Anita Loos

Gary K. Carey, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (331p) ISBN 978-0-394-53127-4
`` Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Anita Loos''so read her first screen credit, and such was the film industry of the day that Loos, quips Carey, would have been given top billing if she had asked. The scriptwriter/playwright/book author (1888-1981), best remembered for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes , is here portrayed in a lackluster recreation tedious with minutiae, written by the biographer of Marlon Brando and other screen stars. Not even the roster of celebrities appearing in cameo rolesDouglas Fairbanks, Carol Channing, Cecil Beaton, Alice B. Toklas et al.adds anything approaching the zip that was the hallmark of Loos's own work. The woman herself, however, one is suprised to find here, was, despite the cut-ups she partied with, a bit of a puritan and docile, delighted by rebels but herself straight-laced. After a brief first marriage in 1915, for instance, she married director John Emerson in 1920 and remained his wife in deed as well as law even though he spent the last 20 years of his lifehe died in 1956in a sanatorium in California while Loos took up residence in Manhattan. To touch her joie, one would do better to track down her memoirs, A Girl Like I and Kiss Hollywood Good-bye , both unfortunately out of print. Photos not seen by PW . ( October )
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-7475-0294-4
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