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In a career that spanned six decades and more than sixty films, Alfred Hitchcock became the most widely recognized director who ever lived. His films -- including The 39 Steps, Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds -- set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling Élan. Since his death, Hitchcock has become crystallized in the public imagination as the macabre Englishman, the sexual obsessive, the Master of Suspense. But this remarkable biography draws on prodigious new research to restore Hitchcock the man -- the ingenious craftsman, the avid collaborator, the constant trickster, provocateur, and romantic. Like Hitchcock's best films, Patrick McGilligan's life of Hitchcock is a drama full of revelation, graced by a central love story, dark humor, and cliff-hanging suspense: a definitive portrait of the most creative, and least understood, figure in film history.
Patrick McGilligan continues his celebrated interviews with exceptional screenwriters with Backstory 5, focusing on the 1990s. The thirteen featured writers are not confined to the 1990s, but their engrossing, detailed, and richly personal stories create, in Patrick's words, "a snapshot of a profession in motion."
Aunque es uno de los rostros más conocidos de nuestra época, Clint Eastwood nunca se ha desprendido de una cierta aura de misterio, sobre todo en lo que a su pasado se refiere. Ahora, Patrick McGilligan, uno de los más respetados biógrafos del mundo del cine, nos ofrece un retrato de cuerpo entero del gran cineasta, un retrato donde por primera vez se descubre al hombre que hay tras la máscara cinematográfica.A través de documentos, manuscritops inéditos y archivos, entrevistas con amigos, familiares y socios que nunca antes habían hablado, el autor nos propone un exhaustivo viaje biográfico a través de los claroscuros de una vida intensa, febril y en agunos momentos inquietante. En este libro ameno y riguroso a un tiempo, asistimos a la lenta metamorfosis de un joven actor de películas de acción que ha acabado por convertirse en uno de los cineastas más premiados y admirados de nuestro tiempo. Y por supuesto, su vida íntima queda también reflejada en estas páginas, sobre todo sus atormentadas relaciones sentimentales y su recurrente paternidad ilegítima.Estamos, en definitiva, ante una de las mejores biografías que se han escrito en los últimos tiempos, un libro iluminador, valiente y polémico.«La mejor y más admirable contribución a la clintología.»Financial Times
In Film Crazy, McGilligan shares some of his fascinating interviews with screen luminaries from his salad days as a young journalist working the Hollywood beat. He rides the presidential campaign bus with Ronald Reagan, visits Alfred Hitchcock on the set of the Master of Suspense's last film, "Family Plot," meets George Stevens at the Brown Derby and conducts the last interview with the director of "Shane" and "Giant." Other interview subjects captured for posterity include rough-and-ready pioneer directors William Wellman and Raoul Walsh; likeable actor Joel McCrea; actress - and the only female director of her era - Ida Lupino; French legend Rene Clair; and lowly-contract-writer-turned-studio-mogul Dore Schary. Film Crazy is a must for film students, scholars and professionals.
"Volatile Jack Nicholson has found the perfect biographer in Patrick McGilligan, who gives us a rich, absorbing portrait of one of the greatest movie stars ever." --Patricia Bosworth No male American film star of the post-Brando era has demonstrated the talent, the charisma, the larger-than-life audacity, and the string of screen triumphs of Jack Nicholson. In Jack's Life, Patrick McGilligan, one of our finest film historians, has produced the definitive biography of this most private and public of stars, from his tangled Dickensian upbringing in New Jersey, his formative years as an actor and screenwriter, his near-accidental breakthrough to stardom in Easy Rider, and his string of great roles in Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Last Detail, The Shining, and other films that mark him as a searching, complex artist. Here as well is the often Rabelaisian life behind the smiling mask, the legendary romances and appetites for sex and drugs, the obsessions with money and control, and the perpetual restlessness.
From award-winning biographer Patrick McGilligan comes an eye-opening life of the troubled filmmaker behind Rebel Without a Cause. Nicholas Ray spent the glory years of his career creating films that were dark, emotionally charged, and haunted by social misfits and bruised young people consumed by private anguish-from his career-defining debut, They Live by Night (1948), to his enduring masterwork, Rebel Without a Cause (1955); from the noir thriller In a Lonely Place (1950), pairing his second wife, the blond bombshell Gloria Grahame, with Humphrey Bogart, to cult pictures like Johnny Guitar (1954) and Bigger Than Life (1956). Yet his work on-screen is more than matched by the passions and struggles of his personal story-one of the most dramatic lives of any major Hollywood filmmaker. In Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director, Patrick McGilligan offers a revelatory biography of Ray, a man whose troubled life was marked by creative peaks and valleys alike. As a young man, Ray personified the rambling spirit of twentieth-century America, learning from luminaries like Thornton Wilder and Frank Lloyd Wright; mingling with future legends like Elia Kazan, Joseph Losey, and John Houseman; and carousing with musicians like Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. Notoriously self-destructive but irresistibly alluring-to men and women alike-Ray empathized with the broken and misunderstood, a talent that allowed him to create characters of true complexity on-screen. His youthful association with radical politics nearly killed his nascent film career-until a secret agreement to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities saved him. His tumultuous second marriage, to Grahame, was shattered after Ray found her in bed with his teenage son from his first marriage. He romanced stars and starlets, including Marilyn Monroe, Shelley Winters, Joan Crawford, and the teenage Natalie Wood, but never enjoyed a stable home life. The triumph of Rebel Without a Cause, his masterpiece of teenage angst, led to a burgeoning partnership with James Dean, but Dean's untimely death devastated the filmmaker, who fell into a spiral of drinking and drug addiction. Less than a decade later, Ray's career was effectively over . . . until the adoration of European critics, and a frantic last-ditch burst of creativity, nearly restored him to glory before his tragic early death in 1979. Meticulously detailed and compulsively readable, this new biography reconstructs the tortuous journey of one of the most enduringly fascinating figures in American film.
Oscar Micheaux was the Jackie Robinson of film, the black D. W. Griffith: a bigger-than-life American folk hero whose important life story is nearly forgotten today. Now, in a feat of historical investigation and vivid storytelling, one of our greatest film biographers takes on one of the most talented and complex figures in the history of American entertainment. The son of freed slaves, Micheaux grew up in Metropolis, Illinois, then roamed America as a Pullman porter before making his first mark as a homesteader in South Dakota. Disaster and defeat there led him to forge a career publishing a successful series of autobiographical novels. Ever the entrepreneur, when Hollywood failed to bid high enough for film rights to his stories, he answered by forming his own film production company. Going on to produce or direct twenty-two silent and fifteen sound films in his lifetime, Micheaux became the king of the "race cinema" industry at a time when black-produced films had to scrounge for venues in a segregated society. In this groundbreaking new biography, award-winning film historian Patrick McGilligan offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of this little-known pioneer. Part visionary, part raffish Barnum-like showman, Micheaux was both a maverick filmmaker and an inveterate hustler who used every weapon at his disposal to break the color barrier and thrive in a profession he helped to invent. He made a fortune and lost it again, and launched repeated con games that were followed by public arrests and bankruptcies. He eagerly took credit for the work of others-including his unsung-heroine wife. In his desperate later years, he even sunk to plagiarizing his final novel-a discovery McGilligan reveals here for the first time. In this searching exploration, McGilligan tracks down long-lost financial records, unpublished letters, and unmarked pauper's graves, pinpointing Micheaux's birthplace, his tangled personal life, and the circumstances of his tragic death. The result is an epic that bridges a fascinating period in American history, and offers lessons for anyone who would understand the role of black America in forming the culture of our time.
"A remarkable, eye-opening biography . . . McGilligan's Orson is a Welles for a new generation, [a portrait] in tune with Patti Smith's Just Kids."--A. S. Hamrah, BookforumNo American artist or entertainer has enjoyed a more dramatic rise than Orson Welles. At the age of sixteen, he charmed his way into a precocious acting debut in Dublin's Gate Theatre. By nineteen, he had published a book on Shakespeare and toured the United States. At twenty, he directed a landmark all-black production of Macbeth in Harlem, and the following year masterminded the legendary WPA production of Marc Blitzstein's agitprop musical The Cradle Will Rock. After founding the Mercury Theatre, he mounted a radio production of The War of the Worlds that made headlines internationally. Then, at twenty-four, Welles signed a Hollywood contract granting him unprecedented freedom as a writer, director, producer, and star--paving the way for the creation of Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film in history.Drawing on years of deep research, acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan conjures the young man's Wisconsin background with Dickensian richness and detail: his childhood as the second son of a troubled industrialist father and a musically gifted, politically active mother; his youthful immersion in theater, opera, and magic in nearby Chicago; his teenage sojourns through rural Ireland, Spain, and the Far East; and his emergence as a maverick theater artist. Sifting fact from legend, McGilligan unearths long-buried writings from Welles's school years; delves into his relationships with mentors Dr. Maurice Bernstein, Roger Hill, and Thornton Wilder; explores his partnerships with producer John Houseman and actor Joseph Cotten; reveals the truth of his marriage to actress Virginia Nicolson and rumored affairs with actresses Dolores Del Rio and Geraldine Fitzgerald (including a suspect paternity claim); and traces the story of his troubled brother, Dick Welles, whose mysterious decline ran counter to Orson's swift ascent. And, through it all, we watch in awe as this whirlwind of talent--hailed hopefully from boyhood as a "genius"--collects the raw material that he and his co-writer, the cantankerous Herman J. Mankiewicz, would mold into the story of Charles Foster Kane.Filled with insight and revelation--including the surprising true origin and meaning of "Rosebud"--Young Orson is an eye-opening look at the arrival of a talent both monumental and misunderstood.