All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

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All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by webmaster » 15 Nov 2018, 11:12

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All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson Hardcover – December 4, 2018
by Mark Griffin (Author)

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

The definitive biography of the deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Devastatingly handsome, broad-shouldered and clean-cut, Rock Hudson was the ultimate movie star. The embodiment of romantic masculinity in American film throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, Hudson reigned supreme as the king of Hollywood.

As an Oscar-nominated leading man, Hudson won acclaim for his performances in glossy melodramas (Magnificent Obsession), western epics (Giant) and blockbuster bedroom farces (Pillow Talk). In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Hudson successfully transitioned to television; his long-running series McMillan & Wife and a recurring role on Dynasty introduced him to a whole new generation of fans.

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Heaven- ... 0062408852
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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by Musiclover » 15 Nov 2018, 22:38

Thanks for this info about the new Hudson bio, Bryan. I am familiar with Mark Griffin's name as an author of children's books. If it is the same Mark Griffin who wrote this book, the genre is quite a departure for him. Will be eager to read it.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by jmichael » 16 Nov 2018, 16:07

I have already ordered my copy from Amazon. Cannot wait.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by Jas1 » 21 Nov 2018, 10:52

I look forward so much to this. Just got my Michelle Obama book - and so look forward to getting into that too.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by webmaster » 05 Dec 2018, 07:50

As I said in Banners, All That Heaven Allows - A Biography of Rock Hudson, is now out and you can get the audiobook free if you join Audible (the first book is free) www.audible.uk or www.audible.com etc. Although I gather most of you will be reading it.

Just listening to it, it's very frank about his sexuality (from his teens) and has an excellent narrator. I got to around chapter five last night where's he's just made All That Heaven Allows, what surprised me is how many B pictures he made and how long it took him before he finally got recognised - and how hard it was for him to learn acting, compared to Doris who's on record as saying, "From the first take onward, I never had any trepidation about what I was called upon to do. Movie acting came to me with greater ease and naturalness than anything else I had ever done”. Rock found it terrifying and almost gave up several times.

So far, I'm very impressed! It's very informative and straightforward, if that's the right term in this case!
I don't think it's the same author as the one who writes children's books, Judy.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it - I don't want to reveal too much at this stage.
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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by jmichael » 05 Dec 2018, 09:11

I downloaded it to my iPAD last night but haven't started reading it yet.

Will report back soon though.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by jmichael » 06 Dec 2018, 07:58

I started it last night. The book is well written and exhaustively researched with convincing sources to back it up. Agree that the author is very forthcoming about Rock's sex life. As one of the contributors mentioned, the single biggest mystery in Rock's life was his "marriage" to Phyllis Gates. Her version does not square with what others recall about their brief time together.

I still have a long way to go but so far the great lesson here is: living an authentic life is essential to happiness.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by jmichael » 07 Dec 2018, 00:26

Bryan,

Like you, I was surprised at how difficult acting was for him at the beginning. Had he not craved stardom and been willing to do almost anything to achieve it, we may have gotten Tab Hunter or Tony Curtis as Brad Allen. Think about that for a minute. His struggle was so different from Doris, who said acting came easily to her. Rock was not a natural actor by any stretch of the imagination. He had to keep working at it until he finally became confident in front of the camera. And he was stuck doing walk-ons and bit parts in B movies for several years, while Doris was already an established star at Warner Brothers. He wanted success badly, whereas Doris sort of fell into it.

It seems clear that everyone in the industry knew he was gay but he managed to keep his personal affairs private until the end of his life. People speculated about him but there was such a lack of general awareness about gay people, that the public bought the persona he created on screen. Only when Confidential magazine threatened to expose him did his agent push him into an arranged marriage with Phyllis Gates in order to save his career and protect the agent’s investment in him.

A very interesting read thus far.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by jmichael » 11 Dec 2018, 14:31

I finished the book a few days ago.

This is the most objective, thorough and illuminating book about Hudson so far.

A lot of the information isn't new but the author went deeper when he recounted familiar stories. I thought his insight into the abuse and abandonment that Rock suffered as a child was disturbing and revealing. The author showed how those scars never healed and how certain patterns of behavior kept repeating themselves throughout Rock's life. This laid the groundwork for understanding how easy it was for him to cover-up his private life. He learned early on to keep his mouth shut and never reveal his true feelings about anything. The book made it clear why it was a necessity for Rock compartmentalize his life. Many people quizzed Doris about knowing if he was gay or not and some reacted with skepticism when she said she didn't know. Rock didn't share that information with anyone outside his inner circle of friends, who were mostly gay or on his payroll. Even then, he never opened up about his true feelings or shared what was going on inside. Everyone "knew" about his sexuality but he never discussed or confirmed it with his colleagues.

Rock was universally liked throughout the industry. He comes across a nice guy who was accessible and made others feel comfortable in his presence. With one glaring exception, his leading ladies adored him and he forged solid friendships with most of them. He never put on airs or played the big star. It's easy to understand why Doris connected so strongly with him. They both came from modest midwest backgrounds and remained grounded in spite of their superstardom.

Although reams of copy has been written about him, there are significant areas of his life that remain mysteries to this day. There is no consensus on his marriage to Phyllis Gates and Rock's closest friends differ with her version of the relationship.

Rock was far more driven to be a movie star than Doris was. Much of his self-esteem was rooted in his career and he wanted desperately to be taken seriously. He had difficulty relinquishing stardom toward the end of his career and accepted roles in inferior projects because he wanted to keep working. I don't think he was able to relax or slow down because he was afraid the truth would eventually catch up with him. I think he was terrified that someone might expose the truth and everything he achieved could vanish in an instant.

The book was a real page turner and I hope the film adaptation will be good too.

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Re: All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

Unread post by Jas1 » 12 Dec 2018, 12:51

Thanks Michael for the great review- have ordered mine.

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