Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood reveals a fascinating history for those of us not familiar with the story of Scotty Bowers.
Scotty Bowers moved to Hollywood after serving as a U.S. Marine during World War II. The rest as they say is history. Unbeknownst to America at the time, Bowers became a lover to our favorite stars. He did all of this while running a business at a gas station just on the outskirts of the studio lots. It all started with Oscar-winning director George Cukor.
Some of this is in part due to the nature of the day. It would be very hard to be openly gay in the 1940s and 1950s when Bowers was in the prime of his business. G-d forbid a closeted gay actor got caught at a bar with another man. It would have been a field day for the studios and force stars into an early retirement. Things are different in 2018 but that’s not how it was 60-70 years ago. Think about the life Rock Hudson lived. He died from AIDS in 1985 but nobody knew his sexuality other than those that were close to him. If he had come out back in the day, his career would have ended!
Speaking of Hudson, it turns out he saw Cary Grant quite a few times according to Bowers. There had been some rumors that maybe he wasn’t straight. Is it fair that Bowers is outing these people long after they’re gone? This is up for debate. But for a time when the studio PR machines forced actors into the closet, I think it’s fair game.
What I found most interesting was what is said about Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I long assumed that Tracy had left his wife to get together with Hepburn. This film sheds some new light on their relationship. As a matter of fact, it turns out that Tracy had an interest in men and Hepburn, women. Bowers arranged well over 100 women for Hepburn while also having sex with Tracy. It’s a lot to take in especially when one considers what they thought to have been the truth. It turns out the truth is something completely different. As was the case of so many closeted people to be outed in later years, it’s due to the studios at the time. If the word got out, their careers would be ruined!
Director Matt Tyrnauer’s cinematic portrait of Scotty Bowers goes hand in hand with Bowers’ 2012 memoir, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. It’s a film that you just have to see for yourself.
DIRECTOR: Matt Tyrnauer
FEATURING: Scotty Bowers