Since the success of my first book on the Hollywood of the studio era I have enjoyed researching and compiling seven more along similar lines. Hollywood Warts ‘n’ All focused on the private lives and general trivia about the stars of yesteryear and on the efforts of studio trouble-shooters to maintain the squeaky clean images of their biggest money-earners. The book sold well enough to spawn a second volume.
Let’s Go To The Movies is a little different. In this volume I have researched the backgrounds of over 100 productions over several decades, the on-set problems; the relationships between the main players and the rest of the cast and crew, and anything at all that I found unusual or of interest along the way. I also offer my personal views on each film, its shortcomings and the gaffs. But I think that statement needs clarification. I am not an expert on movie-making nor have I ever professed to be. My views here (like those in my website) are merely my personal opinions, nothing more. No doubt many of you will disagree with some (or all) of them. That is your prerogative. I enjoy reading the views of others and I hope you do too.
A recent visitor to my free website, filmstarfacts.com admonished me for preferring Ronnie Howard over Stanley Kubrick as a director. I was informed in no uncertain terms that I had ‘lost all credibility’ with him. An interesting admonishment considering I had never sought his (or anyone’s) credibility in the first place. It is true that I prefer to watch a Howard film than a Kubrick one, but so what? My only expertise lies in identifying what pleases me. It is true that I enjoyed Apollo 13 far more than I did 2001: A Space Odyssey. And I would not mind betting that I am not alone in that regard. So, if you are expecting to find expert commentary and observations on the technical side of movie-making here; if you are looking for an intellectual appreciation of some obtuse hidden meaning or metaphor – then this book is not for you. If you are curious about a layman’s opinion of the entertainment value in a particular movie, well, that is what this volume offers.
The terrific reception afforded my most recent book, Hollywood: The Skeletons Are Out, inspired me to write this one. ‘Skeletons’ presented a unique collection of 1,200 direct quotes from actors and actresses (and a few directors) about other actors they either knew intimately or had worked with. I was particularly interested in candid, private comments, not the usual, ‘I’ve always admired so and so as an actor’. I wanted to uncover the real opinions stars had of one another. And to my delight I found there was no shortage of them. Indeed, as the years go by there seems to be an ever-increasing amount of ‘home-truths’ emerging from the ruins of the studio system, both in quotes and in general disclosure. If you enjoyed my previous books I feel sure you will be equally interested in Let’s Go To The Movies.