Other books byRichard Schickel
"Authoritative . . . highly nuanced . . . gives the reader a palpable sense of Mr. Eastwood's career." --The New York Times From the moment The Man With No Name first fixed the screen with his murderous squint, from the first time audiences heard Dirty Harry Callahan growl "Make my day," Clint Eastwood has been an icon of American manhood in all its coolness and ferocity. But that icon is also an actor of surprising subtlety, a filmmaker of vast intelligence and originality--and an intensely private man who eludes the stereotypes with which his fans and critics try to label him. In this in-depth biography, the distinguished film critic Richard Schickel talks with Eastwood's family, friends, and colleagues--and, above all, with his notoriously reticent subject--to produce a portrait more astute and revealing than any we have ever had. Following Eastwood from his unstable childhood through his turbulent love affairs, assessing films from A Fistful of Dollars to the Oscar-winning The Unforgiven, and locating the subversive streak of rage and solitude that runs through all his work, Clint Eastwood is candid and endlessly fascinating, an unerring closeup of one of our brightest stars. "Exhilarating . . . substantial, insightful, and right." --Newsday
From the late forties through the sixties, Elia Kazan was the most important and influential director in America, and the only one who managed simultaneously to dominate both theater and film. In that role he manifestly shaped the conception and writing, as well as the presentation, of many of the period's iconic works, reshaping the values of the stage and bringing a new realism and intensity of performance to the screen. His various achievements include the original Broadway productions of The Skin of Our Teeth, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman and such Hollywood films as Gentleman's Agreement, Brando's Streetcar, and Splendor in the Grass. A non–traditional biography, this book combines social and political history with a sharp critical evaluation of Kazan's work. Schickel presents Kazan as a figure of his culture and time, much in the same way that David Remnick treated Muhammed Ali and the larger picture of American history in King of the World. History's view of Kazan is now colored by a single political act –– his naming names in testimony before the House Un–American Activities Committee. By putting the actions, work, and words of this towering figure in context, Schickel not only defends his hero and his hero's work; he also helps the reader move beyond Kazan's most infamous moment to appreciate the larger American story in which he played such a pivotal role. The result is an intelligent and lively biography and social history.
A Life in Our Times
Marlon Brando might be the most influential actor in film history, a pioneer of a new method of theatrical self-presentation who changed the standards by which we judge performance. Brando traces the career of the actor from his birth in the mid-west to alcoholic parents, to his discovery of his talent at Stella Adler's acting school in New York from the early triumphs of A Streetcar Named Desire and On The Waterfront, to The Island of Dr. Moreau. This new biography, fully illustrated with 125 black and white photographs, sets the man and his films in context, drawing sharply observed connections between his life and developments in the motion picture industry, and in the social history of the last half of the 20th century. It is a rich, witty, and affectionate portrayal of one of the few, true icons of our age.
The Culture of Celebrity
In explaining the power of celebrity in modern life, Richard Schickel ranges through every realm of our cultureâfilm, theatre, television, literature, art, the media, pop music, politicsâfor examples of how celebrity shapes our world and bends our minds.