By Michael Lindsay-Hogg
From acclaimed director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (The general middle, The Beatles’ Let It Be, Brideshead Revisited, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, etc.), son of glamorous Warner’s celeb Geraldine Fitzgerald: a paranormal dreamscape memoir of his boyhood, coming-of-age, and making his approach within the worlds of theater, movie, and tv.
Lindsay-Hogg’s father, an English baronet from a relations whose cash got here from the China alternate, lived in eire and was once hardly noticeable by means of his son. The author’s stepfather was once the scion of the Isidor Straus fortune, co-owner of R. H. Macy’s; Straus went down with the Titanic, and the author’s stepfather used to be, sadly, fortune-less.
The author's mom, Geraldine Fitzgerald, the redheaded Irish seductress who gained speedy acclaim as Bette Davis’s ally in Dark Victory and in William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights, hung out with Hollywood’s elite—Laurence Olivier, Charles Chaplin, and Orson Welles, with whom she labored in big apple on the Mercury Theater and in different productions.
Lindsay-Hogg writes of the way he wented his method into this unique, mysterious, and seductive international, encountering as a small boy the likes of Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst, enjoying hide-and-seek with Olivia de Havilland, serving beverages to Humphrey Bogart, discussing existence with Henry Miller.
on the book’s heart, an offhand remark made to Lindsay-Hogg by way of his mom, whilst he used to be 16, approximately speak circulating (false, she claimed) that she had had a romantic courting with Orson Welles (Fitzgerald and Welles had lived jointly at his domestic in Beverly Hills) and that Welles, rumor had it, used to be Michael’s father (“It’s no longer true,” she stated. “You understand how humans placed and jointly and get 3 . . .”).
That was once the top of the dialog. (“It’s time for mattress . . . you could have college within the morning . . .” she said.) For Lindsay-Hogg, it unfolded a complete new realm of his lifestyles. He was once eternally replaced by means of the knowing—of now not understanding.
Interwoven all through his narrative is the portion of wondering who his father was once. was once he the shopper saint of yank photos, the mythical genius of the 20 th century, Orson Welles, a continually inconsistent individual in Michael’s existence . . . or was once he the guy who thought of himself Michael’s genuine father? What did his “father” recognize? What did Welles recognize? And what did his mom understand to be real (she had introduced the writer as much as think that she consistently informed the truth)? And while could she inform her son what the reality used to be . . .
As Lindsay-Hogg struggled to make experience of all of it, questions of neglected probabilities, conversations by no means had, questions of what's withheld and what's precise took root, dogging him, shaping his lifestyles . . . questions nonetheless, that hang-out and tell this relocating, deft, and illuminating memoir.
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Extra info for Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond
After a while, the rehearsal of this scene and another stopped. My mother found me and brought me to meet the young man with the dark-framed glasses. ” “Michael,” he said, shaking my hand, as if I were an old friend, an equal in some way. “I’m so glad you could come down here,” Sidney Lumet said. “We’re going out for a sandwich. ” We all walked to a large Jewish deli on Second Avenue where the actors had sandwiches and pickles and tea in glasses as they discussed what they were working on. After, I had to go home and they went back to rehearse into the evening.
Friends” was not a word to describe the relationship between Orson and Jack. They had broken their partnership bitterly. “It wasn’t so much that he threw a table at me,” Jack had told my mother. ” That summer, 1956, I had one line in The Taming of the Shrew and felt I was on my way. Two Then I was back in school, this time in New York and, on holidays, going on acting auditions and doing extra work, and had come to the conclusion that the surname I had was not useful for an acting career and found myself putting other choices on a pad.
1 Photo booth, 1957. 1 Drawings from my mother’s diary, 1943. 2 A poem by my mother. 1 Me, age twenty. 1 Telegram from Orson, 1941. 2 With my mother, Santa Monica, 1944. Prologue As a small boy, even though my empire existed only in my head, there I was Michael, one name, as a King or a Prince of the realm might be known. Not Mike, not a nickname, but Michael. And I had an army. I would deploy my toy soldiers in spare regiments, not having that many, and sometimes from a purloined matchbook advertising a restaurant my parents had frequented I’d strike a match and, because war has its perils, melt off a lead leg or arm from the little grenadier, once setting alight the field of cotton wool I’d laid down to represent the snow on the Russian steppes.