Dana Stevens delivers a superb biography of silent film comedian Buster Keaton in Camera Man that isn’t just a book but a book-length essay. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Anyone talking about the great silent film comedy stars start with one of the two. They both have their own quirks which is what makes the debate so hard. After all, the list of the best comedy movies of all time is one that features a…"Camera Man by Dana Stevens"
Jack Zipes provides a new English translation in the newly released The Original Bambi: The Story of a Life in the Forest by Felix Salten. Take everything you know about the 1942 film and forget it even exists. This is the best way to approach The Original Bambi. The 1942 film is not nor will ever be the same. Put it out of your head. Let me pull out a neuralyzer from Men in Black…"The Original Bambi: The Story of a Life in the Forest"
Bernard F. Dick’s book, Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood, now available in paperback. Factoring in a new preface for the paperback, the author writes as definitive story of Paramount Pictures that there can be. Well, it doesn’t take into account the recent studio moves with naming Brian Robbins as the new CEO. What makes the Paramount story so interesting is that they almost didn’t even get acquired by Gulf…"Engulfed Tells The Paramount Pictures Story"
Starstruck, the long-awaited memoir from film critic/historian Leonard Maltin, is going to be the must-read book of the year for film buffs. If you’re like me, you could listen to Leonard Maltin talk all day. I certainly know that I can. He’s the type of person who not only knows what he’s doing but he puts in the research as well. It’s one of the reasons why I admire Leonard Maltin. Getting the opportunity to…"Starstruck by Leonard Maltin: A Must-Read Memoir"
Nobody Does it Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond is a must-own book for James Bond fans. Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross draw on both their own interviews and archival interviews in telling the story of James Bond. They go back to where it all began with Ian Fleming, including the first attempts to bring Bond to either the big or small screen. In 1954, the first on-screen incarnation of…"Nobody Does It Better: A Oral History of James Bond"
Film historian and bestselling author Scott Eyman has done it again with 20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Studio. The story of the Hollywood studio can now be told after an era came to an end in 2020. If you didn’t read Vanda Krefft‘s brilliant biography on William Fox, Eyman sums up his life, the Fox Film Corporation, and his legal troubles. Zanuck really doesn’t come into the book’s picture…"20th Century-Fox: Scott Eyman Does It Again"
Robin, the Robin Williams biography written by Dave Itzkoff, is a must-read and the definitive biography of the late comedy legend. I was late to reading this book and for good reason. Deep down, I knew it would crush me much in the same way that My Girls by Todd Fisher did. To no surprise, I found myself sobbing during the final three chapters. It was like losing Robin Williams all over again and it…"Robin: Robin Williams Bio Is A Must-Read"
Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker, written by Stephen Galloway, is a superb biography. One does not have to get far into this book to realize how quickly paced it is. Galloway’s prose reads as if it were a novel even though this book is a non-fiction biography of one of the few female executives to head a Hollywood studio. It was never supposed to be this way, however, because…"Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing Bio Is A Must-Read"
Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman’s Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars is a must-own. If Apocalypse Now had turned out differently, Star Wars might never have seen the light of day. What an alternate universe this would be. Instead, Lucas’s idea for a Vietnam war film becomes something completely different. Not being able to acquire the rights to Flash Gordon would also alter his plans. Lucas would…"Secrets of the Force: An Oral History of Star Wars"
Chris Yogerst’s book, Hollywood Hates Hitler!, is a must-read book about the 1941 Senate Investigation into Motion Picture War Propaganda. The full name is as follows: Hollywood Hates Hitler! Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures. It’s a long title but there’s no better way to describe this book. If you haven’t studied up on film history, chances are likely that you never heard of the investigation. If you have, you’re…"Hollywood Hates Hitler! by Chris Yogerst"