10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great blow-by-blow account of movie making,
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This review is from: The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco (Paperback)
First rate account of the making of Brian De Palma's Bonfire of the Vanities. Salamon, at the time a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, received what appears to have been total access to director De Palma, the actors, costume designers, cameramen, and practically everyone else involved in the making of the movie. The level of detail may be too much for someone looking for a quick account of what went wrong in the making of this film, but I found it all fascinating. The only other book I know of that provides a comparably detailed inside look at the making of a movie is Lillian Ross's Picture, which was an account of the making of John Huston's Red Badge of Courage in 1951. A fair amount has changed in movie making since this book was written. For instance, Salamon devotes considerable time to following the second unit director as he attempts to set up some difficult shots, one involving the landing of a Concorde jet at sunset. These days, I imagine most movie goers would assume such a shot was actually cgi. I read the Da Capo Press 2002 reprint. (Interesingly, the subtitle of the book changed from "The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood" to "The Anatomy of a Hollywood Fiasco." Probably an indication that this film had been largely forgotten by 2002.) The reprint edition has an afterword that briefly discusses the reception of the book -- Bruce Willis was livid -- and the impact of the film on the careers of De Palma and the other people who are the focus of the book. Unfortunately, the photos from the first edition are not reproduced and the quality of the printing is a little off. Whatever reproduction technique was used imparted a bit of waviness to many of the lines of text.