Blackdog and Leventhal publishers have released a soft cover version of author Jenny M. Jones' outstanding book, The Annotated Godfather. One critic described the book as akin to "seeing the movie all over again, but with Francis Ford Coppola sitting next to you on the couch." Indeed, Coppola participated in the book, adding insights into the making of the 1972 crime classic. There have been some unauthorized Godfather books produced over the years, but this one is officially licensed
through Paramount. Thus, the book not only boasts the original
screenplay with annotations, but a wealth of jaw-dropping photos, many
of which will be new to even the most fanatical followers of the film.
The reproduction of these photos is superb, and the addition of
little-known anecdotes about the filming make this book an offer you
We received an unusual but most welcome book from Kensington Publishers with the eye-catching title They Bite. No, it isn't a reference to our elected officials, rather, it's meant in the literal sense. The book is termed the ultimate guide to creatures and monsters of horror lore, both in film and in literature. Authors Jonathan Mayberry and David V. Kramer considerately lay out your favorite demons by type (i.e. vampires, hell hounds, monster dogs, werewolves and wolf-men, etc.) and then list them alphabetically with in-depth descriptions as to their origins and significance in the horror genre. There are also commentaries from horror authorities such as Peter Straub, John Carpenter, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and many others. There are also 8 pages of color illustrations by leading artists of the supernatural. Don't fail to order it in time for next Valentine's Day.
There is a theory about human sexuality that states that all people are born inherently bi-sexual and that it is sociological factors that determine whether we explore all of our true desires. While not widely accepted among academics, adherents to the theory often cite ancient Rome as proof of their belief. Here, bi-sexuality was not only tolerated, it was the norm. A new book is bound to set off a Towering Inferno of controversy
among fans of Paul Newman precisely because it delves into these issues in the context of how they affected the behavior of one of the screen's most enduring legends. Author Darwin Porter, who specializes in
unveiling clues to hidden homosexual lifestyles among straight screen
legends, claims in his new book Paul Newman: The Man Behind the Baby Blues that the beloved Oscar winner had countless dalliances with other
men in his early years in the film industry. I should note that I have
not had a chance to read the book, only to scan through it. Thus, I can't at this point personally evaluate its qualities.
However, it is already generating buzz in gossip columns and on
YouTube, where the publisher, Danforth Prince of Blood Moon
Productions, has launched a controversial video discussing the book.
Prince asserts that the book isn't a hit piece on Newman, but merely presents the first objective portrait of him, as he alleges all other biographies of the star are too sanitized. The book apparently doesn't attempt to claim that Newman's decades-long
marriage was a sham. However, it does claim that the star could be
equally enticed by both men and women. Porter links Newman with such
seminal figures (pardon the pun) as Tennessee Williams, William Inge,
Sal Mineo, Peter Lawford, Anthony Perkins and Marlon Brando. It also
delves into his female conquests, which allegedly include Elizabeth
Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn. If true, one
wonders how Newman found the time to rehearse his lines.
Porter says he accumulated all of the anecdotes and quotes in the book over a period of decades, having personally known many of the key people in Newman's life. Critics will cite the fact that virtually none of the quotes were made "on the record" so one must rely on the author's personal memory or interpretation of what he claims he overheard. This will be thin gruel for skeptics, especially since Porter replicates ancient conversations verbatim. A brief perusal of the book also reveals passages in which quotes attributed to Newman and others read like a porn paperback. Regardless of the veracity of any specific aspect of the book, there is no doubt the controversy will shed a spotlight on areas of Newman's personal life that the notoriously private star never wanted explored.
One of the more intriguing stories related in the book deals with Newman's plan to bring the novel The Front Runner to the screen in the 1970s. The best-seller dealt with a college track coach who falls in love with his star runner. Newman was determined to play the coach in what would have been a shocking departure from his usual screen image. The project, which was written about in the mainstream press at the time, was rumored to be a reunion vehicle for Newman and Robert Redford - despite the fact that the latter would have been far too old to play a student. Porter maintains that makeup techniques would have been used to rejuvenate Redford on the screen, but the point was moot as Redford had too many hang-ups to play a gay character. Porter says that Newman then screen-tested Cal Culver, who was known only in the gay community for performing in porn films. Porter quotes Culver directly in saying that he and Newman had an affair and that Culver saw The Front Runner as his ticket to legitimate work. However, his hopes were dashed when Newman backed away from the project - and the affair as well.