52 books challenge

The Elephant to Hollywood

The Elephant to Hollywood – Michael Caine


Oh look! An autobiography!
When I was younger I always wanted to be an actor and there were two people that I always credit as being the inspiration behind that. The first is Shane Richie because he was in the first show I ever saw at the theatre (Grease, he played Danny in case you were wondering). The second was Michael Caine. The reason being that I was from a very poor working class background and had massive glasses and so did he. I think I found him a little easy to relate to because of that. We even sounded the same so I guess I sort of decided that if he could do it I could.

Well, he’s a world reknown movie star and I barely act at all now so that’s how that panned out.
Still didn’t stop me considering him as an icon of cinema or asking for his new book for Christmas.

Anyway, The Elephant to Hollywood is the second autobiography from Michael Caine. It does recount a few tales from the previous once but mostly picks up from where “What’s It All About?” left off.

I really enjoyed this, I generally love autobiographies anyway, but even I’m the first to admit that they can make the subject sound very big headed. This is one of the ones that doesn’t, although a lot of names are dropped it isn’t done in a boastful way, and to be honest, reads as though Michael is rather surprised that he hasn’t been forgotten yet.
Also the way in which he talks about his love of his wife and family are genuinely heart warming and made me smile like a loon pretty much the whole way through. The way in which he and his wife met is really magical as well.

There’s a whole section on the history of Hollywood and the studios which is incredibly interesting for anyone interested in films at all. As well as that which was pretty much enough for me to keep reading and see how Michael’s story intertwined with Hollywood’s, he’s included a list of his favourite films of all time, his favourite films from his own back catalogue and a few of his own recipes (he likes to cook as you will find out if you have a read.) which I thought was a nice touch because it just came across as being down to earth. It made me think of something my Grandad would do if you asked him to write down a few memoirs.

His whole view on todays society as a 77 year old man made good reading as well, especially when discussing his film Harry Brown. After reading this I think people will find it very difficult to dislike Sir Michael Caine and definitely think anyone with a interest in films should give it a read whether or not you like Michael Caine.


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