“Forgotten Hollywood”- Election of 1912 to Hit Big Screen…

October 31st, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks is again expected to collaborate with noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (below). The movie studio has secured the cinematic rights to her upcoming work, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.

doris kearns goodwin   103013-1

   Goodwin and Dreamworks previously worked together on Lincoln, which was based on her Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The Spielberg-directed motion picture made $275 million worldwide and won two Oscars, including one for Daniel Day-Lewis’  portrayal of the president. No director has been selected for the next project. The chances Spielberg would direct are slim, since he’s busy producing Jurassic World, and has several other projects in the works.

   The Bully Pulpit is expected to hit literary shelves on November 5th, and is published by Simon & Schuster. It examines the close relationship between Roosevelt and Vice President William Howard Taft, who would go on to succeed TR in the White House. The 900-page book chronicles the friendship and then political rivalry of the two Republican leaders, both American presidents of the Progressive Era. The Roosevelt-Taft relationship crumbled when Teddy chose to run against the incumbent in 1912, and it helped Woodrow Wilson become president.

   Goodwin, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in History for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, is also the author of the bestsellers, Wait Till Next Year; Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream; and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into an award-winning five-part television miniseries.

   Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chills Available on DVD…

October 30th, 2013

Manny P. here…

The Roger Corman Horror Classics Collection from Film Chest Media Group not only gives you three of Corman’s most popular movies, but you get them in high definition. Taken from the original 35mm prints, these digitally restored widescreen versions look and sound better than ever before. You can check out the before-and-after restoration demo included on the bonus features.

   The chills included in this collection are:
~ A Bucket of Blood (1959) – A torrid tale of a frustrated waiter at a beatnik cafe who accidentally kills his landlady’s cat. When he tries to hide the body in plaster, he is mistaken as a brilliant sculptor with more requests for suspiciously lifelike work.
~ Dementia 13 (1963) – a recently widowed woman travels to Ireland, where she finds herself trapped in a creepy, decrepit castle with her ex-husband’s demented family. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
~ The Terror (1963) – A soldier from Napoleon-era, 19th century France finds that nothing is what it seems in a ghostly, haunted mansion of death. Co-directed by Roger Corman and Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Jack Nicholson and Boris Karloff.
   Roger Corman’s Horror Classics: Vol. 1 is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16×9 and 5.1 stereo (except A Bucket of Blood, which is mono). For all Corman fans, this is just in time for Halloween.
Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Lone Star State Honors Audie Murphy!

October 29th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Governor Rick Perry formally presented the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor posthumously to Major Audie L. Murphy today in a public ceremony in Farmersville, Texas.  The award was accepted by Murphy’s sister, Mrs. Nadine Murphy-Lockey.

   Murphy was America’s most decorated World War II combat soldier, earning an astounding 33 decorations, medals, and citations, including the US Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver StarBronze Star, Legion of Merit, and a Purple Heart. Throughout his career in the service, he received every valor decoration the military awarded at that time.


   After the war, Audie Murphy (above) appeared in over 50 films, spanning a 21-year career — most notably playing himself in the 1955 autobiographical war film To Hell and Back (based on his 1949 memoirs), which set a box-office record for Universal Studios. It wasn’t broken until Jaws was released in 1975. In an effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, Murphy spoke out candidly about his own problems with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was known during Murphy’s lifetime as battle fatigue and shell shock, terminology dating back to World War I.

   On May 28th, 1971, Murphy was killed when the private plane in which he was a passenger crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia in conditions of rain, clouds, fog, and zero visibility. As a result of legislation introduced by the US Congress, five months after his death, the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio was dedicated in 1973; and they are currently part of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Film Critic Named Bogart…

October 27th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Stephen Humphrey Bogart, son of movie legends Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, gives his take on movies currently in theaters, as well as on his favorites from the Golden Age of cinema. A jam-packed thirty minute show where Bogart breaks down his pick of movies from different genres, and tops it off by highlighting some of the worst movies of all time. It’s home base is on WXEL – PBS For The Palm Beaches.


   Stephen Bogart’s movie review program, Bogart on Movies, now has its own dedicated web page, where you can see all the episodes that have aired so far. If you are interested, ask your local PBS affiliate to consider carrying the show.


   Here’s a link to check out this new critical take on motion pictures:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Hal Needham…

October 26th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Director Hal Needham began his career as a stuntman. His initial break came when he was cast as a billboard model for Viceroy Cigarettes while searching for a job in Hollywood. He eventually received an honorary Oscar for his contributions in the technical aspects of cinema.

hero719_needham2   In the 1956 biopic, The Spirit of St. Louis, the script called for airplane wing-walking and parachute jumping; skills Needham mastered while serving in the Army and performing in thrill shows. The technician nailed the stunts, and fell in love with the profession. He became the stunt double for Richard Boone on the popular  television western Have Gun, Will Travel. He  was recruited to train under John Wayne’s stunt double, and quickly became one of the top stuntmen of the 1960s on such films as How the West Was Won, McLintock!, The Bridge at Remagen, and Little Big Man. He doubled regularly for Clint Walker and Burt Reynolds.   HAL NEEDHAM —–>

   His most dazzling stunts included jumping a boat a record 138 feet across a swamp in Gator; jumping onto a moving stagecoach from a horse, and then broad-jumping across the coach’s teams of horses as they raced along in Little Big Man; and launching his car 80 feet onto a moving ferry in White Lightning. Needham moved into stunt coordinating and directing second unit action, while designing air bags and other innovative equipment to the industry.

   After Hal co-wrote the screenplay for Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds offered him the chance to direct the flick. It was a huge hit, and the results led to successful collaborative productions of Hooper, Stroker Ace, and The Cannonball Run series.

   In 2012, Needham was awarded a Governors Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where he was introduced by director Quentin Tarantino.

   The durable Hal Needham was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- League of Guardians Recognition…

October 23rd, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Moose Charities just sent by mail a letter of recognition with a special memento to honor our recent contribution of $2400 on behalf of Buena Park Moose #1945. We raised the money from $1 contributed from the sale of each first edition copy sold of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Executive Director Jan Fregulia wrote:

   At the recent International Convention inMilwaukee, Wisconsin, we had the opportunity to personally thank the members of the League of Guardians in attendance. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” I extend heartfelt thanks to you for your outstanding generosity and compassion. Please accept this crystal award as a small token of our appreciation…

   My wife Laurie and I were indeed pleasantly surprised by the acknowledgment. We intend to keep searching for creative ways to provide donations to Moose Charities.

AnnualRpt12-13   DSC01109-300x199   league of gurdians


   Moose Charities Inc., is a registered nonprofit, Illinois-based 501 (c)3 charity, charged with the primary goal of providing the necessary resources for continued support and maintenance of the Mooseheart Child City & School and the Moosehaven retirement community.


   The nationwide phenomenon known as the LIT CRAWL debuts in the North Hollywood (NoHo) Arts District tonight from 6p to 11p. LIT CRAWL is being held in two rounds – Round One from 6p – 7p; Round Two from 7:30p – 8:30p; After Party from 9p – 11p (twelve locales).


   Restaurants, bars and other hip NoHo venues will host an evening of thrilling readings with the best of LA’s writers in a sampling from throughout Southern California. Multiple genres will be represented, spanning fiction to poetry. It promises to be a vibrant literary evening!



   Guerrilla Reads will be airing videos of readings from authors they have collected. One of their scribes is ME reading a passage from Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. LIT CRAWL is FREE, and tickets to the After Party are $15.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Birds are Soaring into Virginia…

October 22nd, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Legendary actress Tippi Hedren is headed to Richmond for a special screening of The Birds in celebration of the 50th anniversary for the film. The ingenue of Alfred Hitchcock will be at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to help kick-off the museum’s Hollywood Costume exhibit, which opens the same day. The green dress Hedren wore in the film is featured in the exhibition.

the birds

   The family-friendly activity is a Film and Talk. Following the screening, Professor Gweneth West, head of costume design at the University of Virginia, will lead a Q&A with Ms. Hedren about her experiences as the trademark cool blonde in Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie.

virginia-film-festival   VMFA is hosting in partnership with the Virginia Film Festival.  It’s on Saturday, November 9th from 3p – 6p. Tickets are $15 ($12 for members).

   This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the classic movie buff living in the Commonwealth of the Old Dominion


   Noel Harrison was an English singer, actor, and Olympian. He’s also the son of Rex Harrison. Noel was best known for recording the hit song The Windmills Of Your Mind, which was featured on The Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack. It won Best Song at the 1968 Oscars.

   At an early age, Harrison was a part of the British ski team, becoming its first giant-slalom champion in 1953. He represented Great Britain at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway; and at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Stefanie_Powers_Noel_Harrison_Girl_From_UNCLE   An early break came when he took part in the BBC Television programme, Tonight. Noel appeared as Mark Slate in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. as the co-star of Stefanie Powers. As Slate, Noel also guest-starred on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

   In 1968, the actor played the male lead in a touring theater group of The Fantasticks. He reprised Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the part first performed by his famous father in Broadway’s original stage production and film version. Other roles included Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music, King Arthur in Camelot, and Don Quixote in Man of La ManchaHARRISON & STEFANIE POWERS ->

   Noel Harrison was 79.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Halloween’s Finest Hour of Chills…

October 21st, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The Workshop Theatre is proud to be Calgary’s longest running community theatre (since 1969). They are pleased to announce The War of the Worlds, which opens on October 29th. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Mercury Theatre broadcast.


   Shortly after 8p on Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on Mars; followed minutes later by a report Martians had landed in the tiny hamlet of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood the program was a radio drama, the next day’s headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced America was under a deadly Martian attack. It was an episode from the drama anthology series – Mercury Theatre on the Air. Aired over the CBS radio network, and directed and narrated by Orson Welles, it was adaptated from H.G. Wells’s novel, War of the Worlds (1898).


welles    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigated the radio  show, but found no laws were broken. Networks agreed to be more cautious in their future programming. The actor feared the controversy generated by The War of the Worlds would ruin his career. However, the publicity helped land him a contract with a Hollywood studio. By 1941, Welles directed, produced, wrote, and starred in the iconic Citizen Kane. In 2003, the Mercury Theatre broadcast of The War of the Worlds was added to the National Recording Registry of Library of Congress.  ORSON WELLES

workshop theatre

   The War of the Worlds is brought to life at the Pumphouse Theatres (10/29 – 11/02) in the Joyce Doolittle Theatre at 2140 Pumphouse Ave. SW. Shows start at 7:30 pm.

   Western Canada… Prepare to be frightened… ay!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Broadway News and Notes…

October 19th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Wicked has shown the heart, brains, and courage to reign as the highest-grossing show on Broadway for about a decade. The Wizard of Oz-related stage phenomenon continues to set records around the world. From its 1.1 million Facebook followers to its nearly 100 global awards, including three Tonys and a Grammy.

Wicked Celebrates 10 Years on Broadway

   Ironically, one of the beneficiaries of Wicked’s success is Universal Pictures. They decided not to pursue a related movie project, but did invest in the stage version. It’s the single most lucrative project the movie studio has been involved with. Considering they’ve produced E.T., Jaws, and Jurassic Park… that’s quite an accomplishment.

   The stage show has also become an international success, too. In Finland or Japan, by comparison, audiences don’t know the first thing about Dorothy and Cowardly Lion, let alone the witches, Elphaba and Glinda. Nevertheless, Wicked has been an equally incredible success in these and many other countries.

   Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, there was a question whether this would succeed in New York. After ten record breaking years and nearly 7.5 million tickets sold at the Gershwin Theatre alone, it’s safe to say the question has been answered.

   The merry old land of Oz continues to reign supreme, which is good news for folks of all ages.


   A stage adaptation based on An American in Paris with music by George and Ira Gershwin is  headed for Broadway in 2015 after a stop in — where else? — Paris next December. The 1951 movie won an Oscar for Best Picture, and starred Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant. It was inspired by a 1928 orchestral composition by the Gershwins.

An American in Paris Musical Aiming for Broadway

                                             GENE KELLY                 LESLIE CARON

    The score includes the tunes I Got Rhythm, Our Love Is Here To Stay, But Not For Me, S’Wonderful, Stairway to Paradise, and They Can’t Take That Away. It will follow on the heels of other recent Gershwin stage hits, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Porgy and Bess.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Innovative Book Signing Event…

October 18th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   This weekend, I’ll be at a historic cemetery in Orange County, CA, for a major tour event and fundraiser that benefits the iconic Howe Waffle House in Santa Ana. Here are details of my appearance:


Creative Genius: Artists and Inventors in Orange County History

Fairhaven Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery

1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana, CA

October 19th

Saturday 11p – 3p

leo-fender   This guided historical tour of Fairhaven Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery features costumed actors portraying historic figures who share stories from Orange County’s past. For example, Fender and Rickenbacker are household names to famous folks involved in modern music, and both grew up in Orange County. Performers playing electric guitar pioneers, F.C. Hall and Leo Fender (who was born in Anaheim),  will explain their influence on the music scene of the 1950s and 1960s,  such as the Beach Boys, the Byrds and the Beatles. O.C. has been home to the imaginative, the artistic, and the inspired.   LEO FENDER ——>

   Docents will guide visitors through scenes that played creative roles in the recent history of the county, culminating in a presentation in Fairhaven’s beautiful 1916 mausoleum. A lovely outdoor setting and close access to the actors make this an entertaining outing for the whole family. Comfortable shoes are recommended for the hour-and-a-half long walking tour.

img_logo2   Santa Ana Preservation Society logo

   The event is hosted by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society. Tix: adults $20; seniors and members $16; and students $14. Children 9 and under are free. If you live in the Southern California area, I’ll be signing copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book  Series, great gifts for the Holiday season.

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

   I hope to see you out there.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Johnny Carson’s Lawyer Tells All…

October 17th, 2013

Manny P. here… Book Review-Johnny Carson

   Henry Bushkin was the longtime barrister and advocate of the late-night king of television. His new book, Johnny Carson, is a juicy peek inside the noted celebrity’s life. Bushkin’s memoir is a well-written corporate tale that reveals the tough business of staying America’s favorite host for four decades; full of stories about money, sex, skullduggery, and plenty of laughs.

   Bushkin began handling Carson’s affairs in 1970. Johnny eventually let him go after nearly two decades of service. In between, an engrossing story emerged. Few books like Johnny Carson have been more telling.

   For example, the television personality had multiple issues with his many wives, including a lack of fidelity that led to a sad confrontation with his second spouse and sportscaster Frank Gifford; and a poor decision to dissolve a pre-nuptual agreement, costing Johnny $35 million after a messy divorce with his third wife. While single, his skirt-chasing earned a beating from a gangster’s entourage, and a mob contract. Bushkin says some high-level discussions allowed Carson to walk the streets of New York again without fear of being killed for hitting on the wrong guy’s gal.

   Bushkin’s memoir adds shading to a portrait already established. The master of the talk-show medium was often uncomfortable with individuals. He could be generous, witty, and a joy to be around — but in a flash, turn cruel and cold. Television’s controversial Midwesterner was also a roving husband, unpredictable when drunk, a four-pack-a-day smoker, and prone to obscenity-laden rants. When he drove his vehicle, he usually carried a handgun for protection, according to the legal scribe. In Bushkin’s telling, Carson was too trusting of financial advisers, making him an easy victim of bad deals (including a dubious relationship with a lawyer that is capitalizing on his fame after his passing).

   Johnny Carson is a must-read for all of its insights and details. The literary work is published through Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

—————————————————————-ed lauter

   Ed Lauter often played menacing folks in cinema. The veteran actor was instantly recognizable in scores of movies and television programs during a busy career stretching across five decades.   ED LAUTER —>

   Ed appeared in the final motion picture directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Family Plot. Other film roles included The Longest YardKing KongCujo, Breakheart Pass, Death Wish 3, Born on the Fourth of July, The Rocketeer, and The Artist. Lauter had small screen appearances in The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-FilesKojak, ERMurder She Wrote, The Rockford Files, and The Office.

   The versatile Ed Lauter was 74.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Most Famous Literary Works by State!

October 16th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Local literary works can be a surprising source of home state pride, no matter where you’re from. Here’s a compiled list of the generally-regarded most famous book set in each state (or commonwealth).

Most Famous Books Set In Every State_Larger

   Many of these works have translated well into cinema. How many have you read?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Production Around the Corner…

October 15th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   In December, Screen Plays presents Parfumerie, directed by Meredith Carroll. Patrons of all ages will enjoy an immersive experience with a broad audience appeal. The stage production is conveniently timed for families to enjoy at Christmas time. You’ll adore the costumes and sets.

   Parfumerie is a delightful comedy set in the 1930s, which immerses its audience through the tangled lives and emotional ties of the employees and the owner of a Budapest cosmetics shop. Only the truth can lead to a happy resolution in this old-fashioned holiday tale.


   This romantic play has been adapted by E. P. Dowdall from the Hungarian work Illatszertar by Miklos Laszlo. The original production inspired several iconic cinematic pictures: The Shop Around the Corner (featuring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Joseph Schildkraut, Frank Morgan, and directed by the legendary Ernst Lubitsch; In the Good Old Summertime (with Van Johnson, Judy Garland, and S.Z. Sakall); and more recently, You’ve Got Mail (starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan).

   It’s Hollywood’s Golden Age on stage brought to you by the Big Apple’s Screen Plays!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Kansas By Way of Maine…

October 14th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   To coincide with the anniversary of MGM’s  classic motion picture, The Wizard of Oz, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine opened the exhibition The Wonderful World of Oz over the weekend. The exhibit, drawn from the world’s most comprehensive collection of Oz materials, will run through March 2014 in the Crosman Gallery.

   L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant sensation upon its publication. Translated into hundreds of foreign languages, the Land of Oz was a worldwide phenomenon. The Wizard of Oz story is enjoying a resurgence this year with the release of the 1939 movie in 3-D, and the approach of the movie’s 75th anniversary. Oz the Great and Powerful, the prequel was released this year; and Wicked continues to run on Broadway.
   Included in the Farnsworth exhibition will be the most complete surviving costume (worn by the green Lollipop Guild Munchkin); one of Dorothy’s pinafores and blouses; examples of the many illustrated versions of Baum’s books (including the finest known copy of the first edition, first state green imprint of Baum’s initial book in the series); rare or one-of-a-kind posters from the various motion picture and stage productions; a flying monkey made of hard rubber, and only nine inches tall; and an array of Oz memorabilia from the Willard Carroll / Tom Wilhite Collection.

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Revised Plans For Historic Lot…

October 11th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The company that owns the West Hollywood movie studio known as The Lot has revised its controversial development plans for the historic property. CIM Group, which began demolition in April 2012 before plans stalled, says it’s proposing a more favorable preservation plan for the property at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Formosa Ave. They’ve decided to demolish and rebuild some of the movie studio buildings. Before halting demolition, CIM razed the Pickford Building despite protests from preservationists.


   The 10-acre movie studio and backlot was built in 1919. A few years later, silent-era stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks purchased the property, calling it Pickford-Fairbanks Studio, and also known as Pickfair Studios; and later, the United Artists Studio, Samuel Goldwyn Studio, and Warner Hollywood Studio. Many classic movies such as Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, West Side Story, and The Manchurian Candidate were filmed there. The studio was awarded with the Oscar for Best Sound in 1968 for In the Heat of the Night. Across the street is the Formosa Cafe, a legendary Hollywood hangout.


   Scott Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth, and the fourth in space, following Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, and John Glenn. He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury in 1959, and chronicled in The Right Stuff.

   Chosen for Project Mercury, Carpenter served as backup pilot for Glenn, who flew the first US orbital mission on the Friendship 7 in February of 1962. After Deke Slayton withdrew on medical grounds from thesecond manned orbital flight, Carpenter was assigned to replace him. He flew into space on May 24th, aboard the Mercury-Atlas 7 rocket for a three-orbit science mission that lasted nearly five hours.   SCOTT CARPENTER –>

   Carpenter was also the first American astronaut to eat solid food in space. Due to a major splashdown controversy, the authentic hero never flew another mission in space. He returned to work at NASA as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center. He retired from the Navy in 1969, after which he founded Sea Sciences, Inc., a corporation for developing programs for utilizing ocean resources and improving environmental health.

   After Scott Carpenter’s passing on Thursday, John Glenn became the last living member of the Mercury Seven. He was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”