"THE CLUB RULES: Power, Money, Sex, and Fear--How It Works in Hollywood" by Paul Rosenfield

"THE CLUB RULES: Power, Money, Sex, and Fear--How It Works in Hollywood"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stale Hollywood-biz gossip. Starting in 1969, Rosenfield spent a decade as the ""leg"" (legman) for Joyce Haber, the Los Angeles Times successor to Hedda Hopper. He's now pasted his two decades' worth of jottings into a rough assemblage of a factitious establishment called ""the club""--an always shifting power nexus of top studio heads, producers, directors, and stars. His pages sometimes stupefy as they go on and on with names randomly magnetized to names: ""Debra Winger got in because of Jim Bridges, and in spite of Robert Evans not wanting her for Urban Cowboy. Debra Winger stayed in because of Larry Mark and An Officer and a Gentleman and Jim Brooks. And in spite of Richard Gere not wanting to do love scenes with her. Polly Platt stayed in because of Jim Brooks. Polly Platt got in because of Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich. Orson Welles stayed in because of Peter Bogdanovich and Cybill Shepherd,"" etc., etc. At times, Rosenfield stops for interviews with various entrenched powerhouses (Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack) or those on their way elsewhere (Robert Evans). During the Evans interview, Jack Nicholson wanders in and lights ""a hand-rolled cigarette."" Nice moments include Jane Fonda saying, ""You have to retain sexuality and it's a big bore."" And Billy Wilder admitting his deep disappointment when he failed to land Cavy Grant for the Melvyn Douglas role opposite Garbo in Ninotchka. And Spielberg breathing deeply as he says, ""The last great movie was Godfather I...it's the last one in terms of a classic--ranking right up there with The Grapes of Wrath."" There's also much here on hotels and watering holes (Ma Maison is passÉ). Some fun as strong folks speak from a moving ice floe of insecurities--but tedium too.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1992
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Warner