The Sins of Hollywood

Ed Roberts

Exacerbated by several high-profile Hollywood scandals, a wave of anti-Hollywood rhetoric tried to paint the movie capital as a veritable hotbed of crime, licentiousness, and moral transgression. THE SINS OF HOLLYWOOD, published in May 1922, is perhaps the most prominent anti-Hollywood polemic published during this turbulent time in film history. This anonymously-written booklet recounts in sensational, lurid detail the various high-profile scandals that precipitated the firestorm surrounding Hollywood's supposed moral turpitude. The author (later identified as former PHOTOPLAY editor Ed Roberts) pulls no punches in his condemnation of "movie vice." He even takes aim at some of Hollywood's biggest stars, directors, and producers: Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Wallace Reid, Thomas Ince, Mabel Normand, Mae Busch, and more. Although real names are only sparingly used, most subjects are easily identified.

In a nutshell, the author takes us on a guided tour through the seedy, disreputable, thoroughly indecent underworld that lurks beneath Hollywood's glistening, glamorous facade. It is a sensational work of moral alarmism that gives us a wild, untamed, unapologetically lurid account of Hollywood's dark side.

NOTE: This book is an entertaining, propulsively readable book regardless of one's prior knowledge of early Hollywood history. However, some listeners may want to know the identities of these scandalized stars. Their identities can be found in the annotations provided by TAYLOROLOGY: (Summary by ChuckW)

Genre(s): Performing Arts, Social Science (Culture & Anthropology)

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 - The Reasons for the 'Sins of Hollywood' Chuck Williamson
Play 01 01 - Dope! Chuck Williamson
Play 02 02 - Duck Blinds! Chuck Williamson
Play 03 03 - Strip Poker and Paddle Parties Chuck Williamson
Play 04 04 - How the Great Letty Played Her Cards Chuck Williamson
Play 05 05 - The 'Gold Digger' and the Wife Chuck Williamson
Play 06 06 - The Battle Royal That Led to Stardom Chuck Williamson
Play 07 07 - A Wonderful Lover! Chuck Williamson
Play 08 08 - Whiskey Fumes and Orange Blossoms Chuck Williamson
Play 09 09 - A Movie Queen and a Broken Home Chuck Williamson
Play 10 10 - Making Sodom Look Sick Chuck Williamson
Play 11 11 - The Girl Who Wanted Work Chuck Williamson