This is a lengthy study of the measures Hollywood studios went to to promote their actors. Of course, the studio system broke up in the fifties-sixties but from the 20s till then, an incredible amount of time and money was invested in making sure their stars became STARS. Basinger chooses actors who the studios were successful in promoting and played the game and others who fought the system or failed at it. It was not uncommon for an actress to appear in several stories in the same issue of a magazine. The studios had a lot to say about almost every facet of their "property's" life including marriage partners, wardrobe off the set, what activities the star engaged in, where they spent Saturday night, pretty much everything. Defying their edicts often meant less pictures (movies), smaller parts, even shunning them completely. It was very hard for an actor to have success without the backing of a studio and the ones that were successful were hugely successful stars before attempting it. Lots of fun facts and extensive research in this book.
A fun and relaxing read.