“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrated Return to Cinecon…

September 29th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`My trip to Cinecon 58 this past Labor Day weekend was incredible fun.  Joined by Art Kirsch and John Coleman of Celebrating Act 2, we documented the festivities. Today, we review what to expect in the upcoming twelve-part series each Friday throughout the Fall.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hollywood Pals…

September 26th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I chat about the beloved friendships in the industry during Hollywood’s golden past. Celebrating Act 2 offers enticing examples.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Phantom to Close on Broadway…

September 18th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`The longest running show in Broadway history is coming to an end. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera will close at the Majestic Theatre on February 18th, 2023.  The show will celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary just a couple of weeks prior to its final curtain, celebrating that milestone on January 26th. By comparison, Chicago has to play for eight years on Broadway to break Phantom’s record.

“`Ticket sales for all Broadway shows slowed dramatically during the pandemic,  including for Phantom, which has continued to see a decline. It dropped from 255,000 in weekly attendees in May to 180,000 in September. The show is set to go on internationally. London’s production celebrates its thirty-sixth birthday on October 9th; the new production in Melbourne, Australia is expected to continue, and a Mandarin-language version will debut in China in 2023.

“`The Phantom of the Opera  was created by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh. Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, the show premiered on London’s West End in October 1986 before opening on Broadway on January 26, 1988. Film versions have starred Lon Chaney and Claude Rains.


“`Irene Papas was a Greek actress who appeared in seventy films. She gained international recognition with award-winning motion pictures as The Guns of Navarone, Zorba the Greek, Anne of a Thousand Days and Z. Papas was discovered by Elia Kazan in Greece, where she achieved widespread fame.

“`She starred in a Greek film production of Antigone, for which she won Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival. She would go on to star in a number of film adaptations of classical Greek plays, including Electra, Iphigenia and The Trojan Women; the latter in which she earned accolades from the National Board of Review.

”’Irene Papas (above right) was ninety-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Henry Silva…

September 17th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Henry Silva was a prolific character actor with a career that spanned six decades. He is best-known for his roles in Ocean’s 11, The Manchurian Candidate and Sergeants 3, all starring Frank Sinatra.

“`Silva quit school to attend drama classes and he supported himself as a waiter and dishwasher at a Manhattan hotel. In 1955, he tried out for the Actors Studio and he was accepted. His classmates included Ben Gazzara, Shelley Winters and Harry Guardino.

“`His early roles included Viva Zapata, The Tall T, The Bravados and A Hatful of Rain. And his collaboration with Frank Sinatra proved fruitful. He was memorable in Cinderfella, Johnny Cool, Sharkey’s Machine, Contract on Cherry Street (again with Sinatra) Dick Tracy and the remake of Ocean’s 11 in 2001.

“`Silva was typecast playing mobsters, robbers and other criminals, mostly on television. He guest-starred in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Untouchables, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Mission: Impossible and Thriller.

“`One of the good guys, Henry Silva was ninety-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Refugee Policy During World War II…

September 16th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Documentarians Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein are examining the delicate policy taken by this nation at the advent of World War II. Florentine Films was asked by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015 to detail the unfortunate series of events that took place in the late 1930s.

“`The U. S. and the Holocaust  is a three-part, six hour series that chronicles America’s response to one of the great humanitarian crises of the twentieth century.  Americans consider themselves a nation of immigrants, but as the travesty of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States  proved unwilling to let more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees through its doors.

“`Through firsthand accounts of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape the Nazis, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference,  bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. This is a history to be reckoned with.

“`Inspired by the  Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Americans and the Holocaust exhibit and supported by its historical resources, the documentary focuses on the rise of Hitler in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States, and race laws in the American south. The series was written by Geoffrey Ward and sheds light on what the United States government and American people knew and did as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe.

“`The U. S. and the Holocaust features historical figures that includes Charles Lindbergh, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dorothy Thompson, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Henry Ford, as well as Anne Frank and her family, who applied for but failed to obtain visas to the U. S. before they went into hiding. This unexpected aspect of the Franks’ story underscores an American connection to the Holocaust that will be new to many viewers.  Ultimately, this documentary offers little solace to folks who believe that challenges posed by nativism, antisemitism, xenophobia and racism are buried deeply and permanently in the past.

“`The U. S. and the Holocaust is narrated by Peter Coyote; and voice actors include Meryl Streep, Matthew Rhys, Liam Neeson, Paul Giamatti, Werner Herzog, Joe Morton, Hope Davis, Bradley Whitford and Helena Zengel. And again, Burns and his team have brought history to life — and remind us that history is made every day.

“`The U. S. and the Holocaust premieres on PBS stations starting Sunday, September 18th at 8p (EST). Click the link to hear more about this amazing program. This is a panel discussion with Novick and Botstein taped by Tim Greenwood with Magnolia Street Productions.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television at the Beginning…

September 15th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Television’s origin was complicated. And, movie studios found the small screen as a threat. John Coleman, Art Kirsch and I figure out how television survived. Celebrating Act 2 provides the conversation.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Godfather of New Wave Cinema…

September 14th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Jean-Luc Godard was a film director, screenwriter, and movie critic. He pushed cinematic boundaries and inspired iconoclastic directors decades after his 1960s heyday, including Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino.

“`Godard rose to prominence as a pioneer of the 1960s French New Wave film movement and his efforts revolutionized cinema, as he experimented with sound, narrative, continuity and camerawork. The impact to this new approach would be felt in Hollywood with the downfall of the longstanding Hayes Code that enforced Puritan standards to the content of productions for over three decades.

“`In the 1950s, he met critic André Bazin and future directors François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jacques Rivette. Godard began writing for film magazines, including Bazin’s Cahiers du Cinema. He revered Otto Preminger, Howard Hawks and Humphrey Bogart.

“`Gradually, Godard began criticizing mainstream French cinema’s convention over innovation and experimentation.  In response, he and like-minded critics began to make their own films, challenging the conventions of traditional Hollywood.  Godard first received global acclaim for his 1960 feature Breathless and helped to establish the New Wave movement. He broke with convention and kick-started a new way of filmmaking, with handheld camera work, jump cuts and existential dialogue.

“`Godard went on to make a string of seminal films in the 1960s at a prolific rate.  His career can be distinguishably divided into two phases; one where he made conventional movies with unconventional techniques and the other when he made political flicks. He directed films filled with Leftist, anti-war politics. After the 1980s, Godard was back creating traditional films.

“`Godard’s approach and the French New Wave complemented each other, perfectly.  A subtle playfulness of content and form made his films unique. New Wave is based on auteur theory in which the director is like an author and the camera his pen. His genius, with its unconventional approach to sex, violence, anti-war politics and explorations of the counter-culture, introduced new techniques in film-making. Early proponents of auteur theory in Hollywood included Alfred Hitchcock and Ida Lupino (when she started directing movies).

“`Jean-Luc Goddard was ninety-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Marsha Hunt…

September 9th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Marsha Hunt was a veteran actress and humanitarian, who was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and blacklisted by Hollywood for a time.  She was the oldest living and one of the last surviving actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“`Hunt modeled for John Powers Agency and began taking acting classes at Theodora Irvine Studio. She was one of the highest-earning models by 1935. She was visiting her uncle in Los Angeles when comedian Zeppo Marx saw a picture of her in the newspaper. Although initially reluctant to pursue a film career, Marsha signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. She would eventually move to MGM to find work. Her notable films included Flight Command, Pride and Prejudice, Blossoms in the Dust, Panama Hattie, Cry ‘Havoc’, The Human Comedy and Smash Up: The Story of a Woman.

“`Hunt and her husband, screenwriter Robert Presnell Jr, became members of the Committee for the First Amendment in 1947. Later that year, Hunt took part in Hollywood Fights Back, a star-studded radio program co-written by her husband protesting the activities of HUAC. She was asked to denounce her activities if she wanted to find more work; she refused. In 1950, Hunt was named as a potential Communist or Communist sympathizer (along with 151 other actors, writers and directors) in the anti-Communist publication Red Channels. Cinema work became scarce for Hunt and Presnell.

“`At the advent of live televesion, Hunt appeared in the initial Shakespeare play to be aired coast to coast. She hosted and guest starred twice on Your Show Of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner. Numerous guest appearances followed.

“`Hunt served community, civic and national organizations dedicated to humanitarian causes. A critically acclaimed documentary of her remarkable life, Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity was released in 2015. I was lucky to meet Ms. Hunt at a previous Afternoon with the Authors held at the Hollywood Heritage. I was in the presence of greatness.

“`Marsha Hunt (above right) was 104.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Queen Elizabeth II

September 8th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`The torch has passed from the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III.  Though expected, the monarch’s passing shocked her nation, commonwealth and the globe for people who only knew one leader of Great Britain for the entirety of their lives.

“`Continuity for the country has been upended in already turbulent times. Just two days before,  Elizabeth met with her fifteenth prime minister during her reign.  She had also witnessed the inauguration of fourteen presidents across the pond. The queen, who traveled on more than 271 state visits, engaged in a career of soft diplomancy; a policy that served her for seventy years. QUEEN ELIZABETH II –>

“`Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London on April 21, 1926, granddaughter of King George V and the first child of Prince Albert, the Duke of York, and wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, a daughter of the Scottish nobility. She was just ten-years-old when her father became King George VI, having adopted his father’s name.

“`In 1940, during World War II, Princess Elizabeth made her first broadcast, addressing the children of Britain, especially wartime evacuees. In 1946, Lt. Philip Mountbatten, then in his mid-twenties, was given permission by King George VI to marry his daughter, on a condition that they wait until Elizabeth was twenty-one. Prince Charles was born in 1948. She became Queen Elizabeth II at the age of twenty-five. Philip gave up his service to the Royal Navy to support his wife. Her coronation on June 2, 1953 was broadcast on radio and television.


“`Her reign navigated through a very changing world. When she ascended to the throne, she relied on Prime Minister Winston Churchill to advise her on how to retain a relevent monarchy during the Cold War. The 1960s were a culturally turbulant times and Elizabeth was willing to see her country modernize.

“`Family troubles created personal chaos just as broadcast media became a formidable way to document affairs of state. Her sister Margaret was a social butterfly and son Charles proved to be quite bitter as he grew up in a world where he had to submit to a life of service. His broken union to Diana Spencer almost derailed the monarchy when she became a global phenomenon and then, after she died so tragically. More recently, Harry’s marriage put a fresh coat of paint on the troublesome protocol of the crown and the trouble it has caused the family, particularly on his mother and wife.

“`Elizabeth stuck to her instincts  and stayed stoic in the face of political and personal issues that became more relevent to her royal subjects. In 1992, a fire ravaged Windsor Castle, the medieval fortress where Elizabeth had spent so much of her childhood. The royal family faced backlash from British taxpayers who learned they were expected to help pay for the repairs.

“`The queen had links, either as royal patron or president, to well over six hundred charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organizations.  She continued to attend royal engagements, from Buckingham Palace garden parties and knighting ceremony receptions, state banquets and travels throughout the commonwealth.

“`She has been portrayed in film with mostly flattering characterizations, even if her personal drama was written into the scripts. Helen Mirren earned an Oscar for her performance in The Queen. Claire Foy, Olivia Coleman and Imelda Staunton guided Elizabeth from young adult to her senior years on the Netflix mini-series, The Crown.

“`She was not afraid to keep up with the times, including sending her initial tweet in 2014  and publishing her first Instagram post in 2019. During the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth began doing video calls so that she could continue to connect with people while working from home. She retained a lifelong interest in horses and her beloved corgis.

“`She lost her husband in 2021. Just this year, Elizabeth became the first British monarch to reach a Platinum Jubilee — seventy years on the throne. In June, the public celebrated the queen with a four-day celebration. She professed a re-commitment to service and called for support when Charles would eventually ascend to the throne.

“`Queen Elizabeth II was ninety-six. Long live the King!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Be True to Your School…

September 7th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I wax eloquent on Celebrating Act 2 about cinematic treasures with school as a backdrop. It is a very engaging discussion!


Until next time>                               “never forget”