Hardback
September 19, 2023
9780813198088
English
488
62 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$40.00 USD, £29.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
September 19, 2023
9780813198095
9780813198088
English
488
62 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$40.00 USD, £29.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
September 19, 2023
9780813198101
9780813198088
English
488
62 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$40.00 USD, £29.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Strictly Dynamite

The Sensational Life of Lupe Velez

Before Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, and Penelope Cruz, there was Lupe Velez—one of the first successful Latin-American Hollywood stars, who swept past the xenophobia of Old Hollywood to pave the way for future icons from around the world. Her career began in the silent era when her beauty was enough to make it onto the silver screen, but with the rise of talkies, Velez could no longer hope to hide her Mexican accent. Yet Velez proved to be a talented dramatic and comedic actress (and singer) and was much more versatile than such legends as Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, and Gloria Swanson. Velez starred in such films as Hot Pepper (1933), Strictly Dynamite (1934), and Hollywood Party (1934). In the 1940s, Velez's popularity peaked after appearing as Carmelita Fuentes in eight Mexican Spitfire films, a series created to capitalize on Velez's well-documented fiery personality.

Nicknamed "the Mexican Spitfire" by the media, Velez's personal life was as colorful as her screen persona. Fan magazines mythologized her mysterious childhood in Mexico, while mainstream publications obsessed over the drama of her romances with such figures as Gary Cooper, Erich Maria Remarque, and John Gilbert, along with her stormy marriage to Johnny Weissmuller. In 1944, a pregnant and unmarried Velez died of an intentional drug overdose. Her tumultuous life and the circumstances surrounding her early death have been the subject of speculation and controversy.

In Strictly Dynamite: The Sensational Life of Lupe Velez, author Eve Golden uses extensive research to parse fact from fiction and offer a thorough, riveting, and comprehensive examination of the real woman underneath the gossip columns' caricature. Through astute analysis of the actress's iconic filmography and interviews, Golden illuminates the path Velez blazed through Hollywood. Her success was unexpected and extraordinary at a time when her distinctive accent was an obstacle, yet very few published books have focused entirely on Velez's life and career. Written with even-handedness, humor, and empathy, Golden has finally given the remarkable Mexican actress the uniquely nuanced portrait she deserves.

About the Author

Eve Golden is the author of numerous theater and film biographies, including Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn't Help It, Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway, The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall, and John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars.

Reviews

"Lupe Velez had beauty, talent, humor, and an abundance of life—what more could one expect from a Hollywood star? In Strictly Dynamite: The Sensational Life of Lupe Velez, accomplished author Eve Golden explores the life and career of this most mercurial and unpredictable film actress with candor, compassion, and innate joy. Though Velez's life ended in tragedy, the author's writing style is breezy yet succinct, with touches of tongue-in-cheek humor...well-researched...a recommended read."—Stephen Michael Shearer, author of Glamour and Style: The Beauty of Hedy Lamarr

"A colorful portrait a fabulous film female and a deep dive into the egocentric, sometimes sordid and sensational world of Hollywood."—Jan Wahl, Armed Forces Radio Network, Sportsline USA and The San Francisco Bay Times

"Eve Golden is one of our great historians of American Popular Culture. Strictly Dynamite: The Sensational Life of Lupe Vélez restores the reputation of a delightful actress and comedienne, rescuing The Mexican Spitfire from Kenneth Anger's lurid fantasies. Lupe comes to life on the page in a book rich in detail and enlivened by Eve Golden's great humor and brilliant grasp of Hollywood's Golden Age. Strictly Dynamite is a worthy follow up to Eve Golden's classic Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn't Help It and is required reading for film buffs and historians."—Gary Shapiro, Host of From the Bookshelf

"Lupe Velez has always been situated within film history as a sort of tragic cartoon, not to be taken entirely seriously. Eve Golden's welcome biography acknowledges her erotic misadventures but also gives us a talented actress and comedian who deserved deeper consideration from her industry and from posterity."—Scott Eyman, author of 20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio

"Eve Golden's Strictly Dynamite finally delivers an even-handed, incredibly human, and witty account of Velez's colorful life. Instead of sensationalizing Velez's tumultuous career and love life, Golden meticulously teases apart fact from fiction, revealing a multifaceted woman who was raring  to challenge convention as well as stereotypes shoved upon Hispanic actresses of the day. Velez was, in the words of photographer Alice Hughes, "very wearing indeed." But, to state a cliche, well-behaved women seldom make history, and Lupe Velez is a case in point. She was far more than a juicy sex-and- violence headline; she was eccentric, individualistic, troubled, and lovable. Reading Golden's book made me, at least, feel like a studio head discovering a brand new star thanks to her snappy, fresh take on this underestimated "spitfire" of the silver screen."—Cynthia Brideson, author of He's Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly and Ziegfeld and His Follies: A Biography of Broadway's Greatest Producer

"Lupe Velez, the Mexican Spitfire, finally gets her due in Eve Golden's frank, in-depth study tracing her ascent from Vaudeville to Hollywood and the New York stage. Golden's account of Velez's steamy romance with Gary Cooper and her tempestuous marriage to Johnny Weissmuller will delight fans of Hollywood's golden age."—Robert Dance, author of The Savvy Sphinx: How Garbo Conquered Hollywood, Hollywood Icons and Glamour of the Gods

"A sensitive, impeccably researched portrait that looks beyond the mythical 'Mexican Spitfire' and the one-line jokes based on a poisonous collection of Tinseltown lies. Eve Golden considers Lupe Velez's legacy in Hollywood and her impact on Latina actresses who followed."—Larry Harnisch, writer, blogger, columnist, and retired L.A. Times editor

"Lupe Velez was a talented, if frequently under-utilized, actress; a beauty whose tempestuous life is tantalizing to contemplate and whose final fate remains a mystery, though slandered by spiteful legend. Eve Golden, master of insightful truths and humorous asides, uses honesty, thoughtful analysis, and her typical thorough research to explore both the life and work of this fascinating subject. This deeply researched life of Lupe Velez is a page-turning pleasure from start to finish—the book to read about Lupe."—Hugh Munro Neely, producer/director, Timeline Films

"With her signature freewheeling style, Eve Golden takes a deep dive into the life and films of Lupe Velez and comes up with a restless, sexy goddess of great, if frequently underappreciated, talent. Eve Golden is a master of insightful truths and humorous asides. Her deeply researched life of Lupe Velez is a page-turning pleasure from start to finish. Lupe Velez was a talented, if frequently under-utilized actress; a beauty whose tempestuous life is tantalizing to contemplate and whose final fate remains a mystery, though slandered by spiteful legend. Eve Golden uses honesty, humor, thoughtful analysis and her typical thorough research to explore both the life and work of her fascinating subject. With its publication, this becomes the book to read about Lupe. She is revealed here as never before."—Hugh Munro Neely, producer/director, Timeline Films

"For way too long, the personal and professional life of Lupe Velez has been oversimplified and stereotyped. Finally, Eve Golden gives us an in depth and nuanced look at the talented singer, dramatic actress and comedian whose story reflects the real and racist challenges faced by too many in the history of Hollywood."—Cari Beauchamp, author of  Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood

9780813198088 : strictly-dynamite-golden
Hardback
September 19, 2023
$40.00 USD
9780813198095 : strictly-dynamite-golden
Electronic book text
September 19, 2023
$40.00 USD
9780813198101 : strictly-dynamite-golden
Electronic book text
September 19, 2023
$40.00 USD

Other Titles by Eve Golden

John Gilbert

Eve Golden
Feb 2022 - University Press of Kentucky
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway, updated edition

Eve Golden, foreword by Laurie Sanderson
Jun 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway, updated edition

Eve Golden, foreword by Laurie Sanderson
Jun 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles from Screen Classics

Mavericks

Gerald Peary
Jan 2024 - University Press of Kentucky
$32.95 USD - Hardback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

Yves Montand

Joseph Harriss
Jan 2024 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text

John Ford, revised and expanded edition

Joseph McBride, Michael Wilmington
Dec 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in PERFORMING ARTS / Film / History & Criticism

Designing Hollywood

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Aug 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

Jessica Lange

Anthony Uzarowski
Jun 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
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Consent Culture and Teen Films

Michele Meek
Apr 2023 - Indiana University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback