CHARLES BOYER: THE RELUCTANT LOVER. Larry Swindell. Doubleday; 1983.
This classic biography of the great French actor is an excellent study of Boyer's life and career, culminating in his tragic final days. With insight and intelligence, Swindell takes us from Boyer's early days in France, his attempts to make it in Hollywood before finally succeeding, and the ups and downs of his career as both romantic leading man and respected character actor. Swindell also illuminates the man's personality and character and analyzes his acting technique in various films. Then there is his work for the French during the war years, and his irritation at being dubbed “the great lover” when he simply saw himself as a serious actor. No, he never said “Come with me to the Casbah!” in Algiers. The tragedy of his final days and what happened to him and his family will leave many readers in tears.
Verdict: A superb biography.