CZAR by Thomas Wiseman


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Although the main characters are called Alexander Sondorf and Willi Seiermann, the history of Hollywood and movie making is followed so relentlessly that readers will find themselves murmuring. ""Thalberg, Selznick, Goldwyn and supporting stars."" The two men are intended to typify the extremes in Hollywood tycoons. Alexander was the cross-pressured, quick-to-comply, artist-as-businessman. He was a boy wonder when he finally got away from his Lower East Side smothermother and started making movies. Willi is the villainously stupid but shrewd ex-garment worker who connived his way to the top. Sometimes they worked together and sometimes they tried to ruin each other but always they were in pawn to the bankers who made the movies possible. Both had bizarre sexual tastes with unlimited opportunities to satisfy themselves. It's all here, from the days of the silents right down to the eclipse after the Communist investigations. The dialogue is as banal as the story is predictable-- there is the Love Starved Sex Goddess, The Serious Writer (who sold his soul for a mess of starlets), The Wise Old Madam. Etc., Etc. The market has absorbed others like it, even if the subjects and the secrets have been overexposed.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1966
Publisher: Simon & Schuster