The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Performing Arts - 384 pages
With "fresh emphasis on little-known stories [and] an impressive number of eyewitnesses" (Chicago Tribune), Sam Kashner and Jennifer MacNair present "a revealing,...ever fascinating glimpse into the shadowy reality and hidden mores of Hollywood in what was popularly considered a decade of innocence" (Suzanne Finstad). "[S]urprisingly vivid accounts" (People) of such public icons as Lana Turner, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak, and Mae West explore the private scandals exploited by tabloids such as Confidential. Highlighting Hollywood's curious religious revival with The Robe, the film industry's exploitation of the potboiler Peyton Place, and the life of anarchic director Nick Ray of the enduring classic Rebel without a Cause, the authors "[give] a compelling sense" (Kirkus Reviews) of the unique obsessions of the era and the city's attempts to reinvent the magic and mystery of its past glories. Guided by the authors' historical savvy and intimate storytelling, we discover a city at a crossroads, attempting to reinvent the magic and mystery of its past glories. Tragic, irreverent, and always entertaining, The Bad and the Beautiful reveals the underground history of this turbulent decade in American film.

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THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Hollywood in the Fifties

User Review  - Kirkus

Anecdotal account of the world of 1950s cinema and the forces that helped destroy the studio system and reshape Hollywood.Journalists Kashner and MacNair depict a Hollywood struggling against the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - soliloquies - LibraryThing

I admit that I love these books because they are pure escapism - but this one just didn't hit the mark. The stories themselves were entertaining, but the writing style was too dry. Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Sam Kashner and his wife Nancy Schoenberger are creative writing teachers at William and Mary College. They have written entertainment industry biographies, including Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant and Hollywood Kryptonite: The Bulldog, the Lady and the Death of Superman, which explores the death of George Reeves. Kashner has also written three books of poetry on his own.

Jennifer MacNair, a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, is a contributor to the online edition of PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

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