By Neal Gabler
Publish yr note; First released September 1st 1988
Winner of the Los Angeles Times ebook Award for background, this "wonderful background of the golden age of the motion picture moguls" (Chicago Tribune ) is a provocative, unique, and richly pleasing team biography of the Jewish immigrants who have been the relocating forces in the back of the construction of America's movie industry.
From the alternate Paperback edition.
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Extra resources for An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood
At first—very first, before “the movies” were the nation’s dominant form of entertainment—agents worked with studio bosses, relieving them of such mounting procedural and housekeeping chores as payrolls, talent scouting, and the matching of available clients to similarly available film projects. It was all very friendly, but as agents developed their own power base, the relationship became adversarial. In 1925, there were fewer than twelve agencies listed in Hollywood directories, so one could almost empathize with Clara Bow, nationally famous “It” girl, and her professional suffering.
ROWLAND PERKINS: Phil was gone, and then so was the promotion I had been hoping for. At that point, my loyalty to the place was gone, too. RON MEYER: Once we knew that Phil was going, I tried to convince Mike that the two of us should leave, even though I knew he had a big future at William Morris because they really liked him. After many conversations, the most Mike would say to me was “Maybe, but not for another year. We should get more clients, and put our business plan together. ” MICHAEL OVITZ: You have to realize at William Morris, there were two kinds of citizens: signers and servicers.
I wanted to get close to them, to understand how they work, and at the same time couple the creative process with the business process. I didn’t want to be a buyer. I wanted to learn it from the sell side, because if I was a buyer and worked at a studio, then I was working at only one place. But if I was an agent, then as a seller, I was able to go anywhere. RON MEYER: I was working at a men’s clothing store called Zeidler and Zeidler making about $35 a week, sharing an apartment with four other guys at some fleabag place in Hollywood.