AUGUST 2, 2007
On Tuesday night I watched a documentary which is a must-see for anyone interested in true crime, films noir, or old Hollywood. GIRL 27 is writer David Stenn’s investigation into what happened at M.G.M’s 1937 sales convention. And what happened was the rape of Patricia Douglas, one of 120 mostly underage dancers, who were duped into being ‘party-girls’ when they were told to report to Hal Roach Studios, supposedly for movie jobs. The fact that almost nobody today has even heard of this case is testament to the control that M.G.M. had of law and justice in Los Angeles in those days. Anyone who’s followed the story of George Reeves will not be surprised to learn that Eddie Mannix plays a role in this sordid tale. And one unexpected bonus is an on-camera interview with the ‘adopted’ daughter of Loretta Young, actually the love-child of Young and the already-married Clark Gable. You can find out more at the film’s official website: http://www.girl27movie.com Also, Stenn’s April 2003 Vanity Fair article on the event, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT…AT MGM, is available on-line.
By the way, I learned about this film, and many other events I’ve attended, from http://www.FilmRadar.com , the indispensable guide to all things movie-related in Los Angeles.