J.'s Reviews > Hollywood Babylon

Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger
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's review
May 30, 2011

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bookshelves: la-la-land, non-fiction

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."
Marilyn Monroe

If you are a film buff of any type and haven't read this, it is most highly recommended, an encyclopedic exposé of the tarnish on the tinsel.

Hard to think of a more High End Brand, with it's U.S. state-department-approved soft-culture trademark, gee-whiz practical sense and enchanting, casual glamour -- that had a more unsavory backstory, a seamier underbelly, than what's included here.

Lots of Weegee-style flash photos of those brittle, hangovery moments when the limosine went off the cliff with the superstar in it ... or what the superstar looked like, momentarily, without quite enough pills in her, or the makeup-disguise on ... and lots of the facts that went into the Hush Machine, just before that cold morning light.

The photo of Jayne Mansfield's little lapdog, deceased & bloody beside the smashed bottles in the flashbulb's glare ... finishes a sordid little epic. It's Not Really A Wonderful Life.

Nothing to dwell on here but should be seen once. Makes you wonder what after-midnite mysteries were covered up successfully ....
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11/25/2017 marked as: read

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message 1: by Kate (new)

Kate this book every time I hear the name "Ramon Navarro." (Luckily for my shudder quotient, it's a name that's not heard very often.)

A recent movie-buff discovery of mine that you might also enjoy-- about the early days of the movies-- is Kevin Brownlow's "The Parades's Gone By." Lots of interviews with people who were THERE. Delightful anecdotes.

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