“Forgotten Hollywood”- Doris Day is still on a Roll in 2012!

March 5th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   The resurgence of Doris Day’s career continues into the Spring of 2012. Once again, the springboard is taking place in the United Kingdom.

    She’s releasing Doris Day – The Ultimate Collection. The greatest hits CD will include Pillow Talk, Teacher’s Pet, and When You Fall in Love. A new generation of listeners is guaranteed for Ms. Day.

   As always, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Doris Day Animal Foundation. This organization provides lifesaving care, in addition to the creature comforts, to hundreds of animals each year.


   Google Books is introducing Google Play. It’s a new digital content destination available on mobile devices and on the web. Google eBooks and Android Market will be part of Google Play, and users will now get their ebooks from Google Play.

   In addition, customers who go to the web eBook store will be redirected to the Google Play store. While this doesn’t change the way consumers read Google eBooks, it does provide a more compelling mobile purchase experience on a tablet, phone, eReader, or, on the web.

   Here’s a link to this forward-thinking site:



   Thanks to Concordia University of Portland Oregon for adding Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History to their library. It’s the second higher-learning facility in the Portland area to order my book.

   Among the notables to have graduated from this private institution was the former senator from Chicago – Paul Simon. This is the 73rd prestigious shelf to carry my first work; and 79th overall branch to house some form of my book-series.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Radio chat about MGM in Culver City!

March 4th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Los Angeles-based KNX 10-70 AM has invited me to historic Culver City to discuss the  legacy of MGM Studios on Friday at 2:15p. It’s part of their KNX on the Corner promotion.

   I’ll be chatting with news anchors, Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens, about MGM’s story. Among the expected topics of conversation:

*Manhattan Melodrama – The last picture ever watched by a gangster

* The Wizard of Oz – How Frank Morgan got the title role in the film

* The King & Queen of 1930s Hollywood – Clark Gable and former Culver City resident (???)

* The #1 Box-Office draw of the 1940s post-World War II era (???)

* That’s EntertainmentMGM’s epitaph

   I’ll also be sharing stories from my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. If you live in Southern California, tune in for this nostalgic interview about Hollywood’s greatest movie lot during its Golden Age…

“The Home of more Stars then there are in the Heavens!”

   Here is a link for more information:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Read an eBook Week / eBook Sale…

March 3rd, 2012

Manny P. here…

   The online home of eBook – Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History – is offering for one week: 25% off my work. SMASHWORDS is promoting “Read an eBook Week,” and their website is the origin of this marvelous discount.

   Visit one of the websites below, and after purchasing a copy of my eBook, type in the PROMO CODE:  REW25. You will instantly get a 25% savings. This is a great week-long deal!

   Here are the website links:



   March is the perfect time to add Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History to your favorite eReader!

   *** This sale is going on NOW through March 10th.


   SMASHWORDS has announced a distribution agreement with Baker & Taylor, one of the world’s largest distributors of physical and digital books. The agreement will expand its distribution for nearly 100,000 SMASHWORDS books to new devices and markets.

   There are two components of the agreement. The first is distribution into the Blio online store and eReading app. The second part gains SMASHWORDS authors and publishers distribution into the library market through Baker & Taylor’s service.

   If you’re not familiar with Blio, it’s an online store (Blio.com), and also a popular eReading application that has been pre-loaded on over millions of computers and devices. It powers the reading experience for laptops, desktops and tablets produced by Dell Computer, Toshiba, HP, and T-Mobile, among others. Blio is also available in the Android store.

   The agreement will also bring SMASHWORDS ebooks to public libraries that subscribe to Baker & Taylor’s new Axis360 digital media platform. Axis360, which was launched last year, has been deployed by several top public library systems in the United States. Dozens more libraries are converting to the platform.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- March / The Flight of the Phoenix (’65)

March 2nd, 2012

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

Manny P. here…

   THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX – In the tradition of male-dominated motion pictures  from the Studio Era (The Lost Patrol, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Sahara), this features a stellar cast, a disaster-genre subplot, and bizarre twist in the screenplay. When film critics list the fine roles of James Stewart, The Flight of the Phoenix is often omitted. Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Dan Duryea, Hardy Kruger, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, and Ian Bannen also star. Like Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3, it spawned a remake.

Back Story

   The Flight of the Phoenix is based on a 1964 novel by Elleston Trevor. The plot involved the crash landing of a transport plane in the middle of the North African desert. Studios immediately conducted a bidding war for the rights to the book. 20th Century Fox developed the vehicle with the intent to create the kind of gritty movie made in the 1950s involving the collaborative effort between James Stewart and director Anthony Mann.

   Audiences enjoyed the effort; critics found the adventure story unrealistic.


   The strong supporting cast was ably directed by Robert Aldrich. His career included strong stark films such as Vera Cruz, Kiss Me Deadly, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, and later, The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Yard. This ideal script was handed to Aldrich in 1965.

454px-Kruger_Hardy_01-227x300    The brilliance of making one of the heroes a German engineer in contrast with Americans and British soldiers cannot be denied. Hardy Kruger was up to the task. His character’s solution of applying the concept of flight from a toy glider to the rebuilding of a wrecked aircraft was delicious. The conflict between Stewart and Kruger created an inevitable dichotomy. The remaining actors (particularly Richard Attenborough) then react over a political war of wills. They ultimately developed into a cohesive team.  HARDY KRUGER —>  surely steals this film.


   The downing of the plane (a Fairchild C-82A Packet) was problematic. Director Aldrich insisted on multiple takes to get the perfect crash. One of the last takes, which is used in the movie, caused the demise of legendary stunt flyer, Paul Mantz. The accident haunted James Stewart throughout the filming. The actor had lost a personal friend.

   This motion picture was over two hours long, which allowed the director to flesh out each role. If only 20 minutes shorter, The Flight of the Phoenix might have presented far crisper scenes. Dream sequences created an avenue for a woman to be cast in the flick, but it really does not advance the plot.

 Supporting Actor Spotlight

   Arguably, no one ever had a better career playing wily villains than Dan Duryea. His Broadway appearance in Dead End set the tone that typecast the actor when he was discovered by Hollywood.

   In contrast to his actual demeanor, Duryea was influenced by film noir, and early cruel performances by Richard Widmark, Robert Mitchum, and Victor Mature. His notable roles include The Pride of the Yankees, None But the Lonely Heart, The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, and Criss Cross. His friendship with James Stewart led to Duryea’s casting in Winchester ’73, Thunder Bay, and of course, The Flight of the Phoenix.

   Ironically, his role in the 1965 film allowed the actor to play a character similar to his own psyche. At Stewart’s suggestion, Robert Aldrich gave the assignment of naming the plane, The Phoenix, to Duryea. This was a legacy-gesture for the ailing actor who died of cancer in 1968.


   The idea of doing this movie intrigued James Stewart, a Brigadier General in the Air Force. He began flying combat missions in  1944, and was appointed Operations Officer of the 453rd Bomb Group, and subsequently, Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Wing, 2nd Air Division of the 8th Air Force. He ended with twenty bombings, and remained in the USAF Reserve.  JAMES STEWART –>

   The Flight of the Phoenix received two Oscar nods. The German public appreciated the role of Hardy Kruger, which might have helped thaw United States / Germany relations. Bitterness still existed because of postwar trials in Nuremberg that tangentially indicted the entire Fatherland; plus, there were constant reminders of The Holocaust in Hollywood scripts involving World War II. Kruger was humble, appropriately suggesting he was just doing his job. For this singular reason, this piece of celluloid remains an important contribution to cinema.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Agatha Christie Estate Goes American

March 1st, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Majority ownership from the estate of the most prolific writer from the United Kingdom has been purchased by Acorn Media Group, a Maryland-based company. Agatha Christie Limited has sold the rights to the characters created by the literary sleuth, including Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot; plus great works such as And Then There were None, Murder Most Foul, Witness for the Prosecution, Death on the Nile, Evil Under the SunThe Mousetrap, and Murder on the Orient Express.


   Agatha Christie’s books have sold more than two billion copies. They still continue to sell amazingly well, long after the author’s death in 1976. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, She’s considered the best-selling novelist of all time. Her estate claims that her works rank third, behind those of William Shakespeare and The Bible, as the most widely published books. According to Index Translationum, Christie is the most translated individual author, with only the collective corporate  entities of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her.

   The upside to the negotiated agreement… Hollywood studios and Broadway producers may find it easier to acquire use of the writer’s work on this side of the pond. Notable thespians as C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power, Margaret Rutherford, Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, and Peter Ustinov have played characters based on the scribe’s pen-to-paper.

   Ironically, while Agatha Christie was alive, she never lived more than a couple miles from her birthplace. Her last known residence was in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England.  AGATHA CHRISTIE –>

   London-based Chorion announced the deal on Wednesday.


   Three branches of the Orange County Public Library now carry Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. These shelves are in Garden Grove, Aliso Viejo, and Irvine. My new book is officially in 15 branches nationwide. This ups my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series to 78 global libraries.

   My home county is representing!

Until next time>                               “never forget”