In 1967, Bart, a newspaper reporter covering the Hollywood beat, joined the struggling Paramount Pictures as the right-hand man to the studio’s new chief of production, the as-yet-untested Robert Evans. For the next eight years, as Hollywood underwent some seismic shifts (moviemaking itself was in the midst of massive stylistic and thematic changes), Bart was involved in the making of some classic films (Rosemary’s Baby, The Odd Couple, The Godfather) and some notorious flops (Hurry Sundown, Darling Lili). It’s a very personal, opinionated memoir, just the ticket for fans of such Hollywood books as Evans’ The Kid Stays in the Picture or William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade. The galley distributed for review contains some apparent errors: for example, the author quotes himself, in the late 1960s, referring to two Paddy Chayefsky movies that weren’t made until several years later. Let’s hope these lapses get sorted out before the book goes to print, but either way, they shouldn’t keep anyone from reading this rollicking insider’s account of one of the more interesting periods in Hollywood history.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, April 2011