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Two Poems

Alice Friman

22 September 1994
... on the floor. Still, I am always practising. Eating my dinner, writing out cheques – under my table one and two and step slide together. No matter. I still have bad dreams: I am dancing with SteveMcQueen, my mouth level with the base line of his throat counting my steps to the warm tick-tick of the music when from across the room the head of the philosophy department comes barrelling down with Joan ...

Show People

Hugh Barnes

21 February 1985
So Much Love 
by Beryl Reid.
Hutchinson, 195 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 09 155730 5
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Knock wood 
by Candice Bergen.
Hamish Hamilton, 223 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780241113585
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... glittering hundreds. Sir Richard Attenborough is the common factor. Bergen was his co-star in a film called The Sand Pebbles, shot on location in the Far East. Out of hours, while the other actors, SteveMcQueen amongst them, were busy getting drunk and chasing women, Dickie (bless him) was ‘acquiring art and informing himself on the island’s politics, making underground contacts with the ...

Sack Artist

Clive James

18 July 1985
... early without fail – Preserve his mystery with a getaway. He is the perfect stranger. Humbler grades Of female don’t get even a brief taste – With Errol Flynn fenced in by flashing blades And SteveMcQueen in aviator shades It always was a dream that they embraced. Sheer fantasy makes drama from the drab, Sweet reverie a slow blues from the bleak: How Cary Grant would not pick up the tab, Omar ...

Beefcake Ease

Miranda Carter: Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen

14 January 2002
Robert Mitchum: Solid, Dad, Crazy 
by Damien Love.
Batsford, 208 pp., £15.99, December 2001, 0 7134 8707 0
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Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don’t Care 
by Lee Server.
Faber, 590 pp., £20, October 2001, 0 571 20994 7
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McQueenThe Biography 
by Christopher Sandford.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £16.99, October 2001, 0 00 257195 1
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... At the height of SteveMcQueen’s fame in 1968, after a run of huge box-office successes – The Sand Pebble, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt – it was Robert Mitchum, his elder by 13 years and a star for more than twenty, who ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘12 Years a Slave’

6 February 2014
12 Years a Slave 
directed by Steve McQueen.
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... For much of the time SteveMcQueen’s 12 Years a Slave strikes a curiously stately rhythm, as if it didn’t want to be a movie but an art exhibition or a class in design. The frame fills with colours and lines, gold, green, black ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flashman

9 May 2002
... of the Movies, among other Matters’, which has a certain Old English alliterative charm. The memoirs of the movies are mostly anecdotes about Hollywood Legends, the likes of Burt Lancaster and SteveMcQueen – we don’t glimpse much of the men behind them, or indeed of the women beside them. Fraser has written a number of screenplays, including Octopussy, The Three Musketeers (the one with ...

Say thank you

Clive James: Witty Words in Pretty Mouths

23 May 2002
Fast-Talking Dames 
by Maria DiBattista.
Yale, 365 pp., £19.95, June 2001, 0 300 08815 9
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... by someone else: we would rather think of them as being brilliant, or at any rate interesting. I myself, who have been hanging around show business for most of my life, am apt to talk of how tough SteveMcQueen was in Bullitt. Reality says that SteveMcQueen never did anything tough in Bullitt beyond working his usual shit-heel trick of stealing 16 pairs of new trousers from the wardrobe budget ...

Vehicles of Dissatisfaction

Jonathan Dollimore: Men and Motors

24 July 2003
Autopia: Cars and Culture 
edited by Peter Wollen and Joe Kerr.
Reaktion, 400 pp., £25, November 2002, 1 86189 132 6
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... of collision or fatigue, the debris of life in the fast lane. Autopia takes in motor racing, but only in passing, and only because of the fascination with it of such Hollywood stars as James Dean and SteveMcQueen. Racing appears the most absurd outgrowth of our fascination with the car: drivers hurtle around in circles, at the limits of adhesion. Some lose control and end up dead, mutilated or ...

The Last Hundred Days

Peter Wollen: Kassel’s Mega-Exhibition

3 October 2002
Documenta 11 
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... Pettibon in California, together with Stan Douglas, Ken Lum and Jeff Wall, all born and based in Vancouver. London fared well, too, with artists such as Kutlug Ataman, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, SteveMcQueen and Yinka Shonibare; while Pierre Huyghe, Annette Messager and others are Paris-based. Germany was represented by a number of established artists, such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hanne ...

Seeing Stars

Alan Bennett: Film actors

3 January 2002
... Henry Fonda or Joan Fontaine? How do you start a conversation with Judy Holliday and not mention Born Yesterday (an error I fell into)? How be casual with Katharine Hepburn or do anything but gaze at SteveMcQueen? My best plan, I found, was to make a mental note of who was there so that I could write home that night, then go and get some food at the vast buffet and gracefully retire. But it often ...

Diary

Paul Myerscough: Confessions of a Poker Player

29 January 2009
... costs. London’s remaining unlicensed cardrooms, meanwhile, have been keeping their heads down. If the only time you’ve seen poker played is in The Cincinnati Kid, you’ll have watched SteveMcQueen lose everything to Edward G. Robinson in one hand of five-card stud; if your family played around the kitchen table when you were a child, it’s likely the game was five-card draw. But if you have ...

Cutty, One Rock

August Kleinzahler: My Big Bad Brother

21 August 2003
... face and doesn’t blink, that sort of thing. Poker fulfilled that role for him, I think. Check out The Cincinnati Kid some time. My brother liked that one. He liked the book better, but he liked the SteveMcQueen character in the film, the gambler, the five-card stud player, the Kid who comes to town to take on the Man (Edward G. Robinson). My brother liked the notion of being the Kid, the hard living ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan

29 June 2016
... tailored jacket and jeans, with a blue-edged pocket square in his breast pocket, a scarf and brown brogue boots. He was 47 but looked about 29. There was something studied about him – the Alexander McQueen scarf, the lawyerly punctilio – and I’d never met anyone who spoke so easily about such large sums of money. When I asked him the point of the whole exercise he said it was simple: ‘Buy in ...

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