Thursday, December 27, 2012
JENNIFER JONES: THE LIFE AND FILMS
Author Green makes it clear at the outset that this is less a traditional biography of Jones than it is a study of her films. So while you might have to go elsewhere to read more intimate details of, say, her first marriage to Robert Walker, Green nevertheless provides most of the important facts of Jones' life story in a compelling fashion. Green examines all of Jones' movies -- including her early Republic period as Phylis Isley when she appeared in such cliffhangers as Dick Tracy's G-Men and made little impression -- from The Song of Bernadette to Carrie [in which she gave one of her all-time best performances] to The Towering Inferno, providing critical and audience reaction, behind-the-scenes notes, and a discussion of how effective Jones may or may not have been in a particular role. Green also includes chapters on her stage work, TV appearances, and parts that she nearly played but didn't, as well as abortive film projects. This is packed with info, intelligently presented, for the Jones fan. Foreword by Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies.
Verdict: Excellent, very readable book on a somewhat neglected movie star. ***1/2.