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Gloria Grahame, Bad Girl of Film Noir: The Complete Career Paperback – 12 Aug 2011

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Glad I Read This 5 Jan 2012
By G.I Gurdjieff - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Curiously whenever I think of Gloria Grahame I see her in terms of a movie seductress. This book manages to flesh out her film, tv, and stage career and I realized that my perception is predictable in that she managed to get cast in that role a whole lot. Author Lentz manages to do a credible job of analyzing her performances with reference to what was going on in her life at the time. Whether it is a valid technique I can't say, but I found it interesting. I didn't know all that much about Grahame except what I learned from the movies and what I've managed to unearth on fan sites on the Internet. That combined knowledge got me to buy and read this book.
Obviously, the basics from which all good scandals come from are there. Lots of husbands, lots of lovers, bedding a stepson which even today would have constituted statutory rape and then later marrying the former stepson and having two kids by him before ending it 12 years later and moving on to other relationships. This is rough stuff even by Hollywood standards. Gloria was definitely a hot number.
This book was loaded with things that on the face of it seemed improbable like a first marriage to Bowery Boy Stanley Clements followed by one to tough guy director Nick Ray (the cuckholded hubby with the curious son). She was a relative through marriage to her co-star Robert Mitchum. Not earth shattering, but def. interesting. She wasn't English, but her mother was. Lots of random stuff that I wasn't aware of.
Grahame weathered a lot of career roadblocks. MGM was clueless as to how to promote her and use her, Howard Hughes basically ignored her when she was under contract to him which seemed to be the shared fate of many actresses under contract to Hughes.
I often wondered about the smoldering femme fatale with the literal stiff upper lip and the odd voice. Great story about how she came by the lip, who was responsible, and how obsession gave her that identifying feature.
Grahame died in 1981 from cancer that she was in denial over. She would have been about 58. If she were here today and spared the indignity of death I wonder how the public would view her and what would her future hold when she was pushing 89. It is hell to think of her as a great grandma. When she managed to break away from type casting the results were promising, but the public seemed to have a problem dealing with her when she made the occasional departure.
I enjoyed this book. It provided a lot of info about someone I knew little about. It introduced me to this lady's career and gave me a sense of who she was. I felt that I was at a disadvantage when reviewing this book because I had nothing else to compare it to. For what it's worth, the only thing that might have deterred me from reading this book was the very hefty price. I purchased this used at a seriously discounted price. I am passing it on to a friend who hopefully is better positioned to write a critical review of this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3rd time is also charming 1 Feb 2014
By david nelson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Author Lentz has done interesting and good work on Lee Marvin and Korean War Movies - his 3rd published book on Gloria Grahame is also worthy of your reading time. Good pictures, lots of interesting info on her life and career. This book would be a great acquisition for those interested in Gloria or in Hollywood history
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly Researched 3 Jan 2014
By Robert Harmon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this actress and reading a so thoroughly researched book on her work and films was a complete joy. The author is obviously as enamored of his subject as I am. One thing though... Mel Ferrer (who directed some of Grahame's scenes in "Macao") was not Jose Ferrer's brother... an odd and amusing error.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting 11 Mar 2013
By Jeanajoan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always liked her in movies but had no idea of how troubled she was. I also always wondered about her upper I know.
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