Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Unsung of the Screen: Anita Loos (Post Three)

Minnie Loos objected to her daughter working in Hollywood, so in under to get away from her mother, Anita married Frank Pallma Jr, the son of a band conductor. However, Anita found Frank to be too boring and broke as well, and after six months of marriage, she sent him out for some hair pins and packed her bags and went home to her mother while he was gone.

Anita continued working with D.W. Griffith, even though a lot of her work wouldn't get produced, but in 1916 Griffith asked her to write subtitles for the film Intolerance. She wrote the subtitles and attended the premiere in New York and decided to stay there for the fall of 1916. When she returned to Hollywood, she began working with director (and future husband) John Emerson and wrote a string of Douglas Fairbanks' most successful films. 

Anita and John would finally marry in 1919, but even before their marriage she was disheartened with his need for control (and credit for HER work). After they married, John would tell her that he needed a break from the marriage "once a week". During these "breaks" he would go out on dates with younger women while Anita consoled herself by entertaining friends at her home. She also took comfort in hanging out in Harlem as well, as she had grown to love and appreciate the rich Black American culture there.

Later, Anita would meet H.L. Mencken, a writer whose work she had come to admire. She enjoyed their first meeting with Mencken and his circle of friends so much that it inspired her to write a book.

She realized that John paled so much in comparison to H.L. Mencken and came to the conclusion that "gentlemen" with high IQ's simply didn't fall for intellectual let alone simply "smart" women--and that they preferred more dim-witted women who just "looked good". Once she came to this conclusion, she immediately began writing a book that would change everything for her...

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