“Forgotten Hollywood”- Enjoy the Holidays at Cirque du Soleil!

November 29th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   If you would like to visit Hollywood during the Holidays, let me suggest you and your family stop by The Kodak Theatre. Returning to Southern California earlier this year, Cirque du Soleil is presenting IRIS. The innovative circus company debuted twenty years ago in Los Angeles.  They will now remain a permanent fixture at the Kodak.

   Iris has been crafted as a lesson about Hollywood history and its impact on the film industry (resembling a live version of the latest Martin Scorsese movie – Hugo), and features dancers and acrobats creating a cinematic delicacy through dance, stunts, video, film, and animation.  Recently, Cirque founder Guy Laliberté got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  According to their website:

From illustration to animation, black and white to colour, silent films to talkies, fixed shots to swooping camera movements, spectators witness the poetic deconstruction of this art as an object and as a way of transcending reality.

Supporting the show’s kaleidoscope of movement, moods and images, composer Danny Elfman evokes the language of film music, magnifying the emotions of this surrealistic tribute of the seventh art – CINEMA.

   Here is a link to their site for ticket information:


   The Kodak Theatre is also home to a yearly event… the Academy Awards ceremony.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Store Locations All Over the World!

November 25th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   I’m constantly surprised the trips Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History takes. Some examples…


* AMAZON.UK – My work is available in the United Kingdom through Amazon. If you live along the British Isles, one can purchase my book. With enticing chapters on Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, and Donald Crisp, I say – Why not leaf through the pages!

   Here’s the link:


* FISHPOND – Here’s the fastest growing website Down Under. According to their mission statement:

The best place for Australians & New Zealanders to buy online. Local traditional retailers don’t want to risk a large investment online. We have taken up the challenge and will work hard to bring the people of Australasia a quality and convenient online shopping experience. There is currently a team of fifty Fishponders.

   Here’s the link to this insanely fast growing shopping experience:


* KALAHARI.COM – The Dark Continent is our next stop. Folks in South Africa can now read my work. It’s fascinating to me that Afrikaans can enjoy tales of Hollywood Golden Age. How wonderful to imagine a copy of my paperback in the hands of Nelson Mandela…

   Here’s the link to this most original site:


   May your travels always be comfortable and in First Class. And don’t forget to collect those frequent-flyer miles.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Getting a Jump on Black Friday!

November 23rd, 2011

Manny P. here…

   American shoppers are smart consumers. Black Friday is a great day to get significant bargains when checking family and friends off your Christmas list. The compromise is that one must brave huge crowds, and sometimes camp outside a particular store before dawn. We hope that the weather also cooperates.


   Get a jump on some of your Holiday shopping by purchasing copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. It’s currently available as a paperback or as an eReader on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iPad), Sony (eBook), Diesel, and KOBO.

   Here are some links below for you to simply click and buy:


*** PriceGrabber.com


*** Kindle eBook


*** Nook eBook


 *** iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch

Apple ibooks_icon_20110302     diesal logo

*** Sony eBook

sony reader global_header_logo

*** KOBO eReader


   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is the gift that keeps on giving. Look for my new book in the series just after the Holidays. Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is what it’s called (of course!).

   Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Movie Theaters Celebrate Christmas…

November 22nd, 2011

Manny P. here…

   Historic movie theaters across the country are kicking off the Holiday season by presenting classic films. Here’s a representative sampling of screenings taking place.

~ LOEW’S JERSEY THEATRE – 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ

   A true motion picture palace, this landmark location opened in 1929. According to their website:

Built at what was then the impressive sum of $2 million dollars, the Loew’s was accurately called as “the most lavish temple of entertainment in New Jersey.” It was also one of the state’s biggest theatres, with just under 3,100 seats. Most of the stars of the 1930s that entertained at the Loew’s; legendary performers – Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, Jean Harlow, Burns and Allen, Bing Crosby, Bill Robinson, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Cab Calloway, to name just a few.


   On Friday, December 9th, the Loew’s will air the seldom seen Babes in Toyland (aka March of the Wooden Soldiers), starring Laurel and Hardy. The one-time screening will play at 8p. On Saturday, December 10th, The Wizard of Oz will screen to a packed house at 6:30p.

~ HERSHEY THEATRE – 15 E. Caracas, Hershey, Pa

   Built between 1929 and 1933, the magnificent Hershey Theatre was the brainchild of philanthropist Milton S. Hershey. According to their website:

The inner foyer’s “canopy of gold” arched tile ceiling was patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy. Though the front of Hershey Theatre’s house is magnificent, its heart lies backstage, where the magic is created. The theatre’s historic four-manual, 78-rank Aeolian-Skinner concert organ was commissioned by Milton Hershey.

   The Bishop’s Wife will screen on Friday, November 25th. Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, this comedic fantasy is an Oscar-winner. The delightful cast also includes Elsa Lanchester, Monty Woolley, James Gleason, Gladys Cooper, and Regis Toomey. A short concert on the theatre’s Aeolian-Skinner Organ will precede the film at 7:00 PM.

~ LION’S LINCOLN THEATRE – 156 Lincoln Way East Massillon, Ohio

   Entertaining audiences since 1915, the Lincoln Theatre was purchased by the Lions Club of Massillon, and began a huge restoration project. According to their website:

The summer of 2008 saw the theatre change its format to a totally classic film schedule. The crowds have returned and the future looks bright. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you will find your favorite movies and the stars that made those movies great back on the Silver Screen where they belong.


   Two dependable Holiday classics will kick off the season. Miracle on 34th Street is on tap  from November 25th-27th. Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for playing Kris Kringle. This gem also stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, William Frawley, and Natalie Wood. Enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screenthe following weekend. The cast includes James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Thomas Mitchell, Gloria Grahame, and Frank Faylen.

   You can’t beat a cinematic classic to put you in the mood for the Holidays.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Return to Natalie Wood’s Death!

November 18th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is re-opening its investigation into the 1981 accidental drowning of Natalie Wood. The incident took place just off the shores of Catalina Island. Wood had spent a night partying with her husband Robert Wagner, and entertaining  actor Christopher Walken on the couple’s yacht, Splendor.

   Based on the original inquiry, all the details aren’t completely clear. But, what is known:

* Wood and Walken were on location, co-starring in her final movie – Brainstorm * Late on the evening of November 29th, the actress attempted to board a dinghy because she wanted to visit the island * Wood slipped and fell into the ocean and drowned

   What has never been clarified… did Natalie Wood die because no one heard her cries for help, or simply, was she rendered unconscious after hitting her head on the skiff. It’s also an enigma  why Wood wanted to reach the shores of Avalon by herself at such a late hour.

   Natalie Wood, by age 43, had an accomplished career. A three-time Oscar nominee, the star appeared in the iconic  Miracle on 34th Street, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Rebel Without a Cause, The Searchers, Cash McCall, West Side Story, Love with a Proper Stranger, Gypsy, Splendor in the Grass, The Great Race, Sex and the Single GirlInside Daisy CloverThis Property is Condemned, and Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice. A last film was posthumously  released in 1983.

   The homicide bureau is holding a press conference today to discuss the reasons why they are re-examining the case; deemed an accident. The current investigation is set because of statements made recently by the yacht’s captain, Dennis Davern, to Vanity Faire magazine, and during an interview on 48 Hours Mystery. Foul play was suggested in 1982 tabloids, but it was never proven.


   Davern suggests a heated discussion took place between the couple, prior to the accident. A televised conversation with the skipper will air Saturday evening.

   Natalie Wood was married three times, twice to Robert Wagner. The actor’s family has promised to fully co-operate with detectives. Wagner is not expected to be a suspect in the impending inquiry. Anyone with information is asked to contact the local sheriff’s department. Christopher Walken could not be reached for comment.

   Natalie Wood’s demise is considered to be one of Hollywood’s most tragic mysteries.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Universal to Celebrate Centennial!

November 17th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   Universal Studios has plans for its 100th anniversary celebration. Established in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, it’s one of the oldest American film studios still in continuous production.

   According to their press release:

In January, we’re going to be unveiling an extensive year-long campaign that includes a significant restoration commitment for some of our most beloved motion pictures, fan engagement through special events, a home entertainment offering, theme park activities, promotions, and fun social media and web outreaches. All of this is designed to connect a new audience to our extraordinary library of cimena, as well as bring these memories back to longtime movie lovers.

   Universal is known for its Horror-genre involving  DraculaThe Mummy, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Wolf Man. During the early 1940s, their stable of actors included the biggest comedy team in America… <————— Abbott and Costello. The lot also cultivated successful cinematic characters such as The Dead End Kids, Sherlock Holmes, and Ma & Pa Kettle.

   Universal Studios is about to rock your world in 2012!


   BookByte Textbooks is the perfect place to purchase Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History for the Winter semester at your local college or university. Of course, if my paperback is not on your syllabus, the content of my work is a great reason to take a assignment-break for some fun reading.

   According to their website:

 It’s the textbook way to get all the textbooks you need for school at amazing prices. You can easily purchase your books online from us and we’ll ship them directly to you: you don’t even need to get out of your comfy chair.

   Here’s a link to purchase my book at an affordable price:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Doris Day’s CD Set for U.S. Release…

November 16th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   Doris Day’s new CD called My Heart is set for its U.S. release on December 2nd. Europe recently went gaga for her first compilation in decades. Included in this collection of music is a Bonus TrackScrewball (a favorite folk ballad  from the legendary songstress).

   Proceeds from the sales of this upcoming CD release will benefit the Doris Day Animal Foundation. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon, which would make a fabulous addtion to your music library, or a great holiday gift.

   You can also visit Day’s personal website. Click on the link below for details:


   Doris Day remains a vital study in our remembrance of Hollywood’s Golden Age. We are indeed blessed by her many cinematic and lyrical contributions.


   Several Hollywoodland websites are promoting Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. I’m grateful Celebrity Hot Stuff and Hollywood Today are currently recognizing my paperback.

   Here are their links:



Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Many Happy Returns…

November 14th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   I’d like to personally thank all of my well-wishers on FACEBOOK and the other social network sites for the kind wishes on my day… If you are also celebrating your birthday today, may it be a memorable one!

   I hope everyone has a great day! That would be the best present one could receive…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Crystal is Back on Oscar Night!

November 11th, 2011

Manny P. here…

billy crystal   Generations of movie audiences can point to Hollywood icons that have been the face of the Oscars throughout the years. Bob Hope and Johnny Carson provided decades of service, and both have added to the enduring legacy of the annual Academy Awards show. For folks of a certain age, our representative has been Billy Crystal.

   For the ninth time in the last two decades, the comedian has agreed to become the host for the 2012 ceremony. This is great news for those of us who long for Crystal’s brand of humor. Billy last emceed the seasonal event in 2004. He will  succeed Eddie Murphy, who declined the opportunity to host after next year’s show producer was replaced after making a pour comment. Robin Williams additionally turned down an invitation.

   Billy Crystal has enjoyed a fine motion picture career, carving out comedic roles in When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, The Princess Bride, and Analyze This. His television credits included a co-starring role on Soap, and he also joined the regular cast of Saturday Night Live in 1984.

   Crystal has won a Tony award, an Emmy, and he has received several Golden Globes nominations. He was honored with a Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2007.

   The upcoming Academy Awards program will air on February 26, 2012.


   I’m thrilled the Cypress Public Library will carry Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. The paperback has been added to their shelves as part of a book-building program. My Orange County, CA hometown library is the 57th literary facility to carry my work, which offers me gratification.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- We’ve Lost Another Friend…

November 8th, 2011

Manny P. here…Hal-Kanter-1-Color__111108190005-275x343

   Longtime producer, director, and writer – Hal Kanter – has died. He was best known as a contributor to the Academy Awards telecast for five decades.

   He began his career as a writer on television with such credits as the Ed Wynn Show and the George Gobel Show. Kanter also  created the landmark production of Julia with Diahann Carroll (the first African American actress to star in a situation comedy). He  produced episodes for All in the Family and Chico and the Man.

   Kanter’s motion picture screenplays include Road to Bali, Casanova’s Big Night, Loving YouBlue Hawaii, Pocketful of Miracles, Bachelor in Paradise, Move Over Darling, and Dear Brigitte. He helped Tennessee Williams turn his stage production of The Rose Tattoo into the film version.

   Kanter’s knack for comedy landed him the opportunity to work with Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, and most recently, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart on many Oscar ceremonies. He received several Emmys for his work. He received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television from the Writer’s Guild of America in 1989.

   Hal Kanter was 92.

 Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Fond Look at the Passing Parade…

November 5th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   I’m sorry to hear about the passing of former 60 Minutes commentator, Andy Rooney. Recently, I wrote a blog about his contributions during World War II, at CBS, andat PBS (throughout his long career). He retired just last month from the weekly news program.

   Andy Rooney was 92.

Melton, Sid<——— Sid Melton also died on Friday. The longtime character actor appeared in motion pictures and television during the Golden Ages of each medium. Following in his father’s footsteps, who was a comedian in Yiddish theatre, Melton enjoyed a six-decade show business career.

   His film credits include The Shadow of the Thin Man, On the Town, Knock on Any Door, The Geisha Boy, Lost Continent, Blondie Goes to College, and Lady Sings the Blues. On the small screen, Melton is best known for recurring roles on Make Room for Daddy, Captain MidnightGreen Acres, and The Golden Girls.

   Sid Melton was 94.

Until next time.                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Barrymore to Co-Host “Essentials”…

November 3rd, 2011

Manny P. here…


   Drew Barrymore, the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award-winning actress, has been invited to co-host the 2012 edition of The Essentials on Turner Classic Movies. She will join Robert Osborne each weekend and helphand-select classic cinema deemed essential by movie critics.

   Part of noted Hollywood royalty, Drew is the grand-daughter of John Barrymore, and the grand-niece of Lionel and Ethel. The young actress is a spokesperson for Cover Girl and Gucci products. She’s also a philanthropist and was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Program. In 2007, she received a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

   Robert Osborne is set to return to his weekday anchor duties on December 1st. The long-time host left TCM for a couple of months due to undisclosed personal and health reasons.

   The acting lineage of Drew Barrymore makes this collaboration a natural fit for the TCM segment known as The Essentials.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- ABWA Book Signing Appearance…

November 2nd, 2011

Manny P. here…

abwa   I’m attending today’s American Business Women’s Association dinner at the California Wok in Los Alamitos. Joining me will be Gary Lycan, the radio columnist of the Orange County Register.

   I’ll be signing copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, and chatting about Hollywood’s Golden Age. This members-only event begins at 4:30p.

   What a thrill to be meeting contributing members of my local business community.


   Here’s a new location for you to pick up a copy of my paperback (on demand). This book shop and coffeehouse is located at our nation’s capital, which is incredibly exciting…

Politics and Prose Bookstore  5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, District of Columbia. Click on the link below to visit their website:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- November / Night of the Hunter (1955)

November 1st, 2011

(#5 in a 12-part series to be printed at the beginning of each month)

Manny P. here… nightof2

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER – Based on the Davis Grubb 1953 bestseller, the non-fiction thriller was a finalist for the 1955 National Book Award. The novel offered the author’s account of the Harry Power’s story, who was executed in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Moundsville, West Virginia.

Back Story

   First-time director Charles Laughton helped assemble a fabulous cast: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, and Peter Graves. Laughton was an Oscar-winning actor who starred in acclaimed motion pictures as The Private Life of Henry VIII, Mutiny on the Bounty, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

472px-Charles_Laughton   Laughton’s goal was to create a visually stunning movie based on the European cinematic approaches of German Expressionism of the 1920s and visual metaphors developed by director Fritz Lang, combined with film noir popular for a decade. He developed the elements important in modern thrillers, which inspired Hitchcock’s Psycho, Wait Until Dark, The Boston Strangler, Rosemary’s Baby, and the screen adaptation of Truman Capote’s  In Cold Blood. But, The Night of the Hunter wasn’t a success with either audiences or critics when initially release.  <——– Charles Laughton never directed another picture.


   Laughton achieved his directorial goals in his use of biblical themes, which were effectively  referenced by his cast. Camera angles were intentionally distorted, and the music score used was haunting. And, the screenplay was a fabulous collaboration by Laughton and James Agee.

Robert_Mitchum_in_My_Forbidden_Past_trailer   Robert Mitchum always felt this was his best screen role. He was correct. His menacing approach was alternately playful and frightening. Mitchum commands confidence in his portrayal, while delivering bitter patience while  searching for a hidden fortune. Burt Lancaster later mimicked elements of  Mitchum’s character in Elmer Gantry.

   The children, portrayed by Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce, produced physically successful performances while playing opposite their adult counterparts. They just about steal the movie from Mitchum, who knew how to command a scene.


    The Night of the Hunter was a blueprint in the development of modern filmmaking. Quite frankly, the movie was ahead of its time. The complicated camera techniques were second only to what Orson Welles accomplished in Citizen Kane. Audiences were just not prepared for the director’s approach, which was the main reason for its lukewarm reception. Looking back, the  reaction might have been more of a glimpse at the lack of sophistication by audiences of the day. Or, the political climate generated by McCarthyism and the Cold War might have created  the desire for a more positive cinematic experience.

   Charles Laughton should have had a respected resume as a director. Instead, he glumly returned to acting. Film-goers during Hollywood’s Golden Age were the loser for this decision.

Supporting Actor Spotlight

Night of the Hunter (cast)<——–  Lillian Gish had an eight-decade career in Hollywood. Considered one of the great actresses in the annals of early cinema, she began working in silent pictures in 1912. Gish was a favorite of directors D.W. Griffith, John Huston, King Vidor, and William Dieterle. She co-starred in Birth of a Nation, Broken Blossoms, Intoleranceand Ben-Hur (MGM’s 1925 version). Lillian retired at the advent of talkies (1933) until the 1940s.

   She received a Best Supporting Actress-nomination for her performance in Duel in the Sun; and her final film was The Whales of August in 1987. Her co-stars included Bette Davis, Ann Southern, and Vincent Price. Lillian was part of acting royalty. Her sister Dorothy had a  nice movie career.

   A street in Massillon, Ohio is named after Gish, who lived there during an early period in her life, and fondly referred to it as her hometown throughout her career.

   She died of natural causes in 1993 at the age of 99.


   Charles Laughton’s final acting assignments included roles in Witness for the Prosecution (an Oscar nomination followed), Spartacus, and Advise and Consent. He was happily married to Elsa Lanchester for thirty-three years. The actor died in 1962.

220px-NightOfTheHunter    The American Film Institute and the Library of Congress are among the prestigious organizations who have lavished praise on this memorable motion picture. David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and the Coen Brothers are among today’s directors who say they have been influenced by the majesty of The Night of the Hunter.

   Harry Powell’s LOVE/HATE tattoos on his knuckles are still considered visually iconic, with creative homage provided by Dan Ackroyd in The Blues Brothers, and mentioned in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Silence of the Lambs.

   On a personal note, actor James Gleason, who appeared in The Night of the Hunter, will have his own Chapter in my next book, Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

Until next time>                               “never forget”