Monday, December 29, 2014

"It's The Pictures That Got Small" Lines on lInes

The Happiest Couple in Hollywood--lines on lines

"It's the Pictures That Got Small" is a Joan Crawford line quoted by Joey Arias in the drag musical Christmas with the Crawfords; it's also the title of a book consisting of diary entries by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder's writing partner, reviewed by Frederic Raphael in the week-end edition of The Wall Street Journal Books section that I read just now courtesy my neighbor proscratinating to do the laundry but that I can't forward on FB since I don't have an online subscription. If the 422-page book is as spicy as the review it's well-worth putting a hold on at your local public library. As well as an assessment of a stellar collaboration, as you might expect it's full of historical tidbits about the partnership, the films they worked on and the social none too politically correct Hollywood climate of the times. Writes Frederic Raphael when he met Billy Wilder in person: "His apartment on Wilshire Blvd was filled with an art collection that testified to a refinement not always evident in his conversation." He probably saved his best lines for his scripts. LB