Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


Girl 27 (7/10)

by Tony Medley

In the late spring of 1937 Patricia Douglas, a 20-year-old dancer, responded to a casting call at MGM and was sent to Hal Roachís ranch in the Valley along with more than a hundred other young dancers and starlets. What they found was not a shoot but a bacchanalian party thrown by MGM for its salesmen from throughout the United States. While there she was brutally attacked and raped by Chicagoan David Ross, whose sleazy, ugly looks make him a perfect villain.

Douglas was young, inexperienced, and naÔve, but a fighter, so she didnít let it lie. Instead she reported it to the police and filed a civil suit. Alas, even though our legal system isnít much better at providing justice now than it was then, Los Angeles in the Ď30s was thoroughly corrupt and she was taking on the most powerful corporation in the city, if not the country. Louis B. Mayer, its kingpin, was the highest paid executive in the depression-plagued country. Mayer and his thug VP for security, Eddie Mannix, conspired with a corrupt District Attorney, a corrupt doctor, and Douglasís corrupt attorney and even her corrupt mother, to, in Mannixís words, ďkill her.Ē He was speaking metaphorically, but accurately.

David Stenn somehow came across the tale and wrote a long story about it in 2003 for the magazine Vanity Fair, an article I read at the time. He was so taken with the story that he decided to make a documentary about it, and this is it. The title comes from the list of young ladies invited to the function at Roachís ranch. Douglas was number 27 on the list. He comes up with some remarkable film clips, including one of Ross arriving in Los Angeles.

This film tells two stories, one of which is about Douglas. But it also tells of Stennís quest to find out the facts and get Douglas to appear on camera for an interview. She was initially extremely reluctant, but eventually relents. The Los Angeles Times reviewer castigated Stenn for putting so much of himself in the film, but I disagree. I think that Stennís detective work adds immeasurably to what is, in essence, just a tawdry tale of a young girl done wrong by the system. The difficulty he had in finding her, and then in persuading her to talk, makes the story fascinating.

Stenn captures what life was like in Hollywood very well, including a long interview with Judy Lewis, who was a high school classmate and good friend of my sister, who talks about how her real mother, Loretta Young, hid the fact of her parentage from her until she found out about it in middle age. Stenn confesses that he grew to love Douglas, but his filmmaking is of such a quality that neither I nor my friend who accompanied me to the film came out with much sympathy for her, despite Stennís confessed bias. She allowed the event to define her and to destroy her life. She is a singularly unsympathetic figure, despite the terrible wrong that was done to her by everyone involved.

This is a one-man documentary that will not be in theaters long. I found it interesting and worth seeing. If you want to see it, however, you will have to act now.

July 29, 2007

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