Associated Press review: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/new-john-wayne-biography-hits-target-dead-center
New York Times reviews:March 25, 2014: Review by Michiko Kakutani — http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/books/john-wayne-the-life-and-legend-explains-a-stars-power.html?_r=0
March 30, 2014: Review by Peter Bogdanovich — http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/books/review/scott-eymans-john-wayne-the-life-and-legend.html
Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4391-9958-9
Still larger than life years after his death, John Wayne elevated the western to a new level and created a legendary screen persona defined by honesty, courage, and character. Drawing deeply on interviews with family and friends, acclaimed biographer Eyman (Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford) colorfully chronicles Wayne’s life and work from his birth in Winterset, Iowa—where Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907—and his childhood and youth in Glendale, Calif., to his college days at USC, where he was a football standout until an injury sidelined him, and his slow rise to stardom, his marriages, and his enduring screen presence. According to Eyman, Wayne’s role in Ford’s Stagecoach launched his career, for though he had already appeared in 80 movies, Wayne “leaps off the screen” and Ford is telling us that “this man warrants our attention in a way that transcends the immediate narrative of the movie.” In this compulsively readable biography, Eyman examines closely Wayne’s major films, from The Searchers and The Shootist to Sands of Iwo Jima and True Grit to depict the actor who “came to symbolize the American man throughout the world, whether he was wearing a soldier suit or a cowboy hat.” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
“You Must Remember This” – Scott’s second book with Robert Wagner, published March 11, 2014. An excerpt is in the March issue of “Vanity Fair”. Here are some reviews and the links:
The star of such films and TV shows as A Kiss Before Dying and It Takes a Thief revisits the architecture, fashion, restaurants and pastimes of Hollywood’s golden age through anecdotes and personal memories.
With veteran biographer and film historian Eyman (Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, 2010, etc.), with whom he collaborated on his previous memoir (Pieces of My Heart, 2008), Wagner presents a brisk account of early Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, their surrounding neighborhoods and the silver screen notables who frequented them, including James Cagney, Gloria Swanson, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart and many others. Topical chapters provide generous vistas on a world marked by exclusivity. The author dedicates a substantial, meticulous chapter to houses and hotels, with emphasis on the home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Pickfair; Rudolph Valentino’s Falcon Lair; the Beverly Hills Hotel; and similarly iconic structures. Tracking the shift from a pre-1929 “architecture as entertainment” perspective to a less opulent style, Wagner enlivens many sites and landscapes that have largely disappeared. For dedicated movie buffs, a handful of choice remarks on the personal habits of stars provides respite from tedious details. Other chapters consider facets of privilege, from a preference among certain male stars for English-inspired wardrobes to the nightlife of the times. A few mild, curmudgeonly laments on current realities—such as paparazzi swarms, the bottom-line nature of moviemaking and an increasing informality that sharply contrasts with bygone glamour—underscore the actor’s nostalgia for the studio days, yet they stop short of idealizing; he briefly acknowledges the industry’s later midcentury problems. Ultimately, the book is a charmed and mostly charming tribute to off-screen lives during a period many may regard as Hollywood’s finest.
A diverting ancillary note to heavier biographies.
Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-670-02609-8
With great affection and a twinkle in his eye, veteran actor Wagner (A Kiss Before Dying; Hart to Hart) recalls Hollywood’s glory days of the 1940s and early 1950s, when class, manners, friendship, and a code of values ruled the city of stars. Although Wagner regales readers with tales of many of his Hollywood friends—from Mary Pickford and Harold Lloyd to Andy Williams and Jimmy Stewart—he never stoops to kiss-and-tell gossip about the stars nor does he wax nostalgic about a past for which he desperately longs. An expert storyteller, Wagner entertains with tale of restaurants like the Brown Derby—where the Cobb Salad was invented—the Trocadero, and the Mocambo, where elegance, entertainment, and great food filled a triple bill every night; in their day, restaurateurs such as Mike Romanoff and Dave Chasen were stars as big as Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis. Wagner fondly recalls growing up in a Hollywood where there was still land and space enough for him to have a horse named Sonny, and he looks back warmly on the various hotels and houses that sprang up in Hollywood and Beverly Hills as the area became a magnet for the movies. As he takes us on a trip down memory lane, showing us how deeply Hollywood has changed, he concludes that “nothing lasts forever, except the movies.”Eyman also worked with Wagner on the actor’s autobiography, Pieces of My Heart, published in 2008. Agent: Mort Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Mar.)