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The Memory of All That: Love and Politics in New York, Hollywood, and Paris
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The Memory of All That: Love and Politics in New York, Hollywood, and Paris

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Memory of All That, The: Love and Politics in New York, Hollywood, by Blair, Betsy
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Knopf
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(showing 1-30 of 137)
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Nanette Bulebosh
I learned about this book after reading an end-of-the-year tribute to the under-rated actress Betsy Blair in the NYT Magazine. (She was among those who died in 2009). In this 2003 memoir, she looks back on her fascinating life, including happy marriages to the brilliant actor, dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly and, later, French director Karel Reisz, frequent socializing with Hollywood's brightest stars, and her growing interest in leftist politics. She has many stories to share about Hollywoo ...more
I have to admit to being a fan of old Hollywood memoirs and biographies, but this book is merely okay. I read it because of Betsy Blair's relationship to Gene Kelly (they were married for fifteen years), and Blair self-indulgently uses this as an excuse to discuss her own activities as a relatively minor actress and political activist. And, seriously, who cheats on Gene Kelly?
Nicely written, intriguing story about Hollywood's awkward age of the blacklisty, tv-competing '50's. (And how one actor decided to go to Paris instead.) More personal, fewer anecdotes (probably could have used more, in fact). Not everyone's cup of tea, but if this is your area of interest, why not?
I have always loved Gene Kelly - although never as much as a former co-worker back when I was in college. This woman referred to herself as "an older woman who sees the world differently" because she was "born in the age of analysis". One day she came in to work, dressed in black shawls, crying hysterically because Gene Kelly had died and she insisted that she had been married to him. It was a complete bunch of hoo hah and the woman must have had rocks in her head. Especially since Gene Kelly WA ...more
I read this book mainly for the bits about Gene Kelly, which which occupied well over half of the book. It was an ex wife's point of view, but I think that time had mellowed the animosity she may or may not have felt for Gene at the time of their divorce. I struggled a bit with how I felt about Betsy. For most of the book, she was out of touch with reality, except that it wasn't quite that. And it wasn't that she was young and then grew up. I still can't place my finger on what I disliked about ...more
As one of the reviewers stated, Ms. Blair comes across as smug. The book is a litany of her accomplishments, her acquisitions and her friendships; all of which she never would have experienced had she not met and married Gene Kelly when she was a very young woman. After the first few chapters which chronicled her meeting and falling for Kelly, it was just plain boring.
May 21, 2008 Graceann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Memoir Fans
Shelves: memoir
Please see my detailed review at Grace's "Memory of All That" Review

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This book could have earned five stars if it had been more organized. The lady lived through a lot, and I was not able to put the book down once I started it, but I did get frustrated with how she skipped around in the narrative. Still worth the time and effort, however, especially for those interested in stories ab
This was a very interesting book about Hollywood in the 40s. It's truly a biography so you don't get a whole picture but it's still interesting. Like most biographies, the author is pretty self centered and there are a couple places I wish she would have expanded on. The end of the book is about her experiences in the European film industry which I admit I skimmed through.
just grabbed it off the shelf as abe was not cooperating at the library and am surprised by how much i like it. i feel it might start me on a biography binge.
Joanne Woodhead
A true insight in to Gene Kelly's life given by his first wife. A great read for Gene Kelly fans.
Nancy L.
Y'know, I felt sorry for Gene Kelly. Something about Betsy Blair - the smugness, probably - grates.
This is the memoir of Gene Kelly's first wife, and it is amazing so far.
Made me fall in love with Gene Kelly
Gina C.
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Well written, little insight 1 2 Oct 04, 2011 04:16PM  

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