September 14, 2004


A Lotus-Eater at the La-La Land Buffet: P.G. Wodehouse found Hollywood life fat and easy. (Robert McCrum, September 14, 2004, LA Times)

The complex relationship that F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner had with Hollywood has been described on many occasions. Less well known is what happened when P.G. Wodehouse, the English humorist and creator of Jeeves, worked for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the days of Irving Thalberg.

From the first days of the "talkies," Wodehouse was always in the thick of the movie business. He was not alone in flirting with the studios.

The talkies had triggered a new gold rush. Herman Mankiewicz, after a visit to the West Coast, cabled his friend, Ben Hecht, that "millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don't let this get around."

And those were its Golden years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2004 4:29 PM

Gold-plated years, as it turns out.

The real Golden Age of cinema has just barely started, now that anyone with a digital camcorder, a desktop computer, and ten grand can make a movie to rival anything a giant studio can put out, with the exception of F/X loaded action films.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 14, 2004 8:35 PM

John Ford is dead.

Posted by: oj at September 14, 2004 8:39 PM

So is John Wayne.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 15, 2004 1:13 AM

So is John Huston.

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at September 15, 2004 1:41 PM

So is John Holmes.

Posted by: ratbert at September 15, 2004 2:59 PM
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