Book picks similar to
True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders by Dina Di Mambro
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
William J. Mann - 2014
Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.
Hot Toddy: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Sensational Murder
Andy Edmonds - 1989
Set against the Hollywood industry where Toddy worked and played--an industry infiltrated by the Mob. 21 photos.
The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals (Mammoth Books)
Michelle Morgan - 2013
It covers over 60 scandals including: The Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle Scandal; Clark Gable's Baby Scandals; The Rape of Patricia Douglas; The Life and Death of Jean Harlow; The Sudden Death of James Dean; Marilyn Monroe's Mysterious Death; John Belushi Dies at the Chateau Marmont; Madonna's Hollywood Stalker; Hugh Grant's Hollywood Scandal; Winona Ryder Is Arrested For Shoplifting; The Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie Love Triangle; The Tragic Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith; The Life and Death of Michael Jackson; Arnold Schwarzenegger's Love Child; The Very Public Melt-Down of Charlie Sheen; The Rise and Fall of Whitney Houston; The Marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and many, many more.
Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood
Greg Merritt - 2013
What followed was an unprecedented avalanche of press coverage, the original “trial of the century,” and a wave of censorship that altered the course of Hollywood filmmaking.It began on Labor Day, when comic actor Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, then at the pinnacle of his fame and fortune, hosted a party in San Francisco’s best hotel. As the party raged, he was alone in room 1219 with Virginia Rappe, a minor actress. Four days later, she died, and he was charged with her murder.Room 1219 tells the story of Arbuckle’s improbable rise and stunning fall—from Hollywood’s first true superstar to its first pariah. Simultaneously, it presents the crime story from the day of the “orgy” through the three trials. Relying on a careful examination of documents, the book finally reveals, after almost a century of wild speculation, what most likely occurred in room 1219. In addition, Room 1219 covers the creation of the film industry—from the first silent experiments to a studio-based system capable of making and, ultimately, breaking a beloved superstar.
The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols
James Robert Parish - 2001
From the grisly end of Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson family and the mysterious demise of Bob Crane to the peaceful passings of Lucille Ball and George Burns, "The Hollywood Book of Death" is a captivating and appealingly packaged volume of more than 125 television and movie stars' final curtain calls.Arranged by manner of death, these well-researched accounts include details of celebrities' colorful lives and unusual deaths, their funerals, and the intriguing aftermath. With more than 100 rare photographs and a special "necrology" index of more than 6,000 stars and directors, along with a section revealing where Hollywood personalities are resting in eternal sleep, this enthralling reference promises to be on every film and television buff's "Top 10" gift list.
Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood
Karina Longworth - 2018
But as Karina Longworth reminds us, long before the Harvey Weinsteins there was Howard Hughes—the Texas millionaire, pilot, and filmmaker whose reputation as a cinematic provocateur was matched only by that as a prolific womanizer.His supposed conquests between his first divorce in the late 1920s and his marriage to actress Jean Peters in 1957 included many of Hollywood’s most famous actresses, among them Billie Dove, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Lana Turner. From promoting bombshells like Jean Harlow and Jane Russell to his contentious battles with the censors, Hughes—perhaps more than any other filmmaker of his era—commoditized male desire as he objectified and sexualized women. Yet there were also numerous women pulled into Hughes’s grasp who never made it to the screen, sometimes virtually imprisoned by an increasingly paranoid and disturbed Hughes, who retained multitudes of private investigators, security personnel, and informers to make certain these actresses would not escape his clutches.Vivid, perceptive, timely, and ridiculously entertaining, Seduction is a landmark work that examines women, sex, and male power in Hollywood during its golden age—a legacy that endures nearly a century later.
Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince
Budd Schulberg - 1981
Moving Pictures is his fascinating remembrance of growing up amidst the glamour, swank, courage, triumphs, defeats, cabals, and double-crosses of an industry in the making. His utterly candid account includes unsparing portraits of outsized characters in all their power, venality, charm, pettiness, and vindictiveness. As a book on the early days of the movies in Hollywood, this one is hard to beat. Abundantly illustrated with black-and-white photographs.
Detour: A Hollywood Story
Cheryl Crane - 1988
Thirty years after one of the most shocking and scandalous Hollywood tragedies ever--the 1958 slaying of screen goddess Lana Turner's mobster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato--Cheryl Crane, Turner's daughter, tells the story of what led her to the stabbing.
The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood
Sam Wasson - 2020
and Fosse comes the revelatory account of the making of a modern American masterpiece Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making.In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.Praise for Sam Wasson:"Wasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities...More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like his subjects, he has a flair for it." - The New Yorker "Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian because he finds meaning in situations and stories that would otherwise be forgotten if he didn't sleuth them out, lovingly." - Hilton Als
Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema
Anne Helen Petersen - 2014
And the stars of yesteryear? They weren’t always the saints that we make them out to be. BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, is here to set the record straight. Pulling little-known gems from the archives of film history, Petersen reveals eyebrow-raising information, including:*The smear campaign against the original It Girl, Clara Bow, started by her best friend *The heartbreaking story of Montgomery Clift’s rapid rise to fame, the car accident that destroyed his face, and the “long suicide” that followed *Fatty Arbuckle’s descent from Hollywood royalty, fueled by allegations of a boozy orgy turned violent assault *Why Mae West was arrested and jailed for “indecency charges” *And much more Part biography, part cultural history, these stories cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. But it’s not all just tawdry gossip in the pages of this book. The stories are all contextualized within the boundaries of film, cultural, political, and gender history, making for a read that will inform as it entertains. Based on Petersen’s beloved column on the Hairpin, but featuring 100% new content, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century
Sam Kashner - 2010
For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romanceoften called "the marriage of the century"was the most notorious, publicized, and celebrated love affair of its day.For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of this larger-than-life couple, showing how their romance and two marriages commanded the attention of the world. Also for the first time, in exclusive access given to the authors, Elizabeth Taylor herself gives never-revealed details and firsthand accounts of her life with Burton.Drawing upon brand-new information and interviewsand on Burton's private, passionate, and heartbreaking letters to TaylorFurious Love sheds new light on the movies, the sex, the scandal, the fame, the brawls, the booze, the bitter separations, and, of course, the fabled jewels. It offers an intimate glimpse into Elizabeth and Richard's privileged world and their elite circle of friends, among them Princess Grace, Montgomery Clift, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Peter O'Toole, Michael Caine, Marlon Brando, Rex Harrison, Mike Nichols, Laurence Olivier, Robert Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Noël Coward, John Huston, Ava Gardner, the Rothschilds, Maria Callas, and Aristotle Onassis. It provides an entertaining, eye-opening look at their films, their wildly lucrative reign in Europe and in Hollywoodand the price they paid for their extravagant lives.Shocking and unsparing in its honesty, Furious Love explores the very public marriage of "Liz and Dick" as well as the private struggles of Elizabeth and Richard, including Le Scandale, their affair on the set of the notorious epic Cleopatra that earned them condemnation from the Vatican; Burton's hardscrabble youth in Wales; the crippling alcoholism that nearly destroyed his career and contributed to his early death; the medical issues that plagued both him and Elizabeth; and the failed aspirations and shame that haunted him throughout their relationship. As Kashner and Schoenberger illuminate the events and choices that shaped this illustrious couple's story, they demonstrate how the legendary pair presaged America's changing attitudes toward sex, marriage, morality, and celebrity. Yet ultimately, as the authors show, Elizabeth and Richard shared something priceless beyond the drama: enduring love.Addictive and entertaining, Furious Love is more than a celebrity biography; it's an honest yet sympathetic portrait of a man, a woman, and a passion that shocked and mesmerized the world.
Deadly Illusions: Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern
Samuel Marx - 1990
Scott Fitzgerald, DEADLY ILLUSIONS rips the lid off the studio cover-up with compelling evidence that Bern was murdered--and why."--from the front flap. From Publishers weekly: The death of Hollywood producer Bern has remained a mystery since his nude body was found near his swimming pool in 1932. MGM's Louis B. Mayer's declaration that Bern had committed suicide because he was impotent and could not satisfy his young wife, Harlow, was echoed in the official finding. MGM story editor Marx, one of the first people on the scene, and actress-ballerina Vanderveen here present their version of what happened. Interviewing those who knew the victim, Harlow and Mayer, and researching grand jury files, they conclude that Bern was murdered by a former lover, Dorothy Millette, and that Mayer covered up the crime to protect Harlow's career. A lively but helter-skelter account.
Lee Marvin: Point Blank
Dwayne Epstein - 2013
Although Lee Marvin is best known for his icy tough guy roles—such as his chilling titular villain in The ManWho Shot Liberty Valance or the paternal yet brutally realistic platoon leader in The Big Red One—very little is known of his personal life; his family background; his experiences in WWII; his relationship with his father, family, friends, wives; and his ongoing battles with alcoholism, rage, and depression, occasioned by his postwar PTSD. Now, after years of researching and compiling interviews with family members, friends, and colleagues; rare photographs; and illustrative material, Hollywood writer Dwayne Epstein provides a full understanding and appreciation of this acting titan’s place in the Hollywood pantheon in spite of his very real and human struggles.
Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s
Valeria Belletti - 2006
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 to stay in Los Angeles. She moved into the YWCA, landed a job as Samuel Goldwyn's personal and social secretary and proceeded to trip over history in the making. As she recounts in her dozens of letters to Irma, Valeria Belletti encountered every type of Hollywood player in the course of her working day: moguls, directors, stars, writers, and hopeful extras. She shares news about Valentino's affairs, Sam Goldwyn's bootlegger, the development of the “talkies,” her own role in helping to cast Gary Cooper in his first major part and much more—often in hilarious detail. She writes of her living and working conditions, her active social life, and her hopes for the future—all the everyday concerns of a young working woman during the jazz age. Alternating sophistication with naiveté, Valeria’s letters intimately document a personal journey while giving us a unique portrait of a fascinating era.
The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont
Shawn Levy - 2019
An apartment house-turned-hotel, it has hosted generations of gossip and folklore: 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow took lovers during her third honeymoon there; director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter met poolside and began a secret affair; Jim Morrison swung from the balconies, once falling nearly to his death; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose in a private bungalow; Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months.Perched above the Sunset Strip like a fairytale castle, the Chateau seems to come from another world entirely. Its singular appearance houses an equally singular history. While a city, an industry, and a culture have changed around it, Chateau Marmont has welcomed the most iconic and iconoclastic personalities in film, music, and media. It appeals to the rich and famous not just for its European ambiance but for its seclusion: Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eye.Until now. With wit and prowess, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons; the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns; the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, his book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.