Almost two decades after his death, John Wayne is still America's favorite movie star. More than an actor, Wayne is a cultural icon whose stature seems to grow with the passage of time. In this illuminating biography, Ronald L. Davis focuses on Wayne's human side, portraying a complex personality defined by frailty and insecurity as well as by courage and strength.
Davis traces Wayne's story from its beginnings in Winterset, Iowa, to his death in 1979. This is not a story of instant fame: only after a decade in budget westerns did Wayne receive serious consideration, for his performance in John Ford's 1939 film Stagecoach. From that point on, his skills and popularity grew as he appeared in such classics as Fort Apache, Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Searches, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, and True Grit. A man's ideal more than a woman's, Wayne earned his popularity without becoming either a great actor or a sex symbol. In all his films, whatever the character, John Wayne portrayed John Wayne, a persona he created for himself: the tough, gritty loner whose mission was to uphold the frontier's--and the nation's--traditional values.
To depict the different facets of Wayne's life and career, Davis draws on a range of primary and secondary sources, most notably exclusive interviews with the people who knew Wayne well, including the actor's costar Maureen O'Hara and his widow, Pilar Wayne. The result is a well-balanced, highly engaging portrait of a man whose private identity was eventually overshadowed by his screen persona--until he came to represent America itself.
From iconic tortured artist/everyman Charles Bukowski, Hollywood is the fictionalization of his experience adapting his novel Barfly into a movie by the same name.
Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's alter-ego, is pushed to translate a semi-autobiographical book into a screenplay for John Pinchot. He reluctantly agrees, and is thrust into the otherworld called Hollywood, with its parade of eccentric and maddening characters: producers, artists, actors and actresses, film executives and journalists. In this world, the artistry of books and film is lost to the dollar, and Chinaski struggles to keep his footing in the tangle of cons that comprise movie making.
Hollywood is Dirty Old Man Bukowski at his most lucid. It overflows with curses, sex, and alcohol. And through it all, or from it all, Bukowski finds flashes of truth about the human condition.
"IMMEDIATELY ENGROSSING . . . A] SPLENDID MEMOIR."
--The Wall Street Journal
--Ann Landers "Entertaining . . . The story of a modest man who succeeded extravagantly by remaining mostly himself. . . . His memoir is a short course on the flow of events in the second half of this century--events the world knows more about because of Walter Cronkite's work."
--The New York Times Book Review A MAIN SELECTION OF THE BOOK-OF THE MONTH CLUB
Here is the original story of a true original, the celebrated and internationally renowned director, playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents, whose creative genius continues to energize American stage and screen today. Say his name, and images of West Side Story, Gypsy, Anastasia, The Turning Point, and The Way We Were appear. Laurents' highly praised memoir is a dazzling portrait of his life - as he recounts the great moments, the trials and the joys of his incredible career. He takes us into his world, peopled with the creative artists, directors, actors and personalities who came of age in the theatre and in Hollywood after WWII. Later, back in New York, he writes about jump-starting Barbra Streisand's career by casting her in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. He writes about the creation of Gypsy with Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. And he writes about coming together in a complex, fraught collaboration with his three old pals, Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim for West Side Story. Throughout, Laurents is funny, fierce, and frank - a life recounted as richly as it was lived. "This is a historic work. A 'must' for show biz mavens." - LIZ SMITH, Newsday & Syndicated
The first major biography of the Carter family follows the musical pioneers who almost single-handedly established the sound and traditions that grew into folk, country, and bluegrass music--a style most recently popularized in the George Clooney hit movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? of photos.
Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and interpreted, in the course of its two thousand years of life, in various ways. The literature which has accumulated around it is, as Mr. Fergusson points out, "full of disputes so erudite that the nonspecialist can only look on in respectful silence." But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes.
Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, as Aristotle did, to illustrate his analysis, Mr. Fergusson pints out that Aristotle did not lay down strict rules, as is often thought: "The Poetics," he says, "is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook of elementary engineering." Read in this way, it is an essential guide not only to Sophoclean tragedy, but to the work of so modern a playwright as Bertolt Brecht, who considered his own "epic drama" the first non-Aristotelian form.
In this first comprehensive history, Andrea Olmstead takes us behind the scenes and into the practice rooms, studios, and offices of one of the most famous music schools in the world. The roster of Juilliard faculty and their students reads like a veritable who's who of the performing arts world. The music school has counted Josef and Rosina Lhevinne and Olga Samaroff Stokowski among its faculty, with students including Richard Rodgers, Van Cliburn, James Levine, Leontyne Price, Miles Davis, and Itzhak Perlman. The dance faculty has included Jos Lim n, Anna Sokolow, and the venerable Martha Graham, while such bright lights as Robin Williams, Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, and Mandy Patinkin have emerged from the youngest department in the school, the Drama Division.What is it really like to be immersed in the rarefied, ultra-competitive conservatory atmosphere of Juilliard? Olmstead has pored over archival records and ephemeral material and conducted dozens of unprecedented interviews to paint a true picture of the school's private side and the accomplishments and foibles of its leaders. Through its various incarnations as the Institute of Musical Art, the Juilliard Musical Foundation, the Juilliard School of Music, and The Juilliard School stormy directorships and controversies have left their mark: Augustus Juilliard's multi- million-dollar bequest in 1919, the expensive move to the Lincoln Center complex, and dozens of episodes of power-brokering, arrogance, intimidation, secrecy, and infighting. Balanced against these are the vision, dedication, talent, and determination of generations of gifted teachers, students, and administrators. For nearly a century, Juilliard has trained the artists who compose the elite corps of the performing arts community in the United States. Juilliard: A History affirms the school's artistic legacy of great performances as the one constant amid decades of upheaval and change.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Easily the best book on Orson Welles." --The New Yorker Orson Welles arrived in Hollywood as a boy genius, became a legend with a single perfect film, and then spent the next forty years floundering. But Welles floundered so variously, ingeniously, and extravagantly that he turned failure into "a sustaining tragedy"--his thing, his song. Now the prodigal genius of the American cinema finally has the biographer he deserves. For, as anyone who has read his novels and criticism knows, David Thomson is one of our most perceptive and splendidly opinionated writers on film. In Rosebud, Thomson follows the wild arc of Welles's career, from The War of the Worlds broadcast to the triumph of Citizen Kane, the mixed triumph of The Magnificent Ambersons, and the strange and troubling movies that followed. Here, too, is the unfolding of the Welles persona--the grand gestures, the womanizing, the high living, the betrayals. Thomson captures it all with a critical acumen and stylistic dash that make this book not so much a study of Welles's life and work as a glorious companion piece to them. "Insightful, controversial, and highly readable--Rosebud is biography at its best." --Cleveland Plain Dealer