A highly ambitious study, Acting in the Cinema has much to recommend it. It is scrupulously researched, lucidly written, and rich in insights, information, and details.... The single greatest strength of Naremore's study, however, its ability to capture the essence of each actor. Blessed with powers of observation and the ability to convey those powers in concise and evocative descriptive prose, Naremore at his best gives his readers not only the pleasure of recognition ('Ah, yes,' we tend to say, 'this is exactly what Cary Grant talks like, sounds like, acts like.') but the sense of discovery ('So that's how he does it!').' -- Arthur Noletti, Jr., FILM CRITICISM, vol. 13.
Rather than establish the norms and conventions of film acting as the background for his discussion, Naremore focuses his analyses on a group of films that, he argues, self-consciously thrusts questions of acting to the fore. While this approach enables him to differentiate one kind of performance from another, it leaves blurred the distinctions between script, camera, and acting. The book is more a series of intelligent discussions of individual star performances than a thorough analysis of the craft that the title seems to promise. Marshall Deutelbaum, Purdue Univ., W. Lafayette, Ind.