Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

Book - 2014
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Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, and the diverse cast that surrounded him before he was murdered in 1922-- including three beautiful, ambitious actresses, the ruthless founder of Paramount locked in a struggle for control of the film industry, a grasping stage mother, a devoted valet, and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062242167
Branch Call Number: 364.1523097 MA
Characteristics: xi, 463 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Tinsel Town


From Library Staff

2015 winner - also available as ebook in hoopla and downloadable audiobook in OverDrive

1920s Hollywood

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Jan 16, 2020

despite an unsatifactory conclusion, this book will keep you flipping the pages into the night, and even into the next morning - it should be made into a movie, Oscars could go to everyone

Aug 13, 2019

" George Hopkins sat at his desk at the studio, catercorner to Taylor's, dreaming the impossible. He knew that his relationship with the director would always need be discreet, that he could never hope for more than what they already had--an association that, while intimate, was also irregular and indefinite. But that didn't stop Hopkins from wishing for more, imagining what it might be like to be with Taylor 'all of the time, to live with him, and for the whole world to know' of their love./ It was a fanciful pipe dream." " To King, it was obvious now: Mary had been in an embrace with Taylor, her head resting on his chest, when her mother walked in and pulled the trigger./ It was time to talk with little miss Mary again./"

ss1989 Jun 03, 2015

Spoiler Alert!: The killer is never ''found'' or confirmed, rather. A little more than half way in and realizing that I questioned whether or not I actually wanted to finish the book, what with all of the build up of the murder and all. Plus there are a few other secrets hinted at and teased to the reader that are never revealed. Despite that ( and some other boring - to my taste -general business jargon of the silent film era) the book was 1 of the fastest reads ever and I ate it up quick as I could.

Apr 18, 2015

The author looks at the origins of Hollywood through the lens of the murder of William Desmond Taylor. This book is very detailed about the cast of characters as well as the people and conflicts of the early 1920's. Worth reading but is probably 70 pages too long.

Mar 25, 2015

Chronical-true life mystery is as snappy and streamlined as a Dashiell Hammett whodunit

ChristchurchLib Jan 12, 2015

In 1922, Hollywood was shocked by the murder of William Desmond Taylor, president of the Motion Pictures Directors Association -- a crime that is still unsolved to this day. Tinseltown (a "stellar and gripping true-crime narrative," says Publishers Weekly) offers not only an entirely plausible solution to the murder but places it within the context of the birth of the motion picture industry and the challenges in faced in the 1920s. Readers who enjoy star-studded true crime won't want to miss this satisfying tale. Popular Culture January 2015 newsletter.


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