Behind the screen: how gays and lesbians shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969

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Viking, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 422 pages
11 Reviews
William Mann's Behind the Screen is a thoughtful and eye-opening look at the totality of the gay experience in studio-era Hollywood. Much has been written about how gays have been portrayed in the movies but no book -- until now -- has looked at their influence behind the screen. Whether out of or in the closet, gays and lesbians have from the very beginning played a significant role in shaping Hollywood. Gay actors were among the earliest matinee idols and gay directors have long been among the most popular and commercially successful filmmakers. In fact, gay set and costume designers created the very look of Hollywood.With this landmark book, Mann fills a void in the Hollywood history archives. Written in the tradition of Neal Gabler's An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood and based on hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors of this golden age, Behind the Screen is destined to become a classic of film literature.

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Fascinating and readable. Examines the subject field by field (screenwriters, set designers, directors) and era by era (early Hollywood, WWII, twilight of the studio system). Sources
are clearly cited, whether they're dinner-party stories recalled from memory or period employment records. 

Review: Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

Very good coverage of gays in Hollywood in the last century. It also tells us something of homsexuality and how it is viewed by the culture in general through the years. Alas, the author does dwell too much on stereotypes and can be pedantic, but worth the read! Read full review

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Contents

THE GAY DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS
161
OF THE HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS 19351955
197
THE GAY AWAKENING DURING WORLD WAR II
239
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About the author (2001)

William J. Mann is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, which was named a New York Times Notable Book. Mann has worked as a freelance journalist and editor, and has written several other works of fiction and nonfiction. He divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts and Palm Springs, California.

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