The last mogul [Film]

written and dir. by Barry Avrich

« The Last Mogul is an impressively uncompromising portrait of the iconic powerhouse agent-turned-longtime head of MCA/Universal. Though a familiar presence in Hollywood for half a century - those famously oversized eyeglasses, gaunt frame, toothy grin, and a head shaped like an inverted triangle - he remains practically unknown outside the entertainment industry and political circles. But to say Lew Wasserman was the most significant force in postwar Hollywood would not be an overstatement. Probably more than any single individual, Wasserman dramatically changed the way movies were packaged and produced, had a profound impact on American television and, to a lesser extent, the recording industry, and nurtured careers as diverse and far-reaching as Ronald Reagan and Steven Spielberg.
Having worked in speakeasies as a teenager and a band booker into clubs owned by Al Capone and others, Wasserman held lifelong connections to organized crime, and the film fascinatingly recounts the mogul's continually successful efforts to ward off federal investigations by carefully nurturing a direct line to the White House. Indeed, without Wasserman Ronald Reagan the politician might never have existed, television might have been the exclusive domain of the networks and sponsors, and the cushily self-regulating MPAA might never have seen the light of day. »

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