|Sophia at the AFI tribute to her, November 2014, see below|
I did not care for the cover of this new book at first and felt it should be a more recent photograph of Sophia as we know her now, but actually it is very appropriate from her great late '50s era.
She gives us nice comments on the likes of Burton, O'Toole, Alec Guinness, John Wayne, Peck etc. and one can see who she did not get on with too - Charlton Heston is only mentioned twice in passing, as is my favourite: EL CID, surely one of her most iconic roles - dismissed in one line, whereas she goes into detail on most of her other films!
She couldn't possibly include everyone she has worked with of course, but some directors are not mentioned at all, like Anthony Mann or Stanley Donen, nor co-stars like Clifton Webb, Tab Hunter, Peter Finch, Jack Hawkins, Alan Badel or Brian Blessed, nor camera ace Jack Cardiff (who wrote revealingly about her in his memoir MAGIC TIME on when they were shooting LEGEND OF THE LOST, as I have mentioned before here, Loren/Cardiff labels), but there is quite a lot on her early days in Italian films and the directors (like Blasetti and Lattuada) she worked with then.
Just two errors I noticed: a photo from ARABESQUE is captioned as being directed by Chaplin, when of course it was Stanley Donen; and the Peters get mixed up at one stage, Ustinov instead of Sellers.
She is very discreet on Peter Sellers who became obsessed about her. The Cary Grant saga is nicely handled too. Brando gets short shift as well, and there's a delicious story about lunch at Audrey Hepburn's place (basically a lettuce leaf with garnish... Sophia had to make a sandwich when she got home!) She is frank on some of the films as well: THAT KIND OF WOMAN was not much of a success, despite being directed by the genius Sidney Lumet, and she learned a lot from Cukor on HELLER IN PINK TIGHTS which she now likes a lot. We finally find out what she did as an extra on QUO VADIS: she is one of the handmaidens tossing flowers at a victorious Robert Taylor, while her mother carries a big basket on her head - one may spot them next time one sees it then ! At least a decade or so later she was headlining her own epics!
Here is my first publication on Sophia: a 1958 fan magazine, 64 pages on her life to then, I collected all that series, being 12 at the time, and still have the Sophia and Dirk Bogarde ones!