In this Book

Sitting Pretty
summary
More than any other male movie star, the refined Clifton Webb (1889-1966) caused the movie-going public to change its image of a leading man. In a day when leading men were supposed to be strong, virile, and brave, Clifton Webb projected an image of flip, acerbic arrogance. He was able to play everything from a decadent columnist to a fertile father , delivering lines in an urbanely clipped, acidly dry manner with impeccable timing. Sitting Pretty is his remarkable story. Long before his film career began, Webb was a child actor and later a suavely effete song-and-dance man in numerous Broadway musicals and revues. The turning point in his career came in 1941 when his good friend Noël Coward cast him in Blithe Spirit. Director Otto Preminger saw Webb's performance and cast him in Laura in 1944. Webb began to write his autobiography but said he eventually had gotten "bogged down" in the process. However, he did complete six chapters and left a hefty collection of notes that he intended to use in the proposed book. His writing is as witty and sophisticated as his onscreen persona. Those six chapters, information and voluminous notes, and personal research by the coauthor provide an intimate view of an amazingly talented man's life and times.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Foreword
  2. p. ix
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xv-2
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  1. Chapter 1. The Noses Have It
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. Chapter 2. First Vision of a Name in Lights
  2. pp. 19-30
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  1. Chapter 3. Art and Opera
  2. pp. 31-41
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  1. Chapter 4. Making Progress and Moving Up
  2. pp. 42-54
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  1. Chapter 5. Dancing into Xanadu
  2. pp. 55-73
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  1. Chapter 6. To Europe in Search of Adventure
  2. pp. 74-82
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  1. Chapter 7. In Love with Jeanne Eagels
  2. pp. 83-102
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  1. Chapter 8. Great Plays, Then the Great War
  2. pp. 103-129
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  1. Chapter 9. The War Starts, Blithe Spirit Leads to Laura
  2. pp. 151-156
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  1. Chapter 10. More Movies, More Parties, and Garbo
  2. pp. 157-183
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  1. Chapter 11. A Top Box-Office Draw
  2. pp. 184-205
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  1. Chapter 12. Stars and Stripes Forever
  2. pp. 206-222
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  1. Chapter 13. Clifton and Mabelle, Together Forever
  2. pp. 223-231
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  1. Stage Appearances
  2. p. 232
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  1. Filmography
  2. pp. 235-238
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 239-244
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 245-257
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