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A Splurch in the Kisser (Wesleyan Film) [Hardcover]

Sam Wasson

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009 Wesleyan Film
With one of the longest and most controversial careers in Hollywood history, Blake Edwards is a phoenix of movie directors, full of hubris, ambition, and raving comic chutzpah. His rambunctious filmography remains an artistic force on par with Hollywood's greatest comic directors: Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder. Like Wilder, Edwards's propensity for hilarity is double-helixed with pain, and in films like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, and even The Pink Panther, we can hear him off-screen, laughing in the dark. And yet, despite those enormous successes, he was at one time considered a Hollywood villain. After his marriage to Julie Andrews, Edwards's Darling Lili nearly sunk the both of them and brought Paramount Studios to its knees. Almost overnight, Blake became an industry pariah, which ironically fortified his sense of satire, as he simultaneously fought the Hollywood tide and rode it. Employing keen visual analysis, meticulous research, and troves of interviews and production files, Sam Wasson delivers the first complete account of one of the maddest figures Hollywood has ever known.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819569151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819569158
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,845,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Wasson is the New York Times Best Selling author of FIFTH AVENUE, 5 A.M.: AUDREY HEPBURN, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, AND THE DAWN OF THE MODERN WOMAN. He is currently working on a biography of Bob Fosse. You can visit him at www.samwasson.com

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just The Pink Panther! A Major Study of a Comedy Legend 1 Oct 2009
By Penny Baxter - Published on Amazon.com
Of all the filmmaker studies I've read (and I've read my fair share) very few come close to A Splurch in the Kisser's complete understanding of its subject. Wasson is a great critic. He takes a hard look at Blake Edwards from all sides - technical, personal, cultural, historical, and even metaphysical - and in so doing sheds new light on a filmmaker that Wasson argues (and I agree) hasn't gotten his due.

Wasson's emphasis is at times more analytical than I would have liked (his descriptions of shots and scenes can go on a little too long), but his prose is never dull, nor is it impersonal or jargony - sometimes it's even funny, which is rare for a book of this kind.

Overall this is a smart, surprisingly fun look at an astoundingly long and dynamic Hollywood career. Splurch is as charming as it is insightful.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and formidable for film historians and people who love film. 21 Jun 2010
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i tip my hat to Sam Wasson, who has written a comprehensive, copiously researched rich encyclopedia for film historians while deftly weaving his reservoir of facts and faces which is also so appealing for film buffs. Wasson uncovers unknown stories that describe the little known stories behind each movie. We learn about the historical significance of blake edwards and his brand of comedy while getting to know the intimate inside stories of the men and women in front and behind the camera. We learn why we love the movies from A-Z while we learn the same about the players. Mr. Wasson's original and generous style of storytelling and teaching is formidable and fun. Splurch in the Kisser would be quite a feat for a seasoned author, let alone a first time author. I have pre-ordered his second book, Fifth Avenue, 5AM and cant wait.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC 7 Nov 2009
By Holland Sutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is so well written and entertaining. Anyone who loves movies will love this book. Blake Edwards is such an interesting character and had such an interesting career. I highly recommend this engaging book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 18 Sep 2010
By D. M. Tulloch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book of the movies of Blake Edwards. A huge fan it is interesting the details that emerge from this book, not of his life but his work. I am still in the middle of reading it and find it very interesting indeed. Btw this book arrived in perfect condition.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too much 21 April 2011
By Neil D. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wasson is truly an unmatched film expert and critic however unless you want an academic look at a complciated film maker you might find this a little tedious. Mr Wasson is at his best in 5TH AVE analyzing not only the history of a single movie (BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S) but all the side bar ramifications of the film on film production and societal habits and expectations. Best of all go to one of Mr Wasson's talks. His passion for film creation and production is palatable .. and fun.
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