Jonathan Croall: John Gielgud

One man in his time

Brian McFarlane

 

John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star
by Jonathan Croall
Methuen Drama, $75 hb, 688 pp, 9781408131060

 

As the dust settles on twentieth-century acting giants, and reputations are appraised, it is at least arguable that John Gielgud emerges as the greatest. Certainly his was the longest and most varied career, spanning nearly eighty years, only death itself, when he was ninety-six, causing him to slow down. Since then his pre-eminence has seemed confirmed as one reads about him and his distinguished contemporaries.

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Published in November 2011 no. 336

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