Film Historians Present Slide Show to Celebrate Second Book on Paramount Pictures
Marc Wanamaker and Michael Christaldi returned to Larry Edmunds Bookshop in April to present a slideshow and commentary to celebrate the release of their second book on Paramount Pictures. The first book was entitled “Early Paramount Studios.” All three authors of that book were on hand during the first presentation, which can still be viewed on this website, click here to see the first part.
The fascinating tale of Hollywood powerhouse Paramount Pictures, beginning with its birth in the 1910s through the turbulent decade of the 1930s was told in Early Paramount Studios by Marc Wanamaker, Michael Christaldi, and E.J. Stephens. Now two of the three authors are back at LARE to tell the next 60 years of the studio saga in Paramount Studios: 1940-2000, with a foreword by former Paramount head of production Robert Evans. This book picks up the story during the time of World War II a successful era for the studio which was followed by a decade of decline due to the upstart medium of television. By the 1960s, the studio teetered on the brink of bankruptcy before rebounding, thanks to several 1970s blockbusters, such as Love Story, The Godfather, and Chinatown. The tale continues through the final decades of the 20th century when Paramount showcased some of the greatest hits in its history.
Marc Wanamaker brought in a tremendous collection of slides to illustrate and expand on the second book. Of course, only a limited number of photos can be put into a book, so the fantastic photos he brought in delighted the audience, as many of the photos have not been seen in general circulation before. Marc and Michael, both film historians, added a colorful and authoritative running commentary. Click on the box below to see the entire event:
For signed copies (if available), contact LarryEdmunds.com or phone (323) 463-3273.
Thanks to Big Fun Video for filming this great event.
Gang of Famous Comedians Rock at
It’s hard to get a great line-up like this at a comedy club, but on Sunday, May 1st, Illeana Douglas showed up at Larry Edmunds Bookshop with Kelly Carlin, Heather Matarazzo, Wayne Fetterman, Greg Proops and Jennifer Tilly to read from Illeana’s new book “I Blame Dennis Hopper.” Her book is over the top funny, beginning when her show business parents saw Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, and decided to become hippies. They opened a big commune at their country house and life went downhill for Illeana from there. Click on the frame below to watch this hilarious event. And if you think Illeana is over the top, wait until you see Jennifer Tilly in action! A great cast, this could be a permanent dinner party road show.
Signed copies of Illeana’s book are still available at: www.LarryEdmunds.com
Or visit the shop, located at 6644 Hollywood Blvd., in the heart of Hollywood.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13th -7:30 pm @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop-PARAMOUNT STUDIOS 1940-2000It is always a joy to welcome friends back & the Lare really doesn’t have too many friends that go back further than Marc Wanamaker. As a matter of fact, the screen we will project the presentation upon is only here because of the kindness of Marc & Robert Nudelman back in 2007 when they did the very 1st book signing event I ever did here in the store. After showing the classic photos projected onto sheets, my friends came back from a cinema equipment show w/ a new screen as a gift. Thanks guys!Marc will be joined next Wednesday by co-author & friend of the Lare, Michael Christaldi who joins us for the second time on the author side to talk all things Paramount from 1940-2000.Join us for a presentation, some conversation & some book signing about the studio behind the famous front gate.The fascinating tale of Hollywood powerhouse Paramount Pictures—beginning with its birth in the 1910s through the turbulent decade of the 1930s—was told in Early Paramount Studios by Marc Wanamaker, Michael Christaldi, and E.J. Stephens. Now the same authors are back to tell the next 60 years of the studio saga in Paramount Studios: 1940–2000, with a foreword by former Paramount head of production Robert Evans.This book picks up the story during the time of World War II—a successful era for the studio—which was followed by a decade of decline due to the upstart medium of television. By the 1960s, the studio teetered on the brink of bankruptcy before rebounding, thanks to several 1970s blockbusters, such as Love Story, The Godfather, and Chinatown. The tale continues through the final decades of the 20th century when Paramount showcased some of the greatest hits in its history.As always, you can make it a mail order special if you can’t join us on the 13th.
Egyptian Theater Hollywood to Host Tribute Friday, February 26th, 7:30pm
What Up Hollywood had to really dig through the archives to find this great old photo of George with former Los Angeles Free Press Editor Brian Kirby. This was taken at the annual Paperback Collector’s Show in Mission Hills many moons ago.
A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON
This program is free to the public – first come, first served – with a suggested donation of $8 to our nonprofit to help cover expenses.
George Clayton Johnson (July 10, 1929 – December 25, 2015) penned some of the most memorable science fiction scripts of the 1960s and ’70s, including the first episode of “Star Trek” and seminal episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” as well as co-writing the novel Logan’s Run. Join us for an evening celebrating Johnson’s life and career, including “Twilight Zone” episodes “Nothing in the Dark”(1962), “A Penny for Your Thoughts” (1961), “A Game of Pool” (1961) and “Kick the Can” (1962), as well as remembrances from colleagues. There will be a panel discussion and a performance by members of Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company.
To rsvp on Eventbrite click here. It is free to rsvp.
Panel discussion follows with biographer Vivien Cooper, LOGAN’S RUN co-writer William F. Nolan, writers Dennis Etchison, Mark Scott Zicree and Wendy All and producers Jason and Sunni Brock, moderated by George’s son Paul Johnson. There will also be a performance by members of Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company. (approx. 150 min.)
Posted by Uncle Paulie
Hollywood Actor Gene Raymond Standing in His Backyard With A Huge Pile of Scripts
Looking through the What Up Hollywood Archives, I found this great old photo of Gene Raymond. Lord knows where it came from, but it looks to have been taken in the late 1940s or 1950s. I really hope this pile of scripts went to an archive rather than the bin. Raymond was in a lot of films and also tons of television. He was one of the most talented men in Hollywood, an actor, composer, producer, director, and much more. Click Here to check him out on IMDB. He was married to the beautiful Jeanette MacDonald for 28 years.
posted by Uncle Paulie
Hollywood Fails to Improve Despite the 1973 Wake-Up Call at the Oscars
by Robert S. Newport, Jr.
There has been a lot of talk lately that minorities have been pretty much shut out of Hollywood, especially the Academy Awards. It has really been obvious that most movies that are the big bread and butter for the industry have been lacking of a presence of African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian actors, stories, and awards. The African American community has been the forefront on this issue, they have the most organized voice and the biggest muscle in the press to get noticed, and recent talk shows, entertainment shows, and web sites have started to discuss this.
There is a wide variety of opinion on this issue. Some members of the Academy claim that they choose the best actors and movies for awards, and those who are not chosen are just sore losers. Others, mostly African Americans have claimed that there is a deeper, structural problem at work. Taking an overall view, this certainly would seem to be the case. American audiences seem to be so self-involved and arrogant that foreign films, for instance, that have many different ethnic actors, stories, directors, and producers are largely ignored. This leads to the question, which comes first, the chicken or the egg, meaning which comes first, the appreciative audience or the massive exposure of these films to develop an audience. Cable and Public Television could be a big help.
There are also, no doubt, many films made right here in the United States that are not considered for one reason or the other, really low budget art films for instance, that might have more exposure to minority participation. It really seems that the entire Hollywood system is weighted to continuing to churn out films directed toward a young box-office market, and reflecting in its majority of presentations only a white perspective.
Native Americans Ignored More Than Others
Lost in memory today is the huge controversy that occurred at the Academy Awards back on March 27, 1973. That night, Marlon Brando got the Oscar for his role in The Godfather. It was the culmination of a tremendous come-back for Brando, and would probably have been one of the highlights of his life. But Brando did not show up to the ceremony, he boycotted the event, shocking everyone. In his stead, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, who did not accept the Oscar, but attempted to read a statement from Brando, that was considered a slap in the face to the old boys who had run Hollywood since the beginning. But it was a wake-up call, because Brando was aware of what the Native American community had been suffering for years, and today would be a good time to re-read his statement of 43 years ago, and to realize that not much has changed either in society or in the tight old-boy world of Hollywood. Here’s Brando’s entire statement:
That Unfinished Oscar Speech
By MARLON BRANDO
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — For 200 years we have said to the Indian people who are fighting for their land, their life, their families and their right to be free: ”Lay down your arms, my friends, and then we will remain together. Only if you lay down your arms, my friends, can we then talk of peace and come to an agreement which will be good for you.”
When they laid down their arms, we murdered them. We lied to them. We cheated them out of their lands. We starved them into signing fraudulent agreements that we called treaties which we never kept. We turned them into beggars on a continent that gave life for as long as life can remember. And by any interpretation of history, however twisted, we did not do right. We were not lawful nor were we just in what we did. For them, we do not have to restore these people, we do not have to live up to some agreements, because it is given to us by virtue of our power to attack the rights of others, to take their property, to take their lives when they are trying to defend their land and liberty, and to make their virtues a crime and our own vices virtues.
But there is one thing which is beyond the reach of this perversity and that is the tremendous verdict of history. And history will surely judge us. But do we care? What kind of moral schizophrenia is it that allows us to shout at the top of our national voice for all the world to hear that we live up to our commitment when every page of history and when all the thirsty, starving, humiliating days and nights of the last 100 years in the lives of the American Indian contradict that voice?
It would seem that the respect for principle and the love of one’s neighbor have become dysfunctional in this country of ours, and that all we have done, all that we have succeeded in accomplishing with our power is simply annihilating the hopes of the newborn countries in this world, as well as friends and enemies alike, that we’re not humane, and that we do not live up to our agreements.
Perhaps at this moment you are saying to yourself what the hell has all this got to do with the Academy Awards? Why is this woman standing up here, ruining our evening, invading our lives with things that don’t concern us, and that we don’t care about? Wasting our time and money and intruding in our homes.
I think the answer to those unspoken questions is that the motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing his as savage, hostile and evil. It’s hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children watch television, and they watch films, and when they see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.
Recently there have been a few faltering steps to correct this situation, but too faltering and too few, so I, as a member in this profession, do not feel that I can as a citizen of the United States accept an award here tonight. I think awards in this country at this time are inappropriate to be received or given until the condition of the American Indian is drastically altered. If we are not our brother’s keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.
I would have been here tonight to speak to you directly, but I felt that perhaps I could be of better use if I went to Wounded Knee to help forestall in whatever way I can the establishment of a peace which would be dishonorable as long as the rivers shall run and the grass shall grow.
I would hope that those who are listening would not look upon this as a rude intrusion, but as an earnest effort to focus attention on an issue that might very well determine whether or not this country has the right to say from this point forward we believe in the inalienable rights of all people to remain free and independent on lands that have supported their life beyond living memory.
Thank you for your kindness and your courtesy to Miss Littlefeather. Thank you and good night.
This statement was written by Marlon Brando for delivery at the Academy Awards ceremony where Mr. Brando refused an Oscar. The speaker, who did not have the time to read the statement was Sachheen Littlefeather. Click below to see the very humble, loving presentation that Ms. Littlefeather made:
Finally, A Recent Science Fiction Story Featuring Native Americans Generating Film Interest
Over the Christmas holidays an unusual graphic novel was published that featured Native Americans. The story, called “Red Eden” looks into the future and postulates that the Native Americans levereged their casino revenue and became technologically proficient and got to the planet Mars, which they “terraformed” into a paradise. Every thing was going well for a while, but back down on earth, which had become polluted, corrupted, and suffering governmental collapse, a group of thugs and criminals escaped the dying planet and headed for Mars, to take the paradise away from the courageous Native Americans now living there. The story follows a young Indian woman who is coming of age during all this chaos. Will history repeat itself? Or will the Native Americans fight off an invasion of thugs and continue to live on their peaceful planet? That’s the story line for a ground-breaking graphic novel that explores a lot of the past issues and gives attention to the past treatment of Native Americans in the United States.
The question is how serious is the chance of a major studio picking up this story, and in fact does any production company have the guts to do a project like this? One of the writers on the book, Greg Simay, claims that it is appealing to a young female audience as equally as it appeals to a young male audience, which is important to filmmakers who are always trying to target their biggest box office supporters. The story is somewhat controversial in many ways, but since it is science fiction, it has a chance to break through the Hollywood establishment that has ignored the real story of the American Indians and given such shoddy, disrespectful treatment of them that watching some of the old “cowboy and indian” films today is painful for many folks. Marlon Brando’s 1973 speech seems more true today. Hollywood has sporadically done the right thing and brought up social and racial issues, especially for African Americans, but it has not been an across the board effort. Author – publisher Simay says that he has had some interest from Hollywood, but nothing firm. It’s beyond past time for Hollywood to put its magic into telling great stories about everyone, including Native Americans and certainly African Americans. One of the films up for an award is The Martian,
about the rescue of one, lone white dude on a failed Martian exploration. Much more dramatic would be the fate of an entire Civilization on Mars, especially if it were Native American.
There is great talent in the Native American and African communities that are waiting to be tapped. Is Hollywood up to the task? The Oscars are almost upon us, and this is a controversy that is not going to disappear.
Click Here to see Sacheen Littlefeather’s web site.
Click Here to hear Frank Morano’s radio interview with Sacheen Littlefeather
Click Here to go to the Mars Red Eden site.
Everyone’s Favorite Phantasm Villain
Click Here for IMDB Biography
Famous Hollywood Writer Dies Christmas Day
Besides writing the first episode of Star Trek and the story that became the film “Ocean’s Eleven” as well as “Logan’s Run”, he also wrote a few of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes “Nothing in the Dark”, “Game of Pool” & :”Kick the Can”. I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times at various book signing events, but the most memorable time was when he gave a wonderfully fascinating and informative talk on his writing career upstairs at the Bookfellows store in Glendale.