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Books
· I Am Mister Ed ... Allan 'Rocky' Lane Revealed

· A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story

· Weekends In New England

· Dorothy From Kansas Meets the Wizard of X

· The Unpromised Land

· Until Next Time


Short Stories
· Looking For Mr. Golfball

· How Taylor Hicks Made it Possible For Adam Lambert to Win American Idol

· In The Hands of the Law

· Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, and Communism

· Has He Made It Through The Rain?

· Voice In My Head

· New Orleans vs Irag?

· Diamonds vs Kisses . . . a Flippant Commentary on Womenís Lib

· To Speak Her Name: Margie Hart, Ace Stripper

· Birth Of An Activist


Articles
· From Queen of Me to Queen of Indy Music

· Guiding Lightís Joseph Breen Crazy Like A Fox - Dr. Will Jeffries

· Browne Has Big Plans After Departing Another World

· From General Hospital to American History X . . . and beyond

· Guiding Lightís Secretary, Wanda, Hails from Washington, DC Area

· The Adult Video Awards Show Ė 1990

· Dear John, Harry Groener Is No Nerd

· Handsome Jay Hammer of Guiding Light

· Two Originals Remain From the Hermanís Hermits

· Spotlight . . . on Michael Swan


Poetry
· I Don't Know

· Ms. Simile Skeltonics

· Getting Older

· Man in the Box

· The Younger Years

· Intoxication

· Music or Love?

· On The Radio

· Life Before

· My Mama

         More poetry...
News
· Let's Talk: Mister Ed, TV's Maverick, & Movie Star Robert Taylor

· Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism: AD Top Books!

· e-book Available: Reluctant Witness, Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism

· Biography - Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood & Communism

· Robert Taylor Scholarship Announced!

· Award-Winning Photographer's Work to Grace Cover of New Book Set In Boston

· Linda Alexander Signs New Book Contract!

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Books by Linda Alexander
Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism
by Linda Alexander   

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Books by Linda Alexander
· I Am Mister Ed ... Allan 'Rocky' Lane Revealed
· A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story
· The Unpromised Land
· Weekends In New England
· Until Next Time
       >> View all 7

Category: 

Biography

ISBN-10:  1934678635 Type:  Non-Fiction
Pages: 

432

Copyright:  March, 2008 ISBN-13:  9781934678633


Get your Signed copy today!

Linda Alexander

Glamour. Intrigue. The Golden Era of Hollywood. They just don't make movies like they used to!

Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism is the exhaustive biography of the life of Golden Era movie star, Robert Taylor.

 Called “The Man With The Perfect Profile,” some considered him the most beautiful man to ever grace the movie world. Yet there was more to him, lots more. He was complicated. He saw history – movie history and world history – and he was part of both.

Excerpt
Much has been written about Robert Taylor and his politics. Here's a bit of background:

"Bob was summoned to see Louis B. Mayer in early 1943. When he entered his bossí office, he found they werenít alone. Lowell B. Mellett stood when he entered the room. Bob was introduced to him and the three had a brief talk which, according to Bobís later recollection, 'didnít last more than five minutes.' The subject of the meeting was the making of what had been called Scorched Earth, a film now titled Russia.

"While some stories indicate this to have been Bobís first introduction to the assignment, official documents show that Mellett personally made the trip to Hollywood for the 'express purpose of overruling Taylorís objection' to being a part of the movie. A number of things clashed. Bob had already been inducted into the Navy. When Lowell Mellett, with his direct connection to the President, showed up in Hollywood for a meeting with Mayer, and with Bob, the drama that went on prior to this 'five minute' MGM get-together took on added importance.

"Bob was offered the film prior to this meeting, and he had refused. This was an unusual move for him, notwithstanding any consideration of film content, or Bobís strong anti-Russian beliefs. For Bob to act this way, there must have been some heavy leaning on Louis B. Mayer, or he would have handled Bobís sudden stubbornness internally. He was famous for great finesse in taking care of problems with his talent. He handled these matters in total privacy, within the ranks. Available records indicate MGM acquired the Scorched Earth/Russia treatment in April of 1942 which, time-wise, curiously coincided with Bob receiving the extortion letter. Filming started in March of 1943. His previous assignment, Bataan, another war film, had wrapped on February third.

"Bob was sworn into the United States Naval Reserve the same month, so this meeting between Bob, Mayer, and Mellett was held somewhere at a point concurrent with his official entry into the Navy in February, and six months or less after the extortion case had been finalized and the perpetrator punished. While there is no known indication that securing Robert Taylor as the lead in Russia and the attempt to extort him had any connection, the consideration is intriguing.

"Also worth contemplating is why the movie was made in the first place. This question has never been satisfactorily answered....

"Documented accounts seem to show how MGM acquired the script prior to government intervention. Most likely his [Mayer's] goal was little more than sheer numbers, pocketbook numbers. In 1942, Louis B. Mayerís income was reported at $949,765, a seriously tidy sum for the period, particularly considering this was war time. He was a smart man. He certainly also read newspapers and listened to the radio, as well as to his well-connected advisors, and he saw the writing on the wall. The acquisition of such a story, and the making of such a movie, was the right thing to do for the company coffers.

"Whatever the reason behind the struggle, Bob did end up as the the lead in this increasingly controversial film. There are records showing that his name was probably bandied about early in the process. Mayer may have wanted him in that role from the start. Whether because MGM had already lost the option on the two other actors, or whether Bob was Mayerís initial choice, Bob learned in the meeting with Mellett and Mayer that he would play John Meredith, Navy or no Navy Ö and he was not happy. Later, he said, 'They [the studio] wanted me to do it. I didnít want to do it because I thought it was definitely Communist propaganda. In other words, it happened to paint Russia in a light in which I personally never had conceived it.'

"Mayer somehow thought him 'ideal,' though, despite the fact that he knew from the outset that Bob 'did not like the story.' This in itself wouldnít have been so unusual, since actors didnít always find an assignment to their liking for any variety of reasons. For someone like Bob, though, known to take what work was handed him and not argue with the brass, to be extraordinarily agreeable often to the point of submission Ö for him to speak against any role was a total shock to all involved.

"That initial meeting must have been interesting, possibly volatile, in the short amount of time they were together, though Bob wouldíve been nothing but polite in his determination to argue his side. He reminded his boss and the government representative of his commission in the Navy, already secured. He hoped, and probably at that moment believed, that the signed fact of his upcoming military service would prove to be the end of his consideration for the lead in this film.

"Mayer let him talk. He was well-versed in Bobís personality. He knew Bobís politics. He himself was considered conservative, though most thought his true allegiance was only to the bottom dollar. Chances are, he finessed Bob and told him something that wouldíve bought him time, something like, 'Well see, Bob,' or 'Iíll see what I can do about this,' or 'Iíll do what I can for you, Bob.' Mellett may have remained silent and let Mayer be the front man.

"All the while, Mayerís think wheels were turning. After Bob left his office, and in correlation with a letter Mellett wrote to Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, Mayer called in his chips. He had a personal phone conversation with Knox to explain the situation, 'recalling the good that had been accomplished with Mrs. Miniver and other pictures released during the war period.'

He asked for a deferment for Robert Taylorís Navy service. Knox listened, and then agreed to consider the problem. Ultimately Knox gave the nod so Bob could be granted 'the time to make the film before being called to the service.'

"Done. Robert Taylor would star with Susan Peters in Russia."

Professional Reviews
A Verbal Family Album
In Reluctant Witness: "Robert Taylor, Hollywood and Communism" Linda Alexander has created a verbal family album of a man's life and passions, loves and triumphs. I now feel as though I knew him, and upon reading of his death, mourned him as I would a friend. No greater accolade can be can be said of a biographer, than the fact that the reader was made to feel as though they were actually present . experiencing each moment in time.

Author Debra Shiveley Welch


A thoroughly researched story that revisits Hollywood in its heyday
Talented biographer Linda Alexander takes us back to the days when the studio system for developing stars was in its glory; to the days after WWII when the spread of communism was being battled and anyone who didn't agree with the 'better dead than red' type of thinking could be considered suspect.

It was into this world a rather naive young man named Spangler Andrew Brugh stepped and came out known as Robert Taylor, the man with the perfect profile--sex symbol and one of Louis B. Mayer's biggest assets of the era.

Ms Alexander takes the reader from the early days of Robert Taylor's life, through his marriage to actress Barbara Stanwyck, to the development and changes in his career and private life. In this book you will meet his family, friends, associates, and come to know the man he was. You will share his moments before the senate committee that considered the movie industry as rife with communists.

A thoroughly researched story that revisits Hollywood in its heyday, when movie making was not only hard work, but a full time commitment. This is a book that any biography reader, film history buff, or nonfiction reader will enjoy all the way through, one you won't forget any time soon. It will make you look for other books by this very able author.

Enjoy. I sure did.

Anne K. Edwards
MysteryFiction.net
http://www.mysteryfiction.net/reviews.html



Reader Reviews for "Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism"


Reviewed by Jamal Abukou
Enjoyed the book. Awaiting the next. Jamal Abukou
Reviewed by Judith Hanhisalo (Reader)
This book has made a difference. I read somewhere that someone was acknowledging that they would have to re-evaluate the HUAC mess. Three cheers.
Reviewed by Brian Hartford (Reader)
Congrats on new book. Best of luck.

Brian Hartford

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