“A definitive portrait of the madness of big-time moviemaking.”–Newsweek
When Brian De Palma agreed to allow Julie Salamon unlimited access to the film production of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book The Bonfire of the Vanities, both director and journalist must have felt like they were on to something big. How could it lose? But instead Salamon got a front-row seat at the Hollywood disaster of the decade. She shadowed the film from its early stages through the last of the eviscerating reviews, and met everyone from the actors to the technicians to the studio executives. They’d all signed on for a blockbuster, but there was a sense of impending doom from the start–heart-of-gold characters replaced Wolfe’s satiric creations; affable Tom Hanks was cast as the patrician heel; Melanie Griffith appeared mid-shoot with new, bigger breasts. With a keen eye and ear, Salamon shows us how the best of intentions turned into a legendary Hollywood debacle.
The Devil’s Candy joins John Gregory Dunne’s The Studio, Steven Bach’s Final Cut, and William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade as a classic for anyone interested in the workings of Hollywood. With a new afterword profiling De Palma ten years after the movie’s devastating flop (and this book’s best-selling publication), Julie Salamon has created a riveting insider’s portrait of an industry where art, talent, ego, and money combine and clash on a monumental scale.
“Delightful. The Devil’s Candy is quite simply the most telling examination of moviemaking since Lillian Ross’s [Picture]. . . . One must be thankful to the filmmakers for producing such a spectacle, if only so that this book could be written.”–Graydon Carter, Vogue