“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.

“`Enjoy!

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!

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Labor Day Weekend at Cinecon…

August 31st, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Cinecon 58, presented by Hollywood Heritage, will take place in person at the Hollywood Legion Theatre  over Labor Day Weekend, beginning Thursday, September 1st. Cinecon is where archivists, authors, collectors and film fans join for five days of classic film screenings, special programs and celebrity guests.

“`This year’s highlights include:

  Honoree Jimmy Hunt  Honoree Jimmy Hunt  Honoree Jimmy Hunt

  • Mitzi Gaynor is making a rare public appearance to accept her Cinecon Legacy Award from friend and virtuoso performer, Michael Feinstein.
  • Past Cinecon Honoree, Ruta Lee is presenting the Cinecon Legacy Award to George Chakiris, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as Bernardo in West Side Story.
  • Jimmy Hunt will be there to receive the Cinecon Legacy Award from friend and co-star Janine Perreau, who appeared with him in the 1953 sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars, followed by a screening of the flick
  • Patty McCormack will accept a Cinecon Legacy Award as well. She is best remembered for her starring role in The Bad Seed. It earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nods.
  • The popular KINECON AT CINECON program returns this year with an all-new slate of rare television treasures.

“`I will be on hand to present a rare screening of The Mad Game,  starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Trevor.  This production was made while Tracy was contracted at Fox Studios. The screening will take place on Saturday at 5p. I will also be joined by the Celebrating Act 2 film crew documenting many of the events at Cinecon.

“`Full Passes give you access to all the amazing films they present and to the additional special programs at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.  You will also receive access to the Opening Night Gala on Thursday! A Day Pass offers you access to all films and events happening on one particular day. All tickets are handled through Eventbrite.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cinecon-58-classic-film-festival-september-1-to-september-5-2022-tickets-349106255207

  

“`The Hollywood Legion Theatre is located at 2035 Highland Ave. in Los Angeles. Here is a link for the complete film screenings and events schedule at Cinecon:

https://cinecon.org/schedule/

“`Please join us for five full days of fun at Cinecon 58 in Hollywood!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Collaborative Effort…

August 24th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Directors have their favorite actors. Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I discuss the worthy collaborations throughout Hollywood history on Celebrating Act 2.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating Documentaries…

August 15th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 hosts, Art Kirsch and John Coleman, as me to assess the viability of documentaries in cinema. It is an engaging discussion.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sons of the Albuquerque Desert…

August 14th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`It is here! The Sons of the Desert 23rd International Convention happens this week in Albuquerque.  The event annually celebrates the creative filmaking of arguably the greatest cinematic pairing in Hollywood history… Laurel and Hardy!

“`The attendees include fans from every corner of the globe. Each local chapter is called a tent and each of the tents are named after L&H movies. At the event, there will be film screenings, an authors roundtable, dealer’s room, memorabilia auction, sight-seeing tours and a grand banquet. Another nice mess begins this Wednesday at the Hotel Albuquerque.

“`I arrive on Wednesday! I am part of the author’s roundtable on Thursday evening and I will spend lots of time at the dealer’s room autographing my Forgotten Hollywood book series and providing other goodies. I previously visited a Sons of the Desert International Convention when it took place in Hollywood. I also stopped by and spent treasured time at the Early to Bed tent in South Pasadena.

OLIVER HARDY         STAN LAUREL

“`How thrilling to put on my fez and go conventioneering! Hope to see you in Albuquerque!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An American Icon…

August 8th, 2022

Manny P…

“`Last week, Vin Scully, my broadcasting inspiration, died. Today, my literary mentor has passed away. David McCullough was an author, narrator, historian and lecturer. He was a two-time winner of the  Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and (like Scully) a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. Personally, he is the singular reason I began writing the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

“`Born and raised in Pittsburgh, McCullough earned a degree in English literature from Yale University. His first book was The Johnstown Flood; and he has since written nine more on such topics as John Adams, Harry S. Truman, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Wright brothers. 

“`He had apprenticeships at Time, Life, the United States Information Agency and at American Heritage. McCullough also served an internship at Sports Illustrated. During his time in school, he often dined with mentor and friend, Thornton Wilder.

“`McCullough narrated numerous documentaries, such as The Civil War by Ken Burns, as well as the 2003 film Seabiscuit; and he hosted American Experience for twelve years. Truman and John Adams were adapted by HBO into a television movie and a miniseries, respectively. His approach to Adams was particularly poignant.  The story of a fine patriot in the shadow of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin influenced my eventual strategy of sharing Americana and Hollywood history by profiling the charactor actors of cinema as the subjects of my tales. The supporting players in movies had very special careers and their narratives were worth telling. This was an epiphany!

“`On a personal note, I met McCullough in 2013 at an event in Thousand Oaks, CA. I was invited to attend a backstage meet-and-greet. Most of the antendees had their copies of his books autographed. I decided to offer my Forgotten Hollywood books as a gift. He sincerely appreciated my gesture. The author read my work and then donated them to New York Public Library,  a favorite national repository of his. Previously, the noted ibrary had been reluctant to add my books to their shelves. His efforts went a tremendous distance in establishing my credentials as a writer. I am forever grateful.

“`He typed all of his noted works off an old-fashioned typewriter in a shed in the backyard of his home. The ever-dignified David McCullough (above) was eighty-nine.

==========================================

“`Olivia Newton John was a singer and actress best remembered for her role in Grease. She also starred in Xanadu with Gene Kelly. Her hits included  Have You Never Been Mellow, Let Me Be There, Please Mr. Please, Physical, I Honestly Love You, MagicA Little More Love, Hopelessly Devoted with You, and with John Travolta, You’re the One That I Want and Summer Nights. A duet with Cliff Richard, Suddenly and her hit with Electric Light Orchestra, Xanadu, charted, as well.

“`Olivia Newton John (right) was seventy-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Clu…

August 6th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Clu Gulager was a television and movie actor, who thrived in the 1960s in mostly westerns. He had a seven-decade career. He was a first-cousin (once removed) to Will Rogers.

“`His Cherokee nickname was given to him by his father for the clu-clu birds hat were nesting at the Gulager home at the time of his birth. He won a one-year scholarship to study abroad in Paris, where he worked under Jean Louis Barrault, a French actor and director.

“`Gulager’s career began on television with roles in Wagon Train, The Untouchables, The VirginianHave Gun Will Travel, Dr. KildareIronside, The F. B. I., The Mod Squad, Medical Center, Hawaii 5-0, Barnaby Jones, McCloudThe Streets of San Francisco, Falcon Crest, CHiPs, The Fall Guy, Magnum P. I. and Murder She Wrote.  During three seasons, Gulager played Billy the Kid in The Tall Man opposite Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett.

“`In movies, Clu was memorable in  The Killers, The Last Picture Show, McQ, The Other Side of Midnight and most recently, in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Gulager directed the short film A Day with the Boys,  which was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. He is one of several Oklahoma Walk of Fame members represented on medallions in front of Tulsa’s Circle Cinema.

“`Clu Gulager (above right) was ninety-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Blog For All Seasons…

August 4th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 celebrates www.forgottenhollywood.com. John Coleman and Art Kirsch take a moment to allow me to promote my blog site. I hope you take a moment to visit my page…

“`In the meantime… Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- THE Boy of Summer…

August 3rd, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`The amazin’ Vin Scully was a sports broadcaster with no equal. He was best known for his sixty-seven seasons calling games for Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles (and Brooklyn) Dodgers, beginning in 1950 and ending in 2016. His time remains the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history and he is second only to Tommy Lasorda (by two years) in the number of years associated with the Dodgers organization in any capacity.  He was known for his distinctive voice, a descriptive style and signature introduction to Dodgers games:

It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good (afternoon/evening) to you, wherever you may be.

“`Scully discovered baseball at age eight when he saw the results of the second game of the 1936 World Series at a laundromat and felt empathy for the defeated New York Giants. Since he lived near the Polo Grounds and as a member of the Catholic Youth Organization, he was able to attend games for free and became a very big Giants fan.

“`Scully began his career as a student broadcaster and journalist at Fordham University. Red Barber, the sports director of the CBS Radio Network, recruited Scully for their college football coverage.

“`In 1950, Scully joined Barber and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ radio and television booths, replacing Ernie Harwell after the latter departed to the crosstown Giants. When Barber got into a salary dispute with World Series sponsor Gillette prior to the 1953 Series, Scully took Barber’s spot in the NBC television booth,  becoming the youngest person to broadcast a World Series. After Barber subsequently left the Dodgers to work for the New York Yankees beginning in 1954, Scully became the team’s principal announcer.

“`He called so many iconic baseball moments, it would be impossible to mention them all. Highlights include:

  • The shot heard round the world that sent the Giants to the World Series in a third playoff game in 1951 after being 13 1/2 games down to the Dodgers in late August
  • Brooklyn finally claiming a World Series in 1955
  • Yankees pitcher Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series
  • All of Sandy Koufax’ no-hitters and his perfect game
  • Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run against the Dodgers
  • The arrival of Fernando-mania
  • Kurt Gibson’s tater in the first game of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland A’s

“`Scully had football credentials even as his baseball career blossomed. For seven years, he announced National Football League telecasts for CBS Sports. Vin also contributed to the network’s tennis and PGA Tour golf coverage in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“`He was voted a Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for sportscasting, and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Upon retirement, Scully received many Los Angeles accolades, including a key to the city. In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by our country.

“`On a personal note, I am one of many who contemplated a career in broadcasting simply by listening to Scully call a baseball game. He was effortless and efficient. I met him once while broadcasting a live remote for 1110 AM KRLA at Angels Stadium during the pre-season. It was the annual Freeway Series against the crosstown Dodgers.  We exchanged pleasantries and he opined on how our Boys of Summer could beat the hated St. Louis Cardinals to get to the Fall Classic. Vin was the biggest Dodger’s fan on the planet and it was apparent during our conversation. This broadcaster remains blessed for the memory.      VIN SCULLY –>

“`Today, the gates of heaven opened up as Vinny joins Barber, Lasorda, Walter Alston, Jerry Doggett and Don Drysdale. I expect they will have many yarns to share.

“`Vin Scully was ninety-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Ground Breaking Role…

July 31st, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Nichelle Nichols was a small screen pioneer for her portrayal of Starship Communications Officer Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek. She broke color barriers, and along with Diahann Carroll, helped re-define roles for Black characters. In 1968, Nichols and William Shatner broke a cultural barrier when they engaged in the initial interracial kiss on network television. She workd as a singer and dancer and would eventually tour with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before her acting career took off.

“`Star Trek became a pop culture phenomenon and shattered stereotypes common on television at the time by casting Black and minority actors in high-profile roles on the show.  She had planned to quit the after one season, but Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to stay because it was so revolutionary to have a Black woman portraying a senior crew member at a time when Black people were fighting for equality in American society. She influenced future actors (Whoopi Goldberg); a future president (Barack Obama); and generations of female astronauts such as Sally Ride.

“`Nichols also helped break color barriers at NASA.  Many of their employees were Star Trek fans. After she criticized the space agency for failing to hire qualified women and minorities as astronauts, it hired Nichols in the 1970s to help in recruiting.

“`Nichelle Nichols (above right) was eight-nine.

Until next time>                               “never forget

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Summer Under the Stars Schedule…

July 30th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Thanks to our friends at Turner Classic Movies, here is the complete August schedule of their Summer Under the Stars daily program. Each day, a movie star will be the subject of a tribute. I am looking forward to Jean Arthur, Spencer Tracy, William Holden, Myrna Loy, and two actors featured in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series: Gilbert Roland and Jack Carson.

“`Pick out your favorite actors and enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”