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

by William J. Mann

Download Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 eBook
William J. Mann
Social Sciences
Penguin Books; 1st edition (October 29, 2002)
448 pages
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1446 kb
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The first full accouning of the role of gays and lesbians in Hollywood argues that homosexuals were in fact a protected class in the film industry who had considerable power to shape the art and business of movie-making. Reprint.
  • Rleillin
If Neal Gabler's "An Empire of Their Own" dealt with "How the Jews Invented Hollywood," then William Mann's "Behind the Screen" could be also be called "How Gays and Lesbians made Hollywood!" Mann's book is a serious chronological of the golden age and the people who created it; they just happened to be gay. A very informative book, research extensive, it covers new territory with wit and style dealing with something new in Hollywood history; it is an excellent read. Mann's interviews are astute with survivors of this golden age, a history of a Hollywood movie gay life, that was both creative and glamorous, never to be seen again. It covers the totality of a gay experience in studio era Hollywood and Mann has captured the influence of these men and women behind the screen. Not just movie stars, the book deals with gay directors, that reads like a who's who of Hollywood's creative best, along with the gay set and costume designers who gave Hollywood a look and influenced the taste of the entire world. The material is rich and covers gay producers, character actors, writers, cameramen, agents, executives, etc. It is all enthralling and provides a long needed important volume in Hollywood history. It also chronicles gays who played a part in union organizations, at a time when the studio bosses only concern was profit and greed, along with mentioning their meritorious service during World War II. It makes such contemporary military follies as "don't ask, don't tell," an insult to the memory of these valliant Americans. It is greatly recommended to anyone interested in the movies and how people with great taste and style, something so lacking today, influenced an entire period of our culture.
  • Moronydit
Mann writes a very well researched and almost scholarly book of nonfiction. This is definitely only interesting if you are really into the subject. It has more than a lot of insightful information about the gays that made classic Hollywood well Hollywood!. Because of the many, many people profiled in this book there are a lot of: "Born in Pocatello in 1895, son of...." I had to just skip all of that, after a while it really got in the way and often really wasn't germane to their later life in Hollywood.
Manns books are dry and ,honestly, lack charm or charisma, but his subjects are well chosen and usually quite interesting and he does tell a good tale. This is not a gossipy book at all. No titillation. This is a serious book about some amazing people who led amazing life's and left a legacy of popular culture. Classic Movies.
  • Blackredeemer
This book does an admirable job of documenting gay Hollywood. Not just the stars, but the directors, clothing designers, set decorators, etc. The shifting climate for gays in Hollywood is documented along with its apparent impact on gay people working in the industry. The one drawback is the muddled summation of what it all means---the author takes a romanticized, separatist view, in which the more closted eras in Hollywood are seen as building community and doing more for gay identity. I rather doubt that people who lived through that would feel the same way and his own research seems to contradict this analysis. Not a book for those looking for fresh gossip or innuendo, but entertaining, as well informative and well-documented, nonetheless.
  • Aloo
Take me a while to catch up, but love this book. I was born in the late 40s in that area of the world, and so interesting to read about all the things that went on both before, during, and after I left the area. It has introduced me to some of the names I had heard of from my parents (who had some ties to the industry). Thoroughly enjoyed this book, thank you.
  • Kashicage
This book is another winner by William Mann. His research and attention to detail is mind boggling. He takes us behind the PR and secrets of gay Hollywood and gives us a look at a sexy, provocative world. I couldn't put this book down. It is proof that if it weren't for gay men and lesbians Hollywood would have been lost and the movies we now treasure as classics would never have been made. Bravo again, Mr. Mann.
  • Unsoo
Great book. It was well researched and well written. It contains insight and perspective. I would recommend it as a good read.
  • Xanzay
Enjoyable combination of history and gossip with many fascinating accounts from sad things to funny things, passed a few guilty-pleasure evenings of guess-who's-gay snoopiness.
I loved it, Very entertaining and information about that era in Hollywood was very described LOVED IT