“Forgotten Hollywood”- Buddy and the Duke…

February 4th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`February 3rd was the sixtieth anniversary of the tragic plane crash that claimed the life of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. It was dubbed  The Day the Music Died. To this end, I was recently made aware of Holly’s ties to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“`Holly was on the verge of stardom in 1956. The Lubbock, Texas native was still a teen and a big fan of cinema.  Members of his backup group, The Crickets, joined Buddy one afternoon at the movies to enjoy the iconic The Searchers. The movie starred John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, and Natalie Wood. In the screenplay, Wayne was scripted to repeat That’ll Be the Day in many of the scenes. This line of dialogue inspired the young musicians.

   

    BUDDY HOLLY                            JOHN WAYNE

“`Decca Records produced the tune in July 1956; but Holly was paired with another backup band. It did not sell. One year later, Buddy re-recorded the song, with The Crickets, despite a contractual prohibition of such a creative action. A compromise was negotiated and the single was released in the Fall of 1957. It became Buddy Holly’s first number one hit.

“`I imagine if The Duke had been notified that he was an inspiration to a rock and roll song, he might have said… That’ll Be the Day!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Lovely Ingénue…

February 3rd, 2019

Manny P. here… 

“`Julie Adams was a lovely ingénue whose image graced 1950s cinema. She is best known for performances in  The Creature From the Black Lagoon  and Bend in the River.                   JULIE ADAMS / THE CREATURE –>

“`In 1946, at the age of nineteen, Adams was crowned as Miss Little Rock (while she lived in Arkansas), and then moved to Hollywood to pursue her acting career. She was reliable in Westerns while at  Universal Pictures. Her film credits include Bright Leaf, The Mississippi Gambler and The Man From the Alamo.

“`Her transition to television was seamless. Adams guest-starred in 77 Sunset StripThe RiflemanCheyenne, Maverick, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Andy Griffith Show, Perry Mason, Dr KildareBonanzaThe VirginianIronsideNight Gallery, The Mod Squad, The Big ValleyMarcus Welby M. D., Murder She WroteThe Streets of San Francisco, Medical Center, Ellery Queen, Cannon, Quincy M E, MannixThe F. B. I., Police Woman, and Diagnosis: Murder.

“`Later in life, she was honored for her work in sagebrush cinema, and for her appearance in one of the great horror classics. I recently had the pleasure of meeting her at a book-signing event at the Hollywood Heritage Museum. It was a real treat.

“`Julie Adams was ninety-two.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Yabba-Dabba-Don’t…

January 31st, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Flintstones-themed attraction that welcomed vacationers on their path to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in Bedrock City, Arizona for over forty years has closed. It was built in 1972. KJZZ was the first to report the park’s closure.

“`Located at the intersection of Highway 64 and Highway 180, twenty miles south of Tusayan, it was hard to miss the larger-than-life Fred Flintstone statue and a yellow sign with his iconic catch phrase:  Yabba-Dabba-Doo. The walk-through theme park featured many of the show’s staple characters, such as Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, and attractions like a dinosaur-shaped slide.

“`Troy Morris and his business partner, Ron Brown are purchasing the space to open Raptor Ranch, an attraction where people will be able to see eagles, hawks, and owls up close and watch flight demonstrations.

“`The closure was not unexpected as the attraction had been on the market for a number of years. However, it will re-open in the Spring so travelers can get a last look at Bedrock City.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Stampede to Calgary…

January 30th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Picture This… Film Festival is an International disability film festival. Now in its 18th year, this annual event takes place in Calgary, Alberta. This year, I have been invited to participate, and I will be traveling to Canada in April.

“`On April 12th,  I will host a morning session that includes my oral presentation, screening of my Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Trailer, and book-signing after the event. Autographed copies of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series will be available.

“`The festival features films that are about disability and/or films on any subject that were produced, directed and/or written by people with disabilities. Films are entered into one of five genres: animation, documentary, drama, education and performance. Film submission grows every year, and to date, there have been over 1900 projects entered.  Picture This…  Film Festival is an initiative of Calgary SCOPE Society, a registered non-profit.

      

“`This will be my first Forgotten Hollywood event outside of the United States. I am thrilled that my book series has become an International phenomenon.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Promise to Hemingway…

January 29th, 2019

Manny P. here… 

“`In 1958, Ernest Hemingway and pal A. E. Hotchner went to see a movie adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea. The novelist was clearly miffed that the production took liberties to alter the thrust of the novel, and with the casting of Spencer Tracy as the protagonist. They left midway through the screening.

“`Later that night, while at Toots Shor’s restaurant (a venue frequented by Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Gleason, and Marilyn Monroe), Hemingway urged Hotchner to do his own adaptation. His friend promised to consider it.

“`Hotchner was a perfect candidate to take the work to the stage: he fished with Hemingway in Cuba,  went to bullfights with him in Spain, hunted with him in Idaho, and wrote the 1966 best-selling biography Papa Hemingway. He also co-created Newman’s Own food company with his neighbor, Paul Newman.

“`Over sixty years later, Hotchner has kept his promise. His stage adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea, a brief novel published in 1952 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, premieres at the newly renovated Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse on February 1st. It plays for two weeks.

“`The 101-year-old author and playwright has tried ten previous times to adapt it until his latest effort.  He enlisted his son Tim Hotchner to collaborate and to help transform a draft into a working script. Tim is a documentary filmmaker and writer. The entire show was put together in six months.

“`The elder Hotchner is satisfied with finally following through on a half-century promise to his tempestuous friend, and he is pleased with how it turned out.

“`The spirit of Hemingway must be at peace for the effort.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Danke Schoen…

January 27th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Wayne Newton will mark his sixtieth anniversary with a return to Caesars Palace casino-resort. His show starts Monday with dates scheduled until May. He has performed in 30,000 live shows on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

“`Wayne’s success in Las Vegas began when a two-week tryout at the Fremont Hotel and Casino turned into a lounge act of six shows per night, six nights a week for nearly a year. The crooner earned national fame after his television appearance on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1962. He soon became known as Las Vegas hottest entertainer, signed a contract to work thirty-six weeks a year for Howard Hughes Summa hotels. He worked more than forty weeks a year, building a local ranch home and raising prize Arabian horses.             WAYNE NEWTON –>

“`Caesars Entertainment estimates Newton has performed for more than forty million fans over the past six decades. Along the way, he saw Las Vegas’ transformation from a gambling oasis to a glitzy destination with corporate-owned mega casino-resorts that have world-class dining, shopping areas and venues that sign superstars for extended engagements known as residencies. Wayne is considered a pioneering local headliner.

“`Newton was previously at a showroom at Bally’s casino-resort, but it ended in December. The planned shows at Caesars will be in a room for under two hundred people, providing a more intimate setting. The Danke Schoen crooner will be backed by a live band during his Wayne Newton: Up Close and Personal show. He will sing some favorite numbers and share personal career highlights through film clips, anecdotes, and questions from the audience.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forotten Hollywood”- The Michel Legrand Affair…

January 26th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Michel Legrand was a prolific composer, arranger, conductor, and jazz pianist. He composed over two hundred scores for cinema and television. Legrand garnered his first Oscar for The Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair.

“`In his youth, Legrand studied music at the Paris Conservatoire. Though he had a rich and rigorous musical education, Michel hoped to reach ordinary folks.  Over his six-decade career, he collaborated with the finest talent, such as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Sting, and Barbra Streisand.  The composer also teamed with top lyricists in Hollywood and on Broadway.

“`His movie career was quite noteworthy, composing the scores for Ice Station Zebra, The Happy Ending, The Go-Between, Le MansLady Sings the Blues, Ode to Billy Joe40 Carats, Portnoy’s Complaint, Gable and Lombard, Atlantic City, Summer of ’42,  and Yentl. The latter two productions earned Academy Awards for Legrand. He also composed the music for a noted ABC Movie of the WeekBrian’s Song.

“`Michel’s compositions marked some of the most memorable musical moments in French cinema, including 1964’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with Catherine Deneuve and The Young Ladies of Rochefort.

“`The magnificent Michel Legrand was eighty-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Kaye Ballard…

January 22nd, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Kaye Ballard was a musical theater and television actress, comedian, and singer. She is best known for her performance on the NBC sitcom The Mothers-in-Law with co-star Eve Arden. Her seventy-year career encompassed every aspect of the entertainment industry: vaudeville, radio, movies, Broadway, nightclubs, and cabaret.

“`Ballard established herself as a musical comedian in the 1940s when employed by the Spike Jones touring revue of entertainers. She was capable of performing broad physical comedy as well as stand-up dialogue routines. In 1954, she was the first person to record Fly Me to the Moon.

“`Kaye was absolutely sensational as the wicked stepsister in the 1957 live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella that featured Alice Ghostley, and made a star of Julie Andrews. She became a regular The Perry Como Show.

“`Ballard guest-starred on The Patty Duke Show, All My Children, The Doris Day Show, Love American Style, The Love Boat, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-InFantasy Island, Here’s Lucyand Alice. She also made appearances on Match Game.

“`The zany Kaye Ballard was ninety-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“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…

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

“`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. On the Basis of Sex  8. Vice  9. Cold War  10. The Old Man and the Gun

“’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”