Sarah Andreotti's Reviews > Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes

Joan Blondell by Matthew Kennedy
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it was amazing

I have seen many Joan Blondell movies and I just love her. She is such a doll in her many, many precode movies, and I can't tell you how many times I watched Grease as a child. This biography was on my wish list for a long time, so I decided it was a must-read for #classicfilmreading this summer! This is a very well researched and written book. It starts with her parent's involvement in vaudeville and ends after her death with a little summary on all of the most important people in her life. It covers her childhood travels performing around the world, getting into Broadway and Hollywood, her 3 tumultuous marriages, her children and grandchildren, her roles in films and plays throughout her life and her health struggles at the end of her life.
After reading this book, I love her even more and I was happy to have gotten such and inside look at her life. Many family members, friends and fellow actors and colleagues gave quotes and stories for this book. I was also sad for her. I felt like she had to work so hard and wasn't appreciated by the film studios like she should have been. She was a true workhorse and consummate professional, which was an immense benefit to the studios, but she was never rewarded with the kind of roles she really wanted and deserved. She had tough luck with husbands, and some rough times with her children. Many of the plays she did as she aged did not fare so well, and the films she did toward the end of her life were hit or miss. I felt like she just never quite got what she deserved after working so hard and for literally her entire life.
If you've ever seen a Joan Blondell movie, you'll certainly enjoy this book. The day I finished this book was a day of pre-code films on TCM, and I just watched her in Blonde Crazy and Footlight Parade with a totally new view and appreciation of her perfection of her craft.
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Reading Progress

June 22, 2017 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
June 22, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read (Paperback Edition)
July 13, 2018 – Started Reading
July 13, 2018 – Shelved
July 31, 2018 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Raquel (new) - added it

Raquel Joan Blondell is one of my favorite actresses too! I agree, she's a delight in everything. I've read some negative reviews of this book so I'm glad to encounter a positive one. Thanks!

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