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"It's the Pictures That Got Small" - Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood's Golden Age - cover

"It's the Pictures That Got Small" - Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood's Golden Age

Charles Brackett

Publisher: Columbia University Press

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Summary

“Brackett’s diaries read like a funnier, better-paced version of Barton Fink.” —Newsweek   Screenwriter Charles Brackett is best remembered as the writing partner of director Billy Wilder, who once referred to the pair as “the happiest couple in Hollywood,” collaborating on such classics as The Lost Weekend and Sunset Boulevard. He was also a perceptive chronicler of the entertainment industry, and in this annotated collection of writings from dozens of Brackett’s unpublished diaries, film historian Anthony Slide clarifies Brackett's critical contribution to Wilder’s films and enriches our knowledge of Wilder’s achievements in writing, direction, and style.   Brackett’s diaries re-create the initial meetings of the talent responsible for Ninotchka, Hold Back the Dawn, Ball of Fire, The Major and the Minor, Five Graves to Cairo, The Lost Weekend, and Sunset Boulevard, recounting the breakthroughs and the breakdowns that ultimately forced these collaborators to part ways. In addition to a portrait of Wilder, this is rare view of a producer who was a president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Screen Writers Guild, a New Yorker drama critic, and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. With insight into the dealings of Paramount, Universal, MGM, and RKO, and legendary figures such as Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Edna Ferber, and Dorothy Parker, this book reveals the political and creative intrigue at the heart of Hollywood’s most significant films.   “A fascinating look at Hollywood in its classic period, and a unique and indispensable must-have for any movie buff.” —Chicago Tribune   “This feels as close as we can get to being in the presence of Wilder’s genius, and he emerges as the cruelest as well as the wittiest of men.” —The Guardian   “Not only rare insight into their often-stormy partnership but also an insider’s view of Hollywood during that era.” —Los Angeles Times   “Very entertaining.” —Library Journal

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