Book of Film Biographies: A Pictorial Guide


The entire dazzling story of cinema is told through the life stories of its makers in this biographical encyclopedia. All the glamorous people who lure countless moviegoers to theaters and video stores everywhere are listed. First and foremost are the actors and actresses, the illustrious stars, the screen goddesses and icons no less than the supporting actors and bit players. The directors, producers, writers, and film composers are included as well, and so are the designers, dancers, and animators. Each has her...
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The entire dazzling story of cinema is told through the life stories of its makers in this biographical encyclopedia. All the glamorous people who lure countless moviegoers to theaters and video stores everywhere are listed. First and foremost are the actors and actresses, the illustrious stars, the screen goddesses and icons no less than the supporting actors and bit players. The directors, producers, writers, and film composers are included as well, and so are the designers, dancers, and animators. Each has her or his concise entry of about 150 words, the highlights from each career accompanied by a photograph, many of which are in full color. The Filmfinder makes picking a movie to rent easy. This is an indispensable reference guide for the bookshelf of every film lover.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880641852
  • Publisher: Fromm International Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 2
The A-Z of Movie Makers 3
The 10 best comedies 25
The 10 best thrillers 49
The 10 best westerns 73
The 10 best musicals 97
The 10 best fantasies 121
The 10 best histories 145
The 10 best dramas 169
Filmography 193
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First Chapter


100 Glorious Years of Movies

The 20th century is the first to have been covered from start to finish by moving pictures, although the glossy, spectacular Spielbergian epics at its end bear little resemblance to the flickering, unsteady images produced by film pioneers at its beginning.

To celebrate the movie century we decided to compile our own list of 1000 people we felt had made the biggest contribution to the greatest development in man-made communication since the invention of the printing press.

This is a book for browsing through, for keeping near the television and the VCR, for consulting before a visit to the video store. Our main aim is to stimulate discussion, and controversy. There is no such thing as an objective, definitive list. We freely admit our selection is opinionated and biased. For instance, it is heavily weighted towards western cinema and Hollywood. Even so, you may find your favorite movie star has not been included.

Yet some of the entries may seem bewildering or obscure, but have in our opinion deserved their selection. This is intended to be a work full of surprises. So, where is Johnny Depp? Why has Madonna not been included? Have we not realized how important Spyros Skouras was in the history of Hollywood? We make no apologies for such lapses. Someone else's list will always be different. Compiling it was great fun. A team of accomplished, professional film writers produced each entry, encapsulating in a few well-chosen words why that particular person had been chosen. We have offered a further challenge to debate, by providing lists of the 10 must-see movies across seven film genres. Every title is well-known, and as far as we are concerned they are the best of their kind.

As we have said. We enjoyed compiling this book, and in that spirit we hope you have the same pleasure reading it.

The Editors


ABBOTT & COSTELLO US comedians (1895-1974 and 1906-59)

They were Hollywood's hottest box office property during the 1940s and early 1950s with matinee favourites such as Buck Privates, which grossed a then huge $10m. Famous for their unsophisticated slapstick, they provided baseball's Hall of Fame with the legendary "Who's on First?" routine, performed in The Naughty Nineties (45). William A Abbott, the straight man of the two, was born into a successful circus family. Louis Francis Cristillo did everything from soda-fountain jerk to working on Warner's main lot before pairing with Abbott. The duo fashioned their first success in the Broadway revue Streets of Paris. After a decade their career went into decline with flops such as Buck Privates Come Home (47) before briefly reviving their flagging fortunes with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (48). Both experienced serious financial problems before Costello died of a heart attack; Abbott spent his last 10 years in a retirement home.

BIRT ACRES British photographer, inventor and film maker (1854-1918)

An unfamiliar name, but that of a significant pioneer. In 1895 he collaborated with Robert William Paul (qv), building a camera that was a modified version of the Edison Kinetoscope, with which he proceeded to experiment. Historians differ on exact details of his contributions to the development of early British cinema, but he is widely credited, among other achievements, with holding the first public screening in Britain at the Royal Photographic Society in January 1896. The programme consisted of five films made by Acres, among them The Derby and The Opening of the Kiel Canal by Kaiser Wilhelm. He also made what Paul called their "first saleable film", The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, and was the first person to attempt the establishment of a public cinema, at the corner of Piccadilly Circus and Shaftesbury Avenue in March 1896, projecting films using his Kineopticon. The venue was destroyed by fire within a few weeks, but he continued his work and holds a respected place among those who advanced the technology and commercialisation of the motion picture.

KEN ADAM British art director, production designer (1921-)

A Berliner who moved to Britain at the age of 13, Adam studied architecture before securing his first job as a draughtsman on This Was A Woman (48). He became an art director in the 1950s and production designer in the 1960s. Adam has regularly created spectacular and unique designs. He also produced memorable sets where a sense of jokiness and suspense are rolled into one, in particular Goldfinger (64) (with its dazzling Fort Knox interior), Thunderball (65), You Only Live Twice (67) and The Spy Who Loved Me (77), the latter securing him an Oscar nomination. He also received a nomination for Around the World in 80 Days (56) and won the Oscar for Barry Lyndon (75). His British awards include a Bafta for Dr Strangelove and a London Critics' Circle Award for Addams Family Values (93). His design of Boys On The Side (95), starring Whoopi Goldberg (qv), marked his seventh collaboration with the director Herbert Ross (qv). Five operas at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, were designed by Adam and exhibitions of his work can be found at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Cinematheque in Paris and the Spoleto Museum in Italy.

ISABELLE ADJANI French actress (1955-)

France's most feted modern female star has achieved iconic status in the manner of Arletty, Bardot or Moreau (qqv). Her screen performances began when she was 14 years old in a film made on her school holidays; at 17 she was appearing on French television. Her initial success, however, came on stage at the Comedie Francaise, where she became a hot ticket in Moliere and Lorca roles. Ever a woman with her own agenda, she rejected a 20-year theatre contract to make the film that was to turn her into an international talking point and secure her first Oscar nomination, Truffaut's (qv) The Story Of Adele H (75). Her portrayal of the driven daughter of Victor Hugo confirmed her as both a mature actress and a magnetic screen beauty, two sides of her talents that have been vying ever since. Cannes awards and Cesars followed for Possession (81), Quartet (81), One Deadly Summer (83) and Camille Claudel (88) -- another Oscar-nominated part, which she also co-produced. Adjani has a unique screen appeal, projecting a sense of wayward passion that makes her simultaneously a victim and a potential vixen.

PERCY ADLON German producer, director and screenwriter (1935-)

Born in Munich, Adlon was an actor before establishing himself as a prodigious documentary film maker. In 1981 he wrote and directed his first theatrical feature, Celeste, an account of the last days of Marcel Proust as related by his maid. However, it was Sugarbaby (85), the story of an overweight mortician who seduces a subway driver, that launched Adlon's reputation worldwide. It also cemented his liaison with Marianne Sagebrecht, a Bavarian-Viennese cabaret performer who has appeared in three of his films. He went on to direct his first English-language picture, Bagdad Cafe (88), the extraordinary saga of a Bavarian tourist who takes over a Mojave desert diner. It is Adlon's juxtaposition of his characters -- with themselves and the landscape -- that gives his work such distinction. Whether pitting Sagebrecht against Jack Palance (qv) in Bagdad Cafe, or casting the singer k d lang as an androgynous drifter in Salmonberries (91), Adlon tests the rules. Furthermore, he bestows his films with a pictorial surrealism that makes them quite distinctive. He is married to the writer-producer Eleanore Adlon.

RENEE ADOREE French actress (1898-1933)

Clutching her beloved's abandoned boot in the first world war romance The Big Parade (25) as the American army marches past, Renee Adoree featured in a scene that the director King Vidor (qv) intended should "jerk a tear". A French critic, castigating the stereotype, said Adoree was dressed "like a burlesque miller's wife", but it was a moment of high poignancy. The petite brunette was born in a circus and christened Jeanne de la Fonte. She ventured to Hollywood after dancing at the Folies Bergere in Paris and acting in Australia. Her Gallic cuteness and jaunty sexuality gained her parts in boudoir romps such as A Man's Mate (24) and Exchange of Wives (25), but it was her role in The Big Parade that is remembered as her definitive performance. III-health impeded her career as a star and at the age of 35 she died from tuberculosis.

[Illegible] AGUTTER British actress (1952-)

[Illegible] careers of child actresses surely survive adolescence, but [Illegible] Agutter's has been exceptional. She began acting at [Illegible] school and appeared in the [Illegible] television serial, The Railway children. In 1972 it was successfully remade as a family [Illegible] in which she played the eldest and most resourceful of three [Illegible] children transplanted from London to Yorkshire. She won [Illegible] Emmy in the following year for her role in a television film of Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose. She was also outstanding as a 16-year-old girl stranded with her small brother [Illegible] the Australian outback in Nicholas Roeg's (qv) Walkabout (71). A Bafta award followed for her performance in Sidney Lumet's (qv) Equus (77), and in An American Werewolf in London (81) she played a sympathetic nurse. She has a natural, unforced beauty and a dancer's ability to move gracefully. Lately, she has divided her time between Los Angeles and London, but her film appearances have become sporadic.

ANOUK AIMEE French actress (1932-)

In the 1950s and 1960s her air of vulnerable eroticism made her one of the most eye-catching actresses in international cinema. The daughter of actors, Francoise Sorya Dreyfus, took her first new name from the maid she played in her debut at 14 in La Maison Sous La Mer (46), later adding Aimee at the suggestion of director Marcel Carne (qv). Jacques Prevert (qv) was so enchanted with the willowy dance student that he wrote the tragic romance Les Amants de Verone (48) for her. Rank subsequently contracted her and, with her English debut in Golden Salamander (50) opposite Trevor Howard (qv), the teenager was tipped for stardom when marriage to the director Nico Papatakis and motherhood intervened. The pattern for her career was periodic success interspersed with unimportant roles and numerous marriages. Fellini's (qv) La Dolce Vita made Aimee a true star in 1960, after which other notable work included Jacques Demy's (qv) Lola (61), her only excursion into French New Wave, and Claude Lelouch's (qv) glossy Un Homme et une Femme (66), a worldwide hit that brought her an Oscar nomination. She was named best actress at Cannes for Leap Into the Void in 1980. Her fourth husband was the actor Albert Finney (qv).

ALAN ALDA US actor, director and writer (1936-)

Frequently portraying a quintessentially decent and educated cynic, Alda's first success was the television series M*A*S*H (72-83), for which he won Emmy awards as best actor, writer and director. He made his film debut in 1963 in Gone Are the Days, but continues to work with distinction in television and on stage. He excels in contemporary moral dilemma or social comedy roles. Since The Four Seasons (81) he has written and directed as well as starred in his own films. He is the son of actor Robert Alda (1914-86), best known for playing Gershwin (qv) in Rhapsody in Blue (45).

ROBERT ALDRICH US director, producer (1918-83)

After studying law and economics at the University of Virginia, he arrived in Hollywood in 1941 and began working his way up the RKO ladder, from production clerk to associate producer. His first feature film was Big Leaguer (53). His production company, Associates and Aldrich, was set up a year later and enabled him to produce the bulk of his subsequent work. Although no stranger to critical success (The Big Knife (55) and Autumn Leaves (56) won awards at film festivals in Venice and West Berlin), it was popular hits such as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (62) and The Dirty Dozen (67) that established his name He exhibited a masterly control of tension, which often resulted in fraught atmospheres and a dark sense of impending violence. This was evident not only in the brutal The Grissom Gang (71) and h s best film Ulzana's Raid (72), but also in the controversial The Killing of Sister George (68), which gained notoriety for its lesbian love scenes. His last films -- including the coarse comedy The Choirboys (77) -- were not typical of his compellingly abrasive style.

MARC ALLEGRET French director (1900-73)

The son of a French pastor, he became companion-secretary to his uncle, the writer Andre Gide. Allegret (right) first achieved success as the director of Fanny (32), the second in the Marius trilogy, Marcel Pagnol's emotionally earthy account of rural life. His work after Fanny, L'Arlesienne (42) and Le Bal du Comte d'Orgel (69) were typical of his skill at decorating romantic melodramas.

WOODY ALLEN US director, actor, screenwriter and playwright (1935-)

Starting as an adolescent jokesmith who supplied material for columnists and television shows, Allen finally let rip on stage with his by now familiar mixture of comic introspection, perpetual confusion and full-blown lust. As a screenwriter and performer he made his cinema debut with What's New, Pussycat(65), and gag-centred offerings such as Play It Again, Sam (72), directed by Herbert Ross (qv), found him a niche market. It was, however, the four-Oscar winner Annie Hall (77) that brought his artsy Manhattan agonising and hapless buffoonery to a world audience. Manhattan (79) upped the quotient of urban angst. His career has included self-conscious homages to Bergman (qv) (Interiors in 78) and Expressionism (Shadows and Fog in 92). His controversial separation from Mia Farrow (who replaced Diane Keaton (qv) on screen as Allen's favourite actress) has not stopped his return to frivolity with Manhattan Murder Mystery (93) and Bullets Over Broadway (94).

NESTOR ALMENDROS Spanish cinematographer, director (1930-92)

In his teens he directed short films, studied philosophy and literature at the University of Havana, Cuba, and made his home in New York where he studied film editing and cinematography. Almendros moved to Paris in the 1960s, where he became an important figure in the French New Wave, working with Rohmer and Truffaut (qqv). The peak of his career is widely regarded to be Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (78), for which he won an Oscar for photography so ethereal and other-worldly it achieved a mythical quality. He moved on to work on the box office smash Kramer vs. Kramer (79), but the 1980s saw his return to collaborate with Truffaut on The Last Metro (80) and Rohmer on Pauline at the Beach (83). His sparkling work on the sickly remake of The Blue Lagoon (80) proved to be the film's only high point. In 1988 his focus returned to Cuba when he co-wrote and co-directed a documentary on Castro's rocky human rights record, Nadie Escuchaba (Nobody Listened).

PEDRO ALMODOVAR Spanish director (1951-)

A former telephone company employee and leading light of Madrid's avant-garde scene (la movida) in the 1970s, Almodovar has become modern Spanish cinema's most successful and controversial export. His 10 feature films have stylishly set out to shock and unsettle, serving up murder, incest, fetishism and every permutation of sexuality in a flamboyant mix of the kitsch, camp, melodramatic and wickedly comic. This anarchic, taboo-busting approach has earned him an international cult following and even an Oscar nomination for Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (88). But a later film, Kika (93), which features a comic rape scene, was refused a certificate in America. No director since Ingmar Bergman (qv) has consistently provided such challenging roles for his favourite actresses: Victoria Abril in his later work, before that Carmen Maura.

ROBERT ALTMAN US director, screenwriter and producer (1925-)

Born in Kansas City, Altman studied engineering at university and served as a pilot in the war. After a stint making industrial films, he entered television and learned his craft churning out up to two shows a week. He made his name in films with M*A*S*H (70) and followed with a wide variety of pictures -- everything from sci-fi to westerns -- which were invariably marked with a dark, satirical edge. Favouring naturalistic sound and lighting, Altman has been instrumental in inventing modern cinema. He is also a great "actor's director", which accounts for the large number of stars who have queued up to work for him for basic fees. Yet, while critically championed, Altman has failed to find lasting commercial success, although he worked his way back into the public eye with The Player (92) and Short Cuts (93), both of which earned him best director Oscar nominations.

ERIC AMBLER British writer (1909-)

An eminent novelist specialising in espionage thrillers, several of Ambler's works have been adapted for the screen, including The Mask of Dimitrios (44), Journey Into Fear (42) and Topkapi (64) from The Light of Day. He has also been responsible for many outstanding original and adapted screenplays. He was nominated for an Oscar for his script of The Cruel Sea (53). After graduating from the University of London, Ambler initially worked as an engineer, then tried his hand on the stage and at writing advertising copy. When he joined Alexander Korda (qv) in 1938 he had already written four successful novels. Ambler's world of intrigue is scarcely glamorous, his heroes are often flawed and the work they do is shady and sordid.

DON AMECHE US actor (1908-93)

A fixture in Twentieth Century Fox films from 1935 to the mid-1940s, Ameche was a dapper, slightly built and sophisticated light comedian who six times partnered Alice Faye (qv) in memorable musicals and led in two notable biopics -- The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (39) and Swanee River (39). Intermittently busy in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he returned to full activity with John Landis's (qv) Trading Places (83) and won an Oscar as best supporting actor in Ron Howard's (qv) Cocoon (85).

G M ANDERSON US actor, director and producer (1882-1971)

Max Aronson from Little Rock, Arkansas, abandoned the life of a travelling salesman to become "Broncho Billy" Anderson. He was cast in The Great Train Robbery (03) and by 1907 he had worked at Vitagraph, Selig, where he also wrote and directed, and formed the Essanay company, home to Chaplin (qv) in 1915, with George K Spoor, adding producing to his considerable repertoire. He created the popular role of Broncho Billy in The Bandit Makes Good (07), a successful two-reel western. It spawned some 400 shorts establishing him as the first identifiable screen cowboy hero. He made his last films in 1922, but in 1957 the Academy of Motion Pictures honoured him with a special Oscar for "contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment".

JUDITH ANDERSON Australian actress (1898-1992)

Anderson, born in Adelaide, made her New York debut in 1918 and was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1960. She was renowned for her performances in work from Shakespeare to Eugene O'Neill when her career was at its height in the 1930s and 1940s. She was sought-after for heavy character parts and is for ever associated with her second screen role, the mad and malevolent Mrs Danvers, the sinister housekeeper of Manderley in Alfred Hitchcock's (qv) Oscar-winning Rebecca (40). Other notable appearances include the oppressed Big Mama to Burl Ives's Big Daddy in the screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (58).

LINDSAY ANDERSON British director, critic (1923-94)

Born in India, the son of a Scottish major-general and educated at Cheltenham and Oxford, this self-proclaimed anarchist and John Ford (qv) fan first came to public prominence as a radical critic in the Oxford film magazine Sequence, which he co-founded. He began to produce social documentaries with Free Cinema, questioning perceived notions and winning an Oscar for Thursday's Children about the deaf before making his feature film debut with a powerful adaptation of David Storey's This Sporting Life (63), a Rugby League saga, which launched the film career of Richard Harris (qv). Other film highlights include If...(68), a gutsy satire of a rebellion within a British public school, which won a Golden Palm at Cannes, Britannia Hospital (82), a savage indictment of the health service, and The Whales of August (87), which united Bette Davis and Lillian Gish (qqv) and Glory Glory for television, a caricature of evangelism. The rest of his career was confined to the theatre, writing criticism and theorising.

DANA ANDREWS US actor (1909-92)

He was a resolutely square-jawed hero who nevertheless managed to suggest a loser's emotional ambiguity. It worked well as the wrongly accused lynch victim in The Ox-Bow Incident (43) and the love-possessed cop in Laura (44). An accountant, he was trained as a singer and hired by Samuel Goldwyn (qv) as a supporting actor in westerns. He made some of his best movies for Twentieth Century Fox and his finest moments were as the airman trying to come to terms with civilian life in The Best Years of Our Lives (46), the fraught army officer in A Walk in the Sun (45) and the smalltown prosecutor uncovering corruption in Boomerang! (47). Despite his handsomely rigid face, he successfully played embittered and disillusioned roles. He was stalked by alcoholism, which resulted in banal subjects towards the end of his career, though he flickered into focus in The Last Tycoon (76).

JULIE ANDREWS British actress (1935-)

Singing in London cabaret at the age of 12, Andrews made her New York stage debut in The Boy Friend and created the Broadway role of Eliza in My Fair Lady to rapturous applause and reviews. She lost the part in the film version because Rex Harrison (qv), jealous of the applause she had attracted on stage and afraid that her wonderful voice would further upstage him in the film, vetoed her in favour of Audrey Hepburnn (qv). Her first film, Mary Poppins (64), made her a star and won her the best actress Oscar for her embodiment of the wholesome, melodious and magical heroine. An equally fine performance as Maria in The Sound of Music (65) was Oscar-nominated and the film remains the most successful musical of all time. From the beginning she challenged the prim image created by those two films, but the perception has unfairly lingered; even 16 years later when she bared her breasts in S.O.B. (81) at the age of 46, it became an international media event. She has consistently delivered comic or solidly dramatic performances in The Americanization of Emily (64), Thoroughly Modern Millie (67), Star! (68) and several films with her second husband, Blake Edwards (qv), such as 10 (79), with Dudley Moore (qv), and Victor/Victoria (82). She emerged with credit from the screen adaptation of the stage play Duet for One (86) as a musician who is a victim of multiple sclerosis.

JEAN-JACQUES ANNAUD French director, screenwriter (1943-)

Annaud made his feature debut with Black And White In Color(76), an amusing diversion about a gaggle of patriotic Frenchmen stationed at a remote trading post in West Africa. The comedy established Annaud as a director of promise when it won the Oscar for best foreign film. Since moving into the international arena with Quest For Fire (81), Annaud's films have carved a significant niche in the global marketplace. He made a credible adaptation of Umberto Eco's medieval mystery The Name of the Rose (86) with Sean Connery (qv). In 1992 he attracted much controversy with his (relatively) explicit adaptation of Marguerite Duras's autobiographical novel The Lover.

ANN-MARGRET US actress, singer and dancer (1941-)

The vivacious, flame-haired "sex kitten" of 1960s American cinema, Swedish-born Ann-Margret Olsson was singing with a band in. her teens when George Bums (qv) put her in his Las Vegas act. She was snapped up by Hollywood, making her debut as Bette Davis's (qv) innocent daughter in Pocketful Of Miracles (61). It was, however, her torrid singing performance at the 1962 Academy Awards that made her a star, with a six-picture deal including Bye Bye Birdie (63). She paired on and off-screen with Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas (64) and sang for President John F Kennedy at his last birthday party. She plummeted from hot to has-been almost as rapidly as her ascent, but rebounded as a Vegas headliner. Her touching performance in Carnal Knowledge (71) won her new respect, her slithering in an ocean of baked beans in the rock opera Tommy (75) new oglers, and in the 1980s she was acclaimed for her dramatic TV work, notably in A Streetcar Named Desire. She survived a near-fatal stage fall in Las Vegas in 1972, which resulted in multiple injuries. She also had to cope with alcoholism and the long illness of her husband, the actor turned manager Roger Smith. Grumpy Old Men (94) with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon (qqv) demonstrated that she remains flagrantly seductive in her fifties.

OTTOMAR ANSCHUTZ German pioneer (1846-1907)

A German photographer, born in Poland, Anschutz was greatly impressed by the sequential photographs of movement taken by Eadweard Muybridge. From 1882 Anschutz began to make sequences in a much sharper form. He went on to invent a viewing device called the Electrical Tachyscope in 1889 in which each of a sequence of transparencies was momentarily illuminated as it paused over a slit, and in 1893 he succeeded in projecting his simple moving pictures on a large screen at the Chicago World's Fair

MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI Italian director (1912-)

Antonioni clung obsessively to his dream of directing, which he realised at the age of 38 with Cronaca di un Amore (50). His piecemeal journey towards that goal included writing film reviews. He became Rossellini's (qv) script collaborator on Una Pilota Ritorna (42) and Marcel Carne's (qv) assistant on Les Visiteurs du Soir (42). After learning to direct on documentaries, he made L'Avventura (60), the first part of a trilogy that included La Notte (61) and L'Eclisse (62), which was hailed as an intoxicating Italian original. Blow-Up (66) -- a lumpy mixture of the irritating and inspired that captured mid-1960s London -- was his best known film for being made in Britain. In 1985 he was partially paralysed and his subsequent project Beyond the Clouds (95) required Wim Wenders's collaboration.

ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE US comic actor (1887-1933)

A childhood of vaudeville appearances preceded parts in one and two reelers in 1907 and Arbuckle was hired as a Keystone Cop in 1913 by Mack Sennett (qv). He featured in a series of Chaplin (qv) shorts and when the star left Sennett, Arbuckle won a meatier share of the spotlight paired with Mabel Normand (qv) in the jolly Fatty and Mabel films. Arbuckle's popularity spread. Soon, bids for his services were boosting his fees to an astronomical level and feature films inevitably followed, notably the first incarnation of Brewster's Millions. But 1921 brought a scandal and irreparable damage after Arbuckle attended a party where a girl died. An accusation of rape was suggested by the girl's dying words and his films were banned. He was tried three times for manslaughter and finally acquitted for lack of evidence in 1923. However, the public was disgusted, the industry disowned him and his career was virtually destroyed. This scandal and others in the film industry eventually prompted Hollywood to set up the Hays Office to censor itself. As a star, Arbuckle was finished, although he continued to direct a string of films under the pseudonym William B Goodrich, including the first Eddie Cantor (qv) films.

EVE ARDEN US actress (1912-90)

Eunice Quedens was the undisputed queen of the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" school of 18-carat supporting actresses. She was instantly recognisable for her chic appearance, elegant style and, most famously, her caustic on-screen tongue. Via summer stock, the regional theatre companies and Broadway, she began her film career in 1937. She won a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for Mildred Pierce (45) at Warner where, under contract during the 1940s, she reached her peak. Arden occasionally graced more serious fare such as The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (60), and was unafraid of unsympathetic roles, such as the bitchy sister-in-law in The Unfaithful (47) or the spiteful friend in The Voice of the Turtle (47). She enjoyed a successful TV and radio career during the 1950s and 1960s and in 197B turned up as the school principal in Grease.

ALAN ARKIN US Actor (1934-)

Best regarded for his sensitive Oscar-winning portrayal of a deaf-mute in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (68) and the paranoiad pacifist Yossarian in Catch-22 (70), Arkin is a fine comedy actor and a master of the hang-dog expression, always leaving an indelible impression in otherwise unmemorable films. Born in New York, trained in Chicago, he earned a Tony for his Broadway appearance in Carl Reiner's (qv) Enter Laughing and went on to win a first Oscar nomination for his role as a dozy Soviet submariner in his debut film The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (66), a satire on cold war hysteria. A multi-talented individual, who recently played the laconic father-figures in Coup de Ville (90) and Edward Scissorhands (90), he has picked up awards as a theatre director and made his mark as an author, songwriter and musical performer.

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