George Cukor: Master of Elegance: Hollywood's Legendary Director and His Stars

Emanuel Levy, Author
Emanuel Levy, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (464p) ISBN 978-0-688-11246-2
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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One of Hollywood's most accomplished and prolific directors, Cukor (1899-1983) made movies that were at once artistic and commercial: Little Women , The Philadelphia Story , A Star Is Born , My Fair Lady . And although he was noted for his ability to draw fine individual performances from his casts, he was burdened with a reputation as a ``woman's director.'' The author demonstrates that Cukor could as readily be called a ``man's director'' based on his work with John Barrymore, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Quinn and other male stars. For his comprehensive biography, Levy had access to his subject's correspondence and interviewed some 100 Hollywood figures. He covers Cukor's family background, education, theatrical influences, early stage career in New York and his move to the West Coast in 1929. Levy also explores Cukor's homosexuality, his ambivalence toward money and his volcanic temper. His analysis of Cukor's 50 films is informed. Levy, a professor of film and sociology at Arizona State University, is the author of And the Winner Is: The History and Politics of the Oscar Awards. Photos. (Apr.)
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