Hollywood Mouth

Spoiler Alert


'Still existing in Hollywood,' Berlyn Ferlinghetti has been approached by two mysterious people, Camille and Gary (AKA Guri), who want her help with selling a Faberge egg. Apparently brother and sister, Camille and Gary run a nightclub in Hollywood ('the bar sells items like gummy candy tongues and Marlene Dietrich's singing is coming through speakers in the restrooms'). Camille invites Berlyn to the Alto Nido apartments on Ivar, where she lives. Camille tells Berlyn that she resembles Tatiana Romanov, the last Tsar's daughter, and asks for Berlyn's coaching as a writer and actress to assist with the process -- e.g. understanding the legal language in the auction catalog and what to wear to the appointments. Berlyn gives some backstory about her interest in showbiz, going back to her childhood as a magician, her teenage years as a movie geek in libraries, and working in a Hollywood museum. Berlyn and her friend from acting school, Rick Lloyd, longtime old movie fans, are writing a book called 'Movie Memorabilia and Collectibles' and are gathering photographs and pictures to illustrate the book. Rick now operates a memorabilia business from his home ('Rick's entire front yard was a rose garden and all of the roses were named after stars'). Some intimidating clients, Sal and Lana Getty, want to 'borrow' Rick's Peter Lorre life mask against his wishes, but they do buy a vinyl Mick Jagger doll from the 1960s and a Dean Martin hand puppet for their one-year-old boy, Jonah, to play with. Berlyn is putting together a one-woman show, in which she will portray Simone de Beauvoir, and she visits the site of the Don the Beachcomber restaurant where de Beauvoir was taken when she came to Hollywood in 1947. Berlyn walks up and down McCadden with her script of the de Beauvoir text of the play (part of which appears as subtitles on the screen in this segment). Alone in a local amphitheater, Berlyn wonders where the Faberge egg came from, if it's a counterfeit, or if it even exists. After doing research on Russia for the Faberge egg, Berlyn reads her comparison of Rasputin with Joan Crawford to some friends, impersonators of Bette Davis, Marlon Brando, Oleg Cassini, and William Randolph Hearst (e.g. 'both loved to dance and drink vodka...both made friends easily and both made enemies'). Berlyn takes the Peter Lorre mask to a special effects workshop to be duplicated and watches the F/X technician perform the lifecasting process on a subject's face in the technician's studio. Back in the amphitheater, Berlyn speculates about the egg -- where it may be 'nesting,' why it's in Hollywood, if Camille and Gary could be actors 'constructing a mockery in order to act.'  Berlyn receives Rick's newsletter with his Melon Twisters quiz (e.g. 'This star's wife regularly hired private detectives to spy on him and then would spend hours going over the reports.... These two 1940s brunettes attended Van Nuys High School at the same time') and New Items This Month (Halloween mask of Alfred Hitchcock, sculpted bust of John Wayne filled with Kentucky bourbon, etc.). Berlyn gives Camille and Gary a tour of movie stars' homes that are in similar condition to what they were in the 1930s-1950s. When Camille and Gary leave Hollywood, Berlyn calls the auction house which is selling the Faberge egg and discovers that it was purchased in a private deal before the auction, proving the legitimacy of the egg. Berlyn also learns that Camille and Gary, whom she was always suspicious of, gave her the deed to the nightclub they owned; they think that Berlyn may be able to do something more original with it, 'something at a deeper level.' The film ends with Berlyn reviewing the pictures from the Golden Age of Hollywood that she and Rick have found for their book.

Answers to
Melon Twisters Quiz

1. Bette Davis

2. Ramón Novarro

3. Bob Hope (reputedly)

4. Like

5. Robert Redford

6. Laurence Harvey (reputedly)

7. Jane Russell and Gail Russell

8. Barbara Stanwyck

9. Jack Warner

10. James Cagney

















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