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Films About Film in the Leavey Library (DVDs): Actots


Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words
"Anna May Wong knew she wanted to be a movie star from the time she was a young girl--and by 17 she became one. A third generation Chinese-American, she went on to make dozens of films in Hollywood and Europe. She was one of the few actors to successfully transition from silent to sound cinema, co-starring with Marlene Dietrich, Anthony Quinn and Douglas Fairbanks along the way. She was glamorous, talented and cosmopolitan--yet she spent most of her career typecast either as a painted doll or a scheming dragon lady. For years, older generations of Chinese-Americans frowned upon the types of roles she played; but today a younger generation of Asian Americans sees her as a pioneering artist, who succeeded in a hostile environment that hasn't altogether changed. Yunah Hong's engrossing documentary is an entertaining and imaginative survey of Wong's career, exploring the impact Wong had on images of Asian American women in Hollywood, both then and now. Excerpts from Wong's films, archival photographs and interviews enhance this richly detailed picture of a woman and her extraordinary life."

Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room
"Hollywood discovered Peggy-Jean Montgomery when she was just nineteen months old and made her a star before she was two. By the time she was six, Baby Peggy had become one of the most popular stars in Hollywood. Stores even sold Baby Peggy products. By the age of eleven, she was broke, her money twice stolen by her family. Over the next six decades, this neglected child reinvented herself as Diana Serra Cary, a respected author, film historian and advocate for laws protecting child performers."

"What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and '40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and Bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII."

Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business
"Using archival footage, film fragments, interviews, and dramatic re-enactments, acclaimed director Helena Solberg goes behind-the-scenes to convey the true life story of the 'Brazilian Bombshell', Carmen Miranda."

A Conversation with Gregory Peck
"A full length documentary and behind-the-scenes portrait of a Hollywood legend as he tours America and regales audiences in a one-man show, candidly answering questions and reminiscing about his life and career. Includes clips from many of his films and appearances by filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and actress Lauren Bacall, to name two."

Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen
"Ernest Hemingway's extraordinary life and career has been exhaustively, but less thoroughly examined is his fascinating friendship with film icon Gary Cooper. The liberal, best-known writer of the 20th century and the tight-lipped, all-American 'common man' were complete opposites and yet the best of friends for over 20 years."

I Am Devine
"The dynamic, fun, and often poignant portrait of the legendary Divine. Learn about his humble beginnings as an overweight, teased Baltimore youth, and his rise to fame as an internationally recognized drag superstar."

The John Wayne Story
"He was a bigger-than-life star and a hero of the silver screen who over 30 years after his passing is still just as famous today as he was at the height of his 40+ years in show business."

Life Is a Banquet: The Rosalind Russell Story
"A look at the life of actress Rosalind Russell on the 70th anniversary of some of her most famous films. Also explores Russell's role as a disabilities advocate after she was struck with severe rheumatoid arthritis."

"Using hours of audio-only taped interviews, learn about this normally reclusive star, from her childhood to her marriage, collaborators, life, death, and the Holocaust..."

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
"The deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide-de-camp, and lover to many of Hollywood's greatest male, and female, stars. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities, straight and gay, for decades. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them."

The Untameable Kirk Douglas
"To make a film about, and with, Kirk Douglas is to travel through the 20th century and, in doing so, revisit practically the entire history of Hollywood. That is a testament to the scope of this life, and the scale of the myth."