EACH MAN IN HIS TIME: The Life Story of a Director by Raoul Walsh

EACH MAN IN HIS TIME: The Life Story of a Director

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If the good life is a larder stuffed not with fiches or wisdom but with memories of the most interesting, romantic, slaphappy experiences, then Raoul Walsh's must be among the best. Cowboy and vagrant, practical joker, veteran Hollywood director with a patch over one eye and gypsy blood running in his veins (by way of Killarney), bawdy and boozy but always a gentleman -- on screen and off, he breathes adventure. Sophistication, depth, candor, Freud and Proust and existential angoisse -- these are hardly his speed. Each Man In His Time is a cross between a fan mag and The Reader's Digest, Zane Grey and Mark Twain, one whopping tale after another, an amiable entertainment (a phrase often associated with his films), and perfect for the current nostalgia boom. Want to know about Tinsel Town in the Twenties, about Marian Davies and Hearst, Flynn and Bogey and Barrymore? It's all here -- merry, maudlin portraits, with nary a libelous sketch among them. Walsh wants to do a film concerning Pancho Villa, but he's unsure whether or not he'll ""stop a bullet"" when he meets the unpredictable General in Mexico. He falls in love with Gloria Swanson, and she's a married woman. ""Next thing I knew, we would be spice for the gossip columns. 'Adios, Gloria,' I waved at her front door and drove away."" It's all rather nutsy and folksy and quaint, with Walsh so often the raconteur with the big cigar developing his listener's daydreams while he regales them in a pub on a rainy night. Still, memoirs must be true. . . . That Walsh also made What Price Glory? and High Sierra and White Heat -- of that we're certain. And damn good films they are, as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1974
Publisher: Farrar, Strata & Giroux