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Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of M-G-M: Irving Thalberg's M-G-M [Hardcover]

Mark A. Vieira
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 33.22
Price: 27.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2008
"Ben-Hur", "Flesh and the Devil", "Tarzan the Ape Man", "Grand Hotel", "Mutiny on the Bounty", "A Night at the Opera", "The Good Earth" - most filmgoers even today have heard of these Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer classics from the 1920s and 1930s, not to mention the remakes they spawned. Yet fewer know the name of the young genius behind these masterworks, Irving G. Thalberg. Nicknamed the 'Boy Wonder', Thalberg was running Universal Pictures at the age of twenty and M-G-M at twenty-three. Thirteen years later, he was dead.During that brief span, from 1924 to 1936, he supervised more than four hundred M-G-M films; made stars of, among others, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow, Clark Cable, Joan Crawford, Lon Chaney and Greta Garbo; gave Hollywood careers to stage legends from Helen Hayes to the Barrymores; and strove to elevate film to the level of fine art.This groundbreaking new book tells the story of Thalberg's short but productive life and confirms his role as the prime architect of the Hollywood studio system. "Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg's M-G-M" is the first book to treat the 'Boy Wonder' as a human being, using unpublished correspondence, interviews and archival documents to reveal the beguiling, mesmerizing man behind the legend. In this enthralling volume, acclaimed film historian Mark A. Vieira sets the record straight with a strict and gripping chronology of Thalberg's life. He interweaves the unpublished recollections of his wife, Norma Shearer, and those of other M-G-M veterans with newly discovered transcripts of Thalberg's conversations; data from previously unseen production records; and a treasure trove of images from Thalberg's films, most of which have never before been in print.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams (3 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810972344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810972346
  • Product Dimensions: 28.5 x 23.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 610,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mark A. Vieira is a photographer, film historian and the author of four other critically acclaimed books on Hollywood published by Abrams. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book! 10 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're interested in Hollywood's past, you couldn't do better than this glorious tribute to one of it's founding fathers. I wasn't very aware of Irving Thalberg, apart from the award named after him at the Oscars, but this is a fascinating tome on his life and times, as well as a history of the studio he helped to found, MGM. Beautifully illustrated throughout, I couldn't recommend this book more highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful 8 Jun 2010
This is an excellent book. Beautiful photographs accompanied by a well balanced, short, biography of Thalberg. Well worth it for those who love the classics.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story-Fantastic Book 21 Aug 2009
This is a fascinating book about the movie legend Irving Thalberg who was running Universal Studios at age 20 in the early 1920s and who co-founded MGM four years later. He was responsible for creating the movie goddesses Jean Harlow, Garbo, Crawford and Norma Shearer who became his wife. The photos in this book are stunning and it makes a great read- highly recommended if you are interested in classic Hollywood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another 5 star book by Mark Vieira 12 Feb 2013
By RhondaC
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another beautifully presented book by Mark Vieira. Quality paper, well written, lovely range of photographs, many I hadn't seen before. A real insight into the character of the man. Another beautiful book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and will enjoy owning.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey back to the heyday of MGM 28 Oct 2008
By Thomas P. Ward - Published on Amazon.com
I found this book delightful; chock full of photos rarely if ever seen. The accompanying text is up to this author's usual high standards. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the history and lore of old Hollywood. If you like this book,the other Hollywood books written by this author available at this website are equally informative, entertaining, and lavishly illustrated.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Dream Factory: Irving Thalberg opened the door to the Hollywood world and made movie magic 16 Dec 2008
By C. M Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ircing Thalberg was born in Brooklyn to a prominent Jewish family. He was a weak boy suffering from heart disease and a series of other ailments. Doctors thought he would never make it to age 30. Being forced into bed for months at a time the lad read classics with a voracious appetite. He loved the flickers. When he was 20 he went to Hollywood to work for Carl Laemmele at Universal Studios. Thalberg served as the old man's assistant and produced several silent films. Throughout his career the precocious Thalberg was a workaholic who ate, slept and breathed making high quality films which would have wide appeal. He enjoyed seeing the classics of his childhood on the silver screen such as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with Lon Chaney. He was a polite polished little man who could nevertheless be a tough. Thalberg was a perfectionist who demanded excellent and expertise from his staff, directors, writers and actors.
Thalberg left Universal to team up with the cagy Louis B, Mayer. Together they built MGM into the greatest and richest of the Hollywood dream factories. Thalberg produced over 400 MGM films including such classics as "Grand Hotel"; "Mutiny on the Bounty"; "China Seas"; the Garbo-Gilbert films and horror pictures. He also guided the career of his wife Norma Shearer who was known as the Queen of the Lot. She won an Oscar for the "Divorcee". Other prominent players included Joan Crawford who was Norma's greatest rival: Wallace Beery; Garbo and Gilbert; Johnny Weismuller: Robert Montgomery; Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine; Mary Pickford and the famous Barrymore siblings. Thalberg molded the careers of sex goddess Jean Harlow and Clark Gable.
Thalberg sired two children: Irving Jr. and Katherine with his beautiful wife Norma. The marriage was happy. MGM managed to make a profit in the Depression. Towards the end of his life Thalberg and Mayer had their differences but continued to work together. Thalberg died at 36 in 1936 but his films will live foreve in the hearts of classic movie fans. Many of his films can be viewed on Turner Classic Movies.
Mark Vieira has written several large sized picture books dealing with classic cinema. This book is beautifully illustrated with glamorous photos of the stars and a year by year account of Thalberg's tenure at MGM.
This book will transport you to the magical and distant land of MGM in the golden age of film. Enjoy!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step Back into Old Hollywood...it's worth the trip! 15 Nov 2008
By Alexander Roman - Published on Amazon.com
A book done with elegance and splendor! Mark Vieria captures the allure and magical time of Hollywood. The collection of photographs along with the writing allows us into the world of Irving Thalberg and ultimately...opens our eyes to how dreams come true.

I do podcast shows on Los Angeles and was very lucky to have Mark as a guest. You can listen and discover: [...]
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book 11 Feb 2009
By Jason L. Hadley - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book and I enjoyed reading about Irving Thalberg. The photographs are great. I loved the cover photograph of Joan Crawford.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book-A Must-Have 9 Mar 2009
By Marilyn Fan - Published on Amazon.com
This book was thoroughly researched and is full of wonderful photos, many rare. Anyone who is a fan of Pre-codes and early 1930s films will absolutely love this book. Thalberg was a very powerful man at MGM, and this book shows you the man behind the films. Loads of information on Norma Shearer (Thalberg's wife), Crawford, Barrymore, Garbo, etc. Great information on Grand Hotel, The Divorcee, etc.
You will not be disappointed.
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