Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book About The Silent Era

   In the vast business of writing there are subgenres of fiction and nonfiction. Within the nonfiction realm there is the unsolved murders section.
    I find that true stories of unsolved murders are interesting.
    Some stories are gripping and worthy of reexamination.
    This story is set back in the 1920’s. Back in the days of silent films there were lots of people who spent time and money going to see the latest film. And there were companies that would put out the films for the public.
     There was also scandal. The availability of drugs and drink  
     The industry was feed by the great studios of that time. One of these studios was the Famous Players-Lasky lead by Adolph Zukor, with a vast stable of players under him. He employed directors under him.
     There was censorship. There were suicides. Someone needed to control the press. And Zukor appointed a gatekeeper called William Desmond Taylor to handle it.
     There were secrets that must be kept secret.
      Taylor directed 59 silent films between 1914 and 1922. He had acted in 27 films between 1913 to 1915. He was murdered 1 Feb 1922. His case was never solved and remains a cold case. Over a dozen individuals were named as suspects.
      Mann, using current records, reinvestigates the murder and names names and tries to come to some conclusion.
      The main glue seems to be Adolf Zukor and his striving to have more movie houses than anyone else so he would be able to show his films. He seemed to be battling with other companies. But that is a sub plot if this were a mystery story.
      This is a well done recreation of the period when drugs and suicide and murder flooded the industry.
      It is told linearly. This makes it a story that is drawing you in.
      I would recommend this for anyone interested in the silent film era and William Desmond Taylor.
      For those who wish to purchase the book, let me give you a link.

 Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

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