|1||Bob Harkins Branch||791.43028092 WAG||Book||Adult General Collection|
Scott Eyman is the literary critic of the Palm Beach Post and has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of numerous books including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer, Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford, Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise, John Wayne: The Life and Legend, and Pieces of My Heart with Robert Wagner.
(Bowker Author Biography)
Publisher's Weekly Review
In his third Hollywood memoir (after Pieces of My Heart), film and TV star Wagner writes a valentine to the "female movie stars that defined my generation." He proceeds chronologically, beginning in the 1930s with Norma Shearer, "[his] first movie star," whom he met when he was eight. Other '30s stars he discusses include Joan Crawford, with whom he had a brief fling in the '50s, and Irene Dunne. In the 1940s, Wagner champions the troubled Betty Hutton and dances with June Haver at a party at his high school. He writes at length about Lana Turner in the 1950s, and breezes through the 1960s and 1980s, though readers will wish he hadn't. His chapters on his wives, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John, are particularly brief and unsatisfying. There are tidbits of gossip-Fred McMurray was a tightwad; Veronica Lake was given to anti-Semitic outbursts-but most of the book contains casual recollections. His digression about the Studio Club, a residence house for actresses, is more interesting. What emerges most strongly is Wagner's sympathy and respect for the resilient women who had to fight harder than men to survive in Hollywood. 35 b&w photos. Agent: Mort Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Whether it's virginal silent film star Lillian Gish, wisecracking Jean Harlow, or sultry Forties pinup stars Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner, the audiences of each era elevate certain actresses to iconic status, no matter how briefly, finding fantasy wish fulfillment in their screen images. Few actors are as well qualified to appreciate these stars as I Loved Her in the Movies author Wagner, who has enjoyed a 65-year Hollywood career. Here, with film scholar Eyman, he describes actresses he married (-Natalie Wood, twice; Jill St. John), those with whom he worked or socialized, others he simply met or heard about. In Wagner's view, female actors are usually more self-aware than their male counterparts, and they have a greater struggle, aging out of good roles earlier than men, fighting male-controlled studio systems and negative stereotypes about being overly assertive (Bette Davis and -Olivia de Havilland had to go to court to break studio contracts). Wagner keeps gossip to a minimum, -writing with honesty, wit, and candor about great female stars. He says the most successful are able to balance professional drive while maintaining their identity and sense of self-worth, carving a life for themselves outside of show business. A Star Is Born, by Tiffin (All the Best Lines), covers some of the same territory but without Wagner's insider knowledge and perception, providing brief profiles on diverse figures ranging from Gish to -Jennifer Lawrence. The volume includes long and unnecessary excerpts from the films of each actress and too many profiles that tread familiar ground and present little new information. VERDICT Wagner's wonderfully readable book of wise love letters to the great actresses is like enjoying an intimate chat with an old friend and highly recommended; Star is strictly a browsing item.-Stephen Rees, formerly with Levittown Lib., PA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|The Thirties||p. 5|
|The Forties||p. 61|
|Intermission I||p. 131|
|The Fifties||p. 141|
|The Sixties||p. 179|
|Intermission II||p. 189|
|The Eighties (and On)||p. 211|