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If you are looking for lots of fabulous photos of Hollywood icon Cary Grant, without too much insight into his films or life, this makes for a nice coffee table book.

Book Review: Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures Edited by Yann-Brice Dherbier

Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures, edited by Yann-Brice Dherbier, is a mostly enjoyable coffee-table book collection of images of the iconic Hollywood leading man.

“The critics,” says Grant, have often accused me of playing myself on screen. But that is much more difficult than they think.”

Using an assortment of black and white and color candid and publicity shots of the star, as well as some movie posters and film stills, fans of Grant will wish the volume was even more jam-packed with photos — and more substantive information about the actor.

The book includes a filmography, listing the more than 70 films in Grant’s long and illustrious career, as well as a short chronology of his life. The photo credits show that the source of the majority of images included in Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures are from Getty Images, Magnum Photos, the Library of Congress, and other archives.

The book has a nice, bold graphic look to it, with photos interspersed with quotes from people who worked with Grant, like directors Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, but most sections feature well-known quotes from the star, including,

“I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I finally became that person or he became me.”

The opening essay by editor Yann-Brice Dherbier gives a brief outline of Grant’s life, career, and marriages, and his transformation from Archibald Leach into superstar Cary Grant. Film buffs may be put off however, by a text which is unfortunately riddled with typos, and even includes a few mistakes, such as a misidentified woman in a photo caption.

Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures is not intended for anyone who wants an in-depth look into the star’s life, or a critical analysis of his films, but rather a pleasant pictorial reminder of the man’s style and elegance.

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