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You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  852 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Oscar-winning producer Julia Phillips's work on Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Sting made her famous. This is the memoir that made her infamous-a downfall chronicle of a private hell that could only have been written by someone with nothing left to lose.
Published August 5th 2002 by Faber & Faber (first published March 6th 1991)
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8th out of 75 books — 59 voters
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Sigh. I'd always heard I needed to read this book - it was a 'must read' for anyone in The Industry in Hollywood.

What I found was a memoir from an egotistical, self-indulgent woman who lacks humility and the capacity for self-analysis. One of those books where someone talks about all the drugs they've done, all the sh*t they've been through, but never seems to really examine the correlation between the two. And if they do accept responsibility for where they are, they only do it in tandem with i
Amanda Barber
The more scandalous aspects of this book (drugs! sex! Goldie Hawn never showers!) have probably overshadowed how funny and true it is. Julia Phillips is an incredibly accomplished woman and this is the story of her rise (she was the first woman to win an Academy Award for best picture) and subsequent fall. She is unafraid to call out powerful friends, former friends, and herself for rediculous behavior, and her sharp writing and brutual honesty keep this from becoming another tired Hollywood mem ...more
Jason DeGroot
At one point, after meeting one of her idols, Arthur C. Clarke, and being sadly disappointed, Julia Phillips laments that one should never meet their idols. As I'm reading more books on the ins and outs of the Hollywood system and the players involved, I'm finding that I should probably stop reading about the moviemaking biz as it darkens my opinion of most who are involved in it. This book reminded me a lot in tone to "Prozac Nation", both autobiographies by talented women who squandered their ...more
David Gleeson
A long trawl through shallow waters - well, shallow people.

At 600 pages, this rant remains in dire need of an editor, but would benefit even more from a plot. Basically, our not-so-humble narrator gets lucky with The Sting in 1973, then it all turns to drugs, then it all turns to shit. Her primary concern – beyond any pretence of allegiance to drug-dealers, family, colleagues and friends – appears to be keeping her table at a dining-hole in Hollywood where she can see and be seen, hence the tit
Julia Phillips burned her bridges beyond recognition with this memoir of life in the fast lane of 1970s Hollywood. There are very few people who were big from the late 1960s to the early 1990s who aren't mentioned here, mostly unfavorably. The lady had good reason to be angry; the machinations of getting a film made are ludicrous enough to drive anyone over the edge. She freely admits that she didn't help her own cause by spending most of her time looking for her next high.

It would be easier to
This was such an entertaining book to read——very witty, very dishy, and so very Hollywood. Julia Phillips won an Oscar for producing one of the finest films in history, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and she was involved in the production of other fine films such as Taxi Driver and the Sting.

Until I read this book, I had no idea what a producer might actually contribute to a film. As described by Phillips, a producer pretty much does everything that no one else has done——and chronicles this
I felt like I had to fight through a thicket of coke-addled dithering to get to the dirt, and even then I wasn't sure what was going on -- was that a sex scene between Julia Phillips and Julie Christie? Who edited this? Anyway, this hasn't earned its reputation as a trash-talkin' masterwork.
Jason Collins

A behind-the-scenes tell-all of my favorite UFO movie, written by a drug addicted movie producer who happens to be the first female movie producer to win an Oscar for best picture? Sounded irresistible so I picked up a copy of Julia Phillips’ best-selling Hollywood chronicle. OK, there was far less about "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" than I had hoped for. "You'll Never East Lunch in This Town Again" is really the autobiography of Julia Phillips. Truthfully, I had never heard of Julia Phil
Hilarious, revealing, behind the scenes look at Hollywood studio moguls on their worst behavior. the late Julia Phillips details her malfeasance in this no holds barred tell all. Studio politics, ruthless backstabbing, lying , manipulation, egotistical stars and lots and lots of coke .. at first powder and then a raging freebase habit. She goes into excruciating detail describing the precise quantities of booze and alcohol she consumed before receiving her Academy Award for The Sting. If she rea ...more
Ugh. I thought this was going to be a hot tell-all, full of dirt on bold-faced names...instead it's 50 pages of "Robert Redford was late to meetings," 100 pages of gossip about the likes of Josie Blowsie and Pinky von Hostettler (now-total nobodies, is what I'm saying, if they ever were somebodies), and 450 pages of monstrously self-absorbed drug memoir: "My mommy didn't love me enough, so I treat everyone as terribly as possible, throw around the n-word like it's nothing, and take this to get u ...more
June Ahern
My thoughts do not reflect on the writing skill of the author. They are my personal reading pleasure and interest. She Done Did It To Herself. It wasn't an easy read and at the end I concluded it was as though reading from a tabloid paper. I can't say Julia Philips isn't a talented writer, she is. In fact she is a talented and once very successful film producer, an industry so difficlut to be successful as she was and certainly for a woman. I would have respected her story more if it didn't appe ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Mark rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
Well it is actually a good thing that Ms. Phillips is dead, because she cannot remake her life, as she made enough of a train wreck out of it as she could while alive. Unfortunately this book turns out to be a great exercize of work just to get through it, what with all the stars (first names!) the lines, the joints of Maui Wowie, and E. Coast Jewish girl kvetching. It would never have occurred to me to read this but if not for having read the Jill Jonnes book (q.v; review) and learned that Ms. ...more
Susan Davis
An interesting, honest and irreverent account of life in the tarnished and phony Hollywood "business" - as experienced by a woman who actually had a brain. While strong as steel, Julia Phillips could also reveal a vulnerability as well. This witty account also details the many social issues of equality. She takes no prisoners and names names, unlike many other books of its type. It is most entertaining to find out how Phillips maneuvers - and sleeps her way to the top, to win the Oscar for The S ...more
This is a Hollywood book that makes me glad my fantasies of becoming a feature filmmaker never came true. Julia Phillips was a successful female (one of the first) film producer in the latter part of the 20th Century with credits such as "The Sting," "Close Encounters...," "Taxi Driver," and others that have left their mark upon us all. As a result, she looks at the film business from the top down, the POV of the money people and decision makers that manipulate everyone else.

Julia is a sharp wi
Harv Griffin
Feb 04, 2013 Harv Griffin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Do you want to break into Hollywood?
Shelves: own, reviewed
pic of my copy of LUNCH

A little dated, circa 1992, but still relevant if you want to figure out the Hollywood movie subculture. LUNCH is autobiographical and as much a cautionary tale of drug addiction as insider info. I had a brief run-in with Hollywood when my novel BLUES DELUXE was published in the mid ’90s; had my very own Hollywood Agent for a while, but nothing ever came of it, and B.D. is now out of print. Looking back on it now, my experience was a bit of a Catch 22: she snapped me up, on the chance that my bo
I forced myself to read this all the way through because it just seemed like one of those books like you're supposed to say you've read for some reason. It felt like it was 1000 pages long with 1 continuous sentence having little to no punctuation. Would've worked better as 3 books I think - 60s/70s/80s? (ironic, considering it's about the movie industry - why not a opener and two sequels?) About a third of the words in the book are dropped names, and it's never explained who most of them are (a ...more
An almost poisonous memoir from Julia Philips, this is good in parts but overall it's too long and windy to be properly entertaining. A long time after her Hollywood success (Taxi Driver and Close Encounters), she seems to take great delight in heaving dung at her previous friends and colleagues and nobody comes out of it well, least of all her (at one point, her daughter is saved by technology which was - inadvertently - developed from machinery created by ILM, yet George Lucas is still a 'cold ...more
Felt like a biography from a schizophrenic patient, because of the brilliant level of detail despite all the madness. Addiction, once more, makes for a very interesting tale of a woman in a man's dominated world.
I read this a long time ago, so I can't say anything about the quality of the prose just some of the stories she tells that stuck out in my mind. One was her laughing at Scorsese's request to direct Taxi Driver. Some kind of joke about how he had ever done was "Boxcar Bertha." The other was just how vindictive and sexist Truffaut is. I don't think I would have wanted to live or work during that era. She's not sure at first if he's being rude to her or not because of the language/cultural differe ...more
Ed Lehman
Probably the worst piece of trash I have ever read. I wish I could give it minus 10 stars.
George Hawkey
An interesting take on Hollywood. I found the book never became what I thought it would be - a blow by blow of production of a major studio film. At times the book seemed to be the expansion of Julia Phillips day-planner, lists of names, meetings had, drugs smoked, drugs snorted, people screwed (literally and figuratively).

There was a deep lack of self-reflection - which for an autobiography/memoir I found strange. Events just happened, independent of JP's behavior.

Finally, the book was about
Stacy LeVine
This extremely famous book should have been titled WHAT NOT TO DO. It's a behemoth exercise in delusional solipsism.

I was appalled throughout. Not by the decadence/endless freebasing, but by Phillips' shameless (and lousy) rip-off of Carrie Fisher's narrative voice.

To boot, Phillips so prides herself on her brains and wit that she feels the need to remind the reader of them several times per page. Frankly, her Fisheresque wordplay is infantile, and I don't believe Phillips even approached the
I was simultaneously amused and disgusted by this lengthy tome, full of Grade-A H-Wood dish and behind-the-scenes glimpses at the dog-eat-dog film industry. It's hard to say at what point that it became clear that the book's author was a mean-spirited, narcissistic weasel with a gaping hole in her soul, but I'm pretty sure it was already a foregone conclusion even before the later, nauseating, passages dealing with her treatment of her child made it abundantly clear that this was a work of true ...more
Ugh. What a rambling, self-centered piece of crap. Reading this made me feel like I was in a therapy session with the author, except without any sort of self-exploration or willingness to look at the role that SHE might have played in her circumstances. "My parents (especially my mom) fucked me up! The producers/directors/actors/what have you fucked me over! Poor me!" I kept waiting for some sort of realization and ownership of her actions, but it never came. This book has really driven home for ...more
Mark Moran
Feb 11, 2012 Mark Moran rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by: Mark Netter
I think this book almost created the gossipy, tell-all Hollywood autobiography. It tells the story of Hollywood's first major female producer, who won Best Picture for The Sting and also produced Flashdance and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The book seemed so shocking as it went into great detail about the massive amounts of drugs and sex she did from the mid 60's to the mid 80's, and also some pretty amazing stories about how weird and screwed up some Hollywood insiders are.
This is a trashy Hollywood tell-all about how it worked in the 70's, 80's and 90's when this business called show was new to seeing women in the driver's seat. You won't like the protagonist. She's a bitch and she's often contradicting herself. But it's full of adrenaline and a good "window in" to a world few witnessed...Book lost steam about three quarters of the way through and then her bitchiness starts to really take over. I would only recommend to the real movies buffs.
I thought there would be more Lessons Learned here, about burning bridges, or regret, or personal reinvention. If there is, I couldn't get to it. Instead it was like being trapped by the mantel at a crowded party by the most self-indulgent and inconsiderate guest there. The disconnected narrative did not work, the change in persona was distracting, and the rest was just a Who's Who of Who's an A*le (and some of them didn't grow up to be anybody). I couldn't get through it.
I read this book when it was just released. The author has a very self-serving perspective, but I liked the book anyway. In fact, even with her large ego, Ms. Phillips is a role model for me. She is brave and she definitely takes a lot of risks. Her story about a male friend's perspective on her marriage especially rings true. I understood a lot more about marketing, about marriage, and about self actualization after reading this book.
Some interesting words from a very bitter human being whose personality led her to the genius decision to trash Steven Spielberg and Francois Truffaut (?) for the sake of unkindness itself. In the end, a hollow meaningless stab into darkness for someone who was fortunate, without talent, save for the ability to scar.

In the end, this read was senseless due to the fact I’d already eaten lunch with idiot girls at junior high.
Deborah Quarles
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I really never got why this book threw Hollywood such a curve ball. 2 16 Jul 06, 2013 10:07AM  
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