am 29. März 2014
If you’re old enough to have read movie magazines - those glossies that purported to tell the “real truth” about Hollywood stars you’ll relish this look at those stars from an insider. If you’re not of that age you’ll be fascinated by these stories of their lives and idiosyncracies as related by one of them. Robert Wagner is both candid and charming as he remembers the glory days of the silver screen with fondness and a smidgen of regret.
This was an exclusive group and they wanted it that way as is shown by their clubs, parties and homes. A great deal is learned about a person by his or her home. For instance, the most opulent house Wagner ever visited was Jack Warner’s - “It was an immense neoclassical mansion, more than 13,000 square feet sitting on nine acres of property.” In addition it boasted two guesthouses, terraces and gardens, three hothouses, a nursery, and a nine-hole golf course. For all his wealth and power it is said that Warner was “mortally afraid of his wife”
On the other hand James Cagney’s home on Coldwater Canyon was unpretentious, resembling a Connecticut farmhouse. There was a dance studio inside where Cagney could practice, assuring himself that he could still do the steps he did as a New York chorus boy. Among the best party givers during those years were Bill and Edie Goetz. From the outside their home looked like many other Holmby Hills mansions but once inside you were awestruck by a magnificent display of Impressionistic art. In fact, they owned one of the finest private collections of art in America, and entertained often to share or show-off their paintings. Each invitation from them indicated whether you should wear black tie or a business suit, and Edie did want you to know that their butler had once been employed by the Queen of England.
Sumptuous parties are described as well as a few snippets about who was being unfaithful to who with whom. All in all You Must Remember This is a bird’s eye view of days and places past told by someone who seems to have enjoyed every minute of it (lucky guy!)
- Gail Cooke