In Hollywood Remembered, a wide array of Tinseltown veterans share their stories of life in the city of dreams from the days of silent pictures to the present. The 35 voices, many of whom have come to know Hollywood inside-out, range from film producers and movie stars to restaurateurs and preservationists. Actress Evelyn Keyes recalls how, fresh from Georgia, she met Cecil B. DeMille and was soon acting in Gone With the Wind; Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein tells how he transformed his McCarthy era-experiences into drama with The Front; Steve Allen speaks out on how Hollywood has changed since he first came there in the 1920s; and Jonathan Winters relates how he left a mental institution to come work with Stanley Kramer in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
In recent years, a new wave of investigative journalists have become prominent. Some relish being "politically incorrect" (David Brock, author of The Real Anita Hill); others methodically shatter cultural icons (Douglas Frantz's expose of Washington insider Clark Clifford); and still others have revealed such horror as Cold War experimentation on unsuspecting citizens (Eileen Welsome's Pulitzer Prize-winning stories). In their own words, these journalists and nine others (Tim Weiner, John Camp, Marjie Lundstrom, Gerald Posner, Sydney Schanberg, David Burnham, Bryon Acohido, Dan Moldea and Brian Ross) provide insight to their jobs and the role of investigative journalism in American society.
Career Biographies of 82 Actors and Actresses of the Golden Era, 1920s-1950s
Author: J. G. Ellrod
Category: Performing Arts
Don Ameche, Eve Arden, George Burns, Bette Davis, Greer Garson, Rex Harrison, Lilli Palmer, George Raft, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Orson Welles, Cornel Wilde -- these are among the stars who graced the silver screen in Hollywood's Golden Age. Biographies and filmographies of these actors and actresses and 70 others who had passed from the scene by September 1996 are presented in this reference work. The biographical section focuses on how they came to be involved with whom they shared the screen. The filmography lists all the films in which they appeared, along with the studio and the year of release.
Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling and the MGM Publicity Machine
Author: E.J. Fleming
Category: Performing Arts
Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling are virtually unknown outside of Hollywood and little-remembered even there, but as General Manager and Head of Publicity for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, they lorded over all the stars in Hollywood’s golden age from the 1920s through the 1940s—including legends like Garbo, Dietrich, Gable and Garland. When MGM stars found themselves in trouble, it was Eddie and Howard who took care of them—solved their problems, hid their crimes, and kept their secrets. They were “the Fixers.” At a time when image meant everything and the stars were worth millions to the studios that owned them, Mannix and Strickling were the most important men at MGM. Through a complex web of contacts in every arena, from reporters and doctors to corrupt police and district attorneys, they covered up some of the most notorious crimes and scandals in Hollywood history, keeping stars out of jail and, more importantly, their names out of the papers. They handled problems as diverse as the murder of Paul Bern (husband of MGM’s biggest star, Jean Harlow), the studio-directed drug addictions of Judy Garland, the murder of Ted Healy (creator of The Three Stooges) at the hands of Wallace Beery, and arranging for an unmarried Loretta Young to adopt her own child—a child fathered by a married Clark Gable. Through exhaustive research and interviews with contemporaries, this is the never-before-told story of Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling. The dual biography describes how a mob-related New Jersey laborer and the quiet son of a grocer became the most powerful men at the biggest studio in the world.
Places of Invention is the companion book to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibition of the same name. It seeks to answer important questions about the nature of invention and innovation- How do some places spark invention and innovation? How does "place"--whether physical, social, or cultural--support, constrain, and shape innovation? Why does invention flourish in one spot but struggle in another, even very similar, location? In short- Why there? Why then? This powerful volume explores the relationship between place and creativity throughout history. It features six key case studies- precision manufacturing in Hartford, CT in the late 1800s; Technicolor in Hollywood, CA in the 1930s; medical innovations in Medical Alley, MN in the 1950s; hip-hop's birth in the Bronx, NY in the 1970s; the rise of the personal computer in Silicon Valley, CA in the 1970s and 1980s; and clean-energy innovations in Fort Collins, CO in the 2010s. The lively and informative narrative from the exhibition's curators focuses on the central thesis that invention is everywhere and fueled by unique combinations of creative people, ready resources, and inspiring surroundings. Like the locations it explores, Places of Invention shows how the history of invention can be a transformative lens for understanding local history and cultivating creativity on scales of place ranging from the personal to the national and beyond.
Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration
Author: Thomas Doherty
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Cultural historian Thomas Doherty tells the story of Joseph I. Breen, a media-savvy Victorian Irishman, who controlled Hollywood's Production Code Administration from 1934 to 1954. Breen's role in this Hollywood office was to censor American motion pictures.
Family Stories, Popular Culture, and Postwar Democracy, 1940-1960
Author: Judith E. Smith
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Visions of Belonging explores how beloved and still-remembered family stories—A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I Remember Mama, Gentleman's Agreement, Death of a Salesman, Marty, and A Raisin in the Sun—entered the popular imagination and shaped collective dreams in the postwar years and into the 1950s. These stories helped define widely shared conceptions of who counted as representative Americans and who could be recognized as belonging. The book listens in as white and black authors and directors, readers and viewers reveal divergent, emotionally textured, and politically charged social visions. Their diverse perspectives provide a point of entry into an extraordinary time when the possibilities for social transformation seemed boundless. But changes were also fiercely contested, especially as the war's culture of unity receded in the resurgence of cold war anticommunism, and demands for racial equality were met with intensifying white resistance. Judith E. Smith traces the cultural trajectory of these family stories, as they circulated widely in bestselling paperbacks, hit movies, and popular drama on stage, radio, and television. Visions of Belonging provides unusually close access to a vibrant conversation among white and black Americans about the boundaries between public life and family matters and the meanings of race and ethnicity. Would the new appearance of white working class ethnic characters expand Americans'understanding of democracy? Would these stories challenge the color line? How could these stories simultaneously show that black families belonged to the larger "family" of the nation while also representing the forms of danger and discriminations that excluded them from full citizenship? In the 1940s, war-driven challenges to racial and ethnic borderlines encouraged hesitant trespass against older notions of "normal." But by the end of the 1950s, the cold war cultural atmosphere discouraged probing of racial and social inequality and ultimately turned family stories into a comforting retreat from politics. The book crosses disciplinary boundaries, suggesting a novel method for cultural history by probing the social history of literary, dramatic, and cinematic texts. Smith's innovative use of archival research sets authorial intent next to audience reception to show how both contribute to shaping the contested meanings of American belonging.
The true story of a privileged Los Angeles drug-dealer-turned-killer from the New York Times–bestselling author of Driven to Murder. Jesse James Hollywood grew up in LA’s upscale West Hills with every imaginable privilege. By the age of nineteen, he owned a spacious house, a tricked-out car, and a closet full of designer clothes. His high-flying lifestyle was bankrolled by his chosen career: drug dealing. In 2000, Ben Markowitz, another teen from a “good family,” found himself with a dope tab he couldn’t pay. A standoff between dealer and druggie exploded when Hollywood, along with two young accomplices, spotted Ben’s brother, Nick (15), walking near his parents’ home. Witnesses saw the three men attack Nick, then shove him into a van and drive off. But assault and kidnapping were only the beginning . . . On the last night of Nick’s life, he was taken to an isolated area outside Santa Barbara known as the Lizard’s Mouth. There, he was shot to death and buried in a shallow grave. But the story was far from over. Because mastermind Jesse James, like his namesake, knew how to run and hide. With his handsome face at the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted list, he lived in luxury—until the long arm of the law reached out to pull him back home for justice.