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Books you wish had been series


Arturo
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The ongoing thread on Warner Brothers Directors had someone wishing there had been similar tomes for the directors of the other Hollywood studios. This is something I have also wished on occasion, when I really enjoyed a given book, and hoped that there might be other volumes on similar subjects. One of my favorite series are the those by James Robert Parrish, bracketing the stars in such titles as "The Paramount Pretties", "The Swashbucklers", The RKO Gals", etc.

Sometimes there are partial series, as in the very illuminating Memo books; I am aware of volumes on Selznick, Zanuck, and Warner Brothers.

 

One of my favorite books on the studio era age of Hollywood is called "From Scarface to Scarlett". It mentions almost every Hollywood movie made during the 30s,, well the A features anyway, and breaks them down in an exhaustive list of categories and subcategories. Anyway, I have always wished that the author had done similar books on the 40s and 50s, to complement this one. They would have made fascinating reads imho.

 

Does anyone have similar reactions as mine, hoping that a topic might get expanded?

 

PS......I also wished that true very first volume of the Parish books, "The Fox Girls", had been revised some years later. Here the descriptions of movies is very brief, whereas in some of the later series entries, there are plenty of background information given on every entry, even B films.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Feb 23, 2014 1:05 PM

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I wish the 1947 HUAC Hollywood hearings would be made into a TV mini-series. Just the testimony, the questions and answers (which are in several volume of the transcript books). No editorial comment and no other stuff in the mini-series by the program's producers. Let the audience hear the questions and answers and decide for themselves about the hearings.

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>What is the 1947 HUAC hearings please? I have never heard of this.

 

Hi,

 

Right after WW II ended, some government agencies and some newspapers and news magazines began to learn that a lot of Americans had joined the American Communist Party and that the Soviet Government in Russia was controlling the Party (known as the CPUSA). This developed into a type of spy scandal, and also a scandal when the House of Representatives, Committee on Un-American Activities learned that a top editor for Time Magazine (a man named Whittaker Chambers) had worked as a Soviet spy in the 1930s. Chambers named other Soviet spies he knew, including one who worked for the Roosevelt Administration at a high level.

 

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whittaker_Chambers*

 

This information followed closely the discovery in the late 1930s and early 40s about Nazi spies inside the U.S, which had been thoroughly investigated before and during WW II.

 

This would be as shocking as to discover today, hundreds of Chinese spies or Americans working as spies for China, working in America today, in government, in the media, in industry, and in the Hollywood film industry. We did have one major spy like that, but her husband, a media mogul, recently divorced her. A couple of years ago, I warned about this woman on this very message board.

 

Well, anyway it seems that by 1947 the House Committee (known as HUAC) had learned that some Communists were working in the movie business in Hollywood, and in 1947 they decided to hold public hearings about the pro-Soviet and pro-Russian Communists in Hollywood.

 

This caused a big controversy back in those days, and a lot of misinformation was published about the hearings during the next 67 years. Were the Communists in Hollywood bad, or were the Congressmen bad?

 

I think the only way for people to judge the situation properly is to read the actual testimony. And I think it would be very exciting to see a TV mini-series about the Hearings, a TV show that contained only real dialogue, taken from the transcripts of the Testimony.

 

Here is one of the transcript books from 1947, where you can read the questions and the testimony of actors, directors, and screenwriters.

 

Scroll down to CONTENTS to see the names of the people who testified:

 

*http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt*

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A lot of Americans did not join the CPUSA. Very few Americans did.

CPUSA likely never even reached 100,000 members, this in a

population of 145,000,000. I don't know if the reds were bad, but

they were grossly ineffective. Also remember that J. Parnell Thomas,

the chairman of the Committee during the 1947 Hollywood hearings,

later took the Fifth ( :) ) when he was being investigated for fraud, of

which he was subsequently convicted and wound up in the same

prison Ring Lardner, Jr. and Lester Cole, one of whom

supposedly remarked, seeing Thomas cleaning up chicken

droppings, Still spreading the same old chicken****. I've read some

of the transcripts of the testimony. My favorite is that of Bertolt

Brecht, who took the committee members on a merry ride.

 

As far as I know, there has never been any proof that the former Mrs.

Murdoch was a Chinese spy.

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It seemed it didn't take much to get shoved in front of HUAC in those days. I'm still surprised that none of my family, with it's Eastern European sounding name, was put before the commitee. I always think of HECKY, from Woody Allen's THE FRONT, being blacklisted because he went to a Communist party meeting with a girl he was dating back in the '30's. His appeal of "I just wanted to get LAID!" rings in my ears.

 

But back to business...I'm not sure what you exactly mean, Arturo. Many books HAVE been turned into series even though there was only one book with the series main character ever published. Like THE THIN MAN.

 

But the idea of books turned into intersting MINI SERIES is an idea I came up with some time ago. And would serve to bring the book into a more comprehensive light.

 

For as long as either BEN HUR movie was, there are several occurances from the book that were never covered in each. THE ROBE, when read, is a FAR more fascinating story than the movie ever was, and would have been a very good mini series. Same goes for THE SILVER CHALICE. I thought THESE would be fantastic mini series'.

 

Sepiatone

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Bonita Granville made 4 movies based on the Nancy Drew teenage-detective books, and I wish she had made more.

 

I enjoy these books very much because they take me back to my high school days when I used to have fantasies about being a detective, a spy, a world traveler, and adventurer.

 

I used to read the Nancy Drew books when I was about 12 years old, and I like them better as movies.

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They didn't spread the net quite that wide. I'm sure that they

also knew that investigating Hollywood would be a great

publicity bonus. Now that you mention it, I recall that line

from The Front. When everything else fails, try the truth.

 

I remember reading Tom Swift and His Electric Whatevers as

a kid, but I don't think they were ever made into movies, which

is probably just as well.

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*But back to business...I'm not sure what you exactly mean, Arturo. Many books HAVE been turned into series even though there was only one book with the series main character ever published. Like THE THIN MAN.*

 

I guess I didn't explain myself very well. I wanted to know if there was a factual book about (some aspect of) the movies that you enjoyed, and wished that the author had come up with other factual books along those lines. Like the sentiment expressed in the thread about the book on Warner Brothers' Directors, where they had wished that other books had come out about the directors for each of the other Hollywood studios: Paramount, Fox, MGM, etc.

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>I guess I didn't explain myself very well. I wanted to know if there was a factual book about (some aspect of) the movies that you enjoyed, and wished that the author had come up with other factual books along those lines.

 

Ooppps.... I thought you meant books that I wished were turned into movies. :P

 

Hmmm, I gues my original suggestion could be modified and I wish those old testimony books would be re-published as modern books. With no modern opinions and no commentary added. Just let movie fans read the original testimony as it occurred. The original books contain some of the most exciting "inside" stuff to ever be written about Hollywood, actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers. :P

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> I guess I didn't explain myself very well. I wanted to know if there was a factual book about (some aspect of) the movies that you enjoyed, and wished that the author had come up with other factual books along those lines.

 

 

Do they HAVE to be books about some aspect of Hollywood? Or can they be ANY book that one may have wished to become a series, as Ian Fleming did with James Bond?

 

If the second is the case, I'd have to think on that for a while.

 

Sepiatone

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