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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019 6 months ago

'Making Montgomery Clift' dispels the myths of the beloved actor's past

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The powerful documentary, screened at the 2019 Sarasota Film Festival, was directed by Clift's nephew, Robert A. Clift, and Hillary Demmon.

"Making Montgomery Clift" is a fascinating and extremely personal documentary directed by his nephew, Robert A. Clift and Hillary Demmon. It lends vast insight into the actor's commitment to his craft and highly publicized inner conflicts.

If you've ever seen "A Place in the Sun" or "Judgement at Nuremberg" you've witnessed the immense talent that Montgomery Clift possessed. It was unlike any other actor's in the history of filmmaking. And he was as unconventional on screen as he was off. Clift played by his own rules, never kowtowing to the Hollywood studio system. He didn't have to.

 

On the other hand, accounts of Monty's personal life have been riddled with rumors, speculations and downright lies. Robert A. Clift, in an effort to correct the misconceptions, makes public the tapes that his father, Brooks Clift, made of his conversations with Monty. They're brutally honest, exquisite in detail and without them, we may never have learned the truth about this brilliant human being.

Archival film footage, vintage photographs and TV interviews are dazzling to watch. Monty was as intelligent as he was astoundingly beautiful. His wit was dry, off the cuff and charming. He knew what he wanted. He lived "out of the closet" and could be brutally honest. So honest that he managed to piss off director John Huston, which led to a lawsuit and Monty not making another film for four years. 

Photo courtesy Film Inquiry

But most of those who knew Monty, loved him ... women and men. Most famously, he and Elizabeth Taylor were best of friends. Jack Larson, better known as Jimmy Olsen ("Adventures of Superman"), was also close to Monty and provides wonderful stories about their relationship in the film. 

Montgomery Clift made less than twenty feature films before his untimely death at age forty-five in 1966. He received four Academy Award nominations ("Judgement at Nuremberg," "From Here to Eternity," "A Place in the Sun" and "The Search"). His two favorite films were "The Young Lions" and "Judgement at Nuremberg." "Making Montgomery Clift" dispels the myths of Clift's past and shines light on the man who "loved life" and stole our hearts.

"Making Montgomery Clift" was screened at this year's Sarasota Film Festival. 

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