You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again
by Julia Phillips
Random House, 573 pp., $22.00
How Green Was My Valley: The Screenplay for the Darryl F. Zanuck Film Production Directed by John Ford
by Philip Dunne
Santa Teresa Press, 105 pp., $27.50
PHILLIPS, JULIA, film producer; b. Bklyn., April 7, 1944; d. Adolph and Tanya Miller; grad. Nicolet high sch.; B.A. Mt. Holyoke, 1965; m. Michael Phillips (div.); 1 dau., Kate Elizabeth. Former prodn. asst. McCall’s Mag.; later textbook copywriter Macmillan Publs.; editorial asst. Ladies Home Journal, later asso. editor; head Mirisch Prodns., N.Y.; founded (with Tony Bill and Michael Phillips) Bill/Phillips Prodns., 1970; films include Steelyard Blues, 1973, The Sting (Acad. award for best picture of yr.) 1973, Taxi Driver (Palme d’or for best picture), 1976, The Big Bus, 1976, Close Encounters of the Third Kind; dir. Estate of Billy Buckner, 1974. Recipient Phi Beta Kappa award for ind. work, 1964. Mem. Acad. Motion Picture Arts and Scis. Democrat. Home: 2534 Benedict Canyon Beverly Hills CA 91210 Office: 1201 Producers 2 Columbia Pictures Colgems Square Burbank CA 91505.
Who’s Who in America
Those were the last days when Julia Phillips seemed to have the world on a string, dancing to her tune, the Oscar for The Sting and the follow-up successes of Taxi Driver and Close Encounters not yet consigned to ancient history, the final days before cocaine and freebasing and dealer boyfriends and hanger-on boyfriends and gigolos and too many insults and too many enemies and too little money and too much back taxes and lawyers and suicides and lousy advice and bad deals and rotten men finally took their toll. I knew her in those days, and she was then and is now the quintessential pain in the ass, which in an odd way is the source of her sometimes considerable, more often infuriating, charm.
We were her neighbors in Trancas, at the outermost edge of the Malibu, the older gentile couple in the house on the palisade. The first time we had Julia and her husband Michael to dinner, she got drunk (blaming it of course on the size of my drinks—actually drink; it was one Bloody Mary). She threw up in the bathroom, then checked out the prescriptions in the medicine cabinet, “the most thrilling medicine cabinet I had ever seen, every upper, downer, and in-betweener of interest in the PDR, circa 1973.” All prescribed (in vain) for the migraine headaches with which my wife and I were both afflicted, but to a junkie it is comforting to think everyone else is a junkie, too. The next day my wife sent her some chicken soup to get her through the hangover. “Shiksa chicken soup,” Julia called it, ready with a putdown even in extremis.
A few years later when Julia and Michael were noisily breaking up, and equally noisily getting back together again, they came by the house one day for a script meeting about a novel of mine they were interested in making into a movie. She was heavily into drugs by that time, which only exacerbated her pointlessly aggressive style, a style compounded by a voice that could cut metal. Unfortunately when I am …