By Michael Lindsay-Hogg
From acclaimed director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (The common middle, The Beatles’ Let It Be, Brideshead Revisited, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, etc.), son of glamorous Warner’s celebrity Geraldine Fitzgerald: a paranormal dreamscape memoir of his boyhood, coming-of-age, and making his means within the worlds of theater, movie, and tv.
Lindsay-Hogg’s father, an English baronet from a kinfolk whose funds got here from the China exchange, lived in eire and was once hardly ever visible by way of his son. The author’s stepfather used to be the scion of the Isidor Straus fortune, co-owner of R. H. Macy’s; Straus went down with the Titanic, and the author’s stepfather used to be, regrettably, fortune-less.
The author's mom, Geraldine Fitzgerald, the redheaded Irish seductress who received rapid acclaim as Bette Davis’s ally in Dark Victory and in William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights, hung out with Hollywood’s elite—Laurence Olivier, Charles Chaplin, and Orson Welles, with whom she labored in big apple on the Mercury Theater and in different productions.
Lindsay-Hogg writes of ways he wented his approach into this unique, mysterious, and seductive international, encountering as a small boy the likes of Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst, enjoying hide-and-seek with Olivia de Havilland, serving beverages to Humphrey Bogart, discussing lifestyles with Henry Miller.
on the book’s middle, an offhand remark made to Lindsay-Hogg by means of his mom, while he was once 16, approximately speak circulating (false, she claimed) that she had had a romantic courting with Orson Welles (Fitzgerald and Welles had lived jointly at his domestic in Beverly Hills) and that Welles, rumor had it, was once Michael’s father (“It’s no longer true,” she stated. “You know the way humans placed and jointly and get 3 . . .”).
That was once the tip of the dialog. (“It’s time for mattress . . . you have got university within the morning . . .” she said.) For Lindsay-Hogg, it unfolded an entire new realm of his existence. He used to be ceaselessly replaced by means of the knowing—of no longer understanding.
Interwoven all through his narrative is the component of wondering who his father was once. was once he the shopper saint of yank images, the mythical genius of the 20th century, Orson Welles, a constantly inconsistent individual in Michael’s existence . . . or used to be he the fellow who thought of himself Michael’s actual father? What did his “father” comprehend? What did Welles understand? And what did his mom comprehend to be real (she had introduced the writer as much as think that she regularly instructed the truth)? And while may she inform her son what the reality used to be . . .
As Lindsay-Hogg struggled to make experience of all of it, questions of ignored possibilities, conversations by no means had, questions of what's withheld and what's actual took root, dogging him, shaping his lifestyles . . . questions nonetheless, that hang-out and tell this relocating, deft, and illuminating memoir.
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Additional info for Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond
And I had an army. I would deploy my toy soldiers in spare regiments, not having that many, and sometimes from a purloined matchbook advertising a restaurant my parents had frequented I’d strike a match and, because war has its perils, melt off a lead leg or arm from the little grenadier, once setting alight the field of cotton wool I’d laid down to represent the snow on the Russian steppes. Fortunately, Mary was there to help me put it out. ” So, by what cruel twist of fate had I become Pudge Hoag?
I tried it as an autograph a few times and found I could do it with an elegant flourish. I went down to the living room where my mother was nursing an after-dinner drink, a vodka and water. ” I asked my mother. ” “It’s sort of … unwieldy, don’t you think? ” My mother pursed her lips, which was a sure sign that something did not sit right. My mother and Orson Welles in Heartbreak House, 1938. She was then twenty-five, he, twenty-three. ” She paused again, another sip, and continued. “The thing is, some people think Orson and I had an affair and that he’s your father.
Don’t you worry about anything,” he said. ” He left and went back to Virginia and Chrissie next door and I, alone in the kitchen, finished my beer. Thirty or so years later, Charlie Lederer died as a result of addiction to heroin. My mother had an affair with the great photographer Robert Capa. The images from the wars he covered are unforgettable. She was to tell me about Capa when I was much older and said, although she loved him, he was too unreliable for her. My mother and me taken by Robert Capa, 1942.