“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Primal Force of Nature…

June 13th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Ned Beatty was one of the finest character actors in the last half of the twentieth century.  He would have found complete success in any generation of cinema. Appearing in over 160 films, he was nominated for an Oscar, two Emmys, and a Golden Globe; he also won a Drama Desk Award (for his performance as Big Daddy in a revival of Cat on A Hot Tin Roof).  He is best remembered for his role as the head of UBS in Network.

“`Beatty began his career singing in gospel and barbershop quartets in Kentucky and at his local church. He received a scholarship to sing in the a cappella choir at  Transylvania University  in Lexington. A member of the newly founded Actors Theater of Louisville, one of his notable performances was as Willy Loman in  Death of a Salesman in 1966.

“`In 1972, Beatty made a stellar motion picture debut in Deliverance, starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight. A climatic scene ensured stardom for the actor. Other memorable roles include The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, All the President’s Men, 1941Nashville, Back To School, Silver Streak, and Charlie Wilson’s War. He co-starred in three other Reynolds’ vehicles:  White Lightning, Stroker Ace, and Switching Channels. He also had a recurring role in two of the Superman series of movies. On television, he guest-starred in The Waltons, The Rockford Files, Gunsmoke, Hawaii 5-0The Streets of San Francisco, M*A*S*HMurder She Wrote, Kojak, and Roseanne.

“`Ned Beatty (above) was eighty-three…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Anna May Wong in Mint Condition…

June 11th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`The United States Mint  is pleased to announce the addition of pioneering females to be honored during the first year of the American Women Quarters™ program.  Anna May Wong will join Sally Ride, Maya Angelou and two other female trailblazers as subjects for the 2022 American Women quarter dollars.

“`Wong’s career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio, from 1919 until her death at fifty-six in 1961. Frustrated by the stereotypical supporting roles she reluctantly played in Hollywood, Wong left for Europe in the late 1920s, where she appeared in a couple of notable plays and movies, and spent the first half of the 1930s traveling between the United States and Europe for film and stage work. She was often passed over for the lead roles and Wong rejected assignments that portrayed Asian Americans in a negative light. She paid less attention to her cinematic career during World War II and devoted energy to aid China’s campaign against Japan.  ANNA MAY WONG ->

“`Proposed designs for the Wong coin will be reviewed on June 16th and June 17th by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and June 18th by the Commission of Fine Arts. Mint officials have yet to disclose in what order the five 2022 American Women quarters will be issued.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#40, #39)…

June 10th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Let me continue the countdown of my person favorite cinema of the initial twenty years of the 21st Century. The previous ten picks had an abundance of well-known personalities that were profiled, including Don Shirley, Tonya Harding, Maria Altman, Ben Bradlee, Molly Bloom, Katharine Graham as well as icons of the Lost Generation, such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Let me provide absorbing tales about modern luminaries in the next two offerings.

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

~ #40 – HIDDEN FIGURES (2016)

“`African American female mathematicians and computers who worked in the 1960s at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race are the subjects in this feel-good film. Katharine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson broke glass ceilings, yet this fascinating story was seldom referenced until this flick was released. Among the tasks achieved: A calculation of flight trajectories for Project Mercury and future missions; IBM feeds to accelerate calculations; and various engineering projects to provide safer spacecrafts.

“`Hidden Figures received three Oscar nominations:  Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe express a firm commitment in providing cinematic content  that places persons of color in appropriately accurate situations. Co-star Mahershala Ali also appeared in Green Book (#41).

“`After Hidden Figures was released, charities, institutions and independent businesses who regard the film as relevant in improving youth awareness in education and jobs in technology, science, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, organized free screenings to spread the  film’s message.  Plus, the Walt Disney Company partnered with the Department of State on the Hidden No More exchange program, which was inspired by the film and brings fifty women from across the globe who have excelled in spacecraft engineering, data solutions, and STEM-related education to network and provide fellowship for their colleagues.

         

~ #39 – TRUTH (2015)

“`Based on American television news producer Mary Mapes’s memoir,  Truth and Duty:  The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power, the movie is based on the story of CBS’s 60 Minutes report that George W. Bush had received preferential treatment to keep him out of the Vietnam War. The Killian documents controversy took place during the Bush / John Kerry presidential contest and resulting last days of Dan Rather and Mapes at CBS News. The film was in development since 2007.

“`Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett,  Stacy Keach, and Dennis Quaid provides fine performances as the story breaks down what goes into a 60 Minutes news segment. The screenplay further examines the politicization of the reaction to stories by pundits with opposing viewpoints.

“`Truth never caught on with the public. Plus, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves did not approve of the film, the network refusing to allow ads promoting its release.  However, Rather praised the motion picture, saying:

There’s so much right in the film… I think it’s the best thing that’s ever been up on the big screen about how television news really works, the reporting side of it.

“`A Mary Mapes assessment sums up the sad legacy of this production: Truth gets lost in the scrum. My advice to you… It is time for some scrum searching to find this gem of a movie.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- As They Say…

June 7th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 takes a look at iconic quotes from fabulous motion pictures. John Coleman and Art Kirsch makes our day with these spoken gems. Let us round up the usual suspects…

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#42, #41)…

June 3rd, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`The countdown of my fifty favorite movies continues. Let me recap the previous selections:

 #50  GOSFORD PARK     #49  THE READER     #48  I TONYA    #47  MOLLY’S GAME     #46  THE POST     #45  WOMAN IN GOLD #44  MIDNIGHT IN PARIS     #43  THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

“`My next two choices are just as special…

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

~ #42 – JO JO RABBIT (2019)

“`Cinema is rich with celluloid that examines how ordinary citizens survived a war along the homefront. Mrs. Miniver and Hope and Glory come to mind. Jo Jo Rabbit illuminates the negative effects of belonging to Hitler’s Youth during World War II. This assignment offers a comedic portrait of the dictator, much like Charlie Chaplin’s expose in  The Great Dictator, and the many contributions made by Mel Brooks throughout his career.

“`The movie analyzes the dangers of propaganda to those who blindly abide by it, especially children. There is an Anne Frank-esque character (Elsa), whose moral fiber and individualism finds her at odds with fascism, vulnerable to punishment, and ultimately, an essential reason Jo Jo ultimately rejects Nazi propaganda. The production walks a fine line between satire and allegory. The surprise was that funding was available for a subject matter considered taboo.

“`JoJo Rabbit received five Academy Award nods and took home an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, and Sam Rockwell head up an eclectic cast. In fact, Rockwell appears in more flicks (4) than any other actor in my countdown.

“`Jojo Rabbit is having an impact on the teachings of the Holocaust. On December 19, 2019, the USC Shoah Foundation announced it was working together with Searchlight Pictures to develop a classroom curriculum based on the depiction of Nazism in cinema.  Jo Jo Rabbit is cited as the catalyst for this educational offering.

         

~ #41 – GREEN BOOK (2018)

“`The first of SIX Oscar-winning Best Pictures on my film list remains the most controversial. Pundits called the 2018 winner a bland offering. The critical darlings were The Favorite and Roma; the people’s choice were Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody. I argue Green Book is a worthy production created by Peter Farrelly, best known for his sophomoric work:  Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary.

“`The flick is based on the true story of a 1960s concert tour of the Deep South by classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley and bouncer Frank Tony Lip Vallelonga, who served as Shirley’s driver and bodyguard.  Audio recording heard in the documentary, Lost Bohemia, features interviews with Shirley and Vallelonga confirming that they had a close friendship. Both died within three months of each other in 2013.  The motion picture earned five Academy Award nominations and collected three Oscars, the other two for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali). Viggo Mortensen heads the talented cast.

“`The title of the movie refers to  The Negro Motorist Green Book, a publication known as the bible of Black travel during Jim Crow. It was published by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green for thirty years, when open legally prescribed discrimination against African Americans and other people of color was widespread. Right after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial discrimination that made the Green Book necessary, publication ceased.

“`This production has been criticized for advancing a white savior narrative that perpetuates stereotypes. The Help was similarly castigated. In an interview, Farrelly addressed the issue by suggesting that  the screenplay earnestly tried to equally depict common ground between the characters. Historically, Green Book brings to light the fabulous classical and jazz career of Don Shirley. His story remains fascinating and bold.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Human Cost of Battle…

May 31st, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 honors the memory of soldiers on celluloid that embodies the humanity of war. I am thrilled to share the mic with John Coleman and veteran Art Kirsch for this poignant discussion…

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bon Voyage…

May 29th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Gavin MacLeod was an actor whose work spanned six decades. He is best known as the Captain of The Love Boat and as a news writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

“`After serving in the United States Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall while looking for work. He made his television debut on The Walter Winchell File. Soon after, he garnered a role in I Want to Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him in the pilot episode of his NBC series Peter Gunn, several guest parts on Edwards’ CBS series Mr. Lucky in 1959, and in  Operation Petticoat, with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. The flick proved to be a breakout role for MacLeod and he was cast in two Edwards comedies, High Time with Bing Crosby and The Party with Peter Sellers.

“`Other film roles included Pork Chop Hill, The Gene Krupa Story, The Sand Pebbles, The Comic, and Kelly’s Heroes. On television, he guest-starred on The Untouchables, Death Valley Days, Dr. KildareThe Dick Van Dyke Show, Perry Mason, Rawhide, Gomer Pyle U. S. M. C., The Munsters, The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, It Takes a Thief, My Favorite MartianThe Man From U. N. C. L. E.,Combat!, The Rat Patrol, The Big Valley, The Flying Nun and Murder She Wrote. He was also a regular during the first two seasons of McHale’s Navy.

“`MacLeod served as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades for five years. Sugar Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011.  On February 28, 2011, Gavin celebrated his eightieth birthday aboard Golden Princess on Princess Cruises in Los Angeles.

“`Gavin MacLeod (above right) was ninety.

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

“`B. J. Thomas was a rock crooner who had a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. They include (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, his cover of I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Rock and Roll Lullaby, Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Hooked on a Feeling, I Just Can’t Help Believing, and an Oscar-winner Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head featured in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidB. J. THOMAS –>

“`A couple of years back,  I had the pleasure in attending a B. J. Thomas concert in Laughlin, Nevada. The ticket was only twenty-five dollars. He played in the exact same hall where I had performed a few years earlier in a national karaoke contest. He was so warm and low-key and the audience sang along with every tune.

“`B. J. Thomas was seventy-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#44, #43)…

May 28th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I discovered that I am not the only one counting down the best cinema of the last twenty years.  It is mind-boggling to see how different my list is as compared to others, with many in their countdown members of the Marvel, Star WarsLord of the Rings / Harry PotterFast & Furious, or Will Ferrell / Ben Stiller family. It was predictable how many movie titles ended with the words:  pt. 2 or IV.

“`But I digress. Here are #44 and #43…

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

~ #44 – MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011) 

“`Here is a movie filled with many of those Woody Allen gems — a whiny male in a fractured relationship; stuttering conversations, and stylish music from the Great American Songbook. But, Midnight in Paris has so much more…

“`Allen clearly respects the artiste of the Lost Generation; creative types who came from all walks of life and gathered in Paris between World Wars.  It was not uncommon to find Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Cole Porter huddled together at a local cafe or nightclub to analyze the effects of their collective shadow on the rest of the globe. Midnight in Paris is a time-travel comedy that allows film-goers to meet these cultural icons through the eyes of Owen Wilson  (of all people!). The movie explores themes of nostalgia and modernism.

“`Nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture), Midnight in Paris won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. This Allen flick clearly embodies some of his early zany work (Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Sleeper). Get over Woody’s creepy personal shenanigans because it remains his one movie you should take time to watch and enjoy.

          

  ~ #43 – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014) 

“`Only from the mind of Wes Anderson could we imagine The Grand Budapest Hotel in all of its colorful splendor.  A Euro-universe is manifested where characters perpetuate the illusion of a time where they do not belong, the consequence of romanticizing one’s past. The screenplay does not directly refer to historical events, rather it contains oblique references contextualizing a vague history. The most deliberate of these images allude specifically to Nazism.

“`The all-star cast seriously soars, while the critical spotlight shines on the craftsmanship of this sumptuous production: Robert Yeoman’s principal photography with locations in Eastern Germany; Adam Stockhausen’s set design that replicates an Alpine resort; costume designer Milena Canonero’s essence of a 1930s military uniform and a period look of movie stars that resembles the work of iconic photographer George Hurrell; and Russian folk-influence music scored by Alexander Desplat with the balalaika at its instrumental core.

“`Ralph Fiennes anchors this motion picture  (he co-starred in my #49 pick, The Reader). Others in the cast include F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum,Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson (??). The Grand Budapest Hotel earned nine Academy Award nods, winning four for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.

“`As with many comedies, laughter’s companion is foreboding tragedy.  The essential theme of this production serves up a reminder of what we might lose as we age; something to ponder in our quiet time.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- For What It’s Fort Worth…

May 27th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`In commemoration of his life and legacy, the Fort Worth Stockyards has debuted a new, permanent exhibition — John Wayne: An American Experience next to Cowtown Coliseum. Friends, family, and city notables were invited to attend Wednesday’s proclamation of John Wayne Day throughout the city.

“`The Duke’s son Ethan Wayne delivered a heartfelt speech and there was a mock gunfight. Plus everyone in attendance enjoyed the new Duke Tequila before heading over to the Hotel Dover for a VIP reception.

“`The exhibit extends over ten thousand square feet and brings guests on an interactive tour through the life of the actor. Folks are exposed to never-before-seen family photographs and correspondences, including letters to fans, celebrities, presidents, and others.

“`The exhibit features many galleries, including one that illuminates John Wayne’s prolific film career and there are displays of his iconic props and costumes. And finally, sit down to enjoy a Duke Bourbon or John Wayne Cabernet in the lounge to complete your day.

“`For fans of Wayne, a pilgrimage might be in order.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Tomorrow is Another Day…

May 26th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`This week, Amazon acquired MGM content in what is considered the largest merger in media history. However, this transaction does not include MGM films made prior to 1986. These titles belong to WarnerMedia. That said, Amazon will stock Prime Video with the MGM’s inventory of four thousand movies and seventeen thousand hours of television.

“`In 1986, Ted Turner made deals that resulted in Turner Broadcasting taking ownership of all prior MGM productions. He wanted cinema for programming his growing cable empire and the library has become one of the pillars that built Turner Classic Movies. Today, WarnerMedia owns both TCM and Turner’s MGM library. This means you will find The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Singing in the Rain available to stream on HBO Max (not Amazon Prime).

“`What films did Amazon end up actually acquiring through the deal. Based on past business transactions made by MGM? The James Bond series (United Artists library); The Graduate and Fargo (Polygram library); and Silence of the Lambs and Dumb and Dumber (Orion Pictures library). In fact, MGM’s library is so large that it represents over half of Hollywood’s studio films produced since 1948.

“`Bulletins as they break!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Landslide…

May 25th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`It is an issue of infrastructure; the walls are deteriorating and there is a chance that the nearby high-speed rail might be caught in the crosshairs. Can this be repaired by an act of congress?

“`The Matterhorn Ride at Disneyland is aging and suffering from exterior and interior decay. The shutdown will allow crews to fix the summit in stages. The rail is expected to be updated to make for a smoother ride. The Matterhorn debuted in 1959.

“`Imagineers have wanted to tear down the mountain to build a larger rollercoaster with the Alpine theme. Unfortunately, such a plan would cause the closure of the Alice in Wonderland, Tea Cups, and Nemo Lagoon attractions. The makeover is a short-term solution.

“`The target date for completion is July 2021. Not sure if this is a realistic goal.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#46, #45)…

May 23rd, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I continue the countdown of my favorite fifty motion pictures of the twenty-first century. You may agree or disagree with my selections or a position of a particular film with regards to others. You will find my previous choices if you scroll down my blog.

“`Today, I present #46 and #45

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

~ #46 – THE POST (2017)

“`When I crafted the list, I left off “years” so as not to influence my picks. As a result, this is the third consecutive production from 2017. And this is the only film on my list that features Meryl Streep. Honestly, I am a bigger fan of Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren, Sissy Spacek, and Judi Dench, all contemporaries of Streep. By contrast, this is one of three movies I selected that stars Tom Hanks, a clear favorite of mine.

“`While not All the President’s MenThe Post depicts the true story of journalist attempts by the Washington Post to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers; classified documents that chronicled the two decades involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War, and earlier, in French Indochina during the late 1940s.

“`The motion picture received two Oscar nods; for Best Picture and Best Actress (Streep). By the way, the newspaper won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its contributions. No one should question the vaunted periodical for dispensing fake news during this controversial era. Plus, political thrillers of the 1960s and 1970s always grab my attention.

      

~ #45 – WOMAN IN GOLD (2015)

“`This nifty little film is based on the true story of Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish refugee living in Cheviot Hills, who fought the government of Austria for almost a decade to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting of her aunt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was stolen from her relatives by the Nazis in Vienna just prior to World War II.  Altmann took her legal battle to the United States Supreme Court, which decided on Republic of Austria v. Altmann (2004).

“`The reproduction of the painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was created by scenic artist Steve Mitchell, who spent five weeks making the re-creation. Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds are the oddest of collaborators in this buddy film, of sorts. For her performance, Mirren received a Screen Actors Guild nomination. The actress made my countdown three times. (She already was in my #50 flick – Gosford Park).

“`Valuables stolen by Nazis is a recurring theme in cinema that dates back to the 1940s, such as One Night in Casablanca with the Marx Brothers and The Monuments Men with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett. The remedy of reparations addresses a systematic violation of human rights or humanitarian law. Reviving a society’s culture remains a noble venture and that story can be a fascinating journey.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Heartbreak Charles…

May 18th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Charles Grodin was a deadpan comedian known for his dry wit and his wonderful timing. He was a familiar face on screen for over five decades.  He was also a natural on prime-time talk shows.

“`Grodin dropped out of the University of Miami to launch a career in acting.  Grodin’s cinematic debut was an uncredited bit in Disney’s 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  A student of Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen, he landed Broadway jobs, including a debut in Tchin-Tchin, which starred Anthony Quinn.                           CHARLES GRODIN –>

“`After he landed a small role in Rosemary’s Baby, Grodin became a sought-after actor.  Catch-22 and The Heartbreak Kid cemented his status as a Hollywood mainstay. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his latter performance.

“`Grodin appeared in memorable comedies including 11 Harrowhouse, King Kong, DaveHeaven Can WaitMidnight Run, The Great Muppet Caper, The Woman in Red, The Couch Trip, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Seems Like Old Times, Hearts and Souls  and Beethoven series of movies. On the small screen, Grodin guest-starred in The F. B. I., Have Gun – Will Travel, My Mother the Car, The Virginian, The Big Valley, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Judd for the Defense, The Big Valley, and Laverne and Shirley.

“`From 1995 to 1998, Grodin hosted his own issues-oriented talk show, The Charles Grodin Show, on CNBC; and starting in 2000, he was a political commentator for 60 Minutes II.

“`Charles Grodin was eighty-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating Lizabeth Scott

May 17th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Art Kirsch and John Coleman grill me on the life and career of femme fatale Lizabeth Scott on Celebrating Act 2. Here is an actress who cut her teeth in film noir.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#48, #47)…

May 16th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I continue the countdown of my favorite fifty motion pictures of the twenty-first century. These choices are not necessarily the best technical films of the last two decades, just flicks I can enjoy again and again. Let me suggest that once I put them out there, you might decide to watch these gems.

“`My next two selections feature strong female characters in edgy semi-biographical cinema. They both were released in 2017.

“`To recap: #50 – GOSFORD PARK / #49THE READER. Let us continue the countdown:

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

~ #48 – I TONYA (2017)

“`Tonya Harding soured on her fifteen minutes of fame after being trashed by the media while she attempted to earn the right to participate in the sport of figure skating at the 1994 Winter Olympics.  After rival Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted, Tonya would plead guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution in the subsequent investigation.  She was eventually banned for life by the United States Figure Skating Association.

“`Loosely based on actual events,  I Tonya provides the sordid account as a satirical comedy with Harding cast in a sympathetic light by the compelling Margot Robbie. The mockumentary approach of the production is its strength.  The supporting cast excels as trailer park chic and Allison Janney earned an Oscar for her role as the figure skater’s hellish mom.

“`Nominated for three Academy Awards, I Tonya takes a tragically humorous trajectory. This kind of perspective has a celluloid lineage that includes  Fargo and 2020s Promising Young Woman. For the record, Kerrigan had no intention of viewing this flick. It is a production that bites you on the butt and might even take out your kneecap; so to speak!

         

~ #47 – MOLLY’S GAME (2017)

“`Aaron Sorkin is getting well-deserved press for his latest work, The Trial of the Chicago 7. Of course, The Social Network remains his prize screenplay. In between, he was quite chatty (in print) with his Steve Jobs and Molly’s Game. The latter was Sorkin’s directorial debut.

“`Poker is the subject of Molly’s Game and I LOVE movies about gambling. Molly Bloom is on a solid path to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics as a world class mogul skier until she is severely injured during a qualifying event. The production follows Molly (Jessica Chastain) who becomes a target of an FBI investigation after the underground poker empire she oversees for Hollywood celebs, athletes, financiers, and the Russian mob is exposed. She ends up writing a best-selling memoir in 2014 about her gritty experience.

“`Giving his actors a workout with a rugged screenplay and shotgun dialogue, Sorkin garnered the production its only Oscar nomination. Incidentally, Bloom was astonishingly pleased by the intensity of Chastain’s performance. I predict this work will be considered Sorkin’s lost classic.

Until next time>                               “never forget”