The Studio
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The Studio

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In 1967, John Gregory Dunne asked for unlimited access to the inner workings of Twentieth Century Fox. Miraculously, he got it. For one year Dunne went everywhere there was to go and talked to everyone worth talking to within the studio. He tracked every step of the creation of pictures like "Dr. Dolittle," "Planet of the Apes," and "The Boston Strangler." The result is a...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 14th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1969)
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Moira Russell
There is an episode here (the book is mainly episodes, not chapters, altho the stories about the Boston Strangler and Dr Doolittle pictures are throughlines) detailing Henry Zoster pitching a story to Richard Zanuck ("Will our conductor use the youth symphony, or will he use his own orchestra...") which is one of the funniest things I have ever read. But to call it funny, yuk-yuk-yuk, or even satiric, is to do a real disservice to Dunne, because it's great straight reportage, and he just gets ou...more
Time-capsule document from the mid-sixties, years where the studios found themselves in long slow eclipse. Donne amiably taps the bones and kicks at the ashes of the mastodons, as the concept of "big movie studio" morphs in the background.

Seems like Donne was lucky in the sense that 2oth Century Fox chose to green-light some super losers in the year that the book covers. In the later part of the sixties it just seems incredible that studio heads would bankroll flatliner vehicles like Star!, Hel...more
Really a 3.5, because he is an amusing writer, but in general the book fails because when you're constructing something by presenting snippets of events, written down as they happened with no overt editorial commentary and very minimal surreptitious commentary (you know, pointed word choices and all that) to really make something special you need to construct them so that the reader is guided somewhere, to some feeling or idea. That just didn't happen for me with The Studio. I enjoyed all the li...more
I feel like it probably would've been more interesting when it was originally published, when people had at least seen movies like Dr. Doolittle and The Boston Strangler or whatever else was going on at the time. Reading it now it feels a little time-capsuley, but not in a good way. I can't really relate to any of the characters and it's not like I don't think the stories couldn't be told better - because Mark Harris did it splendidly in "Pictures at a Revolution" - it just...I don't know. I was...more
This book feels incredibly dated. Maybe I was at a severe disadvantage since I read the wonderfulPictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood before this. Don't bother, despite many calling it a Hollywood classic.
Hank Stuever
Something of a forgotten classic for people who like to read inside stuff about movie making, especially in the way-back-when.
Sep 02, 2008 Krista added it
Another great one - especially having read it while living in Hollywood.
Intriguing glimpse of Fox studio in the 60s.
Dec 18, 2007 Tracey marked it as to-read
Shelves: recommended
NOT AT LIB 12/07 - Ginnie
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John Gregory Dunne was an American novelist, screenwriter and literary critic.

He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a younger brother of author Dominick Dunne. He suffered from a severe stutter and took up writing to express himself. Eventually he learned to speak normally by observing others. He graduated from Princeton University in 1954 and worked as a journalist for Time magazine. He m...more
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