THE CANDY BUTCHER
biography of screenwriter/film producer Frank Ray Perilli

Frank Ray Perilli wanted to be America's Federico Fellini, creating offbeat films of social controversy and significance. His twenty films and four plays vary between being Felliniesque art films (Harlow, Little Cigars, Fairytales, Last Call, A Cab For Joey) and 'B' films (The Doberman Gang, Draculas's Dog, Laserblast, Attack of the Star Creatures, Alligator). But they all have a cult following because they're all crafted by a man who started life as a Candy Butcher, the guy who peddles candy and snacks and magazines in passenger train aisles to make your trip more pleasant. Perilli offers the viewer tantalizing food for thought in all his works, not surprising given the colorful life he's led.

From a childhood in the mob controlled ghettos of Chicago in a day when his uncles worked for Al Capone, to a career in show business as a night club comic, character actor, and staff writer for people like Lenny Bruce, Shecky Greene, Dean Martin, and Don Rickles, Perilli's films reflect a bizarre and adventurous life. From being charged with murder when he owned a New Orleans nightclub in partnership with Shecky Greene, to relationships with stars like Hedy Lamaar, Rita Hayworth, and Doris Day, the truth of his life is every bit as strange as the fiction of his films.

Who better to document such a colorful life than William Karl Thomas, who formerly authored Lenny Bruce: The Making of a Prophet, about which the Manchester Guardian said, "Thomas can write, his work sometimes reads like a Bogart script." Thomas was once Bruce's writing collaborator and Perilli's writing collaborator, and the three worked together on Bruce's early films. Their association spans from New York to New Orleans to Hollywood, and also spans the socially and politically turbulant 1950's-60's and into the twenty-first century. If you like offbeat and bitter-sweet, read The Candy Butcher.

Read an excerpt from the book.
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ISBN: 978-1-62768-019-6 Softcover $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-62768-020-2 digital E-edition $2.99

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