Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969

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9780142001141: Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969
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The first full accouning of the role of gays and lesbians in Hollywood argues that homosexuals were in fact a protected class in the film industry who had considerable power to shape the art and business of movie-making. Reprint.

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If your last piece of golden-era Hollywood gossip is that Greta Garbo and Cecil Beaton kissed at a rooftop party, you need to steep yourself in William J. Mann's social history of gay Hollywood, a treasure trove of fresh anecdotes and observations of a period and place in which homosexuals enjoyed tremendous freedom and influence--within certain obvious limits. In choosing subjects for his study, Mann cast his net widely, hauling in a great number of uncelebrated but essential workers in the "queer" areas of the film industry--mainly costume design and props, but also writing, directing and acting. This is not principally a look at famous figures, in other words, but at a subculture as a whole, in which Dorothy Arzner, George Cukor, and Charles Laughton are just part of larger circles of gay life and work. Certain to become essential to gay film studies, Behind the Scenes provides a rich, accessible history of pre-Stonewall Hollywood. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

William J. Mann is the author of Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Hanes, Hollywood's First Openly Gay Star. An award-winning journalist, he was the publisher of Metroline, the acclaimed New England news-magazine, and is a contributor to Architectural Digest and The Advocate.

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