In 1969, Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words - "That's what it's all about, man" - to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper-middle-class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."
I Blame Dennis Hopper is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Vallee taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor - two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas - to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke to becoming an award-winning writer, director, and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking.
"The author's warm portraits and disarming honesty infuse the memoir with an endearing sweetness and charm." (Kirkus)
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Loved Every Moment of this Book!
This book is a masterful blend of writing and performance. I got all wrapped up in Illeana's JOY--from her hilarious childhood memories to her passion for acting and movies. It was all so entertaining, full of emotional truth and inspiring depth.
Just one--there were so many! How about her first audition, when she sings "Maybe This Time" in the Key of Liza--inspired by Liza Minnelli in "Cabaret".
Again, tough to pick a favorite among so many goodies. The meeting Marlon Brando chapter was gasp-inspiring. And her first meeting with Roddy McDowall was really rich.
Again, so many! I really loved the moments where she faced obstacles head on and met them with great courage--from her chutzpah at that first audition, to filming "Alive" under harrowing conditions, to blurting out her truth to Brando.
I've long been a fan of Illeana Douglas, the actress. Now I'm a fan of Illeana, the writer. I was so captivated by this book, I'd circle extra blocks to listen to it while driving, ignored the husband to stay up late at night and hear more of her stories. It ranks up there as one of the top memoirs I've ever heard or read. Awesome.
- Susan Van Allen
for movie lovers