What makes Sammy Run? – Budd Schulberg
Told in first person narrative by Al Manheim, drama critic of The New York Record, this is the tale of Sammy Glick, a young uneducated boy who rises from copy boy to the top of the screenwriting profession in 1930s Hollywood by backstabbingothers. Manheim recalls how he first met the 16-year-old Sammy Glick when Sammy was working as a copy boy at Manheim's newspaper. Both awed and disturbed by Sammy's aggressive personality, Manheim becomes Sammy's primary observer, mentor and, as Sammy asserts numerous times, his best friend. Tasked with taking Manheim's column down to the printing room, one day Glick rewrites Manheim's column, impressing the managing editor and gaining a column of his own. Later he steals a piece by an aspiring young writer, Julian Blumberg, sending it under his own name to the famous Hollywood talent agent Myron Selznick. Glick sells the piece, "Girl Steals Boy", for $10,000 and leaves the paper to go to work in Hollywood, leaving behind his girlfriend, Rosalie Goldbaum. When the film of Girl Steals Boy opens, Sammy is credited for "original screenplay" and Blumberg is not acknowledged. Glick rises to the top in Hollywood over the succeeding years, paying Blumberg a small salary under the table to be his ghost writer. He even manages to have "his" stageplay Live Wire performed at the Hollywood Playhouse, although the script is actually a case of plagiarism, The Front Page in flimsy disguise; strangely enough, no one except Manheim seems to notice. Sammy's bluffing also includes talking about books he has never read. Manheim, whose ambitions are much more modest, is both fascinated and disgusted by the figure of Sammy Glick, and Manheim carefully chronicles his rise. In Hollywood, Manheim is disheartened to learn that Catherine "Kit" Sargent, a novelist and screenwriter he greatly admires, has fallen for Sammy's charms. Although Manheim is quite open about his feelings for Kit, she makes it...
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