Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando

Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando

Stefan Kanfer / Nov 15, 2019

Somebody The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando 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 illumina

  • Title: Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando
  • Author: Stefan Kanfer
  • ISBN: 9781400078042
  • Page: 418
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 NamStefan 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.

    • Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando « Stefan Kanfer
      418 Stefan Kanfer
    • thumbnail Title: Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando « Stefan Kanfer
      Posted by:Stefan Kanfer
      Published :2019-08-03T17:50:07+00:00

    About "Stefan Kanfer"

      • Stefan Kanfer

        Stefan Kanfer is the author of fifteen books, including the bestselling biographies of show business icons GROUCHO BALL OF FIRE Lucille Ball SOMEBODY Marlon Brando and TOUGH WITHOUT A GUN Humphrey Bogart He has also written many social histories, among them THE LAST EMPIRE, about the De Beers diamond company, and STARDUST LOST, an account of the rise and fall of the Yiddish Theater in New York.Kanfer also wrote two novels about World War II and served as the only journalist on the President s Commission on the Holocaust He was the first by lined cinema critic for Time magazine, where he worked as writer and editor for than two decades He has been given many writing awards and was named a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library He lives in New York where he serves as a columnist for the City Journal of the Manhattan Institute.


    979 Comments

    1. In the early years he knew each and every one of his lines but he improvised. He insisted on many takes and each one was different, and, they said, each one brilliant. Later on, he didn’t bother to learn his lines at all, he’d have cue cards stuck all over the place, for instance on the shirt of the actor he was playing opposite, and he’d explain this by saying that in real life people didn’t know what they were going to say before they said it. So he would be looking around for the righ [...]


    2. It is hard to justify the blurb's characterisation of this book as a 'definitive' book on Brando (there are dozens of others, of course, including Peter Manso's 1000-page monster), but it is certainly a well-written roadmap through a bizarre and extraordinary life. Brando is probably the most influential actor in the history of Hollywood (Streetcar, Waterfront, Godfather, Last Tango, Apocalypse Now) and also made more outright turkeys than any other leading actor (almost everything in the 1960s [...]


    3. I don't read many celebrity biographies, but this was a decent and fair look at an infuriating and fascinating subject. Literate, too; there were words in here that I didn't know, so it's written above the standard tabloid journalism. This has made me want to watch the good Brando films again.


    4. Extremely good bio and analysis of a troubled, talented soul. Very well written. And I hardly ever read books about movie stars.



    5. It's very hard to keep my thoughts on Brando separated from my thoughts on the book. I can't quite put a finger on how accurate it is since it's the first I read on him, but meanwhile I'd read articles and another bio thingy (Sophia Loren's autobiography, which is what made me curious about Brando in the first place) and in those I found additional information, some contradicting those that were in this very book: for instance, was Monty Clift his rival, his friend or-wait for it-his lover? Did [...]


    6. Kanfer seems to have poured over all available research resources that include books and articles by and about Brando and interviews of those who were associated with him at various points in his life and career as well as any other relevant historical material that would help to establish a frame-of-reference for dominant influences and major developments in Brando's "reckless life and remarkable career." Kanfer offers a wealth of insights into Brando's most significant and invariably dysfuncti [...]


    7. On early Brando:Kirk Douglas:"I went up for a part in Truckline. I didn't get it. Bitter, I went to see the play, watched another actor play my role. I loved the first two acts-he was terrible. I congratulated myself on how much better I would have been. Suddenly, in the third act, he erupted, electrifying the audience. I thought, 'My God, he's good!' and looked in the programme for his name: Marlon Brando."John Huston, after a screening:""Christ! It was like a furnace door opening-the heat came [...]



    8. This book deals mainly with each of the films that Marlon Brando made throughout his career. It does get in some detail about his personal life. Brando was an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (so am I) his Mother spent his entire childhood drunk and his Father was a critical tyrant. Consequently Brando’s self-esteem from childhood on into adulthood suffered.Knowing what this experience is like I have a lot of compassion for Brando and can understand his feelings of never being good enough, not able [...]


    9. I thought Kanfer`s Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando was very articulate and well written. It is obvious that a lot of research went into the writing of this book. However, my problem is that it was way too depressing and centred more around the recklessness than the remarkable. I could hardly read from chapter to chapter without feeling total despair and impending doom lurking around every corner. On one hand, one could say, well, the truth is the truth. Nonethe [...]


    10. Dit boek lezen is zoals plaatsnemen op een motor en resoluut het startpedaal intrappen. Je bent vertrokken voor een avontuurlijke rit. Je krijgt niet alleen in een inzicht in de levensloop van een zeer speciale acteur qua karakter, maar ook een hele filmgeschiedenis in boekvorm. Het leven van Marlon Brando is gewoonweg de geschiedenis van Hollywood. Tragisch voor een stuk ook.Biografieën zijn altijd boeiend en deze van Marlon Brando dan al zeker. Je kan stellen dat de man in de jaren 40 eigenha [...]


    11. This book is a well-reported specimen, but little more recommends it. If you know Marlon Brando as no more than a name and Vito Corleone, Somebody is a good place to start.Much of this is rehashed and borrowed from the numerous other biographies and exposes of Brando, which is fine. It is a little awkward whenever author Stefan Kanfer goes the psychoanalytic route. It reads like something one might expect in a promotional spot on the “Oprah” set, but there we are.It is not entirely Kanfer’ [...]


    12. The book was more even and fair than many other Brando biographies. Any criticisms I have are more toward some shoddy family research and a lack of some easily available public information. (example: Rebecca is not Tarita's daughter as he mentions a few times. And that Dad [Sam Gilman] isn't mentioned at all even though it's in the public record that Marlon, Dad and Wally Cox had their ashes spread together. Dad also appeared in many movies with Marlon starting with his first, "The Men.") Minor [...]


    13. Stefan Kanfer wrote a detailed run through of Brando's life, which is almost impossible to mess up, considering all the amazing stories he lived through. Kanfer does has a tendency to lose track a bit in his storytelling, digressing into other stories sometimes, but what I most felt when finishing this book was MORE character study, including a lot more quotes. I didn't feel there were enough quotes. Somehow after reading Kanfer's biography, Brando remains a mystery to me. But maybe that's just [...]


    14. I appreciate a biographer who can present the facts of a person's life, theorize on the holes, and remain unbiased. Kanfer does an excellent job of that. While I consider myself a Brando aficionado, I learned a few things I didn't know (one of the more notable things can be found at the top of page 207--tell me you didn't laugh aloud when you read it!), and got more in-depth into points that I was already familiar with.


    15. Apparently, Marlon had a very sad life. He loved too many women too much of the time, plus he didn't care about acting at all. His kids were a mess. He thought everything was a joke. The sad thing is that he was probably a genius. What I learned from this book was that Marlon was too smart for the film community.


    16. Fair and well-written biography of one of the great actors of the 20th century, someone who pushed the art form forward even as he held contempt for the film business. Brando was an intelligent man but ultimately rather shallow in his personal life, someone who could never seem to get out of his own way in order to fulfill what could have been a more serious legacy.-3½ stars-


    17. Finished this a while ago, as well made me want to netflix (if I can verb that noun :)) all of Brando's early movies the boo started well, and does an excellent job with Brando's early career and success, but much like its subject, gets lost and meanders in the middle and end. Not even the discussion of Apocalypse Now rescues the latter half of the book.


    18. This is a really interesting story about the actor, the time, and the journey of the human spirit as it tries to overcome the weight it inherits from the world. Some of the best writing I've read in a while.


    19. I think Marlon Brando represents the turning point in movie acting. Actors are either before or after Brando like guitar players are either before or after Jimi Hendrix. But you sure wouldn't want to be him.


    20. Immensely gifted actor bursts on to the scene, changes his profession and then, with one or two triumphs that are almost immediately disowned or disavowed, proceeds to systematically squander his gifts for over 40 years.





    21. Very interesting and debunks a lot of the sensationalism of others about this very talented tormented soul.



    22. This book is utter crap! The detail kill's it. you only find out about him as a adult near the end.I liked the pictures though.




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