From the Publisher
Praise for Simon Louvish
“Louvish is a biographer who leaves few stones unturned.”-Los Angeles Times on Mae West
“Meticulously researched.” -USA Today on Mae West
“Louvish’s painstakingly researched and shrewd biography tells all about Mae-body, libido, and, perhaps most surprisingly and fascinatingly, mind.”The Atlantic on Mae West
“Louvish is at his best in discussing how Laurel and Hardy, unlike most of the great silent-film comedians, had no trouble making the transition to sound.”-The New York Times on Stan and Ollie
“Thanks to a lively, affectionate writer, we can glimpse the great clowns at work.”
-The Dallas Morning News on Stan and Ollie
“Louvish’s wide-eyed love for his subjects’ simple, forthright, and hardworking desire to please will bring down the house.”-Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Stan and Ollie
“Mr. Louvish has written a well-researched and playful version of this hysterical history.”-Orlando Sentinel on Monkey Business
“Louvish is a . . . committed researcher.” -The New York Times Book Review on Monkey Business
“Told with tremendous style and sparkle, Louvish’s composite portrait of the Marx Brothers offers an indispensable overview of the actors’ saga.”-Publishers Weekly on Monkey Business
London-based novelist Louvish (The Cosmic Follies) is a former documentary filmmaker who has written biographies of W.C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and Mae West. Shifting from comedy to drama, he surveys the career of pioneering director DeMille in this well-researched, unauthorized biography. When the DeMille estate offered no assistance, Louvish was forced "to relate DeMille's saga largely through his films," so the reader gets only occasional brief glimpses of the director's "harem" of mistresses and similar intimate items of his private life. DeMille is mainly remembered today as the creator of lavish Hollywood epics such as Samson and Delilah(1949) and The Ten Commandments(1956), but the flamboyant biblical spectacles were only a fraction of DeMille's 80 films. His 1930s films focused on frontier America, and during that same period he became a familiar voice in American households, reaching 40 million weekly listeners as the host of the popular Lux Radio Theater. Louvish highlights the hokum and hype, but he also offers his insightful analyses of the films, capturing the "pictorial beauty" and apocalyptic aspects along with DeMille's working methods and industry innovations. 58 b&w illus. (Mar. 4)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal
Louvish (Mae West; Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy), known for his meticulous biographical research, offers the first major biography of legendary Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille in over a quarter of a century, following a current trend of reexamining DeMille's film career and his place in film history. Louvish explains that DeMille does not deserve to be marginalized as the innovator of the biblical epic; of DeMille's 70 films, Louvish writes, "only eight of these could be called 'epics'...only four were 'Biblical' films." With careful research and a nuanced consideration of his subject, Louvish explores DeMille's special niche in film, that of "sex and God." He also reconsiders his role as a film pioneer and one of the founders of the "celluloid cathedral" that is Hollywood to this day. Louvish's biography will stand as an invaluable contribution to the understanding of DeMille and his place in film history. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.