After George Gershwin pronounced one of those tunes—Raksin’s arrangement of “I Got Rhythm”—“an extraordinary work,” Raksin received a telegram from Charlie Chaplin, offering him WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN HAVING SHOT AT HOLLYWOOD STOP.
In these pages Raksin recounts never before told tales of his three decade-long friendship with Chaplin, in which he clowned around more ludicrously than the Little Tramp ever did on film, but also had never before revealed private chats, such as when Raksin, after watching a rough cut of "The Great Dictator" alone in the screening room with Charlie, asked, "Charlie, is he or isn't he [Jewish]?."
“The Bad and the Beautiful” vividly details scores of lighthearted moments with (surprisingly) serious artists; e.g. Raksin’s work with his friend Igor Stravinksy on “Circus Polka,” a brisk and bright piece starring “Modoc, the four-ton elephant.” But the autobiography also details deadly serious battles, such as his successful political campaign to protect artists' rights by forming Composers and Lyricists Guild of America, and deeply personal disappointments, such as the 1944 “Dear John” letter from his wife that led him to write “Laura,” a song now regarded as one of the greatest musical expressions of the yearning that comes from unrequited love.
eBook THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL