Cover image for A life in movies : stories from 50 years in Hollywood
Title:
A life in movies : stories from 50 years in Hollywood
Publication Information:
New York : Abrams Press, [2019]
ISBN:
9781419734526
Physical Description:
286 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
From Coney Island to William Morris to Hollywood -- Actually making movies, Double Trouble, and a very tough Lee Marvin in Point Blank -- A rebuff of Shakespeare, a welcome from Jack Warner, and diversity -- From the college campus uprising, to decadence in London, to a Hollywood dance marathon, to the Cannes Film Festival -- Starting a long friendship with the great actor Bob De Niro, the 1970s drug culture, and two different looks at the Los Angeles Police Department -- From Africa with Barbra Streisand to Charlie Bronson and a fine script that went sour -- To quote Rick in Casablanca, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." -- From Rocky to Oscar -- A very different fight film -- De Niro and Pacino have The Right Stuff -- The Cold War stars in one movie, the Revolutionary War in another, and one very fine movie doesn't get made -- A trip to Paris pays off -- Two political films and a couple of Goodfellas -- A career change from producer to director, back to producer (almost) -- Working with some special ladies--Sandra Bullock and Demi Moore--and a special doctor, Oliver Sacks -- Life with Kevin Kline is De-Lovely; a director gets bullied into not making a film -- From Camp Polk, Louisiana, to the Iraq War -- A wild ride to Wall Street, a gamble turning over a classic to a new generation, a sad loss, and a long-delayed Silence -- Old friends.
Abstract:
Shares the life and career of the producer, writer, and director charting the changes in Hollywood over the decades.

The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, and Creed. His films have been nominated for fifty-two Academy Awards, including five movies for Best Picture, and have won twelve. Winkler's new film Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, opening fall 2018, will be followed by Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, a major mafia saga for Netflix starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. In A Life in Movies, his charming and insightful memoir, Winkler tells the stories of his career through his many films as a producer and then as a writer and director, charting the changes in Hollywood over the past decades. Winkler started in the famous William Morris mailroom and made his first film--starring Elvis--in the last days of the old studio system. Beginning in the late 1960s, and then for decades to come, he produced a string of provocative and influential films, making him one of the most critically lauded, prolific, and commercially successful producers of his era. This is an engrossing and candid book, a beguiling exploration of what it means to be a producer, including purchasing rights, developing scripts, casting actors, managing directors, editing film, and winning awards.Filled with tales of legendary and beloved films, as well as some not-so-legendary and forgotten ones, A Life in Movies takes readers behind the scenes and into the history of Hollywood.
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Summary

Summary

A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas , Rocky , and Raging Bull , and an insider's account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century

The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky , Goodfellas , Raging Bull , De-Lovely , The Right Stuff , and Creed . His films have been nominated for fifty-two Academy Awards, including five movies for Best Picture, and have won twelve. Winkler's new film Creed II , starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, opening fall 2018, will be followed by Martin Scorsese's The Irishman , a major mafia saga for Netflix starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

In A Life in Movies , his charming and insightful memoir, Winkler tells the stories of his career through his many films as a producer and then as a writer and director, charting the changes in Hollywood over the past decades. Winkler started in the famous William Morris mailroom and made his first film--starring Elvis--in the last days of the old studio system. Beginning in the late 1960s, and then for decades to come, he produced a string of provocative and influential films, making him one of the most critically lauded, prolific, and commercially successful producers of his era.

This is an engrossing and candid book, a beguiling exploration of what it means to be a producer, including purchasing rights, developing scripts, casting actors, managing directors, editing film, and winning awards.Filled with tales of legendary and beloved films, as well as some not-so-legendary and forgotten ones, A Life in Movies takes readers behind the scenes and into the history of Hollywood.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

While film producer Winkler isn't a household name, he amply proves his place in Hollywood history in this uneven but illuminating memoir. Drawing on work diaries, Winkler gives insight into the creation of Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, the Rocky series, and Martin Scorsese's forthcoming The Irishman, among many others. He goes into more detail about some films than others, but at best gives a unique insider's perspective on his profession. He recalls that on Rocky, he and longtime producing partner Robert Chartoff had to take responsibility for any budget overages before United Artists would allow the film's then-unknown screenwriter, Sylvester Stallone, to star. On Guilty by Suspicion, a drama about the Hollywood blacklist that Winkler directed himself, he recounts exhaustively searching for a lead actor, before resolving not to make the film without Robert De Niro: "No one would be as perfect as Bob. That was it." Taken separately, the book's anecdotes can feel thin; in particular, the reader is left wanting to know more about Winkler's relationships with recurring collaborators like Chartoff, De Niro, and Scorsese. However, taken as a whole, Winkler's recollections add up to a lively chronicle that will entertain film buffs and enlighten film students. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A candid, revealing memoir from the acclaimed film producer and director.Throughout the book, Winkler explores the exigencies of conceiving, financing, casting, and shooting a movie as well as the incessant troubleshooting, placating of the intemperate or churlish, cajoling, pleading, negotiating, and always thinking fast on one's feetnot to mention promotion, securing distribution, and other responsibilities. Beginning his career as a talent agent and manager, the author, with longtime partner Bob Chartoff, produced such Academy Award-winning films as Rocky, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Right Stuff while also directing other films. At 87, he's still at it. His diary is the chief wellspring of a highly detailed account of 50 years on the hot seat. Winkler chronicles the development of many well-regarded movies as well as the aborted attempts and misfires both accountable and unaccountable. Because the author moves in linear fashion from film to film, a certain sameness begins to creep into the telling. But this is more than compensated for by the diversity of the films discussed, Winkler's palpable love of the industry, his insider's knowledge, and the generosity he extends to colleaguesnot to say that the author doesn't call out the occasional lout. Winkler also celebrates many longtime friends and associates, none more affectionately than (the late) Chartoff, Martin Scorsese, and Robert De Niro. Winkler's writing style is breezy, consistently modest, and amiable. Like many in the business with an emotional investment, he occasionally overrates a film or a performance. However, as a screenwriter himself, Winkler knows a clunker when he sees it. You don't win so many awards if you don'tknow what you're doing.Any film buff would love to join Winkler for a long conversation over drinks and dinner. At their best, his recollections are as rich as his films are memorable. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Winkler has produced some of the most memorable films of the past 50 years, from Raging Bull and The Right Stuff to the entire Rocky franchise and Martin Scorsese's upcoming The Irishman. In Winkler's conversational, entertaining, yet slight first memoir, he discusses the highs and lows of his career. Most of his films receive only a few pages of specific attention, though the discussion of 1991's Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert DeNiro-the first film Winkler directed-is much more detailed and thus far more informative and engaging. His candid nature and the use of film titles as markers within each chapter aid in the chronology and flow of the narrative, but avid readers can't help wanting more. Still, Winkler has worked with some truly great filmmakers, and his behind-the-scenes look at the interpersonal workings of Hollywood is a treat. VERDICT An enjoyable read for film buffs and a worthwhile addition to most -libraries.-Peter Thornell, Hingham P.L., MA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Part I

p. 1

Chapter 1 From Coney Island to William Morris to Hollywoodp. 4
Chapter 2 Actually making movies, Double Trouble, and a very tough Lee Marvin in Point Blankp. 14
Chapter 3 A rebuff of Shakespeare, a welcome from Jack Warner, and diversityp. 25
Chapter 4 From the college campus uprising, to decadence in London, to a Hollywood dance marathon, to the Cannes Film Festivalp. 30
Part II

p. 49

Chapter 5 Starting a long friendship with the great actor Bob De Niro, the 2970s drug culture, and two different looks at the Los Angeles Police Departmentp. 51
Chapter 6 From Africa with Barbra Streisand to Charlie Bronson and a fine script that went sourp. 64
Chapter 7 To quote Rick in Casablanca, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."p. 76
Chapter 8 From Rocky to Oscarp. 87
Part III

p. 95

Chapter 9 A very different fight filmp. 98
Chapter 10 De Niro and Pacino have The Right Stuffp. 107
Part IV

p. 129

Chapter 11 The Cold War stars in one movie, the Revolutionary War in another, and one very fine movie doesn't get madep. 130
Chapter 12 A trip to Paris pays offp. 141
Chapter 13 Two political films and a couple of Goodfellasp. 146
Chapter 14 A career change from producer to director, back to producer (almost)p. 161
Chapter 15 Working with some special ladies-Sandra Bullock and Demi Moore-and a special doctor, Oliver Sacksp. 189
Chapter 16 Life with Kevin Kline is De-Lovely; a director gets bullied into not making a filmp. 204
Chapter 17 From Camp Polk, Louisiana, to the Iraq Warp. 222
Part V

p. 231

Chapter 18 A wild ride to Wall Street, a gamble turning over a classic to a new generation, a sad loss, and a long-delayed Silencep. 233
Part VI

p. 261

Chapter 19 Old Friendsp. 263
Epiloguep. 269
Acknowledgmentsp. 273
Photo Creditsp. 286