Before Hail Caesar comes out I want to share some stuff about Eddie Mannix, Josh Brolin's character. He was a really complicated and interesting guy. S/O to the You Must Remember This podcast and a lot of MGM biographies for teaching me what I know.
- •Eddie Mannix started out as a carnie.He moved up in the company to go into the movie side but that company was bought out. He was eventually sent out to MGM to essentially report back on Mayer's behavior.
- •He became the head of physical production at MGM.He was in charge of overseeing the day to days and financials. He read every single telegram sent and received at MGM. In practice that meant...
- •He was a fixerAll the dirt you've heard about Greta Garbo, Spencer Tracy, and other stars who worked at MGM? Probably some truth to it. Mannix arranged abortions, covered up accidents, and paid for homosexual dalliances to stay out of the papers. He definitely covered up one rape of a woman by an MGM employee. Occasionally people who he didn't like had accidents where a car tried to drive then off the rode and speed away, typical stuff.
- •He was complicated.Very Catholic. Very opposed to divorce. Slept with other women, usually one night stands. Allegations that he beat some of them (including his wife) persist. Eventually his wife had enough (I believe after Toni Lanier whom he saw frequent and flagrantly).
- •His wife petitioned for divorce.She died in a mysterious car accident mirroring others that Mannix's enemies had faced.
- •Toni and Eddie were happy together.But eventually she started seeing George Reeves. Mannix was very accepting (he was much older than Toni and felt close to death) and all three vacationed together.
- •George Reeves stopped seeing Toni eventually.He started seeing someone else and Toni was devastated. One night a few months he was throwing a party and excused himself to go upstairs. He shot himself. Allegedly.
- •The police and attorney general were owned by MGMThere were more bullet holes in the room than initially reported. The whole scene was off, a lot of evidence didn't fit with the suicide ruling. Reeves' corpse was embalmed before the autopsy. The funeral home where it was done was reported by some to be owned by Mannix. Reeves' mother hired a famous detective. He quit after a week after already being paid. Toni allegedly called the actress who played Lois Land early the next morning sobbing that Reeves had been murdered.
- •There are so many more Eddie Mannix stories.He had publicists to act as assistants/drivers/chauffeurs to Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland who spied on them for him. Also imo probably made sure their studio prescribed drug use never got out. Covered up a lot of on set affairs.
- •He had a sign on his desk"The only star at MGM is Leo the Lion"