Oscar Night: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties

Overview

Vanity Fair's Oscar Night will be a sumptuous collection of 400 black-and-white and color images that take the reader inside the Oscar party, starting with the first Academy Awards-night banquet on May 16, 1929, at the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel to Swifty Lazar's parties at Spago and the Bistro to Dani Janssen's dinners to the current Vanity Fair party held at Morton's.

We see this party in the '30s as it moves from the Roosevelt Hotel to the Coconut Grove at the ...

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Overview

Vanity Fair's Oscar Night will be a sumptuous collection of 400 black-and-white and color images that take the reader inside the Oscar party, starting with the first Academy Awards-night banquet on May 16, 1929, at the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel to Swifty Lazar's parties at Spago and the Bistro to Dani Janssen's dinners to the current Vanity Fair party held at Morton's.

We see this party in the '30s as it moves from the Roosevelt Hotel to the Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel to the Biltmore Hotel and back to the Roosevelt. By the time of the war, in 1944, it was only a ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater, with after-parties at Ciro's, Mocambo, and Romanoff's. By 1951 a radio simulcast was done, half in Los Angeles and half in New York, because so many actors were on Broadway.

In 1952, the first televised awards were given out in an RKO theater and in 1958, the first Governor's Ball was held by the Academy after the awards in the theater. Up until 1958 there had only been after-parties. Then by the early '60s, Milton Berle and the Billy Wilders were giving Oscar parties.

This book will show official Governor's Ball pictures from the '60s and '70s and pictures from Swifty Lazar's difficult-to-get into parties, first at the Bistro, in 1964, and later, starting in 1982, at Spago.

In addition to the photographs of the stars at the parties, there will be invitations as well as quotes from golden gossip columnists Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper, Liz Smith, and a variety of actors and Oscar party regulars such as Fran Lebowitz.

Oscar Night is a book that anyone who likes movies will want to have.

The Special Limited Edition of Oscar Night has:

  • A special page signed by the authors, Graydon Carter, editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and David Friend
  • A unique, glossy red slipcase that matches the cover
  • An 8 X 10 glossy photograph of Gwyneth Paltrow signed by celebrity photographer Jonathan Becker

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Four years after Carter, Friend and Dunne weighed in with the impressive Vanity Fair's Hollywood, they top themselves with this superb collection of in situ celebrity photographs. Parties that begin right after the Academy Awards have long been a Tinseltown tradition; the electricity and glamour of those events is captured in this hefty assemblage of b&w and color images. Dunne provides anecdotal memories from 1955 to 1994, an era when agent Swifty Lazar's Oscar-night parties moved from Romanoff's to the Bistro to Spago. After Lazar's 1994 death, VF editor Carter stepped in as host; darting through decades in this lavish book, he now invites everyone to the party. Here is a "celebrity gridlock" of famous faces-from Marilyn Monroe to Anna Nicole Smith, Brando to Brad Pitt, Judy Garland to Monica Lewinsky. In a bedsheet-size format (10 1/2" 13 1/2"), photos are displayed full-bleed; the authors also include insets of such totems as matchbook covers, programs and seating charts. Captions deliver details, but regrettably, the photographers who took these memorable pictures get little or no copy, and their credits are buried in the back. Although several blurry shots suffer when expanded to full-page size, this spectacular book, sprinkled with star dust, is well worth its high price tag. (Nov. 2) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
For those of you who are nostalgic for the pre-reality TV days of bona fide celebrity (snobbish? maybe!), feast your eyes on the latest coffee-table treat from Vanity Fair editor in chief Carter and Friend, editor of creative development at Vanity Fair. A photographic history of Tinsel Town's big night since 1929, this book drops readers into the dead center of the beautiful people, from Janet Gaynor and Tyrone Power to Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. And an introduction by Friend and smatterings of text-tongue-in-cheek captions and tangy excerpts from the gossips-put the big, glittering picture in context: after-parties themselves didn't exist until the late 1950s (before that, the ceremonies were the parties), and VF didn't start throwing parties until 1994. Libraries with the budget would do well to purchase this photo album cum pop culture history. The people love celebrity, and VF serves it to them with style and brains.-Heather McCormack, Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400042487
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/26/2004
  • Edition description: Slipcased, Special Limited Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 10.68 (w) x 13.60 (h) x 1.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Graydon Carter is the editor of Vanity Fair, author of What We’ve Lost, and producer of the film The Kid Stays in the Picture.

David Friend is editor of creative development at Vanity Fair. Together they edited Vanity Fair’s Hollywood and were executive producers of the documentary 9/11, which won both Emmy and Peabody Awards.
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