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True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and…
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True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders (2013)

by Dina Di Mambro

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A tantalizing mixture of classic Hollywood nostalgia and true crime, this book is suspenseful, entertaining, and compulsively readable. Featuring 100 rare photographs and a dozen different chapters, True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders by Dina Di Mambro, uncovers the true stories of mystery and murder surrounding the lives and deaths of many stars of Hollywood's golden age. The lives, potential scandals, and untimely deaths of such people as William Desmond Taylor, Thomas Ince, Jean Harlow, Thelma Todd, Joan Bennett, Lana Turner, George Reeves, Gig Young, Bob Crane, Natalie Wood, Robert Blake, and Mickey Cohen are revealed. Included in the cast of characters of this book are Johnny Stompanato, William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies, and Charlie Chaplin. And read never before told mob stories about Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel, Virginia Hill, and a host of notorious underworld figures.

From 1922 until 2001, explore some of Hollywood's most fascinating mysteries, scandals and murders - true Hollywood noir lived by the players behind the scenes. The West Coast mob and city corruption intertwining with Hollywood mysteries on and off screen, the plots of noir films pulled from actual happenings in the criminal underworld - these are the stories behind the stories, the darker images playing out in living color behind the silver screen. Although many of the actors mentioned in this book met with tragic and untimely deaths, or notorious misfortune tainted the remainder of their lives, the talent of these highly creative individuals and the legacy they left behind has given them a timeless immortality which is undeniable.

I love watching movies, and so by extension, I thoroughly enjoyed reading True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders by Dina Di Mambro. Although I knew several of these actors' names and life stories because I took a Classic Film course when I was in college, there were also many of these names that were relatively new to me. I give this book an A! and certainly look forward to reading more by Ms. Di Mambro in the future. ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Jul 27, 2017 |
This book contains just 12 chapters, the accounts of 12 Hollywood people who were involved in criminal activity, their names may or may not be familiar to you. William Desmond Taylor, Thomas Ince, Jean Harlow, Thelma Todd, Joan Bennett, Lana Turner, George Reeves, Gig Young, Bob Crane, Natalie Wood, Robert Blake, and Mickey Cohen. Some of these people I knew their work, some I knew their name, some were completely unknown to me. A few (Bob Crane, Natalie Wood, Robert Blake) I knew the crime associated with them but not the details.

In this book we get the details. The accounts are not heavily detailed, but in some cases it is because there are not a lot of details known. The chapters follow a pattern of the crime is stated, then the history of the people involved is told, then there are examinations of the ‘suspects’. Ms. Di Mambro doesn’t give her opinion, she states the facts or lists quotes from people who were there or knew the people involved.

A very interesting book with a lot of pictures. I enjoyed this book and recommend it. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
Spanning the years of 1922-2001, Dina Di Mambro takes us through 11 Hollywood scandals, mysteries and murders. Each chapter brings us a new mystery giving only facts and letting the reader decide what to believe.

I love true crime so I jumped at the chance to read this when I was asked to. There were many people that I didn’t know, such as William Desmond Taylor, Thelma Todd, and Gig Young, so it was intriguing to read about them. And then it was nice to revisit the ones I did know, George Reeves, Natalie Woods, and Robert Blake to name a few, in hopes of finding something new to the story.

At times it was confusing with the author jumping from one suspect to another and sometimes back tracking at odd times. The author stayed unbiased and made this book an enjoyable quick read for someone who isn’t looking for an in depth investigation into each case. The writing supported the fact that it was well thought out and researched and there was a lot packed into these short 12 chapters.

(Book was provided by publisher for an honest review) ( )
  Kelsey_O | Jan 5, 2014 |
True Hollywood Noir by Dina Di Mambro is one of those kind of non fiction Hollywood type of books that you can sink your teeth into. I know most of the stories in the book and I have heard about George Reeves, of Superman fame, Natalie Wood, whom I have always admired as an actress, Robert Blake, his recent murder trial has been widely publicized. I remember reading about Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato and his murder and Bob Crane most notably known for Hogan's Heroes. I found all of these stories fascinating and a fun read. I am not one of those type of people who is fond of looking at or reading the 'tabloids', I prefer to read biographies about famous people. I enjoyed this book and there was a lot of research that went into the writing, there are interviews with friends and families, pictures and a lot of references listed in the back of the book. A great read if you love reading about Hollywood.

I received a review copy of this book and was not monetarily compensated for my review. ( )
  celticlady53 | Nov 2, 2013 |
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Film Noir—translated from French as "black film"—is a genre that encompasses the elements of highly charged sexuality with cynical male characters, femme fatales, and moral ambiguity.
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