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Download Who the Hell's in It: Portraits and Conversations epub

by Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich, known primarily as a director, film historian and critic, has been working with professional actors all his life. He started out as an actor (he debuted on the stage in his sixth-grade production of Finian’s Rainbow); he watched actors work (he went to the theater every week from the age of thirteen and saw every important show on, or off, Broadway for the next decade); he studied acting, starting at sixteen, with Stella Adler (his work with her became the foundation for all he would ever do as an actor and a director).Now, in his new book, Who the Hell’s in It, Bogdanovich draws upon a lifetime of experience, observation and understanding of the art to write about the actors he came to know along the way; actors he admired from afar; actors he worked with, directed, befriended. Among them: Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, John Cassavetes, Charlie Chaplin, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Ben Gazzara, Audrey Hepburn, Boris Karloff, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Frank Sinatra, and James Stewart.Bogdanovich captures—in their words and his—their work, their individual styles, what made them who they were, what gave them their appeal and why they’ve continued to be America’s iconic actors.On Lillian Gish: “the first virgin hearth goddess of the screen . . . a valiant and courageous symbol of fortitude and love through all distress.” On Marlon Brando: “He challenged himself never to be the same from picture to picture, refusing to become the kind of film star the studio system had invented and thrived upon—the recognizable human commodity each new film was built around . . . The funny thing is that Brando’s charismatic screen persona was vividly apparent despite the multiplicity of his guises . . . Brando always remains recognizable, a star-actor in spite of himself. ” Jerry Lewis to Bogdanovich on the first laugh Lewis ever got onstage: “I was five years old. My mom and dad had a tux made—I worked in the borscht circuit with them—and I came out and I sang, ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ the big hit at the time . . . It was 1931, and I stopped the show—naturally—a five-year-old in a tuxedo is not going to stop the show? And I took a bow and my foot slipped and hit one of the floodlights and it exploded and the smoke and the sound scared me so I started to cry. The audience laughed—they were hysterical . . . So I knew I had to get the rest of my laughs the rest of my life, breaking, sitting, falling, spinning.”John Wayne to Bogdanovich, on the early years of Wayne’s career when he was working as a prop man: “Well, I’ve naturally studied John Ford professionally as well as loving the man. Ever since the first time I walked down his set as a goose-herder in 1927. They needed somebody from the prop department to keep the geese from getting under a fake hill they had for Mother Machree at Fox. I’d been hired because Tom Mix wanted a box seat for the USC football games, and so they promised jobs to Don Williams and myself and a couple of the players. They buried us over in the properties department, and Mr. Ford’s need for a goose-herder just seemed to fit my pistol.”These twenty-six portraits and conversations are unsurpassed in their evocation of a certain kind of great movie star that has vanished. Bogdanovich’s book is a celebration and a farewell.
Download Who the Hell's in It: Portraits and Conversations epub
ISBN: 0375400109
ISBN13: 978-0375400100
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Arts & Literature
Author: Peter Bogdanovich
Language: English
Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (September 28, 2004)
Pages: 544 pages
ePUB size: 1489 kb
FB2 size: 1995 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 458
Other Formats: txt lrf lit rtf

If you're looking for a book that spills the dirt on some of the biggest names in Hollywood (when Hollywood WAS Hollywood), this ain't it! Bogdanovich, as he did with the great directors in "Who The Devil Made It?", has penned love-letters to some of tinsel town's greatest performers. As with the first volume, almost all of these pieces are told from the personal viewpoint of his inter-actions with each of the stars, a ploy that could become tedious in less capable hands. It is important to remember, however, that, before he was a director, and sometime actor, Bogdanovich was one of the best writers on the art of film, a talent he retains to this day. The pieces vary in length from less than 10 pages to an almost novella length essay on Jerry Lewis. The problem, if any, is that the short pieces often seem TOO short and the longer ones, especially the Lewis piece, could have stood a little trimming. But, all in all, these mash notes (you won't find many negative comments on any of his subjects) are beautifully written and speak of a time and place we shall never see again. If you love film, this is your next big read!
Really great collection of insights into various "older" Hollywood actors and personalities. Fascinating accounts of the older Hollywood studio system and stories from some of the best of Hollywood. I like Bogdanovich a lot, have many of his dvd commentaries and his main work on Orson Welles.
Excellent read. Bogdanovich knows his Hollywood personalities and does an in-depth look at a wonderful bunch of 'em!
If you love the old movies and their stars, you'll love reading Mr. B's reminiscences. He met and worked with so many of them! His wonderful writing style is conversational, not scholarly, which is not to say that he doesn't know his subject. Peter Bogdonovich loves and understands movies and moviemaking, and has a great appreciation for actors and actresses. His book is a great read!!
unlike other books of this type, all the articles came from personal interviews. this gave the book an intimacy that other biographical works do not have. if you are a jerry lewis fan, there are over 50 pages of insightful information and a more personal look into the thinking of jerry lewis. the article on humphry bogart, though shorter, was also quite insightful. on a whole, i would say that this is possibly the most interesting and unique book of this genre that i can remember reading. leah k.
Peter Bogdanovich, the director of such films as The Last Picture Show and The Cat's Meow, has compiled in this book a group of essays, each one about a specific actor, many, if not all, of them legendary (the actors, not the essays). The actors range from Stella Adler, the legendary acting coach, to River Phoenix, the tragic model for fatal drug overdoses.

Some of the chapters are less involving than others, and this can be attributed to Bogdanovich's limited relationships with some of the subjects in the book. However, some of the chapters are also incredibly gripping, as Bogdanovich paints personal portraits of those close to him throughout his years in film.

My personal favorite chapter was about the aforementioned Phoenix, who was a train wreck waiting to happen, but as Bogdanovich tells it, he was also an unbelievable talent and just a great guy to be around - that is, while he was still around.

The other actor that really captured my attention was John Cassevetes, who is probably more well-known as a pioneering director and producer of independent films. Bogdo (as Cassevetes referred to him) is able to explain some of Cassevetes's genius and cavalier attitude towards filmmaking, which was basically "I'm making this film the way I want - you're either in or out." You just have to respect that.

Overall, the book is uneven, and it almost has to be, with such a wide array of Peter-profiled personalities. This gets a recommendation for those interested in classic Hollywood film lore and the "real" lives of screen legends.