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You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,230 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Julia Phillips became a Hollywood player in the freewheeling 1970s, the first woman to win the Best Picture Oscar as co-producer of The Sting. She went on to work with two of the hottest young directorial talents of the era: Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver) and Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Phillips blazed a trail as one of the very few females to bre ...more
Published August 5th 2002 by Faber Faber (first published January 1st 1991)
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3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,230 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Jul 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
David Gleeson
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Amanda Barber
Nov 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 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
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, nonfiction
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
Jason Collins
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it

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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, film
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
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Bob Mayer
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first woman to win an Oscar for producing--- The Sting. If you want the inside dirt on the way Hollywood really works, this is the book. A lot of name dropping and you can read between the lines to figure out who she slept with-- a lot. Also, a ton of drug use. She got fired from Close Encounters because of that. A bright mind damaged by drugs and cut short by cancer.
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Phillips took a lot of drugs. How did she function? It's not surprising that she pissed off everyone in Hollywood. Sounds like a cocaine addicted bitch. Yet she redeems herself because her writing is clever. Loved every page, and even laughed out loud at times. RIP Julia Phillips.
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: flea market
Shelves: owned
The producer of The Sting who had a drug problem and burned many bridges along the way.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is frenetic and weird and funny and inappropriate.

To follow her wheelings and dealings is really fun. She always has a quick quip or snappy putdown, but she also works really hard and has plenty of good reasons for her creative choices. Her personal ones: less so. She likes handsome men, DRUGS, and spending money on furs, jewels, and travel. I'd love to hear what her daughter has to say about all of this: many of the incidents described in her home are HORRIBLE for children, from seeing her
An interesting look behind the Hollywood glamour by a woman (the first to win an Oscar for producing) booted from the ranks, after producing three major movies of the 1970s, for two sins: being addicted to freebase cocaine and being female (sometimes it’s hard to tell which is the greater sin). Nobody comes off looking good in his memoir, including the author who, despite getting clean, etc, is extremely fat-phobic and has some trouble avoiding problematic slurs in talking about gay men or non-w ...more
Harv Griffin
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Phillips was a trail-blazer. Brilliant, driven. An amazingly accomplished person. Many of her feats in the film industry might be deemed inspirational. She is also a fantastic writer...sort of. Unfortunately...she's doesn't deliver a fantastic autobiography here.
Parts are hilarious. Parts (like dealing with Scorcese on the Taxi Driver editing and Truffaut and Dreyfuss and the intricacies of the marketing on CETK) are incredibly compelling. I enjoyed her childhood and adolescence stuff too
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
June Ahern
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Mark Moran
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Aug 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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.
Deborah Quarles
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I really never got why this book threw Hollywood such a curve ball. 2 18 Jul 06, 2013 10:07AM  
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Julia Phillips was an American film producer and author. She co-produced with her husband, Michael (and others), three prominent films of the 1970s — The Sting, Taxi Driver, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind — and was the first female producer to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, for The Sting.