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Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s
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Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary is an insider’s view of the film studios of the 1920s—and the first from a secretary’s perspective. Rich in gossip, it is also an eyewitness report of Hollywood in transition. In the summer of 1924, Valeria Belletti and her friend Irma visited California, but instead of returning home to New York, the twenty-six-year-old Valeria decided ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by University of California Press (first published April 15th 2006)
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I really enjoyed this. It's very slight--basically a diary through letters of a secretary's work in Holyywod ca. 1926-1928, but there's plenty of name-dropping and neat observations about some of the leading movie folk of the era.
Very entertaining diary of a woman who was Sam Goldwyn’s secretary. Lots of stuff on Ronald Colman and some on Vilma Banky. Mentions that Lionel Barrymore was terrible on stage in The Copperhead performance she saw because “he’s in terrible condition due to dope.” You never know what you'll find in people's diaries.
Fascinating. It's almost unbelievable that these are actual letters to a friend, instead of written for a novel. I love Valeria's spirit and her bold decision to leave home and live somewhere else. It's a great example of female empowerment.
Samantha Glasser
Valeria Belletti was an ordinary girl who moved to the west coast for her health. Her asthma got better in the sunshine of California, and before long she got a job as a secretary to Samuel Goldwyn. At his studio she met many famous celebrities like screenwriter Frances Marion and actor Ronald Colman. Later, she visited her home in Italy and returned to California to work for Cecil B. DeMille. Her story is told through her letters to her friend Irma which were rediscovered decades later by autho ...more
C. Zampa
I highly recommend this book for a candid, fascinating glimpse into the real world of the Hollywood studios in the 1920's.
Valerie Belletti,a young Italian New Yorker, moved to sunny Los Angeles and began work as a secretary for studio moguls. During the course of her life in California, she wrote letters to a friend back home in New York, and years later her friend compiled the correspondence and had them published. And the result is a magnificent patchwork of true stories of daily life behind-
Totally boring in the best way. Like reading the letters you would write to your bestie if you had been living in Hollywood in the 20s. Not really for people looking for hot hot backstage gossip, but a great read for any lady in her 20s who is trying to have an adventure and figure out what to do in life. Valeria goes on dates, reads some philosophy, briefly takes up golf and Bohemia and occasionally attends a liquor party. These letters are gems and I'm so glad Irma saved them and Cari Beaucham ...more
I loved this book. It's a collection of letters sent between the years 1924-1929 from a woman who would become the secretary to Samuel Goldwyn and is associated with discovering a famous movie star from the era. I found her letters to be timeless and I loved the insight she gives to Hollywood during this period. The way she writes about prohibition, working with famous people, finding love and living in Los Angeles I truly was wrapped up in her letters!
Nov 29, 2007 Graceann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Film Lovers
Shelves: film-history, memoir
The letters that Miss Belletti wrote were only meant to be seen by her friend, but they were so insightful, newsy and interesting that it's a lucky happenstance that they were kept. They are brilliant, fly-on-the-wall observations of Hollywood life and I couldn't bear to see the story end. It was a delight to meet Cari Beauchamp the day I finished reading this book and getting her to sign it for me. What an honor!
A collection of letters written by Sam Goldwyn's secretary, Valerie Belletti, to a friend back home. This is a fascinating look at behind-the-scenes look at the movie-making industry. Edited by Cari Beauchamp.
This collection of annotated letters really brings you back into the time. It was a joy to read especially for this film degree graduate. A must read for people who are interested in early Hollywood culture.
Lesley Speed
I enjoyed this book. Much of it is banal, but that's part of the point: Valeria's letters provide a view of day-to-day life in the Hollywood studios. This book brings the period and places to life.
Years, later, I still think about this book. I loved everything about it. The everyday perspective in a "glamorous" place is pure charm.

Truly charming
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