Sunday, February 7, 2010

Accolades in Classic Images magazine

Book critic Laura Wagner wrote this great review of Bride of Golden Images, by Eve Golden:

I think everyone knows of my love and respect for Eve Golden’s writing. The lady is seemingly effortless in her ability to pithily tell the life story of her subjects, a skill readers of Classic Images know well. BearManor Media has published Eve’s new Bride of Golden Images: Essays on Stars of the 1930s-60s Originally Published in Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age (BearManor softcover, $24.95). All of Eve’s profiles have been reworked by her for this new volume, and all are choice examples of her descriptive style: Jean Arthur, Warner Baxter, Constance Bennett, Joan Blondell, Jack Buchanan, Billie Burke, Ina Claire, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Dell, Marlene Dietrich, Margaret Dumont, Rosetta and Vivian Duncan, Jimmy Durante, Cliff Edwards, Peg Entwistle, Greta Garbo, Betty Grable, Charlotte Greenwood, Daisy and Violet Hilton, Judy Holliday, Phillips Holmes, Edward Everett Horton, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Helen Kane, Winnie Lightner, Ben Lyon, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Miller, Carmen Miranda, Marilyn Monroe, Renate Muller, Jack Oakie, Lyda Roberti, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyck, Inger Stevens, Sharon Tate, Thelma Todd, Judy Tyler, Lupe Velez, and Alice White.

I love how Eve brings together superstars, stars, and character actors. It’s a fascinating mix of people. When you read about Margaret Dumont, you always hear about her association with the Marx Brothers, so it was interesting here to see Eve’s more rounded profile of her, so we can appreciate her full career. Also, I was glad to see that Eve’s profiles on Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe were not corrupted by past reports on them. The Monroe write-up, in particular, could have sunk very low and relied on the junk that other writers have dished out about her. Eve, however, has her own agenda, and it’s a fresh, vivid one. I found myself enjoying a chapter about an actress that, frankly, I never cared for. And I was glad that Eve did not repeat the oft-told, but untrue, rumor that Crawford took care of ex-husband Franchot Tone when he was dying. It’s simply not true, and has been dispelled by Tone biographer Lisa Burks who interviewed his family for her upcoming biography.

Another intriguing aspect is Eve’s profiles on those performers, now pretty much forgotten, who died young without gaining fame: Dorothy Dell, Peg Entwistle, Phillips Holmes, Lyda Roberti, and Judy Tyler. These chapters are among my favorites because I appreciated Eve’s efforts to bring them some notice. Entwistle was the actress who famously threw herself off the Hollywood sign. But there was more to her than that, naturally, and Eve clues us in.....

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