With Xmas exactly a month away, now seems the right time to convince you that you should bombard your relatives/partners/friends with information about the books I have written so that as a movie lover you will receive a gift (or two) of a book about the movies. Some of my books cost just £6-£10 in print with less to pay generally for the Kindle version. I have priced the books below in English currency but they are available worldwide through Amazon/Kindle and in all major bookstores.
The Making of Lawrence of Arabia. Did you know John Wayne was in line to play the role when it was planned as Cinerama’s first drama in the early 1950s? There were about 20 different attempts over 40 years to get the film off the ground including when T.E. Lawrence himself marched into a producer’s office to sell the rights to his life story. Even though David Lean’s epic proved a commercial and critical triumph, right up to the movie’s launch it appeared that it was going to be a huge flop, with massive budget overruns. This book traces the origins of the Lean movie, analyses the picture and explains what happened afterwards when the director decided he hadn’t got it right first time and instituted the “Director’s Cut.” Oddly enough, secondhand copies sell on the Internet for up to £40 but you can get a genuine new copy for £8.99 and if you want the book signed ask the seller at the time. ISBN – 9781873586532
The Making of The Guns of Navarone (Revised Edition with over 30 Illustrations). William Holden, Cary Grant and opera star Maria Callas in a film directed by Alexander Mackendrick (The Laveender Hill Mob, 1951)? That was one of the original ideas. Producer Carl Foreman, on the run from McCarthyism in America, shepherded the movie through crisis after crisis, stars rushed to hospital, directorial problems, huge sets collapsing, and the threat of being engulfed in a civil war. Analysis of film, screenplay and stars. This costs £10.89. Somebody in the States is selling this for $63 on the internet but you can get a brand new copy – signed by the author if you want – for the price mentioned above. ISBN – 9781909773028.
The Making of The Magnificent Seven (1960 obviously) is my all-time bestseller. The John Sturges western faced an actor’s strike, a writer’s strike, battles with Mexican censors, and went through half a dozen screenwriters. The first book-length study of the classic film. This is currently just £27.08 (reduced from £41) with the Kindle version just £9.39. ISBN – 978078696952
The Gunslingers of ’69 – Western’ Movies Greatest Year – examines the 40-plus westerns released that year including The Wild Bunch, Once Upon a Time in the West, 100 Rifles, True Grit, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stalking Moon and Support Your Local Sheriff and analyses the trend towards violence and female equality. This costs £34.50. ISBN – 9781476679358
Away from my 1960s series I have written two books on aspects of Hollywood’s business history. Coming Back to a Theater Near You – A History of the Hollywood Reissue 1914-2104 is not just my biggest book – it weighs in at around 250,000 words including notes – but a massive bargain currently priced at a mere £13.04 – down from £45. ISBN – 9780786498130. In Theaters Everywhere – A History of the Hollywood Wide Release 1913-2017 costs £47.03. ISBN – 9781476674148.
On a completely different note you might be interested in When Women Ruled Hollywood: How Actresses Took on the Hollywood Hierarchy and Won (1910-1948) in which I discovered that female stars were often paid far more than the males. This costs £9.97 for a printed copy and about half that for Kindle. ISBN – 9781909773165.
You might also be interested in The Glen Cinema Disaster, Paisley 1929, in which over 70 children died. At that time film itself was highly flammable and the book explains why Hollywood rejected new non-flammable types of film stock in favour of a product which cost thousands of lives across the world in a series of disasters. This costs £10. ISBN 9781909773035.
Please note all prices are indicative. Some books may be on special offer and when they are gone they’re gone. Prices don’t include postage. If you have problems getting hold of books or want a signed copy just contact me through the blog.