The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

by Mallory O'Meara


$24.29 $26.99 Save 10% Current price is $24.29, Original price is $26.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, February 27
16 New & Used Starting at $13.49


2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography

A Thrillist Best Book of the Year

A Book Riot Best Book of 2019

One of Booklist’s 10 Best Art Books of the Year

The Los Angeles Times Bestseller

A PureWow “Book We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019”

A Bustle Nonfiction Book Coming Out In 2019 To Start Getting Excited About

The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335937803
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 116,036
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Mallory O'Meara is an author, screenwriter and a producer for the independent film company Dark Dunes Productions. Whether it is for the screen or the page, she seeks creative projects imbued with horror and monsters. A New England native, she now lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Author's Note 11

Introduction 13

1 Establishing Shot 21

2 Fade In 41

3 Smash Cut 74

4 Dissolve 87

5 Wipe 110

6 Jump Cut 127

7 Monster Mash 140

8 The Beauty and the Beast 178

9 Montage 203

10 Iris 236

11 Cross-Cut 258

12 Cutaway 276

13 Fade Out 292

Epilogue 300

Afterword 309

Acknowledgments 311

Sources 313

Interviews 319

Index 321

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ShihTzuMama More than 1 year ago
I began reading Mallory O’Mara’s THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON with high hopes. It purported to be the story of Milicent Patrick, a woman who in the early 1950’s became the first woman hired in the Universal Studios make up department to create special effects for their “horror” movies. Patrick was primarily responsible for the creation of the “gill man” creature mask/makeup used for the movie Creature from the Black Lagoon. The “studio big wigs” were so impressed with her creation (it also didn’t hurt that she was a beautiful woman) they sent her on a press tour to promote the movie and her warm reception and the adulation she received greatly angered her boss “Bud Westmore”. Seems Westmore was a little weasel who liked to take personal credit for all his underlings’ accomplishments and proceeded to see to it that Patrick was fired. Overall, it appears that Milicent Patrick was a bad luck lady…..when it came to her career as well as the men she chose to date and marry. That portion of the book is fairly informative and interesting. What I had a problem with was author O’Meara’s insistence in placing herself in this story as she compares the problems Patrick faced in “white male dominated” Hollywood of the 50’s and 60’s and those she purports to be facing today…over 60 years later. She repeatedly launches into a diatribe covering her own experiences in Hollywood and feels the need to liberally pepper these harangues with four letter epithets. There was so much personal information about the author----from her unusual hair color and her unusual tattoos to her friends, her career and her personal views and opinions that I came away from my reading wondering if this was the biography of Milicent Patrick OR the autobiography of Mallory O’Mara.
BookReaderDQ 9 months ago
I would like to mention a few things before I review this book. It is more than evident that Mallory has been taken in completely by Milicent. To be honest I was too after reading this. Two, it seems apparent to me that, at times, Mallory shows a deep hatred of men. She seems an over-the-top feminist. I would say she is still young. I am 68 and have never thought of women the way some men in her book thought of them. It is a sad commentary on the human race. Look at the way American Indians were treated, ie trail of tears; look at the way Mormons were forced to take flight; the Jews too. Unfortunately, women are on that list. But not ALL men hated these groups. Some helped. As so many, I loved the Creature movie. I love it even more now that I read this book. However, King Kong is still deeper in my heart.(Sorry) I wish all Creature lovers could read this book. I liked the way Mallory intertwined other's lives into Milicent's. Please add pictures!! What a treasure this would be. Include your tatooo!! Your footnotes add a lot! I hope that this book is a best seller for Mallory, Milicent and all the females the movie industry have abused and may be abused in the future. This is a story that should be heard and enjoyed. I can recommend it highly. When do the movie rights come about?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story of Millicent Patrick the Designer of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Not long after the press tour for the movie she disappeared and this is what Mallory went looking for and found. Mallory uses her insites in the movie biz today to compare with yesterday and to tell you a story you didn't realize you needed to know. I found it a fascinating story and was a little upset to find how poorly wowen were treated then and now in the movie industry.
cyndecat1 More than 1 year ago
An interesting stream of consciousness conversations about women in the industry of film-making with emphasis on Milicent Patrick who allegedly created the costume for The Creature from the Black Lagoon. While trying to research the life of Milicent Patrick the author shares lots of information giving an insider's look at the film industry. Ms. O'Meara is a film producer working in the horror film genre and idolizes Ms. Patrick but is frustrated by the lack of reliable biographical information available and the dismissive attitude she encounters of interest in Ms. Patrick's accomplishments;because she was female. There is lots of information about the Hearst family since Milicent grew up living in San Simeon while he father worked on the Hearst property there. The book was an interesting read.
marongm8 More than 1 year ago
I am very familiar with the Black Lagoon picture books and the legend of the monster that poisons humans into being from the "Black Lagoon." The book from beginning to end was so invigoratingly interesting that I wondered what its really like being in Milicent Patrick's shoes and finding out all the secrets of the monster and then go MIA until Mallory O'Meara discovers your tracks and finds clues in your past and then finds out the truth. A nail-biting page turner that sure left me breathless and you can definitely expect the unexpected when you read this book. The book is also inspiring of the passion and determination Mallory had when she uncovered this mystery and then later went on to a successful career with Disney. That is why we give this book 5 stars.