cover image OSCAR NIGHT: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties

OSCAR NIGHT: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties

David Friend, Graydon Carter, ; afterword by Dominick Dunne, . Knopf, $75 (384pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-4248-7

Four years after Carter, Friend and Dunne weighed in with the impressive Vanity Fair's Hollywood , they top themselves with this superb collection of in situ celebrity photographs. Parties that begin right after the Academy Awards have long been a Tinseltown tradition; the electricity and glamour of those events is captured in this hefty assemblage of b&w and color images. Dunne provides anecdotal memories from 1955 to 1994, an era when agent Swifty Lazar's Oscar-night parties moved from Romanoff's to the Bistro to Spago. After Lazar's 1994 death, VF editor Carter stepped in as host; darting through decades in this lavish book, he now invites everyone to the party. Here is a "celebrity gridlock" of famous faces—from Marilyn Monroe to Anna Nicole Smith, Brando to Brad Pitt, Judy Garland to Monica Lewinsky. In a bedsheet-size format (10 1/2"×13 1/2"), photos are displayed full-bleed; the authors also include insets of such totems as matchbook covers, programs and seating charts. Captions deliver details, but regrettably, the photographers who took these memorable pictures get little or no copy, and their credits are buried in the back. Although several blurry shots suffer when expanded to full-page size, this spectacular book, sprinkled with star dust, is well worth its high price tag. (Nov. 2)