Most people know Hollywood in the twenties from that film about how it all ended up, badly, or well, depending on your perspective the 1952 Stanley Donen film, Singin in the Rain. Poor Lina Lamont. The talkies changed everything, the twenties were over, and then the stock market crashed and we had the Depression and we entered the modern world. But the changes in Hollywood were all true, as you can see in this documentary, where James Mason explains the era of disruption and changes, as sound was added to motion, with great clips and there are additional segments on the lower right of the page.
But you can also see those times in a broader way
Hollywood in the twenties was an age of desperation. People were desperate to find the good life, and those who came to Hollywood and found stardom usually changed their names. The publicity departments went wild with sensationalistic stories of the celebrities' torrid or unusual past; little girl from middle America would usually wind up becoming an exiled princess from a European country. Those who did come to Hollywood in the early days and made it as stars had to handle life on their own terms. Some handled it well while others destroyed themselves. Popularity and the freedom proved too much. Mabel Normand was one of the many who died at an early age. Many more were to follow. They lived too fast and died too soon, unlike those who took life slow and easy and were able to keep and enjoy what they had.
Yeah, yeah Hollywood in the twenties indeed may have been an age of desperation. It's not much different now. Curiously, you can find bits and pieces of the twenties here and there dinosaur bones from a lost age. And one of the things people desperate to find the good life in the twenties was pretend to be French see French Hollywood from 2005. Here we go again the Versailles Apartments, 608 South Saint Andrews Place, just north of Wilshire Boulevard French-Norman revival from the late twenties.