Star-dust in Hollywood (1930)

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Star-dust in Hollywood As in Montenegro, where marvellous women seem to breed naturally, here in Hollywood beauty is a drug in the market. Not bred here, it has been absorbed from every film-struck village in the States, where not only personal vanity, but local vanity too, urged any extra pretty face-and-legs to try her fortune on the films. Beside these waitresses the feminine stars often faded almost into insignificance. Beauty here was like a nail: a little more or less of sharpness at the point made little difference when it was well driven. Of what use is a sharp nail lacking the hammer? And the hammer is personality. Ordinarily we think of Hollywood in terms of the female. We judge by the posters, by film propaganda, by scandal, or by memories of the films. The film world seems to be domi- nated by women stars. Yet, with the exception of a lumber camp, it is possibly the most male place in America. No feminine paradise this, but the hades of lovely women. Here, if nowhere else, they are told bluntly the exact market-value of their looks. And no matter how arrogantly they may hold themselves, no matter how much they presume on their talent or their beauty, there are few feminine feminists here. Hollywood is a business harem, and Chance the Grand Pasha turns easily from one to another concubine. We returned to the studio on the following day. Once more we presented ourselves before that sleeked young watch-dog, who scowled at us with his habitual unspoken thought: " Now then, don't you try to get past me! I know all your tricks." " Mr Von Sternberg," I said. "Who d'jer want?" " Mr Von Sternberg." No response lightened his repudiating face, but as he picked up the telephone he seemed to be a transatlantic Robot, [88]