“Forgotten Hollywood”- East Bound and Down…

September 24th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The Eastbound and Down Burt Reynolds Memorial Convoy will line up September 30th at 12p in the Texarkana Convention Center parking lot. Advanced registration will not be required. Currently, there are over forty-eight big rigs expected.

“`If you wish to make the full run from Texarkana to Atlanta, you need to be available for the ten hour-planned route along I-20.  A map of planned stops will be distributed when the convoy leaves the lot.

“`You may arrive Saturday evening and park in the Convention Center lot. They have a total day of events planned with the Mayors’ Proclamation at noon that is completely free for CDL Drivers. Festivities include a performance by Canadian country group The Road Hammers, a comedy show, and three Burt Reynolds films that were chosen by truckers in a poll.

“`The planned route takes you on I-30 East to I-49 South to I-220 East to I-20 East. The final destination will be a truck stop in Atlanta.  It is a fitting event that is recognized by the city of Texarkana, Burt’s family and manager, the media, and the trucking industry.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rising Tide of Fear…

September 23rd, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Floodwaters have continued to rise on portions of Carolina rivers a full week after the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Wilmington, North Carolina, and other communities near the coast, are bracing for another surge of rising water. Levels along the Cape Fear River at Wilmington may approach record levels.

“`Cape Fear celebrated its name especially after the scope of damage caused from flooding. An earlier reason for infamous attention of the aptly named area is due to a pair of movies, whose backdrop takes place in the coastal North Carolina community.

“`The original thriller was a 1962 motion picture that starred Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, and Martin Balsam. Alfred Hitchcock was slated to direct the film, but quit over a dispute. It retained much of Hitchcock’s style to production, including unusual lighting angles, an eerie music score by Bernard Herrmann, and subtle hints rather than graphic depictions. Much of the violent overtones takes place on a houseboat along Cape Fear.

   

“`The 1991 remake starred Robert DeNiro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, and Juliette Lewis. This was originally developed by Steven Spielberg, but he gave the assignment to Martin Scorsese. In return, Scorsese gave up the opportunity to direct Schindler’s List. Again, Hitchcock’s techniques were used; plus, Elmer Bernstein updated Herrmann’s score. The opening credits were designed by Hitchcock collaborator Saul Bass.  Peck, Mitchum, and Balsam had brief cameos in the reboot.

“`Meanwhile,  as crests continue to travel downstream along the major rivers in the eastern part of the Carolinas into next week, unprotected areas may remain flooded until the end of September or early October. The horror continues along Cape Fear…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Contact High…

September 19th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Las Vegas’ newest attraction is a museum celebrating all things cannabis. Nobody is allowed to light up at Cannabition when it opens due to Nevada’s ban on public consumption of pot. It will welcome its initial visitors fifteen months after adults in Nevada began buying recreational marijuana legally, with sales far exceeding state projections.

   

“`The museum will work to reduce the stigma of marijuana use, and target gambling-resistant young adults to Sin City.  The facility is located in Las Vegas’ downtown entertainment district. While not the Smithsonian of ganja, it has some educational components.

“`Many of the facility’s exhibits are sponsored by cannabis companies, with logos prominently displayed. Expect to see television stars, models and local entertainers in attendance.

“`Only adults twenty-one and older will be allowed at Cannabition. The tour is designed to last up to an hour. A note of caution… Your visit may lead to you getting the munchies.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Come On Let’s Go…

September 18th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Bob Morales was twenty-one years old when his famous younger brother, Ritchie Valens, died in a an airplane crash. The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer was an iconic member of the Chicano rock movement with hits, such as La Bamba, Come On Let’s Go, Donna, and We Belong Together.

“`The 1987 movie, La Bamba, referenced the brother’s relationship, with Esai Morales portraying the older sibling with inner demons. Bob had issues viewing the production due to painful memories it ignited, including family loss (his brother and mother).    BOB MORALES –>

“`After his brother’s passing, Bob went on a downward spiral, turning to alcohol. His struggle with alcohol led him to a detox center. He later worked there as a substance abuse counselor. He also successfully beat prostate cancer.

“`Every day, he was asked about personal memories of his brother, and every day he cried from the encounter. Bob Morales was eighty-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bear Necessities…

September 17th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic is a new exhibition opening Saturday at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit addresses the fact that Winnie-the-Pooh is a global phenomenon.

“`This exhibit is divided into five themes examining how  A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard brought Winnie-the-Pooh to life in print. Pooh became a sensation.  The exhibit is compiled of almost two hundred original drawings, letters, photographs, and early editions on loan from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and other lenders. It is is wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

“`While the original Winnie-the-Pooh four-book series were published nearly a century ago, the narrative of a befuddled bear and his adventures with Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and Rabbit remains essential with families and youngsters.  The first, When We Were Very Young, was published in November, 1924; the last, House at Pooh Corner, came out in October, 1928.

“`Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic runs through January 6, 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golden Age of Radio…

September 14th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`If you are a big fan of the Golden Age of Radio, consider joining the Classic Radio Club. Now you can receive ten half-hour, brilliant sound-quality, classic radio shows mailed to your home on five CDs each month.

“`By joining the Classic Radio Club, they will personally choose the classic radio programs you will receive each month. Some of which have not been heard since they originally aired. Great episodes from Suspense, The Jack Benny Program, Inner SanctumLights Out,  Fibber McGee and Molly, Our Miss Brooks, The Shadow, Gunsmoke, Philip Marlowe, The Great Gildersleeve, Have Gun-Will Travel, Johnny DollarBurns and Allen, The Whistler, EscapeDimension X, The Life of Riley, Boston Blackie, and many more.

“`You will hear hundreds of stars, including Orson Welles, Barbara Stanwyck, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Basil Rathbone, Bob Hope, Cary Grant, Robert Young, Jack Webb, Vincent Price, Howard Duff, William Conrad, and more.

“`And the best part is you can now own the finest sound quality, remastered episodes with the original sponsor commercials.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Tropical Depression…

September 13th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`In 1935, MGM produced a spectacle, starring Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald, and Spencer Tracy, that re-imagined the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; an impressive climax to the movie. Louis B Mayer put the production on the fast-track, a response to RKO’s special effects masterpiece, King Kong.

“`Inspired by  San Francisco, Samuel Goldwyn brought in John Ford to direct The Hurricane, a love story prior to the arrival of a tropical cyclone in the South Pacific. The cast: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Raymond Massey, Mary Astor, Jerome Cowan and three actors featured in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series, Thomas Mitchell, C. Aubrey Smith and John Carradine. I had the distinct honor of meeting the late Layne Tom Jr., a child star in the flick, and a proud owner of my paperbacks. The score was written by Alfred Newman.

“`Critics characterized the film as one of the most thrilling spectacles the screen has provided, and the production received three  Academy Award nominations. Along with San Francisco and King Kong, The Hurricane completes the cinematic hat-trick that pioneered the special-effects genre of Hollywood productions.

“`My prayers to the Carolina folks in the path of Hurricane Florence.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Reynolds Wrap…

September 7th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Burt Reynolds was a film and television star known for his performances in Deliverance and Boogie Nights, and commercial hits such as Smokey and the Bandit.  He had an active off-screen love life, which included relationships with Loni Anderson, Dinah Shore, and Sally Field. And he had famously posed nude for Cosmopolitan and Playboy Magazine.

“`Born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised in Florida, he was an all-Southern Conference running back at Florida State University in the 1950s. Reynolds appeared headed to the NFL until a knee injury and an automobile accident ended his opportunity.  He dropped out of college and drifted to New York,  where he worked as a dock-hand, bouncer, bodyguard, and dish washer, before returning to Florida in 1957 to enroll in acting classes at Palm Beach Junior College.

“`Early theater roles included a performance in Mister Roberts. After moving to Hollywood, Burt found work as a stuntman. Steady television work led to recurring and starring roles in Gunsmoke and Dan August. He was also a frequent and irreverent guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He won an Emmy for his efforts on Evening Shade.

“`Reynolds inspired a wide range of critical acclaim and total scorn, popular success and box office bombs. He made a number of flicks, ranging from popcorn faves, such as The Best Little Whorehouse  in Texas,  Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), The Cannonball Run, to more serious productions like  The Longest Yard and The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. Burt was nominated for an Oscar for Boogie Nights, the Paul Thomas Anderson film about the porn industry. Burt was also a staple nominee for a series of Razzie AwardsBURT REYNOLDS ->

“`He would open the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre and a Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum, where he displayed his memorabilia and sometimes lectured to drama students.

“`Burt Reynolds was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Envelope Please…

September 6th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Actress Cicely Tyson and composer Lalo Schifrin are among the cinematic legends receiving the year’s honorary Oscar statuettes at the film academy’s Governors Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the honorees after a vote by the board of governors.

“`Tyson garnered one Oscar nod for the 1972 flick  Sounder. She was awarded an Emmy for her fabulous performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Motion Picture roles have included The Last Angry Man, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Help, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and The Help. On the small screen, she was cast in Roots.

   

CICELY TYSON                          LALO SCHIFRIN

“`Schifrin is a six-time nominee, who composed original scores for over one hundred movies, including Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, Kelly’s Heroes, and Dirty Harry. Lalo also penned the score for television programs, such as  Mannix, The Big Valley, Medical Center, Starsky and Hutch, and his most famous composition, Mission: Impossible.

“`The 10th annual Governors Awards will be held in Los Angeles on November 18th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oz Cold Case Crime Solved…

September 4th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Ruby slippers used in The Wizard of Oz that were stolen from a Minnesota museum, were recovered in a sting operation. These slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. They were taken in 2005 by somebody who went through a window and broke into a small display case. The shoes were insured for one million dollars.

“`The ruby slippers had been on loan to the Garland repository from Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw. Additional pairs that Garland wore in the movie are held by the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, the  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a private collector. These stolen slippers’ authenticity was verified when comparing them with those at the  Smithsonian Institute. They are made from a dozen materials, including plastic, wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin and glass. The ruby color comes from sequins. Plus, the bows of the shoes contain red glass beads.

“`This particular pair of slippers could be worth between millions of dollars. Before she died, Debbie Reynolds actively sought to purchase the shoes.

“`The F. B. I. has not arrested or charged anyone in the case. But they have a number of suspects and continue to investigate. As they unveiled these recovered slippers at a news conference, they asked anyone with information about the theft to contact them.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Next Door Neighbor…

August 30th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`While at Cinecon 54 in Hollywood,  I sat at the author’s table next to William Wellman Jr., son of the legendary director. He is a dutiful child, and he has spent the couple of years keeping the memory of his father’s legacy in tact.

“`Wild Bill Wellman had an iconic career, directing a number of movies during the Silent Era, including the motion picture that won the first Oscar for Best Picture in 1927, Wings. Other movie classics he would helm include  The Public Enemy, Night Nurse, Nothing Sacred, Beau Geste, A Star is BornRoxie Hart, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Story of G.I. Joe, Battleground, and The High and the Mighty.

“`Wellman Jr. spent most of his childhood around film celebrities: Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Carole Lombard, Frank Capra, Red Skelton, Jennifer Jones, Peter Lawford, Lana Turner, John Payne, and William Hopalong Cassidy Boyd. While still in his teens, he left Duke University for a career in the movies. His first girlfriend was Jane Fonda.

“`The actor is credited with 180 films and television shows, dozens of stage productions, and hundreds of commercials. He was cast in  Sayonara, How the West was WonThe Horse SoldiersThe Errand Boy, Sgt. RutledgeMacArthur and The Trial of Billy Jack. On the small screen, Wellman Jr. has appeared in Marcus Welby M.D.Twelve O’Clock High, The F.B.I.The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Brady Bunch.

“`He has written two books about his dad: The Man And His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture, and Wild Bill Wellman –  Hollywood Rebel. Bill Jr. has been a guest-host on TCM to introduce productions made by his father.

 

                                 WILLIAM WELLMAN JR.

“`And now,  I am grateful to announce William Wellman Jr. owns a personal copy of my latest work, Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. The paperback has been available for thirty-six hours, and a member of Hollywood royalty is the proud owner of my latest book. What a thrill!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cinecon is Back…

August 28th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The Labor Day weekend is fast approaching. It is time for my annual trek to  Cinecon 54. My annual pilgrimage to this wonderful film fest is an opportunity to catch up with cinephiles and friends who are devotees to classic motion pictures. Here are details about my visit:

CINECON 54

Loews Hotel (2nd Floor)

1755 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, CA

August 30th

11:30p – 3p

“`Come by and pick up copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. They make great holiday gifts, if you already have a copy.

“`ROAD TO FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY is my new paperback in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. It is available for purchase.  Pick up an autographed copy while at Cinecon 54!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What’s in a Name…

August 27th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`William Shakespeare once surmised in Romeo and Juliet: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Character names in cinema are one of the many delights when a scribe places pen to paper. Here are three iconic examples of screenplay creations with names that resonate in motion pictures…

~ ERIC VON ZIPPER – Beach Party series were a vehicle for Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and an acquired taste from the mind of Samuel Z. Arkoff at American International Pictures. These series of flicks that featured scantily-dressed all-American young adults, and collections of character actors put in dumb situations, including Buster Keaton, Don Rickles, Boris Karloff, Bob Cummings, Morey Amsterdam, Buddy Hackett,  Keenan Wynn, Paul Lynde,  and Mickey Rooney. Most successful of the cameos was Harvey Lembeck, a loony guy on screen. Plus, he was immensely talented.

“`He portrayed the head of a motorcycle gang who was the antithesis of the surfer heroes. The Von Zipper character was a parody of Marlon Brando’s role in The Wild One. Lembeck made these beach movies palatable.

~ PUSSY GALORE – James Bond films pushed the hedonistic envelope. The villain’s moll in  Goldfinger had a name that might cause one to blush when uttered. Honor Blackman assumed the role with confidence.  Her appearance coincided with The Beatles British Invasion and an end of youthful innocence after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“`Amazingly, Galore first was mentioned in the 1959 novel written by Ian Fleming. Easily, the most famous Bond Girl name, censors almost cut it from Goldfinger.

~ LIBERTY VALANCE – John Ford had a passion for the grandeur of frontier life.  In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the producer and director adapted the screenplay from a short story, with one major stroke… the characters were given splashy names, such as Ransom Stoddard, Tom Doniphon, Dutton Peabody, Link Appleyard, and Cassius Starbuckle.

“`Liberty Valance is the illustrious center of this sagebrush saga; the villain played by Lee Marvin. His character inspired a 1962 hit tune performed by Gene Pitney. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

~ ~ ~

“`Honorable mentions: Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn (Hermione Gingold in The Music Man), and  Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy).

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Odd Couple…

August 26th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Within the second half of the twentieth century, Neil Simon is American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright who chronicled mundane middle class issues and fears with humor and pathos. His list of credits is staggering.  The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, and his Brighton Beach Trilogy  were just a few of his productions dominating Broadway for decades. Neil was just as busy in film and television. Walter Matthau was a frequent actor who embodied the angst of a suburban life penned by Neil Simon (right).

“`Even before he launched his theater career, Neil was one of the famed stable of writers on Your Show of Shows for comedian Sid Caesar that also included Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, and Carl Reiner. He later wrote for The Phil Silvers Show in which the comedian portrayed the conniving Sgt. Bilko.

“`Simon grew dissatisfied with television writing and the network restrictions. He turned to Broadway as an attractive alternative. His first assignment was Come Blow Your Horn in 1961. The comedy ran for more than a year on Broadway.

“`His other memorable work included  Sweet Charity, Plaza Suite, Promises Promises, The Star-Spangled GirlThe Sunshine BoysThe Prisoner of Second Avenue, Biloxi Blues, Lost in Yonkers, and The Goodbye Girl. At one time, Simon had four productions simultaneously running in Broadway theaters. Many of the productions were adapted to the screen. His film-only work include Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, and The Slugger’s Wife. On television, The Odd Couple was a smash.

“`Neil won Emmys (Your Show of ShowsThe Phil Silvers Show); Tonys (The Odd Couple, Biloxi BluesLost in Yonkers); Golden Globe (The Goodbye Girl); Pulitzer Prize (Lost in Yonkers); and many Writer’s Guild Awards. Simon is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame and a Kennedy Center Honoree. His most recent accolade included his Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

“`Neil Simon was 91.

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

“`John McCain was the maverick of the senate for over three decades.  His ability to reach across the aisle made him a throwback senator, and his pet projects were campaign finance reform and foreign policy. Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden were among his closest friends in politics.  Two unsuccessful campaigns for president only netted a rise and the subsequent fall of Sarah Palin. One final courageous act was to defy a sitting president by upholding his vote to protect the Affordable Care Act.

“`A veteran, McCain was also a POW during the Vietnam war for six years. This experience shaped his patriotism throughout his life and career.

“`John McCain (right) was 81.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Champagne Wishes Caviar Dreams…

August 24th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Robin Leach’s narrative symbolized the excessive 1980s on television’s  Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams was his sign-off at the conclusion of each episode of his syndicated show’s decade-long run that began in 1984.

“`Leach’s career spanned six decades, and included stints with CNN, People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and Daily Mail, where he began as a writer in Britain. In the mid-1970s, Leach tried out the small screen as a regular contributor to AM Los Angeles, with hosts Regis Philbin and Sarah Purcell, and found his niche. Robin became a regular on morning news and entertainment shows practicing tabloid journalism that was light-hearted.  He often became friends with the celebrities he covered. He was destined for his own sort of fame and offers suddenly arrived.

“`In 1984, Leach landed Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. He mostly narrated the weekly program. The gaudy show became wildly popular, but never with critics. He became a pioneer in the creation of the modern reality show.

“`Robin made frequent appearances on the celebrity reality television circuit, hosting VH-1’s The Surreal Life: Fame Games, and appearing on the celebrity editions of Wife Swap and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He was among the founders of the Food Network, selling his equity for a big payday when the channel took off. He also wrote for the Las Vegas Sun, and most recently, for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“`Often imitated, Robin Leach was 76.

Until next time>                               “never forget”