Marion Meade is the author of several biographies, including Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? She lives in New York City.
Buster Keaton: Cut to The Chase: A Biographyby Marion Meade
Buster Keaton (18951966) was a brilliant comedian and filmmaker who conceived, wrote, directed, acted, and even edited most of his ten feature films and nineteen short comedies, which are perhaps the finest silent pictures ever made. With a face of stone and a mind that engineered breathtakingly intricate moments of slapstick, Keaton has become an icon of
Buster Keaton (18951966) was a brilliant comedian and filmmaker who conceived, wrote, directed, acted, and even edited most of his ten feature films and nineteen short comedies, which are perhaps the finest silent pictures ever made. With a face of stone and a mind that engineered breathtakingly intricate moments of slapstick, Keaton has become an icon of the American cinema. Marion Meade's definitive biography explores his often brutal childhood acting experiences, the making of his masterpieces, his shame at his own lack of education, his life-threatening alcoholism, and his turbulent marriages. Based on four years of research and more than 200 interviews with notables such as Billy Wilder, Leni Riefenstahl, Gene Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Irene Mayer Selznik, as well as members of Keaton's family who had previously refused to discuss him, Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase is a startling and moving account of the troubled life of a cinematic genius.
- Da Capo Press
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Despite many pages of footnotes, its obvious Meade didn’t bother to do much research for this book. She claims that Keaton was illiterate though this theory is easily disproven with even the slightest amount of research. (He kept a meticulous diary, was a paid writer of MGM for a 14 year period, he kept a journal during WW1, he studied Army manuals and learned Morse code, he was a cryptographer during WW1 which requires a high degree of literacy and intelligence.) She claims he was abused as a child, but ignores the fact that the Keaton’s were monitored by the Gerry Society. The Gerry Society never found any bruises or evidence of abuse. She describes Keaton as an extreme egotist, yet all other sources describe him as a modest and generous man. How did this book get past the publisher? Why was it published? People don’t appreciate being lied to by biographers. I would recommend Keaton by Rudi Blesh, Buster Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn’t Lie Down by Tom Dardis, Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat by Edward M. McPherson, or Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy by Imogen Sara Smith. All of these are far superior to Meade’s train wreck.