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Hollywood Babylon: The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets Mass Market Paperback – Nov 15 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
The key scandals of the 1920's through 1950's are played out. The Fatty Arbuckle scandal of 1921, involving his alleged part in the death of starlet Virginia Rappe, was the O.J. Simpson of the 1920's is given a separate chapter. It took three trials to acquit him, but his career was finished. As Anger snidily writes, "The Prince of Whales had been harpooned." The others include Errol Flynn being accused of having sex with two underage girls, Mary Astor's diary, and the stabbing death of Lana Turner's lover John Stompanato by Cheryl Crane. Frances Farmer's nervous breakdown and collapse has some of snidiness in there, although he makes it clear that he does sympathize with her plight years before Nirvana did a song on her on their In Utero album.
Two mysterious and to this day still unsolved are probed, that of Thelma Todd, the Ice Cream Blonde, who may have been murdered by the mob instead of committing suicide, and the murder of director William Desmond Taylor, and those aren't as treated sensationally as other material.
Suicides are written with some embellishment in this book, i.e. Paul Bern, Jean Harlow's second husband, Marie Prevost, whose starving dog ate parts of her body, Lupe Velez, a.k.a. the Mexican Spitfire, and Carole Landis. Separate sections are written for Velez and Landis.Read more ›
The book reads like a gossip column mixed with sleazy tabloid journalism, yet with the wit and humor of a prankster. It's an exploitation of exploited lives. To mimic tabloids further, the pages appear with large and sometimes disturbing photos of stars at their most inopportune moments.
While much of the material has already had its heyday in newspapers of the times, it has a new life today where many of these actors and actresses are virtually unheard of by the general public and rekindled new interest in their films. Just as watching and old O. J. Simpson football game may have the same appeal as watching Lana Turner in her debut "They Won't Forget."
The title to me is entirely fitting, as Hollywood is the "Babylon" of our society, one in which everyone has all their wants at their disposal. A place where hedonism is the religion and tragedy is only the end of a scene, for we know by the end of the movie everything will be all right.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
overall, hollywood babylon is an interesting and engrossing read. as with any book on old hollywood, it's important to take the insinuations made by the author with a grain of... Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2012 by blacktoenail
Hollywood is not the scandal ridden, seedy place a lot of people seem to think it is. Sure there were people who had no redeeming qualities and yes there were unsolved celebrity... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2006 by Hodiak
Hollywood is a place i have always dreamed about and have NEVER wanted to visit, and this book only solidifies my conviction. Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Kate C.
Kenneth Anger, once a child actor himself, unvales and points both barrels at Hollywood and its subculture of excess and outrageousness. Read morePublished on May 5 2004 by Frank Forrest
This book is questionable as far as accuracy. For example, I have read several recent books on Judy Garland. Read morePublished on April 14 2004
Kenneth Anger obviously hates Hollywood. So he writes this book based on gossip magazines that has little facts in truth. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2004
Hollywood Babylon is a definate must read for anyone interested in Hollywood history. I doubt if everything in the book is accurate. It reads like a tabloid. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2003 by Donna Grayson
Kenneth Anger's trash classic is still worth a look after all these years. No, this is not the book for those tender and naive dears among us who still think "they wouldn't print... Read morePublished on July 27 2003
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