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Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary is an insider?s view of the film studios of the 1920s?and the first from a secretary?s perspective. Rich in gossip, it is also an eyewitness report of Hollywood in transition.
In the summer of 1924, Valeria Belletti and her friend Irma visited California, but instead of returning home to New York, the twenty-six-year-old Valeria decided to stay in Los Angeles. She moved into the YWCA, landed a job as Samuel Goldwyn's personal and social ...
Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary is an insider’s view of the film studios of the 1920s—and the first from a secretary’s perspective. Rich in gossip, it is also an eyewitness report of Hollywood in transition.
In the summer of 1924, Valeria Belletti and her friend Irma visited California, but instead of returning home to New York, the twenty-six-year-old Valeria decided to stay in Los Angeles. She moved into the YWCA, landed a job as Samuel Goldwyn's personal and social secretary and proceeded to trip over history in the making. As she recounts in her dozens of letters to Irma, Valeria Belletti encountered every type of Hollywood player in the course of her working day: moguls, directors, stars, writers, and hopeful extras. She shares news about Valentino's affairs, Sam Goldwyn's bootlegger, the development of the “talkies,” her own role in helping to cast Gary Cooper in his first major part and much more—often in hilarious detail. She writes of her living and working conditions, her active social life, and her hopes for the future—all the everyday concerns of a young working woman during the jazz age. Alternating sophistication with naiveté, Valeria’s letters intimately document a personal journey while giving us a unique portrait of a fascinating era.
Posted May 3, 2006
This book is not only for film buffs, it is a window to a world that is long gone. It is a bird's eye view of Hollywood at the end of the silent era and transitioning into the age of the talkies. Aside from the great Hollywood dish, of which there is plenty, she was remarkably candid and refreshingly not star struck. Although, I must confess that I can totally relate to having a crush on Ronald Colman. In the end it is the delightful, matter of fact, take no prisoners Valeria Belletti that you come so much to admire in reading her letters. She was a wonderful letter writer and these letters are, indeed, treasures. At the turn of each page you are delighted anew with some insight or adventure. She was one spunky girl and wrote letters that are filled with details of her days and nights in Hollywood. We need to bless her beloved friend Irma for saving these letters and presenting them to her many years later. We must also thank Cari Beauchamp for bringing these letters to light and annotating them carefully with her own delightful and informative prose. As I said before, this is a window to a lost world. More than that, it is a celebration of an independent young woman making her way in a man¿s world and celebrating her life at the height of the jazz age. This will be a volume I will turn to again and again. Don¿t miss it, this will brighten the dampest spirits on a rainy day.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.