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Hollywood or Bust Wins Award

This month the National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) announced the winners of its annual contest. The competition was created to acknowledge self-publishers and small and independent presses that go the extra mile to produce high quality books, from eye-catching design to well-written content. Judges represent all aspects of the industry and include publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.

HorB CoverAuthor Susan Marg entered her book Hollywood or Bust in the category “Arts& Entertainment.” It was the perfect fit. Hollywood or Bust consists of over five hundred quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks of actors, directors, writers, and others involved in making movies and conveys what Hollywood insiders think of themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, each other, and the town itself.

Marg is pleased that this well-regarded organization recognized her efforts. “Hollywood or Bust was a lot of work, but it was fun to research and put together,” she comments, adding, “It’s a fun read, too – like overhearing a conversation at Starbucks.”

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

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 Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

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From the Small Screen to the Silver Screen

In its November 4, 2013 issue, New York magazine released its second annual assessment of “Hollywood’s 100 Most Valuable Stars”.  Their ranking took into account such variables as box office, likability, and Oscar wins and nominations.  Mentions on Twitter counted, too.

From one to one hundred. Photo by: Mark Morgan

From one to one hundred. Photo by: Mark Morgan

Surprise!  Robert Downey Jr. was number one, again, as Iron Man 3 smashed records at the 2013 box office.  Ok, if we’re going by the numbers determined by a formula.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, and Brad Pitt follow on the list. No surprise there, considering such movies as Django, Silver Linings Playbook, The Heat and Gravity, and World War Z, respectively.

However, it was Will Smith at number 6 who caught my eye.  His stated goal was to become “the biggest movie star in the world,” and that he probably was – at some point in time. Smith began making movies while his sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996) was still on the air.  Blockbusters came next.

That got me thinking. What other actors have made the transition from television to the movies and are considered “valuable” in 2013? There are many of them still going strong, per New York.

Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies), Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street, not to be confused wtih the 2012 comedy starring Jonah Hill), and Jennifer Aniston (Friends) are in the top sixteen.

If we consider SNL cast members, there’s Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell, both of whom have had quite fruitful movie careers, as well as Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig, who write as well as perform.

Freaks and Greeks was a jumping off point for James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel, although the series was cancelled after twelve episodes.  We loved Mila Kunis in That ’70s Show, Jennifer Garner in Alias, Steve Carrell in The Office, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Third Rock from the Sun, and we love them today.

Justin Timberlake appeared on The New Mickey Mouse Club.  I think that counts.

Do you remember Rawhide? That goes back a while. It was a Western in black and white, no less.  Well, Clint Eastwood is still around, still valuable. So, too, is Bruce Willis, having a huge career playing the fast-talking wiseguy from Moonlighting.

I’m sure I missed some.  I’m not as up on television, as I used to be. But ask me about Mad Men or The Good Wife.  Go ahead, ask me.  As for Jon Hamm and Julianne Margulies, I think their stars are golden in any medium.  And that’s worth something.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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To see New York’s “Hollywood’s 100 Most Valuable Stars,” visit: http://www.vulture.com/2013/10/most-valuable-movie-stars.html#/all/vulture-rankings

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Seen and Heard on Hollywood Boulevard:

“I only have to do three things to look halfway decent—curl my eyelashes, fill in my eyebrows, and put some lipstick on.” – Courtney Cox

“I only have to do three things to look halfway decent—curl my eyelashes, fill in my eyebrows, and put some lipstick on.” – Courtney Cox

Hot Lips. Loose Lips. Read My Lips.

 

 

 

 

“I like to drive with my knees. Otherwise, how can I put on my lipstick and talk on the phone?” – Sharon Stone

“I like to drive with my knees. Otherwise, how can I put on my lipstick and talk on the phone?” – Sharon Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You can't keep changing men, so you settle for changing your lipstick.” – Heather Locklear

“You can’t keep changing men, so you settle for changing your lipstick.” – Heather Locklear

“If I walk outside without lipstick, I feel naked.” – Sofia Vergara

“If I walk outside without lipstick, I feel naked.” – Sofia Vergara

“Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo.” – Mary Pickford

“Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo.” – Mary Pickford (photo by: Mattgirling/Ga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Facebook Fan Page

Charlie Chaplin eats his boot in "The Gold Rush."

Charlie Chaplin eats his boot in “The Gold Rush.”

I have created a Facebook fan page for Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown.

But the best part: for every “like”, comments count, too, I am donating a penny to the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF). Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, also founders of United Artists started this private, non-profit charity  over 90 years ago  to help those in the movie industry who had fallen on hard times.  It hasn’t gotten any easier.  Today the fund serves more than 150,000 people annually with healthcare and other social services.

Charlie Chaplin once said, “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

So, please, go to Facebook and “like” Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish.  And if you love silents, film noir, westerns, or some other genre on the silver or small screen, ask your friends to ask their friends. The pennies will add up.

Ready, set, click.   Thank you.

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For more information on MPTF, visit: http://www.mptf.com

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You Should Be Dancing

“I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess,” said the glamorously beautiful Rita Hayworth, as quoted in Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown, “I felt I was more a comedian who could dance.” And dance she did.

Rita as Gilda.

Rita as Gilda.

Hayworth performed an erotic Dance of the Seven Veils in Salome (1953), a mesmerizing strip-tease, taking off only her over-the-elbow length black satin evening gloves to “Put the Blame on Mame,” in Gilda (1946), and an equally captivating nightclub act in An Affair in Trinidad (1952).

While some of Hayworth’s well-known handsome leading men included Orson Welles, whom was her second husband, Glenn Ford, who appeared with her in five movies, Cary Grant, Victor Mature, Tyrone Power, Robert Mitchum, and the list goes on, her dancing partners were among Hollywood’s biggest and best musical talents.

She co-starred with Fred Astaire in You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942).  She kicked up her heels to “The Show Must Go On” with newcomer Gene Kelly in Cover Girl (1944) and later took a turn around the dance floor with Frank Sinatra to “The Lady is a Tramp” in Pal Joey (1957).

But Rita never danced to the Bee Gees – until now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3CPzdCDws

Eat your heart out, John Travolta.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Hear Ye Hear Ye: Talking About the Stars

Book CoverYesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of chatting with Betty Jo Tucker, movie critic extraordinaire and the editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews, and her co-host James Colt Harrison, also an author of thousands of reviews and articles about Hollywood, on Betty Jo’s radio program “Movie Addict Headquarters.”

My book Hollywood or Bust was the central point of our conversation, and I was peppered with lots of questions.  Where did the idea come from?  What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?  How did you decide on the themes in the book?  What are your favorite quotes in the book?

Oh, there are so many.  I like the first quote in the book from Hilary Swank: “I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.”  I think that sets the tone of the book because Hollywood and the movies, even life itself, are all about dreams.

On the loss of privacy that comes with fame, I like Jennifer Aniston’s quote: “When someone follows you all the way to the shop and watches you buy a roll of toilet paper, you know your life has changed.”  The lesson here is to be careful for what you wish.

Betty Jo had her favorite quotes, too.  She pointed out how touched she was by Charlie Chaplin saying, “I was loved by crowds, but I didn’t have a single close friend. I felt like the loneliest man alive,” and she played a few minutes of music Chaplin had composed for Modern Times.  Afterwards she noted, “There he is making everyone else laugh, but he has such feeling.”  And, then we moved on to more amusing topics.

James shared a story relating a chance meeting between Clark Gable and William Faulkner on the MGM lot where they were both working in the 1930s.  Clark Gable knew who William Faulkner was, but Faulkner couldn’t return the compliment.  Ah, writers.  What would the movies be without them?

As screenwriter Joe Eszterhas noted: “Screenplays are a bitch to write.  One man wrote War and Peace.  Thirty-five screenwriters wrote The Flintstones.” Ah, Hollywood.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Here’s the link for your listening pleasure:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movieaddictheadquarters/2013/07/30/hollywood-or-bust