Category: Events

Reiner Returns ! “The Dick Van Dyke Show” w/ Carl Reiner!

dick Van dyke

SATURDAY,AUGUST 27 @ 4 PM-at Larry Edmunds Bookshop

When one of the funniest men alive says he’ll come & watch an episode and talk about one of the funniest shows ever, how can it not be an amazing day at Larry Edmunds Bookshop?

Well, that day will be next Saturday, August 27th when Carl Reiner joins us to watch an episode he will personally select & sign copies of his new book, “Why & When The Dick Van Dyke Show Was Born”. This coffee table tribute is full of great photos and a copy of the original script for “Head of the Family” too.

We are so very lucky to share an afternoon with a true legend, and you can too! Give us a call & order a copy of “Why & When…” and we will reserve you a seat for this special day.

Why & When The Dick Van Dyke Show Was Born

In 1960, Carl Reiner shot the pilot for a comedy series titled “Head of the Family,” starring Carl Reiner. The show was about a writer who lived with his family in New Rochelle, New York and commuted to his job in Manhattan, writing on a TV comedy show. “Head of the Family” aired only once. So Carl had moved on, until Sheldon Leonard came along and said they would not fail this time because, “we’ll get a better actor to play you.” And thus, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was born. “Why and When ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Was Born” is a recounting of behind-the-scenes stories, many of which only Carl could know, about the casting, writing and shooting of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” It includes the real life happenings in the lives of Carl and his family and friends, which inspired many of the episodes, often proving that truth is exactly as strange as fiction – like the episode where Ritchie had to ward off a bullying woodpecker. It also includes the real life happenings surrounding “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” with all the wonderful actors who brought these beloved characters into our homes every week from 1961 to 1966 – Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Richard Deacon, Jerry Paris, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Larry Mathews, all the talented guest players and, of course, Carl Reiner as Alan Brady. “Why and When ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Was Born” is a must-read for any fan of the show, and we will just say, thank you, Carl, for the birth of this smart, sophisticated, groundbreaking comedy, a birth which we continue to celebrate over five decades later. Indie_Carl_Reiner_wearing_his_favorite_tie_photo_by_Oliver_J._Defilippo__copy_2_jpg_250x300_q85CarlReiner-JeffMantor


Powerful Women of Early Hollywood on the Queen Mary w/ Cari Beauchamp!


AUGUST 24TH, 7 pm – SALON SERIES LECTURE-The Royal Salon aboard the Queen Mary!

The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood  – Wednesday, August 24 – 7pm –  Free with RSVP

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is all aboard the Queen Mary next Wednesday as we join author Cari Beauchamp who will be discussing “Powerful Women in Hollywood”  as part of a new Salon Series. Our first ever visit selling books on board, we’ll be bringing a couple of our favorites, “Without Lying Down” & “My First Time In Hollywood” and Cari will be signing both titles .

Admission is free, just RSVP and join us on the 24th!

RSVP required for entry but does not guarantee a seat at the event. Seats will be released on a first come first serve basis. Standby line will be available onsite.

FREE AFTER 3 Admission to the Ship *does not include admission to the Salon Series

Parking $10 flat rate for entry after 3pm /$5 Ship Tours after 3pm


LECTURE BY CARI BEAUCHAMP, RESIDENT SCHOLAR FOR THE MARY PICKFORD FOUNDATION Cari Beauchamp is an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker. She is the author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood; Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years and other film history books. Her anthology, My First Time in Hollywood: Stories from the Pioneers, Dreamers and Misfits who Made the Movies, was published in the summer of 2015. Her books have been selected for “Best of the Year” lists byThe New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Booklist and Amazon. Cari wrote and co-produced the documentary film Without Lying Down (2000) about the women of early Hollywood, which played on Turner Classic Movies and for which she was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. She also wrote the documentary film The Day My God Died (2003) about young girls of Nepal sold into sexual slavery, which played on PBS and was nominated for an Emmy. She writes for Vanity Fair and various other magazines. She is the only person to twice be named an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar. She has appeared in multiple documentaries for TCM and others including Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood (2010) and The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011), as well as being a featured speaker at venues throughout the United States and Europe including the British Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Cannes Film Festival. She is currently serving as the resident scholar for the Mary Pickford Foundation and on the Board of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. ABOUT THE SALON SERIES Devoted to the dual pleasures of exploring the past while enjoying the best the present has to offer, our new Salon Series will deliver an experience second to none. Guests will enjoy curated entertainment situated in the elegant design and classic sophistication of one of the Queen Mary’s historic salons – Queen, Royal and Grand – unrivaled in their beauty and comfort. The Salon Series will present a collection of films, musical performances, lectures and more designed exclusively for the series. Our inaugural event will include a special presentation of the 1936 classic Swingtime, starring Fred Astaire, who sailed aboard the Queen Mary, and his legendary partner Ginger Rogers. Theater-style treats and hand-crafted cocktails will be available for purchase at our pop-up bar/concession stand on the Promenade Deck.

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My Three Sons w/ the Dashing & Daring Stanley Livingston & Herbie J Pilato !


THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 @ 7:30 pm at Larry Edmunds Bookshop

“I Dream of Jeannie” w/ Barbara Eden. “Gilligan’s Island” w/ Dawn Wells. “Laverne & Shirley” w/ Cindy Williams. “Happy Days” w/ Anson Williams.

It’s time once again to come watch some classic television here at Larry Edmunds Bookshop.

Join us for a special evening here at the LARE w/ our friend Herbie J Pilato drops by to sign his new book, “Dashing, Daring, and Debonair-TV’s Top Male Icons from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s” w/ special guest Stanley Livingston! We’ll watch an episode of “My Three Sons” & Stanley will talk about working on onedashing daring of the memorable shows of the 1960’s. Stanley will also have photos from the show he will be signing available for purchase.

Come on down & talk t.v. & watch some too! Where? At the LARE!


Dashing, Daring, and Debonair TV’s Top Male Icons from the 50s, 60s, and 70s


DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR: TV’S TOP MALE ICONS FROM THE ‘50s, ‘60s AND ‘70s by Herbie J Pilato profiles them all. With a foreword by Adam “Batman” West, this book celebrates the men who invented television machismo and became stars in the process, including: Ed Asner (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Max Baer, Jr. (“The Beverly Hillbillies”), Tony Dow (“Leave it to Beaver”), Larry Wilcox (“CHiPs”), Stanley Livingston (“My Three Sons”), Robert Wagner (“It Takes a Thief”) – all of whom (and more!) granted exclusive interviews for this book.

Be they actors, comedians, singers, dancers, or talk show hosts and personalities, everyone from George Burns and Milton Berle to Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason to Sid Caesar and Caesar Romero ignited their own particular brand of “man-erisms.” In the process, they each inspired their audience to cheer them on—whatever their guise. This book, with a foreword by Adam “Batman” West, will explore and celebrate the men who invented manliness and became stars in the process.
In addition to Dashing, Daring and Debonair, writer/producer Herbie J Pilato’s critically-acclaimed books include: Glamour Gidgets and the Girl Next Door, Twitch Upon A Star, The Bionic Book, among others. In 2010, Pilato founded the nonprofit Classic TV Preservation Society (which helps to close the gap between pop-culture and education), presides over Television, Ink. (a family-oriented TV, film, and literary production company), serves as contributing editor to Larry Brody’s heralded, writes frequently about classic television for, and has worked on several classic TV broadcast and DVD documentaries for Bravo, E!, A&E, TLC, Warner Bros., Sony, and NBCUniversal. He lives in Los Angeles.


Head “Into the Dark” w/ Mark A. Vieira at the Aero & the Wilder!

Layout 1THURSDAY,AUGUST 11 @ 6:30 signing/7:30 screening- AERO THEATRE-1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica

SATURDAY,AUGUST 13 @ 6:30 signing/7:30 screening-Billy Wilder Theater-10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood

Into the Dark Book Signing & Double Bill!

Mark A Vieira’s “Into the Dark” gives us a wonderful look at film noir as told by the those that made the films.

Join us next Thursday for some nasty noir fun over in Santa Monica. Or, Saturday in Westwood. Both nights are great double bills & include a book signing & introduction by Mark A. Vieira.



Come on in from the smoggy sunshine, come on “Into the Dark”.

Thursday double bill features, “Murder My Sweet” &”The Locket”.

35 mm! MURDER, MY SWEET 1944, Warner Bros., 95 min, USA, Dir: Edward Dmytryk In this adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely, quintessential L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe searches for an ex-con’s girlfriend but, as always, winds up swimming in deceit and double crosses, all of it washing up at a lavish Malibu beach house. Featuring former hoofer Dick Powell as Marlowe, and Claire Trevor as the fabulous femme fatale.

35 mm! THE LOCKET 1946, Warner Bros., 85 min, USA, Dir: John Brahm On his wedding day, a groom (Brian Aherne) is told stunning tales regarding the troubled past of his bride-to-be (Laraine Day), including her destructive affair with a tortured artist (Robert Mitchum). This dazzling and dizzying psychodrama uses a web of interlocking flashbacks to show how a woman’s childhood obsession with a prized locket dictates the course of her life.

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Saturday double bill features nitrate prints of “Leave Her To Heaven” & “Nightmare Alley”!

In keeping with Vieira’s project to present noir in its original contexts, UCLA Film & Television Archive presents an ultra-rare double feature of two film noir classics presented in original 35mm nitrate prints. Special thanks: Schawn Belston—20th Century Fox. IB Technicolor Nitrate Print!

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) Set against the rugged natural beauty of New Mexico where a novelist (Cornel Wilde) and his new wife (Gene Tierney) settle into a lakeside cabin after a whirlwind romance, Leave Her To Heaven exudes an atypical atmosphere for a film noir. Leon Shamroy’s Oscar-winning Technicolor cinematography gives a bright, airy counterpoint to the dark, roiling obsessions that drive Tierney’s jealous socialite to acts of violence that would make even the most jaded femme fatale blanch. 35mm, Technicolor

Nitrate Print! Nightmare Alley (1947) Ambitious carnival roustabout Stan Carlisle (Tyrone Power) takes over a sideshow mind-reading act and transforms it into a slick nightclub turn. Determined to milk the “spook racket” for all it’s worth, Stan next joins forces with a corrupt psychiatrist who supplies him with confidential information about her wealthy patients that Stan uses to convince them of his psychic ability. Power skillfully conveys Stan’s cynicism and nervy charm, along with his oddly touching naiveté: he cannot help believing in tarot cards, and has a superstitious fear of divine retribution. 35mm, b/w

If you’re going to miss these great nights, call us & order a signed book. Then, you can head “Into the Dark” whenever you like.

Here’s more about the book:

You know film noir when you see it: the shadowed setting; the cynical detective; the femme fatale; and the twist of fate. Into the Dark captures this alluring genre with a cavalcade of compelling photographs and a guide to 82 of its best films. Into the Dark is the first book to tell the story of film noir in its own voice.

Author Mark A. Vieira quotes the artists who made these movies and the journalists and critics who wrote about them, taking readers on a year-by-year tour of the exciting nights when movies like Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Sunset Boulevard were sprung on an unsuspecting public. For the first time, we hear the voices of film noir artists speak from the sets and offices of the studios, explaining the dark genre, even before it had a name. Those voices tell how the genre was born and how it thrived in an industry devoted to sweetness and light. Into the Dark is a ticket to a smoky, glamorous world. You enter a story conference with Raymond Chandler, visit the set of Laura, and watch Detour with a Midwest audience. This volume recreates the environment that spawned film noir. It also displays the wit and warmth of the genre’s artists. Hedda Hopper reports on Citizen Kane, calling Orson Welles “Little Orson Annie.” Lauren Bacall says she enjoys playing a bad girl in To Have and Have Not. Bosley Crowther calls Joan Crawford in Possessed a “ghost wailing for a demon lover beneath a waning moon.” An Indiana exhibitor rates the classic Murder, My Sweet a “passable program picture.”

Illustrated by hundreds of rare still photographs, Into the Dark conveys the mystery, glamour, and irony that make film noir surpassingly popular. About TCM: Turner Classic Movies is the definitive resource for the greatest movies of all time. It engages, entertains, and enlightens to show how the entire spectrum of classic movies, movie history, and movie-making touches us all and influences how we think and live today.

Laugh (In) it up ! Kliph Nesteroff ‘s “The Comedians” & George Schlatter!

The Comedians

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th at 7:30 pm @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop

Kliph Nesteroff & television legend George Schlatter!

Author Kliph Nesteroff has brought together over a hundred years of hilarity in his great read, “The Comedians”. Kliph & I were talking about some of his interviews & I mentioned what an amazingly funny storyteller George Schlatter was at an event  I saw him speak at.

Kliph said, “You don’t say…”

Ladies & gentleman, the legendary George Schlatter is going to join us here at the LARE!

It is going to be a special night as Kliph signs his book, “The Comedians” & interviews televison legend George Sclatter!

We are also going to have a special screening of footage from the Schlatter vault too! It will be a surprise.

Don’t miss out on this one of a kind cornucopia of comedic coolness!

Here’s more about the book & our guests:

THE COMEDIANS Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy By Kliph Nesteroff

“Kliph Nesteroff and this book are devoted to what I truly love—the art of comedy.”—Mel Brooks

“Both pop culture enthusiasts and entertainment scholars will relish this important history of American comedy.” —Library Journal (STARRED review)

THE COMEDIANS: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy is an expansive and endlessly entertaining history of comedy, spanning more than a century from vaudeville, through radio, television, the counterculture, the comedy club boom, to the present. Based on over two hundred original interviews, from major stars like Mel Brooks and Steve Martin to forgotten nobodies, and extensive archival research, this book offers the first ever comprehensive history of standup, a quintessential American art form. While the jokes change from generation to generation, the experience of the comedian transcends the ages: the drive, jealousy, heartbreak, and triumph.

From the Marx Brothers to Milton Berle to Joan Rivers to Eddie Murphy to Louis CK—Nesteroff, a leading authority on the history of comedy and vintage show business, brings to life a century of fascinating rebels, groundbreakers, mainstream heroes, counterculture iconoclasts, and forgotten stars in this essential history. Beginning with the nationwide vaudeville circuits that dominated at turn of the twentieth century, Nesteroff describes the rise of the first true stand-up comedian—a variety show emcee named Frank Fay who made the unorthodox choice to abandon physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. Those were the days of the Copacabana, tuxedos, and smoking cigars onstage, when insulting the boss could result in a hit man at your door and obscenity charges could land you in jail. Beginning in the 1930s the golden age of radio lured vaudeville stars to the airwaves and made millionaires out of comedians like Jack Benny and later Bob Hope. And the combination of two major standup circuits, the “Borscht Belt” in the Catskill Mountains, and the predominantly black nightclubs dubbed the “Chitlin Circuit,” furnished more jobs and money for comedians than ever before.

For the first half of the 20th Century comedians performed without referencing their personal lives onstage—jokes would be about “a fella” or “a guy,” but in the mid-1950s, comedians started using “I” and drawing on their personal lives. The fifties also saw the rise of late-night television, which cemented the status of the comedy establishment with immensely popular and long running shows like CBS’s Ed Sullivan Show and NBC’s Tonight Show. Meanwhile young comics rebelled from the mainstream, arriving on the beatnik coffeehouse scene with cerebral jokes and social angst. They soon found their own way to fame through comedy records that vied with top musicians for Billboard spots. Then came the comedy clubs of the coke-fueled 1970s and 80s, Saturday Night Live and cable TV. The internet has brought about a whole new generation of YouTube stars, podcast personalities, and Twitterati. Through the decades, Nesteroff reveals the contradictions between comedians’ public and private personas and illuminates the often-seedy underbelly of an industry built on laughs. In looking at one hundred years of comedy THE COMEDIANS explores the ways that comics have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture. While mediums and audience sensibilities continue to shift through the generations, perhaps the only constant is comedy’s unfailing popularity. As Phyllis Diller once said, “There will never be enough comedy. Comedy is at a premium always.”

“Comedy buffs and social historians will forever be in Kliph Nesteroff’s debt for this book. A heady mixture of show-business anecdotes, gossip, and in-depth research on everything from vaudeville to podcasting. What’s more, it’s a great read: I couldn’t put it down.”—Leonard Maltin

About the Author: Kliph Nesteroff is a former stand-up comic turned writer. A longtime contributor to WFMU, writing about the history of comedy, Nesteroff’s latest project is hosting the Classic Showbiz Talk Show, a live series in Los Angeles that has welcomed comedy luminaries like Mel Brooks, Fred Willard and Laugh-In creator George Schlatter.

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About George:

Throughout his long and successful career as a producer, director and writer, George Schlatter has been responsible for hundreds of hours of television series and specials. He changed the face of television when he created and produced such breakthrough series as Laugh-In and Real People. Over the years, George has received numerous honors and awards including: 25 Emmy Award nominations, three Emmys, three Image Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Television Critics Awards, Directors Guild Award, Producers Guild “Man of The Year,” and many others. On its 25th Anniversary, the Television Academy honored him for his outstanding contribution to television. In 1989, he was awarded a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.

Mr. Schlatter is a veteran of over 50 years in network television. He produced the first 5 years of the Grammy Awards plus series and specials starring Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Eddie Murphy, Cher, Elton John, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson, Doris Day, Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Cosby, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore, Nat King Cole, Placido Domingo and scores of others.

Head “Into the Dark” w/ Mark A. Vieira ! Book Launch Party!

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TUESDAY, MAY 24th at 7:30 pm- INTO the DARK w/ Mark A. Vieira ! BOOK RELEASE PARTY!

Mark A. Vieira is a friend of this bookstore whose relationship extends  back beyond my mere 25 years & who has done multiple book signing events w/ me for so many of his wonderful books. I have been a fan as well, as he documented the work work of Hurrell , told us about “Hollywood Dreams Made Real”, wrote the definitive account of Irving Thalberg, captured the legacy & legend of Cecil B. DeMille & shared stories of 1939 in “Majestic Hollywood”. His exacting standards have produced quality statements about his subjects.

We gladly welcome the return of Mark with his latest book, “Into the Dark-the Hidden World of Film Noir 1941-1950”

He will bring a presentation as well as sign copies of the book & we are proud to be the official book release spot!

Join us for this Noirry Night on Tuesday, May 24 and we’ll head off into the shadows to talk about a genre that captures more of a new audience every year than just about any other.

Here’s more about the book :

You know film noir when you see it: the shadowed setting; the cynical detective; the femme fatale; and the twist of fate. Into the Dark captures this alluring genre with a cavalcade of compelling photographs and a guide to 82 of its best films. Into the Dark is the first book to tell the story of film noir in its own voice. Author Mark A. Vieira quotes the artists who made these movies and the journalists and critics who wrote about them, taking readers on a year-by-year tour of the exciting nights when movies like Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Sunset Boulevard were sprung on an unsuspecting public. For the first time, we hear the voices of film noir artists speak from the sets and offices of the studios, explaining the dark genre, even before it had a name. Those voices tell how the genre was born and how it thrived in an industry devoted to sweetness and light. Into the Dark is a ticket to a smoky, glamorous world. You enter a story conference with Raymond Chandler, visit the set of Laura, and watch Detour with a Midwest audience. This volume recreates the environment that spawned film noir. It also displays the wit and warmth of the genre’s artists. Hedda Hopper reports on Citizen Kane, calling Orson Welles “Little Orson Annie.” Lauren Bacall says she enjoys playing a bad girl in To Have and Have Not. Bosley Crowther calls Joan Crawford in Possessed a “ghost wailing for a demon lover beneath a waning moon.” An Indiana exhibitor rates the classic Murder, My Sweet a “passable program picture.” Illustrated by hundreds of rare still photographs, Into the Dark conveys the mystery, glamour, and irony that make film noir surpassingly popular.

Mark A. Vieira is a photographer and writer who specializes in Hollywood history. He has lectured at USC, UCLA, Lincoln Center, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Vieira has appeared in documentaries such as TCM’s Moguls and Movie Stars and Playboy’s Sex at 24 Frames Per Second. He is also the author of George Hurrell’s Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille, and Majestic Hollywood, among other film-related titles. Vieira resides in Los Angeles.

William Cameron Menzies & Barrymore”s “Beloved Rogue” @ the EGYPTIAN!



SUNDAY,MAY 22 -5 pm @ the Egyptian Theatre-William Cameron Menzies & Barrymore’s “Beloved Rogue”

Jim Curtis & I are getting to be bosom buddies, and the LARE is happy continue to bring his excellent book, “William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come” to as many screenings as we possibly can .

It will be a pleasure to join him once for again & to see some more John Barrymore too!


THE BELOVED ROGUE Co-presented by the Art Directors Guild Film Society

William Cameron Menzies was likely the most celebrated art director in silent motion pictures for his work on such extraordinary films as THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924). He won the first Oscar for Art Direction for THE DOVE (1927), and in 1936 directed the landmark sci-fi epic THINGS TO COME. In 1939 he took a step forward in filmic visualization so profound that an entirely new term had to be coined: production designer. For previsualizing and supervising the entire look of GONE WITH THE WIND, Menzies received the first Academy Award for Production Design.

With live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

Discussion following with James Curtis, author of William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come, who will sign his book in the lobby at 5:00 PM. Program moderated by production designer John Muto.


35 mm! THE BELOVED ROGUE 1927, BFI, 99 min, Dir: Alan Crosland Based on the life of poet François Villon, this silent is set in William Cameron Menzies’ fantastic vision of 15th-century Paris and is packed with adventure and laughs. Star John Barrymore described Villon as a “poet, pickpocket, patriot – loving France earnestly, French women excessively, and French wine exclusively.” With Conrad Veidt as King Louis XI.

About the Book: He was the consummate designer of film architecture on a grand scale, influenced by German expressionism and the work of the great European directors. He was known for his visual flair and timeless innovation, a man who meticulously preplanned the color and design of each film through a series of continuity sketches that made clear camera angles, lighting, and the actors’ positions for each scene, translating dramatic conventions of the stage to the new capabilities of film. Here is the long-awaited book on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s first and greatest production designer, a job title David O. Selznick invented for Menzies’ extraordinary, all-encompassing, Academy Award–winning work on Gone With the Wind (which he effectively co-directed).

It was Menzies—winner of the first-ever Academy Award for Art Direction, jointly for The Dove (1927) and Tempest (1928), and who was as well a director (fourteen pictures) and a producer (twelve pictures)—who changed the way movies were (and still are) made, in a career that spanned four decades, from the 1920s through the 1950s. His more than 120 films include Rosita (1923), Things to Come (1936), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Kings Row (1942), Mr. Lucky (1943), The Pride of the Yankees (1943), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Address Unknown (1944), It’s a Wonderful Life (1947), Invaders from Mars (1953), and Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

Now, James Curtis, acclaimed film historian and biographer, writes of Menzies’ life and work as the most influential designer in the history of film. His artistry encompassed the large, scenic drawings of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which created a new standard for beauty on the screen and whose exotic fairy-tale sets are still regarded as pure genius. (“I saw The Thief of Bagdad when it first came out,” said Orson Welles—he was, at the time, a nine-year-old boy. “I’ll never forget it.”) Curtis writes of Menzies’ design and supervision of John Barrymore’s Beloved Rogue (1927), a film that remains a masterpiece of craft and synthesis, one of the most distinctive pictures to emerge from Hollywood’s waning days of silent films, and of his extraordinary, opulent appointments for Gone With the Wind (1939). It was Menzies who defined and solidified the role of art director as having overall control of the look of the motion picture, collaborating with producers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with directors such as D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as varied as Ingrid Bergman, W. C. Fields, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, John Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and David Niven.

Interviewing colleagues, actors, directors, friends, and family, and with full access to the William Cameron Menzies family collection of original artwork, correspondence, scrapbooks, and unpublished writing, Curtis brilliantly gives us the path-finding work of the movies’ most daring and dynamic production designer: his evolution as artist, art director, production designer, and director. Here is a portrait of a man in his time that makes clear how the movies were forever transformed by his startling, visionary work. (With 16 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white photographs throughout.)

About James Curtis: JAMES CURTIS is the author of Spencer Tracy: A Biography, W. C. Fields: A Biography (winner of the 2004 Theatre Library Association Award, Special Jury Prize), James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters, and Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges. Curtis is married and lives in Brea, California.


“Saving Radio City Music Hall” & Rita Hayworth @ the EGYPTIAN!


SATURDAY, MAY 21st -2 pm- Saving Radio City Music Hall presentation, book signing & Cover Girl!

Art Deco Society Illustrated Lectures 2016

We’ll be in a New York state of mind when we welcome author Rosie Novellino-Mearns to Hollywood for a talk on her fight to save the iconic Radio City Music Hall from demolition! She was a dancer there at the time the opulent Art Deco movie palace was on the development hit list. Her emotional story is told in her book Saving Radio City Music Hall: A Dancer’s Story.

Author Rosie Novellino-Mearns will appear for a book signing and illustrated presentation!




Join us for the presentation at 2 pm, the book signing w/ Rosie at 3 pm & the film at 3:30 pm.radio_city_music_hall_390



COVER GIRL 1944, Sony Repertory, 107 min, USA, Dir: Charles Vidor Rita Hayworth is a popular hoofer at Gene Kelly’s Brooklyn nightclub, but has always dreamed of stardom on Broadway; opportunity knocks when a rich publisher who’d been in love with her grandmother makes her a magazine cover girl – but will she turn her back on her old friends? With gorgeous Technicolor cinematography, terrific dance numbers and comic relief from Phil Silvers and Eve Arden, COVER GIRL is nonstop entertainment, and propelled Hayworth and Kelly to stardom. Originally opened at Radio City Music Hall during Easter week, 1944.



Here’s a little more about the book:

The true story of how Radio City Music Hall, Art Deco masterpiece and one of New York City’s iconic tourist attractions and cultural landmarks, was saved from demolition is told at last. Nearly forty years later, Rosemary Novellino-Mearns, Dance Captain of the legendary Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company during the 1970s, tells the amazing story of how she motivated a small group of dedicated colleagues, friends, media and political allies to join forces, challenge the Rockefeller establishment and, against all odds, save “the Showplace of the Nation.”Rita-Hayworth-Cover-Girl


Doug & Mary Redux-90th Anniversary of “Sparrows” & “The Black Pirate”!



SATURDAY, MAY 14 – 6:30 pm signing/ 7 pm screening @ the EGYPTIAN THEATRE

Doug & Mary 90th Anniversary Double Feature!

Authors Cari Beauchamp &  Tracey Goessel introduce the films as well as sign their books at this wonderful 90th anniversary celebration!

We’ll be bringing  Cari’s wonderful “Without Lying Down-Frances Marion & the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood” as well as “My First Time In Hollywood”.

Tracey will be signing the definitive Doug, ” The First King of Hollywood- the Life of Douglas Fairbanks”. Oh yeah, and there are movies too!


Presented by the American Cinematheque in association with the Mary Pickford Foundation and Rack Focus 90 years ago today, May 14, 1926, Sid Grauman held a double premiere of the latest films by two of his favorite stars – husband and wife, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Mary Pickford’s SPARROWS played first, followed by Douglas Fairbanks in THE BLACK PIRATE! It may well be the only time that a double premiere was ever held at the Egyptian Theatre or anywhere else! Tonight we will recreate Grauman’s “Doug and Mary Premiere.” First the audience will be moved to tears as Mary, but an adolescent herself, provides the mistreated orphans on a “baby farm,” near a swamp infested with alligators, with some maternal care, while Doug swashbuckles on the high seas in the second feature! In keeping with tradition, Doug and May will NOT be in attendance. They wrote a letter to their fans that was published in the program to send regrets that they had to be away on the night of the premiere. These two archival prints will play with live accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

Pickford scholar and My First Time In Hollywood Cari Beauchamp will introduce SPARROWS and Fairbanks biographer (The First King of Hollywood) Tracey Goessel will introduce THE BLACK PIRATE. Both speakers will sign books in the lobby before the films and at intermission. The original program for the evening details the Sid Grauman orchestrated prologues. In the spirit of the premiere night 90 years ago, we will present our version of “The Duel Dance of the Buccaneer Beauties” prior to THE BLACK PIRATE – and a few other live performance surprises! Special Ticket Price: $15 General, $13 Student/Senior, $11 Cinematheque Members. No Passes Accepted – Archival Print!


my first time in hollywood9781613734049

the Return of Illeanarama! A Sunday morning special w/ friends!



SUNDAY,MAY 1st @ 11:30 am @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop-It’s “the Return of Illeanarama”- Illeana Douglas & friends!

Having Illeana Douglas & friends here a month ago was such a blast! The occasion was simply a wonderful afternoon where the multi-talented Ms. Douglas brought a group to read from her fangirl ode to the cinema, “I Blame Dennis Hopper”. The book is great ride through moments in cinema w/ a six degrees of Illeana theme. The guests brought the words to life & fun (and cake) was had by all.

Now, by popular demand, she’s back!!! Back for a Sunday morning special event here @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop on May 1st.

The cast of characters joining Illeana this time around include Ed Begley Jr., Heather Matarazzo, Kelly Carlin, Greg Proops, Wayne Federman & (they call her the closer) Jennifer Tilly!

We will reserve seats for those who call & pre-order a copy of “I Blame Dennis Hopper” while supplies last , so if you missed out last time, we are giving you another chance.

See you Sunday.Douglas_I_Blame_Dennis_Hopper_selected.indd

Here’s more about why Illeana Douglas blames Dennis Hopper :

I BLAME DENNIS HOPPER And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies Illeana Douglas Flatiron Books Tweet Buy it now AVAILABLE FORMATS From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world. In 1969 Illeana Douglas’ parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper’s words, “That’s what it’s all about man” to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, “Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it.” I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie. I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman’s experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

Ed Begley


PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 05:  Comedian Greg Proops poses at The Ice House Comedy Club on October 5, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Michael Schwartz/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Greg Proops





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