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Book Review

January 12, 2014

Susan Marg

“From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down,

I was convulsed with laughter.

Someday I intend reading it.”

— Groucho Marx



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, 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


June 1, 2013

Susan Marg

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


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.



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 Log onto to read Marg’s blog.