The Bad and the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties by Sam Kashner
A vivid portrait of power, fame, and sex in 1950s Hollywood, from the rise of tabloid journalism to the making of legendary film icons. In these tantalizing stories of momentous events and legendary characters, Sam Kashner and Jennifer MacNair brilliantly re-create the drama and contradictions of Hollywood's most scandalous and dynamic decade. Colorful and humorous anecdotes of such public icons as Lana Turner, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak, and Mae West profile the celebrities' lives away from the camera, telling of the private moments that were exploited by tabloids such as Confidential and gossip queens Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper, and Sheilah Graham. Chronicling the unique obsessions of the era, the authors also offer behind-the-scenes commentary on the making of classic films: Hollywood's curious religious revival with The Robe; the film industry's exploitation of the potboiler Peyton Place, even as it rejected the housewife who penned it; and the anarchic director Nick Ray, who, on the set of the enduring classic Rebel without a Cause, taught his teenage stars about much more than acting. 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.