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My First Time in Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp

My First Time in Hollywood

by Cari Beauchamp

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This is a collection of short memoirs from some forty people who were in the film industry when it first started in Hollywood. It ranges from famous actors- Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and Gloria Swanson-to producers and directors (lots of them), to writers, and people who furnished the sets. It even includes the infamous Will Hayes, who was brought to Hollywood to institute censorship.

These first person pieces are gleaned from various sources- magazine articles, autobiographies, oral history, letters, and lectures. They are all about the very first time each of these people set foot in Hollywood, back when Hollywood was not even really Hollywood. The dates range from 1909 to the 1929, during the time in which Los Angeles and Hollywood exploded and grew exponentially, going from deserted semi-desert to built-up phenomenon.

All but one person entered Hollywood via rail. All remember the vast, boring plains they had to travel through. All remember being rather bemused by the lack of buildings in Hollywood. It’s as much a history of the town and the industry as it is memoirs, and I found it fascinating because of that (I grew up in Los Angeles). It includes lots of photographs, too. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Nov 1, 2015 |
This was like getting in a time machine and going back to the very early days of Hollywood. Beauchamp has collected recollections from many of Hollywood's early pioneers of their first impression of Hollywood. The mix of stories come from the very well known such as Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Frances Marion, Myrna Loy, Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore, Cecil B. DeMille, Gloria Swanson, and others to those not as well known such as Virgil Miller, Evelyn Scott, Valerie Belletti, Ralph Winters, and Maurice Leloir. Beauchamp has organized the reminiscences by year and has included many vintage photographs. Heartily recommended to anyone who wants first hand knowledge of Hollywood' early days by those who were there. ( )
  knahs | Jun 15, 2015 |
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