A perceptive examination of the life, work and legend of the great American actor, Montgomery Clift, star of iconic Hollywood films "The Search," "Red River," "A Place in the Sun," and "From Here to Eternity."
Monty Clift in his youth--before the terrible 1956 car accident that permanently disfigured him--was so strikingly handsome he was often called beautiful, a descriptive normally reserved for comely actresses such as Ava Gardner or Elizabeth Taylor. He was intensely dedicated to his craft, taking acting so seriously he inspired and influenced contemporaries Marlon Brando and James Dean (Dean used to call Monty on the phone just to listen to his voice), who then influenced the next generation of American actors.
His struggles are chronicled here as well and author Patricia Bosworth handles this with a mixture of sympathy and--circa 1978--straightforward honesty. Here we learn of Clift's self-destructive drinking and drugging which began as an immediate reaction to the unrelenting scrutiny and demands of fame; the complex and difficult relationship with his controlling, social-climbing mother, Sunny; his emotional love affairs with women (especially the loving and protective Taylor); and the many sexual encounters with men-- including a serious relationship with Jerome Robbins (Bosworth carefully describes him only as "a famed choreographer" but Robbins is identified in more recent biographies), whom Clift rejected after Robbins became a friendly witness for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the fifties witch hunt period.
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