Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer
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Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Lion of Hollywood is the definitive biography of Louis B. Mayer, the chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- MGM -- the biggest and most successful film studio of Hollywood's Golden Age.
An immigrant from tsarist Russia, Mayer began in the film business as an exhibitor but soon migrated to where the action and the power were -- Hollywood. Through sheer force of energy and foresig...more
ebook, 608 pages
Published June 23rd 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published April 19th 2005)
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Luke Devenish
Wow, what a behemoth - both in man and book. I loved this. So absorbing. So many other books about the people who passed through MGM during the golden years invariably do a hatchet job on old LB - pick up any book on Gable, Garland or Harlow, for example - but this exhaustive biog redresses the balance. The Mayer that emerges here is a compelling individual. Flawed, yes. Manipulative and ruthless, undoubtedly. But also compassionate, loyal, generous and brilliantly gifted in the business of maki...more
Engaging. Great stories from behind the senes of the dream factory. Only biography endorsed by the Mayer family.
Carol Niehaus
This is a well written, interesting and entertaining biography. It is extensively researched and a balanced moral inventory of both virtues and imperfections. I love a rags to riches story and L.B.Mayer is an American Dream. He started as a poor, Jewish, Russian immigrant child. He hustled for scraps, pressed his nose to the glass of fine restaurants, and found magic backstage at a local theater. I found myself compulsively reading to discover more and more. Who is this man? How did he become a...more
As a lifelong Movie lover,the history of Hollywood ,(as in the Beginning)has always been something I am still drawn to.The tremendous creativity and talent,making what was considered a passing fad,motion pictures,(read :T.V. in the 50's)into the art form of the 20th century.Louis B Mayer was one of the founding fathers.One of maybe 5 or 6 who changed the face of American culture,Louis is considered,as in M.G.M.s lion logo "King of the pack."
Scott Lyman has written an exaustively researched book...more
May 17, 2008 Karie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves film history
I have long been curious to read a really good book about Mayer. The problem that I often encounter with film related biographies is that they either canonize or demonize their subjects, offering only one side of what is always a very deep, multi-layered complicated person’s life. Many of these books also tend to be very poorly researched, which I find annoying. To me, the same standard of research, accuracy and integrity should be applied to a star bio that say gets applied to a bio of someone...more
Jan 05, 2008 Christine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Movie Buffs, Pop Culture Fanatics
This book is a monster--the whole time I was reading it, the only thing people said to me was, "Wow, that's a big book!" But the size shouldn't frighten anyone. It's large because it's exhaustively researched, and Scott Eyman had access to mountains of personal papers and to some of the "famous Hollywood stars" Louis B. Mayer made famous. The rise of Louis B. Mayer really parallels the rise of the Hollywood machine as we know it today; in fact, the entire Hollywood system as it is today wouldn't...more
David Earle
"The Lion of Hollywood" by Scott Eyman is a non-fiction book that I can highly recommend. If you are interested in old Hollywood and how the motion picture industry began and the studio system of the "golden era of films" then you must make this one of your must-read books. It is a biography about the life of Louis B. Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), unanimously regarded as the most powerful movie mogul for three decades. Insightful, entertaining, and with some real eye-opening stories of how...more
What a book….! So much info…I have another one in my collection on Mayer…I am sure it won’t be as detailed as this one.

My original view on Mayer was of dislike…..and I had thought of Thalberg as the good guy. This book has changed my view. Apparently the info in this book shows that Thalberg was quite money hungry.

This book was well done…I came away with a better idea of the man…he was not as BAD as I thought to my precious Judy Garland…  And I believe no one will EVER care about a movie the w...more
Timothy Hallinan
Pretty much a standard for biographies of the first-generation moguls. Eyman is an easy, graceful writer, and he has an ideal subject since Mayer wore his emotions on his sleeve (unlike, say, Lew Wasserman, which means that he's still opaque after 450 pages of Connie Bruck's biography).

I'd have given it five stars but Eyman fell in love with his subject and goes apologist in a few instances. Still, this is a fascinating book.
Very interesting book. Lots of repetition; could have been at least 100 pages shorter, if not more. Gives a great understanding of the creation of the movie industry, especially MGM. If you're a love of old movies, this is a must read. Louis B. Mayer was definitely in the right place at the right time, and thank goodness he was.
Amy Wolf
Just amazing how this Russian immigrant junkman went on to become the head of Hollywood's biggest, most glamorous studio. Of course, he was ruthless, but on some level he really did think of MGM employees -- including actors -- as his "family." Most loathed him, but Kate Hepburn didn't, which is interesting.
Excellent book about old Hollywood. Tells the story of a poor Jewish boy who rose to the top due to his intelligence and made MGM the biggest movie studio in the world. Great insight into the workings of the Hollywood studio system and what some of the stars were really like.
Nov 29, 2007 Graceann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Biography Fans
Shelves: biography
In-depth biography of one of the most powerful, and divisive, figures in Hollywood. Everyone had or has an opinion on Louis B. Mayer and most of them are included here. Also included is his life story and his background machinations. Revealing and fascinating.
Jan 28, 2008 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves movies
Eynan lays bare the complicated, contradictory man who invented the Hollywood studio system as well as many of the legendary stars who still dazzle us - Gable,
Garbo, Crawford, Harlow, Loy, Shearer, Tracy....
Troy Soos
Lion of Hollywood is both a humanizing biography of Louis B. Mayer and a fascinating history of the MGM movie studio. It is detailed, well-written, and thoroughly entertaining.
Excellent, thorough, and balanced account of the life of Louis Mayer. Probably packed with more anecdotes than is strictly necessary, but they aren’t dull.
This is a must read for all movies lovers and especially classic film buffs! Scott Eyman has written a well researched and carefully constructed book.
This book was an interesting biography of Louis B. Mayer. I was hoping for more gossipy bits, but it was very interesting.
Mayer wasn't such a terrible guy as I'd heard. He had his good side. A fascinating biography of a powerful man.
Lindsay Richardson
Very well written and interesting a bit long though
Excellent Hollywood biography
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Scott Eyman has authored 11 books, including, with Robert Wagner, the New York Times bestseller Pieces of My Heart.

Among his other books are "Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer," "Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford," "Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise," and "The Speed of Sound" (all Simon & Schuster) and "John Ford: The Searcher" for Taschen.

He has l...more
More about Scott Eyman...
John Wayne: The Life and Legend Mary Pickford: America's Sweetheart The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930 Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille

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