Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969

Behind the Screen How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood William Mann s Behind the Screen is a thoughtful and eye opening look at the totality of the gay experience in studio era Hollywood Much has been written about how gays have been portrayed in the movi

  • Title: Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969
  • Author: William J. Mann
  • ISBN: 9780670030170
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Hardcover
  • William Mann s Behind the Screen is a thoughtful and eye opening look at the totality of the gay experience in studio era Hollywood Much has been written about how gays have been portrayed in the movies but no book until now has looked at their influence behind the screen Whether out of or in the closet, gays and lesbians have from the very beginning played a signiWilliam Mann s Behind the Screen is a thoughtful and eye opening look at the totality of the gay experience in studio era Hollywood Much has been written about how gays have been portrayed in the movies but no book until now has looked at their influence behind the screen Whether out of or in the closet, gays and lesbians have from the very beginning played a significant role in shaping Hollywood Gay actors were among the earliest matinee idols and gay directors have long been among the most popular and commercially successful filmmakers In fact, gay set and costume designers created the very look of Hollywood.With this landmark book, Mann fills a void in the Hollywood history archives Written in the tradition of Neal Gabler s An Empire of Their Own How the Jews Invented Hollywood and based on hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors of this golden age, Behind the Screen is destined to become a classic of film literature.

    • Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 by William J. Mann
      486 William J. Mann
    • thumbnail Title: Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 by William J. Mann
      Posted by:William J. Mann
      Published :2019-07-07T02:18:51+00:00

    About "William J. Mann"

    1. William J. Mann

      Also writes children s books under the pseudonym Geoffrey Huntington.

    452 thoughts on “Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969”

    1. A fine sociological survey on how Hollywood shapedand reflected America. The foreground is sexual butthis study, which sometimes tries to encompass toomuch, uses the cultural and political climate as arevealing background. The story stops in 1969 and anew chapter (or book) could be written as the studioshave crumbled and power lies with agents and "packagers."Has a lot changed ? Well, a bit, but we still read aboutnew heart throbs and their bogus romantic lives.Hollywood has always been a small [...]


    2. In 1981 Vito Russo published a pioneering analysis of homosexuality in the movies, The Celluloid Closet (later made into a documentary which is a different animal and no substitute for the book, which I read and reviewed with a rave here in 2009). That book brilliantly read the "codes" of gayness that creators in the repressive time of Hollywood's censorious golden age slipped into mainstream films.William Mann takes Vito's work several steps further by tracking down and telling the stories of t [...]


    3. a little over my head, but great resource and immense amount of knowledge for those interested in this topic I only recognized a handful of actors and actresses' names; however, it brought up quite a few movies I've always meant to check-outalthough this was written first (2001), William Mann does for the gay/lesbian film industry what Christopher Bram does for gays in the literary scene in Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America (2012)


    4. Regarding his movie-making philosophy, producer Ross Hunter once said: “You might just as well have a murder take place on an Oriental rug as on someone’s dirty linoleum”. This pretty well sums up the attitude of most of the folks who manufactured style for the masses in an industry built upon a foundation of glorious illusion – the “dream factories” of Hollywood’s golden age. Vito Russo has illustrated how one of its most monumental illusions was the non-existence of homosexuals, [...]


    5. I found this book very interesting. For the record I am a straight middle aged white woman who loves the 'old' Hollywood especially the silent era. It is fascinating to read how open and overt the gays were in those days Alldirectors, actors, writers and the technical people seem to either be gay or have gay friends and thought nothing of it. I have always had this belief that the reason there are so many gays in all the arts is they have special gifts of artistic talent. One of my dearest frien [...]


    6. Really informative and entertaining overview of how the GL community influenced hollywood and filmmaking. what i particularly liked about it was that it didn't just focus on actors and/or writers--it also talked in detail about directors, designers, agents and press reps which gives a more complete view of the environment. i got the book out of the library and someone had written additional facts (or desputed the author's) in the margin, so I felt like i was gaining added perspective and insight [...]


    7. Fantastic historical study of gays in Hollywood from 1910 to 1969. Whether as actors, directors, producers, writers, set decorators or publicists, gays helped to shape American movies, living through many cultural changes, the liberal 1920s, the Depression-era backlash of the 1930s, the more liberal war years of the 1940s, the area of McCarthy and the blacklist in the 1950s, up to Stonewall in 1969 and beyond.William J. Mann, one of the great Hollywood historians, gives a fantastically comprehen [...]


    8. A broad, and at times, overwhelming, look at the impact gays and lesbians had on Hollywood. And spoiler alert, it was pretty much everyone. If you like them, they were gay. The book is heavily slanted towards men, but that is a product of it being easier to discern gay men from a sociological perspective. The author's methodology is meticulous and the conclusions he draws about the way homophobia ebbed and flowed are solid and fascinating. A must-read for any classic film fan, really.


    9. I am an obsessive/fanatic classic movie fan, and especially relish the behind-the-scenes anecdotes, stories, and gossip. Knowing the weaknesses and strengths of my idols, gives them a more approachable, human characteristic. I have read this book with relish, and enjoyed it very much. I reread it often. I would recommend it to all classic movie fans who want to know more in-depth knowledge of their silver screen idols. I give it a 4-star rating.


    10. He presumed that I know a lot more names than I actually do, but it was pretty fascinating. It wasn't interesting enough to read straight through, but grabbing out a chapter or person here and there was great. A few of them were big names, but most weren't and I enjoyed reading their stories.


    11. As a historian I found this book lacking the clarity and strength in sources that appear in the biographies that he has written. As a social history this lacks sufficient sources to make some of the arguments. He also uses sources that would be better used in a cultural history.


    12. I found this book to be fascinating. I really enjoyed the author's take on the subject. It made me want to read more on the topic. At times, the author is a bit repetitive in phrasing, but his overarching argument was strong.


    13. I think Mann is the most gifted Hollywood historian today. I'd read anything he published and his first book (I think) is an insightful look at gay culture and its influence on the Golden Age of Hollywood. Must read.



    14. Guess I was expecting more on actors. This is more about (as the title says!) the folks behind the scenes. Well written.


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