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A special blend of biography, history, and lore, Hollywood Stories is full of humorous , engaging, and illuminating tales often with unexpected endings. Sometimes people won't realize that they are hearing about The Three Stooges or Popeye the Sailor until they come to the end of the story.
For example: At high noon on a cold November day in 1974, sixty-seven-year-old John Wayne faced off with the staff of the Harvard Lampoon on the famous campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The students had issued a challenge by calling the beloved American icon a fraud. Wayne, who had his new movie McQ to promote, responded by saying he would be happy to show his film in the pseudo-intellectual swamps of Harvard Square. After the screening, and without writers, the former USC footballer delivered a classic performance. When one smart young man asked where he got his phony toupee, Wayne insisted the hair was real. It wasn't his, but it was real. The appreciative underclassmen loved him, and after the Q and A session they all sat down to dinner. Later Wayne, who was suffering greatly from gout and the after-effects of lung cancer (sadly the Duke only had five years to live), said that day at Harvard was the best time he ever had.
A professional tour guide in Hollywood, Stephen Schochet has researched and told thousands of entertaining anecdotes for over twenty years. He is also the author and narrator of two audiobooks, Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sean on 05-03-13
A 5 hour issue of People magazine
If you keep your expectations low this book can entertain you with short 1-2 min anecdotes from old Hollywood stars. Most of the material is from the 20-50s and even as a fan of that period I did not recognize several names.
The production is incredibly annoying--the reader has sycophantic tone and every story is punctuated by a burst of "ditty" music ("da-deet-deet-da-da"). You will hear that ditty about 200 times by the end of the book.
The stories are the sort you would hear from the PR department of a movie studio--not TMZ. There's no real dirty laundry, just funny stories and the occasional "Oh you scamp!" moment, but the author is clearly infatuated with his subjects--probably a little too much.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By A. Payable on 04-17-14
Hanna Barbra? Goodfellows?
What made the experience of listening to Hollywood Stories the most enjoyable?
I enjoyed the little snippets of info and quick stories of the talent involved with filming everything from Birth of a Nation, Intolerance to Gladiator, Jaws and Unforgiven.
What did you like best about this story?
Humor and trivia of the history of film.
How could the performance have been better?
Not as annoyed at the voice as much, but "Goodellows"? Narration doesn't necessarily require expertise of the subject, but there were many instances of names, movie titles, etc. that were bungled. At some point there should be some quality checking, right? Someone in the studio who may have said --umm... maybe we should pronounce things correctly?
The music in between the anecdotes to tell you the joke was over is horrible. If I hear the Raiders of the Lost Ark story about Indy shooting the guy in the market instead of fighting him one more time I'm going to hear that stupid little 2 second music clip banging around in my head.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
No, just fun to hear the mini stories.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Teresa Cooper on 05-31-15
Hooray for Hollywood.
This does what it says on the packet full of anecdotes and facts about the great, the good and the not so good of Hollywood. Well written by Stephen Schochet and well narrated by Chaz Allen the only thing that gets a thumbs down from me is the little jingle between each section , this would be improved ( from my point of view) by being turned down a little.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Susan on 06-14-17
What did you like best about Hollywood Stories? What did you like least?
I found the book very entertaining and very informative, although the narrator keeps going back to the same person instead of moving from one celeb to another, but that's just the ways it's written, but the musical jingle after each story gets really annoying, kept making me jump, as. I listen through headphones