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Reviews Written by
Wingate "afc9871" (London)

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Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir
Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir
by Lorna Luft
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.47

3.0 out of 5 stars Reflected Glory, 16 Mar 2014
Lets face it Lorna luft is at best a minor celeb.who would have heard about her if she wasn't the daughter of Judy and the half sister of Liza.The book reflects this.It is at its most interesting when her mother and half sister feature,the rest of the time it is extremely mundane not to say dullThe last 100 pages in particular are heavy going..In the epilogue she says that she and Liza don't speak but she doesn't say why.I wonder if it was some of the less than pleasant things she has to say about Liza in this book..I believe that they made up when Sid Luft died.


Gladys Cooper
Gladys Cooper
by Sheridan Morley
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting Insight, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Gladys Cooper (Hardcover)
Although unaware of the length and breadth of Cooper's stage career I was more interested in her film career and in particular her time in Hollywood.She was part of the famous British colony and was clearly one of its stalwarts.She had no snobbery about appearing in films,and was quite happy to accept a long term contract from MGM.This period is very well documented through the correspondence that took place at this time,and it is an insight into how the studio system worked for character actresses.


100 x C5/A5 PLAIN WHITE SELF SEAL ENVELOPES 90gsm SS
100 x C5/A5 PLAIN WHITE SELF SEAL ENVELOPES 90gsm SS
Offered by Be Creative
Price: £4.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than The Supermarkets., 5 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Until recently I was buying my A5 enevelopes in a supermarket at £1.25 for 25.The glue was poor so I always sealed with tape.They seem to have been out of stock these past few weeks.I tried a well known chain of stationers who were selling 10 for £3.So I came to amazon and found this stockist.I had the envelopes a couple of days after order and they seem fine,and far less expensive.So one up for the internet on the high street.


Kenneth Williams: Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams: Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams
by Christopher Stevens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Isnt He Bold, 4 Mar 2014
I had the great fortune to see a recording of Round The Horne and Williams last play in the West End "The Undertaking".I thought then and still remain convinced that he was one of the finest comedy actors this country has ever produced.The author of this book has sensibly trodden a different path to that of the diaries.Whilst quoting from them he has also conducted extensive interviews.His views do vary from other authors.An example being the relationship with his father.There is still controversy surrounding his death with some claiming that Williams was responsible for the changing of the liquids in the fatal bottle.It is clear that it was better to be a fan from afar than a friend or acquaintance up close.His moods were quite unpredicatable and cruelty could easily follow kindness.It is a testament to Williams legacy that so many books have been written about him since his death.The writer makes a case for the death being an accident but it is unconvincing.Despite my disagreeing with some of the author's conclusions I found this a very interesting and readable book.


Hands with a Heart: The Personal Biography of Actress Zasu Pitts
Hands with a Heart: The Personal Biography of Actress Zasu Pitts
by Gayle D. Haffner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.81

2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Oh Dear, 4 Mar 2014
Up till the book reaches the 1930s it is reasonably interesting.Unfortunately it then goes badly astray.The main problem is that the author continually heads off on a tangent.An example is the unexplained death of Pitts screen partner,Thelma Todd.Following her death in her garage we get 10 pages regarding the enuiry and inquest that followed.Very little about Pitts.Then as we get into the 40s Pitt's conservative affiliations come more and more to the fore.We get pages and pages which deal with her political activities from 60 to 70 years ago which are as uninteresting as they are unilluminating.What this book really needed was a strong editor who would have excised a lot of the pages and who would have corrected the typos and errors.The worst is where the author claims Pitts was up for the role of Scarlett O Hara.She compounds this by claiming that MGM were producing GWTW and allocated Selznick as the producer ,whereas of course Selznick bought and produced the story and MGM distributed the film.Whilst I am pleased that old time stars such as Pitts are being recognised by a biography,it is dismaying to have to read a book which is so badly written.The fan magazine style of the 30s doesn't seem to be a parody more the real thing.As Pitts would say "Oh Dear"!


Libby
Libby
by Milt Machlin
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Too obsessive, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Libby (Paperback)
Libby Holman was a singer and actress whose main career was in the twenties and thirties.She married a tobacco heir,Smith Reynolds,and put her career on hold.However her husband then died in mysterious circumstances and she was indicted,but never prosecuted for murder.She had a tragic life,since 6 people close to her died in unusal circumstances.The author was clearly obsessed about the death of Smith Reynolds.This occupies no less than 156 pages dealing with the death of Reynolds and the aftermath.This out of 378 pages.It includes a verbatim report of the inquest.It really rather becomes overwhelming and not to put too fine a point on it,a bore.In the last chapter he deals with researching the book and he was only able to find a few people in North Carolina around 1980 who would remember the case.So why he should spend so many pages on this is puzzling.Her life was worth maybe 250 pages,but nothing more.


This Charming Man: The Life of Ian Carmichael
This Charming Man: The Life of Ian Carmichael
by Robert Fairclough
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A long innings, 17 Feb 2014
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When I read Carmichael's autobiog I expressed the wish that his biographer would make a better job.In some ways he has but in others not so.Firstly he has cut out much of the waffle in the autobiog so that we have reached the start of the acting career by page 50.He has also provided us with much more details of his film career,other than those in the twilight of his career.So it makes for a more readable book.However there are a number of faults.He includes lengthy synopsis of even tv shows and is wont to quote dialogue,both of which I find pointless.He rather tiptoes around Carmichael's ostracism for appearing in South Africa.unbelievably there is no filmography.Carmichael's personal life is almost totally ignored or passed over.It is apparent from his sources that he has not interviewed his daughters and indeed there is not one photo of him with his daughters,which I found rather strange.It is apparent that there were a fair number of actors who didn't get on with him,and that he could be rather crusty.It makes the title seem a little out of place.Incidentally the text is 312 pages.


Some Sunny Day
Some Sunny Day
by Dame Vera Lynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.17

4.0 out of 5 stars The Dance Band Days, 13 Feb 2014
This review is from: Some Sunny Day (Paperback)
As someone who is very interested in British dance bands of the 1930s I found it extremely interesting to read of her experiences in the dance bands in the 1930s.Particularly with the top dance band leader,Bert Ambrose.Also the battles with the BBC who wanted to stop her sining what they called ^slush" music.The BBC lost out I am glad to say.Obviously her war time experiences are also of great interest.She was a guest at the Burma Star rallies that ttook place after the war.Clearly this is a book that will appeal to us of an older generation.


Divinely Decadent: The Strange Life and Loves of Liza Minnelli
Divinely Decadent: The Strange Life and Loves of Liza Minnelli
by Sarah Gallick
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Of A Gossip \before The Train Wreck, 4 Feb 2014
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This book was written shortly after the train wreck of a marriage between Minnelli and Gest.It rather anticipates the storms that were about to erupt leading to a very acrimonious divorce.The book comes without attributions to sources,but after all why should that spoil a good story.There have been many books written about Minnelli and this is as good or bad as the rest of them.An entertaining read on ajourney.


Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery
Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery
by Herbie J. Pilato
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.67

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An incoherent Mess, 31 Jan 2014
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this book is a reader's nightmare.It is strictly fan adoration taken to an extreme degree with no objectivity and a singular lack of facts.It is woven around interviews conducted by the author with Montgomery.Much of the book is comprised of articles,often irrelevant,cut from various periodicals.many of the interviews are pointless.Take for example the interview with Ed Asner starting on page 324.This goes on for about 4 pages,and you are expecting to learn about some time he spent with Montgomery.However at the end of the interview all he says is he regrets not having been able to exchange some warmth with her.The author infuriatingly goes backward and forward in time within many chapters.the narrative for the photos is verbose and there are a number of errors in the book,minor,but indicative of too little care in the editing.For example he refers to the 1965 Ten Commandments instead of 1956.In a film made by Robert Montgomery in the UK in 1950,he refers to an actress "Ann Sheldon",when none is listed in the cast.He says that Robert Montgomery made Earl Of Chicago in the UK when in fact that film was made in the US,apart from locations,but he did make Busmans Honeymoon in the UK.In future I will be far more careful in my choice of books as I don't want to buy what amountws to as now more than an inflated love letter by the author.


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