Hollywood's Silent Closet (Hardcover)
Georgia Literary Association, 9780966803020, 746pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Hollywood's Silent Closet provides a banquet of information about the pansexual intrigues of Hollywood between 1919 and 1926, compiled from eyewitness interviews with men and women, all of them insiders, who flourished in its midst. Not for the timid, it names names and doesn't spare the guilty. If you believe, like Truman Capote, that the literary treatment of gossip will become the literature of the 21st century, then you will love Hollywood's Silent Closet. Hollywood's Silent Closet is a vivid portrait of the decadent, homosexual, and gossipy world of pre-talkie Hollywood. It's an Info-Novel where 90% of everything in it is true. It represents the greatest collection of star-studded scandal ever assembled on the film stars of Hollywood's Silent Era. Valentino, Ramon Novarro, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Pola Negri, Nazimova, and many others figure into eyewitness accounts of the debauched excesses that went on behind closed doors. It also documents the often tragic endings of America's first screen idols, some of whom admitted to being more famous than the monarchs of England and Jesus Christ combined. Many of the interviews that went into the compilation of this book were conducted between 1940 and 1974, as the subjects were nearing the end of their lives and were willing, at last, to reveal scandals and insights that had previously been repressed by their own fears and by the media machines of the studio system. Marriages of convenience are the norm as intra-male peccadillos (and lots of lesbian love, too) are swept under the potted palms of the Edwardian age. The hero of this tale is the amiably cross-dressing Durango Jones, a wide-eyed neophyte from Kansas, circa 1919, who hits Hollywood during its Pre-Code excesses, and stays for a sexual feast wherein the banquet consists of many of the era's most flamboyant sex symbols. And although technically, this title has been formatted as a novel rather than a straight-line biography, there's the sometimes disturbing sense that this book is genuinely historical as well as being a jolly and rollicking piece of very savvy entertainment. This is high-testosterone Hollywood at its most compulsively readable. The 60s didn't invent sex-the stars of the Silent Screen did. Cruiser. Who slept with Mary Pickford's three husbands, her two brothers-in-law, and even her brother? The hero of Hollywood's Silent Closet, that's who Trova Roma.