First Films: Illustrious, Obscure, and Embarrassing Movie Debuts

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bernard, film critic for the New York Post , gives us the scoop on the debuts of more than 100 prominent actors and directors (mostly of the current crop, although Bernard includes Jerry Lewis and Paul Newman). Whether it's Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple (1985), Sharon Stone's bit as ``pretty girl on train'' in Stardust Memories (1980), or Sylvester Stallone's venture into softcore porn, Bernard shows how these major players have built careers from often humble beginnings. Most of the brief, anecdotal essays offer quotes from her interviews with the subjects. An up-to-date filmography concludes each entry. Bernard's research is generally excellent, and she writes with the infectious enthusiasm of the true buff. Sure to be popular in public libraries.-- David C. Tucker, Brookhaven Lib., Atlanta
Gordon Flagg
Everybody had to start somewhere, even Hollywood icons. That cliche is driven home by this detailing of the film debuts of more than 100 contemporary actors and directors. Some future stars hit the ground running, such as Warren Beatty in "Splendor in the Grass" and Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl". Others remember their debuts with embarrassment--Jessica Lange in "King Kong", for instance, and Nick Nolte in "Return to Macon County". In several cases, the actors' first exposures were just that: getting their starts in soft-core sex films were Sylvester Stallone, Spalding Gray, and (presaging her current career) Madonna. Bernard, film critic for the "New York Post", interviewed many of the stars and incorporates their comments on their early efforts into her write-ups. Reading about many of these movies (e.g., Kevin Costner's "Sizzle Beach, U.S.A." or John Travolta's "The Devil's Rain") is undoubtedly more enjoyable than actually sitting through them, but in many cases these premier films were nothing remarkable--neither unexpectedly good nor mortifyingly bad--and the entries for them amount to just not particularly insightful rundowns. Before-and-after photo pairs depict many of the subjects, then and now.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806514024
  • Publisher: Carol Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.89 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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