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Film Flam

Film Flam

Essays on Hollywood

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A noted screenwriter himself, Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry knows his Hollywood. In Film Flam, he takes a funny, original, and penetrating look at the movie industry and gives us the truth about the moguls, fads, flops, and box-office hits.
With successful movies and television miniseries made from several of his novels -- Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, and Hud -- McMurtry writes with an outsider's irony of the industry and an insider's experience. In these essays he illuminates the plight of the screenwriter, cuts a clean, often hilarious path through the excesses of film reviewing, and takes on some of the worst trends in the industry: the decline of the Western, the disappearance of love in the movies, and the quality of the stars themselves.
From his recollections of the day Hollywood entered McMurtry's own life as he ate meat loaf in Fort Worth to the pleasures he found in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Film Flam is one of the best books ever written about Hollywood.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743216241 | 
  • September 2001
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: No Clue: Or Learning to Write for the Movies

If one were to make a misery graph of Hollywood, screenwriters would mark high on the curve. Above them one would have to put second-line producers, particularly those educated in the East (it may well be that all second-line producers were educated in the East), and possibly certain publicity people; just below them would come cinematographers, a group that has shown an increasing capacity for morbidity and neurosis since they stopped being plain cameramen. But, in terms of steady, workaday, year-in-year-out dolorousness, the writers have no near rivals. Their gloom may not be as... see more

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