Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
- 1hr 38m
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Mr. Tyrnauer is a serious filmmaker — his “Valentino: The Last Emperor” was a first-rate documentary portrait of the legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani. His new doc, which was based on Mr. Bowers’s memoir, “Full Service,” combines tell-all appeal with a seriously significant story of prejudice and hypocrisy on a literally mythic scale.
It’s an important corrective to many contemporary and historical accounts of Hollywood, reinstating the queerness that has too often been straight-washed out of them.
At a certain point, anyone who reads Bowers’ book or sees this film has to decide whether to believe him or not. At this stage, there is no reason not to; Scotty does not seem remotely like a braggart or someone desperate for a sliver of late-in-life fame.
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Behind the sanitized veneer of Old Hollywood, there was a man making the dreams and desires of the stars a reality. Scotty Bowers penned a bestselling memoir about his time as a hustler and procurer, servicing the secret sexual hungers of some of the biggest closeted actors of the era, including Rock Hudson and Katherine Hepburn. But this documentary is more than just a gossipy tell-all of celebrity sex lives. It’s a first-hand account of the studio system’s repressive morality in the post-war era. And it’s also the portrait of a fascinating figure, told in his own words, whose life touched a lot of people you think you know in ways you couldn’t imagine. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor), this film also includes interview footage from producer Peter Bart, writer/actor Stephen Fry, and more.