Customer Reviews for

Robert Redford: The Biography

Average Rating 3
( 30 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Just as complex as he seems - A Must Read

    Robert Redford is more than a pretty face....he's a complex individual. When you look at the range and depth of the films he's associated with (whether as an actor or a director) it is plain to see that environmental, societal, and familial forces have shaped his "views". Here's where the story is!
    Mr. Callan does a good job of "drawing the reader in" and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    Anyone interested in what makes Robert "tick", should pick this up. Anyone who doesn't find this book fascinating should stick to reading the comic pages.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be?

    I waited so long for this book, and am so disappointed in it as a piece of interesting reporting. It's not Michael Callan's fault, either. He's a fine writer. Unfortunately, a man like Robert Redford doesn't add up to a good read. "Stubborn" and "holier than thou" are not the characteristics of an interesting protagonist. He was born gorgeous, he's quite brainy and has the interests of the planet at heart, as well as being a believer in filming good movies that make the public think. But Redford would have been well advised not to permit a biography and kept himself a mystery to his fans.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Most boring book ever

    Save your money

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    Well researched, academic, informative

    Ok, so it was the cover photo & reading a few pages in the store that were enough to hook me into buying this book. One thing I will say... the author respects his subject -- unlike several other biographers I have read in the past. Mr. Callan makes clear the number of in-person conversations he had with Mr. Redford (& I don't recall the exact number), the accesses he had to artifacts related to Mr. Redford and such. From the recitation of information in the book, it's also clear that the author does not exaggerate or manipulate his claims. In fact, he mnetions that that the book took many long years to come to fruition finally. But here's the thing about the book -- it IS like a reasearch paper, almost! And that's it's downfall; it can be somewhat dry at times, almost just a recitation of factual information. Regardless, I came to really appreciate Robert Redford as result of this book. Clearly, he is much greater than the pretty face on the screen... he mastered Hollywood and then also managed to bring the film industry to him at Sundance. I wasn't a fan particularly until I read this book. If you are interested in Robert Redford, then you will want to know the facts of his life. So this book would be for you. But if you are interested in more intimate information, then I'd say this books stays at arms length. For example, Mr. Redford's former wife & girlfriend(s) are not interviewed. But this is the respect the author gives his subject. Well done, academic read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    comprehensive

    Michael Feeney Callan's "Robert Redford: The Biography," is a chronicle of the actor's life before, during, and after his many years in movie stardom, his political activism, and struggles in personal life. I first noticed Redford when I watched "All the president's men" back when I took a journalism class. Even though the movie was pretty old by today's standards-shot in the seventies and chronicling the investigation of the Watergate scandal which left Nixon out of the office-I was intrigued by Redford's portrayal of Bob Woodward, one of the two journalists whose investigation led to the unraveling of the greatest political scandal of the decade.

    Fast forward to this book. Going into it, I knew barely anything about Redford, other than some of his acting roles. However, as a big reader of celebrity memoirs, I must note that this is one of the most comprehensive biographies I've ever read-going from a brief description of Redford's ancestors, to his childhood, the loss of his mother, the uncertainty of his adolescence, his love for travelling, an ultimate decision to get involved in acting, his first roles, the road to superstardom, divorce with his wife, the founding of Sundance institute and festival, his struggles to be taken seriously as an actor, his participation in politics-the list goes on and on.

    It must be said that Redford worked with some of the best actresses of his time: Barbra Streisand (who had a crush on him during filming "The way we were,") Nathalie Wood (the relationship bordered somewhere between friendship and intimacy), Elizabeth Ashley (whose theater run with Redford ended in a nervous breakdown), and Meryl Streep (whose casting into "Out of Africa" co-starring Robert Redford, was contingent on her ability to portray "sexy"-something the producers initially doubted she could do, despite her acting talent). Redford also has the pleasure of co-starring with male heavy-weights such as Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, and nearly Titanic/Avator director David Cameron (before the movie production was scrapped due to financial reasons).

    Callan avoids assumptions, scandals, and any other kind of unsubstantiated claims-instead choosing rightly to focus on Redford's career and his world view. The reader gets detailed stories behind Reford's involvement in classics like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Candidate," and "All the president's men." To contrast his career hallmarks, Callan also includes the personal details of Redford's life-his early relationship with ex-wife Lola, a devoted Mormon, the medical struggles of his only son, the fight to keep the Sundance Institute afloat, and the evolution from Robert Redford the actor to Robert Redford the director. I left this book with a full portrayal of Robert Redford the person.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Very disappointing.

    I wanted to read about Robert Redford's personal, FAMILY and movie life, not all about all his activism. When I read the sample of the book, the author stated that Mr. Redford opened up everything to him including all his personal papers, etc. I thought this would be an interesting read and found it to be a bunch of this happened and then that happened. Very poorly written in my opinion.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Disappointing in many ways

    I guess I should get used to getting my bubble burst when reading celebrity biographies, especially those whom I've enjoyed from afar for many years. Of course, celebrities are human (duh), but watching them fall of their perches of stardom when they prove they're just the same as "regular" folks is a bit disconcerting. That said, the book itself is too detailed. It describes just about every move Redford made before his birth till now. Not sure if I was up for that and am glad I got the book from the library; not worth purchasing in any form. The only reason I stuck with it was to hopefully read something applicable. Nada. The pictures are nice, family background is helpful, but knowing that Redford and his wife sacrificed their family for separate activism fights was sad. Their son almost lost his life because of mixed diagnoses, and it appeared as if his parents were distant until it became an emergency. Not the type of picture I was ready to see.

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