Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book review - "Can I Go Now? The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood's First Superagent," by Brian Kellow (2015)

A really excellent book about Mengers, one of Hollywood's most legendary agents: opinionated, loud, cunning, hilarious. She was at her peak in the early 70s when the cream of New Hollywood seemed to be represented by her: Hackman, Streisand, Bogdanovich, O'Neal, Ali McGraw. Things got harder as the decade went on and really went south after Streisand appeared in All Night Long directed by her husband. She retired, attempted a comeback, could never quite make it, then retired again. Her husband pre-deceased her, to the surprise of everyone especially him, but his investment advice meant she had plenty of money, and her entertainment value meant she was in demand as a hostess until her death.

There was a lot of sex, success and laughter in Mengers lift (photos show her to be quite pretty when young); there was also a lot of tragedy, including a father who killed himself when Sue was 11, a pushy mother who never got over the resentment of having to leave Germany, troubles with clients who Sue never felt were grateful enough (she was clearly a frustrated actress)/

It's very well put together by Kellow who has done a swag of interviews (famous names such as Billy Friedkin) and writes about his subject with skill and affection.

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