Funny Man: Mel Brooks Books

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Funny Man


Funny Man
  • Author : Patrick McGilligan
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Release : 2019-03-19
  • ISBN : 9780062560964
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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A deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater, from Patrick McGilligan, the acclaimed author of Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award–winner Mel Brooks was behind (and sometimes in front the camera too) of some of the most influential comedy hits of our time, including The 2,000 Year Old Man, Get Smart, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. But before this actor, writer, director, comedian, and composer entertained the world, his first audience was his family. The fourth and last child of Max and Kitty Kaminsky, Mel Brooks was born on his family’s kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, and was not quite three-years-old when his father died of tuberculosis. Growing up in a household too poor to own a radio, Mel was short and homely, a mischievous child whose birth role was to make the family laugh. Beyond boyhood, after transforming himself into Mel Brooks, the laughs that came easily inside the Kaminsky family proved more elusive. His lifelong crusade to transform himself into a brand name of popular humor is at the center of master biographer Patrick McGilligan’s Funny Man. In this exhaustively researched and wonderfully novelistic look at Brooks’ personal and professional life, McGilligan lays bare the strengths and drawbacks that shaped Brooks’ psychology, his willpower, his persona, and his comedy. McGilligan insightfully navigates the epic ride that has been the famous funnyman’s life story, from Brooks’s childhood in Williamsburg tenements and breakthrough in early television—working alongside Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner—to Hollywood and Broadway peaks (and valleys). His book offers a meditation on the Jewish immigrant culture that influenced Brooks, snapshots of the golden age of comedy, behind the scenes revelations about the celebrated shows and films, and a telling look at the four-decade romantic partnership with actress Anne Bancroft that superseded Brooks’ troubled first marriage. Engrossing, nuanced and ultimately poignant, Funny Man delivers a great man’s unforgettable life story and an anatomy of the American dream of success. Funny Man includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.

It s Good to Be the King


It s Good to Be the King
  • Author : James Robert Parish
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release : 2008-02-26
  • ISBN : 9780470225264
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Discusses the personal life and professional career of comedy writer/actor/filmmaker Mel Brooks.

Young Orson


Young Orson
  • Author : Patrick McGilligan
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Release : 2015-11-17
  • ISBN : 9780062112507
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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“A remarkable, eye-opening biography . . . McGilligan’s Orson is a Welles for a new generation, [a portrait] in tune with Patti Smith’s Just Kids.”—A. S. Hamrah, Bookforum No American artist or entertainer has enjoyed a more dramatic rise than Orson Welles. At the age of sixteen, he charmed his way into a precocious acting debut in Dublin’s Gate Theatre. By nineteen, he had published a book on Shakespeare and toured the United States. At twenty, he directed a landmark all-black production of Macbeth in Harlem, and the following year masterminded the legendary WPA production of Marc Blitzstein’s agitprop musical The Cradle Will Rock. After founding the Mercury Theatre, he mounted a radio production of The War of the Worlds that made headlines internationally. Then, at twenty-four, Welles signed a Hollywood contract granting him unprecedented freedom as a writer, director, producer, and star—paving the way for the creation of Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film in history. Drawing on years of deep research, acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan conjures the young man’s Wisconsin background with Dickensian richness and detail: his childhood as the second son of a troubled industrialist father and a musically gifted, politically active mother; his youthful immersion in theater, opera, and magic in nearby Chicago; his teenage sojourns through rural Ireland, Spain, and the Far East; and his emergence as a maverick theater artist. Sifting fact from legend, McGilligan unearths long-buried writings from Welles’s school years; delves into his relationships with mentors Dr. Maurice Bernstein, Roger Hill, and Thornton Wilder; explores his partnerships with producer John Houseman and actor Joseph Cotten; reveals the truth of his marriage to actress Virginia Nicolson and rumored affairs with actresses Dolores Del Rio and Geraldine Fitzgerald (including a suspect paternity claim); and traces the story of his troubled brother, Dick Welles, whose mysterious decline ran counter to Orson’s swift ascent. And, through it all, we watch in awe as this whirlwind of talent—hailed hopefully from boyhood as a “genius”—collects the raw material that he and his co-writer, the cantankerous Herman J. Mankiewicz, would mold into the story of Charles Foster Kane. Filled with insight and revelation—including the surprising true origin and meaning of “Rosebud”—Young Orson is an eye-opening look at the arrival of a talent both monumental and misunderstood.

Alfred Hitchcock


Alfred Hitchcock
  • Author : Patrick McGilligan
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Release : 2010-10-19
  • ISBN : 9780062028648
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light is the definitive biography of the Master of Suspense and the most widely recognized film director of all time. In a career that spanned six decades and produced more than 60 films – including The 39 Steps, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds – Alfred Hitchcock set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling. Acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan re-examines his life and extraordinary work, challenging perceptions of Hitchcock as the “macabre Englishman” and sexual obsessive, and reveals instead the ingenious craftsman, trickster, provocateur, and romantic. With insights into his relationships with Hollywood legends – such as Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly – as well as his 54-year marriage to Alma Reville and his inspirations in the thriller genre, the book is full of the same dark humor, cliffhanger suspense, and revelations that are synonymous with one of the most famous and misunderstood figures in cinema.

Gene Wilder Funny and Sad


Gene Wilder  Funny and Sad
  • Author : Brian Scott Mednick
  • Publisher : BearManor Media
  • Release : 2012-07-02
  • ISBN :
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Ever since his big screen breakthrough as phobia ridden accountant Leo Bloom in "The Producers," Gene Wilder has been one of America's most beloved comic actors. For five decades, Wilder has entertained audiences in some of the funniest films ever made, including "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," and "Stir Crazy." Brian Scott Mednick's fascinating new biography "Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad" (BearManor Media) reveals a very serious and private side to Wilder that audiences don't get to see. The book traces Wilder's humble beginnings in 1930s Milwaukee as a shy child who learned early on that being funny got him attention.