Despite its title's potential as a double entendre, Milton's substantial biography of Chaplin is hardly dirt-dishing. Eschewing what she calls "pathography," Milton presents a well-researched, evenhanded portrait of a troubled entertainment genius. Starting with Chaplin's roots in late-19th-century British poverty?a history the actor himself obscured?the author traces his complex relationships to a manic-depressive mother, vaudeville theater and the infant film industry, as well as to the celebrity, controversy and exile that marked his later years. Chaplin, a socially awkward man of erratic moods and creative spurts, suffered internal conflicts over money?though immensely wealthy, he was a notorious penny-pincher?as well as over his liaisons with startlingly young women. Milton tackles these exploitable topics with respect, however, depicting the actor/director as a man whose ambition, fortune and left-leaning political sympathies have had far-reaching effects on the business and PR structure of Hollywood today?as has the public aftermath of his seemingly unsavory marriages and love affairs. Milton's clear rendering of one of the first film superstars, and of the fickle public scrutiny that followed him, doubles then?as did her superb life of the Lindberghs, Loss of Eden (1992)?as a sweeping look at the first half of the 20th century. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour; U.K., translation, first serial, dramatic rights: Barbara Lowenstein.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.