Author bio

Ed Sikov

Ed Sikov - book author

Ed Sikov is the author of books: Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis, Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers, Film Studies: An Introduction, On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder, Screwball: Hollywood's Madcap Romantic Comedies, Laughing Hysterically: American Screen Comedy of the 1950s, MR Strangelove, Mr Strangelove: Peter Sellers: A Biography of Peter Sellers, Love Bug: An Epidemiological Comedy of Manners, The Boys' and Girls' Little Book of Alcohol


Author books

#
Title
Description
01
The legendary Hollywood star blazes a fiery trail in this enthralling portrait of a brilliant actress and the movies her talent elevated to greatness
She was magnificent and exasperating in equal measure. Jack Warner called her "an explosive little broad with a sharp left." Humphrey Bogart once remarked, "Unless you're very big she can knock you down." Bette Davis was a force of nature--an idiosyncratic talent who nevertheless defined the words "movie star" for more than half a century and who created an extraordinary body of work filled with unforgettable performances.

In Dark Victory, the noted film critic and biographer Ed Sikov paints the most detailed picture ever delivered of this intelligent, opinionated, and unusual woman who was--in the words of a close friend--"one of the major events of the twentieth century." Drawing on new interviews with friends, directors, and admirers, as well as archival research and a fresh look at the films, this stylish, intimate biography reveals Davis's personal as well as professional life in a way that is both revealing and sympathetic. With his wise and well-informed take on the production and accomplishments of such movie milestones as Jezebel, All About Eve, and Now, Voyager, as well as the turbulent life and complicated personality of the actress who made them, Sikov's Dark Victory brings to life the two-time Academy Award-winning actress's unmistakable screen style, and shows the reader how Davis's art was her own dark victory.
02
Now in paperback: "An authoritative biography and a compulsive page-turner." (Michael Palin, New York Times Book Review) Peter Sellers' explosive talent made him a beloved figure in world cinema and continues to attract new audiences. With his darkly comic performances in Dr. Strangelove and Lolita and his outrageously funny appearances as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films, he became one of the most popular movie stars of his time. In this lively and exhaustively researched biography, Ed Sikov offers unique insight into Sellers' comedic style. Beginning with Sellers' lonely childhood dominated by a mother who wouldn't let go, through his service in the Royal Air Force, and his success on BBC Radio's The Goon Show, Sikov goes on to detail the actor's relationships with his family, costars, directors, and admirers--a portrait that is as comic and tragic as Peter Sellers himself.
03
Ed Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic. Sikov primes the eye and mind in the special techniques of film analysis. His description of mise-en-scene helps readers grasp the significance of montage, which in turn reveals the importance of a director's use of camera movement. He treats a number of fundamental factors in filmmaking, including editing, composition, lighting, the use of color and sound, and narrative. Film Studies works with any screening list and can be used within courses on film history, film theory, or popular culture. Straightforward explanations of core critical concepts, practical advice, and suggested assignments on particular technical, visual, and aesthetic aspects further anchor the reader's understanding of the formal language and anatomy of film.
04
From the early years of anti-Semitism and frustration in Austria to the glory of Hollywood and six Academy Awards, Billy Wilders life is as fascinating as his movies. Now, drawing on new interviews, current research, and previously inaccessible archives, Ed Sikov offers endlessly entertaining portrait of one of this centurys most influential directors and screenwriters.
05
Screwball is the first richly illustrated tribute to the movies that tells one mad, illogical truth: Mutual loathing is no reason to give up on love. More than 240 pictures in striking duotone celebrate these exhilarating comedies.
06
With the likes of Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and Frank Tashlin revelling in "monkeys, babies, beautiful blondes, money, and cruelty" in their signature films of the 1950s, this seemingly conformist period turns out to be one of the most dynamic and original eras in Hollywood history. What distinguishes these directors is their candid and amusing exploration of cultural anxieties in carnival form. Quirky yet complex films such as Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sunset Boulevard, The Trouble with Harry, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? released and expressed the sexual repression and frustration we commonly associate with the decade. In clear and elegant prose, Sikov argues that these comedies are examples of popular cinema's uncanny capacity for cultural criticism. Highlighting Hawks's "skewed classicism, " Wilder's "gallows humor, " Hitchcock's "subversive morbidity, " and Tashlin's "shrill CinemaScopic" fragmentation, the author discusses the raucous "rebelliousness of the films these directors made in an era of widespread conservatism. Through satire and caricature, their films focus on the general anxiety - particularly over homosexuality, female sexuality, rock and roll, and Communism - that lay below the surface of homogeneity, progress, and domesticity in the period. Illustrated with over forty film stills, Laughing Hysterically captures the clout and glamour of such '50s icons as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, William Holden, and Jerry Lewis by insightful analysis of their influence on and expression of a burgeoning culture of consumption in the movies. The 1950s produced comedies "that looked and sounded like nothing had ever looked and sounded before." Laughing Hysterically delights readers with an exploration of this very special group of films, and in the process, accomplishes what all good criticism should do: it makes the reader want to see the movies again from a fresh perspective.
07
The well-regarded and latest biography of one of the comedy world's finest.