By Annabel Davis-Goff
Updated April 02, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST
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A Cast of Thousands

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  • Book
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In A Cast of Thousands, members of the movie-industry hierarchy and an elderly patriarch of organized crime conspire to instigate and profit from a phony takeover bid for a Hollywood studio. In order to manipulate stock they set in motion a potential blockbuster movie about the Spanish Civil War and the Lincoln Brigade. A former heroin addict is hired as a producer; the director is tracked down in Jamaica, where he has been smoking the local produce and hiding out with his cat. His ex-wife is cast as leading lady; the leading men include an alcoholic, a compulsive womanizer, and an actor who goes nowhere without his more-than-slightly-corrupt guru. The result is an unsuccessful mixture of The Producers and The Dirty Dozen. Steve Shagan, a screenwriter (Voyage of the Damned, Save the Tiger, The Formula), clearly needs a screen and some actors to make this story move or interest us. Once again, it is surprising how rarely Hollywood is captured between the covers of a novel. B-

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A Cast of Thousands

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