Monday, July 6, 2009

"Can Anything Good Come Out of Hollywood?"

When I posted about this book back in March, I had just returned from Cinefest and hadn't had much time to go through it, but now I do so let's revisit it.

The book was published in 1923 and written by Laurance L. Hill and Silas E. Snyder and I initially thought it was a religious book touting the evils of Hollywood. After the quick read (it's only 64 pages) I found it to be a rather charming travel guide, trying to drum up commerce after the recent Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor scandals (as mentioned inside).

Each section starts off giving a brief history of the city and goes on to present the case why in the early 1920's, Mom and Pop America shouldn't be afraid to come and enjoy the film industry section of "The Golden State". The religious and moral overtones ARE present throughout but always connected to present the city in the best light possible.

The best part of this book, for me, happens to be the numerous photographs showing the primitive Hollywood before structures covered nearly every square inch of earth and movie stars in candid poses. We also get to see some of the beautiful star homes in all their glory and without all the security needed today. I have left in the captions at the bottom of the pictures so one can see the religious angle of the book and have added some commentary where I think it fits.

Is that and early "H" from the "Hollywoodland" sign?

you can read all about the Studio Club here


c'mon, no gossip???


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting! Photographs of old Hollywood are such fun!

Amanda said...

Fabulous post! Wonderful pics

Robby Cress said...

This is a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing those photos. I especially like seeing the pictures of the pepper trees that used to line the streets. Those are certainly long gone. Weird to think Hollywood used to be filled with pepper trees - not palm trees.

Amy Jeanne said...

Oh, I ADORE "Our Club"!! Look at those 1923 dresses!

KING OF JAZZ said...

Absolutely amazing. I almost felt like I was there!

Eric Stott said...

What strikes me is that most of the stars lived in comfortable upper middle class homes, not palaces.

Anonymous said...

these are a lot of fun, thanks for posting. i love "no gossip" being a requirement for joining the social club. Given that May McAvoy and Mildred Davis, prominent starlets at the time, are among the assembled members, I am inclined to doubt that said rule was in any way observed ... .