The Lady From the Black Lagoon

The Lady From the Black Lagoon

Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

Book - 2019
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2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography

The Los Angeles Times Bestseller

A PureWow "Book We Can't Wait to Read in 2019"

A Bustle Nonfiction Book Coming Out In 2019 To Start Getting Excited About

The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick--one of Disney's first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood's classic movie monsters

As a teenager, Mallory O'Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O'Meara soon discovered, Patrick's contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O'Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick's contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney's first female animators. And at last, O'Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature's success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O'Meara's The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Hanover Square Press, [2019]
ISBN: 9781335937803
Characteristics: 307 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Oct 11, 2019

WOW! A beautifully honestly written book that also includes much personal information of the author and her research and life regarding this subject. I highly recommend this. Totally teary in final chapter (Chapter 13 -- Fade Out). Will definitely read more of her books and follow her on FB & her web site.

vm510 Jul 16, 2019

An entertaining and insightful look at a forgotten woman in Hollywood history. The author weaves information she learns about the life of actress/artist Milicent Patrick with her own memoirs as a newcomer in L.A. working in film production. I thought the narration was fun, self-deprecating. I learned quite a bit about horror movies and monsters, too.

OPL_DavidD Jul 06, 2019

A book about meeting your hero posthumously. O'Meara gets to know the woman who designed the monster from Creature from the Black Lagoon as a person. She is able to examine the unfair ways women still get treated in Hollywood, but also gets to see the human behind the elusive figure.

Jun 10, 2019

I loved this book. Milicent Patrick was fascinating, and O'Meara clearly was in love with her subject. However, she did a good job of avoiding speculation about things she had no documentation on. The stories about women in the movie industry, Disney, Hearst Castle and much more were also really interesting. The writing style is approachable and not dry, but never trivializes the subject.

The fact that the author works in the same genre of movie making, "monster" movies, lends extra insight into the whole process and what it's like to be a woman in that industry today and O'Meara does a nice job of comparing and contrasting what Milicent experienced and what goes on today.

If you like watching movies of any kind, have followed the #metoo movement, or are a woman who has experienced gender discrimination in any field, you will probably enjoy this book a lot.

Jun 04, 2019

You know when someone says "I couldn't put this book down"?
Well, I could not put this book down.
The book travels between modern day Los Angeles, the indie film industry, and the authors experiences, and the LA of the early 20th century and the experiences of Millicent Patrick.
This back and forth of the narrative helps ground the stories of the past with the current day issues in entertainment and culture, especially around women's experiences and stories. And it brings the reader along for the ride without getting bogged down in the present or the past.
Well worth the read, especially if you like monsters. :)

May 06, 2019

I am disappointed in this book, I was excited when I heard of this book coming out, but so far of what I read, the author keeping insert herself into story, I don't care about author, I just want know about Milicent Patrick. Instead I got author talk about herself, footnote really not even add to anything, I keep getting hipster vibe. I don't have time to read book about author. Maybe later on, she stop talk about herself and focus on Milicent Patrick, then let me know, I will come back to this book.

Kristen MERKE
Apr 11, 2019

What a compelling story about a woman nearly erased from history. As a film scholar myself I commend Mallory's commitment to this, and cheer her on for bringing to light a wonderfully accomplished and inspiring woman. Mallory's story is so intertwined with Milicent's it's spectacular and heartbreaking to realize not a lot has changed in our world since Milicent was working in Hollywood. I cannot recommend this story enough, it is empowering and beautiful but also incredibly frustrating. It truly highlights the need for women to help other women and to celebrate each others' accomplishments.

OPL_ErinD Jan 27, 2019

Mallory O'Meara brings to light the life and work of Milicent Patrick, an animator, actress and special effects makeup designer who created the Creature From the Black Lagoon. With Milicent's legacy and contributions to Hollywood almost completely lost, O'Meara sets out to uncover her story. The author's research treasure hunt, taking you to places like Hearst Castle and the film archives of Hollywood, is as fascinating as the tale of Hollywood success and tragedy that it weaves together. A book not only about a nearly forgotten Hollywood trailblazer, but a history of movie monsters (on and off screen) and the realities of the film industry for anyone who doesn't fit the white male mold.


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Kristen MERKE
Apr 11, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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