A Gaudy Spree: The Literary Life of Hollywood in the 1930s When the West Was Fun

Samuel Marx, Author Franklin Watts $0 (217p) ISBN 978-0-531-15008-5
Writing in the quick cuts of his trade, which makes for disconcerting reading, Marx recreates his first decade in Hollywood as story editor at MGM and later at Goldwyn Studio and Columbia. His memory is unfortunately unselective, and he proves to be such a considerable loyalist that even Columbia's legendary monster Harry Cohn is recalled as ""oddly likeable.'' Despite the subtitle, only fleeting frames are zoomed at literary screenwriters, the likes of ``Plummy'' Wodehouse, Faulkner, Upton Sinclair et al. Yet whenever Marx lingers over a close-up, invariably of movie folk, he develops wonderful cameos: MGM's Irving Thalberg; Beatrice Kaufman, Columbia's East Coast story editor (and wife of playwright George Kaufman); Marion Davies, seen during a weekend Marx spent at San Simeon among ``only 27 guests.'' Some of this latter material is so lively the reader senses the book that might have been written, and regrets that it wasn't. (May 27)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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