Veit Harlan-Messenger of Evil.

Although many German film makers left Germany in the 1930s, because of the rise of the Nazism, propaganda minister Göbbels still had quite a pool of film makers to help him produce a great number of propaganda movies.

The most famous and probably prolific was Leni Riefenstahl. But a close second was Veit Harlan.

After Adolf Hitler came to power, Harlan -unlike many German film directors – decided to remain in Germany. He embraced the new Nazi regime with both arms and directed several pro-Nazi propaganda films for the new Nazi regime , with his 3rd wife Kristina Söderbaum in the main parts. Considered to be the worst of these was the universally reviled Jud Süß (1940), a virulent anti-Semitic propaganda piece masquerading as a period piece melodrama. After the war, he was charged with crimes against humanity because of this film, but in 1950, after several court trials, he was acquitted twice and released. Both acquittals remain controversial to this day since the ruling judge had previously worked as a judge for the Nazi regime and since Harlan’s works had been proven to have contributed hugely to spreading the antisemitism in Germany, which enabled the Holocaust.

His first wife Dora Gerson was one of the victims of the Nazi regime, she was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau on February 14, 1943.

There are some fascinating connections to Veit Harlan. His son, from his second marriage to Hilde Körber, Thomas Harlan was an author and film director who created a semi-documentary film in 1984, “Wundkanal” (“Wound Passage”), in which his father, played by a convicted mass murderer, is forced to undergo a series of brutal interrogations into his war crimes. Thomas Harlan’s final publication, issued posthumously, entitled Veit, was a memoir in the form of a letter to his father, continuing the investigation into his father’s actions during the Nazi regime.

The mass murderer(turned actor) in the film Wundkanal was SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews – men, women and children. Filbert was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1975.

Susanne Körber, one of his daughters from his second wife Hilde Körber, converted to Judaism and married the son of Holocaust victims. She committed suicide in 1989.

Veit Harlan’s niece, Christiane Susanne Harlan, German born actress, dancer, painter, and singer took the name of her second husband, the legendary Jewish director Stanley Kubrick. Her married name was and still is Christiane Kubrick.

Christiane did act in a few movies like in ‘the Path to Glory’ She said she was ashamed to come from a “family of murderers” but was happy that Kubrick’s Jewish family accepted her despite her ties to Harlan. They remained married until Stanley Kubrick’s death in 1999.

She painted for her husband’s films; the paintings seen in the Harford’s apartment in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) are hers, as is the large painting of seed boxes in the writer’s home in A Clockwork Orange (1971).

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0473583/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0363234/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview -the actual facts.

I usually don’t do celebrity blogs but I felt I had to do one because I think making such a big issue about the interview while we are in the middle of a pandemic, where millions of people have dies and who knows how many more will die is disgusting. No only that but it will make the divide of those who are privileged and those who struggle bigger and will give fuel to the expansion of both far right and far left extremism.

No one should be denied the right to voice their grievances . However it is a different story when these grievances are within a family, and especially direct family.

The wider audience should be spared that, it should stay within the family. I don’t mean when there is any physical abuse or sexual abuse, then of course everyone should know about it.

However this was not the case with Meghan and Harry. The worse accusation there was racism, but it was an allegation based on hear say . Meghan told Oprah that Harry was asked by another member of the family what colour skin the baby was going to be. What I find bizarre about that, Harry wasn’t there when this allegation was made. He joined the interview later. So why not wait to talk about that until Harry was there? What we have now is hear say. Even Meghan’s own father has his doubts.

The other ‘bad’ thing was that Harry’s dad ,Prince Charles, had not spoken to him in a while, or would not answer his calls. You would nearly say that Harry is a teenage boy who needs his Father’s guidance all the time. But he isn’t his a 35 year army veteran, who served in Afghanistan. Dear Harry my dad didn’t talk to me form age 9 to 27 ad I didn’t even make such a big deal about is as you did.

Coming back about the whole issue of racism. Things are often said within families which may sound horrible to an outsider but really is just banter within the confined environment of the family. I have said horrible things about my family in the past and sometimes still do. However if Harry really wants to make an issue about that, he seems to have forgotten this incident at a party in 2005.

Four years later in 2009 he used a racist term against a Pakistani soldier.

Meghan made a big deal about her children not having a security detail assigned to them, paid for by the tax payers , well guess what there are billions of children across the world who don’t.

Also Meghan and Harry decided to leave the confines pf the royal family and move to Canada and then Los Angeles. Waiving all royal titles and responsibilities, knowing that this would result in not having a security detail assigned to them anymore. So what is the point she was actually making?

Meghan and Harry have a combined net worth of about 50 millions US dollar, also they have secured a deal with Netflix worth 100 million US dollar. I think they are well placed to afford paying for security themselves.

then it takes us to one of the reasons why they left Britain, it was the scrutiny of the media. Harry also compared the situation to hat of his mother. He has often said in the past that the press and mainly the paparazzi killed his mother Diana. There is no doubt that Diana was hounded by the paparazzi but she was killed because of the fact that her driver was speeding into a tunnel and he was also drunk.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna16120237

As you can see the above article about the report that tests proved Diana’s driver was drunk, is from NBC the same broadcaster who broadcasted the interview, so if Harry doesn’t believe those reports why would he sign up to do an interview with Oprah on NBC? The word that comes to mind is hypocrisy

The whole issue about escaping the media is non sensical, Meghan is an actress, media is what she does . Not even mentioning the times they were photographed for a fee by the likes of Hello magazine and others.

Meghan also said that the actual wedding was more or less only done as a media event. They actually got married a few days earlier with only them two and the bishop . This of course can not be true because it could not have just been the 3 of them, it would also have legally required witnesses. So this kind of makes me doubt the validity of that claim and in fact all the claims she made during that interview.

I actually should not call it an interview what it really was, was a rant of 2 very privileged people talking to a billionaire media mogul.

I always respected Oprah Winfrey but lately I have been questioning her integrity. During this interview she didn’t ask any probing questions, it was really just a matter of agreeing to what Harry and Meghan said without exploring the validity of their claims.

A few months ago I saw Oprah interviewing a group of wealthy African Americans about white privilege. As I said I always respected Oprah and was also impressed by her integrity but I feel she has lost some of that.

One last point on the Harry and Meghan interview. That point is the timing of it. Aside from the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and by the way I didn’t see any of them wearing a mask, where so may have died and other will be suffering for years to come. Talking about the issues you have with your family in front of a global audience shows very little respect and compassion for anyone but yourself, On top if that, Harry’s 99 year old grand father is in hospital recovering from a heart operation , far as I understand, given the fact he is 99 means there is a high chance he may not recover, Then there is Harry complaining that his own father doesn’t call him, I don’t know but could that have something to do that Prince Charles is worried about his own father?

Just Cool

When I look at some actors and other celebrities nowadays and lsiten to them preach to us, I wonder is it because they are just very bland?

Whatever happened to just being cool like the stars from days of yor. These are just some of them. I won’t put any names down, that is your homework for today to find that out, You will know mst of them though.

Recorded today 80 years ago- Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

On January 2, 1941 The Andrew Sisters recorded “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” which became a major hit for The Andrews Sisters and an iconic World War II tune that was written for the Abbott & Costello comedy film, Buck Privates.

The unknown original movies.

Who doesn’t know the classic movie Ben Hur starring the legendary Charlton Heston, which won 11 Oscars Most people will have seen it.

However what many don’t realize that the 1959 version had in fact been the 2nd remake of the story of Ben Hur, The 1st time it hit the screens was in in 1907(pictured above) and the 2nd cinema release was in 1925, although it had an alternative title then “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”

Who could forget the classic 1944 thriller “Gaslight ” starring Charles Boyer and the stunning Ingrid Bergman. A movie that has become a classic in so many ways and even resulted in a verb being created “Gaslighting” a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group.

But the story had first been adapted as a play in 1938 and had been made into a movie in 1940, starring Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard.

A movie that makes a comeback every year around the Christmas season is “The Wizard of Oz” the 1939 classic starring Judy Garland which initially flopped at the box office but is now seen as one of the all time classics. It was just a technically brilliant movie that it still looks fresh in 2020,81 years after its first release.

But as the the other 2 movies mentioned earlier. the 1939 version was in fact a remake of the 1925 movie starring Dorothy Dwan.

Next time you say you don’t care much for remakes better make sure you are not actually watching one.

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Source

IMDb

Interview with Ferne Pearlstein- Director of “the Last Laugh”

 

This is the interview I did with Ferne Pearlstein , director,writer and producer of “the Last Laugh”

A documentary where world-famous comedians including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried pitch in with their own views on the boundaries of comedy.

ll

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi1303361817?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_2

Stan Laurel-18 June 1890-23 February 1965.

Stan

There are very few people who can make you laugh just by looking at their face, but such was the genius of Stan Laurel, his expressions were enough to get you in a burst of laughter.

Of course there was much more to his comic genius than just his face. One of my all time favourite quotes comes from the Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

so much has already been written about Stan Laurel, that’s why I am fouussing on his last few moments on this earthly soil.

A few moments before he died , on February 23,1965, he told his nurse ” I would like to go skiing” The nurse said “I didn’t know you were a skier” . he replied ” I am not, but I’D rather to that than this”

He also had said ” If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to them again” Until his last breath he remained a funny man.

Dear Stan Laurel on this your 55th anniversary, I salute you and thank you for the many laughs you have given me, and indeed still do.

This is footage taken at his funeral.

 

Eli Wallach-Is this war?

Eli

Who doesn’t know Eli Wallach? Such a great character actor, known from iconic movies like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Mystic River” or more recently “The Holiday” . He was such a versatile actor but the role he not known for was his portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Born on December 7 1915 in Brooklyn, to Polish Jewish immigrants Abraham and Bertha  Wallach.

He gained his first method acting skills  at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. But on December 7, 1941. Wallach’s 26th birthday , Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the USA into WWII.

ATTACK

Like so many others Eli Wallach was drafted into the United States Army in January 1942

During World War II, Wallach first served as a United States Army staff sergeant at a military hospital in Hawaii. He then went to the Officer Candidate School in Abilene, Texas to train as a medical administrative officer and graduated as a second lieutenant, eventually rising to captain. He first was sent  to Casablanca and soon after was stationed in France.

Serving in France during the later years of the war, one of his superiors learned about his acting background and recruited him to put together a group to perform plays for the patients.

He and his unit wrote a comedy  play called “Is This the Army?”, which was  inspired on Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army. In the play, Wallach and the other actors mocked Axis dictators, with Wallach portraying Adolf Hitler.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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When Police Academy’s Commandant Lassard went to war.

lassard

Who hasn’t seen Police Academy or any of the sequels? I reckon mots people have. But one of the actors in the movie had such an interesting life that his story would warrant a movie and would probably become a box office success.

George Gaynes who played the clueless Commandant Lassard was born George Jongejans  May 3, 1917, in Helsinki, Finland  which  was then still, part of the Russian Empire , the son of Iya Grigorievna de Gay , a Russian artist, and Gerrit Jongejans, a Dutch businessman.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia had abdicated the throne on March 15, two months prior to Gaynes’ birth, and the Empire was about go through some turbulent times, and was already at war.

Tsar

The Jongejans familyy left the country, and George was primarily raised in France, England, and Switzerland.

George attended college in the vicinity of Lausanne, Switzerland and graduated in 1937. He then attended a music school in Milan, Italy for about a year.

In 1940, George Gaynes was living in France,when France was occupied by Nazi Germany. George attempted to flee France, by crossing the Pyrenees mountains into neutral Spain. He was arrested by the Spanish authorities for illegally crossing the border, but was soon released.

In 1943, George joined the Royal Netherlands Navy. With the Netherlands under German occupation, the headquarters of the Navy had moved to London, in the UK. George had no previous military experience, but he was noticed for multilingual skills. He was  fluent in   Dutch, English, French, Italian and Russian. He was soon detached to the (British) Royal Navy to serve as a translator.

During his naval service in World War II, George took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Battle of Anzio in the Italian Campaign, and the Adriatic Campaign. The War ended in 1945 and George was honorably discharged in July, 1946. His highest military rank was that of a sergeant.

In 1946, George returned to France but an American theater director offered him a role in a Broadway musical and he moved to New York City later that year and became an American citizen in 1948.

In the early 1960s, George started appearing as a character actor in various television series. He was also offered a number of film roles. His career unexpectedly took off in the 1980s, with a major part in the television series Punky Brewster.

But his most famous role was that of Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy franchise.

police

He died at his home in North Bend, Washington, on February 15, 2016, at the age of 98.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

IMDB

 

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler- aka Hedy Lamarr.

hedy lamarr

I have already done a blog on how Hedy Lamarr was imvolved in developing and patenting a technology which was a front runner of something we now commonly call WiFi. That on its own makes her a remarkable woman, but there is so much more to her.

In 1933 she starred in a Czech  romantic drama called Ecstasy. She was 19 at the time but even at that young age she produced a first in movie history.Ecstasy was highly controversial at the time  because of scenes in which Lamarr(then still called Hedy Kiesler) swims in the nude and runs through the countryside naked. It is also  the first non-pornographic movie to portray sexual intercourse and female orgasm, to be released in main stream cinema. Although nudity was not uncommon in European movies, the erotic nature of Ecstasy was a first.Causing outrage in both Hitler’s Germany ,the United States and the Vatican.

hedy

Hedy Lamarr, was by many critics and fans alike regarded as the most woman beautiful ever to appear in films.

Born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. She was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lember (now known as Lviv in Ukraine). Her parents were both Jewish. However her Mother converted to Catholicism and raised her daughter Hedy as a Catholic too.

Hedy was married 6 times, but I am only focusing on her first Husband. Friedrich Mandl was an ardent fan of Hedy especially after seeing the movie “Ecstasy” He would persistently send her flowers, it did pay off. Although Friedrich(Fritz) Mandl had a Jewish father, he was prominent fascist,mandl

He did inherit the arms factory from his father, Alexander Mandl, which was used to help equip Hitler’s army Until 1940. According to Hedy both Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and  Adolf Hitler would sometimes attend Mandl’s parties. But, he had a personal quarrel with  Hermann Göring which, as well as his Jewish descent, led to the expropriation of his property in Europe. He fled to Switzerland. By then he had already divorced Hedy, the couple split up  in 1937.

Hedy Lamarr’s Father died in 1935. After the Germany’s Anschluss with Austria, Hedy helped get her mother out of Austria to the USA,where Hedy had moved to after she had met Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  studio boss  Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood..

During World War II she did support the war efforts with her celebrity by selling war bonds.She used an act which she had with a sailor  named Eddie Rhodes. He’d be  in the crowd at each Lamarr appearance, and Hedy would call him up on stage. She would briefly flirt with him before asking the audience if she should give him a kiss. If the crowd would say yes(they always did) then  Hedy would tell the crowd  that she would kiss the sailor ,if enough people bought war bonds. When enough bonds were bought, she would kiss Rhodes and he would head back into the audience.

I was reluctant to add the  scene from that notorious movie “Ecstasy” because not every one might appreciate it ,however compared to  21st century standards it would be fairly innocent.

I am finishing therefore with the other amazing thing she became known for, the patent and blueprint she(under her married name Markey) and George Antheil submitted  for radio frequency hopping, basically an early front runner for WiFi.

patent

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

IMDb

aenigma-images.com

womenshistory.org

Oprahmag.com

Wikipedia

Bography.com

APS Physics