Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD which premiered to strong reviews and sold-out crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival in September will be released theatrically in April of 2018 by recently formed NYC-based distributor Greenwich Entertainment.
Best known for his acclaimed films VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR and CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY, Tyrnauer’s latest film tells the story of Scotty Bowers, a World War II Marine combat veteran who became a legendary bi-sexual male hustler and all-purpose date-arranger for Hollywood movie stars from the 1940’s through the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s.
The film has been called “the juiciest documentary in years” (Vulture), “criminally entertaining” (Vanity Fair ), and a “resonant and funny portrait of a larger-than-life character” (The Film Stage).
At the age of 89, Bowers’ 2012 tell-all biography “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” (Grove Press) was a best-selling sensation, and offered a powerful counter-narrative of Hollywood, as well as a revised view of the intimate lives of many of the greatest names of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The cinema verite feature film contains a nuanced portrait of the now 94-year-old Bowers, and also contains fresh revelations, and a trove of newly discovered archival footage and photos of Bowers from the 40s, 50s and beyond. The film documents how Bowers became a confidante, aide de camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male–and female—stars. Out of a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots, he began connecting his band of friends from the military with those who had to hide their often complex true sexual identities from the public in the pre-Stonewall
Prepare yourself for a different take on Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more icons from the Hollywood Golden Age. Bowers, with the vigor of someone decades younger is an unparalleled raconteur. Tyrnauer’s camera follows him over several months as he meets up with old colleagues—some of them from his L.A. Confidential-esque gas stations days–who corroborate his picaresque tales.
“Scotty is a classic American type: fun, happy-go-lucky, eager to please, big-hearted and literally up for anything – a “greatest generation” guy who was also perhaps was one of the great sexual athletes of his day. Matt captures the still-spry, and now 94-year-old Scotty brilliantly and uses his story as a jumping off place to evoke a secret bygone Hollywood and the pressure on that era’s film stars to conform publicly, at least, to the unvarying standard of monogamous heterosexuality,” said Greenwich co-managing director Ed Arentz. “We’re thrilled to have it as one of our inaugural releases.”
Tyrnauer, also a journalist (former editor-at-large of Vanity Fair) long heard about Bowers and his gas station in the course of reporting stores about the hidden history of Los Angeles. Eventually, he discovered that the elusive Scotty was still alive and living in Laurel Canyon. “From the moment I met Scotty, I felt he was one of the most extraordinary characters I’d ever come across. He’s one of the last living links to a very different time in Hollywood—and the rest of the world–when same-sexuality was an unmentionable taboo, punishable by prison sentences. Scotty allowed people to live more authentic lives by arranging liaisons for people who, by great necessity, had to hide their true identities to shield themselves from dire consequences,” Tyrnauer said. “I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Ed and the team at Greenwich Entertainment to share Scotty’s story and get this film seen by audiences across North America.”
SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, recently had its international premiere at the Rome Film Festival, and its U.S. premiere Saturday at DOC NYC.