When Spyros Skouras was forced to resign as commander in chief of 20th Century-Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck was persuaded to return to the studio to take charge. As the studio was on the brink of disaster, Zanuck put the brakes on every project in the works and fired just about everyone on the lot. Except for one man, the only one working for the studio who made their bread-and-butter pictures which, at this point in time, was the only kind of movies the studio could afford to make. And that man was Robert L. Lippert.
Robert Lippert, you say? Never heard of him.
Lippert produced over two hundred movies, tailored to the small town exhibitors who had to change their program two or three times a week. And they loved him for it. Kansas theater owner Bill Leonard told his fellow exhibitors to “just line up with these Lippert pictures and you and your patrons will be happy.”
So? I still never heard of him.
Ever heard of James Clavell, the author of Shogun? Or Andrew McLaglen, the director of McLintock? Or Sam Fuller, the director of Pickup on South Street? They were just some of the people who got their first break in the business from Lippert. And if none of those names ring a bell, have you ever heard of The Fly (1958)? Lippert made that one. His name isn’t on it but he produced it never-the-less. This book is all about the man who was once left like a sack of laundry on the steps of an orphanage. It’s about his battle with the Screen Actors Guild, his stormy marriage and, of course, his movies.
"Compelling, a good read. I found it hard to put down."
- Western Clippings
"McGee has performed an invaluable service in rounding up RL's wild celluloid herd into a single corral."