“I’m looking forward to being ‘onstage’ Sunday at the Egyptian. I love talking about Irving, Norma, and Joan.”
Mark’s latest book, Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince, which has just been published by the University of California Press, tells the story of Irving Thalberg, MGM’s second-in-command from the studio’s formation in 1924 to Thalberg’s death in 1936.
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Lon Chaney, Clark Gable, and Jean Harlow owe their stardom to Thalberg, who was also a crucial creative force behind classics such as Ben-Hur (the 1925 version), Grand Hotel, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Good Earth, and Camille.
The American Cinematheque will be – or rather, is (right now) – screening two films in which Thalberg was directly involved, the 1932 pre-Code dramas Skyscraper Souls, directed by Edgar Selwyn, and starring Warren William, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Norman Foster, and Faithless (right), directed by Harry Beaumont, and starring Tallulah Bankhead and Robert Montgomery.
Among Mark’s previous tomes are Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of M-G-M, Hurrell’s Hollywood Portraits, and Sin in Soft Focus. And make sure to check out Mark’s Irving Thalberg q&a posted a few months ago.