I think almost everyone has seen a book from “The Films of. . .” series and like all the rest, this one is a great primer. You’re not going to get an in-depth biography so if that’s what you’re looking for, I would pass, but you are going to get a detailed filmography with each movie. Each entry includes a cast list, release date, synopsis, reviews/reception, and behind the scenes information that usually includes personal information about what was going on with Betty’s personal life.
This is strictly a filmography book so you are not going to get information on Grable’s stage appearances. Because of that, with the exception of the short biography in the front, it cuts off at 1955’s “How To Be Very, Very Popular.” This can be frustrating being the book was well-researched and it would have been nice to see what author Ed Hulse could have found but, again, it’s in the title. One of the nice things about this book is that you “see” all of Grable’s work and just how much she did before officially “making it” at 23 in “Down Argentine Way.”
Do note that the book was published in 1996 and that the synopses will give away the ending of each movie. I recommend watching a movie then reading about it. Some of Betty’s movies are hard to find or have never been released on DVD so for those, the book is great if you want to know a plot line of a movie you may never see, particularly Grable’s older work.
“Release Date: May 1, 1944. Running Time: 83 minutes. . .
It’s a tribute to Betty Grable’s endearing, effusive screen personality that she could make attractive a basically unappealing character . . .”
“Release Date: June 18, 1943. Running Time: 96 minutes. . .
Coney Island was the picture that finally saw Betty Grable boosted to top stardom. . . The romantic triangle utilized by Coney Island‘s scripters was already old hat, but it didn’t stop Fox from remaking the film with Grable in 1950: Wabash Avenue switched locale from New York to Chicago, but in most other respects was a virtual copy of the earlier picture.”