Goldwyn by A. Scott Berg Online

Title : Goldwyn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780394510590
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 579

With the cooperation of Sam Goldwyn, Jr., and exclusive access to the Goldwyn archives including letters, scripts, telegrams, company records, and contracts, Scott Berg has produced a detailing account of Samuel Goldwyn, Paramount, MGM, and United Artists. 48 pages of photos.

Goldwyn Reviews

  • Graceann

    A. Scott Berg knows how to write a compelling story, and for that he should be commended. I don't know that I could have done such a fair job with telling the life story of Samuel Goldwyn, because as a reader I disliked him intensely throughout the narrative - I can't imagine how I would have felt if I'd been the one doing the research. I can honestly say I might have abandoned the project. Thank goodness he stuck with it, because it is a must-read for anyone interested in the beginnings of the [...]

  • Andrewh

    This book is puffed by Katharine Hepburn and Billy Wilder, no less, and is a great piece of writing about the Hollywood system in its heyday as much as a biography of Goldwyn himself. Born in Poland, Goldwyn came to America as a teenager, with no English, and worked his way up via the glove trade, before becoming one of the leading independent producers in Hollywood, famous for the 'Goldwyn touch'. After setting up Goldwyn Pictures in the early days, Goldwyn was ousted by Louis B. Mayer (who the [...]

  • Michael

    Fun stuff, thoroughly researched and wonderfully written. This really altered my perception of Goldwyn. Sure, he was a hard-nosed business man, but he was always concerned with presenting a quality product, and always strove to find a market for innovative films. He was never afraid to take a chance (and, in the event of failure, to complain openly of having done so). You don't always admire the moaning optimist presented in these pages, but most of the time you have no other choice. This is mus [...]

  • Christine Sinclair

    A big book about a big man in films, and the big changes he saw in his lifetime. A. Scott Berg is an excellent biographer who doesn't pull any punches in describing the wheeling and dealing, the fights and lawsuits, and the famous (sometimes apocryphal) malapropisms of this self-made man. It's also the inside scoop on the golden years of Hollywood, the stars, the publicity machine, the glamorous premieres and the not-so-glamorous failures in Tinseltown. It even has a romantic sub-plot, the undyi [...]

  • Lulu

    An EXCELLENT biography of movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn. Berg writes in a familiar, accessible, yet smart-as-a-whip style, which is no small feat. Great reading for anyone interested in Classical Hollywood and how it was shaped by a group of penniless, barely literate Eastern European immigrants such as Goldwyn and how these men's brilliance, determination, vision, and, yes, occasional ruthlessness gave rise to the American film industry.

  • Jim Willse

    Authoritative and comprehensive, and in the end just too much. My fault, because it's a wonderful history of American movies and is worth the time and energy I just didn't have.

  • India Celeste

    This is one of those books/stories that will stay with me for a very long time. The writing was so honest and compelling. We get the triumphant, heroic Goldwyn and the asshole Goldwyn in the same book. I went from rooting for and identifying with him in the beginning of the book, to hating him in the middle of the book, to adoring him again by the end. I can understand why so many people featured in the book were so conflicted (or downright disgusted) by the man and his legacy. Definitely read t [...]

  • Harold

    This is a straightforward, well written biography of Samuel Goldwyn. Unfortunately, Goldwyn is a rather less large, less interesting personality in prose than he is in legend. He had an impressive -- indeed mind boggling -- journey from his routes, through England, to America, where be worked up to a glove salesman and eventually into the very early motion picture business. From that point forward, much of the book is the individual history of Goldwyn's most important, or at least most notable, [...]

  • Richard

    Sam Goldwyn's life is a cross-section of Hollywood history, and that's what you get in this biography by A. Scott Berg. A very entertaining read, and it includes one of my all-time favorite paragraphs. (I don't want to spoil it here; it's in the chapter called "The Plague" and it's where Goldwyn is berating his staff for not properly publicizing a movie called Edge of Doom.)Goldwyn was certainly a colorful (and mostly unlikeable) character, and the book is full of terrific anecdotes. In most cas [...]

  • Rick

    Berg did a good job of keeping the book concise. Goldwyn has an interesting story of lots of ups and downs both personally and professionally. The one thing that came out of the book that I found really interesting wasn't about Goldwyn specifically. Apparently, many of the future Hollywood moguls fled a region in Poland within 500 miles of one another including, Zucker, Fox, Meyer, Goldwyn, and others. It would be a very interesting history thesis to look at this more closely. Interestingly, Gol [...]

  • Jill Hutchinson

    A well written biography of one of Hollywood's biggest moguls. A practically illiterate immigrant who was hard edged, rude and single minded, Samuel Goldwyn shaped the history of film and loved taking all the credit for his place in history. You can't help but be fond of this blustering bully as he fought the odds to make it in a dog-eat-dog world.Berg does an excellent job of presenting his well researched material. He avoids sentimentality and gives us an unvarnished, straightforward picture o [...]

  • Goatville9

    Fascinating read about how an Eastern European immigrant helped transform motion pictures from 'flickers' - short films run every so often to shoo lingering patrons from continous vaudeville shows - into the dominant industry it is today. Goldwyn had a hand in many of the dominant production companies: MGM, United Artists, Goldwyn Pictures, etc.

  • Emily

    Berg lends insight to a very complicated man. It was almost impossible for me to like Goldwyn--what a creep he could be!--but the struggles he fought through and success he achieved made me admire and respect him. The narrative is well paced and Berg gives just enough background and context to make the movie industry, political climate, and historical setting very accessible.

  • Gail

    I think Scott Berg did a lot to try and distinguish the man from the legend. I learned a lot of detail about the early days of the film business and the pioneer studio execs as well as the early stars. It was particularly fun to read about the transition from silent films to talkies and understand all the ramifications, then to watch "The Artist."

  • Frances

    What a great biography! Well researched by Berg who took 8 years to write this. The history about early motion picture stars, production companies, writers, and locations are fascinating. I loved it and this is my second time to read it.

  • Grindy Stone

    If Samuel Goldwyn is a figure worth reading about, Berg only does a so-so job of bringing him to life. But he does a great job with telling the story of Goldwyn Pictures and the "Golden Age" of Hollywood.

  • Raychel

    I really enjoyed this look into Samuel Goldwyn and the start of the motion picture industry. It was a little slow at times, with a lot of detail. I preferred Berg's biography of Katharine Hepburn, but I'd still recommend this one.

  • amy

    Added more stars because it really held my attention--even the parts that I thought might be dull--Goldwyn started out working in a glove factory in Gloversville New York--were interesting.A good background on the start of Hollywood and the studio system.

  • Amanda

    Pretty interesting history of old Hollywood through the eyes and unbridled ambition of one of its creators. While the man is not terribly likable, what he was able to accomplish given that he started from nothing was an interesting journey.

  • Tom Fontaine

    Hollywood is a tough gig. Giant egos, huge gambles, complex, dynamic ridiculous projects that end up on our screen for us to judge. This book reveals this world in the earliest days. Most don't make it in this world. Goldwyn somehow does.

  • Calvin

    Berg is a quality biographer, just as satisfying as Lindbergh and even moreso than Max Perkins.

  • Caroline

    I love old Hollywood, but not this plodding tome. In the end, I have little idea as to who Goldwyn really was.

  • Francis J.

    One of the best books about Hollywood's Golden years and one of the most fascinating immigrant stories ever told.

  • Cynthia

    Really excellent and good for learning about the history of moviemaking too.

  • Rebekah Shafer

    An enjoyable book full of interesting information, but just dry enough that it took me a year to finish it. (And I now have a list of movies to look into!)

  • Keri

    I wanted to love this book. However, this incredibly detailed biography read like an encyclopedia. All info, no action.

  • Michael Harris

    After reading his biography of Katherine Hepburn, I picked up this biography at the Friends of the Silver Spring Library. Well written and a very interesting story of the early days of Hollywood.

  • Concon

    In my top ten. Great, great read.

  • Morgan

    Samuel Goldwyn's given name was Schmuel Gelbfisz, ahahaha!

  • David

    Exhaustive biography of perhaps the leading independent producer in Hollywood -- responsible for 80 films. Quite interesting, but sad -- Goldwyn seems unlikeable.