From the latest TV ratings, the timeliest theater reviews and last week’s movie box-office grosses, fans of all stripes can handily satisfy their cravings. As the following entries indicate, there’s no business like show business, indeed.
The cynical cineasts who claim that the movie business is going to the dogs have clearly forgotten one of the silver screen’s most celebrated pooches. I, Toto, a “memoir” that describes her adventures in filming The Wizard of Oz, is a candid take on doggie days in La La Land. Before her death in 1943, Terry (her real name) made 14 movies with Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, and Joan Crawford.
For more than 30 years, another celebrated performer sold out movie houses after winning the most coveted role in Hollywood history: Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara. As noted in Kendra Bean’s Vivien Leigh, she inspired many of the visionaries of her time. From her birth in India in 1913 to prominence in British and American film, hers is a tale of success, struggles, and triumphs—and an untimely death in 1967 at age 53.
Another cinema beauty and one of France’s most notable stars, is portrayed in Garden of Dreams: The Life of Simone Signoret by Patricia A. Demaio. Signoret, who often referred to herself as the “oldest discovery” in Hollywood, was 38 when she starred in 1959’s Room at the Top—a performance that earned her an Oscar, the first French actor to be so honored.
In the world of television, mogul Rebecca Eaton has for some 25 years presided over PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Theatre, the longest-running weekly prime-time drama series in American history. As she writes in Making Masterpiece, Eaton has guided such popular works as Upstairs, Downstairs, Prime Suspect, Mystery, et al. to runaway hit status.
Actress Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the family matriarch on TV’s The Big Valley. She was better known, however, for her movie career, which began in 1927 and included 88 films. As noted in A Life of Barbara Stanwyck, her longevity spanned four decades, during which time she received four Best Actress Academy Award nominations.
The beauteous Irish actress Maureen O’Hara beguiled audiences in a host of starring vehicles. Born in 1920, she published an autobiography, ’Tis Herself, in 2004—the same year that she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Film and Television Academy. Now Aubrey Malone presents Maureen O’Hara: The Biography.
In addition to Ethan Mordden’s decade-by-decade books on the American musical, Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theater is a theatrical pièce de resistance that examines the Broadway musical from the 1920s through the 1970s, narrated in Mordden’s witty and conversational style.
Montgomery Clift’s early films (A Place in the Sun, From Here to Eternity) showed his remarkable consistency as a star. Strikingly beautiful and exceptionally talented (and sexually ambivalent, as shown in Montgomery Clift, Queer Star), he was at the peak of his fame in 1956 when a devastating car crash nearly destroyed his face—an event that altered his persona and robbed him of hearthrob status.
The newly revised and expanded edition of 85 Years of the Academy Awards maintains its status as the go-to guide for all things Oscar. (Re the famous statue’s name, the possibly apocryphal story is that Bette Davis seeing it for the first time said, “That looks like my Uncle Oscar.”) As he has for many years, Robert Osborne holds forth on winners and losers.
Muppets—a word that needs no introduction, as this group of beguiling critters, created in 1955 by Jim Henson, are known far and wide. Kermit the Frog led the roster, which later included the indomitable Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Rizzo the Rat, et al.. Brian Jay Jones’s Jim Henson: The Biography may have for now closed a chapter that will never be forgotten.
PW’s Top 10: Performing Arts
I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was Toto. Willard Carroll. Abrams Image, Sept.
Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait. Kendra Bean. Running Press, Oct.
Garden of Dreams: The Life of Simone Signoret. Patricia A. Demaio. Univ. of Mississippi Press, Jan.
Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS. Rebecca Eaton. Viking, Oct.
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907–1941. Victoria Wilson. Simon & Schuster, Sept.
Maureen O’Hara: The Biography. Aubrey Malone. Univ. Press of Kentucky, Nov.
Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre. Ethan Mordden. Oxford Univ. Press, September
Montgomery Clift: Queer Star. Elisabetta Girelli. Wayne State Univ. Press, Dec.
85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Robert Osborne. Abbeville Press, Sept.
Jim Henson: The Biography. Brian Jay Jones. Ballantine, Sept.
Performing Arts Listings
85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert Osborne (Sept. 17, hardcover, $75, ISBN 978-0789211422). Backed by Osborne’s extensive knowledge, this comprehensive work is sure to prove an indispensable addition to any movie buff’s library.
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman, King of the B Movie by Chris Nashawaty (Sept. 10, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1419706691) considers the life and career of Roger Corman, the world’s most successful independent director.
I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was Toto by Willard Carroll (Sept. 24, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1419709838). The 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz celebrates the cairn terrier who became one of filmdom’s most famous on-screen canines.
Hollywood Costume by Deborah Nadoolman Landis (Oct. 1, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-1419709821). Featuring the most well-known designs from the past 100 years of Hollywood films, Landis’s tome observes the costume designer’s contribution to the cinematic story.
Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him by David Henry and Joe Henry (Nov. 5, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1616200787). Outrageous, fearlessly black, and profanely outspoken, Pryor still remains an enigma eight years after his death. The authors celebrate the man they knew and offer fresh insight into the world that made him who he was.
Arsenal Pulp Press
(dist. by Consortium)
Paris Is Burning: A Queer Film Classic by Lucas Hilderbrand (Nov. 12, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1551525198) pays tribute to the fabulous award-winning 1991 documentary that captures the wit, energy, and ambition surrounding New York’s drag subculture in the 1980s.
What If... A Lifetime of Questions, Speculations, Reasonable Guesses, and a Few Things I Know for Sure by Shirley MacLaine (Nov. 12, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-1476728605). The Oscar-winning actress and bestselling author contemplates a wealth of subjects from the mundane to the esoteric in this collection of musings.
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (Sept. 24, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0345526113) takes an up-close look at this figure, whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Jay Schneider (Oct. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0764166136). This new edition covers more than a century of memorable films, from silent-era sensations such as Chaplin’s Little Tramp up to Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Django Unchained.
(dist. by Perseus)
Will I Live Tomorrow?: One Woman’s Mission to Create an Anti-Taliban Film in War-Torn Afghanistan by Sonia Nassery Cole (Oct. 1, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-19389529145) offers a behind-the-scenes view of a controversial film in the heart of a war-ravaged country, and the daily challenges faced by cast and crew alike.
Ryan Gosling: Hollywood’s Finest by Nick Johnstone (Dec. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1782194606) traces the Canadian actor’s diverse career in Hollywood, as his increasingly acclaimed performances (Gangster Squad, The Place Beyond the Pines) promise major stardom ahead.
(dist. by Sterling)
Horror!: The Definitive Companion to the Most Terrifying Movies Ever Made by James Marriott and Kim Newman (Aug. 6, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1780973913). Packed with terrifying scenes from cinema history, this updated work traces the genre decade by decade.
Daniel Craig: Unauthorized Illustrated Biography by Tina Ogle (Sept. 3, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1780974071). Noted for his privacy, the British thespian achieved international fame when he was chosen as the seventh actor to play Bond—James Bond. His latest gig, 2012’s Skyfall, became the highest-grossing film in the series and won him an Oscar—so much for privacy.
Carlton Books/Andre Deutsch
(dist. by Trafalgar Square/IPG)
Graham Norton Revealed: The Biography by Alison Bowyer (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0233003894). The witty talk show host combines camp comedy with a wicked sense of humor, coaxing the biggest stars into showing their true colors.
Coppola: A Biography by Peter Cowie (Oct. 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0233983332). This penetrating portrait contains material from an exclusive interview with the major visionary and charismatic moviemaker as he celebrates 50 years in the business as a feature film director.
Clint Eastwood Icon: The Essential Film Art Collection by David Frangioni (Aug. 1, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0785830450) assembles a striking selection of film art that spans Eastwood’s entire career—from the 1950s to the present, culling some 400 pieces that include posters, lobby cards, studio ads, and more.
Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie by Gunnar Hansen (Sept. 24, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1452114491). The original 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre seized the imaginations of audiences and critics, going from controversial cult sensation to its rank as filmdom’s greatest horror movie.
A Work in Progress by Rosie Perez (Oct. 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0307952394). The Oscar-nominated actress chronicles her harrowing childhood in an orphanage and how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.
Nicholson: A Biography by Marc Eliot (Oct. 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0307888372) scrutinizes the famously outspoken star whose roles have earned him two Best Actor Oscars.
Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life by David A. Bossert (Sept. 17, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1423178057). This amusing and enlightening collection paints a special picture of the Disney senior executive who was Walt’s nephew.
Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes—Four Decades of Filmmaking by Michael Singer (Oct. 29, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-1423130697) showcases Bruckheimer’s impact on the motion picture and television industries, as he frequently made or reconceived the images of myriad stars.
A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic by Caseen Gaines (Oct. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1770411401). In time for the beloved show’s 30th anniversary, backstage glimpses offer previously unreleased photographs, drawing on original interviews with cast and crew.
Globe Pequot Press
All in All: An Actor’s Life On and Off the Stage by Stacy Keach (Nov. 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0762791453). Filled with Hollywood moments and reflections on his craft, Keach’s memoir presents a poignant personal account of his acting insecurities, relationship struggles, and cocaine conflict.
Still Foolin’ ’Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal (Sept. 10, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0805098204). One of America’s favorite comics offers hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging, as he turns 65 and looks back at a remarkable career.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin (Oct. 15, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0544217621) is an endlessly dishy and incisive commentary on the King of Late Night at the height of his fame and power, from his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Fosse by Sam Wasson (Nov. 5, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-0547553290). This revealing biography presents myriad reinventions of the renowned dancer, choreographer, and director in a career that spawned numerous artistic works and earned him Tonys, Emmys, and an Oscar. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
What’s So Funny?: My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway, with Jane Scovell (Oct. 29, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1476726502). Six-time Emmy Award–winning funnyman Conway, best known for his Carol Burnett Show characters, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off.
(dist. by Random House)
Homer Simpson’s Little Book of Laziness by Matt Groening (Aug. 27, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1608872268). Few men have reached the pinnacle of apathy quite like Homer Simpson, who, for the first time, reveals the secrets behind his extraordinary ability to get absolutely nothing done. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Film Scripts One: Henry V, The Big Sleep, A Streetcar Named Desire by George P. Garrett (Oct. 1, paper, $20, ISBN 978-1480342033). The Film Scripts series brings back into print several outstanding screenplays, with each volume presented in standard screenplay format.
Armageddon Films FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Zombies, Contagions, Aliens, and the End of the World as We Know It! by Dale Sherman (Oct. 1, paper, $22.99, ISBN 978-1617131196) moves from filmmaking’s low-key era to the most recent Earth-shattering epics—everything there is to know about the end of the world.
Hal Leonard/Limelight Editions
Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide by John Grant (Oct. 1, hardcover, $44.99, ISBN 978-1557838315). Grant’s engrossing, extensive work about this perennially popular genre describes movies from noir’s earliest days and even before, containing some 3,500 entries. Catnip for cineastes.
(dist. by IPG)
1939: The Greatest Year in Motion Picture History by Charles F. Adams (Dec. 1, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1610351973). Commemorating the 75th anniversary of Hollywood’s milestone achievement, Adams dishes behind-the-scenes tales of scriptwriting, casting, financial speculation, troubled productions, and intrigue.
Rich Man, Poor Man: A Memoir by Nick Nolte (Nov. 5, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0062219572). The celebrated actor pulls no punches in his tale of art, passion, commitment, and addiction—as intense as the man himself. After appearing in the 1976 TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, he’s since been in more than 40 films. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life by Gavin MacLeod (Oct. 22, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-0849947629). In MacLeod’s early days, millions of Americans welcomed him into their living rooms on Saturday night, as he transformed himself into The Love Boat’s lovable father-figure.
(dist. by Trafalgar Square/IPG)
The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds by Tony Lee Moral (Sept. 1, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1842439548) observes the 50th anniversary of the celebrated director’s avian nightmare, using unpublished materials to chart his most ambitious film.
Danny Boyle, Creating Wonder: The Academy Award-Winning Director in Conversation About His Art by Amy Raphael (Sept. 17, paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-1623160364). The Slumdog Millionaire director reveals the secrets behind directing under tight budgets and near impossible conditions.
Downton Abbey Script Book Season 2 by Julian Fellowes (Oct. 15, paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-0062241351). In addition to Fellowes’s illustrious career in film, theater, and TV, his screenplay for the boffo Downton Abbey series has racked up viewing figures of more than 10 million. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Oxford Univ. Press
Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre by Ethan Mordden (Sept. 6, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0199892839). A recognized musical theater authority—and author of numerous books on the topic—considers the evolution of the Broadway musical in the 20th century.
Roadshow!: The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s by Matthew Kennedy (Jan. 6, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0199925674) chronicles the downfall of the big-screen American movie musical—a tale of numerous missteps, all of which led to the obsolescence of the roadshow, a marketing extravaganza originally designed to make a movie opening seem like a Broadway premier.
Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor by Karina Longworth (Oct. 28, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0714866697). This thoughtful examination of Streep’s prodigious talent (she’s won three Oscars out of her 17 nominations, and eight Golden Globes out of 27 nominations) takes a thorough look at 10 of her most famous roles.
(dist. by NBN)
Death at the Movies: Hollywood’s Guide to the Hereafter by Lyn and Tom Davis Genelli (Sept. 10, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0835609166) charts numerous films dealing with the afterlife: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946); Poltergeist (1982); Beetlejuice (1988); Ghost (1990); Groundhog Day (1993); and others.
A Christmas Story Treasury: A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Holiday Movie by Tyler Schwartz (Oct. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0762448579) features stories, photos, and sound—the ultimate salute to America’s favorite holiday movie. 60,000-copy announced first printing.
Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait by Kendra Bean (Oct. 22, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0762450992) presents the personal story of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated women, whose mystique was a combination of beauty, glamour, romance, and talent displayed in her Oscar-winning performances in Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Simon & Schuster
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907–1941 by Victoria Wilson (Sept. 24, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0684831688). After 15 years in the making comes the first volume in the life of one of our greatest screen actresses, whose career in pictures spanned four decades beginning with the coming of sound.
The Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History by Glen Berger (Nov. 5, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1451684568). “Controversial” is the all-time understatement here, from fired producers/directors to injured performers to exorbitant costs that nobody can estimate, and worse.
(dist. by W.W. Norton)
Jimmy Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend by Michael Munn (Sept. 3, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1626360945). Film historian Munn describes meeting Stewart and his wife, Gloria, who over the years confided in Munn secrets about Stewart—notably, for example, his service as a secret agent for the FBI.
Sterling Publishing/White Star
Legendary Movies by Paolo D’Agostini and Franco Zeffirelli (Oct. 1, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-8854406964). From Charlie Chaplin silents to high-tech blockbusters, this collection, organized by era, spans decades and a wide range of genres.
Coreyography: A Memoir by Corey Feldman (Nov. 5, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0312609337). The star of filmdom’s The Lost Boys and Stand by Me delivers a revealing, deeply personal memoir and Hollywood survival story. And he’s come clean about his past, which included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, along with a stint in rehab.
Taylor Trade Publishing
The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: A Guide to Her Magical Performances by Herbie J. Pilato (Oct. 7, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1589798243). The film and TV actress whose career spanned five decades rose to fame in the 1960s as the delectable Samantha Stephens on the hit ABC sitcom Bewitched.
Thames & Hudson
Moments That Made the Movies by David Thomson (Oct. 7, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-0500516416) takes readers on a visual tour, where the specifics of the imagery are inextricably tied to the text. Moments range from the classic—Citizen Kane, Sunset Boulevard, The Red Shoes—to the unexpected—The Piano Teacher, Burn After Reading.
Univ. Press of Kentucky
Maureen O’Hara: The Biography by Aubrey Malone (Nov. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0813142388). From her first appearances on stage and screen, this colleen commanded attention with her striking beauty, radiant red hair, and impassioned portrayals of spirited heroines.
Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel by Christina Rice (Nov. 1, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0813144269) explores the life and career of one of the first actors who dared to challenge the studio system that ruled Tinseltown, and who found success when many were struggling to adapt to the era of talkies.
Univ. Press of Mississippi
Gloria Swanson: Ready for Her Close-Up by Tricia Welsch (Sept. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1617037498) investigates “The Queen of Hollywood” and her decades-long reign of successes and comebacks in film, art, fashion, and journalism.
Mama Rose’s Turn: The True Story of America’s Most Notorious Stage Mother by Carolyn Quinn (Nov. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1617038532) reveals the “Stage Mother from Hell” saga, about Rose Hovick’s Broadway immortalization in the 1959 hit Gypsy: A Musical Fable.
Garden of Dreams: The Life of Simone Signoret by Patricia A. Demaio (Jan. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1604735697) celebrates the stunning French movie star (1921–1985) who later became an author and social activist following a complex marriage to singer/actor Yves Montand.
Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS by Rebecca Eaton (Oct. 29, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0670015351). The Emmy Award–winning PBS producer reveals the secrets to Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and the network’s numerous other hit programs.
Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece by Jason Bailey (Oct. 15, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0760344798). When Pulp Fiction was released in 1994, the New York Times called it a “triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey,” and 31-year-old Tarantino, with just three feature films to his name, became the next great American director.
Wayne State Univ. Press
Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity by Scott Balcerzak (Oct. 1, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-0814339657) analyzes the complicated gender histories of male comedians in the early Classic Hollywood era.
Montgomery Clift, Queer Star by Elisabetta Girelli (Dec. 15, paper, $31.95, ISBN 978-0814335147) considers Clift’s star persona, film roles, and performances through the lens of queer theory.