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Probing Puttnam

January 24, 1988|Pat H. Broeske \f7

In the off chance that you haven't read enough about David Puttnam, a trio of books dealing with the man and his impact on the biz are in the works.

Well, "My Indecision Is Final: The Rise and Fall of Goldcrest" (Faber & Faber of Britain) isn't exactly a Puttnam book . But Puttnam's a very significant player in the tome, due in spring, 1989, said film journalist Terry Ilott. He's collaborating with Jake Eberts, founder of England's Goldcrest Films International, which financed such Puttnam projects as "Chariots of Fire" and "The Killing Fields" before its financial demise. Said Ilott: "He was by far the most dominant, creative influence in the company."

Ilott, who spoke from his home outside London, said he talked with Puttnam "at great length" last year re Goldcrest, and that additional interviews will take place in the spring. Puttnam is also talking with fellow Brit Chris Goodwin, U.S. editor of Screen International and author of the upcoming (and tentatively titled) "Exile in Babylon." To be published in the fall (by Henry Holt), it will examine Puttnam's year at Columbia Pictures and attempt to see how he figures, historically, in Hollywood. Said Goodwin: "After all, he was the first Britisher to run a major Hollywood studio since Chaplin set up United Artists."

Goodwin hastened to add that his book will not be a "whitewash, told from Puttnam's point of view. . . . It's quite obvious to anybody that he (Puttnam) made certain misjudgments and mistakes."

Also in the works is what's described as an authorized Puttnam profile by Britisher Andrew Yule for London's Sphere Books in London.

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