By the early 1950s, Jane Russell (1921--2011) should have been forgotten. Her career was launched on what is arguably the most notorious advertising campaign in cinema history, which invited filmgoers to see Howard Hughes's The Outlaw (1943) and to "tussle with Russell." Throughout the 1940s, she was nicknamed the "motionless picture actress" and had only three films in theaters. With such a slow, inauspicious start, most aspiring actresses would have given up or faded away. Instead, Russell carved out a place for herself in Hollywood and became a memorable and enduring star. Christina Rice offers the first biography of the actress and activist perhaps most well-known for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Despite the fact that her movie career was stalled for nearly a decade, Russell's filmography is respectable. She worked with some of Hollywood's most talented directors -- including Howard Hawks, Raoul Walsh, Nicholas Ray, and Josef von Sternberg -- and held her own alongside costars such as Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Clark Gable, Vincent Price, and Bob Hope. She also learned how to fight back against Howard Hughes, her boss for more than thirty-five years, and his marketing campaigns that exploited her physical appearance. Beyond the screen, Rice reveals Russell as a complex and confident woman. She explores the star's years as a spokeswoman for Playtex as well as her deep faith and work as a Christian vocalist. Rice also discusses Russell's leadership and patronage of the WAIF foundation, which for many years served as the fundraising arm of the International Social Service (ISS) agency. WAIF raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, successfully lobbied Congress to change laws, and resulted in the adoption of tens of thousands of orphaned children. For Russell, the work she did to help unite families overshadowed any of her onscreen achievements. On the surface, Jane Russell seemed to live a charmed life, but Rice illuminates her darker moments and her personal struggles, including her empowered reactions to the controversies surrounding her films and her feelings about being portrayed as a sex symbol. This stunning first biography offers a fresh perspective on a star whose legacy endures not simply because she forged a notable film career, but also because she effectively used her celebrity to benefit others.
A behind-the-scenes look at the operations of the movie industry reveals how the moguls, directors, producers, superstars, screenwriters, composers, and other specialists have created some of the world's great movies
Traces the history of Hollywood since the introduction of sound in 1927, with detailed accounts of the decline of the big studios, the role of censorship, the rise of the genre film, and the impact of World War II and postwar blacklisting on the industry
The book covers the period from 1927, when the talkies began, to the present day and the blockbusters of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The history is recounted through the stories of the great studios.
Revel in seven decades of cinematic glory with this nostalgic, year-by-year review of the highest grossing films each year since 1930. It includes the main news events for each year, plus a detailed summary of each film with cast details and award comparisons.
Return with us to yesteryear, when cowboys were cowboys and gunslingers lurked around every corner. Today that colorful period continues to resonate in the collective imagination of red-blooded Americans everywhere--and now we have True West, which illustrates, in hundreds of full-color illustrations, how America's mass media stamped that vision so indelibly on our collective unconscious over the past century, into today. Boasting hundreds of rare and colorful movie posters, pulp magazines, television memorabilia, advertisements, paperback books, record album jackets, toys, and clothing, True West covers such hugely popular television series as Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Bonanza, along with classic Western novels, including Shane, The Searchers, Welcome to Hard Times and that epic of all epics, Lonesome Dove. True West bows to the icons who ruled the silver screen--Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood, to name a few, while offering up such indelible movie triumphs as Red River, The Searchers, Hud, The Wild Bunch, and Unforgiven. It also showcases the great Western comic books and comic strips--Colt, Red Ryder, Straight Arrow, and Jonah Hex--along with all those nifty toys and other ephemera that helped link kids to celluloid heroes like Hopalong Cassidy, Roy and Dale, and the ubiquitous Gene Autry. And what would the Wild West be without an accompanying soundtrack? True West reproduces the sublime album covers and sheet music that served up classic odes like "Streets of Laredo" and "Cool Water," narrative ballads like "El Paso" (with Marty Robbins bedecked in his black gunfighter togs on the cover!), and "High Noon."
Dilys Powell is the doyenne of British film critics. Reviewing for the Sunday Times, and more recently Punch, she has built up a reputation for perceptive assessment. Divided into thematic sections, this selection from over fifty years of criticism reveals her views on such topics as British cinema, the French, film stars, genres, adaptations, and censorship. In addition to critiques of such key films as Citizen Kane and Rashomon, there are entertaining pieces on biblical epics, biopics, and the musical, and sections on films she loathed and those she tried hard to like.