Conversations with Classic Film Stars : Interviews From Hollywood's Golden Era
LJ Reviews 2016 March #1
Here retired TV journalists Bawden and Miller join forces, presenting their updated and reformatted original conversations with Hollywood stars from the silent era through the 1950s. Figures interviewed include former A-listers; notably Cary Grant, Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, and Irene Dunne; rarely heard from character actors; and genre favorites, including "singing cowboys" Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; plus cult film actors such as Jane Greer. With surprising frankness, the performers discuss their career beginnings, big breaks, missed opportunities, comebacks, the siren call of television, and the years when fame faded. They also recall the pleasures and pitfalls of the old studio system, in addition to timely reflections on racial stereotyping, from Asian actor Keye Luke. One revelation here is the gulf between screen images and reality. Tough guy Rory Calhoun comes across as thoughtful, while wicked witch Margaret Hamilton is warm and funny. VERDICT With this wide range of interview subjects, it's natural that the actors would comment on fellow thespians featured (producer David O. Selznick and actor Spencer Tracy come off the worst; Carole Lombard is remembered fondly). Now that almost all of them have passed on, the book serves as a significant portrait of Hollywood history. Highly recommended.—Stephen Rees, formerly with Levittown Lib., PA[Page 99]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.