TONY CURTIS

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Lippy memoir of actor/painter/novelist Bernard Schwartz, a hard-luck kid from gang-ridden New York who went to Hollywood in his early 20s and became known as Tony Curtis; told with Paris (Louise Brooks, 1989) inserting interviews with Curtis's friends, co-workers, and family members into the otherwise all-Curtis text. As ever, Curtis thinks well of himself, having checked both a skid in his career and addictions to cocaine and alcohol requiring two trips to the Betty Ford Clinic. Curtis's first trip to BFC didn't take, but family intervention in his yearlong slip planted him right back in the clinic for a second drying out and ego- retooling. Even so, the newer, brighter Curtis cuffs his former directors—Howard Koch, Blake Edwards, Norman Jewison, and Robert Mulligan—for not ``making any effort or gesture toward me. It may sound like sour grapes, but I don't care what it sound like. That's my feeling.'' Meanwhile, he praises Arnold Schwarzenegger for hiring him for the Terminator's directing debut in 1992's lame TV comedy Christmas in Connecticut. Despite what many will think lapses, Curtis's buoyant self-love (Elvis allegedly copied his hair style), active sex life (modestly veiled), and rise from dashing hunk (The Black Shield of Falworth) to determined, ever-committed actor (The Boston Strangler) make for an attractive, highly readable life, filled with gods as friends (Cary Grant, Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra) and goddesses as fellow workers (Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Gina Lollobrigida) and wives (Janet Leigh, Christine Kaufmann). Aside from the addiction passages, the highlight here is the filming of Some Like It Hot, the cornerstone of Curtis's huge growth as a talent. Sometimes mean-spirited but...nobody's perfect. Could do very well. (Thirty-five b&w photos—not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-09759-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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