10 books like Lion of Hollywood

By Scott Eyman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Lion of Hollywood. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Devil's Candy

By Julie Salamon,

Book cover of The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy of a Hollywood Fiasco

Granted unlimited access to the film production of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling The Bonfire of the Vanities, Salamon serves up a fascinating portrait of one of Hollywood’s most notorious flops. Miscast (Tom Hanks as an arrogant Wall Street heel?) and tone-deaf, the resulting film ran roughshod over Wolfe’s satire and Salamon was there to record every juicy and head-scratching nugget explaining just how the disaster unfolded. Detailing the head-on collision between ego, money, and power in smooth, vivid prose, Salamon will keep any reader interested in Hollywood turning pages long into the night.

The Devil's Candy

By Julie Salamon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Devil's Candy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Brian De Palma agreed to allow Julie Salamon unlimited access to the film production of Tom Wolfe's best-selling book The Bonfire of the Vanities , both director and journalist must have felt like they were on to something big. How could it lose? But instead Salamon got a front-row seat at the Hollywood disaster of the decade. She shadowed the film from its early stages through the last of the eviscerating reviews, and met everyone from the actors to the technicians to the studio executives. They'd all signed on for a blockbuster, but there was a sense of impending…


The Movie Musical!

By Jeanine Basinger,

Book cover of The Movie Musical!

Film historian and professor Jeanine Basinger covers the entire history of the movie musical with scholarship, laugh-out loud asides, and a love of film that shines through on every page. No one knows more about film than Basinger but she wears her knowledge lightly, inviting the reader to join in the fun.

The Movie Musical!

By Jeanine Basinger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Movie Musical! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Irresistible and authoritative, The Movie Musical! is an in-depth look at the singing, dancing, happy-making world of Hollywood musicals, beautifully illustrated in color and black-and-white--an essential text for anyone who's ever laughed, cried, or sung along at the movies.

Leading film historian Jeanine Basinger reveals, with her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical--in the most telling, most incisive, most detailed, most gorgeously illustrated book of her long and remarkable career.
     From Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores, Basinger examines a dazzling array of stars, strategies, talents, and innovations in…


Indecent Exposure

By David McClintick,

Book cover of Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street

McClintick makes the Hollywood boardroom scandal that began with David Begelman’s forgery of Cliff Robertson’s name on a $10,000 check, into a compulsively readable account of power run amok amongst  Hollywood-Wall Street executives. An expose of theft, cover-up, and blackmail, it is also a beautifully written, incisive portrait of men and women seduced by the glamor and power of Hollywood fame.

Indecent Exposure

By David McClintick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Indecent Exposure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the head of Columbia Pictures, David Begelman, got caught forging Cliff Robertson's name on a $10,000 check, it seemed, at first, like a simple case of embezzlement. It wasn't. The incident was the tip of the iceberg, the first hint of a scandal that shook Hollywood and rattled Wall Street. Soon powerful studio executives were engulfed in controversy; careers derailed; reputations died; and a ruthless, take-no-prisoners corporate power struggle for the world-famous Hollywood dream factory began.

First published in 1982, this now classic story of greed and lies in Tinseltown appears here with a stunning final chapter on Begelman's…


Marlene Dietrich

By Maria Riva,

Book cover of Marlene Dietrich: The Life

When a Hollywood legend’s child writes a biography of his or her parent, the result usually ends up as either a hatchet job (Mommie Dearest) or candy-coated alternative history. But here, Marlene Dietrich’s daughter Maria Riva delivers a loving but warts and all portrait of her complicated, fascinating mother. Dietrich’s career combined sex, allure, and world-weary refinement to revolutionize our very concept of femininity, in the process fascinating audiences around the world. The only biography of Dietrich to draw upon the star’s own letters and diaries, Riva delivers the ultimate insider’s portrait of both the warmth and suffocating shadow cast by a legend upon her own child. 

Marlene Dietrich

By Maria Riva,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marlene Dietrich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wildly entertaining, Maria Riva reveals the rich life of her mother in vivid detail, evoking Dietrich the woman, her legendary career, and her world. Opening with Dietrich's childhood in Berlin, we meet an energetic, disciplined, and ambitious young actress, whose own mother equated the stage with a world of vagabonds and thieves.

Dietrich would quickly rise to stardom on the Berlin stage in the 1920s with her sharp wit and bisexuality-wearing the top hat and tails that revolutionized our concept of beauty and femininity. She would play vulgarity but not become in; startle the world but still maintain the aloofness…


The Heart of the Lion

By Martin Turnbull,

Book cover of The Heart of the Lion: A Novel of Irving Thalberg's Hollywood

Martin Turnbull has produced various series about Hollywood, primarily populated by fictional characters. This book is biographical fiction centered on the boy-wonder movie producer Irving Thalberg of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His life and career are overshadowed by ill-health, yet he managed to make his studio the greatest of the Golden Age, in no small part through his ability to co-exist with studio head Louis B. Mayer. Through her marriage to Thalberg, actress Norma Shearer’s status as MGM’s most popular leading lady, was assured. I felt the portrait of their marriage, a union with both personal and professional ramifications, and the depiction of Thalberg’s relationship with two strong women—his wife and his mother—added conflict and context to the story.  

The Heart of the Lion

By Martin Turnbull,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heart of the Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lose yourself in the Golden Age of Hollywood—and discover the story of the man who helped create it.

Hollywood in the 1920s: the motion picture industry is booming, and Irving Thalberg knows it takes more than guts and gumption to create screen magic that will live forever. He’s climbed all the way to head of production at newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and is determined to transform Leo the Lion into an icon of the most successful studio in town.

The harder he works, the higher he soars. But at what cost? The more he achieves, the closer he risks flying into…


An Empire of Their Own

By Neal Gabler,

Book cover of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood

Using detailed portraits of the moguls who built Hollywood, this book tracks the rise of an industry while also telling a unique story about American business and culture. It bristles with insights, particularly about how the moguls (almost all of them immigrants) helped create and amplify many of the popular narratives that Americans tell about themselves. It’s wonderfully written, scholarly but not dry, and serves as a time machine taking you back to a fascinating era in our national history.

An Empire of Their Own

By Neal Gabler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Empire of Their Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A provocative, original, and richly entertaining group biography of the Jewish immigrants who were the moving forces behind the creation of America's motion picture industry.
 
The names Harry Cohn, William Fox, Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, and Adolph Zucker are giants in the history of contemporary Hollywood, outsiders who dared to invent their own vision of the American Dream.  Even to this day, the American values defined largely by the movies of these émigrés endure in American cinema and culture. Who these men were, how they came to dominate Hollywood, and what they gained and lost…


The Making of Gone with the Wind

By Steve Wilson,

Book cover of The Making of Gone with the Wind

This book grew out of a 2014 exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind. The exhibition included rarely-seen material from the archives of producer David O. Selznick and his business partner John Hay “Jock” Whitney. So even if you've read one of the handful of previous books about the making of this movie classic there is much here that is new. The behind-the-scenes deals, battles with the censors, and the controversies surrounding the film are all covered in this fascinating book.

The Making of Gone with the Wind

By Steve Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of Gone with the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gone With The Wind is one of the most popular movies of all time. To commemorate its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2014, The Making of Gone With The Wind presents more than 600 items from the archives of David O. Selznick, the film's producer, and his business partner John Hay "Jock" Whitney, which are housed at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. These rarely seen materials, which are also being featured in a major 2014 exhibition at the Ransom Center, offer fans and film historians alike a must-have behind-the-camera view of the production of this classic.…


Another Side of Paradise

By Sally Koslow,

Book cover of Another Side of Paradise

So many Hollywood novels focus primarily on the marquee names—the movie stars. This one explores the tortured romantic relationship between gossip columnist Sheilah Graham and author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose stint as a scriptwriter was financially sustaining and artistically demoralizing, deepening his descent into alcoholism and despair over his failing marriage to Zelda. Sheilah could have been his creation, with her Gatsby-esque concealment of her background and reinvention of herself. Though this is a work of fiction, it results from meticulous research into the lives and careers of its fascinating and legendary main characters. As a writer myself, who has produced newspaper columns as well as more than a dozen novels, I fully appreciate the literary aspects of this story.

Another Side of Paradise

By Sally Koslow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Another Side of Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A stunning, utterly captivating read. Another Side of Paradise delivers an unforgettable portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham, a remarkable couple steeped in all the glamour, romance, and intrigue of old Hollywood. Their wild ride of a love affair is one for the ages!” — Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything

A novel based on the true story of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his longtime mistress, Sheilah Graham—an unforgettable tale of love, celebrity, and Gatsby-esque self-creation in 1930s Hollywood.

In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham’s star is on…


Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939

By Ted Sennett,

Book cover of Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939: A Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration

Ted Sennett is one of the most prolific and widely-read writers about Hollywood and this book on 1939 is one of his very best works. It is filled (one might even say, stuffed) with behind-the-scenes stories. The writing is sometimes critical and analytical rather than gushing as in some of Sennett's many coffee table books. He concentrates on only seventeen 1939 movies so one doesn't get a full picture of that amazing year of movies. It's good to see some lesser-known classics like Midnight and Angels Have Wings included in the seventeen.

Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939

By Ted Sennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book on the famous year 1939 an epic year for great classic films.


Majestic Hollywood

By Mark A. Vieira,

Book cover of Majestic Hollywood: The Greatest Films of 1939

It might seem presumptuous to call 50 films from 1939 "classics" but I agree with Vieira that these 50 movies deserve that distinction. This book is filled with all the pertinent information, fun facts, and great visuals. Movie stills, behind-the-scenes candid photos, portraits, and poster art make this a memorable volume to treasure. I particularly like the attention Vieira gives to the many outstanding movie directors working in 1939.

Majestic Hollywood

By Mark A. Vieira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Majestic Hollywood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1939 was a watershed year. The Great Depression was barely over economics, politics, and culture braced for war. There was a lull before the storm and Hollywood, as if expecting to be judged by posterity, produced a portfolio of masterpieces. No year before or since has yielded so many beloved works of cinematic art: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gunga Din, Only Angels Have Wings, Destry Rides Again, Beau Geste, Wuthering Heights, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Ninotchka, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Women , and of course, Gone With the Wind . Majestic…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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