Movie Anecdotes

Movie Anecdotes

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Description

Hollywood, Walter Winchell quipped, is where they shoot too many movies and not enough actors. Always looking for an angle, always, scheming, always the scene of clashing egos, the movie industry is where they place you under contract instead of observation--and if you don't have anything nice to say, write it down. "In 1940, I had my choice between Hitler and Hollywood," French director Rene Clair recalled, "and I preferred Hollywood--just a little." In Movie Anecdotes, Peter Hay treats us to a delightful ride through the world that has captivated audiences for almost a century, with stories that are often hilarious, sometimes tragic, and always entertaining. He takes us from the rough-and tumble early days (when one studio paid Pancho Villa $25,000 to launch his attacks only in daylight, after a film crew had set up) to the studio era (when Joan Crawford refused to cross the street on the MGM lot except in a chauffeured limousine) to the shenanigans of today's global industry. Here are stories about all the legends: Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Mae West, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Sophia Loren, John Wayne, and, of course, Ronald Reagan. There are the great directors from D.W. Griffith, Hitchcock, and Eisenstein, to Kurosawa, Bergman, Visconti, Huston, Ford, and Woody Allen. And Hay has selected tales of the writers, the wits, and the grand moguls, including perhaps the largest collection of Goldwynisms--both genuine and apocryphal. Along with the laughter, this volume recreates the conflicts that have torn the movie world, from battles over money and contracts, to discrimination, divorces, and scandals. Colorful, incredible, bitter, funny--the stories about moviemaking are as fantastic as the pictures themselves. Now they have been gathered together in an irresistible bouquet that is certain to delight every movie buff and provide fascinating insights for serious students of film."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 329 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 725.74g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195045947
  • 9780195045949

About Peter Hay

About the Author: Born in Budapest and educated at Oxford, Peter Hay has taught at several universities in Canada and the United States. An expert in script development, he is founding artistic director of First Stage in Hollywood. Hay is the author of Theatrical Anecdotes, which Clive Barnes described as "full of wit and wisdom," and the recent Broadway Anecdotes, acclaimed by Judith Crist as "a delightful feast...bright and breezy and informative."show more

Review Text

Another enjoyable collection from anecdote-archivist Hay (All the Presidents' Ladies: Anecdotes of the Women Behind the Men in the White House, 1988). Here, Hay shuffles hundreds of filmmaking anecdotes into 24 ragged categories that he tags with often painfully cute labels ("Real to Reel," "Cunning Linguists," etc.). The stories themselves, mostly funny but some ironic or sad (Alec Guinness warning James Dean not to speed in that new silver sportscar), range from one-liners to full-fledged stories and as a rule reveal film folk as the eccentrics many believe them to be (e.g., Julie Andrews, wishing to shed her wholesome image, wearing a button that read "Mary Poppins is a Junkie"). Perhaps the ripest material here is the extensive file of Goldwynisms, those famed malapropisms uttered by producer Sam Goldwyn: "Of [one] of his productions he declared, 'It will create an excitement that will sweep the country like wildflowers.'" So: light, browse-able entertainment, energetically dug out but put together with little subtlety. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

28 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 25% (7)
4 14% (4)
3 54% (15)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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