From: Jim Beaver (
Date: 11 Sep 2006

----- Original Message ----- From: <> To: <> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 4:39 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: HOLLYWOODLAND

> Jim, just curious, how much say does a historical consultant have? I
> would guess that they would want at least the appearance of historical
> accuracy (no cell phones in the '50s, for instance), but when it comes
> down to a choice with plot or characterization, how easily is it
> sacrifced?

I can't really speak for other films, though as an actor and a writer I have often heard the dreaded phrase "Oh, no one will ever notice" applied to questions regarding historical accuracy -- usually in terms of things like weapons or lighters or airplanes. My job on Hollywoodland was not of this sort. I didn't have anything to do with the regular prevention of anachronisms. I was there to approve or disapprove elements of the script relating to George Reeves's life and the lives of the people pertinent to his story. Yes, I pointed out that there's no gas station at the foot of Benedict Canyon (they did ignore this suggestion), but mainly I talked to them about when and where certain people met, the style and decoration of various homes belonging to real-life characters, the casting of all of the real-life roles, things of this sort. I hope the decision to go with Bob Hoskins for Eddie Mannix instead of Harvey Keitel was in part due to my influence, which I certainly exerted. I was particularly called upon to explain elements of the apparent mystery surrounding Reeves's death so that the various theories could be played out with some accuracy, especially in light of how many urban legends there are about this story. And I would get calls asking what kind of car Reeves drove (a 1953 Alvis, something the producers tracked down and used in spite of its comparative rarity), or how tall a certain person was or what his voice sounded like. I found the producers to be far more attentive to this sort of detail than most are, and far more welcoming of an outsider's opinion. And I would say that they acted on approximately 99% of my suggestions and corrections.

Jim Beaver

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Sep 2006 EDT