The Best Years of Our Lives and
 

GOLDWYN

A. Scott Berg, Author, Roddy McDowall, Read by
A. Scott Berg, Author, Roddy McDowall, Read by , read by Roddy McDowall. New Millennium Audio $18 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59007-167-0
Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 09/01/2003
Compact Disc - 978-1-59007-518-0
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Samuel Goldwyn (born Schmuel Goldfisz) will be known throughout history for his films—which include The Best Years of Our Lives and Wuthering Heights— and his "Goldwynisms" ("I had a great idea this morning, but I didn't like it"; "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you"). Berg (Kate Remembered ) was granted complete access to the Goldwyn archives and has produced what Goldwyn's son calls "the biography my father would have wanted." From his birth in a Warsaw ghetto and his 500-mile walk to Hamburg to his rise as tyrannical movie producer, this amazing rags-to-riches tale paints Goldwyn as a complex, difficult yet sympathetic character. (Oddly, Goldwyn's contemporaries, the Hollywood moguls Louis B. Mayer, William Fox, the Warner Brothers, Adolph Zucker and Lewis Selznick were all born within 500 miles of Warsaw and made similar exoduses to the United States.) McDowall's smooth, British-accented voice is a fine vehicle for delivering the narrative. However, his impression of Goldwyn's voice is distracting in its strangeness: high-pitched, heavily accented and cracking, it is the one flaw in this otherwise engrossing production. Based on the Knopf hardcover (Forecasts, Feb. 3, 1989). (Sept.)

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