Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Thumbnails Oct 13

by Tony Medley

Salinger (9/10): Produced and directed by Shane Salerno, who put up the $2 million production budget himself and spent nine years on it, this is the story of hermetic author J.D. Salinger, told by people who knew him, like E. L. Doctorow and Gore Vidal, including his daughter and his girlfriends. He comes across as a controlling egoist who exploited very young women, writing them letters and meeting them and then establishing relationships with them. It also delves into his affair with teenager Oona O’Neill with pictures showing her to be a Gene Tierney lookalike. Adding to the interest are archival pictures of Salinger while serving in Europe during World War II, including one short film clip, the only one extant, of this period of Salinger’s life.

Rush (9/10): Highlighted by Oscar®-quality sound production by Danny Hambrook that greatly intensifies the speed and danger of Formula I auto racing and exceptional performances by the entire cast, but especially Daniel Brühl playing Niki Lauda and Chris Hemsworth playing James Hunt, this is a fascinating tale of the 1976 rivalry between Lauda and Hunt. Astute viewers may recognize that director Ron Howard includes scenes that reflect the influence of, if not actual homage to, oldtime directors Hitchcock and Capra.

Thanks For Sharing (9/10): First time director/writer (with Matt Winston) Stuart Blumberg makes an auspicious debut with this deep analytical film based upon addiction in general and sexual addiction in particular. He takes an A-list cast consisting of Gwenyth Paltrow, Timothy Robbins, and Mark Ruffalo, and creates a spellbinding drama about people with serious problems in their lives that necessarily affect their relationships.

The Family (8/10): Director Luc Besson (“Taken”) continues his magic as he knows how to set up rewarding scenes in which bad guys get their comeuppance, and there are a lot of those scenes here, made easier since everyone in the film is a bad guy, including the good guys, except the federal agents. Robert De Niro has become an accomplished comedic actor and Michelle Pfieffer is still gorgeous and can still give a fine performance, but the real standout is daughter Dianna Agron as a sensual teenager coming of sexual age.

The Summit (8/10):  Producer/director Nick Ryan’s re-creation of “the deadliest day on the world’s most dangerous mountain,K2,” the second highest peak in the world, located in a remote region between Pakistan and China in 2008, is incredibly realistic. Although quite a bit of archival film from the actual 2008 climb was used, a lot of the film was shot in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland beneath the north face of the Eiger. The surrounding Alpine mountains were seamlessly replaced with the correct Himalaya landscape of K2 in post-production. This is one of the best mountain climbing movies ever made. Opens Oct. 4.

Closed Circuit (8/10): There’s a lot here that does not meet the eye, so if you can keep up with the arcane British legal process it’s an entertaining London-based thriller highlighted by fine acting, especially by Rebecca Hall who was the best thing in Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” despite third billing.

Madamoiselle C (5/10): Carina Roitfeld was the editor of the Conde Nast magazine French Vogue for 10 years. She left for greener pastures and this film chronicles her launch of a new magazine, CR Fashion Book. She is a peripatetic presence, with seeming indefatigable energy. But she talks so much during the first hour that it becomes enormously annoying, interspersing her comments with superficial pseudo-profundities. It is relatively incoherent, hard to determine what’s really going on.

Don Jon (1/10): It’s probably not possible to make a tasteful movie about a subject as distasteful as masturbation, but this movie doesn’t even try. Filled with frank conversation and gutter language, it is misogynistic with an added dose of misandry, and completely misrepresents Catholic Confession. I’m not sure if this was intended as a comedy because there is nothing the least bit humorous anywhere. Whatever was intended, after only five minutes I started looking at my watch and continued to urge those hands to move faster throughout the rest of the film.