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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread that has been requested by Bea - a group member.

The history of film is an account of the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies. [1]
The history of film spans over 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day. Motion pictures developed gradually from a carnival novelty to one of the most important tools of communication and entertainment, and mass media in the 20th century and into the 21st century. Most films before 1930 were silent. Motion picture films have substantially affected the arts, technology, and politics.[

The cinema was invented during the 1890s, during the industrial revolution. It was considered a cheaper, simpler way to provide entertainment to the masses. Movies would become the most popular visual art form of the late Victorian age. It was simpler because of the fact that before the cinema people would have to travel long distances to see major dioramas or amusement parks. With the advent of the cinema this changed. During the first decade of the cinema's existence, inventors worked to improve the machines for making and showing films. The cinema is a complicated medium, and before it could be invented, several technological requirements had to be met.

Source: Wikipedia

Remainder of article:

Note: Film History - Part One is a thread that has gotten too large and takes too long to load. We have archived that thread and have closed it so that it cannot get any larger. This is the Part Two thread for Film History - but the focus for each entry must be on books related to film history. Please refrain from adding clips, music, full length documentaries, multiple urls and images at the same time to posts. Goodreads focus is on books and that is what we are all about too. Thanks to everyone for helping out.

message 2: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments
Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first film appearance in Homecoming in 1928 and quickly became a popular actress in Germany. During the 1930s she moved easily between German and French language films, achieving success in films such as Au bonheur des dames (1930), L'Atalante (1934) and La Grande Illusion (1937).

Parlo attempted to establish a career in American films but despite a couple of roles in Hollywood films, was unable to extend her European success. She was scheduled to appear in the proposed Orson Welles production of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness for RKO Radio Pictures. However, that project did not come to pass, and Welles began work on Citizen Kane. With the outbreak of World War II, Parlo returned to Germany. She appeared in only three films during the last thirty years of her life, making her final film appearance in 1965.

with Jean Gabin in La Grande Illusion

La Grande Illusion by Julian Jackson by Julian Jackson

message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Here is a biography of the best of the best, Jean Gabin, who is appreciated everywhere in the world but the United States. He could play it suave or play it of a kind.

The World's Coolest Movie Star

World's Coolest Movie Star. the Complete 95 Films (and Legend) of Jean Gabin. Volume Two -- Comeback/Patriarch by Charles Zigman by Charles Zigman


France. Germany. Italy. Russia. Poland. Czech Republic. Romania. Mexico. Japan. Iran. All over the world -- everywhere except in the U.S. -- the legendary Jean Gabin continues to be considered one of the greatest movie stars of all time. In the U.S., he's definitely considered to be a cult figure (in 2002, twin Gabin festivals were presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and at the Walter Reade Theatres in New York), but for the vast moviegoing public, and just like a lot of the greats, he's fallen off of the radar. That's about to change, however, because in 2008, Allenwood Press presents the very first English-language (and two-volume ) book about Jean Gabin, ever. (There's not even an old, out-of-print book about Gabin in English, if you can believe that )

WORLD'S COOLEST MOVIE STAR: THE COMPLETE 95 FILMS (AND LEGEND)OF JEAN GABIN by CHARLES ZIGMAN VOLUME TWO, which has been subtitled "Comeback/Patriarch," covers Films 47 through 95, which Gabin made between 1954 and 1976. During this period of his career, instead of playing his famous tragic drifter character, he played a series of mega-cool gentleman-criminals, and world-weary (yet life-loving) patriarchs, and he even turned out some hilarious comedies during this period, which are criminally unknown in the U.S. The tone of the book is "fun," as opposed to "academic" and "pretentious," and its goal, is to introduce as many people as possible to the films of Gabin; to that end, this book is loaded with rare photographs, many of which have never appeared even in previously published French-language books about Gabin.

This is a book for Jean Gabin 'newbies' and 'completists' both: For the uninitiated, there are some biography and 'intro' chapters which place Gabin, and his famous big-screen persona into perspective. For the completists, I (the author) have 'unpacked' every single one of Jean Gabin's ninety-five theatrical feature films, even the more than fifty pictures which have never been subtitled into English before, so that readers can feel, by poring through the chapters, that they are actually seeing the films, first-hand. Excerpts from newspapers written 'back in the day,' both in the U.S. and in Europe, show how prominent movie critics received Gabin's pictures the day they were first released, in the 1930s through the 1970s.

In short this two-volume book is for everybody. Besides being the first books about Jean Gabin in the English language, WORLD'S COOLEST MOVIE STAR is also a first, because it happens to be the very first filmography book related to Gabin in any language: Even in France, where there have been many published biographies of Jean Gabin, there has never been a book concentrating on each of the actor's ninety-five films.

message 4: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments Oooh ... Has there ever been a truer title? Fell in love with him as a tragic drifter, been in love with him ever since.

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Me too and I can't figure out why he is so ignored in this country.

message 6: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first film appearance in Homecomin..."

I love this scene from "Grand Illusion." I realize am not alone. Gabin was cool, a perfect description of his persona. I've long felt that he and Spencer Tracy shared some similar qualities.

message 7: by Joanne (last edited Mar 13, 2013 01:35PM) (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first film appearance in Homecomin..."

This BFI Film Classics Series is wonderful. From the Macmillan/BFI:

BFI Film Classics is a series of finely written, illustrated books that introduce, interpret and celebrate landmark films of world cinema. Each volume offers an argument for the film’s ‘classic’ status, together with a discussion of its production and reception history, its place within a genre or national cinema, an account of it’s technical and aesthetic importance, and in many cases, the author’s personal response to the film. The BFI Film Classics series now includes titles previously published separately in the BFI Film Classics and the BFI Modern Classics Series.

New in January 2013:
The Apu Trilogy by Phillip Kemp by Phillip Kemp

Coming in May 2013:
Written on the Wind by Peter William Evans by Peter William Evans

message 8: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments Joanne wrote: "Bea wrote: "Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first film appearance ..."

I just love The Apu Trilogy - it is so beautiful and, of course, heartbreaking. I might have to check out the book.

message 9: by Joanne (last edited Mar 13, 2013 01:50PM) (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "Joanne wrote: "Bea wrote: "Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first f..."

Ray's films are indeed wonderful. What a contrast in film titles -- "The Apu Trilogy" and "Written on the Wind!" A great thing about this classic series on film classics.

The Apu Trilogy by Phillip Kemp by Phillip Kemp

Written on the Wind by Peter William Evans by Peter William Evans

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Bea wrote: "Joanne wrote: "Bea wrote: "Dita Parlo (4 September 1906 – 13 December 1971) was a German film actress. Born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland), Parlo made her first f..."

Please cite the book whenever mentioning it (if that is what you are referring to).

message 11: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments

Film critic Roger Ebert died today, April 4, 2013, in Chicago following a long battle with cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland. He was 70. Ebert has been a part of my movie life ever since I can remember through his television shows starting with "Sneak Previews" and many books.

His home newspaper The Chicago Sun-Times has an obituary here:

He will be missed.

The Great Movies the Great Movies the Great Movies by Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert Roger Ebert

The Great Movies II by Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert Roger Ebert

Life Itself A Memoir by Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert Roger Ebert

message 12: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments He will be missed by many.

message 13: by Craig (new)

Craig (twinstuff) Yes, it's very sad news. I met him once and went out drinking with him. It was at the Cable Ace Awards back in 1995 and he was staying at the same hotel that I was (I worked in the cable TV industry back then.) He was just such a nice person. I remember talking to him about email and some of his views on specific movies, including some classic film noirs, and for some reason, the movie The Road to Wellville.

message 14: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments Craig wrote: "Yes, it's very sad news. I met him once and went out drinking with him. It was at the Cable Ace Awards back in 1995 and he was staying at the same hotel that I was (I worked in the cable TV indus..."

How lucky you were. Just from reading his stuff, he made me feel I knew him.

message 15: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Very sad. I loved his tv show, too.

message 16: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This looks interesting.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman by Neil Postman Neil Postman

Television has conditioned us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in spoonfuls of time, to the detriment of rational public discourse and reasoned public affairs. In this eloquent, persuasive book, Neil Postman alerts us to the real and present dangers of this state of affairs, and offers compelling suggestions as to how to withstand the media onslaught. Before we hand over politics, education, religion, and journalism to the show business demands of the television age, we must recognize the ways in which the media shape our lives and the ways we can, in turn, shape them to serve out highest goals.

message 17: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend

The Searchers The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel Glenn Frankel Glenn Frankel


In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, "The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest... and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!" directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.

Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America.

message 18: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments Bryan wrote: "The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend

The Searchers The Making of an American Legend by Glenn FrankelGlenn FrankelGlenn Frankel


In 1836 in East Texas, nine-..."

Thanks, Bryan! I never knew that was a true story.

message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Neither did I. I'm not much of a John Wayne fan but I thought he was wonderful in the film version of the book.

message 20: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood
Complicated Women Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood by Mick LaSalle by Mick LaSalle Mick LaSalle

In the pre-Code Hollywood era, between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women only acted after 1968. Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties-sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars came along: Greta Garbo, who turned the femme fatale into a woman whose capacity for love and sacrifice made all other human emotions seem pale; and Norma Shearer, who succeeded in taking the ingenue to a place she'd never been: the bedroom. In their wake came a deluge of other complicated women-Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, and Mae West, to name a few. Then, in July 1934, the draconian Production Code became the law in Hollywood and these modern women of the screen were banished, not to be seen again until the code was repealed three decades later. A thorough survey and a tribute to these films, Complicated Women reveals how this was the true Golden Age of women's films.

message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks to everyone who adds books relevant to film history. We really appreciate these adds and it gives all members a place to go to for more information and interest. It makes all of our threads that much more helpful to our group members.

message 22: by Jill (last edited Apr 29, 2013 02:26PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This first book in the trilogy is a real gem!!

Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird and the Wonderful

Cult Movies The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful by Danny Peary by Danny Peary


For the die-hard film fan,author Danny Peary gives the reader a tour through those good, bad, and ugly films that are termed "cult". This is the first of a trilogy that covers the entire genre and it is a delight. The film fanatic, especially of the cult and "so bad they are good" movies, will be in heaven. His reviews which are priceless also contain some insider information that just adds to the fun. Absolutely a must read for the lover of all that is film.

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks Jill for the add.

message 24: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) The Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer

The Man Who Seduced Hollywood The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer by B. James Gladstone by B. James Gladstone (no photo)

Open any movie magazine from the 1930s, ’40s, or ’50s and you’ll find a picture of attorney Greg Bautzer with a beautiful starlet. Columnists dubbed him “Hollywood Bachelor Number One,” and for good reason. His long-term relationships and momentary conquests were a who’s who of leading ladies, including Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Jane Wyman, Dorothy Lamour, Ann Sothern, Greer Garson, Merle Oberon, and Peggy Lee, to name just a few.

Yet Bautzer was more than a Hollywood Don Juan. As a lawyer, he represented nearly every major star of his era, as well as the richest man in the world, Howard Hughes, for whom he served as adviser, confidant, and best friend. He also handled Hughes’s shadier deals, including writing checks for a harem of kept women and quashing potentially embarrassing tell-all biographies.

In Hollywood history, no other lawyer has achieved the movie star–like fame and glamour that Bautzer enjoyed. The Man Who Seduced Hollywood tells, for the first time, the amazing story of a self-made man who for fifty years used his irresistible charm and prodigious legal talent to dominate the courtrooms, boardrooms, and bedrooms of Hollywood.

In addition to new stories about Hughes, this biography contains countless anecdotes about Bautzer's other well-known clients and friends including Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Bergman, Rock Hudson, Bugsy Siegel, Robert Evans, Kirk Kerkorian and many more of the twentieth century's biggest stars.

message 25: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Read My Lips: Stories of a Hollywood Life

Read My Lips Stories of a Hollywood Life by Sally Kellerman by Sally Kellerman (no photo)

Sally Kellerman’s portrayal of Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H remains a landmark performance. Throughout her long career Kellerman has been a real dame—honest, down-to-earth, sultry, funny, and unfiltered. In READ MY LIPS, Kellerman shares colorful tales of her years as an up-and-coming actress in the early 60s, when Hollywood was a small neighborhood full of chance encounters. To pay for acting classes (ten dollars each, alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson) she waited tables at a coffee house on the Sunset Strip that was a hangout for Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and Warren Beatty. While she watered her lawn one morning in her bathrobe, Ringo Starr stopped in his convertible to say he’d just moved into the neighborhood and she should drop by; during the Vietnam War, she dated Henry Kissinger. Over the years, there were drugs, affairs, diets, and therapy, a music album, a marriage, and motherhood. As the innocence of the 1950s collided with the free spirit of the 1960s, everything felt new and exciting, and Sally Kellerman was right in the middle of it. In READ MY LIPS Sally transports us back to that unique era and shares the challenges and rewards of her marriage, children, and her iconic career.

message 26: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I Love the Illusion

I Love the Illusion by Charles Tranberg by Charles Tranberg (no photo)

Lovers of old-time radio hold a special place in their heart for Agnes Moorehead. She was one of the busiest and most definitive actresses of that medium. The bottom line is that Agnes Moorehead is one of the few actresses who succeeded in every realm of show business: stage, radio, film, and television. The respect of her peers can be summed up in these statistics: four Academy Award nominations, seven Emmy nominations - with one win - two Golden Globe nominations - with two wins - and the Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics. This impressive, 400+ page biography, complete with filmography and radiography, proves to readers and scholars alike that she was much more than the witch of Endor *This is the 2nd edition of the bestselling book, with new material and cover *

message 27: by Alisa (last edited Jun 22, 2013 12:18PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before

Mary Wickes I Know I've Seen That Face Before by Steve Taravella by Steve Taravella (no photo)

Moviegoers know her as the housekeeper in White Christmas, the nurse in Now, Voyager, and the crotchety choir director in Sister Act. This book, filled with never-published behind-the-scenes stories from Broadway and Hollywood, chronicles the life of a complicated woman who brought an assortment of unforgettable nurses, nuns, and housekeepers to life on screen and stage.

Wickes (1910-1995) was part of some of the most significant moments in film, television, theatre, and radio history. On that frightening night in 1938 when Orson Welles recorded his earth-shattering "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, Wickes was waiting on another soundstage for him for a rehearsal of Danton's Death, oblivious to the havoc taking place outside.

When silent film star Gloria Swanson decided to host a live talk show on this new thing called television, Wickes was one of her first guests. When Lucille Ball made one of her first TV appearances, Wickes appeared with her--and became Lucy's closest friend for more than thirty years. Wickes was the original Mary Poppins, long before an umbrella carried Julie Andrews across the rooftops of London. And when Disney began creating 101 Dalmatians, Wickes was asked to pose for animators trying to capture the evil of Cruella De Vil.

The pinched-face actress who cracked wise by day became a confidante to some of the day's biggest stars by night, including Bette Davis and Doris Day. Bolstered by interviews with almost three hundred people, and by private correspondence from Ball, Davis, Day, and others, Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before includes scores of never-before-shared anecdotes about Hollywood and Broadway. In the process, it introduces readers to a complex woman who sustained a remarkable career for sixty years.

message 28: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Alisa wrote: "The Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer

[bookcover:The Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most..."

Greg Bautzer was quite a guy. He deserves a book. Thanks for the alert, Alisa!

message 29: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Alisa wrote: "Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before

Mary Wickes I Know I've Seen That Face Before by Steve Taravella by Steve Taravella (no photo)

Moviegoers know her as the housekeeper i..."

I think Mary Wickes made many films in which she appeared better. Speaking of character actors:

Reel Characters

Reel Characters Great Movie Character Actors by Jordan R. Young by Jordan R. Young (no photo)


Home video and cable TV have brought these unforgettable faces from Hollywood's Golden Era into millions of living rooms. Interview-profiles with 12 of the movies' best-loved supporting players, including Elisha Cook (the baby-faced gunman in "The Maltese Falcon"), Sam Jaffe (the High Lama in "Lost Horizon"), Beulah Bondi (Jimmy Stewart's mother in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"), Fritz Feld (the perennial maitre d'), John Qualen, Charles Lane, Iris Adrian, John Carradine and Anita Garvin (the scorned wife or girlfriend in many Laurel and Hardy comedies). Together they offer a fresh perspective on the stars and directors of the past. They reveal what it was really like to work alongside such legends as Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and W.C. Fields; how they were treated by superstar directors like Frank Capra, John Ford and Orson Welles. The book includes over 100 rare photos and extensive filmographies, plus a foreword by Fritz Feld.

message 30: by Alisa (last edited Jun 25, 2013 06:29PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) John Wayne: The Genuine Article

John Wayne The Genuine Article by Michael Goldman by Michael Goldman (no photo)


John Wayne: The Genuine Article provides readers a rare glimpse into the life of one of the most iconic movie stars of all time through a treasure trove of memorabilia, stories, and interviews. This definitive book includes John Wayne Enterprises' collection of never-before-seen letters and telegrams as well as incredibly compelling text from Wayne's unfinished memoir. Important milestones in the Academy Award-winning actor, director, and producer's life are also well documented here through anecdotes, photos, and visually rich ephemera including boots, hats, and saddles. The story of John Wayne's rise, reach, and influence in American culture is alive and well in this brilliant opus. With a foreword by Jimmy Carter and a preface by his son Ethan Wayne, John Wayne: The Genuine Article presents the complete story of how an ordinary man became a top box office draw for six decades, and a larger-than-life Icon known simply as the Duke.

message 31: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) A Cast of Killers

A Cast of Killers by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick (no photo)

On February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant. Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after. When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well-known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers? Despite a full-scale investigation, the case was never solved; for sixty years is has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal. In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor's death, the great King Vidor, whose directing credits include Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun, and War and Peace, determined to solve the mystery, which had haunted him throughout his career, in order to make a film about it. Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded, where dozens of professional detectives had failed, in discovering the identity of the murderer. But because his findings were so explosive, he decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away. After Vidor's death in 1982, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor's authorized biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor's murder and Vidor's investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingénue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary's domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor's homosexual houseman; and Taylor's secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor's mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail.

message 32: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film: A Reporter's Perspective, 1998-2012

Alexander Payne His Journey in Film A Reporter's Perspective, 1998-2012 by Leo Adam Biga by Leo Adam Biga Leo Adam Biga


Long before Alexander Payne arrived as a world-renowned filmmaker, Leo Adam Biga spotted his talent, even screening his thesis project, The Passion of Martin, at an art cinema. By the time Payne completed Citizen Ruth and prepped Election Biga made him a special focus of his journalism. Interviewing-profiling Payne became a highlight of the writer's work. Feeling a rapport and trust with Biga, Payne granted exclusive access to his creative process, including a week-long visit to one of his sets.

Now that Payne has moved from emerging to established cinema force through a succession of critically acclaimed and popular projects – About Schmidt, Sideways, and The Descendants – Biga has compiled his years of reporting into this book. It is the first comprehensive look anywhere at one of cinema's most important figures. Go behind-the-scenes with the author to glimpse privileged aspects of the filmmaker at work and in private moments. The book takes the measure of Payne through Biga's analysis, the filmmaker's own words, and insights from some of the writer-director's key collaborators.

This must-read for any casual fan or serious student of Payne provides in one volume the arc of a remarkable filmmaking journey.

message 33: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

Ava Gardner The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans by Peter Evans (no photo) and Ava Gardner Ava Gardner


“I EITHER WRITE THE BOOK OR SELL THE JEWELS,” Ava Gardner told her coauthor, Peter Evans, “and I’m kinda sentimental about the jewels.” So began the collaboration that led to this remarkably candid, wickedly sardonic memoir.

Ava Gardner was one of Hollywood’s great stars during the 1940s and 1950s, an Oscar-nominated lead­ing lady who co-starred with Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, and Humphrey Bogart, among others. Her films included Show Boat, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Barefoot Contessa, and On the Beach. But her life off the screen was every bit as fabulous as her film roles.

Born poor in rural North Carolina, Gardner was given a Hollywood tryout thanks to a stunning photo of her displayed in a shop window. Not long after arriving in Hollywood, she caught the eye of Mickey Rooney, then America’s #1 box-office draw. Rooney was a womanizer so notorious that even his mother warned Gardner about him. They married, but the marriage lasted only a year (“my shortest husband and my biggest mistake”). Ava then married band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, who would eventually marry eight times, but that marriage, too, lasted only about a year (“he was a dominating son of a bitch . . . always putting me down”). She carried on a passionate affair with Howard Hughes but didn’t love him, she said. Her third marriage was a tempestuous one to Frank Sinatra (“We were fighting all the time. Fighting and boozing. It was madness. . . . But he was good in the feathers”).

Faithfully recording Ava’s reminiscences in this book, Peter Evans describes their late-night conver­sations when Ava, having had something to drink and unable to sleep, was at her most candid. So candid, in fact, that when she read her own words, she backed out and halted the book. Only now, years after her death, could this frank and revealing memoir be published.

“If I get into this stuff, oh, honey, have you got something coming,” Ava told Evans. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations is the stunning story of a legendary star’s public and private lives.

message 34: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

Furious Love Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner by Sam Kashner (no photo)


He was a tough-guy Welshman softened by the affections of a breathtakingly beautiful woman; she was a modern-day Cleopatra madly in love with her own Mark Antony. For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romance�often called "the marriage of the century"�was the most notorious, publicized, and celebrated love affair of its day.

For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of this larger-than-life couple, showing how their romance and two marriages commanded the attention of the world. Also for the first time, in exclusive access given to the authors, Elizabeth Taylor herself gives never-revealed details and firsthand accounts of her life with Burton.

Drawing upon brand-new information and interviews�and on Burton's private, passionate, and heartbreaking letters to Taylor�Furious Love sheds new light on the movies, the sex, the scandal, the fame, the brawls, the booze, the bitter separations, and, of course, the fabled jewels. It offers an intimate glimpse into Elizabeth and Richard's privileged world and their elite circle of friends, among them Princess Grace, Montgomery Clift, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Peter O'Toole, Michael Caine, Marlon Brando, Rex Harrison, Mike Nichols, Laurence Olivier, Robert Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, NoËl Coward, John Huston, Ava Gardner, the Rothschilds, Maria Callas, and Aristotle Onassis. It provides an entertaining, eye-opening look at their films, their wildly lucrative reign in Europe and in Hollywood�and the price they paid for their extravagant lives.

Shocking and unsparing in its honesty, Furious Love explores the very public marriage of "Liz and Dick" as well as the private struggles of Elizabeth and Richard, including Le Scandale, their affair on the set of the notorious epic Cleopatra that earned them condemnation from the Vatican; Burton's hardscrabble youth in Wales; the crippling alcoholism that nearly destroyed his career and contributed to his early death; the medical issues that plagued both him and Elizabeth; and the failed aspirations and shame that haunted him throughout their relationship. As Kashner and Schoenberger illuminate the events and choices that shaped this illustrious couple's story, they demonstrate how the legendary pair presaged America's changing attitudes toward sex, marriage, morality, and celebrity. Yet ultimately, as the authors show, Elizabeth and Richard shared something priceless beyond the drama: enduring love.

Addictive and entertaining, Furious Love is more than a celebrity biography; it's an honest yet sympathetic portrait of a man, a woman, and a passion that shocked and mesmerized the world.

message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks everyone for all of the adds

message 36: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

Still Foolin' 'Em Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys by Billy Crystal by Billy Crystal Billy Crystal


Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America’s favorite comedians as he turns 65, and a look back at a remarkable career

Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he’s not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like “Buying the Plot” and “Nodding Off,” Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever “test positive for Maalox”), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (“the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac”), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal’s reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Looks like a good one.

message 38: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
An upcoming book:
Release date: September 30, 2014

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor by Chris Taylor (no photo)


Why do most people know what an Ewok is, even if they haven’t seen Return of the Jedi? How have Star Wars action figures come to outnumber human beings? When did the films’ combined merchandising revenue manage to rival the GDP of a small country?

As journalist Chris Taylor shows, Star Wars might never have been such a wild success if not for the eclectic cast of writers, editors, sound engineers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to bring George Lucas’s vision to life and sell it to a skeptical public. Essential reading for Star Wars fans or anyone interested in the business of entertainment, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe traces the saga of this media juggernaut from its inception in the early 1970s to the 2012 sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, arguing that the franchise will still be galvanizing our imaginations—and minting money—for generations to come.

message 39: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Short biographies of the leading men who made the ladies swoon. Deeeeelightul!!!

The Leading Men of MGM

The Leading Men of MGM by Jane Ellen Wayne by Jane Ellen Wayne(no photo)


Gable, Tracy, Stewart, Old Blue Eyes, and the King were Hollywood gods; men wanted to be them, women just plain wanted them. As celluloid royalty and soldiers in Louis B. Mayer's box office army, the men of The Leading Men of MGM captured the hearts and imaginations of the movie-going public during a thirty-year stretch encompassing three wars and the ultimate downfall of a studio empire. While their roles onscreen are some of the most memorable ever captured, they often pale in comparison to the lives these men lived behind the scenes. The Leading Men of MGM exposes these legendary figures in all of their salacious glory — from Clark Gable's clandestine homosexual encounters in bistro bathrooms to Elvis's pill-popping, and Sinatra and Lawford's icy post-Kennedy jousts. Also profiling such stars as Ramon Novarro, Billy Haines, and Van Johnson, the collection offers complete filmographies and insightful looks at the nature of stardom during an era when the phenomenon was being minted. Offering a warts-and-all look at fifteen-plus legendary tinsel town stars, in addition to exploring their successes as genuine Hollywood talent, author Jane Ellen Wayne has written a must-have volume for film buffs of all stripes.

message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book is a must-have for any film fan who is interested in the influence of the great German films of the early 20th century. I have read it twice!!

From Caligari to Hitler

From Caligari to Hitler A Psychological History of the German Film by Siegfried Kracauer by Siegfried Kracauer (no photo)


A landmark, now classic, study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic, "From Caligari to Hitler" was first published by Princeton University Press in 1947. Siegfried Kracauer--a prominent German film critic and member of Walter Benjamin's and Theodor Adorno's intellectual circle--broke new ground in exploring the connections between film aesthetics, the prevailing psychological state of Germans in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time. Kracauer's pioneering book, which examines German history from 1921 to 1933 in light of such movies as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis," and "The Blue Angel," has never gone out of print. Now, over half a century after its first appearance, this beautifully designed and entirely new edition reintroduces Kracauer for the twenty-first century. Film scholar Leonardo Quaresima places Kracauer in context in a critical introduction, and updates the book further with a new bibliography, index, and list of inaccuracies that crept into the first edition. This volume is a must-have for the film historian, film theorist, or cinema enthusiast.In "From Caligari to Hitler," Siegfried Kracauer--the German-born writer and film critic who shared many ideas and interests with his friend Walter Benjamin--made a startling (and still controversial) claim: films as a popular art provide insight into the unconscious motivations and fantasies of a nation. In films of the 1920s such as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis," and "The Blue Angel," he traced recurring visual and narrative tropes that expressed, he argued, a fear of chaos and a desire for order, even at the price of authoritarian rule. The book has become an undisputed classic of film historiography, laying the foundations for the serious study of film.

message 41: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I read this book last month and it is a keeper! Very well done story of how the large studios could make or break an actor.

The Star Machine

The Star Machine by Jeanine Basinger by Jeanine Basinger(no photo)


From one of our leading film authorities, a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis.

Jeanine Basinger gives us an immensely entertaining look into the “star machine,” examining how, at the height of the studio system, from the 1930s to the 1950s, the studios worked to manufacture star actors and actresses. With revelatory insights and delightful asides, she shows us how the machine worked when it worked, how it failed when it didn’t, and how irrelevant it could sometimes be. She gives us the “human factor,” case studies focusing on big stars groomed into the system: the “awesomely beautiful” (and disillusioned) Tyrone Power; the seductive, disobedient Lana Turner; and a dazzling cast of others—Loretta Young, Errol Flynn, Irene Dunne, Deanna Durbin. She anatomizes their careers, showing how their fame happened, and what happened to them as a result. (Both Lana Turner and Errol Flynn, for instance, were involved in notorious court cases.) In her trenchantly observed conclusion, she explains what has become of the star machine and why the studios’ practice of “making” stars is no longer relevant.

Deeply engrossing, full of energy, wit, and wisdom, The Star Machine is destined to become an invaluable part of the film canon.

message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Interesting book Jill, thank you.

message 43: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Film is the perfect art form for propaganda and the Nazi's knew how to use it to their advantage. The author's ideas in this book may be a bit controversial in some areas but that does not make this book less fascinating.

The Third Reich's Celluloid War: Propaganda in Nazi Feature Films, Documentaries and Television

The Third Reich's Celluloid War Propaganda in Nazi Feature Films, Documentaries and Television by Ian Garden by Ian Garden (no photo)


This book exposes the myths surrounding the propaganda films produced during the Third Reich. One, that the Nazis were infallible masters in the use of film propaganda. Two, that everything the Nazis said was a lie. Three, that only the Riefenstahl documentaries are signficant to the modern viewer. It reveals the truth, lies, successes and failures of key films designed to arouse hostility against the Nazis' enemies, including Ohm Kruger - the most anti-British film ever produced; their 1943 anti-capitalist version of Titanic; anti-English films about Ireland and Scotland; and anti-American films like the Emperor of California and The Prodigal Son. Including an objective analysis of all the key films produced by the Nazi regime and a wealth of film stills, Ian C Garden takes the reader on a journey through the Nazi propaganda machine. In today's turbulent world the book serves as a poignant reminder of the levels to which powerful regimes will stoop to achieve power and control.

message 44: by Jill (last edited Jan 26, 2015 10:04AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Gwili Andre

A little known and tragic tidbit about Hollywood and what it can do to a player who doesn't quite make it.

Blonde, blue-eyed Gwili Andre from Denmark, “the highest priced model in America,” was taken on as a “Garbo look-alike” by RKO Studio, earning $25,000 a year and dating Howard Hughes. Unfortunately, her looks were such that from the profile side she was an exotic looking woman but from full face, she was less attractive. The public did not take to her and to her dismay, she failed to become a movie star. In a bizarre suicide, she was found sprawled on the bedroom floor of her apartment, burned to a crisp in a funeral pyre she had made out of old publicity clippings.

message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) GR doesn't say much about this book but I have read it and it is worthwhile. It traces the effect of the Production Code on the quality of film. The "do's and don'ts" were really pretty ridiculous, such as: married couples had to sleep in twin beds; if a man sate down on the end of a bed where a woman was lying, one of his feet must be on the floor; and other over the top rules. And God forbid that if someone was shot, there should be any blood shown. Funny and informative.

The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code

The Dame in the Kimono Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code by Leonard J. Leff by Leonard J. Leff (no photo)


The new edition of this seminal work takes the story of the Production Code and motion picture censorship into the present, including the creation of the PG-13 and NC-17 ratings in the 1990s.

message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Too bad they did not keep those rules.

message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) At least some of them, Bentley. Many were pretty silly. But in film today it appears that the more blood and guts and exploding vehicles, the more popular the film. Sorry, but that it not my style since most of it is egregious.

message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 06, 2015 05:36PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I cannot believe some of the scripts and movies that are being made - they are absolute drivel - I just watched one last night and I was absolutely appalled. I have no idea who thinks these are funny or entertaining or worthwhile. These films to make had to cost a bundle.

message 49: by Jill (last edited Feb 23, 2015 01:24PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) If ever an Oscar was well deserved (and many have been but too many haven't), Eddie Redmayne's role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything was one of them. He is amazing in a very demanding role. Congratulation to the Academy for recognizing his artistry and talent.

message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Yes, absolutely although I thought Cooper or Hawke were going to win

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