Girl 27

Girl 27

Just now I watched my first Netflix “instant” movie here on my PC.  This could be addictive.  Just choose the flick, and there it is, playing along while I sit here working on other things.  My monitor’s just big enough to allow me to have the movie playing on one side and a Word document open on the other side.  Admittedly they are both a little squinched but it worked just fine today.

I selected Girl 27, a documentary released last year about a 1937 Hollywood rape case which was not merely hushed up, but nearly obliterated from history.   A link from the official film website to a “Girl 27” myspace page (kind of icky in my opinion) leads to this promotional blurb:

HOLLYWOOD 1937 — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the world’s most prestigious and powerful movie studio, tricks 120 underage chorus girls into attending a stag party for its visiting salesmen. When dancer Patricia Douglas tries to flee, she is brutally raped; defying the studio’s order for silence, Douglas files a landmark lawsuit while M-G-M launches the biggest cover-up in Hollywood history – until six decades later, when author-screenwriter David Stenn stumbles upon the story. Stenn’s decade-long search for the truth leads to Patricia Douglas herself, nearly ninety and still in hiding. Will she go public once again, or will Hollywood’s best suppressed scandal die with her?

This would have been a much better film with less of David Stenn in it front and center, but even his name-dropping ego trip couldn’t completely sidetrack the main story here.  Clips from films of the era are interwoven with the narrative to add literal punch to a story that is powerfully sad and disturbing.   Even the children of a key witness who changed his story in court discuss that onscreen here.

We also hear briefly from Judy Lewis.  She is Loretta Young’s daughter, the subject of another big Hollywood cover-up.  She was allegedly adopted by the single movie star, but in fact was Young’s illegitimate child, fathered by Clark Gable.  Apparently it was one of the best-known open secrets in town at the time, but the press all played along with the official story.  The kid inherited her dad’s trademark large ears, so her mom kept her in bonnets and scarves until she was 6 when she had surgery to pin them back.

Netflix has just lifted its limits on how many movies a month I can watch instantly.

Oh, dear.  If they offer exercise videos on this plan, I’m out of excuses for not working out, do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Girl 27

  1. Now THAT sounds intriguing! As someone with a law background, what did you think overall of such a cover-up? Is that kind of thing still possible today, in Hollywood or elsewhere?

    And I wouldn’t mind doing something like that for a workout video–I could watch it without bugging my husband with it. Can you watch these in addition to getting a regular Netflix movie?

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  2. About the instant movie thing. Yes, for most of the Neflix monthly subscribers, you can watch those instant ones on your ‘puter in addition to whatever DVDs you have mailed to you. I think there’s a very basic plan where there are some limits, maybe.

    About the coverup, I doubt that it could have happened today, to such an extent. Especially after a federal lawsuit was filed. Too much information flows much too instantly now.

    Back in the 30’s, Hollywood was really a company town, the companies being the major movie studios. Lots of money, lots of power, lots of attitudes of don’t kill the goose that’s laying the golden eggs. And the societal attitudes toward women were entrenched along the “saint vs. whore” lines. If a woman was raped, she probably asked for it, especially if she was in show business and was a dancer – after all, don’t those wimmen prance around nearly nekkid in public?

    Anyway, I recommend this movie for a good look at how things were back then. Some of it was unique to Hollywood, but the attitudes toward women were more universal.

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  3. Wow, that sounds fascinating. I might give it a try, although, lately, I’ve not had time to watch much of anything.

    Do you have to exercise with a workout video, or can you just watch it? 🙂

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