Hollywood, Walter Winchell quipped, is where they shoot too many movies and not enough actors. Always looking for an angle, always, scheming, always the scene of clashing egos, the movie industry is where they place you under contract instead of observation--and if you don't have anything nice to say, write it down. "In 1940, I had my choice between Hitler and Hollywood," French director René Clair recalled, "and I preferred Hollywood--just a little."
In Movie Anecdotes, Peter Hay treats us to a delightful ride through the world that has captivated audiences for almost a century, with stories that are often hilarious, sometimes tragic, and always entertaining. He takes us from the rough-and tumble early days (when one studio paid Pancho Villa $25,000 to launch his attacks only in daylight, after a film crew had set up) to the studio era (when Joan Crawford refused to cross the street on the MGM lot except in a chauffeured limousine) to the shenanigans of today's global industry. Here are stories about all the legends: Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Mae West, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Sophia Loren, John Wayne, and, of course, Ronald Reagan. There are the great directors from D.W. Griffith, Hitchcock, and Eisenstein, to Kurosawa, Bergman, Visconti, Huston, Ford, and Woody Allen. And Hay has selected tales of the writers, the wits, and the grand moguls, including perhaps the largest collection of Goldwynisms--both genuine and apocryphal.
Along with the laughter, this volume recreates the conflicts that have torn the movie world, from battles over money and contracts, to discrimination, divorces, and scandals. Colorful, incredible, bitter, funny--the stories about moviemaking are as fantastic as the pictures themselves. Now they have been gathered together in an irresistible bouquet that is certain to delight every movie buff and provide fascinating insights for serious students of film.