Compared to Robert LaGuardia's execrable and irresponsible Monty (1976), Bosworth's thorough, impassive, and modestly...

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MONTGOMERY CLIFT: A Biography

Compared to Robert LaGuardia's execrable and irresponsible Monty (1976), Bosworth's thorough, impassive, and modestly literate telling of actor Clift's rise (Broadway, Hollywood) and fall (booze, pills, unemployment, disfigurement) seems a model of good taste. She does not, as LaGuardia did, play amateur psychoanalyst (though she provides enough raw data for diverse speculations) or wallow in screen-mag sensationalism. She does not trade in gossip or point accusing fingers (though John Huston inevitably turns up as a tormenting villain on the set of Freud). What's more, her vast gathering of testimony shows LaGuardia's ""research"" to have been pathetic: here Monty's rather wild brother and late, smothering mother, as well as a wide circle of famous friends and colleagues, speak variously and vividly--not just of Monty's erratic behavior and bisexual traumas (""I love men in bed but I really love women"") but of his mythlike ancestry, his gypsy childhood, his wit and erudition, and, above all, his doomed labors as a painstakingly serious actor in a commercial entertainment-world. Still, even though Bosworth demonstrates enough stage-and-film savvy to establish ClifFs credentials as a craftsman and maverick, this quietly sympathetic biography must ultimately depend on its titillating revelations and its stardust (Liz, Marilyn, et al.) to sustain its length; no one will write a better life of Montgomery Clift--no one should bother.

Pub Date: March 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1978