Robert W. Cort, Author . Random $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-679-45232-4

In a letter accompanying the galley for this first novel by veteran Hollywood producer Cort, the publisher promises a story that gives insight into "how movies are really made." It doesn't quite live up to that promise. The novel essentially follows the fortunes of one moviemaking family through most of the 20th century, across three generations, focusing primarily on the middle scion, AJ Jastrow, a pushy, nervy, cocksure producer whose career ranges from the post-WWII period to the millennium. Raised in the moral shadow of his father, Harry, a self-made man too decent for Hollywood, according to his wife ("I married a fucking moron"), AJ reluctantly enters the movie business following an aborted legal career. Making an early reputation in the new medium of television, AJ shifts to feature production via agenting, attempts a version of Apocalypse Now, suffers a stroke, recovers and founds his own studio with Japanese capital. Then there are the family subplots: his failed marriage to Steph, followed by remarriage to Steph after a 14-year hiatus; the doings of his dutiful daughter, Jess, his disastrous son, Ricky, and most of all, his mother, Maggie, whose malicious machinations against her son could earn her a spot on The Sopranos. The cast is multiplied by a host of celebrity cameos, including Bing Crosby (" 'I shot a seventy-seven at Bel Air yesterday and took Astaire for a C-note' "), Steve McQueen (" 'Let's get ripped' ") and Sam Kinison ("Sprawled across a king-size bed, Sam swamped two young women with his blubber"). But this avalanche of anecdotal scenery is so far-ranging, it can barely support its own weight. (July)

Forecast:Studio execs may pick the book up for the long plane ride between New York and L.A., but general interest is likely to be less than overwhelming. 50,000 first printing; 6-city author tour.

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Show other formats
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-58836-293-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-09258-7
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-5726-6
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.