Silver Screen Book Club discussion

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Book Suggestions

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message 1: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Glasser | 436 comments Mod
Which books would you like to read in the future? Do you have a suggestion for a theme for one of our selections? Please advise me here.


message 2: by Kuriztee (new)

Kuriztee (imaginethatchristie) My Father Charlie Chaplin
By: Charles Chaplin Jr.
(great look at Chaplin from the eyes of his son)

My Life with Chaplin
By: Lita Grey Chaplin
(one hell of a good book)

Chaplin: The Interviews
(while we're still on the topic of Chaplin in another discussion)

Dean & Me: A Love Story
By: Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan

and/or

Why Me?
By: Sammy Davis Jr.

and/or

FRANK: The Voice
By: James Kaplan


message 3: by Jules (new)

Jules (daisysgirl) | 65 comments So many... will start with Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood by Mick LaSalle. Looks very interesting and I love the idea that women could do what they wanted! Am also interested in the how/why of the MCCarthy witch hunt, which, of course, was much later in the period.

Other books -

Majorie Main

Mary Wickes

Jean Harlow

Carole Lombard

Nazimova

Classical Hollywood Comedy

The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s

An worthy biographies recommendations would be greatly appreciated, of course.


message 4: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat I would be interested in reading bios on the following:

William Desmond Taylor
Hattie McDaniel
Oscar Micheaux
Ann Harding
Ruth Chatterton
Jean Arthur

I'd also be interested in reading about the Hollywood blacklist


message 5: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 11 comments I would also love to read about Hattie McDaniel and the experience of black actors in classic Hollywood (enjoyed Poitier's memoir) - and also the blacklist/McCarthy era.


message 6: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Glasser | 436 comments Mod
Since I planned to give members 2 months for each book, would anyone be interested in reading a large volume on various topics, such as Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By... or Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger or Complicated Women by Mick LaSalle? We would read a chapter each week for this reading project.


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard I have a lot of admiration for Kevin Brownlow for the conservation work he's done over his lifetime, but The Parade's Gone By isn't nearly as good as its reputation. It's very uneven and disjointed, although there's definitely some good stuff in there, such as the chapter about Ben Hur.

The best book I read that gives an overview of the silent era is the one by William K. Everson, but it's admittedly academic and dry; I don't know that I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a strong scholarly interest in the era.

I really liked Jeffrey Vance's biography of Douglas Fairbanks; it's breezy and informative. Although it's focused on one particular actor it nicely takes you through the silent era: the production and promotion of the movies, the star culture, and the challenges brought about by the advent of sound.


message 8: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat I would also like to add Walter Huston to the list. His September Song bio has been on my Amazon wish list for a couple of years now (been waiting for the price to go down), and I just watched Ann Vickers again, and it reminded me of his book.

If I can get a copy of Silent Stars I would be game to read it with the group. I will check my library.


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie | 11 comments Books about the precode era, books about the blacklist. I've been wanting to read more books about the production side of the movies - books about Goldwyn, Selznick, Zanuck, Myers etc. I've read a bio of Thalberg. I like memoirs more than biographies, even though you can't always trust a memoir. It's still interesting what the person decides to include or leave out. Also interesting to get different viewpoints of the same incidents - like Rashomon. I read both Mickey Rooney's and Ava Gardner's memoirs where they both wrote about their final fight at a party - very different versions. Who to believe? About a year later I read Maureen O'Hara's memoir. She wrote about being at that same party and getting upset with her husband so she went into a bedroom and hid in a closet so she could have a cry. Soon after Mickey & Ava came into the same bedroom and proceeded to have a big fight - the one they both write about. Ha, how crazy is that? It turns out Mickey's version was closer to the truth.


message 10: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Pepin | 8 comments Was the O'Hara bio Tis Herself? I would love to read that. I recently watched McLintock again and I love The Quiet Man as well. Is the bio worth reading???


message 11: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 12 comments Heidi wrote: "Was the O'Hara bio Tis Herself? I would love to read that. I recently watched McLintock again and I love The Quiet Man as well. Is the bio worth reading???"
Yes! Tis Herself is worth reading. It is very entertaining and she gives detailed stories of filming "The Quiet Man". That was one of my favorite parts of the book.


message 12: by Charlie (new)

Charlie I love bios of female stars, but I'm open to anything!


message 13: by Sirena (new)

Sirena | 15 comments I think I have Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger. I need to check my book shelf. I think Complicated Women is on my To Read List.


message 14: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Pepin | 8 comments Complicated Women looks interesting. I would definitely read that.


message 15: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat I've read Complicated Women, it's one of the first books I read on the pre-code subject, but I would read it again, it's that good.


message 16: by Jules (new)

Jules (daisysgirl) | 65 comments I have just started reading We Thought We Could Anything by Henry Ephron. Interesting thus far.


message 17: by Sirena (new)

Sirena | 15 comments I'm getting Complicated Women from the library!


message 18: by KC (new)

KC (kase55) I just purchased "Complicated Women," so that one is definitely on my list. I am also interested in reading "Tough Without a Gun" about Humphrey Bogart, "A Terrible Liar" by Hume Cronyn, and "Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir". Other interests: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Robert Mitchum, Mack Sennet and Mabel Normand, Alfred Hitchcock, Harpo Marx, the Thomas Ince mystery, the Hollywood Blacklist, and books about the early child stars.


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard If you haven't read Harpo Speaks I strongly recommend it. The warmest and most entertaining Hollywood autobiography I've ever read.


message 20: by Sirena (new)

Sirena | 15 comments I read a book about Carole Lombard awhile back but I don't think anything recent has been written. It's time!


message 21: by Richard (new)

Richard That's funny... I'm currently reading a recent book about Carole Lombard : Fireball (by Robert Matzen ) It's okay. Not bad but not as good as I'd hoped it would be.


message 22: by Sirena (new)

Sirena | 15 comments Richard wrote: "That's funny... I'm currently reading a recent book about Carole Lombard : Fireball (by Robert Matzen ) It's okay. Not bad but not as good as I'd hoped it would be."

I think I have that book on my Kindle. It didn't get the best reviews so I haven't started it yet. Isn't it a novel based on fact as opposed to non-fiction?


message 23: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 11 comments as yes, Harpo Speaks. Another one I'd love to read. And good recommendations on blacks in (early and golden age) Hollywood as well as the code? What about books on Hitchcock? I have to admit I love memoirs, even if they do sometimes require a grain of salt and extra objectivity.


message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard Cyndi: Fireball is a non-fiction book, but it has many elements of fiction. The author includes a lot of imagined thoughts and conversations, which I don't like at all. The further I get into the book the less I like it and the more irritating it gets.


message 25: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Glasser | 436 comments Mod
I felt that way about A Cast of Killers. It was an excellent read, but that sort of writing style makes it hard to decipher between the fact and fiction parts.


message 26: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Samantha wrote: "I felt that way about A Cast of Killers. It was an excellent read, but that sort of writing style makes it hard to decipher between the fact and fiction parts."

That's good to know; last night I added A Cast of Killers to my 'to-read' list. I'm kind of not interested now. I just want the facts ma'am :)


message 27: by Allyson (new)

Allyson | 5 comments where do we vote for the next book at? or is this the place and we are just suggesting for now? Thanks.


message 28: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Glasser | 436 comments Mod
If you go to the homepage of the group, the poll is at the bottom. Or you can choose Polls from the right side of the screen from the menu.


message 29: by Mateja (new)

Mateja Škoda | 3 comments Creolecat wrote: "That's good to know; last night I added A Cast of Killers to my 'to-read' list. I'm kind of not interested now. I just want the facts ma'am :)

A Cast of Killers is an excellent book. Don't skip it.;)


message 30: by Anne (new)

Anne Hockens | 9 comments It's a fascinating, involving read. I devoured it.


message 31: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Mymn and Anne: okay :)


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael Phelps (michaelphelps) | 3 comments Samantha wrote: "Which books would you like to read in the future? Do you have a suggestion for a theme for one of our selections? Please advise me here."

Good Morning Samantha,

I am brand new to this awesome Group. Thank you.

I do not want to post anything about my books, without approval.

DAVID JANSSEN was a Hollywood icon. He first captured the heartts of women, young and old, as "Richard Diamond-Private Detective" (CBS, 1957-1960). Then, in 1963, he skyrocketed to International fame as "THE FUGITIVE" (ABC, 1963-1967). In a cereer spanning 34 years, he made 44 Feature Films, 20 Made-for-Television Movies, Starred in four television series and made countless television and charity Guest appearances. Sadly, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 13 Feburary 1980, after filming the third day of his 21st. Made-for-Television Movie ("Father Damien"), he succumbed to a massive heart attack in his Malibu Beach (CA) home. He was just 42 days short of his 49th. Birthday.

In 1987 I co-authored "DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE" with Ellie Janssen, David's first wife. Originally published in 1994 in Hardcover, with Paperback editions released in 1995, 1996 and 1997, the book sold in excess of 1.2 million copies worldwide. I released the Fourth Edition (Hardcover) in July of 2010.

On 31 October 2014, I released "DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations, Volume One-The Early Years (1965-1972) and Volume Two-The Final Years (1973-1980). The books chronicle my friendship with David over the last fifteen years of his life.

I am the first to admit, I am not one capable of 'blowing-my-own horn', so this is what Actor LES LANNOM, a close friend and Co-star with David in six episodes of David's last television series has written:

"I urge anyone who enjoyed David Janssen's work to buy and read Michael Phelps' biographical journey into David's inner thoughts . . . thoughts shared with only a few of his most trusted friends. Through a chance meeting on the Internet, I became aware of Michael's two volume memoir chronicling a friendship that lasted from 1965 to 1980. I ordered the two books, not quite knowing what to expect. Upon reading them I immediately was impressed by his keen memory of David's character and rhythm of speech. Having known David since our meeting on the set of the pilot for "HARRY O" in January of 1972, and having been his friend since 1974 when we filmed the first episode of "HARRY O." I can say that reading the memoirs was very like being there and sharing in the conversations. If you remember and liked David Janssen, it's an experience you won't want to miss." - - LES LANNOM ("Lester Hodges" in "HARRY O.")

I would be honored to submit the books for this Group and the permission to post detailed information and covers here

Please advise at your earliest convenience.

Respectfully,

Mike Phelps
www.MichaelPhelpsNovels.com


message 33: by Mmargrajr (new)

Mmargrajr Hotmailcom (martingrams) | 12 comments VERONICA by Veronica Lake. "If I had stayed in Hollywood I would have ended up like Alan Ladd and Gail Russell -- dead and buried by now. That rat race killed them and I know it eventually would kill me so I had to get out. I was never psychologically meant to be a picture star. I evener took it seriously. I couldn't 'live' being a 'movie star,' and I couldn't 'camp' it and I hated being something that I wasn't." So quoted Veronica Lake, one of the most beautiful women on the screen. She never got along with Fredric March, tho she admits she enjoyed making I MARRIED A WITCH. It took Preston Sturgess to prove she could act if Paramount gave her the right vehicles. The U.S. Government asked her officially to stop with the peak-a-boo hair style because women wanted the same and they were getting their hair caught in the munitions factory during the war. She confessed her bizarre marriage with Andre de Toth, the men she slept with, children was not her stronghold and she lived an unhappy life. But she's an icon and why she walked out on Hollywood is worth reading.


message 34: by Mateja (new)

Mateja Škoda | 3 comments Mmargrajr wrote: "VERONICA by Veronica Lake...."
I just read this book last month. ;)

As for me I am pretty much interested in "all" autobiographies and biographies of female stars from golden age. But I will give my special vote to Self-Portrait by Gene Tierney.


message 35: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Mymn wrote: "But I will give my special vote to Self-Portrait by Gene Tierney."

Me too. I always thought of her as a gentle soul.


message 36: by Jules (new)

Jules (daisysgirl) | 65 comments How about "The Day the Laughter Stopped" by David A. Yallop, about the Fatty Arbuckle Scandal; or maybe Tallulah by Tallulah Bankhead. Must admit to having Self-Portrait on my bookshelf for the last few years but have never read it (yet).


message 37: by R (new)

R Pyle | 28 comments I highly recommend the autobiography "Up the Years from Bloomsbury" by George Arliss. It's my favorite film autobiography of all. He wrote a follow-up autobiography a number of years later. Arliss - along with Bogart - is my favorite sound actor (though he made silents, too).


message 38: by Mmargrajr (new)

Mmargrajr Hotmailcom (martingrams) | 12 comments I second TALLULAH. Finished reading it last year. She was extremely candid. Someone taught her to use a dictaphone and when she had insomnia, she turned the machine on and talked about something in her past. Then someone took all those recordings and removed the "scandalous" material and put together the book for her. She covers all aspects of her career including why she couldn't have children, why she preferred the stage to the silver screen, etc.


message 39: by Robert (new)

Robert | 9 comments One book classic film lovers might enjoy is the now-out-of-print NO, BUT I SAW THE MOVIE . . . which contains short stories like "Stage to Lordsburg" by Ernest Haycox, and "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams, which were adapted into films like STAGECOACH (1939) and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Corleone (michaelc1) I'm starting Sunday Nights at Seven by Jack Benny today. I'll let you know how I like it once I'm finished.


message 41: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Mike - it's funny that you mentioned this because I added Sunday Nights at Seven a couple of nights ago to my reading list. Yes, let us know what you think. :)


message 42: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Robert wrote: "One book classic film lovers might enjoy is the now-out-of-print NO, BUT I SAW THE MOVIE . . . which contains short stories like "Stage to Lordsburg" by Ernest Haycox, and "Night Bus" by Samuel Ho..."

I read Night Bus, and actually didn't care for it. I thought the lead characters were kinda mean. Maybe it was them being sarcastic, but they just rubbed me the wrong way. But I always find it interesting how they take a story and adapt it to the screen.


message 43: by Alicia (new)

Alicia | 11 comments Ive been wanting to read Nazimova. Also I would like to read about Valentino and Bogart. I would also be interested in Theda Bara oh and Louise Brooks, Tallulah, actually this list could just go on and on...Oh and Dolores Del Rio!


message 44: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Glasser | 436 comments Mod
Nazimova is an option for June's group read. I see you haven't voted yet. You should!


message 45: by Michael (new)

Michael Corleone (michaelc1) Creolecat wrote: "Mike - it's funny that you mentioned this because I added Sunday Nights at Seven a couple of nights ago to my reading list. Yes, let us know what you think. :)"

Finished the book tonight. It is co-written by Jack and his daughter Joan. Unfortunately, this book is too much Joan and not enough jack. I wasn't crazy about it. There are other biographies on Benny out there. I suspect at least one of them is better than this book.


message 46: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat Mike wrote: "Finished the book tonight. It is co-written by Jack and his daughter Joan. Unfortunately, this book is too much Joan and not enough jack. I wasn't crazy about it. There are other biographies on Benny out there. I suspect at least one of them is better than this book.
"


Disappointed to hear that. Maybe we'll come across a better book.


message 47: by Anne (new)

Anne Hockens | 9 comments "Jack Benny: An Intimate Biography" by his personal manager Irving A. Fein is quite good.


message 48: by Jules (last edited May 01, 2015 04:38PM) (new)

Jules (daisysgirl) | 65 comments Has anybody read 'Witch Hunt in Hollywood' or 'Red Star Over Hollywood'? Both cover the HUAC in some form. Or is there a better book concerning this period someone can recommend?


message 49: by Creolecat (new)

Creolecat I just bought a used copy of The Red and the Blacklist by Norma Barzman. I think it will be interesting to read about the Hollywood blacklist from a woman’s firsthand experience.
I don’t know how much she delves into it, but I would also like to read Lee Grant’s bio to get her perspective, too.


message 50: by Anne (new)

Anne Hockens | 9 comments I highly recommend this one:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


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