First published July 31, 2016
As usual, this is just my opinion, arrived at by private research
The first part of this paper was written by one of my readers, but he got spooked himself and buggered
off. His name and presence has been scrubbed off it completely. The second part is me extending his
Him: Miles, I'm reading a book called Crazy Sundays, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood by Aaron
Latham. It's a good read. According to the dust jacket, the author was given access to MGM's script
vault and all Fitzgerald materials. (A red flag, as you say.) Just for kicks, I decided to search the name
of the author. Aaron Latham is a very lucky man. The copyright of Crazy Sundays says (c)1970, 1971
by John Aaron Latham. On the back flap of the dust jacket it says: "While working on his Ph.D.
dissertation for Princeton University...the studios gave him permission..." Those generous studios,
open to all researchers, I guess. In the "morgue" at MGM he discovered a number of scripts...all lying
undisturbed in long “coffin-like” cardboard boxes. “Coffin-like” is an interesting word choice for a
storage box. I've never seen a document box that could be described that way.
After many weeks of intensive reading, study, evaluation, and interviews with
many of Fitzgerald's friends and colleagues—Helen Hayes, Anita Loos, Frances
and Albert Hackett, Groucho Marx, Joseph Mankiewicz among them—Mr. Latham sat
down to write his book.
I'm sure if I were working on my Ph.D., the movie studios would open their archives for me. I guess
they bought him an airplane ticket and paid for his hotel, too. And I imagine it's so easy to get private
interviews with movie stars and film directors.
The last paragraph on the dust jacket back flap reads:
AARON LATHAM did his undergraduate work at Amherst College, having been an exchange student in
Germany and France previous to that. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1970 for his work on
Fitzgerald. Since 1969 he has been a reporter for the Washington Post.
Interesting: he was working for the CIA's newspaper before he even graduated. From Wikipedia:
(Full text at link below)