Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel

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University Press of Kentucky, 2013 M11 14 - 384 pages

Possessing a unique beauty and refined acting skills, Ann Dvorak (1911--1979) found success in Hollywood at a time when many actors were still struggling to adapt to the era of talkies. Seemingly destined for A-list fame, critics touted her as "Hollywood's New Cinderella" after film mogul Howard Hughes cast her as Cesca in the gangster film Scarface (1932). Dvorak's journey to superstardom was derailed when she walked out on her contractual obligations to Warner Bros. for an extended honeymoon. Later, she initiated a legal dispute over her contract, an action that was unprecedented at a time when studios exercised complete control over actors' careers.

As the first full-length biography of an often-overlooked actress, Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel explores the life and career of one of the first individuals who dared to challenge the studio system that ruled Tinseltown. The actress reached her pinnacle during the early 1930s, when the film industry was relatively uncensored and free to produce movies with more daring storylines. She played several female leads in films including The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), Three on a Match (1932), and Heat Lightning (1934), but after her walk-out, Warner Bros retaliated by casting her in less significant roles.

Following the casting conflicts and illness, Dvorak filed a lawsuit against the Warner Bros. studio, setting a precedent for other stars who eventually rebelled against the established Hollywood system. In this insightful memoir, Christina Rice explores the spirited rebellion of a talented actress whose promising career fell victim to the studio empire.

 

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User Review  - knahs - LibraryThing

This biography of actress Ann Dvorak is well done. Dvorak is probably best known for her pre-code roles in 1932’s Scarface and Three on a Match. Somehow, despite her great work in these films, she ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Vaudeville Days
7
2 Child Actress
13
3 Schoolgirl
25
4 Chorus Cutie
33
5 Scarface
49
6 Hollywoods New CInderella
63
7 Mrs Leslie Fenton
75
16 War
195
17 Ann of All Trades
207
18 Shell Shocked
217
19 Career Girl
229
20 Broadway Bound
241
21 Seasoned Professional
253
22 Enter Nick Wade
265
23 Hawaiian Hopeful
279

8 Sold Down the River
87
9 Happy Vagabonds
99
10 Prodigal Daughter
111
11 Warner Workhorse
121
12 Life Off Camera
133
13 Suspended Contract Player
151
14 Legal Eagle
165
15 Freelance Artist
183
24 The End of Everything
293
Epilogue
303
Acknowledgments
307
Filmography
311
Notes
323
Bibliography
349
Index
353
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Christina Rice is a librarian and photo archivist at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. (www.anndvorak.com)

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