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4.3 out of 5 stars
Cary Grant: A Class Apart
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2001
As a 21 year old Cary Fan and not even having been aware of his films until he was dead, a book was the only way I had of finding out anything about him. I found this book easy and straightforward to read, though at some points a little confusing in it's comparison with or dicreditation of other authors work on the same subject. Other books I have ready since this one seem to bring Cary to life again in their tone and language, where as this one is a cold,hard and dispassionate analysis of his life, warts and all. That may be what some people are looking for, but if you don't like your heroes to be toppled from their pedestals then this book isn't for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2010
I very much like this biographer's style. He researches his subjects with great care, and he tells their stories with sensitivity and real insight. This book certainly does justice to the wonderful Mr Grant, both as a man and an actor.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Wow!This is the work of a proper writer,if you know what I mean,and this is as informative,authoritative,witty and wise account of the man,the actor and the star that we are likely to see.David Thomson,the great movie critic,rates this book as by a long,long way the definitive biography,and I certainly cannot fault it.A magnificent contribution to our understanding of Mr Grant in particular and of movie stars and actors in general.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2010
I've read several biographies of the great Mr Grant, and this is by far the best. It tells the story of the life very well, with a nice pace and a fine eye for the significant details, and it also analyses the image and the performances with real authority and charm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2010
This is a very impressive biography, vastly superior to most other film books. It is thorough, observant, wise and balanced, and the way that the book weaves together the life and th career, shedding light on both, is exceptional.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2014
Excellently written book that is a joy to read with many insights that enlighten and entertain. I could not recommend this book highly enough and would encourage it accompany the viewing of Cary Grant's films.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2001
McCann has done a fair job at analysing Grant's career, yet, in the process, he has forgotten - or doesn't mind - that he his writing about a human being. His book reads like a critical assessment of a play or film, rather than a cinematic legend, and one comes away from the experience feeling a little cold and uncomfortable. A lot went into the index - perhaps too much?
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on 14 July 2015
This is a fair and well written biography. Archie Leach had an inauspicious beginning in Bristol. His mother was committed to a mental institution by his father when he was eight.This was a man who made his own luck and used his main assets-looks,charm and dedication-very well. He got into music hall show business which eventually took him to New York. He progressed into films and the rest is history. Hard work was the key, but without his basic attributes it would not have been enough. He comes over as a pleasant man who used his charm mainly to succeed in films. To say a man who married five times was not a womaniser seems strange, but considering all the opportunities he had he was very selective and went into each marriage wanting it to succeed. He was liked by men too, and was a good father to his stepson Lance and his daughter Jennifer. Altogether a good man who loved his mother. A book worth reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2000
This is a superb book.Beautifully written,thoroughly researched and packed with insights,it deals with all the films,all the facts and most of the myths,and deals with them all with wit,good judgement,sensitivity and (how rare!)decency.If ever a star deserved an elegant biographical treatment it is Grant,and now he has just such a biography.This is a joy from start to finish.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 1999
On the whole, this is a well researched book. However, it is very tiresome to read because the author wants us to know at all times what an incredibly smart man he is. About half of the biography consists of quotes. Nothing against that, but it is very annoying that the author obviously felt the urge to comment and rate these quotes extensively. He even ridicules other authors who wrote about Mr. Grant. By doing so, he continuosly disrupts what little was left of any kind of flow to the text. The focus of a biography should be on the life that is being described and analyzed, not on the person who writes the text. The facts are good, some of it is entertaining, the rest is intellectual nonsense of the worst kind.
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