Turner Classic Movies
Hollywood Stories
Written by Stephen Schochet   

 Review by Diana Saenger

hollywood_stories_200.jpgAnyone who has tuned into TMZ, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight or other shows that revolve around Hollywood gossip or news bits about celebrities will love Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! Author Stephen Schochet, who's been a tour guide in Hollywood for 20 years, has used his career and accessibility to behind the scenes trivia about famous stars and Hollywood in general to pen his  book.

Yearning to know some insider gossip about John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando or Errol Flynn? This is the book for you.

One of the things I like best about Hollywood Stories is the ability to pick it up and read sections whenever I can steal a moment here and there. The book is divided into chapters that include Oscar Tales; Hollywood Comedians; Western Vignettes, Silents to Talkies; drinking tales, Singers and Dancers and more.

From early Hollywood stunts, how movie stars got their start or their name, to putting some of famous Hollywood myths to rest, Schochet provides hours of great trivia. For instance: Did you know that actress Greta Garbo once panicked and was unable to continue working after encountering three mysterious men on a film set? Schochet reveals who those infamous men were. Anyone know that French director Robert Florey thought working with the Marx Brothers on The Coconuts (1929) was a nightmare? Schochet reveals that Frank Sinatra was very generous. He would read stories in the newspaper about hard-luck cases and anonymously send them a few c-notes.

Fans of classic Hollywood will adore the many tales Schochet reveals about Hollywood trivia, but there are also great tidbits about contemporary stars. In one chapter Schochet mentions a time when Hollywood's honorary mayor Johnny Grant, a well-known icon in the golden era of Hollywood, got Tom Cruise to work some special events.

Schochet adds another interesting aspect to this book in many sections that he labels as "Extras." These are paragraphs that include another element about the star of movie mentioned in a preceding paragraph. Examples: Walt Disney hated to repeat himself. In the 1940s Jack Warner instituted a strict no-booze rule at his studio. For many years visitors to Jack Nicholson's Mulholland mansion would fine a vase near the front door with ripped up one-hundred bills inside. Get a copy of this fascinating book to find out why and also read more of Hollywood's best and sometime worst moments.

The only thing missing in this book are visuals. Photos of some of these stars or films would have been desert to a fine entrée.

Schochet is also the host of the syndicated one-minute radio feature, Hollywood Stories and is the author of two audio books, Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney.

€¢ Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies!

€¢ Hollywood Stories Publishing 2010

€¢ SBN: 978-0-9638972-2

€¢ 312 pages

€¢ $24.95




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