The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood by Julie Salamon is a 434-page hardcover published in 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Company. There are some creases along the flaps of the dust jacket. Inside, an old security sticker is affixed to the inside cover. Else, the book is clean and unmarked and the binding is tight.
Not since Lillian Ross wrote Picture in 1952 has a journalist been allowed unlimited access to the production of a major motion picture. Now the movie critic for the Wall Street Journal, Julie Salamon, takes us behind the scenes of the new Hollywood, where stars wield enormous power, salaries soar higher every year, and studios crave a monster hot.
The hit this time was supposed to be "The Bonfire of the Vanities," the Warner Bros. extravaganza based on Tom Wolfe's hugely successful novel. How could it lose? Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith, Bruce Willis--were box office dynamite. Director Brian De Palma brought an original creative vision and assembled a first-rate crew. Julie Salamon interviewed everyone involved, closely following the director as he cast the major parts, orchestrated the shooting, and oversaw the editing, all the while calming or battling giant egos.
No book has ever revealed more about how a big-budget Hollywood movie really gets made. Julie Salamon's riveting inside chronicle of an infamous film project illuminates the hidden workings of an industry where art, talent, and money combine--and often clash--on a monumental scale.