The Cat's Meow (Peter Bogdanovich, 2001)

Visto l’altra sera in dvd questo delizioso film di Bogdanovich, quasi una piece teatrale, basato sulla vera storia della strana morte di Thomas H. Ince, tycoon hollywoodiano inventore del western, ufficialmente morto di attacco cardiaco durante una crociera a bordo dello yacht di William Randolph Hearst (Mister B dell’epoca, quello a cui s’ispirava Citizen Kane), in realtà molto più probabilmente ucciso accidentalmente dallo stesso Hearst mentre questi litigava con Charlie Chaplin (sullo yacht c’era anche lui) a riguardo di Marion Davies (amante di Hearst, concupita da Chaplin). Attori tutti bravissimi, sceneggiatura perfetta, costumi rigorosi, difficile trovargli un difetto. Ottimo il dvd, ricco di extra, contenente anche un bel corto di Chaplin. Per saperne di più:

In 1924 Ince was one of several Hollywood people aboard the yacht of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst when he was suddenly rushed off the ship and taken to a hospital, and Hearst spokesmen said he had suddenly taken ill aboard the yacht. Ince was eventually taken to his home, where he died. The morning papers headlined “Movie producer shot on Hearst yacht!” The evening papers would not carry that headline and the rival Hearst paper would print the next day that Ince died of acute indigestion. One of the stories surrounding Ince’s sudden and mysterious death–and believed to be the most plausible by many who knew Hearst, Ince and the others aboard the yacht that day–is that the bullet wasn’t meant for Ince but for Charles Chaplin, whom Hearst had long suspected of carrying on a secret affair with Hearst’s mistress, actress Marion Davies. Supposedly, Hearst inadvertently walked into Davies’ cabin and caught her and Chaplin in bed together, pulled out his gun, Chaplin jumped up and ran outside the cabin, Hearst chased him and fired several shots at him, missing Chaplin but hitting Ince, who happened to be standing on deck at the time. As this story goes, columnist Louella Parsons was also on board that day and witnessed the shooting, and in exchange for keeping quiet about it, Hearst promised her a lifetime job as the Hollywood reporter for his newspaper chain (she did, in fact, go to work for the Hearst Corp. shortly after the incident as its entertainment reporter, and remained there for the rest of her life).