THE LAND OF MINK-LINED POOLS:
HOLLYWOOD FILMS ABOUT HOLLYWOOD
Recipient of the LLS 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award
DESCRIPTION: Shortly after arriving out west, the witty screenwriter Ben Hecht began referring to Hollywood as “The land of mink-lined swimming pools and plastic palm trees.” Not to be outdone, the equally witty Dorothy Parker noted, “The only ‘ism’ Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.” The two were by no means alone in their lowly assessment of the world’s film capital. William Faulkner called Hollywood “A place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.” And then there was Fred Allen, who claimed “You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer’s heart.” When it comes to having a jaundiced view of the movie industry, nothing and no one is more jaded—or funnier—than Hollywood itself. And when Hollywood makes films about Hollywood . . . watch out! This lecture series highlights eight films Hollywood made about itself; cinematic arrows drawn from a quiver of satire:
- What Price Hollywood? (1932): The original A Star is Born, starring Constance Bennett.
- Day of the Locust (1975): Donald Sutherland stars in an adaptation of Nathaniel West’s classic novel.
- The Star (1952): Bette Davis in a tour-de-force as a washed up star looking to make a comeback.
- What Makes Sammy Run? (1959): Sammy Glick is the ultimate Hollywood hustler.
- Hollywood Blvd. (1936): Extremely rare; a scathing exposé of Hollywood gossip and scandal sheets.
- Once in a Lifetime (1932): A brilliant satire about the invasion of vocal coaches in Hollywood.
- Make Me a Star (1932): A comedy about a talentless young man who is intent upon becoming a star.
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1952): Kirk Douglas as a ruthless studio executive.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Now in his 13th year with the Lifelong Learning Society (LLS), Kurt Stone is a best-selling author, political activist, actor and ordained rabbi. He calls himself a “Hollywood Brat,” having been born and raised in and around the film industry, and calls his love and knowledge of film “a genetic inheritance.”
|3:45 PM – 5:30
Tuesdays, October 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20, 27
Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
$68 member / $98 non-member