Life in Movies (Hardcover)

Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

By Irwin Winkler

Harry N. Abrams, 9781419734526, 320pp.

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/10/2020)

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


About the Author

Irwin Winkler is an American film producer, writer, and director. He is the recipient of numerous American and international honors.


Praise For Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood

"I’ve had the good fortune to work with Irwin Winkler on many pictures over the years, from the 70s up to the present, and he’s one of my most trusted and valued collaborators and friends. Irwin and his late producing partner Robert Chartoff started making movies at a very particular time: the period of transition from the old Hollywood to the age of the independent producers. That’s why this book is valuable on multiple levels—as a lively memoir with more than one amazing inside story, as a first-hand work of cinema history, and as the testament of a pivotal figure in American moviemaking."

— Martin Scorsese

“Devoid of cynicism and full of relish, here’s a deftly written recollection of an eventful and happy life in a precarious and, frankly, insane business; a remarkably clear-eyed look behind the scenes of moviemakingand behind the schemes of getting movies made.”

— Kevin Kline

“A candid, revealing memoir … Winkler explores the exigencies of conceiving, financing, casting, and shooting a movie as well as the incessant troubleshooting, placating of the intemperate or churlish, cajoling, pleading, negotiating, and always thinking fast on one's feet—not to mention promotion, securing distribution, and other responsibilities. … Any film buff would love to join Winkler for a long conversation over drinks and dinner. At their best, his recollections are as rich as his films are memorable.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Illuminating … Drawing on work diaries, Winkler gives insight into the creation of Raging BullThe Right Stuff, the Rocky series, and Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming The Irishman, among many others. … Winkler’s recollections add up to a lively chronicle that will entertain film buffs and enlighten film students.”

— Publishers Weekly

“Fascinating … A Life in Movies is full of delicious stories … Winkler's memoir proceeds movie by movie, failures as well as successes, so that it can serve both as a primer for would-be producers and an account of Hollywood's greatest generation that will engross the general reader as well.”

— Peter Biskind

“Winkler has produced some of the most memorable films of the past 50 years, from Raging Bull and The Right Stuff to the entire Rocky franchise and Martin Scorsese’s up-coming The Irishman. … His behind-the-scenes look at the interpersonal workings of Hollywood is a treat.”

— Library Journal

“Charming and anecdote packed…popcorn for movie nerds.”

— Newsweek

“Winkler’s new memoir, A Life in Movies, is his personal chronicle of what did happen in a distinguished career that always kept him guessing: the Academy Award win for best picture, even though the studio wanted a different leading man (“Rocky”); the Oscar contender that had everything going for it but was a confounding box office disappointment (“The Right Stuff”); and a now-certified classic that could have starred Tom Cruise and Madonna as the leads (“Goodfellas”).”

— Washington Post