Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


THE MAN WHO SEDUCED HOLLYWOOD: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer. B. James Gladstone. Chicago Review Press; 2013. An A Capella Book.

Now that pretty much all of the major stars of classic Hollywood have been written about ad nauseam, authors have turned to supporting players [Mary Wickes] or talented minor stars who never quite got the breaks [Ann Dvorak]. And now The Man Who Seduced Hollywood is about a fringe figure who has wandered into biographies over the years, lawyer Gregson Bautzer, who dated famous stars such as Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers,  and Dorothy Lamour [and who married Dana Wynter of Invasion of the Body Snatchers fame], and who made a great many deals for the power brokers of Hollywood, as well as representing them and their players in court. Bautzer was tall, dark and handsome, but he also had a severe drinking and anger management problem; he also had completely undistinguished WW2 military service. At times the hero worshiping-tone seems overdone and unwarranted, but while the material isn't always presented in the most dramatic fashion, this is still a workmanlike and interesting job.

Verdict: Behind the scenes in Old Hollywood. ***.


angelman66 said...

This is a must-read for me...have always been fascinated by Bautzer and his relationships with Crawford, Turner et al.

Steve Forrest played him in Mommie Dearest--and I love when Faye snarls at him, “You're nothing but a rotten, crooked lawyer....supplying the grease that makes this sh***y movie business work.There isn't a cover-up in this business that I don't know about, and your hand is in every one of them. You reek of it!!”

William said...

Good line!

angelman66 said...

Just bought the book - will elt you know my feedback!

angelman66 said...

Enjoyed this book and agree 100% on your astute observations...many of the stories and anecdotes were fascinating and new to me, but could have been presented with a more dramatic through-line for the protagonist. I feel I didn't get quite close enough to Bautzer or get into his head the way I wanted to...he was indeed a colorful character with lots of flaws; maybe I expected him to come to life a little more vividly...But all in all, a really good read!

William said...

It was a good read, but you got the idea there was, somehow, more to say about this man and his private problems.