LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Quick Cuts and Slow Fades from a Life Among the Stars by David Brown

LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Quick Cuts and Slow Fades from a Life Among the Stars

Email this review


A smorgasbord of tasty anecdotes by the coproducer of The Sting, Jaws, The Verdict, and Cocoon, among others. Brown is also the husband of Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown and has much to say about the magazine world as well as filmmaking. This is a book laid out entirely as tidbits, and once the reader grasps that nothing groundbreaking, or even the tiniest bit earth-shaking, is going to happen, the format becomes fairly satisfying Brown--now 74--has simply too many stories to tell to bother going deeply into anything. And oddly enough, the best pages by far are written by his love interest, Helen, who tells at length how David got her into magazine editing and lifted her out of swamp after swamp of detail in taking over Cosmopolitan (she'd barely read a magazine before, and never a women's magazine); and by Orson Welles, whose very moving eulogy for Darryl F. Zanuck is quoted whole. Brown's early pages about life in Greenwich Village in the late 30's, 40's, and early 50's have nostalgia plus. He left New York for Hollywood to become the top story editor at 20th Century-Fox for Zanuck, and later formed a partnership with Zanuck's son Richard, which became the most successful independent producing partnership in film history. After Jaws neither man really had to work again. Many on-location tales about filming Jaws at Martha's Vineyard have been told before, but Brown keeps his versions fresh. He is, however, rarely moving about anything, although he can raise a few smiles. His best pages--about the agonies of failure in Hollywood--have a grim bemusement. Gentlemanly storytelling, easy reading with no ax to grind and not much style.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow