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Brando: The Biography Hardcover – October 10, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1118 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (October 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786860634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786860630
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 2.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A scandal-loving biographer's dream, Marlon Brando has led a tumultuous life, complete with unhappy childhood, an active and varied sex life, troubled children of his own (son Christian is now in prison for killing daughter Cheyenne's lover), and a long history of eccentric behavior on and off the set. Surprisingly, Brando hasn't caught Kitty Kelley's eye, but journalist Manso (Mailer: His Life and Times, LJ 4/15/85) corrects that oversight with this massive tome. Based on seven years' research, Manso's biography is a treasure trove of juicy details that the star might prefer not to have revealed, but readers hoping for real insight into Brando's acting talent and career may be disappointed. The publicity surrounding Brando's own book-Songs My Mother Taught Me (Random, 1994), which the star is rumored to have penned in retaliation for Manso's work-will guarantee demand for this title as well, but Brando also has some value as the most complete, up-to-date biography currently available.
David C. Tucker, DeKalb Cty. P.L., Decatur, Ga.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Marlon Brando is an icon of American cinema. He's up there with Chaplin, Garbo, De Niro, Pacino--all those one-named actors (not Cher). In our times, with our inordinate thirst to be entertained by thrashing our icons, the appearance of a tell-all, no-holds-barred biography of Brando is big news. In the first 100 pages, Manso, through interviews with a cast of thousands (not Brando), reveals that Brando's father was an outcast, always fighting for acceptance; his mother was a drunk; and his sister found the father inept. Of Brando himself, we learn that he was both extremely sensitive and a brawler in school; that he used his fists to defend his friend Wally Cox; that he bullied his high-school teachers and was a manic-depressive; and that he was expelled from military school for pranks that would put the characters in Rebel without a Cause and Animal House combined to shame. In the next 100 pages, in extremely intimate detail, Brando is found guilty of being a lying, filthy, profligate satyr--but a very sensitive one. Organized chronologically in specific time periods or events, from "Omaha: 1893-1930" to "The Shooting: 1990-1994," the text is easy to follow, smoothly incorporating the author's seven years' worth of research. Piling eyewitness account on top of eyewitness account--including testimony from Brando's daughter Cheyenne--Manso develops his theme of Brando as a controller to the point where readers may wonder who did kill Cheyenne's husband, Dag Drollet--her brother (convicted of the crime), her father, or both.

According to Manso, Brando is so afraid of this book that he is writing his own, Songs My Mother Taught Me, an autobiography from Knopf scheduled to be published on September 11. [Knopf has refused to distribute galleys to prepublication review media.] Both books are certain to be much discussed in the coming months. Readers bothered by tabloid-style sensationalism may toss Manso's extremely raw book aside as if burned, but others will read it just to find the dirt. Librarians, of course, will be obligated to give the public what it's bound to want. Bonnie Smothers


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "tmit" on March 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It was a beautiful portrayal of Brando. A rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed cried and was touched; moved. here is an artist unlike any now or then that literally personified the art of acting. It is sad what happened to this beautiful art over the years, but you can look back at this passionate life, and feel happy.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rusty Roberts on May 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a VERY detailed account of Brando. I can't say that i even believed alot of the details in here, manso seems to make a LOT of conclusions about Brando without and supporting evidense.
But some of the details he gives are just downright boring after a while. I became very bored and skipped ahead in the book 50 pages....and it felt like i missed nothing at all: Brando studies to be an actor....Brando has sex with her her and her.
Also he seems to go into a lot of detail about the people in Brando's life. I was always thinking "so what about this person....i bought a book about Brando".
All and all, it had a lot of good "facts". I cant say i believe a good portion of it, but interesting stuff. Definatly could of been about 100-200 pages shorter though.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By damian jungermann on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have to give Manso credit for the exhausting research that must have gone into this book. Brando is a fascinating man, but who cares how many abortions he paid for. Leave these people some of their dignity, at least. I'm a huge fan of Brando's work, but this book goes a little too far. But, hopefully readers will conclude that nothing can diminish the impact this man had on society and the acting world. All actors owe something to Marlon Brando.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Jetson on September 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Price for a book over a 1,000 pages! This is the best Brando book I've ever read and the price is unbeatable.
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