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Inside the insider's view of a major Hollywood Studio
on February 27, 2006
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.