EVERY DAY'S A MATINEE: Memoirs Scribbled on a Dressing Room Door by Max Wilk

EVERY DAY'S A MATINEE: Memoirs Scribbled on a Dressing Room Door

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lighthearted reminiscences by a veteran script writer and author who grew up in New York and Hollywood on the fringes of show business (his father was a Warner Brothers agent). He remembers boyhood matinees with the mighty chorus lines, the snappy juveniles and the great comics -- Joe Cook and his Four Hawaiians routine, Bobby Clark, Lou Holtz, Willie Howard, etc. -- and the coming of the talkies which coincided with the rise up from the Depression (""to the tapping of eight-odd pairs of dancers' feet [and] You're going out there a nobody -- but you're coming back a star!""). Inadvertently it was the boy Wilk who brought Dashiell Hammett and Erie Stanley Gardner to the movies by selling his father on their breathtaking contributions to Black Mask magazine; and Max was also privileged to observe movie making on the old Hal Roach lot in the days of the director's fading fortunes. The most diverting section concerns Wilk's activities during his wartime tour of duty with This is the Army, and then in an outfit producing training and propaganda films from the days of short arm inspection on the stage of the Boston Opera House to that moment during the filming of an LST landing when the G.I. cast and its gear was dumped into six feet of combers. There are affectionate portraits of Tallulah, Melina Mercouri, Leland Hayward and brief sketches of some delightful -- and irritating -- comics. Agreeable and, inevitably, talk-show destined.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1975
Publisher: Norton