“Forgotten Hollywood”- For Future Storytellers…

March 4th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Richard Schickel helped engage the conversation about American film. As Time Magazine film critic from 1972 to 2010, author of 38 books on cinema, and creator of documentaries that celebrate great  filmmakers, Schickel served as a beacon for global audiences, striving to better understand the magic of cinema. His extraordinary insights and ability to articulate them with passion, made him one of the art form’s trusted voice — and enduring champion.

“`Mr. Schickel’s influence on the American Film Institute was just as profound.  He was one of the architects of AFI’s iconic movie lists;  serving as an executive producer and a writer, as well as an on screen expert. He inspired new generations to rediscover the classics. When AFI established its annual AFI Awards program, chronicling the best in motion picture storytelling for future generations to cherish, Mr. Schickel was a pioneering voice, serving on AFI’s annual juries — including a year as Chair. In 2003, Mr. Schickel was awarded an AFI Honorary Degree for his commitment to recognizing and celebrating excellence in the moving image arts.

“`In the movie critic’s memory,  his family has established a Richard Schickel Scholarship Fund to support aspiring filmmakers who will carry on his indelible commitment to storytelling at the AFI Conservatory, and beyond. His passing in February had a profound effect on all who love the art of filmmaking.

“`Donations may be made to the Richard Schickel Scholarship Fund.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Hunk of Burnin’ Love…

March 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`About 200 people streamed into Elvis Presley’s Memphis after the late singer’s wife cut a ribbon and allowed fans to see the $45 million complex for the first time. An outdoor mall, the 200,000-square-foot campus sits across the street from Graceland,  Presley’s longtime home-turned-museum. The complex features a comprehensive Presley exhibit with clothing he wore on stage and guitars he played;  a showcase of the cars he owned and used; a soundstage; a theater; two restaurants, and retail stores. The opening comes before the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ death on August 16th, 1977, at age 42.

PRISCILLA PRESLEY at GRACELAND

“`It’s part of a $140 million expansion, which also includes a $90 million, 450-room hotel that opened last year.  This complex replaces the aging buildings that have housed Presley-related exhibits for years.  A strip-mall style visitor center is expected to be torn down to landscape a garden along Elvis Presley Boulevard, the street that runs in front of the house.

“`Graceland has been updating its tourist experience. Visitors use iPads for self-guided tours of the museum. The new Guest House at Graceland with modern amenities has replaced the crumbling Heartbreak Hotel, which is scheduled for demolition.

   

“`Gladys’ Diner — named after the singer’s mother — has the feel of a 1950s eatery, complete with photos of Elvis and aqua-colored chairs. Folks can order hot dogs, burgers and ice cream. Across a wide walkway lies the automobile museum, filled with some of Presley’s favorite toys. Several retail stores line the complex. A barbecue joint called Vernon’s Smokehouse — named after Presley’s father — will also open. So will an exhibit about Sam Phillips, the Sun Records producer and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who recorded Presley for the first time.

“`The complex is still being finished. Priscilla Presley says there is a warehouse full of artifacts, ready for display. This weekend, the area should draw thousands of fans.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Laurel and Hardy at The Barn…

March 2nd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are starring in the upcoming biopic about silent film’s first great comedic pair: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Until then, people can attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Hollywood Heritage’s Evening at the Barn – Laurel & Hardy:  A 90th Anniversary Celebration; The Birth of a Team, which commemorates  the year our guys initially starred together on screen.  LAUREL & HARDY ->

“`The schedule features screenings of 1927 archival prints of Putting Pants on Phillip, With Love and Hisses, Call of the Cuckoo, and The Battle of the Century, accompanied by live music by Scott Lasky; in addition to author Randy Skretvedt discussing his 1987 book, Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies. This event will also include the unveiling of new wax statues of the comic duo.

“`The gala at the Hollywood Heritage Museum is on March 8th at 7:30p. The museum is at 2100 N. Highland Ave., opposite the Hollywood Bowl.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Taking Flight with an Angel…

March 1st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Angels Flight, the beloved little railroad in Los Angeles, had a cameo in La La Land, and now, it’s almost ready to re-open. It originally debuted on New Year’s Eve in 1901, hauling residents from Bunker Hill’s stately Victorian mansions to one of downtown’s best shopping districts. Rides cost a penny.

“`The narrow-gauge railroad that for more than a century hauled folks 298 feet up-and-down the city’s steep Bunker Hill was shut down in 2013 after a series of mishaps, including a crash that killed a rider.

“`At a news conference,  Mayor Eric Garcetti said issues are being resolved, and the railroad’s antique wooden cars, named Sinai and Olivet, should be back in service by Labor Day.  They’ll be operated by a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Angels Flight Foundation and the private company, ACS Infrastructure Development. Meanwhile, work still needs to be done before the cars can move again, under an agreement reached with the state’s Public Utilities Commission.

                EMMA STONE   RYAN GOSLING

“`The railroad’s resurrection has been planned for months. But, it has gotten an unexpected boost when movie-goers saw Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling happily riding in one of its cars  in La La Land. People took to social media to ask why they couldn’t ride. In spite of recent woes, Angels Flight, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, holds a special place in the hearts of local residents of all ages, thrilled to share countless childhood stories.  It was prominent in the movies, Criss Cross, The Glenn Miller Story, The Indestructible Man, and a television episode of Perry Mason.

“`It operated until 1969,  shut down as the neighborhood underwent redevelopment, after the area fell on hard times.  It reopened in 1996, just as the area went through a renaissance. For the next few years, the railway carried tourists and office workers from skyscrapers, museums and hotels that sprung up on Bunker Hill to the Grand Central Market, below. It was shut down after a catastrophic system failure that sent one car crashing into the other in 2001. Reopened in 2010, it was closed three years later after a derailment stranded riders.

“`It looks like we are once again close for our Angel to take Flight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- High Noon in Hollywood…

February 28th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic  is a lecture and book-signing scheduled this weekend at the  Autry Museum of the American West on March 5th at 2p.  The museum is located at Griffith Park, 4700 Western Heritage Way in Los Angeles.

“`High Noon, one of the best-loved movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age, is more than just an archetypal Western. It’s also a parable about the Hollywood Blacklist. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of some of cinema’s most gifted artists — screenwriter Carl Foreman,  producer Stanley Kramer,  director Fred Zinnemann, and Gary Cooper, among them — and how this creative partnership was influenced and crushed by political repression.

“`While making the film, Carl Foreman testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party.  When the filmmaker refused to name names, he was fired by his friend and business partner, Stanley Kramer. Gary Cooper tried to come to Foreman’s defense, but the screenwriter was blacklisted and forced into self-imposed exile. John Wayne, a leader of the movement to cleanse a film industry of purported Communists, later stated: He never regretted having helped run Foreman out of the country. Seven years later, Howard Hawks and The Duke produced Rio Bravo as their response to the 1952 Western.

                                                        GARY COOPER

“`Carl Foreman, like the hero in High Noon, felt alone and abandoned by his friends — as though he was facing down a vengeful gang. Foreman’s experience of being a target of the Red Scare inspired one of the movie’s most iconic images:  A lone lawman walking down a deserted street towards a showdown with four armed gunmen.

“`Glenn Frankel is an award-winning journalist and a university professor. He was a director of the School of Journalism at University of Texas at Austin, and visiting professor at Stanford University.  Before that, Glenn was a Washington Post reporter, editor, and bureau chief in London, Southern Africa, and Jerusalem, where he won a 1989 Pulitzer Prize in the category of International Reporting. He also served as editor of the Washington Post Magazine.

“`The event is free for Autry Members. Reservations are recommended.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Biggest Oscars’ Gaffe Before 2017…

February 27th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The year was 1934, and it was the 6th Annual Academy Awards ceremony.  Humorist Will Rogers was at the lectern as the folksy host of the program. He was set to announce the Best Director for 1932-1933.

“`He began his introduction by chatting at length about his good friend, Frank. Roger’s went on to describe Frank’s rise to prominence. Here is what he said:

 Well, well, well, what do you know. I’ve watched this young man for a long time. Saw him come up from the bottom, and I mean the bottom. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Come up and get it, Frank!

“`Nominee Frank Capra jumped from his seat and was about halfway to the podium, believing he had won for Lady For A Day. Then, he suddenly realized the real winner was another nominee, Frank Lloyd for Cavalcade. Capra crept back to his seat, and later remarked:  It was the longest, saddest, most shattering walk in my life.  WILL ROGERS / FRANK LLOYD –>

“`Another embarrassing moment caused by Rogers happened during the announcement for Best Actress.  He invited nominees, May Robson and Diana Wynyard, to the speakers’ table, leading the audience to anticipate a tie. Will kissed them both, and told them they delivered sparkling performances.  Then, he announced the winner…  Katharine Hepburn for Morning Glory.  Ouch!

“`The following year, Will Rogers would die in a plane crash.  It remains to be seen how this conclusion of the 2017 Oscars’ telecast is handled by the press and the public. But one thing is certain: This will be remembered in Academy Awards’ lore for years to come. Bring on the social media satire…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Bill Paxton…

February 26th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Bill Paxton was one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. He had a knack for appearing in dozens of movies and television shows that seemed to be around when history was being made. He’s best known for his performance in Apollo 13, and opposite Keven Costner in Hatfields and McCoys for the History Channel.  Bill’s screen credits included an iconic number of blockbuster films. Paxton, genial and well-liked by his peers in Hollywood, was defined less by marquee status, than as a character actor portraying regular Joes.

`

                                                       BILL PAXTON

“`As a boy, he was in the crowd that welcomed John F. Kennedy in Dallas on the morning of November 22nd, 1963, hours before the president was murdered.  Photographs of an eight-year-old Paxton being lifted above the crowd are on display at the  Sixth Floor Museum in Dealey Plaza. At the time, he was also pals with golf-great Ben Hogan. Greatness seemed to follow his life

“`Paxton got his first break in the movie industry in the mid-1970s, working as a set dresser. The actor studied with Stella Adler at New York University for two years.  As a young man, working in the Art Department for B-movie mogul, Roger Corman, who launched the careers of numerous actors and filmmakers.

“`He appeared in Stripes, The Terminator, Weird ScienceAliens, Predator 2, as Morgan Earp in Tombstone, True LiesTwister, Titanic, Million Dollar Arm, the recent remake of Mighty Joe Young, and Nightcrawler.  He also directed The Greatest Game Ever Played, the bio-pic of the career of golf legend, Francis Ouimet.

“`On television, he starred in Big Love, which earned him three  Golden Globe nominations; had a recurring role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.;  and appeared in episodes of Miami Vice and Frasier. Paxton was Sam Houston in the mini-series Texas Rising; and early in his career, he garnered a co-starring role in An Early Frost. As Randolph McCoy, he also received a Screen Actors Guild Awards and an Emmy Awards nod.  Bill was part of the SAG cast that won in Apollo 13, playing stranded astronaut, Fred Haise.  This year, he was cast as Detective Frank Roarke in Training Day,  a crime-thriller television series set 15 years after the events of the Denzel Washington vehicle. Paxton narrated the documentary, JFK:  The Day that Changed Everything as a labor of love.

“`Remaining busy, he curiously appeared in music videos: Barnes & Barnes, Fish Heads, and a Limp Bizkit production. And recently, he also played a part in the video game, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

“`Nearly 200 storm chasers are paying tribute to the late actor by spelling out his initials using GPS coordinates on a map depicting the heart of Tornado Alley. Bill Paxton died after suffering a stroke following heart surgery. He was 61.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 8 Reasons La La Land Wins 8 Oscars

February 25th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Nominated for a record (14) Academy Awards, La La Land probably will win (8) Oscars. Here are the categories I believe this special musical will be awarded:

`

`

  1. Best Score  It’s a most original Musical, mixing jazz with traditional showtunes; and it will beat the wonderful scores offered up by Moonlight and Lion
  2. Best Song – In my estimation, Audition (The Fools Who Dream) delivers more of an impact as a composition; City of Stars is a very singable ditty that has the buzz
  3. Production DesignArrival is the chief competitor. But, I think this production suffers from an enthusiasm gap, which is why Amy Adams was snubbed for Best Actress
  4. Sound MixingHacksaw Ridge should win Sound Editing; Sound Mixing is a category that will honor a film effortlessly combining dialogue and choreography
  5. Film Editing – The trio of vignettes by Moonlight might have earned the film an Oscar. Co-tails are the factor in my choice. Plus, Whiplash won this category, two years ago
  6. Best Director – Damien Chazelle is the correct flavor-of-the-year for realizing his vision, thirteen years in the making
  7. Best Actress – Emma really shines La La Land, as Vivien did in Gone with the Wind. Her deserved competition, Isabelle Huppert / Elle, is poised for an potential upset
  8. Best Picture –  NO movie lost this category with (14) nods (All About Eve – Titanic). Besides, I’ve been right seven of the last eight years (I picked Lincoln over Argo)

`

“`The reason La La Land loses (6) Oscars:

  • It can’t win twice in the Best Song category
  • Jackie is the prohibitive favorite in the Best Costume category
  • My reference above to Sound Editing for Hacksaw Ridge
  • Cinematography might be awarded to La La Land. However, the thrust of Moonlight’s  beauty is its unique photographic presentation (This one might trade with Film Editing)
  • Ryan Gosling frankly has no chance in the Best Actor category
  • The Academy will secure at least one Oscar for Manchester by the Sea; so, why not Best Original Screenplay

`

“`The musical pays fitting homage to superb productions, including An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, Rebel Without a Cause, and Casablanca; and motion pictures with  fine jazz scores, such as The Fortune Cookie and Anatomy of a Murder.  If La La Land  garners (9) Academy Awards, and this could happen; it’s the one hedge to my prediction.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- To the Moon and Back…

February 24th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The capsule that took the first moon-walkers on their historic adventure is ready to embark on a road trip; its first tour of our nation in over forty years. The Apollo 11 module is the spacecraft that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins (right) traveled to the moon in June, 1969. To celebrate their 50th anniversary of the achievement, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum  is sending the spacecraft to museums around the country. It’s the first time Columbia will have left the museum since 1976.

“`The traveling exhibit also includes objects, such as the helmet and gloves Aldrin wore during his moonwalk;  a rock box the astronauts used to bring back some of the first samples from a heavenly body; and the watch that Collins wore during his lonely time orbiting the moon while Aldrin and Armstrong explored the lunar surface.

“`In 1970 and 1971, before it came to the Smithsonian, the capsule went on a 50-state tour. This time around, it will be going here:

  • Space Center Houston  Oct. 14th, 2017 – March 18th, 2018
  • St. Louis Science Center  April 14th – September 3rd, 2018
  • Sen. John Heinz History Center  September 29th, 2018 – February 18th, 2019
  • The Museum of Flight  March 16th – September 2nd, 2019

“`The museums were picked for a variety of reasons, including that they had the capacity to display large, heavy objects.

“`When it returns, Columbia will be the centerpiece of a new Destination Moon exhibit that will open in 2021, to tell the story of lunar exploration from ancient times to today.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Spielberg’s Mom is Gone…

February 22nd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Leah Adler was the witty mom of three-time Oscar-winning director, Steven Spielberg. A former concert pianist, she was, most recently, co-owner of the kosher restaurant, The Milky Way, in Los Angeles. She was also known around Hollywood for her sharp wit that Leah used on many red carpets, and at her restaurant, according to patrons.        LEAH ADLER —->

“`Adler was born in Cincinnati, where she learned to play piano, and eventually went on to study at the city’s Music Conservatory, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. Leah married electrical engineer Arnold Spielberg in 1945, and they had four children. The family resided in New Jersey before moving to Phoenix. Her son Steven first experimented with a video camera in the desert community.  They moved to Northern California in 1964. After she divorced Arnold, the family headed to Scottsdale. Leah would marry Bernie Adler, three years later.

“`While living in Arizona, she frequently performed piano solos, and also owned an art gallery. The couple eventually joined Adler’s son in Los Angeles, where they presided over their kosher restaurant in one of the city’s oldest Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

“`Leah Adler was 97.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Film Critic…

February 20th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Richard Schickel was the prolific critic, and best known for his four-decade tenure as a movie reviewer at Time Magazine. In addition to authoring more than three dozen books and biographies about actors, directors, and musicians, he also directed a number of documentaries for television.

“`Schickel (right)  attended the University Of Wisconsin–Madison on a journalism scholarship, before moving to Los Angeles in his early 20s. In 1964, he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; and the next year, he began writing his reviews for the weekly Life Magazine. After Life folded in 1972, Schickel moved to Time, where he remained until 2010. Richard’s long career as a weekly film reviewer ended with a brief stint on the website, Truthdig.

“`Despite his longtime association with one of the county’s most famous magazines, Schickel was arguably best remembered for documentaries on filmmakers; segments that he directed for PBS, and other networks; and his popular bio’s about Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Lena Horne, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Woody Allen,  Elia Kazan, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Walt Disney. His most acclaimed work was D.W. Griffith: An American Life.

“`A devotee of Hollywood’s classic studio era and the maverick directors of the 1970s, Schickel positioned himself as a critic who chronicled the changes to a more rebellious screen era of the 1960s and 1970s. He estimated that he had seen over 22,000 motion pictures, beginning with Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He loved Citizen Kane, but felt The Maltese Falcon was cramped and staticBonnie and Clyde was a game-changer that he championed.

“`Late in life, Richard would often lecture at University of Southern California’s School of Film and Television and Yale University. Schickel was my personal go-to biographer for info that I compliled for my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

“`Richard Schickel was 84.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Silent Film Posters on Display…

February 19th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Birth Motion Pictures:  An Illustrated History of Silent Cinema, 1910-1929 is an exhibition of rare art posters on display at the Brea Art Gallery through April 14th.

“`This retrospective exhibition provides a rare look into the world’s largest compilation of silent movie posters (plus memorabilia), and features works from the private collection of Brea, CA entrepreneur Dwight Manley. Showcasing never-before-displayed movie posters; an actual silent Oscar; original posters from Brea’s centennial year (1917);  Academy Awards film posters; and related memorabilia, this show is quite comprehensive. Silent movies will be screened in the Gallery throughout the exhibition.

“`The exhibit kicked off with a free red-carpet, black-tie optional, gallery reception that premiered this one-of-a-kind exhibition, as part of Brea’s Centennial celebration, last Saturday 6p-10p, with cocktails, live music, and featured films.

“`The City of Brea Gallery is located in the Brea Civic & Cultural Center, 1 Civic Center Circle, Plaza Level.  Gallery hours during the exhibition are Wednesday to Sunday, 12p to 5p.  They are not open Monday, Tuesday, and holidays. Admission is $3, and Brea residents are free.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Monopoly Drops Thimble…

February 18th, 2017

Manny P. here

“`The classic Monopoly playing piece — thimble — is being dropped from the newest updated version of the board game. It lost out to pieces such as the Scottie dog, the car, and a hat in a worldwide public vote over which tokens to save.

“`The thimble has been a steady staple of Monopoly boards, worldwide, since the game was launched back in 1935. This is the second time a piece has been removed from play following public consultation. The iron made way for a cat back in 2013.

“`The remaining pieces, including the battleship and a boot, all trace their roots back to The Great Depression. Thimbles are used to prevent pricking a thumb with a sharp needle while sewing.

“`Along with voting out the thimble, members of the public were offered the choice of which new playing piece to introduce. The winner of the poll will be announced next month. Among the choices:  A hashtag, an emoji, a flip-flop, and a rubber duck.

“`Games featuring the new piece will be available in August, 2017. In the meantime, let’s take a moment to remember our dear-departed friend — the thimble.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Peacock is 90…

February 17th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`NBC is ringing in its 90th birthday with something special. To honor their anniversary, the network will air a three-hour prime-time special on Sunday, February 19th at 8p.

“`Five-time Emmy-winner Kelsey Grammer, who starred on NBC’s Cheers and Frasier (as Dr. Frasier Crane), will host: The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary.

“`During the three-hour Sunday evening telecast, the network will take a look at its series (including dramas, sitcoms, late night, and variety shows); newly recorded interviews with talent, including Ted Danson, Tina Fey, Debra Messing, Amy Poehler, Noah Wyle, Rob Lowe, Blake Shelton, William Shatner, and Jennifer Lopez; and its Emmy winners (including The West Wing, ER, Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, Friends, The Office, and 30 Rock).

“`Founded in 1926 by RCA, NBC is one of our country’s cultural legacies.  Memorable clips from The Tonight Show, Today, Meet the Press, The Wiz Live!, and more, will also be featured on the special.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Angela Loses Her Brother…

February 16th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Bruce Lansbury  was a younger brother of famed star of the stage and screen, Angela Lansbury. His career in Hollywood spanned over 30 years, from the 1960s to the 1990s, and included work on a number of popular television series. He had a twin named Edgar. The younger male siblings may not have been as immediately recognizable as their sister, but, they became successful in the entertainment industry. Bruce spent his career behind the television camera. Edgar worked on Broadway.

“`In 1966, Michael Garrison, creator of The Wild Wild West, fell in his home and died from his injuries. TheWestern was heading into its second season. Lansbury stepped in, producing 69 episodes. He also produced 38 episodes of Mission: Impossible.

“`Lansbury also acted as the Vice President of Creative Affairs for Paramount Television, a supervising role that gave him oversight on sitcoms as The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, and Happy Days. He created the underrated series The Magician, which featured Bill Bixby. Bruce also produced episodes of Wonder Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Knight Rider.

“`Throughout the 1990s, Bruce collaborated with Angela on Murder She Wrote, as a writer and supervising producer on the mystery series.

“`Bruce Lansbury was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”