Conrad Veidt Retrospective
by Shirley Conway. Cassell. Paperback.
There were two books published
about Conrad Veidt during 1993, one of which
was Jerry C. Allen's revised centenary edition of his earlier biography CONRAD
VEIDT FROM CALIGARI TO CASABLANCA. Unfortunately, Allen's edition tended to
overshadow Mrs. Conway's tribute making it impossible for her to find a publisher that
would release her book. This is indeed a great shame since it is well written, contains
certain rare illustrations and should be a treasured possession of anyone with an interest
in early cinema.
It is clear that Mrs. Conway is a Veidt
devotee and a woman who has taken great pleasure and care in researching her subject. She
has even travelled to Germany and experienced first hand the places that Veidt used to
call home including the Deutches Theater and the place he was born. Although they never
met, Shirley Conway is able to give the impression that they were on first name terms, and
all this is without the benefit of interviews with any surviving relatives. The
photographs are impeccably reproduced and the cover, a drawing by the talented Albert
Leonard, gives compliment to the written contents.
Shirley Conway knows her subject very well
indeed and is able to put into words her knowledge in an informative and highly
entertaining manner. Proof of her ability can be seen by reading her valuable
contributions to various film journals on several different film personalities.
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