- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (22 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062440519
- ISBN-13: 978-0062440518
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 748 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood Hardcover – 22 Oct 2018
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"An entertaining and timely tour of early Hollywood mores and manipulation. No matter how much you think you know about golden age Hollywood, Longworth serves up fascinatingly fresh perspective on the ways male desire and power shaped movie mythology."--Joy Press, author of Stealing the Show
"A history that shows clearly how powerful men exploited actresses long before the #MeToo movement began. Hollywood historian Longworth has mined memoirs, biographies, magazines, newspapers, and archives to create an entertaining, gossip-filled portrait of the film capital's golden age... A lively--and often sordid--Hollywood history."--Kirkus Reviews
"Full of insight...illuminating and memorable."--Booklist
"Seduction reads like a scandal sheet tempered with primary and secondary research."--Los Angeles Review of Books
"From the force behind the You Must Remember This podcast comes a book exploring the glamour of classic Hollywood cinema through the lens of Texas business magnate, filmmaker (Hell's Angels, Scarface), and notorious womanizer Howard Hughes--think a Harvey Weinstein-esque character decades before #MeToo."--Vanity Fair
"Longworth blasts through the seductive narratives propagated by men in the film business to uncover the dark stories underneath."--The Cut
"Vibrant... A compulsive page-turner... Much of Seduction reads like a long overdue act of redress, repositioning women into the more central positions where they belong."--Los Angeles Times
"Longworth pulls back the curtain on Hollywood's golden age to reveal, through the stories of some of the actresses pursued by legendary millionaire mogul Howard Hughes, its dark and lasting legacy of power inequity, harassment, and abuse."--Bustle
"A candid portrait of the multifaceted millionaire...As his romantic tastes shifts from known quantities -- like Hepburn, Rogers and Gardner -- to powerless unknowns, Seduction reveals the root of Hughes's interest in women: a desire to exert total control, rather than true affection."--Washington Post
From the Back Cover
The host of the hugely popular podcast You Must Remember This explores Hollywoods glamorous golden age via the cinematic life of Howard Hughes and the women who encountered himsometimes at the expense of their minds and souls
Howard Hughess reputation as a director and producer of films unusually defined by sex dovetails with his image as one of the most prolific womanizers of the twentieth century. The promoter of bombshell actresses such as Jean Harlow and Jane Russell, Hughes supposedly included among his off-screen conquests many of the most famous actresses of the era, among them Billie Dove, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Ginger Rogers, and Lana Turner. Some of the women in Hughess life were or became stars and others would stall out at a variety of points within the Hollywood hierarchy, but all found their professional lives marked by Hughess presence.
In Seduction, Karina Longworth draws upon her own unparalleled expertise and an unpreceded trove of archival sources, diaries, and documents to produce a landmarkand wonderfully effervescent and gossipywork of Hollywood history. Its the story of what it was like to be a woman in Hollywood during the industrys golden age, through the tales of actresses involved with Howard Hughes. This was the era not only of the actresses Hughes sought to dominate, but male stars such as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and Robert Mitchum; directors such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Preston Sturges; and studio chiefs like Irving Thalberg, Darryl Zanuck, and David O. Selznickmany of whom were complicit in the bedroom and boardroom exploitation that stifled and disappointed so many of the women who came to Los Angeles with hopes of celluloid triumph.
In his films, Howard Hughes commodified male desire more blatantly than any mainstream filmmaker of his time and in turn helped produce an incredibly influential, sexualized image of womanhood that has impacted American culture ever since. As a result, the story of him and the women he encountered is about not only the murkier shades of golden-age Hollywood, but also the ripples that still slither across todays entertainment industry and our culture in general.
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I got through it by skimming large sections of seemingly repeated events and information.
A fascinating if tiresome journey.
For those who bored their high school friends, or opened new doors to them to watch (before recording to watch later), I have set alarms to wake for the late late show often. Now it is so much easier. But there is a reason that the time covered by this book is considered classic. The music of people like Franz Waxman. The performances by Hepburn and Cary Grant (especially HOLIDAY and the one where he almost played himself as a Cockney.)
So read it and get the films you don't know, and watch. Many are classics still.
Longworth recounts Hughes’ affairs with Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers among the many. Although Hughes was certainly in a position of power, all of these relationships were consensual. Hughes also had a retinue of people on his payroll who were responsible for scouting “talent” for him. He certainly was an insatiable cad, but he also was a romantic.
For example when he was courting Katherine Hepburn he landed his biplane on golf course where she was practicing on. Even the very wealthy and prominent Katherine Hepburn could not resist such an entreaty. In fact Hepburn stood up to him like none of the others. Perhaps it came from her strong ego reinforced by her patrician background.
Longworth discusses the movies made by Hughes’ women and tries to fine deep social significance in them. To me most of those movies were entertainment and were not designed to enforce the mores of the day on an unsuspecting public. If Longworth lightened up a bit, she could have written a much better book.
Congratulations Karina, now write a book on the Mark Brothers!
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