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"In this thoroughly researched book...Spivak shows a keen understanding of Berkeley's talents but does not ignore his flaws...recommended for knowledgeable movie buffs."
--Stephen Rees, Library Journal
Spivak’s well-written biography of the Hollywood choreographer and director, famous for the complicated, kaleidoscopic dances he choreographed for such films as 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933, has scholarly depth yet is gracefully accessible. Spivak’s writing is especially strong when he discusses Berkeley’s trademark style—playful, visually arresting dances, packed with large numbers of chorus girls dancing in lockstep—and his myriad artistic influences, which include his mother, who was in the theater and silent movies; and a stint in the military, where he drilled soldiers to march in formation. In his prime, Berkeley worked extremely long hours like a man possessed, driving himself and his dancers to the brink of collapse and, in Berkeley’s case, beyond, into an alcoholism that eventually all but destroyed his career. Cineastes will enjoy Spivak’s close attention to Berkeley’s obsessively detailed planning and execution processes, and Spivak’s no-less-detailed descriptions of the final films. And for those who like movie gossip, there’s Berkeley’s wild, dysfunctional private life (which included parties, love affairs, and multiple marriages, all fueled by too much alcohol). --Jack HelbigSee all Editorial Reviews
Busby Berkeley is a complicated figure in film history. He was a stern taskmaster who at the same time had his own personal demons that ultimately ruined his career. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sara Brideson
This was a well done book on film legend, director Busby Berkeley. We see Berkeley's early life and his parent's work on stage and his strong attachment to his mother. Read morePublished 11 months ago by CJS
This struck me as an academic biography that goes into great detail describing the art of Busy Berkeley. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Gary Seigel
It delved into his life from the minute he was born. How he was influenced by his mother. He was very clever in his making of a movie picture with his sense of timing. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Nancy Saviski Doran
This bio of Berkeley while quite good at describing the visuals of his art it never gets into his life with any depth. Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Bob Iannaccone
This book was full of detail and facts about a genius of movie musicals. It had lots of photos and information on a man who was a complete wonder in his field. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Marsha W.