Right before talking pictures slug Tinsel Town in the jaw, a luminous silent screen star converts her private estate into the Garden of Allah Hotel. The lush grounds soon become a haven for Hollywood hopefuls to meet, drink, and revel through the night. George Cukor is in the pool, Tallulah Bankhead is at the bar, and Scott Fitzgerald is sneaking off to a bungalow with Sheilah Graham while Madame Alla Nazimova keeps watch behind her lace curtains.
Hollywood in the 1920s: The motion picture industry is booming, and Irving Thalberg knows it takes more than guts and gumption to create screen magic that will live forever. He’s climbed all the way to head of production at newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and is determined to transform Leo the Lion into an icon of the most successful studio in town.
Kathryn Massey thought a long-forgotten secret was dead and buried - just like the 1950s are about to be - but when a mysterious list circulating Screenland ignites salacious rumors about the gossip columnist, it's her life that now falls under the magnifying glass.
Kathryn Massey spends her days spreading rumors and keeping secrets. Losing herself one headline at a time has left Kathryn’s personal identity scattered - and dumps her at the narrow end of the bargaining table with the man she trusts the least. Gwendolyn Brick has simpler aspirations. As a costume designer, her sights are set on glamour, not heights of fame. But her friendship with Marilyn Monroe puts her directly into the crosshairs of studio head, Darryl Zanuck - and he’s someone you don’t say no to....
As America embraces the 1950s, that brash upstart called television is poaching Hollywood's turf, inch by inch. If the studios don't do something drastic, they may lose the battle. When screenwriter Marcus Adler fell afoul of the blacklist, Europe offered sanctuary. Hollywood lures him back, but the specter of Joseph McCarthy forces Marcus to fight for a final chance to clear his name.
When the Red Scare ends, paranoia lingers. Can Tinseltown recover to take on television? After an exile from MGM, ousted screenwriter Marcus Adler is looking for his way back into the biz. When he hatches a plan to start over with a disgraced movie star, a Hollywood censor reminds Marcus that the misdeeds of the past aren't soon forgotten.
When a scandal accuses Tinseltown of being riddled with Communists, MGM writing department head Marcus Adler needs to keep his reputation beyond reproach. Unfortunately in Hollywood, nobody's past is spotless. Gossip columnist Kathryn Massey is doing everything she can to shed the FBI informer mantle she carried during the war. In post-war Hollywood, there are reds in the beds, the sharks are circling, and it's feeding time.
At the dawn of 1942, the dark days of Pearl Harbor still loom over Los Angeles. America is now at war. Wartime propaganda is the name of the game. Marcus Adler is an MGM screenwriter whose latest movie was stolen out from under his whiskey glass, and he's determined it won't happen again. He comes up with a surefire hit, but his chance to triumph is threatened by a vicious rumor: "Marcus Adler is a goddamned commie." In the city of searchlights, suspicions can lurk behind every shadow.
Hollywood, 1939: When Tinseltown begins to woo wunderkind Orson Welles, he stashes himself at the Chateau Marmont until he's ready to make his splashy entrance. But gossip columnist Kathryn Massey knows he's there. Kathryn has been on the outs with Hollywood since her ill-fated move to Life magazine, but now that she's back at the Hollywood Reporter, she's desperate to find the Next Big Thing.
Summer, 1936: Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell's first novel, takes the world by storm. Everyone in Hollywood knows Civil War pictures don't make a dime, but renegade producer David O. Selznick snaps up the movie rights and suddenly America has just one question: Who will play Scarlett O'Hara? The Trouble with Scarlett is the second in Martin Turnbull's series of historical novels set during Hollywood's golden age.
Alla Nazimova has reached the pinnacle of success. She is the highest-paid actress in town, with a luxurious estate, the respect of her peers, adoration of her fans, and a series of lovers that has included the first wife of her protégé, Rudolph Valentino. But reaching the top is one thing. Staying there is an entirely different matter. Nazimova dreams of producing a motion picture of Oscar Wilde's infamous Salomé. It will be a new form of moviemaking: the world's first art film.