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Marcello Mastroianni: His Life and Art Hardcover – July, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mastroianni notes here that during the past 50 years he has been preoccupied with making movies and socializing, primarily with performers and directors. Indeed, the Italian star, who began his career in 1938, has appeared in some 140 films, including such classics as La Dolce Vita and 812. This biography, accordingly, concentrates on his selection of roles, their preparation and performance and their critical reception. Although one agrees with the author's assertion that Mastroianni's fearlessness in taking on so many "against-type" roles and his versatility are impressive, the reiteration of the point becomes monotonous. And although Dewey ( Reasonable Doubts ) makes much of Mastroianni's on- and off-screen alliances with glamorous actresses, particularly his affairs with Faye Dunaway and Catherine Deneuve, this, too, becomes tedious. The book, however, holds one's interest whenever Mastroianni discusses the craft of acting and his search for the ideal woman--and he emerges as sensible, droll and sympatico. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Flawed but still head-and-shoulders above most film bios, a life of the Italian actor that focuses largely on his art but that soft-peddles the nitty-gritty of everyday life. Dewey wrote the novel Reasonable Doubts (1991). Mastroianni, born in 1924 in a small town 50 miles south of Rome, herein speaks with considerable self-understanding and depth whenever Dewey quotes him from interviews over the decades--quotes that make up about a third of the text. The actor has played leading men in nearly 140 European movies, involving himself in such a variety of roles that Europeans broadly see him as the greatest living actor--and from this rehearsal of Mastroianni's talents, the Europeans may be right. He has consistently, until 1990, refused to play in Hollywood films, in part because the Hollywood scripts sent to him always called for him to be a Latin lover. His one American film, last year's Used People, which allowed him to play with Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Tandy, and Kathy Bates, failed at the box office and his personal reviews in it weren't much better. Dewey follows the hero's passage from early triumphs on the Italian stage through his smaller roles in his first 15 films, then into his hits, Big Deal on Madonna Street, La Dolce Vita, and Divorce, Italian Style, and his friendship with Federico Fellini, whom he ``played'' in Fellini's semiautobiographical 8-«. The actor in no way sees himself as a great lover and admits to experiencing trouble ``down there'' (a passing impotence). Even so, his 40-year marriage to Flora Carabella has survived affairs with Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve (with whom he has a daughter), and others in his search for the ideal woman--who usually turns out to be the worst. Intermittent stops for Dewey's head-stuff on Mastroianni's art or character sometimes inspire but can also bog down. Overall, though, a generally well-told life. (Photos) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Birch Lane Pr (July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559721588
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559721585
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,831,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of Green Triangles (fiction), available in November, and Buccaneer: James Stuart Blackton and the Birth of American Movies (biography), available in February 2016.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. La Fuente on August 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have become a fan of Italian cinema and really enjoy watching Mastroianni act. He tends to remind me of James Dean, had James lived past twenty-four. I wanted to learn more about this great performer. Through this book you learn that he was just a regular guy. Not like anything I imagined. I was almost certain that he must have been a deep thinker, complex, narcissistic and abstract, but he was the opposite really -although somewhat obstinate.

This book gives you an understanding of this man's training, perseverance and pride as a stage and screen actor. It sheds some light on his long road from poverty to immortality. How he continuously worked gaining recognition and fame through tough years, how he snubbed Hollywood for most of his life and still became a movie icon to be reckoned with.

The book contains some laughable anecdotes and interesting stories about Marcello's journey. He is much loved and I don't see actors like him nowadays. He is an inspiration to all actors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Chiesi on February 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful book, a fine expedition, very fast and efficient. Absolutely positive, very very well
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