They Can Kill You But They Can't Eat You: Lessons from the Front

They Can Kill You But They Can't Eat You: Lessons from the Front

by Dawn Steel, Stephen H. Steel
     
 

They can kill you but they can't eat you is the raw and personal story of one woman's American dream - of her dazzling, difficult, inspiring fight to the very top of the male ladder of success. A college dropout from a family in turmoil - a woman with no money, no connections, nothing but guts and ambition - Dawn Steel rose through the ranks to become president of… See more details below

Overview

They can kill you but they can't eat you is the raw and personal story of one woman's American dream - of her dazzling, difficult, inspiring fight to the very top of the male ladder of success. A college dropout from a family in turmoil - a woman with no money, no connections, nothing but guts and ambition - Dawn Steel rose through the ranks to become president of Columbia Pictures in 1987, the first woman to run a major motion picture studio. This is a story of Hollywood glamour...of hit movies, starstudded parties, and celebrity friends...but it is also a story of tears shed behind a closed office door. It's about being labeled "tough, ballsy, aggressive, unfeminine," often by people who'd never met her; about deciding whether she should have a family; about learning how to be tough, not hard. Most of all, it's about what it means to achieve success, power, and happiness as a woman. After dropping out of college, Dawn Steel moved to New York City with little more than a willingness to improvise and be creative in order to succeed. She landed a job as a receptionist at a small company, went to work for Penthouse, got into a little trouble as an entrepreneur marketing Gucci toilet paper, and eventually soared to phenomenal success, moving from the president of production at Paramount Pictures to the presidency of Columbia Pictures in 1987. The hit movies she worked on include Flashdance, Awakenings, Top Gun, The Untouchables, The Accused, Flatliners, Ghostbusters II, Fatal Attraction, and the restored Lawrence of Arabia. In this riveting insider's view of Hollywood power, politics, and stars, Dawn Steel recounts her time at Paramount as one of the "Killer Dillers," the legendary few marked by brilliance, youth and ambition, who went on to run Hollywood. She absorbed strategies and knowhow from the powerful: Michael Eisner, Barry Diller, Mike Ovitz, Ray Stark, Herbert Allen, Victor Kaufman, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Her network of friends and business relationship

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Hypnotically frank, though not for the ages, the memoirs of movie producer Steel; or, Horatio Alger Walks through Lions in Darkest Hollywood—and gets killed but not eaten. Steel has major hair and was the first female head of production at Paramount and then, at Columbia, the first female president of a movie company. She tells her story straight out, with no urge to write finely, peppering it with just enough kiss- and-tell to keep faith with the Shelley Winters School of Confession while modestly not striving to outdo the founder. No one will read this for its hot sex among the famed; it's about power—who gives it, who takes it away. As Steel says, "...it's not a good idea to sleep with people you work with. Trust me on this...You can only sleep your way to the middle. It's not worth it." Whatever heights she reaches, Steel finds that power is illusionary—although for one brief shining moment she has it all—and that power-without-creativity and its endless rounds of board meetings and executive decisions drains her soul, while working hands-on making one picture at a time (rather than 27) is sheer joy. Steel first hits big as a marketing innovator at Penthouse, goes on to market her own designer toilet paper and cute soaps, and finally is wooed into marketing in Hollywood and gets handed the first Star Trek movie to tie into promotions with Howard Johnson's, Coke, etc., a job at which she goes over the top. Affairs bloom with Richard Gere and Martin Scorsese, among others, but she always entwines with unmarriageable men because of bad memories of her depressed dad. When she finally lands at the top, she finds herself beheaded by Paramount during delivery of herfirst baby at 40. A winner for sure, but less blindly battered and pain-ridden than Art Linson's arias in A Pound of Flesh (reviewed above).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671865559
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 Cassettes, 3 Hours Running T
Product dimensions:
4.54(w) x 7.06(h) x 0.84(d)

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