The New Book Review

This blog, #TheNewBookReview, is "new" because it eschews #bookbigotry. It lets readers, reviewers, authors, and publishers expand the exposure of their favorite reviews, FREE. Info for submissions is in the "Send Me Your Fav Book Review" circle icon in the right column below. Find resources to help your career using the mini search engine below. #TheNewBookReview is a multi-award-winning blog including a recommendation.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Actor, Dancer, Author Shares 3rd Issue of Her Fave Books about Film

TITLE Favorite Books about Movies: Part Three
AUTHOR: Betty Jo Tucker
GENRE Nonfiction
AWARDS: Author received five awards for books about films (see Bio below)

                     Favorite Books about Movies: Part Three

Most movie addicts like me want to read as much as possible about films and filmmaking. Below are ten more of my favorite movie-related books. Each one listed made me feel involved, entertained and informed.

Twist of Lemmon. Chris Lemmon (Algonquin Books, 2006). Chris Lemmon wrote this acclaimed book about his father Jack Lemmon, one of Hollywood’s legendary movie stars. He has created a touching memoir, one that reveals the beloved family man behind Jack Lemmon’s star persona. Fortunately, Chris also includes many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories relating to his father’s remarkable movie career as well as personal tributes from such well-known show biz greats as Neil Simon, Cliff Robertson, Andy Garcia, Julie Andrews, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine.   

Casablanca Film Trivia: Here’s Looking at You, Kid! Tom Barnes (Papyrus Publishing, 2008). Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the classic movie Casablanca can be found in this fun trivia book. Author Ted Barnes includes 1,130 questions about Casablanca. These questions cover such areas as history, actors, script, critics, images, characters, production staff, music, geography, goofs, and clothing. Each of the 33 chapters centers on a specific category or theme, and most of the chapters end with interesting “factoids” about this wonderful movie. I had a great time trying to answer Barnes’ questions while reading his book. I also learned some intriguing new information about one of my favorite movies

CLORIS. Cloris Leachman and George Englund (Kensington Books, 2010). The late great Cloris Leachman’s enthralling autobiography is such a candid, entertaining and inspirational book! As expected, it’s filled with delicious behind-the-scenes anecdotes about her work in films, television, radio and live theater. But it also reveals fascinating surprises concerning her private life and personal philosophy for living to the fullest. Cloris boasts a wealth of acting experience to draw from -- and she offers readers many humorous incidents to enjoy.  

Dishing Hollywood. Laurie Jacobson (Cumberland House Publishing, 2003). Film historian Laurie Jacobson writes about the most notorious scandals that have rocked Tinseltown from the early part of the 20th century up to the present. Her scintillating book contains tales of lives cut short, unsolved mysteries, dramatic suicides and steamy affairs fill the pages of Jacobson’s revealing romp through some of Hollywood’s biggest scandals involving stars like Gary Cooper, Lana Turner, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood, River Phoenix and many more. This one is a real page-turner, folks!  

In Search of Lost Films. Phil Hall (BearManor Media, 2016). Author Hall is on an important mission, and he reveals all about it in this impressive book. He explains why so many films throughout the world have disappeared. Hall also describes a number of these movies and discusses the difficulty of evaluating the work of stars like Theda Bara and Lon Chaney because so many of their films are missing. But my favorite part of the book lists the various (and sometimes strange) places where certain lost films have already been discovered.  After reading this book, I started looking closer at storage areas, closets and yard sales for suspicious-looking film canisters. 

In the Company of Legends. Joan Kramer and David Heeley (Beaufort Books, 2015). Kramer and Heeley describe interesting behind-the-scenes experiences while making their marvelous movie star documentaries. Starting with award-winning profiles of Fred Astaire in 1980, they produced film portraits of the lives and careers of many other Hollywood legends including Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield, Errol Flynn, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. This dynamic duo established a reputation for finding the un-findable, persuading the reluctant, and maintaining unique relationships long after the end credits rolled. Their dedicated team work is something to be admired!        

Madeline KahnBeing the Music – A Life. William V Madison (University Press of Mississippi, 2016). Madison’s in-depth biography of this beloved actress who won so many fans by combining her musical talent and flair for comedy gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at Madeline Kahn’s personal and professional life. It’s an inspiring tale about the persistence and dedication of an insecure but highly talented artist.  Although earning a degree in speech therapy and receiving training as an opera singer, Madeline became famous as a popular star of film, stage and TV. She wowed me in Young FrankensteinBlazing SaddlesHigh Anxiety, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother. This book is a must-read for people who love Madeline as well as books about troubled showbiz stars.     

Shut Up! I’m Talking! Coming Out in Hollywood and Making It to the Middle. Jason Stuart (CCB Publisher, 2019). Jason Stuart was the first openly gay stand-up comedian. But he’s also performed character work in many feature films including Tangerine and The Birth of a Nation. He has the ability to take on various roles of any genre, and make them believable. And he has earned over 150 credits that prove he is talented, professional, and persistent. This memoir documents his long and curious career. As a mentor of many people “across all ages, straight and gay,” Stuart wanted to share what he learned, and that’s the purpose of this unique book.      

Tim and Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White. Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen. (The University of Chicago Press, 2009). Back in the tumultuous 1960s, actor Tim Reid and comedian Tom Dreesen began to use their talents as entertainers to help people deal with the serious problems of that chaotic time. This splendid book chronicles their experiences -- both positive and negative -- while entertaining and educating audiences as America’s first interracial comedy team. Reid has starred in many movies (including Trade, Dead Bang, and Say a Little Prayer), but he’s known best for his role as Venus Flytrap in WKRP in Cincinnati. Dreesen, a stand-up comic, has appeared on film in Man on the Moon and Spaceballs. 

Writing with Hitchcock: A Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes. Stephen Derosa. (Faber and Faber, 2001). Derosa explains how Hitchcock and Hayes worked together in four of Hitchcock’s early films (The Trouble with Harry, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and The Man Who Knew Too Much). Biographical sketches of both men as well as a breakdown of all four films are included. For Avid Hitchcock fans like me, this book is a treasure. 




BIO: Betty Jo Tucker served as editor/lead film critic for ReelTalk Movie Reviews for 20 years. She also writes film commentary for AuthorsDen and the Colorado Senior Beacon. She is the award-winning author of Confessions of a Movie Addict, Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick, Cinema Stanzas: Rhyming About Movies, and Cinema Stanzas Two: Poet Laureate of the Movies. Using the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence, Betty Jo and her husband Larry co-wrote It Had To Be Us, a romantic memoir adapted for the screen under the title of CAKE: A Love Story,which earned First Place in the Short Film category at the NSAEN Online International Film Festival. She is a co-founder of the San Diego Film Critics Society, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and an approved Rotten Tomatoes critic.

TWITEER MONIKER: Betty Jo Tucker @MovieAddictRevu


More About #TheNewBookReview Blog The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the submission guidelines at or to the guideline tab at the top of the home page of this blog. Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's #AuthorsHelpingAuthors service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in a tab at the top of the home page, too. Carolyn Wilhelm is our IT expert, an award-winning author, a veteran educator and also contributes reviews and posts on other topics related to books. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

No comments: