e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Celebrities - Brando Marlon (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Somebody: The Reckless Life and
2. Brando Unzipped: A Revisionist
3. Brando - Songs My Mother Taught
4. Marlon Brando
5. The Way It's Never Been Done Before
6. Brando: The Unauthorized Biography
7. Brando: The Biography
8. Choking on Marlon Brando A Film
9. Conversations with Marlon Brando:
10. The Technique of Acting
11. Me and Marlon
12. Marlon Brando: The Only Contender
13. Marlon Brando: His Life in Pictures
14. The Films of Marlon Brando
15. Films of Marlon Brando, the (Spanish
16. Marlon Brando (The pictorial treasury
17. Brando: A Life in Our Times
18. Fan-Tan
19. Conversations With Marlon Brando
20. Marlon Brando: A Portrait

1. Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando (Vintage)
by Stefan Kanfer
Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-11-03)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400078040
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stefan Kanfer, acclaimed biographer of Lucille Ball and Groucho Marx, now gives us the definitive life of Marlon Brando, seamlessly intertwining the man and the work to give us a stunning and illuminating appraisal.Beginning with Brando’s turbulent childhood, Kanfer follows him to New York where he made his star-making Broadway debut as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire at age twenty-three.Brando then decamped for Hollywood, and Kanfer looks at each of Brando’s films over the years—from The Men in 1950 to The Score in 2001—offering deft and insightful analysis of his sometimes brilliant, sometimes baffling performances.And, finally, Kanfer brings into focus Brando’s self-destructiveness, ambivalence toward his craft, and the tragedies that shadowed his last years. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tragedy Of An Actor
Have you ever wondered if acting is truly something that is learned, or is it just that, an act? The book "Somebody" the life of Marlon Brando answers alot of these questions. From his early childhood, till his death, this book does an excellent job of unpeeling the layers of Brando. Kanfer does quite a good job of delving into his psyche, exposing his strengths as well as his inability to connect on an emotional level. Brando had alot to speak about, this country, his causes, and at times his acting. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wanted to know more about possibly the greatest, and most disturbed actor of our time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Measured, Entertaining, and Enlightening
Biographies of entertainers can too often veer into total salaciousness or go inside the mind of the star in a full-blown Freudian analysis.An even-handed, realistic biography of a well-known entertainer is hard to find.Somebody, by Stefan Kanter, is such a book.The story of Marlon Brando is told with detail but it does not read like a gossip column.The inner life of Brando is explored but is never disconnected from the outward life of work and relationships.One of the interesting aspects of the book is the story of Brando's early years under the tutelage of Stella Adler.Brando found an environment in which his talent could thrive and his early work reflected his formative acting years.Kanter points out that while many people believe Brando was a study in unfulfilled promise, with a front-weighted career, there were many notable performances, if not commercial successes, between On the Waterfront (1954) and the Godfather (1972).On the other hand, Kanter does not shy away from the fact that Brando was a deeply troubled man with a seemingly unending stream of uncommitted relationships with women, deep mental anguish arising from his upbringing, a strong sense of social justice without consistent follow-through, riches without sound financial management, compulsive with regard to food and sex.I recommend this book as an interesting read for the casual movie fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
Great story of his life! It was very inspiring since I myself am an actor who looks up to the legends like Brando!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Slimmer New Biography of Brando's Life and Times
Marlon Brando is one of those figures that will continue to be the subject of new books every couple of years. The last major book was Peter Manso's Brando: The Biography in 1995. So, for a new generation of Brando readers comes /Somebody/. About the third the size of Manso's, Kanfer's book is a concise biography, and focuses on how Brando's life and view of himself was overshadowed by his abusive father, and alcoholic mother. Brando was a highly mercurial actor, difficult to work with, and went through hundreds of relationships, with both sexes, yet couldn't maintain one for any length of time. He is also often considered one of the best actors of the 20th Century by most film critics. Kanfer does an excellent job giving perspective to Brando's life, career and relationships. Maybe the book is lighter in size, but its hard to say that it doesn't cover the same territory in fewer pages. /Somebody/ is a readable addition to the Brando books, even if it doesn't cover any new ground.

2-0 out of 5 stars It could have been a contender...
...but it's not. I saw Karl Malden on some interview on TV recently and he mentioned how Marlon called him a few times in the weeks or so before he died telling Karl how he'd been falling down lately and didn't know the reason.I nearly wept when I heard this: the great, powerful Brando, falling down as his body was failing him.But you won't find this tragic bit of information in the pages of SOMEBODY.There is a helluva lot you won't find in the pages of this book.If you want details, stick with the Manso book - even though the author of this one rather dismissively (and perhas a tad jealously) refers to it as a "doorstop of a book" because of its 1,000 plus pages and weighty size.He knocks it in other ways, too.

But for a subject like Brando you need weight (even if he, himself, didn't!) - and more pages.In Kanfer's quick read we get a page or two on certain Brando films, whereas in Manso's tome we get 20 or more pages per film. About the only thing SOMEBODY has going for it is coverage (albeit quick coverage) of the years after Manso's book was published which include Brando's death and some aftermath.But the Devil is in the details, and this book is not rich in detail.It ends up seeming like a boiled down, condensed, quick-read version of the Manso work; even moreso a linear accumulation of press clippings.Not much original homework was done on this one.

So - if you want a casual knowledge of Mr. Brando, this book is for you.If you want those devilish details, Manso's book is the one to read.

One further thought, since the book is entitled SOMEBODY, a better cover photo would have been of Brando as Terry Malloy at the moment he reflects on his failings in the famous cab scene with his brother from "On the Waterfront."A closeup of his anguished face at that historic cinematic moment would have better captured the anguish and self-laceration of the real Marlon Brando, an anguish and self-laceration which is a theme of this work. ... Read more

2. Brando Unzipped: A Revisionist and Very Private Look at America's Greatest Actor
by Darwin Porter
Hardcover: 550 Pages (2006-01-05)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974811823
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
THE BOOK THAT HAD TO WAIT FOR BRANDO TO DIEThe mysteries that enveloped the late superstar MARLON BRANDO (1924-2004) are unwrapped and exposed in a richly anecdotal “warts-and-all” biography, BRANDO UNZIPPED! by bestselling biographer, Darwin Porter.The greatest film actor of the 20th century lives again in these pages, each meticulously researched over a period of more than 40 years. Each of the people Porter interviewed, including many of Brando’s lovers—both male and female--had a different story to tell.Many of them contradicted heretofore published accounts of how those encounters evolved. Hostile witness or loving friend, each subject added a piece to the mosaic.The result is a fully rounded view of a revolutionary actor who, like “lightning on legs,” electrified the world in Streetcar Named Desire, where he played Stanley Kowalski in the Broadway version of 1947, and the film version in 1951. The book also describes his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy, the boxer who could have been a contender in On the Waterfront in 1954, and his electrifying comeback as Vito Corleone in The Godfather in 1972. The combative, moody, iconoclastic, polarizing, and enigmatic figure appears as a flesh-and-blood creation in this revelation-studded bio.It’s all here:“The Rebel Without a Cause” who made rebellion hip.The suicide attempts of former girlfriends,Startling stories about “Sleeping with the Enemy” (bedding a stalker who turned out to be a cannibal in disguise).His involvement with the Black Panthers.The ill-fated marriages, bitter divorces, and child-custody battles.A son with a murder rap.Jealous actors who wanted to seduce Brando and then “become Brando” on screen. With candor, the author unveils the details of that ongoing disaster that Brando called “my life.”The charismatic personality of The Wild One is recaptured in all its brooding power that seemed forever ready to explode at any moment. The same animalistic intensity that Brando brought to the role of Stanley Kowalski lives again within the pages of this bio.From sex symbol of the 1950s to a swollen, overweight slob who became a tabloid scandal in the 90s, Brando was one of filmdom’s true originals.Women wanted him, and certain men wanted him, and Brando was willing to share his charms with a string of lovers whose hangouts ranged from the A-list boudoirs of New York and Hollywood to the back alleys of a string of cities from New York to the slums of the South Pacific. Throughout this biography, Brando’s quirky and sometimes bizarre humor often bubbles to the top.As an example, once, when he was asked for a summation of his life, Brando said:“I’ve never been circumcised, and my noble tool has performed its duties through thick and thin without fail!” More than the story of Brando himself, the biography chronicles the loves of his life, most of which were of short duration but played out with the same kind of intensity he brought to the screen.Regardless of their origins, his affairs invariably crossed the American plains to land on the opposite coast. His lovers were as mercurial as his own personality.They included Doris Duke, the richest woman in the world, and Burt Lancaster, the actor originally targeted for the role of Stanley in Streetcar.The true story of his explosive relationships with Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra is printed for the first time, as is an array of friendships and/or feuds with such unlikely figures as Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin, and (believe it or not), Michael Jackson.The roles Brando lived off-screen were even more provocative and intriguing than those he created on screen.He paraded through the bedrooms of such luminaries as an aging Marlene Dietrich, and enjoyed one-night stands with both Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy.His tortured relationships and love affairs with James Dean and Montgomery Clift are explored in depth, as is the pass ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars wet dreams of bud by darwin porter
there was not one shred of documentation in the entire book to substantiate any of the author's fanciful account of marlon brando.what he did was to weave a tale using his fantasies about the late actor & the other people in his life who were unable to defend themselves against mr porter's accusations mixed in with so-called "common knowledge" about them.while some of these episodes may be based on fact, again, there was no documentation of any of these alleged escapades, which other authors are responsible enough to cite.while some people are satisfied by reading total sensationalism, a la the enquirer, until mr porter learns about factual reporting, this book is nothing more than a glorified one-hander.

1-0 out of 5 stars Outrageous Claims !
What an outlandish piece of tripe !!! No proof, no references, nothing but 'she said/he said'. To be sure; Marlon Brando was a 'stud' - But, to make such outrageous claims without REAL/VERIFIABLE PROOF...is slander !!! I REALLY hope Mr. Brando's estate sues Porter over this. Pathetic.

2-0 out of 5 stars The End of Illusions
If you still have any illusions about Hollywood and/or your favourite actors and actresses, please do not read this book or they'll be shattered for ever! Apart from that, a highly entertaining book, if somewhat repetitive.

1-0 out of 5 stars No Stars
Cannot imagine someone enjoying this book or believing 99% of it. It is not even speculative. It's lower. Suited for a person of very low intelligence, so please do not waste your money.Talentless author that published the book a year after Brando died. Truly the work of genuine scumbag. Have to say I did not read the description before I purchased it. My fault. It's somewhere in the county garbage dump.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!

It is worth noting that except in the cases where people have already told all in their memoirs, or have made no secret of their proclivities, ALL the people referred to are dead.Because of a quirk in the lawwhich says that the dead cannot be libeled, a muckraker can say anything he or she wants to without having to verify the facts.If we are to believe this writer, there is hardly a deceased actor or actress who was not gay or bisexual, on drugs and engaging in frenzied sexual activity, trolling the brothels or picking up rough trade.

Other than quotations from "tell all" memoirs, as there are very few references we have no way of knowing where the information came from and whether it was true.As other reviewers have noted, how did they find the time for all these liaisons?There is hardly a big star of the 40's and 50's who is not allegedly gay or lesbian.While we know that there have always been long-standing rumours about some stars, I for one refuse to believe that so many actors and actresses worked as prostitutes prior to stardom, or the A list female star who liked to go to brothels specialising in look-alikes, and pretend to be her own impersonator.As I said before, they are all dead, and cannot refute these claims.

Whether or not there is any truth in it,I would prefer to keep my illusions of handsome leading men intact.

The book contains inaccuracies that a good editor should have caught: e.g. Susan Cabot is reported to have married in 1968 and subsequently gave birth to a son, Tim, who allegedly killed her on December 10, 1986 when he was 22 years old; however, if he had been born in 1968 he would only have been 18 yrs. old!The book is also surprising for totally leaving out some people whose nefarious association with famous stars has long been known, such as Nick Adams and James Dean.

While Marlon Brando's many affairs and lack of parenting skills are well documented, this trashy Hollywood Babylon paints a picture of a voracious sex maniac willing to try anything and everything.

[...] ... Read more

3. Brando - Songs My Mother Taught Me
by Marlon Brando, Robert Lindsey
 Paperback: 575 Pages (1997-11-25)
list price: US$3.99 -- used & new: US$39.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517195151
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
An honest, revealing self-portrait by the critically acclaimed, fiercely independent actor discusses his early life, career, world travels, social activism, and profiles of friends, lovers, and professional colleagues. 500,000 first printing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
I stumbled upon this book in my local library. After reading a few pages, I ordered a copy. Brando was a brilliant man who was a champion for the oppressed in our society. He seemed to have the ability to cut through cultural embellishments and emerge with a clear understanding of the issues. I agree with his assessment that Native Americans have been among those who were treated with disdain, dishonesty and inhumane selfishness in this country. He also studied individuals with a keen interest in what made them tick. I thoroughly enjoyed uncovering a unique individual, who carried the demons from his past with constant understanding of how these were linked to his behavior in the here and now. Wonderful book...Dr. Della E. Wills

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny and fascinating
Funny and fascinating, Marlon Brando has always been interesting and he does a superb job conveying his wit and wisdom with this book. It was easy to read and extremely entertaining. My favorite scene in the book was his description of a meeting with John Kennedy and the exchange that took place regarding their hefty weight. Kennedy (perhaps jealous of Brando's huge success with Hollywood leading ladies?) tells Brando he is alas, now too fat for the roll. "What roll" Brando asks? Kennedy responds all rolls to which Brando tells the President
"Have you seen yourself? Your fat jowls take up the entire TV sceen.", the sardonic exchange ends with them challenging each other who is the heaviest? Then they find a scale in the President's suite on which they weigh themselves. Hilarious. I have always loved Brando, After reading this book, I love him more dearly than ever before. I was so disappointed when I came to the end of the book, I never wanted to it end.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you really want to know what Brando was like . . .
This book is an utterly marvellous piece of writing. Brando has poured his heart out in a stunningly personal account of his thoughts, motivations and experiences in a very troubled life.If you know nothing about Brando beyond a few of his movies (as I did) this book is fascinating as an account of a brilliant and emotionally wounded man struggling to come to terms with life and his role in the world in general. Brando's philosophies on politics, acting, equality, zionism, native american rights, parenting and so many other things are laid out clearly and in fasincating detail.

I picked this book up out of curiosity and was surprised at just how engaging it actually was. And I was surprised at just how fascinating a human being thisman was! Brando allows himself to examine his past with a honest and forgiving eye and the narration reads very much likestories a grandfather might tell his grandchildren about his wild and terrible youth and his gradual gaining of wisdom.

What I liked best about this book was the actor's obvious wish to be kind to those he was writing about. Even when he feels that he was wronged he seems to attempt to rise above anger and write as a gentleman without hurting anyone. His refusal to write about his wives or children makes this book much more genteel than so many vulgar biographies out there. He is brutally honest about his own failings and the failings of the people aroound him but at the same time is forgiving and ever optimistic about humanity in general. This is no bitter old man writing about and yearning for his lost youth.

The book is not a sequential list of a man hopping from one affair to another and from one crisis to another, but it is an account of the emotional and psychological development of an extremely intelligent human being to the more tranquil and accepting stage of old age. The book is filled with wonderful stories from events in Brando's life and describes what it was like making the films that he did. He devotes two single faced pages to a very fond description of his relationship with Monroe and leaves it at that. Scattered among these stories are coherent and intelligent discussions of his philosophies about life and his hope for the future of our world.

I do not know what Brando's motivation was in finally writing his autobiography but I can only be glad that he did. Often hilarious and full of insight, this book will be one of very few biographies that I intend to keep in my library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love this book
The book came in a reasonable amount of time and came in perfect condition. Thanks!

5-0 out of 5 stars Songs My Mother Taught Me REVIEW
I think this is the best book on Brando I've read! I'm a big fan of his 50's career and along with Dalton's book - James Dean, The Mutant KIng, I think is great, Brando mentions people like Marylin Monroe, James Dean, Kazan, Strassberg and many others from that era. Informative reading for any one interested in Method acting! ... Read more

4. Marlon Brando
by Patricia Bosworth
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-12-05)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$5.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753813793
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The definitive account of this elusive actor, MARLON BRANDO offers a penetrating look at Brando's evolving persona and legendary roles: the volcanic Stanley Kowalski of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, the sensitive rebel of THE WILD ONES, and the iconic Don Corleone of THE GODFATHER, achieving unparalleled critical acclaim for his many memorable characters. Bosworth probes the influence of Brando's alcoholic parents on his acting, his decades of psychoanalysis, and his tumultuous personal relationships. Here, from rebellious unknown to reluctant idol to falling star, is the complex, charismatic genius who changed the face of acting.Amazon.com Review
There have been many biographies of Marlon Brando, but Patricia Bosworth's succinct portrait, a worthy addition to the always cogent Penguin Lives series, will appeal to those more interested in the legendary performances that revolutionized American acting than in his offscreen shenanigans. A longtime member of the Actors Studio, Bosworth is especially well equipped to elucidate the introspective, emotionally charged acting style that electrified Broadway audiences in A Streetcar Named Desire, which opened in 1947 when Brando was only 23. Much of the material is familiar, but Bosworth often offers intriguing sidelights, such as the speculation that he modeled aspects of Stanley Kowalski on the play's driven, womanizing director, Elia Kazan. It's also interesting to learn that the actor he most admires is Paul Muni, who vanished into each characterization and had no "image" to plague him as Brando did after his star-making turns in The Wild One and On the Waterfront made him the quintessential 1950s rebel. (Bosworth suggests that The Godfather appealed to Brando because in the part of Don Corleone he could "hide completely" as Muni had done.) As in her biographies of Montgomery Clift and Diane Arbus, Bosworth examines with sympathy her subject's psychological difficulties, particularly his relationships with his alcoholic mother and brutal father; she skates lightly over later troubles like the murder trial of son Christian and suicide of daughter Cheyenne. The book essentially closes with Brando's early-'70s triumphs in The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris; the author frankly admits she's "still trying to figure out why this singular artist lost his way after [those] two great performances." Bosworth's appreciative account renews our dismay that this brilliant actor who so despises his profession couldn't be bothered to give more such performances. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner...
"Marlon Brando" by Patricia Bosworth is a well written and intriguing biography. I enjoyed reading it very much and I enjoyed that it was fairly nicely balanced and included details of Marlon's on-screen and off-screen life.

I think Marlon took some serious and unfair hits in his life - personally, with tragedies that befell him and his family and, professionally, as a result of other peoples' misjudgments regarding his having taken stands for important humanitarian causes and against social injustices. He was a human being that cared deeply for others and one who tried to put that caring into positive action. He was also the greatest actor ever to grace the stage or screen.

It is sad to me that Marlon was alone at the end of his life. He had his children who loved him and cared about him, but he reportedly lived alone. I have always wondered if the rejections he suffered throughout his life marked him so deeply that he felt unworthy and, thus, rejected the idea of having someone there loving him, caring for him, and supporting him physically, emotionally, and spiritually through his illness at a time in his life when things may not have been as "pretty" as they once were. He WAS worthy, despite his possibly not knowing that at the time.

I appreciate Marlon's statement that people who are deeply sensitive are more easily brutalized than most. I think this is very true. Pain is felt much more deeply and is more deeply internalized by those who are the most sensitive. It can leave one feeling unworthy and untrusting and all of the money and fame in the world cannot repair the damage. It is a spiritual thing, not a thing of earthly possessions or material accomplishments.

Marlon was a sensitive soul who needed to be cared for differently than he was during so many parts of his life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Brando Bio
Hey, I like Brando tremendously as an actor and have read his biographies for years. I particularly like his autobiography SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME. There is certainly nothing wrong with Ms. Bosworth as a writer. The book is an interesting, easy read. My objection is not to Ms. Bosworth but to the constraints of the format of Penguin LIVES. It appears to me that a writer cannot do an in-depth examination of someone's life in such a short book-- assuming that anyone will ever get much into the inner recesses of Mr. Brando's mind. Perhaps his private life should remain private. For instance, do I need to know that he has taken the drug librium for years? I think not. Additionally I would have liked to see footnotes. Ms. Bosworth makes a lot of statements about Brando with not the slightest hint of where shes got such information. Granted, she does list other biographies she consulted as well as the people she interviewed for writing this bio. I assume that extensive footnotes would have make the book too long. Having said all that, I am now in need of a Brando film festival, having finished the book. Ms. Bosworth made me want to revisit the Brando movies I've seen and see others for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo Brando!
A vivid portrait of the man and his acting genius. Bosworth does a bang up job depicting his life and the development of his enormous talent. He is one of the world's greatest artists and we get a clear unencumbered picture of the man and his life in clear, practical, prose. Really fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really helped me understand a creative genius better...
This was a revelation - a wonderful, wonderful biography
for which I am extremely grateful.It's touching, deft, and
I liked the fact that she focused on Brando the artist.I'm
sure he would like this book - I would, if I were him.It is
not at all condescending nor overly fawning.

I really felt for the man and the brilliant communicator of emotions, whose movies have always taught me about being an artist myself. Now I want to go and see all his films again. especially Mutiny on the Bounty. And my heart goes out to Marlon Brando, the neglected child ofalcoholics, the big-hearted giver, the best friend of some very special people, including Wally Cox and Stella Adler,
the co-dependent son and father, the compulsive overeater who really should join O.A.

The book zips along, thanks to Bosworth's fine writing.And I'd like to say that it's a lesson in the efficacy of the brief biography.I'm so sick of trying to wade through tomes that tell you about everything from the kindergarten teacher who inspired the star to his toenail clipping habits.This little
book synthesized a complex life in a very dignified way.
Hats off to Patricia Bosworth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent short biography
This was a very quick and engrossing read. If, like myself, you know very little about Brando's life, this book will be a revelation. Brando is one of the most fascinating personalities of our time. This book does a good job of shedding light on the forces that helped shape his personality. His alcoholic mother and philandering and bullying father created a depressing family environment. It seems that he could never quite break free from their destructive influence despite years of psychotherapy. A sad story. ... Read more

5. The Way It's Never Been Done Before : My Friendship with Marlon Brando
by George Englund
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2004-11-01)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000C4SPZQ
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Marlon Brando was the brightest, boldest, and most iconoclastic acting talent of our time. But while his courage and imagination as an artist brought applause and attention from around the world, Brando shunned nearly everything that goes with celebrity status. He was one of the most reclusive personalities in modern times and a legend beyond compare. He was also an equal opportunity provocateur -- a dazzling baffler -- be it on stage, on screen, or in his private life. Always true to his nature, he never failed to surprise. He did things his way -- The Way It's Never Been Done Before.

No one shared as much of Brando's private fields as his lifelong friend and business confidant, George Englund. For more than five decades, Brando and Englund were each other's most trusted ally and closest compadre. Even at their first meeting, at a Hollywood party in 1956 -- the kind of occasion where Brando was most on guard against any who would attempt to get close to him -- he and Englund forged close ties. From that initial meeting right up to the eve of the superstar's death in the summer of 2004, Brando and Englund were in nearly constant contact. They traveled together, worked together, and played together. They consoled and cajoled each other through their marriages and divorces, the births and tragic deaths of their children, good and bad business deals, and the onset of aging, concluding with Brando's death at the age of eighty.

"I remembered what Mark Twain wrote," Englund says, "'that everybody is a moon with a dark side he doesn't show anyone else.' I felt this was an appropriate hour for a book that looked at the other side of Marlon, that told of the man and friend and father he was. There has not been such a book in Marlon's lifetime, even including his autobiography, and I felt that after our long years of friendship, perhaps I should attempt to write it. I knew the difficulty I would encounter; to write about Marlon is to work with delicate glass, for he was, without question, the most complicated personality I ever met or knew about.

"I once thought what a grand time he and I would have writing the book about our friendship together. That possibility has passed away, for Marlon is gone now -- I must make the attempt to write of us alone. I summon to the task the sacredness, which, when we were at our best, Marlon and I laid upon our friendship." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars It HAS been done before
While their supposed friendship lasted for nearly fifty years, from 1956 to Brando's death in 2004 (with a noticeable break in the 1990's), I can't help feeling that all author George Englund wanted all these years was to earn information about Marlon so he one day would be able to write a book like this one. He claims that they were very close, and one would think he has a reason for saying so, inasmuch as the two talked about quite personal experiences and memories. But tell me: am I unfair to put to question whether a true, close friend would ever publish an intimate account on their relationship after the other's death, despite being well aware that the latter despised to be written about and analyzed in public?

George Englund's book THE WAY IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE: MY FRIENDSHIP WITH MARLON BRANDO opens with some reflections from the author, written a few months before the actor's death. "Marlon is an old man. I both laugh and weep as I write the sentence. Marlon Brando old? It can't be true. It is, though; he is eigthy. But it isn't the number of years that's significant, Brando could still be youthful. It's how the years have treated him and how he has treated them." The book eventually covers the first meeting between George and Marlon, the opening of their film-company Pennebaker and the filming of a movie Englund directed which Brando starred in, the lesser known THE UGLY AMERICAN from 1963. Perhaps surprisingly to some, none of this information reveals anything significant about Brando as a man or actor; George nearly fell asleep during at the opening of Pennebaker Productions. Marlon ate too much while filming UGLY AMERICAN. He was wild about women. Thing is, it's "been done" numerous times before. Fortunately for Englund, this is what many people prefer to read about. He describes Brando's relationships with women in a tasteless way, giving the impression that he did not care a whoop about any of his sweethearts except if the setting was in bed. It is no secret that Brando could be a troublesome man at times. My point is just that we need not another account to remind us of that. We have all the tabloids and Peter Manso-book to do that job for us. Instead Englund could, as a "friend," provide us with some new insights into Brando's good qualities, which have been widely ignored ever since he became a star.

But that is not what he does. I don't know if Englund intended a book of this sort, but I find it not only downright disguisting but also completely unnecessary of him to present long excerpts of telephone conversations with Marlon which he'd taped through the years; I also wonder whatever I am to do with descriptions of a nurse cleaning the actor's rear end at a late point in his life, when he was in need of constant care.

But Englund has not reached his peak yet. What really leaves me convinced that the author is, frankly, just another footnote in Brando's life who, unsuccessful as he was, found it necessary to befriend a star in order to get some status, was when the topic of the Drollet-murder was brought up. (In 1990 Brando's son murdered his sister's boyfriend while heavily intoxicated.) Englund admits that he did not attend court during the trials and never got to watch any footage of it anywhere, but when he read in the newspapers that Marlon began to cry in court, he nevertheless knew Brando was lying: "he acted. But this wasn't the greatest actor of his time seizing everyone's imagination, this was a former champion, overweight, out of shape, sloppy with his technique."

Not quite as sloppy as yourself, George. You say that you intended this book as a gift for Marlon. Sweet of you. I still wonder, though; how comes it that you actually admits in your book that to write a book about Marlon was the biggest sin a friend could do to him? Do you consider yourself an exception? Or do you in the end realize what you really are? Brando said, several times, "My friends don't write books about me." In a well-published interview with Laurence Grobel, he stated, "["Friends who write books about me] weren't friends from the beginning." Englund furthermore insists that Marlon's true motive for writing his memoirs was not, as he claimed, his children's insecurities of him, but the money which such a book would gain him. All right: what was your motive behind this thing, George?

The ethical aspects apart, THE WAY IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE is also a very flawed book on a technical basis. Although pretty well written literally, Englund moves from one time to another back and forward which I found to be very confusing at times. For example, he mentions one incident when he visited Marlon's house while the actor watched ON THE WATERFRONT on TV; it took me a while to figure out that this was at the end of his life.

A little final footnote: in the superb TCM-documentary on Brando in 2007, Englund was one to be interviewed. At one point, he recalls a story to which his wife corrects him, telling his story is not a truthful version. "Who cares about that?" he laughs, "this is Hollywood." In the end, THE WAY IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE presents Marlon Brando as little more than a self-absorbed, womanizing, irresponsible money-hunter, but while he may have possessed some of these qualities to various degrees, the man who sent an Indian woman to refuse his Oscar due to the unjust treatment of Indians in America so very obviously consisted of much, much more. It is Englund himself who ends up in a bad light. Ironically perhaps but quite deservedly so.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read
The problem with biographies of Marlon Brando, and celebrities in general, is that they are often written by an outsider, someone who had little or no personal acquaintance with the subject and is sometimes just out to cash in on their celebrity. It is these problems with most biographies that makes George Englund's biography of Marlon Brando such a joy to read.

Englund's friendhip with Brando started in 1956 and his biography therefore thrusts us directly into the height of his fame and spares us the date and details of his birth and upbringing. These often constitute the more tedious parts of other biographies. Another common problem with biographies is that they have a tendency to simply list off the actions and professional achievements of their subjects, sometimes giving them the appearance of a prolonged C.V. This is another area where Englund's book comes into its own. His close relationship with Brando allows him to recount many very personal and revealing tales that allow the reader to feel a closeness to Marlon that is difficult considering how private a man he was. The difficulties of Brando's life are well documented, but the accounts offered here are far more vivid and moving. The writer is not pre-occupied with sensationalism or scandal, merely the real story and the emotion felt.

'The way it's never been done before' is a fascinating read and is a must have for anyone that is passionate about the work of Marlon Brando, surely the screen's greatest ever actor

4-0 out of 5 stars Touching, but only a partial portrait
George Englund's memoir of Marlon Brando is that, a memoir and far from a full-scale biography.It is a touching remembrance, filled with genuine affection for its subject, but not so much as to make the author blind to the shortcomings and warts of the greatest of all our film actors.In its affection it is a welcome departure from some of the more vicious tabloid-like portrayals of Brando--Peter Manso's biography comes to mind. At its best Englund's work is distinguished by some really beautiful interludes and gripping passages--his description of visiting his own absentee father after decades is especially moving.One senses that Englund believed he was privy to the whole of Brando, the insider of all insiders.His graphic description of Brando's last night is almost an exercise in trying to prove to himself, and us, how close he was to Brando.And it is a rare occurrence of Englund going perhaps too far.But for all that he was allowed to see, it is also apparent to the reader, if not to Englund himself, that Georgie was kept at arms length from various facets and compartments of his famous subject.There are dramatic and notable gaps in the book, and one gets the feeling that Englund's import as a macho and intellectual sidekick grew once Wally Cox died.It is perhaps too much to ask any single book to cover the whole of Brando--the subject is simply too complex.But this is a useful glimpse inside at least some aspects of Brando's life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, Enriching... but Sometimes Too Much
Good book, but I have one major reservation:
In an interview, George Englund said he penned this account of Marlon Brando with, "Brando's dignity in my hand". So presumptively, Englund as a best friend wouldn't think to ever reveal personal information or details that Brando would have never wanted known, right? Isn't that what best friends are for?
Um, quite the contrary here: Englund's telling of Brando's last days were too dam detailed, at times vile and completely unnecessary. Surely, this is not what people want to remember of the revered legend.
I'm unafraid to say that I wept on the day Brando died like I had lost someone I knew and loved. For fans who really loved him a good portion of this thing -in excruciating pain from his disease and lying in helpless condition on a deathbed- you will find incredibly depressing. I'd recommend skipping some parts if you wanna keep the image of Brando the Almighty One intact.
Dark clouds away this was indeed a pure delight to pore through... when is the subject ever boring afterall? I was happy Mr.Englund released this very personal tale of his friendship with Brando I only wish the actor himself were still alive to admire even more.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Friendship Made In Hollywood
Mr. Englund knew Brando very well, and even got to the point where he would call Brando on his bad behavior.The two of tem developed a film production company together, along with Marlon Brando Senior, and this association with one of Hollywood's top stars catapulted Mr. Englund into the world of the big leagues, where he became a film director.He was also married for a long time to the actress Cloris Leachman, who makes a few cameo appearances in the book but who doesn't seem to have half the affection for Brando that her husband did.Inevitably rumors arose that Brando and Englund were lovers, and Englund addresses these rumors right away, as though to ward off further contagion.He discusses an incident that took place when a cop began hassling Brando and Mr. Englund for sitting alone in a parked car off the side of the road.Usually when men do that, claimed the cop, they are "two males having sex."After they get rid of the cop, they laugh at him on page 20 and then Marlon asks Mr. Englund, "Ever done fruity?"Englund says he has nothing against it, just never wanted to do it.Brando addresses the rumors about himself and Wally Cox, etc.But Englund doesn't convince the reader that there was nothing sexual in their friendship.He denies it too much.

There's an amusing part where Englund and Leachman are chaperones on Brando's date with Anna Magnani.Magnani's all over Brando and can't keep her hands off his crotch, and he is terrified of her."Cloris and I sat upright, like two Grant Wood figures."In this one instance Brando betrays a fear of women, elsewhere in the book he is the greatest Casanova in the 20th century, and Englund analyzes why in long, admiring paragraphs.Both Englund and Brando had father problems.Brando says that as a father, "he didn't care.He was an absentee landlord."

Sadly, both men's father difficulties carried over into the next generation.Brando's daughter Cheyenne killed herself, and his son turned out to be a killer.In Englund's case, his rebel boy Bryan dies a crack addict after breaking his parents' heart over and over again, while little Max died, not even a teen, of a degenerative muscle disease.Relating these terrible stories, Englund gives dimension to his portrait.I found them all very moving.Perhaps it is because Brando comes off as so selfish and self-absorbed that his fans don't care for this book.He is so full of himself and throws around his own considerable weight so often you wonder how anyone could put up with him.As for Englund, he comes off like a man who lived vicariously through the sex exploits of his famous chum, even if it meant kissing his ass for forty years.

The most revealing chapter is the one in which Brando wants to raise money by writing a memoir, and he charges Mr Englund with peddling it for him to the big NY publishers.Englund successfully sells the unwritten book to Harold Evans from Random House for $5,000,000.The ethics of the situation seem totally out of whack.Englund can't promise Evans that the book will be good or even written by Brando.Evans seems star struck.people wonder what's wrong with publishing, this is a good example of the catastrophic thinking of mainstream publishers.By the way, Brando had nothing good to say about Evans' wife, Tina Brown, calling her "self-promoting" and "sinister."

By the way, Englund directed some great little movies, including one of my alltime favorites SIGNPOST TO MURDER (maybe Joanne Woodward's greatest part).Why isn't this one on DVD? ... Read more

6. Brando: The Unauthorized Biography
by Joe Morella
Hardcover: 248 Pages (1973-04)
list price: US$1.49 -- used & new: US$46.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051750359X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Used Second Edition Hardcover published by Crown Publishers, Inc., N.Y., 1973 in Good Condition. Some wear on Dust Jacket, minor scuffing and edge wear nothing major though. A small mark (smaller than a pinhead) on the black board. Front Endsheet has a small mark on the top of the page. Text is clean and unmarked with no rips, tears, creases, loose or bent pages. A clean copy. One of Hollywood's most controversial actor (and family) but also one of the most talented. A no-holds barred biography of Brando that young rebel that made rebellion hip, whose affairs and marriages are legendary and whose stormy relationships with actors, actresses, directors, producers and studio bosses are the stuff of legend all told with rare insights based on extensive research. "Brando" traces the actor's life and career from his early days in Nebraska to his days sharing a flat with life-long best-friend Wally Cox in New York City to his triumph comeback in "The Godfather". "Brando" reveals with devastating candor the disasters that beset the filming of "The Mutiny on the Bounty", his relationship with Charlie Chaplin during the filming of "A Countess of Hong Kung" and the tempestuous feud with co-star Anna Magnani during the filmimg of "A Fugitive Kind" and how his role in :A Streetcar Named Desire" was misunderstood thus the birth of "method" acting plus his very controversial "Last Tango in Paris". A very entertaining, daringly explicit read that paints a picture of a Brando we never knew. We ship within 24 hours of your purchase with a Delivery Confirmation. ... Read more

7. Brando: The Biography
by Peter Manso
 Paperback: 1118 Pages (1995-11)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$18.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786881283
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Steamy and scandalous, the "book Brando didn't want published" (Variety)--now in paperback. Here at last is the unvarnished truth about Brando's har sh childhood, his stunning rise to stage and screen stardom, his stormy relationships with women, his public agony as the father of a convicted killer, and more. 75 photos. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, researched, but.....
I remembered reading Manso's book when it first came out. I was fascinated by the extent of the research and depth of information. However, one thing became evident. It seemed that, as Manso what putting together and actually writing the book from the hundreds of interviews he had done, his tone began to change. The more he began to write about Brando, the more he began to dislike him. By the end of the book, you feel that his feelings are so tainted, he should just end the book way before he did. It colors his interpretations as well. He states that The Freshman was a critical flop, but I vividly remember that Siskel & Ebert--easily the most influential film critics of the nineties--gave the film a positive review and two thumbs up. But you can't discount the breadth of his research and all the information gathered within.

4-0 out of 5 stars A troubled Genius
Although this is a terribly good book, and covers every aspect of Brando's life in excruciating detail, if one is in search of the source of his genius, as I was, he is likely to be disappointed. As that is one thing he is unlikely to find here. Like in the case of Miles Davis, the source of Brando's genius remains a mystery. Except for being a cantankerous iconoclast, there is not much rhyme or reason to Brando's life that would single him out to become a great actor.

He grew up insecure and uncertain of his place in the family or in society. His mother was an amateur actor who exposed Brando to the artsy side of life at an early age, but she was also a lush - a free-spirit and a loose woman at a time when it was scandalous to be any of those. She was just short of an "unfit mother." His father was a nondescript nobody.

But none of this explains much...

Brando lurched about as a troubled child and for a short while was a teen bully, getting kicked out of a military school where he was sent because of his behavior. This was about as close as one could get to a reform school in those days.Until he stumbled upon acting, his life was headed nowhere in particular. But even though he was naturally talented, and found acting easy, he was never enamored with it, or particularly committed to it. Until his death, he held the whole profession in laughable contempt.

His talents were raw and his ability to explode emotionally placed him in a very elite group, early on. He just happened to have come on the scene at the right time: when "Method Acting" was "the new thing." The Meizners, Stella and Steve, set off a revolution in acting in the U.S. and Brando's talent, was exhibit Number One. With Stella's tutelage, Brando's raw talent was honed until he repeatedly "blew away" those "in the know." His meteoric rise to the top of acting royalty was based on sheer, raw talent. The rest of his life was troubled but terribly uninteresting in my view. But the writing is good. Four stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Missed some interesting stories
Mr. Manso researched this book for ten years and apparently forgot to mention Marlon Brando's involvement with "Rebel Without A Cause". He either did a screen test for it or shot scenes which were not used (the footage can be seen in the special edition of "Streetcar"). It's interesting stuff and even includes a brief interview with a shy Brando between takes. After I saw the footage, I looked up "Rebel" in the Manso book. He completely ignored it! Poor research or poor judgement, I say.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brando; a deeply repulsive man
I'm a big fan of Brando. His smouldering sexual charisma changed movies. Even so there came a time later in his life where he became such a repulsive self-indulgent slug that you had to wonder; was he always such a nasty mess? Did we all just excuse it because he was easy on the eyes?

On top of that, as much as he altered the gender role of the fifties, there is another trend across his career of playing against that type, in a series of fops & closet cases: Moreau, Mutiny on the Bounty, Teahouse of the August Moon, Reflections in a Golden eye. You just don't choose to play this many roles as dandies by accident.

There really is no bigger story of squandered talent in Hollywood, so what the hell was going on inside him? This is not the book to read if you're a fan and you need the PR world to move heaven and earth to meet you where you are. There are any number of fanboy Brando biographies (inlcluding Brando's own limp effort) to choose from. Instead this painstakingly researched book presents such a disturbing portrait of Brando that I lost any remaining respect I had for him. Consider it a favor!

Manso presents Brando as a rapacious, predatory sociopath who used his sexuality to bed & manipulate hundreds of women. That's consistent with other versions. Manso continues though and argues that the actor probably molested his own daughter, Cheyenne; that all has not been told about the shooting death of her boyfriend on his Tahitian island. There is a strong suggestion via Brando's intrusion on the Miachael Jackson molestation lawsuit that Brando may have even been into children himself.

You get the sense that his Tahitian island was a place where his unrestrained self-indulgence could construct & rule over a childish feifdom. (Moreau anyone) without witnesses.

It is very difficult to finish this book, as you beome repulsed by Brando so early. But the real proof of whether this is unfair or not is that Brando failed to bring a lawsuit against Manso, choosing instead to publish his own belated, tepid, ghost-written effort to combat the Manso press. Which means it's safe to assume that Manso's book is not far off the mark.

For those who can't bear to hear criticism of Brando, I suggest you look up the word "hagiography," because what you prefer has a name.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
Manso's biography of Marlon Brando is a mixed bag.It is distinguished and praiseworthy for its incredible detail.Manso conducted an enormous number of interviews for this work, and he is able to provide valuable detail on Brando's acting career, personal life, politics, and relationships--detail that is not available elsewhere.This is the strongest attribute of the work.A problem, though, is that it is difficult to know how much of the detail to actually believe.Manso is manifestly hostile toward his subject, giving every other person in his life the benefit of the doubt instead of Brando.Manso also has a rather distasteful eye for the salacious--the more tabloid-like the better.Thus the reader does not know quite what to believe.A good example is Manso's treatment of Brando's alleged bisexuality.He is able to give names, dates, places, addresses, favorite colors, shoe sizes, and any other detail when discussing any of Brando's hundreds of heterosexual partners, but is not able to supply a single name when speaking about allegations and rumors of homosexual conduct.In a way, Manso's prejudiced stance toward his subject, and his own propensity to wallow in the gutter, marred what would otherwise have been a more valuable work. ... Read more

8. Choking on Marlon Brando A Film Critic's Memoir About Love and the Movies
by Antonia Quirke
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-07-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590200543
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Choking on Marlon Brando is the story of a young female film critic's love-life is affected and nearly ruined by her obsession with male movie stars. As her increasingly hapless hunt for the right man unfolds and her television and newspaper career unravels, our heroine finally begins to understand that difficult truth: that life is not like the movies.

Entwined within the narrative of her real-life love affairs is a kaleidoscope of digressions on great screen actors--her early obsession with Brando, her later dream-life with Gerard Depardieu, a personal ad seeking out Tom Cruise, a disastrous climactic encounter with Jeff Bridges. It's a helter-skelter ride through love and the movies which reads like a screwball comedy. But our heroine is no screwball; she seems to know everything about movies and the human heart, and painfully little about anything else. Written in a fresh and utterly engaging voice, Choking on Marlon Brando is moving and hilarious, a bittersweet and endearing story of a woman who can't draw the line between her live life and the art she loves. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
I had read Antonia Quirke's book on JAWS that she wrote for the uneven BFI series on notable films, but I must re-read it now that I know so much more about its author, sort of a real life Bridget Jones who proves that sometimes, you can get too much into the movies and they prevent you from having satisfying experiences in your real life romantic life.What guy in real life can compare to the rush of sexuality young Antonia got while watching STREETCAR on TV as a young girl?And that's just the beginning of an amazing read, in which she lays bare the dynamism of literally hundreds of male screen idols, while a few dozen earthly Englishmen fail to capture her attention for more than a few dates apiece.

Her book is very funny in parts, and in other parts she seems to recoil from the path she's leading, so the clash of the two genres, comedy and a tragic self-destruction, produces sparks but also gives the book a rueful texture.Makes you feel complicit even for reading it.Now and then one just wants her to find the right bloke, but most of the time one longs for her to meet another loser in life while drooling over another he-man in the cinema.She makes you appreciate the erotic perfection of even unlikely idols, such as Kevin Costner.She knows he's dopey, dull, superpatriotic, and probably conservative, but he's got something going on and she details it all.Remember Madonna pretending to gag after Costner told her that her show was "neat"?Hark Antonia Quirke: "That hollow cacophonous bird made of beaten tin painted gold (and failed actress) who sticks a finger down her throat after meeeting Costner [is] blind to the non-synthetic idiosyncrasies that unspun blandness might contain."He has a "beautiful veim of sadness running through everything he does, like when the light begins to strain at the end of a summer's day."You think David Thomson has it bad for Nicole Kidman?Wait till you hear Quirke on Depardieu!!Or Keanu Reeves, the male Marilyn Monroe: "Like Marilyn, Keanu introduces an electric tension into everything he does because of the combination of uncontrollable charisma and technical incompetence."

Most controversial will be her discussion on 228-9 of which star has, like her boyfriend Jonathan, the "perfect arse."She names James Dean, Dennis Quaid, Richard Gere, Gael Garcia Bernal--the usual suspects, reaching out to Terence Stamp in (POOR COW) and David Hemmings--she's as patriotic as Kevin Costner.She dismisses Clint Eastwood and Sam Shepard.But stop the presses, why is Dustin Hoffman on the list of "great arses"?The thought of it makes my gorge rise.And Jim Carrey?Yeah, his is great--for talking through!She names the four compass points that the perfect arse must balance itself among-- "a Gene Kelly gluteal muscle and a Keith Richards scrawn, a slovenly acre of sexless John Wayne flesh and a priapic preening Antonio Banderas baboon backside."I'm squinting but in the center of all those I am utterly failing to locate Dustin Hoffman!

5-0 out of 5 stars Book of the Year
Wow.This book is stunningly great.Antonia Quirke's writing -- her voice, her control, her sheer prowess -- is blazingly magnificent.This book is a treasure, a discovery, a triumph of publishing.Pick up the book, read the first paragraph, and get carried away. ... Read more

9. Conversations with Marlon Brando: Lawrence Grobel
by Lawrence Grobel
Paperback: 195 Pages (2009-03-03)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0981805620
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

10. The Technique of Acting
by Stella Adler
Paperback: 156 Pages (1990-08-01)
list price: US$11.00
Isbn: 0553349325
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference
Good reference book for those wanting to get into acting.Recommended by son's acting coach.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stella Adler should be in any actor or student actor library
Stella Adler books along with Stanislavsky, Harold Clurman, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, are a few of the must have's for acting students.There are many more good ones for actors and acting students but you can't go wrong with these.

4-0 out of 5 stars Psychological Acting
This is a very good book for people who want to dedicate their lives to acting. It goes through basic conditions which people have to create for themselves so acting works for them. The field of acting is so tenuous thatit takes all the concentration a person has, this book gives guidance togaining that concentration. I found it to be a valuable tool when studyingto become an actor. I recommend novices and professionals alike to read andreread this book becuase it sets things in motion, it gets your brain andyour body ready for what you have to confront as an actor. It empahsizesfocus, dilligence and above all to know yourself. I honestly can say thatthis book made a differnce in my approach to acting and I think it willdefinitely affect other readers and benefit their objectives whether it bein theater or film. ... Read more

11. Me and Marlon
by Alice Marchak
Paperback: 449 Pages (2008-07-28)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0615222358
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Me and Marlon opens the door into a personal relationship that will surprise you and give you more than a glimpse of the private off screen world of Marlon Brando.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Recipient of this gift very pleased!
This was a request and the person who asked for it found the book to be in condition as described.
He also was impressed with content and interest of the book-adding there was an large amount of detail. He felt the author was earnest in her descriptions and fair, all in a well written manner.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Self-Published Mess
Having read all of the Brando biographies, Manso being the ultimate tome, while Songs My Mother Taught Me was an intimate, if not rambling journey from the actor himself; I have to say this self-published memoir is a total mess of a book. I'm sorry I paid over $10.00 for this excuse of something interesting, worthwhile, or enlightening. The author obsesses on Brando's consumption of Valium that nearly put me to sleep. Nothing new here. A terrible waste of time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lots of stuff I never knew about MB
On paper, Alice Marchak should have written the ultimate "fly on the wall" account of her professional and personal relationship with one of the most enigmatic figues of the 20th century: Marlon Brando. I think that of all the people in the Brando orbit, Alice was perhaps the only "real" insider who could really tell it like it is, warts and all.

I always thought she showed a lot of class not to "sell out" after Brando died. It was only after she was removed as one of the trustees of Brando's estate and suddenly labeled a "gold digger" when she sought to sue for property owed her, did she finally come out and tell her side of the story.

She's definitely a sympathetic figure and I think she has a really strong personality: you have to in order to go toe to toe with someone as complex as Brando. What really comes out in the book is the friendship that the two of them shared, including Brando's near death experience and the numerous personal and professional sacrifices Alice made in the service of her famous boss.

It was interesting to read this book, and I think Alice had a great story to tell but this was basically a self-published book and it shows. The organization is really loose and there are numerous spelling errors (the country is Colombia, not Columbia, etc).

Random House paid Brando 4 or 5 million for his autobiography which was basically a dud. They should have paid Alice the money and hired a first class editorial team to make this the Brando book to end all Brando books. Alice has too much class to do it just for profit.

2-0 out of 5 stars I think this woman thinks too much of herself...
...and also doesn't seem to understand that, in Marlon Brando's eyes, this constitutes an acute betrayal.If Alice Marchak cared so much for him, why did she write this?The only answer I can think of is that she wanted money; the most crass reason of all to speak of such personal subjects about a person's life who can't defend himself or correct any lies because he's dead.

I consider this book to be sensationalistic trash.Read it if you're a voyeur (as "supposedly" Marlon Brando was, according to Ms. Marchak).But, if you're a real fan and feel respect towards the man LEAVE IT ALONE!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Done
Well done, well written, well worth it.Of all the grevious memoirs written about the man, his personal secretary, like no other, knew him and is the one articulate person to memorialize him is a manner that's well worth it. ... Read more

12. Marlon Brando: The Only Contender
by Gary Carey
Paperback: 288 Pages (1986-10-01)

Isbn: 0450397505
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

13. Marlon Brando: His Life in Pictures
by Christopher Nickens
 Hardcover: 143 Pages (1988-09-29)

Isbn: 0862873754
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

14. The Films of Marlon Brando
by Tony Thomas
 Paperback: 276 Pages (1992-02)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$46.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806513098
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

Published in 1973, THE FILMS OF MARLON BRANDO covers his film career fromhis first film, "The Men," released in 1950, through "LastTango In Paris" which was released in 1972.The book opens, after ashort introduction by Pauline Kael, with a fairly detailed discussion ofBrando and his career and continues with a chronological, movie by movie,discussion of the films he made during the 22 year scope of thebook.

Brando's reputation as a stage star was wholly due to his portrayalof the brutish Stanley Kowalski in "A Stretcar Named Desire." His fame as a film star came from his first six films.These were followedby many years of poor film choices and lackluster performances.His careerwas finally revived by his starring roles as Don Corleone in Mario Puzo's"The Godfather" and of Paul in "Last Tango inParis."

According to Thomas, Brando never fit into the Hollywoodlifestyle and was very open in expressing his disdain for both the filmindustry in general, and for the people who made films.

It wasinteresting to note that, because of Brando's many years of makingunsuccessful movies and because of his reputation for "beingdifficult," when Francis Ford Coppola suggested to Paramount that theycast Brando as Don Corleone in "The Godfather," Coppola was toldto forget that idea and to cast someone else in the part.Throughsubterfuge, Coppola finally got Paramount to accept Brando for the part,but they were unwilling to pay the large fee that he normally demanded., He agreed to a salary of only $100,000 but asked for, and received, apercentage of the gross.With the great success of the film, Brandoeventually made millions from this contract.

I'm afraid that I've neverunderstood why his performance in "The Godfather" was socritically acclaimed, but I do agree with the book's evaluation of at leastthree of his early films.These were: "A Streetcar Named Desire"which was written by Tennessee Williams, "On the Waterfront" byBud Schulberg, and "Viva Zapata" with a screenplay by JohnSteinbeck.I think that all three had writing that was superior to thatfound in most Hollywood scripts.This fact, along with Brando's bestacting, contributed heavily to their success and, coincidentally, to myenjoyment of them.The reviews in THE FILMS OF MARLON BRANDO are all verywell written and give credit to all those who contributed to the success ofeach film.On the reversie side of the coin, they pull no punches whendiscussing the mediocrity of many of Brando's films in the 60's.

I canrecommend this book both for its biographical material and for itsdiscussions of Brando's films.Brando was a very private man who gave veryfew interviews, so it is really a bonus that this book uncovers a little ofthe mystery that was Marlon Brando. ... Read more

15. Films of Marlon Brando, the (Spanish Edition)
by Tony Thomas
 Hardcover: 256 Pages (1993-10)
list price: US$26.25
Isbn: 0863690262
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A filmography of Marlon Brando. Whether as the brutish Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" or the powerful Don Corleone in "The Godfather", Marlon Brando has convinced cinemagoers with his realistic characters. His use of method acting has influenced a whole generation of actors. ... Read more

16. Marlon Brando (The pictorial treasury of film stars)
by Rene Jordan
Hardcover: 157 Pages (1974)

Isbn: 0883651610
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

17. Brando: A Life in Our Times
by Richard Schickel
Paperback: 192 Pages (2000-09-29)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$15.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C2W5T
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A biography of the screen star discusses Brando's childhood, his training in Method Acting with Stella Adler, his rise to fame, his memorable performances, and his personal indiscretions and tragedies. Reprint. K. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Genius of Brando deserves Better
while this Book has some good intentions it doesn't reach the true Depth of the Genius that Marlon Brando was.the Book never fully reaches where it attempts to go.

3-0 out of 5 stars Light weight fare cashing in on genius
This is a just passable examination of Mr Brando's life and is redeemed by the writing on his early theatre work. ... Read more

18. Fan-Tan
by Marlon Brando, Donald Cammell
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-10-10)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140009626X
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Fan-Tan is a hugely entertaining, swashbuckling romp, from one of the greatest actors of our time: Marlon Brando. The story of an eccentric early-twentieth-century pirate who sets out on the high seas from the Philippines to Shanghai, Fan-Tan follows the exploits ofAnatole “Annie” Doultry, a larger-than-life character that Brando could have easily inhabited himself. When Annie saves the life of a Chinese prisoner in a Hong Kong prison, he’s led to the mysterious and seductive Madame Lai Choi San—one of the most notorious gangsters in Asia—and here the true adventures begin.Years in the making with Brando’s longtime collaborator, screenwriter and director Donald Cammell, Fan-Tan is a rollicking, delectable tale—and the last surprise from an ever-surprising legend. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Could not get past 30+ pages!
When I was ill, i could not stand to read a book, now that I am better I finally found a book that I could not stand to read even when I was well!So much looks positive about this book, an adventure tale by Marlon Brando, and yeah even though we cannot judge a book by it's cover...the cover looks great.Then I made the mistake of opening it and reading the words.There were a lot of words, and they were strung together, but they hardly made a thought or point.Whatever story there is herein is lost to me, and trying to read five pages was like trying to get through a difficult textbook reading.No point, no plot, no direction, no good character development...no sense going forward.I usually finish all my books, good or bad, I plodded through this for days...no joke - days...and hardly made it past 30 before giving up.Horrible.

1-0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiringly bad.
Marlon Brando and Donald Cammell, Fan-Tan (Vintage, 2005)

There are times that much-speculated, much-discussed books should go to the grave with their late writers. I must say that never, in years of reading and thousands of books, have I ever felt this way about a piece of writing more than I did about Fan-Tan, Marlon Brando's novel that was published posthumously only because Brando would likely have died of shame had it been published while he was still alive. That said, it's one of those books that I just had to keep going with, to find out how much worse it could possibly get, and in this regard, the book never once failed me. In fact, in its final pages, it exceeded my expectations in a way no writer has since the first time I encountered Matthew Stokoe (and for much the same reason, for those few of you who've read Stokoe's wonderfully disgusting first novel, Cows). Politically incorrect purple prose, a ham-handed sense of plotting, silly characters, and a taste for the perverse all permeate this book; if that's your thing, than by all means, have fun with it. (half)

4-0 out of 5 stars From The Mind Of My Favorite Pirate...I mean...Actor...
I am not really much of a fiction reader, but I had to read "Fan-Tan" since the story came from the mind of Marlon Brando, himself.

It is sad that both men who originally participated in bringing this story to fruition, Marlon Brando and Donald Cammell, are no longer with us. But, how grateful I am for such works that are part of the legacy of wonderful artists such as they both obviously were. And, how grateful I am that David Thomson did such a wonderful job in completing this novel so that it could be made available to us.

Although fiction is not my favorite kind of reading, I enjoyed "Fan-Tan" so much with its intriguing plot and its twists and turns. I found myself looking forward, page by page, to what would come next.

The book is well-paced and full of intrigue. I enjoyed its unique and eccentric characters, including that of Annie Doultry - a character Brando might have played. The book's content is imaginative and downright spicy in some parts. I found the sexual "escapades" interesting, edgy, daring, and surprising. I also enjoyed the descriptive writing and the vivid settings - I was able to picture each scene in my mind's eye.

I think Marlon Brando fans will enjoy reading this book, if for no other reason, to further savor the genius of Marlon Brando.

3-0 out of 5 stars One last, wild ride! A pearl of a story.
Fun read. A pearl of a wild ride. A must for Brando fans.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst opening ever?
You're supposed to be willing to give every book 50 pages or so before giving up on it, right?I seldom give up on novels and usually read the whole thing... usually there is some enjoyment to be had even in a below average book, ya know?

Well, Fan-Tan threw me on the mat and made me say uncle.I can't believe anyone published it.It's like the product of a hundred drunk monkeys with typewriters.

Let me treat you with a portion that really blew my mind.

"His memory was a mess, as full of giant holes as an old sock.Scotland was an accent he loved.On the other hand, he thought a lot about the future."That is one of my characteristics, Lorenzo," he said firmly to the bum of a Portuguee who occupied the bunk above, all aswamp in his noisome reflections."

You may believe I have taken that passage out of context and this is a great book.You may think I am a simple minded fool who can't handle stream of consiousness writing.

However, I think it is a crime againist humanity that those sentences happened IN A ROW.Also, "on the other hand" needs to have what was in the first hand in the general proximity of the phrase.

I couldn't get very far in this book. ... Read more

19. Conversations With Marlon Brando
by Lawrence Grobel
 Hardcover: 304 Pages (1993-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0708927866
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

20. Marlon Brando: A Portrait
by Paul Ryan
 Paperback: 192 Pages (1994-07)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$39.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786700955
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well Written Book by Paul Ryan...
I thought the book, "Marlon Brando: A Portrait," by Paul Ryan was well written and really very interesting. Although there was high praise for Marlon Brando throughout the book, there was also criticism. I found most of the criticisms of Mr. Brando to be undue and unfounded.

The photograph of Marlon Brando on page 187 of the book is one I had never seen before. It is also one that instantly brought me to tears. It is the photograph of a good and sensitive man in his darkest, most desperate hour. Anguish is written all over his face. There were those who said Marlon was "just acting" as he sat on the witness stand at his son's trial, but I strongly disagree.

Marlon was a father who loved his children with the whole of his heart and protected them in all of the ways a loving father protects his children. When he learned that his son would have to spend time in prison, he went to great lengths to try to ensure his son's well being in every way possible and he stood by his son through thick and thin, just as a father who loves his child would. At the same time, he was dealing with a suicidal daughter, one who ultimately came to take her own life despite Marlon's efforts to help her and to protect her from herself. It is unbelievable to me that Marlon would be accused of "acting" in this situation as if, just because he was an actor, he did not have real feelings, especially for his children.

Regarding Kenneth Anger's comments included in this book, I find them to be heartless and inhumane. What drives a person to such cruelty toward a fellow human being who is so clearly anguishing? I hope Mr. Anger had opportunity to rethink his comments and that he did so.

I believe that Marlon was the best among all actors because he was such a deep-feeling, deep-thinking, sensitive person inside. I think that anyone who can criticize him in the ways he has been criticized could not possibly have seen beyond their own noses when it came to looking at him for the person he was.

I was glad to see that the author of this book, Paul Ryan, included aspects of Marlon Brando's life on and off of the stage/screen and that the book was a well balanced piece of work. I disagreed with the author (and with Marlon) that Marlon could not do comedy, though. He cracked me up in "A Countess From Hong Kong," "Bedtime Story," and in "Guys and Dolls" when he ordered "Dulce Du Leche" with the "preservative" called "Bacardi" for Sister Sarah who became unwittingly intoxicated. I also had some good laughs watching Marlon in "The Freshman" and in "Free Money" as well as in some of the scenes in "Mutiny on the Bounty," including the scene in which Marlon Brando's character, Fletcher Christian, is told by Trevor Howard's character, Captain Bligh, to "make love to that damn daughter of his," referring to King Hiti Hiti's daughter, and Fletcher, who would love to "make love to that damn daughter" of King Hiti Hiti asks sarcastically and with a raised eyebrow, "Is that an order?" and then asks if it might be entered into the log.... :)

There was also a comment about Marlon being "miscast" in a couple of pictures. I do not think he was ever "miscast" in anything because he could do anything. He even sang in "Guys and Dolls," and, even though he said they pieced it together for him, I loved the tone of his voice and the attitude and tenderness he displayed with his singing words that might have been spoken had this not been a musical. I thought his performance outshone all others in the film, including that of Frank Sinatra. I liked the sweetness of Marlon's voice and the sincerity with which he sang so very much. As for him being "miscast" in "Mutiny on the Bounty" or any criticism that he was playing Fletcher Christian as a "dandified fop" and that this was a mistake, I think that is utterly crazy. Marlon MADE this film what it was and "Mutiny on the Bounty" is one of the best films ever made. Marlon's interpretation of Fletcher Christian was perfect and he acted the role to perfection just as he acted the roles of Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire," Colonel Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now," Mark Antony in "Julius Caesar," Sir William Walker in "Burn," Paul in "Last Tango In Paris," Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather," Terry Malloy in "On The Waterfront," Ian McKenzie in "A Dry, White Season," Quint in "The Nightcomers," Matt in "The Appaloosa," Weldon in "Reflections In A Golden Eye," Val Xavier in "The Fugitive Kind," Christian Diestl in "The Young Lions," Rio in "One-Eyed Jacks," and so many others. His interpretations of his characters were always fresh and he improvised details and actions that always added depth and interest to whatever role he was playing. He was reportedly fluent in French and appeared so in his roles as Bud in "Night of the Following Day" and as Paul in "Last Tango In Paris." He mastered the British accent in films such as "Burn" and "Mutiny On The Bounty" and an Irish accent in "The Nightcomers" as well as a German accent in "The Young Lions" and "Morituri," a southern accent in "Sayonara" and I think it was also a southern accent in "Reflections In A Golden Eye," a perfect Mexican accent in "The Appaloosa," and spoke Spanish in parts of "One-Eyed Jacks" with a perfect accent and intonation. I am in amazement of a person who demonstrated such talent and who cared so much about his art (and I do think acting in the manner in which Marlon Brando acted was an artform, even though he seemed not to think so...I do not think there are many who make acting an artform, but I think Marlon surely did) that he worked to perfect accents and actions, emotion, intonation and everything that matters in making each role an intriguing, interesting, fresh, unique, and exciting work of art.

I was also impressed with Marlon's talent as a director in his directing of "One-Eyed Jacks." What a fantastic film "One-Eyed Jacks" turned out to be. Monterey is one of my favorite places on earth. I live about 2 hours away. I go there when I can. I fell in love with the scenery and the detail Marlon included such as the ocean at high tide and the dust blowing up as he lay looking over it from a hill - the scenes, the sounds, the photography, the acting, the timing, and the perspectives from which scenes were shot. The beauty of the film is in the details - details Marlon always found and made optimal use of. I read that Marlon was a patient and perfectionist director which I am certain lent itself to the exceptional quality evident througout "One-Eyed Jacks" as well as the beautiful acting relationships and the story's unfettered flow.

I would like to comment about statements that there were some who, at times, became frustrated with Marlon in rehearsals. They said he "mumbled" or would not give his all. This is just a thought: I wonder if Marlon did not want to make the mistake of giving his all in a rehearsal and, instead, saved his emotional energy for the take. Even with "Julius Caesar," Marlon reportedly sent a tape recording of the "Let slip the dogs of war" scene to producers or to someone in charge of the film and those in charge were happily astounded and amazed at Marlon's recording, but then, it was said that Marlon "mumbled" in rehearsing the same scene in their presence. However, when the scene was put on film, everything about it sent chills through me - from Shakespeare's words to Marlon's giving life to those words with a voice and a portrayal that came from I don't know where - someplace deep within him. His actions in the scene to the expression on his face and the undeniable depth of soul in his eyes were chilling. As I once heard someone say, "Marlon acted all others in the film off of the screen." My point is that I believe that Marlon not giving his all in rehearsals could be because he saved the best for the actual take. Maybe the reason that some actors are already spent by the time they get to filming is because they have already acted their scene over and over so many times that they are drained and then the emotion is no longer there. Marlon quite obviously knew what he was doing. This is most assuredly reflected in his exemplary work in each and every film he made.

I would also like to comment about Louella Parsons who is mentioned in the book and who seemed critical of Marlon Brando - maybe because he would not give her the time of day (and, rightfully so, if that be the case). First of all, who is she? Who are these people who sit back in their chairs in offices with their feet up on their desk, criticizing the performances of others - performances they, themselves, lack the talent to put forth? It reminds me of a scale of justice. One side of the scale is weighted heavily because you have a brilliant actor who works tirelessly and invests his entire self into creating a piece of art. It is difficult, time-consuming, emotional, tedious, and draining at times, but he is creating a complex and beautiful gift for those who appreciate his talent and his willingness to share his unique gift. And, we get tremendous pleasure from it. The "weight" on the other side of the scale really makes no perceptible change in the scale's balance at all because there you have someone who gets paid to give her "opinion," an opinion she probably spent less than 5 minutes thinking up and one which also has no basis in fact or truth. It is just the fanciful whim of a person who believes her opinion is above the opinions of all others and one whose own opinion may be tainted and biased by personal feelings of rejection by the artist she is being paid to critique. Her opinion is like a grain of sand on a vast ocean beach, in my..........uh...................opinion.

I have to say that I so appreciated the inclusions of Marlon's humanitarian efforts toward alleviating human suffering and starvation (as a child, I trick-or-treated for Unicef, myself) as well as shedding light here in the U.S. on the struggles of the American Indian and efforts toward Civil Rights. I was happy to see that there were also inclusions about what a good and generous friend he was to Monty Clift and to others in their most desperate hours in life. He cared and it showed.

I was very pleased with the last pages of "Marlon Brando: A Portrait." Paul Ryan's commentary on these pages is insightful, poignant, heartfelt, and true. I would like to quote this entire part of the book because it was so moving to me, but I will leave that to others to read and judge for themselves.
... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats