Elizabeth and Monty is the only nonfiction book that focuses on the long relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. It tells the story of an unusual and intense relationship in a specific time and place: The 1940s -1960s New York - Hollywood, with a backdrop of the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
This book details the uncommon (for the era) but intense relationship between Hollywood’s most married leading lady and most closeted leading man. Encompassing many artistic highs and personal tragedies, it’s a relationship that awakened areas in both their lives and caused them to grow as artists and human beings.
Other nonfiction books that take a close look at compelling Hollywood relationships are Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine (Graymalkin Media; Reprint edition 2017); The Genius and the Goddess by Jeffrey Meyers (University of Illinois Press); Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love by C. David Heymann (Thorndike Press); Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman (Simon & Schuster); and An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy by Christopher Andersen (William Morrow).
On a secondary level, ELIZABETH AND MONTY offers an entertaining history lesson emphasizing the great changes that have taken place in society over the past seventy years. While it would have been career suicide for Montgomery Clift to be open about his sexuality, being gay is now accepted in Hollywood. Artists now don’t have to keep their romantic lives hidden and are free to speak out about their beliefs and causes on social media.
Elizabeth Taylor was a frank woman who lived her life her way, setting the rules as she went along. Her candor and success contrasts the way most actresses were treated in her day. The “me too” movement has changed the rules for women in the business now. Taylor’s career formed in a male dominated industry stands for the importance of independence and free-thinking.
There has been no major book on Montgomery Clift since the biographies Patricia Bosworth and Robert LaGuardia published in the late 70s. Periodically there is substantial interest in Monty’s life when a biographical movie is announced. At first Tom Cruise expressed an interest in paying Monty and more recently Matt Bomer announced that he is interested in playing the role.
Although quite fascinating, the entire story of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift is relatively unknown. Old movie fans may be familiar with the bare bone facts of their relationship, but the intricacies and nuances within the details of their lives will be fully explored. You won’t have to be a movie fan to related to the tale of passion, friendship, success, and tragedy.
Praise for Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon
“This biography from Casillo fleshes out the icon, telling Monroe’s tale in great and often harrowing detail and showing how the notorious blond pin-up was smarter and shrewder than most realize, yet just as tragic as we knew.”
―New York Post, “Most Unforgettable Books of 2018”
“A refreshing take on the complex and talented Monroe….A+.”
―Tulsa Book Review
“Casillo explores the myriad facets of Monroe’s personality with a respectful but incisive eye…an intricately nuanced portrait of this misunderstood idol…A worthy addition to the Monroe canon.”
“A well-written examination of the mystique of a woman who still fascinates decades after her untimely death.”
“A deep dive into the model and screen legend’s glamorous but troubled life…[Casillo] pays particularly sympathetic attention to her emotional journey…a compelling exploration of a beguiling film icon’s life.”
“Extraordinary…. Castillo’s sympathetic and psychologically nuanced Marilyn Monroe bio is compulsively readable and well researched.”
“After all I’ve seen and heard about Marilyn Monroe, this book is a revelation, an earthy, empathic vision of a real woman who happened to be an ethereal goddess. Getting to know Charles Casillo’s Marilyn made me feel a level of identification and understanding that was devastating and thrilling.”
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