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Evergreen: Victor Saville in His Own Words (2000) edited by Roy Moseley

author Victor Saville
editor Roy Moseley
publisher Southern Illinois University Press (August 2000)
ISBN 080932315X

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A founding father of British filmmaking, Victor Saville created such classics as "I Was a Spy", "Evergreen", "Gooodbye, Mr. Chips", "The Mortal Storm", " A Woman's Face" and "Green Dolphin Street". Completed by Saville's collaborator, Hollywood biographer Roy Moseley, in the years following Saville's death in 1979, this book presents the filmmaker's memories of the development of the film industry in England and the United States, from the silent screen to "talkies", from black-and-white to Technicolor, from the golden age of Hollywood to the rise of television. Born in Birmingham in 1879, Saville started small in the film business after being discharged from his unit in World War I following an injury. Working first for a distribution company, Saville was exposed to the earliest British silent films as well as imported "blockbusters" such as "The Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance" by D.W. Griffith. In 1922, he ventured to Hollywood to persuade silent film star Betty Compson to star in his first film, "Woman to Woman", ultimately made with the assistance of Alfred Hitchcock in his first film job as assistant art director. He came to Hollywood permanently in 1941 when Louis B. Mayer invited him to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His memoir provides an intimate and detailed look at Saville's long relationships with studio moguls Mayer and Alexander Korda and his work with an impressive list of film stars, including Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Hedy Lamarr, Margaret Sullivan, Ingrid Bergman, Jeanette MacDonald, Lana Turner, Deborah Kerr, Elizabeth Taylor, Errol Flynn and Paul Newman. Saville's circle of personal friends in Hollywood, where he lived with his wife, Phoebe, from 1941 to 1955, includ This work takes the reader behind the scenes of film's golden age to reveal the tensions and power plays involved in studio filmmaking and struggles with stars, studios, and, many times, film censors, as well as the intricacies of early production, direction and distribution methods.



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