David Geffen: A Biography of New Hollywood

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9780091802349: David Geffen: A Biography of New Hollywood

A biography of the successful Brooklyn-born Jewish music and film producer Geffen which covers four decades of Hollywood music and film-making. Geffen's films include Beetlejuice and he is currently working with Spielberg on Dream Works.

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DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, as portrayed by Wall Street Journal reporter Tom King, is in various ways a saint, a visionary, and an absolute maniac. In his saintly mode, Geffen both raises and gives record-breaking sums of money to AIDS foundations, advises and supports the President and progressive causes and races to visit old friends stricken with grief or illness (even the washed-up agent Sue Mengers, whose friendship could do him no earthly good).

As a visionary in the music, movie and Broadway theatre industries, Geffen orchestrates the sale of his record companies, which made him a billionaire, and brings you: Laura Nyro; Cats; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Tom Cruise; the Eagles; Nirvana; Bob Dylan; John Lennon; Guns N' Roses; Saving Private Ryan; and Joni Mitchell (who immortalised his deepest yearnings in her tune "Free Man in Paris"). But the most impressive and detailed portion of King's landmark biography is Geffen's performance as an entertainment entrepreneur, and in this capacity he is apparently a visionary and a maniac at the same time. Not only does he discover all manner of talents and works of art and hire the best hit-sniffers in the business, he also masters the fine Hollywood art of the Machiavellian tantrum. Geffen allegedly softens up his prey in a business deal by offering up disarming gossip about his own life--his traumatic courtship of Cher, or Marlo Thomas, perhaps, or the male prostitute he is said to have boasted about being in bed with the night John Lennon was shot. At some point, minutes or decades into an apparent friendship, Geffen is shown betraying anyone, even best friends and mentors, in his relentless quest for winning a deal. King's book provides a ringside seat; and it's fascinating to watch Tinseltown's titans slug it out in championship bouts, manoeuvring, lying, reuniting and seizing power like crazed Renaissance princes.

In one memorable encounter, Geffen protests that Sid Sheinberg of MCA is displeasing his DreamWorks colleague, Steven Spielberg. "David, stop screaming", says Sheinberg. "I'm not screaming!" Geffen screams. "David, you know what would make me happy?" says Speilberg. "Stop screaming". It turns out that Geffen doesn't even know the details of the deal in question. But nobody knows how to strike a deal--with mind and maniacal heart--like David Geffen. --Tim Appelo

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Book Description Hutchinson, 2000. Hardcover with dust jacket. Book Condition: Very good+. A biography of the successful Brooklyn-born Jewish music and film producer Geffen which covers four decades of Hollywood music and film-making. Geffen's films include Beetlejuice and he is currently working with Spielberg on Dream Works. 670 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 6420

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