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Gene Kelly: A Life of Dance and Dreams (Anglais) Broché – 30 septembre 2001

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Book by Yudkoff Alvin

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x8fa74318) étoiles sur 5 31 commentaires
62 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f3f4744) étoiles sur 5 ONE star is TOO NICE . Is this a fictional account? 20 octobre 2004
Par K. Cooley - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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!
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f3f4798) étoiles sur 5 Good, but doesn't "keep going"... 27 décembre 1999
Par The Gene Kelly Home page host - Publié sur
Format: Relié
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.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f3f4bd0) étoiles sur 5 Shamefully shoddy...... 13 janvier 2006
Par CroonerDude - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
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.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f3f4bb8) étoiles sur 5 Disappointing 28 décembre 1999
Par lisebouvier - Publié sur
Format: Relié
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.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x906a209c) étoiles sur 5 THE BOOK WHO COULDN'T DANCE 30 janvier 2003
Par Preston Neal Jones - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I'm up to page 185, and fully intend to finish the whole book, but I thought I'd look it up here at to see if I could learn anything about the author's credentials -- the paperback offers none -- and, also, see how other readers had felt about the book. For me, it started strong with the Pittsburgh material and New York days, the formative years of Kelly's life with which I was so unfamiliar. But the deeper I've gotten into the book, the more I've discovered such careless mistakes (see the other Reader Reviews) that I can't help but worry about the veracity in the earlier passages as well. (Incidentally, one whopper which no one else has mentioned is that Yudkoff completely reverses the production sequence of THE PIRATE and EASTER PARADE, which in turn leads to many misstatements of fact.) I was willing to tolerate the infamous AFI interior monlogues -- at least, unlike Reagan's biographer, Yudkoff didn't attempt to pass himself off as one of Kelly's dancing partners -- but by this point in the book I'm finding myself very annoyed with all the sloppy mistakes. And now, thanks to the Reader Reviews, I see that Yudkoff is going to leave me in the lurch after 1952, which is frankly infuriating. And, yes, disappointing.
POSTSCRIPT: I kept on reading, and it got even worse. Yudkoff's description of the title number in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, incredibly, is erroneous in its description. It's one thing for Yudkoff to fudge the descriptions of the dances in LIVING IN A BIG WAY, an obscure -- though not IMPOSSIBLE to view -- Kelly movie, but to blow the facts on his most famous number in his most famous film...!
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