Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman

Scott Eyman is back with a new biography and what might be the definitive portrait of Cary Grant in Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and The Philadelphia Story are among the best romantic comedies of all time.  Grant’s four films for Alfred Hitchcock–Notorious, Suspicion, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest–still hold up today.  The list of films go on and on, including Charade, the best film that Hitchcock…

"Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman"

The Brothers Mankiewicz by Sydney Stern

Sydney Ladensohn Stern’s The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics is a solid read and works as a dual biography. I immediately changed up my quarantine reading list when Netflix issued the first teaser trailer of Mank on October 8. Going into that day, my plan had been to start on Scott Eyman’s biography of Cary Grant in hopes of finishing in time for its October 20th release.  Alas, The Brothers Mankiewicz took immediate…

"The Brothers Mankiewicz by Sydney Stern"

A Talent for Trouble by Jan Herman

A Talent for Trouble: The Life Of Hollywood’s Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler by Jan Herman is one of two Wyler biographies. Earlier this year during what feels like forever ago in quarantine, I was reading Five Came Back by Mark Harris.  I saw where there were two different Wyler biographies in the bibliography–both this one and the one by Axel Madsen.  This is the book recommended by Mark and so it became my 20th…

"A Talent for Trouble by Jan Herman"

Hope for Film by Ted Hope is A Must-Read

Ted Hope is back with another installment of Hope for Film with new insight following his time working in production for Amazon Studios. The second edition of Hope for Film, much like the first edition, is essential reading for anybody looking to produce.  Hope’s insight comes from someone who as worked many facets of independent film. most recently with Amazon.  Strangely enough, Hope got the Amazon gig as a result of the first edition. Hope…

"Hope for Film by Ted Hope is A Must-Read"

George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones

Brian Jay Jones writes the definitive biography of the Star Wars filmmaker in George Lucas: A Life–published by Little, Brown in 2016. Lucas is one of the greatest world-builders of all time.  Even when he wasn’t officially directing The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, he was still directing the film.  I mean, wouldn’t you want to be in charge of your own creation?  You can certainly understand why a filmmaker like Lucas…

"George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones"

Picturing Peter Bogdanovich by Peter Tonguette

Peter Tonguette’s Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director is a critical breakdown of the filmmaker’s career. Tonguette’s relationship with the critic-turned-filmmaker started with a phone call for an article in 2003.  The initial phone call has turned into a lengthy relationship including a meeting at an AFI Silver screening. The first half of the book plays as a biography with Tonguette breaking down the director’s filmography.  What follows in the second…

"Picturing Peter Bogdanovich by Peter Tonguette"

Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride

Steven Spielberg: A Biography (2nd Edition) by Joseph McBride takes a critical look at the filmmaker while updating the Spielberg story through 2010. Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker of all time.  If not for Jurassic Park, there’s a good bet that I wouldn’t even be doing what I do–whether that’s write about film working to transition into filmmaking.  One of the things I’ve been doing of late when watching Spielberg films is watch the bonus…

"Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride"

On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder

On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder by Ed Sikov is an in-depth biography of the late Oscar winning filmmaker, who died in 2002. When Ernst Lubitsch died in 1947, all of his secrets went to the grave.  But who was there to succeed him in terms of his style of filmmaking?  The answer to the question comes in the form of another filmmaker from the Continent, Billy Wilder. Double Indemnity.  The…

"On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder"

Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise by Scott Eyman

Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise, written by film historian Scott Eyman, is the definitive biography of the To Be or Not To Be filmmaker. The first thing I took away in reading Eyman’s biography is that Lubitsch was considered to be “The Griffith of Europe.”  Unfortunately, the filmmaker also emulated Griffith in more ways than one.  This includes, sadly, wearing blackface as one of his characters.  It’s sad and unfortunate because he was one of…

"Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise by Scott Eyman"

Hitler in Los Angeles by Steven J. Ross

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America tells the incredibly true story of Jews fighting back against Nazis in LA. Leon Lewis and Joseph Roos are American heroes.  You might not know their names and that’s perfectly okay.  Truthfully, I didn’t know their names either.  However, I’m perfectly glad to finally rectify this. There were some pretty damning moments while reading this book.  Given the state of the United…

"Hitler in Los Angeles by Steven J. Ross"