“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bye Bye Consent Decrees…

August 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`A federal judge has approved the Department of Justice’s efforts to end Paramount Consent Decrees; seventy-year-old court orders that prevented film studios from engaging in a variety of anti-competitive behaviors, including ownership of movie theaters. The termination of these Decrees were part of  Department of Justice’s review of legacy antitrust judgments that dated back to the 1890s and has resulted in the termination of nearly eight-hundred perpetual decrees.

“`Motion picture distributors that were not subject to the Decrees have entered the market since the 1940s; most significantly, Walt Disney Company, Lionsgate, Focus Features, Roadside Attractions, and STX Entertainment. Plus, no internet streaming company  — Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and others — that produce and distribute films are subject to the Decrees. The remaining defendants were at a disadvantage, and subject to legal constraints that do not apply to their competitors.

“`Few in 2020 are thinking it is a good idea to get into the movie theater business. Domestic attendance was already on the decline, even before COVID-19 forced most theaters to close.

“`Netflix and Amazon had shown some interest in owning theaters before this. Amazon was reportedly in the running to purchase  Landmark Theatres, and rumors that it might acquire AMC made the theater chain’s stock more valuable earlier this year.  The acquisition fell apart after AMC stabilized their finances. Netflix signed a long-term lease for New York City’s Paris Theatre last year, and it may have been interested in the  Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. These potential acquisitions would provide streaming service distribution of movies in theaters allowing the productions to then qualify for Academy Award consideration.

“`This court ruling could spell the end of the traditional movie theater chain. The CoronaVirus may have additionally contributed to the eventual demise of how we watch cinema.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Wilford…

August 1st, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Wilford Brimley was a soft-spoken actor and a television spokesperson for the Quaker Oats Company. He also advocated for diabetes education and appeared in commercials for Liberty Medical.

“`After serving in the Marines and doing a variety of jobs, including ranch hand and wrangler, Brimley eventually established himself as a fine supporting player. He worked as a bodyguard for Howard Hughes and started shoeing horses in film and television. Brimley began acting in the 1960s as a riding extra in Westerns and as a stunt man at the urging of his friend, Robert Duvall.

“`Brimley’s onscreen breakthrough came when cast in the popular 1970s television series The Waltons; he made seven appearances between 1974 and 1977. His first credited feature film performance was in The China Syndrome, followed by an appearance in Absence of Malice and The Natural. Duvall was instrumental in securing for him for Tender Mercies.

WILFORD BRIMLEY

“`Other cinematic roles include The Electric Horseman, Brubaker, The Thing, Cocoon, My Fellow Americans, and The Firm. On television, he guest-starred in Walker Texas Ranger and Seinfeld.

“`Wilford Brimley was eighty-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Alan Parker Found Fame…

July 31st, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Alan Parker was an English filmmaker. His early career was spent as a copywriter and director of television advertisements. After ten years of filming commercials, many of which won awards for creativity, Alan began screenwriting and directing motion pictures. ALAN PARKER ->

“`Parker credited his years writing and directing adverts for his later success as a movie director. His first feature, Bugsy Malone, was a parody of early American gangster films and musicals, but with only child actors. His career took off after its release.

“`His prestigious cinematic resume include  Fame, Midnight Express, Pink Floyd – The Wall, Birdy, Mississippi’s Burning, Shoot the Moon, The Commitments, The Life of David Gale, and the screen adaptation of Evita. Along the way, Parker was nominated for eight BAFTA awards, three Golden Globes, and two Oscars.

“`Parker also championed Britain’s film industry, serving as chairman of the  British Film Institute and the U. K. Film Council. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 Birthday Honours and Knight Bachelor in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to the film industry.

“`Sir Alan Parker was seventy-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A TCM Summer…

July 29th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`TCM’s Summer Under the Stars starts this Saturday. John Coleman and Art Kirsch have invited me to Celebrating Act 2 to discuss some of the lineup.

“`On August 23rd, Summer Under the Stars celebrates the film career of Olivia de Havilland; a fitting tribute, indeed!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hollywood’s Heiress…

July 27th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Olivia de Havilland was one of the finest actresses that walked the planet, and the scrappy fighter that challenged Warner Brothers in an effort provide more leverage for every actor that followed. She is best remembered for her roles in The Adventures of Robin Hood, and the final one living from Gone with the Wind.  Her sibling was the superb Joan Fontaine.

“`De Havilland was born in Tokyo on July 1, 1916, the daughter of a British patent attorney. While preparing for a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she traveled to Hollywood to see Max Reinhardt’s rehearsals of the cinematic comedy.  Warner Brothers wanted stage actors for their lavish 1935 production and they chose Olivia to co-star with Mickey Rooney.

“`De Havilland signed a seven-year contract with the studio and she went on to make Captain Blood, Dodge City, and six other films with Errol Flynn.  Opposite the dashing actor, she was typecast as an ingénue in period productions, including  The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Anthony Adverse, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.

“`Her desire to secure Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone with the Wind was singular, since every other actress in Hollywood wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara. Her quiet dignity coincided with 1930s perceptions of the Antebellum South making Olivia the front-runner for the part. However, Jack Warner refused to lend her out to David O Selznick. It was Warner’s wife that intervened and convinced the film mogul to change his mind. A nominee for Best Supporting Actress, De Havilland lost the statuette to Hattie McDaniel.

“`After fulfilling her seven-year agreement in 1943, de Havilland had six months added to her contract for the times she had been suspended. At the time, studios had adopted the position that California law allowed them to suspend contract players for rejecting roles. Time could be added for actors not working during a suspension. A few attempted to challenge this practice, including Bette Davis, who mounted an unsuccessful lawsuit against Jack Warner in the 1930s.

“`She  filed suit against the studio in California Superior Court seeking declaratory judgement that she was no longer bound by her contract. A little over a year later, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District ruled in her favor. Labor Code Section 2855 is still known today as the De Havilland Law. She was free to make movies with meatier opportunities after being blacklisted for two years by all studios in Hollywood.

“`De Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine are the only siblings to win Academy Awards in a lead acting category.  Fontaine was jealous of her sister’s affection with their mother. When Joan won a 1942 Oscar for Suspicion, Olivia refused to offer her congratulations.  The feud lasted until the passing of Fontaine in 2013.

“`Once free to offer a stronger impression on screen, de Havilland delivered with a series of mature award-winning performances in To Each His Own and The Heiress; and The Dark MirrorThe Snake Pit, My Cousin Rachel and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.

“`She had lived in Paris since 1953. She moved to the City of Lights at the insistence of her late French former husband, and found zero reason to return to the United States. Decades earlier, de Havilland dated Howard Hughes, James Stewart, and John Huston.  Though very close, she considered Errol Flynn her off-screen brother.

“`In June 2017, a month prior to her 101st birthday, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours  for services to drama by Queen Elizabeth II. She is the oldest woman ever to receive the honor. On the day before her 101st birthday, de Havilland filed a lawsuit against FX Networks and producer Ryan Murphy for inaccurately portraying her, and using her likeness, without permission in Feud: Bette and Joan. She lost the case and a subsequent appeal. But her last public act of defiance cemented her legacy as a warrior.        OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND –>

“`After celebrating her birthday earlier in the month, the majestic Olivia de Havilland was 104.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering John Saxon…

July 26th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`John Saxon was an actor who worked on over two hundred projects during a span of sixty years. Saxon was known for appearances in westerns and horror movies, often playing police officers and detectives. He was also well known in martial arts circles; karate and kung fu his specialties.       JOHN SAXON —>

“`Saxon studied acting with drama coach Stella Adler. He began acting in films during the mid-1950s, playing teenage roles.  He eventually signed a contract with Universal Studios in April 1954.

“`His cinematic roles included It Should Happen to You, A Star is Born, The Unforgiven, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Joe Kidd, Enter the Dragon, Raid on Entebbe and several entries in the Nightmare on Elm Street series of movies.  On television, he guest-starred in Gunsmoke, Dr. Kildare, The Time Tunnel, Bonanza, Ironside, Starsky and HutchThe Virginian, Night Gallery, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Six Million Dollar ManThe Streets of San Francisco, The Rockford Files, Fantasy Island, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Murder She Wrote, and Matlock.

“`John Saxon was eighty-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Simply Regis…

July 25th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Regis Philbin was a genial host of talk programs and game shows and he was always an open book about his private life while live on screen. His most lingering images are from Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. REGIS PHILBIN ->

“`Regis Philbin grew up in the New York borough of the Bronx. After leaving the Navy in 1955, he talked his way into a meeting with the head programmer at Southern California’s KCOP-TV. He found work parking cars, then progressed into work as a stagehand, newswriter, courier, and producer of a sports telecast. He also briefly served as a page on The Tonight Show.

“`In the early 1960s, KOGO-TV in San Diego began producing The Regis Philbin Show for a national audience.  The program of music and celebrity interviews was taped two weeks before each airing. It was canceled after four months.

“`In 1967, Philbin was hired as announcer and sidekick to comic Joey Bishop on his network show. When he heard that he was going to be fired because of poor ratings, Philbin tearfully announced he was leaving on July 12, 1968, walking off during a live broadcast. He returned three days later after letters of support poured in.

“`After eventually teaming with Kathie Lee, Philbin had finally entered America’s psyche in a big way.  Kelly Ripa would replace Kathie Lee in 2000 and the morning show enjoyed similar success.

“`Philbin’s work as a game-show host cemented his legacy. Forbes reported that two-thirds of ABC’s operating profit in 2000 was due to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He became a regular guest on the late-night talk program circuit, and often was used by David Letterman in his manic sketches.

“`Philbin worked over fifteen thousand hours, earning him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for most broadcast hours logged in by a television personality; the record previously held by Hugh Downs, who died a couple of weeks ago.

“`The disarming Regis Philbin was eighty-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Back to the Beach…

July 20th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 takes a trip to the beach!  John Coleman, Art Kirsch, and I discuss those great beach movies of the 1950s and 1960s that starred Sandra Dee, James Darren, Frankie Avalon, and Annette Funicello. Do not forget the sun tan lotion…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Freedom Rider…

July 17th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`John R. Lewis was a politician and civil rights leader. He was a United States Representative for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District,  and in his seventeenth term in the House, having served since 1987, and was the dean of Georgia’s congressional delegation.  He was one of the Big Six who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and played several roles in the Civil Rights movement to end legalized racial segregation.

“`In 1955, Lewis initially heard Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio. When the Montgomery Bus Boycott (led by King) began later that year, he followed the news about it. He met Rosa Parks when he was seventeen, and was introduced to King for the first time the following year.

“`In 1961, Lewis became one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders. It initiated pressure on the  federal government in enforcing the Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia declaring segregated interstate bus travel to be unconstitutional.  Freedom Rides also exposed the passivity of the government regarding violence against citizens of the nation who were simply acting in accordance with the law.  In the South, Lewis and other nonviolent  Freedom Riders were beaten by angry mobs, arrested at times and taken to jail.

“`As part of the March on Washington in 1963, and as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis addressed the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.

“` Lewis became nationally known during his prominent role in Selma to Montgomery marches when, on March 7, 1965 – which became known as Bloody Sunday –  Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led six hundred marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. They were met by Alabama State Troopers who ordered them to disperse. When the marchers stopped to pray, the police discharged tear gas and mounted troopers charged the protesters, beating them with night sticks. His skull was fractured, but Lewis escaped across the bridge to Brown Chapel, the movement’s headquarter church in Selma.  Before taken to the hospital, he appeared before the television cameras calling on Lyndon Johnson to intervene in Alabama.

“`In February, 2009, almost fifty years after being bloodied in a Greyhound station during a Freedom Ride, Lewis received an apology on national television from former Klansman Elwin Wilson.  In 2011, Lewis was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. He often referred to the president’s election as a down payment to the message offered by King during his March on Washington speech. His own story was chronicled in the movie, Selma.

“`Lewis also worked for fifteen years to gain approval for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As he often surmised:  Who’d have thunk it? 

“`John R. Lewis (above) was eighty.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Location Location Location…

July 15th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`If you ever wanted to own a piece of history, this may be a golden opportunity. A listing just went up for The Golden Girls home and it can be yours for the price of three million dollars.  You can own the place where it was filmed.

“`The four bedroom house is located in Brentwood (not Miami), which is a super exclusive locale. 245 North Saltair Ave.  in Southern California has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. You could live very comfortably.

“`It would be neat to tour, just in case you wanted to pick up a mortgage payment of thirteen thousand dollars a month and Home Owner Association fees of five hundred a month.

“`Their wicker furniture is not included and Pier One Imports has filed for bankruptcy. So, expect to decorate the house in your own image.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Come See About Me…

July 14th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`The Detroit building where Berry Gordy Jr. built his music empire reopened its doors to the public . The Motown Museum had been closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“`Gordy Jr. launched Motown in 1959. His late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former Hitsville headquarters in 1985. Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Mary Wells, and many others recorded hits there before Motown moved to California in 1972.

“`Before entering the building,  guests are asked to complete a health questionnaire and undergo a temperature check. Once inside, only ten visitors at a time are offered a guided tour of the historic building.  To help maintain the recommended social distance, record-shaped decals are scattered on the floor throughout the museum. Still photography, which had been forbidden inside the museum, is now permitted.

“`As expected, visitors are flocking to Hitsville U.S.A.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What About Bob…

July 10th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Big Boy is a restaurant chain where the mascot may be better known than the eatery itself. If you have never visited one of Big Boy’s seventy-plus locations, you certainly have seen the checker-clad kid who has been the face of the company since it was founded in the 1930s. But after all those years, Big Boy is finally getting a respite. Though the name will still be Big Boy, the company’s mascot will be a little girl:  Dolly.

 

“`Removing Bob is not a forced move. Rather, this change to a female logo is a pre-planned promotional idea tied to a new menu item… a chicken sandwich. It is an effort to compete in the ongoing Popeyes chicken sandwich wars, Whether this is a permanent change or just a promotional stunt is not entirely clear. McDonalds ran a similar campaign with Mac Tonight replacing Ronald McDonald in the 1980s.

“`In 1936, Bob Wian sold his prized DeSoto Roadster to buy a hamburger stand in Glendale, California. He named it Bob’s Pantry. One day, Bob sliced a bun into three pieces, added two hamburger patties, and the very first double-decker burger was born. It became so popular, he changed the name of his restaurant.

“`Dolly was originally introduced in Adventures of the Big Boy comic book series as Big Boy’s girlfriend. So, after a century of service, Bob is out. Is it trite to simply say:  Hello Dolly!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Work Work Work…

July 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`For the moment, things are shut down due to Covid 19. When will Hollywood productions be up and running?  Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I discuss the possibilities on another edition of Celebrating Act 2.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television Mainstay…

July 2nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Hugh Downs was a genial, versatile broadcaster who was one of television’s most familiar faces with over fifteen thousand hours on news, game, and talk shows. He was a host on NBC’s Today, the game show Concentration, and co-hosted ABC’s magazine show 20/20 with Barbara Walters.                          HUGH DOWNS –>

“`Downs began his broadcasting career as a twelve-dollar-a-week announcer on a small Ohio radio station. He was an announcer in Chicago, which was a television incubator in the 1950, for Kukla Fran and Ollie and Hawkins Falls, which was the small screen’s first soap opera. In 1954, he went to New York for The Home Show.

“`Downs became a bona fide television personality as Jack Paar’s announcer on The Tonight Show from mid-1957,  when he replaced Franklin Pangborn, until Paar’s sudden departure in 1962. Downs also appeared as a panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth and played himself in an episode of NBC’s sitcom Car 54 Where Are You?.

“`Downs was certified by Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for greatest number of hours on network commercial television, though he lost the record for most hours on all forms of television to Regis Philbin in 2004. Downs was one of the initial inductees into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

“`The ubiquitous Hugh Downs was ninety-nine.

We’re in touch… So, you be in touch…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Comedy Royalty…

June 30th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Carl Reiner was the versatile writer, actor, and director.  He was the dependable co-star to Sid Caesar, and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show and straight man to Mel Brooks 2000 Year Old Man comedy skit. One of his sons is Rob Reiner.

“`Reiner was born in the Bronx. After graduating from high school, he attended drama school, and then joined a small theater group. During World War II, he joined the Army and toured in GI variety shows for a year and a half. Carl later received stage roles, debuting on Broadway in Call Me Mister. He stayed busy on stage throughout the 1940s.

“`Reiner joined the classic comedy revue Your Show of Shows in 1950. He lent able support of Caesar. The comedian added his talents to a writing team that included Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart.

“`The Dick Van Dyke Show remains one of the most popular television series of all time and a model of ensemble playing, physical comedy. He was originally cast to star in the sitcom, but he and CBS decided that Van Dyke was the correct person to be the lead in the program.

“`Reiner’s movie roles include  Gidget Goes Hawaiian, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Russians are Coming The Russians are Coming, History of the World Pt. 1,  and the Oceans 11 series of films. He co-starred and directed The Comic, Oh God!, The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, and Summer School. On television, Reiner guest-starred in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Night Gallery, The Carol Burnett Show, Frasier, Mad About You, Two and a Half Men, and Hot in Cleveland.

“`His books include Enter Laughing, an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show. In 2000, he received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor. He was also inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

“`Carl Reiner (above) was ninety-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”