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Star Trek Movie Memories Hardcover – Unabridged, November, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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From Library Journal

The high-profile Shatner (see Tek Power in "Fiction") follows up the best-selling Star TrekR Memories with a behind-the-scenes look at all seven Star TrekR movies, including the one premiering this Thanksgiving.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Timed nicely to coincide with Captain Kirk's upcoming, long-overdue death (in the November release of the first Next Generation movie, Generations), here are Shatner's accounts of what went on behind the scenes of each of the movies to date. In the early 1970s, Gene Roddenberry wanted to do a Star Trek film but couldn't find financial backing; moreover, he was an abysmal writer, and the scripts he churned out simply weren't compelling. Studio executives underestimated--as did Shatner--the ongoing charm of the original series, however, as well as the filmgoing public's general appetite for science fiction (e.g., the epics of Spielberg and Lucas). By the time the sleeping giant that was Star Trek stumbled to its feet, it had some catching up to do, and the first of the new series, released in 1979, was a dud. Nonetheless Trekkers (not Trekkies) went crazy. Once writer Rick Berman came onboard, the films became--well, not bad. Shatner is his usual hammy self here, and he hints that he may not truly be dead after Generations. But he's always entertaining and even introspective as he contemplates growing older and getting a divorce and conveys his regrets about alienating his colleagues--particularly James Doohan (Scotty). An able sequel to Shatner's Star Trek Memories. Also of interest may be Star Trek, Where No One Has Gone Before: A History in Pictures from Pocket Books ($45, 0-671-51149-1), a coffee-table effort covering every permutation of the show, even the animated. John Mort
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060176172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060176174
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on April 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw this book in the bargain bin at the local Borders bookstore and being a fan of the original Star Trek movies, I couldn't resist it. Would this be a huge ego-trip recounting (and inventing) all of William Shatner's triumphs at the expense of his cast-mates? Would he spend too much time talking about his own brilliance instead of the input of the writers and directors? Would I hurl the book against the wall in disgust, vowing never to read another Star Trek autobiography again? Surprisingly, the answer to all of these questions was "no".
From his reputation I never thought I would say this, but Shatner really does not talk about himself enough in this book. I'll wait a moment while you digest this fact. The bulk of the book is spent describing the relationship between the writers and the directors, the producers and the writers, the producers and the directors, the producers and the studio, the writers and the studio, and everyone and Gene Roddenberry. Since Shatner was never involved in any of these early negotiations (with the exception of Star Trek 5) quite a lot of the story is told by large quotations of the people involved. This leads to a somewhat balanced, though occasionally dry, representation of all that goes on behind the scenes of a multi-million dollar movie franchise. Fortunately the stories of the back-stabbing and double-dealing are wildly entertaining in their own right, so the book doesn't suffer much as a result of this.
There aren't a lot of amusing or entertaining anecdotes here nor is there much of anything resembling personal remembrances. At times, one has to stop and remember that this was actually written by someone who was part of the cast and not some random Trek fan doing research and interviews.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek Memories was one of the most pleasant surprises of my reading career. William Shatner is a surprisingly good writer - the book was entertaining, fast flowing, fun, and occasionally very funny.
Thus, I was really looking forward to reading this book, Star Trek Movie Memories. While not as good as the original, it's still very enjoyable. Who cares if parts may be slightly exaggerated? Who cares if some cast members remember some events differently? Personal memoirs are fraught with inconsistencies, even when all the people involved really are telling the truth (as they remember it). This book relies mostly on these personal rememberances and is all the stronger for it. It's an personal and inside look at what the people involved think of Star Trek, rather than a definitive history.
The main problem is the narrow focus of the people participating. There is much less from the actors and much more from the business people. Shatner's main sources (other than his own memory) are Leonard Nimoy, Have Bennet, and Nick Meyers. All three of these people are producers/directors, not actors (except Nimoy, but most of his contributions are from the production side as well). Only George Takai of the "Other 4" cast members is interviewed, and only for the ST III chapter. Ricardo Montalban is the only "guest star" of note to be extensively quoted. Koenig and Doohan are not consulted, which is not surprising, considering their disdain for Shatner, but neither is Nichols, whose interview figured prominently in the first memoir, nor Kelley.
Within the confines of this limitation, however, it's a pretty good book.
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Format: Hardcover
After seeing the movies, avid fans wish to know what happened behind the scenes during the making of the movie. Questions like who yelled at who often arise. However, as in the Star Trek Memories book before it, Bill Shatner does not dish out a lot of gossip or dirt on anyone. Here, he discusses what went into getting the various projects to begin with. Although this may not sound as exciting, I found myself turning pages, amazed that the films were actually made. Roddenberry was not happy with his treatment, and the studio did not appear to want to work with anyone.
For the personal touch, Shatner begins by telling the readers what he was doing before he received the call for the first Star Trek motion picture. From there, the stories tend to cover the people involved in writing the scripts, producing and directing the films, and getting the financing and actors. For this, Shatner provides ample quotes from interviews and letters from the members involved. As with the last book, he does interview Nimoy and Takei, but where are the comments from others?
A bit more personal is the information on Shatner's directing as well as his death scene in the crossover movie. Although sentimental, he does not overdo it.
I would highly recommend this book to Star Trek fans.
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Format: Paperback
After the cancellation of the original Star Trek series, the cast and crew of the Enterprise seemed destined to find careers elsewhere in Hollywood, until it finally became apparent to Paramount how popular Star Trek had remained and continued to gather devoted fans, the die-hard Trekkers. The next step? Why, revive the franchise by producing a movie of course. The rest is history, as they say.

The creation of great art, be it a painting, a book, a play, poem, or a movie, is the result of great struggle and perseverance. Art in any genre does not come to fruition easily, including sci-fi. William Shatner, famous for his role as Capitan Kirk, (but you probably already knew that), reveals the daily bumps, grinds, squabbles, disasters and triumphs he and the Star Trek producers, writers, and actors experienced while creating the now classic Star Trek movies. Shanter not only relies on his own memories but diligently did his homework, researching and interviewing the actors and as many members of the various production teams he could in order to give a balanced view of the times when the first seven movies were made.

I was a Newbie Trekker in high school when I first acquired this book. It certainly is a fascinating read for anyone interested in how the creative teams at Paramount and the famous cast of actors pulled it all together and produced these films. One impression I received from the narration, which rather surprised me, was that Gene Roddenberry, whom we Trekkers hold in the highest respect as the creator of Star Trek, seemed to be among the most outspoken opponents to the producers when the films were made.
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