Cover image for Hollywoodland
Wallace, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xviii, 238 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

"LA weekly books."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1993.5.U65 W288 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PN1993.5.U65 W288 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN1993.5.U65 W288 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Hollywood lifestyles of today have nothing on those of the first half of the last century for opulence and glamour. David Wallace, author of Lost Hollywood, has unearthed new stories and fresh details about some of the era's biggest names and how they lived, worked, and played. The stars' real lives at the dawn of the studio era were infinitely more interesting than anything committed to celluloid, and they're all here. Hollywoodland explores, among other topics: --high society --"twilight" guys and gals --getting high --dream houses --great movie music and where it came from --star retreats and playgrounds --the mob and the movie business --celebrated on-screen and off-screen fashions Hollywoodland is rich and lively history about Hollywood's grandest era, and necessary reading for any fan of the movies and their earliest stars.

Author Notes

David Wallace is a journalist who has covered celebrities and the movie industry for over twenty years. He lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Old Hollywood never dies. In a worthy mate for his Complicated Women (2002), LaSalle argues that the filmic ideal of modern man derives from leading men of the "pre-Code era," between the full acceptance of sound in 1929 and the imposition of the notorious Hays Production Code in 1934. That era, says La Salle, was dominated by two assumptions: "If you played by the rules, you'd lose," and "if you were shrewd and brave enough, you could beat the system." This dandy theoretical footing, though, is secondary to what's really appealing here: smart vignettes about the stars, their films, and the era. The usual suspects--Cagney, Cooper, Gable, et alia--receive their due, but also limned are the now-shadowy Warren William, Ramon Novarro, and John Gilbert. LaSalle, once again expert in selecting the telling anecdote about a subject, makes his love of his subject evident throughout a highly readable work of film history. Wallace's book jacket fittingly features a picture of the Hollywood sign in its original splendor. His arch and choppy writing style contributes to an overall aura of smug amusement reminiscent of Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylons (1975 and 1984), but he isn't as well organized as Anger. He can be long on detail, but long and quirky. He mentions that corrupt D. A. Buron Fitts killed himself with a gun "identical to that used by Mary Miles Minter's mother . . . to kill [director William Desmond] Taylor" --a fascinating tidbit, but presented innocent of the complexities of the Taylor case. No matter. Wallace's emphasis clearly indicates where his and the book's focus lies: in tasty, scandalous stories of Hollywood back when the stars and the movies were bigger than big, huger than huge; that is, before the 1950s. And Wallace doesn't just expose actors and cops; studio czar Harry Cohn, among many off-screen others, comes in for some well-deserved exposure, too. --Mike Tribby

Library Journal Review

Hollywood's heritage is the subject of these two books. Wallace follows up his Lost Hollywood with Hollywoodland, his ruminations on various happenings in Tinseltown's history, including a foreword by famed tap dancer Ann Miller. Chapters include "Getting High in Hollywood," "Bombshells-Blonde, Brash and Built," " `Twilight' Guys and Gals," and "The Lowest of the Low-The Hollywood Screenwriter." Unfortunately, there is no bibliography, which made this reviewer curious about the research. Hollywood Remembered contains more than 30 short recollections from various Hollywoodites, such as actress Evelyn Keyes, comedians Steve Allen and Jonathan Winters, and writer Charles Champlin. Zollo (Songwriters on Songwriting) presents a brief history of Hollywood's "Golden Age," a sprinkling of memoirs, and a tour describing the hot spots. The memoirs are quite fun to read, and one does get a real feel for the Hollywood of yore. While Hollywoodland focuses on the seamier side and is a light diversion, Hollywood Remembered is a vivid work incorporating the personalities of the interviewees. Both books are recommended for film collections and larger public libraries where interest warrants.-Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.