Charles Boyer: The French Lover [Hardback]

John Baxter (Author)

ISBN: 9780813155524 | Published by: University Press of Kentucky | Series: Screen Classics | Year of Publication: 2021 | Language: English 298p, H229 x W152 (mm) 54 b&w photos

Charles Boyer


For generations of film and theatre audiences, Charles Boyer was the archetypal Frenchman - cultured, courteous, seductive, yet never quite at home in a culture not his own. Even his murmuring baritone voice echoed that loss, giving him the very essence of romance. While one might have expected that the real-life Boyer was a playboy and serial seducer, in reality, he was intensely private, thoughtful, and fidelitous in love - and very professionally astute.

The Great Lover is the first biography of Boyer to exist in English in almost forty years. In an insightful analysis of Boyer's choice of roles during and after World War II, author John Baxter reveals how Boyer, realizing his accent would always mark him as an outsider, both embraced and subverted that identity. Baxter relates how Boyer established himself in the theatre and cinema of France, confidently transitioning from silent film to sound and making a name for himself as a romantic leading man in Hollywood through the early 1940s. During World War II, Boyer put his career on hold to become politically active on behalf of his occupied home country. Upon returning to acting, Baxter shows how Boyer adapted effortlessly to postwar character roles in both Europe and the United States. He entered television in the 1950s as producer and performer, and then remade himself as a comedy performer in the 1960s. A four-time Academy Award nominee, he was honored by the Academy only once for his activities on behalf of France during World War II. Far from clinging to the performances that made him famous, Boyer showed a readiness to break the mold. Yet above all, Baxter argues that Boyer's greatest achievement lies in being the embodiment of exiles everywhere.

Table of Contents

The Eyes of a Stranger
All Quiet on the Western Front
On the Road
To Be Famous and To Be Loved
On Trial
Ufa and After
A Ride on the Carousel
The Boyer Type
The Love of His Life
The Japanese Sandman
Think American
The Sleeping Prince
"Only God and I Know What Is In My Heart"
The Best Head Waiter in Europe
Immortal Longings
Lazy and Hot and Happy
"Come With Me To The Casbah"
Sex on the High Seas
The Gathering Storm
Blood, Toil, Sweat and Tears
The World's Best-Dressed Governess
The War at Home
A Voice Singing in the Snow
The Golden Door
The Most Popular Frenchman in America
Love and Death
Not What It Looks Like
Love in a Cold Climate
Stranger in a Strange Land
"Why, this is Hell, Nor Am I Out of It."
No Fixed Place of Abode
One Star Short
Superficially Superficial
Great Body, Beautiful Soul
Sins of the Father
Men of Distinction
The Calm Before the Storm
Man and Boy. Michael
Fade to Black
The Rold of a Lifetime

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