Burt Lancaster: An American Life

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I know they're out there telling their homosexual friends that we're having a big affair or something.

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Whether or not Buford herself found her own evidence compelling, she doesn't dwell on ambiguities in Lancaster's sexuality. Buford is a pro and she tells Lancaster's story well. With compassion, respect and a nonjudgmental eye, she takes us through the turbulent early years of Lancaster's career right through to his frustrations at finding his still brilliant mind housed in a body that increasingly let him down. Lancaster died at home in Los Angeles on October 20, after "one last heart attack. What emerges most strongly from Buford's well-rendered portrait is the passion, strength and determination of the late star.


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She shows him as being deeply talented, hardworking -- he was making movies until a massive cerebral stroke left him wheelchair-bound and partly paralyzed in -- and unforgivably human. We are reminded of the films, some of them -- like Sweet Smell of Success and Rocket Gibraltar -- more critically acclaimed now than they were in the time directly following their release.

Corral : the list is longer than Lancaster's own well-made arms. August Buford also explains how his independent film company anticipated many later trends but blew it by overspending on script development, and assesses his brilliant deconstruction of his own legend as the lion in winter of Local Hero and Atlantic City. And she puts all gossip in perspective.

Burt's jealousy as he fumed in his car outside the house where his ex Shelley Winters was bedding Marlon Brando had a film-historical importance: Brando also stole Stanley Kowalski and the Godfather roles from Burt, and he represented the Method acting style Burt strenuously opposed for the first half of his career. Because he was too smart and curious to stick with one persona, and more interested in art than money, Lancaster needs a landmark biography.

He's got one now.

And you must check out his full-backside nudity on the back cover! Burt Lancaster: An American Life sets a standard against which other Hollywood biographies can be measured.

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The genuine article

The book tells an extraordinary story of a kid from East Harlem who became a movie star in his first minutes onscreen. Written by Kate Buford, this biography is perceptive, engrossing and worth of its subject A valuable document.


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  • It illuminates the mystery behind the man who captivated so many of us with his physical grace and power. Kate Buford takes us through Lancaster's evolution as a man and artist during a turbulent era and insightfully conveys his constant struggle to improve and grow.

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    A fascinating, honest, terrific read. A must for all Burt fans! By carefully contextualizing Lancaster's more than year career which began in the circus and included such film classics as From Here to Eternity and Elmer Gantry within the tumultuous political and economic changes of the postwar years, Buford's finely detailed, sensitive biography ranks among the best of its genre.

    Kate Buford - Burt Lancaster: An American Life

    It reminded me that politics and art have always been intertwined and that celebrities who think independently and truly believe in the First Amendment can make a difference. She makes his childhood and circus days seem romantic and enviable.


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    • She shows him as a Hollywood giant, not always easy or nice to know. And then she brings him home as a great actor, sadder, wiser, but essential.

      "Burt Lancaster: An American Life" by Kate Buford

      The arc is all there -- just like Burt flying through the air -- but the book is as good as it is because she never denies the abiding mystery of the man. It is a precisely observed and shrewdly insightful account of a life that turns out to be daunting in its achievements, haunting in its contradictions. Burt Lancaster was never more fascinating on the screen than he is in these pages. Buford's portrait of him is witty, compassionate, a helluva read, and -- I suspect -- definitive.

      Convert currency. Add to Basket. Compare all 6 new copies. Book Description Knopf, Condition: New. Seller Inventory mon More information about this seller Contact this seller. Seller Inventory M Never used!. Seller Inventory P Book Description Knopf. Seller Inventory NEW Ships with Tracking Number!

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