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The Man Who Created Halloween Paperback – August 9, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478105267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478105268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews


An account of Halloween creator Yablans’ rise from a hardscrabble childhood in Brooklyn to the upper echelons of the studio system in Hollywood where he would help change the way movies are made.

During World War II, Yablans grew up in roach-infested, cramped apartments in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which was largely inhabited by second-generation Jews escaping the teeming ghettos of the Lower East Side. It was a close-knit community by necessity and Yablans, like so many of his background, was encouraged not to have high expectations. Working in the garment district and then in backbreaking labor at the Navy Yard, he escaped the hellish monotony by joining the army and upon discharge, took up an offer to work in sales at Warner Brothers. Yablans had a learning disability that had confounded his teachers because he was innately bright, so he dropped out of high school. Given a chance at Warner, he committed himself wholeheartedly to work. Moving through the ranks at the studio, he eventually wound up in Los Angeles with his brother, Frank, following. Frank would become president of Paramount Pictures and a golden child for a time, and Irwin would eventually shake up the studio system and forge ahead with independent films, pioneering his own studio. With Halloween, he helped launch the career of John Carpenter and created a horror classic. Yablans shows us the film industry from the business end, where the point is the bottom line and where shark-infested political dealings are routine. He paints a portrait of a cutthroat but exciting world of unimaginable wealth, struggle and movie stars where dreams are the product sold to the world at large. Although there are many poignant moments beneath the nuts-and-bolts insights into the business of movies, Yablans also can be brutally frank, noting a “bulbous nose” or character flaw, and is as much a player as anyone. When the film The Message resulted in 149 people being held as hostages by black Muslim extremists and several deaths, Yablans rode the crest by increasing the film’s circulation in theaters across the country. Essentially, it is an entertaining and captivating story of a spirited man of humble roots who attained even his most unimaginable dreams, including a stint as a competitive cowboy, and helped usher in a new era of films.

The fascinating memoir of a true Hollywood mogul that traces his life from Brooklyn to Warner Brothers. (27 pages of b/w photographs)

About the Author

Producer, writer , executive and independent film maker Irwin Yablans’ career has spanned more than half a century. After holding key positions at Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and Orion Pictures, Yablans formed his own film company, Compass International Pictures.

In 1978, he conceived, created and executively produced the seminal, classic film Halloween, directed by a then unknown John Carpenter. Budgeted at a mere $325,000 and distributed through Compass, Halloween grew into a phenomenon, becoming the most successful independent picture ever made. Yablans’ innovative approach to making and selling movies blazed the trail for subsequent independents such as New Line Cinema and the Weinstein Company.

Now retired, Yablans lives with his wife Diana in Palm Desert, California, where he writes and plays golf. The Man Who Created Halloween is his first book.


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Customer Reviews

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I found this book to be very well written and surprisingly interesting.
Liz T
The Man Who Created Halloween is a "can't put it down" memoir by Irwin Yablans, the man who pioneered the most influential film franchise of the horror genre.
Gary Gittelsohn
It was a very easy read - I couldn't put it down (finished it in one day!).
Christopher Hitchens II

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ChadATL on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I knew before reading it that this book would be more of an autobiography of Mr. Yablans early life and career leading up to his invaluable contributions to the creation of the classic film and beyond, but I am a bit disappointed that only a small fraction of the book lends its time to discussing many of the day to day, behind the scenes goings on during the actual filming process. These little anecdotes are what most fans of the series, myself included, can't seem to get enough of! Giving Yablans the benefit of the doubt, however, as a producer and distributer he must have been in full work mode back then with scant time to focus on trivial banalities. However, the book works well as a biographical piece about a rags to riches young man who took a chance in playing the Hollywood game and, for a while, managed to spin the Old Hollywood system round in its heels!
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Don't let them fool you. If you are a big enough fan of Halloween to know that Irwin Yablans produced it, you are a big enough fan to own this book. Great behind the scenes photos that I had never seen (and I am a mega Halloween fan) and great insight into the man that made cinematic history. Thank you Mr. Yablans for sharing your story and your history of this great movie!!!!!!
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By john ball on October 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book love the moves wonderfull for fall. And all those horror fans out there. You will love it a lot
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I found this book to be very well written and surprisingly interesting. I am not particularly interested in the film industry, but I wanted to know more about Irwin Yablans. I loved the book! I enjoyed reading about Irwin's adventures, the people he worked with and his family history. The book was written with a lot of insight and love. He had a great career, with very interesting twists and turns. The book ended too soon. Thanks, Irwin!
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Format: Paperback
We enter the childhood imagination of Irwin Yablans, on page one: "Cockroaches, crawling everywhere, covering one kitchen wall as completely as a section of wallpaper. That image remains my first conscious memory." Indeed, this book begins with, and is essentially a memory of, childhood. It is also a story about the origins of the independent film busines before one officially existed or was even talked about, much less thought of as an "artistic haven". Yablans shares his rags-to-riches story honestly, including the haphazard, map-less journey he had to take, often in fear and desperation, with all the snares, traps, back-stabbings and betrayals, both in his own life and family and within the Hollywood studio system, which are intertwined. With imagery like this, I was immediately drawn in and sympathetic to the life of one who lived in the tenements of Brooklyn, after WWII. I wanted to know more about a boy with no money, little belief in the education system, and a lack of nurturing from his often absent father. I wanted to know, too, how such a child embarked on a career in the movie business, without any guidance at all! This is a sometimes disarmingly honest story, sometimes hilarious, yet poignant with often painful impressions and experiences of the world and of betrayals and treachery Yablans endured, even by those closest to him. Yablans' trek from Brooklyn to Hollywood was a journey every person with artistic ambitions fears having to make yet needs to know about if s/he wants a career in the movie business. His style is a cross between Henry Miller's and Paul Auster's, though the voice and narrative are original, clear, and concise. I recommend this for anyone interested in memoir, stories of childhood, horror, and the "movie business". This is not one to miss, if you need both business savvy and artistic inspiration!
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By Dave H on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a sub-mediocre work with some of the most je june storytelling of pedantic situations in the life of a producer. Of course, I bought this book with the hopes of learning more about the beginnings of Halloween and on set antics. Once those twenty pages were completed, the rest of the tale read like a spoiled brat's exploits and incorrigible attitude in reflecting on a storied career.

Also, because this novel is a print on demand, the editing is absolutely horrendous and leaves the work full of grammatical errors that will frustrate many readers.

I wanted to love the hell out of this book, but it was a clear thievery of devout Halloween fans (title and cover).
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By Adam M Walsh on October 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was hardly about Halloween. Just the huge ego of an old man who takes way to much credit for nothing he did that mattered. Don't waste your money.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Heffernan on September 1, 2012
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Great book written by a great guy. I loved all the stories and experiences. It is well written and kept my interest from cover to cover. Do another one - I can't wait.
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