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Spielberg: The Man, The Movies, The Mythology Hardcover – April 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

That adversity is the mother of invention certainly holds in the life of the most successful filmmaker of all time. Born in 1947, Spielberg grew up as a harassed Jew in a WASP suburb of Cincinnati. Fascinated by film from an early age, he used his sisters as actors as he made movies as a teenager. Rejected at the prestigious UCLA Film School because of insufficient grades, in 1969 he directed his first movie, Amblin', which won awards at the Venice and Atlanta film festivals and was brought to the attention of executives at Universal Studios. His first professional job was directing Joan Crawford in a segment of Rod Serling's Night Gallery TV series. He first hit paydirt with The Sugarland Express and in 1975 would become an artistic and financial success with Jaws, which was followed by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Sanello (Cruise: The Unauthorized Biography) chronicles behind-the-scenes stories about the making of each Spielberg picture. He also looks at the director's marriages to actresses Amy Irving and Kate Capshaw. Although the author tends to psychoanalyze Spielberg over his emerging sense of Jewish identity and the making of Schindler's List (for which Spielberg won an Oscar for best director), this is a solid, fast-paced bio. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Spielberg often ranks at or near the top of Hollywood's power list. The world's most successful director, he also heads his own production company and recently helped form the potential entertainment conglomerate DreamWorks SKG. This book traces Spielberg's career from apprenticeship days to the triumph of Schindler's List. Unfortunately, the author seems less interested in Spielberg's work than in speculation, gossip, and trivia regarding Spielberg's failed first marriage to actress Amy Irving and his second marriage to actress Kate Capshaw. The book has too many sneering asides on critics and performers, doesn't give enough detail on individual films, and quotes Look magazine in 1979 (it ceased publication years earlier). A truly outstanding book on the director has yet to be written, but libraries should consider Douglas Brode's The Films of Steven Spielberg (Carol Pub. Group, 1994), a good introduction to basic themes in his work. This superficial book is not a necessary purchase.?Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; First Edition edition (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878339116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878339112
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,759,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"It's not as bad as it sounds."

̶ Mark Twain's opinion of Wagnerian opera

Internationally known author and journalist Frank Sanello has written extensively about the entertainment industry, cultural anthropology, politics, medical and social issues, and revisionist history in his 20+ books and in major newspapers and magazines.

His nonfiction historical books include "The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another," "The Knights Templars: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers," "Invisible People: History's Homosexuals Unhidden," "Victims and Victimizers: Gays and Lesbians in the Third Reich," "Fractured History Tales or Why (Almost) Everything You Thought You Knew About the Past Never Happened," and "To Kill a King: A History of Royal Murders and Assassinations From Ancient Egypt to the Present."

The author has also written books on medical and health issues such as "Tweakers: How Crystal Meth Is Ravaging Gay America" and "Saving America: Solutions for a Nation in Crisis." Coauthored by University of Tennessee Professor Emeritus Adel N. Shenouda, M.D., "Saving America" offers an ingenious plan to provide affordable health insurance for all Americans.

An investigative journalist for the past 35 years, Sanello has written articles for the Washington Post, the New York Times Syndicate, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Redbook, People Weekly, US Weekly, and Penthouse. Cosmo and other magazines have excerpted his books.

Sanello was formerly a film reviewer and entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News and a business reporter for UPI.

The author graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Chicago and earned a master's degree in screenwriting from UCLA.

Sanello's blogs at www.historyasfrontpagenews.com and on RedRoom.com explore controversial issues such as why gays in the military secretly valued "Don't ask, don't tell" because the policy gave them a "get out of the military free card" and why Pentagon officials hated the policy because they had spent billions of dollars training gay personnel who revealed their homosexual orientation and received an honorable discharge.

Other columns posted on Sanello's web sites offer an alternate insight into why pedophiles commit their monstrous crimes and the disturbing revelation that the rate of new cases of HIV-infection is greater in some areas of the U.S. than in sub-Saharan Africa.

The author's new novel, "The Autobiography of Frau Adolf Hitler," presents the memoirs and daily diary of Hitler's imaginary wife, a beautiful 16-year-old Swedish countess forced by her ambitious mother to marry the 43-year-old Nazi dictator.

Before publication in 2012, the novel was serialized on Red Room and HubPages. The fictional wife of Hitler apparently seemed so real to some readers of the serialization that they contacted the author and asked if Frau Hitler was a genuine historical character they had somehow missed in history class!

Sanello is currently writing "All Blood Runs Red," a screenplay based on the life of Eugene Bullard, America's first black aviator and World War I hero.

A purple belt in Tae Kwon Do, the author has volunteered at AIDS Project Los Angeles as a self-defense instructor for victims of AIDS- and fag-bashing.

He lives in West Hollywood, California, and invites readers to contact him at FSanello@aol.com.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victoria M. Wall on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I got the 1996 edition of this book from the library that is somewhat shorter than the 2002 edition. This book is a great beginning - sharing enough to get a good feel for the humanity of Spielberg.

Details on the process of Schindler's List, the most impacting film I have ever experienced, I was great full to learn. Birthing the Shoa Foundation, what a magnificent thing to learn Spielberg is the catalyst, via Schindler's List. Also editing Jurassic park while shooting Schindler's, I found a powerful view of massive endurance.

Of people I have studied, Churchill is one of my favorites. In the film arena I am sure Spielberg is up there with Churchill in significance. However, Churchill is a pinnacle reason Hitler failed. There are massive numbers of books on Churchill's life, some more enjoyable than others. I am sure there are many more books on Spielberg- this one is a good beginning.

I caught the tail of an interview on television called "Spielberg on Spielberg." I was `wowed' with how tender Steven Spielberg presented himself and wanted to catch the whole piece. I could not find it anywhere. Calling my library this book was one of the few books they had. It's a great fast balance read.

I generally limit my reading to biographies, history, business, and data I have involvement. This biography is refreshing and easy. I have no doubt for the volumes of actions Steven Spielberg has made- no book of roughly 300 pages can make a dent in details. This book is a fine overview.

I read the critics of this book- oh well. The speed, balanced and endearing view of Steven Spielberg, a multifaceted gift to our world - this book has been well worth my time, even the 1996 edition. This book certainly reads smoother than half the biographies I've read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not quite sure what Sanello was thinking, but his biography, SPIELBERG is the biography equivalent of a one-hit-wonder. The most significant part of the book is the first few chapters that deal with Spielberg's early life. I learned some things I didn't know before. However, I guess after Sanello finished talking with a few old friends and family, he figured that was all the real research he needed to do because the rest of the biography reads like an extended version of PEOPLE magazine. There are no juicy tidbits and no in-depth research or even assumptions about how Spielberg is able to do what he does. The few times that Sanello discusses skirmishes that Spielberg had with former cast members, a short anecdote is given about their careers after the film and that is about all. Not only that, but several times throughout the book, Sanello quotes himself verbatim from previous chapters; sounding more like a freshman college student taking Lit 101 than the famed biographer he is supposed to be. Overall, SPIELBERG was a major let down. It's worth reading for the first couple chapters about Spielberg's early days, but the rest of the novel you can read yourself in the trades, newspapers, and magazines.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Lapointe on July 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unlike weightier bigraphies like Kevin Brownlow's terrific "David Lean" or Simon Callow's 'Orson Welles-The road to Xanadu," this book feels like author Sanello didn't look much further than magazine articles and trade clips for research. According to the dust cover, he had over half a dozen interviews (7? that must have been exhausting!) with the director himself and a handful of stars (though never really truly substantiated), but it doesn't seem like he thought about interviewing parents, siblings, co-workers, crew members, etc. for any more details or elucidations about this icon of American pop culture. His obvious admiration and fawning over his subject distracts from any possible objectivity and also grows tiresome. The book offers a basic overview of the director's life and work but not much in terms of how he works, communicates, or thinks. For example, there's almost nothing about his relationship with pivotal Amblin producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. Didn't they ever argue, or disagree about anything? How were projects brought in to the company and what was Kennedy and Marshall's thoughts about their boss? There is also no insight from production designers or cinematographers or writers or producers he worked with. For more than just a cursory look at this director's career (up to 1995) look elsewhere.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "Ann" on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Two copies of Spielberg: The Man, The Movies, The Mythology arrived in great condition just 4 days after the order was placed on Amazon.com from this outside vendor in Pennsylvania. The books were less expensive than the shipping charges! My kids needed the books for a Spielberg film course that they are taking this summer at college. The book was chosen by the professor for the course text, but was not available for purchase at the college bookstore. The ease of purchase, great condition of the books and swift delivery makes this vendor most highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SPANKY on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK SUCKED. the first ten pages were worth reading the rest of the book is not. The other two reviews hit the nail on the head. he repeats himself over and over after the first couple chapters and tells nothing more than the dates of his movies and divorces.DO NOT BUY!!
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