BEVERLY HILLS—Jennifer Jones was truly an American icon, who made such an impression on moviegoers, that to this day she’s known by millions. There is not a Catholic boy who watched her in “The Song of Bernadette” who didn’t fall in love with her. My late client Anna Lee adored her, and Jones did “Portrait of Jennie,” which was written by Anna’s last husband prolific author and writer Robert Nathan. From Republic Studios to Selznick Studios, Jones was a modest but very good actress. Born in 1919, Jones almost died years before her time, when she in a very depressive state tried to take her own life, but she died in 2009, decades after her suicide attempt.
Jennifer Jones was one of the most beautiful women ever on the screen, who stardom chose her, not the other way around. She worked with all the legendary leading men, from John Wayne to Gregory Peck. She and Peck remained very close friends until he died a few years earlier than she did. Virginia based biographer and film and television history buff, Paul Green is one of the best authors today. His latest book “The Life and Films of Jennifer Jones” is truly a magnificent journey from birth to the life, famous career and quiet death of an American icon.
The Life and Films Jennifer Jones
Friend and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne does a wonderful job with the foreword. He spoke warmly of his first meeting of Jones and the effect she had on him as well as the dozens of people in a hotel lobby who all turned around to see who this striking woman was, who was walking to Osborne in the lobby of a famous Beverly Hills hotel. Even though many of the people did not know Jones, because it had been years since she was on the screen, they actually knew innately that she was a star, as her beauty remained so glowing throughout her entire life. An admired mother, friend and advocate for the mentally ill, Jones worked just as hard to help others as the studios and executives worked to make her a star. She truly gave back what she was given, and then some.
Green captures the allure of Jones and in within his 270 page tome, he brings the screen idol Jennifer Jones back to life. Not only in his very mesmerizing and professional way of writing; a writing style that seems to be flawless in every way. But he also has dozens of the most unforgettable on screen, publicity and candid as well as personal photos of Jones that just reminds the reader why we are so invested in this unforgettable Hollywood superstar.
The structure of Paul Green’s book is just perfect. Reading it is effortless and very entertaining. Paul’s conversational writing style makes you feel as if you are in that dark room with Jones when she decides to call her doctor to tell him that she’s checking out, so to speak. You also feel as if you are on the stage floor when she gets her Academy Award and you feel the depth of respect this award worthy biography embodies. Green’s respect for Jones is so evident, not crass and tacky like many biographies are today. This one belongs in every film school’s library, on the top of the list for must read biographies. With the holidays on the way, you simply cannot find a better book to put in someone’s stocking than “The Life and Films of Jennifer Jones.”
This book captures in a very concise and readable way the life, loves and losses of a woman who we will never forget. This book is also something you will never forget. Its author’s critical eye and mind for details cannot be compared to any other. Paul Green hit this biography out of the proverbial park.
“The Life and Films of Jennifer Jones” is a McFarland Publishing biography.
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