Susp PB Steve Shagan A Cast of Thousands

ISBN 13: 9780671741334

A Cast of Thousands

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9780671741334: A Cast of Thousands

In order to send the stock price of Gemstone Pictures plummeting--and make the company ripe for a lucrative bogus takeover--the executives hire Hollywood has-beens to star in a colossal motion picture flop. Reprint. K. PW.

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From Publishers Weekly:

A sort of cinematic souffle, the latest offering from the author of Pillars of Fire and The Formula is a tasty treat that readers may want to devour in one sitting. This behind-the-scenes view of skulduggery in La-La Land fades in on a group of Hollywood power players who are plotting "the greatest scam in the history of the business." To succeed in their venture (a phony corporate takeover and a major studio's stock devaluation are but two of the nasty ingredients), the partners in crime set out to make an epic--and to ensure its failure. With considerable panache and an insider's view, Shagan chronicles the pulling together of The Volunteers , a seemingly can't-win film dramatization of the Spanish Civil War. The myriad characters and details prove hilarious and appalling, as when a Method actor playing Moses claims insufficient motivation for his character to break the stone tablets. Confirming what many already think of filmdom, a dropout director notes, "They're dealing from the bottom of the deck to the bottom of the audience." Real and fictitious movies--starring real and fictitious luminaries--add considerable punch, as do such vividly evoked locations as New York, Beverly Hills, Rome, Jamaica, Madrid and St. Moritz. While many of these elements are de rigeur for Hollywood sagas, and the plot is reminiscent of the film The Producers , Shagan always manages a fillip that lifts his elements above the madding crowd.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In Shagan's eighth novel, the major executive players of Gemstone Pictures set up a bogus studio takeover plot in order to make a killing on their stock holding. To ensure the success of their scam, they greenlight a doomed-to-fail David Lean-type epic about the Spanish Civil War, to be made on location by a cast and crew of emotional misfits. Of course, anyone who's seen Mel Brooks's The Producers will guess what happens: the filmmakers pull it off and make a masterpiece. Unfortunately, this is far from Shagan's best work; the numerous characters are all walking cliches, with dialog to match. Shagan is at his best in describing the film's tumultuous shooting adventures, fully displaying his solid experience in the industry. Only intermittently inventive, this is really a "novel" waiting to be retyped as a screenplay. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/92.
- David Bartholomew, NYPL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Steve Shagan
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