The Big Goodbye Free read Ó 106

Summary The Big Goodbye

The Big Goodbye Free read Ó 106 ç From the New York Times bestselling author of Fifth Avenue Five AM and Fosse comes the revelatory account of the making of a modern American masterpiece Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting Here for the From the New York Times bestselling author of Fifth Avenue Five AM and Fosse comes the revelatory account of the making of a modern American masterpiece Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its makingIn Sam Wasson's telling it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers as compelling a movie star as there has ever been embarking on his great do. Best book about movies that I've ever readDamned book about broke my heart a half dozen timesI mean I almost shed real tears in parts of this Nicholson finds out who his real mother is early on during the filming of Chinatown ShatteringThere's a part where Jack's with his girlfriend the stunning Anjelica Huston during the filming of the movie and meets her legendary father John Huston sucker punches Jack with a line Huston has as a character in the filmUnforgettable seuenceNicholson's philandering will cost him the love of Anjelica it's inexplicable the way Jack's behavior was towards the ones who loved himBut the grinning foppish bastard was always tops to his palshe never let a half good pal go down without a lifeline thrown out to himThis is a chronicle that reads like a novel about the origins and realizations of and rationalizations for what follow in the aftermath of the filming of a movie titled Chinatown Started by three Hollywood Bros Robert Towne Jack Nicholson and Robert Evans and eventually realized in total by the widow of Sharon Tate Roman PolanskiThe aftermath of the film which will go on to earn a dozen or Oscar nominations yet be denied all but one Oscar win is the ultimate shattering of every other relationship the trio plus one hold dearRobert Towne did not write the screenplay on his own Towne first conceived the convoluted narrative missing a definitive ending on his own afterwards seeking counsel from a close friend Edward Taylor a consumer of pop cult mysteries and paperback originals Taylor was Towne's re write manTaylor loved Towne they were inseparable pals and Towne loved Taylor But Towne graciously took from Taylor without creditWhat I mean to say here is that Taylor got jack shitZeroLater Towne would earn money for lesser films After he'd earned millions for those lesser films he'd become generous with his writing partner yet he'd never share screen credits with TaylorThe original screenplay turned out screwier than the ChandlerBrackettFaulknerJules Furthman screenplay for The Big SleepChinatown had no resolutionEnter Polanski a driven artist haunted by the ghost of Sharon TateLook I can go on and on about this epic but I'll only come up spoilers This is as intense as any Hollywood based thriller Everyone discussed in this account has goals in mind but when mixed with cocaine and gambling for positions of power within the studio orbit it becomes a pathological descent into total and complete personal disasterThis turns out to be part history part accounting of betrayals that leaves the reader adrift in an ocean of inscrutability why when it's all going so well why the betrayalsIs it the studio dog eat dog kill or be killed ethosIs it fear of the loss of one's talentIt’s Chinatown JakeFebruary 14 2020 – page 77 Amazing book In a novel about the creation of the classic neo noir CHINATOWN we get the background on historic Los Angeles and biographical information on Raymond Chandler and the creation of hardboiled fiction in general February 14 2020 Next few pages Robert Towne begins writing the dialogue for CHINATOWN did anyone know Towne's first big L A love was Barrie ChaseDiane Taylor in the Robert Mitchum version of CAPE FEARMitchum's psychotic Max Cady beats the sultry out of her then leaves her terrified and scarred February 15 2020 – page 145 My favorite character in this historical pieceRobert Towne easilyPolanski is easily and at best an evil Polish dwarf with a tragic back storyI've been reading this since 300pm stopping only to watch a couple of reruns of WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE 1st episode 1st season with Nick Adams Michael Landon while my wife made dinnerThere's real drama in this epic of Hollywood February 16 2020 – page 170 Well that nasty little dwarf winds up saving Robert Towne's screenplay by streamlining it taking Towne's penchant for complicating the plot with unnecessary plot additives and eventually finding an ending for the filmNot only does Polanski pull the plot strands together but winds up giving Robert Towne sole credit for all writingFebruary 20 2020 – page 287 Now the tragedies that follow the success of CHINATOWNThe invasion of Barry Diller and his troglodytes “the television people” like Michael Ovitz his ilkRobert Evans cast off on an ice floe of perfect taste cocaineFebruary 21 2020 – Goddamn This book has made me weep too many times This is the most beautiful Hollywood history ever written More later hell it’s finishedHighest Possible Recommendation

Sam Wasson ä 6 Summary

Omed love affair with Anjelica Huston Here is director Roman Polanski both predator and prey haunted by the savage death of his wife returning to Los Angeles the scene of the crime where the seeds of his own self destruction are uickly planted Here is the fevered dealmaking of The Kid Robert Evans the most consummate of producers Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creationLooming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker friendly. This book won't be published until February but I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an ARC The first half was all about the writing of Chinatown Anyone who aspires to write screenplays or novels will benefit from discovering the narrative challenges that a successful script doctor struggled with when writing his first original screenplay Although Robert Towne receives sole writing credit I was surprised to learn how much Roman Polanski contributed to the finished script including that memorable resolution “Forget it Jake It’s Chinatown” The main players here are Towne who comes off as difficult and slow to complete obligations; director Polanski a master storyteller and a brilliant problem solver; studio headproducer Robert Evans a movie lover and one of the last executives to place a commitment to uality filmmaking above the bottom line and Jack Nicholson a loyal friend to the men in his life and a betrayer of the women I could have done with less detail about their personal lives their troubles and their shortcomings but the sections that dealt with the technical aspects of getting this masterpiece to the screen were informative and entertaining Overall I loved this book and will probably purchase the hardcover just to read the final corrected and edited version

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The Big GoodbyeStudios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today In telling that larger story The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie world books ever writtenPraise for Sam WassonWasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalitiesMore than that he understands that style matters and like his subjects he has a flair for it The New Yorker Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian because he finds meaning in situations and stories that would otherwise be forgotten if he didn't sleuth them out lovingly Hilton Als. Sam Wasson a Los Angeles writer specializing in film and theater has written a book that examines the making of Roman Polanski’s film Chinatown This book stands as the most comprehensive examination of the film’s production and will please cinephiles as well as others Wasson focuses on four men who were pivotal to the development of the film writer Robert Towne; producer Robert Evans; actor Jack Nicholson; and director Roman Polanski Wasson contends that these four men shaped the creative and intellectual life of the film constructing one of the most unforgettable films of all time The book is a vibrant and absorbing account of the development production and aftermath of a movie that has been hailed as a masterpiece of American cinema and stands as the uintessential film about Los Angeles The book sketches a biographical timeline of the four men highlighting how their creative interests and social lives intersected in the advancement of the film Wasson shows that the creative processes and story developments were often negotiated between the players with Polanski typically winning out over everyone Wasson largely credits Polanski with the film’s artistic success and transforming what was essentially an average script into an unforgettable masterpiece that redefined the noir genre In researching the film Wasson interviewed many of the cast and crew members including Polanski and Evans which gives their narratives a little heft than his analysis of either Nicholson or Towne neither of whom actually spoke with the author In the case of Towne Wasson spoke with Julie Payne the daughter of actor John Payne and Towne’s ex wife girlfriend at the time Chinatown was written and she provided some fascinating insights into the development of the story and screenplay that may be invaluable and insightful than anything Towne might have been willing to contributePolanski and Towne are the most compelling figures and were the primary creative entities behind the final film Polanski’s personal history is a catalog of tragedies that read as operatic in scope His work on Chinatown would also represent the first time he had returned to Los Angeles since the murder of his wife Sharon Tate and his reluctance was apparent Tate’s murder had sent Polanski into a tailspin of suspicion and distrust resulting in a cynicism that would reveal itself throughout Chinatown Coincidentally we learn that it was Tate’s death that prompted Towne and girlfriend Payne to purchase a guard dog for protection and the man who sold them the dog was an LAPD vice cop who had worked in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles Towne inuired as to what the cop did while working in Chinatown and his response sowed the seeds for an original story In creating his screenplay Towne wrestled with numerous scenarios and characters Some of the ideas were interesting while others fell flat and were best left on the cutting room floor which for Chinatown enthusiasts is riveting to read about some of those cut versions The struggle between Towne and Polanski over the ending of the film seems to be a battle between dark and light with Towne championing the happy ending he had envisioned and Polanski believing that evil would triumph In an ironic twist Polanski’s cynicism probably earned Towne an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay the film’s only Academy Award win In the book there is a glaring oversight about Faye Dunaway’s contribution to the film Her presence accounts for significantly less print than that of supporting actor John Huston All of this despite her co star billing with Nicholson and her masterful interpretation of an infinitely complex character The handful of acknowledgments she does merit are little than passing mentions regarding her “difficulty” during production including the now mythic battle with Polanski over a stray hair that he plucked from her head Actors like James Hong share inherently positive memories of Dunaway that stand in stark contrast to stories about the woefully unprofessional behavior that Polanski was largely responsible for perpetuating Given Polanski’s blotchy reputation with women which has come under major scrutiny in the Me Too era Dunaway’s participation in the film deserves a better examination Overall the book is a real treat for Chinatown enthusiasts and movie nerds alike It is extremely well researched and benefits from speaking with a wealth of participants everyone from costume designer Anthea Sylbert to actor Jesse Vint who had a small part as a farmer Robert Evans and Julie Payne passed away since their interviews by Wasson making the book even uniue and remarkable as a document recording the film’s history Speaking as a die hard Chinatown enthusiast this book is sure to delight even the most grizzled fan and provides an exciting analysis of one of the greatest films of all timeReviewed by Nicholas Beyelia Librarian History and Genealogy Department