Hollywood, Hollywood... Fabulous Hollywood... Celluloid Babylon, Glorious, glamorous... City delirious, Frivolous, serious... Bold and ambitious, And vicious and glamorous. Drama - a city-full, Tragic and pitiful... Bunk, junk, and genius Amazingly blended... Tawdry, tremendous, Absurd, stupendous; Shoddy and cheap, And astonishingly splendid... HOLLYWOOD!! - Don Blanding As recited by Leo Carillo in the 1935 MGM Colortone Musical, Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove
To the Scarlet Woman
WHITE ELEPHANTS - the God of Hollywood wanted white elephants, and white elephants he got - eight of 'em, plaster mammoths perched on mega-mushroom pedestals, lording it over the colossal court of Belshazzar, the pasteboard Babylon built beside the dusty tin-lizzie trail called Sunset Boulevard.
Every man and every women is a star. -- Aleister Crowley
Yet, sometimes after fierce rains and winds have swept the skies clean, the Egyptian blue reappears over a still-Spanished, still-palmed plain like the Cytherean isle Catalina, discerned on the horizon on a blue ribbon, the hulking, obsolete sound stages like secretive mastabas picked out below, and we can imagine what drew the ambitious and reckless men here, an age ago.
Originally published in Paris, this is a collection of Hollywood's darkest and best kept secrets from the pen of Kenneth Anger, a former child movie actor who grew up to become one of America's leading underground film-makers.