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Robert Redford: The Biography Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 3, 2011
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“Revealing . . . An unusually well-written movie-star biography . . . What emerges is a comprehensive portrait of a man beset by colliding tides of ambition and hesitation . . . Robert Redford is as fascinating . . . as its subject.”
-Scott Eyman, The Wall Street Journal
“Relentless and first-rate . . . A layered portrait of one of the most famous—and elusive—faces in pop culture.”
-Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Bracing . . . A fascinating study . . . of fame and our uneasy relationship with it.”
-Maureen Callahan, New York Post
“Deeply researched . . . Give Callan credit for letting in dissident voices and for allowing Redford’s less Galahadian qualities to shine forth: the opportunism and narcissicism, the scattershot management style, the absentee fathering. Best of all, Callan’s book begins and ends exactly where it should: with that quadrant of Utah soil christened by its owner ‘Sundance.’”
-Louis Bayard, The Washington Post
“Genuinely insightful . . . Michael Feeney Callan remains keenly aware of his subject’s larger-than-lifeness, even as he tries to chip away to reveal the person underneath.”
-Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly
“Carefully crafted . . . Callan is clearly on his game when it comes to dissecting Redford’s film career.”
-Daniel Bubbeo, Newsday
“A candid, accessible portrait that makes for perfect summer reading . . . Callan’s meticulous research and obvious respect for the actor are evident in this crisply written book.”
-Larry Cox, King Features
“Revealing . . . Intriguing . . . An all-American beautiful jock with a brutal iron will and the soul of a visionary tyrant, Redford, under Callan’s gaze, emerges as a sui generis American figure. A gripping, intimate treatment of one of cinema’s last great iconic stars.”
“Comprehensive . . . Callan reveals the complex man beneath the Hollywood persona. Absorbing and remarkably well documented; readers will enjoy losing themselves in this long-awaited biography.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Brought up without money by a wonderful, supportive mother and a critical father, Redford (Bob) was a rebellious child and teen-ager who was constantly aspiring to find what would make him happy. Michael Feeny Callan organizes fourteen years of interviews with Redford, his friends and associates to disclose the essence of the man. He also had access to Redford's personal journals and diaries which gives the reader both sides of this man. He gives equal credence to the golden boy of Hollywood, his political activism for the environment and founder of the independent film Mecca Sundance, a magnificent tract of land located in Utah. Redford has been obsessed with the wilderness, it has brought him peace, solace and helped him transform the landscape of film making.
Redford comes across as a restless egotist. He worked himself beyond fatigue and his stubbornness was uncompromising. He surprised many directors and fellow actors with his demands regarding his characters in movies and plays. What looked so easy for him on stage and film was the product of endless study and overwhelming analysis of the character in the movie or play.
It is surprising that Redford is somewhat of a tyrant. He is an autodidact, a self-taught intellectual, who challenges himself and anyone who will not allow him to proceed as he envisions.Read more ›
All actors are by definition what I call strays. I manage money for a living for very famous people as well as governments and finance ministers. Actors are simply people who must act. They really have no other choice. They are compelled to do what they do, and in what they do there is tremendous distress for they do not know where their next job is coming from, or if one is coming at all. This is the world that Redford has occupied and exulted in for probably 50 plus years. What is unique is that he has managed to maintain an aloofness from Hollywood which is unheard of for a star of his magnitude. He embraces Hollywood when he must and then just as rapidly detaches himself once again, being one of those few actors who can maintain his own center in the face of such fame, and adulation.
I have been waiting more than 20 years for someone to do a fabulous biography of this screen legend and I for one believe that author Michael Callan has successfully pierced the veil that Redford has maintained all these years. We see the man, the heart, we feel the passion and in doing this Callan has done us the reader and Redford a great service.Read more ›
Callan chronicles Redford's path to becoming the biggest movie star in the world through "Butch Cassidy," "Jeremiah Johnson," "The Way We Were," "The Sting," and misconceived bombs like "Waldo Pepper" and "The Great Gatsby." Redford is immediately uncomfortable with popcorn-movie success and cultivates a second persona through the Sundance Institute and as director of grave and chilly work like "Ordinary People." He is depicted as earnest and professional but terminally indecisive, easily distracted, uncommunicative, and incapable of keeping a schedule -- a hard guy to work with, as Callan himself found out. (We get the impression this book would have been completed years ago if Redford hadn't kept backing out of meetings.) The depiction is detailed and engrossing, but the reasons for all this conflict ultimately elude Callan, and us.
By the '80s, aging, Redford can no longer play cute-guy roles but essays popular junk ("Legal Eagles," "Up Close and Personal") in order to subsidize unpopular art ("The Milagro Beanfield War"). His highest-grossing movie ever, apparently, was the supremely junky "Indecent Proposal," and most of his more heartfelt personal projects in the last decade or so must be classified as noble failures.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So dry. Written in a very linear fashion. Not even well written. The first chapters are the best in terms of describing a confused young man who married a very young girl in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by j'aimelire
Great read. Very insightful! A true peek behind the pose of America's 'Golden Boy', Robert Redford.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I could write pages about this failed, verbose book (450 pages!), but let's just say that there are two major problems. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mediaman
Gives you real insight into the person. Very particular in what he would act in and just as fully involved in politics and, of course, Sundance. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Deidre D. Miazga