Samantha Glasser's Reviews > Moviola

Moviola by Garson Kanin
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Oct 25, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read from June 17 to October 25, 2012

Moviola is a story about a movie mogul who immigrated and started a shop which he soon turned into a small Nickolodeon, and that developed into a full-fledged studio. The story is told in flashback when a young man comes to Ben in hopes of purchasing the studio and Ben remembers his glorious time there. He was there for all the important events a la Forrest Gump, from the Fatty Arbuckle scandal to the dawning of Chaplin's Little Tramp, the love affair between Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, the frenzy of casting for Gone With the Wind, and the discovery of Marilyn Monroe.

There are some glaring factual errors here, such as the sequence that describes Jean Harlow as being a candidate to be cast in Gone With the Wind. Well, Mr. Kanin, I beg to differ because Harlow died in 1937 when the book was first published. In fact there are photos of her just before she died holding the novel. Also, the section on Marilyn Monroe blantantly depicts she loved Johnny Hyde and told him so several times. This is a huge error. Anyone who has ever read a book on Monroe will tell you that although Hyde proposed marriage, Marilyn turned him down because she did not love him, and in doing so turned down wealth and influence.

The problem with this book is that although these stories are entertaining, the truth is even moreso. There isn't enough fiction woven into the facts to make this book more worthwhile than a good biography.

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Reading Progress

06/19/2012 page 64
09/02/2012 page 297
57.0% "Jean Harlow died while reading the book. She wasn't considered for Scarlett."
10/22/2012 page 398
76.0% "Jean Harlow died while reading the book. She wasn't considered for Scarlett."
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Samantha Glasser The frustrating thing about this book is that a lot of this stuff really happened, but the truth is more interesting than this fictionalization.

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