Book Reviews

A stack of classic film books

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My Classic Film Bookshelves
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My Book Journey

Book Reviews 

  1. Aline MacMahon: Hollywood, the Blacklist, and the Birth of Method Acting by John Stangeland (interview)
  2. American Titan: Searching for John Wayne by Marc Eliot
  3. Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel by Christina Rice
  4. Anne Bancroft: A Life by Douglass K. Daniel
  5. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner
  6. Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
  7. Cagney by Cagney by James Cagney
  8. Camera Man: Buster Keaton: The Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the 20th Century by Dana Stevens
  9. Cecil B. DeMille: The Art of the Hollywood Epic by Cecilia de Mille Presley and Mark A. Vieira
  10. Charles Boyer: The French Lover by John Baxter
  11. Charles Walters: The Director Who Could Make Hollywood Dance by Brent Phillips
  12. Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd
  13. Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season by Jeremy Arnold
  14. Classic Hollywood Style by Caroline Young
  15. Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black FIlms in a White World by Wil Haygood
  16. Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era by by James Bawden and Ron Miller
  17. Danger on the Silver Screen: 50 Films Celebrating Cinema's Greatest Stunts by Scott McGee
  18. Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios (Interview)
  19. Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir by Eddie Muller
  20. The Dawn of Technicolor: 1915-1935 by James Layton and David Pierce
  21. Dervish Dust: The Life and Words of James Coburn by Robyn L. Coburn
  22. The Disenchanted by Budd Schulberg
  23. Dolce Vita Confidential: Fellini, Loren, Pucci, Paparazzi, and the Swinging High Life of 1950s Rome by Shawn Levy
  24. Dynamic Dames: 50 Leading Ladies Who Made History by Sloan De Forest (written and video review) (Interview)
  25. Elizabeth Taylor: A Passion for Life by Joseph Papa (interview)
  26. Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood by Bernard F. Dick (podcast episode: fast forward to 13:40)
  27. The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century by Margaret Talbot (Interview)
  28. Ernie: The Autobiography by Ernest Borgnine
  29. Errol & Olivia: Ego and Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood by Robert Matzen
  30. The Essential Directors: The Art and Impact of Cinema's Most Influential Filmmaker by Sloan De Forest (interview)
  31. Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia de Havilland
  32. Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir by Victoria Riskin (video review)
  33. The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by Women by Alicia Malone
  34. Finding Zsa Zsa by Sam Staggs
  35. The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks by Tracey Goessel
  36. Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris
  37. Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934) When Sin Ruled the Movies by Mark A. Vieira (written and video review)
  38. Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan (about Frank Sinatra)
  39. The Genius of the System by Thomas Schatz
  40. George Sanders, Zsa Zsa and Me by David R. Slavitt
  41. The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo & Juliet by Olivia Hussey with Alexander Martin
  42. Girls on Film: Lessons from a Life of Watching Women in Movies by Alicia Malone
  43. The Good, the Bad and Me: In My Anecdotage by Eli Wallach
  44. Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales edited by Robert S. Bader (Interview)
  45. Hail, Hail, Euphoria!: Presenting the Marx Brother sin Duck Soup, The Greatest War Movie Ever Made by Roy Blount Jr.
  46. Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman
  47. Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes
  48. Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
  49. Hollywood Beach Beauties by David Wills
  50. Hollywood Black: The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers by Donald Bogle (video)
  51. Hollywood Digs: An Archaeology of Shadows by Ken LaZebnik
  52. Hollywood Divided: The 1950 Screen Directors Guild Meeting and the Impact of the Blacklist by Kevin Brianton 
  53. Hollywood Godfather: The Life and Crimes of Billy Wilkerson by W.R. Wilkerson III
  54. Hollywood Hates Hitler! by Chris Yogerst
  55. Hollywood in Kodachrome: 1940-1949
  56. Hollywood Tiki: Film in the Era of the Pineapple Cocktail by Adam Foshko and Jason Henderson
  57. Hollywood Victory by Christian Blauvelt
  58. Hope: Entertainer of the Century by Richard Zoglin
  59. The Ice Cream Blonde: The Whirlwind Life and Mysterious Death of  Screwball Comedienne Thelma Todd by Michelle Morgan (Interview)
  60. I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies by Jeanine Basinger
  61. I Loved Her In the Movies: Working with Legendary Actresses of Hollywood by Robert J. Wagner Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950 by Mark A. Vieira
  62. It's a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook
  63. John Huston: Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers
  64. Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke
  65. King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue by James Layton and David Pierce
  66. Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood by Kirk and Anne Douglas
  67. Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth by Lana Turner
  68. Leading Couples: The Most Unforgettable Screen Romances of the Studio Erby Frank Miller
  69. Learning to Live Out Loud by Piper Laurie
  70. Letters from Hollywood: Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall
  71. Life Beyond Measures: Letters to My Great Grandaughter by Sidney Poitier
  72. A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson
  73. The Lives of Robert Ryan by J.R. Jones
  74. M: A Graphic Novel based on the film by Fritz Lang illustrated by Jon J Muth
  75. The Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer by B. James Gladstone (interview)
  76. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker by Peggy Caravantes
  77. Mary Astor's Purple Diary by Edward Sorel 
  78. Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before by Steve Taravella
  79. Maureen O'Hara: The Biography by Aubrey Malone
  80. Mean... Moody... Magnificent!: Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood Legend by Christina Rice (Interview)
  81. Memoirs of a Professional Cad by George Sanders
  82. Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme
  83. Must See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That are Out of This World by Sloan De Forest (Interview)
  84. My Judy Garland Life by Susie Boyt
  85. A Mysterious Something in the Light: The Life of Raymond Chandler by Tom Williams
  86. Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director by Patrick McGilligan
  87. The Night of the Hunter - A Biography of a Film by Jeffrey Couchman
  88. Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, The Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane
  89. Photo by Sammy Davis Jr. by Burt Boyar
  90. The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic by Richard Sandomir
  91. The Real James Dean edited by Peter L. Winkler
  92. Rex Ingram: Visionary Director of the Silent Screen by Ruth Barton
  93. Rock on Film: The Movies That Rocked the Big Screen by Fred Goodman
  94. Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood by Greg Merritt (Interview)
  95. Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham
  96. The Savvy Sphinx: How Garbo Conquered Hollywood by Robert Dance
  97. Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation by Beverly Gray
  98. Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood by Karina Longworth (podcast episode)
  99. She Damned Near Ran the Studio: The Extraordinary Lives of Ida R. Koverman by Jacqueline R. Braitman
  100. Showman of the Screen: Joseph E. Levine and His Revolutions in Film Promotion by A.T. McKenna
  101. The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart by Nell Shipman
  102. A Song in the Dark: The Birth of Musical Film by Richard Barrios
  103. Son of Harpo Speaks by Bill Marx (Interview)
  104. Spencer Tracy by James Curtis
  105. A Star is Born: Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away by Lorna Luft and Jeffrey Vance
  106. Stella!: Mother of Modern Acting by Sheana Ochoa (Interview)
  107. Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry by Mel Watkins
  108. Sterling Hayden's Wars by Lee Mandel
  109. Steve McQueen: A Biography by Marc Eliot
  110. Steve McQueen: A Passion for Speed by Frederic Brun
  111. Summer Movies: 30 Sun-Drenched Classics by John Malahy
  112. Tony and Me: A Story of Friendshiby Jack Klugman
  113. Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer
  114. Trumbo by Bruce Cook
  115. The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command by Darryl Hickman
  116. Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds
  117. Viva Hollywood: The Legacy of Latin and Hispanic Artists in American Film by Luis I. Reyes
  118. Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio by David Thomson
  119. Warren William: Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood by John Stangeland (Interview)
  120. Weddings and Movie Stars
  121. West Side Story: The Jets, the Sharks, and the Making of a Classic by Richard Barrios
  122. William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come by James Curtis
  123. Young Man with a Horn by Dorothy Baker

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton by Matt Phelan (Interview)
Film Noir: Light and Shadow edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini
Miss D & Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis by Kathryn Sermak and Danelle Morton

Guest Reviews: 
James Bond FAQ by Tom DeMichael (Interview)
Michael Douglas: A Biography by Marc Eliot

Classic Film Collective Patreon reviews (coming to the blog in 2023)
Laura by Vera Caspary
Olivia de Havilland: Lady Triumphant by Victoria Amador
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O'Meara
Nazimova: A Biography by Gavin Lambert
Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak
Topper by Thorne Smith
Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
Girls on Film: Lessons From a Life of Watching Women in Movies (Filmmaking, Life Lessons, Film Analysis) by Alicia Malone
All for Beauty: Makeup and Hairdressing in Hollywood's Studio Era by Adrienne L. McLean
Lawrence Tierney: Hollywood's Real-Life Tough Guy by Burt Kearns

Currently reading:
The Queen of Technicolor: Maria Montez in Hollywood by Tom Zimmerman
Tcm Underground: 50 Must-See Films From the World of Classic Cult and Late-Night Cinema by Millie de Chirico and Quatoyiah Murry
Straight Lady : The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" by Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian
Competing with Idiots: Herman and Joe Mankiewicz: A Dual Portrait by Nick Davis
Truly, Madly: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and the Romance of the Century by Stephen Galloway
John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars by Eve Golden
Making The Best Years of Our Lives: The Hollywood Classic That Inspired a Nation by Alison Macor
Ryan's Daughter: The Making of an Irish Epic by Paul Benedict Rowan
My Place in the Sun: Life in the Golden Age of Hollywood and Washington by George Steves, Jr.
Don Rickles: The Merchant of Venom by Michael Seth Starr
Lawrence Tierney

Reviews coming (eventually):
We'll Always Have Casablanca by Noah Isenberg
Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast by Patrick McGilligan
Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film by Don Graham
Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Filmdom by Leonard Maltin
This Was Hollywood by Carla Valderrama
The Battle for Beverly Hills by Nancie Clare

Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge
Hosted 2013 - 2021

Page updated September 2022

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog! I'm a huge Robert Mitchum fan; he's my favorite actor so it's nice to see another young person who appreciates him. I've always loved classic movies and frankly, it's rare to find a modern movie that wows me as much as a classic film. Thanks for all of the great work!


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