OFF CAMERA by Leonard--Ed. Probst

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The NBC drama critic gives us careful and probing interviews of actors and newsmen: Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, George C. Scott, Mike Nichols, Barbara Walters, Woody Allen, Angela Lansbury, Zero Mostel, Marlo Thomas, Lynn Redgrave, Gwen Verdon, Shirley MacLaine, Dick Cavett, Edwin Newman. They are far from the studio ""glamour stars' of the '30's and '40's: Lansbury admits her ""dull as dish water"" life, Cavett his celebrity-worship, Newman his dream of a movie that is never filmed, and nearly all mention their contempt for an Oscar that comes either too late or for the wrong reason. Despite the commitment of many to politics or feminism, their craft is clearly their overwhelming obsession (Woody Allen works for a ridiculously small salary in exchange for the tight to a ""final cut""); many are as perfectionist as any 19th century artist (Gwen Verdon was satisfied with exactly six of her 720 performances in Redhead). These are respectful interviews, which make us in turn respect the participants (though not the financially oriented system in which movies are made), and only at the end does one gratefully realize that barely a word has been uttered about the kinks and curves of the sex lives of people whose greatest cross is their conversion into love objects by spectators and, less excusably, the media.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day