Picks and Pans Review: Making Tootsie

updated 04/25/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/25/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Susan Dworkin

Tootsie has already achieved a reputation as a classic film comedy. Dworkin's fluid, marvelously detailed book goes a long way toward explaining why. Dworkin, who sat in on the shooting, writes of Dustin Hoffman's painstaking efforts to make the "woman" he plays a character instead of a caricature; of supporting cast coping with a constantly changing script; and of director Sydney Pollack's battle to bring cohesion out of chaos. Dworkin is generous to all parties but, happily, never ga-ga. The behind-the-scenes battles between star and director are not skimped on. Dworkin, a contributing editor of Ms. magazine, also is particularly sensitive to feminist issues and cites both Hoffman and Pollack as being guilty occasionally of male chauvinism. Pollack, she says, invariably referred to women on the set as "honey" and "dear." And Dworkin reports that "Dustin habitually talked about sex with women in the most graphic terms." In her view these women were "being tested somehow or deliberately embarrassed, the better to be managed and controlled." Despite such arguable assertions, Making Tootsie is more than a pleasing, photo-filled souvenir of a popular hit. Books about the making of movies are plentiful; honest ones are rare. (Newmarket Press, $7.95)

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