Like every writer or almost every writer, who goes to Hollywood, I was convinced in the beginning that there must be some discoverable method of working in pictures which would not be completely stultifying to whatever creative talent one might happen to possess. But like others before me I discovered that this was a dream.
John Lee Mahin (1902-1984) was one of the greatest screenwriters. His credits include some of Hollywood’s most enduring classics: Scarface (1932), Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933), China Seas (1935), Wife Versus Secretary (1936), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) with uncredited contributions to, among others, A Star is Born (1937), Test Pilot (1938), Gone With the Wind (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). Mahin was director Victor Fleming’s most trusted screenwriter and in one way or another Mahin contributed to nearly every Fleming film.
Mahin understood star power. He instinctively knew that Harlow’s hyper sexuality was best exploited through humor and naughty wisecracks. Thus Red Dust and Bombshell were Harlow’s very best pictures.
Mahin also understood raw male power. And during Hollywood’s golden age, no male star approached Clark Gable’s dominance. Women wanted Gable and men wanted to be Gable.
Just a few hours before the New Year, Seraphic Secret crawled out of bed at 5 in the morning for my daily three-mile walk. Half-comatose, I grabbed my trusty Apple laptop and started down the stairs.
If this were a film, you would see high-contrast black and while lighting, ominous music, and the creepy sound of soft footsteps on the carpet. And then, a SHOCK CUT as —
— Yours truly trips, tries to gain balance, fails, and then desperately seeks to arrest what could be a neck-snapping fall by grabbing hold of the bannister while simultaneously losing grip of beloved laptop, and in SLOW MOTION watching computer bounce
I have shlepped this computer all over the world. I have carried this computer up and down the stairs in Casa Avrech for close to seven years. How did this happen? There is only one answer: Witchcraft.