Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh (英語) ペーパーバック – 1989/10
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
My birth sign is Scorpio and they eat themselves up and burn themselves out. I swing between happiness and misery. I am part prude and part non-conformist. I say what I think and I don t pretend and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions. Vivien Leigh
When Vivien Leigh died in 1967, headlines around the world proclaimed, Scarlett O Hara is Dead! Perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, Vivien Leigh became the very embodiment of the roles she made famous, from "Gone With the Wind" s immortal heroine to her harrowing portrayal of Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Vivien s beauty, determination, and enormous charisma were her triumph, whether it was a matter of charming George Bernard Shaw in order to become his personal choice for the part of Scarlettor winning the then-married Laurence Olivier as her husband. Her twenty-years partnership with Olivier, both onstage and off, made them the royal couple of the theater, and garnered unparalleled critical and popular acclaim.
But the achievement had its darker side, for Vivien became so immersed in her roles that she began to take on their characteristics in real lifeoften at enormous cost: playing Blanche DuBois actually tipped her into madness; and while filming "Ship of Fools," she found herself hammering co-star Lee Marvin s face with very realand painfulblows of her spiked heel. The public glamour of her fairy tale marriage to Olivierso desperately important to them bothhid a private nightmare of violence and frequent infidelity. She was consumed by devastating battles against tuberculosis, to which she finally succumbed, and manic-depression, which she sought to keep at bay through a voracious sexual appetite, having affair after affairsometimes serious, as with Peter Finch, sometimes with whichever taxi driver happened to bring her home.
Based on previously unpublished interviews with her friends, family, and colleagues, as well as with Vivien Leigh herself, "Vivien" is an extraordinary picture of a unique and complex woman, as willful as she was beautiful, who knew what she wantedwhether the coveted role of Scarlett or that, equally coveted, of Lady Olivierand got it. With its telling anecdotes, fascinating insights, and unforgettable glimpses into Hollywood s heyday, it is sure to stand as the definitive portrait of one of the most talented and tormented actresses of all time."
Alexander Walker is the author of over twenty books about the cinema and its stars, including bestselling biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Peter Sellers and Audrey Hepburn. He has also written standard works on the coming of the Talkies, a monograph on Stanley Kubrick, and the fullest account to date of the British film industr from 1960 to 1985. He has been the London "Evening Standard's" influential film critic since 1960 and has been named "Critic of the Year" three times in the British Press Awards. A prolific broadcaster on television and radio, he wrote and narrated four series of "Film Star" for the BBC. Alexander Walker was born in Ireland, and educated there, on the Continent and in the United States. He lives in London. --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
The author did a good job of being both objective and compassionate, painting a vivid picture of how personal qualities like "creativity" and "passion" can deteriorate into the demons of manic depression. Having lived with a person suffering from manic depression, I know that the author didn't sugarcoat both Ms. Leigh's distress and the impact her behavior had on those around her - I've been at the receiving end of manic behavior myself and it nearly tore me to pieces. The author also does an excellent job of presenting the big picture, not only of Vivien, but of her relationships with her parents, first husband, and especially Olivier. I too remember feeling relieved when I was finally able to divorce myself from a situation that was drowning me. Those who love manic depressives will have a lot of happy times and certainly shed a lot of tears.
Couldn't put the book down, well worth the read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In this seemingly fair and accurate portrait, common pitfalls of a celebrity biography are avoided, such as a gossipy tone, sensationalism, and gushing admiration. Such writing shows respectable restraint, as Miss Leigh's life has all the makings for a tawdry tale.
The only faults are that at times the business end of Ms. Leigh's career is overemphasized, such as contract and agent negotiations. However, facts more interesting to a movie fan take up less space. For example, there are only a few backstage stories on the making of "Gone With the Wind", with even less on "A Streetcar Named Desire". One interesting story told is that Vivien Leigh refused to perform Scarlett O'Hara's retching sounds, as it would be undignified.Olivia De Haviland therefore filled in the sounds. Perhaps the author felt this kind of backstage story is available elsewhere and does not belong in a biography. Though I accept that, I would have preferred more backstage stories than the business end of Ms. Leigh's career, which slowed down the reading.
Also, Ms. Leigh's erratic behavior is often understated. Some incidents are told as if a friend was telling you dinner recipes, then informs you that her daughter set fire to the school, followed by more recipes. In the way you would say, "She did what?" to your friend, I found myself rereading certain paragraphs, because I did not fully capture the extent of Miss Leigh's behaviour on a first read due to its factual presentation. More vivid descriptions would have been appropriate, without necessarily being sensationalistic.
Perhaps the author was too restrained for this fan of both movies and Vivien Leigh. But I felt this to be a worthwhile read, because more importantly, I felt as though I had gotten to know Ms. Leigh, as a woman who loved deeply, suffered much, worked hard and at times acted thoughtlessly, while happening to act in movies.