“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Auction Bonanza!

June 26th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Several pieces of memorabilia from the long-running hit television series Bonanza are going up for auction in Nevada, including the branding iron used in the Western’s opening credits. The family of Lorne Greene is selling a number of the deceased star’s personal artifacts and many of his items from the show on Saturday in Reno. The sale was arranged by his son, Chuck Greene.

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   From 1959 to 1973, Lorne played Ben Cartwright, the patriarch of the Bonanza household whose sprawling 1,000-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch was set in the High Sierra between Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. His small screen sons were played by Pernell Roberts (Adam), Michael Landon (Little Joe), and Dan Blocker (Hoss) during the first run of the popular series; seen by an estimated 400 million people in 80 countries.

   In addition to the branding iron, also up for sale are awards, photos of Lorne Greene at the Reno Rodeo, and large personalized belt buckles, including one he received in 1962 from the owners of the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Virginia City with an inset of an 1884 Liberty silver dollar. The family had previously donated some of Greene’s documents to the University of Southern California for research purposes. A lifelong Democrat, Greene was a major supporter of the campaigns of Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and 1972. The actor died in 1987 at age of 72.

   The anticipated event will be supervised by Anchor Auctions and Appraisals. Please cue the theme music…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fade to Black on a Sci Fi Legend…

June 25th, 2013

Manny P. here… matheson-240x300

   Richard Matheson was primarily a fantasy, horror, and science fiction author, screenwriter, and teleplay scribe. He’s best known for being part of the iconic creators of stories prepared for The Twilight Zone. He scripted 16 episodes for Rod Serling including the famous Nightmare at 20,000 Feet that featured William Shatner in a memorable role. The film version of the iconic television series produced a remake of this fabulous episode. Each week, Matheson also wrote the introductory and closing statements spoken by Serling.        RICHARD MATHESON —————->

   After serving as an infantry soldier during World War II, Matheson began his prolific career in 1950, writing for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He became a member of the Southern California School of Writers, which included Ray Bradbury and another Twilight Zone alumnus, Charles Beaumont. His books and short stories were ripe for adaptation in cinema. Movies such as The Incredible Shrinking Man, House of Usher, Tales of Terror, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, and I am Legend were all crafted by Matheson, with many of these titles paying tribute to Edgar Allen Poe. Roger Corman was as influential as Rod Serling in advancing Matheson’s career.

   His television credits also include episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, Star Trek, and The Night Stalker. Steven Spielberg was given his big break in 1971 when he created Duel, which starred Dennis Weaver. The young director was given his chance to shine on the television movie written by Richard Matheson. Stephen King cited Matheson as his creative influence and mentor. A character named Senator Richard Matheson appeared in several episodes of The X-Files. The series’ creator, Chris Carter, was a longtime fan of the author’s work.

   Matheson received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984, and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association in 1991. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010. Matheson was scheduled to receive the Visionary Award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films’ Saturn Awards on Wednesday. The organization is prepared to present the accolade posthumously, and the 39th annual ceremony would be dedicated to Matheson.

   Richard Matheson was 87.

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450px-Annette_Funicello_Former_Mouseketeer_1975-225x300   The stage at Walt Disney Studios where The Mickey Mouse Club was produced is now officially the Annette Funicello Stage. Disney chief Bob Iger led a ceremony Monday dedicating the soundstage to the star, the Mouseketeer-turned-movie icon who died in April at age 70.

   Funicello’s family and colleagues, and even Mickey Mouse participated in yesterday’s dedication. Frankie Avalon, songwriter Richard Sherman and Leonard Maltin were among those honoring the late actress. Former Mouseketeers also attended the event.      ANNETTE FUNICELLO —->

   Julie Andrews is the only other entertainer to have a namesake stage at Disney studios. A fitting tribute for a fine entertainer, and champion in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oregon Fest Examines Songbook!

June 21st, 2013

Manny P. here…

   With Oregon Festival of American Music 2013, they begin a two-year celebration of the classic American Songbook in Hollywood. This summer, they focus on the 1930s and early 1940s–those early years of the Hollywood’s Golden Age when the motion picture industry was maturing into the full potential of its cinematic  market. Next summer, with Hollywood: The Sequel, they move forward to the mid 1940s and 1950s, as the industry and its songwriters continued with changing tastes in popular culture.

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   This August 6th-10th, Festival music director Ken Peplowski touch upon concerts designed around key aspects of those years, including the seminal 1930s RKO films of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire; Bing Crosby’s prodigious Paramount Pictures output; the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby-Dorothy Lamour 1940s Road motion pictures; 1930s cartoon music; the Casablanca score; and the early 1940s celluloid roles of the Andrews Sisters, and the great big bands of the Swing Era.  Finally, the 2013 classic musical will be Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.
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   Tickets are on sale at The John G. Shedd Institute Ticket Office at 868 High Street in Eugene. The Shedd Institute for the Arts is supported in part by grants from The Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Foundation of Western Oregon Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation.
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Until next time>                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The James Gandolfini Connection…

June 20th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   With the untimely passing of James Gandolfini at age 51, it’s easy to see how his iconic character, Tony Soprano, follows a fine lineage of memorable mobsters during Hollywood’s Golden Age. It’s easy to compare The Soprano’s to The Godfather; but, the Gangster film goes back decades as an popular genre of cinema. Here are some classic examples:

~ THE PUBLIC ENEMY – A 1931 pre-code crime film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. It was directed by William Wellman, and starred James Cagney, Jean Harlow, and Joan Blondell. The movie relates a young man’s rise and fall in the criminal underworld in Prohibition-era urban America. The screenplay is based on a never-published novel by two former street thugs — Beer and Blood by John Bright and Kubec Glasmon — who had  personally witnessed Al Capone’s murderous gang rivalries in Chicago. The flick included a controversial scene in which James Cagney angrily smashed a grapefruit into his girlfriend’s face. The actress was played by Mae Clarke.

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~ LITTLE CAESAR – This was another Warner Brothers 1931 pre-code film. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, it starred Edward G. Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The story was adapted by Francis Edward Faragoh, Robert N. Lee, Robert Lord, and Darryl F. Zanuck from a published novel by William R. Burnett. Little Caesar was Robinson’s breakthrough role; it made him a star. The last line in this celluloid classic is considered one of the great finale’s. Robinson says before his character dies:  Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?

~ SCARFACE – The original 1932 motion pictures featured Paul Muni and George Raft. It was produced and directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson; written by Ben Hecht; and based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail. The film also featured Ann Dvorak and Boris Karloff. One of a number of pre-Code crime films, it centers on gang warfare and police intervention when rival gangs fight over control of a city. The movie was loosely based upon the life of Al Capone.

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220px-Humphrey_Bogart_in_The_Petrified_Forest_film_trailer~ THE PETRIFIED FOREST – This was a 1936 motion picture  starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. A precursor of film noir, it was adapted from a stage play by  Robert E. Sherwood. He based his Duke Mantee character on John Dillinger, the notorious criminal who was named the first Public Enemy #1 by J. Edgar Hoover; and in 1934, he was ambushed and gunned down in spectacular fashion by FBI agents. Bogart, who won the stage role in part because of his physical resemblance to Dillinger, studied film footage of the gangster, and mimicked his mannerisms in his portrayal.

   For the film, Warner Brothers intended to cast the more bankable Edward G. Robinson as Duke; but Howard informed Jack Warner that he would not appear in the movie version without Bogart as his co-star. The studio relented to the casting. Bogie’s performance led to roles in Dead End, Angel’s With Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties, and High Sierra.

   James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano has an impressive spot in Hollywood history.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Author Inspired by Barrymore Story…

June 18th, 2013

Manny P. here…Lucky

   Craig Inglis, a children’s author who has written a tender story called Lucky, is citing additional inspiration from the story of Lionel Barrymore, the subject of our documentary. According to his blog site:

Lucky follows an irrepressible terrier and his compassionate owner who work together to find happiness after an unfortunate accident leaves Lucky missing one of his limbs. It’s an inspirational book that helps children understand they can overcome obstacles in life and even make a better life than before. It’s also a book that can win the hearts of readers of all ages.

I was inspired to write the book by those who faced and overcame physical disabilities in their own lives. The book features 15 beautiful illustrations by actor and artist Richard Kinsey that depict Lucky, his owner, and his courageous recovery.

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   The Orange County scribe continued to access in a recent related blog:

Lucky learns to overcome his disability to gain a fruitful life. I was reading a chapter in Manny Pacheco’s book Forgotten Hollywood, Forgotten History about the career of Lionel Barrymore. Lionel suffered a broken hip and then arthritis which confined him to a wheelchair. But that didn’t stop his career. He went on to play many more roles, the most well known being Mr Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. He didn’t try to hide his handicap and was an inspiration to other actors who came later to portray people with disabilities. Reading Lucky with your children can be a starting point for talking about people you might know who are disabled and have triumphed over their disabilities.

   I thank Craig Inglis for his kind acknowledgment of my sharing the Lionel Barrymore story. The Forgotten Hollywood documentary is currently in pre-production. If you would like to learn more about Lucky, a most fascinating canine, please visit:

http://luckythechildrensbook.com/triumph-over-disability-2/

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honor From the Loyal Order of Moose!

June 14th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   I have received another accolade from the Loyal Order of Moose for my $2400 contribution to MOOSEHEART from sales of First Edition copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. On Thursday, I became eligible for membership in the Moose Legion. My official sponsor was Buena Park Moose Lodge #1945 Governor Matthew Bryden. As explained in the bylaws:

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Dedicated members of the Loyal Order of Moose continually look for ways to provide even greater service to our children at Mooseheart, and our senior members at Moosehaven. The Moose Legion provides a venue for these enthusiastic members to direct and lead special programs that accomplish this fraternal mission.

Membership in the Moose Legion is the stepping stone to the Honorary Degrees of Order – the Fellowship Degree of Honor and the Pilgrim Degree of Merit. Being called to receive these Honorary Degrees within the Loyal Order of Moose is only possible through recognized achievements in the Lodge and Moose Legion.

   Eleven new members into the Moose Legion were inducted from California Lodges in Garden Grove, Norwalk, and Buena Park. It was a Hollywood-and-Vine moment, since actor Erik Estrada was among the folks inducted to the Moose Legion. He accepted a copy of Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, and the star became my latest notable reader.

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         MANNY PACHECO     ERIC ESTRADA      MATTHEW BRYDEN

   Best known for his familiar role on ChiPs, Erik Estrada appeared many times on the small screen, guest starring on Medical Center, Hawaii 5-O, The Love Boat,Barnaby Jones, Kojak, Mannix, Baretta, Baywatch, and The Six Million Dollar Man. Eric’s movie resume includes Airport ’75 and Midway.

   Today’s event was held at my home Lodge at Buena Park #1945.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hitchcock-palooza!

June 11th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Beginning this week, early and iconic cinema directed by Alfred Hitchcock will tour the nation at wonderful locales. Here are the details:

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~ THE HITCHCOCK 9 – Hitchcock’s nine earliest surviving works, all newly restored by the British Film Institute, will roll out with screenings presented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theatre (June 14th-16th); the Academy of Motion Picture Arts  and Sciences (begins June 18th) at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theater, and continues at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and BAM cinématek in Brooklyn (June 29th – July 5th) at the Academy of Music’s Steinberg Screen in the Harvey Theater.

   The nine early Hitchcocks are also set to play in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Boston, Berkeley, Columbus, and other American cities. Both the Brooklyn and San Francisco events will feature live music performed by British composer and pianist Stephen Horne, the Colorado-based Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, and other artists. The touring festival is a joint venture of Park Circus / ITV Studios, Rialto Pictures / Studiocanal, and BFI.

   While Hitchcock remains one of the most famous directors of all time, his first ten movies – nine of which survive – are little known compared to his later works. From 1925 to 1929, his silents are among the greatest achievements of early British cinema, though most of the nine have been seldom-seen in the United States, if at all. The BFI restorations include Hitch’s first film, The Pleasure Garden, and such rarities as ChampagneEasy Virtue, Downhill, and  The Farmer’s Wife. The familiar director’s style begins to emerge in four productions: Blackmail, The Ring, The Manxman, and The Lodger (with his first cameo role).

   The Hitchcock 9 is the largest restoration project undertaken by BFI, which holds the earliest surviving copies of silent motion pictures by the master filmmaker. The restoration includes additional celluloid sourced from other international archives. One early Hitchcock production, The Mountain Eagle, is lost. A collection of stills went up for auction last fall, confirming its existence.

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~ BLACKMAIL – Though Blackmail is commonly regarded as the first British talkie, Hitchcock also shot a silent version distributed to the many theatres that could not screen movies with sound. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will offer Blackmail Times Two!; a double feature of the silent and sound versions, featuring musical accompaniment, on Tuesday, June 18th (as we noted above).

~ DIAL M FOR MURDER – A  screening of the 3D digital projection of Dial M for Murder, and hosted by Oscar-winning visual effects artist Rob Legato, is presented Wednesday, June 19th. This event will also be held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

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   Other Los Angeles-area Hitchcock screenings include Vertigo, presented at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and a costume design-event at Oscars Outdoors; and Cinefamily’s and the Academy’s co-presentation of Hitchcock Home Movies and Other Rarities, featuring rarely seen work from the Alfred Hitchcock-collection.

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“HITCH”

   What a Summer for Hitchcock enthusiasts; and a Good Evening at each event!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Monster of a Lawsuit…

June 10th, 2013

Manny P. here… chaney

   Universal Studios may owe over $1 million in back royalties for Lon Chaney Jr. merchandizing, according to Chaney Entertainment, the owner of the rights to such monster classics as The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and Frankenstein. As representatives of Lon Chaney Jr.’s estate, the company says it signed in 2003 a licensing agreement with Universal, but the studio has not renewed the agreement since it ended in 2008. Universal is currently marketing and merchandising the actor’s likeness without permission, according to previous Monday’s complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court. Further, the agreement gave Universal exclusive rights to use Lon Chaney Jr.’s image (right) and voice.

   When it ended, Chaney Entertainment says the decision to continue using the rights was approved by one or more un-named senior managers at Universal. Meanwhile, the studio has made an undisclosed amount through the marketing of such brands as Universal Monsters, Universal Movie Monsters, and Official Universal Studios Movie Monsters. Chaney also claims Universal used the Lon Chaney Jr. rights to bait-and-switch other license holders into signing with them, before dropping the Chaney rights at the last minute. And, Universal Home Video, the successor to Universal City Studios, should inherit the debt from an agreement their predecessor signed in 1994 over film clips of the actor.

   Joseph F. Hart of Beverly Hills, Calif. is representing Chaney Entertainment in its lawsuit against Universal Studios Licensing and Universal Studios Home Video for a breach of contract, and fraudulent concealment money had and received. The legal teamdemands a full accounting of Universal’s profits from the rights, as well as $1 million in punitive damages and fees. Universal Studios is not commenting about the lawsuit, ignoring all calls from the media.

   Lon Chaney Jr. is one of the most iconic actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. He starred in dozens of movies in the 1930s, 1940s, and beyond, including Of Mice and Men, The Wolf Man, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, High Noon, The Defiant Ones, and countless others. The actor is a featured subject in Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

   Bulletins as they break!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Wizard of Oz in 3D…

June 8th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   To honor its 75th anniversary, The Wizard of Oz is being presented in an updated version, using the latest 3D technology and in the IMAX format. Warner Bros. will debut the digitally remastered classic film in IMAX 3D theaters the week of September 20th across the nation.

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                                                                      MANNY PACHECO     SCOTT ESSMAN

   It’s the intent of Warner Bros. and IMAX to reach a new generation of theatre-goers. Of course, there is critical analysis by folks who consider themselves purists who appreciate the films orginal format. My colleague, Scott Essman (who appears in the Forgotten Hollywood Documentary), has lamented in the Los Angeles Times that it compromises the intent of the orginal vision of the filmmakers involved. Essman compared the process to the colorization of black-and-white movies, commonly done almost three decades ago. Thankfully, the public expressed their discontent over the gimmick. Iconic members of Hollywood, such as Martin Scorsese, also complained about the pan-and-scan process in the presentation of widescreen motion pictures. This was often done to cinematic productions when aired on television. I applaud Scott Essman, and others, for their candor and intelligent assessment of the dramatic revision of classic cinema.

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   The one-week showing will compliment the October 1st release of a limited number of The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Edition from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. The package includes a five-disc set of Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and UltraViolet versions; a Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz documentary; bonus features; and collectibles like a journal, ruby slippers, pin set, Land of Oz map, and a 48-page hardcover book. Less expensive collector’s editions will eventually be available — all include the documentary.

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   After the extreme weather in the past experienced in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Orleans, and along the Eastern Seaboard, I’m not sure a 3D version of L. Frank Baum’s tornado is what the public actually wants!  Just sayin’…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Honor For Mel Brooks…

June 7th, 2013

Manny P. here… mel brooks

   Mel Brooks is the latest recipient of AFI’s Life Achievement Award. Last night, Billy Crystal, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Larry David, and Carl Reiner also honored the 86-year-old filmmaker at a private dinner at the Dolby Theatre.     MEL BROOKS ———>

   Among the luminaries who also honored the iconic director were folks who never worked him, including Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, and Martin Scorsese, who presented Brooks with his award. The evening had the feel of a roast, with good natured ribbing from Jimmy Kimmel, and on video… Gene Wilder. Others who offered their kudos on screen: Woody Allen, George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, and Whoopi Goldberg. Scorsese put the Oscar and Tony winning talent in the same category as the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and Abbott and Costello.

   Brooks was honored for his body of work, such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs, High Anxiety, and Silent Movie. However, most folks are unaware that his parent production company, Brooksfilms Limited, also produced critically acclaimed films: The Elephant Man, The Fly, My Favorite Year, 84 Charring Cross Road, and Frances.

   When AFI was founded in 1967, one of its purposes was to ensure great accomplishments of the past are recognized to the end that the masters of film may take their deserved place in history beside leaders in other arts. This objective was clearly achieved through the AFI Life Achievement Award, which was established by the Board of Trustees in 1973. It honors an individual whose career in movies or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture. Other filmmakers honored have included Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, John Ford, Orson Welles, William Wyler, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Frank Capra,  Mike Nichols, David Lean, Robert Wise, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese.

tnt_afi-logo_v2   Martin Short opened the program with a song-and-dance routine set to a medley of melodies from Brooks’ films. The 41st AFI Life Achievement Award tribute special will premiere on TNT on June 15th, with encores on its sister network, Turner Classic Movies.

Until next time>                               “never forget”   

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Esther Williams Made Splash in Film

June 6th, 2013

Manny P. here… Esther_Williams_2

   The actress and swimmer known for her poolside manner in MGM musicals has passed on. Esther Williams’ star also rose in beautiful Technicolor, while working with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban and Howard Keel. In a bathing suit, she became a popular pinup girl of GI’s during World War II.     ESTHER WILLIAMS ——>

   Born in Inglewood, CA, Esther was taught by her older sister to swim. In her teens, the Los Angeles Athletic Club offered to train her four hours a day, aiming for the 1940 Olympic Games at Helsinki. In 1939, she won the Women’s Outdoor Nationals title in the 100-meter freestyle, set a record in the 100-meter breaststroke, and was a part of several winning relay teams. But the outbreak of war in Europe that year canceled the 1940 Olympics, and Esther dropped out of competition to earn a living.

   She was selling clothes in a Wilshire Boulevard department store when showman Billy Rose tapped her for a bathing beauty job at the World’s Fair in San Francisco. While appearing, she spent five months swimming alongside an Olympic gold medal winner, and the star of Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller. At the fair, she was spotted by an MGM producer. She laughed at the idea of doing movies popularizing swimming, as Sonja Henie had done with ice skating. At the urging of her mother, Esther finally met Louis B. Mayer and signed a contract.

   As with Judy Garland, Donna Reed and other stars, Williams was introduced in one of Mickey Rooney’s Andy Hardy films, Andy Hardy’s Double Life in 1942. She also played a small role in A Guy Named Joe before Bathing Beauty in 1944 began the string of immensely popular musical spectaculars. Among them: Thrill of a Romance, Take Me out to the Ballgame, Skirts Ahoy, Duchess of Idaho, This Time for Keeps, FiestaOn an Island with You, Dangerous When Wet, Jupiter’s Darling, Pagan Love Song, Texas Carnival, Million Dollar Mermaid, and Easy to Love. Her brand of cinema was promoted as Aquamusicals.

   After her 1962 marriage to Fernando Lamas, a previous co-star, Esther retired from public life. After his death in 1982, she regained the spotlight. Having popularized synchronized swimming in her movies, she became a co-host of the event on NBC at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She issued a video teaching children how to swim, and sponsored her own line of swimsuits.

   Upon induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966, a spokesperson was quoted as saying: Her movie career played a major role in the promotion of swimming, making it attractive to the public, contributing to the growth of the sport as a public recreation for health, exercise, water safety — and just plain fun. She published her autobiography in 1999,  calling it The Million Dollar Mermaid. In her final years, she rarely appeared in public; briefly coming out of retirement only at the request of Turner Classic Movies.

   Always self-deprecating, she recited Fanny Brice, who once commented: Esther Williams? Wet, she’s a star. Dry, she ain’t.

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   TCM will be airing a 24-hour movie marathon of many of her most famous films from the 1940s and 1950s beginning June 13th at 8pm. Thirteen films will be  included in the cinematic marathon.

    The breezy and affable Esther Williams was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Documentary Production Begins…

June 5th, 2013

Manny P. here… 100px-Lionel_Barrymore

   After four months of fundraising through Indiegogo, we have begun principal production of our Forgotten Hollywood Documentary, with Lionel Barrymore as our primary subject. Nervousa Films was on hand to capture first person interviews of Academy Award winning actress Margaret O’Brien; and Scott Essman, the creative director of Visionary Media, and public relations for Universal Studios and their 100-year celebration. He’ll be our go-to historian with issues related to Hollywood’s Silent Era and subsequent Golden Age. Miss O’Brien worked on two MGM productions with Barrymore; and she was a poster child and advocate for the March of Dimes effort. LIONEL BARRYMORE

  

       MANNY PACHECO    MARGARET O’BRIEN                             SCOTT ESSMAN

   Essman and O’Brien were engaging and informative. I’m confident their contributions were original and uniquely fresh in the cinematic storytelling process. Each guest provided a valuable first-person narrative and personal assessment relating to Lionel Barrymore’s quest to continue working despite a degenerative disability due to arthritis; the relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hollywood during the origins of the March of Dimes; and the movie studio maturation process in the illustration of disease and disability to interested audiences.

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   Actors Lon Chaney, Dwight Frye, John Barrymore, and Lon Chaney Jr. were all part of the conversation. Plus, the Hays Code, which defined how censorship was applied as a motion picture code; and the Coogan Act, which protected children working on a movie set, were additionally discussed.

   Michelle Merker (below in background) is a co-producer of the documentary project, and together, we conducted the day-long interviews. Dan Donley was our director of photography.  This first day of production took place at the Granada Pavilion, a multi-purpose facility in the San Fernando Valley. Virginia Vandewouwer was in charge of craft services.

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   The next step is to catalogue the interview footage, collect the appropriate still photos to help us tell the story, and create narration. The finished Trailer will be used in conjunction with a Pitch Package to garner potential major investment opportunities.

  

   This overall process is quite exciting!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM on the High Seas in December…

June 4th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   FYI… tcm-cruise-posterAccording to their press release:

   Join Turner CLassic Movies hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz for the third annual TCM Classic Cruise! This year, they will sail aboard the Disney Magic for five nights — watching films, visiting with the actors and talent who made them, hearing stories from behind the scenes, enjoying special panels, and sharing it all with other passionate movie fans.  With multiple TCM-themed daily events and activities, you’re bound to make new friends as you savor this unique vacation experience. It’s classic movie paradise at sea.

   They will sail from Miami aboard the Disney Magic, December 8th – 13th, with stops in Nassau and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. Voted the #1 Cruise Ship in the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Readers Poll, the Disney Magic offers world-class dining, a luxurious spa & salon, and concierge service to make your trip unforgettable. The ship’s spectacular style and grace bring you back to the golden age of travel, and the state-of-the-art theaters take you back to Hollywood’s Golden Age through unparalleled projection, surround sound, and excellent theater seating.

   Ship ahoy!

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2tnfgoldenage   The Golden Age Cinema and Bar is looking for talented, charming, and dependable employees to bring a location with an amazing cocktail lounge, a cinematic  program and incredible service to life. Housed in the hidden theatrette of a former Paramount Pictures building, Golden Age brings together old-and-new to become one of the most exciting venues in Sydney, Australia.  Each and all positions are open in early July, and include operations manager, bartenders, hosts, and door persons. Email your resume and cover letter to goldenagecinema@gmail.com.

    Aussie’s have the unique opportunity to bring back the nightlife of Hollywood’s Golden Age!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Jean Stapleton Has Died…

June 1st, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The woman best known as Edith Bunker in All in the Family is part of the passing parade. Jean Stapleton was part of modern Hollywood royalty. Her sis Maureen was an Oscar-winning actress. Her brother, Jack Stapleton, was a stage actor.

Jean Stapleton 1977.JPG

   JEAN STAPLETON  

   At age 18, Jean began her career in 1941 in summer stock and she made her New York debut in American Gothic, an Off-Broadway play. She was featred on Broadway in several hit musicals, such as Damn Yankees, Funny Girl, and Bells Are Ringing. She would reprise her role in Damn Yankees in the motion picture production.

   Her early work on television included roles in Starlight Theater, Lux Video Theater, Robert Montgomery Presents, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Car 54 Where Are You, Dr. Kildare, The Patty Duke Show, Dennis the Menace, and Naked City. On an episode of The Defenders broadcast in 1962, Jean Stapleton guest-starred with her future on-screen husband Carroll O’Connor. After her success in All in the Family, she sometimes returned to the small screen with noted roles in Touched By an Angel,  Murphy Brown, Scarecrow and Mrs King, and Everybody Loves Raymond. For her efforts as Edith Bunker, she received three Emmys and two Golden Globes. She reprised the role for one season on the spinoff, Archie Bunker’s Place.

   Other works in cinema include appearances Klute, You’ve Got Mail, and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. She was offered a chance to appear in the feature, Willy Wonka  and the Chocolate Factory, but declined because it coincided with the production of the All in the Family pilot. In 1982, Stapleton portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt in a television production of the First Lady’s later life. In 1998, and for a few years afterward, Stapleton took her Eleanor characterization to live theaters, now adapted as a one-woman show.

   Jean Stapleton was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”