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

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I SAID YES TO EVERYTHING. Lee Grant. Blue Rider Press/Penguin; 2014.

Actress Lee Grant was blacklisted early in her career, but as she says, was young enough to bounce back when her name was finally removed from the list. Grant managed to get work in the theater, but she was fired from Search for Tomorrow when they found out she was a "red." Grant makes the point that people shouldn't have been persecuted for their beliefs, even if they were communists. She made her film debut in Detective Story (she had played the same role in the stage production), then went on to many more movies and TV shows until reinventing herself as a respected documentarian. Along the way she had two husbands and a daughter, actress Dinah Manoff, and Grant can be forgiven for dropping a few names now and then, such as that of the difficult Shelley Winters. Grant doesn't mention every movie or episode she appeared in, but unlike other actors, she doesn't shy away from talking about a few of the stink bombs she was cast in, such as The Swarm. [She makes no mention of The Mafu Cage, however.] Despite some dated comments now and then, Grant's book is often painfully honest about her vanity as she grows older, relationships with stepchildren (one of whom's life ended tragically), and other aspects of her life and career.

Verdict: Absorbing and quite well done. ***1/2.


angelman66 said...

I'm stopping by Barnes & Noble this weekend to pick this up. I know I will enjoy, now that it has your seal of approval, Bill. Thanks as always.

My favorite Lee Grant performances: Shampoo, Defending Your Life, and two very guilty pleasures - Valley of the Dolls and Damien: Omen II! How about you?

William said...

I've never seen "Defending" and "Shampoo" was too long ago, but I've no doubt I liked her, as I usually do. I'm going to be looking again at "Valley of the Dolls" soon and will probably wonder again what Garland would have been like in the Susan Hayward role. Don't remember Grant but I'll check her out again. I've always liked "Damian" and I thought Grant was marvelous and intense.

angelman66 said...

Bill, thanks again for recommending this book. I read it and enjoyed it a lot. I was saddened how obsessed Grant was about her appearance, but that certainly explains her many facelifts and her refusal to tell anyone her real age. But her candor, honesty and storytelling made this an excellent read.

Your blog (and all the recommendations from it) keeps me entertained for countless hours!!

William said...

Thanks, Chris, I appreciate and enjoy your comments very much. I want to see more posts on your blog, as your essays on different movies are great!