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Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
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Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide-de-camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male—and female— stars. In the 1940s and ‘50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lotswhere he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities—straight and gay–for decades. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them. This cinéma-vérité documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) tells his story, as well as presents eyeopening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more.
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.25 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : unknown
- Director : Matt Tyrnauer
- Media Format : Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 37 minutes
- Release date : November 6, 2018
- Actors : Scotty Bowers, Peter Bart, Stephen Fry
- Studio : Greenwich Entertainment
- ASIN : B07H5VTHBD
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,269 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is instead a sometimes slow and measured profile of an elderly man who happened to have had an unexpectedly, unplanned prominent role in the private lives of culterally prominent people. But the film is about Bowers and the prominent people and their stories are the backdrop here, spicing things up and giving context, but not eclipsing Bowers. Threading through are glimpses of his time in WW2, his surviving Buddys of his sexual heyday, his befuddled and somewhat disapproving wife, and the incidental queer activism of his life. Bowers went from hedonist to distract from trauma (which Mr. Bowers himself disputes) to Elder holding on to all possessions that cross his path as his life and story nears its close. If getting to know a profane and pithy, unapologetic Queer Elder who tells a good story doesn't interest you, give this fine Doc a pass. I was drawn in, concerned, uncomfortable, touched, and finally affectionate of this man. I appreciate his sharing his stories and his life.
PS (spoilery), Mr Bowers, I very much share your grief about the loss of your dog, and understand (this is referenced, not shown).
Ninety-year-old Scotty makes no apologies for the colorful life he’s led. Be it offering himself up to a gaggle of priests for sexual exploits as a tween, or arranging clandestine sex romps for celebrities via his post-WWII gas station job, or “outing” them via his book, Mr. Bowers expresses little regret. When he does, it’s for not doting on his first wife often enough, or regarding the premature death of their 20-something daughter after a botched abortion decades ago. His current wife of 35 years is an octogenarian nightclub singer, who just barely tolerates Scotty’s obsessive hoarding and nags at him to repair the health-and-safety dangers of their much-needed, but unattended-to, home repairs.
Many have stated that both the book and this film are disrespectful to the memory and loved ones of the people he’s “outed”, but to be fair, there is very little “dirt” here that the general public doesn’t already know. The usual suspects are all noted: Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, etc. so those looking for some surprising juicy new nuggets may be disappointed, but this is still a well-made, interesting doc that proves that people were just as sex-obsessed back in the old days as they are now—it just wasn’t flaunted as freely as it is today.
Hey, why get particular when the muff you fluff is famous stuff?
There's a spot of nudity for the sensitive---old black and white photographs---but not much. There's LOTS of crystal clear old video of Old Hollywood though, the town itself, but for those who care, also of the Stars. And then there's Scotty himself, now in his nineties, owner of several minor Hollywood hills residential properties he seems to use for his current hobby or profession---dumpster diving and hoarding. At one point he even reluctantly picks up a discarded toilet after initially denouncing it as a "not very good low flow". I still have to use the same model and I can heartily agree with him on that one at least.
But why is he hoarding? Even his current wife (literal, not figurative, he's got a woman for a wife) says he wasn't hoarding when they met---and she's a quiet hoot all of her own. But no one really asks that question.
It's an odd look through Hollywood's closet door where everybody is gay, or was, or fooled around, and you have to decide for yourself how much is true, but it's certainly interesting, and in his younger photos he's very easy to look at. As an old man, he's quite a charmer in front of the camera.
Top reviews from other countries
Then, times changes.
Scandal would erupt if someone was somewhere they should not have been, or coming out of a seedy club or hotel room, or someones home before dawn
Scottie left service and started a referral service for the stars and others who wanted a particular type of person for a few hours, a quick trip up the coast.
The DVD is a wonderful memory of Scotties time at the gas bar and after.
Some say why did he do the DVD and write the book about everyone that is dead and can't rebuke the stories.
Perhaps its because Scottie is a gentleman and didn't want anyone alive to feel "outed"
Some family of the late stars deny the stories. perhaps some people don't like the "real truth" about their parents or grandparents.
But the world is becoming an ugly place, isn't in more important that these stars had relationships with people they loved? Who loved them?
I would have loved to have been in that inner circle of our past. To have danced, swam in their pools, had bar b q at private parties with these celebrities being their true selves, safe, in their homes with real friends - who kept quiet
Tab Hunter was a great actor and when the word got out a "scandalous tall all" was about to be released, and and partner Allen made their own. If you don't own it, get it.
Tab talks frankly about his life and the men in it.
I don't know why, but I cried when I heard that Tab had died.
I think of Allan, in their home, with wonderful memories of a man who loved him for a lifetime
Waiting for Scotties' the book to be available, but glad I have this.