Hollywood Remembered: An Oral History of Its Golden Age


In Hollywood Remembered, a wide array of Tinseltown veterans share their stories of life in the city of dreams from the days of silent pictures to the present. The 35 voices, many of whom have come to know Hollywood inside-out, range from film producers and movie stars to restaurateurs and preservationists. Actress Evelyn Keyes recalls how, fresh from Georgia, she met Cecil B. DeMille and was soon acting in Gone With the Wind; Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein tells how he transformed his McCarthy ...
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Hollywood Remembered: An Oral History of Its Golden Age

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In Hollywood Remembered, a wide array of Tinseltown veterans share their stories of life in the city of dreams from the days of silent pictures to the present. The 35 voices, many of whom have come to know Hollywood inside-out, range from film producers and movie stars to restaurateurs and preservationists. Actress Evelyn Keyes recalls how, fresh from Georgia, she met Cecil B. DeMille and was soon acting in Gone With the Wind; Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein tells how he transformed his McCarthy era-experiences into drama with The Front; Steve Allen speaks out on how Hollywood has changed since he first came there in the 1920s; and Jonathan Winters relates how he left a mental institution to come work with Stanley Kramer in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
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Editorial Reviews

Lawrence Grobel
For most people around the world Hollywood is a state of mind, a fantasy. ... If you want to keep the place as Oz, stay away from Hollywood Remembered. But if you want to peek behind the curtain and see what it was really like, this oral history is a good place to start.
Marion Meade
A terrific book. Hollywood Remembered is Hollywood-To-Go-Hold-the-Mayo, an unusual glimpse into the great days of the movie business, from an angle rarely seen by the public. This is a must-buy for any film fan's book shelf.
Publishers Weekly
Hollywood resident Zollo, whose popular Songwriters on Songwriting surveyed dozens of practitioners of the craft, now turns his attention to the silver screen, asking, "What was real Hollywood all about?" The answer comes from 35 entertainment industry veterans, including comedians, writers, actors, producers and composers who recall Tinseltown from the 1920s through the '60s. As 90-year-old actor Karl Malden says, "Every city changes, but Hollywood has changed more. It's because it's a facade; they just build the front, the hell with the back." Here are nostalgia-drenched descriptions of long gone apartment buildings, trolleys, theaters, hotels, radio stations and movie studios. Broadcaster Bill Welsh, age 74, remembers, "The Broadway was the last of the great department stores in Hollywood." Musso & Frank's Grill, built in 1919, receives numerous mentions as "one of the only connections to Hollywood's past that remains relatively unchanged." These over-the-shoulder glances back at a bygone era serve as a springboard for personal memories, and funny, fascinating anecdotes abound. Actor Johnny Grant, the "Honorary Mayor of Hollywood," now 79, tells of a practical joke when Charlie Chaplin secretly entered a Chaplin look-alike contest and lost. "Hollywood never was glamorous," says Grant. "It was what happened here that was glamorous." With 50 pages tracing Hollywood's evolution, a map linked with a listing of historic locations, 43 b&w photos and the carefully edited interviews, Zollo has assembled a splendid package for anyone seeking the town behind the tinsel. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Hollywood's heritage is the subject of these two books. Wallace follows up his Lost Hollywood with Hollywoodland, his ruminations on various happenings in Tinseltown's history, including a foreword by famed tap dancer Ann Miller. Chapters include "Getting High in Hollywood," "Bombshells-Blonde, Brash and Built," " `Twilight' Guys and Gals," and "The Lowest of the Low-The Hollywood Screenwriter." Unfortunately, there is no bibliography, which made this reviewer curious about the research. Hollywood Remembered contains more than 30 short recollections from various Hollywoodites, such as actress Evelyn Keyes, comedians Steve Allen and Jonathan Winters, and writer Charles Champlin. Zollo (Songwriters on Songwriting) presents a brief history of Hollywood's "Golden Age," a sprinkling of memoirs, and a tour describing the hot spots. The memoirs are quite fun to read, and one does get a real feel for the Hollywood of yore. While Hollywoodland focuses on the seamier side and is a light diversion, Hollywood Remembered is a vivid work incorporating the personalities of the interviewees. Both books are recommended for film collections and larger public libraries where interest warrants.-Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL
Kirkus Reviews
Pure gold, as Zollo does a Studs Terkel on Old Hollywood. To show his seriousness, Zollo opens with a lengthy history of Hollywood that goes from its geological beginnings up to William Mulholland's colossal waterway and dam. His tour of many famed places includes the Alto Nido Apartments, where screenwriter Joe Gillis lived in Sunset Boulevard, adding wealth to his poignant sheaf of oral histories. The histories are arranged by age, starting with Frederica Sagor Maas, a screenwriter for silent (Garbo and Gilbert's Flesh and the Devil) and sound films, a chipper 101 years old at the time of the interview. As a writer, Maas is not terribly impressed by film actors-if they were intellectuals they wouldn't be able to act. Lothrop Worth, only 100, was a cameraman for D.W. Griffith and later shot the first commercial 3-D film. Naturally, folks like these remember houses, backyards, and empty lots long gone, not to mention fabled restaurants like Musso and Franks (still there). David Raskin, a child of 90, Chaplin's arranger and unacknowledged co-composer on Modern Times, helped write "Smile (while your heart is breaking)," and over a four-month period of daily meetings with Chaplin helped write the film's 90-minute score. Ex-steelworker Karl Malden, also 90, proves a charmer, telling about his early Broadway career in the '30s and about working later with Marlon Brando on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire, then making that film with him, then On the Waterfront, and working for Brando in One-Eyed Jacks. Malden found Brando a genius who never sounded as if he were reading a line, even after two years of Streetcar. Jonathan Winters gives a marathon monologue that includes affecting memories offilming Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, with very kind words for Kramer. A human sunrise.
Author Pail Zollo has collected reminiscences and anecdotes from celebrities and their fellow Hollywood locals for this look back at how the city of dreams has changed over the decades.
The San Francisco Examiner
Zollo has put together 37 reminiscences recalling the town's glory years in the words of industry insiders. But there are also memories through the eyes of shop clerks, newsboys, models, secretaries and other "ordinary" folk.
The Charlotte Observer
Zollo's book is most valuable for its first and last 55 pages. The opening gives a detailed history of Hollywood from the primordial tar pits to the current flesh pits, though it notes the revival along Hollywood Boulevard. The ending gives addresses and histories for landmarks gone (The Brown Derby) and enduring (Musso & Frank's grill) a hangout for 83 years).
film historian and author of "The Boys from Syracuse: The Shuberts' Theatrical Empire"
The place that is revealed so vividly through the casual reminiscences collected in this one-of-a-kind book is the real thing: the fascinating, faded (but reviving) city behind the 'Hollywood' myths. World-famous movie palaces, restaurants, clubs, and businesses both fabled and ordinary are the true stars of this anecdotal history. And as the contributors reminisce about their city, these Hollywood citizens also offer a generous, unvarnished sampling of studio politics.
Charlotte Chandler
Hollywood Remembered evokes vivid images of a century of Hollywood, beginning even before it was the film capital of the world, seen through the eyes of those who were there, told in their own words. A marvelous contribution.
Betty Garrett
This book is all about the Hollywood I knew, and about the Hollywood that was before my time. Now what is next? There's got to be a sequel!
Palm Beach Post - Scott Eyman
What makes the book so valuable is that Zollo gets beyond the usual suspects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589796034
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/16/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 831,730
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Zollo is an artist, singer, songwriter, music journalist, and author of Songwriters on Songwriting and Conversations with Tom Petty. Presently the senior editor of American Songwriter magazine, he lives in Los Angeles, California.
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