The Making of “Fat City”

By Leonard Shecter Look October 19, 1971 The scene called for Billy Tully, played by Stacey Keach, to be thinning and weeding young tomatoes under a broiling sun. It’s sweaty, backbreaking working that must, because of the delicacy required, be done with a short,...

The Lady in the Dark

By Phillip Lopate New York Woman November 1989 Pauline Kael has just turned seventy. An important birthday; her house in the Berkshires is filled with flowers from well-wishers. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that there are always this many flowers around,”...

Who’s the Bull Goose Looney Here?

By Grover Lewis Playboy 1975 The midmorning sky over the Oregon State Hospital in Salem looks liverish, quiverish, ready to collapse with torrential rain at any second. On the crewcut lawn behind the main building, an orderly shoos his excursion troupe of exercising...

The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...

Too Close for Comfort

By Ross Wetzsteon American Film May 1984 “Tell the guys in the crew to use my trailer while I’m gone.” It’s a star’s trailer, parked outside War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, Glenn Close is shooting The Natural with Robert Redford and Robert Duvall. It’s a...

Payday

By Robert Ward American Film May 1985 Maury Dann, the country singer, is sitting in a restaurant with his entourage. It’s one of those cheap little Formica-table places in Alabama, the kind of hard-light joint that says “All You Can Eat” outside. Maury is a...

Vietnam: How the War Became the Movie

By William Broyles Jr. Smart July–August 1990 I have been trading war stories with other Vietnam veterans for two decades. I almost never believe the stories they tell me, any more than you should believe mine. I don’t mean these stories aren’t true, just that they...

Mickey Rourke Doesn’t Smell

By Scott Raab GQ July 1995 Lost inside a huge sweater and a baggy, low-slung pair of jeans, an oversized brown fedora slumped well down on his forehead, half walking, half leaning against a young woman with long brown hair, actor/boxer Mickey Rourke trudges down a...

The Stacks Chat: Robert Benton

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic August 2016 Robert Benton is best known as a screenwriter (Bonnie and Clyde, What’s Up Doc?,and Superman), and director (The Late Show, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Nobody’s Fool), but before he lost it at the movies, Benton was the art...

Magnificent Obsession

By John H. Richardson Premiere December 1997 “I’m getting bored here,” Cameron is saying. “I went for popcorn 10 minutes ago.” He is speaking into a handheld cordless microphone, his voice booming down from the astonishingly crisp overhead speakers like the voice of...

A Forgotten Pioneer of The New Journalism

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic October 2016 Fame is fleeting in all pop culture—movies, music, writing, sports: today’s stars, tomorrow’s Where Are They Now’s. This feels especially true in journalism. Who but a small group of nonfiction-loving nerds pays attention to...

Brooke on the Brink

By Stacy Title New York Woman October 1990 The very sight of Brooke Shields, the six-foot icon slash model slash actress, puts people into shock. Whatever they’re doing, they stop. Here in the Pan Am terminal at La Guardia, wearing a fitted, floral dress—magenta and...