Hard-Boiled HollywoodCrime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles

Hard-Boiled HollywoodCrime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles

Jon Lewis

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780520284319

Publisher: University of California Press

Abstract

The history of Hollywood’s postwar transition is framed by two spectacular dead bodies: Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia, found dumped and posed in a vacant lot in January 1947 and Marilyn Monroe, the studio era’s last real movie star, discovered dead at her home in August 1962. Short and Monroe are just two of the many left for dead after the collapse of the studio system, Hollywood’s awkward adolescence during which the company town’s many competing subcultures -- celebrities, moguls, mobsters, gossip mongers, industry wannabes, and desperate transients – came into frequent contact and conflict. Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles focuses on the lives lost at the crossroads between a dreamed-of Los Angeles and the real thing after the Second World War.