Hurricane Billy: The Stormy Life and Films of William Friedkin

Hurricane Billy: The Stormy Life and Films of William Friedkin

by Nat Segaloff

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Segaloff, a freelance journalist who concentrates on the film industry, chronicles the career of William Friedkin from his early documentaries to his major films ( The Boys in the Band ; The French Connection ; The Exorcist ), which have made him a dominant, controversial figure. Basing much of the book on interviews with the director and his friends and associates, the author attempts to understand Friedkin's fascination with sex, violence and murder, the sensational qualities that have made his films so shocking and so commercially successful. Unfortunately, even though the book is written in a gritty tone when Segaloff discusses the personality of a man known for his ruthlessness and need to control, the long synopses of the movie plots are presented in such a colorless style that one loses interest. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The course of Friedkin's career reads like the stuff of fiction. Starting in the mailroom of a local TV station, he went on to TV documentaries, commercial TV, and then to feature films, directing two of the 1970s biggest blockbusters, The French Connection and The Exorcist . His dizzying rise was followed by an almost equally dizzying decline: he has had several flops, suffered a heart attack, been embroiled in highly publicized domestic strife, and created almost hysterical controversy with his 1980 film Cruising . Segaloff seems ambivalent about his subject, who comes across as abrasive, if not downright abusive. Despite the author's effort to place Friedkin in the tradition of the director-auteur, his place in cinema history is not yet established. For informed laypersons.-- Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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