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You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again Paperback – April 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451205332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451205339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A hell of a story." San Francisco Chronicle

"A blistering look at la la land." USA Today

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Customer Reviews

Simply put, read this book.
She sounds like a spoiled brat, who needed money for whatever reason and she knew this kind of book would make a lot of money for her.
The book is a very funny and filled with wonderful quotes.
Michael Grace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By M. Chapman on June 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In her Oscar acceptance speech for Best Picture, Julia Phillips described herself as a "nice Jewish girl from Great Neck." Well, she got 2/3 of it right. But nice? No way.
This book is one of the greatest acts of literary self-immolation ever published. It's hard not to feel sorry for Phillips at first, suffering as she does from a toxic mother, a workaholic father, insomnia and a Talmudic intellect.
But you get over that feeling in a hurry, as Phillips bullies, maneuvers, sleeps and stomps her way to the top, winning an Oscar for The Sting at the unheard-of age of 29. Her motto: overcompensate; overachieve. If you can't be best, be first.
As she notes, no young person is ever ready for massive success, and her career crashed just as quickly. After being more or less fired from Close Encounters by Steven Speilberg, her life became a broken record of drug abuse, failed relationships, financial problems and closed doors gleefully slammed by those she used and abused on the way up. Through it all she makes it all seem like a big game, but the human wreckage strewn across the landscape will give the reader pause.
It's hard to know whether Phillips' broadsides at anyone and everyone with whom she had contact are simply through spite, or whether we'd all be better off if Hollywood simply disappeared in the next big quake. Phillips claims that she's just being honest, but snide remarks about a crewmember's physical deformity make her seem only nasty.
Hate it as she did, Phillips revelled in the politics, the backstabbing, the lies and shallowness, the feeling of power that came with the title of Producer. She learned fast ("Always negotiate the height and WIDTH of your [on-screen] credit," she advises, after her on-screen credit for The Sting is "willow thin.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently picked up "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" at my local Store ...after all, I like a change from the fantasy of novel reading, to the fantasy of stars and their satelites. If it's cheap enough. I enjoy the irony of the tales of wealth and excesses of people who have (& abuse) so much, while we mere mortals are stressing over the next rent payment, thankful we aren't among the homeless and hungry.
I expected standard Hollywood dirt-dishing. I was unprepared for the vengeful & venomous whining from a woman who'd once set a new standard for women in 'the industry', yet never saw she'd helped create the viper's nest she later exposed in over 600 paqes of difficult to read complaining.
Yet I read it all. I thought the bitter and mean-spirited texture of the book, with it's raw self-revelation/loathing theme, would have some gentler conclusion, message, or lesson learned by the author. It didn't. As tough as Julia Phillips was, she never beat her addiction...to Hollywood.
Julia lost sight of the fact that though she was singular in a particular era of film making, she was not unique in the battle with the temptations of self-medication, or the quest for happiness we all make. This "but I'm so special as a woman" sexist vein is the glue that held this book together, and would have been acceptable to the reader if we could feel at the end that Julia ever really "got it". I found the book drew me into the nastiness, though it seemed obvious the fine details of every deal or friendship were written for insiders. Name- dropping as the weapon of choice.
We all love the movies; have our favorite actors and directors; we like to believe there really is some impossible magic, and that true artistry will win out and be noticed in a flood of wannabes.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Winterich on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
A girl brought up in New York in the 1940s and 1950s by liberal, educated parents comes of age during the dawn of youth culture and the rock and roll era. She matriculates from Mount Holyoke College, finds work in magazine publishing and soon makes a lateral move into the film industry. As half of a husband-and-wife production team, she co-produces "The Sting," "Taxi Driver" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and later becomes a studio exec. Never secure in her unique male-dominated business/creative Hollywood environment, she divorces her co-producer, spends heavily, and spirals into drug addiction with a series of financially dependent live-in boyfriends.

There are a number of things to like here. Julia Phillips was bright, witty and articulate. We learn something about how business is done in Hollywood, how egos are flexed and about the junior high social games and power plays, such as deliberately showing up late for scheduled meetings: for all the mirror gazing done by people in the industry, there is little seeing of oneself, she explains. Insights about Redford, Coppola, DeNiro, Beatty, Madonna, Penn, Scorsese, Spielberg, Geffen and author Erica Jong (and, bizarrely, an evening with G. Gordon Liddy and Timothy Leary) are compelling. When published in 1991, this book was overhyped as an expose'. Nothing here rises to the level of shock (except that she hid her cocaine freebasing, and the substance abuse of her live-in boyfriends, from her ex-husband for years as she retained custody of their young daughter). Ms. Phillips bluntly criticizes some well-known, powerful people in her book, but never without an explanation, and without sparing herself.
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