Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor

On November 27 1936, the movie ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor’ was released. The movie has brought me quite a bit of childhood trauma. It was used to facilitate a lie. I was told that if I would follow the diet of Popeye I too would get his superhuman powers. But I never did .

Ok, joking aside who wasn’t told that if you would eat spinach you’d become as strong as Popeye?

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor is a 1936 two-reel animated cartoon short subject film in the Popeye Color Feature series, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on November 27, 1936 by Paramount Pictures.[3] It was produced by Max Fleischer for Fleischer Studios, Inc. and directed by Dave Fleischer, with the title song by Sammy Timberg. The voice cast includes Jack Mercer as Popeye and J. Wellington Wimpy, Mae Questel as Olive Oyl and Gus Wickie as Sindbad the Sailor.

In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

This short was the first of the three Popeye Color Specials, which, at over sixteen minutes each, were billed as “A Popeye Feature.” It was also the first Popeye color cartoon in general. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor was nominated for the 1936 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, but lost to Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony The Country Cousin. Footage from this short was later used in the 1952 Famous Studios Popeye cartoon Big Bad Sindbad, in which Popeye relates the story of his encounter with Sindbad to his 3 nephews.

The Popeye Color Specials, also including Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves, and Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (both of which were also adapted from a story featured in One Thousand and One Nights) are in the public domain, and are widely available on home video and DVD, often transferred from poor quality, old, faded prints. A fully restored version with the original Paramount mountain logo opening and closing titles is available on the Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Volume 1 DVD set from Warner Bros.

Producer and special effects artist Ray Harryhausen stated in his Fantasy Film Scrapbook that Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor was a major influence on his production of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

In 1994, the film was voted #17 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field, making it the highest ranked Fleischer Studios cartoon in the book.

sources

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor

https://www.loc.gov/item/mbrs00068306/

All Quiet on the Western Front

I watched All Quiet on the Western Front, last night. I thought that November 11 would be the perfect date to watch a World War I movie. It is a very powerful retelling of the story. Although I thoroughly liked the movie, this is not going to be a review of it, suffice to say I do recommend it.

This post is going to be about the man who wrote the book, Im Westen nichts Neues, which was translated into English as All Quiet on the Western front Erich Maria Remarque was born as Erich Paul Remark, his life was everything but quiet. it is also a reflection of how little regard the Nazis had for their World War I heroes.

Remarque was born on June 22nd, 1898, in Westphalia. After a local school and university education, he was drafted aged 18 and sent to Flanders on June 12, 1917.

Remarque was wounded five times within a month of being on the western front, the last during the third battle of Ypres. He began writing in a military hospital about his experiences, supplementing them with stories of fellow injured soldiers.

Remarque was the third of four children of Peter and Anna. His siblings were his older sister Erna, older brother Theodor Arthur (who died in early childhood), and younger sister Elfriede. The spelling of his last name was changed to Remarque when he published All Quiet on the Western Front in honor of his French ancestors and to dissociate himself from his earlier novel Die Traumbude (which he started writing at the age of sixteen and completed, but it was not published, until 1920). His grandfather had changed the spelling from Remarque to Remark in the 19th century.

In 1929, Remarque scored his greatest success with All Quiet on the Western Front. The novel, a lasting tribute to Germany’s “lost generation” that perished in the Great War, became an immediate international bestseller. In Germany alone in 1929, the book sold almost one million copies. It was translated into more than a dozen languages, including English, Chinese, and Dutch.

All Quiet on the Western Front earned Remarque accolades generally from the liberal and leftist press for the work’s pacifist stance. The Nazis and conservative nationalists immediately called it an assault on Germany’s honor, a piece of Marxist propaganda, and the work of a traitor.

That same year, German-born Hollywood producer Carl Laemmle, acquired the rights to make a film of the book. In May 1930, the American film premiered in Los Angeles and won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. That summer, audiences in France, Britain, and Belgium flocked to the film and it received popular acclaim.

Nearly immediately the Hollywood-made movie ran into trouble in Germany. When it was proposed for showing, a representative of the German Ministry of Defense demanded that its screening be rejected on the grounds that it damaged the country’s image and shed a bad light on the German military. In response, the Berlin censorship office requested Laemmle to edit the film, which was done. Remarque’s former boss, the press and film magnate, and outspoken German nationalist, Alfred Hugenberg, indicated that because of the movie’s alleged anti-German bias it would not be shown in any of his theaters. He subsequently petitioned German president, Paul von Hindenburg, to ban the film.

In December 1930, when the edited and dubbed version of the film was shown to the general public in Berlin, the Nazis sabotaged the event. The Party’s leader in Berlin and its propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, organized a riot to disrupt the showing. Outside, SA Stormtroopers intimidated moviegoers, while inside they released stink bombs and mice and harangued the audience. At subsequent showings, the Nazis carried out violent protests. In response to these actions and conservative attacks on the film, the government banned the film. Liberals and socialists condemned the action, but the prohibition lasted until September 1931, when Laemmle produced a more censored version for German audiences.

Remarque left Germany for Switzerland in 1932.

Once in power, Goebbels banned all Remarque’s works, stripped him of his citizenship, and let his Nazi rumor mill claim the author’s birth name, Remark (his grandfather dropped the French spelling), was a reversal of his real, Jewish, name: Kramer. On May 10, 1933, pro-Nazi students consigned his works to the flames during the fiery book-burning spectacles staged throughout the country. Remarque’s writing was publicly declared as unpatriotic and was banned in Germany. Copies were removed from all libraries and restricted from being sold or published anywhere in the country. The 1930s version of cancel culture.

In 1943, the Nazis arrested his youngest sister, German: Elfriede Scholz, who had stayed behind in Germany with her husband and two children. After a trial at the notorious Volksgerichtshof (Hitler’s extra-constitutional “People’s Court”), she was found guilty of “undermining morale” for stating that she considered the war lost. Court President Roland Freisler declared, “Ihr Bruder ist uns leider entwischt—Sie aber werden uns nicht entwischen” (“Your brother is unfortunately beyond our reach – you, however, will not escape us.”) Elfriede was beheaded on 16 December 1943. The bill of 495.80 Reichsmarks was sent to her surviving sister, Erna. Remarque later said that his sister had been involved in anti-Nazi resistance activities.

In exile, Remarque was unaware of his sister Elfriede’s fate until after the war. He would dedicate his 1952 novel Spark of Life (Der Funke Leben) to her. The dedication was omitted in the German version of the book, reportedly because he was still seen as a traitor by some Germans

In 1944, Remarque wrote a report for America’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the country’s foreign intelligence organization and the forerunner to today’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In it, he urged the Allies to adopt a systematic policy for re-educating the German population after the war. Germans, he believed, had to be exposed to Nazi crimes and evils of militarism.

When you watch the movie, and I hope you will, or read the book then please remember it is not just a bit of cultural history, but also something that is still current. That hate has never left, it just came back in different configurations.

(Many thanks to John Davis for pointing out the story to me, and Jackie Frant for doing some research on it)

sources

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-unquiet-life-erich-maria-remarque-and-all-quiet-on-the-western-front-1.3772230

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/erich-maria-remarque-in-depth

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/erich-maria-remarque-born

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Maria_Remarque#Early_life

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The Great Dictator

To be honest, I was never a great fan of Charlie Chaplin. I was always more of a fan of the Laurel and Hardy-type of humor. I find that Charlie Chaplin’s movies quite dated as compared to the aforementioned, Laurel and Hardy films.

However, there is one notable exception. There was one Chaplin movie that has stood the test of time. That movie, of course, is The Great Dictator, released on October 15, 1940. It is as relevant now as it was in 1940.

It is as relevant now as it was in 1940.

The film is a satire of Adolf Hitler, played by the main character Adenoid Hynkel. The story based on Hynkel, a Jewish barber, who looks exactly like Hitler, is played by Charlie Chaplin. But it begins with a notice: “Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely coincidental.

Chaplin spent two years developing the script and began filming in September 1939, six days after Britain declared war on Germany. He had submitted to using spoken dialogue (it was his first talkie movie), partly out of acceptance that he had no other choice but also because he recognized it as a better method for delivering a political message. Making a comedy about Hitler was seen as highly controversial, but Chaplin’s financial independence allowed him to take the risk. “I was determined to go ahead,” he later wrote, “for Hitler must be laughed at.” Chaplin replaced the Tramp (while wearing similar attire) with “A Jewish Barber,” a reference to the Nazi Party’s belief that he was Jewish.

Adolf Hitler banned the film in Germany and all countries occupied by the Nazis. Curiosity, got the better of him, and he had a copy brought in through Portugal. Historical records show that he screened it twice, in private, but records did not reveal his reaction to the film. Charlie Chaplin said, “I’d give anything to know what he thought of it.” For political reasons in Germany, the ban stayed after the end of World War II until 1958.

By the time Chaplin made The Great Dictator, he had long despised the Nazis and vice versa. A German propaganda film denounced him as one of “the foreign Jews who come to Germany,” never mind that he wasn’t Jewish—while the US press nicknamed him “The 20th-Century Moses” because he funded the escape of thousands of Jewish refugees. When he started work on the film originally titled The Dictator, he was “a man on a mission,” according to Simon Louvish, the author of Chaplin: The Tramp’s Odyssey. “Some of his contemporaries, like Laurel and Hardy, just wanted to make funny movies and make money. But Chaplin was very serious about what he wanted to say. The Great Dictator wasn’t just a film—it was something that was required.”

Chaplin was motivated by more than humanitarianism. He was also fascinated by his eerie connections to Hitler, who was born only four days after Chaplin in April 1889. A comic song about the Führer, recorded by Tommy Handley in 1939, was entitled “Who Is That Man…? (Who Looks Like Charlie Chaplin). There is of course, also the moustache. There were rumors that Hitler copied Chaplin’s moustache, which was not true. The so-called toothbrush moustache was quite popular at the time. Not surprising that it lost its popularity after World War II.

Hitler wasn’t the only one who was parodied in the movie. A character named, Napaloni, played by Jack Oakie was a satire on Mussolini.

Unlike Adolf Hitler and later dictators, Chaplin’s Adenoid Hynkel atoned and redeemed himself, and the speech at the end of the movie is still a powerful message which should be heard today.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone—if possible—Jew, Gentile, black man, or white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness —not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world, there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, and has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves off from the world. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness was hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…

The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cry out for the goodness in men—cries for universal brotherhood and for the unity of us all. Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world—millions of despairing men, women, and little children—victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say—do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed—the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish…

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes—men who despise you—enslave you—who regiment your lives—tell you what to do—what to think and what to feel! Who drill you—diet you—treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate—the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man,” not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power—the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then—in the name of democracy—let us use that power—let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world—a decent world that will give men a chance to work—that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”

sources

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Great-Dictator

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032553/?ref_=tt_mv_close

https://www.wired.com/2007/05/the-secret-of-h/

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210204-the-great-dictator-the-film-that-dared-to-laugh-at-hitler

https://www.charliechaplin.com/en/articles/29-the-final-speech-from-the-great-dictator-

Hooray for Hollywood

I don’t think there is one person on the planet who doesn’t know what Hollywood is, or what cultural significance it has. It is a place where dreams are turned into reality, and reality turned into dreams, sometimes nightmares.

This is just a pictorial blog about that place we all love and sometimes hate, or rather what is produced there The most visible symbol of the district is the Hollywood sign that overlooks the area. First built in 1923 (a new sign was erected in 1978), the sign originally said “Hollywoodland” (to advertise new homes being developed in the area), but the sign fell into disrepair, and the “land” section was removed in the 1940s when the sign was refurbished.

Greta Garbo and the Dubliner Cairbre, he was the first lion used by MGM, and was born in Dublin Zoo.

Judy Garland on the set of the Wizard of Oz

D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks founders of United Artists.

George Reeves as Superman

On the darker side of the entertainment business, The Hollywood Ten were a part of an industry-wide blacklisting of individuals thought to be connected to or involved with the Community Party.

Psycho

Born to be wild-The filming of Easy Rider

In a galaxy far, far away-Star Wars

We are going to need a bigger boat, and probably cinema-Jaws the first block buster.

source

https://historyinorbit.com/vintage-pictures-that-define-old-hollywood-2

Snow White and the Third Reich.

I am currently reading a book titled “Animation under he Swastika-A history of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany,1933-1945”

It is really about how Hitler and Göbbels attempted to compete with Hollywood and especially Disney.

There is a whole chapter in the book about the Disney movie “Snow White and the Seven dwarfs” Apparently it was Hitler’s favourite movie, despite that , the Nazis never achieved to get the movie released in Germany, only a few people including Hitler Göbbels saw the movie and had copies of it.

In the 1930s, the Nazi regime used dubbing of foreign media to control anything negative coming from abroad. As would be the case for Snow White. The movie had been dubbed by German speaking actors in the the late 1930s, but since the movie was never released during World War 2, the dubbed version was only on nationwide release in February 1950.

The sad thing about this is that most of the voice actors were Jewish and did not survive the Holocaust.

The 1938 News Report only mention some names of the cast. The only voice who is credited for her role is Hortense Raky as the speaking voice of Snow White. Two other female actresses are mentioned : Dora Gerson, and a new “Lady Star”. Seeing her age, Dora Gerson certainly dubbed the Evil Queen (and maybe the Witch), while the new female star was certainly the singing voice of Snow White.

Most of the original 1938 cast were Jews, and were murdered by the Nazis :
Dora Gerson died on February 14, 1943, murdered with her family at Auschwitz. Otto Wallburg also died in Auschwitz on October 30, 1944.
Kurt Lilien died on May 28, 1943, at Sobibor extermination camp.
Finally, Kurt Gerron, the Dubbing director, died on October 28, 1944 at Auschwitz. Kurt was coerced into directing a Nazi propaganda documentary intended to be viewed in “neutral” nations about Theresienstadt. However, once the movie was finished, he, his wife and the crew members of the documentary were deported on the camp’s final train transport to Auschwitz.

sources

https://www.jstor.org/stable/42943087

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029583/releaseinfo

https://disneyinternationaldubbings.weebly.com/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs–german-cast.html

And the winner is?…..

The highlight of the year for the movie industry is without a doubt, or at least it used to be. But when did it all start?

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was established by Louis B. Mayer, the founder of the Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation, which then would be joined into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Mayer’s purpose in creating the award was to unite the five branches of the film industry, actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. However it would take until 1929 before the first ceremony was held.

The first Academy Awards ceremony, held on May 16, 1929, was more like a corporate banquet than the star-studded spectacular we expect today. (It merited only a tiny, two-paragraph notice in The Times.) The location was the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, with roughly 270 people plunking down $5 per ticket. “It was just a family affair,” Janet Gaynor, winner of the first Academy Award for best actress, told The Times in 1982.

“I remember there was an orchestra, and as you danced, you saw most of the important people in Hollywood whirling past you on the dance floor. It was more like a private party than a big public ceremony.”

Douglas Fairbanks, the M.C. of the evening, handed out all 15 statues. Only five performers were nominated, and just two of them — Gaynor and Louise Dresser — were in attendance, as Gloria Swanson and Richard Barthelmess were traveling. Emil Jannings, the best actor winner, had returned to his native Germany, though he asked for, and received, his award before he left.

At the time of the first Oscar ceremony, sound had just been introduced into film. The Warner Bros. movie The Jazz Singer—one of the first “talkies”—was not allowed to compete for Best Picture because the Academy decided it was unfair to let movies with sound compete with silent films.

The distribution of the awards, by most accounts, clocked in at about 15 minutes.

The first official Best Picture winner was Wings, directed by William Wellman. The most expensive movie of its time, with a budget of $2 million, the movie told the story of two World War I pilots who fall for the same woman. Another film, F.W. Murnau’s epic Sunrise, was considered a dual winner for the best film of the year. German actor Emil Jannings won the Best Actor honor for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh, while 22-year-old Janet Gaynor was the only female winner. After receiving three out of the five Best Actress nods, she won for all three roles, in Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise.Back then, actors and actresses could win for more than one performance.

The Academy officially adopted the name “Oscar” for the trophies in 1939. However, the origin of the nickname is disputed.

One biography of Bette Davis, who was a president of the Academy in 1941, claims she named the award after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. A frequently mentioned originator is Margaret Herrick, the Academy executive director, who, when she first saw the award in 1931, said the statuette reminded her of “Uncle Oscar”, a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce.

sources

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-academy-awards-ceremony

https://www.oscars.org/videos-photos/academy-originals

Donation

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Will Rock- The ‘love’ story of Will Smith and Chris Rock.

Generally I write mostly about the Holocaust and World War 2. However every now and then, when I see something utterly ridiculous , I just feel compelled to voice my opinion.

It will not have escaped anyone by now that there has been a bit of an issue at the Oscars. Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, after stand up comedian Chris had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s current wife.

One might think that this came out of the blue, but it didn’t. In 2016 Chris Rock had made jokes about Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars. This was in relation to Jada and Will threatening to boycott the Oscars that year in support of #OscarsSoWhite. Which was started by April Reign. She created the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite on January 15, 2015 to call attention to inequality in Hollywood and the lack of representation of people of color in the 87th Academy Awards nominations.

To put it in context in 2016 Jada was in de TV Show Gotham. She has appeared in 2 movies in 2015 and 2016. “Magic Mike XXL” rated 5.6 out of 10 on IMDB and “Bad Moms” rated 6.2 IMDB. Prior to that she had appeared in Madagascar 3 and Madly Madagascar, she had also an uncredited part in Men in Black 3, which starred her husband Will Smith, as far as I am aware he did not slap anyone in that movie for not giving Jada a credit.

Basically Jada had appeared in 2 exceptionally bad movies, and was in a TV show. It was her choice of movies that didn’t get her an Oscar nominations.

Chris Rock had this to say at the 2016 Oscars about the #OscarSoWhite boycott.

“What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad, Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

Rock continued, “Her man Will was not nominated for ‘Concussion.’ I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West.'”

It was funny, witty, entertaining and above everything else, true.

Fast forward to March 27,2022. Will Smith was nominated for best Actor, one of the most important Oscars. Not only was he nominated he actually won it for, “King Richard” a sports drama film , about the life of Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.

The thing Jada and Will had campaigned for, equality for African American actors was finally achieved. However instead of celebrating this as a highlight, Will Smith decided to slap Chris Rock on stage, for telling a harmless GI Jane joke. A joke Will had even laughed about himself, it was only after his wife gave an angry stare he decided to attack Chris Rock.

Personally I believe that Will Smith should not have been given the Oscar, he only received it after the altercation with Chris Rock.

I always liked Will Smith, I believe he should have received the Oscar for “I am Legend”. However the last few years he has been too busy promoting himself and his family a bit too much. Movies starring his son “After Earth” and “Karate Kid” both produced by Will Smith, flopped at the box office and rightfully so because they were awful movies.

I hope the Academy will learn from this incident, and leave political motivation out of the nominations. Filmmakers should be judged on the merits of their talents and not the color of their skin or their sexual orientation.

The movie industry was manipulated by politics before during the McCarthy era. It took great actors like Kirk Douglas to break that manipulation.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000586/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0#actress

Miloš Forman’s extraordinary life..

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Amadeus, Goya’s Ghosts; Man on he Moon, these are some of my favourite movies. They were all directed by Miloš Forman. For two of them he received an academy award aka Oscar. That on its own is extraordinary, but it is nothing compared to Miloš’s story of his young life.

Miloš was born on February 18, 1932 in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) to Anna Švábová Forman who ran a summer hotel. Miloš grew up believing his biological father was professor Rudolf Forman. During the Nazi occupation, Rudolf Forman, a protestant teacher and activist, was arrested for distributing banned books. He died in the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in May 1944, either from typhus or during interrogation. Miloš’s mother had been murdered in Auschwitz in March the previous year, he had been witness to her arrest by the Gestapo. Forman said that he did not fully understand what had happened to them until he saw footage of the concentration camps when he was 16.

Miloš’ was raised by two uncles and by family friends after the murder of his parents . His older brother Pavel was a painter 12 years his senior and he emigrated to Australia after the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Miloš discovered in 1964 that his biological father was in fact the Jewish architect Otto Kohn, who had emigrated with his family to Equador after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. This meant Miloš had a half-brother, the mathematician Joseph J. Kohn.

Miloš died on April 19,2018 aged 86.However if the Nazis had found out his biological Father was Jewish, he more then likely not have survived the Holocaust.

I am not sure if the story of that part of Miloš ‘s life has ever been turned into a movie, it would make a fascinating film.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001232/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://www.timesofisrael.com/milos-forman-from-orphan-of-nazi-camps-to-oscar-winning-director/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Milo-Forman

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/apr/15/milos-forman-obituary

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. Thank you. 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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Bruce Lee

I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who hasn’t heard of Bruce Lee. There probably isn’t that much I can say about the man that is not know yet. But on the 48th anniversary of his death it might be a good starting point to look at the lesser known facts of Bruce Lee.

Lee was born Lee Jun Fan on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco, California, in both the hour and year of the Dragon. His father, Lee Hoi Chuen, a Hong Kong opera singer, moved with his wife, Grace Ho, and three children to the United States in 1939; Hoi Chuen’s fourth child, a son, was born while he was on tour in San Francisco.

Lee received the name “Bruce” from a nurse at his birthing hospital, and his family never used the name during his preschool years. He only started to use the name Bruce when he entered secondary school and began his study of the English language The future star appeared in his first film at the age of 3 months, when he served as the stand-in for an American baby in Golden Gate Girl (1941).

At the age of three months, Lee Hoi Chuen, his wife Grace and baby Bruce returned to Hong Kong where Bruce would be raised until the age of 18. Bruce’s most prominent memory of his early years was the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese during World War II (1941-1945). At the age of 13, Bruce was introduced to Master Yip Man, a teacher of the Wing Chun style of gung fu. For five years Bruce studied diligently and became very proficient. He greatly revered Yip Man as a master teacher and wise man and frequently visited with him in later years.

As a nine-year-old, he would co-star with his father in The Kid, also known as Kid Cheung and My Son A-Chang, is a 1950 Hong Kong drama film starring the then 9-year-old Bruce Lee in his first leading role in the title role of “Kid Cheung”, based on a comic book character written by Yuen Bou-wan, who also has a role in the film. Co-starring Lee’s father, Lee Hoi-chuen.

In high school, one of Bruce’s accomplishments was winning an interschool Boxing Championship against an English student in which the Marquis of Queensbury rules were followed and no kicking was allowed.

-As a side note- John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry , was a Scottish nobleman, remembered for his atheism, his outspoken views, his brutish manner, for lending his name to the “Queensberry Rules” that form the basis of modern boxing, and for his role in the downfall of the Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde. Lord Queensberry’s son Alfred had a relationship with Oscar Wilde-

Bruce was also a terrific dancer, and in 1958 he won the Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship. He studied dancing as assiduously as he did gung fu, keeping a notebook in which he had noted 108 different cha cha steps. In addition to his studies, gung fu and dancing, Bruce was also a child actor under the tutelage of his father who must have known from an early age that Bruce had a streak of showmanship. By the time he was 18, he had appeared in 20 films.

Lee finished high school in Edison, Washington, and subsequently enrolled as a philosophy major at the University of Washington. He also got a job teaching the Wing Chun style of martial arts that he had learned in Hong Kong to his fellow students and others. Through his teaching, Lee met Linda Emery, whom he married in 1964. By that time, Lee had opened his own martial arts school in Seattle.

Just as Bruce was cementing his plans to expand his martial arts schools, fate stepped in to move his life in another direction. In August of 1964, Ed Parker, widely regarded as the father of American Kenpo, invited Bruce to Long Beach, CA to give a demonstration at his First International Karate Tournament. A member of the audience was Jay Sebring, a well-known hair stylist to the stars. Jay told his producer client, William Dozier, about having seen this spectacular young Chinese man giving a gung fu demonstration just a few nights before. Mr. Dozier obtained a copy of the film that was taken at Ed Parker’s tournament. The next week he called Bruce at home in Oakland and invited him to come to Los Angeles for a screen test.

The rest of course is Hollywood history.

On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong to have dinner with actor George Lazenby, known for his roles as James Bond in “Her Majesty’s Secret Service” with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee’s wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the film Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee’s colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress. The three went over the script at Ting’s home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.

Later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave him the painkiller Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and the tranquilizer meprobamate. Around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. When Lee did not come for dinner, Chow came to the apartment, but he was unable to wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, and spent ten minutes attempting to revive Lee before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Lee was declared dead on arrival at the age of 32.

The untimely death of Bruce was not the only tragedy to fall on the Lee family.

On March 31, 1993, Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee was filming a scene in The Crow where his character is shot and killed by thugs. In the scene, Lee’s character walks into his apartment and discovers his fiancée being beaten and raped. Actor Michael Massee’s character fires a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 Magnum revolver at Lee as he walks into the room.

In the scene preceding the fatal scene, a gun was loaded with cartridges from which the crew had removed the powder charge, so in close-ups the revolver would show normal-looking bullets. The crew had neglected, however, to remove the primer from the cartridges. This caused one of the rounds to fire and lodge a bullet inside the barrel. For the fatal scene, which called for the revolver to be fired at Lee from a distance of 3.6–4.5 meters (12–15 ft), the emptied cartridges were replaced with blank rounds, which feature a live powder charge and primer, but no bullet, thus allowing the gun to be fired without the risk of an actual projectile. When the blank round was fired, the bullet lodged in the barrel was propelled forward with almost the same force as if the round were live, and it struck Lee in the abdomen.

Brandon Lee was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina. Attempts to save him were unsuccessful and after six hours of surgery, Lee was pronounced dead on March 31, 1993 at 1:03 pm, aged 28

sources

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033669/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

https://brucelee.com/bruce-lee

https://www.biography.com/actor/bruce-lee

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Happy Birthday Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on the 16th of June in Ulverston, Lancashire in England, 1890. His father was a vaudeville performer and this led Stan to being a stage performer too. He didn’t get much schooling and this resulted to the joining of Fred Karno’s Troupe where Stan understudied the future star, Charles Chaplin. In 1912 they went on a tour to America where Chaplin remained, but Stan went straight back to England. In 1916 he returned to the States and did an impersonation of Charlie Chaplin and the act was called “The Keystone Trio” and it was quite successful. What I find ironic is that although there is no doubt that Charlie Chaplin was a genius, his comedy dated badly. Whereas Stan Laurel’s comedy, and especially as part of the comedic duo Laurel and Hardy, it still is fresh today. It was actually quite progressive. The movie ‘Brats’ is about 2 dads staying at home, minding the children, while the wives are out for the night, this was in 1930.

He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles. However what most people don’t realize is hat he appeared in 67 movies without Oliver Hardy, albeit it mostly short movies.

‘The Lucky Dog’ (1921) was the first film to include Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together in a film: prior to them becoming the famous comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy. Although they appear in scenes together they play independently of each other. Stan is the star of the film and Ollie is only in a side role.

It was in 1925 that Hardy and Laurel had met again at the Hal Roach studios and at that point in time Laurel was directing movies at the studio with Hardy in the cast for a couple of years. Among these films were Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) and Wandering Papas (1926) written & directed by Stan Laurel and starring Babe who now acted under his real name, Oliver Hardy. In 1926 they began appearing together but not yet as a team. One of the directors at the Hal Roach studio known around the world as director of such great movies The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and Going My Way (1944), Leo McCarey joined these comic geniuses and an immediate partnership unfolded. Laurel & Hardy had appeared as funny as they could be in Putting Pants on Philip (1927) which led them to stardom. They made films for another 20 years. Laurel & Hardy are now known as one of the best comedy teams. They retired from films in 1950. In 1953 they went on tour to England and Ireland for a farewell tour. where they performed in variety halls.

In the 2018 film Stan & Ollie, Steve Coogan portrayed Laurel.

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 aforementioned Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

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.

At his funeral service at Church of the Hills, Buster Keaton said, “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest. I wasn’t the funniest; this man was the funniest.” He was interred in Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

Dear Sir. thank you so much for making me laugh and making me realize how important humour is, to get through life.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0491048/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

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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. Thank you. 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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