Kim Novak--Reluctant Goddess

Peter Harry Brown, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (276p) ISBN 978-0-312-45392-3
Brown's compilation of facts, gossip and remarks on Novak's professionalism is so superficial that it can't really be called a biography. Though it includes comments by the actress on her career and personal life, they're not particularly enlightening; nor are quotes from people involved with herdirectors, family and co-stars. Marilyn Novak was, according to Brown, a ""bland girl from a Chicago suburb,'' transformed into Kim Novak by the legendary Harry Cohn to be Columbia Pictures' top box-office draw. And, as the ``lavender blonde,'' so she was, from the mid-1950s until the 1960s, in spite of embarrassing failures in films like Jeanne Eagels and Of Human Bondage. Brown discusses Cohn's cruel domination of the actress, her relations with lovers and husbands, a series of disappointments that made Novak flee Hollywood and thereby survive, unlike less fortunate studio ``creations.'' One flaw of the book is Brown's occasional lapses of tastefor example, referring to Novak's alleged affair with Sammy Davis Jr. as ``the most luscious bit of gossip since Jean Harlow's death.'' Photos not seen by PW. Nostalgia Book Club and Movie/Entertainment Book Club alternates. (March 31)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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