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A grand book, utterly fearless and with a great deal of beauty side by side with the most bitter satire Right on, F Scott Fitzgerald. Hollywood is a very different place today than it was in the 1930s Back then, the studio system was in full force, stars were essentially slaves to their studios, and a few major movie moguls ran Hollywood Budd Schulberg s father, B.P Schulberg, was the head of Paramount, so the author had a lot to draw from when he wrote his 1941 debut What Makes Sammy Run What Makes Sammy Run is narrated by newspaper columnist turned screenwriter Al Manheim, who is working for a newspaper in New York when he meets a young whippersnapper named Sammy Glick Eager, ambitious, and ruthless, Manheim quickly develops an admiration and disgust for the young man Over the following years, Manheim and the reader witness Sammy Glick lying, double crossing, and steamrolling over almost everyone who comes his way in order to reach the top of the Hollywood food chain While Sammy is unappealing, sociopathic, and downright cruel to his friends and loved ones his rise to prominence is darned entertaining to read He isn t known as the all American heel for nothing.It s no surprise that Schulberg, who would go on to write the screenplay for On the Waterfront, writes dialogue that crackles with wit, elegance, and intensity While reading it, it s almost like watching a screwball comedy from the 1930s with fast paced dialogue and clever repartee But underneath the sparkling writing, there is a touch of the philosophical The title comes from Al Manhein s constant questioning of what makes Sammy run As we learnabout Sammy s life, we gradually learn what he was running away from all those years, and the result is perhapsuniversal than we d like to acknowledge There are a few politically incorrect epithets used throughout the book owing to the date of its publication But for anyone who wants to dive into a world that doesn t exist any, or who wants a great portrayal of Old Hollywood, What Makes Sammy Run is highly recommended. FREE E-PUB ⚖ What Makes Sammy Run? ♌ What Makes Sammy Run Everyone Of Us Knows Someone Who Runs He Is One Of The Symp Toms Of Our Times From The Little Man Who Shoves You Out Of The Way On The Street To The Go Getter Who Shoves You Out Of A Job In The Office To The Fuehrer Who Shoves You Out Of The World And All Of Us Have Stopped To Wonder, At Some Time Or Another, What It Is That Makes These People Tick What Makes Them Run This Is The Question Schulberg Has Asked Himself, And The Answer Is The First Novel Written With The Indignation That Only A Young Writer With Talent And Ideals Could Concentrate Into A Manuscript It Is The Story Of Sammy Glick, The Man With A Positive Genius For Being A Heel, Who Runs Through New York S East Side, Through Newspaper Ranks And Finally Through Hollywood, Leaving In His Wake The Wrecked Careers Of His Associates For This Is His Tragedy And His Chief Characteristic His Congenital Incapacity For FriendshipAn Older And Experienced Novelist Might Have Tempered His Story And, In So Doing, Destroyed One Of Its Outstanding Qualities Compromise Would Mar The Portrait Of Sammy Glick Schulberg Has Etched It In Pure Vitriol, And Dissected His Victim With A Precision That Is Almost FrighteningWhen A Fragment Of This Book Appeared As A Short Story In A National Magazine, Schulberg Was Surprised At The Number Of Letters He Received From People Convinced They Knew Sammy Glick S Real Name But Speculation As To His Real Identity Would Be Utterly Fruitless, For Sammy Is A Composite Picture Of A Loud And Spectacular Minority Bitterly Resented By The Many Decent And Sincere Artists Who Are Trying Honestly To Realize The Measureless Potentialities Of Motion Pictures To This Group Belongs Schulberg Himself, Who Has Not Only Worked As A Screen Writer Since His Graduation From Dartmouth College In , But Has Spent His Life, Literally, In The Heart Of The Motion Picture Colony In The Course Of Finding Out What Makes Sammy Run An Operation In Which The Reader Is Spared None Of The Grue Some Details Schulberg Has Poured Out Everything He Has Felt About That Place The Result Is A Book Which The Publishers Not Only Believe To Be The Most Honest Ever Written About Hollywood, But A Penetrating Study Of One Kind Of Twentieth Century Success That Is Peculiar To No Single Race Of People Or Walk Of Life a book about an asshole, narrated by a dickhead. Schulberg hits on something really archetypal here He chronicles the rise of fictional film mogul who s part C F Kane and part Howard Hughes, from the perspective of a narrator who s part Salieri and part Nick Carraway And it s pretty amazing, actually On one level, it s a sharp dissection of a 40s insider Hollywood a takedown of what was wrong with the studio system But then it becomesa portrait of Jewish angst and hardship at the turn of the century But really, it s an absorbing read simply because the characters are so fascinating Sammy Glick might seem like a cliche, but he feels real And the whole thing shines with the crackling dialogue of a great period screenplay No surprise Schulberg went on to write On the Waterfront and A Face in the Crowd. A criticism not only of Hollywood moguls but also of ruthless ambition, What Makes Sammy Run is a landmark work from the 40s that turned out to be hauntingly prescient Sammy s stab you in the back to ahead mentality represents America, and this book makes for an interesting Hollywood story that is relatable in every aspect of modern day business You may even have a Sammy Glick in your life, which is scary to say the very least.The story centers on the aforementioned Glick, and it s told from the perspective of somebody Glick walks over to get ahead, which paints an interesting story unlike the naive narrator from The Great Gatsby In this book, the protagonist, Al Manheim, knows Sammy is slime and you get to see his outlook on the ambitious character It makes for fascinating narration In his climb to the top, Sammy screws over anybody and everybody But they re all Jewish people like himself, which the author, Budd Schulberg, made sure of , making him a pretty repugnant character That said, he s not one dimensional, and you even start to feel sorry for him since he can t help himself Some might even see him as a non violent sociopath, taking his licks and accepting them if it means it will further his barreling career If I have only one complaint with the book, it s that the ending comes rather abruptly for my taste That said, the book is enjoyable and has well thought out characters and excellent pacing If you love movies, andimportantly, the story behind making movies, then you should definitely read this book Maybe you ll uncover for yourself just what makes Sammy run. He knows whereof he speaks It s remarkable that he had the perspective to write this book as a young man, having grown up at the center of power in Hollywood A smart and empathetic assessment of the state of the business he was steeped in from birth Movies aren t the center of the culture, as they were then, before television, much less the web If the Sammy Glicks of the world are now hustling Apps, only the details have changed. Plans to film What Makes Sammy Run have been bandied around for decades, but the movie has already been madeor less via another Budd Schulberg story, A Face In The Crowd , i.e boy meets girl as casualties of an arrogant, greedy media climbing monster Anyone who has enjoyed films like The Player , The Bad And The Beautiful or Barton Fink will have a great time reading this, and Schulberg never runs out of great dialogue. I am about to eat serious crow When Sammy was selected for my book club read, I wondered aloud why we should be reading an old book that could not possibly be relevant today Oh how wrong I was Aside from being splendidly written, fast paced and absorbing the story, the quest, the always fragile success are totally relevant to life in America today Who do we know who, like Sammy Glick, is so completely absorbed in himself, who lies constantly and without remorse, and who destroys everyone and every good thing he touches Who has built the slick facade of his unearned success on a foundation of swirling slime Who do we know who is never happy, and never will be I could go on, but you get the point Read the book Turn on the news It s the same story. You might think a book written in 1941 about Hollywood would be too dated to be of interest to anyone but Hollywood historians Wrong, baby, wrong This modern classic is a must read for anyone who is fascinated by Hollywood, or interested in character studies of incredibly compelling anti heroes In the 21st century, What Makes Sammy Runis essentially a historical novel, but it s still a damn fine character driven story, and let s face it, Hollywood is still crawling with Sammy Glicks.The novel s eponymous question, What makes Sammy run is asked by the narrator, Al Manheim, a reporter at a New York City paper who first meets Sammy as a bright eyed, bushy tailed 15 year old copy boy I ll keep my ear to the ground for you, kid Maybe in a couple of years I ll have a chance to slip you in as a cub reporter That was the first time he ever scared me Here I was going out of my way to be nice to him and he answered me with a look that was almost contemptuous Thanks, Mr Manheim, he said, but don t do me any favors I know this newspaper racket Couple of years at cub reporter Twenty bucks Then another stretch as district man Thirty five And finally you re a great big reporter and get forty five for the rest of your life No, thanks I just stood there looking at him, staggered Then Hey, boy And he s off again, breaking the indoor record for the hundred yard dash.Sammy runs, runs, runs, and Al Manheim is as obsessed as he is horrified as he watches Sammy shamelessly lie, cheat, and steal ideas and promote himself with the unselfaware genius of the truly narcissistic He stabs his patron, Al, to get a newspaper column of his own, and when a young writer comes to him with a story idea, Sammy calls up a big name Hollywood agent, having no idea just how ridiculous the thing he is doing is, and soon is saying goodbye to the Big Apple and hello to Hollywood, leaving behind his friends, his family, his cast off fiancee, and the guy who wrote the story he s now launching his career with.Al manages to get snagged into the Hollywood writing gig himself a little later, and soon he s also makingmoney than he ever did as a reporter, but watching Sammy outstrip everyone When Sammy becomes a 500 a week writer big money in the 30s , he s seething with dissatisfaction because he knows some writers are making 2500 a week When he becomes a 2500 week writer, he wants to join the inner circle of 5000 week writers And when he joins them well, who wants to be a mere writer, at the bottom of the Hollywood totem pole, when the big money and power comes from being a supervisor, a producer, a studio headSammy keeps running, and Al is there to witness it Sammy Glick never writes a word himself or has a single original idea, yet he manages to keep rocketing up into the big time Al trails behind him, modestly successful, held back by his own basic decency, a trait for which Sammy mocks him contemptuously and yet makes him Sammy s confidant and the closest thing he has to a friend, since whenever Sammy does something lowdown and dirty, Al is the only one he can confide in.Sammy s rise is the epic journey of an anti hero He s a louse, he s a creep, he s despicable And as horrifically entertaining as watching the Grinch drive a lawn tractor over Smurfs.Al s obsessive quest to find out what makes Sammy run eventually leads him back to the Jewish New York ghetto where Samuel Glickstein grew up, and then back to Hollywood after being temporarily exiled for his participation in the struggle of the Writers Guild against the big studios, where he witnesses Sammy s final triumph marriage to the heiress of one of the Wall Street men who finances the studio, elevation to studio head, being feted and brown nosed by all, and still, of course, running.I thought of all the things I might have told him You never had the first idea of give and take, the social intercourse It had to be you, all the way You had to make individualism the most frightening ism of all You act as if the world is just a blindfold free for all Only the first time you get it in the belly you holler brotherhood But you can t have your brothers and eat them too You re all alone, pal, all alone That s the way you wanted it, that s the way you learned it Sing it, Sammy, sing it deep and sad, all alone and feeling blue, all alone in crowded theaters, company conventions, all alone with twenty of Gladys s girls tying themselves into lewd knots for you All alone in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, with power and with Harringtons till death parts you from your only friend, your worst enemy, yourself.Almost as interesting as the story is the historical background behind the novel and the author Budd Schulberg was a Hollywood prince, son of B.P Schulberg, a founding member of the AMPA and a producer for the big Hollywood studios Budd Schulberg grew up among a Who s Who of Hollywood in the 30s and 40s, so when he wrote What Makes Sammy Runit made a splash A big ugly splash Louis B Mayer himself called for Schulberg s exile from Hollywood, and Schulberg heard from his own father those immortal words You ll never work in this town again Much of the acrimony was over the character of Sammy Glick, whom Schulberg insisted was not based on any one person but a composite of Hollywood personalities and anecdotes he had heard over the years, yet apparently most of Hollywood thought they knew who Sammy really was.However, perhaps the real grievance was what s just a subplot in the novel, the attempted unionization of the Hollywood writers guild Schulberg was called a Red because of his sympathetic portrayal of an event that was still remembered bitterly by the major studios decades later.The edition of the book I read included an afterword by the author, written in 1989, 50 years after the original publication of his novel Besides containingamusing anecdotes and name dropping apparently John Wayne himself was one of those who never forgave Schulberg for siding with the unions, and the two of them nearly had a fistfight in Mexico , Schulberg observes that when the novel first came out, and over the next couple of decades, Sammy was viewed with fear and loathing, a sleazy anti hero who is the personification of Hollywood s id Yet in the 80s, young film and writing students started coming up to him and praising Sammy as an inspiration, a role model for ambitious career advancement Schulberg, still a liberal after all these years, was appalled.And thus Sammy Glick is not only a fascinating anti hero, a brilliant portrayal of a rags to riches narcissist, but also a textbook case of an author s creation who runs out of control, taking on a meaning and significance his creator never intended.Highly recommended