For a short time, Joseph P. Kennedy, father to President John and senators Robert and Ted Kennedy, dabbled in film and, in the words of film historian Betty Lasky, “fleeced” Hollywood. Joseph Kennedy made some 80 films between 1926 and 1927, during which time he attempted to capitalize on the box office appeal of Gloria Swanson, an established star who was also his mistress at the time. In the process, he managed to ruin Swanson’s finances, along with her chance at transitioning to talkies. This amazing, sordid story is recounted with great wit and diligent research in Cari Beauchamp’s new book, Joseph P. Kennedy Presents.
Organized by Charles Silver, Curator, Department of Film.