“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”
Scandals Brought to Life
Scotty Bowers is a Hollywood legend, whose bestselling memoir chronicled his decades spent as sexual procurer to the stars.
He catered to the sexual appetites of celebrities, straight, gay, and whatever for decades. In the 1950s, he ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he’d fix up his clientele with quickies, threesomes, orgies and whatever they wanted. Then, in 2012, he finally disclosed his secrets in his bestselling memoir “Full Service”. What we see in both the book and this film is a dramatic counter-narrative on Hollywood’s Golden Age. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as hetero, wholesome, and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling their true desires.
The film opens with the book’s publication. Bowers is now turning 90 still has the vigor of someone decades younger. He is an unparalleled raconteur. We get new and different takes on Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, etc., etc., etc. Unlike other sex workers who are often portrayed as sleazy, damaged, or degraded, Bowers defies these stereotypes. He’s fun and loves to please. We follow him over several months as he meets up with old colleagues who corroborate his outlandish tales.
Filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer has long been a student of Hollywood’s secrets and portrayal of Bowers is wonderful as he basks in nostalgia and copes with the tendencies to uncover buried documents as well as some buried life passages.