In this adventure, which would have played well in one of his own films, Schmuel Goldfisz left the Warsaw ghetto in 1895. He walked 300 miles to the Oder River, where he paid someone to row him across, smuggling him out of the Russian empire into Germany, past border patrols to another long walk to Hamburg. The gleam in his eye was America, "a far-away country, a vision of paradise."
Schmuel Goldfisz became Samuel Goldwyn, one of the producers who created the Hollywood film industry. His pictures, notably Stella Dallas, Wuthering Heights, and The Best Years of Our Lives, were famous for "the Goldwyn Touch". And Goldwyn himself was one of the most colorful of the vivid personalities of his time. The Saturday Evening Post called him "the central figure of the great comic legend". Americans still indulge in "Goldwynisms" when they order somebody to "include me out" or "stop biting the hand of the goose that laid the golden eggs." Goldwyn's son calls this book "the biography my father would have wanted" -- a very special look at Hollywood and one of its leading figures.
©1998 A. Scott Berg; (P)2009 Phoenix