10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Monique reviewed Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon II on
Helpful Score: 2
A quick read with many interesting tidbits about the evolving of Hollywood in its begining days. Interesting and sometimes shocking images but in all a good book. It would be interesting to have one written about today's Hollywood.
An absolutely wonderful book with a lot of scandalous photos. I have an old hardback copy of this book and I love it! I've also used various photos in the book as artistic inspiration for black and white drawings and this, that, and the other. True or not, the stories are a fabulously juicy insight into Old Hollywood.
B S. (Bettyjean) reviewed Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon II on
Helpful Score: 1
A fascinating account of the crazy lives of Hollywood stars beginning at the silent era through 60's - along with countless b&w photos. Stories range from drug addiction & adultery to mob murders, suicides & rape.
A gossipy, sensationalist read about the seamier side of classic Hollywood. Lots of photos. Here's some info from Wikipedia:
Hollywood Babylon details the sordid scandals of many famous and infamous Hollywood denizens from the 1900s to the 1950s. It was originally published in 1959 by J.J. Pauvert (Paris, France) as Hollywood Babylone.
Many of Anger's claims have been called into question and debated since the book's initial publication. However, Hollywood Babylon's place in the history of Tinseltown cannot be denied, nor can Anger's influence on filmmakers such as John Waters, Vincent Gallo and Paul Morrissey (the director of Andy Warhol's later movies). Despite the book's popularity it has been a perennial best seller since it was first published Anger has been criticised for his lurid exposition, wild allegations, spurious anecdotes, rumor, innuendo, and minor plagiarism.
Subjects in the first volume include:
* the drug-related death of Olive Thomas and subsequent scandal surrounding Jack Pickford;
* the drug addictions of Juanita Hansen, Alma Rubens and Barbara La Marr;
* the alleged sexual masochism of Mary Nolan;
* the statutory rape charges and subsequent trial of Errol Flynn;
* the extra-marital affair of Mary Astor;
* the career declines of Mae Murray, Pola Negri, Louise Brooks, Marie Prevost and John Gilbert;
* the relationships of Rudolph Valentino;
* the lesbianism of Alla Nazimova;
* the relationship between William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies;
* the Fatty Arbuckle-Virginia Rappe scandal;
* the drug-related death of Wallace Reid;
* the shotgun marriages of Charlie Chaplin to Mildred Harris and Lita Grey;
* the murder of William Desmond Taylor and the damage it caused to the careers of Mabel Normand and Mary Miles Minter;
* the suicides of Lupe Vélez, Carole Landis, Peg Entwistle, Gwili Andre, Albert Dekker, Lou Tellegen, Bobby Harron and Clara Blandick;
* the alleged promiscuity and mental instability of Clara Bow;
* the rise of Frances Farmer and her appalling treatment in mental institutions;
* the homosexuality of Ramon Novarro and his subsequent murder by male prostitutes;
* the deaths of Thelma Todd and Marilyn Monroe;
* the death of gangster Bugsy Siegel, and the death of Lana Turner's lover Johnny Stompanato at the hand of Turner's teenage daughter;
* the decline and death of Jayne Mansfield (who is featured on the book's cover in the 1975 publication).