Claire Dodd, Nancy Carroll, Gloria Stuart
Zachary Scott, Gloria Dickson, John Hodiak
Paula Raymond, Edward Norris, Karen Morley
Marian Marsh, Richard Greene, Jean Parker
Our friend Dan Van Neste, author of The Whistler: Stepping into the Shadows and The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Times of Ricardo Cortez, reviewed here, has been thinking of us this festive season.
If you have been wondering what to get the film aficionado in your life, be they burgeoning or fans of long-standing, wonder no longer! That unique and interesting book with a unique and interesting angle has just fallen into your lap. They Coulda Been Contenders: Twelve Actors Who Should Have Become Cinematic Superstars, published by Bear Manor Media also works as the answer when someone asks you what you would like for a gift.
The visions of a successful Hollywood career brought many talented people to the studios. The vagaries of luck, of timing, of "a break" kept many an actor spinning their wheels in the industry; of just coming short of their goal. Decent and respectable careers may have resulted, but they didn't become household names. Known, of course, to fans of the Golden Era of film, we would be hard-pressed to find anyone at the morning bus stop willing to engage in a conversation about Edward Norris or Claire Dodd.
Dan's extensive knowledge along with his respect and admiration for his fascinating subjects is on display in this fascinating page-turner. His thorough research which includes many interviews fills in the blanks and adds to our knowledge of these many actors who command our attention and our curiosity.
They Coulda Been Contenders focuses on the twelve actors pictured on the book cover with biographical details and features a second section with detailed filmographies for our ever-lengthening "must watch" lists. The only problem you will have is how to enjoy the book. Do you skip right to John Hodiak or start on page one and immerse yourself? All problems should be this difficult!
Note: My review copy was received from Bear Manor Media.
They Coulda Been Contenders is available in 3 formats: Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover