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  • 20th Century-Fox

  • Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio
  • By: Scott Eyman
  • Narrated by: Suehyla El-Attar
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Scott Eyman, this is the story one of the most influential studios in film history, from its glory days under the leadership of legendary movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck up to its 2019 buyout by Disney.

March 20, 2019 marked the end of an era - Disney took ownership of the movie empire that was Fox. For almost a century before that historic date, Twentieth Century-Fox was one of the preeminent producers of films, stars, and filmmakers. Its unique identity in the industry and place in movie history is unparalleled - and one of the greatest stories to come out of Hollywood. 

One man, a legendary producer named Darryl F. Zanuck, is the heart of the story. This narrative tells the complete tale of Zanuck and the films, stars, intrigue, and innovations of the iconic studio that was.

©2021 Running Press Adult (P)2021 Running Press Adult

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  • Amy Evans
  • 04-12-21

Our media world is unlike anything we’ve ever known

The Book was exactly what I was looking for. I listen to history books. Mostly about war, the United States or Europe. They mostly talk about politics. This was a great escape from the monotony of time. The Book offered insights to great films from the passed. I’d occasionally would pause and watch one of the films the author would be talking about. Taking in all the names that were placed that the beginning of each movie. Was great multimedia entertainment.

I often get asked by friends about audiobooks and if they are the same as reading a book. This is a great example of the difference between reading it and listening to it. When listening, the narrator makes subtle decisions in the way the book is read that gives added tone to the book and ultimately alters the perception of a given topic. The narrator in this one really played at this idea and made a lot of decisions in her tone of voice that I probably wouldn’t have made myself. It added to my experience of the material by putting in sarcasm, snarkiness etc. very fitting for Hollywood where these people were very famous but kinda in the background. Was enjoyable to hear her perform and felt like my mother reading to me.

Overall the book is a great read for any movie history buff and wish there were a sequel to all the other studios from the classic Hollywood era. This book really has got me watching so many black and white movies all the time, my friends think I’m weird (I’m 23). It’s fun watching with my grandmother because she has her own personal opinions of the stars like Ty power and victor mature. Can you guess who she likes more? I value this info with high regard and can’t wait to find a new one that will possibly top this. Well done!

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  • Marilyn Armstrong
  • 05-01-22

Great book, AWFUL narrator

I've read several other books by this author and they were all well-researched and well-written. This was well-researched and well-written too, but the narrator was as bad as I've ever heard. She couldn't pronounce most of the names. For example, she called French actor Louis Jordan (Loo-ee Jor-DAN) as Louie Jordan -- a famous R&B saxophone player. Her inability to pronounce names was bad enough, but she also over-acted in a NON-FICTION book. No acting was needed. A simple clean reading would have been fine.

I strongly recommend you buy a print edition of the book. Eyman is a fine non-fiction author who got stuck with a dreadful narrator.

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  • D. Roth
  • 24-08-22

Well-paced overview of 20thCF golden years

Many stories and anecdotes here have been widely known. But this is a very good overview of industry finances. DFZ indulged all the excesses of 'classic Hollywood' but knew his craft and ruled with true authority. As reviewers above have noted the narration is at times snarky, but this tone effectively matches the writing style .

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  • SPFJR
  • 30-03-22

Great Story and Narration

My two favorite entertainment products are classic movies (1925-1960) and audible audiobooks. So it’s natural that I LOVE THIS TITLE.

Being the power user of audible that I am I must give one specific compliment to the producers and performer. I usually prefer male performers but for this title I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of the female performer. Her Zanuck voice performance wasn’t ideal but her emotional performances were more than enough to overcome that. I liked the way she varied her speed for emphasis. She did a great job overall and the producers were wise to select her.

I prefer to spend my money buying movies than books about movies but I will also be buying the hardcover of this book.

This was a very pleasant experience.