The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick
One of films greatest sins was its way it had women shown in the past in classic movies is that women was taking to backseat to men in that era as Natural, the Alice Guy-Blache documentary, and Mallory O’Meara’s book, The Lady From the Black Lagoon is the shattering of these assumptions that men were the creators of classic Hollywood myth. These books show women are responsible for far more of classic Hollywood’s glitz as in fact in case with The Lady From the Black Lagoon, a woman is the entire reason we love one of Universal’s most unique monsters.
Mallory O’Meara is an author with passion for her subject. The Lady From the Black Lagoon isn’t strictly a biography on Milicent Patrick, although the artist’s life is written out from birth to death it addresses many issues about the problems women faced in the golden age as the book has social commentary on the sexism of that era as also it details the story of the hunt for the information which also has many layers of sexism in that quest too for the information on this woman as many said a woman couldn’t have done this stuff she is suggesting she did. O’Meara’s argument is that the sexism Patrick experienced in the industry, and the eventual destruction of her career by Universal makeup overseer Bud Westmore, isn’t unique as it goes deep into the me-too movement of sexism now as we see mirrors to our time now.
The Lady from the Black Lagoon main Focus on Patrick herself is where The Lady from the Black Lagoon is strongest point for me as you learn about life of this remarkable woman. Mallory O’Meara traces her origins to Hearst Castle, where her father Camille was the chief architect. Milicent walked to the beat of her own drum which led to her family disowning her as it mirrors that of many classic movie noir women that are strong women that men think about as the rebel or bad woman eventually Milicent would be drawn to Hollywood to work for Walt Disney as an animator and being a background extra for features that shows her talent as she would later move to universal that would be the game changing movement as her creation of the Gill-Man costume was game-changing and Universal knew that, right down to putting her on a cross-country road tour to promote the Creature butt because Universal makeup man Bud Westmore refused to let people believe he didn’t create everything he purposefully sabotaged Patrick’s career that in turn ruined her name forever. The Lady From the Black Lagoon is worth reading for its examination of the woman at its center as it talks about an amazing woman that i feel history overlooked for shameful reasons.