THE TAKERS by Robert Ackworth


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Mike Baines, alcoholic leading man of Regency Pictures, says: ""Tracy, why did we ruin our lives by getting divorced?"" Tracy smiles back. ""Our marriage should never have happened. It almost spoiled our friendship."" Mike: ""That hurts, Tracy."" Tracy: ""I don't think you hurt that easily. . . ."" Yes, welcome back to cardboard Hollywood, where Mike may be a weak drunk but still wants to displace Howard Stanton, the aging (52) king of Regency studios, for whom Tracy has still wildly burning flame. This will be something of an empty conquest, since Regency is going down the tube, despite its big 40th-anniversary celebration proclaiming ""40 Years of Glorious Past, 40 Years of Glorious Future."" The studio is surviving only on its television rentals (two sustaining programs are being filmed there) and on the magnetism of young, Elvis Presley-like singing star Wells Corlen. All this is circa 1962, and Ackworth's dynastic flick-flack covers the studio's history through four decades of flashbacks and love affairs indistinguishable from the bedtime romances of Susann or Robbins. Back in the Thirties, for instance, Howard wecks out for a while on Hedy Lamer-like Leni Liebhaber, a German star far above him, while Tracy pursues Howard through a series of substitute males, including Howard Hughes-like billionaire Wes Rainer (he keeps her in his castle) and matador Juan Olivares. Abysmal characterization, ghastly dialogue, utterly inferior scene-drawing. Bring back Irving Wallace!

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1977
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill