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July 4, 2013

Susan Marg

Reviewed by Gayle Colopy for  on July 2, 2013


Hollywood or Bust

By Susan Marg

Publisher: Cowgirl Jane Press

ISBN: 978-0-578-11882-6


Hollywood Or Bust is a collection of celebrity quotes from actors, producers and other notables in the film industry. The quotes are grouped in chapters loosely based around the quest for recognition and fame, the up and downsides of having achieved it (or not), and the inevitable downhill slide once the public has moved on to newer, fresher flavors of celebrity. The book covers a wide time span, with quotes from studio heads of the “Golden Age” of motion pictures to contemporary luminaries like Lindsay Lohan and Quentin Tarantino.

The path to stardom begins with a vision. (Hilary Swank: “I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.” Each has their own definition of what stardom means. (Harrison Ford: “Stars are people who sell a lot of popcorn.”) There are ruminations on the effects of stardom. (Clint Eastwood: “It’s like waking up with a hooker – how the hell did I get here?” Robert Mitchum: “I’ve still got the same attitude I had when I started. I haven’t changed anything but my underwear.”)

There is a price to be paid for success. (Bette Midler: “The worst part of success if to try to find someone who is happy for you.”) Artistic ambitions may take a back seat to other considerations. (Charlton Heston: “The trouble with movies as a business is that they’re an art; the trouble with movies as an art is that they’re a business.” Michael Caine: “You get paid the same for a bad film as you do for a good one.”) Disillusionment may set in. (William Faulkner: Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.” Marilyn Monroe: “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

Eventually, there is a fall from grace. (Michael Medevoy, producer: “This is a business that eats its elders instead of its young.” Joan Collins: “The problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer.”) The stars may come and go, but that entity known as Hollywood lives forever, a force unto itself. (Michelangelo Antonioni: “Hollywood is like being nowhere and talking to nobody about nothing.”

The collection is a slim, breezy read, something one could knock off during a long waiting room visit or a very short flight. Like junk food, there’s not much nutritional value here, but for those with an interest in stars talking about stardom, Hollywood Or Bust may prove to be irresistible.


The reviewer Gayle Colopy:  Gayle is a semi-retired veteran of various governmental, non-profit and commercial enterprises, and is now a freelance writer based in northern California. His literary preferences are Beat-era American literature, classic erotica, and fiction writers who blossomed in the Sixties, including Joseph Heller, Donald Barthelme, Ken Kesey, Kurt Vonnegut, William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern, and Hunter S. Thompson.

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