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Rental Unit: "The Last Mogul"

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Wasserman became head of MCA, or The Music Corporation of America, when it was just a band booker for nightclubs, helping to turn it into the most powerful talent broker in the nation. It was business as usual once Wasserman brought his company to Hollywood. Business as usual meant as much business as possible went to Hollywood's first super-agent, Wasserman.

"The Last Mogul" talks about Wasserman's monstrous temper, his reputed mob connections and, to a lesser extent, his avarice. But it talks about them with running commentary by mostly close friends and associates. While the film is not a whitewash, its indictments aren't much harsher than an A&E Biography.

The most obvious connection deserving closer scrutiny is between Wasserman and Ronald Reagan. It's no surprise to anyone with a little industry knowledge to learn Wasserman had a big hand in Reagan's rise from B-picture actor to president of the Screen Actors Guild, and he remained a close friend when Reagan found his way to the governorship of California and finally the presidency of the United States.

But how far did the relationship go? Did Wasserman's "fixer," a high powered lawyer with reputed mob connections, have anything to do with it? Was he the real power behind the power, and who was behind him? In the words of one movie produced by this fixer's godson Robert Evans, featuring a consigliore role he could have consulted on, who pulled the strings? It'll take a more investigative work than this to tell us that. *** — Wayne Melton



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