Lion of Hollywood When MGM studio chief L.B. Mayer got really angry, he'd hurl himself to the floor and roll around on the rug. (For extra laughs, imagine… Lion of Hollywood When MGM studio chief L.B. Mayer got really angry, he'd hurl himself to the floor and roll around on the rug. (For extra laughs, imagine… 2005-05-02 Biography Nonfiction Simon & Schuster
Book Review

Lion Of Hollywood (2005)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: May 02, 2005; Writer: Scott Eyman; Genres: Biography, Nonfiction; Publisher: Simon & Schuster

When MGM studio chief L.B. Mayer got really angry, he'd hurl himself to the floor and roll around on the rug. (For extra laughs, imagine a full-grown brat who looked, according to biographer Scott Eyman, ''like a very small, very charming white penguin.'') One director cracked that the ''L.B.'' stood for ''Lousy Bastard.'' Yet Louis B. Mayer was also a self-made movie genius who essentially invented the star system (he discovered Greta Garbo on a visit to Berlin) and, over 27 years, led MGM on the greatest run a studio has ever known. While Lion of Hollywood might lack ''Golden Age'' polish, Eyman's epic, 516-page bio builds adeptly on Mayer's legend, casting him, in a fair but tender accounting, as trickier and more complex than most of the glossy films he made.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints