Book Review: The Man Who Seduced Hollywood

Title: The Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown’s Most Powerful Lawyer
Written by: B. James Gladstone
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2013)
Page Count: 352 (hardcover)

Google his name and there are nearly 200,000 results. That’s a significant amount of modern interest for a Hollywood lawyer who died before the internet, as we now know it, spread across America.

Then again, when a lawyer had connections to Hollywood elite such as Howard Hughes, Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Kirk Kerkorian, and Bugsy Siegel, as well being as a Hollywood ladies man confirmed or rumored to be involved with beautiful actresses as diverse as Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, and Peggy Lee, maybe it’s not much of a surprise.

So goes to story of Hollywood lawyer Greg Bautzer. The biography is written by B. James Gladstone, who is the executive vice president of business and legal affairs for Lionsgate Entertainment. He is a talented and technical writer who likely used his connections to research and weave together the extraordinary tale of this extraordinary attorney.

Like much of the Hollywood lifestyle, the story of Bautzer appears glamorous on the surface and is portrayed as such in the biography. There is the Brown Derby and Hollywood stars. Sex and alcohol. Gangsters and courtrooms. Yet, whether intentional or not, there is a sadness to the story of Bautzer, whose relationships, both romantic and platonic, are more often than not centered around money, greed, ego, and self-interest.

In many ways, this books seems a perfect fit for a film adaptation. One can imagine Martin Scorsese behind the camera capturing the romanticized life of Bautzer while not shying away from his complexity while recreating all the glamorous highs and tragic lows of his life. I think DiCaprio resembles him enough that it could work. Clear your schedule, Leo. And hey, if this happens, Mr. Scorsese, all I ask for is a Special Thanks in the credits.

If you’re interested at all in old-school Hollywood, this book was written with you in mind.

You can purchase the hardback or e-book on Amazon or, as always, check your local library.