Harold Robbins novel, The Dream Merchants has always been considered one of the best novels written about the beginnings of Hollywood and the birth of the motion picture. Why? Because it was authentic.

Harold worked at Universal Studios in the shipping department while waiting to take bankruptcy when he became 21 years old. It was his own rags to riches; riches to rags story…One day making millions of dollars on food commodities at the age of 20, flying his own plane to the farms in upper New York buying corn, peas and other foods. He bought sugar from Puerto Rico as his first international venture….and as quickly as he became the richest 20 year old in New York City, he lost everything….while standing on the dock as the Puerto Rican ship pulled into port, the news came across the wires that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ordered all sugar prices frozen….Harold was bankrupt…and this was all before he was 21. Does this remind you of our world today? The ups and downs, the roller coaster business cycles…Things can change, quickly, and in a way you never thought possible.

But Harold Robbins made use of his dilemma….working long hours just to keep food on the table and listening to the stories from movie people after he took a job at Universal Studios in the shipping department. In the warehouse department loading and packing mail shipments with film reels, projectors and movie promotion signs, he hung onto the words of the actors on sets at Universal like Errol Flynn, Tom Mix, Barbara Stanwyck, Loretta Young, James Cagney, Gary Cooper…  It was how show biz’ began for Harold Robbins. He heard the “insider” stories about the studios who sometimes didn’t have the money to complete movies.

Where did they get the funds to work with? Just one of the interesting stories in The Dream Merchants and a continuing phenomena of this star studded business that shows not all glamour and glitz. The Dream Merchants is the story behind the story… From the Hollywood set to the executive suites in New York and Los Angeles this story will make you feel the magic of how tinsel town began and the people who loved and lived with a passion that only Harold Robbins can tell. .


~ by haroldrobbinsnovels on September 10, 2010.

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