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Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?: The Truth About Female Power in Hollywood Paperback – May 14, 2002

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Paperback, May 14, 2002
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375758690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375758690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite her provocative title, Premiere senior writer Abramowitz's look at some of Hollywood's female players (including Paramount chief Sherry Lansing, writer/director Nora Ephron and actor/director Jodie Foster) turns out to be a rather scattershot account that only glances its target. The material is not much more developed than it was in Abramowitz's magazine articles. And as is typical in such an overview, the emphases given to the various women may seem debatable to some readers. For example, Abramowitz only briefly mentions Julia Phillips, the producer of The Sting, perhaps because Phillips already expressed herself so well in her classic slash-and-burn Hollywood memoir, You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again. Although Abramowitz's book rarely captures the passion of Phillips's, it does provide some pathos in describing the rise and demise of Dawn Steel, the tough-talking studio executive who succumbed to a brain tumor. In what is perhaps a sign of the times, the profiled women seem reluctant to complain too loudly about any gender discrimination they have faced or to advocate too strongly any particular ties of sisterhood. Perhaps it's because, as Ephron notes, "If you're not helped by men, you don't get anywhere in this business, because they run it, women don't." Still, Abramowitz's analyses of these women's business experiences will appeal to media junkies as well as those looking to carve out their own careers in Hollywood. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is a superbly written and insightful look at the lives of some of Hollywood's most powerful women--directors, writers, agents, actors, and other major players. Sherry Lansing, Sue Mengers, Polly Platt, Penny Marshall, Dawn Steel, Nora Ephron, and others all made their careers with talent, creativity, perseverance, and hard work in an industry known to be difficult at best and rife with obstacles at worst--particularly for women and particularly when these women built their careers. Their stories are more than just a chronicle of strong women who triumphed against the prevailing odds and shattered sexist practices within the industry; they are intensely absorbing narratives, rich in details of childhood memories, heartbreaks, inspirations, past experiences, and family and friends (men included) that all shape their lives, both personal and professional. Each woman is real--not just a famous name--and Abramowitz, a senior writer at Premiere, weaves their separate stories together with consummate skill and emotional resonance. This important work will provide a substantial and lasting addition to the serious literature on both Hollywood culture and women's studies.
-Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Rachel Abramowitz has achieved what so many would like to accomplish. She has written an intelligent, compelling and very entertaining account of how women achieve power in Hollywood. The book opens with Dawn Steel's death in 1997 and for the next 500 pages it is almost impossible to put down.
Abramowitz has done her research well. This was a book that took her seven to write and I can believe it. We learn how a studio runs and we glimpse the personal lives of the most powerful women in town.
On the production side Dawn Steel, Sherry Lansing, Polly Platt are profiled and we learn a great deal about each one of these major studio players. Female directors and actresses such as Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Barbra Streisand, Jodie Foster have their careers and lives etched with great detail.
The women that Abramowitz talks about happen to be high profile Hollywood producers, agents and actors. However, they could just as well be in any boardroom in any city in the US. It is also a story about the adversity that women face in big business.
A difficult book to put down.
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