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You're the Director...You Figure It Out. the Life and Films of Richard Donner Paperback – November 10, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
It is refreshing that this book doesn't hold back in saying why certain movies Donner director didn't succeed, giving reasons that he was and wasn't responsible for. I feel as though I got a true inside look at the industry as well as Donner the man, and was pleased to learn that he is a caring individual. I was fascinated to read about he and directors like Steven Spielberg select which movies they're going to work on. I also finally understand how a director and an actor can develop a working relationship on one film and then contact the other in the future when they run across a script that they think would be right for the other.
This is an excellent look inside a world that most of us never see. It's comprehensive, well-written, filled with quotes from Donner's friends and colleagues, and fun to read. I wish it had been longer!
The book does have its drawbacks, however. The writing is mediocre at best, and as previously stated in another review, it's basically just Donner's biography enhanced by the anecdotes. And while most of the aforementioned tales are truly of interest, the author could have been a bit more selective for the sake of his book's overall narrative. Instead it seems as if he has thrown in every tidbit anyone offered up, leading readers off on long, unnecessary tangents. An economy of words and thoughts might have benefitted the reader in many areas of this tome.
Yet bottom line, this book is required reading for admirers of the great Richard Donner. It's one of the few, and definitely the best, of available resources on his life and career. It also contains a wonderful collection of rare stills of Donner at work on his films.
by James Christie
review by Bruce Marshall
A biography of Richard Donner is an unexpected, but most appreciated event for fans of cinema history. It seems that if your name isn't Hitchcock or Tarantino, publishers are not interested in film director biographies. James Christie has provided a valuable contribution to the field with this authorized biography.
Donner is revered by consumers of popular cinema for his triumphant, warm hearted and respectful 1978 spectacular Superman: The Movie. "You're the Director, You figure it Out" will not disappoint fans of the film (of which I am one) with fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from the production. Donner's work was truly heroic and one comes away with a deep respect for the filmmaker and the man.
Richard Donner worked many years in television before getting his big break with THE OMEN. The film was a spectacular success and assured Donner of a long career as a director and producer. As this is an authorized biography one accepts the fact that the author is an admirer and will paint a mostly flattering portrait of his subject. Christie does a fine job of keeping his objectivity for the most part, but when it comes to the discussion of The Omen he slips a bit. He positions it as a far classier and superior film to The Exorcist (!) - by any measure a landmark cinematic, commercial and cultural achievement.. This is a ridiculous statement but on the whole his assessments of Donner's work are intelligent and insightful.|
The failures get due attention as well as the triumphs. It is interesting to read about the fine fantasy/adventure Ladyhawke which was marred by Donner's controversial decision to score it with rock music.Read more ›
James Christie has done an awesome job of telling Richard Donner's story and has obviously put a lot of effort into including so many of the people who have been involved in the man's life and movies. However, it's not just the facts and the celebrities that make this book such an insightful and riveting read. I have read lots of these kinds of books but sometimes find them to be a bit dry and formulaic but Christie has managed to inject his obvious passion for the movies and the film maker in a way that makes you feel like he was with Donner from the beginning. The book is packed with original anecdotes from the stars and Donner himself and I have to say I was hooked from the first page.
If you are interested in the movies of Richard Donner or the human side of Hollywood I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I grew up watching Dick Donner`s films. Donner`s movies have the heart that present hollywood productions lack. He is a trully passionate filmmaker in his own right. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Carlos M. Sandoval Lopez
Anyone who is a Richard Donner fan knows a book like this has been a long time coming...but for people who are not so familiar, they may be surprised to know he directed some of... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Todd J. Lampe
Richard Dinner is one of my favorite Directors. The first film that I can remember seeing of his was 'The Toy', in 1982. From that film on, I was a fan. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Xoxo
It's about time a Richard Donner book was released. I love most of Donner's movies, particularly Superman, Goonies, and Lethal Weapon (the Richard Donner cut of Superman II is up... Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by ryan bingham
Good book, interstng if you like the subject. Very well written. Gave as a gift for a couple uncles, father-in-law and husband this past Christmas. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by dwallace