Matt Tyrnauer, director of the documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, brought his baby to NYC's IFC for an East Coast opening — and in a last-minute surprise, his twinkling-eyed subject Scotty Bowers tagged along with him!
Bowers, in NYC for the first time in decades, was very witty in the talkback after the 7:35 p.m. showing Saturday evening (and in an intro for the next screening that I also captured), amazing considering the 95-year-old underwent dialysis the day before his cross-country flight and had attended a party and given several similar talkbacks at IFC upon landing. Even more incredibly, he went from IFC over to the historic Stonewall Inn, receiving admirers (and scarfing down pizza) until 12:45 a.m.
I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that Bowers has stamina, considering he claims to have had half a dozen sexual trysts a day during his prime, many of them with Golden Era household names. (It ain't often that you hear someone stating flatly, “I fucked Bette Davis.”)
His short Q&A was chock-full of information, including some items that did not make the film. For example, he IDed Vincent Price as his absolute favorite customer:
Vincent Prince was a real sweetheart of a guy ... He was a dear guy. As a matter of fact, when he married Coral Brown, the night he married her, I stayed all night with him and she stayed all night with Maggie Smith.
Tyrnauer's deadpan response:
For some reason, that's not in the movie.
Other names that didn't make the movie were left out for more mundane reasons — Tyrone Power was eliminated when focus groups revealed younger (70 on down?!) audience members had never hoid of 'im.
An unexpectedly poignant moment came when Bowers got emotional in response to someone thanking him for his service during WWII; he saw action in three major battles and lost his beloved big brother, and his gratitude for the comment was palpable.
Right after the 7:35 screening, he took some one-on-one questions from audience members, noting that Montgomery Clift “was almost as screwed up as James Dean” (Dean being one of the only celebrities Bowers actively disliked) and receiving grateful thanks from a man who told Scotty he, too, had been sexual as a child, and felt validated by the controversial moments in the film in which Scotty brushes off the idea that his having sex with adults from age 9 onward was in any way abuse.
One person wondered whether the Stonewall Riots had any effect on Bowers, whose pansexuality was pretty obviously pre-Gay Lib. Bowers, as open and honest as he always seems, said he didn't recall hearing about it at the time. Nonetheless, it was a gay moment for the ages when, after leaving IFC, Scotty was wheeled a couple of blocks away to receive admirers at the Stonewall.
It was there he told me another story not mentioned in the film for legal reasons, one involving Clint Eastwood being introduced to gay film exec and director Arthur Lubin and becoming an actor, er, overnight.
Watch the full Q&A after the jump, and check out Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood ASAP ...