This riveting, poignant and hilarious memoir recounts Clancy Sigal’s escapades as a young agent, handling screenwriters and actors at the Sam Jaffe Agency in the blacklist-addled Hollywood of the 1950s. He’s hired by the take-no-prisoners agent Mary Baker after being fired from Columbia Pictures for using the mimeo machine to copy radical leaflets. Atom bomb tests in the desert light up the night sky, and everyone is either naming names or getting named. As the point person of a small circle of anarchistic oddballs, Clancy is constantly dogged by the FBI. But he spends his days going from studio to studio, trying to promote his clients Jack Palance, Peter Lorre, Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, and many others.
Clancy’s style is rip-roaring — headlong, ribald, wiseass. Black Sunset belongs to a hardboiled school that also includes Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard. This is a once-in-a-lifetime tale of Hollywood drama and excess, from a legendary entertainment industry insider.