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Wingate "afc9871" (London)

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Itƒ¯'¿'½s a hell of a life, but not a bad living / Edward Dmytryk
Itƒ¯'¿'½s a hell of a life, but not a bad living / Edward Dmytryk
by Edward Dmytryk
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Hollywood Ten, 22 Aug 2013
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The author had a long career in the film industry.He worked his way up from messanger boy to director.He made a lot of important films in the 40s and 50s.However he is most remembered for being one of the Hollywood Ten.He went to prison for contempt of the HUAC congessional committee.Having served his time he then went back to the committee and named names thus enabling him to continue work as a director.Was it a ploy to use the system by him or did he really want to disown his past.He claims it was the later,but who knows.This is a very good read.It covers his career very thoroughly.There are many stories of the films he made and the stars he worked with.Also he tells of the techniques used to film some unusual shots.Anyone interested in the golden years of Hollywood will find this book worthwhile.


Hidden Agenda: How the Duke of Windsor Betrayed the Allies
Hidden Agenda: How the Duke of Windsor Betrayed the Allies
by Martin Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.31

2.0 out of 5 stars Conjecture and Surmise, 18 Aug 2013
When I took this book out of the library I had no idea as to the controversy surrounding it.However I felt that there was something strange about the book early on.The author stating that Edward wanted to extend his powers beyond the usual constitutional role and that the country could have become involved in a civil war.These seemed to be rather outlandish statements.So I came to this website only to discover the allegations that have been made against the author.These put the book in a very different light.It becomes difficult to accept many of his claims on face value.There is in any event major problems in that there is just no evidence for many of his statements.So the use of conjecture and supposition is rife throughout this book.He makes a claim towards the end of the book that because of the activities of the Duke the Battle Of France was lost.Even if the Duke was guilty of passing military information to the Germans would it really have affected the Battle Of Franc?.Would there ever have been a scenario in which the Allies would have stopped the Germans?
Whilst the book has some interesting theories it is nonetheless a very flawed publication and one which does no great service to historians studying the era.Perhaps 2016 will bring some matters to light.Unlikely but we can but hope.


Son of Harpo Speaks!: A Family Portrait
Son of Harpo Speaks!: A Family Portrait
by Bill Marx
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.78

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Daddy Dearest, 9 Aug 2013
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I have read books written by the children of famous parents and the majority of them have something nasty to say about their parents.Not though in this case.The author clearly remembers his parents in the most loving terms and has only the fondest and happiest memories of them.Whilst it is touching to read nevertheless it gives very little drama or cutting edge to the book.It also causes a problem.Once Harpo dies,at around page 200 the book rather goes downhill,unless you want to learn more about the author.He clearly is a talented musician but his life after Harpo is not of any great interest.However if like me you are a fan of the Marx Brothers it is nevertheless worth reading.Incidentally if you go on to Youtube you can actually hear a short recording by Harpo so we can actually hear we he sounded like.Obviously not unlike his brothers.He doesn't have a strong accent that would have caused him problems.However we are lucky that he never chose to speak so that we can still enjoy this marvellous clown.


Heres looking at you, kid
Heres looking at you, kid
by James R Silke
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Fine pictures but text full of waffle and errors, 6 Aug 2013
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This book was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Warner Brothers.It is what can be called a "coffee table" book.Designed to be looked at occasionally but not read throughout.It must weigh over 4 lbs and therefore is not designed for portability!There are some very good photos and i would calculate that they comprise well over one third of the book's contents.Hiwever the text is variable in quality.There are a lot of interesting anecdotes.However there is far too much uninspired waffle.There are also many errors for example,Paul Muni is said to have won 2 as aginst 1 oscar.Hugh Herbert is confused with the writer F.Hugh Herbert.Bette Davis is said to have disappeared after she made "All About Eve" !I hope that they bring out a better book in 10 years when the centenary is celebrated.


My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall
My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall
by John Major
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

4.0 out of 5 stars A Major Biography Of Music Hall, 5 Aug 2013
An excellent book.I now know the difference between music hall and variety.I used to go quite often to the London Palladium in the 1960s and 1970s when variety bills were still booked there as well as pantos.I remember a great panto there with Frankie Howerd.The artists that Major refers to can be seen on film.I would recommend "Elstree Calling","Music Hall" and "Say It With Flowers" in particular from the 1930s.You will be able to see Charles Coburn,Florrie Forde,Gus Ellen,Lily Morris and G.H.Elliott.Great shame that the halls are no longer with us and the acts are now of course on tv on talent shows.Such is progress!


Actor: Life and Times of Paul Muni
Actor: Life and Times of Paul Muni
by Jerome Lawrence
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Muni The Methodical, 2 Aug 2013
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Paul Muni was a star of the Yiddish Theatre before transferring his talents to Broadway,rapidly becoming a major star.After a brief failure with Fox Films he became a star as a result of his performance in "Scarface".This persuaded Warner Brothers to offer him a 7 year contract.He then starred in films which lead up to his famous 3 biopics.The problem was that the public and thus Warners started to loose interest in the biopics.Warners decided that they didn't want to do Muni's pet project,a biography of Beethoven.As a result he tore up his contract and his career was nevr the same again.
The biography has been written by a close associate and colleague of Muni and his wife.Many friends and co workers have been interviewed.As a result we have a definitive version of Muni's life and times and a fitting memorial to a great actor.


Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, a Personal Biography
Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, a Personal Biography
by Charlotte Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Heres Looking At You, 25 July 2013
I had recently read and was impressed by the author's biography of Marlene Dietrich.I was equally impressed by this.It is her ability to interview the people directly involved with the subject,and of course the subject herself which makes this a superior effort..She documents the film and stage appearances but tends to spend more time on Bergman's personal life.Whilst I am relieved at the small synopsis of films I would have liked rather more of a critical overview.Particularly in relation to the film of Joan Of Arc.this role was very important to Bergamn.However the film of the stage play in which she was starred was a big flop.There is no recation from Bergman to this.Whilst a large amount of space is devoted to her first 2 marriages very little is devoted to her third marriage.We don't get a clear idea as to why the marriage ended in divorce.Contrastingly we are told a great deal about Rosselini,even after his divorce from Bergman.Whilst probably a bit on the short side for so important an actress,nevertheless it is a superior biography.


This is Where I Came in
This is Where I Came in
by T.E.B. Clarke
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but disappointing, 18 July 2013
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The author was one of the greatest British screenwriters of the 20th century.He wrote many final original screenplays for which he received an Oscar and 2 further nominations.He had a very varied career prior to beginning his career at Ealing.this included journalist,policeman and seaman.Unfortunately he chooses to concentrate far too much on his schooldays and his early career so that he only first mentions his film career on page 136.Whist he does deal at some length with his career at Ealing the book seems to rather taper off by the time it reaches its conclusion at page 207,as if he had rather lost interest in it.The book is extremely well and wittily written.So this makes what preceeds page 136 all the more frustrating.It is difficult to understand why the author should think that we would prefer to know more about his career as a war time police constable than say about Law And Order(1958) about which he writes nothing.


Hollywood's Hollywood: Movies About the Movies
Hollywood's Hollywood: Movies About the Movies
by Rudy Behlmer
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Superficial Treatment Of Films And To Many Synopsis, 14 July 2013
I have previously read and enjoyed books written by the author.He usually gives a telling insight into how films metamorphosed into the classics they are.Not so unfortunately with this book.The first chapter on showbiz biopics is fine.However with the exception of the chapter on songwriters I found the book to be rather lacking in interest.There is far too much synopsising of films which tells one very little.He even includes some of the dialogue.there is little real discussion of the films themselves.For example he describes "Showgirl In Hollywood" as merely dull.He doesn't bother to mention that this film contains sequences which actually show how early Hollywood musicals were shot using the sound booths.He says that audiences discovered James Cagney could dance in"Something To Sing About" ,clearly forgetting that Cagney had of course appeared,and danced in "Footlight Parades" a couple of years earlier.Some of the films mentioned only seem to have the remotest connection with film making,whereas there are a number of others that I can think of that are not included.I think that time has overtaken this book.It was published on the brink of the video revoloution when many of these films had not been seen for years.Now most of the films are available and we can make up our own minds about their respective worth.


Nosher!
Nosher!
by Nosher Powell
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Respect is an overused word in this book, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Nosher! (Hardcover)
I bought this book thinking that it was about his film career.Alas I was mistaken.It was one of those "I am the hardest man on the planet" books.It isn't till we get to page 179 that his entry into films is in any way mentioned.I was expect
ing to read about his film and stunt career but the amount devoted to that is minimal.I was hoping that he could tell more about Freedie Mills whom he "fought" in "Emergency Call".Mills died in mysterious circumstances and it would have been interesting to know more about him.
The book is littered with errors.His bad memory about his KOs has been mentioned in other reviews.Some facts to do with his films are incorrect,which is surprising bearing in mind that the book is ghost written by William Hall ex show business editor of the defunct London Evening News.
I found parts of the book entertaining.however the violence is somewhat unrelenting.His constant use of the word "respect" is merely a euphemism for violence intimidation and fear.Sad if that's the way he wants to be remembered.


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