Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Birth of Hollywood

Book - 2014
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Bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, and the diverse cast that surrounded him before he was murdered in 1922 -- including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; the ruthless founder of Paramount locked in a struggle for control of the film industry; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet.
Publisher: New York, N.Y., Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014.
ISBN: 9780062242167
Characteristics: 463 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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Nov 12, 2014

The mystery surrounding the murder of director William Desmond Taylor rivals another notorious Hollywood cold case, the Black Dahlia. Peopled with the the highest tier of Hollywood power brokers to the lowest rungs of losers and hangers-on, the story is also an informative history about the early structure of film production, distribution, and theater franchising that persists even today. A little slow at times, but I stuck with it because I am a sucker for tales that take place in a city with streets named Sunset and Alvarado.

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