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Going Mad in Hollywood: And Life with Lindsay Anderson Paperback – 24 Apr 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140263853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140263855
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,251,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
At the same time as providing an account of one of the country's most skillful screen dramatists, this diary also captures the essence of British Film making over the past thirty-to-fourty years, from the 'can-do' attitude of the '60s, to the 'can't do' attitude that has blighted the UK cinema landscape since the late-70's. It is shameful that a writer as talented as David Sherwin, who saw great success with 'If' and 'O!Lucky Man' should struggle to get his work produced and to be paid. It also provides an epic account of a writer's personal highs and lows, which, when spun alongside the mechanics of the film industry, results in extremely well-crafted and interesting film book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gustavus on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
The screenwriter of "If...", "O Lucky Man!" and "Britannia Hospital", David Sherwin has had precious little luck in the film game outside those three brilliant Lindsay Anderson movies - his only other scripting credit (the most recent, thirty years ago) was on a TV movie with Brooke Shields. This 1996 book describes how, as a student in his teens, Sherwin collaborated with John Howlett (who seems to have had even less luck) on the first draft of "If..." (it was called "Crusaders", then), and, with an insane optimism born of impossible innocence, hawked it around for years until Anderson latched onto it. Realising he had met an ideal collaborator, Anderson stuck with Sherwin, and the team also attempted a number of other projects, and were still trying to get ideas off the ground at the time of Anderson's sudden death in 1994. This book is as much about Anderson as it is Sherwin, and his death brings it to a close. It's all terribly interesting - the trouble is, how much of it can be believed? There are astoundingly numerous - and obvious - factual errors, and, although the book is presented as a series of diary entries, it can't possibly really be that. The mistakes start on the very first page, which presents Sherwin as an 18-year-old student at Oxford in May, 1960 - but he was born in February, 1942, as we are told a few pages later, and Oxford terms start in October, not May, so he was thus too young then to become an undergraduate. He might, just possibly, have squeezed in early, had he been a certifiable boy genius, but, as he fails his exams and is asked to leave (also in May, we're told - no, that would have been in July or August), he can't have been.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Siriam TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have great admiration for Lindsay Anderson as one of the true spirits of a British Cinema versus the Hollywood cloning of a David Putnam or John Schlesinger. Sherwin was his great counterpart writing the screenplays for his trilogy of "If...."; "O Lucky Man" and "Britannia Hospital" which alone would give him a place at the table in the history of British Cinema in my eyes.

What becomes clear from this book is that despite many different involvements over the years with other people in the film industry in the USA and UK, Sherwin has not achieved anything as memorable or successful outside that early working relationship. The book is written in a dairies format and so you get lots of flashes and quick quips but little in depth analysis or details. Having read it once I fear it has gone onto my charity bookshop donation pile!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this to be an interesting though sad tale of life as a screenwriter. So many blind alleys of possibilities and yet so many projects come to nothing. Poor old David Sherwin writes with such pathos that I was often brought to tears. Perhaps he should write novels instead? He did drop a lot of people in the brown stuff, and few come out smelling of roses - even his beloved Lindsay. I needed more dirt. One particulraly telling section was a letter he received from a friend Mike Legge offering a goad to be active in the world of screenwriting. Mike Legge took a job managing an appartment building in California just to be near the business. David Sherwin would rather moulder in rural England - his proper home is staring into space with a bottle in his hand and a glazed look on his face.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Diary of a Mad Screenwriter 29 Mar. 2001
By Lewis Schaffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book can be described by that old chestnut: "breezy." It's a diary of David Sherwin's 35 years in the screenwriting business (If..., O, Lucky Man, and Britannia Hospital) and as all diaries, it seems that it was harder to edit than to write and luckily, even easier to read.
If you're involved in the creative process (and who isn't now-a- days) you'll probably enjoy reading how tough it is to make a living in the film business, especially if you're manic-depressive, alcoholic, difficult to work with, and insist on living in the UK when the big money is in Los Angeles
Add an extra two stars if you worship Lindsay Anderson.
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