Monday, October 6, 2008
Ernie: The Autobiography
Ernie: The Autobiography
by Ernest Borgnine
My favorite quote: "I've gone from a working stiff who didn't want to set the world on fire, who just wanted to keep his nuts warm, to where I am."
I just finished reading Ernie's autobiography and gee was it swell! Written in a conversational style, you feel like Ernie is sitting right down next to you telling you in person the stories of his life and his movies. He's upbeat all the way through. Some have criticized this as being a major flaw in the book, but I think it just makes it more authentic. Ernie's a happy-go-lucky Italian guy who's led a long and interesting life and why wouldn't the writing reflect that? Why do biographies and autobiographies always have to be down and dirty tell-alls? Grab a nice hot beverage and snuggle up to a book that will keep you in high spirits as you take a journey through the life of one extraordinary hard-working and upbeat actor!
I only have one critique to make. And it's not about the book or its author (or ghost writer if there is one). It's a critique about myself. I haven't watched enough Ernest Borgnine films!!! I would have enjoyed the book more so if I had been more familiar with his films. The book is laid out with a unique structure. The first few chapters are about his childhood and his family. Once you get into the chapters about his film career, they are sections within each of the chapters. Each section is dedicated to one of his films and it goes through many of them. Ernie will chat to you about his unique experience with each film and the directors and actors he works with. He doesn't bad mouth anybody. If anything, he feels sorry for the folks he didn't like or he watched fall. So die-hard Ernest Borgnine fans (or at least those people who have seen enough of his films), this book was written for you!
You get such lines like "I had a helluva time", "Believe me, I'm not complaining", "you bet your life!" He won my heart when he said that he loved Bob Mitchum and lended his support to get Mitchum an honorary Oscar before he passed away. It didn't end up happening, but the fact that Ernie was rooting for him won me over. I heart Ernie. Ernie even addresses his ex-wife Ethel Merman's biography, which had a chapter in it called "Ernest Borgnine" followed by a blank page. He said "at least she didn't say anything bad about me".
This is not your average biography. This is probably the closest you'll get to the real thing. So go out and buy a copy! Now!!!