Note: “Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor” will air at 8 p.m. Monday on TCM. This is a post from 2018.
Alexa Foreman, who was TCM’s head researcher for many years, will be featured in a Q&A session on her new movie, “Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor,” at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, 6644 Hollywood Blvd., on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
The movie deals with Astor’s sensational 1936 trial to regain custody of her 5-year-old daughter, Marilyn, following Astor’s divorce from Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. Seeking to show that Astor was an unfit mother, Thorpe’s attorneys released portions of the actress’ diary containing hundreds of pages of what the Los Angeles Times called “intimate secrets concerning Miss Astor’s private life, written painstakingly in lavender ink.”
In 1952, the diary was burned page by page in a county-owned incinerator under the observation of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stanley N. Barnes, who ordered its destruction. Astor later claimed that the diary was a forgery.
The film is narrated by Lee Grant. It features interviews with Astor’s daughter, Marilyn; David Wyler, son of William Wyler, who was directing the actress in “Dodsworth” at the time of the trial; former Los Angeles Times film critic Kevin Thomas; and film historians Molly Haskell and Leonard Maltin.
It will be premiered during the TCM Classic Film Festival at 8 p.m. Friday at Club TCM at the Hollywood Roosevelt.