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Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman (Hollywood Legends Series) Hardcover – February 3, 2012
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"[Callahan's] critical analyses of her performances are not, thankfully, uncommitted, academic regurgitations of what others have written, but highly observant, passionately written considerations of her artistry… his biography proves once again that all great artists begin with life as it is lived, and it is to the author's credit as a biographer that we are made more aware of Barbara Stanwyck's ferocious determination to look at life honestly."
--Charles Bogle, wsws.org
"Callahan builds a compelling personal narrative out of her contradictions: her bootstrapping tough-broad self-sufficiency (this slum kid was a rabid Ayn Rand fan and loved her Westerns best of all), her self-effacing, almost masochistic love life, and her radical spontaneity on-screen."
--Mark Asch, The L Magazine
"Barbara Stanwyck was better than Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. That's the bold contention of Dan Callahan's well-written Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman."
--Michael Musto, The Village Voice
"Callahan soars when he takes aim at Stanwyck's acting and films, so much so that The Miracle Woman's primary value may be as a friendly reference book to pull off the shelf every time you see a Stanwyck picture and wish to hear an erudite, witty voice offer much more than two cents… Callahan writes of her with the ever-present respect one shows a great artist, and The Miracle Woman is brimming with penetrating observations…[his] writing is often humorously piquant, hitting the reader like a lime spritz in a margarita."
--Matthew Kennedy, The Bay Area Reporter
"Anyone with a love for classic film history will find much to love and appreciate about this book."
--Wide Screen World
"Ideal for Stanwyck fans (so, everybody) and any cinephile who takes acting seriously."
--Self Styled Siren
"An impassioned biography. Film scholar Dan Callahan [focuses] on what really interests him about his subject: not Tinseltown gossip, but what Stanwyck accomplished on screen… Callahan's enthusiasm informs every page."
--Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post
"If Mr. Callahan's book is not the last word on this great actress, it will certainly stand as an invaluable critical guide. It's a book that would have initially embarrassed its subject, if only because she would be uneasy about any book about herself. And then, as she thought about it, and maybe reread it, she would be just a little flattered, then, finally, pleased. And she would be right, as usual."
--Scott Eyman, The Wall Street Journal
"The arrival of this critical biography is an opportunity to marvel at the pure cumulative accomplishment of Barbara Stanwyck's career…Callahan epigrammatically notes the eternal human truths within Stanwyck's performances."
--Nick Pinkerton, Sight and Sound
"Callahan's valuable reclamation project is a beautiful tribute to an actress celebrated for her naturalism…his assessments, both positive and negative, are always sensitively rendered, and he's keenly alert to the nuances he so treasures in her work….Callahan not only gives Stanwyck her due, he may have you soon placing her above Kate or Bette as the foremost First Lady of the Screen."
--John Dileo, Screen Savers
From the Inside Flap
A biography of the savvy, sexy, and inspirationally hardworking actress
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I wonder what Ms. Stanwyck would have said had she read this man's cut and dried,limited scope on so many of her films/performances that simply are coldly dismissed...and yet he's supposedly a great admirer of her....and not ALL films are hidden messages of sexual reference!
There is virtually nothing here about the woman's private life, her times, her loves, her personality. It is dreadfully written, horribly reported, poorly thought out, a boring trek through pieces of scenes to please the author's ego. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I could kick myself for not reading the customer reviews of this book before buying it. Barbara Stanwyck was a fascinating woman, whose long standing and illustrious career was the result of the woman she was. Unfortunately, we learn almost nothing of this. Also-- factual errors run rampant here. For example, the author informs us that Ms. Stanwyck and Robert Taylor's honeymoon was spent at the Bucks County estate of Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle... a VERY curious fact... as the Taylors were married in 1939, a good 7 years prior to the Hart's marriage.
The author is, rightly or wrongly, an obsessive film fan- which is fine. But, don't present this book as anything but a minutae-filled review of Barbara Stanwyck's films by an obsessed fan, nothing more. And, to the publisher-- may I suggest employing a fact-checker.
Most recent customer reviews
Bad enough the author's treatment of Barbara Stanwyck, truly horrible how this 'man' treats Robert Taylor and Robert...Read more