website statistics The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business

Availability: Ready to download

For decades, hidden from the public eye, William Morris agents made the deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and networks alike. Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Steve McQueen--the Morris Agency sold talent to anyone in the market for it, from the Hollywood studios to the mobsters who ran Vegas to the Madison Avenue admen who controlled t For decades, hidden from the public eye, William Morris agents made the deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and networks alike. Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Steve McQueen--the Morris Agency sold talent to anyone in the market for it, from the Hollywood studios to the mobsters who ran Vegas to the Madison Avenue admen who controlled television. While the clients took the spotlight, the agency operated behind the scenes, providing the grease that made show business what it's become. The story begins more than a century ago, when a fiery young immigrant named William Morris opened a vaudeville-booking office on New York's Fourteenth Street and went up against the trust that ruled the leading entertainment medium of the day. Led after Morris's death by the legendary Abe Lastfogel, a cherubic little man who treated agents and clients alike as family, the firm transformed the agent's image from garish flesh-peddler to smooth-talking professional. But when Lastfogel's successor brutally sacrificed his best friend--the man who'd brought Barry Diller and Michael Ovitz out of the mail room--William Morris gave birth to its own nemesis: Ovitz's new firm, CAA. Throughout the '80s and '90s, as the Morris Agency made, and lost, such stars as Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Kevin Costner and Tom Hanks, Ovitz's power grew inexorably as Morris's waned. Lulled by the phenomenal success of Bill Cosby and the upward spiral of the Beverly Hills real estate market, Morris's board failed to act as death and defection thinned its ranks. Finally, with its flagship motion-picture department on the brink of collapse, the board was faced with the stark reality of having to buy its way back into the business it had once owned.


Compare

For decades, hidden from the public eye, William Morris agents made the deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and networks alike. Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Steve McQueen--the Morris Agency sold talent to anyone in the market for it, from the Hollywood studios to the mobsters who ran Vegas to the Madison Avenue admen who controlled t For decades, hidden from the public eye, William Morris agents made the deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and networks alike. Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Steve McQueen--the Morris Agency sold talent to anyone in the market for it, from the Hollywood studios to the mobsters who ran Vegas to the Madison Avenue admen who controlled television. While the clients took the spotlight, the agency operated behind the scenes, providing the grease that made show business what it's become. The story begins more than a century ago, when a fiery young immigrant named William Morris opened a vaudeville-booking office on New York's Fourteenth Street and went up against the trust that ruled the leading entertainment medium of the day. Led after Morris's death by the legendary Abe Lastfogel, a cherubic little man who treated agents and clients alike as family, the firm transformed the agent's image from garish flesh-peddler to smooth-talking professional. But when Lastfogel's successor brutally sacrificed his best friend--the man who'd brought Barry Diller and Michael Ovitz out of the mail room--William Morris gave birth to its own nemesis: Ovitz's new firm, CAA. Throughout the '80s and '90s, as the Morris Agency made, and lost, such stars as Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Kevin Costner and Tom Hanks, Ovitz's power grew inexorably as Morris's waned. Lulled by the phenomenal success of Bill Cosby and the upward spiral of the Beverly Hills real estate market, Morris's board failed to act as death and defection thinned its ranks. Finally, with its flagship motion-picture department on the brink of collapse, the board was faced with the stark reality of having to buy its way back into the business it had once owned.

30 review for The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I was reading this for research about Hollywood talent agencies. For that, it was a decent resource. There are general details about a few big plays and power struggles, but overall the book was a huge drag to get through. The characters (there are many) are not painted clearly enough to leave a lasting impression, so you're constantly being reintroduced to people in later episodes having forgotten who they are. There are sparse behind-the-scenes looks at negotiation strategies and contract deta I was reading this for research about Hollywood talent agencies. For that, it was a decent resource. There are general details about a few big plays and power struggles, but overall the book was a huge drag to get through. The characters (there are many) are not painted clearly enough to leave a lasting impression, so you're constantly being reintroduced to people in later episodes having forgotten who they are. There are sparse behind-the-scenes looks at negotiation strategies and contract details - not nearly as substantive as I'd hoped. The anecdotes that are meant to highlight a character or lead to a punchline are setup poorly, and their payoffs are so lacking that you feel that you've missed something. I did get some good notes out of it, but reading a year's worth of Variety probably would have yielded better results and been more fun. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they were doing similar research, and maybe not even then.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Wolf

    An incredibly comprehensive history of the Agency that dominated Hollywood for decades. Includes classic personalities like Abe Lastfogel & the various palace coupes that occurred through the years. A great book about the business of Hollywood.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The reviews of this on GR are feast or famine. I found it interesting, and not at all a slog to read. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This was interesting and a good history of the entertainment industry, but it wasn't particularly interesting to read. I was very glad to be done with it when I finished it. This was interesting and a good history of the entertainment industry, but it wasn't particularly interesting to read. I was very glad to be done with it when I finished it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Anne

  6. 4 out of 5

    mikeramirez03

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karl Sanger

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Walis

  10. 5 out of 5

    Drew Pappert

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deana

  12. 4 out of 5

    Exapno Mapcase

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trav S.D.

  14. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zehra Betul Ayranci

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melody

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allen Eckhouse

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sevi

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Robbeson

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Liebman

  23. 4 out of 5

    AWomanReading

  24. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Tunstall

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyle Brooks

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mal Nimmo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruben Graciani

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carisa Smitham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Noelle

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.