HOLLYWOOD NOW: Agents, Directors, Actors, Writers, Producers by William Fadiman

HOLLYWOOD NOW: Agents, Directors, Actors, Writers, Producers

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

More or less of an evaluative primer of the movers and the mired in the New Hollywood, written with a knowing bias by an executive factotum and literary consultant who has worked for most of the major studios. Not surprisingly, Fadiman sees a New Hollywood in trouble, ""thrashing about for solutions."" A drop in movie attendance (15 million in 1969 vs. 87 million in 1957) due to TV, which is also draining Hollywood's oldie vaults and producing its own films; rising costs; code problems; competition from abroad; and the ruthless economies of takeover conglomerates all forecast Hollywood's survival as largely ""a museum of vanished glories."" Fadiman then offers an often amusing analysis of the powers that still be: agents (of incontestable influence -- ascending); the director (""rapidly emerging as the most important creative contributor to films"" but still tied to profit-making); the star (their salaries are ruinous and most are not really actors -- ""I've never had a goddam artistic problem in my life,"" quoth John Wayne); the writer (constantly humiliated, but ""Hollywood is still El Dorado""); and the producer whose importance has decreased under conglomerate management. As for aesthetics, both Old and New Hollywood's first concern is profit, which does not encourage high level of artistry. Fadiman ends his review with a familiar plea for subsidies to encourage breakthrough talent and products. A good-humored, unclouded view of the flick-factories.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Liveright