Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood (Hardcover)

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Hollywood historian and film reviewer Leonard Maltin invites readers to pull up a chair and listen as he tells stories, many of them hilarious, of 50+ years interacting with legendary movie stars, writers, directors, producers, and cartoonists. Maltin grew up in the first decade of television, immersing himself in TV programs and accessing 1930s and ‘40s movies hitting the small screen. His fan letters to admired performers led to unexpected correspondences, then to interviews and publication of his own fan magazine. Maltin’s career as a free-lance writer and New York Times-bestselling author as well as his 30-year run on Entertainment Tonight, gave him access to Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Shirley Temple, and Jimmy Stewart among hundreds of other Golden Age stars, his interviews cutting through the Hollywood veneer and revealing the human behind each legend. Starstruck also offers a fascinating glimpse inside the Disney empire, and Maltin’s tenure teaching USC’s popular film course reveals insights into moviemaking along with access to past, current, and future stars of film, such as George Lucas, Kevin Feige, Quentin Tarantino, and Guillermo del Toro.

About the Author

Leonard Maltin is one of the most recognized and respected film critics of our time. He spent 30 years on the hit television show Entertainment Tonight and appears regularly on Turner Classic Movies. An established author, he is best known for his annual paperback reference, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. In 2005, he introduced a companion volume, Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide (now in its third edition), which focuses on movies made before 1965, going back to the silent era. Leonard’s other books include Hooked on Hollywood, The Best 151 Movies You’ve Never Seen, The Disney Films, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio’s Golden Age, The Great Movie Comedians, Movie Comedy Teams, The Art of the Cinematographer, Selected Short Subjects and (as co-author) The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang. Leonard has been teaching at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the last 23 years. His popular class screens new films prior to their release, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. This direct access to top talent has proven to be invaluable in his students’ own filmmaking endeavors. As an expert and host, he is frequently seen on news programs and documentaries. Leonard is also a prolific freelance writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, Smithsonian, TV Guide, Esquire, The Village Voice and American Film. He was the film critic for Playboy magazine for six years. Additionally, Leonard frequently lectures on film and was a member of the faculty of New York City’s New School for Social Research for nine years. He served as Guest Curator at the Museum of Modern Art film department in New York on two separate occasions. Leonard created, hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and appeared on Warner Home Video’s Night at the Movies features. He has written a number of television specials, including Fantasia: The Creation of a Disney Classic and has hosted, produced and written such video documentaries and compilations as The Making of The Quiet Man, The Making of High Noon, Cartoons for Big Kids, The Lost Stooges, Young Duke: The Making of a Movie Star, Cliffhangers: Adventures from the Thrill Factory and Cartoon Madness: The Fantastic Max Fleischer Cartoons. In 2006 he was named by the Librarian of Congress to join the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He also has received awards and citations from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, American Society of Cinematographers, Anthology Film Archives, The Society of Cinephiles, San Diego Comic-Con International, and the Telluride Film Festival. In 1997 he was made a voting member of the National Film Registry, which selects 25 landmark American films every year. Perhaps the greatest indication of his fame was his appearance in a now-classic episode of the animated series South Park. He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast Maltin on Movies, which he hosts with his daughter, Jessie.

Praise For…

“The latest from film critic and historian Maltin (Leonard Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen) is an often delightful if uneven collection of work from the past five decades. The bulk of the text consists of interviews with Hollywood performers and filmmakers conducted between 1967 and 2010. The subjects range from celebrated star Joan Blondell to the obscure but prolific Leslie H. Martinson, a film script supervisor turned film and TV director who worked on 'every Warner Bros. show imaginable.' The author is a generous, well-informed interviewer, whose introductory text helps the reader understand why lesser-known figures like Martinson merit attention. In the earliest selections, the still teenaged Maltin takes some time to find his footing as an interviewer, but any initial amateurism on his part is offset by his contagious enthusiasm. The book also includes several essays, most memorably about the use of popular songs in Casablanca, the late-career return of silent stars like Buster Keaton and Lillian Gish in television roles, and early Hollywood remakes. Other essays, though, will be too granular for any but the Maltin completist. Nonetheless, this enjoyable anthology will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of classic film fans.” —Publishers Weekly


"I have read it, as in every word, as in reading nothing else till it was finished, as in being sorry when it was finished, because I could as much have enjoyed 400 more pages of Hooked On Hollywood's delve into sagas of past film all new to me, indeed unknown to anyone before Maltin dug his customary deep to find lost lore regarding movies we all love." —John McElwee, Greenbriar Picture Shows


“The go-to choice for both film geeks and casual couch potatoes.” —The New York Times Book Review


​“Distinctive, authoritative and personal. Its prose is so spare, rarely betraying biases or eccentricities, but the book lives so long precisely because ever page has Maltin’s unmistakable presence.” —NPR

"Film critic and historian Maltin offers a warmhearted, rambling memoir of his long romance with movies, which began when he was a child. Replete with anecdotes, the good-natured, rarely critical narrative features appreciative recollections of James Stewart, Buster Keaton, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis, Roy Rogers, Jackie Cooper, and Shirley Temple, among many more. A genial, entertaining memoir." —Kirkus Reviews

"His memoir is a delightful collection of relatively short and breezy chapters indulging some of his favorite stars (Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gloria Stuart, Harlan Ellison) and subjects (such as jazz). This is strictly G-rated and great fun."  —Library Journal

"Leonard Maltin has earned his stellar reputation as a film historian, movie critic, author, and yes, even celebrity. His memoir invites all movie lovers to reminisce right along with him." —David Ferguson, Red Carpet Crash

"I’ve read a lot of books during the pandemic but Leonard Maltin’s memoir was one of my most anticipated books of 2021. ...But anyway, the book certainly lived up to my expectations–so much that I finished the ARC in less than a day. That speaks to how quick of a pace that this book has. Honestly, Maltin shares so many stories that a simple review cannot even do this book justice." —Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

"Maltin is a great storyteller. For that reason the chapters he writes in praise of his less famous friends are just as fascinating as his memories of meeting stars like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, and Olivia de Havilland. His enthusiasm for interesting characters and people in general is contagious. It’s pleasant reading, light and easy, but full of interesting details of a busy life." —Watching Classic Movies

"There are some lovely parts dedicated to his friendships with people such as Harlan Ellison (who he met at a showing of The Terminator, which had plagiarised some of the writer’s work) and Freda Sandrich, widow of Mark Sandrich who had directed several Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers pictures. It’s an interesting book with some fun anecdotes." —Charlie Brigden, Set the Tape
Product Details
ISBN: 9781735273815
ISBN-10: 1735273813
Publisher: GoodKnight Books
Publication Date: October 12th, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English