Review by Marlene Engel
Girl of My Dreams follows a wide-eyed young screenwriter in the 1930s when Hollywood, the Depression, and the Communist Party intersected powerfully in the American psyche. From the glamorous and mysterious star Palmyra Millevoix to the ruthless studio mogul Mossy Zangwill, protagonist Owen Jant struggles to navigate a world that is as seductive as it is toxic. Filled with scandal, romance, murder, riots, and celebrities of the day, Girl of My Dreams shines a spotlight on an American moment in all its magic and malice, glory and greed.
In this enthralling book, the author exposes the dark side of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Set in the 1930s at the height of the Depression, most associate this era with glamour. What many are unaware of is all of the exploitation, greed and abuse that took place during that time. Where people were exploited if believed that they could generate money from their stories. Everyone from set designers to the directors were caught up in said greed in hopes of being recognized by someone important.
This story is told by someone who knows first-hand how the industry is run. Peter Davis grew up with people who lived through and worked during this time. And, later in his life, Peter directed an Oscar winning documentary, Hearts and Minds.
A powerful story that could only be told by someone who lived it. Girl of My Dreams is a true to life story full of characters so real that you feel like you’re living the story along with them.
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About the Author:
Davis was born in California, the son of screenwriter parents Frank Davis and the short story writer and novelist Tess Slesinger. After graduating from Harvard, he worked in New York City as a writer and documentary filmmaker. His first documentaries were for CBS News where he made the landmark investigative film The Selling of the Pentagon, which won the Emmy, Peabody, Writers Guild, George Polk, Ohio State, and Saturday Review awards. His next film was the Vietnam War documentary Hearts and Minds, for which he received the Academy Award and France’s Prix Sadoul. Subsequent films include JACK, a biography of John F. Kennedy, which was nominated for two Emmys and won one, and the Middletown series of six films made in one American community, nominated for ten Emmys and received two; one of the films in the series, Seventeen, won first prize at the Sundance Festival.
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