News & Politics

Some Observations on Hollywood


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March 13, 1957, Vol. II, No. 20

Some Observations on Hollywood

By Marta Curro

Hollywood is not a town; it is a white stucco nightmare dotted with palm trees. It is a small place, deceptively peaceful-looking, inhabited by parasites struggling bitterly and, in most cases, futilely to attach themselves to the most glamorous industry in the world. It is the least glamorous place imaginable. For one thing, the “smog” that is continually referred to in a joking fashion is not smog; it’s marijuana smoke. You never see a movie star. I take that back; I once saw Tab Hunter in a black Thunderbird waiting for a stop light at an intersection. I never recovered from it. I’d always thought no such person existed. I thought you just stuck a nickel in his head and he made a movie.

Hollywood is the spawning ground of such types as the Professional Friend, someone whose chief claim to fame is that they know Marlon Brando or knew James Dean. There is also a vulgar but intriguing term for the numerous females, with anything but matrimony in mind, who pursue movie stars…

It’s a great town. If you live there you abide by certain rules: don’t ever be seen with your own husband or wife, or people (and I use the term loosely) will call you a square. Don’t avoid anybody, because that’s their cue to follow you to the ends of the earth. Don’t go for a walk after dark or the cops stop you and ask if you’re a streetwalker or a homosexual. Don’t get a cold and let your eyes water or it’s another police matter; they flash a light in your face and search you for reefers. Don’t ever look for a cop when you need one; you’ll never find one. Last but not least, don’t go to Hollywood if you want to be an actress. The only thing you’ll get by sitting on a stool in Schwab’s are callouses. Of course, you might try Googie’s. There are no talent scouts there either, but if you get as far as the parking lot you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be sold anything from somebody’s mother to a screen test for “Marjorie Morningstar.”

Ciro’s? The Mocambo? Nobody goes there except tourists looking for Movie Stars, who don’t go there either.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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