September 10, 1979 12:00 PM

by Howard Koch

The author of this autobiography wrote the infamous Orson Welles 1938 radio script, War of the Worlds, that had Americans believing New Jersey was being invaded by Martians. Koch also collaborated on Casablanca and wrote Sergeant York, The Letter and other memorable films. In this superficial book he comes off affable, sometimes funny and only a tiny bit pompous. He says interesting—and usually nice—things about many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, producers and directors during the golden ’40s. Hollywood blacklisted—he names Jack Warner, John Wayne and Adolphe Menjou—finally nailed Koch for supporting left-wing causes, and he fled to Europe to work in 1952. But he ends his easygoing story by counting his grandchildren and singing the praises of Woodstock, N.Y., where he now lives. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $10.95)

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