Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


MICHAEL DOUGLAS A Biography. Marc Eliot. Crown Archetype; 2012.

Michael Douglas, son of movie star Kirk Douglas, was under a formidable shadow until he found success as a producer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and later even bigger success as a major star of such films as Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Wall Street. His father had coveted the role played by Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo and was not thrilled when his own son didn't give it to him [Michael was pressured by others] and the two had a rather distant relationship until a life-changing event had Kirk take stock of his life and come to realize what was truly important. This book provides an overview of Michael's career, his failed first marriage, relationship with son Cameron and his second marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, as well as his battle with throat cancer. Eliot seems to have had trouble getting interviews with true insiders, so this mostly comes off as a well-done cut-and-paste effort, but it's not without interest. Eliot also wrote a book on Cary Grant.

Verdict: Acceptable standard movie star biography. ***.

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