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Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era

by James Bawden and Ron Miller

Availablepaperback$24.95 978-0-8131-7438-9
Availablecloth$45.00s 978-0-8131-6710-7
Screen Classics
440 pages  Pubdate: 10/20/2017  6 x 9  100 b&w photos

James Bawden: Seeing the way people behave when they’re around you, is it still fun being Cary Grant?

Cary Grant: I don’t like to disappoint people. Because he’s a completely made-up character and I’m playing a part. It’s a part I’ve been playing a long time, but no way am I really Cary Grant. A friend told me once, “I always wanted to be Cary Grant.” And I said, “So did I.”—from the book

In Conversations with Classic Film Stars, retired journalists James Bawden and Ron Miller present an astonishing collection of rare interviews with the greatest celebrities of Hollywood’s golden age. Conducted over the course of more than fifty years, they recount intimate conversations with some of the most famous leading men and women of the era, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joseph Cotten, Cary Grant, Gloria Swanson, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young, Kirk Douglas, and many more.

Each interview takes readers behind the scenes with some of cinema’s most iconic stars. The actors convey unforgettable stories, from Maureen O’Hara discussing Charles Laughton’s request that she change her last name, to Bob Hope candidly commenting on the presidential honors bestowed upon him. Humorous, enlightening, and poignant, Conversations with Classic Film Stars is essential reading for anyone who loves classic movies.

James Bawden, former TV columnist for the Toronto Star, is renowned for his distinguished profiles of movie stars and directors. He has written for Films in Review and numerous cinema magazines.

Ron Miller was TV editor of the San Jose Mercury News from 1977–1999 and a syndicated columnist for the Knight Ridder News Service. A former national president of the Television Critics Association and a recipient of the National Headliner Award, he is currently an instructor at the Academy for Lifelong Learning at Western Washington University.

“[A] dazzlingly entertaining new book. . . a treasure trove of info, scintillating gossip and outright, downright dishing. -- Liz Smith -- New York Social Diary

Conversations with Classic Film Stars serves as a significant portrait of Hollywood history. Highly recommended. -- Library Journal

Even if you’re very familiar with the star being interviewed there is always some hidden jewel of information to discover. Conversations with Classic Film Stars was a quick enjoyable read. This book is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to invest their time in full-scale biographies but still wants to learn something new and interesting about their favorite stars. . . . Conversations with Classic Film Stars would make a great gift for someone who is just starting to develop a love for old Hollywood or for someone who has had a lifelong passion for classic movies. -- Out of the Past

In Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood''s Golden Era, journalists James Bawden and Ron Miller provide a fascinating collection of career reflections from many Tinseltown names. -- Bay Area Reporter

It’s utterly amazing how two men were able to sit down with so many legends, from Gloria Swanson to Cary Grant and Luise Rainier. . . . Conversations with Classic Film Stars is the de facto book for classic film fans. It’s the closest many of us will ever come to sitting down with such legends and picking their brain. Bawden and Miller present a wide range of stars, big and small, but treats each subject with the magnanimity we’d expect to see. -- Journeys in Classic Film

It’s utterly amazing how two men were able to sit down with so many legends, from Gloria Swanson to Cary Grant and Luise Rainier. -- Cinema Sentries

It is truly a time capsule for film fans. -- Louisville Courier-Journal

[A] wonderful masterpiece. -- The Southeastern Librarian

Bawden and Miller’s collection is a feast of nostalgia and insight into a never-to-be-repeated era of Hollywood history, and this book is a must for the bookshelf of any respecting film fan or potential Hollywood journalist. -- Cinema Retro

Bawden and Miller have both provided a great resource to learn more about these classic film stars. This book is recommended to anyone with an interest in film studies, or who has a fondness for movies from the Golden Era. -- Film Matters

Bawden and Miller offer a lively, informative set of interviews that they conducted originally over the years with an intriguing assortment of stars and leading (character) players from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Their interviews capture the flavor of the subjects and provide a sizable amount of useful information about the personalities themselves, their filmmaking, and life in Tinseltown. -- James Robert Parish, author of more than one hundred books about show business and Hollywood celebrities

Picking diligently through Conversations with Classic Film Stars, one catches a glimpse of a most human world indeed, as well as the qualities it took to stay afloat in it, let alone rise—some mixture of guts, talents, determination, outright lying, and the purest luck. For those who love classic movies, it’s nirvana. -- Sheila Benson, member of the National Society of Film Critics