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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by MR A J SALKILLD
It's about time a Richard Donner book was released. I love most of Donner's movies, particularly Superman, Goonies, and Lethal Weapon (the Richard Donner cut of Superman II is up... Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by ryan bingham
Good book, interstng if you like the subject. Very well written. Gave as a gift for a couple uncles, father-in-law and husband this past Christmas. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by dwallace
It's about time someone wrote a book about Richard Donner and his film legacy. He is an unsung hero of the film industry. He's made classic blockbusters as well as small gems. Read morePublished on January 16, 2011 by BMAN