Obsessed fan — gay filmmaker Todd Hughes — meets his idol, noir queen Lizabeth Scott, for lunch and a twenty-year friendship ensues, filled with ups and downs.
Lizabeth Scott reigned in Hollywood as the queen of film noir. By the time obsessed fan and gay filmmaker Todd Hughes sat down to lunch with her at Musso & Frank in Hollywood, she had largely outlived her fame. The two of them formed a unique bond and an enduring friendship that spanned twenty years. One of the very last vestiges of Hollywood's Golden Age, Lizabeth reveals to Hughes her ebullient personality and zest for life while shedding insight into her fabulously brief career as an international film star, recording artist and mistress to one of Hollywood's biggest producers. They stumble over homosexuality, art and politics but always manage to find a way to navigate the turn of the century.
“A beautiful insight into a decades long friendship with beloved noir icon, Lizabeth Scott. Todd has poured his heart and soul into a memoir which is rich in Hollywood history, makes for a compelling read, and is proof that you should follow your dreams and meet your heroes. I loved, loved, loved it.”
—Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb
“This is a brilliantly written memoir about Todd’s first love, film noir, and its queen Lizabeth Scott.”
— Patty Schemel, author Hit So Hard
“After being either ignored or maligned by film scholars (and routinely unfavorably compared to the more famous Lauren Bacall) for decades, Lizabeth Scott has only recently been reappraised as one of the most haunting and memorable of forties and fifties actresses – and the last great “undiscovered” star of Hollywood’s golden age. Famously reclusive, Scott rarely granted interviews in her lifetime, and when she did, revealed little. Todd Hughes’ fascinating account of his friendship with Scott does much to crack the mystery of this complicated woman with warmth and compassion.” — Graham Russell, Lobotomy Room Film Club
“Once upon a time in Hollywood there were strong, mysterious, smoky screen sirens like Veronica Lake, Gloria Graham, Barbara Stanwyck, Lauren Bacall, and the Queen of film noir Lizabeth Scott, subject of Todd Hughes’ glorious new book, an homage to old Hollywood and his friend Miss Scott — a great star who had raucous and witty stories about the industry in her day. For lovers of classic Tinseltown stories and film noir this book is a must read!” — Michael Childers, photographer, producer and former partner of Oscar winning film director, John Schlesinger.
“Todd Hughes’ Lunch with Lizabeth is a love letter to actress Lizabeth Scott and the touching evolution of his friendship with her, but it is even more than that: a study in fandom, and how the internet reshaped that for better and then for worse over decades, and a portrait of something we queer readers deeply identify with - searching for queerness in our lost histories, especially in the people we admire. Funny and poignant, it leaves us with one hopeful thought: it is in fact possible to meet your idols, and possible that they will be wonderful.” —Guinevere Turner, screenwriter (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page)
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Film.
A former executive at The American Film Institute, Todd Hughes has made sixteen short underground and art films including festival hit Ding Dong (1995) and Butthole Bonanza (1995), a collaboration with artist Keith Boadwee. He directed the independent feature The New Women (2001) starring Mary Woronov; and he was a staff writer for the primetime series Wicked Wicked Games (2006) starring Tatum O'Neal. After teaming up with his husband P David Ebersole, they made a musical short Swimming (2010) with Gretchen Phillips & Phranc. Five feature documentaries followed: Hit So Hard (2011), Dear Mom Love Cher (2013), Mansfield 66/67 (2017), House of Cardin (2019) and My Name Is Lopez (2021). They executive produced the critically acclaimed Room 237(2012) by Tim Kirk & Rodney Ascher as well as Shaz Bennett's Alaska is a Drag (2017) on Netflix. Men of many talents, Todd and P David held a ten year reign of glory in the tablescaping competition at the Los Angeles County Fair, and The Ebersole Hughes Company Singers released their first album "21st Century Boys" in 2022.