Starr Faithfull in New York

Although Starr Faithfull lived for only 25 years, she inspired several authors to write about her. Born January 26, 1906 in Evanston, IL, Starr died in June 1931 after a Long Island boat party.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Starr & BUtterfield 8: Book vs Film

By John O'Hara [1905-1970]
UK: Prion £5.99

Fiction based on a real life event. In June 1931 a young woman's body was washed up at Long Beach. Her name was Starr Faithfull; it was revealed that she was in her mid-twenties and a female of easy virtue. An open verdict was returned.
John O'Hara based Gloria Wandrous on Starr Faithfull [1906-1931], a beauty who starts the book by waking up in a man's apartment and leaving dressed in his wife's fur coat. Actually the coat is one of the last things in the book as it links her with Eddie, Emily, and Liggett. Her affair with a married man and the avoidance of scandal, the suggestion of child abuse by the mayor, all are carefully skirted around and yet made pretty obvious. There isn't too much action beyond the characters stewing in their juices, and this is what makes the novel so immediate. The deep characterisations and motivations, together with flashbacks give 'BUtterfield 8' a strong dynamic sense of purpose.
A famous screen version featuring Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher, and Elizabeth Taylor was released in 1960 and won Taylor an Academy Award. Though the film now seems dated in its attempt to address issues that were considered racy, the book has fared much better in this respect.
John O'Hara (1905-1970) came to prominence with 'Appointment in Samarra' in 1934 and is also remembered for 'Pal Joey' in 1940. . . .
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