More than a few books have been published over the
years which fans of Genevieve may find of great interest.
Madcap Life of Kay Kendall
By Eve Golden with Kim
At the age of 30, British born
comedic actress Kay Kendall had finally
reached the pinnacle of professional and
personal success: she was Britain's biggest,
most glamorous comic star since Gertrude
Lawrence, and she stood at the altar to marry
Rex Harrison, who had just taken Broadway by
storm in My Fair Lady. But behind her dazzling
smile and growing fame was an air of tragedy.
Since her teens, Kendall had dashed madly
through life, working her way through one show
and movie after another and surviving the
distinction of appearing in the biggest
box-office flop in British history. Her private
life was even more colorful than the plots of
her films as she embarked on a series of affairs
with minor royalty, costars, directors,
producers, and married men.
Kendall finally found stardom in the 1953 comedy
Genevieve. Often compared to Carole
Lombard and Lucille Ball, she went on to score
success after success with her light style in
movies such as Doctor in the House,
The Reluctant Debutante , and the Gene Kelly
musical Les Girls.
she fell in love with her married Constant
Husband costar Rex Harrison and accompanied
him to New York. It was there that Kendall was
diagnosed with myelocytic leukemia. Harrison,
who had divorced his wife in order to marry
Kendall, agreed with their doctor that she was
never to know of her diagnosis. For the next two
years, the couple lived a hectic, glamorous life
together, despite Kendall's failing health. She died
in London at the age of 32, shortly after
completing the filming of Once More with
Feeling! , her husband by her side.
The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall was
written with the cooperation of Kendall's
sister Kim and includes interviews with
many of her costars, relatives, and friends.
A complete filmography and numerous rare
photographs complete this first-ever biography of the star with a joyous
passion for life.
MORE OR LESS
By Kenneth More (1978)
This is the story of Britain's best-loved actor, a man who for millions
epitomises the traditional British virtues of fortitude and fun.
Kenneth More is
widely known for his immensely successful films - Doctor in the House,
the immortal Genevieve, Sink The Bismark, Reach for the
Sky, The Slipper and the Rose, and a score of others. He
achieved national acclaim as Young Jolyon in the now legendary BBC
TVseries The Forsyte Saga. On stage - in The Deep Blue Sea,
On Approval, The Secretary Bird - he is one of the most
highly parised actors pf the century.
everyone thinks they know Kenneth More. But do they? Here, in this
autobiography, he tells the full, frank story of a life as vivid and
varied as any part he ever played.
His father, an
inventor, inherited two fortunes and spent them, largely on his own ideas;
and in the 1930's, among three million unemployed, his son was walking the
streets of London in search of work.
One day, passing the Windmill
Theatre, he saw above the dorr the name of the manager, Vivian Van Damm, a
former acquaintance of his father. On an impulse he walked in, asked Van
Damm for a job, and was put on to moving scenery at £10s 0d. a week. When
an actor 'feeding' a cominc fell ill, Kenneth More filled in for him for
an extra half a crown a week. From then on he decided his life lay in
front of the scenery instead of behind it.
The story of his journey to the stars is packed with anecdotes -
hilarious, outlandish, moving - including many about his six years of war
service in the Navy. His infectious sense of fun and a love of life and
his fellow men transcends many bitter and hitherto untold disappointments
and private sadnesses. The millions who have laughed at Kenneth More, the
happy extrovert, will now find another side to his character. It will
captivate them even more.
-From the dust jacket.
HAPPY GO LUCKY
By Kenneth More
What does a top film
star really earn? What is it really like
to rise from a job as a salesman in a grocery shop to
become Britain's highest-paid screen
personality? Kenneth More's
own story provides the hilarious answers.
It is a fascinating tale of laughs and thrills,
tragedy, romance- and fantastic luck.
He tells of spending every penny of a
£600 inheritance in a monumental, three-month
spree; of pulling off the bluff of inspecting
guardsmen in Newcastle, when he was only a repertory
actor; of winning a £1,250 contract
simply because he turned up for an important interview in his
shirt-sleeves; of a stormy meeting with Sir
Alexander Korda who fumed
at him: "You young puppy!"-and of the
time in New York when he was nearly killed in a
car crash while filming one
morning, yet went into hospital, was
patched up and returned to location to finish
the shot in the afternoon. Kenneth More gives intimate
glimpses of working with the big names ill show
business-Dirk Bogarde, Clark Gable,
John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Donald
Sinden and many others. And
he recounts, with many an anecdote, life
with the screen's most beautiful women:
Joan Collins, Jayne Mansfield, Marlene
Dietrich, and lovely Kay Kendall.
Told with warmth and sincerity, and above
all a tremendous sense of humour, Happy Go Lucky
is the funniest, frankest show-business
autobiography of the year.
-From the dust jacket.
by James Dillon White
Hardcover, (left) 1955,
Paperback, 1957, Pan
THE heroine of this story is at least fifty, her
body is top-heavy, and she wears a garish red
coat and a bonnet with brass trimmings. But
she is a thoroughbred-a genuine 1904
model Darracq bought by Alan McKim's
grandfather, kept running by his father and now
entered each year by Alan himself for the
Veteran Car Club's Annual Commemoration Run from
London to Brighton.
The trials and tribulations of Alan, his rival
Ambrose Claverhouse, and particularly of their
long -suffering womenfolk, have been turned into one of the most comic pictures
of all time. Now James Dillon White has written
a hilarious novel based on the Henry
Cornelius film production Genevieve
from the screen play by William Rose.
-From the dust jacket.
ME AND MY BIG MOUTH
By Larry Adler (1994)
Larry Adler is not merely a musician... he is a
great controversial, cussed, crochety, glorious legend. He is also one of
the wittiest and most formidable storytellers show business has ever
produced. Now, at last, comes the spellbinding story of his charmed life,
told to and revealed by his confidante Philip Judge. Larry takes us
through his teens, when he rubbed shoulders with Al Capone and Bugsy
Siegel in gangland Chicago. On through World War II and the crazy
front-line tours with Jack Benny. Then he tells the story of his
passionate affair with Ingrid Bergman. Larry was devastated when
he was driven from the States by the wicked anti-communist campaign of
Senator McCarthy, but he survived to laugh and play another day. In 1994,
to celebrate his eightieth birthday, the stars queued up to sing with a
living legend: Sting, Elton John, Carly Simon, Chris de Burgh, Lisa
Stansfield, Mat Loaf, Sinead O'Connor and Elvis Costello among them.
Me and My Big Mouth is a
brilliantly written, first person account of the evolution of show
business and popular music in the twentieth century. It is a book to make
you laugh out loud and to bring tears pricking the corners of your eyes.
-From the back cover.
GENEVIEVE 50 YEARS ON ROADBOOK
Mid Eastern Division Committee of Veteran Car
Services, Ltd. (Given to event participants, 2002)
GENEVIEVE 50 YEARS ON was originally conceived
as a rally to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
the making of one of the great classic British films -
GENEVIEVE . But how to celebrate? Well,
with the people, cars and club which made the film
possible, obviously, and by visiting as many of the locations used
in the film as we could find.
The film was mainly shot in four areas: Pinewood Studios; the countryside
around Pinewood; Central London; and a couple of
shots in Brighton. Fortunately for the Mid East
Section the first three of these are all within our
area, and so the team set about pinpointing
locations and setting routes to join them all together.
We will be covering some beautiful countryside and
traveling along some wonderful roads. Needless to say, on a few occasions,
we have had little option over the route to be taken and this has resulted
in using some roads we would normally try to avoid - but there is nothing
members haven't faced before and I am sure your efforts on the road will
be more than rewarded.
-From the Introduction by Stephen Curry
J. ARTHUR RANK AND THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY
By Geoffrey Macnab
J. Arthur Rank charts every aspect of the
robust film culture that Rank helped to create.
Having started out with relatively
little knowledge of the
cinema, Rank's sponsorship was to bring about
astounding progress within the industry. He
bought the Odeon and Gaumont-British
chains, made Inroads Into the American market
and founded the Rank "Charm School" to create a
British star system. He invested millions in a
radical new technique, "Independent Frame",
commissioned newsreels and children's film and
set up a "B" Feature training studio. He opened
an animation department to rival Disney and even
acquired a meteorological company so that he
could predict the weather during shoots.
Rank briefly managed to reconcile and
consolidate the competing demands of "art" and
"business" - an achievement very much absent
from today's diminished and fragmented film
industry. Macnab goes on to explain the
eventual collapse of the Rank experiment amidst the economic and political
maelstrom of post-war Britain, highlighting the problems still
facing the industry today.
-From the dust jacket
ARE THEY REALLY SO AWFUL?
By Chris Challis
CHRISTOPHER CHALLIS, a distinguished
Director of Photography, worked in the British
Film Industry for
almost fifty years and now looks back on a
career that involved him with such giants as
Alexander Korda, Michael Powell, Emeric
Pressburger and Stanley Donen.
Among the many films he photographed are: CHITTY CHITTY
BANG BANG, THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN
IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, THE TALES OF
HOFFMAN and -perhaps the most famous of them all
His compulsively readable memoirs reveal his joy
in the madness of it all and tell of the vanity
of Cary Grant; the warmth of Audrey Hepburn;
the wit of Robert Morley; the professionalism of
Sophia Loren; and the long lunches of
Richard Burton. In his preface, Christopher
Challis modestly deflects any comparison with
David Niven. Although he may not be
able to call upon empty horses, Mr.
Challis does have a ballet-dancing donkey, a
fish on drugs and an amorous stallion who took a
shine to a leading lady. ARE
THEY REALLY so AWFUL? was a question directed at Christopher Challis when
he was a young man, and referred to everyone involved in the making of
films. In retirement his answer to the question is 'Yes' - but his
delightful memoir shows that he loved every
moment of it. -From the dust jacket
VETERANS OF THE ROAD
By Elizabeth Nagle(1955)
On November 14th, 1954. the police estimated that over three million
people turned out to watch the annual London to Brighton Run organised by
the R.A.C. in association with the Veteran Car Club of
Great Britain. This must surely be the largest crowd that has ever
watched any sporting event in these islands, not excluding the Boat Race.
It is a measure of the enormous nation-wide interest-one might call it a
movement-in these sturdy, incredibly efficient and nostalgically beautiful
VETERANS OF THE ROAD; an interest that has received the august approval of
The Times, even -" The fondness for old cars has
a justification of its own. It is, as anybody knows who has talked to the
owner of one, or seen the delightful film Genevieve, a positive expression
of individualism. ..a reaction, even a protest against the foolproof,
automatic, modern car. But without the Veteran
Car Club, there would have been very few Veterans left to take the road.
The Club's energy, resourcefulness and devoted application in discovering,
preserving and restoring to standards of the utmost road-worthiness many
hundreds of early motor cars is unbelievable. In 1955 the Club celebrates
its Silver Jubilee, and to commemorate the occasion, the Club's secretary,
ELIZABETH NAGLE, has written this account of the Club's history, with the
approval of the Club's
Committee and with the aid of the Club's most extensive and invaluable
records. -From the dust jacket.
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