58 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Ugh, where to begin? As others have written before me, there are so many basic errors in this book that I wonder at the author's "research." If he had spent more time getting the facts straight instead of pretending to know what Gene Kelly was thinking during the AFI tribute, then this book may not be the shambles we readers have had to endure. As I was reading, finding the errors actually became a game for me. I would sit there with my book and pen and paper, just daring Yudkoff to pitch out another mistake. Here are the ones I found: (I'm sure there are several others.)
1. Shirley Maclaine's dress at the AFI Tribute is BLACK not RED. An error that is SO basic, it shows how careless this author is throughout the entire book.
2. In For Me and My Gal, Judy Garland's character was NOT engaged to the George Murphy character. Hey Yudkoff, it would help if you saw the movies of the person about whom you're writing, don't you think???
3. Again, in For Me and My Gal, the Judy Garland and Gene Kelly characters are NOT "immediate sensations," as the author states. Sheesh.
4. Yup, another one regarding For Me and My Gal: the "author" (I'm beginning to use this term more loosely) states that Gene Kelly's character is a solo act in Europe. NOT TRUE. Watch the movie you careless dolt!
5. In Living in a Big Way, Yudkoff says that there is a dance with a trained dog and a dance with a statue. AHEM! They are the same dance. Yikes, this is getting embarrassing! I'm glad I'm not this author!
6. Here's one of the worst: When Yudkoff refers to Vera-Ellen's character in On the Town as "MISS SUBWAYS!" Oh my gosh. Her title was "Miss Turnstiles." Hmm..sounds like someone really needs to sit down with some of the movies before writing any more books.
7. Now here's something I've never seen before in any book, using the exact same quote TWICE. On page 197 and on page 202 he uses the same GK quote in referring to the pioneering on-location film technique of On the Town. (Of course, by this time, who knows if those are even real quotes? So much has already been fabricated!)
SHAME ON THE AUTHOR, THE EDITOR, and THE PUBLISHER who bought the book!!! Gene Kelly fans have waited for 20 years for an updated biography of this legendary dancer, choreographer, and director. The readers deserve better and so does Mr. Kelly himself.
Other annoying things are the way the author's internal monologue Gene Kelly is having with himself at the AFI Tribute(which I gave up on and stopped reading) basically just criticizes and insults everyone. And don't even get me started on the way he keeps hinting at homosexual rumors and portrays a young Betsy Blair as this side of a nymphomaniac. Plus, the book only focuses on about half of Gene Kelly's life. Twenty years are sideswiped in a couple of paragraphs and 40-some years are glossed over in a few pages. How about giving Gene Kelly some credit for being a single widowed father who raised his two younger children who lost their mother to cancer at ages 8 and 11? How about informing your readers that this generous father turned down numerous projects so that he could provide a stable home for his children and this was when he was in his 60's? All Yudkoff cares about are the glamour days. Not a nice way to treat your subject, who you claim to admire.
If you're as frustrated as I am, do what the author did, just learn what you can about Gene Kelly from the 1974 book written by Clive Hirschhorn. You get several treats in one: ACTUAL quotes from Gene Kelly and those who knew him, ACTUAL facts about the man, and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
As for this book: IT IS A DISGRACE! The entire thing is written like the author is wearing a neon sign saying, "Hey everyone! Look at me! I'm writing a book about Gene Kelly!" OK! So you wrote your terrible book, now do something useful like apologize to your readers. If I was Betsy Blair, or Kerry, Timothy, or Bridget Kelly, I would sue the pants off this guy. Ugh, ugh, and again I say, UGH!
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
The Gene Kelly Home page host
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Gene Kelly : A Life of Dance and Dreams is well written and researched (the errors are only minor, such as the fact that Vera-Ellen did not speak at Gene's AFI salute since she died in 1981). Despite a fantastic and thorough beginning, the book really falls short in the end when it tries to cover the years 1952-1996 in only 35 pages. The second half of Gene's life deserves at least as much time as the first half! It's like there needs to be a second volume, but this one was going to press. More info was needed on Gene's relationships with his family, especially after the emphasis on his love of family in his early life. It was apparent that the author was unable to speak to Gene's surviving family members in writing this book. Despite that, the author did a good job with the sources he did use.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I have my own personal barometer to indicate whether or not a book is second-rate (or worse). I start counting the typos, and when I hit "five," I officially distrust the author/editors. I hit five by the third chapter and knew I was in for a bumpy ride. This author should have concentrated on spell-checking and fact-checking, rather than obsessing with his thinly veiled,homophobic assertions (as mentioned by another reader, his repeated reference to "Leo McCrary" nearly made me hurl the book across the room!). This really was a maddening read, and it is hardly the biography that the great Gene Kelly deserves. Makes one even sadder to ponder that Kelly's own autobiography was lost when his house burned down in the 80's. That would have been a helluva read.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I just bought the new bio and have to be honest: I'm disappointed, especially with the author and his technique. Although he claims he talked to many people, especially Kelly's longtime secretary (which is one good point), the author uses very few direct quotes from sources, and many of those have been previously published. Often he is vague, and makes a few claims I find completely unbelievable. And he uses a technique I find irritating- extensively ''recreating'' the subject's thoughts, or private incidents. Now, he doesn't know what Gene Kelly's thoughts were, unless he had access to a journal or diary or his autobiographical notes--which clearly he did not, because he does not cite such notes as a source. And if by chance he did, quote THOSE, don't use fiction. This is a trend in biographies, but not one that, to me, creates a believable insight into the person concerned.
I don't expect to see Gene Kelly portrayed as someone without flaws, but I do expect an honest, balanced, well-researched portrait. Colleagues and friends interviewed for the 1974 biography by Clive Hirschorn, a work Yudkoff quotes frequently if selectively, were honest about his perfectionism and high standards, his competitiveness and Irish temper, and his demanding rehearsal techniques. But this author, it seems, tries to give the man flaws he didn't possess.
For example, it portrays him as a kind of absentee father, vowing to spend more time with his kids and never quite managing, but his eldest daughter spoke to Hirschorn of his dedication and concern as a father even at the height of his career, and said of him, ''He wanted so desperately to be an excellent father-and he was.''
Another example: Yudkoff tells a story that one night, LB Mayer asked Kelly to dance with Vivien Leigh, which he did, but that she was so drunk that Kelly asked her if they could sit out the rest of the dance. Kelly told this story differently to his biographer; for example, that Leigh asked him to dance, not the other way round. Yudkoff quotes only part of Kelly's story, without explaining that he tells the story very differently from Kelly, portraying his rude treatment of her as fairly intentional, while Kelly used the story to illustrate his awkwardness at big social functions. Nor does Yudkoff cite a source for his version. Since this incident is used to illustrate Gene Kelly's character (with some fictional recreation of his thoughts), the discrepancy is disturbing.
This new bio makes a few revelations, but in the absence of direct quotes from sources, it's hard to know what is reliable. There is no real in-depth insight into his relationships or artistry. Anyway, it makes me hope his autobiography will still be published. There is definitely a place for it.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Nora L. Mayers
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The author tries, but fails, to adequately tell Gene Kelly's life story. There are so few materials on the life and career of Kelly that this book was eagerly anticipated by his fans. Unfortnately, this one doesn't make the grade. In his "novel" approach, the author attempts to crawl inside Kelly's mind as he sits watching the American Film Institute Awards in the 1980s. He thinks Kelly's thoughts and presents them to readers, as though he inhabits a secret corner of the choreographer/dancer's mind and is literally giving us "the inside scoop" on how Kelly felt about his life, career, and relationships. He also invites himself into closed door sessions (where he couldn't possibly have known what was being said between Kelly and Mayer, Kelly and Betsy Blair, Kelly and Jeanne Coyne, Kelly and Donen, etc.). The result is half novel/half biography, all failure. When the author finally does climb out of Kelly's mind back into the reality of the dancer's life, he doesn't get all of his facts straight. In one instance he reports that Vera Ellen saluted Kelly at the American Film Institute Awards. If so, she did it from the netherworld. Ellen had been dead for several years by the time of the AFI awards.
For some odd reason writers have a hard time writing about Kelly and doing it well. Perhaps it is because Kelly's life is devoid of serious scandel; there is nothing scurrilous on which to hang juicy rumors. Let's hope, then, that Kelly's widow, Pat Ward, will soon release the biography that Kelly, himself, was working on the last few years of his life. Then we'll REALLY know what Kelly was thinking, and not have to rely upon second-hand Kelly-think.