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High concept : Don Simpson and the Hollywood culture of excess

by Charles Fleming

  Print book : Biography  |  1st ed

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Hollywood High--and Low   (2012-02-13)

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by Deeper_Into_Movies

In a town all-too-famous for its meteoric rises and falls, Don Simpson may not belong in the same orbit of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or even “Fatty” Arbuckle, but if any producer symbolized the revved-up, dumbed-down, testosterone-fueled Hollywood of the 1980s, it was Simpson, who died of a drug overdose in 1996 at age 52.

Gone but not forgotten, Simpson’s dubious legacy lives on in the ubiquitous male action flick, as well as in the blockbuster movies of mass distraction made by his one-time partner, Jerry Bruckheimer, including the soggy Pirates of the Caribbean saga. First published in 1998, High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess (Doubleday) is Charles Fleming’s vitriolic, blow-by-blow account of Simpson’s high—and luridly low—times in Hollywood’s fast lane, and it’s worth another look in the rear-view mirror....

On his death, dozens of his Hollywood friends and cronies rushed to praise him. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, no stranger to hype, called him “a true American original.” Others were quick to bury him. In one of the most mordant Hollywood postmortems, director Robert Altman said, “Simpson was a bad guy, a bum. It’s a big plus for our industry that he’s gone. ...”

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[Full review playing at Deeper Into Movies -- The Current (and Classic) Cinema (http://deepintomovies.blogspot.com/2010/05/book-review-high-concept-don-simpson.html) and on Facebook.]

 

 

 

 

 




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