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Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema
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Penguin Publishing Group 2014
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Description

Celebrity gossip meets history in this compulsively readable collection from Buzzfeed reporter Anne Helen Peterson. This guide to film stars and their deepest secrets is sure to top your list for movie gifts and appeal to fans of classic cinema and hollywood history alike.

Believe it or not, America’s fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Cardi B, Kanye's tweets, and the #metoo allegations that have gripped Hollywood. 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.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/30/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101635476
ASIN:
B00INIXUDU

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APA Citation (style guide)

Anne Helen Petersen. (2014). Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Anne Helen Petersen. 2014. Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama From the Golden Age of American Cinema. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Anne Helen Petersen, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama From the Golden Age of American Cinema. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Anne Helen Petersen. Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama From the Golden Age of American Cinema. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Celebrity gossip meets history in this compulsively readable collection from Buzzfeed reporter Anne Helen Peterson. This guide to film stars and their deepest secrets is sure to top your list for movie gifts and appeal to fans of classic cinema and hollywood history alike.

Believe it or not, America’s fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Cardi B, Kanye's tweets, and the #metoo allegations that have gripped Hollywood. 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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2014
        The early days of Hollywood stars, gossip and damage control. Blogger and first-time author Petersen (Film and Media Studies/Whitman Coll.) revisits several of Hollywood's well-known celebrity scandals and tells how the movie studios manufactured both stars' images and the public's desires. She opens with the obvious truism that a star's "actions, behavior, or lifestyle choices are never de facto scandalous; rather, they become scandalous when they violate the status quo in some way"-which is true for everyone. The author follows with an examination of the old-school "studio system," which created actors' names and biographies, as well as a host of "management strategies" (i.e., coverups) for actors' off-screen improprieties that entertainment publicists still use today to protect their investments-though the public at midcentury was far more gullible and easily manipulated. After this slow start, Petersen keenly analyzes the roles celebrities played-and still play-in our lives. She examines how the public allows "stars to take on our personal anxieties and shun[s] them when they fail to embody them in ways that please us." Chapters serve as case studies exploring and supporting the book's dual themes: that stars' images are "pliable...to our whims, hopes and fears" (particularly about class, female desire and gender roles) and how actresses were often presented and celebrated for appealing to men's sexual desires, then castigated for their brazen, unconventional behavior. In sections recounting the careers of stars who flamed out disastrously, including Dorothy Dandridge and Montgomery Clift, she incisively remarks on, especially, how Judy Garland's life-her studio controlled not only her public persona, but her romantic relationships and even her physical size during her teen years-"suggested hope and despair in equal measures," served up for the public's consumption. Not merely a rehash of salacious old Hollywood gossip, Petersen revivifies flattened images of Hollywood icons, including Fatty Arbuckle, Mae West, Humphrey Bogart and Marlon Brando, among others. Wide-ranging and surprisingly thoughtful.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2014

        In Hollywood's early days, movie studios resisted promoting actors as stars, fearing unreasonable salary demands. But audiences craved information about screen favorites, creating a strain between the actors' on-screen images and their sometimes scandalous offscreen behavior. Their antics eventually attracted the attention of decency groups, which threatened censorship and demanded an industry production code. This book, inspired by the author's web columns of the same name, examines notable scandals, showing how they shaped and reflected America's changing social and sexual values. Chapters cover the sexual assault trial of silent film comic "Fatty" Arbuckle; silent action star Wallace Reid's drug habit and "dope parties"; and how stories about "platinum panic" Jean Harlow, racy Mae West, and "It Girl" Clara Bow always had to be followed by stories that they were no different from the rest of us. The author shows how "fixers" were employed to maintain and manipulate stars' images, bailing them out of scrapes and floating narratives to fans and gossip columnists. VERDICT Some of the material covered here, including chapters on Marlon Brando, James Dean, Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, aren't really scandals just secrets the studios kept. Most material is now familiar, but the writing is brisk and lively. Recommended for fans of old-time movie lore.--Stephen Rees, formerly with Levittown Lib., PA

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Believe it or not, America’s fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Cardi B, Kanye's tweets, and the #metoo allegations that have gripped Hollywood. 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...
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