Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On a Claire Day

Sometimes it seems as if author Derek Sculthorpe can write a book in the time it takes me to run to the post office, or decide what to have for dinner. But you know what really gets my goat? Sculthorpe, who's now released four books about the ladies and gentlemen of film noir, isn't just fast, he's good. Very good.

His latest, Claire Trevor: The Life and Films of the Queen of Noir (McFarland), is an intriguing study of the actress whose finely etched performances were integral to such classics as Key Largo and Murder, My Sweet. Sculthorpe takes us behind the scenes of Trevor's films and introduces us to a smart, self-aware woman who managed her career with care and savvy. (Itching to escape from a B-movie rut in the 1930s, the actress said of her studio's bread-and-butter pictures, "I know all about why they are necessary. I just don't want to be in them!")  He also calls our attention to some noteworthy Trevor performances you may have missed.

You might be wary of meeting some of the tough, ruthless dames Claire Trevor played onscreen. But you'll enjoy getting to know the real Miss Trevor in this compelling, rigorously researched yet readable book.

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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