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The Studio Paperback – April 14, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In 1967, John Gregory Dunne asked for unlimited access to the inner workings of Twentieth Century Fox. Miraculously, he got it. For one year Dunne went everywhere there was to go and talked to everyone worth talking to within the studio. He tracked every step of the creation of pictures like "Dr. Dolittle," "Planet of the Apes," and "The Boston Strangler." The result is a work of reportage that, thirty years later, may still be our most minutely observed and therefore most uproariously funny portrait of the motion picture business.

Whether he is recounting a showdown between Fox's studio head and two suave shark-like agents, watching a producer's girlfriend steal a silver plate from a restaurant, or shielding his eyes against the glare of a Hollywood premiere where the guests include a chimp in a white tie and tails, Dunne captures his subject in all its showmanship, savvy, vulgarity, and hype. Not since F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West has anyone done Hollywood better.

"Reads as racily as a novel...(Dunne) has a novelist's ear for speech and eye for revealing detail...Anyone who has tiptoed along those corridors of power is bound to say that Dunne's impressionism rings true."--Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375700080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375700088
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David M. Berner on February 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a terribly funny and telling documentary. Mr. Dunne, who had a considerable reputation and experience as a screenwriter, somehow convinced the powers at Twentieth Century Fox to give him carte blanche and complete access to every peculiar nook and sneaky cranny at the studio. Sitting in on major meetings with the Zanucks,writers, producers, agents, stars, attending gala openings and hanging about sets, Dunne was the ultimate fly-on-the-wall. The movies in production during the year (1967)he spent soaking up this rarified atmosphere included "Dr. Doolittle," "Star," and "Hello Dolly," which means we get great dish on Rex Harrison, Barbra Streisand, Anthony Newley, Gene Kelly and Walter Matthau, to name only a few.

The stories are told in a droll, straight-ahead manner, which makes the gags even funnier. One can scarcely believe the kinds of things that Hollywood Heavies utter, apparently unashamed and on a fairly regular basis.

For the record, Mr. Dunne, also the author of a number of first-rate novels, was the late husband of writer Joan Didion, whose current memoir about dealing with his death - "The Year of Magical Thinking" - is deservedly at the top of the charts these days.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Edwin Graf Diemer on April 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Absolutely brilliant-people in Hollywood still refer to "AD" (After Dunne), and you know a book like this won't happen again. The attitude is "Where you find clowns there is usually a circus", and the level of amaturism on display here is astounding. The best section has to be the one on the making of the legendary flop "Dr. Dolittle"-you are there as they read the disastrous preview cards. A $18 million investment is on the line, and all the producer's girlfriend can think of is stealing a silver tray from a restaurant and what dress to wear for the premiere. Hilarious, and still required reading at film study courses today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Mcclure on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although a little dated (originally written circa 1969) this is still one of the great inside stories about what goes on (or more precisely did go on) in the old Hollywood. Written about the time that the old studio system finally collapsed, it collects some great anecdotes for film buffs. Besides, it is well written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd heard so much about this classic book that I was disappointed reading it. So much more dirt has been exposed about the films and studio he discusses that the book now sounds complimentary to the studio and the film Dr. Doolittle that was destroying it. The actual shooting of Dr. Doolittle was much worse than is described, Rex Harrison was a terrible, arrogant, racist drunk, and everyone involved in Dunne's narrative were so much more cruel and dumb that the book, 35 years after it was first published ,seems benign.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
I loved the author's great storytelling of the crazy ways decisions were made by brilliant people, based on their gut instincts, experience and few facts. Dated, but great background to help explain why decisions are still made in crazy ways in Hollywood. Easy and fun reading about the Zanucks and their cohorts.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Excellent, casual writing style. Great stories of the Zanucks and others, their gut-based and fact-less decision making and egos. An easy read on that quick plane trip from Hollywood to your Napa hideaway.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent look at the studio system in the late 1960s as told by author John Gregory Dunne, a master writer.
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