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Joseph P. Kennedy presents : his Hollywood years
Cari Beauchamp
Adult Nonfiction E748.K376 B43 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The legendary financier and Kennedy-clan patriarch impressed even Hollywood with his heartlessness, according to this meticulous but chilly narrative of his stint as a movie mogul. Entertainment journalist Beauchamp (Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood) follows Kennedy's 1926-1931 sojourn in the movie industry, when he amassed several studios and theater chains that became the nucleus of RKO Studios. Beauchamp's Kennedy is a charming, ruthless snake with a " 'dollar sign implanted in his heart,' " who used, betrayed and discarded a string of investors, stockholders, friends, employees and stars, including his longtime mistress, Gloria Swanson. That's Hollywood, but Kennedy, in Beauchamp's portrayal, lacked a crucial redeeming feature-the eye for talent and feel for moviemaking that led other studio chiefs to nurture great films along with great fortunes. Caring more about the biz than the show, he gutted his studios' creative potential through ruthless cost cutting and layoffs; the author's styling of him as a "visionary" empire builder rings hollow given how casually he disposed of his squeezed-dry holdings. Beauchamp adds a touch of Tinseltown glamour to her account of Kennedy's byzantine deal making and financial schemes, but he's not a lead that audiences will warm to. Photos. (Feb. 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Joseph P. Kennedy, father of JFK, was also a fascinating businessman: in the late 1920s, having already established himself in Boston as a banker and entrepreneur, he sought and found success as a Hollywood producer. Here, Beauchamp (Without Lying Down) draws on contracts, letters, and memos to tell the story of Kennedy's career, projects, and relationships during this time. Pam Ward's (The Sky Took Him) narration is clear and expressive; the reedy Boston accent she employs when voicing Kennedy is dead-on hilarious. Recommended for those interested in the Kennedys and for movie history and popular culture buffs. [Audio clip available through www.blackstoneaudio.com; the review of the Knopf hc deemed this "the first in-depth look at [Kennedy's] years in Hollywood," LJ 1/09.-Ed.]-Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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