Moneywood by William Stadiem
Hollywood in Its Last Age of Excess

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And so the book goes on and on, despairingly long sentences coiling up on one another like abandoned footage on a cutting-room floor.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

As wild and sexy and over the top as the decade it brings to life, author, William Stadiem, tells the inside story of Hollywood producers in the 80s.

From hits like Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and Batman to flops like Heaven's Gate, Howard the Duck and Leonard Part 6, Hollywood was never more excessive than it was in the 1980s. In this, the Moneywood era, the purse strings were not controlled by reasonably consenting adults but by pop culture cowboys who couldn't balance their own checkbooks. What they could do was sweet talk the talent, seduce the starlets, snowball the Japanese and slither out of Dodge when the low grosses trickled in. Their out of control lifestyles and know-nothing, raging narcissistic personalities make the original brutal studio heads like Sam Goldwyn and Jack Warner seem like Oxford dons. Yet, for all their flops, these Scoundrels of Spago turned Hollywood into a Big Business that was catnip to Wall Street. They were The Producers, and they were way beyond anything Mel Brooks could dream up.

The Moneywood cast of characters includes:

-Simpson and Bruckheimer; Guber and Peters; Eisner/Katzenberg/Ovitz: An unusual fresh take on the usual subjects.

-Ray Stark, the wizard of Holmby Hills, the most powerful producer of the 80s.

-Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna, the Rambo boys, who went from making wigs to making blockbusters.

-Menahem Golan-Yoram Globus, the Israeli schlockmeisters who proved that every star had a price.

-David Begelman, the embezzler, gambler and sex addict who was rewarded for his sins by getting to run both Columbia and MGM.

-Roland Betts, the aristocratic Silver Screen Partners founder and former Yale frat-mate of George W. Bush who was a master at playing the Reagan White House card.

-Giancarlo Parretti, the Italian cannery worker who bought MGM, with a little help from his (Sicilian) friends.

-David Puttnam The high-toned English advertising whiz who was supposed to raise the Hollywood bar, but ended up barred from Hollywood.

Moneywood is the ultimate expose of the real hit men of Hollywood's go-go decade.

 

About William Stadiem

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WILLIAM STADIEM is the author of eight books, including Marilyn Monroe Confidential and Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, as well as co-author of the bestseller Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra.  He is a Harvard-educated lawyer who became a screenwriter and columnist for Andy Warhol's Interview and for Tatler.  He had a ringside seat for many of the outrages and outbursts he writes about in Moneywood. He lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published January 15, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. 333 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Moneywood
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Dec 24 2012

Even poolside readers have their standards for books like “Moneywood.” And this one is a terrible disappointment.

Read Full Review of Moneywood: Hollywood in Its L... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Christopher Bray on Jan 18 2013

And so the book goes on and on, despairingly long sentences coiling up on one another like abandoned footage on a cutting-room floor.

Read Full Review of Moneywood: Hollywood in Its L... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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