Frank McLynn

‘Gracie, Of Course!’

High Society: Grace Kelly and Hollywood

By

Hutchinson 236pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Grace Kelly makes an interesting entry in any encyclopaedia of Hollywood. Born into a family of wealthy Philadelphia Catholics, she went her own way, was a top model at twenty and a movie star shortly afterwards. What makes her interesting as an icon is that she was one of those rare celluloid women (Catherine Deneuve is another) who bridged the divide between beauty and sex appeal. Actresses who are beautiful (Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, etc) tend not to be sexy, and the sexy ones (Angie Dickinson, Inger Stevens, etc) often fall short of real beauty. This partly explains why Grace Kelly was always popular with both men and women. Never much of an actress, she had the good fortune to be a Hollywood ‘pet’ and to work with directors of the calibre of Ford, Hitchcock and Fred Zinnemann. She was Hitchcock’s favourite actress, and he rated her even above Ingrid Bergman – though Ingrid undoubtedly has the edge when it comes to filmography. All three of her Hitchcock films (Spellbound, Notorious and Under Capricorn) are masterpieces but only one of the Kelly movies is (Rear Window). Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief are mere ‘entertainments’, to use the Graham Greene term. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,