Book Recommendation: C.W.T.G.M.O.H.G.A.A.T.A.F.I.

Conversations with The Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age at the American Film Institute

Bearing the unwieldiest of titles, Conversations with The Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age at the American Film Institute nevertheless deserves a spot on your summer reading list. AFI founder George Stevens Jr. collects interviews with many of Hollywood’s great directors, plus a handful of cinematographers and writers, and a few foreign directors as well. Drawn from the AFI’s renowned seminars, each is a delight. And I’m only thirty pages in so far.

I’d buy the book just for a particular gem from Raoul Walsh. While making In Old Arizona (1928), a freak accident resulted in the loss of his eye. When doctors asked if he’d like to have it replaced with a glass one, he snapped, “Hell no. Everytime I’d get in a fight, I’d have to put it in my pocket.” He wore a black eyepatch for the rest of his life. (Note to self: track down his autobiography, Each Man In His Time. He’s got a lot of great stories. Sadly, the book is currently out of print.)

Check out this great list of interviewees:

  • Harold Lloyd
  • Raoul Walsh
  • King Vidor
  • Fritz Lang
  • Frank Capra
  • Howard Hawks
  • James Wong Howe
  • Mervyn LeRoy
  • Rouben Mamoulian
  • George Folsey
  • William Wyler
  • George Stevens
  • William Clothier
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • George Cukor
  • Billy Wilder
  • John Huston
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Elia Kazan
  • Fred Zinnemann
  • David Lean
  • Stanley Cortez
  • Robert Wise
  • Ernest Lehman
  • Gene Kelly
  • Richard Brooks
  • Stanley Kramer
  • Hal Wallis
  • Jean Renoir
  • Federico Fellini
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Satyajit Ray

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Senses of Cinema article on Raoul Walsh by Tag Gallagher

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One Response to Book Recommendation: C.W.T.G.M.O.H.G.A.A.T.A.F.I.

  1. Bob Turnbull says:

    I’m on page 192 myself (the George Folsey section)…B-)

    I haven’t seen any of Mamoulian’s films, but he had a very entertaining section (quite the character). I’m not much a Capra fan, but it was interesting to hear how he approached his films. Many of the directors take a black/white stance on certain film philosophies which is a bit surprising, but they all have pretty strong personalities so perhaps not…

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