In a world where a single racist recording of Mel Gibson can ruin his career and celebrity bad behavior is reported on at a moment’s notice by TMZ, it can be hard to imagine our black and white classic cinema favorites were ever as badly behaved. However, behind the studio glamour and media departments, celebrities behaved just as badly. In Scandals of Classic Hollywood, author Anne Helen Petersen takes readers on a journey to the back lots and seedy hotel rooms of the Hollywood glamour days, but does it with respect and poise.
Unlike the gossip magazines of the day, Petersen often takes a sympathetic view towards the celebrity in question. From Jean Harlow’s medical dramas to Clara Bow’s hidden secrets, Scandals of Classic Hollywood unravels the perfect images of studio stars and shows them in a more human light. Judy Garland becomes less the little girl Hollywood crafted her to be, and more a woman seeking affection while trapped as a studio pawn.Marlon Brando becomes less a million dollar cameo, and more a man disillusioned by the system.
Scandals of Classic Hollywood leaves the reader less scandalized and more understanding of the mixed messages of studio produced media and gossip and the humanity of the men and women on the movie screen.
Scandals of Classic Hollywood is available September 30, 2014 from Plume Publishers.