A sly little grin must have come to the lips of the editors of Photoplay when they asked Hollywood's reigning scandal-monger, Errol Flynn (1909 – 1959), to write a small treatise concerning Hollywood morals - and he accepted their offer. Flynn sharpened his pencil and scribbled the following lighthearted defense of Hollywood hedonism; contradicting himself at several points, he opined that Hollywood was not much different than any other neighborhood - and actors are always good because they're too closely monitored to do bad - and if you don't believe that, then you should know that the acting trade brings out in all who heed the call a certain character trait that makes any monogamy highly unlikely.
"As a phenomenon in the history of the show business and among all children, Shirley Temple (1928 - 2014) stands as absolutely unique. For four successive years she has led all other stars in the film industry as the number one box office attraction of the world. But Shirley's influence has been wider than this - there is no country in the world, both civilized and uncivilized where at some time or another her pictures have not been shown."
"In a few weeks Shirley's fan mail reached avalanche proportions, with with the result in her next film, Bright Eyes, Shirley was starred. The old contract was torn up and the Temples were given a new one."
"Royalty and rulers of the world are movie fans. The cinema tastes of the great are disclosed for the first time in this article."
Listed in the attached 1937 Hollywood fan magazine article are the names of the favorite movies of Gandhi, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Hirohito, Roosevelt and many more.
Click here to read about happy Hollywood's discovery of plastic surgery...
A bitter article written by a Hollywood veteran concerning what was at the time recognized as a growing cottage industry: recreational law suits that lay claim to falsified violations of movie plagiarism.
Robert Lord (b. 1902, Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1932) penned this two page article and outlined it all quite clearly as to how the plagiarism game was played in 1930s Hollywood.
After six years of war British actor David Niven (1910 – 1983) came back to resume his rightful place among the anointed swells of Hollywood. This single page article is interesting and not only touches upon his war years but also his earliest days in North America toiling-away on a series of menial jobs.
"He isn't talkative about what happened to him during that dark period [during the war]. He says his outlook has changed some. Even the gayest and most lighthearted can't participate in a ghastly war without some mark being left. The fight with the Nazis made David Niven conscious of other things than the drama pages."
Niven's first post-war film roll was in the Hal Wallis production of THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, co-starring Loretta Young.
A 1939 magazine interview with America's Mullah of manners, Emily Post (1872 – 1960) who was asked to give some criticism on the way etiquette is displayed on screen. She did not hold back; letting Hollywood have both barrels, La Post articulately opined about the poor choice of words the actors are required to spout, how humorously enormous so many of the living room sets always appear to be and how thoroughly inappropriate too many of the costumes are:
"According to Miss Post, the worst offense committed against good manners is that of pretentiousness. She says, 'Good manners are the outward expression of an inward grace. You can't get them any other way. Probably that is why Shirley Temple, in that very first feature picture of hers, had charm that few can equal.'"
"Sometimes the mistakes Hollywood makes are not too serious, but usually they are ludicrous, and far too often they set bad examples for millions of ardent movie-goers."