the contender book

I really pushed to get through this as quickly as possible. He could never understand the whole "celebrity" fascination of the public. But it was also good. I've lost count of the number of biographies I've read recently where this happens. With over 600 pages of text supplemented by copious annotation, this is an exhaustive, sometimes exhausting study that is both a recounting of the available information about Brando’s life and career and an analysis of Brando the artist.

Especially the first couple of (mammoth) chapters.

Anecdotes and recollections from icons Elaine Stritch, Rita Moreno, Kaye Ballard, and many more enliven and illuminate his early struggles - Brando did not revere acting, saying" everyone acts and actors are just conscious of it." ), his turbulent childhood, his trauma-influenced adulthood, his thoughtful political activism, and his sexual openness and frankness incredibly interesting and insightful. So many times I thought that I would put the book down, but I wanted to keep reading to see if some of the rumors I have heard over the years about Marlon Brando are factual. As with many biographies, the writer loses objectivity in places, but overall I thought it was a well-rounded t. A fascinating look at how Brando the insecure kid became Brando the insecure movie star. A tortured soul who has left us with many indelible screen moments. Mann is more interested in Brando as a warrior for "social justice" than as an actor; it's like Mann enjoys the acceptance speeches at awards ceremonies more than the films. With heavy emphasis on Brando's experiences growing up in the Midwest as well as many pages devoted to his years studying acting in NYC, this biography depicts a troubled boy who grew into a troubled man. by Harper. Like so many actors he had a troubled childhood, both parents were alcoholics. It was fascinating to see that he didn't really want to be an actor, didn't really value acting or his skill at it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

The problem is the story stops in 1973.

If Waterfront or Streetcar leave you unmoved, please stop reading now. That I rattled through it so quickly suggests it's a good read. The book discusses the uneasy relationship with Elia Kazan whom he saw as the most powerful mentor in his life and felt that he was only good in his movies (he has a point) but loathed Kazan’s naming of names to the House UnAmerican Affairs Committee. He was also an amazing talent never content with his role in life. I'm glad he didn't have to deal with the added pressure of today's social media! The story of Brando's life is expertly woven in a way that gives it a narrative flow that most biographies would shy away from.

William J. Mann gives an excellent portrait of the tortured artist in his biography of Marlon Brando. Brando made no particular impression on me. Marlon Brando was a deeply flawed and vulnerable person. He treated women so badly. While its size may seem daunting, Mann keeps the reader hooked throughout its entire length, and it's definitely not a book to put down. There's a a great deal to cover here: his childhood of abuse with two alcoholic parents; first years exploring the theatre; his many, many loves, and of course, the plays and movies. While he married, usually because a woman got pregnant, he never cared for his children well and had some disturbed wives. Marlon Brando is one of my favorite actors to watch on screen- his moodiness, naturalness, and detailedness all really appeal to my sensibilities. There's a a great deal to cover here: his childhood of abuse with two alcoholic parents; first years exploring the theatre; his many, many loves, and of course, the plays and movies. William J. Mann gives an excellent portrait of the tortured artist in his biography of Marlon Brando. A thoughtful attempt to make sense of a man whom I have no trouble describing as America’s greatest film actor. This is a portrait of Brando more than a biography. In describing Marlon Brando’s personal and professional life, William Mann shows his subject’s character, his influence in theater/film and in the political issues he pursued. For decades, the media lamented that he found no fulfillment in acting. It was fascinating to see that he didn't really want to be an actor, didn't really value acting or his skill at it. I also knew he had sexual relationships with men and women, and I love stories of old Hollywood, so I knew I had to read this biography. I found learning about Brando’s unique acting style (NOT method! (Although he would have hated that statement). This is an interpretive work. If you are a film and/or theater buff, "The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando," might be especially interesting.

Of course, even that presumption of mine was probably wrong--in this book, Mr. Mann asserts that some of the biographies, articles, and stories about Brando were false or tainted. I don't read biographies to cast the first stone, but gosh: every time Mann has to mention Brando sleeping with six women in seven days or indulging himself, he offers a sophomoric excuse (repeated throughout the book) that he was looking for someone like his mother, he was using sex as therapy, etc.

I really appreciated the way the author chose to tell this story in a non-chronological fashion, instead beginning the book with Marlon’s arrival in New York City to study acting and then going back to intersperse tales of his childhood throughout the narrative. As with all portraits, it's as much about the artist as his subject--and, in this case, the reader learns that the artist, William Mann, is absolutely smitten with his subject. Although both critics and other actors generally acknowledged Marlon Brando as one of the world's finest actors, he consistently downplayed his talent and the acting profession. The biography grew on me but I wonder if there’s going to be a more comprehensive one later, still, the author interviewed many of Marlon’s friends from earlier days, some like Kaye Ballard, who are gone now. There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find... To see what your friends thought of this book, The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando.

Although both critics and other actors generally acknowledged Marlon Brando as one of the world's finest actors, he consistently downplayed his talent and the acting profession.

Mann's voice is exceptional, and he does his best to show Brando as a sympathetic artist when he could very easily be dismissed as a monster or an overindulgent celebrity.

And lots of women. I've lost count of the number of biographies I've read recently where this happens. “I don’t know if there are any artists left now,” he said. I found learning about Brando’s unique.

I guess Mann hit his word limit halfway through and had to wrap up the 1973-2004 years in a 20-page epilogue. It was clear that On The Waterfront was. But in this outstanding, intelligent and insightful biography, THE CONTENDER, William J. Mann (Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn) examines Brando's life and passions from a different angle. A lengthy book, but it flows beautifully. Elia Kazan, his greatest director, described him as a ‘hoodlum aristocrat’, a beautiful phrase that, upon reflection, seems applicable to many great male American artists of the last half of the twentieth century,including, Bob Dylan, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock... A very readable narrative of the life of Brando. But in this outstanding, intelligent and insightful biography, THE CONTENDER, William J. Mann (Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn) examines Brando's life and passions from a different angle. Marlon Brando is one of my favorite actors to watch on screen- his moodiness, naturalness, and detailedness all really appeal to my sensibilities. The book describes his triumphs (Streetcar, On The Waterfront, The Godfather) as well has his tragedies ( his son's murder trial, daughter's suicide, and his own battles with depression). Also writes children's books under the pseudonym, “In a world where everything is hyped and hawked, where every available space, even the risers of subway steps, is claimed for advertising, Brando’s admonitions against the monetization of the culture, voiced frequently from the 1960s on, feel extremely prescient.”, “An artist is, of course, entitled to make money, and Brando didn’t claim otherwise. He was a genius in one area: acting. A thoughtful attempt to make sense of a man whom I have no trouble describing as America’s greatest film actor. Mann is selective and his time line skips around - some years are skipped entirely. In many ways, he was a man ahead of his time.

I learned a lot about him (including that Wally Cox was one of his best friends!). Mann ranges to and fro through his subject’s life and details acreete rather than tumble out in a more straightforward narrative. We’d love your help. I thought it’d be a breezy, light read, which in many ways it is, but I did not expect to like it so much. Also chronicled is his involvement with the civil rights and Native American rights movements, including the events leading up to his famous 1972 rejection of the Oscar. In the first few pages, he claims, "Brando's acting, as great and as important as it remains, is not the most interesting thing about him."

Anecdotes and recollections from icons Elaine Stritch, Rita Moreno, Kaye Ballard, and many more enliven and illuminate his early struggles - Brando did not revere acting, saying" everyone acts and actors are just conscious of it." It covers mostly 3 decades of Brando's life and career 50s, 60s, and 70s and time trips between personal and work moments that interweave and mirror what is happening in both departments of his life. Highs and lows, he was often misunderstood, but he struggled throughout his life to become a better person.

This may have stemmed from the reasons offered by Mann: his upbringing by an alcoholic mother and a father who not only never understood his son (pardonable, as no one else ever did) but withheld his love. For decades, the media lamented that he found no fulfillment in acting.

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