Garden of Dreams
Author: Patricia A. DeMaio
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
The incomparable Simone Signoret (1921–1985), one of the grand actresses of the twentieth century and one of France’s most notable stars, considered herself the “oldest discovery” in Hollywood. After years of blacklisting during the McCarthy era, she was thirty-eight years old when she entered Hollywood through the back door in the 1959 British blockbuster Room at the Top. Her portrayal of the endearing Alice Aisgill earned her the Academy Award in 1960, the first French actor to win a coveted Oscar. Though a latecomer to Hollywood, Signoret was already an international star who had survived the Nazi occupation of Paris, emerging in 1945 as a beautiful, promising actress capable of communicating more emotion through body language than dialogue alone could achieve. She gained a reputation as the thinking man’s sex symbol, and in several films she portrayed prostitutes with subtlety and depth. She was fiercely protective of her privacy. But after winning the Oscar, she was dragged through the gutter when her second husband, Yves Montand, had a widely publicized affair with Marilyn Monroe. Many attributed her rapid aging and alcoholism to this betrayal. She endured this perception in silence, all the while demonstrating a remarkable capacity to reinvent herself as a best-selling author, respected social activist, and revered actress who remained in the cinema, her “garden of dreams,” for over four decades. Patricia A. DeMaio combines Signoret’s courageous story with Montand’s biography to reveal new information and insight into Signoret’s humanitarian efforts and the vibrant film career that sustained her.
Acting My Face
Author: Anthony James
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Actor Anthony James has played killers, psychopaths, and other twisted characters throughout his Hollywood career. In the summer of 1967, James made his motion picture debut as the murderer in the Academy Award–winning Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night. His role in the 1992 Academy Award–winning Best Picture, Unforgiven, culminated a unique, twenty-eight year career. Behind his menacing and memorable face, however, is a thoughtful, gentle man, one who muses deeply on the nature of art and creativity and on the family ties that have sustained him. James’s Acting My Face renders Hollywood through the eyes and experience of an established character actor. James appeared on screen with such legendary stars as Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Gene Hackman, and Sidney Poitier, and in such classic television shows as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, and The A-Team. Yet, it is his mother’s heroic story that captures his imagination. In an odyssey which in 1940 took her and her newly wedded husband from Greece to a small southern town in America where she bore her only child, James’s mother suffered the early death of her husband when James was only eight years old. In the blink of an eye, she went from grand hostess of her husband’s lavish parties to hotel maid. But like the lioness she was, she fought with great ferocity and outrageous will in her relentless devotion to James’s future. And so it was, that on an August morning in 1960, eighteen-year-old James and his mother took a train from South Carolina three thousand miles to Hollywood, California, to realize his dream of an acting career. They possessed only two hundred dollars, their courage, and an astonishing degree of naiveté. After his retirement in 1994, James and his mother moved to Arlington, Massachusetts, where he concentrated on his painting and poetry. His mother died in 2008 at the age of ninety-four, still a lioness protecting her beloved son. Acting My Face is an unusual memoir, one that explores the true nature of a working life in Hollywood and how aspirations and personal devotion are forged into a career.
Author: Carl Rollyson
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Shares the life of actor Dana Andrews, including his impressive filmography, his battle with alcoholism, and his term as president of the Screen Actors Guild.
The Member of the Wedding
Author: Carson McCullers
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Her brother's wedding intensifies a twelve-year-old's need to be recognized as an important person.
New York magazine was born in 1968 after a run as an insert of the New York Herald Tribune and quickly made a place for itself as the trusted resource for readers across the country. With award-winning writing and photography covering everything from politics and food to theater and fashion, the magazine's consistent mission has been to reflect back to its audience the energy and excitement of the city itself, while celebrating New York as both a place and an idea.
Complemented by two hundred evocative period photographs, an English translation of the classic account of Paris in the 1950s explores the Left Bank cafs, galleries, underground jazz clubs, theaters, and salons that were home to the existentialist and post-surrealistic circles of the era, with portraits of Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Miles Davis, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among others.
In a hilarious send-up of sex, scandal, and the Golden Age of Hollywood, legendary cartoonist Edward Sorel brings us a story (literally) ripped from the headlines of a bygone era. In 1965, a young, up-and-coming illustrator by the name of Edward Sorel was living in a $97-a-month railroad flat on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Resolved to fix up the place, Sorel began pulling up the linoleum on his kitchen floor, tearing away layer after layer until he discovered a hidden treasure: issues of the New York Daily News and Daily Mirror from 1936, each ablaze with a scandalous child custody trial taking place in Hollywood and starring the actress Mary Astor. Sorel forgot about his kitchen and lost himself in the story that had pushed Hitler and Franco off the front pages. At the time of the trial, Mary Astor was still only a supporting player in movies, but enough of a star to make headlines when it came out that George S. Kaufman, then the most successful playwright on Broadway and a married man to boot, had been her lover. The scandal revolved around Mary’s diary, which her ex-husband, Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, had found when they were still together. Its incriminating contents had forced Mary to give up custody of their daughter in order to obtain a divorce. By 1936 she had decided to challenge the arrangement, even though Thorpe planned to use the diary to prove she was an unfit mother. Mary, he claimed, had not only kept a tally of all her extramarital affairs but graded them—and he’d already alerted the press. Enraptured by this sensational case and the actress at the heart of it, Sorel began a life-long obsession that now reaches its apex. Featuring over sixty original illustrations, Mary Astor's Purple Diary narrates and illustrates the travails of the Oscar-winning actress alongside Sorel’s own personal story of discovering an unlikely muse. Throughout, we get his wry take on all the juicy details of this particular slice of Hollywood Babylon, including Mary's life as a child star—her career in silent films began at age fourteen—presided over by her tyrannical father, Otto, who "managed" her full-time and treated his daughter like an ATM machine. Sorel also animates her teenage love affair with probably the biggest star of the silent era, the much older John Barrymore, who seduced her on the set of a movie and convinced her parents to allow her to be alone with him for private "acting lessons." Sorel imbues Mary Astor's life with the kind of wit and eye for character that his art is famous for, but here he also emerges as a writer, creating a compassionate character study of Astor, a woman who ultimately achieved a life of independence after spending so much of it bullied by others. Featuring ribald and rapturous art throughout, Mary Astor's Purple Diary is a passion project that becomes the masterpiece of one of America’s greatest illustrators.
"Film legend Sophia Loren shares vivid memories of work, love, and family"--
Author: Mike Peros
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Dan Duryea (1907–1968) made a vivid impression on moviegoers with his first major screen appearance as the conniving Leo Hubbard in 1941’s classic melodrama The Little Foxes. His subsequent film and television career would span from 1941 until his death. Duryea remains best known for the nasty, scheming villains he portrayed in such noir masterpieces as Scarlet Street, Criss Cross, and The Woman in the Window. In each of these, he wielded a blend of menace, sleaze, confidence, and surface charm. This winning combination led him to stardom and garnered him the adoration of female fans, even though Duryea’s onscreen brutality so often targeted female characters. Yet this biography’s close examination of Duryea’s oeuvre finds him excelling in various roles in many genres—war films, westerns, crime dramas, and even the occasional comedy. Dan Duryea: Heel with a Heart is a full-scale, comprehensive biography that examines the tension between Duryea’s villainous screen image and his Samaritan personal life. At home, he proved to be one of Hollywood’s most honorable and decent men. Duryea remained married to the former Helen Bryan from 1931 until her death in 1967. A dedicated family man, he and Helen took an active role in raising their children and in the community. In his career, Duryea knew villainous roles were what the public wanted—there would be a public backlash if fans read an article depicting what a decent guy he was. Frustrated that he couldn’t completely shake his screen image and public persona, he wrestled with this restriction throughout his career. Producers and the public did not care to follow any new directions he hoped to pursue. This book, written with Duryea’s surviving son Richard’s cooperation, fully explores the life and legacy of a Hollywood icon ready for rediscovery.
Author: Richard Avedon, John Lahr, Andre Gregory, Mike Nichols, Twyla Tharp
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
More than two hundred portrait images by the celebrated photographer capture some of the greatest stars and artists of the performing arts from the latter half of the twentieth century, including actors, comedians, pop stars, musicians, and dancers, accompanied by insightful essays on the photographer by critics and perfoming artists.
The Films in My Life
Author: François Truffaut
Publisher: Diversion Books
An icon. A rebel. A legend. The films of Francois Truffaut defined an exhilarating new form of cinema for moviegoers the world over. Before Francois Truffaut was a great director, he was a critic who stood at the vanguard, pioneering an innovative way to view movies and to write about the cinematic arts. Now, for the first time in eBook, the legendary director shares his own words, as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time examines the art of movie-making through engaging and deeply personal reviews about the movies he loves. Truffaut writes extensively about his heroes, from Hitchcock to Welles, Chaplin to Renoir, Bunuel to Bergman, Clouzot to Cocteau, Capra to Hawks, Guitry to Fellini, sharing analysis and insight as to what made them film legends, and how their work led Truffaut and his fellow directors into classics like THE 400 BLOWS, JULES AND JIM, and the French New Wave Movement. Articulate and candid, THE FILMS IN MY LIFE is for everyone who has sat in a dark movie theater and dreamed. "Truffaut brings the same intelligence and grace to the printed page that he projects onto the screen. THE FILMS IN MY LIFE provides a rare knowledgeable look at movies and moviemaking." —NEWSDAY
Describes and rates more than twenty thousand videos, and provides indexes by theme, awards, actors, actresses, and directors.
Author: Karen Burroughs Hannsberry
Though often thought of as primarily a male vehicle, the film noir offered some of the most complex female roles of any movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Stars such as Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney and Joan Crawford produced some of their finest performances in noir movies, while such lesser known actresses as Peggie Castle, Hope Emerson and Helen Walker made a lasting impression with their roles in the genre. These six women and 43 others who were most frequently featured in films noirs are profiled here, focusing primarily on their work in the genre and its impact on their careers. A filmography of all noir appearances is provided for each actress.