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Don't fall off the mountain (edition 1971)

by Shirley MacLaine (Author)

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182465,058 (3.27)6
Member:edwinbcn
Title:Don't fall off the mountain
Authors:Shirley MacLaine (Author)
Info:New York: Bantam Books
Collections:Read but unowned, Read All Time, Read in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:Enlglish Literature, American Literature, Biography, Travel, Kenya, India, Japan, Buthan, Hollywood, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty, American Theatre, American Film, CASS

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Don't Fall Off the Mountain by Shirley MacLaine

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Don't fall off the mountain is the first autobiography by Shirley MacLaine (1934), describing her youth, early career and travels up to about 1965.

Shirley MacLaine, sister of Warren Beatty, describes her youth of hardship and hard work to achieve success. Early in her career she was asked to stand in for an actress who had to give up her role in the musical The Pajama Game in 1954, and MacLaine, totally unprepared, and quite unexpectedly performed so well, that she was immediately rocketed into stardom, and signed a contract with an agent. In the same year she married Steve Parker, whom she had met in 1952.

In 1955 she started her film career in a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. For her role in this film and subsequent films she won several awards, bringing her fame and wealth.

They lived for a while in Tokyo, where their daughter Stephanie Sachiko Parker was born. However, with Steve permanently living in Tokyo, and Shirley unwilling to settle in Japan and take on the role of house wife, she started dividing her time between work in Hollywood, and her husband in Japan; a long-distance relationship that gradually took on the character of not just being physically long-distance, but spiritually as well.

Her work, preparing for roles in films, took her to study up-close the life and work of prostitutes in Paris (for the film Irma la Douce) and travels to China, the Southern States, and Thailand.

Gradually, MacLaine started spending more time traveling, to discover her own identity and open her mind. This lead to extensive travel to live with a Masai tribe in Kenya, and travels to India and Buthan.

In the final chapters of Don't fall off the mountain (the title refers to her husband's warning to be careful in the Himalayas) MacLaine describes her sojourn in Buthan and the military upheaval in Buthan, which indicate that this part of her travels must be dated to 1964 /5.

An interesting and sincere, well-written biography, which is also interesting from the point of view of anthropological notes about Japan, prostitution in Paris, the Masai of Kenya, and the history of Buthan. As Buthan is and was a very closed country, in may well be that Shirley MacLaine is one of the very few, if not only, Western eyewitness of the political upheaval in that country in 1964/5. ( )
1 vote edwinbcn | Jan 2, 2013 |
I like all of her books, fits right in with my mystical period and I miss that time a lot ( )
  dbree007 | Apr 3, 2009 |
  anlor43 | Apr 15, 2007 |
The first and the best of Shirley Maclaine's books ( )
  latinobookgeek | Mar 9, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553274384, Paperback)

"I've always felt that I would never develop into a really fine actress because I cared more  about life beyond the camera than the life in front  of it. Over the years my search became broader and  broader. After two months on a picture my car  seemed to veer toward the airport of its own accord. I  still loved acting and enjoyed it. I was a  professional, but basically I was more interested in the  people I played than the movies I played them  in... " -- Shirley MacLaine.

An  outspoken thinker, a keen observer, a truly  independent woman, Shirley MacLaine takes us on a  remarkable journey into her life and her inner self. From  her Virginia roots, to stardom, marriage,  motherhood and her enlightening travels to mysterious  corners of the world, her story is exciting and  poetic, moving and humorous-the varied and life-changing  experiences of a talented, intelligent and  extraordinary woman.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:45 -0400)

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