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Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America Hardcover – Jan 12 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Jan. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246583
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 17 x 4.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #931,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A complicated portrait of a complicated man." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Peter Biskind is the author of five previous books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine. He lives with his family in Columbia County, New York.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was really impressed with this book. It was a great read and very meticulously researched. It gives insight into not only Beatty's personal life but also the movie making process in general.

I didn't know much about Beatty and I haven't seen many of his movies but I needn't have worried with this book. If you're a fan of movies in general, you will find the behind-the-scenes negotations between the studio heads interesting.

The only negative things I would say are:(a) there is a lot of talk about politics (Beatty is a huge fan) and I'm not that interested in the subject matter and (b) the book doesn't touch on much of his childhood or relationship with his sister, Shirley MacLaine, which I would have found interesting.

Besides those two points (which aren't exactly the author's fault given Beatty's interests and reclusive nature), I would recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful fascinating read! Wow the 70's were the right time for some people to be in the prime of life!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4b9e12c) out of 5 stars 45 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa540fca8) out of 5 stars Much More Than an Entertainment Bio Jan. 26 2010
By IVE - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Biskind is a reknowned film writer who has a special affinity for the 1960s and 70s, a time when the movie industry experienced a tectonic shift and Warren Beatty was at its epicenter. Beatty is perhaps the single greatest example of a living artist who straddled both "old" and "new" Hollywood, so a complete bio of him serves also as a historical document of the evolution of film making. Readers seeking nothing more than sexual gossip will likely be somewhat disappointed, as Beatty's legendary exploits are presented against the much larger canvas of his arduous, sometimes decades-long struggles to bring films such as Reds to fruition. In Biskind's capable hands Beatty transcends easy categorization and is revealed to be fiercely intelligent, visionary, and eccentric -- in other words, very complex and much like the era in which he rose to prominence. I found Star to be a compelling read and, in the end, a most respectful attempt to capture the man in full.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa540fef4) out of 5 stars Good Commentary on Movie-Making Jan. 21 2010
By Book Lover - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More interesting that Warren Beatty's conquests, beyond-belief narcissism and generally callous behavior toward his colleagues is what is revealed about the challenges of getting a movie to the screen. If you are interested in the larger overview of movie-making, getting through the more superficial stuff is worth the effort.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa540feb8) out of 5 stars A conundrum wrapped in an enigma Jan. 19 2010
By wogan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Both the book `Star' and the subject itself, Warren Beatty seem to be filled with contradictions. Peter Biskind gives Beatty credit for what he says are his unmatched successes, but then on the same page will write of the flops and terrible difficulties Warren creates for those who surround him, both professionally and in his love affairs. The contradictions are constant, even those who hate him can't help but liking him. As stories of Beatty's life in Hollywood are explained, they are followed with statements such as: "Beatty now insists that none of this ever happened...and in 1971, when asked if it was true, Beatty said, 'Probably. Possibly'."
Of course the book has details of Beatty's many affairs, but then as Biskind also explains in his introduction, he decided not to include Warren's marriage with Annette Bening, so if you are looking for that part of Beatty's life it is not included, nor is his life before the movie 'Splendor in the Grass'. What is integrated are the details of Beatty's professional career and the difficulties that developed on his movie sets.
This is not really a personal biography since those close to him, his sister, his friends and most of his former lovers will not give interviews. Most of the details are professional and concern his ability to bed almost any woman who crosses his path. Even though Beatty gave permission for this book, he has, like many others before him who authorize biographies then disputed some of what is written.
The cover proclaims "How Warren Beatty seduced America". That question is really never answered; but if you are a fan of Warren Beatty or someone who wishes to read about the moviemaking process and Hollywood community you might enjoy the 600+ pages of information contained in this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b063cc) out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it, but ... Feb. 21 2012
By Noneofyourbiz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
... came away wondering if Beatty deserved *this* much analysis.

Oh, I'm a fan. I LOVED Bonnie and Clyde, Heaven Can Wait and Bugsy. I appreciated Bullworth, Shampoo and Reds. I enjoyed reading about how these films came to be. Those are six very good films.

Consider Paul Newman or especially Robert Redford, Beatty's contemporary and, it seems, his chief competitor. (I love how whenever the aging Beatty met someone who worked with the equally aging Redford, he'd get all catty and ask, "How's his skin?") When thinking of those two, I'd be hard put to limit myself to six films that rocked me.

So then you realize that it isn't just what's on film that makes Beatty fascinating. It's also his prodigious, legendary love life. And it's covered in some detail here. I was surprised by the vulgarity of much of it, because Beatty is so reticent and classy in personal interviews. But I wasn't offended ... At least not by the women.

I was offended by the laissez-faire attitude both Beatty and his biographer display toward David McLeod. Beatty's cousin and personal assistant was a serial child molester and fugitive who was found dead after years on the lam in Canada. The book seems to take the view that McLeod was the victim, not the young people he exploited. And that is appalling.

I also wonder where Annette Bening fits into this. While she was the one who got the Great Seducer to walk down the aisle, she is not presented as any more interesting or important to Beatty than Diane Keaton or Leslie Caron or Joan Collins or Natalie Wood, and perhaps a bit less interesting or important to him than Joyce Hyser, Michelle Phillips and Julie Christie. So why Annette? She's portrayed as more suitable as a wife and mother than Madonna, but then, who's not? And why on earth did Bening say yes? How did she decide to trust this man who so openly cheated on so many? The book would have benefited from more of Bening's view of this relationship.

So while I enjoyed the book and was sorry to see it end, I finished it wondering, "What was the point?"
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b066c0) out of 5 stars Brilliant biography--entertaining and smart! Jan. 12 2010
By Lucyisme - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Never thought I would read a Beatty bio from cover to cover! I could not put this book down. Biskind is one of few fearless journalists
writing about Hollywood. Is Beatty a Star? Yes and No. Not exactly. Maybe? Definitely! There are no simple answers in this brilliant book.
A must read for anyone who loves movies. Love is a complex thing--especially for Warren Beatty.