cover image Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind the Making of 13 Iconic Films

Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind the Making of 13 Iconic Films

Graydon Carter, Editor Penguin Books $16 (338p) ISBN 978-0-14-311471-0

Vanity Fair magazine is known for in-depth film histories, and this collection of 13 from the past 10 years is a worthy read for film buffs (though no less likely to satisfy than the next issue's feature). ""Iconic"" is used loosely here, as some selections hold narrow appeal (is there anyone interested in career-women-in-distress flick The Best of Everything who hasn't already found Laura Jacob's history?), but the writers' access might be reason enough to take a look: Peter Biskind talks, in 2006, to Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton about the making of Reds; Sam Kashner gets John Travolta's thoughts on Saturday Night Fever; and Peter Biskind talks to Dustin Hoffman and John Voight about the unlikely triumph of Midnight Cowboy. Other articles take a longer view: David Kamp looks into Cleopatra, as well as legends that Orson Welles's original director's cut of The Magnificent Ambersons is still hidden away somewhere. Others covered include The Producers, The Graduate, All About Eve and Tommy; for those who haven't come across them before, these gossipy behind-the-scenes chronicles should make compulsive reading.