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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom by Leonard Maltin- Feature and Review


                                                          ABOUT THE BOOK:

Leonard Maltin opens his personal archive in this book where he takes readers on a fascinating journey through film history. He first interviewed greats of Hollywood as a precocious teenager in 1960s New York City. He used what he learned from these luminaries to embark on a 50-year (and counting) career that has included New York Times bestselling books, 30 years of regular appearances coast-to-coast on Entertainment Tonight, movie introductions on Turner Classic Movies, and countless other television and radio performances. From one-on-ones with Warner Bros. sexy pre-Code siren Joan Blondell; Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Burgess Meredith; Cecil B. DeMille’s right-hand-man Henry Wilcoxon to in-depth interviews that reveal what life was like under Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, Harry Cohn, and the other titans of Hollywood. What emerges is a fascinating and at times uproarious homage to Golden Era Hollywood. In addition, key feature articles from Maltin’s newsletter Movie Crazy are published here for the first time, providing new perspectives on the Warner Bros. classics Casablanca and Gold Diggers of 1933 as well as many other masterpieces—and bombs—from Hollywood history. Finally, Maltin looks back at what he considers Hollywood’s “overlooked” studio, RKO Radio Pictures, which gave us such classics as King Kong and the many dance musicals of Astaire and Rogers. In Leonard’s unique and witty style, he looks at dozens of obscure RKO features from the 1930s, including saucy pre-Codes, musicals, comedies, and mysteries. Leonard Maltin’s love of movies and vast knowledge about their history shines through from the first page to the last in this unique volume, which includes 150 rare photos and a comprehensive index.

MY REVIEW:


Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film FandomHooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom by Leonard Maltin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom by Leonard Maltin is a 2018 publication.

If you are a film buff with a healthy appreciation for old movies and old Hollywood, you simply must treat yourself to this book!!

Having based a successful career around the movie industry, all his knowledge about the business, the information he gleened from interviews, and the critical eye he was required to apply to his movie reviews, could have left Maltin feeling a little jaded. After all, it is a job, just like any other, but this book makes it obvious the author is still enthralled with his subject. Despite the professional approach, the movie fan in Maltin still shines through.

Maltin has been interviewing actors and actresses since he was in high school, and he certainly has a knack for it. He’s been doing interviews and reviewing movies for over fifty years. So, naturally, during that time, he’s learned quite a few interesting tidbits and trivia about Hollywood, some of which he has compiled here in this book, along with some of his early interviews.

I found the interview with Burgess Meredith quite interesting. I only knew him in a few roles- mainly ‘Batman’, a role he was quick to say he enjoyed playing. However, I was surprised by the depth of his career. I was also impressed by the amount of time he sat with Maltin and the interesting answers he gave.



                                                     BURGESS MEREDITH

And... I love Joan Blondell-

Many may know her from the movie "Grease" but, her career spanned over fify years.

She once did 32 pictures in 27 months!! She gave an interesting, blunt, and insightful interview, as well.

The ‘Conversations’ section differs slightly from in the interview segment, the main difference being that Maltin’s subjects were given more latitude, and the answers were much lengthier with many more interesting details, opinions and impressions.


                                                  JOAN BLONDELL - PRE-CODE

Other interesting conversations for me were from people whose names I did not recognize.








I was not familiar with Madge Evans or Peggy Webber ,but found their careers and interviews very intriguing. As it turns out Peggy’s career was quite long, as she ‘looped’ and ‘dubbed’ for many films.

                                                              MADGE EVANS

But, perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the section about RKO Studios. RKO stopped making movies in the 1950’s, and as Maltin says- the corporate name lived on, but it was in many respects the ‘forgotten’ studio. But, RKO studio had some real blockbusters back in its prime- like ‘King Kong” for example.




But, here, Maltin takes a closer look at some lesser known gems- some of which even the most avid film buff may not be aware of, or if they are, wouldn’t know half of the information Maltin as provided for us here. The pre-code gems were a fantastic addition to the list. I’ve seen some pre-code media and it’s amazing what was allowed on film- especially for those of us who have always lived under the strict ratings system we have today.

To tell the truth, I’ve long ago given up on the movie industry, but the rest of my family are avid movie fans. For me, the older movies are the only ones I will spare time for. Old Hollywood has always been fascinating to me, and I tend to gravitate towards books, fiction or non-fiction, that explore that era of time. This book, then, was very fun for me, and I discovered many movies I had not heard of, learned many interesting facts about actors and actresses I was aware of, and of course a few I was unfamiliar with.

The book is well organized and packed with a wealth of little -known facts and frank conversations, which may also make it appealing to those who enjoy history, pop culture, nostalgia, or to those who thrive on trivia.



This book can be read straight through, but I enjoyed picking up between reads and savoring it a little at a time. This is a book I will keep as a reference from time to time, or to simply reminisce.

Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film FandomHooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom by Leonard Maltin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom by Leonard Maltin is a 2018 publication.

If you are a film buff with a healthy appreciation for old movies and old Hollywood, you simply must treat yourself to this book!!

Having based a successful career around the movie industry, all his knowledge about the business, the information he gleened from interviews, and the critical eye he was required to apply to his movie reviews, could have left Maltin feeling a little jaded. After all, it is a job, just like any other, but this book makes it obvious the author is still enthalled with his subject. Despite the professional approach, the movie fan in Maltin still shines through.

Maltin has been interviewing actors and actresses since he was in high school, and he certainly has a knack for it. He’s been doing interviews and reviewing movies for over fifty years. So, naturally, during that time, he’s learned quite a few interesting tidbits and trivia about Hollywood, some of which he has compiled here in this book, along with some of his early interviews.

I found the interview with Burgess Meredith quite interesting. I only knew him in a few roles- mainly ‘Batman’, a role he was quick to say he enjoyed playing. However, I was surprised by the depth of his career. I was also impressed by the amount of time he sat with Maltin and the interesting answers he gave.

And... I love Joan Blondell-

Many may know her from the movie "Grease" but, her career spanned over fify years.

She once did 32 pictures in 27 months!! She gave an interesting, blunt, and insightful interview, as well.

The ‘Conversations’ section differs slightly from in the interview segment, the main difference being that Maltin’s subjects were given more latitude, and the answers were much lengthier with many more interesting details, opinions and impressions.

Other interesting conversations for me were from people whose names I did not recognize.

I was not familiar with Madge Evans or Peggy Webber ,but found their careers and interviews very intriguing. As it turns out Peggy’s career was quite long, as she ‘looped’ and ‘dubbed’ for many films.

But, perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the section about RKO Studios. RKO stopped making movies in the 1950’s, and as Maltin says- the corporate name lived on, but it was in many respects the ‘forgotten’ studio. But, RKO studio had some real blockbusters back in its prime- like ‘King Kong” for example.

But, here, Maltin takes a closer look at some lesser known gems- some of which even the most avid film buff may not be aware of, or if they are, wouldn’t know half of the information Maltin as provided for us here. The pre-code gems were a fantastic addition to the list. I’ve seen some pre-code media and it’s amazing what was allowed on film- especially for those of us who have always lived under the strict ratings system we have today.

To tell the truth, I’ve long ago given up on the movie industry, but the rest of my family are avid movie fans. For me, the older movies are the only ones I will spare time for. Old Hollywood has always been fascinating to me, and I tend to gravitate towards books, fiction or non-fiction, that explore that era of time. This book, then, was very fun for me, and I discovered many movies I had not heard of, learned many interesting facts about actors and actresses I was aware of, and of course a few I was unfamiliar with.

The book is well organized and packed with a wealth of little -known facts and frank conversations, which may also make it appealing to those who enjoy history, pop culture, nostalgia, or to those who thrive on trivia.

This book can be read straight through, but I enjoyed picking up between reads and savoring it a little at a time. This is a book I will keep as a reference from time to time, or to simply reminisce.

I love books like this one. It appeals to my love of history, old Hollywood, and my ever -increasing fascination with anything off the beaten path or obscure, lost or forgotten. Maltin’s first -hand experience adds that special added touch of magic, and even feels a little poignant, as well.



 I love books like this one. It appeals to my love of history, old Hollywood, and my ever -increasing fascination with anything off the beaten path or obscure, lost or forgotten. Maltin’s first -hand experience adds that special added touch of magic, and even feels a little poignant, as well.








  GET YOUR COPY HERE:


https://www.amazon.com/Hooked-Hollywood-Discoveries-Lifetime-Fandom-ebook/dp/B07DF86Q8N/



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Leonard Maltin, is an American film and animated-film critic and historian. 

Maltin began his writing career at age fifteen, writing for Classic Images and editing and publishing his own fanzine, Film Fan Monthly, dedicated to films from the golden age of Hollywood. After receiving a journalism degree at New York University, Maltin went on to publish articles in a variety of film journals, national news-papers, and magazines, including Variety and TV Guide.
Maltin in 1990

As an author, Maltin is best known for Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, (some editions titled as his ...Movie and Video Guide), a compendium of synopses and reviews that first appeared in September 1969 and has been annually updated since October 1987. (It was published under the title TV Movies until the 1990s, and in 2005 spawned a spin-off, Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide, limited to films released in 1960 and earlier to allow the regular book to cover a larger number of more recent titles.) He has also written several other works, including Behind the Camera, a study of the art of cinematography, The Whole Film Sourcebook, Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals, and Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons.

Since May 29, 1982, Maltin has been the movie reviewer on the syndicated television series Entertainment Tonight. He also appears on the Starz cable network, and hosted his own syndicated radio program, Leonard Maltin on Video, as well as the syndicated TV show Hot Ticket with Boston film critic Joyce Kulhawik (originally E! personality and game show host Todd Newton). He currently hosts a television show entitled Secret's Out on ReelzChannel movie network. He also spearheaded the creation of the Walt Disney Treasures collectible DVD line in 2001,[4] and continues to provide creative input and host the various sets.

He appeared on Pyramid twice as a celebrity player, in 1987 on the CBS $25,000 version and in 1991 on the John Davidson version. He appeared on Super Password as a celebrity guest in 1988.

In the mid-1990s, he became the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and is on the Advisory Board of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. For nearly a decade, Maltin was also on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. He currently teaches in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

In 1998, Maltin settled a libel suit brought by former child star Billy Gray, of Father Knows Best fame, whom Maltin identified as a drug addict and dealer in his review of the film Dusty and Sweets McGee for the movie guide book. The statement appeared in print for nearly twenty-five years before Maltin publicly apologized for the error.[5]

He currently hosts "The Maltin Minute" for DirecTV customers. Maltin also teaches at the University of Southern California.

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