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Chasing the Panther : Adventures and Misadventures of A Cinematic Life

Chasing the Panther : Adventures and Misadventures of A Cinematic Life

By Carolyn Pfeiffer w/ Gregory Collins


A cinematic and vibrant coming-of-age memoir, Chasing the Panther : Adventures and Misadventures of A Cinematic Life  captures the thrilling and, at times, heartbreaking early years of Carolyn Pfeiffer, a pioneering film producer and one of Hollywood's first female executives—a “mini-mogul” in the words of the Wall Street Journal.

For a moment in the 1980s, Carolyn Pfeiffer was the only woman in Hollywood who could greenlight a movie. Working with directors like Sam Shepard and Wes Craven, and with actors like River Phoenix and Bette Davis, she had a hand in producing or distributing many landmark films, among them Ridley Scott's The Duellists, Alan Rudolph's Choose Me, and the Academy Award-winning Kiss of the Spider Woman. However, long before establishing herself as a player in the world of film, Carolyn was a horseback-riding tomboy who dreamed of exploring the world beyond her small hometown. Her journey turned out to be a tale fit for the movies.

As a young girl jumping from rock to rock in a rural North Carolina town, Carolyn felt a calling she couldn’t articulate but that she nonetheless understood: it was a tug on her heart, a yearning for something more. When she could, she set out for New York City, a refuge for young women exercising their independence and resisting the pressures of marriage and motherhood. There, swept up in the glamorous world of beat poets and millionaires, Carolyn brushed shoulders with a young Burt Reynolds and became fast friends with an English journalist named Penny.

As the turbulent 1960s dawned, Carolyn booked a one-way passage to Europe. Her plan was to visit Penny and to travel around Europe for the summer but, instead, the world opened up to her in ways she never could have imagined. She found herself on set with Italy’s great filmmakers, in the couture houses of Paris’ fashion icons, and swept up in the youthful energy flooding London. She learned about film and found work on iconic movies like Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard, and David Lean's Doctor Zhivago, and she came to befriend and work alongside luminaries like the Beatles, Tennessee Williams, Francoise Truffaut, and Barbra Streisand. Amid these adventures and misadventures, Carolyn fell in and out of love, and was beset by tragedies and triumphs that resoundingly affirmed what she'd known since girlhood—that she was always destined for something more.

Set against the dazzling backdrop of Fellini's Rome, the Paris of the French New Wave, and Swinging London, Chasing the Panther reads like a true-to-life novel revealing Carolyn’s unforgettable journey to find her place in the world.

    • Format : Hardback
    • Condition : New
    • Publisher : Harper Horizon
    • ISBN : 978-07852-55184
    •  Copyright : 2023
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