Sunday, April 1, 2018

the last book I ever read (Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison, excerpt fourteen)

from Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison:

Quite suddenly John Calley retired from Warner Brothers and I immediately felt like a waif or orphan. In quick succession after his departure Warners rejected David Lean for Legends of the Fall because it would be too expensive, and refused to hire John Huston for Revenge because he was too difficult to work with. I was already somewhat deranged at the time but the news was a real stunner. It had occurred to me that Hollywood was a microcosm of the boxing world and I was Leon Spinks who had misplaced his teeth and was arrested with cocaine in his glove box, in short a very good fighter in the short haul but with no real prospects. Hollywood seemed to be in transition and I was unaware of the details. Only the year before when I had had lunch with Calley and Ted Ashley, the chairman of Warner Brothers, Ashley had said he thought it improper that a writer of my quality should be forced to work with an actor like Sean Connery. Now Hollywood was going through a period, however brief, when everyone was dispensable except bankable stars. In meetings there was no real point in bringing up quality filmmaking with people who had openly rejected the great John Huston.

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