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

Thursday, April 17, 2008


TOM CRUISE An Unauthorized Biography. Andrew Morton. St. Martin's Press; 2008.

You won't find much about his films or acting technique in this bio of the movie star, but Morton does delve into the actor's psychology. The book has a rather dull, inauspicious opening, as it details Cruise's early life, and spends far too many pages refuting any claims that the homophobic Cruise might be gay, but Morton is a clever fellow and he knows that the only thing that infuriates Cruise more is any "attack" on his beloved Scientology. An increasingly horrifying read, the book makes clear that Cruise is a dangerous nut job wholly devoted to a "religion" that honestly wants to take over the world. The descriptions of his relationships with wives, girlfriends, family members, and those he wants to indoctrinate into his "faith," are chilling. Morton also delves into Cruise's bizarre relationship with Scientology head David Miscavige, the actor's odd behavior on the Oprah Winfrey show, and his attack on Brooke Shields simply because she took medication to help her deal with post-partum depression. Morton goes behind the scenes of the Scientology cult to expose its fanaticism, grotesque beliefs, and fascistic tendencies to attack and destroy anyone who disagrees with its tenets. [Cruise and his brethren actually compare negative attitudes toward Scientology with the Nazi persecution of Jews, Gays and others!] This is a fascinating, frightening read that reveals the power of, and damage done, by the obsession with celebrity.

Verdict: Excellent! ***1/2.

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