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Restless Rebel—Montgomery Clift

He is constantly stocking up on shoe polish.

He doesn’t like cats.

He sleeps in a T-shirt.

He nurtures a conviction that money does not bring security. “It slips so easily through your fingers.”

He was baptized Montgomery Clift.

He eats four or five eggs with bacon or sausage for breakfast. He would like to have “a lot of children,” and is very self-conscious while being interviewed, dislikes talking about himself because “it implies one is worth talking about.”

He has never read “Forever Amber.”

He does not carry a comb and thinks Rome’s Colosseum at dusk the most impressive sight he has ever seen. He wears glasses only to watch a play. He has never played Canasta.

He is right-handed, prefers hot and cold showers, and seldom listens to the radio except when in New York where he never misses Art Ford’s “Milkman’s Matinee.”

His eyes are blue-green.

He likes his Scotch straight, belongs to no clubs and will never be named in a poll of best-dressed men. He deplores his poor memory for names or faces.

He was born on October 17, 1920, smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and stops smoking about every three months. But has never stopped for longer than forty-eight hours.

He is unaffected, introspective and his favorite axiom is “Know thyself.”

He has never seen a basketball. game and always stocks up on vitamins when traveling. He is not mechanically inclined.

He is forever putting off writing letters.

He is fond of garlic, onions and Li’l Abner, the only comic strip he reads. He owns five belts, all alike, but always wears the same one.

His favorite novelists are Dostoevski and William Faulkner. He considers himself a lamentable business man, was called “Bud” by his father and feels he has been happiest in New York.

He never drinks cordials or champagne and doubts that time-saving devices have increased the American capacity for happiness. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska.

He considers his worst fault to be “lack of courage.” He is sensitive, forthright and possessed of great independence of spirit.

He has never taken a Turkish bath and is seldom punctual for appointments, always underestimating the time it takes to dress and shave. He subscribes to no book clubs. He thinks one should be able to choose one’s own reading.

He doesn’t mind eating alone, and prefers the seasonal climate of New England to California’s perpetual sunshine. He is incapable of making an impromptu speech.

Montgomery Clift is the most motile subject this writer has ever interviewed; he is all over the room, slouching, sprawling, shifting, stirring.

He is very fond of dogs, has none, and made his first public appearance in amateur shows in Florida at the age of thirteen. His father was a financier.

He accepts people at their face value, and because he is congenitally lazy, has to literally force himself to work.

His academic schooling was sporadic and peripatetic due to his family’s domicile all over the country; he never finished grammar school because of this.

His favorite dessert is zabaglione.

He is an avid jai alai fan. He likes his potatoes hash-browned and has no objection to women dyeing their hair “if they look better.”

He enjoys surf bathing, hockey matches and philosophic discussions. His brown hair is unruly and difficult to comb.

He has no desire to paint, sculpt, or pilot a plane. His first literary effort is an original screen story which he has just written. He loves to sail and hopes one day to own a boat. He wears no jewelry.

He collects no souvenirs.

His only superstition is throwing salt over his left shoulder.

His favorite salad consists of avocado, tomato, mixed greens, anchovies and Roquefort dressing. He plays no musical instruments though he once studied piano.

He has seen but few horseraces and has been an actor for fifteen years. He bit his nails as a kid.

He is inclined to be impulsive, and likes steamed “espresso” coffee, Italian style, which he makes when in New York.

He seldom remembers his dreams.

He is a good swimmer, thinks Rome the most beautiful of cities.

He thinks flying dull, never gets seasick and enjoys eating where there is music and dancing.

He hates wearing new shoes.

He drinks lots of milk, cares little for long walks and finds it difficult to take seriously a movie filmed in color.

He likes to play poker but never comes out ahead. He is endowed with a hardy stomach, a keen sense of humor and an aversion for limburger cheese.

He is a staunch admirer of Vittorio de Sica, Italian director of “The Bicycle Thief.” He thinks nothing looks worse than a woman in slacks that don’t fit her.

He makes “noises” when in the shower. “You can’t call it singing.”

He is a good dancer but has failed to master the tango. He likes the smell of a stable and earned his first money on the stage in “Fly Away Home” 15 years ago. He weighs 155 pounds.

He carries no lighter and no key-chain, and is forever looking for his keys.

Montgomery Clift’s worst failing is spending money. He adapts himself easily to strange surroundings, regrets that he doesn’t visit enough art galleries.

He gets very restive at concerts.

His beard is heavy and he has to shave twice a day when working. He cannot make out his own income tax returns and believes there is no difference between blondes and brunettes.

He has a habit of placing paper money in the watch pocket of his trousers, completely forgetting about it, and weeks later making the pleasant discovery. He does all his writing in longhand.

He has never seen a wrestling match.

He dislikes delicatessen foods. He doesn’t like pickles or olives, likes bagels.

He has never smoked a cigar or a pipe, and when retiring he carefully stretches his pants out on the floor.

Montgomery Clift’s most vivid memory of a painting is one by Picasso in the Chicago Museum, of a little boy, his father and mother, walking along a beach.

He is not susceptible to colds.

He has not gone in for the new fad of square-dancing, and plans to alternate his career between stage and screen.

He maintains an apartment in New York, has been to Cuba, Mexico, England, Israel, the near East, and several other European nations. He is the only member of his family to show an interest in the world of the theater.

He has appeared in a dozen plays. He contracted a tropical disease in Mexico which prevented him from entering the military service during the war.

He is very poor in mathematics and his dominant characteristic is an assertive independence of spirit. He plays neither chess nor checkers. He smokes a great deal when working hard, which invariably causes his sinus to “back up.”

His memorizing of dialogue does not come easily. He likes beer. His favorite pictures, “Shoeshine,” “The Bicycle Thief,” “The Informer,” “Stagecoach,” “Modern Times,” “Citizen Kane,” “Volpone,” “Pygmalion,” “Brief Encounter” and “Double Indemnity.”

He loves winter sports but is not good at them, and though this young man of twenty-nine, who is gifted with extraordinary awareness, is riding high in his chosen profession, he strangely declares that his life is “full of regrets.”

Montgomery Clift would like to be a director someday. “One must keep exploring. If you lose the wish to explore, then you might as well give up.”





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