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Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos

Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos

by Clancy Sigal


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This a hilarious memoir of Clancy Sigal’s escapades as a young Hollywood agent on the Sunset Strip, peddling writers and actors in a blacklist-crazed “golden age” movie industry of the 1950s. Atom bomb tests light up the night sky, and everyone is either naming names or getting named in the McCarthy witch hunt. By day a fast-talking salesman, at night he’s the point person of a small circle of anarchistic oddballs. He’s dogged by two FBI agents who want to be set up with starlets and have a screen test. They trail him as he goes from studio to studio hustling clients like Humphrey Bogart, Donna Reed, Jack Palance, Peter Lorre and Stanwyck. Barred from a studio he brazenly uses a bolt cutter to break through the chainlink fence to make a deal.

Black Sunset’s riproaring ribald style belongs to a hardboiled school that includes Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler. He is one of the few remaining witnesses and reporters of this absurd and terrifying time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593766573
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 12/13/2016
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Clancy Sigal was the child of a love affair between two labor organizers, Jennie Persily and Leo Sigal. Jennie, a single mother, raised Clancy on her own, with a mostly absent father. After an army stint he worked as an entertainment agent. Sigal arrived as an immigrant in Great Britain, where he met and commenced a four-year affair with the writer Doris Lessing. He lived in Los Angeles with his screenwriter wife, Janice Tidwell, until his death.

Table of Contents

Part 1

1 The Fugitive 1

2 Farewell, My Lovely 7

3 Where This Story Takes Place 17

4 Bride of the Gorilla 21

5 The Killers 29

6 From Here to Eternity 37

7 The Night World War II Ended 45

8 Theatre of Blood 47

9 On the Waterfront 51

Part 2

10 Holding My Nose and Praying 59

11 Liar, Liar 63

12 Pulling an All-Nighter Cramming for the Job I Bluffed Into 71

13 O Brother Where Art Thou? 73

14 Who Are the Omegas? 77

15 The FBI Story 81

Part 3

16 First Day on the Job after My Lying Interview 89

17 Where the Bodies Are Buried in Hollywood 97

18 Act of Violence 99

18 Socrates in Tasseled Loafers 105

20 Gangster Chic 109

21 Ghost Story 113

22 The Thousand Guns of Dale and Peter 117

23 The Big Knife 121

24 The Trial of the Century 129

25 Sweet Smell of Success 135

26 Who Served, Who Didn't 139

27 Teacher's Pets 141

Part 4

28 Time Out of Time 147

29 Harmless as Doves; Innocent as a Lamb 149

30 The Big Steal 157

31 The Demon Barber of Wilshire Boulevard 167

32 A Double Life 173

33 A Perfect Crime 179

34 Portrait of Jennie 187

35 Torah! Torah!-Torah! 193

36 The Informer 205

37 Picnic 215

Part 5

38 Cold War Sex in a Lonelier Place 225

39 The Women 229

40 The Ladies Auxiliary 231

41 The Price of Love 235

42 The Crash 237

43 A Visit from a Constant Reader 241

Part 6

44 The Storm Subsides, Sunrise over Malibu 253

45 Enter Doctor Charisma 257

46 She's Only a Poor Workin' Girl 263

47 Baby Face 269

48 The Man Killer From Double Indemnity 273

49 Blazing Saddles 281

50 A Star Is Born 291

51 How to Break a Writer's Block 295

52 The Defiant Ones 297

Part 7

53 Death of a Salesman 309

54 The Long Goodbye 315

55 The Non-Union Indian 319

56 Mojave Green 323

57 You Bet Your Life 329

58 Dance, Girl, Dance 333

Epilogue 335

Acknowledgments 337

Where are they now? 339

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