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

Posted on September 23, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

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”

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 at 12:02 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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