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George Cukor: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperback)) Paperback – October 24, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

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Cukor thrived in the Hollywood studio system, creating some of the most beloved movies of the '30s and '40s, including The Philadelphia Story and Adam's Rib. He continued making films into the '80s, but during most of his last three decades, he just tried to recapture his glory days. These interviews come from that period and possess a retrospective, valedictory feeling. Cukor provides insight on his screenwriters, cinematographers, and other collaborators, but his casts get the most attention. After all, "I achieved practically all my screen effects through actors and actresses," he says. In the latest interviews, he grows increasingly curmudgeonly, bemoaning the increased sexual freedom and other changes in Hollywood. It is ironic, then, that the last of these 21 interviews was conducted by the gay magazine The Advocate only months before his death. In it Cukor touches for the first time upon his homosexuality, well known within the industry but covert outside of it. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"What more can we say? Except, perhaps, to reprint Katherine Hepburn's words: "The only really important thing I have to say about George Cukor is that all other directors I have worked with starred themselves... George 'starred' the actor. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (October 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578063876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578063871
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael Samerdyke on April 16, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a solid entry in the "Conversations with Filmmakers" series, consisting of interviews with Cukor from the early Sixties to the early Eighties.

I have a hit-or-miss relationship with Cukor. Some of his most famous films, such as "Dinner at Eight," leave me cold, while I love some of his lesser-known works such as "The Marrying Kind" and "Les Girls."

Two things about Cukor struck me from this book. First, he was a tough guy in that he was fired from "Gone With the Wind" yet didn't obsess about this for the rest of his life. (From other books in this series, Robert Aldrich and Sam Peckinpah seemed never to let go of the fact that they had been fired from far lesser films, and Michael Powell just seemed obsessed with the bad reviews "Peeping Tom" received.)

The other thing about Cukor was that he stayed current to the end. It is something of a shock to find him talking about and appreciating "Annie Hall" and "Star Wars."

Definitely worth reading if you appreciate Cukor and his films.
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Format: Paperback
George Cukor is another Hollywood director with a reputation for claiming the status of craftsman, not artist, for himself, but he's far more forthcoming than Ford in the George Cukor Interviews book, edited by Robert Emmet Long. If Ford's pose was curmudgeonly and ultimately bitter, Cukor's is witty, self-deprecating, and pragmatic. Told of Cahiers du Cinema's analyses of his films, he says "I'm very amused reading these very nice articles about my work." Asked about his firing from Gone with the Wind, he replies, "I have never wasted time regretting setbacks of this kind; I am too much a fatalist, or perhaps just too conceited for that. I have always felt that if I couldn't make one picture I would just make another." Cukor proves himself an incisive judge of other people's work. He sardonically laments Lawrence of Arabia's narrative slackness: "I didn't know what their point was. It was lost in all those surging masses." Generally he's as respectful of actors in his comments as he is in his films, though he bristled at being called a "woman's director." "That one stuck with me regardless of my other attributes. And I, supine fool that I was, said `Yes, yes, I am.' Now that I'm older, I say `What the hell do you mean?'" Asked what drives him, he replies, "the irrepressible urge to tell people what to do." Included in both the Ford and Cukor volumes are a chronology, a filmography, an index, and a photo gallery.
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