By Scott Eyman
The mythical actor and bestselling writer of Pieces of My middle offers a nostalgic examine Hollywood’s golden age
For thousands of motion picture fans, no period within the historical past of Hollywood is extra loved than the interval from the Nineteen Thirties during the Fifties, the golden age of the studio process. not just did it produce a number of the maximum motion pictures of the yankee cinema, however it used to be then that Hollywood itself grew to become firmly confirmed because the nation’s final image of glamour and elegance, its stars virtually godlike figures whose excellent lives have been chronicled in numerous beneficial properties in magzazines like Photoplay and Modern Screen.
While those positive factors have been a typical a part of the paintings of studio exposure departments, they advised keen readers little approximately what existence was once fairly like for those celebrities after they stepped out of the general public eye. not anyone is healthier certified to inform that tale than Robert Wagner, whose personal occupation has spanned greater than 5 a long time and whose New York Times bestseller, Pieces of My Heart, was once the most profitable Hollywood memoirs in recent times. You needs to be mindful This is Wagner’s intimate ode to a bygone time, one in all impressive houses, sumptuous inns, opulent night-clubs and eating places, and unforgettable events that have been all a part of the Hollywood social scene at its peak.
From a cocktail party at Clifton Webb’s at which Judy Garland sang Gershwin on the piano to golfing video games with Fred Astaire, from Jimmy Cagney’s humble farmhouse in Coldwater Canyon to the terrific seashore mansion equipped through William Randolph Hearst for Marion Davies, from well-known eating places just like the Brown Derby and Romanoff’s to nightspots just like the Trocadero and the Mocambo, Wagner stocks his affectionate stories and anec¬dotes in regards to the locations and personalities that experience all develop into a part of Hollywood legend.
As poignant because it is revealing, You needs to take into accout This is Wagner’s account of Hollywood as he observed it, faraway from the lighting and cameras and gossip columns—and a young farewell to the folks of a legendary position lengthy in view that reworked, and to a golden age lengthy considering handed.
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Extra resources for You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood's Golden Age
And another factor: those constructions have been enjoyable to examine. They have been structure as leisure. while Ramon Novarro opted for a tidy condo designed by means of Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, he had MGM paintings director Cedric Gibbons redesign completely in black and silver. Novarro fell so in love with the glance that he could ask his dinner site visitors to conform with the existing layout scheme and put on in simple terms black or silver to his events. Gibbons was once an important effect either in the and with out. His designs for the 1928 Joan Crawford motion picture Our Dancing Daughters showcased artwork Deco all through and helped usher out the heavy Spanish décor. Deco turned the glance of the younger moderns—clean traces and elegant. The motion picture was once profitable adequate to spawn sequels, the final of which costarred William Haines, who didn’t deal with Gibbons’s aesthetic and stayed clear of Deco whilst he turned a modern dressmaker. “It seems like anyone had a nightmare whereas designing a church and attempted to mix it with a Grauman theater,” he remarked. looking back, there has been a playful element to plenty of those homes, as though the actors, administrators, and manufacturers have been extending the fantasies they created on-screen into their inner most lives. the homes have been in part units, in part playgrounds—literally. many of us observed the gorgeous units designed via Cedric Gibbons at MGM or Van Nest Polglase at RKO and requested them to layout their homes. Ginger Rogers had a home off Coldwater Canyon that was once mostly the paintings of Polglase. Gibbons’s personal apartment, which he designed and equipped for his marriage to Dolores del Río, used to be a gorgeous Moderne masterpiece. Likewise, the artwork director Harold Grieve, who was once married to Jetta Goudal, a celebrity for DeMille within the silent days, constructed a enterprise in inside ornament that a ways passed his paintings for the studios. via 1937, while I arrived, for those who received off the Pacific electrical line in Beverly Hills, no one spotted the unpaved roads above sundown, or the bean fields within the residences, or the modest procuring district. every body was once mesmerized by means of the vastness of the houses. whilst the inventory marketplace collapsed in 1929 and the melancholy ensued, building in l. a. additionally collapsed. building of recent homes and flats fell from 15,234 in 1929 to 6,600 in 1931. luxurious housing went right into a decline, yet there have been lots of to be had areas, as silent movie those that misplaced their footing in sound photographs needed to downsize. a few of the new stars of the sound period obtained secondhand houses rather than construction their very own, even if there have been exceptions. William Powell outfitted a home with a sophisticated sequence of good points that emerged from partitions and rose from the ground. A bar changed into a barbeque via pushing a button; different buttons opened and closed doorways. however the wiring was once badly performed, and there has been a comic book interval while Powell could push a button to enter the parlor, however the kitchen door may open. the home had thirty-two rooms, and anything unforeseen might take place in every one of them. it'll have made an excellent scene in a comedy starring Cary Grant—or invoice Powell—but invoice, understandably adequate, didn’t imagine it used to be humorous.