In her film review on November 17, Charlotte O’Sullivan writes that Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is weakened for not addressing former Hollywood siren Gloria Grahame’s alleged seduction of her 13-year-old stepson, Tony Ray.
Indeed, both the movie and Peter Turner’s memoir on which it is based skate over Grahame’s past. But her back story was odd enough that it could well have imbalanced the whole movie.
Long after Grahame’s divorce from his father, the director Nicholas Ray, Tony reappeared and they began a relationship. Two years after that they crossed the border into Mexico where, away from Hollywood’s prying eyes, they married and went on to have two children. It was an unusual set-up but Grahame and Tony Ray were together for 16 years before divorcing in 1974.
The film is rightly being sold as an unlikely romance; it just wasn’t the most unlikely one in Gloria Grahame’s life.
Kieron Connolly, author, Dark History of Hollywood