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The Men who Made the Movies – Richard Schickel
First Edition, Atheneum, 1975, Large-format Hardback with removable protective plastic wrap – Biographical – 307pp.
Interviews with Frank Capra, George Cukor, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh, and William A. Wellman.
One of our most thoughtful film critics here takes on eight of Hollywood’s finest directors in conversation, reminiscing about their working lives which spanned the most intriguing decades of American filmmaking.
There was something valuable to be learned from them, not merely about the cinema but about the conduct of life. Each of these directors created a canon of work that even today sustains critical analysis without sacrificing popular appeal. Each maintained his artistic integrity while working in an atmosphere generally credited with ruining rather than nurturing talent.
Their attitudes, Mr. Schickel writes in his introduction, were “composed of a toughness that was never harsh, a pride in achievement that was never boastful, a self-reliance and an acceptance of the difficulties under which they had labored which contained neither self-pity nor a desire to blame others for the things that had gone wrong.”
Rich in behind-the-scenes stories about such modern classics as It Happened One Night, Dawn Patrol, The Champ, Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, and Shadow of a Doubt, as well as in anecdotes about the men and women of Hollywood, this book is an enduring tribute to the men who made the movies.