Variety (January 1962)

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By H.. ALLEN SMITH We ESP . have achiev éd: my ‘aim. Yet today 1 find: my self: “alotig withe:. many other writers’ whose: careers: own, being. :. ridiculous ambitions..The wildest: of these was. the ‘yeain-” . Pushed | off’ the -bestséller ‘lists by a. lot of writers, who :are:: . ing to. become the. author of a book: 2s knew it was: impos. . sible, but I put my. shoulder: to. the. avheel {invented . -dur~ ‘ing the preceding year) and worked for. Pty: decades and: Show. to. the. next, thrusting: a copy? of. their ‘fraudulent: “cavorld.. ‘We: dren't being, ‘consistent, if ‘vei-insist: that aI.” Hollywood: filris.’ “must be. made in: ‘Hollywood’ ‘and. only”: “., = Ayith’ Hollywood: technicians..Noone, can.corvince me, for“) . example, that -itis: either. equitable: ‘OF. ‘profitable, for. ‘the. Lo Back | ‘in the’ pre-Jurassie period. when’ I was: ‘a young. man ‘playing: mé 4 waiting game), I had an assortment ‘of . finally made. it. hr My fir st two. book’ were quite’ amodest : in. their scope: and? less than that. in “their acceptance by: the. public, but they . were: books and: they had: my name on their: covers. By ©. the time I had. ‘Written: them, I. already. knew ‘that tthe only ” way to. learn to write :is ‘to write, and. thén: write sonie more, ‘and: keep: on “wTiting . with .a steadfast’. fury’ year: ” ‘atter year. after. year.” “And to spend ‘an ‘hour. or” to exery” cay studving—reading classics. and ‘biographies’. dnd his. téries. beeause history: properly. ‘written: covers. the: whole aa St ope-of. human, life: including human ‘folly; 3 in 1 whieh: Fa am a devout ‘peliev er. “Iam congenitally slothful; and Tve: alw ays been inclined ‘to stea rdy Merrymiaking. was a Tough job. for: me to Pepe Go all this. Still, 1 did-it. I-kept on. writing in-my. spare’ i “time and finally turned out.a book that ‘attracted a lot of’ “ attention, : and: leaped: fo the. dop ‘of the bestseller. lists;.: end even: br “ought. me. soul-stirring conplinients: ‘from. such, heroic characters. as Damon Runyon. and i, Li _Mencken. end: Gene Faw ler. ‘ -In the days. when: I ‘frit: 100K, ‘down: with” * Gaeocthes = seribe ndi—the ‘irresistible. itch. to Write—the. Beople who. ‘ere turning. out. successful heoks were, ' of. ‘all’ things,. wiiters. They were pros. -the bestseller lists, along with people like: Zane Grey and . ary ‘Roberts ‘Ririchart . and Rex! “Beath and Harold ne Wright and Kathleen: Norris. All professional: writers,’ no i matter: how. freat or how small their talent.’ ‘Then the non-w riters. began to ‘take over the. “psi of: “My which he. wrote ‘in 1922. .Trader--Horn, . wrote his bestselling book ‘in 1927, ‘and it was written’ bya “aeqar i *? won Ethelreda. Lewis. Lindbergh turned. out “Wer -the ‘saime : guests, hence ‘national heroes”:-Thére.: are’ books: by-cele*.: writing. Henry Ford: didn’t write his autobiography: -Life and Work.” year without touching a pencil.A fine’ upstanding: ‘Ameri-: ean charactér. named Gaston: Means wrote a. scandalous. . ‘book in. 1930, although he didn't. write: it. “From then: on.: things began ‘to snowball. Influential men: and. women: in Various ‘prominent. callings ot. out of. bed. in: the’ morning, ‘yawned, scratched their navels; and said, “Say.-I wonder’ . how it would be.a writer. Think I'd‘ like it. Guess: TH try it™. écior’s autobiography, recently /abéstseller, beok Was. written, ‘by a talented hagk. Tv nholyAllianee T reniember. a: few. years back & hen’ a. thinor-leagiie: lady author sued a leading comedian, charging that..he. engaged :her to write a novel under his’ he could acquire. . a Teputation as ‘a literary man. The judge threw the case * | saying. that. the. transaction between author” ‘and comedian was not ‘actionable because, basically, it-was afraud on. the public. .Just recently « this -Same>comedian’s name appeared as coauthor ‘ofa novel. He. and: all ofhis. shew biz: friends. who. are legion. appeared: on dozens’ of . television and radio shows boosting his: book, Tarely’ ever D4 “col: cut, mentioning the professional ; writer who. was. his “writing.-. I know. was written -in the pubtisher’s office with very ‘little ‘cori fact betwecn principal and ghest, and then. was submitted. ‘to the comedian for approval.. lis. verdict..was: “My, God,’ what a swell. book ve: writteny *T-used to-be friendly with. wealthy. show -business. per sonality: who: one day decided 2 anet he wanted to be a! writer. ‘He went. out ‘and hired’ a“ whole: stable of. bers. capable: but | Tthungry writers: -and _ pat.viem. to work. and before longs. my friend was being. “quoted wice ard fur es a great. wit: and: “humorist. “This. gave me a.slow hurn; v hich in time became a fast: Burn, “You Niay not -rez atize | it. but: you ere-teking dollars’ out uf wy pocket. F have: a buniir "that if a cman. is incapable’ of ‘writin’, avbook. he: ‘should. ‘hot be permitted to sethimself. ‘up "as‘a iy riter,. to ‘pags him-: _ sel off a& an’ author.: ‘There ‘is /sticti a thing “as.‘too: much | “Treedem of :the. press. I believe: iat; witit:-a’-handful:.of exceptions, nobody. ever Szid, “Ont Ofa, clear sky: or éven’ a ‘and, became: one: _ ond: one ‘day I said. to biin, be ok ‘in he. StoOLes.. und seu have a huinor: book: in the ~ stares, but ‘yeu are a: weatt hy man: and. you ‘are. laying. . Git Jarge sums of your-Gw ne THRONE V. fo: boost, the advertisWhy? ‘the ‘hell. can't. you Be™ satisfied. with being “hhat Vou are? ‘Why do you. have | to-. Bi ¥ -YCuTs¢ Wa reputat: ¢n as an. author? He. asked | “nie to: _Jerve his baronial premises and: our xélations | came te an 7 ‘ing budget. Git) YOUr bnek : end: 1 “mcy. at Jast ‘be tg learn 0. ». be a Competent.x Minter. ‘Some: ‘People: believe I a ‘The. aforementioned. i “Le: Mencken, and Sinclair Lewis, Theodore’ ‘Dreiser, Sher-. . "wood Anderson, H.-G. Wells,. Booth. Tarkington, Sonierset -NMaugham—these’ ‘were ‘the glitteri ing ‘stars. who" ‘dominated : So they. shopped _ around ‘and found. a: real . writer In. need of rent. ‘and gin money .-and .they: Secretly. hired that writer to‘write them a book, After awhile. the ; tiniest: bit -of. demi-integrity ‘got into the game, and the "‘as|. told-ta’™. books: began rolling off. the. presses. There. are : plenty of: them ‘today. but there ‘are also. ‘plenty “of. books. by, non-writers .whose publishers « -put:. forward... ‘strong* ’ elaims that: they’ were. actually. Mitten, ‘sentence after. sentence, by: the: ‘celebrity:. ‘The. louder’ -they. make thése ‘claims, the more Positive it beconies : that :a professionalwriter: had a hand in production, of -the’ ‘book, . One ‘movie. L Was -issued-. With such .a claim. iterated and’ reiterated.: He’. actually. wrote: it,-ericd “the ‘publisher: With his. own: hot: little =~. hands. Every Tast ‘word of -it. They: kept yelling ‘and kept 3ciling and. then “soniebady quictly. did .a bit: of investigaa tion and ‘found out that the: actor's own hot little hands ~ were in his pants pockets. ‘or around: assorted. broads. The -oy tvs suspect. that: Some-.of them ‘are. intciestéd tin’. . MOON, ‘They. will. ‘publish any ‘book: A: ‘semiliterate‘ty; : “performer ‘submits a. book. to. them. and. they’. give: “no. *'thought to: the. ‘quality of its: cantents—their interest is... -sglely :in‘the’ size of his. audience: and: ‘his Willingness: to: * be ubout. another top. actor: comedian. ‘ho: ‘someéyears back, -bécame the author “of a bestseller.: His béok “o£. Course. e ‘appr éachingthe ‘Point of this’ whole a cicyssion, “} have ‘speat, semet hing Wke'35¢ years. trying een not. writers. ‘Any ‘comic who" enjoys public. favor’ santo-e -: ““yoak into the: eye ‘of the camera. One: ‘publisheradmittéed:,”: recently that the. jackets. of ‘his ‘books: are: how’ designed: With ¢ye-catching :type, ‘the bétter to: -be'seen wv ‘hen.:rain-. . > med-down. the. ‘public’ S. throat: on. ‘television ‘show S.: “And ‘tT. actually. ‘heard: one .coni¢dian;-shoying: his. book. ‘forward; “. say-on,a tv-show: “Folks, I-want’you to Knéw .that-this ig areal swelt book. All-my: friends: say so: and‘it‘is.a-best: _ seller. like. crazy, and. you're: “bound, to; get “a. ‘teal. charge otitof if. So go'outand. ‘buy. 2a copy because you W i never’, have “SO much fun in: your: life. w ‘idiot:: if she’. had: started ‘Writing a. book, yet: “‘No.”‘she said. “They: asked. tire. to: write! ‘a a hook: but: all: the: ‘subjects™. “have: heen: used: up: 1. to oe ws Re, iso fod: "Themes -* bop’ music, and . bycquntless’ seniiliterate“‘peliticians wha.” *. J dtaw.: upon. ‘the ‘huge ‘poolof . ghost. Writers, operating © in: > Washington. in: order. that they, the. ‘politicians, may" be-. 7 come’ eloquent. and: graceful” in. their prose; . ‘There are. "books by. prédchers who know the ‘solutions to an human: problems: but -who: couldn't. loéate. ‘their collar=: . bones with: both, hands; ‘by. guys -who -téll how, they. made -$40.000.000. . with one’ arm ‘ticd: behind | theif “backs,. ‘by. drunken: fliers and by lawyers whose éthies. would ‘offend. ithe: sensitive ” ‘Souk of Frank Costello. and: by arrogant » eet he ‘juice. * There ‘are. pooks | galore: by. ‘famous for their petulariceor their ‘irisolence ‘tow. ard: their » brated: keepers ‘of* ‘pawdyhouses: vand. ‘hy: whiny erack-note: . .. Singers not old enough to: work up ‘a‘sw. ‘eat in the: armpits. ‘Please remember that: when the: former. ‘truckdriver, Eivis Presley. arrived. hone: froth. service |in: the army, he-was “asked: about his ‘plans. ‘and his. first. response, deliv éréed-in -“all Seriousness. was: “I'm. _a@-gomna | ‘write a book.” ‘He. was °* ‘inspired; nodoubt, by: thetremendous: literary success..of * : another. ‘Singer -in. the: Seedtinie-. of -life; Pat ‘Boone, a philosopher: -Ejther, that | or by. the fact -that-a ‘ successful’ | in ‘recent -yéars' ‘was’ written’ by ‘Lassie, the -dog. ‘AS: told to a man named’ ‘Rudd ‘Weatherw ax. Honest. to God. . As I’ say, all ofthis has, been somewhat’ depressing. 4o. “4 me. Well. not exactly” ‘depressing. Infuriating.In. arecent” _book for’ children a lady authdér included. a chapter, “How. to Write’ a Book.” She said: :“You cat write-a.-book about: anything’. Sst Hf you. éan'twrite Yet. ‘you: could: just ‘draw.. “Then. the’ ‘ook. ouild. be. ‘for. sameorie who’ “ean “t. read" Yet." ‘Or ‘you. could ‘write. a: book. Tor, soineone. who: can wéad * énly one Ww ord:’ woo buccaneering -of. thé. business: -commiunity. But.:today ~I -biug himself ‘blite: in the face. >> ‘océurs to fhem-that a certain..amount of training wW ould be™: helpful as preliminary: toaw riting® eareer. peatance. and. “the conversational “ability: -of : ‘John, J. cloudy -one,. oe euces: VIE be. ‘a: M rite,” im: a4 diately. a my Hae can, 1 do, about att ae ere oe aoe a rr Nothing: Ce oo. ; 7 1 Las EM ., ty a ". Except, perhaps. y coutd inaieuig sis: a’ whole” new. ~eRrear—a AS a drug ‘addict. a. hear it niakes you: feel Bood: 7 oe ae ' an 28 ’ Renmei By: JOHN AUSTON. Fiektaciati “Humorist Waxes Wroth: Over ‘Weaithtul ‘Auiliors” (Chost IE | ~ Byliners) in His: Latest. Omnibus; ‘How. To Write Without ve Knowing Nothing? ite, Brown). “One. night: somebody ‘ori .atelovi ision. ‘show: asked: Dody ° Goodnian, : the girl who" undertakes the‘ tole.: ‘of : amiable. have mace, Ht. entirely: with’ Europeun: talent, Bere isin.” “per, sonalities 1 .{hink ‘it's: ‘coming ‘to ‘that E used: fo: ‘helieve that: ook: publishers were “people. iti a: very special, sort ‘of business governed bya. véry special. sef.of: ethics. They held:them-" . selves“ aloof’ from: the toils. and Stratagenis | and. outright: : -denied.Fir st, : well, in” “ln this’ éorinection T would’ Vike ta. ‘digress: tor: a monient: . Jaborator” .and ‘who, In bound: tobeliéve,: really did. ‘the a ‘have: becomeé’.conyiniced::that’ I have the: physical. aps’ “.morievmaking ‘picture’ of: all time ‘is . “has done: with“ tion, : “view points. to be mistinderstood.: Ce ren be Every’ Hollywood-based picture,. whether J think my: current. pictute, SF reud.: ee . cd Bette 2Vienna:le ot, “Tes. a: very; ‘strahge. anoidaly’ that 3 ‘in: Ameri ica, where thes 0. ae ‘ident tow ork’: is ‘so: vigorously. defended, we ‘should find (ie) 0, : "factions in the Alm industry. seriously involved in an.effort-. 2). ¢-) 7 “to: restrict that’ principle. For. that. reason,..1 cannot ‘help. "; but feel ‘that he legislative: ‘approach’ ‘to. the problem of so-". .. -Galled: “runaway production” is wrong;: “The proving swing el ‘to..gobal: production isnot running away.-Rather, it ig a. ~ ‘sign. of: progress, ‘And: “you cant: ‘stop: progress. ‘by. Jegisla. Th against’ ‘aigtody: whe. ‘ries to: fore’ ‘sonie cboidy: tito wat ~daiihs anything: a faet which. has: “somitimes: cause My Loe _Mmatically: “writes a: book which lie. is ‘incapable. of: ‘Writing. g.. a o Ny oad “These boys ‘are ‘horrible: hams, . but . ‘they, aré alsa ‘skilled ~. practitioners. of. ‘the “hard: sell, They” race -from.. one.:tv |: cause: Universal. and ‘1. agreed ‘that’ We. should makevit.and.:: ‘that it..would: -be a better picture if, filnied gn. atithentié -If’ it. hati: heen, ‘abandoned; “a: European’ pr odueet © Holly ood. ‘Technicians. ‘00d... technical “standards stillare..the. highest “their ‘advanced know-how? of the east: worked? lozether Without! ‘any sfens.-. of :. antagonism. ‘or Jeataisy: “The. German ‘electricians. had no: ‘trouble ‘in: ‘lighting the. ‘sets quickly:-and. efficiently. cr our . English camera crew: Assistant: director. “Ray “Gasnell from, © ‘Hollywood. . and-. Laci. Von: ‘Ronay,. our Austri: n-Gernian |: assistant, worked: ‘smoothly: as..a.‘team, “The various -pro-. duction departments: at ‘the. Bavaria. “Studios | in. Manich. , and. at.the Rosenhigel Studios in ‘Vienna “pr oY ‘idee us: WV ith: everything “needed—and without ‘delay! "+: Figures: on: “runay: ay. production“: liave. ‘a. ‘Babit: ot Tes futing‘themselves, One ‘set ‘of statistics -points ‘out’ that ‘duction’ workers’ -payrolls are: ‘at -an.altime high.) As’F. Write: this “ hate: béfore mé_a trade :paper. article: which” . Says; Indicative. that. so-called runaway préduectién and> “, studio * and. other’. economies have. hot: -seriously. affected “payrolls to ‘any visible: extent is tlie fict® that-there..hasn't. «been ‘a'‘inonth. this year, 11961) Where ‘salary payménts. : 7 dropped: below: he .$20° millienmark. are a how: ‘from: .ex “perience... that-w hen-trying to:seeure’. Holly w-00d filmmakers :° _ and ‘technitiatis-.tor. a. film ‘unit abroad, 8000 | Holywood » /Men: are: very. “hard ‘to: find. : re » No: matte?’ “how heavy a ‘barrage. of propaganda: is ‘Téosed.. on. “PuMaway production,* ‘three: inipoi tant’ facts’ cannet be -filming ‘w il. £0 wherever ire’ big: stars. Want. to *¢@.’ Sccondly, . ‘ment’ of the: creative :personnel.. that: pictires ‘showd be... ‘Made. “where: the at Cistic Fequirements of the’ subjects;ean, best. be. realized: And:thirdly. major : Anterest. of tlie pto=.— ple who. finance: pictures : is. ‘to. go. where she bet value '. for the invested -doHar is, received. . ‘In the first instance. “I~ cannot: speak fir. the’ personal . , ‘desires. of ‘any stars neither ¢an: 1 .suppart. their attempts ~ a “to evade. the’ pay nient. of -American: taxes...F ani. proud, to”. ‘Such. ‘being. the. ‘case,: ‘it is.“{inderstandable, AM ‘ity: more. and’. more: non-writers. are: busy . writing ‘into faperceorders. | ar ' any ‘continually, astounded: at the calibre | ‘of people I: meet. : “who think they .can write: They are. multitude and it nevér -: ‘bean. Americgn: citizen -and. 'T.. Ray any Proper: “lanes. tos “Encle’ Sam inte usual” way’. While: decrying: the legislative: ; / approa¢ h ‘to ‘the: problem, « ‘1: Kallikak: Perhaps-a-few. cuts ‘below him. Week: after. Week 3 heartily Support ‘the Statement retently attributed fe. -Iemeet new ‘people. some-in the ‘country,-some in: ‘the: city, © cvand. J. note ‘that they. study me cur ously: and later T find out. that ‘they -have: gone. home: and started. Titing, It. is‘ .quite ‘clear. what. inspired ‘them: They Jooked ‘at: me and: ; “Ahey. said to themselves, “Well. if that: funny-looking ‘kook MCE. held in World-widefilmmaking, ° eer _ tan. anaké a ‘living: ‘aS a: writer. “then: I ought. to: beéome a. o millionaire. as‘a Writer.” They. comeé Hack to me eventually,” with ‘their. grubby -out-of-kilter ‘manuscripts, 2 Lo singlespaced | and: “‘smudged ‘and ‘aswarm Mith, Misspellings “I . and: gramniatical atrocities; -and. they’ ‘offer nie. a: percent-. wage ofthe take if T3‘dress. the, SuUIE uP’ and: “Bet: it -Pubished: I ‘strangle them. . All of this’ leads" meta. fav ‘that ¢ helicge! logic al or r not, : we George: ‘Stevens’ in, w hich he: suggested: that ‘all ‘people: in: ..the .industry—individuals, ‘guilds, * unioris “and: artistsmale oF . should caiefully consider : ‘the: situation. : cand try: to figure” oe “out a-way. in. Which. Holly wood can: regain. the, initiative it: would’, certainly -: help. Fhe greatest “Gone ‘With -the .. Wind?’.Ain “American ‘Story, it ‘was: ‘made. ‘in: ‘Anicrica.” “can: story. for -one of its summitpr ojects,such. as: SIGNET: ‘flow. the West. ‘Was. Won?” °..-: Perhaps. a. ‘greater: flexibility.: ‘is neéded. in. “the coiitraets!, “hetween: ‘inion’: andproducers.‘as: has® Been: isaids'-.. Perhaps.:. toa, a. Clearer. understanding.‘Of the’: ‘problem = American’ Government grant. subSidies. ‘to. filmakers.. ‘as-@-" ‘number, 6£: European. companies. are.-doing.: Stieh? sub-. a “Sides.” doubtless: Would inviteartistic’ contral,”" something: &. that. ‘every: ‘Creative: artist. abhors: :. And; ‘perhaps my’ viewpoints ‘only ‘scive. to. éabstantiate = ree the fact that F:am aviat-the late JamésAgec ‘Vikéd ‘to-eall, " mea -natural-born | . antiauthoritarian _ Andiv vidualistic. cMibertarian,: Without Hortfolio.” " ; in.the ..° World. but: Ihave discovered. that: good. men work: exe. carer ; tremely: well ‘together. anywhere. While technicians’ of 2.200 ¢. other. countries. leain. much * ‘from Hollywood: experts and": ery Pa the “Hollywood “technicians. ine oo to /-yaviably‘learn something: Atom their. foreln: co\yorkers arr ny 00 a “by. doctors: whe. want, the: human 1 race: 'to ‘cure “its ills by. a ‘dosing’ itself. with a mixture of. foal s. mule and Persimmon’ ; > As‘a director and writer, 1° ‘must: support the atiisti¢ad ae ‘ yantageés: of trie-locale filming: ote Fremthie’ third standpcint,. my joyaliy te ie industry t . : +, bélieve.. in, so. Strongly. leaves meno. other: choice, but tg ae a Support, the men who make’ its’ existence: ‘possible, . ot A gr ‘eater emphasis on.the ¢hoice’ of Americ an Subjects for big -pictures® ‘As.amatter ‘of fact, W ‘ould. not: consider Inaking: ‘a pice: fe ture. ‘ayay. trom -Nollywood:. Without ° havin. ‘a eertain’ ‘-mumber of. ‘Kev. mMén “fromHollywood arowid rie. -Holly=. ° During the: pr duction: ot: -Brevid™ our. : Halls Wood deters. _ nerds and ‘the Englisn.‘French. ‘Get man: and Austrian , members. ad ize ,employmtent. is down, Another reveals: that Hatly wood ‘pros ~ I on, thé part: Gf. ‘Washington nijght-help. 1 can't. say;-. hows"! 2: " ever,. ‘that T-am,‘in: accord. With: ‘the’. suggestion: “that. ‘the ~ ee -sWednesday;. ‘Yang 10, ‘j0e2: : : we . RERUN NUT ATSIC ET NCVTEION Shes ys , Efi : Runaway | Or Progress? i : Tf we believe inthe: Right’ to: Work: ‘hen. We ‘chowld ae a ‘believe that anyone ‘Kas: the right. to: Work: any: ‘place in the :. "such a ‘brilliant cameraman’ as Mexico's Gabi ied Figueroa. ne fae : “it’s Jmade’ ‘in. eS Hawaii or: ‘Hindustan: helps’: ‘our: motion * picture indtistry: SO ee ~The. dollars ‘it produces ‘lielp’ ‘to ‘Eeplenigh® ‘the. Hollywood ~ meet . coffers so: that other: pictures: can: ‘be: made, by: “Alolly Wood: o ", companies. ane eT And: every Holly eGodcbaced ‘pic “tire nade” siren a: ‘prore Mideésjobs. for. Hollywaod technicanis:: jobs. w hi¢h. in’ Many? Cases, would not have, been‘, available. ‘lo: them: “OlbéEN ise. “whight/he cited as” es Bh case in. point: During’ the. fouir Years: it, was in prepara-"..” 2 ‘tion, 1 know: 6f,,thrceinstaiiegs:: Whet ‘Etikopean. producers.” . wie deg a ; t ‘ } a of thers: ‘ate rip: froin. degra dation: books, ‘sonte “py sitter M ere, prepared ‘to fake ‘it if 1. abandoned the idea. :But-be|. +. : drunk: actresses who ‘have taken the.’ veil. ‘others‘by ,ex-hop: heads; .Avhetlrey ‘they: be*-boxers ‘or’ radié ‘announces or. ‘mildewed. ‘beatniks: There. are books by fat: lady Parasités, a living. ‘off :the. soft underbelly.. Of: big-ess. Socicty.. whether .'In “Washington: or New. York: or. Europé.: ‘There. -dre books... ‘bY Tapists: ‘accupying deéath. cells, and: by. junkies who play Jocales. it was’ made ‘in Austria ‘and Geriiaay. Ag a result, 0", a’. considerable: humber™ of’. Hoilywoad | Avchinicians ; and: .. three /Holl¥wvood stars. were engaged. ints its.‘production, we ee sould, or ta Tay. ‘it's impossible to refute: the ‘argue | a the er er “Perhaps: ‘every “studio might. profitably. sét: up an. Ameri* ce, an