James Curtis


"...consistently fascinating and compulsively readable." - Scott Eyman, The Palm Beach Post

"[Lewis'] recollections--in this highly recommended book--offer much insight into storyland's secluded innards." - Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

"...sheds new light on a key player in the film industry of the '30s and '40s." - Past Times

"Highly recommended." - Rudy Behlmer, Classic Images

The Creative Producer

In 1938, Warner Bros. production chief Hal Wallis grudgingly described David Lewis - one of his six "supervisors" and a veteran of 15 feature films - to director Michael Curtiz: "That Lewis is a genius at getting scripts out of people who can't write!"

Wallis knew that writing ultimately defined the job of the creative producer and that David Lewis had an uncanny talent for coaxing the best filmic material from the screenwriters he supervised.

In this memoir, Lewis describes his development as a production executive and how the associate producer helped make the famed studio system work. It was the producer (or "supervisor" at Warners) who saw the script budgeted, cast the film, helped choose the director, and gently influenced the filming itself. Once shooting was complete, it was the producer who stayed with the project through editing and previews.

"The Creative Producer" is a fascinating look at how an astounding volume of good, and sometimes great, films got made during the golden age of Hollywood.

Selected Works

A celebration of one of film's most potent visualists!
"James Curtis’s informative and beautifully written book does a thorough job of bringing Menzies to life.” - Martin Scorsese
An actor's life like no other!
"A monumental, definitive biography of one of the finest film actors in the history of the medium." - Kirkus Reviews
Now available as eBooks!
"The definitive book about America's most profound comedian." - John Cleese
"One of the most entertaining and engrossing film biographies I've encountered." - Judith Crist
New edition!
"Essential for all who care about the cinema." - Kevin Brownlow
Now on DVD!
With commentaries by Gloria Stuart and James Curtis.