Magazine article American Cinematographer

Just Tell Me When to Cry: A Memoir

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Just Tell Me When to Cry: A Memoir

Article excerpt

Just Tell Me When To Cry: A Memoir by Richard Fleischer Carroll & Graf, hardcover, 352 pps., $21.

After 77 years in the movie business, Richard Fleischer probably has as many tales to tell as Scheherazade. A sizeable number are included in this entertaining Hollywood memoir by a man who began life as the son of pioneer animator Max Fleischer and became a highly respected director. In this long look at a lifelong, highstakes crapshoot, alternately funny and infuriating episodes surface about some of the more egomaniacal actors and production people Fleischer encountered along the way. Among those subjected to gibes (both good-natured and otherwise) are Orson Welles, John Wayne, Sid Rogell, "Tyrannosaurus" Rex Harrison, Howard Hughes, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Charles Bronson, Dino De Laurentiis, Samuel Bronston and (of course!) Howard Hughes.

Fleischer got his start writing commentaries for RKO-Pathé News in New York, graduating to writer-director of the excellent This is America documentaries and producer-writer of the Flicker Flashbacks shorts. Soon he was at RKO Radio in Hollywood directing B pictures, several of which turned out well (Follow Me Quietly, Armored Car Robbery) and one of which (The Narrow Margin ) was great. …

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