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Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 3:08 pm
by charlestranberg
I wrote the book Fredric March: A Consummate Actor because I've been a fan of Fredric March's for a long time. In his lifetime he was acknowledged as one of the great actors. However, since his passing in 1975, his standing seems to have fallen. His was not one of the names on the List of the American Film Institutes 25 legendary male stars (perhaps it would have been if it had been a list of all-time best actors? Who knows.) And only one of his films was listed on the AFI top 100 Greatest films (William Wyler's THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES). I have felt that one of the reasons why he isn't as remembered today as some of his contemporaries (Grant, Stewart, etc) is because he didn't really have an established screen persona that he molded and carried over from film to film that caused an audience to really identify with him. He was an actor first and foremost and was always characterizing. Another reason may be that after the 30's he spent a great deal of his time on the stage (he won the first Tony Award given to an actor). But then Katharine Hepburn appeared frequently on the stage and made fewer films than March did, and she is one of the most revered stars of all-time (but then she also had a very established screen persona, too).

The list of outstanding films is long: ROYAL FAMILY OF BROADWAY, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, SMILIN' THROUGH, THE EAGLE & THE HAWK, DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY, LES MISERABLES, ANTHONY ADVERSE, A STAR IS BORN, NOTHING SACRED, SO ENDS OUR NIGHT, ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN, I MARRIED A WITCH, ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, EXECUTIVE SUITE, THE DESPERATE HOURS, MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, INHERIT THE WIND, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY & his great swan song, made when he was very ill, THE ICEMAN COMETH. The landmark plays he appeared in include: THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (and a feud with Talullah Bankhead), A BELL FOR ADANO, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (one of the stages great performances) & GIDEON. Two Oscars and two Tony Awards to his credit.

I had the great fortune of utilzining the Fredric March papers at the State Historical Society in Madison, WI (March was born in Racine, WI & maintained ties to the state throughout his life. I also utilized the papers of many of the films and stage productions he appeared in. I hope that this book will be a step forward in rediscovering one of the great actors of all-time. It certainly was a labor of love. I hope that if you are a March fan you will consider this book.

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 3:19 pm
by Rita Hayworth
My Public Library - has that book and they do book sales on December, March, June, and September - and I already pre-ordered it for December. I have that book at home and I have to return it next week because of the demands of this book - its a limited time book (like 10 days) - all others books are like 1 month. I basically skimming through the book and can't wait until December to get my own copy ...

It listed at my local library at $19 - and that's includes tax.

So, I will be reading it in great detail in December ... its a great book on Fredric March.

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 4:11 pm
by charlestranberg
Thanks Rita Hayworth! :)

BTW, I'm planning to do a guest author Q&A here on Silver Screen Oasis sometime in November.

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: November 1st, 2013, 8:48 pm
by Sue Sue Applegate
Glad you are coming for a visit, Charles! :lol:

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: November 1st, 2013, 9:04 pm
by charlestranberg
Sue Sue Applegate wrote:Glad you are coming for a visit, Charles! :lol:


Thank you! Looking forward to it.

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: November 20th, 2013, 4:23 pm
by moira finnie
I am loving the book right now and learning so much more about Fredric March than I ever knew. Here's the announcement of this event: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=6414

I also hope to sneak in a few questions about Robert Taylor too, since Charles wrote a biography of the actor that opened my eyes to the intelligent, rather thoughtful person inside the movie star facade.

I'm really looking forward to November 23rd and 24th when you visit this weekend.

Re: Fredric March: A Consummate Actor

Posted: November 20th, 2013, 8:35 pm
by charlestranberg
I'm so glad you are enjoying the March book! By all means please ask about Robert Taylor or about the subjects of any of my other books.