Excellent defence of claims by gossipy author Charles Higham that Flynn was a closet Nazi. TVO fans may know Tony Thomas from interviews with Elwy Yost about actors and movies; or you may hark back enough to remember him from his CBC reporting days. Either way, he's now best known for his books about Hollywood's golden era. Higham also invented a slew of scandal about Cary Grant (homosexuality), Olivia de Havilland and her sister (mutual loathing), etc. When he crossed the line from gross exaggeration (de Havilland, Joan Fontaine) to outright fabrications (Flynn & Grant), he always astutely waited till those subjects were dead before releasing his muckraking best-sellers. But Thomas shows he was not beyond falsifying documents and twisting spoken testimony by some Flynn pals beyond recognition - some of whom were still around for Thomas to help clarify the record - to ensure he got good sales for his incendiary books. Higham was apparently conflicted in several ways that may explain some of his writings. Molested in youth by his stepmother, the woman he married later became overtly lesbian, and he himself was in a gay relationship at the time he died. Small wonder, given the times when he lived, that he found skeletons lurking in every closet. A quick, enjoyable read. Thomas is always a delight to read, and here no less than elsewhere. For as long as the studio era of Hollywood matters, his books should not go out of print.
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