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Last Mogul-Life and Times of Lew Wasserman

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"If Hollywood was Mount Olympus," says movie industry lobbyist Jack Valenti in Barry Avrich's The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman, "then Lew Wasserman was Zeus." Over sixty years as power broker at MCA and head of Universal Studios, Wasserman rewrote the behind the scenes Hollywood rulebook. In this "highly entertaining" (NY Post) documentary, Avrich succeeds in doing the impossible - piercing the shroud of silence surrounding a man who kept no notes, gave no interviews, and remains as feared in death as he was in life.

Lew Wasserman mastered the art of the deal with a ruthlessness and style all his own. "Dress British, think Yiddish," the invariably power-suited Wasserman advised his underlings. It was that mixture of cold-blooded imperialism and matzo-mafia chutzpah that brought Wasserman from Cleveland's red-light rackets to Hollywood, and eventually extended his career-making and destroying reach from Sunset Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue. Out of the ashes of the studio system, Wasserman's MCA became the first-ever entertainment conglomerate, gobbling up artists and contracts, pioneering the modern blockbuster, and forging sweetheart deals with union bosses, gangsters and US Presidents alike.

Featuring frank, juicy interviews with everyone from Robert Evans to Michael Ovitz to former President Jimmy Carter ("I don't know if intimidation is the right word, but I took his calls"), The Last Mogul reveals show business' ultimate kingmaker in "sprightly, fast moving style" (New York Times) through the voices of those who knew him and feared him the most.


Studio Kino Video
SKU 202639892
UPC 738329049324
UPC 14 00738329049324
Format DVD
Release Date 8/8/2006
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Avrich,Barry
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Alex Shuper - Editor
Barry Avrich - Director
Barry Avrich - Writer
Frank Kitching - Original Music By
Jim McGrath - Original Music By
Larry King - Featuring
Nat Brescia - Executive Producer
Robert Evans - Featuring
Suzanne Pleshette - Featuring
Sydney Pollack - Featuring
Tori Hockin - Producer
ReviewSource Eye Weekly
Review ...rendered in a slick format that will sate devotees of E! True Hollywood Story and admirers of the Robert Evans tell-all The Kid Stays in the Picture (Avrich used the same researcher, Barbara Gregson). Faced with the task of distilling six decades of Hollywood history, Avrich knew he had to be as punchy as possible. "My background is in commercials," he says, "so any time I felt it lag, I had to go boom! This was like a 103-minute commercial: you've got to have sizzle all the way through."
Reviewer Jason Anderson
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource The Village Voice
Review When Wasserman died in 2002 he didn't leave behind a single written word, so director Barry Avrich patches this superficial documentary together with interviews from fawning associates like Jack Valenti, who calls himself a "comrade in arms" as he cheerfully recounts lobbying Washington to ensure MCA's vice-like grip on network television production. Avrich's Wasserman is less a man than a list of accomplishments, a Kane without a hint of a Rosebud and nary a whiff of significant criticism.
Reviewer Matt Singer
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Letterbox, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Product Attributes
Actor Avrich,Barry
Label Kino International
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Los Angeles Times A smart, well-paced documentary...
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times [Avrich has] asked all the right questions in his fascinating documentary.
Variety Refreshingly honest...paced with consummate skill.

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