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Superman vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon (Cappella Books) Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Cappella Books
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527319
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Replete with scams, lawsuits, megolomaniacal egos, and neurotic actors, with plenty of juicy gossip.  —Library Journal



"Essential for pop-culture collections."  —Booklist


"Solid research and crisp prose make this Superman book a winner."  —Kirkus Reviews



"The best book yet about the powerful and profitable relationship between superheroes and Hollywood."  —Devin Faraci, critic, Cinematic Happenings Under Development


"Fast, smart and uncompromising."  —Tom Mankiewicz, screenwriter, director, and creative consultant on Superman and Superman II


"Superman fans, take warning—you will not want to know any of the gut-churning facts contained herein. And you will not be able to stop reading. Good luck."  —Patton Oswalt, actor and comedian



"It's a wonderful and often scary look at the silver screen and how it has tried so hard to defeat the Man of Steel."  —Ain't It Cool News


"There is so much to discover that Rossen's book should be required reading for all fans of Superman in any medium. . . . It is a film lover's history book that delivers all that we'll ever need to know about the man of steel and his battle against Hollywood."  —Mania.com

About the Author

Jake Rossen is a freelance writer who wrote a cover story for Wizard magazine on Superman Returns.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is one book not to miss, it is almost impossible to put down.
A. A. Ozok
There's an excursion by one chapter into the Salkinds' Supergirl movie and it's effect on the Superman franchise.
Hugs_Trees
Anyone who is interested in the Superman mythos should read this book.
foreverknitefan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Chipman on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sweet merciful Rao, where do I begin? SUPERMAN VS. HOLLYWOOD paints a bizarre tapestry centering on one of the world's most enduring fictional icons, with "enduring" being the operative word: under the smart and thorough pen of Jake Rossen, the book chronicles the behind-the-scenes ineptitude, cheapness, lack of creativity and flat-out viciousness that has provided more degradation to the Superman legacy than its various radio, film and TV permutations did creative contributions. And we're not talking about simply Donner vs. the Salkinds here, folks...this book covers almost every dirty little self-driven machination that ever embedded itself into Superman's non-print pursuits, going all the way back to the 1940s radio show. The film branch of the Superman brand takes up the lion's share of the book, but preceding it are some truly fascinating accounts, including the Superman radio show writers taking cues on an episode attacking the Ku Klux Klan by having an infiltrator of their own in attendance at Klan meetings, as well as the professional struggles of George Reeves as a result of donning the cape, and the lurid goings-on that almost certainly led to his demise, from whatever viewpoint you choose to look at the circumstances of his death. This early portion of the book also contends with the myriad efforts of the producers of "The Adventures Of Superman" to cotton to sponsorship - including the curious exclusion of Lois Lane from any Kellogg's commercials, which in one instance had Clark, Jimmy AND Perry at a breakfast table - and their wild attempts to revive the Superman TV franchise in the wake of Reeves' death (I'd also recommend viewing the 2006 Superman documentary "Look!Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Hugs_Trees on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so engaged that I read the book in a day instead of stretching it out. Lots of interesting info. The backstage in-fighting was fascinating and so were the accounts of the evolution of various Superman TV shows and movies. Since the other reviewers have hit a lot of the high points, and at the time that I purchased the book, no table of contents was attached, here's a breakdown of the subjects covered.

The first couple of chapters cover Bud Collyer,Kirk Alyn, and George Reeves, as you might expect. The middle section deals largely with the Salkinds, Richard Donner, Richard Lester, and Christoper Reeve; the making of Superman I-III. There's an excursion by one chapter into the Salkinds' Supergirl movie and it's effect on the Superman franchise. There are also scattered references throughout the book to the Batman TV shows/movies and that franchise's effects on Superman. Spiderman and other superhero movie/shows are referenced, but Batman gets the most page time.

The Cannon Group and Superman IV are also discussed. Then we move onto the Superboy TV show and more on the Salkinds. The next bit covers Lois & Clark and there's a brief visit to Bruce Timm's animated version of Superman. Smallville is also dealt with. Most of the latter portion of the book is about with the scripts, producers, and actors contemplated for various possible versions of a new Superman movie before Superman Returns was decided upon. Bryan Singer and the making of Superman Returns are also discussed.

On the whole, this is a very intriguing look. I wish the author had been less cursory in the discussions of Smallville and had gone into more detail with the animated versions of Superman, but I would recommend this book to any Superman fan.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AlabasterDisaster on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was blown away at how much fun "Superman vs. Hollywood" was to read. The author did an outstanding job of collecting the myriad ways the Man of Steel has been abused (and more rarely, dignified) by producers, ad men, corporate sponsors and harried writers, directors and animators. Writer Jake Rossen captures the zeitgeist of each Super-era, from the family values-obsessed 50s to the campy 60s and beyond. This book is not just for Superman fans, but for anyone who is interested in the absurd, infuriating and hilarious machinations of Hollywood. Definitely one of the most readable pieces of non-ficton I have come across in a long time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Ozok on February 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far the best non-fiction book on Superman. It comes close to best non-fiction I EVER read. Rossen's high intelligence is obvious in every part of the book, from the no-nonsense attitude on the book pages to the excellent cover design. The majority of the book deals with the movie adaptations, and boy, is it a fascinating read... This is not your standard kissing-up fare talking about how wonderful everyone involved in the franchise was. There are a lot of harsh words for a lot of people, and everything is supported by documents. I have always considered myself a Superman enthusiast. Having read this book, I now consider myself a Superman expert. The book is full of information which sometimes gets your jaw to drop. Did you know that before he was cast, Chris Reeve was working in a $5 admission theater, making $75 a week? Did you know that the Salkinds took the first Superman film hostage in Europe about one week prior to its release, and asked for $15 million from Warner Bros. (Warner relented and paid the money)?
This is one book not to miss, it is almost impossible to put down. Highly recommended.
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