THE HOLLYWOOD POSSE: The Story of a Gallant Band of Horsemen Who Made Movie History by Diana Serra Cary

THE HOLLYWOOD POSSE: The Story of a Gallant Band of Horsemen Who Made Movie History

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fifty-five years ago Diana Cary--barely twenty months old--made 150 two-reel comedies in the Century studio which stood on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. At the same time a few hundred legitimate out-of-work cowboys were hired by Century and Universal as riders, stunt men and doubles for Western stars. This raunchy, colorful, widemouthed crew of storytellers became known as the ""Gower Gulch"" men, and this book pays a warmly eloquent tribute to them. In 1940 Cary began noticing that these oldtimers were passing away, so she recorded verbatim their tales about DeMille, John Ford and others. From this material she has produced a wonderful book about movies, not a gush phrase anywhere, just cussed authenticity overflowing with the pride of their work. ""The horsepower bottled up in six high-strung, speed-hungry stage horses, has simply got to be felt to be appreciated. When an experienced driver climbs up on the box and takes the four lines knowingly into his hands, threading them through his fingers and letting them ripple over the backs of his ponies like silk floss, he can feel that strength surging up through his wrists and arms and across his powerful shoulders."" The book is also a coda for all the lost horses rigged for neck-breaking falls--The Charge of the Light Brigade was a horror: 25 horses killed, scores lamed and a dozen cowboys hospitalized on the critical list. A stylish canter on those chromocolored cardboard lots.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1975
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin