“Forgotten Hollywood”- February / Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (’74)

January 31st, 2012

(#8 in a 12-part series to be printed at the beginning of each month)

Manny P. here…

   THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE, TWO, THREE – One of the finest films ever made with a really lousy title. Starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, James Broderick, Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, and Tony Roberts, this action-comedy-thriller was the forerunner of the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon series of movies;  plus it spawned a 2009 high-tech remake featuring John Travolta and Denzel Washington.

Back Story

   Most of the film was produced on location with the cooperation of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Mayor John Lindsay. An insurance policy was taken out to make sure no one would get a similar idea to hijack a subway train. Only then, the green light was given to produce this motion picture.

   Critics loved the film for the bureaucratic nature of the heroes,  which provided a convincing dichotomy to trigger-happy villains. Particularly realistic was the banter between Matthau, Stiller, and Shaw.

Positives

   This project made Walter Matthau a star. He emerged from the shadow of Jack Lemmon, and others in starring roles. His career flourished for the rest of his life. And, due to the massive success of The Sting and Jaws, Robert Shaw became an A-List rugged actor, who could elevate the quality of any movie. He was appropriately menacing in Pelham.

WALTER MATTHAU

   The casting of this film was pinpoint perfect. Every character looks like they have spent their entire lives in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens. With exception of The French Connection and Dog Day Afternoon, no production made during this time was more effective in its use of location filming.

   This was director Joseph Sargent’s finest production, which included White Lightning, MacArthur, and Jaws: The Revenge. Screenwriter Peter Stone had experience in writing comedic-thrillers, such as Charade. Pelham’s conclusion (which I wouldn’t dare reveal here) is superior classic cinema!

Negatives

   The David Shire-score was critically acclaimed for its raw, in-your-face quality in 1974. By today’s standards, it’s really dated. The composer was married to actress Talia Shire, and she  openly influenced his work.

   Unfortunately, stereotypes of Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and Jews were used to facilitate the comedy. It wasn’t necessary, but this type of humor was typical in scripts during this era.

Supporting Actor Spotlight

   One of the finest actors to emerge in the post-Studio Era was Martin Balsam. This versatile everyman appeared in iconic films including On the Waterfront, Twelve Angry Men, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Cape Fear, Seven Days in May, Catch-22, and All the President’s Men. He received a nomination from the National Board of Review for his role in The Carpetbaggers, and Balsam was awarded an Oscar for Supporting Actor for A Thousand Clowns.

   He was also comfortable on television with appearances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, Murder She Wrote, and a co-starring role on Archie Bunker’s Place.

   Balsam’s understated performances made him of favorite of Alfred Hitchcock, Elia Kazan, and Lee Strasberg. He was a welcome addition to any quality production.

Epilogue

   The Writer’s Guild of America awarded The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3 a well-deserved  nomination in 1975. The 2009 remake confirmed filmmakers were paying attention. It also  suggested the 1974 production was forgotten by today’s audiences. This flick should be in anyone’s personal DVD library if you like great movie-making.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Charles Foster Kane to Go Home…

January 26th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Citizen Kane will be shown at this year’s San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.  The screening location will be at the Hearst Castle Visitor Center on March 9th.

   Orson Welles produced the motion picture in 1941 as a thinly veiled attack on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The newspaper tycoon unsuccessfully sought to derail the project, which painted the corporate mogul as a yellow journalist, an unscrupulous businessman, and a cheater in his private life.  Orson named his character – Charles Foster Kane. Hearst chose to never screen the movie at his estate during his lifetime.

   The Hearst family recently gave its blessing with the understanding that the film is a work of fiction, rather than a documentary piece. Hearst Castle is now a state park that hosts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

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   Two personalities passed away this week…

   * James Farentino was a busy television star, who also appeared in motion pictures. His cinematic credits include Ensign Pulver and The War Lord.

   Farentino really thrived on the small screen with roles in 77 Sunset Strip, The Naked City, Route 66, The Fugitive, Ben Casey, The F.B.I., Ironside, The Virginian, Love American Style, Marcus Welby M.D.; and most notably, in The Bold Ones, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Police Story, Dynasty, and ER.

   James Farentino was 73.

~ ~ ~

   * Dick Tufeld was a top announcer during the Golden Age of Radio and Television. As with most narrators, his face was seldom seen, but his voice was quite familiar.

   For those of certain age, Tufeld was well known as he introduced episodes of Space Patrol, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaThe Hollywood Palace, and The Time Tunnel (a personal favorite).

   He’s best remembered as the voice of The Robot on Lost in Space. His most famous line was DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER

   Dick Tufeld was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My Official 2012 SAG Ballot…

January 24th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   For the third year, here is my ballot for this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. I consider 2011 an incredible year of cinema. And, several folks and films in each category should be considered for their specific awards. Let me explain:

   OUTSTANDING MALE:  George Clooney  (The Descendants)

   I chose George Clooney over Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Leornardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar). The Artist is a critical darling; and I agree, it has a fine overall cast. Oscar voters completely snubbed J. Edgar. Clint Eastwood’s picture deserved a better fate, in my opinion. That said, Clooney is magnificent in a well-written part.

   OUTSTANDING FEMALE:  Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

   Michelle Williams edges Viola Davis (The Help), since she embodies the total essence of Marilyn Monroe’s frailties. This is not your stereotypical Monroe performance you might find among impersonators along Hollywood Blvd. Not once, did I feel Michelle Williams acting; she completely immersed herself in the role as the Norma Jean Baker-counterpart. Meryl Streep’s 17th nomination (The Iron Lady) is quite an Oscar accomplishment, but pitted against other roles in her career, it simply doesn’t add up in a sub-par motion picture.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE:  Jonah Hill (Moneyball)

   Jonah Hill will NOT win this award, but he should. Everyone wants to see Christopher Plummer (Beginners) receive a career-achievement award, and it’s hard to argue. In 2011, Plummer was also riveting in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; and he sumptuously narrated TCM’s special on a history of Hollywood, from the Silent Era through its Golden Age. I truly appreciate the work of Christopher Plummer in any given year. I feel strongly Jonah Hill stole Moneyball from the rest of the cast with a pitch-perfect performance (excuse the pun).

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE:  Octavia Spencer (The Help)

   I’m on the Minnie-bandwagon. Octavia Spencer is the fire-and-brimstone of The Help, and she is the perfect compliment to Viola Davis’ heartfelt character. Spencer is the clear winner this year. A dark-horse in this category is Berenice Bejo from The Artist.

   OUTSTANDING CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE:  The Artist

   I enjoyed each motion picture I saw this year. My Week With Marilyn is not nominated in this category; a well-written tale, and my personal favorite of the year. But, The Artist is a really close second. There’s a lot to like: The ensemble cast… the sets… the story… the score. This movie could have failed fifteen different ways. Instead, it’s a masterpiece of filmmaking.  We have witnessed the magic of the Silent Era. Norma Desmond was correct in Sunset Blvd… “I AM BIG. It’s the pictures that got small.” The Artist is a BIG success, and it gets my nod!

~ My 2011 Top 10 films:  1. My Week With Marilyn  2. The Artist  3. The Help  4. Midnight in Paris  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close  6. The Descendants  7. Moneyball  8. The Conspirator  9. Hugo  10. War Horse 

   The SAG Awards will air on January 29th on TNT. We’ll see how I do this year…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

*”Forgotten Hollywood”- Laguna Woods Cable Appearance…

January 23rd, 2012

Manny P. here…

   On Friday, I’ll be joining my good friend, Mark Sevi, the President of the Orange County Screenwriter’s Association, on a cable show shown exclusively to Laguna Woods residents. Channel 6 is the official cable television station for Laguna Woods, and one of their programs is called Write Now, which presents the latest authors and writers to chat about their current projects. The show will air LIVE on Friday at 10am, and then repeat each Monday in February.

      

   Sevi will be sharing his current work in cinema, while I’ll be chatting about the Forgotten Hollywood-Book Series. Mark and I will discuss the evolution of Hollywood, through its Golden Age, to the present. Throughout the month of January, Channel 6 programming has included motion pictures of Elizabeth Taylor, including The VIP’s, The Sandpiper, and Ivanhoe. I’m particularly pleased that the residents of Laguna Woods might be the perfect demographic to  find interest in my paperbacks.

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   The Brookline Booksmith is a wonderful independent literary shop located in the shadow of Harvard University. This latest find actually carries Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History (on demand). The residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can purchase my work online at:

http://www.brooklinebooksmith-shop.com/book/9781935359166

   I also suggest you read their witty and informative blog while visiting their website.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hammer Studios to Restore Library!

January 20th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Hammer Film Productions is undertaking a global restoration project of films created by the company during Hollywood’s Golden Age. U.S. partners will include 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and Paramount; inernational studios… CineImage, Pinewood Studios, Anolis Entertainment, and StudioCanal are spearheading the project. This collaborative effort will allow lovers of the Horror genre to enjoy thrilling performances from Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Oliver Reed, among others, in high definition and Blu-ray.

   The initial re-release in March will be Dracula, Prince of Darkness. In all, almost 30 flicks from Hammer’s collection will be eventually released throughout the UK. Other classics to be restored include The Curse of Frankenstein, The Reptile, The Mummy’s Shroud, The Devil Rides Out, The Plague of the Zombies, andRasputin, The Mad Monk. These cinematic treasures will also add lost or cut footage. And, documentary extras are being produced by Hammer historian, Marcus Hearn… author of The Hammer Vault.

   Hammer Productions Ltd was founded in 1934 by actor William Hinds, and it made a name for itself as the Britsh alternative to Universal Studios with titles such as The Plague of the Zombies, Frankenstein Created Women, and The Witches. Bela Lugosi and Paul Robeson were early stars in features created by Hammer. Producers Roger Corman, William Castle, and the creative team at American International Pictures were heavily influenced by the stylized prodcutions at the legendary gothic studio. In 1968, Hammer was awarded the Queen’s Award to Industry in recognition of their contributions to the British economy. A ceremony was held on the steps of the Castle Dracula at Pinewood Studios, during the filming of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. Be prepared to be spooked by Hammer in hi-def !!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- New Paperback sells 100 in 3 Weeks!

January 17th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Many thanks to family, and particularly, friends in karaoke, co-workers, and  even bowlers at Westminster Lanes, who have all contributed in making sure that I rapidly reach the 100-sales mark in the first three weeks of distributing my latest paperback.

   Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has also been added at iconic locales, including the Hollywood Heritage Museum, the boutique at the Bevery Garland Hotel, the Crystal Cove gift shop, the store within the Richard J. Riordan Central Branch Public Library, and souvenir spots along Hollywood Blvd. And, consignment agreements from independent bookshops,  such as Larry Edmunds and Gatsby’s in Long Beach, have been placed.  Even the Pierside Gallery in Huntington Beach added copies of my new book to their inventory.

   Amazon purchases should kick in soon. And, wholesale distribution should help guarantee early success for my latest work. January is a traditionally slow month for sales. However, we have hit the ground running, despite a sluggish national economic forecast in the first quarter of 2012. All of the indicators suggest that folks love Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, which is gratifying news, indeed… Bulletins as they break!

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   The Keystone State of Pennsylvania has a location where you can order Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History (Book #1). Otto’s Bookstore allows you to order my first paperback on demand. Here’s a link to the literary shop that has been around for 170 years in the heart of Williamsport:

http://www.ottobookstore.com/book/9781935359166

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My New Paperback Now on Amazon!

January 16th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   As a matter of course, Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is now available on AMAZON. And, this coincides with my latest work’s availability in independent book stores and many gift shops throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.

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   Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History shares rare  American stories through the eyes of 21 actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Gilbert Roland, Charles Coburn, Margaret Dumont, Freddie Bartholomew, and Sydney Greenstreet. Here’s a convenient link to the AMAZON web page for you to select my paperback, especially if you live outside the Southern California area: (Online purchases of books is so 2012)…

http://www.amazon.com/Son-Forgotten-Hollywood-History/dp/1937454142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326436846&sr=1-1

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   Last night’s Golden Globe Awards program proves Hollywood’s Golden Age is still revered, though sometimes forgotten by today’s generation. Here are some worthy examples…

~  HUGO  ~  MY WEEK WITH MARILYN  ~  THE ARTIST  ~  MIDNIGHT IN PARIS  ~

   Historical-related drama is also relevant this season…

~  THE HELP  ~  J. EDGAR  ~  THE IRON LADY  ~  MONEYBALL  ~  WAR HORSE  ~

   For the third year (in about 10 days), I’ll reveal my SAG Awards motion picture ballot…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rudy Valentino’s Property for Rent…

January 14th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   The staff quarters sitting on Rudolph Valentino’s former estate is available to rent. Falcon Lair is located a few miles from the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel.  On Cielo Drive, the Spanish-style home can be chartered for $1000-a-night, or $14,000-a-month. The rest of the property was demolished in 2006.

   Back in 1923, Valentino’s neighbors included Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, and Harold Lloyd. This is the last remaining living space tied to the silent screen star. A horse stable also still exists.

   Tobacco heiress Doris Duke bought the residence in 1956, and it became her Summer home for almost four decades. The current owner will actually vacate the premises when visitors decide to occupy the retreat, for their chance to  peak back upon Hollywood’s Golden Age. The house was renovated to promote its historical past.                                             DORIS DUKE ——————>

   If you’re interested in renting this Mediterranean-style villa, visit the real estate website… Zillow.com.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What Happens in Vegas…2012!

January 13th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Believe it or not… Las Vegas was good family fun. Laurie and I spent Thursday morning at a lively Rotary Club Breakfast in Boulder City, NV. This meeting was set up by fellow Van Nuys High School alumni, Donna Taylor-Draney. I had an  opportunity to share rare stories from my Forgotten Hollywood-series of books.

  

   Donna is a dear friend, and she has her own Hollywood connection. Back in  1980, she owned the company that insured the DallasWho Shot J.R. episode. Donna may have been the only person in the United States, not tied to the television series, who knew the secret to this iconic question. To this day, she has appropriately kept this information close to the vest.

   Our trip began at Barnes & Noble in Las Vegas, which also was a blast. In between, we spent the week at the Golden Nugget Hotel with my Moose family, the official charity of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. I was able to place copies of both paperbacks in the hands of folks from all over the country.

     

   A highlight to our vacation was a visit to the live version of The Price is Right, hosted by Joey Fatone at Bally’s Las Vegas. During the program (and to my shock), I heard the magic words:  MANNY PACHECO… COME ON DOWN! I was no big winner, but the experience was magical. Fatone, a former member of N’Sync, has re-invented his career by hosting a variety of television specials, including recent On the Red Carpet pre-Oscar shows. He’s been the game show-emcee for The Singing Bee.

   Laurie and I also stopped by the Titanic Exhibit at the Luxor, the CSI-Experience at the MGM-Grand, and The Blue Man Group show at the Venetian Hotel. What an amazing time!

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   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is now available as an eBook on Kindle through Amazon.uk. Here’s the direct link for this latest opportunity:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Hollywood-History-ebook/dp/B004WDRWT8/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326437256&sr=1-2-fkmr2

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Until next time>                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Library Store to carry Book Series!

January 7th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   The Library Store, a subsidiary of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, has chosen to carry the Forgotten Hollywood-Book Series to start 2012. This is a chic gift shop, and nestled within the Richard J. Riordan Central Branch. They are located at 630 W. 5th Street in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles.

    Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, my first title, is also shelved as a reference copy, The Los Angeles Public Library system additionally carries the paperback at local branches throughout Southern California.

   I’m thrilled about the growing chatter over Son of Forgotten Hollywood  Forgotten History, which compliments my first work. The Library Store is the latest location to make available my newly created Book-Series.

  

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   Thank you to the Las Vegas Review Journal and Things to do in Your City, which have announced my first 2012 book-signing appearance at Barnes & Noble, 2191 N. Rainbow Blvd., just northwest of the Downtown-Fremont area, and north of The Strip. This planned event is this Sunday is at 2p. Here are the links to the websites for all the information:

http://www.lvrj.com/view/book-briefs-136575123.html?ref=123

http://www.thingstodoinlasvegas-nv.com/details-E0-001-044707322-0/Forgotten_Hollywood_Forgotten_History_Booksigning_Las_Vegas/

   I hope to make some new friends with the Las Vegas book-buying public! When Laurie and I return from Vegas, I’m sure I’ll have great stories to share. Chat with you next week…

Until next time>                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood’- The Crystal Cove Connection…

January 6th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   The Forgotten Hollywood Book-Series rolls on, as each day (it seems), new locations have decided to carry my paperbacks. Let’s travel to a quaint spot nestled along the Newport Coast.

   The Crystal Cove Alliance, working in tandem with the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, is committed to this picturesque Orange County beach community, and preserving its historic past. Crystal Cove is known for its amazing natural history, such as its  indigeounous flora and fauna, a stunning coastal bluff, and relaxed beach atmosphere. Talented local artists and surfers have been revered by the neighboring communities. And, this portion of heaven-on-earth has been a South County home to Hollywood’s movie community.

  

   John Wayne spent his leisure time in Newport Beach. His gravesite overlooks his beloved Newport Coast. And, movies filmed in the Crystal Cove area includes two versions of Treasure Island, The Sea Wolf, Sadie ThompsonTo Have and Have Not, Herbie Rides Again, A Few Good Men, and Beaches. I took a tour, and visited the same cottage film sets once used by Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lionel Barrymore, Lauren Bacall, and Bette Midler, when  they were on location performing their craft.

  

   The Crystal Cove Visitor Center is the latest gift store to carry both Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Their address is 5 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA.

   Crystal Cove is a family-friendly gem of a tourist spot you should consider visiting. You will enjoy the experience. Here’s a link to this aesthetically ideal locale:

http://crystalcovebeachcottages.com/CCAWeb/CrystalCoveStory/

Until next time>                               “never forget”

*SON OF FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY*

January 2nd, 2012

Manny P. here…

   It’s NOW Available!!! 

   SON OF FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY  is officially in gift stores, bookshops, and other locales for you to purchase.

   SON OF FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY  is the long anticipated sequel to my award-winning book, and it tells more rarely shared American stories through the eyes of 21 character actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Frank Morgan, Peter Lorre, Cesar Romero, Majorie Main, Andy Devine, Alan Hale Sr., Leo Gorcey, Jack Carson, and Lon Chaney Jr.

A complete list of performers is conveniently available on the Navigation Bar. Click on ACTORS – TABLE OF CONTENTS link at Forgotten Hollywood #2  “Son Of” (NEW) section.

SON OF FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY: Pick up your copy of at the following locations:

 

* HOLLYWOOD HERITAGE MUSEUM  2100 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA

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* HOLLYWOODLAND EXPERIENCE  6904 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA

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* HOLLYWOOD SOUVENIRS  6800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA

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* LARRY EDMUNDS BOOKSHOP  6644 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA

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* GATSBY BOOKS  5535 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA

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* PIERSIDE GALLERY  7777 Edinger Ave., Ste 174., Huntington Beach, CA

* BEVERLY GARLAND HOLIDAY INN 

BEV’S BOUTIQUE  4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, CA

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* DANFORTH BOOK DISTRIBUTION  (online)

http://danforthbooks.myshopify.com/products/forgotten-hollywood-forgotten-history-by-manny-pacheco
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* GRANADA PAVILION  11128 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA

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* STARTING GATE  5052 Katella Blvd., Los Alamitos, CA  (Friday & Saturday 6p)

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* MR. B’S RESTAURANT  11272 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos, CA  (Saturday 9p)

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   Here’s the long-anticipated second book in the series to add to your personal home library… SON OF FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY

Until next time>                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Holiday Gift: 2300 books sold…

January 1st, 2012

Manny P. here…

   What a way to end 2011! While on the brink of releasing my new book – Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, I’m about 200 shy of selling out the First Edition of my original work. With few sales signs of slowing down, I can happily proclaim: 2300 copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History are officially in the hands of readers… WORLD WIDE.

   An upcoming story will have details regarding the release of my  second paperback in the series. I have firm commitments from a  number of bookstores and gift shops to enthusiastically carry my new sequel. I’ll let you in on the details the minute I have books in place. This way, you won’t make a needless trip. I promise to write  a big splashy blog post with all the bells and whistles!

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   For the moment, I’m basking in the afterglow of my latest sales report. Larry Edmunds Bookshop is the location putting me at that magic number. A big THANKS to the iconic cinematic literary store along Hollywood Blvd. Kindle ebook sales also helped!

   Forgotten Hollywood is about to embark on a new journey in 2012! I’m thrilled about this impending adventure.

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   Cheetah, the chimpanzee who appeared in several Tarzan films, has died, according to claims made by an animal facility. Popular during the Studio Era,  the chimp had a three-year career, between 1932-34. The estate of Johnny Weissmuller sent the monkey to Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor in 1960, where he lived in retirement. 

   Film historians and primate scholars are dubious over the identity and age of the beast. No records exist, since a fire at the facility in 1995 destroyed all paperwork. Cheetah passed away from kidney failure on Christmas Eve at age 80.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Until next time>                                 “never forget”