Sunday, May 17, 2015

My First Time in Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp

I just received a new book in the mail that I am especially excited about. It is My First Time in Hollywood, by Cari Beauchamp. I think it is a book every fan of early Hollywood will want to read. Go get a copy today!

Beauchamp is the author of such acclaimed books as Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood  (IMHO required reading for every film historian), Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years (which I named to my best film books of 2009), Anita Loos Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction by Anita Loos, Creator of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", and as editor, the fascinating Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s.

Beauchamp is a fourth generation Californian who brings her love of history and dedication to women's rights to her writing about film. Her award winning books have been named to many "best of" lists (New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and and she is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar. She was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for her documentary, Without Lying Down: The Power of Women in Early Hollywood, which she wrote and coproduced for Turner Classic Movies.

In My First Time in Hollywood, over forty legends of the film business (from Mary Pickford and Harold Lloyd to Gloria Swanson and Cecil B. DeMille) recount their first trip to Hollywood. Actors, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and editors recall the long journey, their initial impressions, their struggle to find work, and the love for making movies that kept them going. Also included in this wonderful anthology is Colleen Moore, Norma Shearer, Marie Dressler, Mary Astor, Hedda Hopper, and Louella Parson, among others. Though Louise Brooks is not included, alas, readers will get a sense of what she experienced when she arrived in Hollywood in 1927.

Drawn from letters, speeches, oral histories, memoirs, and autobiographies - and illustrated with over sixty vintage photographs and illustrations - each story is intimate and unique, but all speak to our universal need to follow our passions and be part of a community that feeds the soul. This anthology is edited and annotated Beauchamp, the only person to twice be named as an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar.

"What every film fan years for-first-hand, eyewitness accounts of a Hollywood none of us can remember and all of us wish we'd known. Completely fascinating." -- Kevin Brownlow

"What a priceless parade of evocative and highly entertaining memories. Once you start reading you won't want to stop." -- Leonard Maltin

"Through the first-person voices of some of the most fascinating, insightful, funny, ego-maniacal, and brilliant people, Cari Beauchamp's My First Time in Hollywood chronicles the years when Los Angeles became the Hollywood of the world's imagination and movies our internationally shared mythology. Essential reading for anyone interested in film history." -- John Landis

My First Time in Hollywood ( Asahina & Wallace) is available through and better bookstores everywhere. Author Cari Beauchamp will also be signing books at the upcoming San Francisco Silent Film Festival in the mezzanine of the Castro Theatre on May 30th at 5pm.

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