[EPUB] ✰ Cary Grant: A Biography By Marc Eliot – Writerscompany.co.uk

Cary Grant: A Biography When I made the decision to look into some biographies of Cary Grant, an actor I ve loved for a couple of years, this was the first biography to come up and without a second thought I made up my mind to read it Some of you are probably wondering if I liked the actor so much, then why would I rate one of his biographies so low Well, that all has to do with the author of this biography, Marc Eliot, a man who I think should never be allowed to pass anyof his books off as nonfiction consider When I made the decision to look into some biographies of Cary Grant, an actor I ve loved for a couple of years, this was the first biography to come up and without a second thought I made up my mind to read it Some of you are probably wondering if I liked the actor so much, then why would I rate one of his biographies so low Well, that all has to do with the author of this biography, Marc Eliot, a man who I think should never be allowed to pass anyof his books off as nonfiction considering the experience I had with this one.In regard to biographies, I have some pretty distinct opinions about the author s voice In an autobiography, I want as much of the author s voice as possible because they are telling their own life story In fact, author commentary feels like a must In a biography where the author is not telling their own story, I want their authorial voice to be completely nonexistent The author of a biography should put aside all of their biases and inhabit the roles of the researcher, interviewer, and writer Marc Eliot prefers to have his own commentary be the star of this book, not Cary Grant himself.The other huge problem I had is that Eliot preferred to make his own assertions about Grant s sexuality the star of this biography While the information provided about Grant s life seems comprehensive, so much of it felt gossipy and hearsay ish Again and again Eliot circled back to what he believes to be the homosexual relationship between Grant and Randolph Scott drawing links that felt crass and untrue I knew I was in for a troubling read when Eliot uses some hastily crafted Freudian mumbo jumbo to argue that the feminine outfits Grant s mother put him in as a child, outfits typical for the time period, must have predicated his obvious homosexuality Whether Cary Grant had an intimate or friendly relationship with Randolph Scott feels unimportant compared to the rest of his life and his whole body of work.As a whole I felt like I really didn t learn muchabout my favorite actor I m hesitant to believe any of the information I gleaned from this so called Biography and I wish I had sought out a different biography to read Those looking to learnabout Cary Grant s life should probably just avoid this book at all costs For some reason, I have been on a Cary Grant bio binge It must have been that dratted NORTH BY NORTHWEST movie, which I saw on the big screen this year, along with a sold out crowd Or perhaps it was BRINGING UP BABYalso seen on the big screen and with an SRO crowd Grant appears to be the only movie star, past or present, who can actually fill a movie theatre on his name alone Even though he s been dead for 26 years Now that s star power.This bio was actually better than I anticipated It For some reason, I have been on a Cary Grant bio binge It must have been that dratted NORTH BY NORTHWEST movie, which I saw on the big screen this year, along with a sold out crowd Or perhaps it was BRINGING UP BABYalso seen on the big screen and with an SRO crowd Grant appears to be the only movie star, past or present, who can actually fill a movie theatre on his name alone Even though he s been dead for 26 years Now that s star power.This bio was actually better than I anticipated It s the usual chronological approach with some notes on the movies and some notes on what was happening behind the scenes What I definitely appreciated was the extensive notes and sources section, which is rare when it comes to Mr Cary Grant It is far easier for most of his biographers to fly off on a whimsy based on pure rumour, without providing actual backup facts Marc Eliot put some actual research into this project, and I the reader appreciated it Eliot s tone throughout is one of the serious biographer who tisks tisks the other writers who have written some fairly outrageous tomes on the G.O.A.T greatest of all time movie star Still, he ll suddenly throw some events together in one group, even though the years aren t correct, and he himself does the guessing game when he states that Grant was desperate to marry Dyan Cannon As her own book Dear Cary My Life with Cary Grant testifies, it was quite the reverse And Eliot can really go all, um, wonky on descriptions the camera quickly discoveredthe perfection of his featuresand that remarkable cleft in his chin, whose two smooth and curved bulges resembled nothing so much as a beautiful woman s naked behind while she was on her knees in sexual supplication before the godlike monument of his face Whoawhathuh I do walk away with a greater liking for Cary, aka Archie Leach of Bristol, England He transformed himself from nothing into something, butimportantly, he did it his way He refused to kowtow to the film studios, which incurred their wrath forever He was the first star to go it alone, when such a thing meant career suicide He was also the first to see where Hollywood was headed, resulting in his hooking up with MCA and Universal in the 1950s to begin the package deals that were to become the standard of business some thirty years later.But mostly, I remember what my co worker at Paramount Studios, a well respected agent, told me about Cary Grant He said that Cary was always an outsider, always reclusive, and he always did things his way For that unforgivable sin, most of the industry resented him and thus the rumours began This agent only had respect for Grant When I asked him if he ever had this same respect for any other entertainment figure, he thought about it, and answered, no That answer overwrote all the rumoursIn NORTH BY NORTHWEST during the scene on Mount Rush, I wanted Cary Grant to hide in Lincoln s nostril and then have a fit of sneezing The Parks Commission of the Department of Interior was rather upset at this thought I argued until one of their number asked me how I would like it if they had Lincoln play the scene in Cary Grant s nose I saw their point at onceAlfred Hitchcock Book Season Summer Cary, Cary, Cary At Long Last Comes The First Full Length, Definitive Biography Of One Of Hollywood S Most Enduring And Fascinating Luminaries, Containing Never Before Published Materials On The Actor S Private Life Newly Discovered Details Reveal Everything From His Troubled Childhood To His Ambiguous Sexuality To His Experimenting With LSD Includes A Page Photo Insert X Random House Biographers have to be many things first and foremost is, of course, a writer, but also a journalist, a storyteller, a scientist They must wade through all the primary and secondary sources testing for veracity and reliability, questioning motivations, determining relevance A great many facts accumulate about an individual within their lifetime a biographer must determine which facts add up to the truth The biographer must then take these two dimensional accounts and photographs, dusty Biographers have to be many things first and foremost is, of course, a writer, but also a journalist, a storyteller, a scientist They must wade through all the primary and secondary sources testing for veracity and reliability, questioning motivations, determining relevance A great many facts accumulate about an individual within their lifetime a biographer must determine which facts add up to the truth The biographer must then take these two dimensional accounts and photographs, dusty with time, and bring the past to life It is impossible to be completely objective, but a biographer should attempt to prevent their biases from obscuring the truth As a reader of biographies, one must grant the biographer a certain amount of trust What do we read biographies for if not to learn new things about people who lived lives quite different from our own We want to be surprised, intrigued, entertained We should not, however, completely suspend disbelief Biographies are not fiction, and, at some point, a biographer must earn the readers continued belief in the narrative they have created Marc Eliot has completely lost my trust Within the first chapter, I am already hesitant to follow Eliot on his journey When describing Grant s acceptance of the 1970 Honorary Oscar for his lifetime of achievement, Eliot starts getting facts publically verifiable, youtube able facts wrong He quotes Sinatra praising Cary Grant for the sheer brilliance of his acting that makes it all look easy Which, to be fair, is essentially what Sinatra meant, but never what he actually said Nor does Grant slip on his thick rimmed black glasses p 17 18 Small errors, one might say, but the book is peppered with them He messes up basic plot points in Grant s films, ones of which he has supposedly had repeated viewings p 422 See what I did there, Eliot That s called citing a source The small errors give way to larger inaccuracies On page 242, Eliot says of Grant and Irene Selznick, Grant and Selznick had been friends since his theatrical days in New York City, when he was an actor and she was a producer, except that, well, Selznick was just a kid when Grant was in NYC She didn t become a producer until after her divorce her first play was A Street Car Named Desire, which would be 1947 three years after the meeting Eliot is describing It is little wonder, then, that as a reader I have trouble following Eliot when he leaves the realm of relatively well know information and journeys into the murky world of supposition, a world created entirely out of a lack of information and Eliot s own wishes Eliot completely turns on its head the entire accepted nature of Grant s relationship with first wife Virginia Cherrill From p 82 Most accounts of the relationship between Cary Grant and Virgina Cherrill depict him as the victim of a young and cold beauty emboldened by fierce ambition, a calculating Hollywood wannabe whomanaged to sleep her way to the forgettable middle But personal recollections of friends who knew her for most of her life and the private diaries she left behind reveal a far different and hitherto unknown side to the woman who was to become the first Mrs Cary Grant All of this after explaining his utter lack of primary source interviews with As a biographer I probably put less stock than others in firsthand eyewitness recollections of those who knew, or claim to have known, Cary Grant they I have painfully discovered in my career, shared an unfortunate but prevalent tendency to either rewrite history for the sake of the departed, or elevate their own position in his saga p 422 So let me get this straight, he won t use interviews from Grant s daughter, friends, or three living wives because they might lie to make themselves or Grant look better Yet he will trust the friends and the diary of the one wife with whom Grant did not remain amicable to paint an accurate picture of Grant Right Unfortunately, Eliot s departures from reality do not end here After spending three chapters enumerating all the reasons the major studios would have to discredit and dislike Grant, while simultaneously outlining exactly how the studios controlled all of the gossip magazines at the time, Eliot then goes on to create a narrative describing Grant as an indecisive, weak, easily controlled man whose every life choice was informed by his homosexuality He supports this with little else but Cherrill s diary, the gossip rags, and the fact that Grant occasionally lived with other men while single as many single stars at the time did I could have even accepted this as a reader had he simply made his claims, then supported them by giving us an example of a source a single article or diary entry would have done But he does neither Rather, he goes on to provide a sort of pop psychoanalysis of what he thinks each man was thinking and feeling during numerous COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL situations ex on p 135 Throughout the book, each new person affiliated with Grant in any way is first introduced to us by whether or not Grant slept with them, or merely had a chaste crush on them One such chaste crush is supposedly Phyllis Brooks, Grant s longest standing relationship with a woman whom he did not marry Eliot basically spends Chapter 12 ignoring all know information about their relationship, restructuring it in such a way that Grant s life continues to follow Eliot s chosen narrative Eliot even creates suicide attempts out of a lack of hospital records, despite the fact that no other biographer gave any credence to this idea p113 It is at this point that I continued to read the book merely to finish, not to be informed.It is sad, really Eliot could be an excellent biographer When he is constrained by ample information, he brings the past vibrantly to the present I thoroughly enjoyed Eliot s description of Grant s life during the making of The Awful Truth in Chapter 13 It hit just the right note of accepted historical facts, informed hindsight, and deductions about details extrapolated from what we know I wish I could have read that biography Instead, I got a modern day Procopius The Secret History You just can t rewrite someone else s life to suit your needs LONG NOTE, NOT REALLY A SPOILER view spoiler I think it would have been perfectly acceptable for Eliot to include the possibility of Grant being homosexual or bisexual, and describing the reasons he considers the possibility to be a valid one, while also acknowledging the reasons most people do not I really don t care if Cary Grant was bisexual and had homosexual relationships with both Randolph Scott and Orry Kelly What I do care about, however, is that every person who was in a position to know if this was true including the men themselves adamantly denies it Orry Kelly was a good friend of both Grant and Scott and openly homosexual I don t really see why he would lie Unfortunately, because of Eliot s biography, articles on websites such as wikipedia now have a reliable source to validate what has been nothingthan gossip for over half a century In fact, the only sources that do corroborate this claim are Eliot s two 2004 Grant biographies, a 1995 autobiography by Richard Blackwell, From Rags to Bitches, where he claimed to be a lover of both Grant and Scott and the autobiographies of Boze Hadleigh Both Blackwell and Hadleigh s accounts are often dismissed as false for a plethora of reasons Blackwell was not old enough to have actually conducted many of the interviews he claims to have done in the 1970s, much less have been the the lover of both Grant and Scott Hadleigh has outed numerous people simply because they were in photographs with men who were gay and therefore part of the gay scene, not exactly concrete evidence hide spoiler I can t remember which was the first movie I watched that starred Cary Grant, but I feel like I have always loved him He was one of those lucky actors who becameattractive as he aged But throughout his personal life, he openly struggled against his own persona of Cary Grant He wanted to freely make his own choices, one of which being his desire to live with a man in a partnership that resembled marriage, but it seems like halfway through his life, he switched from man into star H I can t remember which was the first movie I watched that starred Cary Grant, but I feel like I have always loved him He was one of those lucky actors who becameattractive as he aged But throughout his personal life, he openly struggled against his own persona of Cary Grant He wanted to freely make his own choices, one of which being his desire to live with a man in a partnership that resembled marriage, but it seems like halfway through his life, he switched from man into star His star persona was loved by women he was swoon worthy and fantastic But according to the local legal offices, the number of his ex wives were close to half a dozen The relationships didn t last long and contained troubling rumors of abuse and neglect.Having read this book, it seems like the star consumed the man Or the man was discarded in favor of the star.Except for here Here he is in 1968, bossing his way through a hospital Car accident Everyone was fine The best thing about this book is the cover The problem is the author s approach to the book and the subject It is confused and confusing The areas that I had the biggest problems with are Grant s sexuality, Grant s pursuit for an Oscar, and his role as a spy Grant s sexuality has been the subject of much ink and unless there are love letters or diaries out there, I am not sure the subject will ever be settled He appears to have shared a house and a friendship with Randolph Scott and despi The best thing about this book is the cover The problem is the author s approach to the book and the subject It is confused and confusing The areas that I had the biggest problems with are Grant s sexuality, Grant s pursuit for an Oscar, and his role as a spy Grant s sexuality has been the subject of much ink and unless there are love letters or diaries out there, I am not sure the subject will ever be settled He appears to have shared a house and a friendship with Randolph Scott and despite the career perils then and now of a leading man flaunting a gay relationship, the author appears to insist that the rumors that they were lovers at face value This also appears to be the only gay relationship either had At which point they both were exclusively heterosexual I am not sure that this makes sense If Scott and Grant were gay or bi it seems that these tendencies might manifest themselves later in life Grant, given his Dickensian childhood and emotionally stunted personality, probably would have welcomed any sort of relationship, but probably one that made as few demands as possible Grant just discovered that his mother was not dead, but had been placed in an insane asylum, something that seemed to have a profound effect on him This is probably what Scott represented If sex was part of it, who knows Comradery was probably all Grant wanted The author makes much about Grant s quest for an Oscar I just don t believe this Grant really was obsessed by money A good picture was one that made a great deal of money He did not seem interested much in public acclaim, even that of the Motion Picture Academy The author spends a great deal of time trying to portray Grant as obsessed with winning an Oscar, which I am not sure is the case Grant the spy Grant was questioned by the FBI, that does not make him a spy.The author seems to want to to believe everything ever said about Grant and with the most sensational interpretation I do not think he has thought critically about Grant and what emerges is a mess of a book I would rather read athoughtful book on Grant, one capable of producing some real insights An extensive account of the life and legend that is Cary Grant Having grown up with his movies, as one of the many Saturday afternoon movies played by my father, I was charmed by Grant This biography delves deep into the life, emotions, and psychology of one of Hollywood s most longstanding and interesting leading men. While I am a fan of Cary Grant it s really the four Hitchcocks, Charade, and maybe two others that I really love I thought this would be fascinating because of what I heard about his bisexuality and LSD use for openers This did not disappoint It s always a marathon reading about an entire life but it s rewarding when it s this well written While the author s other work is excellent, this is masterful Grant was charming offscreen but had some serious demons, which aren t shied away from It While I am a fan of Cary Grant it s really the four Hitchcocks, Charade, and maybe two others that I really love I thought this would be fascinating because of what I heard about his bisexuality and LSD use for openers This did not disappoint It s always a marathon reading about an entire life but it s rewarding when it s this well written While the author s other work is excellent, this is masterful Grant was charming offscreen but had some serious demons, which aren t shied away from It s refreshing how at peace Grant himself was with his sexuality even though his industry wasn t Any Hollywood life that spans from the 30s to the 80s is going to be richly dense with juicy history Even if you aren t a big fan of Grant, the scope of his life and career is a great story all on its own It s a well written book, I shouldn t only give it three stars, but I just wasn t very focused on it Archie Leach didn t change his name to Cary Grant until 1932 when he was 27 or 8 He wasn t an unlikable man, but he was very reserved. Marvelous Book on Marvelous ActorAn in depth look at this great actor Eliot examines Grant Archie Leach from his early years right thru to his death in Iowa while touring at the age of 82 Grant started in vaudeville in Bristol, England and his company came to the U.S to perform on Broadway in the early 20 s After that, Grant essentially made the rest of his career in the U.S Hollywood Eliot discusses Grant s relationship with other men, like Randolph Scott with whom he lived with fo Marvelous Book on Marvelous ActorAn in depth look at this great actor Eliot examines Grant Archie Leach from his early years right thru to his death in Iowa while touring at the age of 82 Grant started in vaudeville in Bristol, England and his company came to the U.S to perform on Broadway in the early 20 s After that, Grant essentially made the rest of his career in the U.S Hollywood Eliot discusses Grant s relationship with other men, like Randolph Scott with whom he lived with for many years While Hollywood tolerated this liaison in private, it also put great pressure on its star actors to heterosexualize and marry it would publicize any heterosexual event the actors were seen at Hollywood publicists would set up available actors with members of the opposite sex and rev up the publicity Grant was victimized by this machine several times as his several marriages can attest to Bearing Tom Cruise and others in mind is it any different today Eliot also discusses Grant s several wives and Grant s relationship with Hitchcock It was director Hitchcock who probably brought out the full range of Grant s performance on the screen Cary Grant on screen makes acting look so easy, but when you examine any scene he is in his is the dominating personality the actors and montage revolved around him If you are interested in film and actors of 50 s 60 s era of film black and white , and of Cary Grant in particular, you will be interested in this book


About the Author: Marc Eliot

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Cary Grant: A Biography book, this is one of the most wanted Marc Eliot author readers around the world.


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