George Cukor: master of elegance : Hollywood's legendary director and his stars

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Morrow, 1994 - Performing Arts - 464 pages
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Katherine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Anthony Quinn, and Candice Bergen are among the many movie stars, colleagues, and friends who talk about a favorite director in George Cukor, Master of Elegance. This is the definitive biography of this man, one of Hollywood's greatest directors, whose film work attests to its classic nature and timeless appeal. In a career spanning half a century and fifty features, George Cukor was one of Hollywood's most accomplished and important filmmakers. He won a much-deserved directorial Oscar in 1965 for My Fair Lady, which also won Best Picture. Cukor's best films, including Little Women, David Copperfield, The Philadelphia Story, and his masterpiece, A Star Is Born, boast elegance, sophistication, intelligence, and distinctive style. Unfairly stereotyped as a women's director for his work with Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland, Judy Holliday, Eva Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe, Cukor also directed Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy and Rex Harrison in their most memorable roles. Still, his special rapport with actresses was a chief source of conflict with Clark Gable on the set of Gone With the Wind - Clark Gable feared that under this director the film would be weighted in favor of Vivien Liegh. However, Cukor was dismissed from the movie not because of Gable, but because of a major power struggle with its producer, David O. Selznick. George Cukor, Master of Elegance describes in great detail the intriguing interplay between Cukor's life and professional career. The book places Cukor in the Hollywood studio system and shows the costs and rewards of working in such a structure. It also explains which of Cukor'sfilms have withstood the test of time, the ultimate criterion of any art, and reappraises his contribution to classic American cinema. In a rare interview, Katharine Hepburn, whose career was launched by Cukor, summed up his magical touch: "In life, you either star yourself or you star somebody else. George Cukor starred the actor". Now, with Cukor's personal correspondence dating from the 1930s and the shooting scripts of the films, as well as thirty-five rare photographs and over a hundred in-depth interviews with over a hundred legendary Hollywood figures who knew him well as an artist and a person, George Cukor, Master of Elegance finally stars...George Cukor.

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GEORGE CUKOR, MASTER OF ELEGANCE: Hollywood's Legendary Director and His Stars

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Levy (Film and Sociology/Arizona State Univ.) wrote 1987's overserious And the Winner Is: The History and Politics of the Oscar Award. His energized, studious Cukor biography differs from Patrick ... Read full review

George Cukor: master of elegance: Hollywood's legendary director and his stars

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

There appears to be a minirevival of interest in Cukor, who died in 1983. In addition to this worthwhile work, Patrick McGilligan's A Double Life (St. Martin's, 1991) is also available. These days ... Read full review


A Life in the Theater 18991928
The Making of a Movie Director 192932

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About the author (1994)

A senior film critic of "Variety" magazine, Emanuel Levy is a two-time president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Professor of Film and Sociology at Arizona State University West, and the author of seven books, including the acclaimed biography, "George Cukor: Master of Elegance".

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