Niklas Pivic's Reviews > The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks

The Men Who Would Be King by Nicole LaPorte
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's review
May 26, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: hollywood, cinema, non-fiction
Recommended for: all recommended in cinema
Read from May 15 to 25, 2011 — I own a copy

A for effort, seeing how LaPorte has scoured Hollywood and its tombs (e.g. people and mags), but I think this book might have benefited by more bird's eye-views on the whole thing.

Through all the details in this book one is served a bunch of very close perspectives of how DreamWorks, the company brought to life by Jeffrey Katzenberg and his trustees and wealthy supporters, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, worked and definitely didn't work.

One is served the picture that Spielberg is the talent, catered to at all times, surrounded by yes-sayers and people who dared not point out cracks in his façade, empire or films. Geffen, with all his money, had abandoned ship on the music industry but revived it in DreamWorks, while staying away. Katzenberg, a vicarious workaholic, who before founding DreamWorks left Disney in despair and fights, hit the floor running in his ultimate task: defeating Disney on their own turf, that being animation.

DreamWorks set out to be a complete spiel (pun intended) for the auteurs, who were supposed to play hard and win harder, being backed by the three main gents. Trouble was, the company went the way most studios did: towards generating profits.

LaPorte describes this to great extent, and often wonders: why didn't people say no more often? Where were the reins?

Loads of gossip, loads of tall tales and interesting ideas. Definitely worth reading if you're into these books, e.g. Peter Biskind's "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls".

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Reading Progress

05/17/2011 page 150
05/18/2011 page 200
39.0% "Reading the squabbles between DreamWorks and Miramax is interesting as hell as far as PR in Hollywood is involved."
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