Bring On The Empty Horses

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Bring On The Empty Horses

Bring On The Empty Horses

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By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. It now appears that Niven recounted many incidents from a first person perspective which actually happened to other people, and which he borrowed and embroidered. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and miss all those fabulous old movies and those shining stars who made them. All of these people, and many more, played an intricate part in David Niven's life and became lifelong friends.

Niven was part of the Hollywood Raj, that group of ex-pat Englishmen who played cricket at the park off Sunset Boulevard and ate roast beef on Sundays, regardless of the California heat. Who knew David Niven was so present during the Golden Age, I thought as I was reading it; turns out he inserted himself into many other people's stories to 'protect their privacy', which somewhat lessens the resonance of a memoir.

When asked which biography/memoir I best prefer, I am unable to hold back my admiration of David Niven's work here in Bring on the Empty Horses.

In 1959, he became the host of his own TV drama series, The David Niven Show, which ran for 13 episodes that summer. Though certain stories are doubtless exaggerated, Niven manages to convey the essence of what it meant to be a player in the Hollywood of the 30's. Here we learn that the "Goldwynisms" that Samuel Goldwyn is so famous for might have all been made-up. Even though you are bound to know much of this already, you'll rarely hear these tales recounted so suavely.There are very few villains here (except of course, the newspaper columnists and the committee hunting communists- I forget its name), and all the stories are told with understated wit and humour. David Niven wrote this book in Switzerland (where he then lived) when he was beginning to show the symptoms of the Motor Neurone Disease that would eventually take his life.

David Niven was also a very campionable sort of the chap, liked fishing, yatching, lots of drinking and making love to beatutiful women, as well as the power struggles of the studio tycoons. You can tell he holds back or changes some details to be fair to his subjects, but the reading is still fun.

NOTE: The title is taken from an expression that Warner Bros' Michael Curtiz (an ace studio director, but English-impaired) used when he meant to convey "riderless horses" in a Western. Personally, I wish there had been more about the filming of THE MOON IS BLUE (1953) and PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960, of which not a word is said).

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