Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
A pimp to the stars opens up.
It’s “impossible not to wonder” how much of this salacious new documentary is true, said Inkoo Kang in Slate.com. Its subject, a 95-year-old former Hollywood hustler and pimp, makes so many cheerful on-camera claims about the sexual secrets of mid-century Tinseltown’s biggest stars that no one could ever verify all of them. But Scotty Bowers isn’t a fabulist, and it’s clear that the story he’s telling is broadly true: Many big stars of the era were secretly gay or bisexual, and those who were knew to turn to the ebullient, handsome, sexually omnivorous ex-Marine to set them up and keep things quiet. “A master storyteller,” Bowers delivers each morsel “with a satyr’s twinkle in his eyes,” said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. He remembers hooking up Cary Grant with Rock Hudson. He recalls setting Katharine Hepburn up with women and Spencer Tracy with men. And he’s unapologetic about all of it—“almost defiant,” in fact—a champion of everyone’s right to seek the sexual pleasures of their choosing. I’ll admit that his act failed to enchant me at first, said David Edelstein in NYMag.com. But you come to appreciate “the true weirdness” of the man: He has spent his entire life granting other people happiness to keep some unknown emptiness at bay.