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True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  405 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A tantalizing mixture of classic Hollywood nostalgia and true crime, True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murder, featuring 100 rare photographs, is suspenseful, entertaining, and eminently readable. Uncover true stories of mystery and murder in a dozen different chapters featuring William Desmond Taylor, Thomas Ince, Jean Harlow, Thelma Todd, Joan Bennett, Lana Tur ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 30th 2013 by Publications
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This was really interesting. I am not always one for conspiracy theories but some of these stories made me wonder.

Holly wood Noir takes real cases of celebrities who have had questions surrounding what happened to them.

I did enjoy reading these stories. Each chapter is about a different celebrity. I have always wondered about Natalie Wood and George Reeves in particular.

Highly recommended to true crime readers, mystery readers and Noir readers.
Lady ♥ Belleza
This book contains just 12 chapters, the accounts of 12 Hollywood people who were involved in criminal activity, their names may or may not be familiar to you. William Desmond Taylor, Thomas Ince, Jean Harlow, Thelma Todd, Joan Bennett, Lana Turner, George Reeves, Gig Young, Bob Crane, Natalie Wood, Robert Blake, and Mickey Cohen. Some of these people I knew their work, some I knew their name, some were completely unknown to me. A few (Bob Crane, Natalie Wood, Robert Blake) I knew the crime asso ...more
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always had a huge fascination with old Hollywood, and its actors. Of course along with all that comes their deaths in all its various forms. I don't often read about them though because most of the authors tend to lean towards the tawdry and unfounded, while summing it all up in such a distasteful way. I liked this book a lot. It made me feel their humanity. I laughed and at times felt a deep sadness for these people. Please Dina, keep writing and researching books like these. I think you'v ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Vaguely interesting, but not a lot of new material and what is there tends to be poorly organized. For example, in the first chapter (William Desmond Taylor), she talks about several people without having introduced them first, and then she introduces them later in the chapter. It's as though she shifted paragraphs and sections around and didn't bother to re-read or edit.

The final (long...oh, man, so very very LONG) chapter about Mickey Cohen is almost entirely based on anecdotes from the autho
Mysteries, scandals, and murders of Hollywood, particularly the Golden Age ones, are always interesting, but they can easily be turned into embarrassingly smutty books. All the warning bells should be ringing when an author has added Wikipedia articles, TMZ stories, and E! programs to the bibliography section. Di Mambro's decided to dig herself into a hole by also having a minimum amount of criticism about the statements of her sources. It's commendable that she's managed to made the effort to i ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is so badly written that I would be shocked if it wasn’t self-published. It’s like reading a geocities fan site circa 1996.
Brenda Perlin
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders” by Dina Di Mambro is an entertaining escape to what might be familiar and maybe not. There are some surprising jaw-dropping facts in this book that had me reading in great anticipation.

Who doesn’t want to know more about behind the scenes of Hollywood’s most famous? I was captivated all the way through and enjoyed the uncovering of details that you never see on TV. These are mysteries that have remained this way for years and years. There is
Evida Suntoyo
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Secrets and New Stories about Classic Hollywood.
I’ve been reading celebrity biographies and books of this type for decades, and I’m so happy I found this one. The Lana Turner-Johnny Stompanato story has been told the same way hundreds of time but the author interviews people who knew Stompanato including his son and gives an entirely new theory of the story. The story as history recorded it is still there but there is new information putting a whole new light on this Stompanato murder as well as
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I guess I've read too much on this subject, because I learned nothing new in this book. However. If you are interested in the topic, this is a very good, general starting off point. ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
It was ok, not as interesting as I would have liked. I didn't really learn any new information or change any of my opinions of these crimes. ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Famous murders, mysteries, and scandals from Old Hollywood, served up in E! TV Style. The book essentially rehashes other works about cases ranging from William Desmond Taylor to Robert Blake, but offers little that is new or insightful. One can get the same thing by finding A. J. Benza’s “Mysteries and Scandals” on YouTube, with the added advantage of larger pictures and music. The chapter on Mickey Cohen is the only interesting thing in the book; even that, however, has been done better in the ...more
David L.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
I thought this was a great book, I enjoyed each section and the information presented. I didn’t feel that she was trying to make it tawdry or lean my feelings one way or another. I primarily got the book to read the Jean Harlow section, but it was so good I decided to read the whole thing. Now I’m interested in reading way too many biographies... Recommended!!
Quick read. Pretty interesting stories.
J&B Reviews
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Held my interest. Good mind candy.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed all of the stories, except for the last one, which was mob related.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bravo, Dina! Great, easy read that had me opening Google page after Google page to find out more!
Hannah Joy Batayula
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A good start for someone interested in these kinds of topics. The Mickey Cohen part is my favorite. It was well-written! And Jim Smith was an amazing storyteller!
Melissa Smith
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good Book about Hollywood murders . I enjoyed it
Kathy Cunningham
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dina Di Mambro’s TRUE HOLLYWOOD NOIR is a detailed examination of twelve mysteries surrounding Hollywood, many of them suggesting murder. The stories, which involve a bevy of famous people (including William Randolph Hearst, Lucky Luciano, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, and Natalie Wood), are as convoluted and dramatic as any film noir mystery. Was Natalie Wood’s drowning death really an accident, or did something more insidious happen? Did George Reeve (TV’s first Superman) really c ...more
Book Him Danno
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have never bought a gossip magazine like US or People, but like
most people when I am in a waiting room I can’t help myself and dig into
them. Our relationship with celebrity is so unique that it is hard to
explain. On the one hand we feel above the fray but then when faced with
temptation we dig right in. True Hollywood Noir is an extremely
fascinating look into some of the more notorious criminal cases of the
golden age of Hollywood (except for the Robert Blake case which is more

What was t
Shawn Remfrey
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Filmland has captivated millions for years. For most of us, it's the same thing as a little girl having princess dreams. We see glamour and beauty and a wish for our lives to be so bold. Logically, we all know it has a seedy side, but we choose to see the wonder and magic. It gives us power to get through our own lives.

In this book, Di Mambro explores the darker side of Filmland. We see beloved characters and get a glimpse into their lives and backgrounds as well as their final downfall. Most of
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes True Crime
Recommended to Mareena by: Rebecca at The Cadence Group
A tantalizing mixture of classic Hollywood nostalgia and true crime, this book is suspenseful, entertaining, and compulsively readable. Featuring 100 rare photographs and a dozen different chapters, True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders by Dina Di Mambro, uncovers the true stories of mystery and murder surrounding the lives and deaths of many stars of Hollywood's golden age. The lives, potential scandals, and untimely deaths of such people as William Desmond Taylor, Thomas Ince, Je ...more
Lisa Kearns
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book free from the publisher, in exchange for writing an honest review.

I've always been intrigued by the "Golden Age" of Hollywood, with its elegant stars and well written movies. I often compare today's stars with their sloppy sweat pants, public meltdowns and drunken photos in the gossip columns to the always-well-turned-out stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable. What I didn't fully realize is that movie stars have always been normal humans; their personal lives and reput
Alain Burrese
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
“True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders” by Dina Di Mambro is a fun interesting read for anyone who wants to learn about some of Hollywood's most famous mysteries. Some of the stories you might know already, but maybe not everything here. Others may be new, but all are an interesting look into the darker side of the lives of some of the rich and famous from Tinseltown.

Profiles include: William Desmond Taylor, Thomas H. Ince, Jean Harlow, Thelma Todd, Joan Bennett, Lana Turner, Geor
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Spanning the years of 1922-2001, Dina Di Mambro takes us through 11 Hollywood scandals, mysteries and murders. Each chapter brings us a new mystery giving only facts and letting the reader decide what to believe.

I love true crime so I jumped at the chance to read this when I was asked to. There were many people that I didn’t know, such as William Desmond Taylor, Thelma Todd, and Gig Young, so it was intriguing to read about them. And then it was nice to revisit the ones I did know, George Reeve
Kathleen Kelly
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
True Hollywood Noir by Dina Di Mambro is one of those kind of non fiction Hollywood type of books that you can sink your teeth into. I know most of the stories in the book and I have heard about George Reeves, of Superman fame, Natalie Wood, whom I have always admired as an actress, Robert Blake, his recent murder trial has been widely publicized. I remember reading about Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato and his murder and Bob Crane most notably known for Hogan's Heroes. I found all of these st ...more
Jan C
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, 2016
Actually it wasn't too bad except for a couple of places. Probably fine if you don't know anything about any of the stories she tells. But I've read a book or two on some of them, like William Desmond Taylor and Thelma Todd. Although I haven't finished it yet, I suspect Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood is better on Taylor.

And I hadn't known anything about Joan Bennett's story. Most of what I know about George Reeves' story I learned from television, so even wha
Very Engrossing !

I LOVED this book from the Very beginning to the End ! A great deal of research went into making this a factual account of the people's lives discussed in these entertaining Chapters.
Richard Wright
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick and entertaining read, better than most

Very good book that, unlike similar writings, actually had some cases I had never heard of before. A few were rehashes that did not add anything new ( like Robert Blake and Natalie Wood), but the final chapter on Micky Cohen was very objective and illuminating. Overall, I really enjoyed it.
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I like to think of my new book True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders as “Turner Classic Movies (TCM)” meets the “Investigation Discovery Channel”. This book combines my two main passions classic movies and mysteries.

My love of reading started early. I still think it is the world’s healthiest escape. I’ve spent heavenly hours reading about Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Grac

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