The Lady from the Black Lagoon By: Mallory O’Meara
Book Review by Brendle Wells, Sacramento Public Library
Stories about unsung women are populating bookshelves these days. It’s a wonderful trend, though it can also be somewhat infuriating, knowing that the remarkable accomplishments of these women were hidden for so long. Case in point, Milicent Patrick, whom you’ve probably never heard of despite the fact that she was one of the first female animators at Disney and designed one of the most famous monsters in Hollywood, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. When Mallory O’Meara, a film producer and horror movie fan, learned about her and how her work had been dismissed, she was determined to tell her story and give her the credit she deserved. O’Meara dove into research, which she details in this this absolutely engaging book that brings Patrick’s story into the light. She reveals a flawed woman, but also an extremely talented one, who was used by Hollywood for her looks and tossed aside when one man became incensed that she was getting the credit he decided he deserved. Unfortunately, details about Patrick’s personal life are scarce, meaning O’Meara makes some assumptions about her subject, but the structural sexism of Hollywood, both in the 1950s and today, is clear. This is a recommended reads for biography readers, movie fans, and anyone who enjoys learning the untold stories of women.
Hanover Square Press, 2019
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Is a librarian and lifelong reader who has a passion for sharing books with pretty much anyone she meets. She currently works as the Adult Materials Selector for the Sacramento Public Library and asks, “What have you read lately?”
This story first appeared in Ardent
for Life Summer 2019 issue.