Discover a unique, family perspective of American film history through a 1921 to 1949 archive of 435letters written by pioneering film producer Jesse L. Lasky. His triumphs and failures––and the family that traveled with him—provide an illuminating, insider view of the day-to-day creation of the film industry, including behind-the-scenes negotiations and developments with Adolph Zukor, Samuel Goldwyn, Cecil B. DeMille, and the making of such early classics as The Squaw Man (1914), The Sheik (1921), The Covered Wagon (1923), Peter Pan (1924), The Cocoanuts (Marx Brothers) (1929) and later benchmarks as Sergeant York 1941, Mark Twain 1944, and Rhapsody in Blue 1945.
An innovator, Lasky’s letters reveal a producer’s point of view on working with his partner Cecil B.DeMille; with discoveries Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in an early talkie film; his rivalry with producer Sam Goldwyn; Gloria Swanson, who once refused his $17,500-a-week contract; and Hollywood’s legendary king and queen, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
Lasky's complex relationship with his wife, the fatherly advice he offered to Jesse Jr., whose significant role in Hollywood's wartime activities, are spotlighted in thrilling recollections, anecdotes, and fascinating photos from the family's personal collection. Includes a complete list of more than a thousand films produced by Jesse L. Lasky and the 48 films written by Jesse L. Lasky Jr.
“Just when I think no more books can be written about early Hollywood and its beginning from a personal and intimate perspective, along comes Hollywood Royalty: a Family in Films . . . the author explores the intricate dynamics of a family who gains wealth and prestige and how they coped when studio politics and the Depression rocked their lavish lifestyle.", Michael G. Ankerich. And...
"'Now that it is no longer possible to interview the last veterans of the silent era, any more than we can talk to survivors of the Civil War, there is one last, precious resource: letters. You are offering film historians and enthusiasts an incredibly rare opportunity to enter the lives of one of the supreme moguls of the classic era and his son.” –Kevin Brownlow, film historian.
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