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đź“™ The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business by Frank Rose, narrator Marlin May


3.8


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. ©1995 Frank Rose (P)2013 Frank Rose

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Reviews:

1

"Waste of Time"

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
3

"21 hours with 15 hours of asides - Poorly Done "

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5

"Informative look into the cogs of the Hollywood Machines"

Wow! I was ALWAYS so curious about how things started and worked with these big powerhouses of the film industry.William Morris has been such a big name in the industry. Even today we still hear many of the names listed as a part of this agency.What a fascinating look into the world where only the most powerful in Hollywood play a game of high stakes gambling on the backs of the talent that walks through the doors.If you are fascinated by actors/actresses, films, movies, Hollywood, and or the history of some of the most powerful men in the industry of film, and Hollywood..., this book is for you!Yes!! The stories you've heard are true!Peddling the flesh of new talents and fighting to hold onto what they have..., the William Morris Agency is cut throat, and at times ruthless.A book well worth the time and the money????????
3

"Whew...finally finished it"

What did you like best about The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business? What did you like least?
3

"Bogged down .."

Interesting but bogged down by a constantly mentioning names that no mere mortal could keep straight.
4

"good Hollywood Story. Horrible narrator."

A fascinating insight into the world of Hollywood agents. Great for anyone in the industry. However, the narrator speaks with a monotone that makes him sound like Siri, and it's very annoying. Also he mispronounces many famous Hollywood names, and obviously he doesn't know anything about the story he's narrating. still, worth a listen if you're in the industry.
4

"Talentless reader detracts from excellent book."

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
5

"I was so sad for this book to end!"

What made the experience of listening to The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business the most enjoyable?

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