Carol Reed: A Biography

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September 23, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

British film director Reed is so unfamiliar to Americans that we don’t know Carol is a masculine name. Yet Sir Carol (knighted by Queen Elizabeth) won two Oscars, placed first at Cannes, and helmed more than 30 films, including Oliver!, The Third Man, and The Agony and the Ecstasy. He was also the director who couldn’t deal with Marlon Brando long enough to finish Mutiny on the Bounty in Tahiti, where Brando’s unruliness and countless sexual escapades (an assistant was reportedly assigned to help him avoid the island’s rampant venereal diseases by getting women tested in advance) annoyed Reed. But Reed also had peccadilloes: not only did he conceal his illegitimacy, but to facilitate his own liaisons he even offered his wife in adultery to actor Michael Redgrave. Wapshott dexterously culls histories, recollections, and autobiographies to produce this lively biography of a director too accomplished and intriguing to be forgotten. A-

Carol Reed: A Biography

type
Book
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author
Nicholas Wapshott
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Carol Reed: A Biography

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