The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400078042, 350pp.
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
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.
“Well-researched and beautifully written, the book is as fascinating . . . as the subject himself.” —Los Angeles Times
“Miraculous. . . . A landmark in Brando studies.” —David Thomson
“[A] vivid chronicle. . . . The Marlon Brando story is a fascinating and tragic one, and Kanfer gives it the size and understanding necessary to provide an enthralling read.” —Peter Bogdanovich
“Stefan Kanfer strikes an original note by portraying him, albeit with great sensitivity and tact, as a man permanently teetering on the brink of madness–clearly part of his mesmeric screen presence.” —The Sunday Times (London)