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Marlon Brando [Paperback]

Patricia Bosworth
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Dec 2002
The definitive account of this elusive actor, MARLON BRANDO offers a penetrating look at Brando's evolving persona and legendary roles: the volcanic Stanley Kowalski of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, the sensitive rebel of THE WILD ONES, and the iconic Don Corleone of THE GODFATHER, achieving unparalleled critical acclaim for his many memorable characters. Bosworth probes the influence of Brando's alcoholic parents 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (5 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753813793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753813799
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"It's a pleasure to read a well written book on a subject or person that one has always had a faint, if not compelling, interest." Glasgow Herald "Patricia Bosworth is well versed in the capricious world of Hollywood and she brings her considerable knowledge to this illuminating and entertaining memoir of the gargantuan screen star, Marlon Brando." Observer "From reluctant idol to falling star, this is the story of a complex man who changed the face of film acting." SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "A brief, readable and intelligent account." THE INDEPENDENT

About the Author

Patricia Bosworth's books include 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. She lives in New York City.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MARLON BRANDO, NICKNAMED BUD, was born on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brando-lite 1 July 2011
Unlike B. O'Callaghan, the (thus far) only other reviewer of this book, I don't feel that this book is a bad one, but merely one which is light on depth. From my point of view this isn't necessarily a bad thing if, like me, you just want a broad picture of a man you know very little about.

The book very obviously draws on weightier tomes, such as Peter Manso's monumental "Brando: The Biography", but Bosworth herself acknowledges this. Indeed, I suspect that the book is an expiation of her feelings for, or about, Brando. These feelings appear to have been inspired by her brief meeting with him back in the 1960's when she was an aspiring young actress and he was (briefly) kind to her at a difficult moment. Moments like that can linger and, occasionally, result in a book. Here we have an example of such a phenomenon.

The book is occasionally TOO light, resulting in oversights that can niggle e.g. she says that, like Humphrey Bogart, Brando had a "lifelong passion for chess" - but we don't hear about this until quite late in the book.

But for all that, the book gets a satisfyingly comprehensive portrait into a mere 200-odd pages. We find that, though he was a brilliant and intuitive actor, he despised acting as a profession and was forever trying to find a role in life that would "mean something" (hence his restless and difficult behaviour as a screen actor, and his dabbling in "causes" such as the Black Panthers and the Native American movements - where his presence was sometimes highly resented by the Black and Indian activists who WEREN'T dabbling).
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No depth 21 Dec 2007
This book reads as a cut and paste exercise from every other Marlon Brando publication there is, but with so much thrown away. It is very high level, so if you're looking for something that provides an in depth look at this amazing man then this book isn't for you. Sorely disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helped me understand a creative genius better... 14 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This was a revelation - a wonderful, wonderful biography
for which I am extremely grateful. It's touching, deft, and
I liked the fact that she focused on Brando the artist. I'm
sure he would like this book - I would, if I were him. It is
not at all condescending nor overly fawning.
I really felt for the man and the brilliant communicator of emotions, whose movies have always taught me about being an artist myself. Now I want to go and see all his films again. especially Mutiny on the Bounty. And my heart goes out to Marlon Brando, the neglected child of alcoholics, the big-hearted giver, the best friend of some very special people, including Wally Cox and Stella Adler,
the co-dependent son and father, the compulsive overeater who really should join O.A.
The book zips along, thanks to Bosworth's fine writing. And I'd like to say that it's a lesson in the efficacy of the brief biography. I'm so sick of trying to wade through tomes that tell you about everything from the kindergarten teacher who inspired the star to his toenail clipping habits. This little
book synthesized a complex life in a very dignified way.
Hats off to Patricia Bosworth.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short biography 24 Oct 2001
By John Hechtlinger - Published on
This was a very quick and engrossing read. If, like myself, you know very little about Brando's life, this book will be a revelation. Brando is one of the most fascinating personalities of our time. This book does a good job of shedding light on the forces that helped shape his personality. His alcoholic mother and philandering and bullying father created a depressing family environment. It seems that he could never quite break free from their destructive influence despite years of psychotherapy. A sad story.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Brando! 2 Jun 2002
By A Customer - Published on
A vivid portrait of the man and his acting genius. Bosworth does a bang up job depicting his life and the development of his enormous talent. He is one of the world's greatest artists and we get a clear unencumbered picture of the man and his life in clear, practical, prose. Really fascinating.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner... 30 July 2007
By LadyWriter - Published on
"Marlon Brando" by Patricia Bosworth is a well written and intriguing biography. I enjoyed reading it very much and I enjoyed that it was fairly nicely balanced and included details of Marlon's on-screen and off-screen life.

I think Marlon took some serious and unfair hits in his life - personally, with tragedies that befell him and his family and, professionally, as a result of other peoples' misjudgments regarding his having taken stands for important humanitarian causes and against social injustices. He was a human being that cared deeply for others and one who tried to put that caring into positive action. He was also the greatest actor ever to grace the stage or screen.

It is sad to me that Marlon was alone at the end of his life. He had his children who loved him and cared about him, but he reportedly lived alone. I have always wondered if the rejections he suffered throughout his life marked him so deeply that he felt unworthy and, thus, rejected the idea of having someone there loving him, caring for him, and supporting him physically, emotionally, and spiritually through his illness at a time in his life when things may not have been as "pretty" as they once were. He WAS worthy, despite his possibly not knowing that at the time.

I appreciate Marlon's statement that people who are deeply sensitive are more easily brutalized than most. I think this is very true. Pain is felt much more deeply and is more deeply internalized by those who are the most sensitive. It can leave one feeling unworthy and untrusting and all of the money and fame in the world cannot repair the damage. It is a spiritual thing, not a thing of earthly possessions or material accomplishments.

Marlon was a sensitive soul who needed to be cared for differently than he was during so many parts of his life.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brando revealed 9 Oct 2001
By Roger Wittig - Published on
it pierces the heart of the man. a genius who was very uneducated. always probing to find out who he was. when he finally did his view in the rear view mirror glimpsed too much reckage and too much pain. oh if only he had been guided by true mentors with his true interest at heart .. if he reads this himself he will surely ache and see himself.
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