From the Publisher
“A true page-turner” David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor
“A real addition to film culture (and the culture of the Cold War), complete with the treatment for an unmade movie so vivid that it practically sears the mind's eye.” J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“John Wranovics revives...a whole lost age, full of emigre intellectuals, hard-drinking Greenwich Village authors and a number of quite surprising villains.” Stephen Whitty, Star-Ledger and Newhouse Newspapers
“Wranovics does an excellent job of bringing Agee, and his times and his politics, to life. Even those not particularly interested in the novelist will find it an absorbing enough read. Those who are interested in the era, and scholars of Agee and Chaplin, will find the book to be a small treasure.” BookReporter.com
Film critic James Agee's unabashed hero worship of Charlie Chaplin is obvious to any reader of his work of collected criticism, Agee on Film, or the preface to his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Death in the Family. Rare for his time, Agee championed film as the most important art form of the 20th century and, according to first-time author Wranovics, felt that in his sympathetic portrayals of the everyman, Chaplin's "little tramp" "represented the fully human individual, uncorrupted by technology and politics." This book tells the story of Chaplin and Agee's unlikely friendship, forged via letters, and their personal trials and tribulations. In most ways, the two men were temperamental opposites: Chaplin was precise and fastidious in his personal habits, while Agee was notoriously sloppy and seemingly oblivious to his physical and financial well-being. The author highlights some fascinating, little-known vignettes, but the narrative seems padded even at its brief length; Agee and Chaplin's stories are never fully merged in a satisfactory manner. Including a heretofore unpublished screenplay by Agee, this book is a strong optional purchase for academic film and literary collections.-Stephen Rees, Levittown P.L., PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.