Film Review: A Star is Re-Examined in ‘Making Montgomery Clift’

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CHICAGO – Montgomery “Monty” Clift was an enigma as a “movie star” from the minute his image reflected from the silver screen. Dark and intense, he exhibited a inner ferocity that was unmatched from any other actor of his era, including Marlon Brando. Because of the enigma, his persona has often been mischaracterized, and he died young in his mid-forties. His nephew Robert Anderson Clift seeks to revitalize the authentic Monty in the new documentary “Making Montgomery Clift.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Essentially, before this film, Monty Clift’s life was defined by two very popular biographies that came out in the late 1970s… “Monty” by Robert LaGuardia and “Montgomery Clift: A Biography” by Patricia Bosworth. The Bosworth bio has been praised as one of the must-read profiles of a major star, but both books advance the notion that Clift had one of the “slowest suicides” in Hollywood history. Robert Anderson Clift wanted to find something else, something about the uncle he never personally knew, and why Clift’s life obsessed his father (and Monty’s brother) Brooks. What is revealed in this fascinating overview is that the Montgomery Clift the human being was much more complex than the “slow suicide” star.

Clift was born in Nebraska in 1920, and lived a upper middle class life of private schools and travel. He was enamored with the stage during high school, and made his Broadway debut in 1935. For the next 10 years he rejected offers from Hollywood, as he honed his actor’s craft in theater. He finally capitulated, and made his film debut at age 26 in Howard Hawk’s “Red River.”

What followed was a streak of memorable roles in “From Here to Eternity,” “The Heiress,” “A Place in the Sun” and “Raintree County.” In 1956, he was involved in a serious car accident, which required many facial surgeries. His post accident career was less showy, but included “The Young Lions,” “The Misfits” and “Judgement at Nuremberg.” He died at age 45 of a heart attack.

“Making Montgomery Clift” opened on November 2nd in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 North State Street – part of “Spotlight: Montgomery Clift.” Directed by Robert Anderson Clift and Hillary Demmon. Not Rated. Click here. for more details.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Making Montgomery Clift”

Monty1
A Candid Portrait in ‘Making Montgomery Clift’
Photo credit: The Film Collaborative

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Making Montgomery Clift”

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