SIFF Film Center Seattle Center
Fri Aug 24, 2018
Recommended by Chase Burns
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Matt Tyrnauer's new documentary, retells the Hollywood gossip Bowers revealed in his popular memoir from 2012, Full Service. In case you missed it: The Golden Age of Hollywood was really fucking gay. After surviving some of the toughest battles of WWII, Bowers landed in Los Angeles. While he was pumping gas (not a euphemism), Scotty claims the actor Walter Pidgeon offered him $20 to pump his gas (a euphemism). A smart businessman, Scotty turned the gas station into a spot that served and serviced a large swath of gay Hollywood elites. Scotty's gas station became a stomping ground for gay actors and actresses who had to bury their queerness because of Hollywood's Motion Picture Production Code. The code, which led to morals clauses in actors' contracts, required actors to be seen, at least publicly, as the epitome of American wholesomeness. So when many Hollywood stars wanted to get in on some same-sex action, they hit up Scotty and his "hustlers." It's clear that Scotty facilitated a world of acceptance and dignity during a time of secrecy and criminalization, and decades before the modern gay-rights movement.