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Sam Spiegel by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
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A lot of research went into this account of one of Hollywood's most notorious, enigmatic and best-loved producers. Though the writing lets the book down somewhat, it has an agreeably gossipy style and abundant behind-the-scenes info. ( )
  stancarey | Dec 2, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751535559, Paperback)

Sam Spiegel (1904-85), the Austrian-born Hollywood film producer, won Oscar after Oscar, particularly through his famous association with British director David Lean on THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. There was also THE AFRICAN QUEEN with Bogart and Hepburn, ON THE WATERFRONT with Brando and THE LAST TYCOON with De Niro. From the University of Vienna, Spiegel went to America selling Palestinian cotton. While there, he lectured on drama and was briefly hired by MGM to advise on foreign-language versions. He was fired and went to Universal. In 1929, they sent him to Berlin to work on German productions for them, before reappearing in America calling himself S P Eagle! This dazzling biography - and literary debut - does justice to an emigre who went to America selling cotton and ended up filming a F Scott Fitzgerald novel. It depicts the good and the bad of an extraordinary man: an illuminating account of both the golden age of Hollywood and one of its most infuriatingly brilliant individuals.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:02 -0400)

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"In this biography, Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, who had the advantage of knowing and working for Spiegel, brings into sharp focus a Hollywood legend who was at once crafty, unscrupulous, mendacious, and equally capable of great charm and petty meanness, who was sentimental and ruthless, a shrewd judge of talent, a gambler on a colossal scale, a man of almost unique artistic vision and courage who was, in the final analysis, that most elusive and rare of movie producers, a genius." "The story of how a Jewish refugee without a penny to his name managed to produce several of the greatest films of all time is alone worth telling, but Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni has done more: she has drawn the definitive portrait of the man himself - the elusive, witty, cynical adventurer who, like so many refugees, was able to live, succeed, and raise money everywhere, but who was at home nowhere. Spiegel surrounded himself with luxury and beautiful women but remained a loner despite his countless friends." "With a brilliant sense of time and place and a deep understanding of Spiegel's complex personality, Fraser-Cavassoni traces his disasters, successes, romances, friendships, and tangled finances in a narrative that is rich with colorful Spiegel stories, scandals, and bon mots."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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