Review by Jack Foley
FOR many film fans, Steve McQueen represents the epitome of cool.
Even in death, he remains an icon for the youth of today and his
appeal is as unwavering now as it was in his heyday, when the
actor was starring in films such as Bullitt, The
Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair and Papillon.
Steve McQueen, by his long-time friend William Claxton (an acclaimed
photographer best known for his photos of the LA and New York
Jazz scene in the late 40s), is as compelling an insight into
the private life of the star as anything which has appeared so
far and a genuine must have for any fan.
Featuring over 100 black and white and colour images of the star
at the beginning of his movie career in the 1960s, this is a fascinating
insight into the life of a man who has been described as maverick,
a rebel, a tough guy, a loner, a daredevil and a "US original.
Packed with anecdotes and memories from Claxton, the book also
features some breathtaking action shots of McQueen with his motorcycle
buddies (he liked to race Triumphs in the desert), in his fast
cars, and with his leading ladies and fellow actors.
But the book is not just about McQueen the rebel, it also features
McQueen at his most sensitive and personal, casting light on a
wonderful sense of humour and his perfectionism. Many of the photographs
have never been published before, so fans wont feel short-changed,
even if the price seems a little high.
And if the photos arent enough, then there are the anecdotes,
featuring stories of how McQueen used to abuse cars by driving
them around until they were virtually broken.
On one occasion, he pushed a vehicle so far that it caught fire
while he and Claxton were still behind the wheel, forcing them
to jump from it before it exploded.
Steve McQueen is one of those books which just keeps getting
better (nearly every photo would make a classic poster), and it
would make an ideal present for any fan.