Tag Archives: George Cukor


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“I realized that wherever I look—the boulevards, the side streets, the studios, the fancy homes in the hills—there is a sliver of my past in all of it…

“My mind lazily ambled through endless mental files containing images of glamorous parties, of wild poolside orgies, of crowded sound stages, of dark places where bodies collided with electrifying vigor, of ghostly gatherings of gorgeous women and virile young men, of a magnificent variety of passionate sex of every kind.

“Frankly, I knew Hollywood like no one else knew it.” — Scotty Bowers*

Scotty Bowers—a bisexual hustler and procurer-to-the-stars—made his first Hollywood connection in the early 1940s when costume designer Orry-Kelly picked him up on the Boulevard.**

Operating out of a local gas station and later through bartending gigs at celebrity-filled house parties, Bowers himself tricked with and/or found young men—often fellow Marines—for Cary Grant, Cole Porter, Vivien Leigh, Tennessee WilliamsTyrone Power, Cecil Beaton, Edith Piaf, George Cukor, Charles Laughton, Noël Coward, Ramon Navarro, Blanche Knopf, the Duke of Windsor, and Néstor Almendros.

According to Bowers, the fabled Tracy-Hepburn “romance” was pure fiction cooked up by publicists. Bowers regularly had sex with an invariably inebriated Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn counted on Bowers for a regular supply of young women, as did Errol FlynnAlfred A. KnopfWallis Simpson, and Howard Hughes.

Bowers told all in his sensational 2012 memoir Full Service, and Matt Tyrnauer—director of Valentino: The Last Emperor and Citizen Jane—brings Bower’s story to the screen in the new documentary SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD, premiering this week at Outfest.

On Wednesday, July 25, Bowers will be honored with a special proclamation by the City of West Hollywood.

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DIRECTORS GUILD, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.


Opens Friday, July 27.

ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.



SCOTTY BOWERS honored by Mayor Pro Tempore JOHN D’AMICO

Wednesday, July 25, at 5 pm.

THE ABBEY, 692 North Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood.

*Scotty Bowers, with Lionel Friedberg, Full Service (New York: Grove Press, 2012), xii-xiii.

** In Full Service, Bowers repeatedly emphasizes that he accepted no cash in exchange for his introductions, and any personal payment-for-sex was in the form of a “tip.”

Top: Tyrone Power.

Above: Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett (1935), directed by George Cukor.

Poster image credit: Greenwich Entertainment.

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On the list of the best movies about making movies – Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful, Cukor’s A Star is Born, Fassbinder’s Beware of a Holy Whore, Fellini’s –  François Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT invariably lands near the top.

(The title refers to the practice of shooting a night scene during daylight hours, using a blue filter to screen out the brightness.)

This week, at Laemmle’s 45th anniversary screening of the film, Jacqueline Bisset will talk about her work with Truffaut on the picture.


DAY FOR NIGHT, Thursday, May 10, at 7:30 pm.

LAEMMLE ROYAL, 11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.


Below: Jean-Pierre Léaud and Jacqueline Bisset in Day for Night. Image credit: Warner Bros.

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A STAR IS BORN (1954, directed by George Cukor)—a trenchant film noir, a Technicolor/CinemaScope extravaganza, and Judy Garland’s last great musical—is a Hollywood story that Hollywood has told many times: a great but aging male star on his way down meets a green-but-talented actress (or singer) who becomes his protégé, and whose fame soon surpasses his.*

Despite the energy and brilliance of her performance, by the mid-1950s Garland was on a steep downward slide herself. Three years before A STAR IS BORN went into production at Warner Bros., she was fired for general unreliability by the studio (MGM) that was instrumental in creating and encouraging her prescription-drug habit. In 1969, Garland was found dead in a London flat, age 47.


Tuesday, August 29, at 1 pm.

Bing Theater, LACMA

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

* See What Price Hollywood? (1932, directed by George Cukor) for the first version.

From top: Judy Garland singing “The Man That Got Away” in A Star is BornGavin Lambert’s On Cukor, with a cover photograph of Cukor directing Garland in A Star is BornFrank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Lauren Bacall at the Pantages Theater premiere of A Star is Born, Hollywood, September 29, 1954.