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Cary Grant: In Name Only [Paperback]

Gary Morecambe , Martin Sterling
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Oct 2003
In an era when glamour was prevalent, Cary Grant became one of Hollywood's iconic leading men, starring in over 70 films, including the Hitchcock films, "North by Northwest", "Suspicion", "Notorious" and "To Catch a Thief". Yet Cary Grant started off life as Archie Leach in the distinctly unglamorous milieu of provincial, post-Victorian Bristol. The authors of this biography explore how he overcame the difficulties of his dysfunctional and unprivileged background and built his career. A reporter once asked Grant, "Who is Cary Grant"? His telling response was, "When you find out, tell me". This volume provides an objective critique of the real, fallible man behind the projected screen image. Grant's private life was kept strictly secret at the time, when there was rigid studio control of stars and much less press intrusion than in contemporary times. Here, the authors uncover what happened off the film sets.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Robson Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861056397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861056399
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,070,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gary Morecambe, son of the famous comedian Eric Morecambe, was born in 1956. After a successful career as a publicist for a leading theatrical agency, he became a full-time writer in 1982 and has written several books, ranging from biography to fiction. Martin Sterling was born in Manchester in 1962. A freelance writer and broadcaster, he has extensive experience in journalism and has written plays and television scripts. This is his third book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography 21 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Several books have been written about Cary Grant, who was my favourite movie star. But this one is, imho, the best of them all because its the only one where he comes across as a rounded human being, warts and all. Other books about him tend to be a bit po-faced but this one, maybe because its jointly written by Eric Morecambe's son, is often amusing and has some lovely little details. It's also nice that people who knew Cary, like Roger Moore, have given the writers a lot of new material about him. An excellent read in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 28 July 2004
By A Customer
I am not a Cary Grant fan and I am familiar only with his most famous films. My main interest in reading this book was to explore the extraordinary transformation from the working class Archie Leach into the suave, sophisticated Cary Grant.
The book provides a fair and comprehensive account of Grant's life and includes some entertaining insights and anecdotes. However, there are few direct insights behind Grant's well-protected persona. It seems that the authors relied upon existing sources rather than conducting fresh research by meeting living friends, ex-wives, colleagues etc. As a result, the image of the private man is still a little fuzzy. His film career is viewed through slightly rose-tinted glasses and is a little too detailed and tedious in places.
The most interesting aspect of the book for me, is how an unhappy childhood shadowed his adult life, preventing him from finding true happiness until his fifth marriage and first child towards the end of his life. In his career, Grant was more concerned about commercial success than artistic merit and the majority of his films will not stand the test of time. He needed a legacy and his family gave him that legacy.
Clearly, Grant was a true professional, an accomplished actor and an astute businessman. However, his success was founded on the creation of a persona of someone he wanted to be (and some luck). The book never quite fully explains how he achieved that feat.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 2 April 2005
By A Customer
This was an excellent biography - I could not put it down. I have always been a big Cary Grant fan and this book had everything that I wanted to know. It was full of interesting facts and events.
I have read many biographies and this was one of the best!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In Name Only Cary Grant 30 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase
This book is very well written with interesting details of a number of Cary Grant's films.It is well worth reading..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pealing back the layers 29 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase
In spite of all the detail in this book and it certainly contains a lot of this given in a very interesting way, Cary Grant to me is still an Enigma. Who knows how many layers are underneath and how far would you have to go back to get to the original Archie Leach to find the making of this man, as the authors of this book say he is like one of those Russian dolls. What you see on the silver screen is not MR Grant, but a manufactured product, a real puzzle and a difficult one at that but a top quality product fit for purpose.
John Bentley. Liverpool.
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