The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood

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9780395569962: The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood

“So much better, so much more fun, than the movie it is about that one must be thankful to the filmmakers for producing such a spectacle, if only so that this book could be written.”—Vogue
 
When film director Brian De Palma invited author Julie Salamon to follow him on the set of The Bonfire of the Vanities, he had no idea that the fifty-million-dollar movie would become one of Hollywood’s biggest flops. The Devil’s Candy is the juicy, bestselling exposé that sent Hollywood honchos running for cover. Who was responsible for the last-minute casting change that cost four million dollars? Who knew that Melanie Griffith would show up halfway through the filming with a new set of breasts? Settle down in your front-row seat for a story that has more drama, hilarity, greed, folly, and ego than the movie that eventually ended up on the screen. Expertly reported and elegantly written, The Devil’s Candy is irresistible fun, a classic insider’s look at the movie business.

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About the Author:

Julie Salamon is the author of several award-winning books for adults, including Wendy and the Lost Boys, as well as her debut novel for children, Cat in the City. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and more.  She lives in Manhattan with her family.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Engaging, in-depth study of how Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities was transferred from megahit book to megaflop movie; by the film critic of The Wall Street Journal, novelist of White Lies (1987). With an okay from Brian de Palma, Bonfire's director, Salamon jumped on board early, when only Tom Hanks had been hired to play Sherman McCoy. She charts the movie's birth pains, financing, script revisions, casting, location-scouting in the Bronx and Manhattan, the New York shoot and the Los Angeles shoot, second unit work for backgrounds not directed by de Palma, editing, sound mixing, scoring, previews around L.A. and in Boston, reediting, advertising, premiere, and reviews. Salamon keeps a steady interest both in the artisans and the mechanics of their art without ever quite finding a voice of her own (say, like Pauline Kael's) or revealing how her presence on the scene may have affected anything. ``The devil's candy'' is a phrase from Peter Guber, the movie's original producer, which means both the actress to be cast as Sherman's mistress and the orgasm of instant success, as in E.T. or Batman. The book's embattled center is de Palma, who is rescued from his ghoulish image in suspense films, and would be the book's tragic hero were the abortive film a tragedy instead of a creative misfire from the first script and first compromise onward. Even so, this movie struck its makers as ``the definitive vehicle of dreams...the stretch limo of hopes and ambition.'' Stephen Spielberg's take on what happened is right on target: ``Brian is stepping into shoes that can be worn by other film makers. When he does that he's caught up in the machinery of the studio system.'' Like watching a World Trade Center tower topple onto Wall Street. (Eight-page b&w photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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