- Title: Picture
- Author: Lillian Ross
- ISBN: 9780385468794
- Page: 311
- Format: Paperback
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Fascinating history, pin point accurate character portraits, and a riveting narrative make this book the best of its kind and the first In 1952, Ross observed John Huston and the MGM set while Huston made the now classic movie The Red Badge of Courage, starring Audie Murphy A hilariously funny and neutrally vicious look at the insane world of movie making.
Recent Comments "Picture"
Lillian Ross' book is something of a classic in terms of discussing the film industry. It's creative reporting long before that was an accepted term. It's also deeply cynical, letting the voices of the various people involved speak for themselves, and reveal themselves. Whether Huston was right to try and make The Red Badge of Courage the way he did is a moot point; whether the various producers were right to chop it to bits and perhaps ruin it is a moot point. Whether it needed a better script, [...]
This book, an immediate classic upon its publication in 1952, has long been considered one of the great works of reportage about the inside workings of Hollywood movie-making in the golden age. I'm happy to report that it retains its front-rank status.In the early 1950s, New Yorker magazine reporter Lillian Ross did something that no one before her had ever done: write a full-length true-life narrative about the making of a Hollywood movie from the first germ of its origin to the aftermath of it [...]
I only recently discovered Lillian Ross's journalism, and she's amazing. Her quiet observational style is beyond compare. And this, a collection of her writings about the production of the film "The Red Badge of Courage" is an amazing piece of work. Her access to the director John Huston as well as all the bigwigs at MGM in 1951 makes for a brilliant read, and an incredible insight into Hollywood at that time. This is a real joy.
So at first I was like 'oh it's too dry, too objective, the prose too cold/stodgy' and then it became clear that no embellishment was needed all the drama was there in the facts. I don't know if Huston's original film was any good by modern standards, but I do know that we can never ever see it because it no longer exists, having been rejigged out of existence, and this book is the closest we will get to understanding what it was or might have been. Ross doesn't have to even characterise anyone, [...]
Lillian Ross knew how to put words together and make them magical. Thank goodness for that, or I would have given up on this book at page 10. As it is, it took me more than two months to get through just over 200 pages, and though I am a slow reader, I'm rarely *that* slow. Picture is about the making, from idea to release, of The Red Badge of Courage, starring Audie Murphy as the young soldier terrified at his first battle. The film was not a success, and some of the inside information provided [...]
The author was a staff writer for the New Yorker and was invited in 1950 to shadow John Huston and his colleagues while they made the movie version of the Red Badge of Courage. Either she had a photographic memory or she made constant notes, since she seems to have heard everything everybody said to each other in person, on the phone, by mail or telegram. We learn how a picture is made and more about the conflict between the movies as a business and as an art. Reading John Huston's comments was [...]
Lillian Ross’ 1952 book Picture is widely considered to be one of the best books written about Hollywood filmmaking. Ross followed the production of John Huston’s 1951 film The Red Badge of Courage from beginning to end, and gained access to everyone involved in the film. Ross even met with Louis B. Mayer, the vice-president of MGM. Huston was a good friend of Ross, and he encouraged her to observe the production of his latest movie. Ross was, and still is, a contributor to The New Yorker, a [...]
So much has changed in Hollywood in the last seventy years, and yet it remains eerily similar in its short-sightedness. A great look at the creation of a movie from concept to release.
A tragi-comic murder story.
The loss of Lillian Ross this year was very sad - I've always loved her writing. Ross's eye for detail, but the protagonists made the whole thing a bit of a slog.
"Picture" is the history of the making of "The Red Badge of Courage" by the great director John Huston, who although he may have been talented, certainly comes off in this book as a lout.While this book is interesting for those of us who love anything about Hollywood of the past, it covers a lot of ground that is incredibly boring. It follows meeting after meeting after meeting prior to the making of "The Red Badge of Courage," during the making of the movie, and it post-production hand-wringing [...]
I loved this insiders look at the making and marketing of John Huston's film The Red Badge of Courage (based on the novel by Stephen Crane). Embedded journalism is about the coolest (and most enviable) form of writing there is, and Lillian Ross pulls it off with a great deal of skill. There are many things to like about this narrative (which originally appeared as several long-form pieces in The New Yorker): its close attention to several main figures (rather than an intensive character sketch o [...]
Ross wrote this book for the New Yorker magazine. She followed the development, filming, post-production and marketing of John Huston's 1952 adaption of Stephen Crane's classic, "The Red Badge of Courage". Huston is the dominant figure in the beginning. However, once the film is in the can, he loses interest and goes off to Africa to shoot "The African Queen". The fate of the Red Badge is left in the hands of the producer and especially MGM executives. Ross gets to follow a studio power play in [...]
Então, eu sempre gostei de cinema. Quero trabalhar com isso algum dia, provavelmente quando nada mais der certo pra mim. Daí meu professor, que sabe da minha paixão, me mandou ler esse livro e disse "é um retrato interessante da indústria".É exatamente isso.Um diretor com a ideia, não tão fixa, de fazer uma obra-prima, um produtor que acredita e confia em seu diretor e uma empresa que se importa mais com o lucro, são os elementos que completam esse conto de Lillian Ross, que passou todo [...]
This book is an amazing account of Hollywood in the 1950s. Ross writes with aplomb and her nuanced descriptions of every feeling and thought of these larger-than-life characters strike one as both perfectly representational and beautiful, possibly what every journalist aspires to create. My one disappointment was ending with Schenck and not with Huston--it just didn't have quite as much punch as I would have liked for such an exciting read. That aside, the book reads very quickly and is very fun [...]
Fascinating story of the making of the film "The Red Badge of Courage," from the initial meetings, through the writing, planning, filming, editing, scoring, and post-production tinkering, to the world-wide release. It's pretty damning about the waning Hollywood studio system. No one except Gottfried Reinhardt comes out looking like they have much integrity. Now I am going to have to watch the film.
Today, Lillian Ross is mostly remembered for snubbing the young Joyce Maynard. She is forgotten, but "Picture" remains. Her fans have called it the most revealing book about Hollywood, but I think not. She chose for her behind-the-scenes project John Huston's "Red Badge of Courage," a boring, all-male movie based on the even more boring "classic" book. What resulted was a boring book about a boring movie. Thanks, Lillian.
A perfect book. As an exploration of the inner workings of Hollywood, it's hard to imagine how it could ever be topped, but the book is broader than that; it's the most revealing thing I've ever read about the intersection between art and commerce, talent and cynicism. This is one of the books that made me want to be a writer.
The most famous and one of the first insider accounts of the making of a motion picture. Very good capsule profiles of some of the people involved in the making of the film with Dore Schary not coming off so well. The book suffers for having its most interesting character, John Huston, exit the story for most of the last quarter.
Along with "What Makes Sammy Run?", this is one of the best portraits of Hollywood. It's a story of what happens when good intentions and art collide with the cold, hard reality of profit as the number one priority. Ross keeps herself out of the picture (sorry!) as much as possible, but is an astute observer and an excellent guide.
Ross does John Huston, Louis B. Mayer and the "Red Badge of Courage.'' Picture-perfect.
Best book about Hollywood, dudes.
This is a terrifying story about a film based on The Red Badge of Courage, directed by one of the best directors, John Houston, is ruined by the studio heads of Hollywood.
Ross experiences what it is like to make a movie in the old hollywood system. She laches on to John Huston as he makes the Red Badge of Courage. Originally written, I believe, for the New Yorker.
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