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This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me Hardcover – Oct 27 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books; 1 edition (Oct. 27 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552632113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552632116
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mikeydu on Sept. 2 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a fascinating book that holds our interest. I am going to watch Norman Jewison's movies again with a greater appreciation. Just could not put it down!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Director of 'Moonstruck', 'In the Heat of the Night' and other memorable films has written his autobiography Sept. 12 2005
By S. P. Mcclintock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I finished this in three days and found it to be a fine book. Between 1965 and 1968 Norman Jewison directed 'The Cincinnati Kid', 'The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming','In the Heat of the Night' and the original 'The Thomas Crown Affair'. The book is at its best covering those years and those films. Chapters on 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Moonstruck' were not quite as successful. The most recent films-'Other People's Money','Only You' and 'Hurricane'-were treated rather briskly.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Self-Important Director Uses Autobiography to Praise Himself June 6 2009
By Mediaman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book's title says it all--for director Norman Jewison it's all about "me." This autobiography goes through his life film-by-film but the author reveals little of himself other than to praise pretty much everything he does. He takes credit for almost any success that occurs in any of his films. Meanwhile, he ignores his major flaws and as a Canadian manages to slam the United States that gave him so much opportunity.

If you are looking for a tell-all about backstage drama or affairs with stars, this isn't it. The director is careful to control all the images in the book so that he never appears to be the bad guy and only rarely makes any kind of bad decision. He spins movies that were not that good into self-perceived classics. He overlooks the fact that he wrecked some films (most notably Fiddler on the Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar--though today people don't recall the original outcry over Jewison's bizarre adaptations) and instead chooses to focus on his own brilliance.

This would have been much better if he would have opened up and revealed more of himself. His lack of vulnerability results in stories that don't reveal much about the films he made. Steve McQueen was standoffish, so the director tells of how he talked McQueen into thinking of him as an "older brother" and suddenly he was in McQueen's "inner circle." Okay--but there's nothing very interesting about that. What about some inside stories about his time with the star instead? He says Doris Day didn't think she was pretty and would refuse to come to the set--so he would go to her trailer and comfort her. Okay--he plays himself off as the hero again, but there isn't anything interesting or insightful about that story either.

The book is page after page of the director giving rather insignificant information about his directing of films and actors, always making himself look good. There is no real perspective or inner revelations. When he fails (such as unable to get Mae West to star in one of his films) he doesn't deal with the failure and instead makes others look bad (slamming Mae West's home or her desire to change the script).

The most interesting part is the fact that he isn't Jewish--though most people assume he is. He doesn't deal with that issue much either and it would have made for some interesting insights into the Hollywood community. He glosses over the chance to deal with his own spirituality and instead does a little political ranting about how terrible America was in the 1960s (he even sent his family's green cards back to the U.S. government in protest and they left the country!). This is a man filled with self-importance, one who lacks humility and doesn't show much appreciation to others for his good fortune.

Fiddler has a line that says something like "the rabbi who praises himself has a congregation of one." In this case Jewison appears to be writing to his audience of one--himself.
4 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Southerner Got My Money Dec 25 2005
By Ms_Scout - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book in the book store the other night and almost bought it. Norman Jewison was on the TCM documentary of Steve McQueen, seemed like a nice guy with some fascinating stories, and I thought it would be interesting to read about his career and all the celebrities he has worked with.

I thumbed through the book, reading bits and pieces. On the back cover was a praising review from Gore Vidal - Strike 1. Below that was a praising review from Cher - Strike 2. Inside was a picture of Jewison with Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas - Strike 3. Not to mention the book states John Wayne supposedly called Jewison a "pinko Canadian." Also not to mention a few other things I found offensive. I put the book back on the shelf, kept looking and wound up buying "Capote," about the life of Truman Capote. He was a Southerner, a writer, hob-nobbed with the rich and famous, and on the back book cover it said he had a feud with Gore Vidal. Home run.

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