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James Mason: A Personal Biography [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Diana De Rosso


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Amazon.com: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  4 Rezensionen
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The inimitable Mr. Mason 9. April 2004
Von Candace Scott - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an excellent effort at examining the life of the mellifluous-voiced British actor, James Mason. The book is paced well and there is a fair amount of information on his early personal life, especially regarding his unusual first marriage to the ascerbic Pamela Mason. Diana De Rosso undoubtedly knew Mason very well, which was a difficult thing to do, considering he was a remote and rather shy man.
The highlights of the book are the chapters on first wife Pamela. Though Pamela Mason was a loud-mouthed and shrewish adulteress, she was also extremely witty and interesting in her own right. Anyone who recalls her appearences on L.A. TV shows from the 60's and 70's will still chuckle at her endless tirades, usually ending with the predictable sentence, "James was so dull."
This book actually provides convincing evidence that James *was* rather boring. Mason comes off as depressed, rigid, indecisive and inordinately unhappy. at least until he meets Clarissa, his second wife. He makes many poor choices and instead of getting over them and getting on with his life, he broods about the negative consequences of his actions. For example, he moves to Hollywood and instantly detests California and American life, yet he inexplicably continues to live in the States for another 15 years.
It is never explained why James stayed with Pamela for so many years, even when he was miserable in her presence and unhappy living in America. When he finally does divorce her, he ends up shilling out millions in alimony and making a succession of wretched movies in order to pay off Pamela.
Ultimately, the real tragedy is that a man as intelligent, urbane and handsome as James Mason (not to mention his stupendous voice!) handled his career in such a haphazard way. He was a marvelous screen actor, but wasted his talent in many potboilers. This book doesn't really explain these poor choices and doesn't reveal enough about Mason's inner life, probably because he was so unknowable. The chapters on his waning years and death were excellent, however. Because I love James Mason, I'll give this five stars, my bias showing outrageously.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's as close as you're going to get to "knowing" James 8. Mai 2006
Von Ann Albin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
James Mason's sister-in-law, Diana De Rosso, was related to this great actor by virtue of the fact that she was half sister to his first wife, Pamela. It's a sympathetic accounting of his life and relationships - far more so that Sheridan Morley's "Odd Man Out." His train-wreck of a marriage to Pam is the focal point of a good deal of the book, and when the divorce finally comes, it's extremely painful and costly to James. As a fan of his, reading this book just increased my frustration with his career choices as I feel he could have done lots more interesting film work had he been better managed or been more realistic about film making in the US. There are a few more juicy personal tidbits, but the man seemed to be basically unknowable. I wish she had gone into more detail about how he prepared himself for some of his more stellar roles. (Her telling of James practicing "counting money" for his role in Five Fingers gave me a chuckle since I had always marvelled at how he could look like he was accurately counting his bills while simultaneously holding a conversation.) This book is an absolute must if you are a fan.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wow! A Great Book. 10. Oktober 2010
Von Irene A. Strickle - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
How exciting to get a book from the well known 84 Charing Cross Book Store in London. Anything
about James Mason excites me, his movies, books, anything! Reading this book was fantastic. I
had to make myself read it slowly, rather than devouring it in one day. It was very informative.
It was well written, has some great pictures I had never seen before. It was very interesting to
read how other actors and actresses thought about him. Sounds like he was everything I expected and more.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A wonderful personal look at a great actor 5. März 2013
Von Sligocait - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
James Mason has always been one of my favorite actors. I have his autobiography, "Before I Forget", but as it was in real life with James, it is not as intimate and personal as one might hope. This book being reviewed now, written by his long-time sister in law, fills in the gaps in his own autobiography with lovely stories from life experiences with James and his first wife, Pamela, both in England in the very early days and in Beverly Hills during the turbulent '50's and beyond.
Even though the author is Pamela's half-sister, she is very fair and even leans towards James' point of view as the marriage began to crumble, and it is obvious that she and James got along well and she was very fond of him. The stories from the early days in England to the Hollywood tread mill of the 1950's are all here, as well as stories from James' life and career after he left California in the early 1960's to begin a new chapter in his life. The author writes very complimentary comments about James' second wife, Clarissa, and how his happiness with her in the last decade of his life seemed to fill a space in his heart that he had never been able to access before he met her. This is a lovely book, and if you are a fan of James Mason, it is a must-have for your collection. It has wonderful insight into this charismatic but enigmatic man from someone who truly knew him well and spent a lot of time with James and Pamela while they were married. You'll love this personal, affectionate look at a man who was far more insecure than his screen presence might suggest and who was far more talented than he ever gave himself credit for. This is a wonderful glimpse into the man who was James Mason. I loved it!
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