Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

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A Single-minded Community A merger of two great companies caused the close of these smaller plants in 1924 and the removal of their personnel to the eighty-two-acre A4etro-Goldwyn- Mayer Studios at Culver City, ten miles southwest of Hollywood. Not far distant one finds the reproduction of Jefferson's plantation, "Monticello," which hides behind its colonial facade the stages of Selznick- International. Further still, down a wide boulevard are the Roach Studios, laughter headquarters of the juvenile "Our Gang." It has been said that Hollywood, both in the resi- dential and the business sections, resembles any other American city. But there are differences. One goes into a restaurant and he may see posted there a typed "directory" of telephone numbers. One number permits us to get instantly in touch with the owner of "Joe, the best trained brown bear in captiv- ity." Another man can deliver "any required number of one-armed or one-legged men." A plastic surgeon "guarantees to reshape a too-large nose within three weeks, and with no pain or discomfort." For nearly a mile on one long street there are sub- stantial buildings. They are the offices of "agents." These agents keep actors, directors, writers, producers, and the higher-paid cameramen, sound engineers, art directors, and other workers in jobs. Salesmanship of "talent" is their profession. Perhaps the most pretentious facade in Hollywood is that of an internationally known cosmetic concern. Thousands upon thousands of dollars have gone into its imposing marble front and its luxurious interior. This [31]