Hi there all,
This is just a quick summary of my thoughts on the latest ollie reed book; a copy of which i won from a competition on this website some months ago, (on the date i send this post)
I have to say that on the whole, i liked this book!
Having read Cliff Goodwin's biography on Oliver, it was great to just read a book purely about his career. The focus is not on Oliver's apparent alcoholism; it is a very honest and (for the most part), unbiased review of his career. I would say however that it was slightly dissapointing to see one or two films that the authors could not attain a copy of, "One Russian Summer" being one of them. strange considering i have watched this film myself and it was one of ollies better performances in my opinion.
Other films, (which i will not list here), also proved to be either impossible or nire on impossible to attain a copy of. At the end of the day however this was always going to be the case, because many of the films were quite forgettable. So if i had to give a raiting, it would be about 8/10!
The other point i would like put out there, is that this book is almost a kind of biographgy in itself. whilst the authors are honest and unbiased, they do acknowledge the fact that Reed's refusal to go to hollywood and his excessive drinking simply took their toll on his career in a big way. Several statements from actors quoted in the book also testify to this, so it's inevitable that the decline of the man's career was in fact due to missed oppurtunities and a few bad choices, (both professionally and personally).
I felt as if i was going on a journey reading this book, and by the end i felt so sorry that Olivers later career resulted in a canon of bad films, and only a handful of notable appearances, (Proximo in "Gladiator" possibly being one of his best). And yes, the circumstances of his death were deeply unfortunate and of course saddening.
If you are a passionate Oliver Reed fan or even if you require referance, then this book should be on your shelf next to all the other books about him.
On the hole, great book and thank you to the administrators for your generous gift to me through the competition.