“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Crying Shame…

November 28th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Baby Peggy was an insanely popular silent screen character. Diana Serra Cary, who played the loveable tot, grew up and retired from show business. She is one of the last surviving members of the era. Yet, the Motion Picture Television Fund does not recognize her longevity as an actress, and refuses Cary any of their services.


    A beloved contemporary of such stars as Lillian Gish and Adolphe Menjou, she received over a million fan letters for her 150 shorts and features. This woman gave up her childhood (through no choice of her own), and now, is the last living silent film star. Her highly-praised literary autobiography, Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy, spawned a feature-length documentary.

   Now 97 and healthy, but alarmingly frail, Cary has attempted for months to find financial support for modest in-home, non-medical care from the MPTF, founded by Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin with a single mission statement: Taking Care of Our Own. Instead of honoring this mantra, MPTF management has refused Baby Peggy any support, claiming her limited time in cinema and modest pension (which covers only bare living expenses) prevents this.

   Such questionable treatment of our oldest living silent screen star remains particularly indefensible given MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher reportedly earns over $700,000 per year, while his top 10 employees take home a combined $4 million. This outrageous mistreatment of a movie pioneer needs to change. Let’s encourage that the MPTF address this situation. Here’s how:

   The great niece of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford has released this statement:


As a member of the Fairbanks & Pickford families, I urge you to support Baby Peggy (Diana Serra Cary). Being old should be an honored position, especially for one who spent their childhood entertaining millions. Join me in doing a good deed for Baby Peggy!

Please contact with the Motion Picture & Television Fund CEO through email, or post on the MPTF page — facebook.com/mptf — to share your thoughts on their treatment of sweet Diana Serra Cary, one of the last surviving silent film stars.

   Email MPTF CEO and President Bob Beitcher at bbeitcher@mptf.com and tell him he needs to quickly reverse his organization’s appalling refusal to provide assistance to Ms. Cary, and fund her need for in-home, non-medical support. Copy your email to info@MPTF.com.

   Taking the above actions will cost you nothing… just a chance to hit back on a vivid example of elder abuse.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television Stalwart Has Died…

November 24th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   David Canary was a busy actor in cinema, and mostly on television. He is best remembered for his role as Candy in Bonanza; and his long-time stint on the daytime soap, All My Children.

david canary   After Canary served a tour of duty in the Army, his first Hollywood assignment was as a semi-regular in the prime time serial Peyton Place. In 1967, he appeared in the now-classic Western Hombre with Paul Newman, Richard Boone, and Cameron Mitchell. When David Dortort was looking for a new foreman for the Ponderosa Ranch, he saw Canary in Hombre and cast him in Bonanza. Later that year, A contract dispute between Leonard Nimoy and the producers of Star Trek (including Gene Roddenberry) forced them to compile a list of candidates for consideration to takeover the role of Mr. Spock. As revealed in  Star Trek – The Inside Story, David Canary (right) was almost selected.

   Other films Canary appeared in include The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Melvin Purvis: G-Man, and Posse. He guest-starred in many television shows, such as Gunsmoke, Alias Smith and Jones, The F.B.I., Kung-Fu, Hawaii 5-0Police Story, The Rookies, S.W.A.T., Touched By an Angel, Law & Order, and most recently, Curb Your Enthusiasm. His soap opera appearances include Another World, Search for Tomorrow, and One Life to Live. He garnered five Daytime Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor, and has been nominated an additional eleven times, most recently in 2008.

   Canary was in numerous musical / stage roles in productions such as Man Of La Mancha, Kismet, and The Fantastiks, as well as dramatic performances in The Seagull and Macbeth. The actor also made several appearances at the Lake Tahoe site of the Ponderosa Ranch, a tourist attraction from 1967-2004.

   David Canary was 77.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Giving the Devil His Due…

November 22nd, 2015

Manny P. here.

   My efforts in becoming an established Hollywood historian took a major leap forward with the latest literary release by Professor Carl Rollyson. The Life of Walter Brennan is a comprehensive look at what Rollyson references as A Real American Character. As the  advisory editor of the Hollywood Legends Series from University Press of Mississippi, Carl has authored several biographies on the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Dana Andrews. He has also penned retrospectives about Lillian Hellman and Norman Mailer.

     I have corresponded with Professor Rollyson over the years, since I started writing my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. He was quite generous in his praise, particularly about my analysis of Walter Brennan in a chapter from my first paperback. His generosity was quite genuine, as he offered my premise in the Introduction of his new book. According to Rollyson:

Walter_Brennan-210   image_carl rollyson


 Brennan’s performances signify something more than individual achievement in film after film. Not only is his work an integral part of Hollywood history, his roles have become embedded in the national consciousness. His centrality did not occur to me until I read Manny Pacheco’s Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, which takes an unusual approach to character actors. examining them in terms of the historical epics in which they appeared. In a chapter devoted to Brennan, Pacheco evokes the persona of a man seemingly destined to play archetypal characters. Pacheco writes…

“(Brennan) embodies any individual that may have been born around and west of the Mississippi. Looking far older than his years, Brennan could be called upon to play roles that were based in fact or fiction. He seemingly lived throughout the nineteenth century and the fight for this country’s quest to reach ‘from sea to shining sea’… at least on celluloid.”

The ellipsis is Pacheco’s and seems to suggest that he paused when he realized just how much movies and history conflated in our imaginations.


   Professor Rollyson later offers this tidbit to begin a chapter:

“The leather sun-drenched face that most commonly helped tame the wild frontier was that of Walter Brennan”

Writes critic Manny Pacheco. Not Gary Cooper, not John Wayne, not Randolph Scott–or any other star–meant more to the western than Walter Brennan, who played every sort of character, good and evil, and everything between.


   His latest literary achievement is so wonderfully comprehensive. I could not put it down. Rollyson’s eloquent prose delights and the photographs he provides are vividly personal about the life and times of Walter Brennan. And, the Brennan family offered their full support in the making of this fine biography. A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan is available at most book stores, and of course, on Amazon.


   One of his next projects, Professor Carl Rollyson is currently penning a comprehensive look about author William Faulkner (who I just wrote about in a previous blog). I’m most humbled by Professor Rollyson’s citations from my book, and his approval of my analysis. I offer my most sincerest thank you I can muster for this unsolicited acknowledgment.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Gerber Baby Celebrates Birthday…

November 20th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Happy birthday to the original Gerber Baby: Ann Turner Cook. On Friday, November 20th, Cook turned 89-years-old, making the former model a full-fledged octogenarian. On a related note, Gerber has launched a 2015 contest to find a new face for their product.

   According to Gerber, a contest was held in 1928 to find a face to represent an advertising campaign for their baby food. Artist Dorothy Hope Smith, who was Cook’s neighbor, entered her simple charcoal sketch of a tousle-haired, bright-eyed cherub of a baby with endearing pursed lips. Judges fell in love with the baby face in Smith’s sketch, and when they chose it as the winner, they insisted it remain a sketch. That baby sketch of Cook soon became the face that launched the Gerber brand and her likeness made ubiquitous by labels on baby food jars. It’s still recognized all over the world!

gerber baby


   Cook was born in 1926. She is a mystery novelist and a retired English teacher in Tampa. Her 15 minutes of fame has lasted all of her life!

    Hey, passed the strained peas…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A New William Faulkner Play…

November 19th, 2015

Manny P. here…William_Faulkner_1954_(2)_(photo_by_Carl_van_Vechten)

   Twixt Cup and Lip, written soon after World War I and being published for the first time, is a one-act comedy in which a modern, free-thinking woman finds herself courted by two men. But, the name of the playwright is the attraction: William Faulkner (right).

   Written when the future Nobel laureate was in his early 20s, Twixt Cup and Lip was discovered in the University of Virginia archives by The Strand Magazine managing editor Andrew Gulli, who has also tracked down long-lost and obscure works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and many others. The play appears in the Strand’s holiday issue, which goes on sale Friday.

   Faulkner, who died in 1962, is an acknowledged giant of American fiction, but in his early years was more likely to write plays and poetry. Christopher Rieger, director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University, believes Twixt Cup and Lip was written in the early 1920s, when Faulkner was part of a theater group at the University of Mississippi.

   There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip

   The play’s title is lifted from an old English expression, meaning a seemingly settled event can still unravel. But readers will find nothing suggesting the tragic vision and anguish about the Southern past that made Absalom, Absalom, The Sound and the Fury, and other Faulkner novels; some of the most influential and haunting works of the 20th century.

   Around the time he wrote Twixt Cup and Lip, Faulkner also worked on the one-act The Marionettes, a romance based on Faulkner and his high school girlfriend (and future wife) Estelle Oldham. Twixt Cup and Lip also may be drawn from Faulkner’s relationship with Oldham. The importance of the piece might be that it’s an early influence to future authors that ushered in The Jazz Age of the 1920s.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golden Globes to Honor Denzel…

November 17th, 2015

Manny P. here.. 800px-Denzel_Washington_og_Anne_Hathaway_IMG_6550b

   The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will honor Denzel Washington with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 73rd Annual Golden Globes for his considerable impact on the world of entertainment. The 60-year-old star has two prestigious statuettes for his roles in Glory and Hurricane. Overall, he received an additional five nods. Washington has also served as national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1993

   Denzel, who starred in modern classics such as Malcolm X, Inside Man, and Training Day, will join previous recipients, including Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Harrison Ford, Warren Beatty, Jodie Foster, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Barbra Streisand, and others. Judy Garland was both the first woman to receive the honor at the tender age of 39 in 1962, and she was also the youngest honoree. Samuel Goldwyn was the oldest to receive the prize at 90 in 1973. The Cecil B. DeMille Award is handed out annually, with the exceptions of 1976 and 2008.  DENZEL WASHINGTON –>

   Founded in the 1940s during WWII, the HFPA’s original mission was to bridge the gap between Hollywood and the overseas community that watched its emerging films. Today, 55 countries are represented in the association. The 2016 Golden Globe Awards will air live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10th. Ricky Gervais is hosting.

   Denzel Washington is a well-deserved recipient.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 2015 Medal of Freedom Honorees…

November 16th, 2015

Manny P. here…150px-PresMedalFreedom

   Baseball legends Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra will be honored with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They are among 17 people who will be recognized by President Barack Obama at a November 24th ceremony.

   Politicians include Senator Barbara Milkulski, former Representative Lee Hamilton and the late Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, known for refusing to fire the Watergate special prosecutor, will also be honored.

   Honorees from the entertainment world include Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Sondheim, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, James Taylor, and Itzhak Perlman. Spielberg has a motion picture currently in release, Bridge of Spies.

   Congratulation to our newest class of Medal of Freedom award winners.


   Michael Gross was a designer, artist, and movie producer. In 1980, he began working in Hollywood, and is best remembered for designing the logo for the movie Ghostbusters, which was one of 11 films on which he served as producer or executive producer.

220px-Natlamp73   Ghostbusters_logo_svg

   His film catalog includes Twins, Beethoven, Legal Eagles, Kindergarten Cop, and Dave. In the 1970s, he was the art director of National Lampoon magazine. Gross created the If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog cover for the periodical. He became the personal designer for John Lennon, and a consultant to The Muppets. Michael art directed Esquire Magazine and was also a director for Mobil Oil. His friends included John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Harold Ramis.

   Michael C. Gross was 70.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Governor’s Awards Beefs Up Security

November 15th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Tight security following the Paris terror attacks was in effect at Saturday night’s seventh annual Governors Awards, where Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds were to receive the first Oscars of Hollywood’s award season. Los Angeles police say security for the star-studded ceremony at the Hollywood & Highland Center was increased in the wake of the attacks, as it will at several other high-profile events around the city on Saturday night.               GENA ROWLANDS ——–>

   This year, Lee and Rowlands accepted Oscars for career achievement. Reynolds received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition of her decades-long commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues. Spike offered peace and love to the people in France. Debbie announced Friday that she would be unable to attend the ceremony because of unspecified surgery, and her granddaughter was expected to accept the award on her behalf.

   Other celebrities attending the motion picture academy’s black-tie affair included Iris Elba, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Bryan Cranston, Jane Fonda, Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Schumer, Ava DuVernay Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney, and Quentin Tarantino. Portions of the untelevised ceremony may be included in the 2016 Oscar telecast.

Paris   A spokesperson for the LAPD announced no known threats against the city, but the department beefed up patrols as a precaution. Film academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs opened the Governors Awards with words of support for France. She offered condolences in the wake of the terrorist attacks. In addition to heightened security, many of the stars expressed their sympathies for the victims and their wariness at quickly returning to show business.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Diary of Anne (and Otto) Frank…

November 14th, 2015

Manny P. here…AFS_A_OFrank_III_001_013

   The copyright on The Diary of Anne Frank, set to expire January 1st in most of Europe, has been extended by at least 35 years after the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright claimed Anne’s diary actually had a co-author: her father, Otto Frank. Otto has long been acknowledged as an editor and compiler of the best-selling work, but by acknowledging him as an author, Anne Frank Fonds is able to extend its copyright on the work until the end of 2050. Frank left them unread for some time, but eventually began transcribing them from Dutch for his Swiss relatives in 1947.           OTTO FRANK –>

   In most of Europe, copyrights expire 70 years after the author’s death. Anne died 70 years ago, but Otto didn’t pass away until 1980. Anyone in Europe wanting to publish the book will now need to continue asking the foundation for permission and paying it royalties.

   The change isn’t sitting well with many. One lawyer says it implies the foundation has been lying all these years about Anne writing the diary on her own. Others say giving copyright protection to editors undermines authors and calls the foundation’s claims that Otto co-authored the diary as spurious.

   As the sole member of his family to survive The Holocaust, Otto Frank inherited Anne’s manuscripts after her death, arranged for the publication of her diary, and oversaw its transition to the stage and screen. The foundation, which donates proceeds from sales of The Diary of Anne Frank to charities, says it’s not about the money. Rather they say they want to protect Anne’s legacy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Top-Down Tribute…

November 12th, 2015

Manny P. here…

Carol Doda   Legendary San Francisco stripper Carol Ann Doda created a splashy act that helped introduce topless entertainment to the city more than 50 years ago. She first went bare in 1964 at The Condor Club — a moment that changed every nightspot on busy Broadway in Frisco.

   Doda, known for her augmented bust, rode onto stage atop a piano on an elevator platform, debuting her act the same day President Lyndon B. Johnson drew half-a-million people in a visit to the city by the bayThe Condor Club had an illuminated sign carrying her likeness. Doda’s breasts became known as the new twin peaks of San Francisco. Bobby Freeman and Sly Stone were among the rockers that performed while the dancer did her thing.       CAROL DODA —>

   During its heyday in the early 1970s, the street in North Beach buzzed with more than two dozen night spots where carnival-like barkers beckoned passers-by to watch the scantily clad dancers, wearing nothing but a bikini bottom and high heels. The era spanned some 20 years.

   Doda had a role in Head, a 1968 film featuring The Monkees, which was produced by Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson.The movie was produced by Columbia Pictures. In the flick, she appeared in a Golden Boy parody with Annette Funicello, Sonny Liston, and Davy Jones.  She was profiled in Tom Wolfe’s book The Pump House Gang. For a decade, Doda was the spokesperson for what is now the San Jose television station KICU-TV Channel 36, then known as KGSC-TV. She finally left The Condor Club in 1985, and became the proprietor of Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique. She would perform in a rock band (organized by pop star Greg Kihn), do some modeling and comedy, and eventually sang and danced at another club. Some compare her influence as a cultural icon to the comedy of Lenny Bruce.

   The ample Carol Doda was 78.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Susan Sarandon to Share Tale of Hedy

November 11th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Variety is reporting that Susan Sarandon and Reframed Pictures will partner with American Masters on a documentary about Hedy Lamarr. Alexandra Dean will direct the production with a working title Hedy: The Untold Story of Actress and Inventor Hedy Lamarr. Katherine Drew and Adam Haggiag is producing; while Sarandon and Michael Kantor will act as executive producers.                               SUSAN SARANDON –>

   Lamarr would have turned 101 on Monday. She appeared nude at the age of seventeen in the 1933 Czech film Ecstasy, and later married a prominent Austrian businessman who became a weapons dealer. Uncomfortable with her husband’s growing links to the Nazis, she immigrated to America in 1937 ,and became a huge star during its Golden Age. Lamarr, who was born Jewish, fled in the middle of the night, boarding a boat for America with nothing to her name except a single designer gown. She eventually convinced MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to sign her to the deal. Despite starring in a series of hit motion pictures, Hedy Lamarr (below) shunned the celebrity lifestyle.

hedy lamarr

   Lamarr was also a secret inventor who wanted to help the Allies win the World War II with a wireless form of communication called frequency hopping, which would go on to revolutionize communications all over the world. The technology – which has its roots in pianos that played music from perforated paper rolls – was shunned by the US government until the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, spread-spectrum broadcasting is found in wifi networks, smartphones, and GPS. The patent was filed over seven decades ago. Lamarr died in 2000, three years after being awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award. She was also inducted into the American National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Forbes Magazine describes her as the most glamorous geek of all time.

    The film will be produced in association with Thirteen Productions LLC’s for WNET, and have its exclusive United States broadcast premiere on the American Masters series on PBS. The documentary received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The deal was announced at the American Film Market.

   Hedy Lamarr’s story will be one of the many recounted in my upcoming new paperback, due for release in 2016. The chapter will be about erudite actor, Leo G. Carroll.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Military Funeral…

November 10th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Veteran actress Maureen O’Hara was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday after passing away last month. She was buried next to her third and last husband, Air Force Brigadier General Charles Blair, who was killed in a plane crash in 1978 – just 10 years after the couple was married.


   The Irish Times reports her grandson Conor Fitzsimons spoke at the service, delivering a tearful tribute to his grandmother. Also at the service was Melinda Munoz, the daughter of O’Hara’s former costar John Wayne. Members of the US Air Force honor guard served as pallbearers for O’Hara’s coffin.

ohara funeral

   The Irish screen legend starred in over 50 feature films spanning five decades, including big screen classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, How Green was My Valley, The Quiet Man, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Parent Trap. O’Hara graced the stage at the 2014 Academy Awards to finally receive an honorary Oscar. The native Dubliner celebrated her 95th birthday in August.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Paul Newman Charity Honors Legacy

November 9th, 2015

Manny P. here…

paul_newman   A star-studded charity bash celebrated the legacy of Paul Newman in London. The gala is the final of three SeriousFun hosted this year during what would have been his 90th year, and the United Kingdom fundraiser comes on the heels of the New York City and Los Angeles events. Clea Newman is the director of special initiatives for the organization and the actor’s youngest daughter. Along with raising needed money, her hope is to preserve the legacy of Paul Newman’s philanthropic efforts over the course of his motion picture career. 

   The third annual SeriousFun Children’s Network UK gala at the Roundhouse honored the  Hollywood legend who founded the charity in 1988. Among the major stars who turned out to help in the cause were Renee Zellweger, Danny DeVito, Jeremy Irons and Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern.

126794_1223815580_medium   SeriousFun is a global community of 30 camps and programs serving children living with serious illnesses and their families, and is always free of charge. It has served more than 600,000 children and their family members from more than 50 countries. Newman christened them the Hole In The Wall Gang camps, a reference both to one of his best-loved roles as Butch Cassidy and to the Wyoming area where the celebrated train robber and his fellow outlaws would hide out. Newman’s Own Foundation has also been providing support to camps and programs around the world since the charity began.


Betsy_Drake_in_Every_Girl_Should_Be_Married_trailer   Betsy Drake was the actress who starred opposite her husband Cary Grant in Every Girl Should Be Married and Room for One More. After coming to the attention of the producer Hal Wallis, she was pressured by her agent to sign a Hollywood contract. Later, Elia Kazan selected her as one of the founding members of the Actors Studio in New York.

   Drake was born in in Paris in 1923 to wealthy parents — her grandfather had built Chicago’s Drake Hotel — but the 1929 stock market crash sent the family reeling, and she spent her childhood being shuttled among relatives on the East Coast.

   Drake met Grant in August, 1949 when both were aboard the Queen Mary on a trip back to the US from England. Grant, 20 years her senior, had seen her in London as the lead in a production of Kazan’s Deep Are the Roots, and he asked actress Merle Oberon to arrange an introduction. They were married on Christmas Day, 1949 in an Arizona farmhouse in a ceremony that was arranged by Grant’s best man, millionaire Howard Hughes. Grant and Drake separated in 1958 and were said to remain friends until his death in November, 1986. She introduced him to LSD therapy, which was legal until 1966.

   Drake appeared in such films as Pretty Baby, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion. She wrote the original script for Houseboat, starring her husband, who originally intended that she would star with him. However, after he began an affair with Sophia Loren while on location for The Pride and the Passion, Grant arranged for the Italian actress to take his wife’s place with a rewritten script. Drake didn’t receive screen credit.

   In 1956, Drake and actress Ruth Roman were among the passengers rescued from the sinking Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria. At the time, she had been visiting Grant in Spain and was returning to the United States.

   Betsy Drake was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Veteran’s Day Field of Valor…

November 7th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   On Thursday, November 12th , I’m thrilled to be the featured speaker during their Veteran’s Day annual Field of Valor Community Luncheon ceremony, sponsored by the  Covina chapter of Rotary International. Here are the details:

field of valor

   Among the topics of my remarks: The busy lives of actors during World War II, including Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Audie Murphy, Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, John Garfield, Cesar Romero, Bob Hope, Hedy Lamarr, Lionel Barrymore, Jack Benny, Lee Marvin, Harold Russell, Charles Durning, among others. I’ll also have copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series to autograph for interested readers.

   The entire program begins Saturday, November 7th. For complete info on the weeklong tribute, please visit the Covina Field of Valor Events page at:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My 2015 Short List of Films to Watch.

November 6th, 2015

Manny P. here…The_Martian_film_poster

   I will admit it. I have yet to see THE MARTIAN and PAWN SACRIFICE. This omission of viewership will soon be rectified. As a voting member for the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, I have a list of newly-released motion pictures on my agenda. As usual, my plans include films that tackle history as told through the lens of Hollywood. They include:

~ TRUMBO – Nothing is more painful as cinematic legacy than the knowledge that Hollywood ate their young during the HUAC Blacklist during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. Dalton Trumbo was the immensely gifted screenwriter that continued to work under assumed names, and put out such gems as Roman Holiday and The Brave One. I’m sure Bryan Cranston is a sure be to be an Oscar nominee this year for a riveting performance. And, I’m personally thrilled that this movie has the blessing of the Trumbo family, which helped share the story that includes the inclusion of Otto Preminger to the list of hero’s that helped break up the Blacklist by including Dalton Trumbo’s name to the screen credits of Exodus (as did Kirk Douglas had done in Spartacus).

Trumbo_(2015_film)_poster   Bridge_of_Spies_poster   Pawn_Sacrifice_Poster

~ BRIDGE OF SPIES – It’s always a great year in motion pictures when Steven Spielberg releases a film. The bonus is his collaboration with Tom Hanks, again sure to be an Academy Awards nominee this year. The story of the spy-swap during the Cold War that included pilot Gary Francis Powers is an epic tale of espionage.

~ SUFFRAGETTE – So compelling a tale of women’s rights during the turn-of-the-century, that Turner Classic Movies is using its release to compare the inevitable legacy that was brought about during Hollywood’s Golden Age and beyond. Adam’s Rib and Norma Rae are the obvious examples used by TCM. The current faire should earn accolades for Carey Mulligan.

Suffragette_poster   Truth_2015_poster

~ TRUTH – This one stars Robert Redford as Dan Rather, who lost his job for a story that was debunked by his peers about George W. Bush during his run for the presidency. CBS takes a beating in this fascinating tale of the evolution of our 24-hour news cycle, and the mistakes for such folly. I hear, the real standout in this production is Cate Blanchett, competition for Best Supporting Actress.

   I’ll probably end up seeing STEVE JOBSOUR BRAND IS CRISES (I love Sandra Bullock), among others. My effort to visit neighborhood movie theaters is at hand… And, I can’t wait!

Until next time>                               “never forget”