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Cult Movie Stars Paperback – November 15, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; 1st edition (November 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671693948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671693947
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Simpson on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Danny Perry's writing carries an exuberance seen seldom in film guides. His unique insight is both honest and relateable, as he goes over several actos and actresses that have helped make cinema more fascinating.

Most mainstream actors are omitted but a few(John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart) are included among some great actors of the weird including Tod Slaughter, Tor Johnson, Michael Berryman, John Carradine, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and son, Toshiro Mifune, Lee Marvin, and Dick Miller.

There's a welcome emphasis on B-cinema and Porno films that most mainstream critics would not even touch.These inclusions make Perry seem more like a normal guy than just about any critic I can think of and endears him to us who can appreciate sleaze and trash. Not that there are no emphasis on art house as several actors and actreses of the French New Wave and German and Italian cinema are included as well. To see Max Von Sydow in the same book as Marilyn Chambers is one of the wonderful things about this guide.

The book is never less than entertaining because of these reasons and it's one of the coolest guides for the genuine film fanatic that I can possibly reccomend. Especially if you have an appreciation for the bizarre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A previous reviewer got savaged for reasonably pointing out that for a book published in 1991 to say that Peter Boyle had died in 1990 when it was actually going to be 2006 is pretty embarrassing. The people who didn't find his review useful didn't leave any comments to explain their dissatisfaction, so I'll risk their ire by also saying that this book is just OK.

Now I like Danny Peary's writings and I have a complete set of his book on Cult Movies which is why I purchased this book, but as interesting as it is and despite revealing some obscure references I hadn't seen before this book was obviously done without significant fact checking.

How bad? Bad enough that I state again that this book can't be used as a stand alone reefernce without a secondary source to confirm what it says.

My best example is found on page 539 in the entry for Thelma Todd. He states, "in Animal Crackers, where he holds her "college widow" tightly ("If I held you any closer I'd be in back of you") in the absurd finale, Groucho, Chico and Harpo all marry her.

First, Thelma Todd doesn't appear in Animal Crackers.
Second, she played Connie Bailey, the college widow in Horse Feathers.
Third, Groucho's line about winding up in back of her (it was I'll be not I'd be but why quibble?) was said to Esther Muir in A Day At the Races
Finally, the mass marriage scene is at the end of Horsefeathers.

So in one sentence he manages to get everything wrong with the exception of spelling Thelma Todd's name correctly.

I'm sure that many will bleat that "It's got a lot of good stuff in it" and quite true you are, but that one jumped out at me because I'm a Marx Brothers fan. What else lies unchallenged in all the entries until I look them up?

So in the final analysis, enjoy this book but don't rely on it for Movie Trivia Night.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on October 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Though I know some people dislike him as much as others love him, I have to say that, for myself personally, no film historian better captures the love and exhiliration that can be felt from watching a truly wonderful movie. In his writings, Danny Peary has always proven himself to be not only a student of films but also a fan. And yes, there is a huge difference! Peary came to prominence with his three Cult Film books. Cult Film Stars provides a great companion for those books and is a lot of fun on its own as well. Cult Film Stars is a thick compilation of entries, listing names from the expected (Pam Grier, Sonny Chiba, Klaus Kinski) to the unexpected (John Wayne, long though of so mainstream but Peary wonderfully shows how Wayne is almost as important as cult star as say Ed Wood's infamous friend Dudley Manlove). Along with listing each star's important films, Peary crams each entry full of interesting and often humorous facts and observations. This books works as a great introduction to films that many might otherwise have not heard of. I was still in high school when it first came out and just starting to discover how much I truly loved film. It was from this book that I first found out about such really cool (sorry if I sounded juvenile there but there's no better way to put it really) people like Pam Grier, Terrence Hill, and Toshiro Mifune. His entries on Kay Lenz, Meg Foster, and Karen Allen helped me to discover such unsung entertainments as Breezy, Ticket to Heaven, and The Wanderers respectively. A really great book for any film fanatic. However, keep in mind, the book was also published a decade ago. Some of the information will be dated but none the less interesting.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is basically a reference book of movie stars and directors who have made films that have spawned cult followings (some of the entries include Tim Curry, Divine, John Waters, Steve Reeves, Mamie Van Doren, Ed Wood, and Bela Lugosi). It includes a short biographical paragraph with little-known facts and has several illustrations - I found the book to be most useful because it also included a brief film history of the performer in his or her best roles. I would recommend buying the book if you are like me and get a kick out of b-movies and b-movie stars. It's really too bad it's out of print.
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More About the Author

As a boy I was passionate about sports, movies, television, and music, and now I make my living by writing about each of these topics. Pretty amazing. I was born in West Virginia, grew up in South Carolina and New Jersey, got a B.A. in History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an M.A. in Cinema at USC. I have been living in New York City since 1977 with my wife Suzanne (our married daughter Zoe and granddaughter Julianna live too far away in Maryland), publishing books and articles on movies and sports (mostly baseball). I watch an insane number of movies and politely root for the A's, Lakers, New York Giants, and UConn women in basketball. I am the writer-researcher on the long-running television interview show, "The Tim McCarver Show," and have done three books with Tim, who is a close friend. I also worked with the dear Ralph Kiner on his autobiography, "Baseball Forever." My twenty-first book, written with Tom Clavin, is my first biography, "Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero" for Touchstone/Simon&Schuster. There is a facebook fan page for the book, for which we interviewed 130 people. Our follow-up was "Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend," which was published 8/7/12 by NAL/Penguin. I also contribute celebrity interviews on brink.com and am the New York correspondent for the Australian magazine, "FilmInk." I love to write, but there's nothing more exciting than creating a project or more satisfying than finishing it.