- Hardcover: 305 pages
- Publisher: Straight Arrow, 1975; Book Club Edition edition (1975)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0617344086
- ISBN-13: 978-0617344087
- Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.2 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon Hardcover – 1975
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Top Customer Reviews
The photos are often tasteless, the prose is often tacky and sleazy, the research is put together with two nails and a hammer, and overall the book reminds one of the old "Confidential" magazines (the magazine is actually profiled in one of the book's chapters). Yet sleaze and tackiness are what Hollywood was all about, so the book seems fitting.
If you want accuracy in a book, go elsewhere. If you like gossip in the most vicious and slimy way possible, then this is your book.
The book reads like a gossip column mixed with sleazy tabloid journalism, yet with the wit and humor of a prankster. It's an exploitation of exploited lives. To mimic tabloids further, the pages appear with large and sometimes disturbing photos of stars at their most inopportune moments.
While much of the material has already had its heyday in newspapers of the times, it has a new life today where many of these actors and actresses are virtually unheard of by the general public and rekindled new interest in their films. Just as watching and old O. J. Simpson football game may have the same appeal as watching Lana Turner in her debut "They Won't Forget."
The title to me is entirely fitting, as Hollywood is the "Babylon" of our society, one in which everyone has all their wants at their disposal. A place where hedonism is the religion and tragedy is only the end of a scene, for we know by the end of the movie everything will be all right.Read more ›
Clara Bow never took on the Trojans in her home, Jayne Mansfield wasn't really decapitated, that is a wig in the picture and Fatty Arbuckle wasn't a rapist, Virginia Rappe died from a botched abortion.
The bottom line is, you are better off reading the biographies that are just as sensational, but hopefully closer to the facts.
Also Crimelibrary.com has truer stories about these people and it is free.
Well, infinitely sarcastic and tsk tsking in tone, Kenneth Anger compiled a fascinating, if not nauseating tome of Hollywood gossip, mysteries and scandals; accompanied by a generous helping of equally fascinating and nauseating photos.
Just when you think that people are so moral back in the good ole days...well, surprise surprised!!!! Here comes Hollywood, the "cemetery of virtue".
Hollywood Babylon "documented", with frenzied glee, the various scandals that rocked the film industry, and in turn the world. First we are introduced to the death of Olive Thomas, then the now infamous Fatty Arbuckle trial. These two stories basically set the tone for the rest of the book....rapes, sexual indiscretions, drug overdoses, nervous breakdowns, orgies, murders, creative suicides and so on and so forth.
The photos themselves are not for the faint of heart.... featuring death photos of extinguished luminaries such as Thelma Todd, Marie Prevost,Bugsy Siegel, Jayne Mansfield (and her dog!).
Overall, if you like gossip and scandal and loves laughing at the misfortunes of others and have a taste for the morbid, this book is a delight...a delectable "box of poisoned bon bons" through which you can choose and pick at your leisure...with every juicy morsel is as good as the next.
Otherwise....this book will probably make you nauseous.
A sequel, Hollywood Babylon II is not as good as THIS one. But the zinger in that tome is photos of the infamous Black Dahlia murder. But that is another poisoned bonbon for another day.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this book! Had to pass it on. Came on time and in good condition.Published 4 days ago by Maxine Denton
It was very crude and had nudity. Which greatly offended me. The facts were inaccurate. And I was being nice to give it two stars.Published 2 months ago by Kathy J. Martin
I purchased this used, but it was in excellent condition. Wow...what a dark sordid history lesson on Hollywood! Excellent easy read with tons of fascinating pictures. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ruth Ann Frank
I ordered this book because I couldn't resist finding out Hollywood's secrets & dirty deeds over the years. It just intrigued me. The book was published in 1975. It's an old book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jason Sturges
legendary. the original Michael K. If you like this book, you should definitely be reading dlisted.Published 4 months ago by Sonya