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A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

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A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, and an insider’s account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century   The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, and Creed. His films have been nominated for f A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, and an insider’s account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century   The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, and Creed. His films have been nominated for fifty-two Academy Awards, including five movies for Best Picture, and have won twelve. Winkler’s new film Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, opening fall 2018, will be followed by Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, a major mafia saga for Netflix starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. In A Life in Movies, his charming and insightful memoir, Winkler tells the stories of his career through his many films as a producer and then as a writer and director, charting the changes in Hollywood over the past decades. Winkler started in the famous William Morris mailroom and made his first film—starring Elvis—in the last days of the old studio system. Beginning in the late 1960s, and then for decades to come, he produced a string of provocative and influential films, making him one of the most critically lauded, prolific, and commercially successful producers of his era. This is an engrossing and candid book, a beguiling exploration of what it means to be a producer, including purchasing rights, developing scripts, casting actors, managing directors, editing film, and winning awards.Filled with tales of legendary and beloved films, as well as some not-so-legendary and forgotten ones, A Life in Movies takes readers behind the scenes and into the history of Hollywood.


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A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, and an insider’s account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century   The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, and Creed. His films have been nominated for f A rollicking autobiography from the legendary producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, and an insider’s account of making movies in Hollywood over half a century   The list of films Irwin Winkler has produced in his more-than-fifty-year career is extraordinary: Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, De-Lovely, The Right Stuff, and Creed. His films have been nominated for fifty-two Academy Awards, including five movies for Best Picture, and have won twelve. Winkler’s new film Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, opening fall 2018, will be followed by Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, a major mafia saga for Netflix starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. In A Life in Movies, his charming and insightful memoir, Winkler tells the stories of his career through his many films as a producer and then as a writer and director, charting the changes in Hollywood over the past decades. Winkler started in the famous William Morris mailroom and made his first film—starring Elvis—in the last days of the old studio system. Beginning in the late 1960s, and then for decades to come, he produced a string of provocative and influential films, making him one of the most critically lauded, prolific, and commercially successful producers of his era. This is an engrossing and candid book, a beguiling exploration of what it means to be a producer, including purchasing rights, developing scripts, casting actors, managing directors, editing film, and winning awards.Filled with tales of legendary and beloved films, as well as some not-so-legendary and forgotten ones, A Life in Movies takes readers behind the scenes and into the history of Hollywood.

30 review for A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Noble

    If you are interested in the behind-the-scenes effort that goes in to film-making, then this is the memoir for you. Packed with stories from behind the camera from films such as Goodfellas, Rocky, and the Wolf of Wall Street, this is an interesting read. I had some idea of the deal-making of Hollywood, but not the sheer scale of it and how many things can go wrong, meaning a film doesn't get made after all. Best of all, I now have a list of films to watch, some of which I hadn't heard of before. If you are interested in the behind-the-scenes effort that goes in to film-making, then this is the memoir for you. Packed with stories from behind the camera from films such as Goodfellas, Rocky, and the Wolf of Wall Street, this is an interesting read. I had some idea of the deal-making of Hollywood, but not the sheer scale of it and how many things can go wrong, meaning a film doesn't get made after all. Best of all, I now have a list of films to watch, some of which I hadn't heard of before. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Abrams Press, for the opportunity to review an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    For those of us who love film this is a fine look at the career of Irwin Winkler who was responsible for some of the best films ever made. Winkler takes us through his career film by film and gives the reader capsule views of the difficulties and triumphs of making each of his movies. I must admit to liking the backstories of some of my favorites, including GOODFELLAS and De-Lovely. Great anecdotes about stars, producers, directors and writers. It was fun to reflect with Winkler on his incredibl For those of us who love film this is a fine look at the career of Irwin Winkler who was responsible for some of the best films ever made. Winkler takes us through his career film by film and gives the reader capsule views of the difficulties and triumphs of making each of his movies. I must admit to liking the backstories of some of my favorites, including GOODFELLAS and De-Lovely. Great anecdotes about stars, producers, directors and writers. It was fun to reflect with Winkler on his incredible career and contributions to film.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Will

    Note: I was loaned a digital ARC copy of this title by Edelweiss and the publisher in return for my honest review. Winkler has been involved in some of Hollywood’s most interesting projects and his insight is both interesting and entertaining. This is a man who has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names (Presley, Fonda, Reynolds, Scorsese, De Niro, Bullock, Moore, Stallone, the list goes on and on) on some of the most well-known movies of all time (all the Rocky movies, Raging Bull, Last T Note: I was loaned a digital ARC copy of this title by Edelweiss and the publisher in return for my honest review. Winkler has been involved in some of Hollywood’s most interesting projects and his insight is both interesting and entertaining. This is a man who has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names (Presley, Fonda, Reynolds, Scorsese, De Niro, Bullock, Moore, Stallone, the list goes on and on) on some of the most well-known movies of all time (all the Rocky movies, Raging Bull, Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas…) It’s written chronologically, focusing on each of his movies. His stories are incredibly interesting, giving background and context to some of my favorite movies. Still, his writing is sometimes difficult to follow. He blows through everything so quickly and I often wished there were moments he explored more fully. As well, there’s a dizzying number of names being thrown around. Often, he’ll tell a story about someone, will quickly jump to what that person ends up doing in the future, and then goes right back to where he was in the original story. This is a man who knew what he loved and who took chances, some that paid off and some that didn’t. And that’s one of the things that I found made this book different from a lot of other Hollywood-esque autobiographies—the author is able to admit both the things he did right and the things he didn’t. Despite his tremendous success in the business, there’s no over blown egos and no taking credit for everything that came his way. One great example—he decided to pass over Francis Ford Coppola for The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, thinking he wouldn’t be able to manage a mafia movie. He says, “I haven’t seen The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight since 1972, and I see The Godfather, directed by the man I couldn’t imagine directing a gangster film, every chance I get.” Though not perfectly written, this book is definitely worth the time of anyone who an interested in learning more about the Hollywood experiences of one of the most prolific producers/directors/writers of the last 50 years.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

    I won an Uncorrected Proof of A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood by Irwin Winkler from Goodreads. Irwin Winkler shares with readers his fascinating journey through five decades of producing and directing films in his book, A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood. Readers are given an insider's view of the behind-the-scenes negotiations and other efforts to finance and launch a movie as Winkler describes his efforts step-by-step with each of his incredible films. The I won an Uncorrected Proof of A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood by Irwin Winkler from Goodreads. Irwin Winkler shares with readers his fascinating journey through five decades of producing and directing films in his book, A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood. Readers are given an insider's view of the behind-the-scenes negotiations and other efforts to finance and launch a movie as Winkler describes his efforts step-by-step with each of his incredible films. The narration is easy to follow and feels like a friendly conversation. Film buffs will enjoy not only the background information, but also the details concerning famous actors and directors as they consider movie scripts, and then reject or accept offers to create a film. Irwin Winkler's memories will certainly inspire readers to create their own must-see movies list.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This is a personal memoir of a man who was in the heart of the movie industry for many, many years. The book is chock full of behind-the-scene stories of some of Hollywood's greatest successes (and a few of its not so impressive moments). It is the story of a bold and charismatic man who seems real and interesting. I doubt we will see another with his long creative history. I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jean Railla

    A light, fun read about old school Hollywood producing by someone who seems like a good guy. I genuinely liked the author and enjoyed hearing about how he made his way from Coney Island to Beverly Hills. There is nothing too contrived, illicit or scandalous, which was refreshing. Would be a fun beach read for a film buff.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    I’m rounding up from 4.5 stars. I frankly liked this book more than I like most of his movies. A fast breezy memoir of a life in movies. Most importantly he seems like a genuinely nice guy.. a nice respite from the news. If you’re interested in movies give it a gander.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A delight Insight and anecdotes from a remarkable career. A breezy read. Very candid. Winkler is kind of like a more accomplished Zelig.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I really liked how the book was told chronologically by movie year so I could go along that 50 year journey because as I learned in the book some movies were decades in the making. I had never heard of Irwin Winkler before but learning about his work was very interesting as I have seen and enjoyed several of his movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street and The Net. It was fun to read all the behind the scenes stories but I would have also liked to know more about Winkler personally.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terry McCarty

    Compact overview of a career as producer/director which began in the twilight years of the studio system and continues in the age of Netflix.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim Hanks

    Irwin Winkler takes us on a stroll through his career as a Hollywood producer and director. The book is thankfully short of biographical content and gets straight to the movies. We learn so much about each film from the great success of the Rocky franchise to Winkler's enduring collaboration with Martin Scorsese. With a career spanning 50 years there are many great anecdotes here from behind the scenes, and Irwin Winkler tells them very well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Beaver

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jzuchero

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lewie F Smith

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ratko R.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cgay Hon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jack Rathie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Weinstein

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert J. Barth

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Harveston

  23. 5 out of 5

    Will Harahan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ferenc Vész

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shane Jonathan Collins

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  27. 5 out of 5

    Web Barr

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dean Balser

  29. 5 out of 5

    Todd Klick

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sjpinnow

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