Marlon Brando (Penguin Lives)

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9780670882366: Marlon Brando (Penguin Lives)

The highly acclaimed biographer of Montgomery Clift turns the light on Marlon Brando, exploring the sexuality, passion, and sensitivity that fueled this film icon's rise to superstardom. 20,000 first printing.

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Review:

There have been many biographies of Marlon Brando, but Patricia Bosworth's succinct portrait, a worthy addition to the always cogent Penguin Lives series, will appeal to those more interested in the legendary performances that revolutionized American acting than in his offscreen shenanigans. A longtime member of the Actors Studio, Bosworth is especially well equipped to elucidate the introspective, emotionally charged acting style that electrified Broadway audiences in A Streetcar Named Desire, which opened in 1947 when Brando was only 23. Much of the material is familiar, but Bosworth often offers intriguing sidelights, such as the speculation that he modeled aspects of Stanley Kowalski on the play's driven, womanizing director, Elia Kazan. It's also interesting to learn that the actor he most admires is Paul Muni, who vanished into each characterization and had no "image" to plague him as Brando did after his star-making turns in The Wild One and On the Waterfront made him the quintessential 1950s rebel. (Bosworth suggests that The Godfather appealed to Brando because in the part of Don Corleone he could "hide completely" as Muni had done.) As in her biographies of Montgomery Clift and Diane Arbus, Bosworth examines with sympathy her subject's psychological difficulties, particularly his relationships with his alcoholic mother and brutal father; she skates lightly over later troubles like the murder trial of son Christian and suicide of daughter Cheyenne. The book essentially closes with Brando's early-'70s triumphs in The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris; the author frankly admits she's "still trying to figure out why this singular artist lost his way after [those] two great performances." Bosworth's appreciative account renews our dismay that this brilliant actor who so despises his profession couldn't be bothered to give more such performances. --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

Patricia Bosworth is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and writes regularly for the New York Times.

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Bosworth, Patricia
Published by Viking Penguin (2001)
ISBN 10: 0670882364 ISBN 13: 9780670882366
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Book Description Viking Penguin, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Book Description: Patricia Bosworth is an acclaimed biographer whose classic work on the life of Montgomery Clift was praised by Newsweek as "the best film star biography in years." Her firsthand knowledge of the entertainment industry infuses her writing with an intimacy and vividness The Washington Post Book World calls "extraordinary." In Marlon Brando, she evokes the magnetic sexuality, passion, and vulnerability of the icon and the man. Following its subject from the moody Oklahoma teenager to the Method-trained star to the eccentric recluse of his later years, Marlon Brando offers a penetrating look at the actor's evolving persona: the volcanic Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, the sensitive rebel in The Wild Ones, the iconic Don Corleone in The Godfather. Bosworth probes Brando's alcoholic parents' influence on his acting, his decades of psychoanalysis, and his tumultuous personal relationships. Here, from rebellious unknown to reluctant idol to falling star, is the complex charismatic genius who changed the face of acting. About the Author: Patricia Bosworth's books include her critically acclaimed biographies of Diane Arbus and Montgomery Clift and a memoir, Anything Your Little Heart Desires. She is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and writes regularly for The New York Times and Mirabella. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1119392099

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Book Description Viking. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0670882364 New Condition *** Right Off the Shelf | Ships within 2 Business Days ~~~ Customer Service Is Our Top Priority! - Thank you for LOOKING :-). Bookseller Inventory # 2BOOK1P34660

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