THE PRODUCER by Christopher Davis


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You know, tomorrow night, you're going to come in here after the show and two guys sitting across the room are going to. . . say 'That's Hilly Elkins. Tsk. Lucky son of a bitch.'"" Lucky, who's to say, but also one of those overwhelming hypermotor multimedia men who lives at the top of his lungs and is seen here in cuts over a period of a year and a half which takes in the opening night of Oh, Calcutta, the preview of his film Alice's Restaurant, and the more troubled production-presentation of the musical, The Rothschilds (""I'll take a C in history and an A in Drama"" -- it got less than a C in everything except from Howard Barnes). Davis' open-circuit candid is crowded with people, non sequiturs, contradictions; it has a kind of random urgency which is symptomatic of the new journalism; Elaine May, Walter Matthau, collaborators, wife Claire Bloom drift in and out; a remark like ""There were a lot of people called Sam and Joe and 90% of them were called Baby"" is an occasional scene stealer; but overall and very much on top of it, there's that rampant, driven, crudely seignorial, little man in a hurry -- Hilly Elkins of EPIC enterprises. This may be mostly for those who can recognize him sitting across the room.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1971
Publisher: Harper & Row