George Cukor: A Double Life: A Biography of the Gentleman Director

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The critically acclaimed biography of the legendary film director who guided some of Hollywood's most temperamental leading ladies to immortal performances. "That rarity of rarities among Hollywood biographies: a full-bodied study of a man and his metier, equally insightful about the life and the art".--New York Times Book Review. Three 8-page photo inserts.

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Sivvie

Jul 3, 2010

An interesting life from the other room.

George Cukor lived a life that few of us would pass up if we had the chance - directing big movies for MGM, having wonderfully scintillating friends (Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Garson Kanin, Ruth Gordon, Somerset Maugham, Greta Garbo, to name just a few), travelling the world and collecting artworks and curios for a beautiful house in Beverley Hills, and yet there is the feeling in this biography that the author is in the other room, calling out the information, so that this reader wished he would come up close and have a real old 'chin wag'. The problem seems to have been that this supposedly gregarious director really was a secretive soul with a friendly front, and therefore, even with the anecdotes from friends and film colleagues, there isn't much 'off-the-cuff' input from George himself. But he had the most interesting life and his films were lauded (if not by the critics at the time) and later some, such as "The Women", became classics. He was sacked from "Gone With The Wind", passed up some beauties but there was his dark side, due, possibly, to his homosexuality which was known only to his close friends - The Chief Unit, as they were called.
Patrick McGilligan must have had a difficult task in bringing this biography to fruition, and if it isn't quite the rich biography it could have been with the marvellous subject matter, then that is not to say this was possible in the circumstances.

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