Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director (Google eBook)
As a young Jewish boy growing up in Vienna, Georgia, Abe Orovitz could never have predicted the twists and turns his life would take. Many years later, as a retired film director with more than thirty movies to his credit, Vincent Sherman is no less surprised when he looks back on that life. In Studio Affairs he retraces his steps with candor and enthusiasm. Sherman relates the events of his days directly and honestly. He candidly discusses the details of his three-year relationship with Joan Crawford, his inadvertent connection with the death of Bette Davis's second husband, and his poignant romantic involvement with Rita Hayworth. Providing counterpoint to these liaisons is the love and devotion of Sherman's wife, Hedda, who accepted her husband's occasional infidelities as part and parcel of his career. The heart of Studio Affairs provides an inside look at the motion picture industry during the heyday of the studio system by one who worked his way from nearly starving actor and playwright to respected director. Drawing examples from his long career, Sherman discusses how he reworked flawed scripts, elicited strong performances from sometimes limited actors, placated his superiors and big-name talent, and won the support of his crews. Like so many talented individuals in Hollywood during the 1950s, Sherman was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, owing in part to his active support of the WPA Theatre project in New York two decades previous. Time spent on the lesser-known gray list kept him out of work for several years. Eventually, he again enjoyed some critical success, but after the demise of the studio system life was never quite the same. This quintessential"studio director" ended his career directing for television.
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