The latest from film critic and historian Maltin (Leonard Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen) is an often delightful if uneven collection of work from the past five decades. The bulk of the text consists of interviews with Hollywood performers and filmmakers conducted between 1967 and 2010. The subjects range from celebrated star Joan Blondell to the obscure but prolific Leslie H. Martinson, a film script supervisor turned film and TV director who worked on “every Warner Bros. show imaginable.” The author is a generous, well-informed interviewer, whose introductory text helps the reader understand why lesser-known figures like Martinson merit attention. In the earliest selections, the still teenaged Maltin takes some time to find his footing as an interviewer, but any initial amateurism on his part is offset by his contagious enthusiasm. The book also includes several essays, most memorably about the use of popular songs in Casablanca, the late-career return of silent stars like Buster Keaton and Lillian Gish in television roles, and early Hollywood remakes. Other essays, though, will be too granular for any but the Maltin completist. Nonetheless, this enjoyable anthology will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of classic film fans. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2018 Release date: 07/01/2018 Genre: Nonfiction
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