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Subtitled An Affectionate History of Filmland's Golden Years, this is a readable, highly anecdotal account of Hollywood during the 1930's and '40's. The book is a lament for the colorful, carefree, highly individualistic days of movie-making and the glitter and glamour that went with it, banished by that villain from the East Coast, television. By Miss Day's comparison, the new movie -- which must always be a blockbuster, and the new star -- now a walking corporation, though more solid, are decidedly less exciting and certainly less fun than their counterparts of yesterday. But if today's Hollywood scene falls far short of the sheer exuberance Beth Day misses doubtless there are also those who would be willing to let the exuberance go along with the paternalism of the old movie moguls, the anxious working conditions for all but the top stars and the impossibility of dealing with the irascibility and capriciousness of a man like Louis B. Mayer. Along with stories of the rise to power of the founders of the big studios, the hopefuls who descended on the film capital looking for the big break and the various ingenuities of the star-making system, Miss Day provides a good deal of information on the technical preparation of a film and the writers and editors who seldom received the credit they deserved. One thing seems troublesome though: it may be difficult for some readers to accept the version of Hedda Hopper as the perspicacious confidante of movie-makers that emerges from this account.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday