William Wyler is not as well known as Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, or John Ford, but he deserves a place among the superstar directors of classic Hollywood. His style was magnificently fluid; while his films are masterpieces of cinematic artistry, they are also filled with beautiful elements that make his characters and situations utterly real. Among other classics, he directed "Dead End," "Wuthering Heights," "The Little Foxes," "Mrs. Miniver," "The Best Years of Our Lives," "The Heiress," "Roman Holiday," "Ben-Hur," and "Funny Girl." Jan Herman's biography is a lively account of Wyler's life and career that pays special attention to the director's early experiences in Europe, his relationship to the Hollywood mogul Carl Laemmle, his combative partnership with Samuel Goldwyn, his friendships with John Huston and Lillian Hellman, his marriage to Margaret Tallichet, his harrowing experiences making propaganda films during World War II, and his long, immensely successful professional career.
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From Publishers Weekly
Researched and written with the Wyler family's cooperation, Herman's richly satisfying biography takes a close look at the feisty, mischievous William Wyler (1902-1981), who directed Wuthering Heights, Roman Holiday, Friendly Persuasion, Funny Girl and many other memorable films, won three Academy Awards and guided more actors to Oscars (13) than any other director. Herman describes Wyler's painstaking approach to making his 32 films, showing how he worked with writers, actors, producers and technical crew. Equally well-covered are Wyler's early romances, his marriage and family life, his friendship with director John Huston, his thorny but productive relationship with producer Samuel Goldwyn, and his brave defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Finally, Herman reveals how the death of his brother in 1971 led to Wyler's surprising decision to retire from filmmaking and spend the final decade of his life traveling around the world. Written by an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, this biography is a major addition to the literature of Hollywood's golden age. Photos.
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