#BeyondTheCover Blogathon: MRS. MINIVER (1942)

This post is part of the #BeyondTheCover Blogathon hosted by Kristina of Speakeasy and Me!  Be sure to check out all the fabulous entries here and here!

In a comfortable house in the British Isles lives Kay Miniver (Greer Garson), her husband Clem (Walter Pidgeon), and her three children Toby, Judy, and Vin (Richard Ney).  Kay and Clem are well off, Clem has a successful career as an architect, and are enjoying having a little extra money to splash out on some luxuries as well as being able to continue employing some in house staff.  Kay has just bought a new hat and Clem has purchased a new car.  It is the summer of 1939 and life is good.

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A few days later Vin arrives home from Oxford and the entire family turns out to meet him at the train.  Vin is a bit puffed up on account of his newly acquired college education and soon puts this new attitude to use by insulting the granddaughter, Carol (Teresa Wright), of local aristocrat Lady Beldon (Dame May Whitty).  Despite this rocky start, Vin and Carol soon come to terms and fall in love.  They agree to keep in touch while Carol and her grandmother are away for the summer in Scotland.

Weeks pass and local gossip turns to Poland and the recent fall of that country to German hands.  On a quiet Sunday morning the village turns out for church and Vin is delighted to see Carol and her grandmother among the congregation, the pair having returned early from their travels.  The service begins but is quickly interrupted by the Vicar announcing that England has declared war on Germany.  Many of the older members of the congregation are visibly upset, even to tears, by this news as memories of another World War not long past are still present and troubling.

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Life changes now for the Miniver family and their town.  Vin goes into the service and joins the RAF, Clem does his part as a Local Defense Volunteer and is part of the Thames River Squad.  Even some members of the household staff join the military and the WAAF in order to “do their bit”. Vin begins his training at a base nearby and life continues on, changed but not deeply altered by the war.  Some weeks later the locals are listening to Lord Haw Haw on the radio and dismissing his dark predictions for England’s inevitable fall to Germany when word comes in that a German pilot has been downed nearby.  Clem and other members of the Thames River Squad are out searching for him but have not yet found him.

That evening Vin returns home for a dinner with the whole family, including Carol, and it ends up being a momentous occasion as he proposes to his love and she accepts.  Celebrations are cut short as Vin is recalled to his base for immediate deployment and Clem is called out to the river.  Clem and his fellow local boat owners are then informed that they are to take part in the evacuation of British soldiers from Dunkerque, France.  Five days later, Kay has no word from Vin or Clem and her only clues as to their locations come from the newspaper.  Taking a stroll in her garden she happens upon something strange…German boots.

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MRS. MINIVER is first and foremost a story of people.  Based on a book which was itself based on the column of the same name written by Jan Struther, the pen name of Joyce Anstruther, Mrs. Miniver first appeared in The Times in 1937.  She was created when Peter Fleming, brother of Ian, asked Jan Struther to write about “an ordinary sort of woman who leads an ordinary sort of life — rather like yourself”.  The pieces would appear every few weeks and became an instant hit.  Shortly after the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the columns were combined into a book which was published under the title “Mrs. Miniver” and quickly became a bestseller.  Mrs. Miniver, called Carol in the books, was a women who enjoyed her children, loved her husband, ran her household, and observed the changes in the world.  In short she was a reflection of the men and women who read about her, a window into their hearts as well as the happier times of their past before the war.  She also was a beacon, a guiding light, a comforting friend in the uncertain and turbulent times when the entire world was fighting each other too few years after the Great War.

Rather than a traditional novel, Mrs. Miniver the book is a collection of vignettes in the life of a British family.  This was undoubtedly an issue when constructing the screenplay for MRS. MINIVER.  While the columns themselves had no connections other than the Miniver family, the film needed to have a cohesive storyline. As a result much of what takes place in the film is not present in the book. And while the book of Mrs. Miniver was intended to at first entertain and later boost the morale of the British public, the film had a much larger and far reaching purpose in mind.

The film began pre-production in the fall of 1940, when the United States was still out of the war.  As time went on and the country moved closer and closer to war, certain scenes were altered and re-written to more accurately reflect the growing anti-Germany and pro-Britain attitude of the public.  The scenes involving the downed German flyer were changed several times becoming progressively harsher and more confrontational.  The film was finally released in 1942, just a few months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  President Roosevelt ordered it rushed to the theaters for propaganda purposes because at its core that was what MRS. MINIVER was intended to be.

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Director William Wyler was born in Germany and firmly believed that the United States should join the fight against Nazism.  He feared that the country’s isolationist attitude would be damaging and so endeavored to make a film showing the American public what their British counterparts were going through at that time.  His plans worked and the film did a great deal toward raising American sympathy toward Britain.  Winston Churchill once famously said that MRS. MINIVER, first the book and then the film, had done more for the war than “six divisions of war effort.”

The final speech by the vicar in MRS. MINIVER was printed in the magazines TIME and LOOK, as well as being broadcast on Voice of America and dropped as propaganda pamphlets all over Europe at the behest of President Roosevelt.  Called “The Wilcoxon Speech” in honor of the actor Henry Wilcoxon and his stirring delivery, this speech perhaps best exemplifies what made MRS. MINIVER the film and Mrs. Miniver the book such enduring stories and inspiring human tales.

“…The homes of many of us have been destroyed, and the lives of young and old have been taken. There’s scarcely a household that hasn’t been struck to the heart. And why? Surely you must have asked yourselves this question? Why in all conscience should these be the ones to suffer? Children, old people, a young girl at the height of her loveliness? Why these? Are these our soldiers? Are these our fighters? Why should they be sacrificed?

I shall tell you why. Because this is not only a war of soldiers in uniform. It is the war of the people, of all the people. And it must be fought not only on the battlefield but in the cities and in the villages, in the factories and on the farms, in the home and in the heart of every man, woman and child who loves freedom. Well, we have buried our dead, but we shall not forget them. Instead they will inspire us with an unbreakable determination to free ourselves, and those who come after us, from the tyranny and terror that threaten to strike us down. This is the People’s War. It is our war. We are the fighters. Fight it then. Fight it with all that is in us. And may God defend the right.”

 

Book Babbles: BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK UNBOXING AND AN IDEA

In my last wrap up I discussed the fact that I have been reading more lately and it was suggested that I share some of what I have been reading.  So, in that vein I wanted to share two things with everyone!

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First, I recently purchased a “Blind Date With A Book” from Under The Radar Books on Etsy.  Brittany aka Under The Radar Books is a terrific booktuber who I have been watching for several months.  If you haven’t seen her channel check it out here, especially if you like less known books, literary fiction, and magical realism.  Brittany just opened her Easy store with the idea of setting readers up on blind dates with books.  You simply pick any genre of book and Brittany will pick a book and send it to you!  If this sounds like fun you can find her store here!

I selected “Brittany’s Choice” which meant that I told her some of my favorite recent reads and linked her my Goodreads account (which you can do if you have one but you don’t have to have one in order to get a book), and then I waited!  Last week my blind date arrived!

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Not sure if you can read that but on the tag Brittany put a few “clues” as to what the book is…any guesses?

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I am so excited!  I had not heard of this book but I am really looking forward to giving it a try!

On to my second bookish topic.  I definitely am planning to include what I am reading in my monthly wrap ups but I wanted to see what you all thought about me starting to include some book reviews/discussions of what I am reading?  I am currently reading COLD COMFORT FARM with two other awesome booktubers (Kate Howe and Ange of Beyond The Pages, both of whom are great especially if you like the classics) and I am really enjoying discussing the book with them.  I am also giving serious thought to watching the film version after I finish the book and writing a post about it.  I am also reading a biography of Catherine the Great and thinking about watching THE SCARLET EMPRESS afterwards.  So, let me know what you think and if you would be interested in seeing some posts about my reading in the future!

One More Classic Film Book Haul

OK, OK, I promise this is the last one for a little while!  This weekend my Dad and I traveled to a local used book store and I lost my mind.  Seriously.  I did.

I got so many books that the man behind the counter upon seeing me said “I’ll go get you a box”.  But the crazy thing is that I left a lot behind!  I will definitely go back at some point, but for now I will content myself with THIS:

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What I Got

Rita Hayworth; If This Was Happiness by Barbara Leaming

Ava by Ava Gardner

Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball

Burt Lancaster; An American Life by Kate Buford (Also, I didn’t see the back cover until after I bought it…Wow.)

Marlene by Marlene Dietrich

Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger (This was more of a curio interest rather than believing the stories to be fact.)

Child Star by Shirley Temple Black

Frank Capra; The Name Above the Title by Frank Capra

Lemmon by Don Widener

Vivien; The Life of Vivien Leigh by Alexander Walker

Self Portrait by Gene Tierney

Mabel; Hollywood’s First I-Don’t-Care Girl by Betty Harper Russell

Mae West; Empress of Sex by Maurice Leonard

The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans

Goldwyn; A Biography by A. Scott Berg

Like I said, I left a ton behind so hopefully I will get back there one day!  Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought.  Also, do you tend to prefer autobiographies or biographies of your favorite stars and why?

Classic Film Book Haul from Book Outlet

Since no one opposed the idea of seeing more book hauls here we go with another one!  Thanks to Raquel from Out of the Past and Vanessa from Stardust, I have recently discovered Book Outlet.  It has a ton of books for really low prices and they have quite a few classic film books!  This is my Book Outlet haul, which is actually about three hauls over two months condensed into one.  All told, with shipping, these books only cost me about $50!  Without further ado, here is my book haul…

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What I Got

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck; Steel True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson

Five Came Back; A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris

Hope by Richard Zoglin

Spencer Tracy; A Biography by James Curtis

Beautiful; The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer

The Searchers; The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel

Empire of Dreams; The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille by Scott Eyman

The Accidental Feminist; How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice by M. G. Lord (This one was a total cover buy just from the title)

‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara (Just finished reading and reviewing this)

The Entertainer; Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century by Margaret Tablot

Have you ever read any of these books?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments!  And stay tuned because my Dad and I are going to a used bookstore tomorrow so there might just be a haul coming from that!

‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara: A BOOK REVIEW

I recently watched Raquel of Out of the Past’s classic film book haul video and thanks to her I came up with several titles that I wanted to read.  The first book I decided to pick up was Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography entitled ‘TIS HERSELF.  I knew I was in for a ride when I read on the first pages the lines, “You are about to read the tale of the toughest Irish lass who ever took on Hollywood and became a major leading lady of the silver screen.  In a career that has lasted for over sixty years, I have acted, punched, swashbuckled, and shot my way through an absurdly masculine profession during the most extraordinary of times.  As a woman, I’m proud to say that I stood toe-to-toe with the best of them and made my mark on my own terms…”

Maureen O’Hara shares with us the story of her entrance into Hollywood, her first roles with Charles Laughton, finding her way through the studio system, making enemies among the powers that be, and her turbulent relationship with John Ford.  This book does not go into great detail about more historical aspects of O’Hara’s life.  Often many of the films she made are mentioned in passing, sometimes warranting nothing more than a sentence or two, especially if O’Hara was less than thrilled with the production.  She is not hesitant to share her sometimes unflattering opinion of other actors and directors, such as John Farrow, Rex Harrison, and Howard Hughes. She is also very giving with her compliments of people she loved and respected such as John Wayne, Olivia de Havilland, Natalie Wood, and Alfred Hitchcock.  If you are looking for a very in-depth autobiography then you will find this somewhat lacking.  Maureen O’Hara even addresses this at the very end, lamenting that she hasn’t told half of the stories she wanted to.  I think it is because there are four men who feature prominently in this book and she wanted to use this platform to share her stories about them.

The first is, not surprisingly, John Wayne.  Maureen O’Hara uses her book to share her wonderful and meaningful friendship with the man she called “The Duke”.  She also sets straight many rumors and stories about their supposed romantic relationship.  In short it never happened.  Second, is her third husband Charlie Blair, the man who gave her true love and died under tragic and mysterious circumstances.  Third is Will Price, her second husband, an abusive alcoholic.  Her relationship with Price takes up a good section of the book, as she struggles to survive him and tries to save their marriage even as he is trying to destroy it.  Finally, there is John Ford.  Maureen O’Hara had a complex and turbulent relationship with director John Ford and in this book she shares more details than were perhaps known before.  The picture she paints is not all together flattering, John Ford appearing to be a troubled, angry, unhappy, at times kind but often manipulative artist.  His behavior toward her, especially before, during, and after the filming of THE QUIET MAN is shocking and at times disturbing.

I think that Maureen O’Hara was using this chance to share the stories about things that had happened in her life that she had never been able to before.  To finally share the abuse she suffered at the hands of Will Price, studio heads who refused to allow her to be more than window dressing in her films, and John Ford.  To share her questions and theories about the truth behind her husband’s death.  And to finally set the record straight about some rumors that she had been hearing for years.  Because of this she could not write a complete and thorough autobiography, rather choosing to focus on having her say instead of writing her life story.

I have read several reviews that spoke disparagingly about Maureen O’Hara and her ego.  They said that she is arrogant and full of herself.  In fact Maureen O’Hara starts her book by saying “…An Irishwoman is strong and feisty.  She has guts and stands up for what she believes in.  She believes she is the best at whatever she does and proceeds through life with that knowledge.  She can face any hazard that life throws her way and stay with it until she wins.  She is loyal to her kinsman and accepting of others.  She’s not above a sock in the jaw if you have it coming.  She is only on her knees before God.  Yes, I am most definitely an Irishwoman.”  I have to say that after reading this book I disagree with the sentiment that she is arrogant.  I think she is a strong, self possessed, and confident woman.  She was a great actress and a beautiful one.  She fought for what she believed in no matter who she had to face, be it actors, directors, the United States Government, or her own family and friends.  So why shouldn’t she say that?  Why is it arrogant of her to say “I was beautiful” or “I was the greatest lady swashbuckler”?  Would we prefer false modesty?  Why is it more acceptable for a man to say these things than a woman?  Why is a man powerful and confident if he thinks highly of himself, but a woman is full of herself?  Maureen O’Hara tells it as she sees it and I love her for it!

I enjoyed this book and felt like I got a chance to hear the stories Maureen O’Hara felt it was important to share.  This is most likely not the most objective look back on a life you can find, autobiographies always run that risk, but I don’t feel like it is untruthful.  And I think that it is amazing that it took all these years for a strong woman like Maureen O’Hara to feel comfortable to share these stories with the rest of the world, to share her experiences with abuse and powerlessness.  Reading this book not only gave me a deeper appreciation for Maureen O’Hara and her amazing life and career, but it also made me proud to be an Irishwoman (well, 50%) myself!  Definitely a recommended read for other classic film fans!

Another Classic Film Book Haul!

Today I stopped by my local church thrift shop and so you know what that means…

Classic Film Book Haul!

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And these books were just 50¢ each!

What I Got

Sweetheart; The Story of Mary Pickford by Robert Windeler

Me; Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn

Ernie; The Autobiography by Ernest Borgnine

My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn (Yay!)

The Vaudevillians by Bill Smith

A Remarkable Woman; A Biography of Katharine Hepburn by Anne Edwards

Judy Garland; A Biography by Anne Edwards

Ginger; My Story by Ginger Rogers (Yay yay!)

Charlie Chaplin; Pyramid Illustrated History of The Movies by Robert F. Moss

Shirley Temple; Pyramid Illustrated History of The Movies by Jeanine Basinger

Marlon Brando; The Way It’s Never Been Done Before by George Englund

The Great Movie Shorts; Those Wonderful One- and Two-Reelers of the Thirties and Forties by Leonard Maltin

Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and how you like book haul posts.  I have some other classic film books, as well as some I have ordered that I am waiting for, that I haven’t posted about yet so if you like seeing book hauls let me know and I will keep posting them!

2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge: EVERY FRENCHMAN HAS ONE

This post is part of the 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge hosted by Raquel of Out Of The Past. Find out more about this event here and stayed tuned all summer for more reviews!

For my sixth book in the 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge I wanted to read something a little special.  This book would fall into that category.  First of all, I love Olivia de Havilland.  I have a special feeling for her because she was the first class film actress I can remember watching and enjoying, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD anyone, and she also was the first classic film star I ever got an autograph from.  She actually sent me a lovely note along with an autographed photo of her and Errol Flynn during the shooting of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, which I have framed and hung on my wall.  I decided to splurge on a pre-birthday present to myself, as copies of this book start around $45 on Amazon, and get a book written by Olivia de Havilland herself.  And I have to say that the result is fabulous.

Actually, the word I would use to describe this book would be delightful.  After the end of her first marriage, Olivia de Havilland traveled to France for the Cannes Film Festival and it was here that she met her soon to be second husband.  After her divorce was finalized and her second marriage legalized, Olivia de Havilland crossed the ocean and settled into life in France.  And that is what this book is about!

A collection of anecdotes and stories about her life and adjustment to life with the French people and the city of Paris this book is not for those seeking a autobiography.  However, if you enjoy the stories of Robert Benchley or the humor of The Night The Bed Fell by James Thurber, you will enjoy this book.  Guys, Olivia de Havilland is funny!  And witty!  And this book shows all of that.  I read the first 115 pages in one night and finished the book the next day.  The writing is quick and clever, and full of amusing tales of her time in France.  She writes about her trials in French fashion, finding and hiring a French maid, and remodeling her new home.

I really enjoyed this book and I would certainly recommend it to any classic film fan!  Thank you to Ms. de Havilland for this wonderful book!


Here is another great post about this book written by Lara of Backlots.  Also, big thanks to Raquel for hosting this challenge!

2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge: THOSE FABULOUS MOVIE YEARS; THE 30s

This post is part of the 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge hosted by Raquel of Out Of The Past. Find out more about this event here and stayed tuned all summer for more reviews!

Many classic film fans when asked what the best year for movies was would answer 1939.  So many great movies came out that year, in fact so many great films came out in the 1930s as a whole.  How can one film fan remember them all?  And what of the fabulous stars of the 1930s? Well never fear, have I got a book for you!

Found at a library book sale with a very ripped dust jacket I present to you THOSE FABULOUS MOVIE YEARS: THE 30s.  This book is a collection of films made in the 1930s as well as the actors and actresses who starred in them.  Published in 1975 and written by Paul Trent each entry in this book gives a brief overview of the films and the stars.  The entries written for the actors and actresses limit themselves to discussing their careers in the 1930s only.  The films are given very brief overviews with some details about their productions and box office success.  It is interesting to read some of the opinions about such great films as THE WIZARD OF OZ (…”It was an irresistable magnet for sentimentalists and romantics willing to believe and one that thrust Garland into superstardom…”), GUNGA DIN (…”is a period piece, appropriate only for a day when chauvinism was an acceptable word and audience’s believe in the White Man’s Burden.  Its themes, sensibilities, and social mores date the film.”, and DINNER AT EIGHT (“When the film ends, the viewer feel he’s been to one heck of a party.”).

Those looking for a more in depth review of films made in the 1930s will most likely be disappointed.  But this book does give quick information, almost like an encyclopedia, and could be useful for quickly trying to look up who was in that movie that you forgot you liked.  One thing this book does have going for it are the pictures.  Every page is covered in black and white, and some color, photographs of the stars and movies that we love.  It is an odd sensation to read the entries of people like Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joel McCrea with no final date listed after their birth.  We read the book knowing that they are gone, but in seeing this blank space where the date of death usually goes we get to have a moment of believing that they haven’t left us yet.

2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge: GOOD STUFF; A REMINISCENCE OF MY FATHER, CARY GRANT

This post is part of the 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge hosted by Raquel of Out Of The Past. Find out more about this event here and stayed tuned all summer for more reviews!

A few weeks ago my husband presented me with a bag of birthday presents.  He had taken the time to go out and search for some classic film related books for me, a not so easy task as anyone who collects books or classic film related items will attest.  In amongst the other gifts was this book, GOOD STUFF.  I was intrigued as I knew that Cary Grant became a father late in life but had never read anything much about that child.

That child is Jennifer Grant, daughter of Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon.  Although her parents divorced when she was very young, she still managed to spend a great deal of time with her father especially when her mother was away on a film set.  Cary Grant retired from the film industry when Jennifer was born in order to spend more time with her and be there to raise her.  At the time this book was written Cary Grant had been dead for about twenty years.  It is apparent in reading Jennifer’s reminiscences that this devastating event still is as clear and affecting as if it happened yesterday.  In fact she makes mention at the beginning of the book that her therapist suggests that she write about her father, ostensibly to help her work through her grief.

What follows then are short chapters, almost vignettes, in the life of Cary and Jennifer Grant.  Remembering the happy times with her father, the “good stuff”, Jennifer allows us a brief glimpse into a part of Cary Grant that many have never seen or even considered.  We get to see him as a husband and more importantly, as a father.  He delighted in his daughter and saved everything she touched practically.  He was also constantly videoing or recording their lives and Jennifer quotes these recordings often in her book.  Yes, in some places the praise of her father and his love for her might seem a little heavy handed but then why shouldn’t it be?  This is not a book written by a scholarly biographer but rather a love note written from a daughter to her father.

GOOD STUFF is not a typical biography, nor is it an unbiased and scholarly look at the life of one of the greatest actors of all time.  But then I don’t think that it is meant to be.  The sense I got from this book was that it was cathartic for her to write it.  In an effort to work through the grief of losing her father, Jennifer Grant wrote this book.  She wrote it in an attempt to say one last good-bye and I love you to her father.  So, if you are looking to find a book about Cary Grant’s entire life or one that is completely factual and neutral in its portrayal of the former Archie Leach then I would urge you to look elsewhere.  Jennifer never knew that part of her father’s life and he was reluctant to speak of it, preferring to leave it in the past, so she cannot speak to it in her book.  But if you are looking for a personal, private, almost stream of consciousness look at Cary Grant the man and father then this is the book for you.  In remembering her father, a man who was her biggest fan and greatest support, Jennifer Grant talks only about the “good stuff” and how can we blame her for that?

2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge: GARBO

This post is part of the 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Challenge hosted by Raquel of Out Of The Past. Find out more about this event here and stayed tuned all summer for more reviews!

A few weeks ago a local library was having their annual sale and my Mom and I decided to brave the crowds, and the heat, to go seek out hidden gems.  Library sales tend to be crazy, usually full of booksellers with their handheld devices trying to find books to sell online.  I have a deep and abiding love for books and this makes me sad, but that is a story for another time.  The booksellers were there in force but luckily none of them wanted the older and more unique books that I was looking for, thus allowing me to find such fabulous items as the book I just read.

GARBO by Norman Zierold is a slim volume of only 150 pages which seems somewhat fitting in the telling of the life story of the famously reclusive star.  But if you are hoping for a complete biography that tells the story of Greta Garbo’s life from cradle to, as the book was published in the late 1960s, her current life in New York City you will be disappointed.  While the book does tell some stories about Garbo’s life and childhood, her early career, and her big break into Hollywood the main point of this book is to talk about and dispel the Garbo mystique.

Zierold relates the story of Greta Garbo through the creation and maintaining of her famously eccentric and reclusive aura.  He makes a good case for the exaggeration of her truly private nature by the Hollywood publicity machine, as well as by Garbo herself.  Zierold makes the case that by saying nothing and allowing the public to print and think whatever they liked about her, Greta Garbo actually helped create and bolster her own famous image in her fairly short career.  He also shares stories of the lengths that fans, aka Garbomaniacs, would go to to meet the star which actually make it seem quite reasonable that Garbo would want to avoid the public as much as possible.

The book also spends some time dealing with Garbo’s many romantic entanglements, most famously Johnny Gilbert, as well as her close circle of friends.  Zierold has the benefit of time, writing during a period where the stars of the Golden Age were still plentiful and easily recognizable to the general public and it is nice to read the names of long forgotten stars, or at least ones that are forgotten by non-classic film fans.

All in all this was a quick and enjoyable read and since I had never read any biography about Greta Garbo, all the stories were new to me.  While I don’t feel like I know very much about Garbo’s life in total, I do feel that I know a little more about the Garbo mystique and the woman who helped to create it simply by wanting some time to herself.