Gene Gutowski’s name is associated with some of the great films of the 20th century: the Oscar-winning masterpiece The Pianist, Repulsion, Cul-de-sac, and Fearless Vampire Killers.
Producer of many of Roman Polanski’s classics, Gutowski shares his extraordinary memoirs – those of a Polish Jew, alone in occupied Warsaw after the deportation of his entire family, who would go on to make a name for himself in Hollywood – in his new book, With Balls and Chutzpah: A Story of Survival (published by iUniverse). As a young man who, with the blind courage of one who has nothing to lose, took incredible risks, he narrowly escaped the many horrors of life in Nazi-occupied Poland.
In an extraordinary twist of destiny, and thanks to his prodigious resourcefulness, Gutowski found himself in Germany in 1945, working as an American counter-espionage agent. After the war, he made his way to New York, where he worked as a fashion illustrator and TV producer, then on to London, where he became a successful producer and member of the jet set during the ′60s. Finally, he achieved Hollywood consecration winning three Oscars for The Pianist.
His extremely endearing personality that reveals itself in this memoir, modest about the difficulties overcome, honest about the successes and failures. Gutowski’s youth was a thumb of the nose to death and totalitarianism, and his journey is a formidable life lesson.