London, Sydney & Toronto: The Bodley Head, 1967, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Portrait to the frontispiece;
From the cover: The name of Herbert Wilcox is one of the best known in British film production. His prolific career began far from the filming world, in a strict Catholic family from County Cork. The author recalls a hard early life in Brighton, where he earned his pennies selling newspapers, then became in turn a hotel page, a chorus-boy in variety, and a junior billiards champion. His skill at billiards took him to the bars and clubs of Camberwell, where he met some of the greats of the music-hall, one of whom was Charlie Chaplin. He spent a turbulent First World War, during which he was twice married within three years, was wounded fighting in Ireland in 1916, and went down in flames in France as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps.
After the war Herbert Wilcox entered the film business. Having learned the basic facts of finance in the embryonic bottle cinemas of the north of England, he rose rapidly in the industry and became the first British director to import an American film-star. He gives some amusing examples, ironical today, of the squeamishness of Hollywood in those days. He helped to found Elstree studios and made Wolves, the first of the talkies, starring Charles Laughton. He fell in love with a young actress, Anna Neagle, with whom he embarked on an unparalleled show business partnership. Their films together included Good Night Vienna, Nell Gwyn, Victoria the Great, Nurse Edith Cavell, Spring in Park Lane which still holds the attendance record for any British film and, of course, Odette. In 1951 Herbert Wilcox was awarded the C B E. In this book the author gives vivid impressions of the numerous stars, writers and directors with whom he personally worked. He expresses many uncompromising views, some of which led him indirectly to bankruptcy in the early sixties. In emerging from this period during which he made an unhappy journey to the sale-room with four treasured film awards he showed the determination and enterprise which have governed his whole life.
Good+ in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Price Clipped. Dust wrapper slightly grubby. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Pages lightly age-tanned. Shop sticker to the first blank.
Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XIII] 233 pages. Index. 8¾” x 5¾”.