“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Awesome Toy Story…

March 20th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`LEGO is set to release a collectible build for the Disney Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie. Void of color, the complete build has over 700 pieces, and features Mickey and Minnie Mouse from the short film.

“`This limited edition LEGO release includes moving steam pipes and paddle wheels that activate when pushing the boat, working crane, brick bell, life buoy, Minnie’s guitar and a commemorative 1928 podium with room for Mickey and Minnie.

“`Set for an April 1st release, the package will also come with a booklet that is loaded with historic facts on the 1928 animated Disney short. Those interested in this piece of Disney memorabilia can find it over at the LEGO web store for a price of $89.99.

“`What a fitting tribute to Walt Disney and the origins of his spectacular career.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Twentieth Century Relic…

March 19th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Walt Disney Co.’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox is about to become a reality, reminding us that the Studio Era actually ended in the late 1960s. The demise of 20th Century Fox as a standalone studio is an epochal event in Hollywood, and it casts doubt over a movie industry grappling with new digital competitors from Silicon Valley.

“`The history of Hollywood has always included the revolving door of studio ownership; even Fox Film Corporation founder William Fox, during the Depression, lost control of the studio that still carries his name. This backlot, built in 1926 on a Century City ranch in Los Angeles, was enormous. Fox has often taken chances on longshots and technological experiments. It was the first studio built for sound.

“`Early on, this was the studio of Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young. Shirley Temple insured Fox’s solvency. Marilyn Monroe solidified her on-screen persona in big budget productions. The careers of Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Alice Faye, Gene Tierney, and composer Alfred Newman flourished. And Fox was known for CinemaScope, Laura, All About Eve, CleopatraThe Sound of Music, the franchises of Planet of the Apes and Alien, and a couple versions of Titanic.

“`Fox Searchlight is expected to stay largely intact. They are the regular Oscars contender behind 12 Years a Slave, The Shape of Water and The Favourite, and could give Disney something it’s never had before: a Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards.

“`With consolidation, Disney will have more influence on the movies Americans and the rest of the world see than any company ever has. Plus,  less studios could potentially mean fewer films. And a piece of Hollywood history is about to disappear. Another consideration, with the sale, Disney is about to own all of Fox’s cinematic library.

“`The Magic Kingdom will add 20th Century Fox alongside labels like Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm. A major downside… Due to duplication with Disney staff, layoffs will be in the thousands. So much for the happiest place on earth.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Two Guys I Knew…

March 18th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Working in broadcasting has afforded me the opportunity to cross paths with successful individuals in our industry. This weekend, we lost two of the nicest…

“`Tom Hatten was a fixture on television and a thespian. He was best known for his hosting chores on The Family Film Festival on KTLA, and for his Hollywood reports on KNX 1070. His Southern California career began in the 1950s.

“`Hatten served in the Navy before attending Pasadena Playhouse on the G. I. Bill.  He was hired as an announcer at KTLA in 1952. An accomplished cartoonist, Tom delighted children as the genial host of Popeye and His Friends show from 1976 to 1988, and on  KTLA’s The Family Film Festival from 1978 to 1992.  He was always ready to hand youngsters his sketches of Popeye, that was completely met with appreciation.

“`On television, Hatten guest-starred in Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., WingsHogan’s Heroes, Get Smart, and Hawaii 5-0. On the big screen, he had a role in Sweet Charity. He also toured in a live theater production of Annie.

“`Tom Hatten (above) was ninety-two.

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“`Dick Dale was dubbed The King of the Surf Guitar. His biggest hit was Miserlou,  recorded in 1962, and it was showcased in Quentin Tarantino’s iconic flick,  Pulp Fiction. Legendary guitar builder Leo Fender customized many of the performer’s instruments.

“`Dale’s raucous guitar style replicated the crashing sound of ocean waves, and his work influenced The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Dick appeared in a couple of beach movies, including Beach Party and Back to the Beach. The latter movie elicited a famous record album that was distributed by 1110 KRLA. I was personally on hand when this iconic photo was shot.

“`A frequent performer at Newport Beach’s old Rendezvous Ballroom, Dale owned his own club in Orange County. He also loved wild animals, and his personal collection included lions, tigers, and jaguars.

“`Dick Dale (above) was eighty-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- All That Style…

March 14th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographer, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of her generation.  Together, both re-imagined the nature of American entertainment.

“`Fosse/Verdon, the highly anticipated mini series from FX Networks and Fox21 Television Studios,  is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th at 10p on FX. Get an exclusive sneak peek into the fascinating careers of Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams)  in an exhibition of clothing from the show, designed by Costume Designers Guild Award nominated designer Melissa Toth,  and rare archival video of performances by the artists from the Paley Archive.  Only at Paley Center for MediaBOB FOSSE / GWEN VERDON –>

“`It runs through April 28th. The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles is located at
465 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The exhibition is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Jan Michael Vincent…

March 9th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Jan Michael Vincent was a boyish looking actor, who co-starred with Hollywood’s top stars of the 1970s. For a time, he traveled the globe as a surfer. He is best known for his starring turn on television’s Airwolf.

“`After his tour of duty in California’s Army National Guard, Vincent turned to acting. He found early success in television, guest-starring on Dragnet, Bonanza, and Lassie. Though enjoying a stable film career, Jan revisited the small screen, appearing in Dan August, Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby M.D., Police Story, Hotel and Nash Bridges. He was also memorable in Herman Wouk’s adapted mini-series, The Winds of War, which also starred Robert Mitchum and Ali MacGraw. He received Golden Globes attention for his role.     JAN MICHAEL VINCENT –>

“`In cinema, Vincent co-starred in The Undefeated, The Mechanic, Going Home (another Golden Globes nomination), The World’s Greatest Athlete, Bite the Bullet, White Line Fever, Baby Blue Marine, Big Wednesday, and Baby Blue Marine. He shared the screen with John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Charles Bronson,  Tim Conway, Gary Busey, Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Candice Bergen, Burt Reynolds, and Sally Field.

“`Throughout his career, Vincent suffered from substance-abuse issues. In 2014, his right leg was amputated due to a blood infection.

“`Jan Michael Vincent was seventy-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Shawshank Reunion…

March 7th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`This year celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption, which movie buffs have adored since its 1994 release. It was filmed on location around Mansfield, Ohio. On August 16th – 18th, fans are invited to join cast members and other Shawshank diehards in Mansfield to immerse themselves with the film’s iconic characters, sets, and history.

“`Many actors from the movie will be in attendance, offering visitors the chance to meet their favorite Shawshank characters in person, including Bob Gunton, William Sadler, and Mark Rolston. Additional guests, events and features are being added as details are finalized.

“`The Shawshank Redemption anniversary will be commemorated with hosting tours and events at over a dozen original film sites throughout Mansfield. First on everyone’s list is the Ohio State Reformatory, which was featured in the movie as Shawshank State Prison. On the Hollywood Prison Tour, guests will go everywhere, from inside Warden Norton’s office to Andy Dufresne’s escape tunnel. Visitors are also invited to travel the self-guided Shawshank Trail driving tour as they visit even more related filming sites.

“`On Friday night, the flick will be screened at the historic  Renaissance Theatre, where the movie premiered in 1994. Saturday afternoon, actors are available for autographs at the Ohio State Reformatory, followed by  The Exclusive Shawshank Reception cocktail party. The fifth annual Shawshank Hustle 7k family fun race also takes place on Saturday. The race features a route with filming sites, T-shirt, custom medal, food, music, and more.

“`Mansfield is home to a wealth of unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as visiting the working farm where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Friendly Skies…

March 5th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Because of chants to alter the name of John Wayne Airport in Southern California, the late actor’s son has rejected the intent of statements published in a Playboy Magazine interview from the 1970s. Ethan surmised on  CNN’s Smerconish that people should never let comments made almost fifty years ago define us. Ethan added the remarks were taken out of context. JOHN WAYNE ->

“`The younger Wayne was clearly frustrated by adverse publicity this resurfaced interview has caused. But, he did appreciate host Michael Smerconish’s  approach in presenting the interview in its entirety,  as opposed to a mere clip of it.

“`The newly resurfaced interview created an uproar on Twitter. The quote causing the most consternation:

We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

“`The Duke clearly put himself in harms way. Oh, how the high and the mighty have fallen…

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Here is the Score…

February 28th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Andre Previn was a pianist, composer and conductor whose broad reach took in the worlds of Hollywood, jazz and classical music. He won Oscars for work on Gigi, Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady, and Irma La Douce. And one of his ex-wives was Mia Farrow.                  ANDRE PREVIN –>

“`Previn was a music prodigy, and whose family escaped Nazi Germany. As a teenager, he found work as a composer and arranger in Hollywood, mostly at MGM. Andre earned his first movie credit as music director in She’s for Me in 1943.  Many of his scoring assignments were spent on lesser films. During this formative time, he continued to explore jazz.

“`After gaining notoriety in Hollywood (he received thirteen  Academy Award nominations), Previn abandoned tinsel town for a career as a classical conductor. Andre was named musical director of the Houston Symphony in 1967, and went on to lead such renowned orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London’s Royal Philharmonic. Previn also turned away from jazz, because he feared it would diminish his credibility with classical musicians.

“`In 1958, Andre earned his first Grammys for the soundtrack for Gigi. Two years later, he received a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance for selections from West Side Story. Other noted films he scored, included Pepe, Elmer Gantry, and Two For the Seesaw.

“`In 1977 he became an Honorary Member of Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed KBE, an honorary knighthood, by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996. Previn also received Kennedy Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award with Farrow reading a tribute at the televised show.

“`Andre Previn was 89.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Scripted Exit…

February 26th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Samuel French Film and Theatre Bookshop on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood will shut down on March 31st. The Samuel French collection of acting edition play scripts and musical libretti will continue to be available online. Upon closure of the shop, the company will donate scripts and materials from the bookstore to local libraries and theater and educational institutions.

“`The store’s sales have steadily declined in the last decade, and currently, eighty percent of Samuel French’s retail sales are made online. The initial California bookstore opened in Los Angeles in 1929; its current location opened in 1947. A smaller bookshop in Studio City also operated from 1986 to 2012.

“`Throughout its history, Samuel French has had bookstores in New York City, London, Boston (Baker’s Plays) and Toronto. The bookshop in London’s  Royal Court Theatre will stay open and celebrate its first anniversary next month.

“`This is the end of an era…

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Visit to Makara…

February 25th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Join me this Wednesday at 7p for my popular Forgotten Hollywood oral presentation at the Makara Center for the Arts in Santa Ana. I will also sign copies of my award-winning book series.

“`Makara Center for the Arts opened in January, 2016, the brainchild of Marytza K. Rubio, a writer raised in Santa Ana. After working at art school libraries and traveling throughout South America, Marytza envisioned creating an inclusive space for readers, writers, artists, and other unconventional thinkers.

“`This library and art center is a creative hub for  workshops, performances, discussions, and other programs that encompass a global perspective of arts and culture. Makara provides its neighbors with opportunities to explore their curiosity and expand their imagination.

“`Makara Center for the Arts is located at 811 Main St. in Santa Ana. For more information, cut-and-paste the link below:

https://www.makaracenterarts.org/calendar1

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“`The Public Media Group of Southern California, formed by the merger of KCET and PBS SoCal, announced that KCET Originals series are now accessible for streaming on the free PBS Video app, expanding the availability of these diverse, award-winning programs regionally and nationally.

“`Viewers can stream the KCET Originals lineup from multiple devices in accordance with their commitment to bring viewers more of what you love and showcase the best in acclaimed, local content together with beloved programs from PBS. Folks can personalize their PBS experience by getting access to their favorite KCET Originals shows, a watchlist, and their viewing history.

“`The latest KCET Originals shows are now available to stream on mobile or tablet devices by downloading the free PBS Video app from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. While at home, fans can download the app straight to ROKU, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV. Viewers can also stream their favorite KCET Originals programs directly on their desktop at KCET.org and pbssocal.org.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Anchor’s Aweigh…

February 23rd, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Director Stanley Donen contributed to the enhancement of the Hollywood musical and he gave us indelible images in cinema of the 1940s and 1950s. Donen, who often teamed with Gene Kelly, but also directed Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire. He was one of the last survivors of the era. His first directing assignment was the fabulous On the Town.

“`A product of Columbia, South Carolina, Donen often went to the movies, especially the ones with Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He enrolled in tap dancing classes in his teens and started his show business career as a performer, dancing in the initial Broadway production of  Pal Joey. The title role was played by Kelly, and the show’s success propelled the hoofer into films.

                     GENE KELLY    STANLEY DONEN

“`Donen received his Hollywood break when Kelly got him a job setting up the dance routines in 1944s Cover Girl. Stanley worked on choreography for such films as Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Kissing Bandit.  He was part of the unit behind such memorable scenes as Kelly dancing with Jerry the mouse in Anchors Aweigh, Astaire’s gravity-defying number across the ceiling in Royal Wedding, and Kelly ecstatically splashing around as he performs the title number in Singin’ in the Rain. In the latter, he was credited as a co-director of the production with Kelly. Infamously, Gene was hard to work with. Stanley parted ways with the actor after the completion of It’s Always Fair Weather.

“`Other musical assignments included Damn Yankees, Seven Brides for Seven BrothersThe Pajama Game, and Funny Face. He transitioned to wry comedy, directing Indiscreet and Charade.

“`The filmmaker never received a competitive Oscar nomination and waited until 1998 for an honorary award, presented to him by Martin Scorsese. During his acceptance speech, Stanley explained how to make a musical:  Bring in songwriters like Adolph Green and Betty Comden, and performers like Kelly or Astaire or Sinatra. Then stay the hell out of the way!

“`Stanley Donen was 94.

Until next time>                               “never forget’

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fight to the Finish…

February 19th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`David Horowitz created Fight Back!, the syndicated program that made him the most familiar consumer reporter in the United States. Before his celebrated program,  David had been a local advocate for consumer rights on KNBC in Los Angeles, a stint that started in the civic-minded 1970s.                                 DAVID HOROWITZ –>

“`Fight Back! With David Horowitz won multiple Emmys and a huge audience; he investigated product defects, tested advertising claims, and confronted companies with customer complaints. At its peak, the program was syndicated on dozens of television stations across the country.

“`His approach was criticized by a few consumer advocates and reporters as being concerned with showmanship, He appeared on episodes of Silver Spoons, ALF, The Golden Girls, and Saved by the Bell. Dave was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. He also made regular appearances on NBC’s Today show, did radio commentaries, and had a newspaper column.

“`David Horowitz was 81.

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“`Don Newcombe became the third African American to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He garnered fine success as a pitcher, earning accolades as the Rookie of the Year and as an MVP. He also won the first Cy Young Award. After retiring, Newcombe was retained by the team as the Director of Community Affairs. In the 1960s, Don was a Civil Rights advocate, and a confidante to Martin Luther King Jr.

“`Don Newcombe (right) was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Beyond the Red Carpet Pt. 2…

February 15th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The lovely and talented Francine Brokaw squeezed another thirty minutes from me, as we chatted about priceless memories from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It is the second half of this wonderful conversation on Beyond the Red Carpet.

“`Please afford me the moment to personally thank Francine for this delightful back-and-forth.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Oscars…

February 14th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`This year’s Academy Awards  telecast has been blemished by a couple of public-relations disasters and missteps. A number of actors and behind-the-scenes artisans have voiced their outrage over decisions, including temporary inclusion of a popular movie category; the Kevin Hart-hosting debacle; and recently, the scheduled tape delay of four categories from the live portion of the telecast (notably cinematography and editing).

“`Controversy has surrounded Oscars ceremonies throughout its storied history. One incident come to mind.

~ 1953 Telecast – It was the first time the annual awards event was televised. The marriage of motion picture and television was a tenuous relationship, with cinematic moguls fearing the small screen could depress theater ticket sales.  Plus, movie stars thumbed their noses at this upstart medium they considered inferior.

“`And filmmakers started fingering alleged Communists in the industry to the Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee. Screenwriters were particularly vulnerable to red-scare tactics. The accused were ostracized and banned by the studios for a decade.

“`The clear Oscar favorite in 1952 was High Noon, which is one of the greatest Westerns ever made, and a timely sagebrush parable warning against the Joseph McCarthy paranoia that swept the industry. Its screenwriter, Carl Foreman, was one of the Hollywood Ten (the unfriendly witnesses jailed for a refusal to name names in testimonies before HUAC. At the height of the Hollywood blacklist, even Gary Cooper was slurred for starring in the film and voicing support for Foreman. Cooper withdrew his solidarity and the film community rallied and gave him a Best Actor statuette.

“`No one represented establishment Hollywood more than virulently anti-Communist Cecil B. DeMille. At the 1953 ceremony, DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth was named movie’s best of the year. Hollywood historians have generally agreed that this was Oscar’s cheesiest blunder. Instead, High Noon could have lost to respected productions that year such as The Quiet Man, Singing in the Rain, or The Bad and the Beautiful.

“`A couple of side notes…

  • In 1957, a blacklisted screenwriter won an Oscar under an alias (Dalton Trumbo with the pseudonym of Robert Rich).  He was finally awarded that statuette for The Brave One in 1975, a year before his death.
  • Charlie Chaplin, a target of McCarthy, was denied re-entry to the United States in 1952 for his left-wing leanings. His movie Limelight would not be released for twenty years. At that time, Chaplin received a competitive Oscar for Best Score. He had been invited back to the United States the year before to receive an honorary Oscar.
  • Director Howard Hawks and John Wayne challenged the notion of the parable presented in High Noon with the production of Rio Bravo in 1959.

“`I anticipate a fallout from the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Royal Honor…

February 11th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The acclaimed film editor Thelma Schoonmaker was honored with the BAFTA Fellowship for a career that has spanned over fifty years. The three-time Oscar winner, hailed as the queen of the cutting room, has made twenty-three movies with Martin Scorsese, winning statues for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed. Over the years, she has been nominated for nine BAFTA Awards. She came onto the scene while working on the landmark documentary  Woodstock in 1970.

“`This Fellowship and British cinema are very dear to Schoonmaker’s soul; her late husband was Michael Powell, a giant of British film-making and a recipient of the BAFTA Fellowship in 1981. Since his passing in 1990, Thelma spends much of her time celebrating and educating people about the incredible work of Powell and his collaborative partner Emeric Pressburger. She has worked tirelessly with Scorsese to preserve her late husband’s films. Both delivered iconic productions, including The Red ShoesBlack Narcissus, and A Matter of Life and Death.

 

          MICHAEL POWELL      THELMA SCHOONMAKER

“`Powell developed a cult following during the 1970s and 1980s because of a series of global retrospectives. At the time of his passing, he and Pressburger were considered as one of the foremost movie partnerships of all time. Powell is often cited with Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean as Great Britain’s most influential directors.

“`The Duke of Cambridge and Cate Blanchett honored Schoonmaker at the BAFTA program held at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Scorsese offered tribute in a video clip. Later this week, Thelma will continue to work with her friend on their next collaboration, The Irishman, due out later this year. It is a Netflix project starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

“`When not working on a Scorsese project, Thelma Schoonmaker will continue to be a spark to cinema’s Golden Age.

Until next time>                               “never forget”