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Cinema: Biography

Cinema: Biography

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Frank Capra (New Index Series No. 3), Griffith, Richard
41 Griffith, Richard Frank Capra (New Index Series No. 3)
London British Film Institute [1951] First Edition Stapled wraps Very Good+ 
[some scuffing to rear cover along spine, moderate edgewear; stapled binding secure]. (New Index Series) Series (B&W photographs) 38-page monograph on the noted American film director, the first publication (I believe) that was devoted exclusively to his work. Contains a film-by-film discussion of his career, with basic filmographic data for each film, through RIDING HIGH (1950). Also includes "Capra and the Directors' Guild," quoting a letter sent by the director to the New York Times in 1939. Very scarce. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen, Grove, David
42 Grove, David Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen
Albany GA BearManor Media 2010 1593936087 / 9781593936082 First Edition Softcover Very Good+ 
[generally a nice clean copy, very slight dog-earing to corners of front cover, minor scrunching to bottom corners of a few pages in the middle of the book]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) Billed as a "comprehensive biography" of Curtis, but actually just an in-depth (and I mean really in-depth) examination of a relatively small part of her career, i.e. her three-year reign (if that's the right word) as "the ultimate scream queen" in a string of six low-budget horror films, beginning with HALLOWEEN in 1978 and ending with HALLOWEEN II in 1981. Oh, there's some background about growing up as a Hollywood kid, and the author wraps up with about 40 pages (out of an almost 500-page book) dealing with her entire "post-scream queen" career -- and even much of THAT is devoted to the two lame-o HALLOWEEN follow-ups, made in 1998 and 2002. (There is, at least, a complete JLC filmography, including made-for-TV movies.) The author can't be faulted for his "intense research" (hundreds of interviews, etc.), and I think it's safe to say that nobody will ever have to do another book on this particular topic. (For the record, the other four films whose production histories are recounted in great detail are THE FOG, PROM NIGHT, TERROR TRAIN and ROADGAMES -- per the cover blurb, "genre classics" one and all.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Marion Davies: A Biography, Guiles, Fred Lawrence
43 Guiles, Fred Lawrence Marion Davies: A Biography
New York McGraw-Hill Book Company (c.1972) 0-07-025114-2 / 9780070251144 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Robert Aulicino 
[light shelfwear, a bit of dust-soiling to top edge of text block; jacket is in nice shape, with the unfortunate exception of some clumsily-executed tape repairs to two one-inch tears (at bottom front hinge and bottom edge of front panel)]. (B&W photographs) Biography of the actress whose very real talents, especially as a comedienne, have been overshadowed by her real-life role as mistress/companion to William Randolph Hearst. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Seats in All Parts: Half a Lifetime at the Movies [*SIGNED*], Halliwell, Leslie
44 Halliwell, Leslie Seats in All Parts: Half a Lifetime at the Movies [*SIGNED*]
London Granada Publishing Limited 1985 0-246-12478-4 / 9780246124784 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Neil Breedon Signed by Author
(price-clipped) [very nice copy, no discernible wear to book; jacket shows a little surface-scratching on the rear panel]. (B&W photographs) SIGNED by the author on the ffep, with an additional (non-authorial) gift inscription at the bottom of the page. Memoir by "the man behind the encyclopaedias" (The Filmgoer's Companion, Halliwell's Film Guide, etc.) of his movie-centric life from childhood through his early career. "The book provides also a remarkable portrait of the vigorous but confined line of working people in industrial Lancashire during the Depression years of the 1930s"; the author's home was Bolton, where there were at one time a remarkable 47 cinemas within easy reach of the city's town hall. "From the age of nine [the author] shopped for his films, ransacking the public libraries for information, keeing meticulous notebooks of everything he saw, starting school film societies." Following public school, the army, and Cambridge, he became "a national film journalist [and the] booking manager of the remote and rundown Rex Cinema back in Cambridge," where he "contrived programmes of great richness and interest, turning the Rex itself (despite its draughts, uncomfortable seats and high eccentric proprietor) into a place of cinematic pilgrimage." Signed by Author 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Samuel Fuller, Hardy, Phil
45 Hardy, Phil Samuel Fuller
New York Praeger 1970 NO 1st U.S. edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[nice clean copy, tiny red ink mark (not a remainder mark, I don't think) on bottom edge; jacket has minor edgewear, one small tear at top rear hinge]. (B&W photographs) A thematically-organized look at the work of this most singular of filmmakers; the first of two books about Fuller that appeared in the early 1970's (the other was by Nicholas Garnham), and still an excellent introduction to his films. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Raoul Walsh, Hardy, Phil, ed.
46 Hardy, Phil, ed. Raoul Walsh
[Edinburgh] Edinburgh Film Festival 1974 First Edition Trade Paperbk Very Good+ 
[nice tight clean copy, slight rubbing and edgewear to rear cover, text clean; binding fully intact, not always the case with this series]. (B&W photographs) Collection of essays on the work of the American director. Contents: an extensive interview with Walsh, conducted in Paris in 1972; three essays, "Walsh and Warner Brothers" by Edward Buscombe, "The Fugitive Subject" by Paul Willemen, and "The Place of Women in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh" by Pam Cook and Claire Johnston; a Filmography and a Selected Bibliography, both by Lynda Myles. 
Price: 45.00 USD
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Film Fantasy Scrapbook [*SIGNED*], Harryhausen, Ray
47 Harryhausen, Ray Film Fantasy Scrapbook [*SIGNED*]
London Titan Books 1989 (c.1972) 1-85286-218-1 / 9781852862183 First Edition Thus Softcover First Printing Near Fine Signed by Author
[a little wear along edges and at cover hinges adjacent to spine]. Trade PB (B&W and color photographs) SIGNED by Harryhausen on the half-title page (which is also the front endpaper). Autobiographical career survey of Harryhausen's work, profusely illustrated with photographs and drawings from his own collection. The original edition was published by A.S. Barnes in 1972, an updated printing was issued in 1974 to include THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1974), and yet another in 1981 (by Oak Tree Press) to add SINBAD THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977) and CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981), the latter his final completed feature film. One thing that all these variant printing and editions shared, alas, was the crappy quality of the photographic reproductions, a hallmark (if you can call it that) of A.S. Barnes's film books during the 1960s and 1970s. Fortunately, a couple of years before Harryhausen's death in 2013, a completely re-worked version appeared with a similar title, "Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook," featuring more recently-discovered artifacts and produced at a much higher quality level. This older edition is still a must for the true Harryhausen fan, however, not only because of the autograph but also for the personal and moving introduction by his longtime friend Ray Bradbury, who calls it "the proudest Introduction I will ever write in my life -- written by the boy in me who, at 17, first fell in love with [Harryhausen's] genius and the extensions of that genius, the delicious monsters that moved in his head and out of his fingers and into our eternal dreams." Signed by Author 
Price: 250.00 USD
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More Havoc, Havoc, June
48 Havoc, June More Havoc
New York Harper & Row (c.1980) 0-06-011811-3 / 9780060118112 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Trish Parcell 
[nice copy with minimal shelfwear, previous owner's information in ink on ffep but no other markings; jacket shows a little wear at spine extremities]. (B&W photographs) In this, her second memoir, the actress/playwright picks up her tale in the years after her childhood showbiz career (covered in "Early Havoc"), which was followed by "starving and dreaming on Broadway, stuffing newspapers in her shoes so she could race to phantom casting calls, early marriage, modeling, a love affair with an older man, motherhood, her first success on Broadway in 'Pal Joey,' Hollywood movies during World War II and life on the Super Chief between one coast and the other." And, of course, she writes again of her sister (Gypsy Rose Lee) and their notorious mother -- perhaps somewhat more frankly that in the earlier memoir, since Gypsy had passed away in the 22-year interim between the two books. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood's Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler, Herman, Jan
49 Herman, Jan A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood's Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler
New York G. P. Putnam's Sons (c.1995) 0-399-14012-3 / 9780399140129 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Lawrence Ratzkin 
[a little foxing to top edge of text block, otherwise a very nice unread book; jacket shows just a little surface wear, minor wrinkling along top and bottom edges]. (B&W photographs) This major biography "tells the spellbinding tale of Hollywood's quintessential director, William Wyler. It chronicles his rise from obscurity to master filmmaker, as well as his stormy affairs with some of the top stars of filmdom's Golden Age. It captures his beguiling personal charm, his physical and moral courage, and probes his private tragedies and political bravery." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Charlton Heston's Hollywood: 50 Years in American Film [*SIGNED* association copy], Heston, Charlton, and Jean-Pierre Isbouts
50 Heston, Charlton, and Jean-Pierre Isbouts Charlton Heston's Hollywood: 50 Years in American Film [*SIGNED* association copy]
New York GT Publishing 1998 1-57719-357-1 / 9781577193579 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[nice clean book with no discernible wear; jacket shows just the slightest traces of edgewear here and there]. (B&W and color photographs; drawings) INSCRIBED and SIGNED by Charlton Heston on the title page; the brief inscription is to producer Walter Seltzer (who produced seven of Heston's films) and his wife, a nice association. Kind of a supplement to Heston's official autobiography, "In the Arena," published in 1995, this book (per its co-author) "attempts to illustrate his greater role in Hollywood, both in text and pictures, including many unpublished photographs taken by his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston, and his own sketches drawn on the sets of many of his movies." Signed by Author 
Price: 150.00 USD
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The Films of Orson Welles, Higham, Charles
51 Higham, Charles The Films of Orson Welles
Berkeley/Los Angeles/London University of California Press 1970 0-520-01567-3 / 9780520015678 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
(pictorial cloth with dust jacket) [moderate shelfwear to book, bumping to top corners; jacket a bit scuffed-up, small tears at top corners, slight paper loss at top of spine (B&W photographs) 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Joseph Losey, Hirsch, Foster
52 Hirsch, Foster Joseph Losey
Boston Twayne Publishers 1980 0-8057-9257-0 / 9780805792577 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine 
(no dust jacket, as issued) [nice clean copy, appears brand-new, would rate "Fine" but for a faint musty smell which will likely dissipate over time]. (Twayne's Theatrical Arts Series) Series (B&W photographs) Critical survey of the film work of this Wisconsin-born stage and film director, who worked in Hollywood until the blacklist forced him out in 1951, and went on to do his most notable work overseas (THESE ARE THE DAMNED; THE SERVANT; ACCIDENT; THE GO-BETWEEN; etc.). Includes a chronology of his life, a selected bibliography and a filmography (all typical features of this well-regarded series); appended to the latter is a special note on Losey's 1979 wonderful film DON GIOVANNI, which had its American premiere late in 1979, too late to be assessed within the main body of the book. Most of these highly-regarded Twayne publications on film directors went to libraries, and are thus difficult to find as clean, unmarked books. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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The Films of James Mason, Hirschhorn, Clive; with some second thoughts by James Mason
53 Hirschhorn, Clive; with some second thoughts by James Mason The Films of James Mason
London LSP Books 1975 0-85321-063-2 / 9780853210634 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[light shelfwear to bottom edge, slight dust-soiling to top page edges; jacket shows light wear at corners, a couple of tears and minor paper loss at top of spine]. (B&W photographs) The usual film-by-film rundown, with an introductory biographical essay. What makes this particular "Films of" entry a bit unusual are the actor's own "second thoughts," in the form of his brief commentary (sometimes only a single line) on each film. The book proper ends with MANDINGO, and the book's previous owner has helpfully listed four later titles (through BLOODLINE) on the book's rear free endpaper 
Price: 20.00 USD
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"Clint Eastwood: 'Let's Go to Lunch and B.S. for Awhile'" [Look Magazine promotional reprint], Hodenfield, Chris
54 Hodenfield, Chris "Clint Eastwood: 'Let's Go to Lunch and B.S. for Awhile'" [Look Magazine promotional reprint]
Look Magazine 1979 NO Stapled wraps Near Fine Illustrated by (cover photo) Richard Avedon 
[minor handling wear, slight bends at a couple of corners]. (B&W and color photographs) Reprint of an article about Clint Eastwood from the July 1979 issue of LOOK magazine, issued in conjunction with the release of his final collaboration with director Don Siegel, ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ (the making of which is discussed and illustrated in the article, and a full-page ad for which adorns the back cover). The cover photo of Clint is by Richard Avedon, and another shot from that same session appears on the inside front cover of this item. "Not for Sale," this was a giveaway item, and is rather scarce. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Marlene Dietrich: Die Privatsammlung [Marlene Dietrich: The Private Collection], Hofmann, Barbara, ed.
55 Hofmann, Barbara, ed. Marlene Dietrich: Die Privatsammlung [Marlene Dietrich: The Private Collection]
Frankfurt am Main Deutsche Fototage GmbH 1993 3-930054-13-2 / 9783930054138 First Edition Softcover Near Fine 
[virtually as new, with very light external soiling and minor abrasions to the front cover]. Trade PB (B&W and color photographs) Exhibition catalog (text entirely in German) issued in conjunction with a 1993 exhibit at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt. A collection of about 60 photos of La Dietrich, definitely not the same-old-same-old: there are many unusual shots here, representing all stages of her career, and although I haven't taken the trouble to translate the introductory matter, I assume the source of many (if not all) of these was indeed her private collection -- which, interestingly enough, was sold to another German institution (the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, in Berlin) the month following the opening of this exhibition. There may be a backstory there, but I will confine my comments to two observations: (a) represented in this volume are many of the great photographers who pointed their lenses at Dietrich over the years (Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, John Engstead, William Claxton, Horst, Armstrong-Jones, and others); and (b) the truly ghastly reproductions of their work does a disservice to both them and to Miss Dietrich. All the photos look like they've been reproduced from not-very-good photocopies; had the book been published today, I'd say they had been scanned at too low a resolution. I'm sure they all looked just lovely on the walls of the Deutsche Filmmuseum -- but in this catalog, they look like crap. Don't say you weren't warned. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and '40s and Our World Since Then [*SIGNED*], Hunt, Marsha
56 Hunt, Marsha The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and '40s and Our World Since Then [*SIGNED*]
(n.p.) Fallbrook Publishing, Ltd. (c.1996) 1-882747-00-3 / 9781882747009 2nd printing Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[no discernible wear to book; jacket shows some mild surface rubbing]. (B&W photographs) INSCRIBED ("To __________ / Explore and enjoy yesterday!") and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. A Hollywood semi-memoir like no other, not so much about the actress-author herself (although she provides plenty of autobiographical detail) as about the fabulous clothes she wore, on- and off-screen. It's illustrated with hundreds of photographs from Miss Hunt's personal collection, a mixture of glamour/fashion portraits, scene stills and publicity shots; she herself appears in nearly every image, but you'd be dead wrong if you took this to be some kind of vanity project. It is, rather, an engaging and intelligent look at how her own career (she had been a fashion model before becoming an actresses) exemplified Hollywood's employment of women's clothing to project a certain ideal of glamour and elegance. And she wasn't just some Hollywood clothes-horse, either: although she spent the bulk of her most active years under studio contract (first at Paramount, then at M-G-M), she was outspoken and politically engaged, which ultimately landed her on the Hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy Era. [NOTE that this copy of the book has several paste-on labels on the copyright page, indicating that the author had assumed distribution of the book herself by the time of its second printing; obliterated by these labels is the address/contact information for the original publisher (which is also whited-out on the front jacket flap).] Signed by Author 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel, Jackson, Carlton
57 Jackson, Carlton Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel
Lanham MD Madison Books (c.1990) 0-8191-7295-2 / 9780819172952 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Near Fine dj Illustrated by B&W photographs 
[faint soiling to page edges, very light foxing to endpapers; jacket shows only slight handling wear]. Biography of the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award, who was also a regular radio and later television performer -- but whose accomplishments were clouded by criticism from the NAACP, which objected to her "comic portrayals of cooks, maids, and servants" (pretty much the only roles available to her in her time). 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Letters of Nunnally Johnson, Johnson, Dorris, and Ellen Leventhal, eds.
58 Johnson, Dorris, and Ellen Leventhal, eds. The Letters of Nunnally Johnson
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1981 0-394-50672-3 / 9780394506722 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Fred Marcellino 
[book is tight and flawless; jacket has a tiny scrape mark on the front panel, otherwise just a trace of surface wear]. (B&W photographs) More than 120 letters of the Georgia-born screenwriter-producer -- "uninhibited, gossipy, knowing, funny, serious, and wonderful reading." The letters, "brimming with wit, gossip, cogent observations on movie making and movie living, give us a Hollywood at work and at play in its most interesting years." Foreword by Alistair Cooke. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Frank Tashlin, Johnston, Claire, and Paul Willemen, eds.
59 Johnston, Claire, and Paul Willemen, eds. Frank Tashlin
[Edinburgh] Edinburgh Film Festival 1973 First Edition Softcover Very Good+ 
[some rubbing and edgewear to covers and at spine ends, but a nice solid copy with a fully intact binding -- unusual in this highly-regarded but not well-produced series]. Trade PB (B&W photographs, drawings) Very scarce, square-format paperback book, the first devoted exclusively to the work of this unique American writer/director, best known for his Warner Bros. cartoons and his later feature-film collaborations with Jerry Lewis and the iconographic Jayne Mansfield. Includes two interviews with Tashlin; essays by Robert Mundy, Roger Tailleur, Louis Seguin, Ian Cameron and Paul Willemen; "A Concise Lexicon of Lewisian Terms"; chronology and filmography. Although much improved documentation of Tashlin's career appeared in the 1994 Locarno Film Festival tribute book (ed. Roger Garcia), this one (like most of the Edinburgh monographs) remains a seminal source on its subject. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Mistah Jolson, Jolson, Harry, as told to Alban Emley
60 Jolson, Harry, as told to Alban Emley Mistah Jolson
Hollywood House-Warven, Publishers 1952 (c.1951) NO 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
(price-clipped) [a little wear to cloth at spine ends, age-toning to page edges, small bookseller's stamp on front pastedown; jacket a bit on the tattered side, small tears at most corners, a bit of paper loss at spine ends, chipping to edges of rear panel] (B&W photographs) Biography of Al Jolson by his older brother, who had been a vaudeville headliner himself, back in the day. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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