Friday, June 15, 2012

Hollywood Without Make-Up

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love books. Especially film books. And even more so, old film books. The other day, my wife visited the San Francisco Public Library and their small used book store tucked into a corner of the entrance. She found an interesting title called Hollywood Without Make-Up, by Pete Martin. The book, which still had its original dustjacket, was published by J. B. Lippincott Company in 1948. It is largely made up of a series of earlier essays and articles which date back to 1938.

Martin started with the Saturday Evening Post in 1925, and worked as an art editor and staff writer for that publication for a number of years; some of the pieces in this book first appeared in in the Post.

Hollywood Without Make-Up is look at the movie industry and some of the leading personalities of the time, like Hedy Lamarr, Gregory Peck, Greer Garson and Ava Gardner. And Francis X. Bushman. Yes, Francis X. Bushman! Other silent era film stars are referenced and mentioned. Stars like Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Wallace Reid, Harold Lloyd and a few others.

The book does not have an index. Interestingly, though, one of its owners took the trouble to inscribe an index on the book's endpapers. Here they are.

I love this kind of thing, reader's additions to books. In this case, the index shows its owner really cherished this book, read it closely, and took the time and trouble to compose an index. Oh, and the book also had a mini Dutton's bookmark (Laurel Canyon branch) tucked into it, which I think may date from the early 1960s. Bonus prize!

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