Entertainment Book Club

Movie Books - Selections

Shoot Out: Surviving Game and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood
by Peter Guber, Peter Bart
Paperback: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.74 x 9.10 x 6.00
Publisher: Perigee; Reissue edition (June 3, 2003)

Peter Bart, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Variety, played a key role in developing such films as The Godfather, Harold and Maude, True Grit, and Rosemary's Baby at Paramount Pictures. He has also been president of Lorimar Films and Senior VP for MGM/UA. Peter Guber, founder and head of Mandalay Entertainment, has also held executive positions with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He co-founded Casablanca Record and Film Works, formed Polygram Pictures, and was co-owner of Guber-Peters Entertainment Company. His credits as a producer or executive producer include such films as Taxi Driver, Batman, and Philadelphia. Hollywood calls it the "shoot out"... the point during the making of a movie when star-fits and power struggles turn into standoffs, walk-outs, and clashing egos. How a film ever gets made is a wonder. Leave it to two industry icons to unreel the true story...

Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity
by Andrew Breitbart (Author), Mark Ebner (Author)
Hardcover: 394 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.39 x 9.08 x 6.32
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; (February 24, 2004)

These are some of the reasons why Hollywood's misbehaving stars do what they do, but over the past few years, their stories have become so outrageous that it's hard to tell what they're actually thinking—if they're thinking at all! In this entertainment industry exposé, Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner pull back the curtain to reveal the twisted culture of Hollywood and the preposterous penchants of today's high-profile celebrities. From John T, Tom Cruise, and Ann Heche to Eddie Murphy, Oliver Stone, and Courtney Love, Hollywood, Interrupted presents the mind-altered behavior of the most reality-challenged celebrities from all walks of life and every genre. Hollywood, Interrupted explores how the pathological behavior of celebrities has destroyed comedy, snuffed relationships, and demeaned family values. Each chapter delivers a meticulously researched, interview-infused, attitude-heavy dispatch—which analyzes and deconstructs the myths created by celebrities and their way-too-protective handlers.

The Mailroom : Hollywood History from the Bottom Up
by David Rensin (Author)
Hardcover: 464 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.43 x 9.40 x 6.56
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (February 4, 2003)

Its like something out of a Hollywood potboiler: start out in the mailroom, end up a mogul. Only for dozens of Hollywoods brightest, it happens to be true. Some of the biggest names in entertainment?including David Geffen, Barry Diller, and Mike Ovitz?began as trainees in musty talent agency mailrooms. Now, in this fascinating new book, veteran Hollywood writer David Rensin travels behind the scenes and through sixty-five years of show business history to tell the real stories of the marvelous careers that began?and in some cases ended in the mailroom. Based on more than two hundred interviews, Rensin unfolds the never-before-told history of an American institution in the voices of the people who lived it. Through seven decades of glamour and humiliation, lousy pay and incredible perks, killer egos and a kill-or-be-killed ethos, you'll go where the trainees go, do what they must do to get ahead, and hear the best insider stories from the Hollywood everyone knows about but no one really knows. The kids in The Mailroom have done it all: from hanging out with Elvis to delivering a senior agents urine sample to the doctor; from pouring drinks for Sinatra to sending ice to Johnny Carson on the Nile; from crashing the Academy Awards ceremony to hoping to deliver more than just the mail to sexy actresses homes. The Mailroom reveals why Harvard MBAs fight to turn down secure six-digit corporate salaries to start work at a major agency for less than $400 a week; what it takes to appease impossible bosses, outsmart the competition, and agent the agents; and how a hungry, star-struck kid can become the next Geffen or Diller by sorting mail, eavesdropping on crucial conversations, and trying anything to get noticed. Full of revealing stories and delicious dish, The Mailroom is not only a non-stop, engrossing read, but a crash course, taught by the experts, on how to succeed in Hollywood through hard work, shrewd manipulation, and a hell of a lot of nerve. The Mailroom is classic Hollywood a vibrant and complex tapestry of dreams, desire, exploitation, power, and genuine talent. If you want to know who rules Hollywood and how they got their power, if you want to know how to start with nothing and get ahead in any business, this is the book you must read.

You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again
by Julia Phillips
Paperback: 656 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.41 x 8.04 x 5.39
Publisher: New American Library; (April 2, 2002)

Oscar-winning producer Julia Phillips's work on Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Sting made her famous. This is the memoir that made her infamous-a downfall chronicle of a private hell that could only have been written by someone with nothing left to lose.

Down and Dirty Pictures : Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film
by Peter Biskind (Author)
Hardcover: 560 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.66 x 9.50 x 6.38
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; (January 6, 2004)

You've heard the rumors. The film industry is filled with ruthless executives who think nothing of brow-beating their employees, of using creative accounting to cheat filmmakers, and re-cutting a director's vision into a soulless crowd-pleaser. Well, it turns out those rumors are often true--at least according to Peter Biskind's highly entertaining Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. Packed with industry anecdotes and history, the book chronicles the growth and eventual mainstreaming of independent films and offers the back-story to seminal works including sex, lies, and videotape and Pulp Fiction among others. Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, divides most of his time between Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford and Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. Biskind simultaneously credits these two as fostering, though ultimately ruining, the purity of indpendent film. Other indies are largely left out, although the now-defunct October Films appears prominently in the role of noble failure. Biskind has serious points to make, but he's not stingy with the war stories, either. (One particularly amusing scene involves October executives chasing Robert Duvall's agent through a Sheraton Hotel in an attempt to stop him from making a deal with Miramax to distribute The Apostle.) Those who have only a passing interest in the movie business may tire of Biskind's oft-repeated themes (Weinstein is an evil genius! Redford is a passive-aggressive control freak!) but for those who truly love film industry gossip, Down and Dirty Pictures is a feast of insider stories--each tidbit juicier than the last. --

Women Who Run the Show : How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood
by Mollie Gregory (Author)
Paperback: 448 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.23 x 9.22 x 6.06
Publisher: Griffin Trade Paperback; (November 1, 2003)

Conventional wisdom has it that women can't work in Hollywood unless they're in front of the camera. And while it's true that female studio heads and major directors are in short supply, it's equally clear that some of the heaviest hitters in Tinseltown are women. Mollie Gregory has interviewed over 100 of these pioneers, whose stories make up a chronicle of the last three decades of the entertainment industry. No subject is off limits to these women who run the show: sexual harassment, the personal cost of success, the stranglehold the "boy's club" can have on major projects. Featured are frank, revealing conversations with, among others: Julia Phillips, producer of The Sting and Taxi Driver; Gale Anne Hurd, producer of Terminator and Aliens; Mimi Leder, director of The Peacemaker; Barbra Streisand, director and producer of Yentl; Laura Ziskin, producer of Spiderman.

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