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Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex) Hardcover – May 17, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Janet MaslinNew York Times
“A fast, funny,, no-nonsense and graphic account of Paramount’s most dizzyingly high times. [Bart] may have been a studio executive, but he started out reporting. He’s a sharp-eyed reporter still.”

Edward J. Epstein, Wall Street Journal
“Readers are fortunate to have such a well-placed guide. He is not only an insightful journalist but an insider” He immersed himself in Hollywood’s curious culture of that era.”
Liz Smith, Wowowow.coma
"Perhaps the only truthful account of moviemaking in the sixties, and it is so frank and full of detail and history-as-gossip, I just couldn’t resist it.”
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Bart started his career as a newsman with the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, then spent seventeen years as a film executive (vice president of Paramount, senior vice president of MGM, president of Lorimar Film Co.) only to return to journalism as editor-in-chief of Variety. Along the way, he was responsible for seven books, including Shoot-Out, written with Peter Guber (the basis for their current weekly television show), Dangerous Company (a short story collection), and three nonfiction books, The Gross, Fade Out, and Boffo.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books; First Edition edition (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602861390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602861398
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,222,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Erik NYC on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Bart's breezy account of his tenure at Paramount. Unfortunately, the entertaining anecdotes are marred by some jarring errors that I didn't expect to see in a book by a prominent journalist and editor. Here are a few: 1. On page 61, Bart reiterates a discussion he had with Robert Evans about the selection of Paddy Chayefsky as the screenwriter for "Paint Your Wagon." Bart quotes himself as saying to Evans during pre-production of that film (a 1969 release, so this discussion presumably took place in 1968) that Chayefsky was an inappropriate choice and cites Chayefsky's credits for "The Hospital" and "Network" as reasons why. "The Hospital" was a 1971 release and "Network" was released in 1976---there is no way that Bart could have said that in 1968. 2. On page 65, Bart writes that the Alan Jay Lerner musical about Coco Chanel "never opened on Broadway." Wrong---the Lerner musical "Coco," which starred Katharine Hepburn, had a lengthy run on Broadway. 3. On page 254, Bart refers to "Mommie Dearest" as being released by 20th Century Fox. No, it was a Paramount release---one would assume that a book largely about Paramount would identify Paramount releases correctly.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By CAR101 on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I wanted so much to like this book. It's a real snooze. Every "story" it contains is covered elsewhere in better books. Seems like it was written in one day. No logical arrangement to the events Mr. Bart is talking about. Luckily it spares us the normal "I was born a poor kid in Brooklyn..." stuff these sort of books usually contain. It doesn't seem like anyone edited the book and it reads more like a compilation of previously published articles then a well-thought-out "tale" as the title suggests. Several times, Mr. Bart mentions the same event in different chapters as if it's the first time relaying it to us without adding any additional information or details to the event.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on May 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you were part of a redefining moment in moviemaking would you write a book even if the story had been told by others, and repeatedly? Well, that's what you have here. But the writer, Peter Bart does have an opinion. And as a former NY Times journalist who stumbles into a job as second in command at a studio behind the controversial Robert Evans, it's quite a story. Yes, it's been told by Peter Biskind and more famously by Robert Evans both in his mid 90s book and later his documentary. But while Bart tells the same story it's with enough nuances and different angles to keep the serious student of movies interested. Evans book becomes somewhat braggadocio particularly concerning how he re-edited The Godfather and deserved more credit. Bart can speak from an inside position and offer his opinion if the re-edit was true (it was). But he can also more clearly state when Evans' drug habit severely impacted his job performance and was a cause in his removal, something Evans' wasn't able to see.

Of course the highlight is the stories of The Godfather and Love Story but there is so much more here and more to learn about how movies are really made and the relationships that are created as well as negotiating the shark pit known as Hollywood. This may be the most interesting part as you step back and look at the uninhibited 70s culture. Definitely read the book if you are a serious student of films. It's a fast enjoyable read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sezwhom on May 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any film buff, especially from late 60s to mid 70s, will find this a rapid read. One of the few books which I found to be too terse! Bart could easily have added 100 pages but knowing his propensity with print and now film, I can see why he choose the "edited" version. That's been his ilk. The fecund years reading about Rosemary's Baby and the Godfather are worth the price alone. The rampant nihilism associated with the deal makers and producers/directors/actors left me incredulous many award winning films ever made it to the theater. Some aforementioned dates-events seem suspect but that aside, this is one corker of a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This biographical book is about the period of time that author Peter Bart worked for Paramouunt Picutres. Unlike most biographies, he tells us little of his early life...just enough that we know he is a journalist at heart. That roll as journalist led to his work for Paramount. In the 60's he had reached his journalistic pinnacle as a columnist for the New York Times. It was a period in which the Brooklyn Dodgers had moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants had moved to San Fransisco. Times editors realized they needed a different type of West Coast coverage and "offered" Bart the assignment. Once moved he met and became close friends with Robert Evans another ex-New Yorker who was an actor with a short resume. After Bart wrote a front page piece about Evans, Charles Bluhdorn head of Gulf & Western Industries who had recently purchased Paramount was moved to hire Evans first as head of London Production and then as Chief of Paramount Production. Evans then hired Bart. By Chapter 2 both are working for Paramount.

The story has several threads that we follow. One is that the times were changing in Hollywood. The days of the moguls running the studios had come to an end for anti-trust reasons. Instead of being production lines with those under contract coming into work every day and studio heads dictating the next picture, the environment switched to producers, directors, actors and writers pitching studios with ideas for films. Most of the book gives us insight on pitches and negotiations on some well known and so not well know films released during the 8 years Evans and Bart were at Paramount. There were 177 films released in the 1967-74 period. The back story of only a few of these are discussed. The best known were The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.
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