A smart and riotous glorification of everything that is fantastic about the cinema.



That other Pulitzer Prize–winning movie critic comes out shooting.

A quick look at the oeuvre of novelist Hunter (Havana, 2003, etc.) shows that he’s a writer with a yen for tales of dirtied honor, bloodied warriors and lots of guns (American Gunfight, also Nov. 2005). In addition to being a novelist, Hunter is a film critic for The Washington Post, and an uncommonly good one at that. This collection of Post film reviews takes its name from the old theaterback in Evanston, Ill., where as a child during the 1950s, Hunter took in double features of westerns, gangster flicks and monster movies. Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer for criticism, Hunter brings an incisive eye to under-regarded works and has a propensity for vanity-deflating quips. Like the only other film critic to win a Pulitzer, Roger Ebert, he is able to wax just as enthusiastic about Cold Mountain as he does about The Third Man and Face/Off. Along the way, he demolishes a few classics (he objects to Gone with the Wind’s “gooeyness, its spiritual ugliness, its solemn self-importance”), trashes many a lousy studio vehicle and still finds time to celebrate the loud, brash and popular.

A smart and riotous glorification of everything that is fantastic about the cinema.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7432-6125-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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