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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 9 July 14, 1943

Films — Hollywood Recipe


Hollywood Recipe

It shows what Hollywood, given a good book, can do when it really tries. Steinbeck saw concisely on Tortilla Flat the common aspects of human life. He wrote down what he saw. In his book there were friendship, sentiment, humanity. There were also dirt, ugliness, brutality, lust and death. And in the whole thing there was beauty. That was the point. Hollywood has cleaned the whole thing up. It has removed the dirt, the ugliness, the brutality, the lust and the death. Instead of a trollop, Hollywood gives us a glamorous, prophylactic maiden; instead of lust, Romance; instead of a drunken brawl, a couple of rousing choruses with guitar accompaniment; instead of a paisano, either a colourful gypsy or an American boy, wayward but clean at heart; instead of sentiment, sentimentality; instead of death, a wedding. On this nice, clean canvas it has sprinkled a pinch of sterilized dust for the sake of quaintness. There is no beauty left. The fish no longer shimmers, flickers, moves. The Hollywood morticians have done their job. It is gutted, stuffed and dead. And it stinks of disinfectant.