“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dick Van Dyke Birthday at Disneyland

December 15th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   It was a jolly 90th birthday on Sunday for Dick Van Dyke (below) as he celebrated at Disneyland. The man who played Bert in Mary Poppins, as well as in a television sitcom in the sixties, traveled down Main Street USA while fans sang Happy Birthday to him.


   The extravaganza at Disneyland started with the unveiling inside the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe of a silhouette of the chimney sweep character Bert. Later in the day, Van Dyke waved to fans from the balcony of the Dream Suite in New Orleans Square.

   Throughout the visit, he was chaperoned by dancing penguins. His friends and family joined Van Dyke as he road along in a parade held in his honor, while spending treasured time at the Happiest Place on Earth. Riding with Van Dyke was his wife, Arlene.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Holiday Shoe Collection…

December 14th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   When Marilyn Monroe ordered pumps from Salvatore Ferragamo in the 1940s, she had a special request, the shoemaker’s grandson revealed. One heel was slightly higher than the other, enhancing her famed wiggle. A new capsule collection for Ferragamo by the luxury Colombian shoe designer Edgardo Osorio reaches back into the company archives to revisit Hollywood’s Golden era, when the young shoemaker from southern Italy built his business by making shoes for films and then winning over actors and actresses as customers to his Hollywood Boot Shop.

ferragamo   marilyn


   Ferragamo quickly became known as shoemaker to the stars, pioneering the powerful link between fashion and the booming film industry. Those customers included Judy Garland, Mae West, Lana Turner, and Monroe. Marilyn bought the iconic pumps in the 1940s from a shop on Madison Avenue in New York City for $45 a pair. For the capsule collection released in time for the holiday season, Osorio, who started designing shoes at Ferragamo before launching his own Florence-based brand Aquazzura, created a contemporary Marilyn-inspired pump with sheer netted panels for a sexy reveal. He also referenced the famed 1938 Judy Garland wedge with a steep stiletto heel and a feathery winged rainbow accent on the ankles.

   While Ferragamo imported to Hollywood some of southern Italy’s joyful colors and free spirit, Osorio’s collection aims to offer looks for women in different moments of the day, from ballet flats with the Ferragamo bow, to gladiator sandals, and glamorous booties. The looks are sexy, with stiletto heels and straps that wrap up the calf, but are also meant to be comfortable, featuring lightweight materials like cork, and recalling some of Ferragamo’s most recognized style points, from stylized bows to polka dots.


   The collection was launched as part of the luxury brand’s 100-year anniversary celebration of Ferragamo’s connection with Hollywood, and is meant to be the first of a series of capsule collections in other areas across the group from jewelry to handbags, and even menswear.

   The perfect gift for that certain someone.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hometown Honors Sinatra…

December 12th, 2015

Manny P. here…

Frank Sinatra   The man from Hoboken celebrates his 100th birthday today. Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12th, 1915, in the Hudson River waterfront city that was home to German, Irish, and Italian immigrants. Some young-at-heart residents might be raising a glass, or two, to the award-winning singer and actor.

   The high school dropout delivered the Jersey Observer newspaper, and worked at a local shipyard. As part of the Hoboken Four, they won first prize on a national radio program for amateur entertainers in 1935. He became a singing waiter at The Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, where he met songwriter Cole Porter, and forgot the words to Porter’s hit, Night and Day.

   After immense popularity as a crooner, and a movie star in a series of films with Gene Kelly, Frank hit a rough patch, and made one of the greatest comebacks in Hollywood history, culminating in winning an Oscar for his performance in From Here to Eternity. He had famed marriages to Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow. He often performed on-stage in Las Vegas, and in movies with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford. Together, they were known as The Rat Pack. He was the balladeer that bridged the bobby-soxer fame between Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley; and his career spanned seven decades.

Sinatra was inducted in the first class of New Jersey’s Hall of Fame in 2008. A park and Hoboken’s main post office bear his name. People left flowers near the plaque where Sinatra’s first home once stood when he died in 1998 at age 82 and the city held a memorial Mass at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, where their favorite son was baptized. Whatever real or imagined slights felt by residents are long forgotten. The United States Postal Service in 2008 issued a 42-cent stamp with his image, taking the rare step of holding three ceremonies in Hoboken, New York and Las Vegas.


   But for a saloon singer who usually had a drink on stage, Frank Sinatra’s ultimate honor came from Jack Daniel’s, which introduced Sinatra Select whiskey in 2003. To honor the 100th anniversary of his birth, Jack Daniel’s has produced 100 barrels of 100-proof Sinatra Century, which retails for $499.99, and includes an unreleased Sinatra recording.

    So, drink up… all you people…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- KCET Private Screening…

December 10th, 2015

Manny P. here…What_Did_You_Do_in_the_War,_Daddy

   I’ve been personally invited next week to a private screening to enjoy one of the great actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age: James Coburn. The event is part of the KCET Cinema Series. The motion picture on tap is the 1966 classic Blake Edwards film, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (I’ve never seen), a stylish comedy that also starred Dick Shawn, Aldo Ray, Harry Morgan, and Carroll O’Connor. The screenplay was written by William Peter Blatty. Henry Mancini wrote the score. As a special tribute to their sponsor, the James and Paula Coburn Foundation, each season KCET pulls a film from the archives starring the legendary screen actor, and proclaim the evening as James Coburn Classic Film Night.

   Film expert and Deadline.com writer Pete Hammond hosts their Q&A’s following each film. Next week’s Q&A guest is producer / actor Ken Wales. Alternating between the historic Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and the ArcLight Theatre in Sherman Oaks, KCET’s film series celebrates the most anticipated independent and studio films prior to their release in theaters (with the exception of the always anticipated James Coburn Night).

   The JPCF is a tax-exempt private foundation that supports charitable organizations devoted to the arts and sciences. Their mission to sustain and develop the Coburns’ legacy, as bequeathed to the LA Philharmonic, LA County Museum of Art, Clairbourn School, KCET Community Television, Motion Picture & Television Fund, and Operation Smile; in addition to, charities involved in the conduct of treatments or cures for cancer and the care of indigent cancer patients. The foundation is committed to upholding the Coburns’ dedication to local and international advancement through music, art, and education, as well as, physical and spiritual health. The JPCF is organized as a 501(c)3 charitable trust and operates its main office in Los Angeles, California.

kcet50_4b   KCET is the nation’s largest independent public television station, and a nonprofit 501(c3) organization. The KCET Cinema Series is a quarterly presentation of nine weeks of great films, thought provoking stories on the big screen, and engaging dialog with top movie talent.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Paraphrasing Joseph N. Welch…

December 8th, 2015

Manny P. here…

1383112548_joseph-n.-welch-18901960<— Joseph N. Welch was the chief counsel for the United States Army while it was under investigation for Communist activities by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, also known as the Army-McCarthy Hearings. Welch stood down McCarthy, and his confrontation led to the downfall of the Wisconsin senator, and his eventual censure for contempt and abuse of the Senate. Welch’s new-found celebrity led to a role as the trial judge in Anatomy of a Murder in 1959. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actorand a BAFTA Award for the role. He suddenly died a year later of a heart attack.

   We need a Joseph N. Welch with his folksy candor to ramp down the rhetoric espoused by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. His daily diatribe has included attacks on Latinos, women, the disabled, and most recently, Muslims. His spewing of xenophobia is tapping into the worst fears of some Americans. In a consummate Hollywood-and-Vine moment, here is what Joseph N. Welch might have shared with Trump if he was alive and given the opportunity to confront him face-to-face:

800px-Joseph_McCarthy   Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_4


Until this moment, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness… Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury… If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.

May we not drop this? Let us not assassinate [these groups]  further. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

I will not discuss this further with you. You have sat within six feet of me. You have seen fit to bring it out. And, if there is a God in Heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further.

  Where is someone like Joseph N. Welch in 2015…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Morgan Freeman is OK…

December 6th, 2015

Manny P. here…Morgan_Freeman,_2006_(cropped)

   A private airplane carrying actor Morgan Freeman (right) and his pilot blew a tire on takeoff from a Mississippi airport and made an emergency landing in which its landing gear collapsed and the plane ran off the side of a runway, authorities said. No one was injured.

   Freeman issued a statement saying he was heading to Texas from Mississippi aboard his plane to shoot a segment for the series, The Story of God. There is no word on the condition of the aircraft. The twin-engine plane made what was described as a controlled forced landing just before nightfall Saturday at an airport in Tunica after it had taken off from another airport in his area. Both cities are near each other in northwestern Mississippi, with Tunica about 40 miles southwest of Memphis, Tennessee.

   Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration, identified the plane as an Emivest SJ-30 aircraft and said the plane reported a mechanical problem after taking off from Fletcher Field in Lyon, a community just outside Clarksdale. An FAA statement emailed by Bergen said the plane’s original destination was Sugar Land near Houston, but that the aircraft diverted to the Tunica Municipal Airport in Mississippi where it made the emergency landing at 6:15 p.m. local time Saturday. She confirmed its main landing gear had collapsed and that the plane went off the side of the runway after landing.

   Glad to see Mr. Freeman is doing fine.


<—marjorielord_head Marjorie Lord was a genial actress of the silver screen and on television. She is best remembered for playing the wife of Danny Thomas in Make Room For Daddy.

   In 1935, at the age of 16, Lord made her Broadway debut in The Old Maid with Judith Anderson. Marjorie was signed by RKO Radio Pictures in 1935. While appearing in Springtime for Henry with Edward Everett Horton, director Henry Koster signed her to a contract with Universal Studios. She appeared in six features and a film serial The Adventures of Smilin’ Jack for Universal. Her film work includes Sherlock Holmes in Washington, which starred Basil Rathbone in the title role.

   On television, Lord guest-starred in The Lone Ranger and The Adventures of Kit Carson. Her obvious chemistry with Danny Thomas led to her replacing Jean Hagen in the long-running sit-com. She later returned to television in Make Room for Granddaddy, reprising her role.

   Lord became a devoted philanthropist, raising money for the arts. She founded the Scripter Award, which recognizes authors and screenwriters. Her daughter is actress Anne Archer.

   Marjorie Lord was 97.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Tough Guy in Cinema Has Died…

December 5th, 2015

Manny P. here…

800px-Robert_Loggia   Robert Loggia was an actor and director. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in Jagged Edge. After studying journalism at the University of Missouri and serving in the Army, he began a long career as a character actor. His persona on screen personified a crusty no-nonsense image.

    His first role was a small part in Somebody Up There Likes Me. Other films Loggia appeared in include The Greatest Story Ever Told, Raid on Entebbe, Psycho IIAn Officer and a Gentleman, Big, Scarface, Necessary Roughness, Independence Day, Gladiator, Prizzi’s Honor, and several of the Pink Panther series of movies.          ROBERT LOGGIA

   His many television credits included appearances on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Rawhide, The Untouchables, Ellery Queen, High Chaparral, Gunsmoke, Columbo, Combat, The Big Valley, The Rockford Files, Starsky and Hutch, Magnum P.I., Kojak, Charlie’s Angels, The Bionic Woman, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy, M.E., Monk, Hawaii Five-0, Falcon Crest, Frasierand memorably on The Sopranos. He also joined the cast of Men of a Certain Age. Loggia received two Emmy nods for his performances in Mancuso F.B.I., and most recently, in Malcolm in The Middle. He even showed up in a few commercials and a daytime soap (The Secret Storm), offering his usual support.

   In 2010, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts. The next year, the actor was honored by his alma mater with an honorary degree for his career.

   The venerable Robert Loggia was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- No Movie Version… Please!

December 4th, 2015

Manny P. here…

Hitlerlatest_2785757b   An attempt to put Adolf Hitler’s most famous written rants in context will be on the market in January, thanks to a three-year effort by a group of Munich historians. Ending a 70-year ban on publishing Mein Kampf in German, the team from the Institute for Contemporary History will be releasing a two-volume, 2,000-page edition, with an enhanced layout featuring Hitler’s original text on one side of each two-page spread, and editorial annotations (around 3,500 in total) on the other side.

   ICH director Andreas Wirsching notes to the BBC that republishing the world’s most dangerous book will shatter the myth surrounding the work. Mein Kampf was banned by the Allies at the end of World War II, and the copyright was handed over to the state of Bavaria, which has denied others republishing rights, out of respect for Holocaust victims; and to avoid incitement.

   The copyright expires on December 31st, which means the book is now fair game for republishing once again. Not everyone agrees with the redo: An 83-year-old Jewish leader in Munich labels Mein Kampf: a disgusting incitement to hatred and the basis of the Holocaust, and says it should warrant no further discussions.

   More than 200 pre-orders have been placed for the $63 book, though their is no clue how well the first run of nearly 4,000 copies will eventually sell. A previous work about Hitler’s 1920s-1930s speeches garnered almost zero public interest. Meanwhile, interest remains high on the publication of  numerous editions of The Diary of Ann Frank.

   My interest in the intrinsic value of Mein Kampf is that history never repeats itself. A reminder of the origins of Nazi insanity might ultimately prove the only worth of this infamous endeavor.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chaplin / Essanay Work Now on Sale

December 3rd, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Most of Charlie Chaplin’s famous two reel comedies are from his time with Mutual Film Corporation. During 1916 and 1917, he turned out a series of twelve outstanding, influential comedies that placed him among the most popular of all silent film stars. But, before Mutual (and after his brief tenure at Keystone Studios), Chaplin worked for one year at Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, a studio founded by Broncho Billy Anderson. If not for Chaplin’s comedies, it’s doubtful, anyone would today remember the Essanay name.

charlie_chaplin_2447105   Unlike the Mutual comedies, the films he produced at Essanay are rarely studied in cinematic schools, with the exception of The Tramp, the one unqualified gem in his arsenal. However, these comedies are important films in the development of Chaplin’s screen persona. The closing shot of Charlie wandering down the road by himself is iconic. The character development of his role was evident early on, which led to an element of pathos intermixed with humor. The final effect was intoxicating.

   Upon Charlie Chaplin’s arrival at Essany, he immediately encountered difficulties with the producers, who weren’t interested in giving him the freedom he desired. He was even given scripts to work from. (Louella Parsons, who would become one of Hollywood’s most famous gossip column writers, was the head scenario writer at Essanay). However, Chaplin rejected most tampering and worked with his own stories, although the pressure to produce a new comedy every two weeks is  frequently apparent in much of his work at Essanay.

    The quality of the source material varies. At times, the prints are relatively free of wear, but at other times, obvious well-worn segments appear. This is the nature of restoring works of silent cinema, now over 80 years old. Negatives frequently were left to deteriorate in film vaults. Entire reels decomposed. However, thanks to the work of David Shepard of Film Preservation Associates, Chaplin’s Essanay comedies have been pieced back together from choice material discovered around the world. They haven’t looked this good in many decades. This is the definitive edition of these productions.

51kDlmozNPL   Thanks to Kino on Video, these Chaplin comedies are now available again in excellent transfers. Several of the shorts were previously available, but the new versions have been made from newly restored prints with re-recorded musical accompaniment. Included in this set are some real surprises for Chaplin fans, including previously unavailable material.

   Chaplin’s Essanay Comedies is on DVD (a three disc set ) and VHS (a four video set) at sites that cater to silent films and classic movies, and on Amazon. Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Film Collection are proud to present this third and final installment of the Chaplin Project (lead by Lobster Films and Cineteca di Bologna), a massive, twelve year endeavor to compile all of Chaplin’s output from 1914-1917. Their 5-disc box Blu-ray DVD set features the 15 newly restored films.

   On a personal note, the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series can also be purchased at the Niles Essanay Museum in Fillmore, CA. This is the location of the original studio during the infancy of cinema.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Happiest Date on Earth…

December 2nd, 2015

Manny P. here…

   The world’s first all-Disney dating website launched this morning. Mousemingle.com is the idea of Dave Tavres, a self employed software geek from Culver City, and it caters to those obsessed with all things Disney. Niche dating sites are more common these days. There’s a dating site for pot lovers and JDate for Jewish people. This idea has legs; does it have ears?

   Users are asked to check boxes asking about your favorite Disney songs, Disney shopping habits, in the hopes of finding a match.  Anyone can view user profiles and photos, however, contacting someone requires a $12.55 (the 55 is a nod to the year the park opened) monthly membership fee.

   Tavres used to live in Anaheim, and was even an engineer on the Disneyland Railroad, but still had trouble finding dates. Now, he is rounding up all of the many folks who find The Happiest Place on Earth the perfect first date. And, believe me, they live all over the world. For female members: Someday Your Prince will Come; For male membership: Zip-Pah-Dee-Doo-Dah.
   I hate to throw water on this, but I wonder what Walt Disney would say about this concept. In fact, I smell a major lawsuit for trademark infringement from the parent company.
   And so it goes…
Until next time>                               “never forget”