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Goldwyn: A Biography Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Goldwyn: A Biography

    Samuel Goldwyn is renowned as one of Hollywood's most influential movie moguls. He was the premiere fantasy maker of the early twentieth century. Among the most famous films that he produced were "Wuthering Heights" in 1939, "Arrowsmith" in 1931, and "The Little Foxes" in 1941. He made his final film in 1959, and the film starred Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., and Pearl Bailey. The film was a version of the George Gershwin opera "Porgy and Bess", and the film would be nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one. The "Porgy and Bess" film would bomb at the box office, however, and Goldwyn would be immensely disappointed. Goldwyn could be a ruthless and fearsome businessman, with a terrible temper that resulted in him having very few friends, but Goldwyn was also a visionary in the film industry.
    The exact date of his birth is unknown for certain, but Goldwyn was born Schmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Poland circa 1881. After he emigrated to Birmingham, England, he changed his name to Samuel Goldfish. Goldwyn would emigrate to North America in 1898, first to Nova Scotia, then moving to New York in 1899. During the early twentieth century, the film industry was in its infancy, but was expanding at an incredible rate. Goldwyn would try to see every movie possible, and would be inspired to produce his first movie with his brother-in-law Jesse Lasky, and Adolph Zukor, who was a theater owner. The three men hired a young director named Cecil B. DeMille to direct this movie, and the company that these men found would go on to become Paramount Pictures. In 1916, Goldwyn would enter into a partnership with two men named Edgar and Archibald Selwyn. It was after meeting these two men that Samuel Goldfish, as he was still called at this time, would legally change his name to Samuel Goldwyn, and this is the name which everyone would come to know him by.
    Samuel Goldwyn would die in 1972 in Los Angeles, California at the age of ninety-two.
This report prepared by Nathaniel Ford








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Chapter Analysis of Goldwyn: A Biography

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Plot & Themes

Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Story of entertainer?    -   Director/Producer Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California Misc setting    -   Fancy Mansion Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A ton 16-20 B&W How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   51%-75% of book

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