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Mickey Rooney Dies at 93 - R.I.P.


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#16 dirac

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:44 AM

Turner Classic Movies has shown "The Black Stallion" a couple of times recently. A beautiful movie, ideally seen on a big or at least biggish screen, with a fine late  performance by Rooney.



#17 miliosr

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:29 PM

Oh, I like Tom Drake too, especially in Meet Me in St. Louis, which has insured his screen immortality forever.  It's just that he's not convincing despairing about Ann Sothern or romancing Janet Leigh in Words and Music.  He couldn't fake it the way his direct MGM contemporary Van Johnson could.



#18 dirac

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:55 AM

A new biography is coming out. There is a need. I read the one that came out a few decades ago and it was not good. Depressing story about a very great talent. Hard not to wonder if Rooney's life might have turned out differently if he'd been even five inches taller.

 

 

Labeled by Laurence Olivier “the greatest there ever was,” his nearly century-old career was burlesque, vaudeville, silents, talkies, Broadway, TV, final movie just weeks before he died.



#19 canbelto

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 06:11 PM

dirac, are we sure we want a full-blown biography of Rooney, the uncensored edition? With some Hollywood greats I think it's better to just leave the skeletons in the closet, because we already know the story: plenty of booze, lots of marriages, broken relationships, financial problems, and general misery. I don't think his body of work is interesting enough to merit such scrutiny. (Unlike, say, Bette Davis/Vivien Leigh/Judy Garland/Richard Burton, etc. 

 

I kind of feel the same way about Natalie Wood. I'd really just rather remember her as the cute little girl with the deadpan humor in Miracle on 34th St. Her body of work also isn't really deep enough for me to wade through pages and pages of stories about how everything in her life, from her name to her family to her marriages, were fake/arranged and her general miserable existence.



#20 Helene

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 06:34 PM

The only people who have to read the books are the editors and the reviewers.



#21 sandik

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:23 PM

The only people who have to read the books are the editors and the reviewers.

 

Heard an interview with Dick Cavett over the weekend -- when he first started his interview show, he thought he had to read all of the book, but realized after a while that he could just read bits and pieces.



#22 dirac

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 08:52 AM

dirac, are we sure we want a full-blown biography of Rooney, the uncensored edition? With some Hollywood greats I think it's better to just leave the skeletons in the closet, because we already know the story: plenty of booze, lots of marriages, broken relationships, financial problems, and general misery. I don't think his body of work is interesting enough to merit such scrutiny. (Unlike, say, Bette Davis/Vivien Leigh/Judy Garland/Richard Burton, etc.

I think a new biography of Rooney is warranted, canbelto. Much of it won't be fun reading, but it was a major career and his was a major talent -- contained, unfortunately, in a very short package. He deserves a good book, let's hope this is it.

 

How much of such a book dwells on the more unpleasant or painful aspects of private lives is really up to the biographer. It's possible to be honest without being sensational. (Some of the more sensational bios are also good books in their fashion.)

 

There are also some once-big stars who didn't make very many classic movies but whose careers are still significant in historical terms.



#23 canbelto

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 09:53 AM

I'd hope that the book focuses more on his early life, especially the infamous MGM studio system and not on the later years, which were bogged down by endless series of divorces, alcohol/drug problems, and financial woes. 



#24 miliosr

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:26 PM

I'd hope that the book focuses more on his early life, especially the infamous MGM studio system

I wouldn't call the system at MGM "infamous" but I would love to read a book devoted solely to his years there (1934-1948).  He was in the Top 10 of the annual Quigley's Exhibitors Poll every year between 1938 and 1943, and he topped the poll in 1939, 1940 and 1941.  Those years were his glory years and are really deserving of an in-depth look (if someone hasn't done so already.)



#25 dirac

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 08:56 AM

The studio system, at MGM and elsewhere, had its good points. The stars worked harder and were paid less by today's standards, but many had fond memories.




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