When Bronston's epics are coming out in sumptuous dvd editions (thanks to the Weinsteins and the Miriam Collection), I have decided to remove the dust from a book i've bought one year ago in Paris: "L'homme qui voulait être prince : Les vies imaginaires de Michal Waszynski" (The Man Who Would Be Prince: the imaginary lives of M.W.).
As welles fan, i must say that unfortunately much more attention is reserved by the author Samuel Blumenfeld to the events of Waszynski's life before (his polish years, the WW2 odyssey etc.) and after (the Bronston studios megalomania) his strong relationship with O.W.: a period that is only outlined in the book (it seems incidentally that Waszynski, attempting don't be too modest, used to say later that he codirected Othello).
In my opinion, the author doesn't succeed really to understand and to reveal who truly was this strange man in perpetual escape from his past, his life, his jewish roots, his country (the Volhynia, that no longer exists on maps). The Waszynski mistery remains unsolved.
Many lacks (the frequent misspelling of italian names, the reproduction of old errors - Mr. "Mandatori Scalera" instead of "commendator Scalera", i.e. commander, an honour of Italian Republic -, the scarcely investigated period of his reapproach to cinema in Italy side by side with Vittorio Cottafavi) but a lot of in-depht informations: I confess my ignorance, but before reading the book I would never have suspected that the author of Dybbuk and the assistant director of Othello was the most prolific and most successfull movie director in polish box office history (and that most of his films, in v.o. without subtitles, are on emule).
In conclusion, a pleasant book, even if a little bit faint (as Waszynski himself really was, perhaps).