the ride.
– Bruce “Don’t Call Me Ash” Campbell
Brian de Palma's brash, bloody version of Scarface was trashed by critics when it came out twenty-five years ago and didn't do well at the box office, but has become a spectacular fan favorite and enduring pop culture classic since.
"Never underestimate the greed of the other guy."
What makes millions of people obsess over this movie? Why has Al Pacino's Tony Montana become the drug kingpin whose pugnacity and philosophy are revered in boardrooms and bedrooms across America? Who were the people that made the movie, influencing hip-hop style and swagger to this day?
"The world is yours."
Scarface Nation is Ken Tucker's homage to all things Scarface—from the stars that acted in it to the influence it's had on all of us, from facts, figures and stories about the making of the movie to a witty and comprehensive look at Scarface's traces in today's pop and political culture.
"Say hello to my li'l fren!"
You know you love the line. You know you've seen the movie more than once. Now dive into the ultimate book of Scarface—mounded as high as the pile of cocaine on Tony's desk with delicious details and stimulating observations.
"You know what capitalism is? F--- you!"
Everyone knows Tom Cruise—or at least what he wants us to know. We know that the man behind the smile overcame a tough childhood to star in astonishing array of blockbusters: Top Gun, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, several Mission: Impossible movies, and more. We know he has taken artistic chances, too, earning him three Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. But beyond that, the picture becomes a bit less clear...
We know that Tom is a devoted follower of the Church of Scientology. We know that, despite persistent rumors about his sexuality, he has been married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. But it was not until he jumped on Oprah's couch to proclaim his love for Katie and denounced Brooke Shields for turning to the "Nazi science" of psychiatry that we began to realize how much we did not know about the charming, hardworking star. For all the headlines and the rumors, the real Tom Cruise has remained surprisingly hidden—until now.
Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America.
– Bob Gale, co-creator, co-producer, and co-writer of the Back to the Future trilogy
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the iconic Back to the Future trilogy
Long before Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled through time in a flying DeLorean, director Robert Zemeckis, and his friend and writing partner Bob Gale, worked tirelessly to break into the industry with a hit. During their journey to realize their dream, they encountered unprecedented challenges and regularly took the difficult way out.
For the first time ever, the story of how these two young filmmakers struck lightning is being told by those who witnessed it. We Don’t Need Roads draws from over 500 hours of interviews, including original interviews with Zemeckis, Gale, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Huey Lewis, and over fifty others who contributed to one of the most popular and profitable film trilogies of all time. The book includes a 16-page color photo insert with behind-the-scenes pictures, concept art, and more.
With a focus not only on the movies, but also the lasting impact of the franchise and its fandom, We Don’t Need Roads is the ultimate read for anyone who has ever wanted to ride a Hoverboard, hang from the top of a clock tower, travel through the space-time continuum, or find out what really happened to Eric Stoltz after the first six weeks of filming. So, why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here – and start reading! We Don’t Need Roads is your density.
"What fun! Deeply researched and engagingly written … the book Back to the Future fans have been craving for decades. Geekily enthusiastic and chock full of never-before-heard tales of what went on both on and off the screen, We Don't Need Roads is a book worthy of the beloved trilogy itself." – Brian Jay Jones, author of the national bestseller Jim Henson: The Biography
From the Trade Paperback edition.
No one looked like her. No one walked like her. No one talked like her. Sexy yet vulnerable, and unexpectedly talented, she was no ordinary screen goddess. Few really knew her. What others wrote, she called "Lies! Lies! Lies!"
Here, at last, is Marilyn Monroe's account, in her own singular voice. It was June 1, 1962, her thirty-sixth birthday. Famed photographer and reporter George Barris had come to see Marilyn on the set of what would be her final, unfinished, film. They had met eight years earlier, became friends, and planned to do a picture book and autobiography. Now the time was right. For the next six weeks Barris photographed and interviewed the actress. "Don't believe anything you read about me except this. . ." she told Barris. And so she began to confide the truth about herself.
Barris last talked to Marilyn on August 3, less than twenty-four hours before she was found dead in her apartment. At their last meeting, she was effervescent and eager to embrace life. "I feel I'm just getting started," she said. Barris firmly believes that murder, not suicide, caused Marilyn's untimely end and he could not bring himself to publish her thoughts or the haunting photos of that summer--until now.
Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words is a candid memoir enhanced by 150 black-and-white and color photos, many never before published. A highlight is "The Last Photo Shoot" where Marilyn appears luminous without makeup on the beach at Santa Monica and in a North Hollywood house. This moving book brings Marilyn Monroe back--beautiful, flirtatious, and sweet as a first kiss--for one rare and radiant farewell.
George Barris has worked as a photojournalist for many of the country's major magazines, from Life to Cosmopolitan. He is the co-author (with Gloria Steinem) of Marilyn-Norma Jean, and contributed to Norman Mailer's book, Marilyn. He lives in California.
Wilder writes compellingly about the creative process on stage and screen, and divulges moments from life on the sets of some of the most iconic movies of our time.
In this book, he talks about everything from his experiences in psychoanalysis to why he got into acting and later comedy (his first goal was to be a Shakespearean actor), and how a Midwestern childhood with a sick mother changed him. Wilder explains why he became an actor and writer, and about the funny, wonderful movies he made with Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and Harrison Ford, among many others. He candidly reveals his failures in love, and writes about the overwhelming experience of marrying comedienne Gilda Radner, as well as what finally had to happen for him to make a true and lasting commitment to another woman.
A thoughtful, revealing, and winsome book about life, love, and the creative process, the New York Times bestseller Kiss Me Like A Stranger is one actor's life in his own words.
Roger Ebert, the famed film writer and critic, wrote biweekly essays for a feature called "The Great Movies," in which he offered a fresh and fervent appreciation of a great film. The Great Movies collects one hundred of these essays, each one of them a gem of critical appreciation and an amalgam of love, analysis, and history that will send readers back to that film with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasm–or perhaps to an avid first-time viewing.
Ebert’s selections range widely across genres, periods, and nationalities, and from the highest achievements in film art to justly beloved and wildly successful popular entertainments. Roger Ebert manages in these essays to combine a truly populist appreciation for our most important form of popular art with a scholar’s erudition and depth of knowledge and a sure aesthetic sense. Wonderfully enhanced by stills selected by Mary Corliss, the film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, The Great Movies is a treasure trove for film lovers of all persuasions, an unrivaled guide for viewers, and a book to return to again and again.
The Great Movies includes: All About Eve • Bonnie and Clyde • Casablanca • Citizen Kane • The Godfather • Jaws • La Dolce Vita • Metropolis • On the Waterfront • Psycho • The Seventh Seal • Sweet Smell of Success • Taxi Driver • The Third Man • The Wizard of Oz • and eighty-five more films.
Ever since Edison's peep shows first captivated urban audiences, film has had a revolutionary impact on American society, transforming culture from the bottom up, radically revising attitudes toward pleasure and sexuality, and at the same time, cementing the myth of the American dream. No book has measured film's impact more clearly or comprehensively than Movie-Made America.
This vastly readable and richly illustrated volume examines film as art form, technological innovation, big business, and cultural bellwether. It takes in stars from Douglas Fairbanks to Sly Stallone; auteurs from D. W. Griffith to Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee; and genres from the screwball comedy of the 1930s to the "hard body" movies of the 1980s to the independents films of the 1990s.
Combining panoramic sweep with detailed commentaries on hundreds of individual films, Movie-Made America is a must for any motion picture enthusiast.
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like "Buying the Plot" and "Nodding Off," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac"), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.
The son of a successful entrepreneur, Newman grew up in a prosperous Cleveland suburb. Despite fears that he would fail to live up to his father’s expectations, Newman bypassed the family sporting goods business to pursue an acting career. After struggling as a theater and television actor, Newman saw his star rise in a tragic twist of fate, landing the role of boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me when James Dean was killed in a car accident. Though he would joke about instances of “Newman’s luck” throughout his career, he refused to coast on his stunning boyish looks and impish charm. Part of the original Actors Studio generation, Newman demanded a high level of rigor and clarity from every project. The artistic battles that nearly derailed his early movie career would pay off handsomely at the box office and earn him critical acclaim.
He applied that tenacity to every endeavor both on and off the set. The outspoken Newman used his celebrity to call attention to political causes dear to his heart, including civil rights and nuclear proliferation. Taking up auto racing in midlife, Newman became the oldest driver to ever win a major professional auto race. A food enthusiast who would dress his own salads in restaurants, he launched the Newman’s Own brand dedicated to fresh ingredients, a nonprofit juggernaut that has generated more than $250 million for charity.
In Paul Newman: A Life, film critic and pop culture historian Shawn Levy gives readers the ultimate behind-the-scenes examination of the actor’s life, from his merry pranks on the set to his lasting romance with Joanne Woodward to the devastating impact of his son’s death from a drug overdose. This definitive biography is a fascinating portrait of an extraordinarily gifted man who gave back as much as he got out of life and just happened to be one of the most celebrated movie stars of the twentieth century.
From the Hardcover edition.
We watched her mature on the movie screen before our eyes—in Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, and on and on. She has been hailed—along with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor—as one of the top three female movie stars in the history of film, making her a legend in her own lifetime and beyond. But the story of what Natalie endured, of what her life was like when the doors of the soundstages closed, has long been obscured.
Natasha is based on years of exhaustive research into Natalie's turbulent life and mysterious drowning. Author Suzanne Finstad conducted nearly four hundred interviews with Natalie's family, close friends, legendary costars, lovers, film crews, and virtually everyone connected with the investigation of her strange death.
Through these firsthand accounts from many who have never spoken publicly before, Finstad has reconstructed a life of emotional abuse and exploitation, of almost unprecedented fame, great loneliness, poignancy, and loss. She sheds an unwavering light on Natalie's complex relationships with James Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Raymond Burr, Warren Beatty, and Robert Wagner and reveals the two lost loves of Natalie's life, whom her controlling mother prevented her from marrying.
Finstad tells this beauty's heartbreaking story with sensitivity and grace, revealing a complex and conflicting mix of fragility and strength in a woman who was swept along by forces few could have resisted.
The essays in this volume tackle the philosophical questions from these blockbuster films including: Was Anakin predestined to fall to the Dark Side? Are the Jedi truly role models of moral virtue? Why would the citizens and protectors of a democratic Republic allow it to descend into a tyrannical empire? Is Yoda a peaceful Zen master or a great warrior, or both? Why is there both a light and a dark side of the Force? Star Wars and Philosophy ponders the depths of these subjects and asks what it truly means to be mindful of the "living force."
Few books have altered the perception of a celebrity as much as Marilyn. Gloria Steinem reveals that behind the familiar sex symbol lay a tortured spirit with powerful charisma, intelligence, and complexity. The book delves into a topic many other writers have ignored—that of Norma Jeane, the young girl who grew up with an unstable mother, constant shuffling between foster homes, and abuse. Steinem evocatively recreates that world, connecting it to the fragile adult persona of Marilyn Monroe. Her compelling text draws on a long, private interview Monroe gave to photographer George Barris, part of an intended joint project begun during Monroe’s last summer. Steinem’s Marilyn also includes Barris’s extraordinary portraits of Monroe, taken just weeks before the star’s death.
Based on astounding events in American history, The Birth of a Nation is the epic story of one man championing the spirit of resistance as he leads a rough-and-tumble group into a revolt against injustice and slavery.
Breathing new life into a story that has been rife with controversy and prejudice for over two centuries, the film follows the rise of the visionary Virginian slave, Nat Turner. Hired out by his owner to preach to and placate slaves on drought-plagued plantations, Turner eventually transforms into an inspired, impassioned, and fierce anti-slavery leader.
Beautifully illustrated with stills from the movie and original illustrations, the book also features an essay by writer/director, Nate Parker, contributions by members of the cast and crew, and commentary by educator Brian Favors and historians Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Daina Ramey Berry who place Nat Turner and the rebellion he led into historical context. The Birth of a Nation reframes the way we think about slavery and resistance as it explores the passion, determination, and faith that inspired Nat Turner to sacrifice everything for freedom.
"A bounty for cinema lovers everywhere."
--Mira Nair, Director, The Namesake and Monsoon Wedding
"King of Bollywood is the all-singing, all-dancing back stage pass to Bollywood. Anupama Chopra chronicles the political and cultural story of India with finesse and insight, through fly-on-wall access to one of its biggest, most charming and charismatic stars."
-- Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend it Like Beckham
"The "Easy Rider Raging Bull" of the Bollywood industry and essential reading for any Shah Rukh Khan fan."
--Emma Thompson, actress
"Anu Chopra infuses the pivotal moments of Shah Rukh Khan's life with an edge-of-your-seat tension worthy of the best Bollywood blockbusters."
Provides a comprehensive overview of the industrial, socio-cultural, and aesthetic factors that contribute to cinematic representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality Includes over 100 illustrations, glossary of key terms, questions for discussion, and lists for further reading/viewing Includes new case studies of a number of films, including Crash, Brokeback Mountain, and Quinceañera
Believe it or not, America's fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Perez Hilton, Charlie Sheen's breakdown and allegations against Woody Allen. And the stars of yesteryear? They weren’t always the saints that we make them out to be. BuzzFeed columnist Anne Helen Petersen is here to set the record straight with Scandals of Classic Hollywood. Pulling little-known gems from the archives of film history, Petersen reveals eyebrow-raising information, including:
The smear campaign against the original It Girl, Clara Bow, started by her best friendThe heartbreaking story of Montgomery Clift’s rapid rise to fame, the car accident that destroyed his face, and the “long suicide” that followedFatty Arbuckle's descent from Hollywood royalty, fueled by allegations of a boozy orgy turned violent assaultWhy Mae West was arrested and jailed for "indecency charges"And much morePart biography, part cultural history, these stories cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. But it's not all just tawdry gossip in the pages of this book. The stories are all contextualized within the boundaries of film, cultural, political, and gender history, making for a read that will inform as it entertains. Based on Petersen's popular column on the Hairpin, but featuring 100% new content, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.
First released in June 1960, Psycho altered the landscape of horror films forever. But just as compelling as the movie itself is the story behind it, which has been adapted as a movie starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Stephen Rebello brings to life the creation of one of Hollywood’s most iconic films, from the story of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, the real-life inspiration for the character of Norman Bates, to Hitchcock’s groundbreaking achievements in cinematography, sound, editing, and promotion. Packed with captivating insights from the film’s stars, writers, and crewmembers, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is a riveting and definitive history of a signature Hitchcock cinematic masterpiece.
It's one of the most revered movies of Hollywood's golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.
Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party. Refusing to name names, he was eventually blacklisted and fled the United States. (His co-authored screenplay for another classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, went uncredited in 1957.) Examined in light of Foreman's testimony, High Noon's emphasis on courage and loyalty takes on deeper meaning and importance.
In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman's concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.
In Bollywood, anthropologist and film scholar Tejaswini Ganti provides a guide to the cultural, social and political significance of Hindi cinema, outlining the history and structure of the Bombay film industry, and the development of popular Hindi filmmaking since the 1930s. Providing information and commentary on the key players in Bollywood, including directors and stars, as well as material from current filmmakers themselves, the areas covered in Bollywood include:
narrative style, main themes, and key genres of Hindi cinema
significant films, directors and stars
production and distribution of Bollywood films
interviews with actors, directors and screenwriters.
In this well-researched and revealing biography, Warren G. Harris gives an exceptionally acute portrait of one of the most memorable actors in the history of motion pictures—whose intimates included such legends as Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, David O. Selznick, Jean Harlow, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy, and Grace Kelly—as well as a vivid sense of the glamour and excess of mid-century Hollywood.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The names Harry Cohn, William Fox, Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, and Adolph Zucker are giants in the history of contemporary Hollywood, outsiders who dared to invent their own vision of the American Dream. Even to this day, the American values defined largely by the movies of these émigrés endure in American cinema and culture. Who these men were, how they came to dominate Hollywood, and what they gained and lost in the process is the exhilarating story of An Empire of Their Own.
A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length collects more than 200 of his reviews since 2006 in which he gave movies two stars or fewer. Known for his fair-minded and well-written film reviews, Roger is at his razor-sharp humorous best when skewering bad movies. Consider this opener for the one-star Your Highness:
"Your Highness is a juvenile excrescence that feels like the work of 11-year-old boys in love with dungeons, dragons, warrior women, pot, boobs, and four-letter words. That this is the work of David Gordon Green beggars the imagination. One of its heroes wears the penis of a minotaur on a string around his neck. I hate it when that happens."
And finally, the inspiration for the title of this book, the one-star Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a doglike robot humping the leg of the heroine. If you want to save yourself the ticket price go, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
Movie buffs and humor lovers alike will relish this treasury of movies so bad that you may just want to see them for a good laugh!
Marilyn Monroe passed away at the age of thirty-six under circumstances that have remained mysterious to this day. Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years separates the myths and rumors from the facts as Keith Badman takes readers through the concluding months of 1960 to that fateful day in August 1962.
In this extraordinary book—the product of five years of exhaustive research—the author is both biographer and detective: Badman uncovers long-lost or previously unseen personal records, exclusive interviews, and eyewitness accounts that illuminate the final chapter of Marilyn's life as she navigates weight gain, drug use, an dpersonal turmoil, along with drama on the set of the ill-fated movie Something's Got to Give.
Badman dispels popular beliefs, such as her supposed affairs with John and Bobby Kennedy. (Monroe only had a one-night stand with the president at Bing Crosby's house, and never with Bobby.) Readers learn the long-concealed identity of her biological father, who refused Marilyn's attempt to contact him in 1951—and was then repaid with her apathy ten years later when he attempted to contact her. The author also reveals the details of her famous "last Sitting" with photographer Bert Stern (which was not her last photo shoot) and describes the horror she endured after being tricked into being institutionalized at the Payne-Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, from which ex-husband Joe DiMaggio had to pull strings to secure her release. Perhaps most shockingly, we learn of the regrettable incident in which a drunken Monroe was sexually exploited by mobsters at a Lake Tahoe hotel co-owned by Frank Sinatra. Finally contrary to the salacious rumors that Marilyn was suicidal or the victim of a murder and cover-up, Badman discloses new information about her final days alive and reveals, in unequivocal detail, evidence that indicates Monroe's death was accidental.
Above it all, Badman pays homage to Monroe by rescuing her final months from the realm of wild and sensationalized allegations popularized by those who sought to gain from them. Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years sheds new light on an immortal movie legend.
It's the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies and blockbuster musicals-Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.
By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.
What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow-we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation-and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.
The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.
Born Rosita Dolores Alverio in the idyll of Puerto Rico, Moreno, at age five, embarked on a harrowing sea voyage with her mother and wound up in the harsh barrios of the Bronx, where she discovered dancing, singing, and acting as ways to escape a tumultuous childhood. Making her Broadway debut by age thirteen—and moving on to Hollywood in its Golden Age just a few years later—she worked alongside such stars as Gary Cooper, Yul Brynner, and Ann Miller.
When discovered by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, the wizard himself declared: “She looks like a Spanish Elizabeth Taylor.” Cast by Gene Kelly as Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain and then on to her Oscar-winning performance in West Side Story, she catapulted to fame—yet found herself repeatedly typecast as the “utility ethnic,” a role she found almost impossible to elude.
Here, for the first time, Rita reflects on her struggles to break through Hollywood’s racial and sexual barriers. She explores the wounded little girl behind the glamorous façade—and what it took to find her place in the world. She talks candidly about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her encounters with Howard Hughes, and the passionate romance with Marlon Brando that nearly killed her. And she shares the illusiveness of a “perfect” marriage and the incomparable joys of motherhood.
Infused with Rita Moreno’s quick wit and deep insight, this memoir is the dazzling portrait of a stage and screen star who longed to become who she really is—and triumphed.
There's little debate that Robert De Niro is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, screen actors of his generation, perhaps of all time. His work, particularly in the first 20 years of his career, is unparalleled. Mean Streets, the Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, the Deer Hunter, and Raging Bull all dazzled moviegoers and critics alike, displaying a talent the likes of which had rarely--if ever--been seen. De Niro become known for his deep involvement in his characters, assuming that role completely into his own life, resulting in extraordinary, chameleonic performances.
Yet little is known about the off-screen De Niro--he is an intensely private man, whose rare public appearances are often marked by inarticulateness and palpable awkwardness. It can be almost painful to watch at times, in powerful contrast to his confident movie personae. In this elegant and compelling biography, bestselling writer Shawn Levy writes of these many De Niros--the characters and the man--seeking to understand the evolution of an actor who once dove deeply into his roles as if to hide his inner nature, and who now seemingly avoids acting challenges, taking roles which make few apparent demands on his overwhelming talent. Following De Niro's roots as the child of artists (his father, the abstract painter Robert De Niro Sr., was widely celebrated) who encouraged him from an early age to be independent of vision and spirit, to his intense schooling as an actor, the rise of his career, his marriages, his life as a father, restauranteur, and businessman, and, of course, his current movie career, Levy has written a biography that reads like a novel about a character whose inner turmoil takes him to heights of artistry. His many friendships with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel, Shelley Winters, Francis Ford Coppola, among many others, are woven into this extraordinary portrait of DeNiro the man and the artist, also adding a depth of understanding not before seen.
Levy has had unprecedented access to De Niro's personal research and production materials, creating a new impression of the effort that went into the actor's legendary performances. The insights gained from DeNiro’s intense working habits shed new perspective on DeNiro’s thinking and portrayals and are wonderful to read. Levy also spoke to De Niro's collaborators and friends to depict De Niro's transition from an ambitious young man to a transfixing and enigmatic artist and cultural figure.
Shawn Levy has written a truly engaging, insightful, and entertaining portrait of one of the most wonderful film artists of our time, a book that is worthy of such a great talent.
ONE...TWO...FREDDY'S COMING FOR YOU...
You've seen him in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series—and in your darkest dreams. The sadistic killer with the flame-charred face. The knife-blade claws. The razor-sharp wit. Freddy...But you've never seen him like this. Unflinching. Uncensored. Unmasked.
Meet Robert Englund, the award-winning actor best known for his role as Freddy Krueger—the legendary horror icon featured on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Heroes and Villains" roster—a character as unforgettable and enduring as Bela Lugosi's Dracula and Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. Now, for the first time, the man behind the latex mask tells his story in this captivating new memoir, published to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first A Nightmare on Elm Street film.
You see, Robert Englund is no monster at all, but a deeply funny, charming Hollywood veteran. Packed with Robert's hilarious stories, playful self-deprecation, and a generous helping of never-before-revealed A Nightmare on Elm Street trivia, Hollywood Monster offers an unparalleled look at the beloved film icon. With insider savvy and gallows humor, Robert recounts his audition for Wes Craven, the inspiration for Freddy's character, the grueling makeup sessions, his soon-to-be-famous costars, the often disastrous on-set blunders, and the wave of popularity that propelled this humble California surfer kid all the way to the top.
Of course, fame and fortune as Freddy came years after the young actor shared a trailer with screen legend Henry Fonda, was punched in the face by Richard Gere, took down Burt Reynolds, and muscled his way between Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sally Field, and Jeff Bridges.
But soon after his high-profile stint in the groundbreaking TV miniseries V, Robert Englund took on the most celebrated role of his career—the macabre and wisecracking killer who quickly became a household name. From the moment Freddy Krueger dragged his claws across a rusty pipe in the opening dream sequence, a legend had been unleashed—and a star was born. This is his story.
"Welcome to prime time, bitch." —Frederick Charles Krueger, bastard son of a hundred maniacs
Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America’s war, shaping the public’s collective consciousness of what we’ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood’s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back.
“Five Came Back . . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade.” --Slate
“A tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism. Like the best World War II films, it highlights marquee names in a familiar plot to explore some serious issues: the human cost of military service, the hypnotic power of cinema and the tension between artistic integrity and the exigencies of war.” --The New York Times
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.
She was one of the great icons in Hollywood history—star of The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Night of the Iguana—and one of the few whose actual life was grander and more colorful than any movie. Her jaw-dropping beauty, charismatic presence, and fabulous, scandalous adventures fueled the legend of Ava Gardner—Hollywood's most glamorous, restless and uninhibited star.
In this acclaimed first full biography of Gardner, Lee Server recreates—with great style and vivid detail—the actress's life, from her beginnings as a barefoot North Carolina farm girl to her heady days as a Hollywood goddess. He paints the full spectacle of her tumultuous private life—including her string of failed marriages to Mickey Rooney, Sinatra and Artie Shaw—and Gardner's lifelong search for adventure and love.
Ava Gardner: "Love is Nothing" is both an exceptional work of biography and a richly entertaining read.
Since The Dark Side of the Screen first appeared over two decades ago, it has served as the essential take on what has become one of today’s most pervasive screen influences and enduringly popular genres. Covering over one hundred outstanding films and offering more than two hundred carefully chosen stills, it is by far the most thorough and entertaining study available of noir themes, visual motifs, character types, actors, and directors. This landmark work covers noir in full, from the iconic performances of Burt Lancaster, Joan Crawford, and Humphrey Bogart to the camera angles, lighting effects, and story lines that characterize the work of directors Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles.
With a new afterword about the lasting legacy of noir as well as recently rediscovered films deserving of their own screenings alongside the classics, The Dark Side of the Screen reestablishes itself as both an unsurpassed resource and a captivating must-read for any fan of noir.
"An impressive array of distinguished scholars . . . gazes deeply into the darkness and then forms a Dionysian chorus reaffirming that sexuality and the monstrous are indeed mated in many horror films."—Choice
"An extremely useful introduction to recent thinking about gender issues within this genre."—Film Theory
Including a new preface by the author, this Princeton Classics edition is a definitive work that has found an avid readership from students of film theory to major Hollywood filmmakers.
In Hollywood’s heyday, almost every major studio had a Westmore heading up the makeup department. Since 1917, there has never been a time when Westmores weren’t shaping the visages of stardom. For their century-long dedication to the art of makeup, the Westmores were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. In this lively memoir, Michael Westmore not only regales us with tales of Hollywood’s golden age, but also from his own career where he notably transformed Sylvester Stallone into Rocky Balboa and Robert DiNiro into Jake LaMotta, among many other makeup miracles.
Westmore’s talent as a makeup artist first became apparent when he created impenetrable disguises for Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Frank Sinatra for the 1963 film The List of Adrian Messenger. He later went on to become the preferred makeup man for Bobby Darin and Elizabeth Taylor, and worked on such movies and TV shows as The Munsters, Rosemary’s Baby, Eleanor and Franklin, New York, New York, 2010: A Space Odyssey, and Mask, for which he won an academy award. The next phase of his career was to create hundreds of alien characters for over 600 episodes of Star Trek in all its iterations, from The Next Generation to Enterprise.
Replete with anecdotes about Hollywood and its stars, from Bette Davis’s preference for being made-up in the nude to Shelley Winters’s habit of nipping from a “little bottle” while on the set, Makeup Man will satisfy any Hollywood’s fan’s appetite for gossip or a behind-the-scenes look at how tinsel town’s most iconic film characters were created.
Academy Award-winning Michael Westmore has been making up the stars for over fifty years. He frequently appears on the SyFy channel show Face Off with his daughter McKenzie Westmore.
As a Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood--one of film's greatest living legends--represents some of the finest cinematic achievements in the history of American cinema. Eliot writes with unflinching candor about Eastwood's highs and lows, his artistic successes and failures, and the fascinating, complex relationship between his life and his craft. Eliot's prodigious research reveals how a college dropout and unambitious playboy rose to fame as Hollywood's "sexy rebel," eventually and against all odds becoming a star in the Academy pantheon as a multiple Oscar winner. Spanning decades, American Rebel covers the best of Eastwood's oeuvre, films that have fast become American classics: Fistful of Dollars, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino.
Filled with remarkable insights into Eastwood's personal life and public work, American Rebel is highly entertaining and the most complete biography of one of Hollywood's truly respected and beloved stars–-an actor who, despite being the Man with No Name, has left his indelible mark on the world of motion pictures.
It is estimated that a fifth of all films made in the United States prior to the 1970s were shot at MGM studios, meaning that the gigantic property was responsible for hundreds of iconic sets and stages, often utilizing and transforming minimal spaces and previously used props, to create some of the most recognizable and identifiable landscapes of modern movie culture.
All of this happened behind closed doors, the backlot shut off from the public in a veil of secrecy and movie magic. M-G-M: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot highlights this fascinating film treasure by recounting the history, popularity, and success of the MGM company through a tour of its physical property.
Featuring the candid, exclusive voices and photographs from the people who worked there, and including hundreds of rare and unpublished photographs (including many from the archives of Warner Bros.), readers are launched aboard a fun and entertaining virtual tour of Hollywood’s most famous and mysterious motion picture studio.
In this book, studio staff historian and Hollywood insider Steven Bingen throws open Hollywood’s iron gates and takes you inside the greatest and yet most mysterious movie studio of them all: Warner Bros. Long home to the world’s biggest stars and most memorable films and television shows, the Warner Bros. Studio lot functions as a small city and is even more fascinating, glamorous, and outrageous than any of the stars or movies that it has been routinely minting for more than ninety years. Accompanied by stunning behind-the-scenes photos and maps, and including a revealing backstory, this book is your ticket to a previously veiled Hollywood paradise.
Film scholar Murray Leeder offers a bold and provocative study of Carpenter's film, which hopes to expose qualities that are sometime effaced by its sequels and remakes. It explores Halloween as an unexpected ghost film, and examines such subjects as its construction of the teenager, and the relationship of Halloween the film to Halloween the holiday, and Michael Myers's brand of "pure evil." It is a fascinating read for scholars and fans alike.
In the wake of Hotel Rwanda’s international success, Rusesabagina is one of the most well-known Rwandans and now the smiling face of the very Hutu Power groups who drove the genocide. He is accused by the Rwandan prosecutor general of being a genocide negationist and funding the terrorist group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines.
In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter.
The book exposes the Hollywood hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, as a profiteering and politically ambitious Hutu Power sympathizer who extorted money from those who sought refuge, threatening to send those who did not pay to the génocidaires, despite pleas from the hotel’s corporate ownership to stop.
Inside the Hotel Rwanda is at once a memoir, a critical deconstruction of a heralded Hollywood movie alleged to be factual, and a political analysis aimed at exposing a falsely created hero using his fame to be a political force, spouting the same ethnic apartheid that caused the genocide two decades ago.
Kayihura’s Inside the Hotel Rwanda offers an honest and unflinching first-hand account of the reality of life inside the hotel, exposing the man who exploited refugees and shedding much-needed light on the plight of his victims.
In Marilyn Monroe Day by Day: A Timeline of People, Places, and Events, Carl Rollyson provides a documentary approach to the life and legend of this singular personality. With details of her childhood, her young adult years, her ascent to superstardom, and the hour by hour moments leading to her tragic early death, this volume supplements—and, in some cases, corrects—the accounts of previous biographies. In addition to restoring what is left out in other narratives about Marilyn’s life, this book also illuminates the gaps and discrepancies that still exist in our knowledge of her. Drawing on excerpts from her diaries, journals, letters, and even checks and receipts—as well as reports of others—Rollyson recreates the day-to-day world of a woman who still fascinates us more than fifty years after her death.
In addition to the calendar, Rollyson also profiles important figures in Marilyn’s life and includes a brief biography of the actress, providing a context for the timeline. An annotated bibliography of books and websites highlights the most reliable sources about Marilyn. With its vivid recreation of the key events in her life, Marilyn Monroe Day by Day is the perfect book for fans who can’t get enough of this cultural icon.
One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Kirk Douglas has distinguished himself as a producer, philanthropist, and author of ten works of fiction and memoir. Now, more than fifty years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. Douglas began producing the movie in the midst of the politically charged era when Hollywood’s moguls refused to hire anyone accused of Communist sympathies. In a risky move, Douglas chose Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter, to write Spartacus. Trumbo was one of the “Unfriendly Ten,” men who had gone to prison rather than testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about their political affiliations. Douglas’s source material was already a hot property, as the novel Spartacus was written by Howard Fast while he was in jail for defying HUAC. With the financial future of his young family at stake, Douglas plunged into a tumultuous production both on- and off-screen. As both producer and star of the film, he faced explosive moments with young director Stanley Kubrick, struggles with a leading lady, and negotiations with giant personalities, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Lew Wasserman. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at ninety-five, looks back at his audacious decisions. He made the most expensive film of its era—but more importantly, his moral courage in giving public credit to Trumbo effectively ended the notorious Hollywood blacklist. A master storyteller, Douglas paints a vivid and often humorous portrait in I Am Spartacus! The book is enhanced by newly discovered period photography of the stars and filmmakers both on and off the set.
Richard Neupert first tracks the precursors to New Wave cinema, showing how they provided blueprints for those who would follow. He then demonstrates that it was a core group of critics-turned-directors from the magazine Cahiers du Cinéma—especially François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard—who really revealed that filmmaking was changing forever. Later, their cohorts Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Pierre Kast continued in their own unique ways to expand the range and depth of the New Wave.
In an exciting new chapter, Neupert explores the subgroup of French film practice known as the Left Bank Group, which included directors such as Alain Resnais and Agnès Varda. With the addition of this new material and an updated conclusion, Neupert presents a comprehensive review of the stunning variety of movies to come out of this important era in filmmaking.