Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Brooksie » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:52 pm

Anyone read/own this, Lina Basquette's autobiography? Barring interlibrary loans, it seems hard to get hold of at a non-ridiculous price.

Even without the exaggerations, obfuscations and possible fabrications (attempted seduction by Hitler, WWII-era espionage, etc) she lived quite the life.

Big Silent Fan
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:27 am

I didn't know anything about Lina before today.

The Wikipedia article was certainly entertaining and I found her last film available at Netflix. A bit 'country' for me but I'm renting the story about 'Trailer Park Living' and God. From the review: Hope springs eternal in this heartwarming tale about the citizens of a small West Virginia town forced to live in a government-provided trailer park after a devastating flood.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Basquette" target="_blank

Yes, she certainly had an interesting life but I don't think I need to learn more.

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Brooksie » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:43 pm

Having finally got my hands on a copy of this book, I can confirm that it's every bit as bonkers as I expected and more.

It's written mainly in dialogue, and a faux-extempore style. The FREQUENT excursions into capital letters FOR EMPHASIS are most notable in the descriptions of her sexual encounters (and some of those are QUITE ALARMINGLY frank and detailed ... in this case, emphasis mine).

After finding apparent true love with the British actor Henry Mollison, there is an especially jaw-dropping interlude in Germany where, after beginning an affair with ein uber stage German Baron Ludwig Von Seubenhaus (Mein Gott, there is nicht a German cliche left unturned), she is promptly taken her to Germany to meet Der Fuhrer. After making his sexual intentions clear, Adolph - as his name is spelt throughout - feels the wrath of Lina's right knee in einer remaining testicle und deports her from Germany.

Cynical? Me?

The narrative stops shortly hereafter with little explanation and a tacked on epilogue that briefly (very briefly) covers the subsequent fifty years of Basquette's life.

It is all utterly, utterly bizarre.

Big Silent Fan
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:15 am

Thanks for the info. Brooksie.

It's too bad all those "#MeToo"s didn't have the courage to respond (in-kind) immediately to unwanted advances made towards them instead of waiting so many years.

Fascinating, if actually true.

salus
Posts: 571
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by salus » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:08 pm

Lina's stepsister is Marge Champion who recently turned 99

User avatar
telical
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:46 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by telical » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:30 pm


HEROES OF THE HEART trailer

Here is her final role.
Last edited by silentfilm on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
--
Robert Pearson
http://www.paramind.net" target="_blank
http://www.telicalbooks.com" target="_blank
http://www.regenerativemusic.net" target="_blank

Dave Pitts
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:55 am

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:49 am

She was the subject of a nice long New Yorker profile (it must've been in the 90s; I haven't subscribed for a long time.) Wonderful article.

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Brooksie » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:54 pm

Dave Pitts wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:49 am
She was the subject of a nice long New Yorker profile (it must've been in the 90s; I haven't subscribed for a long time.) Wonderful article.
It was 1989; it is mentioned in the book that this set off new interest in her career and inspired her to write her autobiography. It was written by Barry Paris, best known for his biography of Louise Brooks, who appeared alongside Basquette in Ziegfeld's Louis The 14th.

I have not read it, but from what I understand, Paris does not provide the required grain of salt to her stories, which are frequently entertaining but objectively preposterous.

Big Silent Fan
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:04 am

You can find a blurry image of the article at 'The NewYorker's' website, but they did not save the text to be downloaded.

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Brooksie » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:27 pm

The entire New Yorker archives are open to subscribers, but subscribers only. I've been meaning to sign up to the digital version (I subscribed to the hard copy for years, but boy, they pile up). If and when I do, I'll track it down and report back.

User avatar
Gaucho
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:37 pm

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Gaucho » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:25 pm

I remember that Larry Austin at the old Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax had some connection with her. She was there in the early 90s signing copies of her book -- I still have it somewhere.

User avatar
oldposterho
Posts: 628
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by oldposterho » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Just finished Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl and have to say that, despite its length, it's a bit of an astonishing read. The first half is quite a revelation about early Hollywood and the comings...ahem...and goings of some of our favorites that definitely appealed to my baser Hollywood Babylon inclinations although I was not expecting it to be so, shall we say, graphic. Still, I had always wondered about the allegations about Harry Cohn's ties to the mob and Lina certainly provided some background to that.

The latter half was less Hollywood history and focused more on her various husbands so interest did wane a bit. I had no idea about her dabblings with Leni Riefenstahl (who comes off as an abominable nutter) and the Dritte Reich, leading up to its denouement where Lina knees Shicklgruber in the 'nads. That's my girl...

Worth tracking down.

User avatar
maliejandra
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by maliejandra » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 am

I've wanted to read this for a long time, (movie star autobiographies are my favorite!) but the price is prohibitive. Good to know that if I ever shell out money for it, it will be worth my time.

User avatar
oldposterho
Posts: 628
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by oldposterho » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:12 am

I was also dismayed by the prices asked so good old inter-liberry loan provided my copy. Thanks Kansas City Library for sharing when our west coast branches held out!

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Lina - DeMille's Godless Girl

Unread post by Brooksie » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:22 pm

I picked up my copy for $35, but I had to wait good and long for one to turn up at that price. I think the issue is that this is one of those books that is impossible to find UN-autographed. Book dealers price accordingly.

I would not brand it a must-read, but it is an eye-opener. As oldposterho says, Lina certainly does not hold back in describing her sexual exploits. In detail. A LOT. :shock: :?

Post Reply