Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘celebrities’

Reviews

November 20, 2013

Susan Marg

It’s Still Happening in Vegas

HarperCollins published my first book, Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, several years ago.  But this book review by Betty Jo Tucker from Author’s Den and Movie Addict Headquarters on blogtalkradio is new!

Thank you, Betty Jo.

Las Vegas Weddings: Book Review

By Betty Jo Tucker

bigbooksmlAuthor Susan Marg deserves kudos for her impressive research in connection with “Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide.” It’s an entertaining read packed with fascinating information about how Vegas weddings intertwine with the history of the town itself.

It’s also fun reading for movie addicts like me, mostly because Marg highlights the nuptials of so many film stars who got hitched in Las Vegas. What a treat to find out the revealing facts behind weddings of such glamorous actors and actresses as Angelina Jolie, Michael Caine, Judy Garland, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Nelson Eddy, Bette Midler, Joan Crawford, Richard Gere, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood and Elvis Presley!

And speaking of Elvis, Marg includes an entire chapter titled “What’s a Wedding without Elvis”? She writes, “While there is an impersonator for any celebrity…it is the King that couples clamor for.” There are hundreds of Elvis impersonators in Vegas, of course, and it’s no problem to hire a fake Elvis to escort the bride down the aisle and to serenade the newlyweds after the ceremony. The book also features a chapel guide that helps prospective brides and grooms plan their own wedding festivities in Vegas.

It’s no wonder Vegas and Hollywood seem like a perfect match, so I’m pleased that Marg mentions various films about Las Vegas — including Honeymoon in Vegas, Vegas Vacation, Viva Las Vegas, Fools Rush In, and Ocean’s Eleven. She points out that movies like these have played an important role in making Vegas weddings so popular.

Despite the massive amount of information in Las Vegas Weddings, it flows seamlessly. Marg has a breezy, appealing style that draws us in and keeps us interested. Her book also presents some rare photographs of celebrities. I especially love the one of Michael Caine and his beautiful bride as well as the photo of Elvis and Ann-Margret dancing together while filming Viva Las Vegas!

I think this book would make a wonderful holiday gift for movie fans.

Advertisements

Review

July 21, 2013

Susan Marg

Betty Jo Tucker is a movie critic extraordinaire, currently serving as editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews and hosting “Movie Addict Headquarters” on BlogTalkRadio. An author herself of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Saradon: A True Maverick, she took time out of her busy schedule to review Hollywood or Bust.  Her review, posted on authorsden.com, is reposted below.

 Hollywood or Bust Book Review

By Betty Jo Tucker

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

Happiness for movie fans like me is reading “Hollywood or Bust” by Susan Marg! I love all the quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from some of my favorite actors and actresses that are included in this fascinating anthology. So, of course, I found Marg’s revealing, star-studded book impossible to put down once I started it.

___________________________

As someone who has had a longstanding love affair with the cinema for over fifty years, I was surprised to find so many delicious surprises in Hollywood or Bust. For example, why did Mel Brooks start out as a drummer? What did Sandra Bullock learn from directing a film? How does Harrison Ford define a movie star? What did Elizabeth Taylor have in common with the critics?  Why did Michael Caine want to win an Oscar?  And that’s just the tip of the show-biz iceberg.

The complete title of this entertaining read is Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making It Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown. And “dish” they do — from the price they pay for stardom and what they think about acting as a career to their feelings about each other as well as about directors, writers, studio executives, agents, and the Oscar. According to Marg, their observations “are caustic, critical and cynical on the one hand — but they are also eye opening, amusing, inspiring, and in some cases, even endearing.” Most of all — to me — they are extremely readable.

Marg calls herself a writer, a reader, a television watcher, a moviegoer, a theater attendee, and a museum visitor. She is also the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by Harper Collins. To read more about Marg, go to her interesting popular culture blog “The More Things Change” at www.susanmarg.com.

Press Release

June 12, 2013

Susan Marg

Cowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUST ANNOUNCED:

BEACH BOOK FESTIVAL AWARDS HOLLYWOOD OR BUST.

The 2013 Beach Book Festival announced winners on June 10.  Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown placed first in the category Compilations/Anthologies.

Comprised of over five hundred quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from actors, directors, writers, and others involved in the business, Hollywood or Bust conveys what insiders think about themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, each other, and the town itself. Even among those who have made it opinions vary as to whether or not the road trip down the yellow brick road to fame and fortune is worth the heartache and hard work.

Author Susan Marg is thrilled with the award.  “The Beach Book Festival seemed like a natural competition for my book.  Hollywood or Bust is a fun, summer read, filled with wit and whimsy.”  She further adds, “I won’t be going to the rewards ceremony, however, as it takes place in New York.”

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

###

Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

 

Review

June 1, 2013

Susan Marg

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers’ Favorite on 05/29/2013

FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!!

Hollywood or Bust:

Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big,

and Surviving in Tinseltown

“Hollywood or Bust” is a selection of quotes taken from magazines, interviews, biographies, autobiographies, and the internet. Over five hundred quips, quotes and off the cuff remarks from all of your Hollywood favorites make up this exciting new book compiled by Susan Marg. Some of the quotes in this book come from actors like Rock Hudson: “I can’t play a loser, I don’t look like one”; Steve Guttenburg: “Unless you’re Jack Lemmon or Cary Grant, there are few guys who can do comedy and drama”; Ted Danson: “Acting is pretending that you’re not pretending when you’re actually pretending”; and Marilyn Monroe: “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul”.

For all of you Hollywood buffs out there, this book is a must for you. Words from your favorites will give you hours and hours of pleasure and entertainment as you read and re-read these interesting quotes and quips from the famous well known people. Some sayings will give you wisdom, some may be a little harsh, some mean nothing at all, and others will make you laugh. Whatever it may be, you will be amazed at the enjoyment this little book can give you. You just can’t go wrong picking up a copy of this book for your personal library. This book would be a nice conversation piece to keep on your living room table for others to see. I think you will be very happy with your selection.

gold-shiny-web

Pop Quiz #1

May 15, 2013

Susan Marg

Let’s see how well you know your movie stars past and present.  Identify the speaker of the quotes below.  It’s multiple choice – how hard can it be?

Answers can be found in Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown (the page number on which the quote can be found follows the quote) or at the end of the quiz.

Let me know how you did.

1. I don’t use any particular method.  I’m from the let’s pretend school of acting. (page 59)

A. Harrison Ford

B. Robert Pattinson

C. William Shatner

D. Paris Hilton

E. Hugh Grant

 

2. I’ve always had confidence.  Before I was famous, that confidence got me into trouble.  After I got famous, it just got me into more trouble.  (page 43)

A. Don Johnson

B. Sean Penn

C. Bruce Willis

D. Clark Gable

E. Eddie Murphy

 

3. The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it.  (page 38)

A. Lindsay Lohan

B. Rock Hudson

C. Bill Clinton

D. Joan Collins

E. Barbra Streisand

 

4. I am not a demon.  I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther.  I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion. (page 119)

A. Charlie Sheen

B. Dennis Hopper

C. Quentin Tarantino

D. Will Smith

E. Nicolas Cage

 

5. I’m very fond of doing movies where men fight over me. (page 64)

A. Angelica Huston

B. Elizabeth Taylor

C. Kerry Washington

D. Megan Fox

E. Marlene Dietrich

 

6. The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled. (page 91)

A. Elvis Presley

B. Johnny Depp

C. Peter Dinklage

D. Bela Lugosi

E. Esther Williams

 

7. I want to do something gritty, something real funny, a real smelly part. (page 83)

A. Gwyneth Paltrow

B. Meryl Streep

C. Joan Crawford

D. Hugh Grant

E. Meg Ryan

 

And the answers are:

1. I don’t use any particular method.  I’m from the let’s pretend school of acting.

When you play a vampire or the captain of the USS Enterprise, it helps to have an imagination. But the correct answer is (A) Harrison Ford, who has also gone up against aliens from other worlds and lived to make another movie.

 

2. I’ve always had confidence.  Before I was famous, that confidence got me into trouble.  After I got famous, it just got me into more trouble.

(C) Bruce “Trouble is my Middle Name” Willis is correct.

 

3. The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it.

(D) Joan Collins often gives good advice, but when you’re testifying before a grand jury, like Bill Clinton, or in front of a judge, like Lindsay Lohan, I’d listen to my lawyer.

 

4. I am not a demon.  I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther.  I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion.

Any of these wild men might describe themselves as a heat-seeking panther, but only (E) Nicolas Cage wants to be tripping on Gilligan’s island.

 

5. I’m very fond of doing movies where men fight over me.

Elizabeth Taylor might have had Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton going at it in real life. (A) Angelica Huston prefers to keep the drama on the big screen.

 

6. The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled.

When Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is released in 2015, who will be able to think of (B) Johnny Depp as anyone but Captain Jack Sparrow, if they don’t already?

 

7. I want to do something gritty, something real funny, a real smelly part.

Hugh Grant took to the streets and back alleys for excitement.  (B) Meryl Streep gets her kicks from the parts she plays.

Review

May 14, 2013

Susan Marg

From the Del Mar Times

Author sheds new light on the Hollywood dream in unique new book

By Diane Y. Welch

Is Hollywood the happiest place on Earth or the most miserable? This is the question that author and popular culture maven Susan Marg pondered as she pored over piles of glossy magazines and newspaper gossip columns searching for the best celebrity quotations that might answer her query.

The result is an informative and entertaining book that contains quotations — that both laud and deride Tinseltown — dished out by Hollywood stars, past and present.

Titled “Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown” [Cowgirl Jane Press, April 2013], the 182-page volume is a fun pick-up-and-read-anytime book or a handy resource for anyone needing that perfect celebrity quotation, said Marg.

Organized in seven chapters, the collection reads like a story and comprises “over 500 quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks” by actors, directors, writers and other show business folk, Marg said. “They talk about themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, and each other!”

Chapter headings are movie titles. “The question of whether art imitates life or vice versa interests me,” said Marg. “Also I didn’t want to ignore movies altogether while I focused on what the celebrities were saying about their experience. I also have quotations at the beginning of each section that helps illustrate the focus on that section,” she explained.

Movie titles include “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” and “Anyway Which Way You Can.” The book’s title is a nod to a 1956 Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy, in which the goofy pair take a cross-country ride to Hollywood.
Star comments include the celebrated words of Ben Affleck, Jack Black, Woody Allen, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Lindsay Lohan, Clint Eastwood, Scarlet Johansson, and those of vintage icons such as Bing Crosby and Marlene Dietrich.

Marg said that she read a lot, especially biographies, while she was culling the book’s content. “At one time I had over 2,000 quotations, which I then sorted by theme and while it took a long time to gather the material the book came together easily and it was a lot of fun!”

Some of the themes of the book address stardom and how celebrities often rise from humble roots to lofty heights; technical acting skills; their looks; and the big payoff – the Oscars – and more. Directors talk about their perspective from the other side of the camera, and screenwriters vent how they are the “lowest of the low on the Tinseltown totem pole, except possibly for agents,” quipped Marg.

When asked if she had a favorite quotation, Marg was hard pressed to think of just one. “But I particularly enjoy the classics,” she said, such as Marilyn Monroe’s famous words “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul.”

Another of Marg’s favorites is Sandra Bullock’s comment on fame: “When your computer modem is broken, the repair guy comes out a little faster.” And Marlon Brando’s “The only reason I’m in Hollywood is that I don’t have the moral courage to refuse the money.”

Marg is also the author of “Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide” [Harper Collins]. Her interest in popular culture and the entertainment industry, and her writing skills, grew from her background in the world of advertising and marketing.

“You need to know who’s in, who’s out and what’s going on in the world of entertainment. I guess it’s in my blood,” said Marg.

Born and raised in Ohio, and after spending a 15-year career as an advertising manager for AT&T in New Jersey, Marg later relocated to Del Mar where she still lives with her husband, James C. Simmons, who is also an author and a historian.

On her blog, “The More Things Change…”, Marg reflects on history, her story, true stories and fiction. “I believe our stories make us who we are,” she said.
 The book, which recently received an honorable mention for one of the Best Books of the Spring, at the San Francisco Book Festival, retails at $14.95 and may be purchased online at www.hollywoodorbustthebook.com. Log onto www.susanmarg.com to read Marg’s blog.

Press Release

May 9, 2013

Susan Marg

Cowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOLLYWOOD OR BUST  WINS AWARD.

San Francisco Book Festival Recognizes Excellence.

 The San Francisco Book Festival, organized by JM Northern Media LLC, announced the winners of its annual contest celebrating the best books of the spring on May 6.

A panel of experts judged the books in several categories, including fiction, non-fiction, biography, history and business, for general excellence and the potential to reach a wider audience.  Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown received Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category

Although not taking the top spot, author Susan Marg is pleased with the results, as Hollywood or Bust was released just a few weeks ago.  “I believe this award validates my perception that we are endlessly fascinated with the movies and the people who make them,” she comments, adding, “It’s a fun read.”

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

###

 Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

 

Press Release

April 17, 2013

Susan Marg

Cowgirl Jane Press

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CELEBRITIES SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ABOUT HOLLYWOOD.

It’s Not All Fun and Games Breaking Into the Biz

and Making it in the City of Angels.

Is Hollywood the happiest place on earth, next to Disneyland, or the most miserable? Is the road trip down the yellow brick road to fame and fortune worth the heartache and hard work, or is it a bust?  Even among those who have made it opinions vary.

There are certainly perks that come with the job.  “Fame means when your computer modem is broken, the repair guy comes out to your house a little faster,” says Sandra Bullock.  But as Bette Midler points out, “The worst part of success is to try to find someone who is happy for you.”

Indeed the money is good.  Marlon Brando explains, “The only reason I’m in Hollywood is that I don’t have the moral courage to refuse the money.”  However, there’s a loss of privacy.  “You don’t pick your nose, you know,” notes George Clooney, “Or, if you do, you do it under a desk somewhere.”

Still, it’s fun making movies.  “I think that movie sets, when they’re good, are a lot like sandboxes,” conveys Christopher Walken.  Charlie Sheen, too, depicts a movie set as “a playground for the imagination.” As far as living there?  Carrie Fisher believes, ”You can’t find true affection in Hollywood because everyone does the fake affection so well.”

Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown lets readers make up their own minds. Author Susan Marg culled over five hundred quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks of actors, directors, writers, and others involved in making movies from magazines, interviews, biographies, autobiographies, and, in this day and age, the Internet.  All told the quotes convey what insiders think about themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, each other, and the town itself.

“It’s like overhearing a conversation at Starbucks,” Marg notes.

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

 ###

Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.