O.K. You Mugs is an unusual collection of essays--a book full of writers writing about actors without once making cracks about their relative intelligence. It is a wildly varied collection that jams deadly serious film critiques up against swoops of poetry, but all the pieces are united by a genuine love of cinema--be it Dave Hickey's ode to Robert Mitchum's eternal cool or Manny Farber's bracingly crabby essay on the death of real acting in movies. In a refreshing change of pace, character actors are given just as much space as leads, if not more. Homage is paid to both to Thelma Ritter's solid but always welcome screen persona and the quiet genius of Margaret Dumont, the remarkably dignified dowager in the Marx Brothers movies. The best pieces will send you straight to the video store--Greil Marcus's essay on the chameleonic evil of J.T. Walsh will have you eagerly rewatching a half-dozen terrific oh-he-was-THAT-guy! performances with renewed appreciation. John Updike's "Suzie Creamcheese Speaks" is also a revelation, exploring the surprisingly tough and pragmatic private persona of screen good girl Doris Day. An entertaining and thought-provoking collection for actors and movie fans alike. --Ali Davis
In this superb collection of essays edited by Luc Sante, author of Lowlife, and Melissa Holbrook Pierson, writers as diverse as John Updike, Patti Smith, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic pay to homage the famous and the lesser known actors (some megastars, some lesser lights) who illuminate our Hollywood dreams.
From a side-splitting tribute to Elmer Fudd to an earnest lament at the absence of great fat actors today, O.K. You Mugs is a dazzling anthology that focuses on those remarkable talents who gave some of the most memorable performances in the history of Hollywood. These essays are sure to delight any reader who claims to care about the movies.
Including: o Jacqueline Carey on Margaret Dumont o Dana Gioia on Movie Fat Men o David Hajdu in Elmer Fudd o Greil Marcus on J.T Walsh o Patti Smith on Jeanne Moreau o Charles Simic on Gene Tierney o John Updike on Doris Day
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