The Devil's Candy by Julie Salamon
The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood

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When Brian De Palma agreed to allow Julie Salamon unlimited access to the film production of Tom Wolfe's best-selling book The Bonfire of the Vanities, both director and journalist must have felt like they were on to something big. How could it lose? But instead Salamon got a front-row seat at the Hollywood disaster of the decade. She shadowed the film from its early stages through the last of the eviscerating reviews, and met everyone from the actors to the technicians to the studio executives. They'd all signed on for a blockbuster, but there was a sense of impending doom from the start—heart-of-gold characters replaced Wolfe's satiric creations; affable Tom Hanks was cast as the patrician heel; Melanie Griffith appeared mid-shoot with new, bigger breasts. This riveting insider's portrait provides a timeless account of an industry where art, talent, ego, and money combine and clash on a monumental scale.

About Julie Salamon

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Julie Salamon is a critic for the New York Times and the author of five books. She lives in New York City.
Published May 30, 2002 by Da Capo Press. 464 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, History. Non-fiction

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The book's embattled center is de Palma, who is rescued from his ghoulish image in suspense films, and would be the book's tragic hero were the abortive film a tragedy instead of a creative misfire from the first script and first compromise onward.

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