December 5, 2004 |
He passes off as his own scripts that were ghostwritten for him by a naive -- and hungry -- screenwriter. He does his best to sabotage the Writers Guild. He suggests to the studio's corporate owners that the present head of production is too old and out of touch with the movies' youthful core audience, then, when he succeeds to the job, cries copious tears at his predecessor's memorial service. His manservant is widely rumored to be a mobster, which lends a dark criminal glamour to his doings.
February 13, 1990 |
Technically, Budd Schulberg's "What Makes Sammy Run" is just entering its 50th year, having been published in the spring of 1941. Its publisher, Bennett Cerf of Random House, loved it but was confident it would fail. Hollywood novels didn't sell, and Nathanael West's "Day of the Locust," published the year before, had not earned back the $500 advance West received. Cerf promised Schulberg a dinner at the 21 club if the book took off.
September 6, 1998 |
What have you done? Samuel Goldwyn, his face flushed with rage, had just ordered the young screenwriter into his office. What have you done? For a brief, naive moment, Budd Schulberg shrugged it off. Sure, most of the folks in Hollywood couldn't stand the gruff producer: Goldwyn was outrageous, tantrums were de rigueur. But Schulberg liked him just fine. At least Goldwyn seemed happy with his work.
June 5, 2005 |
There's a piano in the living room at Budd Schulberg's old home in Hancock Park, just as there was 75 years ago when Schulberg was a boy, living there with his family, right around the corner from the Barrymores and Louis B. Mayer, his father's old business partner. The Schulbergs were Hollywood royalty back then. Budd's father, B.P. Schulberg, was head of Paramount Pictures, which meant that a cavalcade of stars often lighted up their living room, the piano getting quite a workout.
September 20, 1987
Author Budd Schulberg seems upset over the current admiration for the super-selfish clod he created for his novel, "What Makes Sammy Run?" ("Schulberg's 'Sammy' as a Role Model for Our Time" by Budd Schulberg, Sept. 3). I suggest he write a sequel titled "The Fall of Sammy Glick." In it, Sammy would be bankrupted by a hostile takeover fight, suffer an emotional breakdown and, in the final chapter, be abandoned by his friends as he lay dying in a public hospital. This would be a fitting tribute to a jerk like Sammy, and it might teach those airheads who admire him one of the great lessons in career building: Those who kick others off the ladder of success on the way up shall also be kicked by others on the return trip down that ladder.
August 8, 1993 |
If you figure that books lie dearest to the hearts of book collectors, then what comes in a reasonably close second? Lists of books. "So you can brag, 'I'm only missing three on the li" says Charles Heiskell. "It's a way of keeping score, if you will." Heiskell, a retired cardiologist, speaks from the rarefied position of both book collector and list maker.
May 13, 1990
Thoughts after reading Jack Mathews' appraisal of Hollywood ethics (April 22): OK, my hometown rates its usual F for failing to live up to ethical business standards and its usual A for amorality. As a veteran if not the Big Daddy of Hollywood's critics, I say it's not exactly front-page news that the industry has long been a happy hunting ground for hustlers, ruthless, greedy and every bit as ethical as man-eating sharks. But when (five decades ago) I wrote "What Makes Sammy Run?"
May 10, 1994 |
The crowds are different from the restive, hard-eyed fans who straddle the red carpet outside the Music Center at Oscar time or bunch up behind velvet ropes at movie premieres. These followers are a different stripe of Hollywood camper--some carry first editions of "The Day of the Locust," "The Last Tycoon," or "What Makes Sammy Run?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2001 |
Valley bookseller Tom Rusch fell in love with the Hollywood novel long before he moved here to its natural habitat. In the 1970s he lived in Minneapolis--a nice town but short on starlets and palm trees--and it was there that he was first mesmerized by such masters of the genre as Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. When Rusch settled in Southern California 18 years ago, he began amassing Hollywood novels in earnest.
February 23, 1990 |
Anyone paying attention to the smaller-theater scene this time last year had to be heartened by all the good work going on. A wave of intelligence and energy splashed across town; with such good news, the death of Waiver wouldn't mean much. A year later, and a wave of the sillies has come down upon us. Even a usually reliable group like L.A. Theatre Unit, which has produced such work as "Andrea's Got Two Boyfriends" and "The White Death," has come up with some silly antics posing as a play, "Tiger Treadwell Takes Tinseltown."