“Forgotten Hollywood”- Making Our Dreams Come True…

December 18th, 2018

Manny P here…

“`Penny Marshall was the trailblazing director of big-screen comedies,  who starred in the top-rated sitcom Laverne and Shirley. Her older brother was filmmaker-producer Garry Marshall. For a brief time, she was married to Rob Reiner.

“`Born in the Bronx, she was perfection in Laverne and Shirley, among television’s top-rate hits for much of its seven-season 1976-1983 run. The nasal-voiced actress starred as Laverne DeFazio alongside Cindy Williams as a pair of blue-collar roommates working on the assembly line of a Milwaukee brewery.  A blue-collar setting totally resonated with middle America, and the sitcom inspired a creation of similar fare, including Roseanne and Home Improvement.

“`On television, Penny appeared in That Girl, The Odd Couple, Mork and MindyTaxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Happy Days (her first appearance as Laverne). This led to the highly-successful spinoff.

“`After directing a few episodes, Penny was given the chance to direct big screen productions. Her work was met with enormous success, with credits including Big, A League of Her Own, The Preacher’s Wife, and Awakenings; the latter movie earned her an Oscar nod for Best Director. It was only the second time a female filmmaker was honored with the accolade. Her collaborators included  Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Robin Williams, Madonna, Danny DeVito, Denzel Washington, Drew Barrymore, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.

“`Penny Marshall leaves a legacy of very approachable comedy. She was seventy-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Bambi Verdict…

December 17th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A Missouri poacher has been ordered by a judge to watch Disney’s animated production,  Bambi,  each month for a year after he was convicted of illegally hunting hundreds of deer. David Berry Jr. was arrested in August, along with two members of his family, for offing the animals, taking their heads, and discarding their bodies to rot. Viewings of the movie are to begin on December 23rd.

“`An investigation that spanned a number of states led to Berry Jr.’s arrest. He also has been sentenced to a four-month term in Barton County Prison for a firearms probation violation. David and his father had their hunting privileges revoked for life by the Missouri Conservation Commission. It is reportedly one of the biggest poaching cases in Missouri history.

“`The 1942 feature has a climactic scene in which a hunter kills the mother of the eponymous deer character — Bambi. The magic of Walt Disney is now punishment in the Show-Me state.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Sondra Locke…

December 14th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Actress and director Sondra Locke was nominated for an Oscar for her initial role in the cinematic adaptation of Carson McCullers novel — The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Locke also co-starred in six films with Clint Eastwood. She was his gal pal for a decade.

“`Sondra grew up in Tennessee, where she was employed at a radio station and starred in a handful of plays before winning a nationwide talent search in 1967. Quickly becoming a bankable screen star, she appeared in Willard. On television, she guest-starred in Night Gallery, The F. B. I., Cannon, Kung Fu and Barnaby Jones. Locke has also performed live in concert with Eddie Rabbitt and Tom Jones.                  SONDRA LOCKE –>

“`Sondra was best known for her parts in Clint Eastwood’s productions, such as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way But Loose, The Gauntlet, Sudden Impact and Bronco Billy. They broke up in 1989. She sued for palimony and then charged Eastwood with fraud. The lawsuit cited a film development deal he arranged for her was a sham to get her to drop the palimony suit. They settled for an undisclosed amount during jury deliberations in 1996. The next year, she released her memoir, The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey.

“`Sondra Locke was seventy-four.

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“`Nancy Wilson was a singer, and her career spanned over five decades. Cannonball Adderley guided her early career. Throughout the 1960s, she was a fixture on television, and even had her own show for a time on NBC. Popular on the variety show circuit, Wilson was also a good versatile actress, with guest spots on  Room 222, The F. B. I.,  Hawaii Five-O, and Police Story. On the big screen, she appeared in The Meteor Man. Throughout her career she was a Civil Rights activist.

“`Nancy Wilson, the consummate song-stylist, was eighty-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- LOC National Film Registry 2018…

December 12th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A great day for film buffs!  Both, the SAG Awards nominations and this year’s selections of the Library of Congress National Film Registry adds is their bill of fare. Twenty-five entrants include recent productions, such as Jurassic ParkBroadcast News, Brokeback Mountain  and The Shining. Noted motion pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Age include:

~ My Fair Lady –  Based on the sparkling stage musical (inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion), it arrived on the big screen in 1964, expertly delivered by director George Cukor. It earned him his only Oscar. This musical was met with controversy as Julie Andrews was passed over from her acclaimed stage performance,  and replaced with Audrey Hepburn. Marni Nixon was her singing voice, and critics fumed.  At the Academy Awards ceremonies, Hepburn was snubbed for a Best Actress nod,  and ironically, the overall winner was Andrews for her role in Mary Poppins. Rex Harrison was perfection as Professor Henry Higgins.

~ Bad Day at Black Rock – Director John Sturges highlights the western landscape to great advantage in this 1955 CinemaScope production. Formatted like High Noon, the action takes place in just one day. Spencer Tracy is magnificent, and ably supported by Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Dean Jagger. That year, Borgnine beat out Tracy for the Best Actor Oscar for his warm turn in Marty.

      

~ Hud – Based on Larry McMurtry’s debut novel, Horseman Pass By, this is the production that should have earned Paul Newman an Academy Award. Instead, he was overshadowed by the supporting talents of Melvyn Douglas, Brandon de Wilde, and especially, Patricia Neal. This 1963 motion picture is especially relevant in today’s cynical and narcissistic climate; the dark undercurrent to American optimism. It is definitely worth another viewing.

~ The Informer –  This marks the eleventh movie directed by John Ford to be named to the National Film Registry, the most of any director. The Informer placed him in the top echelon of American film directors and over the next twenty years he crafted numerous other classics, from the 1939 Stagecoach through the 1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. And he had a stable of dependable talent that would create some of cinema’s most indelible images.

      

~ Rebecca – What took so long for Alfred Hitchcock’s debut American production to make the list. Plus, this was David O. Selznick’s followup to Gone with the Wind. Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1940, it is stylish, suspenseful, and a classic. It stars Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and in top form, the evil Dame Judith Anderson, and was Daphne du Maurier’s most famous book.

~ Days of Wine and Roses – Director Blake Edwards pulls no punches in an uncompromising and bleak 1962 film. Henry Mancini composed the moving score, best remembered for the title song he and Johnny Mercer wrote. It also proved that Jack Lemmon was a fine dramatic actor.

“`Other Studio Era selections include  On the Town, The Lady from Shanghai, Cinderella, One-Eyed Jacks, and Leave Her to Heaven. TCM will spotlight some of the year’s additions this evening.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Place for Kirk…

December 11th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrated Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas was honored in the city in which he grew up on his 102nd birthday with the unveiling of a historic marker that will stand near his childhood home in Amsterdam, New York. Douglas was born December 9, 1916 to immigrant parents living at 46 Eagle St., which still stands as the last house on a dead end street.

   

“`Issur Danielovich (Kirk’s real name) rose from poverty to on screen prominence. As early as kindergarten, Kirk knew he wanted to be a performer. Starring in plays at Wilbur Lynch High School solidified his desire. After college and his service as a naval officer in World War II, he began his career that lead from Broadway to Hollywood,  and over ninety movies, as an actor, director, and producer. After a nearly fatal aviation accident and a stroke, he came to embrace his Jewish heritage later in is life.

“`A nephew and niece of Douglas attended the ceremony. The marker was funded by a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

“`On a personal note, my own father has celebrated his 80th birthday. I personally appreciate lives well-lived.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Melvin and Howard Hughes…

December 10th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Melvin Dummar was never given $156 million that eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes unexpectedly bequeathed for rescuing him on a desert road and driving him nearly three hours to Las Vegas in 1967. His story was depicted in a 1980 film: Melvin and Howard.

   

“`Dummar’s tale about finding an unshaved Hughes with long stringy locks and baggy clothes was as bizarre as the aviation and movie mogul and business tycoon who spent his last years in seclusion. Melvin maintained that he found Hughes in late December, 1967, face-down and bloody on a dirt road not far from a brothel near Lida, Nevada. Dunmar drove him nearly 190 miles to Las Vegas, gave him pocket change, and dropped him off behind the Sands Hotel.

“`The so-called Mormon will also named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a beneficiary of 1/16 share of the Hughes estate after he died in 1976. The will was addressed to the president of the Mormon church. Melvin steamed it open and read the contents before taking it to the church’s headquarters.

“`Jurors and judges decided he lied. An appeals court in 2008 affirmed a Nevada state court jury’s decision thirty years earlier that found the will was a fake.

“`Melvin Dummar was 74.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Wonderful Festival…

December 7th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The It’s a Wonderful Life Museum is the location of their annual holiday festival.

“`By the way, you can pick up a copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History at the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

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“`Two library repositories are now carrying  Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Several branches of the San Francisco Public Library and main branch of Glendale Library will make my latest work available for their patrons. Five total library systems now house this latest addition of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood” – Sphere of Influence…

December 3rd, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Researchers in Italy have declared The Wizard of Oz as the most influential movie ever made, with inspiration and referencing as their metric of influence. The research team came to their conclusion after analyzing more than 47,000 films across twenty-six genres using the online movie database IMDb as a source.

“`The results were printed in the journal Applied Network Science, and reveal the top twenty influential films were all made before 1980; perhaps unsurprising given that classic cinema has had time to make their mark. Star Wars and Psycho captured second and third place. Other iconic entries include Citizen Kane, Metropolis, Casablanca, Birth of a NationDr. Strangelove, and Gone with the Wind.

“`Other findings had Alfred Hitchcock at the top of the directors list, with Steven Spielberg in second. Influential male actors include Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Cruise. Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in many of the Jame Bond films, and Carrie Fisher were the winning female actors.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Ken Berry…

December 2nd, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Ken Berry was a likable actor, best known for starring roles in F-Troop, Mayberry R. F. D., and Mama’s Family. His live stage dance routines were rousing, and he was often compared to Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly.

“`Berry’s career began when he caught the attention of big band leader Horace Heidt, who asked the teen to join his traveling performance ensemble. Ken eventually joined the army and was under the command of Leonard Nimoy, who formed a military entertainment tour. This led to an appearance on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town just before he left the army.

“`Traveling to Hollywood, Berry caught the interest of Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures. At the latter studio, Berry took full advantage of the talent development program, and later, under the G. I. Bill of Rights, he took jazz dance, ballet, vocal and additional acting classes.

“`In 1956, after being released from Universal, Berry traveled to Las Vegas where he opened for Abbott and Costello in a stage act. A year later, he won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts contest. Ken had early success with a recurring role on Dr. Kildare.           KEN BERRY –>

“`Carole Burnett and Lucille Ball friendship helped Berry guest-star in many television shows, including Burke’s LawThe Ann Southern Show, The Lucy ShowHazelCombat!The Dick Van Dyke ShowRowan and Martin’s Laugh In, Medical Center, Fantasy Island, CHiPs, The Brady BunchThe Love Boat, and The Golden Girls. He was a frequent guest on many variety programs and game shows. His cinematic career was brief with notable parts in Two for the Seesaw and Herbie Rides Again. Ken lost a chance to play opposite Francis the Talking Mule to Mickey Rooney.

“`Ken Berry was 85.

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“`The Forgotten Hollywood Book Series has a new home at Broadway Video. It is located at 3401 East Broadway in Long Beach, CA. I invite you to pick up copies of my entire series of paperbacks.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Point of Light…

November 30th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`George H. W. Bush was the patriarch of a modern legislative dynasty. His political career included stints as a Congressman, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ambassador, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and President. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living former chief executive in history.  His eldest child served two terms in the White House, and his second son became a popular Governor in Florida. His father was a former Senator from Connecticut.

“`Serving a harrowing four years in the military during World War II, Bush returned to marry his sweetheart Barbara. After his service, George attended Yale University, and became the captain of his baseball team. Upon graduation, he went into the oil business.

“`His political resume is unsurpassed in its depth. The turning point in his legacy was when Ronald Reagan chose Bush as his running mate in the 1980 campaign for President. George served two terms as Vice President. He succeed Reagan as the forty-first President in 1988.

“`During his one term, Bush oversaw a pro-democracy struggle in China culminating with the grotesque massacre at Tiananmen Square; the dissolution of the Soviet Union precipitated by the destruction of the Berlin Wall; and the Gulf War campaign after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

“`President Bush attention to voluntary service as a way of solving some of America’s serious social problems. He used the thousand points of light theme to describe the power of citizens to solve community problems. In 1990, the Points of Light Foundation was created as the nonprofit organization in Washington to promote the spirit of volunteerism. He also facilitated the creation of the American Disabilities Act, a major civil rights effort.

“`He lost his bid for a second term to Bill Clinton. The two opponents eventually became close friends. Clinton often called the elder Bush during his term in office for advice and counsel. In post-presidency,  they together worked on humanitarian causes with an appropriate measure of civility.

“`In retirement, George lived to see his son become President, and another lose a bid in the primaries. He was a witness to the eventual fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And, he made the parachute jump from a helicopter at the age of ninety. On January 10, 2009, father and son, both former Presidents, were present at the commissioning of USS George H. W. Bush. Sadly, Bush outlived his childhood sweetheart and bride of seventy-three years. He was recently visited by Barack Obama, who stopped by just three days ago.

“`President George H. W. (Poppy) Bush (above) was ninety-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rita Returns…

November 28th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Rita Moreno recently announced that she will not only be starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, but she will also be an executive producer for the film. She will play the part of Valentina, a re-worked version of Doc, the owner of the corner store where Tony works.

“`The Puerto Rican actress captured the souls of audiences with her performance as Anita in the 1961 version of West Side Story, a role which landed her an Academy Award. Moreno is one of a handful of actresses to win a Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony.               RITA MORENO –>

“`Spielberg envisioned Rita Moreno’s major contribution to the West Side Story remake from the beginning.  He was moved by her performance as Anita in the original version. Still, Moreno remains surprised as she returns to a seminal moment; and even more shocked that she was included by the iconic producer / director.

“`This update of West Side Story, adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, will begin production next Summer. No word if Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris, or Richard Beymer will also be invited to participate.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Heavenly Peace…

November 27th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`One of the most famous Christmas carols was celebrated in honor of its  200th anniversary with a concert at the New York City church where Silent Night was initially sung in the United States, and where a priest was the first to publish an English translation of the Austrian carol. The performance of the carol was presented by Austria’s Kroll Family Singers.

“`Silent Night first debuted as a musical piece in December, 1818 with words by Joseph Mohr, and music by Franz Xaver Gruber, in Oberndorf, Austria.  In 1859, a priest at Trinity Church, John Freeman Young published an initial English translation of three verses of the carol. It has become one of the most recorded songs in the world, and it is regarded as a representative of Austria’s cultural heritage.

“`To mark the anniversary, Austrian tourism organizations put together a number of events in the country, including concert and exhibitions. The concert at Trinity — a historic church and tourist attraction that survived the destruction of the nearby World Trade Center in 2001 — was the only stateside event planned.  This performance was held by the Alexander Hamilton memorial in the churchyard.

“`A little perspective that compliments the upcoming yuletide season.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mama Mia…

November 26th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Bernardo Bertolucci was the Oscar-winning director whose groundbreaking movies, including Last Tango In Paris and The Last Emperor.  An iconic figure in Italian cinema, Bertolucci is the one Italian filmmaker to have won the Academy Award for Best Director.

“`Bernardo was born in 1941 to a prominent family in northern Italy. His father, Attilio Bertolucci, was a well-regarded poet. He was married to British screenwriter and director Clare Peploe. BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI ->

“`In a career that stretched back to the early 1960s, Bernardo became a key figure of the extraordinary Italian new wave, but made a successful transition to large-scale Hollywood productions. An early mentor was Pier-Paolo Pasolini. Bertolucci offered technical work on Sergio Leone’s epic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West.

“`Bernardo was recognized with an Oscar nomination in 1970 for Adapted Screenplay of The Conformist. Last Tango in Paris, a provocative 1973 flick starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, it became an initial X-rated production to screen in mainstream American theaters. His 1987 film, The Last Emperor swept up a total of nine Academy Awards, winning every nominated category.

“`The provocative Bernardo Bertolucci was seventy-seven.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Director Who Fell To Earth…

November 24th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Nicolas Roeg was a prominent British film director, known for making provocative movies, and working with rock icons Mick Jagger and David Bowie over a six-decade career. His work included Performance, Don’t Look Now, and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

NICOLAS ROEG

“`Born in London, Nicolas became a director after reaching acclaim as a cinematographer. He began his career as an editing apprentice in 1947. Most of his noted assignments came when Roeg was behind the camera such as Lawrence of Arabia, Far from the Madding Crowd, Dr. ZhivagoFahrenheit 451, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Casino Royale.

“`Roeg pioneered an idiosyncratic visual and narrative style, characterized by the dizzying use of disjointed and disorientating editing. He influenced future filmmakers, including Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh, and Danny Boyle.

“`Nicolas Roeg was ninety.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holiday Shopping Idea…

November 22nd, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Black Friday and Cyber Monday is approaching. Here is a great gift-giving idea for family and friends:  The Forgotten Hollywood Book Series!

      

“`Copy-and-paste the Amazon links to pick up a copy (or three)…

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948963086/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536759026&sr=8-1&keywords=road+to+forgotten+hollywood
http://www.amazon.com/Son-Forgotten-Hollywood-History/dp/1937454142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326436846&sr=1-1

“`The paperbacks feature fifty-six chapters intersecting Hollywood Golden Age history and Americana. If you love Turner Classic Movies, you will enjoy the Forgotten Hollywood series of books.

Until next time>                               “never forget”