It is the general consensus that in the history of motion pictures, the year 1939 was undoubtedly Hollywood's greatest triumph during its Golden Era. However, much of the same winning confluence of circumstances and events that made 1939 such a monumental and productive year for Hollywood continued into 1940. Despite this fact, the overwhelming and enduring popularity of the movies of 1939 have often overshadowed the importance of cinema's superlative productions, creative strides and technical advances realized in 1940. The viewing public, as in earlier years, were given the opportunity to experience "the total movie experience" which meant that the bill consisted of at least one full length feature motion picture, and if not, than a short feature film, but always a cartoon and a serial along with upcoming attractions. Not only did the same seismic synergy of talent, artistic vision, opportunity, risk and pure luck that made 1939 such a prolific year for Hollywood continue mightily into 1940, but in a good number of instances, 1940's harvest of remarkable cinematic triumphs surpassed 1939's fabled cornucopia of celluloid treasures. As America freed itself from the shackles of economic misery, the rest of the world was struggling against the brutality and inhumanity of a world war raging in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. With this as a backdrop, millions of movie goers across the country looked for any form of escapism in their never-ending quest to forget the harsh realities of their dismal and disheartened existence. Hollywood was more than willing to satisfy this hunger, at least for a brief moment in time, by providing them with a stream of uplifting, spirited and entertaining films.
This is the definitive biography of the most powerful man in Hollywood during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, the man who founded the Hollywood Reporter and the most storied nightspots of the Sunset Strip, introduced Clark Gable and Lana Turner to the world, invented Las Vegas, brought the Mafia to Hollywood, engineered the shakedown of Hollywood studios by Willie Bioff and his mob-run unions, was possibly involved in the murder of Bugsy Siegel, started the Hollywood blacklist, and helped destroy the studio system. Perhaps nobody in Hollywood history has ever ruined so many careers and done so much damage to the industry as Billy Wilkerson. Yet there has never been a solid biography of the man. Billy's son, William R. Wilkerson III, has done tremendous research on his father, interviewing over decades everyone who knew him best, and portrays him beautifully (and damningly) in this book.
A Toast to Hollywood! Paramount Pictures, the oldest Hollywood studio in operation, has released countless award-winning and box office-busting movies that have spanned the age of cinema, from the medium’s silent advent to talkies, color, and CGI blockbusters. Hollywood Cocktails features more than 100 cocktails inspired by over 100 iconic films, all released by Paramount Pictures. This gorgeously illustrated collection of star power is filled with film facts and detailed recipes that guarantee you’ll never again be wondering what to drink or watch. Hollywood Cocktails will delight movie buffs and mixologists alike!
Is happy-ever-after only in the movies? When Courtney Robbins moves to California, she isn’t looking for love, fame, or fortune. She’s focused on earning her law degree and advocating for victims of domestic violence. After a chance encounter with actor Justin Erikson, Courtney decides to spice up her life with a steamy fling. The chemistry between them is undeniable, but Courtney quickly learns there is more to Justin than his perfectly chiseled body, piercing blue eyes and adorable dimples. He’s sensitive, thoughtful, and generous. Still, Courtney is hesitant to ponder a future with a Hollywood heartthrob. As Courtney graduates law school and begins her dream job, Justin’s career thrives. But as the passion between Justin and Courtney intensifies, Justin struggles to shelter Courtney from the paparazzi and is haunted by his own reputation as a womanizer. Just when Courtney starts to think that she can have it all—an idyllic romance and the perfect job—a tabloid rumor threatens both of their careers. As their two worlds continue to clash, they must decide what price they are willing to pay to stay together.
This wide-ranging text is one of the first to look in detail at some of the principal genres, cycles and trends in Hollywood's output during the last two decades. It includes analysis of such films as Sense and Sensibility, Grifters, The Mask, When Harry Met Sally, Pocahontas, Titanic, Basic Instinct, Coppola's Dracula, and Malcolm X.
When a Swedish women’s biathlete plays out her revenge story in Hollywood and a young waif inherits a Studio and plucks a staff writer from a vampire show and makes him Studio Head, the stage is set for an epic clash for the staring role in the most awesome movie you don’t want to miss.
A half-Danish, half-German woman grows up in the midst of World War II before leaving Europe for America in this debut memoir. Born to a Danish mother and a German father in 1938 Berlin, Farrin's earliest memories include her mother's severe warning: "Don't say anything to anyone at any time." Later, she remembers their apartment being destroyed by a bomb in 1943. After the author's father went missing in the war, her mother took her, her little sister, Irene, and a baby brother affected by Down syndrome, Jurgen, to Denmark. There, they slowly adjusted to living the subtle stigma of their German connections until their mother found a new community in the Mormon Church. The fifteen-year-old author's mother soon secured visas and passage to America, and the teen's life was drastically changed yet again after they arrived in Salt Lake City. They eventually settled in California, living in a small cottage just off Hollywood Boulevard. Farrin's reluctance about America later gave way to ambition; she attended Stanford University and met her future husband, Jim. Together, they raised five children in nine different foreign cities. Although the daily trials of life as a foreigner and immigrant weighed on the author throughout her life, she continued to derive strength from her faith and her fiercely determined mother. She ably relates the complex character of her mother, and her account of her strange symbiosis with Mutti is equally engaging. Anyone with an interest in history or immigrant experiences will still find Farrin's tale to be thrilling. Kirkus Review
As the sixties dream faded, a new flamboyant movement electrified the world: GLAM! In Shock and Awe, Simon Reynolds explores this most decadent of genres on both sides of the Atlantic. Bolan, Bowie, Suzi Quatro, Alice Cooper, New York Dolls, Slade, Roxy Music, Iggy, Lou Reed, Be Bop Deluxe, David Essex -- all are represented here. Reynolds charts the retro future sounds, outrageous styles and gender-fluid sexual politics that came to define the first half of the seventies and brings it right up to date with a final chapter on glam in hip hop, Lady Gaga, and the aftershocks of David Bowie's death. Shock and Awe is a defining work and another classic in the Faber Social rock n roll canon to stand alongside Rip it Up, Electric Eden and Yeah Yeah Yeah.
In 1954, Mike Connolly, the gay gossip columnist for the Hollywood Reporter from 1951 to 1966, was described by Newsweek as "probably the most influential columnist inside the movie colony," the one writer "who gets the pick of trade items, the industry rumors, the policy and casting switches." He was indeed one of the most talented and influential members of the Hollywood press of his time, and his column, for those who could read between the lines, was a daily chronicle of gay goings-on. Fifty years later, his cumulative output is a virtually untapped lode of gay Hollywood history. Mike Connolly's life and work are the focus of this book. It considers his formative years, his pre-World War II life at the University of Illinois and in Chicago, and the ways in which the homosexual community in Hollywood lived lives both secretive and open in the forties, fifties and sixties. It also examines the literary merit, power and newsworthiness of Connolly's "Rambling Reporter" column in the Hollywood Reporter and its significance as a chronicle of gay Hollywood life; the previously unexplored role of Connolly's column in the Hollywood blacklist and how his anti-Communist crusade was rooted in his earlier campaign to close down the brothels in his college town; and how his life informed his column and his column shaped his life.
A definitive new account of the professional and personal life of one of Hollywood's most unforgettable, influential stars. Archie Leach was a poorly educated, working-class boy from a troubled family living in the backstreets of Bristol. Cary Grant was Hollywood's most debonair film star--the embodiment of worldly sophistication. Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend tells the incredible story of how a sad, neglected boy became the suave, glamorous star many know and idolize. The first biography to be based on Grant's own personal papers, this book takes us on a fascinating journey from the actor's difficult childhood through years of struggle in music halls and vaudeville, a hit-and-miss career in Broadway musicals, and three decades of film stardom during Hollywood's golden age. Leaving no stone unturned, Cary Grant delves into all aspects of Grant's life, from the bitter realities of his impoverished childhood to his trailblazing role in Hollywood as a film star who defied the studio system and took control of his own career. Highlighting Grant's genius as an actor and a filmmaker, author Mark Glancy examines the crucial contributions Grant made to such classic films as Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Notorious (1946), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), Charade (1963) and Father Goose (1964). Glancy also explores Grant's private life with new candor and insight throughout the book's nine sections, illuminating how Grant's search for happiness and fulfillment lead him to having his first child at the age of 62 and embarking on his fifth marriage at the age of 77. With this biography--complete with a chronological filmography of the actor's work--Glancy provides a definitive account of the professional and personal life of one of Hollywood's most unforgettable, influential stars.
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015 A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of 2015 Magisterial in scope, this dual biography examines two complex lives that began alike but ended on opposite sides of the century’s greatest conflict. Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, born less than a year apart, lived so close to each other that Riefenstahl could see into Dietrich’s Berlin apartment. Coming of age at the dawn of the Weimar Republic, both sought fame in Germany’s burgeoning motion picture industry. While Dietrich’s depiction of Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel catapulted her to Hollywood stardom, Riefenstahl—who missed out on the part—insinuated herself into Hitler’s inner circle to direct groundbreaking if infamous Nazi propaganda films, like Triumph of the Will. Dietrich, who toured tirelessly with the USO, could never truly go home again; Riefenstahl could never shake her Nazi past. Acclaimed German historian Karin Wieland examines these lives within the vicious crosscurrents of a turbulent century, evoking piercing insights into "the modern era’s most difficult questions, about illusion and mass intoxication, art and truth, courage and capitulation" (New Yorker).
The world's greatest magician offers a special benefit and is killed dead performing one of his tricks. Is it bad luck, or did someone sabotage his show? A horrible murder leads a reporter to a rundown Quebec bar. Can he find the killer before the moon turns or will the werewolf strike again? An ex-reporter and now junkie who sells stories for his fix brings a scoop that's not quite believable. Long-in-the-tooth actresses are somehow being rejuvenated, transformed into the most intriguing and bewitching females in Hollywood. Plastic surgery has never been this good but, when the junkie is killed in the midst of spilling is story, what are the chances it's just coincidence? Years ago, talking circus animals went on a crime spree robbing banks and killing. Could a saintly ex-carnie have been responsible and who, exactly, are these mysterious cousins showing up for a cut of the inheritance? A cruise to Europe should be a victory lap for two of Hollywood's hottest actresses... and the husband who's a flack for the movie industry. But there's more going on than a sexy ex-lover hoping to woo one of the actresses. Reporter Moxie Donnovan already won his Pulitzer Prize for his exposes on the Nazi movement in America. He should be able to enjoy his life, play the Hollywood man about town with his movie-star wife Maxi, and make a few bucks spinning lies about what star is sleeping with whom. Instead, it's up to Moxie and Maxi (which one is the hero and which the sidekick is certainly up for debate) to investigate the crimes, determine who is guilty, and somehow stay alive long enough to head off the killers. Much to Moxie's continued dismay, the crimes he and Maxi investigate often cross the line into the supernatural and there's nothing Moxie hates more than a Nazi-loving wizard in funky robes.
“An informative and amusing look at the close relationship between Golden Age Hollywood and West Coast horse racing. A fascinating read.” —Christina Rice, author of Mean . . . Moody . . . Magnificent! Horse racing was so popular and influential between 1930 and 1960 that nearly 150 racing themed films were released, including A Day at the Races, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry, and National Velvet. This fast-paced, gossipy history explores the relationship between the Hollywood film industry, the horse racing industry, and the extraordinary participation of producers, directors, and actors in the Sport of Kings. Alan Shuback details how all three of Southern California’s major racetracks were founded by Hollywood luminaries: Hal Roach was cofounder of Santa Anita Park, Bing Crosby founded Del Mar with help from Pat O’Brien, and Jack and Harry Warner founded Hollywood Park with help from dozens of people in the film community. The races also provided a social and sporting outlet for the film community—studios encouraged film stars to spend a day at the races, especially when a new film was being released. The stars’ presence at the track generated a bevy of attention from eager photographers and movie columnists, as well as free publicity for their new films. Moreover, Louis B. Mayer, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Betty Grable, and Don Ameche were all major Thoroughbred owners, while Mickey Rooney, Chico Marx, and John Huston were notorious for their unsuccessful forays to the betting windows. “The more entertaining vignettes pair the names of old-time screen stars with ribald tales of racetrack depravity.” —Thoroughbred Daily News
Quantum: The Complete Series A boxed set of all eight books in the New York Times bestselling Quantum Series: Virtuous, Valorous, Victorious, Rapturous, Ravenous, Delirious, Outrageous and Famous! Movie stars, intrigue, sexy times and so much more. Fall in love over and over again!
"What a talented, wonderful, and complete writer."--Mel Brooks "By far the best thing about my stuff I've ever read."--Arthur Miller "These are wonderful portraits."--Edna O'Brien "The high-water mark of theatrical reportage. Exhilarating! Smart! Lahr gives as much thunderous pleasure as the great entertainers he writes about."--Richard Avedon "There's never been an American critic like John Lahr. His writing exalts, honors, and dignifies the profession and, more importantly, the art."--Tony Kushner
“Lahr creates a book worthy of its title: It is a living celebration of theater itself.”—Caryn James, New York Times Book Review Joy Ride throws open the stage door and introduces readers to such makers of contemporary drama as Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, Harold Pinter, David Rabe, David Mamet, Mike Nichols, and August Wilson. Lahr takes us to the cabin in the woods that Arthur Miller built in order to write Death of a Salesman; we walk with August Wilson through the Pittsburgh ghetto where we encounter the inspiration for his great cycle; we sit with Ingmar Bergman at the Kunglinga Theatre in Stockholm, where he attended his first play; we visit with Harold Pinter at his London home and learn the source of the feisty David Mamet’s legendary ear for dialogue. In its juxtaposition of biographical detail and critical analysis, Joy Ride explores with insight and panache not only the lives of the theatricals but the liveliness of the stage worlds they have created.
Neil LaBute: A Casebook is the first book to examine one of the most successful and controversial contemporary American playwrights and filmmakers. While he is most famous, and in some cases infamous, for his early films In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors, Labute is equally accomplished as a playwright. His work extends from the critique of false religiosity in Bash to examinations of opportunism, irresponsible art, failed parenting, and racism in later plays like Mercy Seat, The Shape of Things, The Distance From Here, Fat Pig, Autobahn, and the very recent This Is How It Goes and Some Girls. Like David Mamet, an acknowledged influence on him, and Conor McPhereson, with whom he shares some stylistic and thematic concerns, LaBute tends to polarize audiences. The angry voices, violent situations, and irresponsible behavior in his works, especially those focusing on male characters, have alienated some viewers. But the writer's religious affiliation and refusal to condone the actions of his characters suggest he is neither exploitive nor pornographic. This casebook explores the primary issues of the writer's style, themes, and dramatic achievements. Contributors describe, for example, the influences (both classical and contemporary) on his work, his distinctive vision in theater and film, the role of religious belief in his work, and his satire. In addition to the critical introduction by Wood and the original essays by leading dramatic and literary scholars, the volume also includes a bibliography and a chronology of the playwright's life and works.
'John Lahr manages to write better about the theatre than anybody in the English language,' says Richard Eyre. Joy Ride, which includes the best of his New Yorker profiles and reviews, makes his expertise and his exhilaration palpable. From modern greats, like Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Tony Kushner and August Wilson, through the work of directors like Nicholas Hytner and Ingmar Bergman, to Shakespeare himself, the depth of Lahr's understanding is plain to see and extraordinary to read. He brings the reader up close and personal to the artists and their art. Whether you are a regular theatre-goer, or just starting out, Lahr's book delights as both a celebration and a guide.
The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II incarceration camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the spring of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona and sent them to incarceration camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain. Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, many established Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. Kabuki performances drew hundreds of spectators—yet there was little hope. That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby, predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. As the team’s second season kicked off, the young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions. The Eagles of Heart Mountain honors the resilience of extraordinary heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.