4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Product of the Hollywood Dream-Factory,
This review is from: American Prince: My Autobiography (Paperback)
Tony Curtis wasn't initially the best actor in the world but he pulled himself up by his bootstraps when he made some tremendous films - The Sweet Smell of Success, Trapeze, Some like it Hot and The Boston Strangler - which displayed his talents as a serious and a comic actor. Many of his other films were also eminently watchable. However, as he slid into a decline with cocaine and dating (and marrying) girls so young, it's likely he met some of them at `Toys`R'Us', some of his later films were truly terrible.
So does this - probably heavily ghosted - autobiography adequately do him credit? Well, yes and no. To repeatedly tell the reader how attractive he was and recounting his exploits as a serial adulterer does get a bit much and there's a strong self-pitying streak with regards to the anti-Semitism he encountered. But in addition, Curtis is frequently self-mocking; and when he refers to the often misquoted line from Son of Ali Baba, "Yanda lies the castle of me fadda", this is a case in point. He also frankly describes the trauma of the death of his younger brother and also the mental illness suffered by a second brother, as well as his mother; plus, of course the distress when one of his sons died of a drugs overdose.
This is no literary masterpiece, nor does it measure up to the memoirs of David Niven or Errol Flynn; but it's a good, readable and often amusing book about a man who was very talented, exceptionally vain, emotionally insecure and sometimes rather sad, written with an easy style.