“Forgotten Hollywood”- Do the Hustle…

July 14th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Politicos meet with foreign operatives to receive contributions that encourages the peddling of influence.  I am not writing about a presidential candidate’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager that recently met with Russian agents. I am referring to the very-real Abscam sting operation that took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“`The F.B.I.,  aided by the Justice Department, videotaped politicians accepting bribes from a fictitious Arab company in return for political favors. Over 30 political figures were investigated, and among those, six members of the  United States House of Representatives and one senator, were convicted. One congressman did not accept any bribes. John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, would remain a distinguished member of Congress for the remainder of his career.

“`The Abscam operation is dramatized in a 2013 movie production, American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell. It’s described as a fictionalization, rather than a straight adaptation. The film featured Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner.  It received ten Oscar nominations,  including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and, all four acting categories. It received zero Academy Awards.

“`When the investigation became public in the early 1980s, an ethical controversy focused on the use of the sting technique. Ultimately, all Abscam convictions were upheld on appeal; but, some judges criticized the tactics used, and lapses in F.B.I. and D.O.J. supervision. Americans supported the operation; others argued that Abscam was an entrapment scenario. Among the concerns expressed were the undercover agents’ involvement in illegal activity, the possibility of entrapping individuals,  the prospect of damaging reputations of innocent civilians, and the opportunity to undermine legitimate rights to privacy. Congressional concerns over the nature of sting operations still persist to this day.

“`I know of one president who might express his concerns about this process of investigation… But, I digress.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Poet’s Stamp of Approval…

July 12th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`In observance of the  200th birthday of the iconic Henry David Thoreau, the United States Postal Service is marking the occasion with a new postage stamp honoring the Walden and Civil Disobedience  writer, philosopher, and naturalist. The poet was born in Massachusetts, on July 12, 1817.

“`Fans are gathering at Walden Pond, where Thoreau lived and worked, to read aloud from Walden, and other classics. Concord Postmaster Ray White, and officials from the Thoreau Farm and Birthplace, will be on hand to dedicate the stamp. They say it will be in tribute to Thoreau’s personal example of simple living,  his criticism of materialism, and the timeless questions he raises about the place of the individual in society.

“`Last May, actor and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr. (above), a board member of Walden Woods Project,  was at a dedication of the Postal Service’s new Thoreau postage stamp at Walden Pond in Concord.

“`As Thoreau observed:  You must live in the present; launch yourself on every wave; find your eternity in each moment. For the present… Let us remember the eternal Henry David Thoreau.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- There Will Always Be Tara…

July 11th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The personal collection of Vivien Leigh, the Academy Award-winning actress, best known for her performance in Gone With the Wind, is going up for bidding at Sotheby’s London. Prior to the auction, taking place September 26th, you can currently view a curated selection from the collection until August 11th.

“`The collection, passed through Leigh’s family, includes her personal edition of Gone With the Wind, given to her by author Margaret Mitchell, and copy of the  Gone with the Wind script  (circa 1939). Her wig from A Streetcar Named Desire,  and a portrait of the movie star by Augustus John, are also up for grabs. Jewels worn by the actress will be on sale. VIVIEN LEIGH –>

“`A style icon of her time, Leigh was known for having glamorous wardrobe and exquisite jewelry.  Her private collection doesn’t disappoint. Each of the 250-plus lots are estimated to sell for between 100 to 100,000 pounds.

“`In 2013, Leigh’s grandchildren sold her archive, including correspondence, photographs, and awards, to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum for an undisclosed sum.

“`A full exhibition of all lots in the sale opens September 22nd.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Frog in the Throat…

July 10th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“` Kermit the Frog is receiving a new voice. ABC News and the Hollywood Reporter are reporting: Steve Whitmire has left his role of giving life to the iconic Muppet. Whitmire has voiced the character since Muppets creator Jim Henson’s demise in 1990. A Muppets Studio spokesperson announced that longtime  Muppets performer Matt Vogel will be taking over the role. He has voiced such characters as Big Bird and The Count.

“`Kermit made his debut in the 1955 television program,  Sam and Friends, which locally aired in Washington, DC. Kermit was fashioned from an old coat that belonged to Henson’s mother, and was named after one of Henson’s childhood friends.

“`Representatives for Walt Disney Studios, which owns Muppets Studio, didn’t return a request for comment about the motivation behind the move; nor did Miss Piggy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sitting on Your Buns at Work…

July 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Calling recent college graduates, adventure-seekers, and hot dog mega-fans:  Oscar Mayer is looking for new official Hotdoggers to drive Wienermobiles around the country. The company is calling for qualified would-be Hotdoggers to submit their application for the chance to spend a full year on the road representing Oscar Mayer.

“`The perks include a competitive salary, plus expenses, benefits, and clothing; the chance to work in a traveling public relations firm; the experience in a self-managed position with many responsibilities; and, the company car guaranteed to turn heads. Imagine representing Oscar Mayer in the Wienermobile for radio and television appearances, grocery market and military visits, newspaper coverage, and charity events. You will also travel coast-to-coast.

“`This job is a brand ambassador position, and the company is looking for folks who not only will be happy to drive in a Wienermobile, but who understands how to responsibly represent the brand. Oscar Mayer is accepting applications from individuals who have a college BA or BS in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or Advertising; although this position isn’t limited to those degrees. You have until January 31, 2018 to apply. Drivers will hit the road next June.

“`Send your resume to:

Oscar Mayer
Attn: Hotdogger Position
560 E Verona Ave
Verona, WI 53593

or e-mail to wmrequest@kraftheinzcompany.com

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Did She or Didn’t She…

July 5th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`A newly discovered photograph suggests the iconic aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished eighty years ago on a round-the-world flight,  survived a crash in the Marshall Islands. The photo, found in an obscure file at the National Archives, shows a gal resembling Earhart, and a man who appears to be her navigator Fred Noonan on a dock.  This new discovery is featured in a History Channel special,  Amelia Earhart:  The Lost Evidence, airing this Sunday.

“`Independent analysts feel the photo appears legitimate and undoctored.  A former executive assistant director for the FBI, and an NBC News analyst, has studied the visual evidence, and is confident it shows the famed pilot and her navigator.

“`Earhart was last heard from on July 2, 1937, as she attempted to become the first female pilot to circumnavigate the Earth.  She was declared dead, two years later,  after the United States concluded she had crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Her remains were never found. But,  investigators believe they’ve found evidence that suggests Earhart and Noonan were blown off course, and survived the ordeal.  The investigative group behind the History special believes the photo may have been taken by someone who was spying for the United States on Japanese military activity in the Pacific.

“`The photo shows a Japanese ship, Koshu, towing a barge with something that appears to be 38-feet-long  — the same length as Earhart’s plane. For decades, locals have claimed they saw her plane crash, before she and Noonan were taken away. Native school kids insisted they saw Earhart in captivity. The story was even documented in postage stamps issued in the 1980s.

“`The theory is that the Koshu took her to Saipan, in the Mariana Islands,  and perished there under the custody of the Japanese. Authorities in Japan have told NBC News — they have no record of Earhart being in their custody.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Our National Anthem…

July 4th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Francis Scott Key, apparently better at lyrics than a melody, put his description of the battle of Fort McHenry to an old English tune that had a lot less to do with patriotism than it did with booze and women. This year marks the 100th season that it was played for a first time at a World Series game  — an event that helped cement it in the consciousness to become our  National Anthem. The Star Spangled Banner’s history is rooted in our National Pastime.

“`On September 5, 1918, newspapers were dominated by reports of  World War I, including the latest American dead. The World Series was in Chicago with the Cubs hosting Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox. The games were played at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox, instead of their new locale at Wrigley Field; called Weegham Park, at the time. But, in a city jittery over the war, the game that day attracted less than  20,000 fans, the smallest World Series crowd in years. Then, in the seventh inning, the band from the Navy training station, north of Chicago, started to play the Star-Spangled Banner.

“`The head of the Navy band at the time was the well known conductor and composer, John Philip Sousa. He was not at the game;  but, he had recently arranged the standardized arrangement that is still played today.  The 1918 World Series would have been one of the first times the band could test the newer version. Players took off their caps as they faced a flag that fluttered atop a pole in right field, as the twelve-piece band started to play. A couple of fans began to sing. Then others joined in; and when the last notes hit, a great volume of cheering rolled across the stadium. Not everybody thought what happened was a huge deal. Sports writer Ring Lardner wrote about it; but, only as a punch line at the end of his column.

“`It wasn’t until 1931 that Congress and President Herbert Hoover officially designated the song as the National Anthem. It wasn’t until the 1940s, during World War II, Major League teams started playing it every day.

“`And today, it is played at almost every American sporting event, from Little League to the Super Bowl to medal ceremonies at The Olympics. Happy Independence Day!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Disney is Walking the Plank…

July 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Disney officially announced there will be a major change in the  Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at both domestic parks. The ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland will no longer have the  redhead up for auction as Disney is looking to alter things so they’re more fitting to today’s times. The famous audio-animatronic will get a new look and a brand new role. She becomes a pirate in charge of the auction, instead of being in the auction.


“`The new scene shall display a group of pirates at an auction of surrendered goods from the people of the town. The redhead will auction the items. A banner that reads:  Auction, take a wench for a bride will be altered to Auction, Surrender yer loot. The original tableau has been a part of the attraction for as long as anyone can remember.

“`There are a number of alterations being made to  Disney Parks around the world; with new lands added, and old attractions getting makeovers. On July 24th, Pirates of the Caribbean is set to re-open in Disneyland Paris also with a few changes.  Captain Barbossa from the film franchise will be making his first appearance in the attraction, while audio-animatronics croon a number of new tunes from the movie.

“`And, the railway at Disneyland has recently been altered to accommodate the construction of the Star Wars Land.  Now, the train route skirts the edge of a shortened Rivers of America, along Big Thunder Trail, and makes a sharp left turn to head for Mickey’s Toontown Station in Fantasyland. The attraction opens to the public on July 29th

“`The bottom line… at Pirates of the Caribbean, pillaging remains acceptable; while human slave trade is considered a bridge too far.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Poignant Family Auction…

July 2nd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`For fans of the late mother-daughter duo of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, consider this your chance to own a once-in-a-lifetime artifact that was a part in their lives. Later in her life, Reynolds was well known for auctioning much of her MGM memorabilia.

“`Profiles in History, the popular auction house, has announced  1,500 of Fisher and Reynolds’ possessions will be sold in an authorized personal property auction on September 23rd.  This public event is being held in anticipation of their legendary compound being put on the market; located in the heart of Coldwater Canyon.

“`The auction house promises the items offered will be an extensive mix. They include Reynolds Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz; her original half-sheet movie poster of Singin’ in the Rain; Fisher’s life-size C-3PO; and her on-set chair used on Return of the Jedi.

“`Part of the proceeds of the auction will benefit two charities: The Thalians, founded by Reynolds in the 1950s to tackle mental-health stigmas; and the Jed Foundation, dedicated to suicide prevention.

“`Their legendary Hollywood estate property has a true Hollywood-pedigree. An original 1928 hacienda-style home rests on 3.5 lushly landscaped acres, and includes a long line of famous former owners, such as the Oscar-winning costume designer, Edith Head; Robert Armstrong, King Kong’s captor in the original film; and Bette Davis.

“`Own a celebrated piece of Hollywood history. Debbie would endorse this auction, if she were still with us.


“`Miriam Marx was an author, and the daughter of Groucho Marx. Besides working on her dad’s quiz show, You Bet Your Life, she appeared in a couple of Marx Brothers documentaries. Her book, Love Groucho: Letters from Groucho Marx to His Daughter Miriam, she chronicled her difficult relationship with Groucho, a battle against addictive substances,  and, eventual reconciliation with her father.                      GROUCHO / MIRIAM MARX –>

“`Miriam Marx was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another De Havilland Lawsuit…

July 1st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Olivia de Havilland is suing FX and producer Ryan Murphy,  over the unauthorized use of her identity in Feud:  Bette and Joan. The miniseries was about the off-screen rivalry between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford,  and it co-starred Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland;  a confidante of Davis, and narrator throughout the eight-episode production.

“`De Havilland, who resides in France, and today turns 101, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against  FX Networks, LLC and Ryan Murphy Productions on an unauthorized commercial use of Dame Olivia’s name and identity in the FX hit series,  according to her attorneys, Suzelle Smith and Don Howarth.  The suit accuses FX, and its partners, of appropriating de Havilland’s name without proper permission, using fictional dialogue; and placing her in a false light to sensationalize the series, and to promote their own businesses, while ignoring her interests, entirely. She is the only living person that was substantively portrayed in the mini-series.  OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND ->

“`De Havilland is no stranger to legal proceedings. In 1943, she filed a landmark lawsuit against Warner Brothers that resulted in the collapse of the binding long-term contract system, and put the  de Havilland Law on the books, as a matter of course. This decision remains a most significant and far-reaching legal ruling in Hollywood. It allowed contract actors to choose movie projects, and create their own production companies; Humphrey Bogart and Burt Lancaster would choose the latter career path.

“`Her team plans to file a motion, seeking an expedited trial date because of de Havilland’s age. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for emotional distress; damage to her reputation, and past and future economic losses; plus, an injunction barring the defendants from using her name or image in the series, or otherwise.

“`FX declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Until next time>                               “never forget”