Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood


Biography / Documentary / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled58%
IMDb Rating6.7101525


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
895.39 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S 2 / 2
1.8 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul-allaer5 / 10

Documentary feels like a missed opportunity

"Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood" (2017 release; 98 min,) is a documentary about Scotty Bowers. As the movie opens, there is a celebration of Scotty's 90th birthday at the Chateau Marmont. We learn that Scotty just recently has written a memoir called "Full Service" (which is the basis for this film),in which he retells of the days right after WWII when he by happenstance became the "pimp" of gay and lesbian Hollywood, the "center of an alternative world", in which famous movie stars like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn lived lives that were very different from their public personae, and calling on the services provided by Scotty. "Everything cost $20", Scotty laughs. Along the way we alo learn how today's Scotty has become a compulsive obsessive hoarder... At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from up-and-coming documentarian Matt Tymauer, whose previous film was the excellent "Citizen Jane: Battle For the City". Here he picks up on a long unknown fact, namely how one guy became the Hollywood king-pimp starting in the late 40s. Tymauer tries to take that fait divers to build a documentary about "gays and lesbians in Hollywood" over the years. Yes, there are glimpses here and there (in particular as we get to the AIDS era),but overall it feels like this film is a missed opportunity to do an in-depth look at that topic. Instead, we get a close look on someone who seems like a nice enough guy, but it is as if he stands in the way of a far more important documentary. The fact that we get sidetracked by the compulsive hoarding behavior only reinforces that feeling...

"Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood" premiered at last year;s Toronto International Film Festival (yes, almost a year ago) to positive acclaim. The movie finally made it to my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend. The Sunday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so (about 10 people). If you are in the mood for a documentary that is brought mostly with a light touch about how gays and lesbians got by in the Hollywood era of the 40 and 50s, I'd suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray and draw your own conclusion.

Reviewed by ccorral4198 / 10

An entertaining documentary, if noting else

Oh, how this man got around! Director/Producer and Documentarian Matt Tyrnauer ("Valentino: The Last Emperor" 2008) brings George Albert "Scotty" Bowers' memoir "Full Service" to the bring screen. Scotty (today) is an elderly gentleman whose home, car, deeded properties and garages are filled with piles and piles of Hollywood memorabilia, junk mail and immaterial finds. However, according to Scotty, while working at Hollywood gas station (between 1940 -1980) Walter Pidgeon ("Mrs. Miniver"),drove up, invited to swim in his pool, where he later landed in his bed and as they say, "the rest is history". As the go-to-guy/pimp of sorts to the then Hollywood closeted elite, he enlisted his fellow soldiers looking for a quick $20, and soon his escort service to the stars (ranging from Clark Gable, Kate Hepburn, Spenser Tracey, Cole Porter, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, J. Edgar Hoover, to a three ways with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner and more) was born. With so many of his "tell all" tales about celebrities now passed, no one's around to counter his claims. Regardless, director Tyrnauer presents Scotty has an intriguing and interesting character, while looking back at old Hollywood's stigma associated with being "out," and he at least briefly allows the ladies of "The View" to question is claims. For a man (Scotty) who never told his current wife about his past, and who today appears to be a certified pack rat, one has to take his memoir and this film for what it is: a good read and an entertaining documentary.

This film was screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival #PSIFF2018.

Reviewed by Turfseer8 / 10

Masterful use of archival footage reveals fascinating portrait of Hollywood heyday gay procurer to the stars

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is Matt Tyrnauer's documentary about Scotty Bowers, a World War II vet who is now considered an icon of sorts in the gay world, for his proclivities (primarily) in the 40s and 50s as a glorified procurer of Hollywood gay celebrities as well as ordinary gays who were chiefly closeted due to the stultifying mores against gay people at the time.

In 1947, Scotty began working at a gas station in Hollywood where he purportedly fixed up various gay stars including such luminaries as Cary Grant, Randolph Scott and Charles Laughton. The gas station featured a trailer in the back where trysts were consummated as well as a motel across the street, in which Scotty had a deal with the owners, where he could send clients who requested a more luxurious setting for their encounters.

After working for a few years at the gas station, Scotty then became a bartender and worked at private parties, where he claims to have numerous dalliances himself with stars such as Spencer Tracy and actresses including Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, Lana Turner and Ava Gardner (all at the same time) as well an affair with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Scotty maintains that Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn were only platonic friends and he procured over one hundred lesbian lovers for Hepburn.

The film combines archival footage during Scotty's heyday and a few years ago, at the time of Scotty's 90th birthday and during various book signings, when his book "Full Service," an even more detailed account of his career, was released. There are also glimpses of Scotty's private life including interviews with old friends, his current wife (his apparent bisexual life now behind him) and a visit to a secondary residence, cluttered with hundreds of mementos he's collected over the years.

The documentary only managed a 67 rating on Metacritic, as it was criticized for two basic reasons: 1) it was felt that there was no way to verify all of Scotty's stories and some reviewers felt he was either embellishing his narrative or not telling the truth at all; and 2) it was considered presumptuous of Scotty to "out" various celebrities, all unable to defend themselves, as they are all now deceased.

I had no reason to doubt most of Scotty's claims as they were corroborated through various interviews with people who knew him and lived during that era. As for "outing" those now who are unable to speak for themselves, the passage of time suggests perhaps there is a statute of limitations on revealing time worn escapades.

In view of the times Scotty was living in, he's considered by some to be a sexual revolutionary. I don't know if I would go that far, but he certainly assisted many gay people who were forced into the closet and needed assistance in socializing and forming relationships.

There's something refreshing about a man who expresses no guilt feelings over his past conduct. In contrast to many who have claimed to have been victims of sexual abuse, Scotty reveals how a family friend as well as various priests whom he knew as a teenager forced themselves on him. But Scotty takes it all in stride and refuses to blame others for the sexual contact-which he considers part of growing up (others of course disagree, terming it "molestation").

Scotty is also quite candid about a number of tragedies that befell him including the loss of fellow soldiers in World War II, the death of his daughter and first wife as well as various prior lovers. There is no way such events couldn't have taken a toll on Scotty and perhaps it's his hoarding (the desire to hold on to clutter) that's an indication that he's not able to completely "let go" emotionally, regarding the tragedies he's had to cope with over the years.

"Scotty" is essentially a collection of gossipy sexual vignettes, and one feels there could have been more information about the lives of the various celebrities Scotty talks about. Nonetheless, Scotty is a fascinating character and director Tyrnauer masterfully puts together the archival footage which proves to be an impressive aesthetic achievement.

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