Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director

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9780813119755: Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director

As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life.

In Studio Affairs he retraces his life with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis's second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman's wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband's occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career.

Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. In effect, the book serves as a primer on the art of film directing. Sherman quickly developed a reputation of being a consummate rewrite artist, able to take whatever assignment given him and turn it into a first rate motion picture. His skill at reworked scripts led him to bigger and bigger projects, even as the salary set by his long-term contract with Warner Brothers remained below that of most of his colleagues. Though not originally signed to direct, when asked to do so he drew on his experience putting together productions at summer camps across the "borscht circuit" in upstate New York.

Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. The quintessential "studio director" ended his career directing for television. Vincent Sherman's path from Georgia to southern California is compelling, and his legendary talent for good storytelling makes the book impossible to put down.

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From the Back Cover:

As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as a retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life. In Studio Affairs he retraces his steps with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman relates the events of his days directly and honestly. He candidly discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis's second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman's wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband's occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career. The heart of Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. Drawing examples from his long career, Sherman discusses how he reworked flawed scripts, elicited strong performances from sometimes limited actors, placated his superiors and big-name talent, and won the support of his crews. Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser-known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. This quintessential"studio director" ended his career directing for television.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Hollywood reminiscences, and more, from the quintessential studio system director. When Sherman began his directing career in the 1930s, directors were almost as low on the Hollywood totem pole as writers, just one more component of a vast hierarchy where real power and creative vision tended to belong to executive producers and studio moguls. At the heart of the system was its audacious application of the mass production techniques of the Industrial Revolution to movies. Good or bad, films had to be cranked out on a regular schedule to help cover the studios' huge overheads. Jack Warner's appeal to Sherman was typical: ``I know it's not a great story, but I've got six actors sitting around doing nothing but picking up their checks . . . do me a favor: Make the picture and do the best you can.'' Much of Sherman's career consisted of doing precisely this, reluctantly taking on films he didn't like and then trying to improve them as much as tight schedules and budgets allowed. Over the course of 30 features, he sometimes succeeded-- Mr. Skeffington, The Hard Way--and sometimes failed. Along the way he worked with some of the greatest of the greats: Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Newman. He also enjoyed a reputation as a ``woman's director,'' working with Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, and the notoriously difficult Bette Davis (he had extramarital affairs with all three). Despite his current semi-obscurity, his films are certainly worth a second look. Those seeking a portrait of Hollywood's seedy underbelly won't find it here. What Sherman has written is far more unusual: a frank, detailed, eminently clear record of the exhausting, exhilarating business of making films. The life, times, and techniques of a director from Hollywood's so-called ``Golden Age'' have rarely been so illuminatingly and insightfully detailed. (30 b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life. In Studio Affairs he retraces his life with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis s second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman s wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband s occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career. Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. In effect, the book serves as a primer on the art of film directing. Sherman quickly developed a reputation of being a consummate rewrite artist, able to take whatever assignment given him and turn it into a first rate motion picture. His skill at reworked scripts led him to bigger and bigger projects, even as the salary set by his long-term contract with Warner Brothers remained below that of most of his colleagues. Though not originally signed to direct, when asked to do so he drew on his experience putting together productions at summer camps across the borscht circuit in upstate New York. Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. The quintessential studio director ended his career directing for television. Vincent Sherman s path from Georgia to southern California is compelling, and his legendary talent for good storytelling makes the book impossible to put down. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780813119755

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life. In Studio Affairs he retraces his life with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis s second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman s wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband s occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career. Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. In effect, the book serves as a primer on the art of film directing. Sherman quickly developed a reputation of being a consummate rewrite artist, able to take whatever assignment given him and turn it into a first rate motion picture. His skill at reworked scripts led him to bigger and bigger projects, even as the salary set by his long-term contract with Warner Brothers remained below that of most of his colleagues. Though not originally signed to direct, when asked to do so he drew on his experience putting together productions at summer camps across the borscht circuit in upstate New York. Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. The quintessential studio director ended his career directing for television. Vincent Sherman s path from Georgia to southern California is compelling, and his legendary talent for good storytelling makes the book impossible to put down. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780813119755

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life. In Studio Affairs he retraces his life with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis s second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman s wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband s occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career. Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. In effect, the book serves as a primer on the art of film directing. Sherman quickly developed a reputation of being a consummate rewrite artist, able to take whatever assignment given him and turn it into a first rate motion picture. His skill at reworked scripts led him to bigger and bigger projects, even as the salary set by his long-term contract with Warner Brothers remained below that of most of his colleagues. Though not originally signed to direct, when asked to do so he drew on his experience putting together productions at summer camps across the borscht circuit in upstate New York. Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. The quintessential studio director ended his career directing for television. Vincent Sherman s path from Georgia to southern California is compelling, and his legendary talent for good storytelling makes the book impossible to put down. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780813119755

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