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James Robert Parish: Articles


Claudette Colbert Career & Lesbian Rumors: Q&A with Veteran Author James Robert Parish

Claudette Colbert, Paramount star Those who remember Claudette Colbert, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” featured player today, will likely picture a woman raising her skirt so as to hitch a ride in Frank Capra's 1934 Academy Award-winning comedy It Happened One Night. After all, Colbert's left leg immediately succeeds where Clark Gable's left thumb failed. Colbert, however, could get her way without having to resort to displaying her ankle to helpless oncoming drivers. In fact, during her nearly three decades as a film star – a film superstar during more than half that period – Colbert almost invariably got her way in both dramas and comedies, whether in modern dress or in period costumes. All she needed to […]


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Claudette Colbert Career & Lesbian Rumors: Q&A with Veteran Author James Robert Parish



'The Hollywood Book of Extravagance': Q&A with Author James Robert Parish

The Hollywood Book of Extravagance. How do you write something with that sort of title without falling into the trap of sensationalism or cheap journalism? And could you say something about the formatting of your text – the mini-bios divided into specific chapters – and what you wanted to accomplish with it? To my mind sensationalism is presenting a story/narrative/whatever without backing up the presentation with both solid facts and the author's stated interpretation of the given facts. Hopefully, in The Hollywood Book of Extravagance, I have avoided tabloid journalism by providing compact but in-depth studies of each individual documented within the volume. As with my other entries in The Hollywood Book of series (The Hollywood Book of Death and […]


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'The Hollywood Book of Extravagance': Q&A with Author James Robert Parish



Mel Brooks Biography: Q&A with James Robert Parish

James Robert Parish, author of countless film books (The RKO Gals, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops), answers a few questions on the subject of his upcoming biography, It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks (Wiley, 2007). Many comedians are supposed to be major bores when they're not “on.” Does Mel Brooks fit into that mold? Over the decades, few people (beyond Brooks' family and very close friends) have ever witnessed Mel when he is not “on.” He considers it his lifelong duty to be entertaining both on camera and off. Whether bantering on a TV talk show, parrying with a dour waiter in a deli, or directing his cast/crew on the film […]


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Mel Brooks Biography: Q&A with James Robert Parish



'The Hollywood Book of Breakups': Q&A with James Robert Parish

Prolific author James Robert Parish answers seven questions about his latest tome, The Hollywood Book of Breakups. Unlike his previous book, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops, an analysis of Hollywood moviemaking, the Book of Breakups focuses on the private lives of those who have worked in the motion picture and television industries. Couples portrayed in the book range from silent-screen idols Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to super-market tabloid idols Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.   In your latest book, The Hollywood Book of Breakups, you discuss the personal relationships of film and TV celebrities. What is your approach to writing a book on something potentially sensational, without falling into the trap of tabloid journalism? One of my […]


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'The Hollywood Book of Breakups': Q&A with James Robert Parish



'Fiasco': A History of Iconic Hollywood Box Office Bombs - Q&A with Author James Robert Parish

"In selecting the 15 Hollywood box office catastrophes presented within this volume, I was guided by several factors. First of all, I wanted to present the backstories of prodigiously expensive movies whose tortuous paths from start to finish and subsequent infamy were especially representative of the Hollywood system at the time of production. From among many likely entries I picked extremely colorful and contrasting candidates that well demonstrate how the combination of ill-matched personalities and tangled situations can result in chaos during the making of a must-succeed, extremely costly Hollywood feature. In each instance I sought to pick the most vivid example that explored the big question, '"How in the hell did this picture ever get made?" That's author James […]


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'Fiasco': A History of Iconic Hollywood Box Office Bombs - Q&A with Author James Robert Parish





FILM ARCHIVES

Don Siegel Movies: From Alien Pods to Clint Eastwood
Jean Arthur: Nervous Wreck on Set Exuded Charm & Warmth on Screen
'The Little Foxes' Movie Review: Bette Davis Heads Superb Cast in Masterful Classic
'Little Fugitive' Director Morris Engel Dies: Independent Cinema Pioneer
Bette Davis' DARK VICTORY Screening
Greta Garbo's NINOTCHKA Screening
Oscar In Memoriam Actress Mix-Up + Michael Jackson & Army Archerd In, Farrah Fawcett & Richard Todd Out
Katharine Hepburn & Thelma Todd: Packard Movies
Turner Classic Movies: Dysfunctional Family-Oriented Christmas Films + Lilli Palmer & Blake Edwards
'Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why...' Review: Barbara Harris Almost Makes One Care
Jean Harlow Centenary Celebration on TCM: RED-HEADED WOMAN, SUZY, RIFFRAFF
Tarzan Chimp Cheeta Dies at 80, or Most Likely Not
Tom Mix, Rudolph Valentino & Pearl White: Niles Essanay
Screwball Comedy Movies, Rare Screening of Epoch-Making Box Office Disaster
Fred Astaire Movies: Dancing in the Dark, on the Ceiling and with Ginger Rogers