Skip to comments.Sex, Death and Loathing in Hollywood
Posted on 02/07/2014 7:32:13 AM PST by Kaslin
Hollywood is glamorous on the screen and in the imaginations of millions. But when reality intrudes on the art, the grime of human ordinariness, with all its needs, desires and compulsions, comes into sharp focus. The shine flees from the tinsel.
Two Hollywood stories have rubbed off some of the shine just as Oscar season puts movies front and center in pop culture. Readers and viewers can indulge in the pity of off-screen tragedy as if seeking something socially redeeming.
When Philip Seymour Hoffman, an actor known for making sordid characters come alive with sympathy, overdosed on heroin, real life intruded again. He suffered death's final indignity when his body was found with a needle still in his arm. Plastic bags, stamped with "Ace of Spades" or "Ace of Hearts," ironic symbols of his dealers' brands, were scattered throughout his Manhattan apartment as though they were powdered glitter on a movie set.
The other sad story focuses on Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, who were a couple for many years. Their family of assorted natural and adopted children has been bruised and battered by their parents' most public private lives. The most damaging story was revived by their adopted daughter Dylan, now 28, who claims that Woody sexually molested her when she was 7. She found her voice on the op-ed page of The New York Times.
Columnist Nicholas Kristof, who has exposed sexual abuse in the Third World, writes that he is a friend of Dylan's mother, Mia, and her brother Ronan, and published Dylan's account of what she says happened with Woody more than two decades ago. She was recently diagnosed as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and says her troubles began when her father started "doing things to me that I didn't like."
There's finality to Philip Seymour Hoffman's suffering. The police try to find his dealers and his fans, and friends try to figure out why he returned to the growing numbers of heroin addicts. There's no ambiguity about the nature of his addiction. As soon as man, woman or child, whether rich or poor, black or white, experiment with heroin, they put their lives in danger. Heroin kills. Addicts can kick the habit for years, but they're never entirely free of the yearning for the poison. A friend of mine died of a heroin overdose in his 40s. He began taking the drug when he was a student at one of the most fashionable private schools in Manhattan. He and his friends thought it "hip." Family, friends, rehab centers all tried to free him. Only death succeeded.
Every supplier, big and small, is in business to meet a demand. They find it worth the risk of prison. A lot of people laughed at Nancy Reagan's slogan, "Just say no," but those who say no can live to enjoy life. Expanded information about the danger and damage in heroin is not a strategy for a cure, but it could help. Hollywood could start a campaign against the drug, using a young star's death to teach and emphasize the dangers.
The accusation against Woody Allen is difficult to parse because it took place during a bitter custody battle; some of his friends say the girl's mother planted the idea of molestation. Woody says it didn't happen, and Mia chose not to pursue criminal charges due to the fragility of the "child victim." That was probably the right thing to do, but the accusations were never considered by the courts.
"I know it's (a case of) 'he said,' 'she said,'" Dylan says now. "But to me it's black-and-white, because I was there." There's the rub. She was there, and we weren't. PTSD is not an exact diagnosis. The child has now grown up, and no one wants to dispute a child's suffering, but her account extends blame with an indictment of those who work with her father: "What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett?" she asks of the actress nominated for an Oscar in Woody Allen's latest movie.
The Academy begins voting next week, and her question may prejudice some voters considering the nomination of Miss Blanchett. Isn't that unfair collateral damage? If Academy Awards were awarded only to the morally upright who work with the virtuous, there would be no Oscars. The messages dispatched by Hollywood are crucial in the culture because so many people listen. Hollywood could work on messages about drug abuse and child abuse, on behalf of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dylan Farrow. But Hollywood, after all, is the tinsel factory. Abuse is not glamorous, but tinsel made useful might save lives.
it’s interesting that you really don’t hear, on a pro rata basis, the sexual abuse, drug use, and other crimes in Hollywood. I mean, considering the use of the casting couch, when was the last time you heard of someone pressing sexual assault charges in Hollywood?
i’m sure it is all swept under the rug, but you don’t hear the Marxists whinning that the 1 per cent Hollywood producer types get away with it.
I’ve heard that some Hollywood idiots think Roman Polanski is a victim.
And he has his apologists, such as Hollywood idiot Whoopi Goldberg, who said he didn’t commit “rape rape” against a teenage girl.
What nobody ever talks about is that Polanski and his attorneys were in a plea bargain situation, in which he was going to plead guilty to lesser charges, which may have not even involved prison time. But, instead of facing American justice, he chose to flee. The reason he is a fugitive is because he chose to leave America rather than face the charges.
And the actual allegations are that he did indeed physically penetrate the girl against her will. Whoopi is wrong to say it wasn’t “rape rape”.
Hollywood idiots can be very selective in their moral outrage against people and situations. Since Polanski’s crime happened decades ago, and his actual legal troubles involve flight from justice charges, some Hollywood idiots think he got a raw deal. Which shows where their own moral compass, or lack thereof, really lies. Those sorts of people think that a gifted Hollywood producer/director should be able to do unspeakable things to a teenage girl, just because he is a fellow Hollywood insider.
and that's because the one percent Hollywood producer-types are Marxist supporters...
I have no doubt the debauchery is off-the-charts. Hollywood was always a moral cesspit compared to the rest of the country. Although, there’s the irony of context, because the ‘wild sin and depravity’ of say, 1930s/40s-era Hollywood, would be considered downright reserved compared to what goes on today throughout normal mid-america.
I remember hearing a silent-era actress (whom I saw and met, in her older age) being questioned about some of the wild and scandalous activities of 1920s Hollywood. She, blushingly, used the example of a actress she worked with at one of the studios, whose clothing had gotten wet and wouldn’t dry out, so she put on a big coat over her nude body and walked through town back to her apartment. Um, yep. This was her “shocking” and scandalous anecdote from the Roaring 20s, that was so worthy of blushing about!
From all the ink spilled over it in the past week, the self-inflicted death of homo-druggie Philip Seymour Hoffman is second only to the assassination of JFK on the list of liberal traumas.
I was surprised at the attention given to this death.
I’m somewhat out of it relating to pop culture, and didn’t really know who this guy was. I recognized that he had been in some movies I’d seen, but didn’t know his name.
Seems like Hollywood as usual to me.
A person hideous in every aspect - physically, morally, philosophically, etc.
Pray America is waking up
THOSE WERE THE DAYS-—No less a personage than mega-producer and Hollywood wonder-boy Irving Thalberg co-authored the Production Code, the set of moral guidelines that all film studios agreed to follow.
The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral censorship guidelines that governed the production of most United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968.
It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Hollywood’s chief censor of the time, Will H. Hays. The Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), which later became the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the code in 1930, began enforcing it in 1934, and abandoned it in 1968, in favor of the subsequent MPAA film rating system.
The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States.
The office enforcing it was popularly called the Hays Office in reference to Hays, inaccurately so after 1934 when Joseph Breen took over from Hays, creating the Breen Office, which was far more rigid in censoring films than Hays had been.
The Code enumerated a number of key points known as the “Don’ts” and “Be Carefuls”:
Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:
1.Pointed profanity by either title or lip this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
2.Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
3.The illegal traffic in drugs;
4.Any inference of sex perversion;
6.Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
7.Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
8.Scenes of actual childbirth in fact or in silhouette;
9.Children’s sex organs;
10.Ridicule of the clergy;
11.Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;
And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized:
1.The use of the flag;
2.International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country’s religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
4.The use of firearms;
5.Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
6.Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
7.Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
8.Methods of smuggling;
10.Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
11.Sympathy for criminals;
12.Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
14.Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
15.Branding of people or animals;
16.The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
17.Rape or attempted rape;
19.Man and woman in bed together;
20.Deliberate seduction of girls;
21.The institution of marriage;
23.The use of drugs;
24.Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
25.Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy”.
In 1964, the handsome, virile star, Anthony Eisley, emceed a "Project Prayer" rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Eisley played Tracey Steele on the "Hawaiian Eye" series, and appeared 17 times on the eight-year run of ABC's The F.B.I., with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr (another Hollywood conservative).
Eisley was later replaced on Hawaiian Eye by Hollywood icon Troy Donahue (a conservative---and practicing Catholic). Eisley also appeared three times on CBS's Perry Mason during its final three seasons.
The Hollywood gathering sought to flood the United State Congress with letters in support of school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court which struck down the practice as in conflict with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Eisley declared that the nation was facing in 1964 "an ideological crisis. Movie stars and the stars of the entertainment world will tell you what you can do about it. Everything will be from the heart."
Eisley was joined at the event by Walter Brennan, on whose series The Real McCoys he had once been a guest star, Rhonda Fleming, Lloyd Nolan, Dale Evans, Pat Boone, and Gloria Swanson.
Eisely added that John Wayne, Ronald W. Reagan, Roy Rogers, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, and Pat Buttram would also have attended the rally had their schedules not been in conflict.
Syndicated columnist Drew Pearson claimed in his "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column that Project Prayer had "backstage ties" to the anti-Communist John Birch Society. Pearson noted that the principal author of the prayer decisions, Chief Justice Earl Warren, was a Republican former governor of California and that most mainline denominations endorsed the court's restrictive rulings.
Sylvia Sydney---staunch Republican and conservative.
Memorable co-starring w/ George Raft.
Later appeared in one of the "Omen" sequels.
Film legend Ginger Rogers was another Hollywood conservative and lifelong Republican and appeared in the Nixon-Lodge Bumper Sticker Modorcade in Los Angeles in 1960.
Her biographers all considered Rogers to have been Fred Astaire's finest dance partner, principally because of her ability to combine dancing skills, natural beauty, and exceptional abilities as a dramatic actress and comedienne, thus truly complementing Astaire, a peerless dancer who sometimes struggled as an actor and was not considered classically handsome. The resulting song and dance partnership enjoyed a unique credibility in the eyes of audiences.
Loretta Young was a lifelong Republican. In 1952 she appeared in radio, print, and magazine ads in support of Dwight D. Eisenhower and was in attendance at his inauguration along with Anita Louise, Louella Parsons, Jane Russell, Dick Powell, June Allyson, and comic Lou Costello, among others.
In both 1968 and 1981 she was a vocal supporter of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. She was also an active member of the Hollywood Republican Committee with close friend Irene Dunne as well as Ginger Rogers, William Holden, George Murphy, Fred Astaire, and John Wayne.
Superstar director Leo McCarey was a devout Roman Catholic and deeply concerned with social issues. He was considered the most handsome director in Hollywood---a Cary Grant look-alike.
During the 1940s, McCarey's work became more serious and his politics more conservative. In 1944 he directed Going My Way, a story about an enterprising priest, the youthful Father Chuck O'Malley, played by Bing Crosby, for which McCarey won his second Best Director Oscar.
McCarey's share in the profits of this smash hit gave him the highest reported income in the U.S. for the year 1944, and its follow-up, The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), which was made by McCarey's own production company, was similarly successful.
Going My Way also produced the fanciful hit song sung by Bing, "Would you like to swing on a star."
Gloria Swanson 1922
Swanson's most celebrated role--was as faded silent star Norma Desmond--1950. In 1980 Gloria Swanson chaired the New York chapter of "Seniors for Reagan-Bush". In 1964, Swanson spoke at the "Project Prayer" rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Swanson declared, "Under God we became the freest, strongest, wealthiest nation on earth, Should we change that?"
The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC's Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court which struck down the practice as in conflict with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Joining Swanson and Eisley at the Project Prayer rally were Walter Brennan, Lloyd Nolan, Rhonda Fleming, Pat Boone, and Dale Evans.
Both Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were Republicans. Comic star ZaSu Pitts was a staunch Republican---she mentored starlet Nancy Davis (Reagan).
John Payne--memorable as Santa's attorney in the Christimas perennial. "Miracle on 34th Street"----was a staunch Republican and in October 1960 he was among conservative notables who drove in the LA Nixon-Lodge Bumper Sticker Motorcade. Teenidol singer Connie Francis appeared at GW Bush presidential campaign rallies.