“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Death of an Iconic Director…

November 20th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Mike Nichols was a television, stage, and film director, writer, producer, and comedian. In 1968, he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other films include Catch-22, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood, Working Girl, The BirdcageCharlie Wilson’s War (his last picture). He staged original theatrical productions of Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple,  and Spamalot.

Nichols_and_May_-_1961   The Berlin-born Nichols lost his hair at age 4 from a reaction to an inoculation for whooping cough, and wore wigs for the rest of his life. In April 1939, when the Nazis were arresting Jews, seven-year-old Mikhail and his three-year-old brother Robert were sent alone to America to meet up with their father, who had fled months earlier. His mother eventually joined the family, escaping through Italy in 1940. Nichols became a naturalized citizen of the US in 1944.

   In 1954, Nichols dropped out of the University of Chicago and moved back to New York City, where he was accepted into the Actors Studio and studied under Lee Strasberg. He began his career in the 1950s with the improvisational troupe, the Compass Players, predecessor of the Second City in Chicago, and as one half of the comedy duo Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

   Nichols was one of a small group who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. Other honors include the Lincoln Center Gala Tribute, the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the AFI Life Achievement Award. He married ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer in 1988.

   The amazing Mike Nichols was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Extensive Poster Collection to Auction

November 19th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A massive single-owner collection of vintage movie posters covering the entire history of feature films — from 1907 to the present — is going on the auction block as one lot next month. It belongs to Morris Everett Jr., who began collecting posters and lobby cards 53 years ago. He’s parting with them on December 17th at Profiles in History auction house in Calabasas, California.

   Everett, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and owns a New York City movie photo leasing company, said his collecting passion began as a student at the University of Virginia, sparked by a fellow student who had a fabulous small photo collection of such Hollywood’s legends as Bette Davis and Myrna Loy. On spring break in 1961, Everett found himself buying two posters at Movie Star News, a New York City landmark of movie stills, posters, and negatives that closed its doors two years ago. He started small, focusing on 20 film stars including his favorite, Natalie Wood. Then he saw an ad in a collectors’ magazine for 6,000 original movie photos from the 1920s and 1930s which he purchased for around $400. He continued to buy at conventions, auctions, from dealers and stores, until he amassed a collection totaling 196,000 posters and lobby cards representing 44,000 titles for some of Hollywood’s greatest films.

Movie Poster Collection Auction

   The single most valuable piece in the collection is a lobby card of the 1927 silent movie and science-fiction epic Metropolis. Nearly as valuable is a poster of Babe Ruth from the 1927 Babe Comes Home. Other rarities include lobby cards or posters for The Wizard of Oz, both the one from 1939 starring Judy Garland and a 1925 version with Oliver Hardy, and King Kong. There are posters from early Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin movies and classics like Gone With the Wind and Casablanca. The collection also contains near-complete career runs on major cinema icons Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Lon Chaney, Greta Garbo, and countless others.

   Likely buyers would be advanced genre collectors, historical institutions, well-informed dealers, or other memorabilia auction houses. The real value is in keeping the collection together as it dates to a dawn of the narrative of American cinema, the birth of feature films.

   I agree…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Critic Charles Champlin Had Died…

November 17th, 2014

Manny P. here…la-me-charles-champlin-desk-photo-20141117

   Charles Champlin was a motion picture critic and writer. He was a correspondent for LIFE and TIME Magazine for seventeen years, and was a member of the Overseas Press Club. Champlin joined the Los Angeles Times as entertainment editor and columnist in 1965, and was its principal film critic from 1967 to 1980, and wrote book reviews and a regular column titled Critic at Large. He was a founder of the LA Film Critics Association, and has been a board member of the American Cinematheque.      CHARLES CHAMPLIN ————>

   Champlin’s television career began in 1971 when he hosted the weekly Film Odyssey on PBS, introducing classic films and interviewing major directors. He has interviewed hundreds of film personalities, first on the Z Channel’s On the Film Scene in Los Angeles, then with Champlin on Film on Bravo Cable. As a film critic, Champlin had many fans among the elite of Hollywood, including actor Jack Lemmon. Director Arthur Hiller, then-president of the Directors Guild of America, offered his praise in 1992, when Champlin received an honorary Life Member Award from the guild.

   Champlin once estimated that he saw 250 movies a year and reviewed half of them. He taught film criticism at Loyola Marymount University from 1969 to 1985, and was an adjunct professor of film at USC from 1985 to 1996; and has also taught at UC Irvine and the AFI Conservatory. He graduated from Harvard University in 1948.

    He served in the infantry in Europe in World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and battle stars.

   Charles Champlin was 88.

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Forgotten Hollywood cover   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History can be found in a new institution of higher learning. Fordham University at the Lincoln Center is a close-knit intellectual community of faculty and students located in the heart of New York City, conducted in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition of education. Their Quinn Library now carries the paperback on their shelves. It’s the 88th repository of books, and the 106th overall, of the Forgotten Hollywood book series.

   Notables who have attended this fine school: Andrew Cuomo, Vin Scully, G. Gordon Liddy, Charles Osgood, Vince Lombardi,  Denzel Washington, Alan Alda, Geraldine Ferraro, Dylan McDermott, and Bob Keeshan (better known as television’s Captain Kangaroo). Also, Virginia O’Hanlon, who as a youngster, wrote a letter to the New York Sun that prompted the famous response, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Trip to Corriganville…

November 14th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   To celebrate an early birthday, my folks and my sister took me Corrigan’s Steakhouse in Thousand Oaks. It was established by the brother of noted movie star, Ray Crash Corrigan. He was an actor most famous for appearing in Western movies, and operating Corriganville — one of America’s top tourist destinations in the 1950s. Bob Hope bought the ranch in 1966 and renamed it Hopetown, it is now a regional park and nature preserve.

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   The story of Corriganville is best told by the man, himself:

Howdy Folks,

My name is Ray “Crash” Corrigan. I’d like to tell you the story of my life.

ray_crash_corriganIt all starts back in the 1930’s, when I was a physical culturist, and my job was to keep the stars of Motion Pictures in good condition. One day, while helping Dolores Del Rio, Cedric Gibbons of MGM spotted me and offered me a chance to go into pictures. Sounded all right to me, and soon I was a swimming and stunt double for the Tarzan movies. Eventually I graduated to bigger and better parts, and between MGM and other studios, I acted in over thirty films before signing with Republic Studios. At Republic, they starred me in three serials, Darkest Africa, The Undersea Kingdom, and The Painted Stallion. Incidentally, The Undersea Kingdom grossed over $50,000,000. Soon after, I became known as “Tuscon Smith” while starring in The Three Mesquiteers. We also made 24 of these films, and soon after, I was signed by Monogram Studios, who gave me the starring role in The Range Busters. They also made 24 of these. Since my career at Monogram, I have been lucky to be either starred, or featured, in over thirty films for various studios. But I am digressing… forgive me!

During the time I was making one of The Three Mesquiteers, and needing a change of pace, I went on a hunting trip. I always did like to hunt. While on this hunting trip, I stumbled on this picturesque and peaceful spot in the Simi Valley.

These were the years when motion pictures had problems. Their problems were that they needed fresh ideas, new faces, and different locations. Realizing this, thousands rushed to Hollywood. Already a carryover from the historic old west, this Simi Valley soon echoed once again to gunshots, racing stage coaches, pitched fights between the “goodies” and the “baddies.” It was a time when the wildest stunts brought the biggest box office; when western heroes wore ten gallon hats, and the “bad guys” wore black hats, blazing a trail of dirty deeds. Yet, it wasn’t long before motion pictures matured.

In 1937, I bought this ranch, all 2,000 acres that is now the Corriganville Movie Ranch. I built my home here, and just plain enjoyed the ranch with time out to star in motion pictures. The film companies soon began to realize that the ranch offered such a wide variety of terrain, including lakes, mountains, mines, caves, villages, and other attractive facilities. They took advantage of its historic western heritage, and up to the present time, over 3,500 films and television series have used the ranch at one time or another.

Shortly after securing the ranch, I realized that it seemed a shame not to share this “last living frontier” with others. Well, I decided to do something about it. Yep, you’re right, I opened up the place for everyone to enjoy. Instead of the Ray Corrigan Ranch, it became known as Corriganville, where finally the mayor, sheriff, fire marshal, and editor of the Corriganville Gazette were all one man… yours truly. Almost forgot that I’m the postmaster, too. The United States Post Office realized that we are really a town, and you’ll find Corriganville, California in every post office directory throughout the world.

You know, folks who come to Corriganville say that this place is timeless, and I guess they’re right. It stands as an epitaph to an era, so rich in romance, so wild in adventure, that it has captured the hearts of many. Jesse James, General Custer, William H. Bonney (Alias Billy the Kid), are all gone, but Corriganville is still one place that exists to remind us of those days.

CorriganvilleHCWhile at Corriganville, I sure hope you enjoy the many historic and scenic spots, and that you will be thrilled by the live re-recreations which are enacted on our “Silvertown” western street. These events (a different one every half hour) and others occur all day long. The actors and our entire staff will do their utmost to make your day worthwhile. As your host, I also pledge myself to do everything in my power to make your visit to Corriganville a memorable one.

Well, so long, and thank you for listening to my writings… and I hope to see you in person at Corriganville.

crash signature

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 100 Years of Tyrone Power…

November 13th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Tyrone_Power_1946   The Hollywood Museum  debuts Tyrone Power: Man, Myth & Movie Idolcelebrating the stage and screen idol of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and his centennial birthday year with an intimate retrospective curated in collaboration with his son, Tyrone Power, Jr. This special exhibition will take an inside look at the life and career of the handsome star of over fifty films, best known for his swashbuckler roles, romantic leads, and striking good looks. Tyrone Power (right) exhibit is on display November 14th through January 11th, 2015, in the Historic Max Factor Building located at 1660 North Highland Ave., along Hollywood Blvd.

   Power was one of the top male sex symbols of Hollywood’s golden era, from 1936 to 1958. He became an overnight sensation at just 22 years old and made more than 50 films during his career. Six months after his breakout role in Lloyd’s of London, his hand and footprints were memorialized in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Power was nicknamed as King of 20th Century Fox Studios.

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   Highlights of the exhibition includes:

* Costumes worn by Power include the iconic matador suit of lights from Blood and Sand; embroidered pants from The Mark of Zorro; black hat with red feathers from Captain from Castile; black tailcoat with silver buttons from Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake; navy suit from The Luck of the Irish and much more.

* Costumes worn by Power’s co-stars include a black gown worn by Maureen O’Hara in The Long Gray Line; a pink brocade gown worn by Wanda Hendrix in Prince of Foxes; a silk with fur trim jacket and gown worn by Gene Tierney in That Wonderful Urge; a red sequin costume worn by Coleen Gray in Nightmare Alley; a chartreuse ball gown from Marie Antoinette starring Norma Shearer; a vest worn by Don Ameche from In Old Chicago, among many others.

* Behind the scenes in Hollywood include Power’s silk brocade dressing gown; personal mementos and photos provide a private look at his many romances, three marriages, cars, friends, and family.

* Hollywood History – Power kept a copy of scripts from all of his movies. The exhibit includes scripts from The Razor’s Edge, Blood and Sand, and three 1937 films: Thin Ice, Love Is News, and In Old Chicago. This collection also includes lobby cards, posters, press kits, press books and sheet music from songs in his many films.

   Personal collectors include Tyrone Power, Jr., Taryn Power, Romina Power, Maria Ciaccia, Debbie Beno, Cindra Reaume Webber, and the Hollywood Museum archives.

   What a great way to say happy 100th birthday to our dear friend… Ty Power.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Academy Abides…

November 8th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A word from our sponsor:

governors awards

   The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established the Governors Awards in 2009 as an untelevised celebration of its honorary Oscar winners. The Academy’s Board of Governors, comprising representatives of all 17 branches, selects honorary Oscar winners. All four honorees are expected to attend the ceremony in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.

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Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Logo - new   Baker & Taylor is one of the major distributors of literary works across the United States. Blio is the world’s most advanced and engaging e-reader software application. Built on state-of-the-art video gaming technology, this three-dimensional, interactive application works across platforms and devices – from Windows to Mac, from iPhone to desktop. Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is now distributed through this innovated channel. Cut and paste the link below to visit this innovative site that now distributes through Smashwords.

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Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- So Cal Rotary Mad About the Books…

November 6th, 2014

Manny P. here…rotary3wheels

   By next April, I’ll have visited over 60 local chapters of Rotary International. Over the last 18 months, Rotarians have shown their support of my presentation, which ties Hollywood history, American history and Rotary history; all part of what I call Forgotten Hollywood. Though I have visited chapters in Chicago and Nevada, most of my trips have taken place throughout Southern California.

   I have seven locations lined up in areas that cover 4 counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach folks of a certain age who might be interested in the nostalgic aspects of my franchise that includes a book series, weekly radio show, blog site, and documentary, currently in production. Here is the latest lineup:

~ Los Angeles County - Arcadia, Burbank, Palos Verdes

~ Orange CountyGarden Grove, Anaheim

~ Ventura CountyVentura

~ San Diego CountyOceanside (El Camino Real)

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

   Lately, this number of assignments continues to grow. Plus… I will return in December to the Hollywood Heritage Museum for an annual celebration they call Afternoon with the Authors in December. This is a great opportunity to pick up copies of autographed books as unique and special Holiday gifts.

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   Smashwords has a new eBook distributor. OverDrive delivers in  the READ format; it now distributes Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History on their site. You can enjoy OverDrive through your local library or school. Copy and paste on the following link:

https://www.overdrive.com/media/1601932/forgotten-hollywood-forgotten-history

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM Goes Early Bird with Film Fest…

November 3rd, 2014

Manny P. here…  tcm-2015-v2

   Join TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz and thousands of classic film fans in the heart of Hollywood next March 26th-29th for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival!

   This year’s main theme mirrors the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series and franchise that includes this site, a weekly radio show, and a documentary currently in production, History According to Hollywood, will explore how filmmakers have often created works about the past that are a reflection of the period in which they were made, or change facts to suit a particular storyline. They invite you and movie lovers from around the world to join us to create our own history as we gather in Hollywood for the 6th annual TCM Classic Film Festival next March.

1939-The-Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame   As part of our historical exploration they are thrilled to announce the first four world premiere restorations that will be shown at the Festival:

APOLLO 13 (1995) – Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, and Bill Paxton star in director Ron Howard’s extraordinary chronicle of the failed Apollo 13 lunar mission and the efforts to bring the astronauts home safely.

~ THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939) – Charles Laughton plays Victor Hugo’s tragic Quasimodo and Maureen O’Hara stars as Esmeralda in director William Dieterle’s lavish production of the oft-told tale.

Keaton_Steamboat_Bill_Jr_1928~ SPARTACUS (1960) – Kirk Douglas plays the title role, and served as producer on Stanley Kubrick’s engrossing tale, of a slave who became a gladiator and went on to challenge the might of the Roman Empire.

~ STEAMBOAT BILLJR. (1928) – Presented with composer Carl Davis conducting a live, world premiere performance of his new score. Buster Keaton stars as the son of a paddle-steamer captain in love with the daughter of his father’s business rival in this dazzling silent comedy.

   Mark your calendar as a limited number of 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival passes will also be available to Citi card members via an exclusive online only presale at https://www.citiprivatepass.com/. This exclusive presale begins at 10a (ET), Tuesday, November 11th and ends at 10a (ET), Thursday, November 13th. Passes for 2015 TCM Classic Film Fest go on sale to the public at http://www.tcm.com/festival at 12p (ET), Thursday, November 13th, 2014!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Orson Welles’ Last Hurrah…

October 30th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Orson Welles’ last production may finally be nearing a release after decades as one of cinema’s most storied unfinished creations. A Los Angeles-based production company, Royal Road Entertainment, has agreed to buy the rights to Welles’ largely unseen The Other Side of the Wind. Producers are planning to unveil the film in time for the centennial anniversary of Welles’ birth on May 6th, and to promote its distribution at American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, next month.

   The semi-autobiographical story is about a movie director, played by John Huston, feuding with Hollywood over an ambitious film. Welles supplied his own Oscar statuette, won for Citizen Kane, for his main character to brandish on film. The supporting cast also included Lilli Palmer, Susan Strasberg, and Dennis Hopper. Huston had a small acting career, notably co-starring in Chinatown.

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND with ORSON WELLES (far right)

   The origins of the script date back to a tense encounter in 1937 between Ernest Hemingway and a young Welles. The main character’s life has echoes in Hemingway’s: his father’s suicide, the day of his death, and his love of Spain. Orson began shooting the movie in 1971 and spent the rest of his life editing it, before dying in 1985.

   Endless legal battles among the rights holders, including Welles’s daughter, kept the 1,083 reels of negatives inside a warehouse in a gritty suburb of Paris despite numerous efforts to complete the motion picture. Director Peter Bogdanovich, who appears in the film, will help finish editing the rough footage, which includes a 45-minute edited print. It’s part of a pledge he once made to Welles in the 1970s.

   Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mickey’s Fantasia Hat Going Poof!

October 29th, 2014

Manny P. here…

sorcerershat2   The great big Sorcerer’s Hat that has greeted guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando since 2001 will soon be taken down. This iconic tribute to Fantasia was built to honor Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney, and the animator’s adult life collaboration with Tinsel Town.

   Guests have either loved the hat or hated it over the past 13 years. Some say the much-maligned giant blue hat took away from the section of the park dedicated to the Golden Age of Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s. The hat also blocked the view of the Chinese Theater as guests walked down Hollywood Boulevard.

GOLDEN-AGE of Hollywood

   There have been rumors of the hat’s demise swirling in recent weeks after the big blue Sorcerer’s Hat was glaringly missing from new park maps. And, Disney confirmed the news the 122-foot tall hat would be gone in early 2015. Construction walls are expected to go up soon – likely in early January.

   This isn’t the only major change coming to the Studios. It was also announced that The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is closing, and the Studio Backlot Tour closed last month. There is no word on what, if anything, will replace The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, or if the Sorcerer’s Hat will find a new home somewhere else in the park.

   Cue The Sorcerer’s Apprentice… and bring in the brooms.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Genesis of an Alamo Exhibit…

October 28th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   British pop star Phil Collins handed over his vast collection of artifacts related to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution to the state of Texas. Collins was in San Antonio to donate what’s considered the world’s largest private collection of Alamo artifacts. It includes a fringed leather pouch and a gun used by Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie’s legendary knife, and letters from garrison commander William Barrett Travis.

 300px-The_Alamo_1960_poster  The 1980s pop artist and Genesis singer-drummer has joked that he spent all the money he made from music on artifacts related to the 1836 battle in which 1,500 Mexican troops laid siege to 200 Texans. Collins, who’s a Grammy and Academy Award winner, donated a collection of more than 200 items for display. Five crates full of artifacts were unloaded from a truck.
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   The collection was given to Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the state steward of the Alamo, who is pushing for a new historical center that would house Collins’ collection. Patterson said it will likely take at least five years to raise the millions of dollars needed to design and build a center to house and display the collection. The location of the center will be decided in two weeks, and will likely charge admission. The 4.2-acre Alamo grounds are free to the public.
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   John Wayne is one of many filmmakers that brought this story to the screen. The film also starred Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon, and Chill Wills.
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   How nice to remember…
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Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rare African American Film To Shine!

October 27th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A rare, untitled 1913 silent film is the subject of a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 100 Years In Post-Production: Resurrecting A Lost Landmark of Black Film History tells the story behind the production.

   The piece of celluloid features Bert Williams, one of the era’s famed entertainers, and the first Broadway star. He performed in blackface on stage, and did the same in films. But, this romantic comedy contains a large cast of black actors.

   The movie was never produced in its time; its seven reels of negatives were locked away by the Biograph Film Studio. The Museum of Modern Art claimed the reels in 1938 as part of its founding film collections. The negatives were inside a cache of almost 900 film canisters donated by Biograph when it closed and donated its vaults, and MOMA made the first print from the film in 1976.

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BERT WILLIAMS (seated on desk)

   The museum gave the orphan movie a working title — Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Field Day — for the exhibit and November screening, when it will be shown as part of the museum’s annual festival of film preservation. The name is taken from one of the sources for the film’s narrative, a stage routine based on a fictional Afro social club, called the Lime Kiln Club.

   The black characters are shown in scenes of play and leisure — rare for motion pictures of the time. It’s a stunning contrast to the depictions of greedy and violent stereotypes shown two years later in Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith’s controversial cinematic masterpiece.

   MOMA curator Ron Magliozzi says the theater conventions of the day required one performer in a black musical to don blackface, while the rest of the cast could perform without makeup. This film follows the convention of the time, with Williams wearing blackface. His performance is comic, but not buffoonish; he is a romantic lead and he gets the girl at the end of the picture. Magliozzi hopes the flick will now be liberated. He hopes its future will include film festivals and come out as a DVD.

   The exhibit runs through March 2015.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Two Icons…

October 21st, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A couple of cultural icons have died. Here are the details: JFKbradlee5

~ Ben Bradlee was the raspy-voiced editor who invigorated The Washington Post. He got an early break as a journalist thanks to his friendship with one president, John F. Kennedy, and became famous for his role in toppling another, Richard Nixon, in the Watergate scandal. As managing editor, and later, as executive editor, Bradlee engineered the Post’s reinvention, bringing in a cast of talented journalists, and setting editorial standards that brought the paper new respect.                             BEN BRADLEE ———>

   Ben landed his first job at the Post in 1948. He happened to be riding a trolley car past Blair House in 1950 when Puerto Rican extremists opened fire on the presidential guest house while Harry Truman was staying there. Bradlee turned it into a page-one eyewitness story.

   He happened to buy a home in Georgetown in 1957, a few months before Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife moved in across the street; the beginning of an intimate friendship and a proximity to power that burnished his credentials as a journalist, and brought him rare insights into government. His access to Kennedy continued through JFK’s presidency, bringing Bradlee influential scoops.

   He was one of the few to know the identity early on of the celebrated Watergate source dubbed Deep Throat, revealed publicly in 2005 to be FBI official Mark Felt. Actor Jason Robards turned Bradlee into a box-office hit with his Oscar-winning portrayal of the editor in the 1976 movie All the President’s Men, which recounted the unraveling of Watergate under the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

   In November 2013, Bradlee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, who saluted the newspaper man for bringing an intensity and dedication to journalism.

   Ben Bradlee was 93.

Oscar_de_la_Renta_by_foto_di_matti~ Oscar de la Renta was a fashion designer who dressed first ladies, socialites, and movie stars for more than four decades. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a defining moment in fashion as New York-based designers carved out a look of their own that was finally taken seriously by Europeans. De la Renta and his peers, including the late Bill Blass, Halston, and Geoffrey Beene, defined American style.

   He became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy. Other wives of chief executives who have donned a de la Renta include Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush, and most recently, Michelle Obama.   OSCAR DE LA RENTA —>

   Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock have often worn his feminine and opulent gowns. One actress who appeared in a de la Renta creation at this year’s Oscars was Jennifer Garner. His clothes were woven into episodes of Sex and the City. Weeks ago, the most famous bride in the world, Amal Alamuddin, wore a custom, off-the-shoulder, de la Renta gown to wed George Clooney in Venice.

   Oscar de la Renta was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chronicle of Classic Film Noir…

October 20th, 2014

Manny P. here…Double_indemnity_screenshot_10

   Billy & Ray tells the incredible true story of how Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay for Double Indemnity, invented film noir, and nearly killed each other in the process. Set in Hollywood in the 1940s, it’s the hilarious journey through the war of creativity between two brilliant writers who battled each other, to create a motion picture classic.

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   Directed by Garry Marshall, he’s a veteran producer, director, and writer of film, television, and the stage. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medil School of Journalism, he went on to create some of television’s most beloved situation comedies, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and The Odd Couple. And, Marshall has always been passionate about live theater.

   In the show, the unlikely partners initially fight over every word as they attempt to make a sumptuous screenplay out of a trashy James M. Cain novel that Paramount Pictures has procured. Casual references to real Hollywood movie stars of the era lend added spice to the conversations.

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    Turning an explicit pulp novel into a classically suggestive film was no mean feat. This tense dramatization of the writers’ edgy partnership is so revealing you’ll probably want to stream the movie, which stars Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, and Edward G. Robinson, to revisit the innovative ways Wilder and Chandler got around puritanical censors.

   This is a taut production that should soon head to Broadway.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Forrest Gump is Turning Twenty…

October 19th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   In honor of Forrest Gump’s birthday, I’m moderating a screening of the Best Picture of 1994 at the South Pasadena Public Library on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7p. The epic romantic-drama is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. The motion picture was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field.

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TOM HANKS as FORREST GUMP

   My Forgotten Hollywood Book Series ties Hollywood history with Americana in a Ken Burns-style. Forrest Gump is a similar cinematic triumph that includes the modern history of a generation known as baby-boomers in a neat package on screen as a fable of immense proportions that I refer to as a metaphoric Hollywood-and-Vine moment. During this magical evening, I’ll be autographing copies of my paperbacks.

    John Travolta was the original choice to play the title role, and he admits that declining the opportunity was a mistake. Bill Murray was also considered for the role. The author envisioned John Goodman playing Gump.

   The screenplay for a movie sequel was written in 2001. It is based on the original novel’s sequel, Gump and Co. that was written by Groom in 1995. The script begins with Forrest sitting on a bus bench waiting for his son to return from school. After the September 11 attacks, Zemeckis, and Hanks decided the story was no longer relevant. By the way, during the course of the second novel, Gump meets Tom Hanks, attends a release of the original flick, goes on The David Letterman Show, and attends the 1995 Academy Awards. This promised to be quite a wacky movie experience.

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   The South Pasadena Public Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro St., in South Pasadena, CA. Bring your box of chocolates… or popcorn… and enjoy this family-friendly event.

Until next time>                               “never forget”