Friday, May 04, 2012

Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, The Mob (And Sex)

 In 1967, Peter Bart, then a young reporter for the New York Times, decided to upend his life and enter the dizzying world of motion pictures. "Infamous Players" is the story of Bart's remarkable journey at Paramount, his role in its triumphs and failures, and how a new kind of filmmaking emerged during that time.

When Bart was lured to Paramount by his friend and fellow newcomer, the legendary Robert Evans, the studio languished, its slate riddled with movies that were out of touch with the dynamic sixties. By the time Bart left Paramount, in 1975, the studio had completed an extraordinary run with such films as The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby, Harold and Maude, Love Story, Chinatown, Paper Moon, and True Grit. But this new golden era at Paramount was also fraught with chaos and company turmoil. Drugs, sex, runaway budgets, management infighting, and even the Mafia started finding their way onto the Paramount back lot.

Bart reflects on the New Hollywood era at Paramount with insider details and insightful analysis; here too are his fascinating recollections of the icons from that era: Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, and Frank Sinatra, among others.

Peter Bart, author of Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex), spent seventeen years as a film executive (at Paramount, MGM, and Lorimar Film Co.), only to return to print as editor in chief of Variety. Along the way, he was responsible for seven books, including Shoot Out, written with Peter Guber. He is now the host of Movie Talk, a weekly television show broadcast here and abroad.

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