Lights, Camera, Action: From Hollywood to Hitchcock

There are only two more days until the 87th Academy Awards!

So in honor of the Oscars and the amazing cast and crew that create such award worthy productions, here is a list of the upcoming or recently published books through UPK with a focus on Hollywood and the film industry that will intrigue and fascinate anyone interested in the Oscars this coming Sunday.

My Life as a Mankiewicz is a fascinating look at the life of an individual whose creativity and work ethic established him as a member of the Hollywood writing elite. Mankiewicz details his journey through the inner world of the television and film industries, beginning with his first job as production assistant on The Comancheros (1961), starring John Wayne. My Life as a Mankiewicz illuminates his professional development as a writer and director, detailing his friendships and romantic relationships with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars as well as his struggle with alcohol and drugs. With the assistance of Robert Crane, Mankiewicz tells a story of personal achievement and offers an insider’s view of the glamorous world of Hollywood during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known to Hogan’s Heroes fans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In this poignant memoir, Robert Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father. But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life.

The name Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (1867–1932) is synonymous with the decadent revues that the legendary impresario produced at the turn of the twentieth century. In this definitive biography, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson offer a comprehensive look at both the life and legacy of the famous producer Florence Ziegfeld.They provide a lively and well-rounded account of Ziegfeld as a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a lover, and an alternately ruthless and benevolent employer. Lavishly illustrated with over seventy-five images, this meticulously researched book presents an intimate and in-depth portrait of a figure who profoundly changed American entertainment.

In Hollywood Presents Jules Verne, Brian Taves investigates the indelible mark that the author has left on English-language cinema. Adaptations of Verne’s tales have taken many forms—early movie shorts, serials, feature films, miniseries, and television shows—and have been produced as both animated and live-action films. Taves illuminates how, as these stories have been made and remade over the years, each new adaptation looks back not only to Verne’s words but also to previous screen incarnations. He also examines how generations of actors have portrayed iconic characters such as Phileas Fogg and Captain Nemo, and how these figures are treated in pastiches such as Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012). Investigating the biggest box-office hits as well as lower-budget productions, this comprehensive study will appeal not only to fans of the writer’s work but also to readers interested in the ever-changing relationship between literature, theater, and film.

Known as the celebrated director of critical and commercial successes such as Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963), Alfred Hitchcock is famous for his distinctive visual style and signature motifs. While recent books and articles discussing his life and work focus on the production and philosophy of his iconic Hollywood-era films like Notorious (1946) and Vertigo (1958), Hitchcock Lost and Found moves beyond these seminal works to explore forgotten, incomplete, lost, and recovered productions from all stages of his career, including his early years in Britain.

Be sure to watch the Oscars this coming Sunday and don’t forget about these great reads. They are sure to wow the crowd!

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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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