I’ve been wanting to read The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara ever since it was released in Hardcover earlier this year. With my birthday coming up in a few weeks, I went to Amazon to add it to my Wish List and saw that the Kindle Edition is only $1.99 right now!
I immediately bought it (I read my Kindle books through the app on my iPad Mini). So, if this book has been on your to-read list, I suggest you do the same immediately because I do not know how long this sale will last.
The title of the book is a reference to The Creature From the Black Lagoon, the 1954 black-and-white Universal Pictures horror film famous for its title monster, also known as the Gill-Man. The head of the Gill-Man costume was created by Milicent Patrick, who was notably the first woman to work in a special effects and makeup department at Universal. Realizing that Patrick never received the credit she deserved for her creation or the proper status as a female pioneer in the film industry, Oâ€™Meara set out to write about her life and works.
Official synopsis of The Lady from the Black Lagoon:
â€‹The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrickâ€”one of Disneyâ€™s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywoodâ€™s classic movie monsters
As a teenager, Mallory Oâ€™Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as Oâ€™Meara soon discovered, Patrickâ€™s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.
As a young woman working in the horror film industry, Oâ€™Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrickâ€™s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disneyâ€™s first female animators. And at last, Oâ€™Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creatureâ€™s success, and where she went.
A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory Oâ€™Mearaâ€™s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.
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