Just when you thought you've heard it all about Hollywood, comes a completely original new book. Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes about the Stars and Legends of the Movies by Stephen Schochet, contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast. This includes: John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and many others.
A special blend of biography, history, and lore, Hollywood Stories is full of humorous , engaging, and illuminating tales often with unexpected endings. Sometimes people won't realize that they are hearing about The Three Stooges or Popeye the Sailor until they come to the end of the story.
For example: At high noon on a cold November day in 1974, sixty-seven-year-old John Wayne faced off with the staff of the Harvard Lampoon on the famous campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The students had issued a challenge by calling the beloved American icon a fraud. Wayne, who had his new movie McQ to promote, responded by saying he would be happy to show his film in the pseudo-intellectual swamps of Harvard Square. After the screening, and without writers, the former USC footballer delivered a classic performance. When one smart young man asked where he got his phony toupee, Wayne insisted the hair was real. It wasn't his, but it was real. The appreciative underclassmen loved him, and after the Q and A session they all sat down to dinner. Later Wayne, who was suffering greatly from gout and the after-effects of lung cancer (sadly the Duke only had five years to live), said that day at Harvard was the best time he ever had.
A professional tour guide in Hollywood, Stephen Schochet has researched and told thousands of entertaining anecdotes for over twenty years. He is also the author and narrator of two audiobooks, Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney.
©2010 Stephen Schochet (P)2013 Stephen Schochet
"The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard." (Tim Sika, Celluloid Dreams)
I don't know who would enjoy this very annoying book. The format features anecdotes about the film industry in quick sound bytes. The narrator has a high pitched sing song voice and each anecdote is ended with a quick burst of music. And, the anecdotes are dated and uninteresting. For example, in one George Burns sticks Jack Benny with a lunch bill because Jack was known to be cheap. Da dum dum. No thanks.
I'd have to read other reviews first.
No. He should look for another job.
If you keep your expectations low this book can entertain you with short 1-2 min anecdotes from old Hollywood stars. Most of the material is from the 20-50s and even as a fan of that period I did not recognize several names.
The production is incredibly annoying--the reader has sycophantic tone and every story is punctuated by a burst of "ditty" music ("da-deet-deet-da-da"). You will hear that ditty about 200 times by the end of the book.
The stories are the sort you would hear from the PR department of a movie studio--not TMZ. There's no real dirty laundry, just funny stories and the occasional "Oh you scamp!" moment, but the author is clearly infatuated with his subjects--probably a little too much.
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