Book Tour:Hollywood Stories by Stephen Schochet

26 May 2012
 



 

Genre: Film/History/Humour

 

Synopsis: At high noon on a cold November day in 1974, sixty-seven-year-old John Wayne faced off with the staff of the Harvard Lampoon on the famous campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The students had issued their challenge by calling the beloved American icon a fraud. Wayne, who had his new movie McQ to promote, responded by saying he would be happy to show his film in the pseudo-intellectual swamps of Harvard Square. After the screening, without writers, the former USC footballer delivered a classic performance. When one smart young man asked where he got his phony toupee, Wayne insisted the hair was real. It wasn't his, but it was real. The appreciative underclassmen loved him and after the Q and A session, they all sat down to dinner. Later Wayne, who was suffering greatly from both gout and the after effects of lung cancer (sadly the Duke only had five years to live), said that day at Harvard was the best time he ever had.

Just when you thought you've heard everything about Hollywood comes a totally original new book -- a special blend of biography, history and lore.

Hollywood Stories is packed with wild, wonderful short tales about famous stars, movies, directors and many others who have been a part of the world's most fascinating, unpredictable industry!

What makes the book unique is that the reader can go to any page and find a completely engaging and illuminating yarn. Sometimes people won't realize that they are reading about The Three Stooges or Popeye the Sailor until they come to the end of the story. The Midwest Book Review says Hollywood Stories is, "packed from cover to cover with fascinating tales."

Full of funny moments and twist endings, Hollywood Stories features an amazing, all-star cast of legendary characters and icons and will keep you totally entertained!

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I love to share all my book finds with you guys, and while I have yet to read this one, I can tell by the excerpts that it is going to be a great one!!

Here is my favorite one:

Bob Couldn’t Always Trust Bing

Bing Crosby would stick up for his friend and sometimes-rival Bob Hope, but loved playing jokes on him in private. One time during a morning round of golf, the screen partners discussed a hurtful magazine article that called the very rich Hope a cheapskate. Bing promptly went home to write an angry letter to the editor. People didn’t realize that when Bob did free benefits for the US armed forces, he also gave up tons of money he could earn in other venues. After Hope thanked him, the crooner wanted a favor. There were a group of sailors on leave in New York who could use entertaining. Bing’s schedule was full; could Bob do it? The patriotic comedian agreed and quickly left Hollywood for the East Coast. Bob was stunned when the military audience sat stone-faced, not laughing at any of his jokes. Crosby hadn’t mentioned to Hope that the servicemen were members of the Royal Dutch Navy, who didn’t speak a word of English.

Extra: Crooner Bing Crosby (1903-1977) and comedian Bob Hope (1903-2003) met while they were each performing at New York’s Capitol Theater in 1932. They became drinking buddies and planned out a routine to enhance each other’s act. Bob would come out on stage and say he had to do the show alone tonight. His partner had unfortunately locked himself in his dressing room. Bing then appeared in the wings, holding a plank of wood with an attached doorknob.

“I’ll be going solo tonight,” Crosby told the crowd. “My partner has a stomach ache.”
“But I don’t have one,” Hope protested.
“You will after I make you swallow this!”
Audiences were delighted and Hollywood studio executives took notice.

Extra: Crosby and Hope sometimes had a tense relationship and did not always appreciate being the butt of each other’s jokes. A particular sore spot for Crosby was when Hope made fun of his toupee. During a scene in Road to Singapore (1940), the two men were about to settle down and get some shuteye when the director noticed something wrong. “Bing, why don’t you take your hat off?”
“What are you talking about?” the singer replied. “This is how I sleep.”
No amount of arguing or front office pressure could change the leading man’s mind; Crosby’s head and hairpiece stayed covered throughout the shot.
Extra: Bob Hope was one of the Masters of Ceremonies when Bing Crosby won the Oscar for playing a priest in the sentimental comedy Going My Way(1944). The comedian later said that smiling as Crosby received his statue was the greatest acting job of his life.

 

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