Young Man in Movieland is the autobiography of Jan Read, a young man from a quiet Scottish town, who seemed destined to follow in his father's footsteps. Instead of pursuing a career in chemistry, however, Read's passion for the cinema and a bit of luck led him in a completely different direction. Sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, an organization dedicated to encouraging young Brits to explore the U.S. and its institutions, Read abandoned a promising academic career in 1946 and set sail on a rusting Liberty ship headed for New York. An introduction from the British movie magnate J. Arthur Rank led Read to work as an assistant to Louis de Rochemont, producer of the ground-breaking Boomerang!. Moving to Hollywood, then in its golden age, Jan joined German director Fritz Lang, learning all he could about scripting and production techniques, and meeting many of the Hollywood greats along the way, including Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Darryl F. Zanuck, and Otto Preminger. Upon returning to England, he landed a job at Gainsborough Pictures, where he worked on a number of memorable films. In this fascinating memoir, Read provides a very personal look at the film industry, both in Hollywood and Britain, making Young Man in Movieland a delight for any movie-lover.
Jan Read has written or co-written such motion pictures as The Blue Lamp and Jason and the Argonauts. After spending many years in the motion picture and television industries, he has authored a great number of books on wine, travel, and gastronomy. He is a regular contributor to Decanter and other leading British, American, and Spanish wine magazines.