THE GOLDEN GIRLS OF MGM by Jane Ellen Wayne

THE GOLDEN GIRLS OF MGM

Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Others

KIRKUS REVIEW

Still another recycling of Wayne’s earlier recycled material about Sex Lives of the Stars (Gable’s Women, 1987, Marilyn’s Men, 1992, etc.). Here perhaps she reaches a dead end, having crunched all her re-recyclings into one tome. To be sure, Jeanette MacDonald is a new subject for her—thank heavens Sharon Rich’s lengthy Sweethearts (1994) was available for easy strip-mining into Wayne’s bodiless, fact-strung sentences about MacDonald’s romance with costar Nelson Eddy. After he raped her, they fell deeply in love and had endless trysts. When Jeanette suffered a miscarriage that wildly alienated Eddy (he thought she’d had an abortion), her only way out was to marry bisexual Gene Raymond, six years her junior. Jeanette could not love him, not after Eddy (whom she bedded during her engagement), but she did maintain “purity of soul.” Did Raymond abandon her for a gay tryst on their wedding night? Soon he was up on a morals charge, she was pregnant again with Nelson’s child, there were the many suicide attempts, the shock treatments. . . . Then Wayne moves blithely on to Greta and Gilbert and Greta’s other bedmate Mercedes, and Ava and Artie and Mickey and Frank, and Grace and the male half of Hollywood.

What next: Warren’s Women crushed into one volume?

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7867-1117-5
Page count: 432pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2002




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