For as long as the entertainment industry has been in existence there has been gossip about stars, directors, and showbiz in general. (With one of the oldest from the age of cinema revolving around a film crew from the Edison Manufacturing Company and Topsy the elephant — it’s too grim to share here, but feel free to research it). The acceleration of technology and the rise of the Internet over the past three decades has just made tales of Hollywood secrets and scandals more easily disseminated (and debunked). An assortment of the most enduring show business stories are included in Joe Williams’ excellent book Hollywood Myths: The Shocking Truth Behind Film’s Most Incredible Secrets and Scandals. Here’s a description of the informative 240-page tome:
Find out what really happened when the cameras weren’t rolling, in this thorough debunking of the biggest and most extraordinary myths in movie history.
Hollywood exists to create and sell myth. Often, however, the myths created on screen are secondary to the rumors, half-truths, and lies that circulate through studio back lots and the press. Discover the real stories behind Hollywood’s greatest myths, as veteran film critic and Hollywood reporter Joe Williams sorts fact from fiction and examines how these tales came to be and how they persisted.
Did Thomas Edison really invent the motion picture? Why has Charlie Chaplin survived as the undisputed king of the silent era? What about Fatty Arbuckle and that ill-fated boys’ weekend in San Francisco? Did Woody Allen really marry his adopted daughter? Was there actually a suicide on the set of The Wizard of Oz (or are any of the other countless rumors about that film true)?
The tales featured in Hollywood Myths involve specific films, actors’ private lives, the industry itself, and urban legends that have existed as long as Hollywood has. Throughout, Williams illuminates what it was that made the biggest stars—from Marlon to Marilyn, Bogie to Brad—shine so brightly on the silver screen. In all, 56 enduring myths are examined, in the process revealing the machinations of myth-making in the fast, loose, and out-of-control world of Hollywood.
As a lover of urban legends — especially those inspired by pop culture — this book is hugely appealing to me. If you share my love for such stories, Hollywood Myths is the book for you as well!
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