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Who Still Needs a Biography?

Read any good books lately?

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moviemagz
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Postby moviemagz » September 29th, 2008, 5:12 am

CLAUDETTE COLBERT: SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY has just been published. I'm reading it now, it's ok but alas has way too much "filler" in it (ie overly detailed film storylines, etc.)

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metsfan
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby metsfan » March 2nd, 2009, 12:47 am

Out of curiosity, has anyone read Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kid? At the moment I can't purchase it but I've heard good things about this book.

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moviesrgr8 » March 5th, 2010, 3:01 pm

I read the Don Ameche biography. I don't think it is great but it does provide some biographical information on Ameche. I was interested in learning about his long marriage to Honey and their six kids. I am happpy to learn that he was a devout Catholic and that we share the same birthday (May 31). The part about how he and Tyrone Power were friends was nice to hear since he may have been jealous of Ty's amazing looks. Ameche seems like he was a nice man. Heaven Can Wait is my favorite Ameche performance.

Since we are on the subject, Ms. Golden requested biography subject ideas. I think a dual biography of buddies Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson would be fascinating. I would name it Two Guys from Milwaukee after their movie together, since they both hailed from Wisconsin. (Carson was born in Canada). Another person whom I would love to see a bio on is Ann Blyth, who is happily still alive and is married to Dennis Day's dentist brother....

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moviesrgr8 » March 9th, 2010, 9:35 am

I would like to see a biography on Claire Trevor, who would have been 100 yesterday. She was a versatile actress and a famed philanthropist, too. Loved her in Stagecoach and Murder, My Sweet .

I keep thinking that a dual biography on Wisconsin buddies Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson would be very interesting. They made a nice team in the 1940s. --- Mary

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moviesrgr8 » March 9th, 2010, 9:36 am

Don't bother buying the Claudette Colbert book. Nothing new there....

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby pvitari » March 10th, 2010, 4:19 pm

Has there been a biography of Jack Oakie? He's one of my favorite hams. ;)

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moira finnie » March 10th, 2010, 10:09 pm

pvitari wrote:Has there been a biography of Jack Oakie? He's one of my favorite hams. ;)

We can only hope! I'd love to see one about Edward Everett Horton too.
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby Moraldo Rubini » March 13th, 2010, 1:24 pm

moirafinnie wrote:We can only hope! I'd love to see one about Edward Everett Horton too.

I'd snap that up in a minute! Such a long career; surely he'd seen it all.

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moira finnie » July 9th, 2011, 9:46 am

Actor George Sanders wrote a legendary (and now exorbitantly priced) autobiography, he's been the subject of a book by his friend Brian Aherne and an OOP bio by Richard VanDerBeets.

Now, a devotee has put together a visual bio on youtube, complete with a techno-pop dance music score (why??). The images are fun, despite the hypnotic music, and it is clearly a labor of love. If you like Sanders, you might enjoy this:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyNNYXDhJus&feature=player_profilepage[/youtube]
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Re:

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 9th, 2011, 1:21 pm

moviemagz wrote:CLAUDETTE COLBERT: SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY has just been published. I'm reading it now, it's ok but alas has way too much "filler" in it (ie overly detailed film storylines, etc.)


I quite enjoyed this book, I thought it was well researched and open minded, better than Lawrence Quirk's book about her.
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby Western Guy » June 28th, 2012, 6:56 pm

Here's one I'd really love to read (but know it will NEVER happen): A biography of Stanley Ridges. I get a thrill everytime I see this superlative player appear in a picture. Like Hugh Laurie, this British-born talent could effectively turn off his English accent at the drop of a hat, as in Each Dawn I Die, where he so convincingly played the unbalanced convict Muller. Or his remarkable turn as meek college professor-turned-rabid gangster in Black Friday. Underrated to a fault, but one of the absolute best. Yet so little seems to be known about his personal life. And he tragically passed at a comparatively young age.

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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moira finnie » July 4th, 2012, 11:11 am

For those who might not connect the name of Stanley Ridges with a familiar face, here's a youtube tribute put together by someone who thinks like you, Stone. I wish that someone like you would write an encyclopedic book devoted to character actors in classic film. There are some, but nothing comprehensive or as lovingly crafted as they might be, at least among the ones I've seen.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBRso2X4AdQ[/youtube]

Sadly, I recently heard from a friend with a professional finger on the fluctuating pulse of the publishing industry that there appears to be little interest in biographies of classic film actors but editors are very interested in classic film actresses, especially if they are regarded as "groundbreaking and scandalous"--so I guess there will be a few dozen more unneeded bios of Bette and Joan and Marilyn coming down the pike, (enough already!).

The good news is that self-publishing and e-books might be evolving in such a way that niche markets catering to classic film fans could be created--though how profitable these are is dependent on so many factors.

I am still hoping that someone writes a decent bio of Tyrone Power someday.
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby Lzcutter » July 4th, 2012, 11:38 am

It would be great if someone wrote a good book on one of the most neglected and overlooked of all directors, Michael Curtiz. While just considered a studio director by too many critics and film historians, this is the guy who directed everything from Casablanca to The Adventures of Robin Hood to Mystery of the Wax Museum, Mildred Pierce and many more.

He was always more than just a studio director.
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby moira finnie » July 4th, 2012, 12:54 pm

Lzcutter wrote:It would be great if someone wrote a good book on one of the most neglected and overlooked of all directors, Michael Curtiz. While just considered a studio director by too many critics and film historians, this is the guy who directed everything from Casablanca to The Adventures of Robin Hood to Mystery of the Wax Museum, Mildred Pierce and many more.

He was always more than just a studio director.

Someone has and he is a member of this message board!

Alan K. Rode who posts here as "moxie," and is a key figure in the Film Noir Foundation and the author of a fine biography of Charles McGraw, has been working on his biography of Michael Curtiz for several years and has traveled over two continents to get the story. The book is finished and is expected to be published next year. Alan may be one of our guest authors again if he has time once it comes to press! Given Alan's scholarship, his many interviews with people who actually worked with his subject, his love of films, and his lively sense of the joy of storytelling I believe that his book may be the excellent biography that this remarkably gifted director truly deserves.
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Re: Who Still Needs a Biography?

Postby Lzcutter » July 4th, 2012, 1:10 pm

Moira,

That is great news about the Curtiz bio! I can't wait for it to be published. As I said earlier, for far too long he has been overlooked and written off despite his wonderful body of work and his ability to crucify the English language. Bring on the empty horses, indeed!
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"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

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