Between noir novel and investigation, a feverish work in the Hollywood of the 70s
The Big Goodbye, Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood
A book by Sam Wasson
Translation by Samuel Bréan
16cm x 24cm | 350 pages
“Sharon Tate looked like California. »
It's the first sentence. Sam Wasson writes like a novelist. And investigate like a journalist. This is what makes the price of this book. Le Figaro
Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its surprising ending is the most famous in all of American cinema, and its last line, the most haunting. This book reveals, for the first time, the incredible genesis of this project.
Sam Wasson tells us this story featuring high-spirited characters colours, against a backdrop of spectacular changes in Hollywood studios. There's Jack Nicholson, then at the height of his career, star among stars, on the threshold of his doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Roman Polanski, the director of the film, both predator and prey, haunted by the tragic death of his wife, who returns to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own destruction are quickly planted. The great producer Robert Evans, the "Kid", elated at the idea of signing contracts. Finally, there is Robert Towne, author of the fabulous screenplay of the film, considered by many to be the best ever written. For the first time, Sam Wasson dispels the myths associated with Chinatown and describes how the film really came to be.
In the background, the end of an era: that of the 1970s, when the studios pampered their creators. It will give way to a more brutally industrial Hollywood, like today. The Big Goodbye deserves its place alongside other great books on the world of cinema, such as The New Hollywood.
Sam Wasson lives in Los Angeles and graduated in film from Wesleyan University and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He describes in his novels the different facets of cinema and shares his passion for the seventh art in major American magazines such as Variety , The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal . His excellent book 5th Avenue, 5 AM was voted best book of the year 2012 by the New York Times .
Release June 24, 2021