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Bring on the Empty Horses Paperback – Import, 2006
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The big stars like Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Greta Garbo, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, and Humphrey Bogart are all mentioned; the film directors and producers like Samuel Goldwyn, John Huston, Michael Curtiz, William Wellman, and all the other inhabitants that made Hollywood the magical place it was - while gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper intimidated many personalities with their "items" publicized in the scandal sheets.
The title is derived from Director Michael Curtiz's statement as recorded by Niven who said during the filming of "Charge of the Light Brigade" at the point when the wranglers were to release the riderless horses to indicate the carnage that had just been visited upon the 600 charging cavalrymen Curtiz raised up his megaphone and shouted "Bring on the empty horses!" delighting all who heard the malapropism.
Niven is always a gentleman in his disclosures and never does he make anybody look bad, rather he shows the humor lurking just below the surface in just about any situation for anybody who was willing to look. "Bring on the Empty Horses" is an insider's view into the movie bidness during the time when it was at its most fascinating with stars like you don't see any more.
If you are a film buff, David Niven's book will give you lots of ammunition for your cocktail party conversations with your fellow film fans. I personally like the 1930 - 59 era the best and strive to see all the films from that era that I can. Typically they are better than the later stuff by a large margin. Niven stated that the studios had name writers under contract to provide scripts for all their projects. With a good script, he said anybody can look good and I think he was right.