“Forgotten Hollywood”- Michael Anderson’s Run…

April 29th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Michael Anderson was the British director who was behind  Around the World in 80 Days, and Logan’s Run. His movie career spanned over 60 years, and he would go on to make dozens of films.

“`Born in London in 1920 to a theatrical family, His great-aunt was silent film and stage actress, Mary Anderson.  He joined the British Army’s Royal Signal Corps, where he met actor Peter Ustinov. They collaborated in cinema after the war.     MICHAEL ANDERSON –>

“`Anderson became well known for his production of The Dam Busters. This real-life story of the invention of the bouncing bomb, they were designed to destroy German dams, and cripple the nation’s industry,  was the most successful British Film of the Year when released in 1955. Next month, it will screen at an event at the  Royal Albert Hall to mark the 75th anniversary of the  Royal Air Force operation. The movie was actually referenced in Star Wars:  A New Hope.

“`Anderson made a series of films set during wartime, including  The Yangtse Incident and  Operation Crossbow. He created the first cinematic adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, in 1956.

“`The same year, his adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days made with producer Michael Todd, and starring David Niven among an all-star cast, became a spectacle wowing filmgoers, and garnered five of eight Academy Awards. A production on a dynamic scale for the time, it broke records for the most camera set ups, sets, and costumes, as well as for the most people filmed in global locations (140 folks in 13 different countries) and for the largest distance traveled during production. The cast and extras totaled 68,894 persons, and 7,959 animals.

“`In 1976, he released Logan’s Run, a visionary science fiction work, starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter, set in a futuristic society. It made $25 million at the box office, plus was credited with turning around the fortunes of MGM,  which was in financial difficulties at the time. His son also appeared in the movie.

“`Over the years, Anderson directed a number of stars, including Alec Guinness, Laurence Olivier, and Gary Cooper in The Wreck of the Mary Deare, and his last film, The Naked Edge. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of Canada. He was the oldest living person to receive a Best Director Oscar.

“`Michael Anderson was 98.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Adventures of Kristin Nelson…

April 28th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Kristin Nelson was a painter, actress, and author. She was married to actor and singer Rick Nelson. Her siblings were Kelly and Mark Harmon, and her parents were football star Tom Harmon and Elyse Knox. Kristin had a recurring roll on Adam-12.   RICK AND KRISTIN NELSON —>

“`She joined the cast of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In April 1980, the couple bought Errol Flynn’s 1941 Mulholland Drive estate. Their extravagant lifestyle forced her husband to tour for long periods,  causing great pressure on the marriage. A long-fought divorce was finally granted before Rick Nelson’s death in an air-crash in 1985.

“`In 1988, she wed television producer Mark Tinker, who encouraged her to paint. Her brightly colored primitives were a favorite with Jacqueline Kennedy, Tyne Daly, Mia Farrow, and Dwight Yoakam, and they formed the outline of her coffee-table autobiography, Out of My Mind. Her work, which is widely acclaimed, was in the primitive genre, and has been likened to Grandma Moses.

“`Kristin Harmon was 72.

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

“`2018 TCM Classic Film Festival… Day Two!

   

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Day One at TCM Film Fest…

April 27th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`What a great afternoon I had at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival. Mel Brooks was there for the 50th anniversary screening of  The Producers. Martin Scorsese received the inaugural Robert Osborne Award for his work in film preservation, presented by Leonardo DiCaprio.

       

“`And, there were plenty of classic movies to watch. I chose to be in the audience for Howard Hawk’s production, To Have and Have Not at the historic Egyptian Theatre (the site of the first Hollywood premiere in 1922).

      

“`My photographs include a visit to a mockup of the TCM set; my good friend, Maureen from Cinecon, who got to meet host, Ben Mankiewicz; treasured time with fans of classic cinema, Lydia and Delfina from San Bernardino, in front of Gloria Swanson and the Creature From the Black Lagoon (I am the one in the hat, the Creature has gills); plus, Bogart and Bacall on the big screen.

      

“`For sheer enjoyment, nothing matches a day off at the TCM Classic Film Festival!!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Let’s Festival…

April 26th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival is finally back in Tinsel Town. Dozens of iconic motion pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Age; A-List Stars; and hundreds of movie fans from all over the nation will be in attendance, making this the go-to event of the season.

“`I plan on spending Thursday at the Fest. My plan is to visit the Egyptian Theatre to watch Humphrey Bogart fall in love with Lauren Bacall on the big screen in To Have and Have Not. Co-star Walter Brennan is featured in Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. I also plan on stopping by the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel poolside area to see this infestation of large angry ants in Them!. Our genial host for the latter screening is Dennis Miller.

“`And, that is just the opening evening. For the complete schedule, visit the TCM website.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering RFK…

April 25th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Robert Francis Kennedy’s life and a transformation into a liberal hero is coming to  Netflix in a new four-part documentary series available on Friday.  Through archival footage and interviews with friends and staffers, Bobby Kennedy for President takes an in-depth view at what compelled him to seek public office, the items that shaped him, and his legacy decades after his assassination.

“`It takes viewers through RFK’s time as attorney general, his depression following his brother’s assassination, entry into the 1968 presidential race, and his own death (83 days later). The documentary explores Bobby’s growth on issues as Civil Rights through the guidance of black leaders such as John Lewis, now representing the nation as a Democratic congressman.

“`This series is produced by RadicalMedia, Trilogy Films, and LooksFilm, and features interviews from Sirhan’s brother, Munir Sirhan; and Juan Romero, an Ambassador Hotel busboy who was at Bobby’s side. For Romero, a Mexican immigrant, it was one of the few times he has openly talked about Kennedy’s death; something he has felt guilty about for years, since RFK stopped to shake his hand before the gunshots. Viewers also hears from dramatic figures in Kennedy’s life, including Paul Schrade, who was shot in the head when Sirhan Sirhan murdered Bobby on June 5th, 1968.

“`Film makers spent more than a year gathering footage from museums, news outlets, and presidential archives that transports viewers to a different time. Some of the footage, which shows RFK from his college days to the last day of his life, had never before been digitized, and was at risk of being lost forever.

“`He was once called the most likely American in the 20th Century to become president. But, Robert F. Kennedy’s bid to follow in his older brother’s footsteps as a commander-in-chief was cut short by a man with a gun.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Lawsuit On the Fly…

April 24th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The widow of maverick automaker  John DeLorean alleges a Texas company has illegally received money from the Back to the Future  series of films that used his iconic car. The Texas company is named DeLorean Motor Company,  but is not affiliated with the company DeLorean started.

“`The car was featured in the 1985 film, and in the 1989 sequel. Sally DeLorean claims Universal Pictures agreed in 1989 to pay her husband for use of the car’s image. The DeLorean model grew in stature when shuttling Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd to situations in the past and future in movies that were released in 1985, 1989, and 1990.  Rights to use this vehicle’s image extended to gadgets, novelties, apparel, food, books, beverages, games, and toys.

“`Her lawsuit filed in federal court in New Jersey allege the Texas company claims it is owed the money, and received a substantial payment. Sally settled a lawsuit in 2015 allowing it to use the DeLorean name, but she says contractual rights to benefit from the use in the movie were not transferred. Attorneys did not immediately return messages.

“`The Estate is now demanding the money be turned over with a claim of unjust enrichment. When Delorean died in 2005, his estate didn’t have the agreement to enforce rights.

“`Bulletins as they break.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Well-Deserved Accolade…

April 23rd, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Congratulations to Hollywood historian Leonard Maltin. He is being honored by the city of Los Angeles. He is being recognized prior to his annual participation, later this week, at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival.

   

“`It is an appropriately busy time for the motion picture critic and a respected vanguard of all-things cinema.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Paley is Mad About Liza…

April 20th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The public will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Love Liza: The Exhibit, a blockbuster exhibition at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. This exhibit, which will feature artifacts of the upcoming auction produced by Profiles in History, and it showcases the legendary career of Liza Minnelli, one of the world’s greatest performers, and a living member of Hollywood royalty.

“`Highlights include photographs by Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and David LaChapelle; the finest collection of rare and unpublished photographs in existence on the lives and careers of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli; memorable costumes from stage and film, including Liza’s iconic Sally Bowles look from  Cabaret; and an extensive collection of custom fashions by Halston.

“`Profiles in History is offering over a 1000 lots from the professional and personal life of the Hollywood legend at Love Liza: The Auction in Los Angeles. The sell-off also includes items from her iconic parents. The auction is in May.

“`The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles is located at 465 North Beverly Drive, at Santa Monica Blvd.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hello Bette…

April 19th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Bette Midler, also known as the Divine Miss M, is returning to the Tony Award-winning revival of  Hello Dolly! on July 17th. It is a six-week run that continues until August 25th.

“`Midler has lured previous co-stars David Hyde Pierce and Gavin Creel. Pierce earned a Tony nomination in the show, and Creel won a Tony.  Tickets for the reunited cast’s final shows goes on sale on April 28th.

“`This iconic role of Dolly Levi marks Midler’s return to the Broadway stage, and previously, she shattered box office records at the Shubert Theatre. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Midler stepped into the role last Spring, and she ended her run in mid-January. Bernadette Peters replaced her, and will now leave after the July 15th show.

“`The musical features Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, and So Long Dearie. It promises a divine score.

“`The national tour of Hello Dolly! kicks off in October at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, starring Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Battle of the Mockingbirds…

April 18th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The creators of the Broadway production of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has filed a counter suit against the executor of the late author’s estate, which is challenging screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s adapted work. Scott Rudin’s production company, Rudinplay, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan, asking for $10 million from Lee’s estate for threatening to close the production scheduled to open in December, and other unspecified damages.

“`Lee’s estate filed a federal lawsuit in March in Alabama, stating that Sorkin’s script wrongly alters Atticus Finch from Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Rudin is arguing that the estate has made it difficult to secure money needed to finance the pending production.

   

“`Rudin has insisted the play is faithful to the novel, and he seeks to have the Alabama lawsuit dismissed. Ironically, the heroic depiction of Atticus was first amended in the public eye by the controversial decision to publish Go Set a Watchman, the prequel to the iconic book that was actually released in 2015. Actor Jeff Daniels is set to play Finch in the stage version.

“`Opening night on Broadway hangs in the balance. It remains to be seen if the demise of the latest version will happen. An effort To Kill a Mockingbird… You cannot make this stuff up!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Barbara Bush’s Dignity in Death…

April 17th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Barbara Bush was a snowy-haired First Lady, whose utter lack of pretense and plainspoken manner made her more popular at times than her husband, President George Herbert Walker Bush. She was one of only two First Ladies who had a child elected as a president. The other was Abigail Adams; spouse of John Adams and a mother to John Quincy Adams. The Bush couple were wed on January 6th, 1945, and became the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history, lasting over 73 years.    BARBARA BUSH –>

“`Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. She was a distant relative of President Franklin Pierce.  Her father was a publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. After going to Smith College for two years, Barbara married young naval aviator George H.W. Bush. She was 19. Mrs. Bush raised five children; a sixth dying from leukemia when she was three.

“`After World War II, the Bush’s traveled to Texas oil fields to seek their fortune, and raise a family. The elder Bush began his civic journey, and he represented Houston for two terms in Congress in the 1960s and the 1970s. They made almost thirty moves before his election to the White House in 1989. Barbara kept all opinions from the public, while her partner was in office. She deviated with him on two issues; Barbara supported legal abortion, and opposed the sale of assault weapons. Promoting literacy was her passion.

“`In 1990, Mrs. Bush gave the commencement address at the all-women Wellesley College. Some protested her choice, because she was considered prominent through the achievements of her husband. Her address was ranked by a survey of scholars in 1999:  One of the Top 100 speeches of the century.

“`When her husband was defeated by Bill Clinton after the 1992 campaign, the couple’s final move was to Houston; with a summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Eight years later, Mrs. Bush stood with her spouse as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams died in 1818, five years before John Quincy Adams was elected chief executive (and six years before his inauguration).

“`Upon retiring, the Bush couple helped raise millions for various charities, and they appeared together at events, such as Houston Astros baseball games. Over the decades, Barbara was a steadfast supporter of her sons in politics. Public schools in the Houston-area are dedicated to both. She definitely maintained 500 of a 1000 points of light in the Bush partnership.

“`President Donald Trump has ordered United States flags to be flown at half-staff. Mrs. Bush will lie in repose from noon to midnight on Friday at  St. Martin’s Episcopal Church for the public wishing to pay their respects. Private funeral services for Barbara Bush are planned for Saturday at the church in Houston, which she and her husband regularly attended, according to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation website.

“`She will be buried near the Bush Library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station, 100 miles northwest of Houston. Their 3-year-old daughter is also interred at the site.

“`Considered the backbone of a political dynasty and a patriot, Barbara Bush was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims A Couple…

April 16th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Two familiar faces from cinema and television have passed on. Here are the details:

“`Harry Anderson was a comedian best known for playing an off-the-wall judge presiding at a Manhattan court room in the television comedy series Night Court. He played Judge Harry T. Stone, a young jurist who professed his love for singer Mel Torme, actress Jean Harlow, magic tricks, and his collection of art-deco ties. After the show ended, he was cast in the lead role in the CBS sitcom Dave’s World, which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry.

“`Anderson began his career as a street performer in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Austin, among other cities. He found his way to Saturday Night Live, which led to his recurring role on Cheers. His character on the latter sitcom was most like the affable magician and actor.

“`Harry Anderson was 65

   

“`R. Lee Ermey was a former Marine who played hard-nosed military types such as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The Kansas native received a Golden Globe nomination for a memorable performance. His initial film credits were as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; and in The Boys in Company C as a drill instructor.

“`Ermey claimed over 60 credits in movies and television. He voiced the little green army man Sarge in the  Toy Story series, and Mayor Tilman in Mississippi Burning. He also hosted the History Channel programs, Mail Call and Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey; plus, he was a board member for the National Rifle Association.

“`R. Lee Ermey was 74.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Czech Mate…

April 15th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Milos Forman was a Czech director, whose movies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, won gobs of Academy Awards, including Best Director. The former, a 1975 production, was based on Ken Kesey’s novel about the misfit who leads mental institution inmates in a revolt against authority. It captured every major statuette at the year’s ceremony; the first since 1934’s It Happened One Night.

“`The orphan of Nazi Holocaust victims, Forman left his homeland after Communist troops invaded in 1968, and crushed the brief time of political and artistic freedom, known as the Prague Spring. He had been in Paris when the agitators stopped the movement, and never bothered to return home. He became a United States citizen in 1975.

“`Of all folks, Jimmy Durante offered the acclaimed Czech director a chance to create abroad. Later, Michael Douglas gave Forman an opportunity, hiring him to direct Cuckoo’s Nest, which Douglas was co-producing. The filmmaker worked meticulously, and spent months overseeing every aspect of production.

   

“`Milos returned to top form, when he released Amadeus. Based on Peter Shaffer’s play, it portrayed 18th century musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as a foul-mouthed man-child, with lesser composer Salieri as his jealous nemesis. It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.

“`In between, the director created a cinematic version of Hair; and Ragtime, which featured James Cagney’s final screen appearance. After Amadeus, Milos made Valmont, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and The Man on the Moon, which was an Andy Kaufman biopic.

“`Forman received the 5th  Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award in 2006, presented by the Prague Society and Global Panel Foundation. Milos also was given a Doctor of Humane Letters by Columbia University. In his hometown, there is a cinema bearing his name – Kino Miloše Formana (Cinema of Miloš Forman).

“`Citizen of the world, Milos Forman (above) was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wag the Dog…

April 14th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war to distract citizens from a presidential sex scandal.  Something from the pages of today’s headlines?  Actually, I reference a 1997 production that starred Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Kirsten Dunst and Woody Harrelson.

“`Directed by Barry Levinson, and nominated for two Oscars, Wag the Dog chronicles the directive of a fictional conflict in Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this, instead of an  Oval Office transgression involving an unnamed President and an underage girl.  This artificial hostility, complete with a patriotic country theme song and fake footage, is designed to rally the vox populi. The contrived hoax is initially successful, with the President quickly gaining ground in the polls.

“`Critic Roger Ebert would offer this analysis:

The work is a satire that contains just enough realistic ballast to be teasingly plausible; like Dr. Strangelove, it makes you laugh, and then it makes you wonder.

“`Levinson’s movie is at the forefront of our political discourse. Pundits have drawn a number of comparisons between the movie’s plot and recent strikes on Syria airfields as a distraction from ongoing reports of a stormy tryst involving an adult film star, and alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

“`When cinema and modern history intersect, the Hollywood-and-Vine metaphoric referral is quite appropriate.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Small Auction…

April 13th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Throughout the 1960s, Imagineer Rolly Crump brought to life Disney Theme Parks’s most iconic attractions and rides, including It’s a Small World, Enchanted Tiki Room, Adventureland Bazaar, and Haunted Mansion. Later this month, some of his original pieces goes on the block at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California.

“`The most valuable of the 400-plus lots is Crump’s original model for a clock on It’s a Small World, which could sell for $80,000, according to the auction house. The design was mocked up from Disney artist Mary Blair’s original sketch, and the result is now a permanent fixture from the boat ride attraction.

“`Other items up for grabs are Polynesian-style shield Crump sculpted for the  Enchanted Tiki Room; an original devil mock-up from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride; and a Haunted Mansion poster. A ticket for the grand opening of Disneyland in 1955 is expected to sell for as much as $5000; unfortunately, this will not allow the purchaser entry to the park. In addition to pieces created for Disney, the collection also includes Crump’s original artwork.

“`The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump auction is scheduled for April 28th, 2018.

Until next time>                               “never forget”