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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (November 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593935277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593935276
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,047,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Done with humor and style.
Neenee
This is an excellent look inside a world that most of us never see.
Amy D.
All Donner fans and all enjoyed the read.
dwallace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy D. on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for people outside the movie business who want to find out how it really works. I had no idea how much influence movie studio executives, producers, and high-profile actors have on what is supposed to be the director's job. It's no wonder that some movies come out confusing and less coherent than they should. Through examples from Donner's movies, the author interestingly explains how factors like production schedule changes, weather, and budget reductions, greatly influence what the director is able to achieve.

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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Snauffer on December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great read for anyone who is a fan of director Richard Donner and his films. Since it was an authorized biography, the author was able to conduct exclusive interviews with not only Donner but those within the director's closed circle of family, friends, and professional colleagues. The behind-the-scenes anecdotes recalled during those conversations are the highlights of this book; they're in turn amusing, heartfelt, shocking, and above all revealing.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neenee on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Great writing. Done with humor and style. A must read for any movie buffs! Makes me want to see other Donner movies, up up and away!
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Format: Paperback
YOU'RE THE DIRECTOR , YOU FIGURE IT OUT
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 ›
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By MR A J SALKILLD on December 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked up `You're the Director....You figure it out' as a fan of some of Richard Donner's more famous films including Superman, Lethal Weapon and the Goonies. As a movie fan I was keen to find out more about the making of these movies and the career of this great but often overlooked director. The author has managed to include comments from so many of Donner's cast and collaborators as well as friends and family and brings them all together to give an honest, intimate portrait of the man behind the camera. From Donner's first big break with the Omen (1976) to the blockbusters that made his name, it seems like it's all in here.

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.
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