Review by Choice Review
Freelance archaeologist and prolific writer Bahn provides a misleading title that indulges his personal fascination with Hollywood history. Less a popular work of archaeology than a tour book, the work explores the physical spaces of the famous town as related to the film industry. After an introduction and examination of the actual site of the filming of DeMille's 1923 film The Ten Commandments, Bahn organizes his commentary by discussing the industrial core, entertainment areas, residential sections, pilgrimage sites, and cemeteries. The organization is good, but the execution is largely superficial, with each of dozens of sites given a paragraph or less, a few facts about its physical location, architectural style, and associated film stars and events, and often ending with a punch line about the site becoming a parking lot. Examples include the original Fox Studios, the Brown Derby restaurant, and Rudolph Valentino's home. While he mentions some of their functions (some photographs are included), Bahn provides little analysis of the dynamics associated with the evolution of the town from an archaeological perspective. Frequent comments about what future archaeologists might make of the place are distracting. A large section and an appendix are devoted to burial places of the stars. --Jeffery C. Wanser, Hiram College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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