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Hollywood Rat Race

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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this never-before- published memoir of Hollywood, Ed Wood, Jr., reveals the down and dirty about the cutthroat world of movie-making.
Paperback, 138 pages
Published 1998 by Four Walls Eight Windows (first published August 13th 1957)
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Michael
Jul 18, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Psychotronics fans, Tim Burton fans, film historians
Recommended to Michael by: Damon Houx
Shelves: memoirs, how-to
This is my first five-star book of 2014, but I want to be clear: it’s the text of the book I loved, not the edition. The publishers did a poor job with it, and I hope to see a more serious historical edition printed someday. The worst offense is the cover price - $15.95 for a 138-page book that looks like it was put out on a café-press-type system (over ten cents a page!). That’s bad enough, but it also lacks any kind of historical front matter, like an introduction explaining its place in Ed’s ...more
Josh Spurling
Who better to write a guide to Hollywood than Ed Wood Jr., the worst filmmaker in history? Wood's films include the absurd anti-classics, "Plan 9 From Outer Space," "Glen or Glenda?," and "Bride of the Monster" among others. In "Hollywood Rat Race" Wood gives advice on such matters as what to pack for your trip to Hollywood (angora sweater of course), how to get an agent, whether you should have sex to get a part, and how to sleep in the park for free, before finally recommending that you just s ...more
Scott Williams
Feb 24, 2014 Scott Williams rated it liked it
Edward D. Wood Jr. is a personal hero so I was excited to find this slim volume. It begins as something of a guide for young people who are planning to migrate to Hollywood in search of stardom but becomes a memoir of Wood's own experiences. It is poorly written and in need of an editor but it's still an interesting historical document. Wood was a person who lived through the great shifts that took place in Hollywood between the 30s and 60s. Wood's cynical observations about the decline of Holly ...more
Peter
Apr 14, 2008 Peter rated it it was amazing
Not a paragraph goes by without multiple redundancies, shocking "facts" about Hollywood, or a reference to angora sweaters...

My favorite parts were his talk about why starring in your high school play doesn't mean you're ready for Hollywood (what!? really!) and how his film Orgy of the Dead is not just an exploitive skin-flick.

This book is so, so funny. Ed Wood is one of the worst writers I've ever read and if you've seen any of his movies or read Nightmare of Ecstasy, his bio, you'll enjoy th
...more
Kirsti
Sep 28, 2008 Kirsti rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of bad movies
"Who are these people who hate Hollywood? Perhaps a bunch of communists?"

The well-known "worst director ever" (Plan 9 from Outer Space) writes a memoir. Perfect irritainment. At one point he compares acting, cake-baking, and the atomic bomb. "Far-fetched? Think about it!"

Perhaps the most entertaining part of this book is the author's blatantly obvious angora-sweater fetish. I like 'em too . . . but not THAT way. :-)


Jon
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
I didn't think this book could be as delightfully stupid as Wood's movies but I should have known better. I especially like the way, writing in the 60s, he complains about how Hollywood has gone downhill, with all those damn beatniks and folksingers. Then there's the chapter about unscrupulous producers who try to lure young girls into appearing in nudie-cuties (as opposed to Wood's classy productions such as ORGY OF THE DEAD). This is priceless.
Jason Coffman
Sep 27, 2010 Jason Coffman rated it it was amazing
While not as deliriously perverted as his fiction books, Ed Wood's "How-to" guide to Hollywood is just as entertaining. Here he attempts to paint himself as the man about town, dispensing advice that is almost always instantly retracted with a seemingly earnest plea for aspiring actresses to just stay at home and leave Hollywood dreams behind. Or don't! Even here, Wood manages to sneak in plenty of references to his favorite fetishes, adding another layer of craziness to the proceedings.
Douglas Gibson
Jun 22, 2015 Douglas Gibson rated it it was amazing
Not since Joan Crawford's Life My Way, have I read an author that has so little self-awareness. This book is part how-to-become-an-actor, part memoir, and totally wacky! I was laughing out loud at many sections due to Wood's serious tone, but other parts, especially any place where he talks about his friendship with Bela Lugosi, can actually be touching. I highly recommend this book to movie buffs, and fans of old Hollywood, Ed Wood, or camp.
Chris
May 16, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Not really what I was hoping for from Ed Wood, frankly. Not that it had to be some sort of self parodying memoir, it just lacked any sense of self. I like Ed Wood, but having him wax nostalgia for how Hollywood works and it's 'glory' days -- I find it hard to take, since he didn't seem to heed his own words. In the end I power skimmed through this very thin book looking for the gems that just weren't there. I guess that's why it was at the used book store.


Justin Howe
May 23, 2016 Justin Howe rated it liked it
Reading this I realized that Ed Wood makes sense when he's viewed as being as much a star-struck fan boy of Hollywood and the screen magazines as the purported audience of this book of advice for the aspiring star.

Also, you could probably make this into a drinking game and drink every time he mentions an angora sweater.
Rachel
Feb 17, 2008 Rachel marked it as to-read
i was going to check this out today (sunday) but by the time i got done picking up table books all the checkout stations were shut down. so, this book will now be missing (i.e. sitting in my mailbox) til tuesday. i'm a bad librarian.
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1417875
Edward Davis Wood, Jr. (October 10, 1924 – December 10, 1978) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, and editor (often performing many of these functions simultaneously). In the 1950s, Wood made a run of independently produced, extremely low-budget horror, science fiction, and cowboy films, now celebrated for their technical errors, unsophisticated special effects, idiosy ...more
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