Hal Wallis might not be as well known as David O. Selznick or Samuel Goldwyn, but the films he produced—Casablanca, Jezebel, Now Voyager, The Life of Emile Zola, Becket, True Grit, and many other classics (as well as scores of Elvis movies)—have certainly endured. As producer of numerous films, Wallis made an indelible mark on the course of America's film industry, but his contributions are often overlooked and no full-length study has yet assessed his incredible career.
A former office boy and salesman, Wallis first engaged with the film business as the manager of a Los Angeles movie theater in 1922. He attracted the notice of the Warner brothers, who hired him as a publicity assistant. Within three months he was director of the department, and appointments to studio manager and production executive quickly followed. Wallis went on to oversee dozens of productions and formed his own production company in 1944.
Bernard F. Dick draws on numerous sources such as Wallis's personal production files and exclusive interviews with many of his contemporaries to finally tell the full story of his illustrious career. Dick combines his knowledge of behind-the-scenes Hollywood with fascinating anecdotes to create a portrait of one of Hollywood's early power players.