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

Monday, March 17, 2008


EDMUND GOULDING'S DARK VICTORY: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy. Matthew Kennedy. University of Wisconsin Press; 2004.
This is an excellent biography of a director who has been almost forgotten and under-valued simply because he was seen as a “woman's director” i.e. good at fashioning top performances from actresses and specializing in films that would, supposedly, be more appreciated by the ladies in the audience. Goulding practically invented the three-gals-try-to-make-it-in-showbiz genre with his story for The Broadway Melody, and did superlative jobs with such films as The Old Maid and Grand Hotel. Kennedy not only analyzes and goes behind the scenes of these films, but also looks at lesser-known but memorable works such as the beautiful We're Not Alone and the second version of Of Human Bondage with Eleanor Parker. Kennedy also examines the bisexual director's interesting private life, in which allegedly wild parties nearly got him in dutch with the studio bosses. A long overdue look at the achievements and importance of this highly interesting man and filmmaker.
Verdict: Excellent biography. ***1/2.

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