A journalist whose work has appeared in the Village Voice, Film Quarterly, and elsewhere, McKinney aims for a nuanced portrait of all-American actor Henry Fonda. What ghosts haunted the man considered upright by some and icy by others?[Page 54]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this comprehensive study of Henry Fonda's life and work, McKinney (Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History) reveals a solitary man thrust into the public eye by riveting films like The Grapes of Wrath, The Lady Eve, Mister Roberts, and 12 Angry Men. One of America's greatest actors, Fonda touched audiences even as he endured personal tensions and turmoil. Craving independence and immersed in the acting lifestyle, he found little comfort in family. He had five marriages and three children, Jane, Peter, and Amy, but his work always came first. In this biography of the actor, McKinney crafts a psychological account of a mysterious American icon. VERDICT Those interested in the intimate lives of the stars will appreciate the attention to detail and richness of research. Highly recommended for readers looking to complete their old Hollywood education. [See Prepub Alert, 5/1/12.]--Rochelle LeMaster, Medina Cty. Dist. Lib., OH[Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
McKinney (Magic Circle: The Beatles in Dream and History) follows Henry Fonda's path from his Omaha origins to Hollywood heights. Throughout McKinney examines the contradictions in Fonda's persona from all angles: "His ego has usually manifested itself as aloofness; now it is an animal thing--prowling the dark wood, savage, protective of its territory." Film critiques probe the influence of various events on Fonda's performances (such as the suicide of his wife Frances); McKinney views what he calls his "psychological biography" as an effort to capture "a broad, deep, comprehensible sense of Fonda, the essence of his life and the weight of his work." Writing in the present tense, McKinney's self-conscious style often distracts readers from his subject. His need to tinker with ordinary language produces some oddities; rather than write "TV set," he substitutes "entertainment appliance." Despite much evident research into Fonda's tragedies and triumphs, in the end, McKinney undermines his own narrative with gimmicks. 14 b&w photos throughout; two 16-page b&w photos unseen by PW. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC