The Passion of
Although fans are often said to "worship" or "idolize" stars, Montgomery Clift sparks reactions so extreme that his fans describe him in terms approaching religious ecstasy. Trying to articulate decades later how deeply moved they were when they first encountered the actor in films such as "Red River" (1948), "The Heiress" (1949), "A Place in the Sun" (1951), and "From Here to Eternity" (1953), Clift's fans struggle to express the indescribable. According to one, Clift had a "face of almost impenetrable beauty." For another, "His beauty was so sensual and at the same time so vulnerable it was almost blinding." Rapt in their memory of a vision, fans-turned-authors recall their response to the actor's image as if it were a physical force. According to Elizabeth Taylor, the first time she saw Clift, her heart stopped. But beauty alone cannot account for how deeply moved fans were--and are--when contemplating images of Clift. For them, Clift's physical beauty expresses something deeper than mere aesthetic grace. Karl Malden said simply, "He had the face of a saint."
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The Passion of Montgomery Clift