Action!: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Jun 3, 2003 - Fiction - 400 pages
2 Reviews
What do you do when your oldest friend, Steve McQueen, pulls out his Smith & Wesson and blows your defenseless dining-room chair to smithereens? Or when your hottest client, sex goddess Romy Schneider, demands you leave your wife for her? Those are just a couple of the dilemmas faced by AJ Jastrow, the fictional protagonist of Action!, Robert Cort’s page-turning saga about a legendary Hollywood family.

When we first meet AJ in 1948, a few weeks shy of his thirteenth birthday, he ranks as minor Hollywood royalty—Dad is the movie industry’s most prominent attorney, Mom is a retired actress whose uncle is Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount. But this year will prove to be the end of the movie industry’s Golden Age and the beginning of exile for the Jastrow family.

When AJ returns to Tinseltown after a decade’s absence, he realizes that fulfilling his father’s legacy of creating a movie empire will prove a life’s work. Along the way, AJ’s soldiers-in-arms include the Machiavellian producer Ray Stark, who teaches him how to win at Monopoly and studio politics; Wall Street genius Charlie Bluhdorn, who coaxes AJ to fly under the radar on a secret mission; AJ’s wife, Stephanie, who reminds him that a conscience isn’t a luxury; and his daughter and protégée, Jessica, who refuses to leave his side despite irresistible temptation.

His enemies are formidable: studio president Paul Herzog, who seeks to destroy the son as he did the father; the wily agent Mike Ovitz, who intuits the weaknesses of any rival; AJ’s mother, Hollywood’s wealthiest woman, who cannot abide disloyalty; and AJ’s son, Ricky, an actor of uncommon ability, who holds a devastating grudge against his dad.

By blending and transforming fact into fiction, by introducing real characters to fictional ones, Robert Cort gives the reader an inside account of Hollywood’s path (and drift) from the end of World War II to the present. And utilizing his insider’s knowledge, gained as one of the town’s premier producers, he provides an intimate chronicle of how movies are really made, how producers work, and how the industry has evolved, often at the cost of its collective soul. Provocative and vastly entertaining, Action! is popular fiction at its best, a story that is both enlightening and great fun to read.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChrisNorbury - LibraryThing

If you are a Hollywood movie buff, or a interested in the history of the movie biz during the last half of the 20th century, you'll enjoy this book. I'm neither, although I enjoy a good film as much ... Read full review

ACTION!

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Generational Hollywood business saga and first outing by Cort, a producer whose 52 film credits include Runaway Bride and Mr. Holland's Opus.Cort gives his real-life Hollywood figures a strong ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
The Chair Shot First 19741975
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34

Chapter 9
A Scratch on the Negative 19571958
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
The Rebel 19651966
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Maniac 19851986
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
The Uncivil War 19971998
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Robert W. Cort has produced fifty-two films, including Outrageous Fortune, Three Men and a Baby, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Runaway Bride, Jumanji, and Save the Last Dance. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School, he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and McKinsey & Company. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Rosalie Swedlin, a manager of writers and directors. He can be reached via the Internet at www.robertcort.com.

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