From Cowboy to Mogul to Monster: The Neverending Story of Film Pioneer Mark Damo


(Søren) #1

Finished this book some days ago and just want to come with a couple of words of warning.

People buying this book expecting it to contain valuable insider knowledge of how Mark Damon’s spaghetti western movie days went will be terribly disappointed, not many pages are spent on that particular period. In fact most of the pages are endless listings of Damon’s PSO years discussing who bought what movies at what sum and why that was ‘fun’ or who didn’t buy a particular movie and why etc etc. Perhaps very interesting for people very hooked on knowing the mechanics of movie selling, but probably not, as this book apart from focusing on the most boring part of film making (getting the money and selling the shit) suffers from really bad writing.

Oh and of course not a page goes by without Mark Damon bedding some new startlet or what gives which is fun to read in the beginning but gets on ones nerves as the pages carry on plus it makes Mr. Damon come out as somewhat of a bastard.

Avoid at all means. Even if a price of one penny or one pound may seem fair, let me assure you: It’s NOT.


(Silver) #2

[quote=“Søren, post:1, topic:1135”]Finished this book some days ago and just want to come with a couple of words of warning.

People buying this book expecting it to contain valuable insider knowledge of how Mark Damon’s spaghetti western movie days went will be terribly disappointed, not many pages are spent on that particular period. In fact most of the pages are endless listings of Damon’s PSO years discussing who bought what movies at what sum and why that was ‘fun’ or who didn’t buy a particular movie and why etc etc. Perhaps very interesting for people very hooked on knowing the mechanics of movie selling, but probably not, as this book apart from focusing on the most boring part of film making (getting the money and selling the shit) suffers from really bad writing.

Oh and of course not a page goes by without Mark Damon bedding some new startlet or what gives which is fun to read in the beginning but gets on ones nerves as the pages carry on plus it makes Mr. Damon come out as somewhat of a bastard.

Avoid at all means. Even if a price of one penny or one pound may seem fair, let me assure you: It’s NOT.[/quote]

Haha…that pretty much sums up what i thought of it too. Mind you, although i have enjoyed a lot of his films he always looked like a smug git to me anyway so none of it came as any surprise :stuck_out_tongue:


(Yodlaf Peterson) #3

I’ve got it but haven’t started it yet, you’ve put me off now :smiley:

Can you recommend a few good chapters?


(Søren) #4

I can’t remember one truly good chapter in the whole book. What you can do though is read the Italian-period chapters which were those I was most interested in and skip the rest. Will still not be a satisfactory read but at least you’ll get through it quicker. And oh yeah you can of course elect to only browse the photos and call it a day :slight_smile:


(Phil H) #5

Different book I know but while at a loose end yesterday during lunch break I wandered into a book shop and browsed through William Shatner’s autobiography. I was interested to see what, if anything, he had to say about White Comanche. It was actually quite interesting and funny (if a bit brief).

Apparently he hated making it. Not only because of the language problems but also because he was going through a difficult divorce at the time. The best bit as far as he was concerned was getting to ride horses a lot. In fact he said that it was while making this film that he really learned to ride well. Thankfully, he was also honest enough to say he always thought it would be a turkey as it had a dreadful script. (No mention of his own dreadful acting though)

The funniest part was when he said a good judge as to how bad the film turned out is that it can be purchased on Amazon for 1 cent! (over priced if you ask me) He seemed to get a genuine laugh out of that. I don’t know as I would buy the book but the couple of pages on this were quite entertaining to read. Good to see that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and that he doesn’t try and pretend that White Comanche is anything but a joke. Truly the film that put the Shat in Shatner.


(Romaine Fielding) #6

Yikes, Soren was right on.
I bought this on a whim. And I had not read Soren’s review.

I kinda liked Mark Damon (Johnny Yuma cracks me up) but he moved down a few pegs after I perused this book.
Here’s a helpful quote to give you the idea why:
“After shooting a forgettable rip-off of a James Bond picture in Lebanon, Agent 777, Mark got an offer from a director who saw him in Johnny Oro and wanted him to play the heavy in a picture he was going to make. The director was Sergio Leone, who had been given $200,000 and a load of leftover film stock and told to make a western. The film was A Fistful of Dollars.” p. 359

Um. Johnny Oro was filmed AFTER Fistful.
So the guy didn’t even read his own ghost written autobiography for factual errors?


(korano) #7

or maybe he didn’t consider i worth his time. Or maybe he didn’t care.


(Silver) #8

Have to say…i love a couple of Damon’s SW roles, but always got the sense that he was probably a bit of a twat in real life. That book just confirmed it…apart from him being great at everything and always being in demand, or always being asked for his advice, he was apparently fancied by everyone…including a lot of male directors, who blacklisted him when he spurned their advances. Jeez…i couldn’t even finish that book! So glad it only cost me £1! Still love Johnny Yuma though…


(Tom B.) #9

The only useful information I got out of the book was his relationship and marriage to Barbara Frey. Thankfully I bought the book on Amazon for $1.00. Love the part where he supposedly wrote part of Django and told Sergio to use Clint Eastwood in Fistful.


(Romaine Fielding) #10

Me too!

Sob, sob. Wish I could say the same.