Show Business: The Book Buyer

Not too long after Hollywood learned to talk it also learned to read, and producers have always liked movies about books—or at least about book titles. But never before have the moviemakers so eagerly turned the bestseller lists into production schedules. Hollywood now has nearly 500 books in some stage of production. The man who is leading the book trend, galley proofs flying and reading glasses agleam, is a glib, moon-faced middleman of culture named Jerry Wald.

Producer Wald (20th Century-Fox) is running up new box-office records with Peyton Place, has a dozen other...

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