Sitting Pretty by David L. Smith
The Life and Times of Clifton Webb (Hollywood Legends)

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Synopsis

More than any other male movie star, the refined Clifton Webb (1889-1966) caused the movie-going public to change its image of a leading man. In a day when leading men were supposed to be strong, virile, and brave, Clifton Webb projected an image of flip, acerbic arrogance. He was able to play everything from a decadent columnist (Laura) to a fertile father (Cheaper by the Dozen and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker), delivering lines in an urbanely clipped, acidly dry manner with impeccable timing. Sitting Pretty is his remarkable story.

Long before his film career began, Webb was a child actor and later a suavely effete song-and-dance man in numerous Broadway musicals and revues. The turning point in his career came in 1941 when his good friend Noël Coward cast him in Blithe Spirit. Director Otto Preminger saw Webb's performance and cast him in Laura in 1944.

Webb began to write his autobiography but said he eventually had gotten "bogged down" in the process. However, he did complete six chapters and left a hefty collection of notes that he intended to use in the proposed book. His writing is as witty and sophisticated as his onscreen persona. Those six chapters, information and voluminous notes, and personal research by the coauthor provide an intimate view of an amazingly talented man's life and times.

 

About David L. Smith

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David L. Smith is Fellow, Director of Studies in History and Graduate Tutor at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His previous publications include Parliaments and Politics During the Cromwellian Protectorate (as co-author, Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Royalists and Royalism During the Interregnum (as co-editor, 2010).
 
Published May 17, 2011 by University Press of Mississippi. 278 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sitting Pretty

New York Journal of Books

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“Sitting Pretty is filled with enough anecdotes to keep movie fans happy and intimate details enough for gossip fans as well.”

Jul 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Sitting Pretty: The Life and ...

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