“Forgotten Hollywood”- Stan and Manny…

September 30th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`With the ChaplinKeatonLloyd Alley dedication ceremony in the books, I cornered Stan Taffel of Hollywood Heritage to put in context the importance in preserving landmarks that help tell Hollywood’s story. Kudos to Tim Greenwood of Magnolia Street Productions for documenting this moment!


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Day at the Alley in Pictures…

September 29th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`A great time was had by all who attended the dedication ceremony of the newest landmark in Hollywood:  ChaplinKeatonLloyd Alley at 1640 Cahuenga Boulevard.  This iconic location was the backdrop during the Silent Era in many movies and two-reelers. The most famous of these productions made at this locale include The Kid, Cops, and Safety Last.


“`A little clambake preceded the ceremony. The dedication featured remarks from members of Hollywood Heritage including Board President Brian Curran and boardmember and President of Cinecon film festival, Stan Taffel. Also in attendance, Los Angeles City Councilman and the new President Pro-Tempore Mitch O’Farrell. Offering heartfelt remarks were grandchildren of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Jackie Coogan, and Harold Lloyd.


                                                                                  KEITH COOGAN – MANNY PACHECO 

“`Fellow KNX 1070 AM weekend traffic reporter Tim Greenwood documented the festivities and produced the interviews you will be seeing in days to come. We present a taste in photos that reprises the day.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley Honored

September 24th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`After a successful GoFundMe campaign, Hollywood Heritage is dedicating an iconic alley in Tinsel Town this Wednesday (09/29). Three of the greatest silent comedies of all time:  Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921) – Buster Keaton’s Cops (1922) – Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last (1923) were filmed in the heart of Los Angeles at the unnamed alley running just south of  Hollywood Boulevard, from Cahuenga to Cosmo. As of this week, it will always be called:

“`Dedicating this site honors the legacy of great filmmakers, generates publicity and goodwill and creates a Hollywood tourist attraction. Each film has been inducted into the National Film Registry of the  Library of Congress as a work of enduring importance to American culture. This humble spot honors Hollywood’s brightest stars in three of their most famous movies.

“`You are welcome to join Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the descendants of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd and local dignitaries in celebration of National Silent Movie Day. Hollywood Heritage has partnered with local property owners, community leaders, and film historians to ensure that this forgotten locale is recognized as one of the most significant backdrops in early cinematic history. The event begins at 2p. Arrive early to proceed through Covid protocol.

“`Here is a trailer that shares the history of the alley and the process to make this moments a reality. Hollywood Heritage received permission to display photos from these iconic movies.

“`I will be on hand to absorb the immense context of such a dedication.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#10, #9)…

September 23rd, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`We have reached the Top Ten of the countdown of my favorite fifty films of the last two decades. Ironically, the first two selections are in black-and-white, joining Cold War and Nebraska on my list. One of the two picks is also my top Best Picture film in the countdown. The other selection was my favorite movie last year.  Both are homages to the motion picture process. Let’s get to it…


~ #10 – MANK (2020) 

“`A definitive look at Hollywood’s Golden Age, Tinsel Town’s golden child (Orson Welles), and possibly the finest movie ever made according to many critics and historians (Citizen Kane). Featured in this film are the likes of Welles, William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies, Louis B. Mayer, John Houseman, Irving Thalberg, and Herman and Joe Mankiewicz. It was directed by David Fincher, based on a screenplay by his late father Jack Fincher.

“`Despite its insider feel and snappy dialogue, Mank delivers first-rate cinema. Nominated for ten Oscars, it actually won more (two), Production Design and Cinematography, than Citizen Kane (one). It also received nods as a Best Picture nominee, for Best Director, and accolades for its stars, Gary Oldman (as Herman Mankiewicz) and Amanda Seyfried (as Marion Davies). Joe’s grandson (TCM host) Ben Mankiewicz has a cameo voiceover role.

“`Welles took credit for the penned work of Herman Mank and that is the premise of the work. Plus, the creative wing of Hollywood were constantly at odds with the financial sector. Citizen Kane caused a higher level of vitriol as Welles and Houseman directly targeted media magnet William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, Davies. Hearst publicly campaigned against the film during award’s season and eventually derailed the career of Welles. One thing is sure… Welles and Hearst were both sides of the same narcissist coin.

“`As a dedicated cinephile, I offer that the essence of Mank is the stuff dreams are made of.


~ #9 – THE ARTIST (2011)

“`For decades, Hollywood has been re-imagining the What Price Hollywood? concept; the rise of one actor or filmmaker at the expense of another thespian who tumbles into ignominy. This premise is on display in each version of A Star is Born, Singing in the Rain, All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, and the surprisingly sumptuous silent presentation of The Artist.

“`This tale focuses on the relationship between a rising young actress and an older film star as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by talkies. It stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. Both got Oscar attention, with Dujardin capturing a statuette. Like Mank, it collected ten nominations and won five:  Best Director, Best CinematographyBest Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. The initial silent production to take Best Picture was Wings in 1927; the previous black-and-white film to garner gold was Schindler’s List in 1993.

“`The screenplay took four months, inspired by the 1928 silent comedy Show People. The Artist evolved into a silent melodrama, the kind made famous by the likes of Mary Pickford, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, and particularly, Douglas Fairbanks. The performance of Uggie the pooch is an obvious homage to the popularity to other screen dogs, such as Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, and especially, Asta in The Thin Man. The flick’s climax is set to Bernard Herrmann’s Scène d’amour from his score to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

“`Silence was golden in 2011!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- At Home in New Rochelle…

September 22nd, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Through the magic of radio, I spent the morning on John Mariani’s Almost Golden program. This airs every Wednesday at 11A (EDT) on WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, New York. The topic of our conversation was the great movies of the 1950s.

“`Almost Golden remembers the past. The time was the 1950s and the places were the Bronx and Westchester County, in so many ways linked, in so many ways distinct. From rock and roll to country club dances, from Playland to Freedomland, from candy stores to college bars. John Mariani is an award-winning journalist who was born in the Bronx and moved with his family to Westchester. He was the long-time restaurant critic for Esquire Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, and the Westchester Gannett Newspapers.

“`The hour-long conversation focused on magnificent cinema, including  Singing in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Night of the Hunter, The Quiet Man, Around the World in Eighty Days, Anatomy of a Murder, Tweve Angry Men, Them!, All About Eve, Forbidden Planet, and more. Sometimes we agree on what were the best films, sometimes we disagree, and all with great fun!

“`WVOX is Westchester’s Soap Box, the last great community station in the nation. Click on the link below to enjoy the conversation.

Until next time>                               “never forget”


“Forgotten Hollywood”- One and Done…

September 21st, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`John Coleman and Art Kirsch have invited me to chat about one hit wonders; actors who win an Oscar and then disappear from cinema. The show of course… Celebrating Act 2


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- MGM Lovely is Gone…

September 16th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Jane Powell was part of the Studio Era as an actress, singer and dancer, who rose to fame in the 1940s with parts in various MGM musicals. Noted for her operatic soprano voice and a girl-next-door image, she was one of the last surviving actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Later in life, Powell was married to former child star, Dickie Moore.

“`At five, Powell had appeared on the Portland children’s radio program Stars of Tomorrow. She began singing live on the local Portland radio station, KOIN, and traveled the state for two years, singing and selling Victory Bonds.

“`As a teenager, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she signed a film contract with MGM. Powell’s talents were on display in a number of musicals.  She made her cinematic debut in Song of the Open Road.  Powell also co-starred in  A Date with Judy, Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Hit the Deck. Powell traveled to theaters around the country doing a vaudeville act, appeared on radio programs, and even performed at the inaugural ball for President Harry S. Truman on January 20, 1949. She and Roddy McDowall became friends while shooting a film, and remained close until the end of his life.

“`In the 1960s, Powell began acting in national touring theatrical productions. She also guest-starred on television shows, such as  The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote, and she had recurring roles on Growing Pains, and on the soap operas, Loving and As the World Turns. Powell filled in as a guest host on TCM for Robert Osborne when on a medical leave from July 17th–23rd, 2011.

“`Jane Powell was ninety-two.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#12, #11)…

September 14th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Today on my countdown of my favorite cinema of the last twenty years, I present the two movies that just missed the Top 10. This had me thinking… Which movies just missed my Top 50? Here are the five productions (that I happen to love) that bubbled under this list of fifty:

#55  THE BOOK THIEF (2013)  —  #54  DOWNTON ABBEY MOVIE (2019) 

#53  ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (2020)  —  #52  ON THE BASIS OF SEX (2018)



~ #12 – SIDEWAYS (2004)

“`Sideways drew attention and increased tourism to the Santa Ynez Valley wine-growing region of California’s Central Coast. The film is a celebration of what vineyards do to grow, caress, and distribute that creates an imagination of the palate. Similar productions with a comparative goal include A Walk in the Clouds.

“`Director Alexander Payne establishes a blueprint for a leisurely comedy-drama that unfolds as slowly as you sip on your favorite pinot noir. Nebraska follows this blueprint to perfection a decade later. The delightful score is playful jazz that adroitly adds to the presentation.

“`The always superb Paul Giamatti is offered a rare chance to take the lead in this work and is sensationally supported by Virginia Madsen, Thomas Haden Church, and Sandra Oh. In one of the most romantic moments ever put on celluloid, Madsen describes her take on the existence of a bottle of wine. She brings delicacy, sincerity and soulful strength to a grounded individual and gives the film its emotional integrity.  Madsen and Church earned Oscar attention and the movie garnered additional mentions for Best Picture, Best Director, and winning Best Adapted Screenplay.

“`After the film’s release in October 2004, merlot sales dropped 2% while pinot noir increased 16% in the Western United States. The global effect was a rise in overall wine consumption. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked Sideways as the 90th greatest script ever written.


~ #11 – LINCOLN (2012)

“`During Hollywood’s Studio Era, Paul Muni was an actor known for his tireless preparation for a prestigious stable of characters. Comparisons can be drawn with the recent efforts by Daniel Day Lewis. Displaying a mercurial intensity, he would often remain in character throughout the shooting schedule, even if it affected his health. A historian has suggested that his depiction of the president’s high pitched voice, his awkward mannerisms and even how Lincoln walked was quite accurate. And what would any countdown of modern films be without at least one Steven Spielberg contribution.

“`Tony Kushner’s screenplay was based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 biography, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on his efforts in January 1865 to abolish slavery with passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

“`Lincoln  garnered twelve Oscar nods and won two:  Best Actor and Best Production Design. Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and longtime collaborator, composer John Williams also received attention by voters. My one complaint, David Strathairn was snubbed for his role as Secretary of State William H. Seward, a powerfully restrained performance.

“`The impact of this production is immeasurable. Even though the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted across the country in 1865,  Mississippi’s formal ratification actually occurred in 1995 and was not considered official because the country’s archivist was never notified.  Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann finally declared the ratification official in 2013 just after the release of the biopic. This is a clear case of man-bites-dog in a historically amazing way.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hitting the Road…

September 13th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I am thrilled to have a conversation about my latest literary work, Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, on Celebrating Act 2. John Coleman and Art Kirsch visit several chapters that cover terrific character actors such as George Sanders, Keye Luke, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, and Arthur Lake.


Until next time>                               “next time”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Muppets Take Anaheim…

September 10th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`The Muppets are making special appearances at  Disneyland in Anaheim this holiday season. The amusement park is featuring a ticketed after-hours event called Disney Merriest Nites.

“`Kermit, Miss Piggy and other Muppets will be found on Main Street USA on a special coach singing Christmas carols. This will be a special treat for parkgoers to get to see the Muppets live and decked out for the holidays.

“`Disney Merriest Nites will run for five evenings. Here are the dates for this special event:

  • November 11
  • November 16
  • November 30
  • December 7
  • December 9

“`Tickets to Disney Merriest Nites go on sale on September 14th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cash for Judy…

September 9th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Over a thousand museums across the country decided to apply for several substantial grants that was being offered by a genial host of a television show, and the winning repositories were announced by John Oliver on his program, Last Week Tonight. The goal was to provide some financial support to museums that were struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“`Oliver has announced five winners: The Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, William V. Banks Broadcast Museum and Media Center in Detroit, and the  Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. Each museum will receive a $10,000 grant, and each program will donate an extra $10,000 to a food bank located close by each of the museums.  For the Judy Garland Museum, this will go to Second Harvest North Central Food Bank.

“`In exchange, each museum is to host three odds works of art provided by the show as part of a traveling exhibition:

  • A portrait of television host Wendy Williams eating a lamb chop
  • A painting of some rolled-up ties on a trunk
  • A couple of anthropomorphized rats getting a bit frisky

“`The exhibit will be on display through September 28th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Michael Constantine…

September 8th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Michael Constantine was a character actor best known for his recurring role as a principal in Room 222 and the affable parent in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding franchise. He was also a prolific guest-star on the small screen for over two decades.

“`Constantine began his career on the New York stage. In the mid-1950s, He became an understudy to Paul Muni in Inherit the Wind and studied with such prominent thespians as Howard Da Silva. Constantine played a variety of characters on and off Broadway in his twenties, supplementing his income as a night watchman and shooting-gallery barker. He accepted a small but memorable supporting role in The Hustler. He also had parts in  If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium, The Juror, Voyage of the Damned, Hawaii, and The Reivers.

“`On television, Constantine guest-starred in  Perry MasonMy Favorite Martian, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Untouchables, Death Valley Days, Bonanza, Hogan’s Heroes, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Virginian, The Fugitive, I Spy, The Odd Couple, The Invaders, Combat!, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gunsmoke, The Streets of San Francisco, Mission: Impossible, Fantasy Island, and The Love Boat.

“`Michael Constantine (above right) was ninety-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#14, #13)…

September 7th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Let us continue our peak at my favorite fifty movies since 2000. Buzz is beginning to generate for soon-to-be-released motion pictures that will be considered the best of 2021. Once I am done with this analysis in October, I intend to hunker down and catch up with this season’s finest cinema so I may make informed selections on my SAG ballot. As always, I will display my vote in an future blog.

“`Now, back to the countdown!


~ #14 – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020)

“`The second of three films from 2020 featured on my countdown. A truly wonderful ensemble cast breaks down the protests that took place on the streets of Chicago during the Democratic Convention in 1968. The cast includes  Eddie Redmayne,  Sacha Baron Cohen, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Yayha Abdul-Mateen II, and Jeremy Strong. There is also a cameo by Michael Keaton who plays former attorney general Ramsey Clark. A typically edgy screenplay from Aaron Sorkin makes this a thoroughly enjoyable flick.

“`The film re-examines the life and times of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Fred Hampton, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, and Bobby Seale; all part of a counter-culture that protested against the Vietnam conflict and for civil liberties.  We are reminded that the Dick Nixon administration always kept an enemies list and a silent majority were always going to have the final word. That said, this motion picture was released on Netflix just as ordinary citizens were once again taking to the streets in search of justice for George Floyd.

“`Nominated for six Oscars, it was recognized as one of the year’s Best Picture nominees. It also garnered nods for  Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Song, Best Editing and for Cohen’s performance as Hoffman. Let me additionally recognize the fine work of Langella,  who offered with great zeal a grotesque status quo that interprets change as a threat (as he did in Frost/Nixon). Channeling his inner Claude Rains, Langella relishes the opportunity to play memorable villains on screen.


~ #13 – SPOTLIGHT (2015)

“`The fifth of six movies that were awarded a Best Picture Oscar on my countdown; the others so far… Chicago, Green Book, The King’s Speech, and Argo. Spotlight follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalistic unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by a number of Roman Catholic priests. It is based on articles by the Spotlight team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

“`Just like my previous entry, the film features an ensemble cast, including Michael Keaton (again), Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci, with Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup in supporting roles. The production also received a statuette for Best Original Screenplay. It garnered attention for Best Director, Best Editing, and the work of Ruffalo and McAdams.

“`Remarkably, the Archdiocese of Boston and Catholic News Service praised the production for its generally accurate chronicle. Eventually, Vatican Radio announced that clerics in Rome had been recommending the film to each other.

“`It was recently voted the 88th best film since 2000 in an international critics poll conducted by the BBC. On my similar list, I rank it #13.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Essoufflé

September 6th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Jean-Paul Belmondo was an actor associated with New Wave cinema of the 1960s and was a major French movie star for many decades. His appeal, a mix of cynicism, sensitivity, warmth, and guile,  established a fresh form of romanticism that earned him parts in collaboration with French directors, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais, and Louis Malle. His well known productions include Breathless and That Man from Rio. Ursula Andress was one of his many partners.

“`Belmondo studied under Raymond Giraud and attended  Conservatoire of Dramatic Arts when he was twenty. He had a success in 1958 on stage in Oscar in Paris and that led to him being offered the lead in star parts. He was cast in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, which was a major success in France and overseas and launched Belmondo internationally.

“`He supported Sophia Loren in Two Women in 1961. After its release, the New York Times called Belmondo:

The most impressive young French actor since the advent of the late Gérard Philipe

“`A 1965 profile compared him to Humphrey Bogart and James Dean. He was open to making Hollywood movies, but he wanted to play an American rather than a Frenchman. He was also interested in Cary Grant-type roles instead of Dean / Bogart-type parts.  Belmondo remained a charismatic actor who often performed his own stunts.

“`Other films included  Is Paris Burning?, Casino Royale, Mississippi Mermaid, The BrainLove is a Funny Thing, The Burglarsand The Professional. Inspired by the success Alain Delon had producing his own films, Belmondo formed his own production company, Cerito Films.

“`Knighted in his native France, he was honored on three different occasions for his cinematic work. In 2009, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave him a career achievement award.

“`Jean-Paul Belmondo (above right) was eight-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fair Weather Willard…

September 5th, 2021

Manny P. here…

Willard Scott was the manic Today show weatherman for thirty-five years. His folksy manner hid his lack of meteorological training during his time as television’s best loved meteorologist. He also portrayed Bozo the Clown and created the Ronald McDonald character.

“`As a teen, Scott took his initial media job as a page for an NBC affiliate in Washington D. C. in 1950.  While working in television and radio, he donned the clown suits and his efforts paid off. The people at McDonald’s headquarters liked his creation of Ronald McDonald enough to use the character nationwide. Unfortunately, for the national ad campaign, McDonald’s hired someone else to play Ronald.

“`Scott’s efforts would lead to the weather gig at Today in 1980 and his outsized personality and small-town values made him a fan favorite. Viewers sent him gifts and flocked to see him when he did the weather live from county fairs, parades, and civic events around the country.

“`In 1983, Scott wished a happy 100th birthday to a woman on the air and this started a tradition that became one of the Today show’s most popular features.  The show began receiving thousands of requests for centennial shout-outs and Scott did them once a week until 2015, long after he relinquished the full-time weather job. In all, he honored over 40,000 birthdays.

“`Scott was a co-anchor of NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from 1987 to 1997.  And he often portrayed Santa Claus at the White House. In all, Scott was with NBC a total of sixty-five years.

“`Willard Scott (right) was eighty-seven.

Until next time>                               “never forget”