Donald Spoto’s much-acclaimed biography of Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011) was written some 15 years before the actress’s death and follows her career in film, from child star to international success and the first million dollar pay cheque for a female star, and her complicated and sometimes scandalous private life and relationships. Off-mint.
A Star is Born
The Moment an Actress Becomes an Icon
Vivien Leigh's performance in Gone with the Wind or Anita Ekberg's in La Dolce Vita were pivotal moments in cinema, when a relatively unknown actress was transformed into a major international star. With full-page portraits and brief biographies, this film history identifies the breakthrough moments of 75 leading actresses from Greta Garbo in Mata Hariand Grace Kelly in High Noon to Jane Fonda in Klute and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
A Vanished City, a Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films
This study of the great Japanese film maker weaves an analysis of his most famous film, Rashomon (1950), with the formative experiences of his early life in Tokyo, marked by the destruction of the city by earthquake in 1923 and then by bombing in 1945.
The Art of Production Design
This interview-based biography of the film production designer Ken Adams (1921–2016), perhaps best known for his innovative work on the James Bond franchise and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, explores both his personal history and the range, force and variety of his achievements. Slightly off-mint.
The Greatest Hollywood Films of the 20th Century
A ‘classic’ movie could be one that gained critical acclaim and enduring popularity, played a key role in the career of a director or actor or simply one that touched millions of people around the world. Starting from this loose definition, Alan Whiticker takes a chronological journey through 20th-century English-language classics and Academy Award winners, with over 600 pictures including rare images from the Mary Evans Picture Library and Ronald Grant Archive.
A Brief Life
Hitchcock carefully controlled his public persona, emphasizing his lugubrious humour and often retelling selected anecdotes from his childhood to explain his mastery of the cinematic thriller. Delving behind these stories Ackroyd investigates what the director also owed to his formative experiences in British and German film-making and how the fears, fantasies and obsessions of his lonely upbringing in East London shaped his lifelong controlling personality and his films’ characteristic mixture of comedy and suspense. Off-mint with American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Movie Star Chronicles
A Visual History of the World's Greatest Movie Stars
From Amy Adams to Catherine Zeta-Jones, this book profiles over 330 of the most famous names in cinema. Including idols of the silent era as well as today's biggest box-office draws, each biography provides an appraisal of the actor's career, including television and directorial credits, with film stills and a colour-coded timeline charting key performances and awards. The alphabetical listings are interspersed with feature articles on significant themes and picture spreads celebrating some of the best-known stars.
The Noir Style
Film noir is as popular as ever – but how do you recognize it? Illustrated with 172 richly atmospheric black-and-white stills, this handsome volume analyses film noir from the classic era of The Maltese Falcon (1941), through A Touch of Evil (1958) to the present. It traces the genre’s inspirations in German Expressionism, the paintings of Edward Hopper and the photographs of Weegee, and explores its enduring motifs: the city at night, the reckless moment, and the femme fatale.
William Cameron Menzies
The Shape of Films to Come
Oscar-winning art director William Menzies, whose films include The Thief of Bagdad and Gone with the Wind, noted that ‘one picture is worth a thousand words’. He rejected the theatrically of the silent era for a graphic approach to filmmaking, and pre-designed films using story boards, incorporating furniture, actors, camera angles, texture and tone into his illustrations. This fascinating biography, which draws on interviews, family archives and sketchbooks, reveals the unique influence Menzies had on the motion picture industry. American-cut pages.
A Celebration of Film and Television
In 1929, three years after two large film stages were built near Elstree in Hertfordshire, the studio produced the first British ‘talkie’, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail. Elstree has since been at the heart of the film and television industry in the UK. This celebration of Elstree explores its history through film stills and archive photographs of famous productions from The Dam Busters, The Avengers and Star Wars to The King’s Speech and Strictly Come Dancing.
Arthouse to Exploitation
Italian movie-making has had a profound influence on the development of world cinema and this study considers its evolution from the 'neorealism' of the 1940s and the influence of directors such as Fellini, Antonioni and Leone, to modern Italian films and television drama.
The Lost Notebook
Herman Schultheis and The Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic
The Disney production employee Herman Schultheis kept a detailed diary of the special effects he worked on during classic productions such as Fantasia, Dumbo and Pinocchio. The notebook, reproduced and analysed in this volume, lay forgotten for decades and includes revealing technical information about how innovative visual effects were created, as well as the reference photographs used as templates for the animations, and behind-the-scenes shots of sets, artists, directors and voice actors.
Federico Fellini received twelve Oscar nominations for the four feature films that he made during the 1960s, his iconic work helping to define the style of the era. This celebration of the decade in the director's oeuvre presents over 150 images, reproduced from the original negatives, of the making of all his films of the period, including La Dolce Vita and 8½, and also contains a series of essays discussing the movies and their influence. Off-mint.
Katharine Hepburn: A Personal Biography
A Scott Berg knew Katharine Hepburn for 20 years, during which time they shared many hours of private conversation – material, it was agreed, for a book to be published after the actress’s death. Covering details of her privileged background, her 50 years of stardom, her relationship with Spencer Tracy and her thoughts about other actors, interwoven with fascinating anecdotes, this is Hepburn’s life as she wanted it to be presented.
A Life in Movies
Dismissive of her own talent and largely remembered for her off-screen antics, this well-illustrated biography of Ava Gardner aims to set the record straight. Charting four decades of film history, the authors examine Gardner’s roles in movies such as The Killers and Night of the Iguana, the creation of her image, her tempestuous relationships (including with Hemingway and Sinatra) and her loyal friendships, revealing her to be far more than an MGM-created ‘cookie-cutter star’. Slightly off-mint.
In The Name Of The Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits
Remembering Roberto Rossellini
In 2006, as a tribute to her father, Isabella Rossellini made a film about him, recreating episodes of his life and imagining conversations with collaborators. This book includes a DVD of the film, the script and additional photographs and memorabilia from the family archive.
Twenty-Five Years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room
From Toy Story to The Good Dinosaur this book is both an entertaining collection of inspired sketches and an insight into the animator’s art and the creative process behind the animated films of Disney and Pixar Studios. The illustrators of films such as A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo and Cars open their sketchpads to reveal the doodles and drawings of characters, situations, stories and gags that evolve into award-winning animations.
Hollywood's Last Icon
By the age of 37 Charlton Heston was an Oscar-winning movie star, having played leading roles in three of Hollywood’s top-grossing movies, including The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. This biography follows Heston from his boyhood in Michigan, where he suffered the pain of his parent’s divorce (an experience that would inform his indomitable screen persona), through his prolific Hollywood years, to his defence of the Second Amendment as president of the National Rifle Association. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Wallace and Gromit: Grand Adventures and Glorious Inventions
The Scrapbook of an Inventor and His Dog
Complete with Wallace’s blueprints, the Mood-o-Meter and the Giant Vegetable Competition Chronicle of Disasters, here is Wallace and Gromit’s scrapbook, packed higgledy-piggledy with information on inventions, inventors, villains such as Feathers McGraw and the Were-Rabbit, and the great adventures, from A Grand Day Out and The Wrong Trousers to A Close Shave.
Principally remembered as the James Bond of the 1970s and 1980s, Roger Moore (1927–2017) made his first film appearances in the 1940s and was hired and fired from a Hollywood contract in the 1950s before making his name in television. This collection of autobiographical sketches recalls his childhood, wartime experiences and national service, as well as his show-business career, and includes family stories and musings on modern life.
The Ultimate Star
One of the grandest stars of the silent era, Gloria Swanson made a glorious comeback in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard in 1950, playing a faded movie queen. This biography considers her achievements in films, providing a template for stardom in Hollywood's early days, examines her private life and separates the real Gloria Swanson from the tragic Norma Desmond, with whom she will always be associated. Slightly off-mint.
The Greatest Films of 1939
Poised between the Great Depression and the Second World War, 1939 was a pivotal year for Hollywood and the world – and no other, before or since, has produced so many cinematic masterpieces. This illustrated volume showcases the great movies of those twelve months (including Gone With the Wind,The Wizard of Oz, Of Mice and Men and Dark Victory); it sheds light on the films’ cultural significance, and profiles the remarkable actors and directors who made them.