Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames

Overview

No delicate ingénues, these. In the middle of the twentieth century, the Mary Pickfords of the movie world were replaced by a different sort of woman-drop-dead gorgeous, witty, not afraid to speak their minds, they could slay you with a look-and if that didn't work, look out for the pistol in the garter. These ground-breaking actresses helped change the course of movie history, charting a path for generations to come.

These profiles of fifteen...
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Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames

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Overview

No delicate ingénues, these. In the middle of the twentieth century, the Mary Pickfords of the movie world were replaced by a different sort of woman-drop-dead gorgeous, witty, not afraid to speak their minds, they could slay you with a look-and if that didn't work, look out for the pistol in the garter. These ground-breaking actresses helped change the course of movie history, charting a path for generations to come.

These profiles of fifteen leading ladies-from Lucille Ball to Mercedes McCambridge to Marie Windsor-include overviews of their lives and careers, and excerpts from interviews. Five photos supplement each profile. Jane Russell (one of the actresses profiled) provides a foreword.

 

About the Author

Raised in Manhattan, Ray Hagen now lives in Washington, D.C. He spent 15 years acting, dancing, and singing on and off Broadway, has written two off-Broadway plays, co-authored a movie reference book, conducted numerous film-related interviews, and narrates books on tape for the Library of Congress.

Laura Wagner lives in Shoreham, New York. She has been a regular contributor to various movie publications, and is the book reviewer for Classic Images. She is currently working on several projects, including a book on Virginia Mayo.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418831
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/17/2004
  • Pages: 287
  • Sales rank: 547,668
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Ray Hagenspent 15 years acting, dancing, and singing on and off Broadway, has written two off-Broadway plays, co-authored a movie reference book, conducted numerous film-related interviews, and narrates books on tape for the Library of Congress. He lives in Washington D.C. Laura Wagner lives in New York. She has been a regular contributor to various movie publications, and is the book reviewer for Classic Images. She is currently working on several projects, including a book on Virginia Mayo.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 1
1 Lucille Ball : red ball express 5
2 Lynn Bari : the other woman 21
3 Joan Blondell : trouper 33
4 Ann Dvorak : a life of her own 50
5 Gloria Grahame : those lips, those eyes 65
6 Jean Hagen : after the rain 79
7 Adele Jergens : a lot of woman 92
8 Ida Lupino : triumph of the will 103
9 Marilyn Maxwell : the other Marilyn 120
10 Mercedes McCambridge : inner fire 134
11 Jane Russell : body and soul 148
12 Ann Sheridan : oomph without ego 168
13 Barbara Stanwyck : the furies 201
14 Claire Trevor : brass with class 222
15 Marie Windsor : face of evil 236
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2005

    Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames

    This book is not great! There are many stars featured in this book that do deserve more attention like Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell but if you're hoping to learn a lot about them you'll be very disappointed. There is absolutely no new information in this book and very few photos. It seems like the authors are afraid to give any details about their private lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    A Perfect Book for Film Fans!

    Lively, perceptive and entertaining, this book features some of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. New info is presented on Ann Dvorak, Adele Jergens and Jean Hagen, and there's even a new take on Lucille Ball's neglected film career. The Ann Sheridan chapter is from an interview (!) one of the authors did in 1965. Where else are you gonna get that? My favorite was the spunky Joan Blondell chapter and the Jane Russell one, which talks at length about her singing career and, for once, doesn't concentrate on her famous 'assets.' Did I love this book? I sure did. The Jean Hagen chapter will tear your heart out - who knew she went through this much heartbreak? The Marilyn Maxwell chapter is WILD - gossip? WOW! There are interviews within with Russell, Sheridan and Mercedes McCambridge. The point here is: The usual suspects are not here - Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc. This is a book for TRUE film fans who appreciate the movies and the lives of these remarkable women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2005

    Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames

    I bought this book because it has a chapter about Joan Blondell but I was very disappointed with it. The book included only the most basic biographical information about the stars. There are no new revelations or even any interesting behind-the-scenes stories here. I found the entire book very boring and had a difficult time finishing it. I don't think anyone who knows much about classic Hollywood would enjoy reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    INCREDIBLE

    Any book with a 1965 interview with Ann Sheridan is aces with me! The Oomph Girl has always been my favorite and I was not disappointed. I simply could not put this book down. In addition to Sheridan, there are amazing interviews with Mercedes McCambridge (the voice of Satan in The Exorcist & Crawford's sparring partner in Johnny Guitar), Jane Russell and Jean Hagen (who was so memorable in Singin' in the Rain). I learned so much. Ann Dvorak's brilliance in Three on a Match, a stark pre-Code film, has always knocked me out. I never understood why she never reached the heights. There's never been anything substantial written about her before, explaining what went wrong. Until now. This is a great, much needed, achievement. The same with poor Jean Hagen. I never knew the heartbreak she went through. No one ever did. Interviews with friends & family finally uncovers the sad truth. This chapter was most enlightening. The Joan Blondell was fun, the Gloria Grahame one was disturbing, and the Adele Jergens was, like Dvorak, full of information not found elsewhere. Barbara Stanwyck is finally done right by. LOVE this. I really got a sense of who this woman was. Jane Russell is - finally - given credit for her vocal skills. Ida Lupino comes across like the fighter and survivor she was. Lucille Ball? It's about time someone wrote about her films and not just I Love Lucy. Nothing I can say can describe the Marilyn Maxwell chapter. HOT! All and all, a fabulous volume. I've read it numerous times, and keep picking it up to discover new delights. Recommend? You bet I do!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames

    First of all $36 is way too much to spend on a paperback book with blurry photos. I bought this book because I hadn't heard about many of the actresses in it and thought it might be fun to learn about them. Unfortunately the book has two different authors with two very different writing styles that gives it a very uneven flow. The filmographies at the end of each chapter just seem to be tacked on to make the book longer. There is a very short forward by Jane Russell but I don't think she even read it because she mentions actresses like Katharine Hepburn and Susan Hayward who aren't even in the book! There are also too many typos and grammatical errors (doesn't anyone use spell check anymore). The information about Lucille Ball and Barbara Stawyck has been published before. Some of the other chapters just didn't hold my interest and didn't finish reading them. The only people this book will appeal to are the real hardcore fans of the lesser known actresses here.

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