“Forgotten Hollywood”- Seven Days in May…

May 11th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Art imitating life… Truth is stranger than fiction.  Dateline: 05/11/2017

“`A Pentagon insider, working with intelligence,  initiates surveillance on the President of the United States. The result is an attempted coup by the military at the highest levels, because the Executive Branch is cozy with the Soviet Union. The head of the Joint Chief of Staff fails, and is forced to resign; in essence, he is dispatched. I’m not referring to any shenanigans of the 2017 presidential administration. It is a literary narrative written in 1962.

“`Seven Days in May was loosely based on actual facts, and reflected the political climate of the day. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy had accepted the resignation of vociferous anti-Communist,  General Edwin Walker,  who was indoctrinating troops under his watch with his radical views; and described former President Harry Truman, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and other public figures, as Russian sympathizers.

“`The production was directed by John Frankenheimer; and it starred Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Edmond O’Brien, and Ava Gardner. The screenplay was adroitly adapted by Rod Serling, based on the book by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II.

“`President Kennedy had read Seven Days in May shortly after its publication, and believed the described scenario could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer, he received encouragement and assistance from JFK, through Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed the president’s desire that it be produced. The exterior of the White House was even made available. But, the Pentagon was vehemently against the completion of this movie.

“`The motion picture was released three months after the assassination of President Kennedy, in February, 1964, and opened to wonderful reviews. Critics called it a thrilling piece of fiction.

“`In the final analysis, the visionary aspects of a smartly-written screenplay is consequential. Consider Citizen KaneA Face in the Crowd, Network, and now, Seven Days in May.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Catalina Island Annual Screening…

May 10th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Catalina Island Museum  Silent Film Benefit provides an authentic 1920s movie experience in the historic Avalon Casino Theatre.  This year, enjoy a screening of the 1924 production of Peter Pan. The New York Times has referred to it:  A pictorial masterpiece. The benefit is in its 30th year.

“`This is the first film version of J.M. Barrie’s play of the same name. Betty Bronson stars as Peter Pan. This was called one of the greatest children’s movies ever made. Plus, it was partially filmed on Catalina Island.

“`Award-winning composer and sound designer, Michael Mortilla, and a group of musicians, will provide the live orchestral accompaniment. They will perform an original score, written by Mortilla specifically for this event.

“`Attend the Silent Film Benefit in a period outfit, and you could win a prize for best-dressed individual or best-dressed couple. A prize will also be awarded to the best character from the film. Judging will occur upon arrival.

“`A member’s Pre-Performance Talk prior to the Silent Film Benefit. Special guest Cathy Rigby, who starred as Peter Pan on Broadway from 1991 to 1998, will talk about her experiences and answer questions. A group of theater students from McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts will also perform.

“`The event is Saturday, May 20th at 1p. Tickets are $25 for members; $28 for non-members; and $10 for children (ages 3 – 15).

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“`Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is considering building a gondola that would transport passengers to the summit of Mount Lee, behind the Hollywood Sign. Riders would board near Universal Studios, and be swooped into the air with great views over Lake Hollywood. The aerial tram would be a tourist attraction and a way of reducing traffic in neighborhoods near the sign.

“`What fun this would be!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Ronald McDonald Statue Returned…

May 9th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`A Ronald McDonald  statue that was stolen from a  McDonald’s in New Jersey last month has been found.  But, authorities are keeping mum about where it was found, and who took it.  The iconic life-size statue of the clown sitting on a park bench has welcomed customers for over two decades.

“`Hunterdon County prosecutors say the 250-pound fiberglass statue was taken from a  McDonald’s located in the hamlet of Clinton. They announced that it had been found but declined to comment further. A $500 reward had been offered for information about the theft.

“`Restaurant owners Phil and Diane Koury say the statue wasn’t damaged. They plan to move it to a secure location, and will have it refurbished and repainted as part of ongoing restaurant renovations. This Center Street McDonald’s location is scheduled to reopen Friday, May 12th, with an official event in the middle of June.

“`Ronald McDonald was created around 1963 when a McDonald’s location in Washington, D.C. decided to boost its business by sponsoring Bozo’s Circus, a local children’s program, featuring future Today Show weatherman Willard Scott.

“`Today, the popular clown is a fan of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

“`One last thought… I wonder if the Hamburglar has an alibi with regards to the alleged theft?  Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- AFI Honors Diane Keaton…

May 8th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Diane Keaton will receive American Film Institute’s highest honor next month.  AFI has announced the actress is accepting its  45th Life Achievement Award during a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 8th.

“`The 71-year-old Keaton won an Academy Award for playing the title character in Annie Hall, and she has garnered three other Best Actress Oscar nods. Recent recipients of AFI’s Life Achievement Award include George Lucas, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks, and Jane Fonda.

“`The star-studded event airs on TNT in June.    DIANE KEATON —>

============================================ 

“`Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (right)  were honored with neighboring stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They’ve been a loving couple for over 30 years. They were joined by Hawn’s daughter, Kate Hudson.

“`Russell began his career as a member of the Disney stable of stars of family cinema.  Hawn became a television star on Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In. She won an Oscar for her performance in Cactus Flower.

“`Reese Witherspoon brought out Hawn. Quentin Tarantino introduced Russell.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Fine Actor…

May 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Don Gordon was a prolific player in motion pictures and television. He was also a personal friend of Steve McQueen. His pal offered him parts in Bullitt, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno. Twice, he guest starred on McQueen’s CBS Western, Wanted: Dead or Alive. He additionally played Lt. Frank Bertelli in over 30 episodes of Blue Angels.

“`After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Gordon decided to join the Navy. Despite being only 15 at the time, he served on both the USS Saratoga and the USS Yorktown. After the war ended, he began his acting career.  Don started as an extra in the early 1950s; receiving his initial screen credit as a guest star on the television show Space Patrol.

“`Gordon was a reliable actor, and he made several appearances on television in The Twilight ZonePeyton Place, The F.B.I., The Untouchables, and The Outer Limits. Don also appeared  on  77 Sunset StripMannixThe Streets of San Francisco, The Invaders,  The FugitiveThe Wild Wild West, Combat, Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaThe Bionic Woman, T. J. HookerKnight Rider, Hart to Hart, The Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie’s Angels,  Remmington SteeleStarsky and Hutch, MacGyver, and Columbo. He earned an Emmy nomination for a memorable performance in The Defenders.

“`On the big screen, Gordon was cast in Twelve O’Clock High, Halls of Montezuma, The Benny Goodman Story, It’s a Big Country,  The Omen III,  Lethal Weapon, and The Exorcist III. Fittingly, his last credited screen work was the documentary Steve McQueen – The Essence of Cool in 2005.

“`Don donated some of his career earnings to Lange Foundation, an animal rescue, care, and placement facility.

“`Don Gordon was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oh, The Humanity…

May 6th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Only one person is left of the 62 passengers and crew who survived when the Hindenburg burst into flames, 80 years ago. Werner Doehner was eight-years-old, when he boarded the zeppelin with his parents and older siblings after their vacation to Germany in 1937.

“`The 88-year-old, now living in Parachute, Colorado, has often recounted the story that the airship pitched as it tried to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and suddenly the air was on fire. His mother threw Doehner and his brother out a window; but, his sister was too scared. She perished along with their father. Werner spent almost a year in hospitals for treatment of his burns.

<– Herb Morrison’s narration wasn’t heard live that day in 1937, nor was it linked to the film shot by four newsreel crews on the scene. Morrison’s voice was recorded on a transcription disc as he described the airship arrival. The record ran slowly; so, his voice sounded higher when played back. For 40 minutes, he described the tragic situation, only pausing when getting emotional, and when he interviewed witnesses. But, his report was not widely heard until the next day.

“`Radio networks had to decide what to air,  due to a policy against playing recorded material. NBC played it once, while others used excerpts. No one is certain when Morrison’s words were merged with the film; however, it was long after the tragedy.  Yet, the Hindenburg became the initial multimedia air disaster of the 20th Century.  Put another way, Morrison made broadcast history with the first narrated calamity ever recorded. Oh, the humanity!

“`This evening, a ceremony will take place around the crash area.  A solemn event is held every year on the anniversary of the  Hindenburg disaster. On this day, they remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our military, as well as the 36 deaths, including 13 passengers, 22 crew members, and one worker on the ground.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cantina Owner to the Stars Has Died

May 5th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`If you wanted to hang out alongside Jerry Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Webb, J.D. Souther, or Glenn Frey and Don Henley of The Eagles, Lucy Casado’s Lucy’s El Adobe Cafe, across the way from Paramount Pictures in Hollywood,  was the place to visit and dine.

“`Presidential hopefuls, including Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Robert Kennedy and Robert Dole, and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, all met with Casado while they ate at her restaurant.  She and her late husband helped organize the Mexican American Political Association. Few major politicians in Los Angeles traveled around the city without Lucy’s El Adobe on the itinerary.

“`In 2007, the Los Angeles City Council named an intersection near El Adobe Cafe and Paramount Pictures  —  I Love Lucy Square  — honoring both Casado and Lucille Ball.

“`Lucy, who was born in El Paso, Texas, wanted to become a doctor. Instead, she learned to cook. Eventually, she became known for her opinions. On Wednesday, the landmark Mexican cantina was notably quiet with the report Casado, who mingled with celebrities, politicos, and rock stars, had died.

“`Funeral services are pending. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Casado’s chosen charity, Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. She is survived by her daughter and two sons.

“`Lucy Casado was 91. Say a prayer for her on Cinco de Mayo!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Pioneer of the Film Noir Score…

May 4th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Alfred Newman was one of the most celebrated composers of his time. Nominated for a total of 43 Academy Awards, he won nine Oscars for cinematic classics, such as The Hurricane, The Song of Bernadette, The King and I, With a Song in My Heart, and Camelot. He composed the familiar fanfare that accompanies the studio logo at the beginning of 20th Century Fox productions. It still introduces Fox pictures today. A segment of a score for David O. Selznick’s The Prisoner of Zenda became the standard music that accompanies the Selznick International logo at the start of their motion pictures. Consider a third reason to remember Alfred Newman (right).

“`Street Scene is a pre-code 1931 production, produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by King Vidor. The movie starred Sylvia Sydney and Beulah Bondi (in her film debut). The theme by Newman, was his first complete cinematic score.  Alfred composed the eponymous title, in the style of George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The score mirrored the frantic sounds of daily life in New York’s Lower East Side of the 1930s.

“`When 20th Century Fox needed a film noir theme,  his Street Scene score became the soundtrack of the genre. The same time The Maltese Falcon was released,  in 1941, that score was used  in I Wake Up Screaming.  It starred Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis. The Dark Corner, Kiss of DeathCry of the City, and  Where the Sidewalk Ends followed with the effective use of this familiar ditty. The catchy tune defined 1940s film noir.

“`He used the theme in other flicks, including How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953, which opens with Newman conducting an orchestra. It’s also heard in Gentleman’s Agreement.

“`The legacy of Alfred Newman and his influence on the language of music for the cinema is practically unmatched by anyone in Hollywood history. Cue the Street Scene theme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuO6j7y0gYk

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honoring Ray Bradbury…

May 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Like Jack Benny, author Ray Bradbury grew up in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, Illinois. He and his family eventually moved to California, where he spent the rest of his life. Now, his home town is honoring the scribe with a really imaginative statue,  and they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the project.

“`Last Fall, the Ray Bradbury Statue Committee selected a design by esteemed contemporary sculptor Zachary Oxman, whose work has been exhibited the White House, and the National Museum of American Art. His statue concept  pays homage to Ray Bradbury’s imagination, and it features the author holding a book aloft as he rides on a rocket.

   

                     RAY BRADBURY

“`The statue will be dedicated outside of the Waukegan Public Library, where Bradbury had been a frequent patron; and following his death in 2012, they inherited his personal collection. Once funded, the stainless steel sculpture will be erected. And, it will stand about 12 feet tall.

“`The committee is looking to raise $125,000 to fund the project. Donors who give more than $150, will be given a book from Bradbury’s library. Thus far, the committee has raised around $13,000, with another $20,000 promised. Richard Lee, the Library’s executive director, hopes the statue should remind local children of the novelist’s work, and that it may inspire them to become future authors.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Daily Breeze Successful Aging Expo…

May 2nd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`I am thrilled to be part of an event catering to Southern California’s Active Seniors. Here are the details:

Come spend the day at the Daily Breeze Successful Aging Expo on May 13th, for a full day of expert advice, health screenings, entertainment, hourly raffles, and much more! For more info:

successfulagingexpo.com/dailybreeze

`

“`I can be found at the Forgotten Hollywood booth with copies of my award-winning book series to autograph; and I’ll be making a Forgotten Hollywood oral presentation at 1:30p. Please join me in the South Bay in Torrance for this completely FREE event!

   

“`It’s my pre-Mother’s Day gift to you. SEE YOU THERE!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Did Joan Crawford Commit Suicide…

May 1st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Joan Crawford is one of the most iconic movie actors to have ever graced the silver screen. But, despite her fame and critical acclaim,  she died alone inside her Manhattan apartment. The final episode of the brilliant FX anthology Feud gave viewers a glimpse into Crawford’s final weeks, pointing out how solitary it was for a woman, who was at one time, the toast of Tinseltown. JOAN CRAWFORD ->

“`Crawford had made a  decision to end her movie career after 50 years, when her looks began to change with age, and the offers started to dry up. She was found deceased inside her apartment on May 10th, 1977 at the age of 69, 70, or maybe, 72.  Out of respect, the lowest of ages was officially published.  Now, Crawford’s death was shrouded in mystery.

“`Crawford’s loneliness was amplified after her four adopted kids opted out on a Mother’s Day visit. Plus, Joan was aware daughter Christina was penning a scathing account about growing up with the woman, who millions loved and adored for 50 years. The best indication Crawford was planning for the end:  She gave away her beloved Shih Tzu to friends to care for, despite the fact she had not let her pooch out of her apartment for close to a year.

“`She was dead 48 hours later. The actual date of her passing also had an added significance: Her 22nd wedding anniversary with her fourth and final husband, Alfred Steele.

“`Soon after Crawford’s death, multiple friends came forward, convinced the star’s death was a suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills; with the strongest claim coming from Joan’s own daughter, Cynthia. Upon learning her mom’s cause of death had been listed as acute coronary occlusion, she pointed out her mother had been suffering from cancer,  and had absolutely no history of heart problems.

“`Meanwhile, the medical examiner didn’t conduct an autopsy. The coroner eventually stated if he had been aware that she have taken her own life,  he would have performed a thorough examination of the actress’ corpse.

“`The answer may never really be known.

Until next time>                               “never forget”