“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”