Patricia Bosworth has written one of the great movie star biographies with her examination of the life and career of Montgomery Clift. Clift was the troubled actor who emerged in the post WW2 era when movie audiences were ready for a new type of star. His first movie was the western Red River in which he co-starred with John Wayne and this meeting of the old style movie hero with the new introverted acting style is nicely illustrated in Bosworth's book. It is fair to say that a direct lineage from modern stars such as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro can be traced back through Brando and James Dean to Clift. The strength of this book though lies in the use of biographical detail. There is much to sensationalize here, dysfunctional family, homosexuality, drugs, drink, bizarre behaviour and relationships with the biggest stars of the era, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marylin Monroe, Marlon Brando etc., but Bosworth manages to describe Clift's childhood and personal life in enormous detail while using it to help the reader to better understand the subject. The section on the 1956 car accident which disfigured Clift and hastened his decline is particularly moving and the frankness and sympathy with which Bosworth treats Clift's relationship with his Mother, his troubled sexuality and his drink and drugs problems leads to book which is neither a Goldmanesque expose nor a mere fan paean. Ultimately it is a book about how relationships, family, the past etc., can screw you up and it brings to life a complex, flawed, brilliant and unhappy individual.