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THE MOVIE: Hollywoodland

Adrien Brody • Diane Lane • Ben Affleck • Bob Hoskins
DIRECTOR: Allen Coulter

Adrien Brody as Louis Simo THE CONCEPT:
On June 16, 1959, George Reeves (Affleck), who portrayed TV’s first Superman, died in his Hollywood Hills home from a gunshot wound, an apparent suicide. Rumors abounded that he was murdered, and this movie looks into all the possibilities of the actor’s death, through the eyes of a fictional detective named Louis Simo (Brody).

U.S. RELEASE: September 8 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“Reeves, in my opinion, suffered from feeling that he never got to fulfill all of his possibilities as an actor. He was very troubled by the perception of him, not as a serious actor, but ‘just this guy who played Superman.’ We hope we have brought his story to light and point people towards the proper place he occupies in Hollywood history.”

“Obviously, George Reeves was an iconic guy because of who he played and that was, in some ways, tragic for him. He got the thing that he wished for, and ultimately it was very destructive. I researched it pretty meticulously. I saw all 104 episodes of the television show – 52 in color, 52 in black and white. I really wanted to try to treat him fairly, and I benefited from a whole wealth of information to draw upon.”

DIANE LANE (Toni Mannix):
“I always had a thing for George. I grew up and he was the definition of Superman for me and I bought it hook, line and sinker in the sense of that’s all he was. I never looked beyond the curtain or considered anything about actors versus the characters I knew them to be as a child. There are so many layers to the story of George, and I was very happy to portray some version of love in his life, because I was a fan.”

“I’m reluctant to share my opinion about what I think happened to George Reeves, because I don’t know the answer. The evidence shows that there might have been foul play, but it was documented as a suicide. Allen and I made a conscious decision to limit my actual research of the events beyond the scope of what Simo would know. I would hate for my opinion to resonate as truth to someone, because I don’t know the answer.”

“I know what happened, but I never told him!”

BOB HOSKINS (Eddie Mannix):
“I don’t think my character had to kill Reeves, George Reeves, whether he shot himself or not, killed himself - he destroyed himself. The script was very clear of who Eddie Mannix was. My character’s main objective was making movies and loving his wife. That was his life. So I didn’t do a lot of research, in fact I didn’t do any.”

“I think Hollywood is really different now than it used to be. When Reeves got into a car accident, none of the articles mentioned him by name, ‘Superman Crashes Car.’ I think [this] was the very beginning of having idols who seemed bigger than life, and the perverse thrill of finding out that they weren’t really Supermen, that in fact they were human, seeing them destroyed to prove it, and then lamenting them.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Focus Features and Miramax Films
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #675, October 2006 cover

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