How could I resist a book on Hollywood’s greatest directors which only cost me a penny! ( plus £2.80 post). A 300 page hard back, second hand book in great condition.
THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES was a TV series broadcast in 1973, produced,written and directed by Richard Schickel. 8 directors were interviewed at length, and I wish the whole series could be released on DVD . Several of the episodes have turned up as extras on dvd’s .
The book contains transcripts of the interviews , with more comment by each director than was originally broadcast, with about 30 to 50 pages on each director. These are the men who made some of Hollywood’s finest films, talking about their methods, the coming of sound, the stars they worked with, the studio system.
Having just posted on the birthday of Kirk Douglas, I’m going to quote from a part of the Vincente Minnelli chapter.
It’s a book worth seeking out.
VINCENTE MINNELLI on THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL:
“John Houseman had just come to the studio and he asked me to read that script. It was called at that time, ‘Tribute to a Bad Man’.The studio wanted me to do LILI because I had just done ‘An American in Paris’ and it was the same kind of thing…….Dore Schary asked me if there was anything else I would like and I told him ‘The Bad and The Beautiful’. He said, ‘It’s the story of an out-and-out heel’ and I said, ‘I don’t think so…….So we got Kirk Douglas for it and his strength works so beautifully for that because he played against his strength.
He played for charm completely. You knew the strength was there……..and Lana Turner was marvellous…..I was delighted with her……..I’ve always been intrigued by the old Hollywood. And,as you know, the central character’s a composite of people -David Selznick and so on.
And the form was marvellous,done in three parts with three different narrators.
I loved doing the film.”
So that’s a sample of the book and here are pictures of the directors featured.