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Book by Donati William

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In the last days of January 1918, German aircraft swooped across the Kent and Essex coasts. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x981c37a4) étoiles sur 5 15 commentaires
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9632d3a8) étoiles sur 5 Lupino was one "tough dame" both on-screen and off. 27 avril 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
In the best cigarette-stained vernacular of 1940's film noir, Ida Lupino was one "tough dame." With steely eyes, a husky voice, and a tongue quickened by candor, the woman earned her celluloid stripes by rarely backing down. And judging by William Donati's well- researched work, Ida Lupino: A Biography, the actress's headstrong screen persona matched her real-life manners. Like a downtown train, Lupino had moxie.

When Lupino died two years ago at age seventy-seven, interested readers were still waiting for the star's definitive biography. Donati's book fills that void. The author offers up a linear, plainspoken account of Lupino's long career as a film and television actress, and, more important, her maverick role as one of Hollywood's first female directors.

British-born, and reared in a famous, theatrical family, Lupino landed in Hollywood in 1933, determined to succeed. Her ambition, however, bordered on arrogance. Despite a generous $600 a week salary from Paramount, the young actress opposed the studio's plan to cast her as an ingénue. Donati recounts how Lupino upset the applecart by refusing to appear in Cleopatra, where "she was given five lines and expected to stand behind Claudette Colbert waving a large palm frond." Lupino's defiance led to a suspension, her first scrap in a lifelong tangle with studio heads.
Her early frustration with "shallow roles and mediocre films" hastened both a break with Paramount and a shrewd, propitious makeover. Gone was the blond, Kewpie Doll look modeled after Jean Harlow. In its place, Lupino reverted to her natural brown hair, while fashioning a dark, hard-boiled mien that became her stock in trade. By the early 1940s she was working at Warner Brothers, winning acclaim in They Drive by Night, Out of the Fog, The Sea Wolf, and her benchmark film, High Sierra, where she earned top billing over a still unheralded Humphrey Bogart.
Donati examines the full Lupino canon - performances consisting mostly of a woman gone bad, gone mad, or, if nothing else, a woman dangerously out of kilter. Still, he fails to note the irony in a fiercely independent Lupino, who, having once rebelled against typecasting, being typecast just the same. In one melodrama after another, Lupino played femme fatales, prone to anger, hysteria, and ill fortune. The actress herself liked to say that she made her money as "a poor man's Bette Davis."
It's no wonder that Lupino's roles rattled the Motion Picture Producers and Distributers of America, or MPA - a watchdog group headed by Joseph Breen. In one example, Donati cites the MPA's Production Code taking exception to Lupino's "bad girl" portrayal in The Sea Wolf: "Before filming, the Breen Office informed Warner Brothers that Ida's character could not be a prostitute nor could she be referred to as a slut. A revised script made her `a fugitive of justice.'"
Acting chores aside, the more trenchant sections of Donati's Ida Lupino: A Biography center on the woman's pioneering role as a director. Lupino's second career, this time behind the camera, was christened by chance in 1949 when she substituted for an ailing Elmer Clifton on the set of Not Wanted. Soon, Lupino was directing low-budget, but socially conscious and progressive movies for Filmakers, an upstart company which she partially controlled.
Not Wanted tackled the then taboo subject of unwed mothers. Lupino's other directorial efforts include The Bigamist, The Hitch-Hiker, and Never Fear, a merciful and realistic look at America's polio epidemic. Except for Not Wanted, these films were unprofitable, yet they afforded the female director a freedom to visit artistic avenues ignored by standard matinee fare. Donati makes a case for Lupino as Hollywood's first feminist - a heady title long before modern feminism came into vogue.
Years later, Lupino oddly disparaged the feminist movement. Donati quotes from a 1972 interview: "Ida proclaimed she was not `one of the ladies who go in for women's lib. Any woman who wishes to smash into the world of men isn't very feminine. . . . Baby, we can't go smashing. I believe women should be struck regularly like a gong.'"
Unlike the rap sheet of scandals that often saturate current biographies, Donati's book is refreshingly tame. While there is the usual litany of broken marriages - Lupino had three husbands, Howard Duff being her last and most satisfying - the author's raciest anecdotes concern Lupino's self-professed "psychic powers" and her bizarre affinity for mysticism. And if Donati's prose sometimes devolves into boosterism: "Ida was finally achieving the screen recognition she deserved," his aboveboard agenda is admirable.
Where film historians ultimately rank Lupino's work remains debatable. One thing, however, is certain: Ida Lupino was a feisty woman. On-screen and off, she shot holes in Hollywood's male-dominated club. Not bad for the cinema's favorite gun moll.
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9632d7f8) étoiles sur 5 a look at Hollywood's forgotten queen, Ida Lupino 19 novembre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
William Donati's book, Ida Lupino, a biography, was very interesting and well written. Some of the data is in line with the A and E biography, but some is not. I have to agree with just one of the other reviewers in the fact that very little is said about Ms. Lupino's daughter, Bridget Duff as a grown woman. It came out very strongly that Ms.Lupino had a never ending concern about what her father thought. Ms. Lupino's roles on the screen were that of woman who, while flawed, were very interesting. One could not help to think about what would have happened if she was given better roles. Her constant feuds with Warner Bros. and many suspensions for not accepting lousy parts were outlined in the book. Another thing that the book does not go into is, why after 60 plus movies as an actress, 6 as a directors and 100+ as a TV director, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and sciences and the Emmy Awards has completely overlooked Lupino. Overall, I liked the book very much.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9632d834) étoiles sur 5 Reasonable overview, many open questions 21 novembre 2004
Par frumiousb - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Donati has written a respectful and seemingly accurate portrait of Ida Lupino as star, director and woman. A reader looking for basic biographical data on a deeper-than-encylopedia level will find what they are looking for with this book.

Donati, unfortunately, writes with a noticeable lack of flair and manages to nearly make Lupino boring. This is no mean feat, given how colorful and important she was. He does not place her films into a critical or historical context. Nor does he really explore her character on anything more than a surface psychological level. Furthermore, in his focus on her romantic life, he overlooks or skips over other important relationships that she had with other women. The most obvious omission is her adult relationship with her daughter.

Useful for class assignments, but other readers may want to wait for a better treatment.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9632d774) étoiles sur 5 Ida Lupino A Woman of Many Faces 24 mars 2010
Par S. Main - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I have been a fan of Ida Lupino's eversince I was a teenager and saw her in High Sierra. Ida Lupino was a golden girl of the Warner Brothers lot in the 1940's. Having come from a family of entertainers, Lupino worked hard to get where she got, whilst yearning to do more. This more came in the form of movie directing. Lupino's talents, I believe, are overlooked nowadays, given that she was one of the first female movie directors to come out of Hollwood, paving the way for other female directors to surface in later years. Donati's book offers a good insight into the career of Ida Lupino (the actress and the filmaker). The writer also provides an adequate insight into Ida Lupino the person and the neurosis that motivated her for so many years. It surprises me that there are not more writings dedicated to the career of Ida Lupino. It seems these days that very few people know who she is, let alone what she managed to achieve in an industry that was very much ruled by men. Donati has given us a book that is easy to read. A recommended read for all film buffs!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9632d714) étoiles sur 5 Donati's Work Shows How Books on Stars Should Be Done 6 novembre 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
William Donati, also author of an excellent book on Errol Flynn, chooses to write about stars in a way they--and the reader--can appreciate: with a careful balance between what is fiction and what really happened. Thus is his approact to Ida Lupino. She is could be called one of Hollywood's first women power elite--and she had a turbulent and accomplished career to prove it. Donati should be applauded for not stooping to sacrificing fact, always more interesting (and riskier and harder) to write than empty speculative sensationalism.
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