About Scott Eyman

(Photograph by Greg Lovett)

We are pleased to announce the publication of Scott Eyman’s 16th book, “20th-Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio (Running Press; TCM).”

“Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise” was published on Oct. 20, 2020, from Simon & Schuster.

“Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart,” published in 2017, was the 14th book. The others  include the NYT Bestseller “John Wayne: The Life and Legend,” (published 2014) and two NYT Bestsellers with veteran actor Robert Wagner:  “You Must Remember This” (published March 2014) and  “Pieces of My Heart” (published 2008).

His third book with Robert Wagner, “I Loved Her in the Movies,” was published in November 2016. Among his other books are “Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille,” which won the 2011 Richard Wall Memorial Book Award, “Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer,” “Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford,” “Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise,” and “The Speed of Sound” (all Simon & Schuster) and “John Ford: The Searcher” for Taschen.

Scott was the 2014 recipient of the National Board of Review William K. Everson Award for Film History for his body of work. His journalism and criticism work made him a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He’s won multiple writing awards for his feature writing, film and literary criticism.

He is an adjunct professor of film history at the University of Miami in Coral Gables., FL.

He has lectured extensively around the world, most frequently at the National Film Theater in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Moscow Film Theater. He’s done the commentary tracks for many DVDs, including “Trouble in Paradise,” “My Darling Clementine,” and “Stagecoach.” In 2014, he co-hosted with TCM Host Robert Osborne for a week on Turner Classic Movies, when the channel ran 24 hours of John Wayne every day. He’s appeared as a guest on the TCM Classic Cruises, at the TCM Film Fest, at Lone Star Western Film Festival, the NYC Film Forum, and the Buster Keaton Festival, among others.

Scott also writes pieces for Film Comment, as well as book reviews for The Wall Street Journal. He has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as practically every film magazine extinct or still extant.

He’s the former literary and art critic for The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife, Lynn, live in West Palm Beach.

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24 thoughts on “About Scott Eyman

  1. Greetings, Scott!

    I hope all goes well, and that I bump into you again at the Book Fair (always a treat).

    Steve (Leveen) is trying to get in touch with you but doesn’t have your updated contact info. Would you be able to shoot me a fast email with it? Many thanks–


    • Dear Scott,
      I used to read your work fir the Sun Srntinel.
      I particularly recall reading a piece of yours on Orwell and 1984, the best of the dystopian political thrillers, both now and then. But, in truth, his novrl wasnt only sbout attacking Stalinism, Communism. snd all other forms of fascism, but a warning about the devaluation of the individual. zSadly, much of ehat he wrote has come to pass.
      At any rate, hood lyck to you in your rndeavirs.



  2. In ways i did not realize at the time i grew up with the influence of John Ford.. Two of the first movies that I have any memory of were MR ROBERTS and The Searchers. A rabbit ear antenna and a horrid black and white tv set did not detract from their greatness. I recently went to the UNIVERSITY of Alabama and graduated in December of 2014. in one of my cinema history class’s i gave a grade changing presentation on John Ford. In may of last year I did some research on him at the LILLIE LIBRARY on the campus at INDIANA UNIVERSITY. What a thrill to see so much of the basis of MR FORD’S greatness. And Scott i recently bought your book on Mr Ford and have read it twice and cannot put it down. I think I enjoyed and was excited as much by your book as i was by the works of MR FORD. Since I bought it all i have watched are John Ford movies .(made me forget all about 50 SHADES OF GREY). I can not thank you enough for the book. i will end up giving it to the local library . If you get this message please let me know if your still doing any appearences in the near future. i am very retired and was bored till I read your book. Now i am ready to get out and get a few more speeding tickets. Thanks for making April showers a great reason to stay inside and read a good book.

    regards and thanks again
    Mike Dempsey.

  3. Hello Scott, My dear friend Bill Baggett and I wanted to say how disappointed we were that we missed your talk after the movie Body Heat at the Norton Museum last week. Not realizing we would be viewing the whole movie and on time contraints due to my work we had to bolt by 4:00. We hated to be rude and leave so soon and of course our whole purpose of the afternoon was to hear you speak. We so enjoyed your talk on John Wayne and knew we were in for a great treat with your comments on Body Heat. But mostly we regret that we didn’t get to say hello and that we are enjoying your book tremendously.
    We hope you are well and look forward to your next commentary!!
    Sincerely, Jacqueline Medeiros

  4. Dear Sir / Madam,
    Can you send us books? We are particularly looking for books of interest to males (cowboy, western history, horses, etc.).
    Literacy Link – Leamos is a volunteer tutoring program operating in a small, rural community in Southwest New Mexico. We assist the area by tutoring adults and children, reading to children in classrooms, distributing information on the importance of reading and providing resources to those who cannot afford to buy books and supplies for themselves.
    We are requesting books that will be donated to attendees of “Love Your Library Day”, given to such groups as: WIC, Headstart, El Refugio, SWAK (Southwest Advocates for Kids) teen group homes and the Mobile Library that goes to more rural areas. Our 501 (c) 3# is: 85-0384008.
    Linda Ferrara
    Literacy Link Leamos Volunteer

    Please mail donations to:

    Literacy Link Leamos
    c/o Linda Ferrara
    43 Niki’s Rd.
    Silver City, NM 88061

  5. Have just finished ‘John Wayne’. What a towering book abouty a towering man! I read biographies all the time and this is the best I’ve read yet. Congratulations.

  6. Hallo,
    I found a Magazine page, probably from Take One. The article is named:
    Fritz Lang Remembered, by Scott Eyman. Can anyone help me to date that?
    Greetings from Berlin, Werner

  7. Scott, Since you have information about Marion Morrison aka John Wayne during his early years. Would you have any information or know about a son born out of wedlock in 1928 Los Angeles with a very young girl who’s parents were paid off as part off a settelment, and the child’s last name changed, they also had to move out of the state never to return due to the father’s just beginning acting career?

  8. Dear Mr Eyman,

    Wondering if you’ve seen this OSS film in which John Ford has an acting part:

    Ford appears at 5:40 and 11:30, & gives much better line readings than the other actors.

    I’m very grateful to you for your superb film scholarship. Your biographies of Ford, Lubitsch, John Wayne, & The Speed of Sound, are especial favorites that I’m always re-reading. There is something about being bitten by The Ford Bug that connects one’s psyche to a special collective American psyche that keeps a by-gone world alive and evolving. If I don’t leave it at that, I’ll go on & on. Thanks for your superb work.

    –Eric Malone

  9. Hi Scott,
    I enjoyed your review of The Walter Brennan biography in the Wall Street Journal and would like to contact Brennan’s co-worker on The Real McCoys. I have written a history of the backlot where TRM was filmed and am anxious to contact anyone who worked on the backlot.


  10. Dear Scott,

    I’m an editor at a publication, and I’d like to interview you for a piece I’m working on about one of your subjects, Louis B. Mayer. Please contact me at my work email I’ve provided. Thank you.

    Carolyn Sun

  11. I just watched “Westward the Women” while listening to your insight. It was wonderful. Some people have “their movie”–the one they watch more than most sane people would consider. I’ve watched this movie over a hundred times. Further, I’ve used it as the subject of essays in communications courses.

    There is a great story to be told in the various backgrounds of the movie’s characters, and you touched on that with Ito and the absence of a partner for him. There is also Rose Meyer: She’s the fallen school teacher whose name indicates that she might be Jewish. There are also the two Italians, with Mrs. Moroni choosing her mate because he “looks Italian.”

    Since this movie came out in VHS, I’ve wanted there to be a remake, but your comments filled in the blanks about the problem with such an attempt. Today’s perspectives would overtake any of the embraceable aspects of a re-do and turn it into something not recognizable.

    Also, at the end of the movie, I want to see what happens next. I want to see Patience and her husband become town leaders, and I want to see all of the babies born by their anniversary.

    I’m old.

  12. I had a nice chat with you wife prior to the Book Fest on Friday.
    We talked briefly about novel writing, and she said that she admired anyone who undertakes such a task. She cited your accomplishments and mentioned the fact that she edits your material.
    The thought occurred to me that, maybe, she might be open to reading the prologue of my novel in progress (about 4 pages), just to get her sense of it, along with some brief feedback.
    I know this is a lot to ask, but she was such a friendly, approachable woman, and that is why I decided to pen this note.
    If she can make the time to do this, I would be enormously grateful.
    P.S. I very much enjoyed the conversation that you moderated, and I learned a lot from it. Thank you.

  13. I read your commentary on Mae Murray, and I think it was unfair. David Mdvani was a very controlling and manipulative man. Mae Murray was no doubt abused and manipulated by David Mdivani. He went after vulnerable women. He did not want his woman to stray too far from him. If Mae had married anybody else, since she had clearly married far beneath herself, she would have done far better. David was the absolute bottom. He later married Virginia, my grandmother by blood. And that was pretty much a sham marriage on its own merits. Yes, Mae was a very emotional and sentimental lady, but David Mdivani was very much a scoundrel. Even his sister Nina Mdivani Doyle was very disappointed by him in one clear instance. He had possession of some valuable bauble of Nina, and he would not return to her. I have much experience with fraudsters and grifters as I am a dispossessed heir myself. I wish you would do better research.

  14. Hi Scott, I found your piece on SID COOPER back in 2007 for the Palm Beach Post. I loved it and if it were written backwards, I would have nailed myself down to decipher it. I studied with Sid while I was in High School back in the day … before he was left when the 2night show band deserted New York. I was able to track him down through one of his daughters and spoke with him on the phone. I was not able to get down there to see him. Do you know if he died and was he ill ?
    Thank you for your terrific piece on Sid. jerrykoffler@yahoo.com

  15. I am half way through Lion of Hollywood and am just loving it. I love the style, the vignettes. I always was aware of Mayer and Thalberg but here am learning so much inside info. I love the quotes from people who were there. In August of 1974 when I was twenty, That’s Entertainment came out. I went alone the first night it opened at the big Crosstown Theater in Memphis. I was so captivated I also went the next two nights, each time sitting nearer the screen. I wanted to be immersed in what I was watching, to become one with it. I feel like I was touched by creations of Mayer and Thalberg . Both geniuses in one sense. Both flawed in other ways – but then who isn’t ? At any rate, I’m loving the book.

  16. Dear Mr. Eyman
    I am the author of a book published in 2011 by BearManorMedia – SEEING STARS:Memoirs of a Freelance Celebrity Articles Writer and I just finished reading Pieces Of My Heart by you and Robert Wagner.I specially enjoyed it since he and I have several things in common including our age and time of arriving in the Los Angeles area as well as some of the people we both got to know. My book includes mentions of just over 100 actors, actresses, and well known authors. I would like to write him a note if you would forward it to him by email. Some of my acquaintances he might also know include Betty White, Angie Dickinson, Earl Holliman and the late Glenn Ford, Robert Stack,, Eva Gabor, Anne Francis, and Bob Hope..Please let me know if you would be willing to forward my email letter to him.

    fford, Robert Stack, Eva Gabor, Bob Hope, and Anne Francis. but most of all is the timing. He and I both can relate on the wway our city and area was in the 0s and 50s.Pleas let me know if you would orward such a letter to him

  17. Mr. Eyman:
    My name is Mark Schmidt and I am the executive director for the Falmouth (MA) Historical Society and the Museums on the Green, located on Cape Cod. I spotted your book “Hank and Jim” and was intrigued by it—so much so that I was curious as to whether you might be inclined to come to the Cape to do a book signing and lecture about it? We do a full program of author events, and we work with Eight Cousins bookseller in Falmouth to have copies of books at the talks. We tend to attract engaged audiences who, if they are in attendance and like the speaker, happen to purchase books.
    Right now, I am realistically planning for 2018, so I do not want you to feel rushed or pressured as the current year is winding down. We would be honored to have you come to Falmouth, depending on your schedule.

    Very truly yours,
    Mark Schmidt

  18. Scott: A friend sent me a birthday card and enclosed a copy of your WSJ Dec. 9, 2017 article as he adores Hollywood and is tuned into my Wurtzel/Fox Studios family history. As I read the article and was delighting in the read, it felt so stylistically familiar… then I noted you were the author, to even greater delight. Glad you are as enthusiastically engaged in your writing passion as ever. Hurray! Keep up the marvelous work! Carla Winter-Evans

  19. Scott,
    Just finished ‘Hank and Jim,’ another great work!
    It was interesting to read and be able to stitch together the loose facts that I barely knew about Hank and Jim, with the living color detail you discovered. I studied the photographs in the book closely, looking for the traits, body language and idiosyncrasies that personified these two great actors, as well as those of the others in their lives, that completed this story.
    The cooperation you received, by so many who knew, loved and didn’t always like Hank or Jim, really contributed to the story, thanks for seeking them out and putting it all together.
    When I was finishing the book, late last night, I turned the page and saw the picture of Hank and Jim that was not included in the collection of photographs, it was such a unexpected pleasure and I think it captured both men perfectly.
    Many Thanks,

  20. Hi Scott!
    I remember you from when I was at Cleveland State 1975-77, didn’t you write reviews for the Plain Dealer as W. Scott Eyman? Have been doing some reading on Old Hollywood and came across a review of your bio of “The Duke.” Are you the same person (as the guy in Cleveland not John Wayne :D).
    Cheers from Australia,

  21. Just finished The Speed of Sound and loved it! I previously read your bio on John Wayne, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I’m hoping to pick your book about Fonda and Stewart next. Please keep up the great work.

  22. Dear Scott, I have enjoyed your biographies of Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer, John Ford, and Ernst Lubitsch, and reading the latter deeply regretted the lack of contact between biographers from different nations because, during research for a book on Emil Jannings which was finally published in the summer of 2012, I have found some highly interesting letters documenting the actor’s troubled relationship with Lubitsch. (“Ernst hat sich ausgehasst”, Emil commented the former friend’s death; it could be translated as “Ernst has hated himself to death” or “Ernst was finally consumed by his own hatred”.) If you’re still interested I could send you some excerpts one day. Best, Frank from Berlin.

  23. Bonjour Mr Eyman,

    I have just finished reading your not-to-be-surpassed biography of John Wayne, whose great movies I have always cherished (Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit, The Shootist) and it happened to be the very first time in my life (I’m over sixty) that I couldn’t help crying all the way when it came to Duke’s last days. I could not hold back my tears as if I were attending my best friend’s agony. Such a moving piece of writing. Who cares nowadays about John Wayne’s political views? I don’t. And yet I sure would have disagreed a lot with him if the opportunity to have a talk with him had occurred. As strange as it may seem, considering that I’m not a US citizen, John Wayne has always been on my mind ever since I was a kid, when I discovered “Stagecoach” on the one and only black & white channel of French TV, early sixties. Over fifty years later John Wayne still rides on my mind, which helps me movin’ on. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for writing such a precious book.
    Samuel Blaquet (from Southern France) – who never forgot what France owes the USA, libertywise.

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