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4.1 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-3999710557
ISBN-10: 0879101350
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Editorial Reviews


"...Because of Bosworth's artistry, her ability to choose the right details, and her own immersion in the subject...[this book] is an amazing excursion into a life." -New York Times Book Review "It stands as the definitive work on the gifted, haunted actor." -Los Angeles Times "Here it is - the real thing - inside Montgomery CLift. I've known other actors as well, but none with such a harrowing tale. I kept wondering, could Patricia Bosworth have been there? Everywhere? The book is that vivid and intimate." -Elia Kazan

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: LIMELIGHT EDITIONS (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879101350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879101350
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If ever anyone fit the idea of a beautiful but tragic star, it was Montgomery Clift. Talented yet insecure, generous yet selfish, caring yet self-centered, secretive yet outgoing, Clift was a bundle of contradictions. His private agony over his apparent bisexuality is depicted so well, one can feel his pain. Conflicted all his life, he yearned to marry and have a family, yet when given the chance to do so, he was never able to bring himself to commit to anyone. He seems to have loved women and adored their company, yet even when having intimate affairs with them, he was still compelled to seek out men for sex. It was a secret that ate at him all his life. While his childhood was far from ideal, it still doesn't explain all the torture and pain. And while he had many friends and relationships, all of them were compartmentalized in his mind and often his life, so that no one ever really knew him fully. If ever there was a story to illustrate the point that fame and fortune do not equal happiness, it is the story of Clift. The author did very thorough research, interviewing both family and friends of Clift. One wonders what might have been had he been given the proper phsychiatric care. Illuminating but ultimatly sad, this biography will probably give fans of Monty the best glimpses into his tortured soul and life they are ever likely to find.
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Format: Paperback
Montgomery Clift was certainly a troubled darling of the later 1940's and early 1950s,an actor who starred in "A Place in the Sun," "From Here to Eternity," "Suddenly Last Summer,"and "Raintree County." He played gentle and sensitive, empathetic, suffering, almost androgynous. He was extremely handsome before the serious automobile accident that nearly killed him; he got to play with Hollywood's best (and its worst), and he surely followed the adage "live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse."

This biography, by the former actress, and experienced, well-connected journalist Patricia Bosworth is more than fair. She has done a great deal of research: Clift was secretive about his life and kept his friends in compartments. She found a lot of people, and got them talking. Furthermore, she tackles his life with understanding and sympathy.

Clift was born to an overpowering, suffocating woman who was a demented snob: she allowed her clouded descent from two of the South's finer families to ruin her own, and her children's lives. His weak father was bankrupted by the Depression of the 1930s, giving Monty, the beautiful teenager, the chance to escape Mom and head for the New York stage. He was an immediate hit, taken up by such esteemed actors as Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, and taking up,, in turn, with the older torch singer Libby Holman, and many others, male and female: he seems to have been a true bisexual. He went to Hollywood, and was again an immediate hit, worldwide. But he continued to live around the corner from, and have to fight his mother for, breathing room. He did not handle either his fame, or his family problems well, and drifted into drink, drugs, and unpleasant perversions.
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Format: Paperback
To contemporary cinema-goers, Montgomery Clift is a name they would find hard to place but in the 1950s he was one of THE top stars. Bosworth, in her classic biography, tells the compelling story of how he became an icon - before descending into a pain-ridden recluse and addict. She covers admirably his unusual upbringing at the hands of a mother who treated her children as though they were from one of the finest American families. It was a childhood in which he was cut off from people of his own age - and his father - as he was pushed from one hotel to another in America and Europe. From there he discovered the stage, taking Broadway by storm before being lured to Hollywood. Determined to stamp his authority on his career, he rejected the studio system and hundreds of banal scripts. In doing so, he set a new standard. His natural style of acting scorned the macho images, the Hollywood stereotypes, and opened the way for a new wave of male performers not afraid to ! ! reveal their vulnerability. But it was not all roses. As Bosworth graphically relates, Monty was haunted not just by his unusual childhood but also his homosexuality and as fame beckoned and the fear of exposure increased, he turned to drink - and later pills - to deaden his darkest feelings. A car crash in 1956, in which he was seriously injured, only increased his addictions and his career began a terminal decline, only ended with his early death. Bosworth's biography is both affectionate and revealing, painting a compelling and often moving picture of one of the most beautiful - but troubled - stars ever to grace the post-war movie screen. Among the often mediocre cannon of Hollywood biographies, this is a class act.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not at all attracted to biographies of Hollywood stars although I must have read at least one of the many bios of Marilyn Monroe. Ms Patricia Bosworth's biography of Montgomery Clift got such universal praise I decided to give it a go. Having read the book I now understand why she was heaped with praise. It is, quite simply, one of the most compelling bigraphies I have ever read, a story of beauty, privilege and talent gone seriously wrong. Ms Bosworth unfolds the story of Clift's life at a wonderful pace in clear, strong language that gave me the sense of being in Monty's presence not being removed at a distance observing him. She takes us through all of the triumphs and tragedies of his life supported by an interesting cast of mid-20th century characters ( both famous and unknown) with an even hand and a fine eye for detail. I couldn't help liking Clift although by the conclusion of his life he was so screwed up that there wasn't much of a person left. Bosworth completely engaged me from beginning to end with this tragic life story and by the time I was finished I wept saying out loud "I'm so sorry", "I'm so sorry". Highly recommended!
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