I’ve been on the Scotty Bowers trail for about a year now, and so when the Brigade guys asked if I wanted to talk to Matt Tyrnauer, director of Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, I figured “why stop now?” We met at BUILD studios (corner of Broadway and East Fourth Street), and retired to a kind of green room with free soft drinks and energy bars. Our chat lasted 29 minutes, give or take. A good interview, if I do say so myself. Then I watched Matt sit for an on-camera BUILD interview.
I’ve explained this six or seven times, but most of Tyrnauer’s surprisingly intimate, low-key, non-gossipy film is about old Scotty — a 90something, white-haired pack rat who owns two homes in the Hollywood hills and lives with a good-natured, seen-and-heard-it-all wife who loves him — and only intermittently about the mostly gay and bi movie stars and celebrities (Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Walter Pidgeon, Vivien Leigh, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Noël Coward, James Dean) who regarded Scotty as a trusted pimp and pleasure-giver who could and did set them up with same-sex lovers.
After studying Bowers for 98 minutes and listening to him talk about how terrifying things were for gay and bi actors in the intensely homophobic ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, and considering the affection he has for his old gay friends and the strong feelings and immense respect they have for him…after the film is over you’ll probably be convinced, as I was, that Scotty is no bullshitter.
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood opens tomorrow at the IFC Center.
Again, the mp3.