Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business is director Curtis Harrington‘s autobiographical account of his life and career in films and television. It was published on June 12th 2013 by Drag City books.
A charming, often barbed observation of the evolution of American mainstream filmmaking over the course of its first century, this memoir chronicles the unusual, multi-decade career trajectory of Curtis Harrington.
Conveyed in a witty and campy style, it follows the strange arc of a man who created avant-garde films as part of Kenneth Anger’s inner circle, directed horror thriller films such as Night Tide; Games; How Awful About Allan; The Killing Kind; The Dead Don’t Die; Ruby before descended down the “slippery slope” of television work by directing episodes of Charlie’s Angels and Dynasty.
As a fast-paced view of Harrington’s journey through the kaleidoscope of the movie business, it acts alternately as personal memoir and cultural history from a veteran of the entertainment business. As Harrington was living as a gay man in Hollywood, the book additionally gives a rare peek into the hidden world of what was then an elite subculture.
Doubling as both a serious study of film aesthetics and a gossipy tell-all, this truly unique look at the Hollywood dream includes an unlikely cast of characters, including Simone Signoret (Cat People, Games), Dennis Hopper (Night Tide), Christopher Isherwood, Katharine Ross, Shelley Winters (What’s the Matter with Helen?; Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?), Marilyn Monroe, Stanley Kubrick (The Shining), Joan Collins and Aaron Spelling, as it reveals a portrait of the machinations of the film and television business.
“A bitter-sweet journey through a unique Hollywood career, as well as an entertaining key to the charming enigma that was Curtis Harrington.” Monte Hellman, director, Two-Lane Blacktop and The Shooting
“Curtis Harrington was the only avant-garde filmmaker of his generation to become a Hollywood director. His posthumous memoir provides valuable insights into the extraordinary short films he made in the late 1940s while telling a tragi-comic story of selling out to the industry.” Adams Sitney, author, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde
“There is an afterlife, and this memoir, so very Curtis, is his. Whatever other afterlife his aesthetic soul may have found, his is here. His early love of E.A. Poe and the flickering visions it inspired in him are here transformed onto the written page, House of Usher to Usher, along with his erotic confessions and his revenge on those he hated. A nice guy did work in Hollywood.” Jack Larson, actor and screenwriter