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Hollywood Stories

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted December 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, fun, fun!

    Did you know that Vincent Price once took the place of one of his wax dummies at the Hollywood Wax Museum and squirted unsuspecting victims with water from his prop hypodermic syringe as they passed? Or did you hear the story about Marlon Brando and a female fan/clerk who was screaming in excitement over the movie star's appearance in her store and then asked for ID when he wanted to write a check? What about the fact that Robert Altman, director of the movie MASH, hated the television show that sprung from the movie? Why? You'll have to read Hollywood Stories to learn the whole story, as well as tales of many other celebrities, their lives, and their hijinks on and off movie sets. The book is divided into chapters that separate the tales into related topics. Chapters include: comedians, science fiction/horror, westerns, television, singers/dancer and even drinking tales. Within each chapter are dozens of stories. True to the title, each story is fairly brief, with one to three paragraphs on average recounting the event. After each anecdote are a few related "extras." These extras give the reader an additional peek into the lives and behaviors of each celebrity. There is a bibliography and extensive index in the back, making it easy to look up your favorite star. Hollywood Stories offers a plethora of tales about many, many celebrities. The focus is on stars of the past (Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Jimmy Stewart, etc.) and not-too-distant past (Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, etc.). While there is a spattering of stories about present stars, those looking for the scope on their current on-screen heartthrob or favorite pop star may be disappointed. The author, who works as a professional tour guide in Hollywood has certainly done his homework as he has collected an amazing assortment of stories. If you're a huge fan of one (or more) of the stars mentioned in this book, you are likely to have heard at least some of the stories related to said star recounted in this book. However, I'm willing to bet the majority of stories will be new to you. For example, as a "Trekkie," there's not much I haven't heard about the show/movies/actors. But I didn't know that for Star Trek II, William Shatner wanted to portray the famous captain as robust and hearty. The actor didn't want to play an aging Kirk as the producer requested until the producer told him of other actors who aged gracefully on screen. Shatner didn't fall for the ploy until the producer mentioned Spencer Tracy as one of those actors. Unbeknownst to the producer, Shatner was a huge fan of Tracy, having co-starred alongside him in Judgment at Nuremberg. The ploy worked and the producer got the performance he wanted from Shatner. There are a few stories spattered about the book that are not as noteworthy and may appear more as filler. For example: "When Michael Caine was a struggling actor, he sometimes met very wealthy people. They would tell him, "Michael, being rich doesn't make you happy." After Caine became a well-to-do movie star, he concluded that those people were wrong." (pg. 40) The vast majority, however, are fun, interesting, and sometimes touching. Quill says: A rollicking fun ride through the world of Hollywood.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011


    I loved this book. This is a great pick up and read anytime book. It's has tons of short gossip stories about the old classic actors we all loved and what happens behind the movies and TV shows they made. I read this while reading a different novel it was great to pick up and put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    fun book to read!

    Hollywood Stories is a fun book to read. True to its title, it is chock-full of entertaining anecdotes about the stars and legends of the movies and TV shows. It is a backstage pass, so to speak, a window behind the scenes of the actors, directors, writers and producers that paint another picture of who they are. The author is never salacious and his stories are not conjured. He states that everything in the book is public domain stuff. He has gathered hundreds of these stories throughout the years and has made it handy for us through this book.

    Schochet's writing style is engaging, funny and highly entertaining. Once you read a few tales, you don't want to stop. Sometimes my hubby would pick up the book and refuse to give it back to me when I wanted to continue reading it. The stories are categorized into 13 different themes such as Oscar Tales, Great Hollywood Comedians and Walt Disney Stories. A handy index is available at the back to find those anecdotes you read and want to share.

    I learned so many interesting things about the movie-making business and that not all is as it appears. Here are some of the fun tidbits I enjoyed from these engaging short stories.

    Did you know that:

    Leonard Nimoy who played the original Spock in the Star Trek series was humiliated by and hated wearing his pointed ears and never felt appreciated by his bosses?

    Eddie Murphy, who replaced Sylvester Stallone after he walked off the film Beverly Hills Cop, ad libbed most of the dialogue since the original screenplay was mostly action scenes? He was so funny that his co-stars had to work hard not to laugh and ruin takes.

    The opening scene of The Sound of Music was shot from a helicopter whose blade force kept blowing Julie Andrews over so that she would spit out dirt and grass and then curse like a sailor?

    I got this book from the author who is also a professional tour guide in Los Angeles. As he gave us the tour he would entertain us with stories about Hollywood and movie stars, emulating Zsa Zsa Gabor's accent, making our tour memorable. We saw first-hand how knowledgeable this author was and how much he enjoyed telling the tales.

    This book is the perfect gift for anyone who is a movie buff, especially those nostalgic of the classics. It's a book that would sit well on a coffee table, in your car, at the office, or anywhere a reader could steal a few moments of fun reading.

    Learn more about this book and its author at

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2013

    Since I was very young, I have had a fascination with Hollywood-

    Since I was very young, I have had a fascination with Hollywood--especially old Hollywood. I used to watch old movies and check out biographies of various actors and actresses I liked. This was before the days of the internet, and the library files were on paper and in pull-out files. I had to go through the difficult process of requesting books about these actors/actresses. I read several books on Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and Danny Kaye. I also read about Lana Turner, Joan Crawford, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, and so much more. Granted, I often didn't understand everything that I was reading, but little facts stuck with me here and there. I loved being able to watch these old movies with a keen understanding of "behind the scenes" insider knowledge.

    When I was offered the chance to review this book, there was no doubt that I wanted to read it. This book has a massive amount information about Hollywood from various eras (but mostly old Hollywood). It is organized in chapters/sections that make sense, and each story is no more than a page or two long. It is quick reading, and I am sure I will go back and review various sections.

    I honestly have no criticisms for this book. The only "profanity" was so extremely mild, and anything that was more than what is acceptable on television was not even written. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. It was nice to read about some of these people that I only knew by name, and it was definitely a fun read. I also appreciate the fact that the author was/is a Hollywood tour guide, and he listed a long list of sources he consulted. This makes me feel that he researched his topics, and his only purpose is telling stories about Hollywood. He is not trying to "smear" anyone or hurt them. He told is as it was, and he did it an easy-to-read style. For the Hollywood movie buff, this is a definite must-read!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Fun and funny

    A wonderful side to the lightness of Hollywood. Very fun and great stories. A must read.

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  • Posted October 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nostalgia at its Finest!

    Let me start off by saying Hollywood Stories is not the typical type of book that I read or review. However given the topic of the book and me being a huge movie buff I gave it a shot. The verdict is that I LOVED IT!!! This book is an entertainment smorgasbord of short stories that you'll find yourself not wanting to put down. From the golden age of Hollywood to present day there are behind the scenes stories that will make you laugh and some that you'll read with amazed delight. This book is the perfect gift for that friend or family member that loves Hollywood.

    I will say this about the book, it's more geared toward the Golden Age of Hollywood. There are many stories that are modern but the majority of the book is geared toward the beginnings of the entertainment business on through the sixties. Being in the over 30 group (clears throat) I was familiar with many of the actors and actresses mentioned. This book is a keeper and I will probably re-read it often. I give this book a MUST READ rating for all you entertainment junkies!!!

    Please keep an eye out for an upcoming interview with Stephen Schochet on my blog dlcacmp.blogspot(dot)com and maybe we can get him to tell us a few more of these fascinating stories!

    (Thank you to the author for providing the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest book review. The opinions stated are 100% mine.)

    Daniel L Carter
    Author of The Unwanted Trilogy

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Great fun!

    Who has bigger biceps? Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jesse Ventura? How did Bill Murray get fans to fall in love with him? What did Joe Pesci do that was hero worthy? How tall was Judy Garland? How many children did Dr. Suess have?

    These are just a sampling of the questions you'll have answered here! This book is full of anecdotes of movie stars. I was a little surprised at the range. We have everything from Boris Karloff to Jim Carrey. Schochet is a tour guide in Hollywood. He's researched each tale.

    I'm impressed with how well organized this book is. There are different chapters for different genres of movies, including a television section. Most of the anecdotes are funny, while some are just fascinating. Reading this book is like going on a Hollywood tour and finding out information about all of your favorite actors and actresses. It doesn't end there though! Get the low down on directors and producers as well.

    Though I wouldn't suggest this book as something to just sit down and read through, it's definitely a wonderful coffee table or bathroom book (Sorry Stephen!). The anecdotes are short enough that you can flip through and read one or two at a time. Beware: each one you read will make you want to read more!

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Premiere Source for Hollywood Gossip - and History!

    Stephen Schochet may not be an instantly recognizable name to readers, but those who have the radio on in the car or in the home or office are bound to have heard his Hollywood Minutes, a syndicated part of national radio broadcasting. Schochet has been a tour guide for those (are they really real?) Hollywood tours for years and has gathered innumerable numbers of stories about every kind of star and film and production and behind the scenes imaginable. And now here they are in print as a handy little resource for surefire laughs and entertainment for any time of the day or evening.

    Every page of this 300 page book has at least one of his stories: in keeping with his Hollywood minutes the stories are also very quick to read and are amazingly concise and well written in this super-short story format. He covers tales and anecdotes about the following groups: Great Hollywood Comedians, Science Fiction and Horror, OSCAR Tales, Great Hollywood Anecdotes, Western Vignettes, Walt Disney Stories (a specialty of Shochet's, Moguls and Directors, Silents to 'Talkies', Television Tales, Singers and Dancers, Drinking Tales, Leading Men and Leading Ladies Lore - each section brimming with laughter and insight that just makes Hollywood that much more of a center of entertainment. This book is far more than just a gossip book or a resource book for comedians, it is a solid history of a city whose credibility relies on dreams. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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