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Spencer Tracy Fox Film Actor: The Pre-Code Legacy of a Hollywood Legend (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/1


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  • ハードカバー: 230ページ
  • 出版社: Xlibris Corp (2009/01)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 1436341388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1436341387
  • 発売日: 2009/01
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • おすすめ度: この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.0 2 件のカスタマーレビュー
7 人中、6人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 Informative but often dull 2010/7/31
投稿者 Douglas M - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
Film aficionados will know that Spencer Tracy established himself in films with a 5 year contract at Fox studios from 1930 to 1935. The Fox product at the time was notoriously mediocre and lugubrious and Tracy was a difficult rebellious contract player. However, he was able to hone his craft and his acting reputation, the result being that he was subsequently picked up by MGM, the Rolls Royce of studios, when his Fox contract expired.

This book is a collection of essays focusing primarily on 12 Fox films from this period of his career. It is indicative of the spin that in the forward, they are referred to as "lost" masterpieces. Lost many of them may have been to the general public but I don't think even "The Power and the Glory", probably the best of the films, would be described as a masterpiece, although this particular film's links to "Citizen Kane" have given it a certain kudos! Rather, most of the films have points of interest. For example, "Me and My Gal" co-stars Tracy with Joan Bennett almost 20 years before their pairing in "Father of the Bride" and the film has a funny take off of "Strange Interlude", a pretentious Eugene O'Neill drama of the period. "Looking for Trouble" is an entertaining but routine buddy movie about telephone linesman but has a vivid recreation of an earthquake, 2 years before the more famous "San Francisco". "Now I'll Tell", a conventional gangster movie, has a teenage Alice Faye as Tracy's mistress performing a sizzling pre-code torch song, "Foolin with the Other Woman's Man", straight at the camera. "Marie Galante", a confusing espionage thriller about a plot to blow up American ships in the Panama Canal, has the great Helen Morgan as a nightclub singer. Tracy is excellent in all the films but many of the parts are hardly challenging. He plays gangsters in a couple, notably in the very good "Quick Millions" and it is of interest to compare his work here to the better known performances of Cagney and Robinson at Warner Brothers.

The essays are variable. All of them are informative in some way or other because this is largely an academic read but that does not translate always to stimulating reading. Many of them illustrate how the screenplays reflect the working class issues of the time because Tracy's roles here are not the upmarket heroes of his later work. The best are written by Charles Morrow, a staff member of the Lincoln Centre. Morrow's essays provide a realistic, enlightening critical assessment of the films, sometimes also expanding on the similarities between the characters on screen and Tracy himself e.g. "Dante's Inferno". The worst are a series of plot dissertations by Jeremy Bond - utterly boring and providing little "evaluation" of the film on offer. Some don't even focus on Tracy as a performer. For example, the essays on "Marie Galante" focus on the racial stereotypes and the accents of the players. The evaluation of Stepin Fetchit is indulgent in the extreme given he has, at most, half a dozen lines in the film. Furthermore, there are many films of this period which have the same stereotypes so there is no big deal here and Tracy, himself, barely gets a mention! Surprisingly, there are some errors too in the text: for example,"20,000 Years in Sing Sing" is listed in the Forward as a Fox film but Tracy was loaned to Warner Brothers for that one and it is indicative of the different studio that it is a much more dynamic narrative; "Now I'll Tell" was not Alice Faye's first feature film.

The book, which is nicely produced in hardback, has very few photos, maybe one or 2 per film, and this is a gaping hole. On the assumption that the purpose was to open up this lesser known period of Tracy's career, a selection of photos illustrating the text would have helped enormously. For that matter, the reader might find it useful to track down a copy of "The Films of Spencer Tracy" because the plots of the films are captured much more succinctly and the look of the films much more successfully. Tracking down the films themselves could be much harder!

There is no doubt that the book is a valuable addition to the history of Tracy but the analysis does elevate a lot of mediocrity. Tracy recognised this mediocrity himself. It is ironical that maybe his best film of the period, the lyrical "A Man's Castle", was not a Fox film. If a reader has not seen the films but is spurred to track them down as a result of this book, he/she may be disappointed.
9 人中、9人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 a "Must-Have" for all Spencer Tracy admirers 2009/3/1
投稿者 Kindle Customer - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
TCM's Robert Osborne says this book is "wonderfully informative and entertaining, a meticulously researched, in-depth look at a part of Spencer Tracy's spectacular career that nobody knows..." And I agree! What a marvelous expose' of Spencer Tracy's pre-MGM career at Fox, during the Great Depression, in the early 1930's -- Hollywood's racy pre-Code years. I had no idea Tracy performed with Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow, Joan Bennett, Bette Davis, George Raft, Dickie Moore and Shirley Temple!!!! This well-written, unique collection of essays, rare photo stills and other studio memorabilia document in great detail so many forgotten or lost Tracy performances in Golden Age movies -- most of which I have never even heard of. Spencer Tracy is ranked as the ninth greatest actor on AFI's List of "50 Greatest Screen Legends" and is one of my favorite actors. I am familiar with Tracy's iconic performances during the 1940's, 50's and 60's but this book totally blew my mind with so much new information. It's a "Must-Have" for all Spencer Tracy admirers, vintage film aficionados and film studies professors and their students. I don't think the Spencer Tracy films discussed in this anthology are available on DVD but they should be. After all, Spencer Tracy is a Hollywood Legend! Maybe Robert Osborne can do something about that?
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