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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A working class man reaches the dizzy heights of stardom
Written in a language that anyone can understand. Michael Caine dispels the untruths that have been written about him. He lays on the line his heart felt life story from his acting "debut" at the age of three right up to the the "discovery" of his half brother David. It will leave the reader laughing out loud and at times holding back the tears. His account spans an era...
Published on 5 Oct 2003 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Of course he's done well in life and no doubt fans will love it in any case
Really looked forward to reading this but sadly it just comes across as a chance to name drop all of MC's friends in showbiz. Of course he's done well in life and no doubt fans will love it in any case. But I was sorely disappointed.

I'd recommend reading Roger Moore's book instead which gives far more of an insight into the real person, it's written with...
Published 5 months ago by Lainey M


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Michael Caine rating, 29 Jan 2014
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Michael allways feels sorry for himself from his childhood to his days of paying tax ,his early life was no different to mine and many others ,most of us would love to be paying supertax there are many. not earning enough to pay any.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into one of Britain's best actors., 2 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: What's It All About? (Paperback)
This book was well-written and detailed some of the events in his life with great humour and witt. This is the best biography, by far, as it captures the very essence of his work and life; something which other authors, e.g., Michael Freedland, have failed to achieve.
For example, Freedland only mentioned the birth of Natasha, Michael and Shakira's daughter, in one short paragraph, which did not capture quite the same intensity that Mr Caine did in this autobiography, given that she almost died.
Another important event was the story of how he met his wife; a very witty account is the result, the personal touch for which is lacking in Freedland's book.
There are also some important surprises which "not a lot of people know" about, again not given the same precedence in Freedland's version.
The only drawback to MC's autobiography is that it is rather outdated; it does not cover, e.g., his recent knighthood, since the book was published in 1992.
All in all, "What's It All About" is the best Michael Caine biography available today; the others lack the personal touch and charm that Mr Caine himself can only portray.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Dec 2014
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Well written and honest about his life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Oct 2014
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Great read, thoroughly enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Aug 2014
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Gift enjoyed by recipient
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: What's It All About? (Paperback)
Very interesting
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 19 Nov 2014
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This review is from: What's It All About? (Paperback)
good book
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting though not perfect, 28 July 2010
By 
Rerevisionist (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What's It All About? (Paperback)
One of the reviewers here criticises Caine (not his real name!) for name-dropping. This seems unreasonable - what else would he write about but filmstars? The engaging quality of this book is the way Caine describes his learning experiences - acting tricks, script problems, issues with friends, starry-eyed awe of famous people, Hollywood studios. One of his acting tricks was not to enter a room which was supposed to be new to the character, to give the authentic appearance of groping for light switches and watching for trip hazards. His writing style seems to reproduce something of the same feeling.

Fascinating to see how limited is the part played (pun intended) by actors. Most films start with a script - but the locations, ambience, general feeling, final form of the plot and practically everything else are jointly assembled to such an extent it's quite surprising the process works at all. And maybe it doesn't - this book was written as Hollywood was starting to decline, if I've understood the figures. Quite a few directors are (of course) discussed, and their quirks. Producers less so, and contractual details and such things as dubbing and foreign rights and videos and repeat fees and the general life-cycle of films hardly at all.

Caine's early films, and the 1960s of which there's a very colour supplementy description, made the most impression on him. In retrospect they're a bit small-scale compared with Sean Connery, for example. 'The Ipcress File' is a rather small-scale spy thing, 'Get Carter' (with the the multistorey car park, still talked off in Newcastle until its demolition). 'Alfie' had an abortion sub-plot - his early films all had the element of violence which I think was helped by technological improvements - cameras were smaller and film faster, so places like rail stations and hotel foyers and views through car windows were easier to film. However judging by this book Caine had little interest in such things, confining his comments to the angles of shots and smog. There's stuff on such topics as dried camel dung in Sahara windstorms, Filipino poverty with sad young women used as prostitutes, Almeira and spaghetti westerns, Hollywood as the actual place-name with its seediness. He says quite a bit about the quirks of directors which felt to me a bit overdone - it's largely a technical job and screaming and shouting seem inconsistent with worrying over the details of continuity and lighting and emotion.

He seems to have had little idea of which films would be successful, and doesn't seem to have cared, since in the short term he was paid about the same amount. However he's a bit scathing about 'The Magus', and about his killer bees film (which incidentally must be one of the earlies uses of blue screens) - the one that wrecked his name in the USA. In the days before digital editing, film cutting was literally that; it must have taken forever.

The later parts of the book deal with Labour and high taxation - many people of 'talent' emigrated. And his Windsor house and departure to Los Angeles. And with his identifying his wife, a Kashmiri who appeared in a coffee TV advert and whom he tracked down - his write-up makes this sound quite an adventure, which, surely, can't have been the case, as he must have known how to locate actresses. Incidentally she is (or was) a Muslim and this may be related to Camoron's adoption of Caine for political purposes. And his connection with Langan's Brasserie. There's an account of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' as the theme for 2001, the music borrowed by Stanley Kubrick from Elstree library, perhaps with 'The Blue Danube'. It occurs to me that some of the footage for the moon landings must have been Kubrick's work. Caine mentions nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War and other public events.

I have to be honest and say I didn't finish the book, as I regard many films as propagandist and/or silly and catchpenny, aimed at the proles. However it does appear to be authentic; there are a few minor errors suggesting a light editorial hand.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyed This Book!!, 16 Jan 2004
By 
Kim (Bakersfield, California , USA) - See all my reviews
Probably one of the only books that has made me laugh.
Didn't want to put the book down!
A very classy and impressive book.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely smug book, 14 July 2006
This review is from: What's It All About? (Paperback)
This is not as good a read as the other reviewers might indicate. It is a classic rags to riches story (and is a very poor to a very, very, very rich story) and Michael Caine proves in this book that he is just a mediocre working actor who was lucky enough to be about when some very unusual and landmark films were being made in the 60s. If he was starting out now he would probably be doing British soaps and TV ads. It appears that when the enigmatic cockney persona was not useful, it was dropped years ago. He does demonstrate that he is a clever business man and he has cultivated all the powerful people in the business to ensure that he gets offered the work no matter how lousy that may be - he actually tries to make a virtue of this. This is definitely not a memoir in the higher ranks of David Niven's "The Moon's a Balloon", (get that book to find out why). This is much tamer and becomes tedious with the name dropping to little effect.
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What's It All About?
What's It All About? by Michael Caine (Paperback - 2 Sep 2010)
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