“Forgotten Hollywood”- Behind the Scenes at Collinwood…

January 19th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`MPI Media Group has just completed production on a highly anticipated Master of Dark Shadows, a comprehensive celebration of legendary Gothic daytime series Dark Shadows  and its visionary creator Dan Curtis.  The Dark Shadows documentary is set to be released this spring.

“`The feature documentary includes interviews with key actors and filmmakers involved in the popular story of vampire Barnabas Collins; plus, the eerie goings-on at gloomy Maine mansion — Collinwood. It is narrated by Ian McShane.

“`In 1966, the phenomenon was launched when Dark Shadows debuted on ABC as a daily Gothic suspense series. Slotted in the late afternoon, the show attracted a massive youthful audience as it shifted to the supernatural with the introduction of vulnerable Barnabas. This series also spawned the 1970 spinoff, House of Dark Shadows and 1971s Night of Dark Shadows, as well as a 1991 primetime series reboot that lasted one season.

“`Master of Dark Shadows reveals the fascinating history, its far-reaching impact, and the lasting appeal of Dark Shadows with a blend of rare footage and behind-the-scenes stories, while also showcasing the dramatic talent of creator-producer-director Dan Curtis. Regarded as the king of television horror, the Emmy-winning filmmaker followed Dark Shadows with The Night Stalker,  Trilogy of Terror, and  Burnt Offerings before earning accolades for the epic miniseries The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.

“`This is an opportunity for the many legions of fans to sink their teeth into a loving look at the most unique soap opera to ever grace the small screen.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Broadway To Enter Fifth Dimension…

January 17th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Almeida Theatre in London has the toughest ticket in town: Stage version of Rod Serling’s iconic 1960s science fiction television series. Broadway producers are heading across the pond to check it out. This runs until January 27th before traveling to the West End in March.

“`American playwright Anne Washburn has watched every  Twilight Zone episode before settling on eight to adapt for the Almeida. She picked a couple of classics, including Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up and The Shelter. Fans will know the stories.

“`The themes resonate today: fear of the unknown, paranoia and temptation. And the play opens with Marius Constant’s famous theme song. There is also an actor that portrays Rod Serling who spouts familiar prologues.

“`The Twilight Zone stage production rests within a giant television set. The style is campy, but their are serious moments thrown in for effect. Plus, expect ending zingers that befall the characters.

You are traveling through another dimension… And end up on a stage of imagination… It leads to a trip across an ocean of adventure… Many are drawn to the bright lights complete with the lure of fame and promise… But all that glitters is not gold… This big apple is sinful fruit that is grown… in The Twilight Zone…

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“`Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, my first book in the series, has just been added to the Thousand Oaks Public Library. The city is located in Ventura County. I appreciate the latest addition.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood” – Divine Miss Channing…

January 15th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Carol Channing was the three-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy star who delighted audiences in over 5,000 stage performances as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! She was a treasured icon of American theater,  and an ambassador for Broadway.                                   CAROL CHANNING –>

“`While studying drama and dance at Bennington College in Vermont, Carol was hired in a New York revue. She worked as an understudy, bit player, and in nightclubs. And she took jobs as a model, a receptionist, and even, a sales clerk during lean times. In Hollywood, she auditioned for Marge Champion, wife and dance partner of Gower Champion. She organized a revue and Channing was cast in Lend an Ear.

“`As an innocent gold digger in the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, her stardom was assured. The show’s hit song, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, became her signature number.

“`Hello Dolly! was an unparalleled hit, and this 1964 production earned ten Tony Awards. Always remembered as a conniving matchmaker, Channing won a Tony as Best Actress in a Musical. She later received a special Tony in 1968, and a Tony for Lifetime Achievement in 1995. For five decades, the actress returned to the part. And Channing influenced scores of stage actors, such as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters and Pearl Bailey.

“`Channing’s big personality was deemed a bit much for the screen, and she made just a couple of movies, notably  The First Traveling Saleslady with Ginger Rogers, and  Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Julie Andrews; the latter film earned Carol a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. She was a popular guest on television game shows throughout the 1970s. Carol often appeared in nightclubs, for a time on stage with George Burns in Las Vegas.

“`In 1966, Channing won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago Theatre. She was inducted into American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.

“`Larger-than-life, Carol Channing was ninety-seven.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Life Imitates Art in 1958…

January 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`An episode of a Western drama starring Robert Culp offers a familiar ring in its storyline. Trackdown aired for three seasons on CBS between 1957 and 1959. The weekly program was produced by Dick Powell’s Four Star Television and shot at Desilu-Culver Studios.

“`Some folks may call this episode, titled The End of the World, the ultimate illustration of wagging the dog when you consider that the episode aired May 8th, 1958. The story eerily foretells today’s political climate in an ironic way. Give it a glance and you be the judge…

“`News sources confirm that the episode really aired. You just cannot make this stuff up!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Beyond the Red Carpet…

January 11th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Francine Brokaw is a columnist and author of Beyond the Red Carpet, a literary work that looks at memorable moments in Brokaw’s career interviewing notable Hollywood personalities. She also hosts a cable podcast that airs on YouTube and is a production of the entertainment facility at Laguna Woods in California.

“`Above is my interview as her guest on the program. Part two will premiere next month.

“`ENJOY!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My 2019 SAG Ballot…

January 9th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`This is my annual presentation of my  SAG Awards Ballot, highlighting my selections for cinema-related performances in 2018. In my humble opinion, this was a down year for film productions. I must say, however, there are definite diamonds in the rough, which I feature below.

   

 OUTSTANDING MALE:  Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

My favorite choice was not even nominated (a common theme). That would be John C. Reilly for Stan and Ollie. Viggo created a vivid persona of a little known real person. Betting cash remains on Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Christian Bale (Vice), savvy selections  in my estimation. Bradley Cooper and John David Washington also gave great performances. My nod is to Viggo for a career performance.

   OUTSTANDING FEMALE:  Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)

Everyone is GAGA for the female in A Star is Born. In truth, this is a fabulous screen debut. Yalitza Aparicio’s initial role in  Roma was even more impressive; but she was snubbed. The surprise of this category is that Emily Blunt was as good as Julie Andrews in her first Disney go-round, and Andrews won an Oscar. Glenn Close is always top-notch; and if not for Meryl Streep, Close would have a mantel full of award’s hardware. I was not impressed with Olivia Coleman in The Favourite. Blunt gets my spoonful of sugar.

  OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE:  Sam Elliott (A Star is Born)

Two fab performances are worth my consideration. Sam Elliott narrowly edges Mahershala Ali (Green Book). Elliott has delivered stellar work over a steady career, and this is his absolute best. He steals each scene in which he appears. Timothee Chalamet shines in Beautiful Boy, a real downer of a movie.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE:  Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

There are five award-worthy performances that I could have easily considered. Only two were chosen. Snubbed by the SAG Awards committee: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda (both for Stan and Ollie). Others making the grade, and this was clearly my toughest decision. I ultimately checked off Rachel Weisz, though I disliked  The Favourite. I really loved Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney in Vice. Margot Robbie was a real treat in Mary Queen of Scots.

   OUTSTANDING CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE:  A Star is Born

Just two casts from my favorite movies of the year were selected, a complete surprise. I would have willingly cast my vote for Stan and Ollie or Roma.  Fortunately, this recent version of A Star is Born is a quality production. All three previous film versions were snake bit by various guilds during the last seventy years. I am not on a Bohemian Rhapsody bandwagon, though Rami Malek was clearly impressive. It is perplexing the committee picked  Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther,  which are enjoyable moneymaking flicks usually ignored around award’s season.

~ My 2018 Top 10 Films:  1. Stan and Ollie  2. Roma  3. A Star is Born  4. Green Book  5. If Beale Street Could Talk  6. Mary Poppins Returns 7. Vice  8. On the Basis of Sex   9. The Old Man and the Gun  10. BlacKkKlansman

“’The SAG Awards will air on January 27th on TNT and TBS. We will see how I do this year…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Very Good Year…

January 7th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Goodyear Blimp, which has become a visual friend at major sports events for over sixty years, is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an honorary member  — the first non player or coach to be inducted. As a nod to its influence and legacy to the game, the famous airship joins a stellar class enshrined at the National Football Foundation’s awards banquet in December.

“`The blimp’s flight to fame began during the telecast of the 1955 Rose Bowl, and this led to the appearance at over two thousand games,  hovering above stadiums from coast-to-coast. The aircraft was the first to provide aerial coverage of a major sports event, and deliver high definition live video to a national game.

“`A representative of Goodyear is expected to accept the award, since blimps are unable to walk and talk.

“`And so it goes…

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“`The Kewanee Public Library District in Illinois has just included  Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History to their shelves. This is my latest works sixth addition to a learning repository.

   

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Year of Pre-Code Cinema…

January 3rd, 2019

Manny P. here… 

“`Pre-Code Hollywood refers to an era in motion pictures from the arrival of sound in the late 1920s to the mandatory enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code in July, 1934. This series focuses on movies made between 1930 and 1934, and highlights how suggestive they were, and how blissfully defiant they were prior to the establishment of the Hays Code.

“`This is an opportunity to see classic Hollywood at its most rebellious, most lascivious, and infinitely subversive. It was an age of breaking rules of morality, according to the censors of the day!

“`The film series kicks off January 6th with Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical The Sign of the Cross that displayed a naked Claudette Colbert taking a milk bath. DeMille figured the only way to show nudity, depravity, violence, and folks indulging in sin was to disguise his production as religious.  The cinematic series highlights social comedies (Dinner at Eight), gritty dramas (Baby Face), horror (Island of Lost Souls and White Zombie), Busby Berkeley musicals (Golddiggers of 1933), and gangster flicks (Scarface and The Public Enemy).

“`The year-long series takes place at the Digital Gym Cinema in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego. It is off the 805 Freeway on the corner of 30th St. and El Cajon Blvd. They will screen sixteen films, one Sunday a month at 1p.

“`This is cinema guaranteed to make you blush.

Until next time>                               “never forget”