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The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco

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9780306811234: The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco
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"A definitive portrait of the madness of big-time moviemaking."--Newsweek

When Brian De Palma agreed to allow Julie Salamon unlimited access to the film production of Tom Wolfe's best-selling book The Bonfire of the Vanities, both director and journalist must have felt like they were on to something big. How could it lose? But instead Salamon got a front-row seat at the Hollywood disaster of the decade. She shadowed the film from its early stages through the last of the eviscerating reviews, and met everyone from the actors to the technicians to the studio executives. They'd all signed on for a blockbuster, but there was a sense of impending doom from the start--heart-of-gold characters replaced Wolfe's satiric creations; affable Tom Hanks was cast as the patrician heel; Melanie Griffith appeared mid-shoot with new, bigger breasts. With a keen eye and ear, Salamon shows us how the best of intentions turned into a legendary Hollywood debacle.
The Devil's Candy joins John Gregory Dunne's The Studio, Steven Bach's Final Cut, and William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade as a classic for anyone interested in the workings of Hollywood. With a new afterword profiling De Palma ten years after the movie's devastating flop (and this book's best-selling publication), Julie Salamon has created a riveting insider's portrait of an industry where art, talent, ego, and money combine and clash on a monumental scale.
"Delightful. The Devil's Candy is quite simply the most telling examination of moviemaking since Lillian Ross's [Picture]. . . . One must be thankful to the filmmakers for producing such a spectacle, if only so that this book could be written."--Graydon Carter, Vogue

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About the Author:
Julie Salamon is a critic for the New York Times and the author of five books. She lives in New York City.
From Kirkus Reviews:
Engaging, in-depth study of how Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities was transferred from megahit book to megaflop movie; by the film critic of The Wall Street Journal, novelist of White Lies (1987). With an okay from Brian de Palma, Bonfire's director, Salamon jumped on board early, when only Tom Hanks had been hired to play Sherman McCoy. She charts the movie's birth pains, financing, script revisions, casting, location-scouting in the Bronx and Manhattan, the New York shoot and the Los Angeles shoot, second unit work for backgrounds not directed by de Palma, editing, sound mixing, scoring, previews around L.A. and in Boston, reediting, advertising, premiere, and reviews. Salamon keeps a steady interest both in the artisans and the mechanics of their art without ever quite finding a voice of her own (say, like Pauline Kael's) or revealing how her presence on the scene may have affected anything. ``The devil's candy'' is a phrase from Peter Guber, the movie's original producer, which means both the actress to be cast as Sherman's mistress and the orgasm of instant success, as in E.T. or Batman. The book's embattled center is de Palma, who is rescued from his ghoulish image in suspense films, and would be the book's tragic hero were the abortive film a tragedy instead of a creative misfire from the first script and first compromise onward. Even so, this movie struck its makers as ``the definitive vehicle of dreams...the stretch limo of hopes and ambition.'' Stephen Spielberg's take on what happened is right on target: ``Brian is stepping into shoes that can be worn by other film makers. When he does that he's caught up in the machinery of the studio system.'' Like watching a World Trade Center tower topple onto Wall Street. (Eight-page b&w photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780385308243: The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood

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