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Bringing Back The Old Hollywood: Wild Times and Life Lessons With Sinatra, Cruise, Reeve, Madonna and More Paperback – February 2, 2011
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About the Author
Stephen Simon was born into a successful Hollywood family. His father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a producer/director who made films with stars such as Abbott and Costello, Lana Turner, and Red Skelton. S. Sylvan Simon died when Stephen was four years old, an event which compelled Frank Sinatra to become Stephen’s “godfather”. Stephen’s stepfather Armand Deutsch, was a film producer at MGM who produced films with stars such as Robert Taylor, James Stewart, and Grace Kelly. Armand Deutsch adopted Stephen, changing the young boy’s last name to Deutsch. In 1996, Stephen legally changed his name back to Simon. In more than thirty years as a producer, director, and production executive, Stephen Simon has been involved in the production of over twenty films. Stephen produced such acclaimed projects as the Academy Award® winning What Dreams May Come (starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr.), the cult classic Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour), and All The Right Moves (Tom Cruise). Stephen was also co-executive producer on fan favorites Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (Keanu Reeves), produced She’s Out of Control (Tony Danza), executive produced Body of Evidence (Madonna), produced the first original film to premiere on the Internet (Quantum Project), starring John Cleese and Stephen Dorff, was an executive producer on Linda McCartney for CBS Television, and was nominated for an Emmy Award as one of the executive producers of Homeless to Harvard for Lifetime Television. Stephen was the head of production of the film companies of legendary Hollywood producers Ray Stark (Funny Girl, The Goodbye Girl, The Way We Were) and Dino De Laurentiis (Serpico, La Strada, 3 Days of The Condor). Stephen has been a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences since 1984. Stephen earned his B.A. from UCLA in 1971 and LLD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1974. Stephen’s sister is well-known film critic Susan Granger. Stephen resides near Portland, Oregon with his wife Lauren, two of their six children, two cats, and a dog. For more information:www.TheOldHollywood.com
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Will be a classic someday, just like "Somewhere in Time" and "What Dreams May Come"
Congrats Stephen and thanks for giving us a seminal look into both Old & New Hollywood!
Vic "no relation, other than soul brother" Simon
Stephen has written a remarkable book titled Bringing Back Old Hollywood. In the book, he displays his passion for, and true love of, film-making and his real desire to see films get made that audiences can feel passionate about as well.
While giving you a glimpse into his past, as the son of prolific Hollywood film producer/director, S. Sylvan Simon, who jump-started Frank Sinatra's sagging career by casting him in From Here to Eternity and worked with the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Red Skelton and many other old Hollywood names that you might know, Stephen is brutally honest about many mistakes that he has made in both his personal and professional life.
Having made more than my fair share of mistakes over the years, and heaven knows I have certainly made more than my fair share... I felt better knowing that someone like Stephen would have the courage to tell you the story of his life. He tells you the real story of his life so far, not the "Hollywood" version. You know what I mean, the stories with the improbably happy endings and the impossibly triumphant music swelling over the closing credits. No, in fact, many of the stories that Stephen relates don't end well at all, but isn't that what real life is all about?
In admitting his mistakes, Stephen allows us to go on a journey of discovery and rebirth with him. After getting knocked down, Stephen has picked himself up, dusted himself off and gotten on with the business of life on more than one occasion always pursuing his passion for film-making. Ultimately, his story is one of hope, and I felt better after reading it. In the end, isn't that what we all really want to know about our life, that there really is hope for all of us no matter how many times we fall down?
So, do yourself a favor. Get a copy of Stephen's book, settle into a comfortable chair and get ready for a great read. In true Old Hollywood fashion, you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll be amazed!
Hopefully, you will also be moved to join with Stephen in seeing that films get made that audiences will remember for more than five minutes after they leave the theatre. I know you will remember his book long after you finish it.
University of Toledo, English Department
Well, that's just a miniscule sample of what's in Stephen Simon's wonderful retrospect, "Bringing Back the Old Hollywood." I ran into this when I was actually looking up some things about "Somewhere In Time," which my wife and I stumbled onto one night after it was first released (1980) and which Stephen produced. Getting my copy directly from him and communicating with him a little was a thrill. I am a movie buff, and this book is a delight to read. To read the list of people he grew up around (such as his "Godfather," Frank Sinatra), the stories he tells about it all, his experiences as a producer, director, and executive, as well as some of his own confessions of personal struggles, is just fascinating. I know it's a trite and overused expression, but I really could not put it down.
But this book is about much more. I feared I was the only one who thought today's Hollywood is more schlock than substance. Much of the fare on the big screen is either a remake of something else or just a formulaic farce. Special effects have replaced stories, and characters are often about as deep as a thimble. That is the author's passion, to bring back what used to be, not with a time machine (just more special effects), but with writers, producers, directors, and executives who are more concerned about drama than demographics, who are just as fervent about making a good "B-movie" that has soul as they are with the blockbuster that just sells. I hope you will give it a read.
Stephen, all the best. (Reviewed by: Doc Watson)
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