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Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Hollywood in the 1920s sparkled with talent, confidence, and opportunity. Enter Irving Thalberg of Brooklyn, who survived childhood illness to run Universal Pictures at twenty; co-found Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at twenty-four; and make stars of Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Jean Harlow. Known as Hollywood's “Boy Wonder,” Thalberg create ...more
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published November 5th 2009 by University of California Press (first published October 6th 2009)
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Oct 03, 2009 Karl rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly written and researched book. Anyone interested in Thalberg specifically, or the era generally, will enjoy Vieira's accomplishment. It's the only book that I've read about the era, and I've read many, that captures the daring, excitement, and conflict of the emerging Hollywood studio system. Vieira has pulled information from many sources, including Norma Shearer's unpublished autobiography, that have not been available to other biographers in the past. Additionally he had ac ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Late in 2009 a biography appeared, "Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince" that does an excellent job of putting Thalberg's career and influence into the context of his life and times. This book benefits by the observations of Norma Shearer, his widdow, taken from her unpublished autobiography.

Thalberg's influence in developing the business & artistic
structure of the modern studios and MGM. Mark Vieira's book has enough detail in it to provide a documentary outline on its own. Aug
Matthew Bieniek
Feb 15, 2015 Matthew Bieniek rated it really liked it
Fascinating look at one of the important players in the early days of Hollywood and a glimpse into the way movies were made at one of the major studios. I've read countless books and articles which mention the "studio system" in passing, but this book really shows the influence that the producers had in the crafting of films, and in the shaping of the careers of many of the well-known stars of the day. It also shows the petty politics that were in play at the time, which I'm sure continues to th ...more
Michael Kocher
Sep 17, 2016 Michael Kocher rated it it was amazing
One of the best Hollywood biographies I have ever read. Vieira expertly juggles the aspects the reader wants to know about. We get to intimately know Thalberg as a man and as an artist. Intense detail is paid to all the films Thalberg had a hand in so it is a must for a film fan trying to create a list of classics to see. I highly recommend it.
Feb 19, 2011 Jamison rated it it was amazing
there have been few books out on irving thalberg. one in particular was gossipy, and lightweight. thalberg changed the face of film, and deserves this detailed account of his life, and his times. a long read, with source material unseen until to-day. but, it's a satisfying tome, one you read with a notepad beside, so you can jot down film titles you will want to seek out.
Sep 19, 2010 David rated it really liked it
After this book by Mark Vieira there will be no need for another Thalberg biography.

Thalberg was a genius, but a sui generis one and the attempt to duplicate his methods by a lot of lesser minds over the years has resulted in ever more diminishing returns.
Donald Kirch
May 07, 2015 Donald Kirch rated it it was amazing
This guy was WAY ahead of his time, and helped to create the mold that Lucas, Spielberg, and "The Next Best Thing" was poured from. A great read!!
Nancy Loe
Jan 03, 2012 Nancy Loe rated it it was amazing
Stellar. Well researched and written.
Jul 20, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting history of films

This was an enjoyable read mainly because there is so much information about how films were planned and made. Nostalgia.
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