Review: Making Montgomery Clift (Los Angeles Film Festival)


Title: Making Montgomery Clift
Rating: NR
Director: Robert Anderson Clift, Hillary Demmon
Starring: Robert Anderson Clift, Patricia Bosworth, Brooks Clift
Runtime: 1hr 28min

What It Is: Nephew of the iconic four-time Oscar nominated actor Montgomery Clift, Robert Clift digs into his family history in order to separate what appears to be the truth from what turns out to be fallacious through several interviews and accounts piecing apart the subject-at-hand’s persona and motivations.

What We Think: Overall a simple and well-composed documentary this film, rather than being a straight-out biography, delves deeper into the danger of misconstruing even the smallest of details in someone’s life and behavior. In what feels like a personal, familiar, curious, and compassionate piece, Robert Clift delivers a brief yet effectively saddening look at the treatment of a man at the top of his game (famously often compared to the like of James Dean and Marlon Brando) when gay during the golden years of cinema. The objective examination of the statements provided by those who interacted or even wrote biographical materials on Monty lends to not only the deconstruction of the man himself but of those attempting to look clouded by their own biases.

Our Grade: C, Though technically solid and palatable, this documentary leaves me feeling a bit one-note. In its entirety, it makes for an intriguing little slice of history, something you would likely see in between showings on Turner Classic Movies.

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