On Cukor

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Rizzoli, Sep 1, 2000 - Performing Arts - 208 pages
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Long out of print and much sought after by collectors, On Cukor is finally being reissued in a revised, updated, and beautifully redesigned book, published to coincide with the broadcast of an American Masters film directed by Robert Trachtenberg. For this new edition, Gavin Lambert has rewritten the introduction, added new material from his original taped interviews with Cukor, assembled never-before-published photographs from Cukor's personal collection and updated a complete filmography that includes movies reshot by Cukor without credit.

The heart of the book remains intact. In an unusually candid series of taped interviews with Lambert in the early 1970s, one of Hollywood's finest directors shared some revealing and intimate thoughts on his craft. He discussed his most famous films, including What Price Hollywood?, Dinner at Eight, Little Women, David Copperfield, Camille, Holiday, The Women, The Philadelphia Story, Gaslight, Adam's Rib, Pat and Mike, The Marrying Kind, It Should Happen to You, A Star is Born, and My Fair Lady.

In this fascinating text, George Cukor recalled Hollywood as it evolved during his lifetime, the movies he wanted (but was never able) to make, and the movie (Gone with the Wind) from which he was fired. He sketched vivid portraits of personal friends and professional colleagues, such as Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankhead, David Selznick, Vivien Leigh, Somerset Maugham, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Cecil Beaton, and many others. And this great survivor signed off with memorable advice on how to remain sane despite the humiliating reversals that fifty years of Hollywod filmmaking inevitably entails.

"There will be other studies of George Cukor, but Lambert's will not be supplanted," The Los Angeles Times correctly predicted when On Cukor was first published in 1972. Indeed, this rich and glorious portrait remains a seminal work about one of the film industry's true creative geniuses.

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About the author (2000)

Gavin Lambert was born in England and first came to Hollywood as a personal assistant to director Nicholas Ray. He has written seven novels including the currently reprinted "Hollywood Quartet" of The Slide Area, Inside Daisy Clover, The Goodbye People, and Running Time. His non-fiction works include Norma Shearer, Nazimova, and Mainly about Lindsay Anderson. Among his screenplays are The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Inside Daisy Clover and the Oscar-nominated Sons and Lovers and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Robert Trachtenberg, a filmmaker and photographer, is the director of the American Masters film On Cukor. His photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and Vanity Fair.