DATELINE: Murder Will Out Gossip
Character Assassin’s Best Friend
His friends always called him Nic, not Dom. And, he was the biggest social climber in Hollywood for a time, and then he was the biggest crime writer in America.
Dominic Dunne: After the Party is an Australian documentary from ten years ago that is making its waves now on streaming video.
Dunne fully cooperated, and he shows no mercy to himself and his youthful flaws. His son, actor Griffin Dunne is first to join the chorus of critical bric-a-bracs.
Not truly a journalist, he was not even a writer until age 50 when he started writing novels about social climbing society types, like the Two Mrs. Glenvilles. Only later, after his daughter’s murder in Hollywood, does he change his metier and go after the bad guys: the rich and pampered who think they were above the law.
Among his famous cases: O.J., the Menendez Brothers, and Phil Spector. He is merciless about their guilt and their unpleasantness. He makes big-time enemies, like Robert Kennedy, Jr.
He knew them all in the 1950s, joining in some monumental parties with names that are unforgettable. Then, he produced a bunch of movies, like gay groundbreaker Boys in the Band and plastic surgery breaker Ash Wednesday with Elizabeth Taylor.
He was married to an heiress for a time, but he never admits much beyond this as his sexploits are concerned. Only in later years, he admits he is celibate and carefree.
Like many social butterflies, he seemed to miss the point that these fests with big names were hollow and as much for their name-dropping as anything else. He is still not above or below the idea of dropping names or embellishing his luxuries. His son disdains this quality, but he is right about his father.
A compelling picture of a Hollywood groupie who found a passport to the inner world, this documentary is gossip on a high-level, high-octane whirlwind.