Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality in Hollywood’

Scotty Bowers


98 minutes | No MPAA rating

Scotty Bowers is dismissed by some as the film industry’s premiere pimp. In their eyes he is scum, a man who in ’50s Hollywood fixed up closeted gay actors with hunky young studs and then, decades later, wrote a tell-all memoir exposing their peccadilloes.

That’s one way of looking at him. Another is that Bowers is a benevolent erotic pioneer who never took money for his matchmaking and believes that sexual expression –whatever one’s orientation — is as vital to a good life as anything addressed in the Bill of Rights.

Watching “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” a viewer zig-zags between those two extremes. Is Scotty a hero or a shameful libertine? A creep or a charming raconteur? All of the above?

As  Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary begins, Bowers is celebrating his 90th birthday (his cake is shaped like a huge penis) and the publication of Full Service, his pull-no-punches sexual tell-all.

A veteran of the Iwo Jima invasion, Bowers came to LA in the late ’40s and opened a gas station at 5777 Hollywood Boulevard. He hired his Marine buddies to work there. Little by little the place became one-stop-shopping for closeted stars and businessmen looking to score.

Bowers installed a peep hole in the men’s room and had a mobile home parked nearby for quickie trysts. “That’s what you call business, baby!” he gleefully chortles.

Half of the film’s running time concentrates on Bowers’ eyebrow-raising memories. He recalls setting up dates for the likes of Walter Pigeon and Charles Laughton, Tom Ewell and J. Edgar Hoover. He claims to have procured willing couples for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and to have enjoyed three ways with both Cary Grant and Randolph Scott and Ava Gardner and Lana Turner.

He only curtailed his activities with the rise of AIDs…he didn’t want to be responsible for spreading the disease.

Of  his omnivorous sexuality the white-haired Bowers replies “I’m everything.” Indeed, he has been sexually active since childhood (furiously dismissing any suggestion that he was the victim of abuse — “I did what I did because I wanted to do it!”). Even before shipping off to the Pacific he had been one of Alfred Kinsey’s subjects for his 1948 landmark Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.


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