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Hardcover I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History Book

ISBN: 0299226409

ISBN13: 9780299226404

I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

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Book Overview

This is a moving, star-filled account of one of Hollywood's true golden ages as told by a man in the middle of it all. Walter Mirisch's company has produced some of the most entertaining and enduring classics in film history, including West Side Story, Some Like It Hot, In the Heat of the Night, and The Magnificent Seven. His work has led to 87 Academy Award nominations and 28 Oscars. Richly illustrated with rare photographs...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Real Deal

I believe critic Jay Carr was directly alluding to Walter's influence as a lifetime supporter and longtime Academy president when he said: "Academy members ... tend to favor films that will make Hollywood seem a class act instead of a hotbed of money-grubbing vulgarians" . Walter's films, a plethora of seemingly diverse classics such as IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, SOME LIKE IT HOT, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN - and so many other titles too numerous to mention at any one time - all have in common a standard of uncommon excellence. His first person memoir offers the added dimension to appreciating these iconic works within a down-to-earth nuzzle from the horse's mouth. It's also easy to appreciate the refreshing modesty of prose and consistently gracious acknowledgment to all involved in Walter's life and career - from his family, loyal assistant, and crew - as well as the, visible to all, acting talent. This is a milk and cookies kind of skinny engaging in the basic and yet insider facts. I THOUGHT WE WERE MAKING MOVIES... is a delicious, home-cooked meal of a book. My personal favorite anecdotes involve Walter's aggravation with the brilliant but reckless mania of Peter Sellars... whose X rated package Walter received in retaliation for his honesty is unforgettably hilarious.

Intriguing for anyone interested in the history of the film business

Although I have yet to finish reading this book (I am about 1/4 way through it), Mirisch tells the history of his family and how they came to carve out careers in different aspects of the movie industry. Along the way, Mirisch relates anecdotes about various well-known stars of yesteryear and gives details as to how several of his films came into production. For anyone who has an interest in the film businesses and its related history, this book is a 'must read' that accomplishes remaining clear of bogging the reader down in any superfluous technicalities.

Entertainment History at Its Best-The Mirisch Way

This is an amazing recollection of how movies became a business and magic happened with humble beginnings by the Mirisch family, especially Walter. Enjoy your incredible reading journey.

I thought we were making movies not history

Here is one of the most successful producers in the business who started from the bottom and worked his way up to having the biggest, best, independant company in the world. The Mirisch Company. I cannot say enough about reading this book, I was riveted, I received the book on a Sat.and couldn't put it down till I finished it. Wow, what an education I got. Can you imagine having the foresight to have on your regular staff. Billy Wilder, Norman Jewison, John Sturges, Blake Edwards, Fred Zinnemann. John Moio

HOLLYWOOD'S *REEL* PRODUCER!

Walter Mirisch may not be a household name to most of you, but it should be if you love movies like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, WEST SIDE STORY, THE GREAT ESCAPE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, MIDWAY and numerous other classics of 1960's & 70's cinema. Along with his brothers Harold and Marvin, the Mirisch Company was the most prolific producer of hit iconic movies in Hollywood history. Over 100 films, 67 of which were for United Artists alone. They were the definitive independent production company and Walter Mirisch was the definitive independent Hollywood producer. For anyone vaguely interested in Hollywood history, this is a must-read. From "behind-the-scenes" trivia to the everyday struggles of getting so many great pictures to the screen, Walter gives us a rare and honest insight into working with such iconic talents as Billy Wilder, John Sturges, Norman Jewison, Steve McQueen, Sidney Poitier and so many others. The Mirisch Company thrived in the vacuum left by the declining Hollywood studio system. They were a streamlined, highly efficent, low overhead operation that attracted the biggest directors and stars. From humble poverty-row beginnings at Monogram with "Bomba The Jungle Boy", Walter Mirisch like his brothers learned everything there was to know about the movie business. Unlike today's Hollywood, where it's all about the deal and the bottom line. The Mirisch brothers were the very model of dignity and style. They cared about the quality and it earned them three oscars for best pictures alone. Walter won two honorary Academy Awards, he was a distinguished head of the Academy as well. Always the Hollywood statesman and champion, he has well earned the respect of the industry he has served so well. The next time whether on TV or DVD, you see the Mirisch name during the opening credits of any of his great movies. This book will be like having the man himself sitting right there beside you, answering all those questions as only he can! As a historian, I wish this book was the first of many from a man I very much admire. But at 87, Walter Mirisch can be forgiven for not having to write a full volume set. What he does write is precious though and sadly to borrow an old Hollywood cliche line -"we shall not see his like again".
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