During the golden age of Hollywood, secret stories happening behind the scenes were often more intriguing, and certainly darker, than anything on the silver screen. In an era of sanitized, often puritanical popular entertainment, old Hollywood scandals seeped in moral bankruptcy were fueling the creative, administrative, and financial branches of the motion picture industry. From studios hooking impressionable kids on drugs to women forced into abortions to maintain their image, scandals old Hollywood covered up will certainly change the way you look at tinsel town's rose-tinted past.
In an era when studios had fixers who used money and intimidation to save the reputation of a starlet or the studio, countless scandals were covered up. Many of these secret old Hollywood scandals were swept under the rug when they happened, and sealed in airtight boxes for several subsequent generations, in an attempt to erase them from history, to preserve the legacy of those involved. In other cases, the public got wind, then, not soon thereafter, simply forgot they'd happened in the first place.
But as the years have passed, many of these secrets and cover ups have been revealed, showing a darker side to the studios and stars of old Hollywood.
Joan Crawford Starred in at Least One Pornographic Film
Before she became a movie star, Joan Crawford appeared in at least one pornographic film. As the story goes, MGM spent years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, tracking the movie down and destroying it.
Crawford was one of MGM's biggest stars, so when studio brass found out she starred in pornographic short Velvet Lips as a teenager, probably while underage, the gloves were off. Allegedly, MGM's notorious fixer, Eddie Mannix, partnered with the mob to track down extortionists asking $100,000 for the film. The extortionists were given a choice: accept $25,000 for all negatives or the mob would kill them and take the negatives. In another version of the story, Mannix simply shelled out $100k for the negatives.
When Crawford left MGM in 1943, she paid the studio $50,000, an unusual move. Many historians believe she paid the studio back for acquiring and destroying the negatives to Velvet Lips.