Cover image for Who killed Hollywood?-- and put the tarnish on Tinseltown
Who killed Hollywood?-- and put the tarnish on Tinseltown
Bart, Peter.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : Renaissance Books : Distributed by St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
399 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1993.5.U65 B326 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Memo to: Filmmakers, Dealmakers, Scribes, Stars, Suits, and Readers

Who killed Hollywood? Who's responsible for studios hellbent on assembly-line "event" pictures? Why are production costs so high that no one can take artistic risks? Who decided that the studios should be a development arm of them parks? What happened to putting actual stories with characters onscreen?

And while we're at it, what happened to taste? Where are the believable human characters buried? Are all the execs out of control? How does so much money get spent for so little?

Who Killed Hollywood? is a passionate love/hate letter to the film industry. In it, Peter Bart pulls together his best columns form Variety and GQ. He groups them, juxtaposes them, and interprets them, outlining in detail the history and inner workings of Hollywood. This could only be done by someone powerful enough to phone an star or head of studio and have his calls taken on the first ring.

In story after story, Bart shows how the major studios have diverted their energies away from production of the shrewdly crafted pictures that once made the industry powerful. There isn't, for example, much range or innovation in the movies. There is only a handful of salable subjects-natural disasters, aliens, dinosaurs, ghosts, monsters, or any combination thereof. All the subjects easily parlayed into theme-park environments, action figures, video games, and clothing lines. Similarly, since Jaws twenty years ago, there's been a very short list of acceptable settings. The 1998 Academy Award nominations for best picture all went to films set in Elizabethan times or during World War II. A few years ago it looked as though Pulp Fiction and other independent films were going to save showbiz. Now independent producers like Miramax and New Line have been acquired by conglomerates.

Who and what will resurrect Hollywood? Peter Bart has the answers.

Author Notes

Peter Bart is editor-in-chief of Variety, Daily Variety, and Daily Variety-Gotham Edition. A true Hollywood insider, he has been a studio executive at Paramount and MGM/UA, and a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He is the author of The Gross, Fadeout: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM, and two novels. His columns in GQ and Variety are widely respected, if not feared, in the industry.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The answer to the title question is not to be found in this juicy collection of essays penned by a former Hollywood player who has more than a few axes to grind. The bitchy, gossipy quality of his "memos" to the various studio chieftains, actors, and celebrities with whom he ever crossed swords is the main appeal of Bart's writings for the industry rag Variety. Tongue lashings the likes of which have never been heard before will make listeners laugh with glee as the power brokers and power elite of Hollywood get a kick in the rear from one who surely suffers from a severe case of sour grapes. Bart's stance on an issue is always sharp and pithy, although his viewpoint waffles from essay to essay. Stephen Spielberg is hailed for being the auteur behind such films as Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, but his name also appears on the author's "bad list" of producers who have turned movies into franchises for the merchandizing of tie-ins. Narrator Edward Lewis's voice is perfect for this production, being a cross between Tony Randall and the character of Jack from the television show Will & Grace. Great fun and highly recommended. Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.