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Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

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By Norm Goldman
Published on February 25, 2013
 

Author: Nat Segaloff

Publisher: BearManor Media

ISBN: 978-1-59393-233-6




Author: Nat Segaloff

Publisher: BearManor Media

ISBN: 978-1-59393-233-6

According to the back cover of Nat Segaloff's Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Segaloff was permitted access “to the private papers, production records, never-before-published interviews, and specialized archives in reconstructing the colorful, touching, and sometimes scandalous stories behind the making of the last films of some of Hollywood's top directors.” The result is a fascinating chronicle as well as a brief analysis of the last films of fifty great directors who enjoyed substantial careers and who ended them as a result of a variety of reasons such as death, infirmity, racking up too many flops, lack of financial backing and some who were just too tired of the Hollywood nonsense.

Included among the well-known names are Robert Aldrich, Robert Altman, Cecil D. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Vincente Minnelli, John Schlesinger, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, George Cukor, Frank Capra, John Huston and a host of others that created worthy bodies of work. According to Segaloff, most of these directors were products of the studio system who found themselves unable to adapt to the independent financing, production, and distribution circus that replaced it in the 1960s.

The first female director to make a name for herself, Dorothy Arzner, stated that she didn't leave the world of directing it left her also. As Segaloff points out, the Daily Variety's obituary of Arzner, when she passed away in 1979, sadly indicated that she had no survivors and there would be no services. However, “in fact she is survived by, so far, three generations of women filmmakers who got through Hollywood's door, in part, because Arzner kicked it open with her talent and the ability to wield it.” Another interesting tidbit revealed is that Frank Capra, when his directing career came to an end, was able to do TV specials including the Bell Science films and lectured a great deal where he showed his enduring classics and discussed them with a generation of eager young fans. Elia Kazan, when it came to his friends, was quite consistent in believing that the ends justified the means whether on the stage, screen, or in the theater of American politics during the McCarthy era when be betrayed many of his friends. The celebrated director, Arthur Penn, who as mentioned, arguably revolutionized cinema, sired a new generation of filmmakers, yet at the end of his career was kept from making another film himself.

The idea behind the writing of Final Cuts is worth reading as it brings up some interesting goodies and Segaloff's take on details, which no doubt is an outcome of his vast knowledge of the Hollywood scene, is fascinating. In the end, this is an impressively researched and comprehensive study that could have been expanded into two books which would have given Segaloff an opportunity to include some other directors whom he left out.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With Nat Segaloff


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