BN.com Gift Guide

W. C. Fields: A Biography [NOOK Book]

Overview

The legend of W. C. Fields has persisted for more than half a century--the gin-guzzling misanthrope about whom Leo Rosten famously said, “Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.” But there was another Fields, the man behind the character of the red-nosed card sharp, who wrote, directed, and performed in some of the most enduring comedies of all time, including "It’s a Gift," "My Little Chickadee," and "The Bank Dick."

Fields’ ...
See more details below
W. C. Fields: A Biography

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$5.99
BN.com price

Overview

The legend of W. C. Fields has persisted for more than half a century--the gin-guzzling misanthrope about whom Leo Rosten famously said, “Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.” But there was another Fields, the man behind the character of the red-nosed card sharp, who wrote, directed, and performed in some of the most enduring comedies of all time, including "It’s a Gift," "My Little Chickadee," and "The Bank Dick."

Fields’ career spanned the whole of the 20th Century--first in burlesque, then vaudeville, the legitimate stage, silent pictures, talkies, radio, books, and recordings, and only death prevented him from moving into the promising medium of television, where he found an entirely new audience in the turbulent 1960s and 70s. He was one of the cultural icons surrounding The Beatles on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band." In 1980 he was honored with his own postage stamp.

Now James Curtis reveals the man behind the myth, telling the story of Fields’ life and work as it’s never been told before. With exclusive and unrestricted access to the Great Man’s papers and manuscripts, he shows us the passion and intellect that fueled Fields’ creative drive, and the broken family that gave such a bitter edge to his comedy. Drawing from interviews with over 50 friends and co-workers, as well as the comedian’s own recently-discovered notes for his autobiography, Curtis vividly details Fields’ Philadelphia childhood, his first tentative steps as a performer, his arduous climb to the very pinnacle of show business, and his struggle to regain his footing once talking pictures had seemingly put an end to his career. He also shows the evolution of one of the world’s most recognizable figures, whose nasal voice and shifty mannerisms helped make him, in the words of James Agee, “the toughest and most warmly human of all screen comedians.”

"W. C. Fields" is a singular work of research and scholarship that is certain to stand as the definitive biography of one of America’s greatest humorists.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Jacket Copy - John Cleese
“The definitive book about America’s most profound comedian. James Curtis examines all the myths and stereotypes connected with W.C., and comes up with a fascinating, sympathetic, but utterly convincing picture of a man who was generous yet stingy, who was both a dream and a nightmare to work with, who could be warm or distant, who meticulously planned each word and gesture, and yet who, whatever happened, managed to ad lib something hilarious."
San Francisco Chronicle - Tom Nolan
“Fields’ remarkable career, and the melancholy private life that accompanied it, are chronicled superbly in James Curtis’ vivid and engrossing W.C. Fields. There have been other books about Fields, of course, but none seem so richly detailed nor so scrupulously researched... The result is a fully dimensional portrait that does ample justice to its one-of-a-kind subject."
New York Times - Richard Schickel
“This is by far the fullest, fairest, and finally most touching account of this sad, solipsistic life that we have yet had. Or are likely to have, given that we now live in a world wherein comedy shamelessly, endlessly sues for our affections instead of starkly alienating them.”
The Austin Chronicle - Will Sheff
"Aching with real pain but never demanding sympathy, Curtis’ loving evocation of W.C. Fields is fascinating, heartbreaking, and very funny indeed.”
Cineaste - Robert Cashill
“It is to the credit of biographer James Curtis, author of esteemed volumes on directors James Whale and Preston Sturges, that in this new volume he slices through the flab of fiction and finds a stronger, more compelling, and infinitely more poignant vein of fact."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013218642
  • Publisher: James Curtis
  • Publication date: 10/3/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 593
  • Sales rank: 362,370
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

JAMES CURTIS is the author of W.C. Fields: A Biography, which was awarded the Special Jury Prize by the Theatre Library Association and named one of the Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. He is also the author of Spencer Tracy: A Biography," "James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters," and "Between Flops," an acclaimed biography of writer-director Preston Sturges. He is married and lives in Brea, California.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Place Where Cats Send In News

    This is where the cats will send in juicy info. This is also where we gather new recruits.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)