Ronald Colman : Sam Frank

Sam Frank

Sam Frank wrote the best book on Ronnie - Ronald Colman: A Bio Bibliography, 1997 (not only the best Colman book but the best in the Greenwood Press Bio-Bibliography series). I managed to get hold of a copy earlier this year (it's now out of print and quite difficult tot find). Unlike most of the others in that series, Mr Frank was actually a great authority on Colman, having researched his life for 29 years (if anyone isn't familiar with this series - they are not biographies but a chronicle of thir career with brief biographical information). I read in the notes on the author section that Mr Frank was writing a biography on Ronnie, I was very pleased to hear this and wondered when it would be published. Anyway, last night I watched the photo documentary on the Lost Horizon DVD and in the acknowldgments during the credits, among those mentioned was the LATE Sam Frank. The documentary was made in 1999, just two years after Mr Frank's Colman book was published. I guess this means that there will be no Colman biography from Mr Frank (unless he finished it before his death, but that seem unlikely after several years, unless a publisher has yet to be found). Does anyone know anything more about this?


Re: Sam Frank

I am responding to this message seven years too late but here goes anyway.

I was aquainted with the late Sam Frank and he certainly knew a great deal about Ronald Colman, an actor whose image was that of the gallant, well-mannered gentleman. From what I know of Colman he was also very much the gentleman in real-life as well. To my knowledge Sam Frank never got around to writing his Colman biography, so the bio-bibliography will have to do.

There is, however (and to my knowledge at least), three other books on Colman that are worth seeking out:

Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person by Juliet Colman (the actor's daughter)
The Films of Ronald Colman by Lawrence Quirk
Ronald Colman: Gentleman of the Cinema by R. Smith Dixon

Finally, I know it's not in good taste to show disrespect for the dead but I must say that t 5b4 he late Sam Frank was not a very nice person. In fact, he was quite rude and obnoxious. Thus it has always baffled me why someone so obsessed with Colman never attempted to emulate the actor's persona.

Re: Sam Frank

Despite Sam Frank's personality, it's a shame he never wrote a definitive biography on Ronald Colman. Juliet Colman's biography on her father is very good and I would love to read it again.

Re: Sam Frank

It's funny you should mention Frank's personality as I was wondering what was going on. I recently purchased a copy of his book and he makes some comments about Mr. Colman that I never would have if I had been as big of fan of him as he claimed to be in the book. The book is chock full of good info but I have to read it with a bit of a thick skin, loving Colman fan that I am.

For anyone with interest in the four RC books, here are my rundowns on them: Frank's book is by far the most thoroughly researched and detailed; I love Juliet's book for her obviously personal insights to Colman and his life; Dixon's book is a very nice tribute to him with a good number of photos; Quirk's is probably the least desirable of the four although it does have a good selection of nice, large photos.

Re: Sam Frank

What did Sam Frank write about Colman?

There was another author [I want to say Quirk], who claimed that Ronald Colman made his last film in 1932!!

Would it really kill these guys to do some research?

Re: Sam Frank

A new Ronald Colman biography was announced last year I think. I believe it is to be written by Carl Rollyson.

I look forward to it.