Fade Out: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM

Fade Out: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM

by Peter Bart

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Here's a book for the film history shelves that belongs alongside Indecent Exposure , David McClintick's damning examination of Tinseltown politics and corruption. Readers may find this highly detailed expose difficult to digest, however, a result of the author's decision to tell his story in a disjointed and unchronological fashion. Written by one of the most qualified insiders to aim a pen at major league moviemakers, Bart ( Destinies ), a former reporter for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and current editor of Variety , paid ample dues behind the closed doors of Hollywood studios as production chief at Lorimar, Paramount and, apparently much to his dismay, at MGM during its dying days. Zeroing in on the last 20 years of the once magnificent studio, which brought us such screen gems as Meet Me in St. Louis and Dr. Zhivago , the author paints a picture of monumental corporate chaos and incompetence as a result of poor top management appointments made by MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian. Photos not seen by PW . (June)
Library Journal
Bart, currently editor of Variety, was a senior vice-president at MGM/UA from 1983 until 1985. This experience forms the basis for an examination of financier Kirk Kerkorian's 20-year ownership of MGM. (The book's subtitle is a bit premature, as MGM is not dead: Kerkorian is still trying to sell the eviscerated company.) Most of the book focuses on the period when Bart was at the company and Frank Yablans was president. During this time the studio produced Yentl, Mrs. Soffel, and 2010 , among other films. As is usual in books of this sort, the author admits to few if any mistakes, but the book appears fair, and it is well written. A good choice for larger libraries and special collections.-- John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.

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Knopf Publishing Group
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1st Anchor Books ed

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