From Publishers Weekly
While Who the Devil Made It
allowed Bogdanovich to chat with Hollywood's great directors, this work finds him hobnobbing with some of the screen's legendary actors. He arranges the profiles according to when he met the subjects. Bogdanovich began as an actor, studying under Stella Adler, but met many of his subjects as a journalist for Esquire
and other publications in the 1960s. Some of those encounters resulted in lifelong friendships with stars like Cary Grant and Jerry Lewis, but once Bogdanovich began writing and directing his own movies (like the Oscar-nominated The Last Picture Show
), several relationships became professional, too, which leads to tales of working with legends like Boris Karloff and Audrey Hepburn at the end of their careers, as well as a heartbreakingly poignant chapter on the making of River Phoenix's last film. There's someone for just about every sort of film buff: from Bogart and Bacall to Sinatra and Martin, from John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart to John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara. Despite the strong autobiographical context, Bogdanovich never dominates, always giving his stars center stage and ending each chapter with a list of recommended viewing. Those who like classic movies will fall in love with this book and, despite its nearly 600 pages, they'll find themselves wishing for more. 120 photos.
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As they did with his 1997 compendium on film directors, Who the Devil Made It
, critics embraced Bogdanovichs Who the Hells in It
, his paean to legendary Hollywood actors, most of whom are now dead. Reviewers applaud the detail and care with which Bogdanovich paints his subjectsAudrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, among themand the professional insight he brings to this collection. "Inside the bon vivant and raconteur that is todays Bogdanovich," writes the Washington Post
, "is an honest-to-goodness film historian." They agree Bogdanovich is singular when he allows Lauren Bacall to reminisce about Bogey and prompts Jerry Lewis to hold forth on Dean Martin. However, several conclude that Bogdanovichs friendship with his principals sometimes obscures his ability to view them with the cold eye necessary for objective analysis.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.