Caren Weiner Campbell
June 06, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ovitz: The Inside Story of Hollywood's Most Controversial Powerbroker

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B-

Creative Artists Agency founder, erstwhile Disney president, and self-proclaimed control freak Michael Ovitz has made a career out of being persuasive — and he has certainly manhandled biographer Robert Slater, whose breathless chronicle, Ovitz: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Most Controversial Power Broker, (the only one Ovitz has ever authorized) depicts the former agent as heroic, disciplined, and almost clairvoyant. Glowing testimonials from Ovitz’s A-list clients (Tom Cruise, Sherry Lansing, Paul Newman) abound; his enemies (like David Geffen and producer Ray Stark) aren’t introduced until the last 100 pages or so, when their criticisms help balance the book — at last. This ”inside story” needs more outside perspective, since it’s arguable that Ovitz’s budget-inflating practice of packaging a movie’s director, star, and script ultimately harmed Hollywood. B-

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