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Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life Paperback – July 31, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Marquee PR (July 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887664238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887664233
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Highly recommended for existing fans and new fans, as well as anyone interested in the history of acting and Hollywood. --WritersNet

I can highly recommend [this] biograph[y] --Sara Jane Karloff

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Much has been written about Boris Karloff in terms of the characters he played. Until now,very few have known, much less understood, Karloff's passion for the craft and vocation of acting, his profound work ethic, and the dedication, depth and humanity he brought to even his least celebrated roles. Until now, virtually nothing was known about the man's personal life and loves.
Scott Allen Nollen fills a deep gap in the legacy left to us by the distinguished British actor, who was instrumental in the establishment of the horror genre of film, the Screen Actors Guild, and even the popularization of television as an entertainment medium. And he does it beautifully.
"Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life" takes us behind the outlandish makeup jobs, the B-movie schtick and the "official" histories, to the place from which the essential humanity of Frankenstein's "creature" comes. It reveals a truly gentle - and genteel - soul, whose love for the theatre and for film was the source of both his greatest joys, and greatest sorrows.
This is a very important book for Karloff fans, film buffs, and readers who appreciate solid biography tastefully done. A breakthrough book for an emerging author whose time has come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Remington on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author has done a most commendable job researching and developing his central thesis: That Mr. Karloff was indeed not only a fine actor who was truly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in his craft, but also a concerned and active gentleman who pursued a dignified union to protect the profession he loved. This book is highly reccomended for not only the existing fans (who will already know much of the information present in this volume) but also to the new Karloff fans as well as anyone interested in the history of acting and Hollywood. The author also makes a strong case that Karloff needs to be rightly placed along side the other greats of Hollywood and Broadway history. A good entertaining and enlightening read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I long have been a fan of the great actor Boris Karloff, but I now have an entirely different perspective of him as a HUMAN BEING after reading Scott Allen Nollen's BORIS KARLOFF: A GENTLEMAN'S LIFE. One always thought of such stories as rumor, but Nollen's book PROVES what a WONDERFUL man Karloff was, while simultaneously scaring the hell out of us! Anyone interested in the power of film should read this book. What a fascinating life, as well as film career!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Hawk on November 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life" is one of a myriad of books on the late artist, but makes up for its later presence by being very intricate - it was written with the cooperation of Karloff's only child, daughter Sara Jane - and well done, offering a few insights in his life that have not been discussed as in depth in other biographies.

Although Karloff's English childhood (spent under the name of William Henry Pratt) does not get as much attention as one might hope, it gives an otherwise deft account of his family and ancestry, including his previous-to-now somewhat glossed over Indian heritage. The book is rather succint in the beginning, covering his early steps in Canadian theater, silent films, and Hollywood talkies up to the obvious mile marker, Frankenstein, in 1931. It is after that film that a lot of the book's detail kicks in - relationship with the SAG, that to his daughter, his latter two wives, Dorothy and Evelyn, that of Evelyn and Sara Jane, his disregard of the ever-increasing accolades (he had his Grammy award used as a doorstop) and a great deal of detail on his performance in and the history of Arsenic and Old Lace (he got the job when he promised to not "to eat the baby in the last act"), even his impish sense for pranks. The persons involved are shown as genuine people with their own issues, especially Evelyn I think, something not done as much as in the otherwise stellar "Dear Boris" by Cynthia Lindsay. The book is illustrated with photos that are a bit grainy at times but are of a great variety, as is the appendices on Karloff's roles.

Grateful to have work and delighted for it to be something he loved, Karloff was the quintessential English country gentleman who, as his daughter once said, "made a living scaring children and little old ladies." Although it his role as the Frankenstein Creature that made him a star, it was truly Karloff's patience, dedication, talent and kindness that endeared him to so many.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Legreid on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are too few biographies available about the stars of an increasingly distant era in the history of cinema. Far too many of the stars of yesteryear are but a flickering image on the screen, their remarkable stories untold. They have a lot to tell. Their stories are often entertaining and provide valuable lessons especially for those seeking a career beyond the drudge of everyday existence.

Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life by Scott Allen Nollen sheds much needed light on the life and career of an actor whose rare gifts brought humanity to the Monster in the 1931 version of Frankenstein. A well researched insightful biography, enjoyable in every way, it is a delight to read. Why should one care about Boris Karloff beyond his films? Born William Henry Pratt, son of a distinguished family with a (then) questionable secret, adopting the rather unlikely name of Boris Karloff, he labored for years before achieving his dream of becoming a working actor, a role he would have gladlly accepted, stardon was but an added blessing. Boris Karloff was a man of many remarkable talents far beyond the scope of his acting.

Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life]}
is adept at weaving the threads of Karloff life together presenting a fascinating portrait of the man and the times that he lived in, a valuable tool for understanding the intriguing web of film politics and the surgge of history. A terrific companion to[[ASIN:0816643865 James Whale: A New World Of Gods And Monsters
.
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