A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

by Irwin Winkler
A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

by Irwin Winkler


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A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, and an insider’s account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century

The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, Creed, and The Irishman. His films have been nominated for fifty-two Academy Awards, including five movies for Best Picture, and have won twelve.

In A Life in Movies, his charming and insightful memoir, Winkler tells the stories of his career through his many films as a producer and then as a writer and director, charting the changes in Hollywood over the past decades. Winkler started in the famous William Morris mailroom and made his first film—starring Elvis—in the last days of the old studio system. Beginning in the late 1960s, and then for decades to come, he produced a string of provocative and influential films, making him one of the most critically lauded, prolific, and commercially successful producers of his era.

This is an engrossing and candid book, a beguiling exploration of what it means to be a producer, including purchasing rights, developing scripts, casting actors, managing directors, editing film, and winning awards. Filled with tales of legendary and beloved films, as well as some not-so-legendary and forgotten ones, A Life in Movies takes readers behind the scenes and into the history of Hollywood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419734526
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Irwin Winkler is an American film producer, writer, and director. He is the recipient of numerous American and international honors.

Table of Contents

Part I 1

Chapter 1 From Coney Island to William Morris to Hollywood 4

Chapter 2 Actually making movies, Double Trouble, and a very tough Lee Marvin in Point Blank 14

Chapter 3 A rebuff of Shakespeare, a welcome from jack Warner, and diversity 25

Chapter 4 From the college campus uprising, to decadence in London, to a Hollywood dance marathon, to the Cannes Film Festival 30

Part II 49

Chapter 5 Starting a long friendship with the great actor Bob De Niro, the 1970s drug culture, and two different looks at the Los Angeles Police Department 51

Chapter 6 From Africa with Barbra Streisand to Charlie Bronson and a fine script that went sour 64

Chapter 7 To quote Rick in Casablanca, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." 76

Chapter 8 From Rocky to Oscar 87

Part III 95

Chapter 9 A very different fight film 98

Chapter 10 De Niro and Pacino have The Right Stuff 107

Part IV 129

Chapter 11 The Cold War stars in one movie, the Revolutionary War in another, and one very fine movie doesn't get made 130

Chapter 12 A trip to Paris pays off 141

Chapter 13 Two political films and a couple of Goodfellas 146

Chapter 14 A career change from producer to director, back to producer (almost) 161

Chapter 15 Working with some special ladies-Sandra Bullock and Demi Moore-and a special doctor, Oliver Sacks 189

Chapter 16 Life with Kevin Kline is De-Lovely; a director gets bullied into not making a film 204

Chapter 17 From Camp Polk, Louisiana, to the Iraq War 222

Part V 231

Chapter 18 A wild ride to Wall Street, a gamble turning over a classic to a new generation, a sad loss, and a long-delayed Silence 233

Part VI 261

Chapter 19 Old Friends 263

Epilogue 269

Acknowledgments 273

Photo Credits 286

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