Pulp Fiction Unites Hollywood, Gangsters, Cops, & Jean Harlow-homefront

UnCategorized On March 9, 1911, the blond bombshell Jean Harlow was born. The platinum blonde actress Jean Harlow only lived to the age of twenty-six, but in her short time on the silver screen she made her mark-particularly in the film The Beast of the City, penned by pulp author W.R. Burnett (who had also written Little Caesar, the book on which the Edward G. Robinson film of the same name was based). Burnett had firsthand experience with the denizens of his gangster books. An early job as a night clerk in a Chicago hotel that seemed to draw its customers straight from the pages of the pulps, Burnett wrote about the bums and hustlers, prizefighters and hoods who passed his desk. After Little Caesar appeared, he became wildly successful and went on to write screenplays, more novels, scripts for radio and, later, television. The Beast of the City was a challenge for MGM, which produced it, and for Harlow, who starred in it. Harlow had been known for her vamp roles, her acting panned by critics despite her popularity with audiences. She had been hired by MGM with the promise of better parts than she’d had under her contract with Howard Hughes, where she had mostly played bad girls with no depth. In Beast, she was to play yet another bad girl-a gangster’s moll so determined to save her boyfriend from jail that she’s willing to seduce the brother of the police .missioner. But under the tutelage of director Charles Brabin, Harlow turned in a performance impressive enough that the critics noticed, singling her out for praise instead of censure, and Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, bought out her Hughes contract. Mayer wasn’t as impressed with the movie itself, regardless of its depth and Burnett’s screenwriting skills in turning the movie’s focus from the mobsters to the cops. Violent and downbeat, despite its tale of an honest cop who suddenly finds himself fighting Capone-style gangsters as the police .missioner, Beast was relegated to the bottom of double bills by Mayer, who was worried for MGM’s family-friendly image. Mayer may not have liked gangsters or mobsters, but the rest of America pretty much disagreed. Whether it was in the movies or in the pulp fiction of the day-populated not just by the likes of Bur.t but also Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and L. Ron Hubbard, as well as other writers of noir fiction-bad guys were romanticized as well as hunted by the police. Those tough characters seemed to demand tough tactics, and in Hubbard’s Mouthpiece the son of a mobster rubbed out by his own kind is determined, despite his own determination to go straight, to extract vengeance for his father’s death-no matter what he has to do to get it. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: