Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor

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9780880641807: Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor
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A portrait of the English-born actor who performed in films and stage roles and set the standards for several major roles, but who faced both professional struggles and personal turmoil and never recognized his own legendary status

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From Publishers Weekly:

Callow, who portrayed Mozart in the play Amadeus, seems to have studied every extant foot of Laughton film, read everything printed about the actor and to have talked at length with a great many people who knew him well. The result is a fully realized portrait of an intellectually and temperamentally complex man and at the same time an illuminating analysis of the art and craft of acting itself. Callow's enthusiasm is infectious: readers will wish to see, or see again, The Private Life of Henry VIII, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and many other movies in which Laughton appeared, including Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidda low point in his career but nonetheless a great performance, according to Callow. Laughton's odd 30-year marriage to Elsa Lanchester and his homosexuality are sympathetically discussed, along with his fortuitous associations with Bertolt Brecht, producer Paul Gregory, Robert Mitchum and other relationships not so fortuitous. This is a theater biography of the first rank, written with elegance, wit and psychological probity. Photos.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Callow traces Laughton's career from early theater successes in London's West End to Hollywood stardom. Always at odds with his unattractive face and overweight body, Laughton was troubled his whole life by feelings of guilt and inadequacy, exacerbated by his homosexuality and his unlikely 30-year marriage to Elsa Lanchester. A perfectionist when it came to working, he eventually became more and more self-absorbed. Callow's comprehensively researched and smoothly written but rarely critical work discusses virtually every film and play in which Laughton appeared and gives vintage reviews, quotes, etc. An actor himself, Callow provides an insider's insight into the life of a brilliant, troubled man. For general readers. Arthur Bargar, Milford P.L., Ct.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Simon Callow
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Callow, Simon
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