Tag: Hollywood

Hollywood Communists part 2: The Disney Strike

 

Strikers confront non-strikers at the front gate of Walt Disney Studios, June 1941. News photo via El Lado Oscuro de Disney. All rights belong to copyright holder. 

Los Angeles is a modern city, a big postwar suburb with few visible traces of its long past. Hollywood doesn’t have monuments, and on its streets there’s little sense of history. But then, like a face in the crowd suddenly snapping into focus, you realize that history is staring at you, that maybe the town’s biggest secrets aren’t even secrets at all, just hiding in plain sight.

By the Time I Got to Hollywood, the Communists Were Disappearing

 

Lester Cole, member of the “Hollywood Ten”, on the Moscow River with our Soviet guides/handlers. July 1985, weeks before he died. 

Maybe I should explain that title. I’m talking old school, OG, bottled in bond Hollywood Communists. Stalin, that kind of stuff. I’ve known a few. This begins a short series of sketches and book reviews about their lives and times in motion pictures.

In the beginning, and for decades thereafter, there were virtually no Communists in Hollywood. Surprised? The early film industry didn’t take itself very seriously and was apolitical both on screen and off. Hollywood was a more seasonal, fly-by-night business in those days, with hiring subject to things like weather and the number of hours of daily sunlight, not to mention the often erratic economic conditions of the employers. Film production wasn’t yet factory-like in the silent days; then, as now, most cast and crew members were freelancers, subject to frequent layoffs and long gaps between jobs.

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I’ve finally seen this movie, which is supposed be the movie that A Star is Born used as its inspiration. While the premise is similar, I would say that to go beyond saying that the first version of a Star is Born may have been suggested by this movie is stretching things. They are two […]

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The Real Story Behind ‘On the Basis of Sex’

 

The new highly publicized movie “On the Basis of Sex” offers a somewhat fictionalized account of the early professional life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Intermingled with her life story, the film presents an idealized narrative of her early legal crusade against gender discrimination, fought in part with her late (and most devoted) husband, the eminent tax lawyer Martin Ginsburg.

Ginsburg argued or participated in several of the early influential cases on sex discrimination and went on to found the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. When she started teaching, she was one of only about 20 female law professors in the United States.  She was very much a pioneer in the women’s rights movement, motivated by her own life experiences. She had on numerous occasions been rejected from positions solely on grounds of her sex, notwithstanding her great academic distinction, and was well aware that similar obstacles fell in the path of other women who sought to make a career in the law. The film goes into these issues in depth, but I shall not dwell on them here. I am a lawyer, not a film critic, so I will comment only on Justice Ginsburg’s substantive arguments against gender discrimination

Most legal writers support Justice Ginsburg’s position that both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit government discrimination on the basis of sex. I offer a split verdict on her legal efforts and of those who followed in her path. I think that she was right on the early cases that sought to get rid of senseless distinctions based on gender.  But as the law subsequently developed, she and the courts pushed the crusade too far, creating new forms of gender imbalance that the law should have resisted. Failure to understand the economics of discrimination have led courts to impose new versions of the very discrimination that the law is intended to eliminate. In general, truly competitive markets do a better job in rooting out gender discrimination than government regulation.

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The 90’s came and went. The priestly abuse scandal came, went and returned. Little was done to fix the problem. As has been discussed here, those who tried to act meaningfully were marginalized. Now, of all people, it looks like Francis is taking action. https://nypost.com/2018/12/03/pope-francis-says-gay-men-shouldnt-join-catholic-clergy/   Preview Open

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Gosnell Red Carpet Premiere (VIDEO)

 

Our latest episode of Whiskey Politics (video below) joins the stars on the red carpet premiere of the movie Gosnell, The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. The script was written by our good friend @AndrewKlavan and stars Dean Cain and Nick Searcy, who also directs. This movie shouldn’t have happened as Hollywood blacklisted any investment, all distribution channels and social media banned any advertising (such as the trailer below). But with crowdfunding and years of dedication, the movie will be released tomorrow across the country. The movie was very good and compelling. It’s handling sensitive issues in a way that makes the audience think, while not gratuitously showing scenes none of us would want to see. It’s appropriate for kids, although that will be a tough discussion on the ride home. If you enjoy Law and Order, you will sink right into this. 

This week Bridget Phetasy interviews Rosie Moss, actress, waitress, Bar/Bat Mitzvah coach, Hebrew school teacher, very busy human. Rosie shares her first experience on a network show in an episode of The Connors. She and Bridget discuss traversing the chasm between your dreams and reality, the curse of always wanting more, why the people you surround yourself with are what make you successful, and how touch football saved her.

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Listening to the Ricochet podcast today I was struck by the appalling reality that Rob doesn’t presently have a hit show on the air.  Nature abhors a vacuum and so its up to the Ricochet readers to jointly assemble a show for Rob whether he needs it or not. We’ll need some ideas to get […]

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First Trailer Out for Gosnell Movie

 

After interference by Hollywood, tech companies, and the courts, the creators of a movie based on Kermit Gosnell have finally released the first trailer.

A 2014 grand jury report accused Gosnell of killing hundreds of newborns over the course of decades in Philadelphia. He was ultimately convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

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During the brouhaha Rosanne Barr firing, and the cancelation of her ABC television show, many in Hollywood reacted with righteous indignation to those who came to her defense. One such individual was  James Gunn, the writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy I & II (films I very much enjoyed). He said this on Twitter: “I wish some […]

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An article in The Week magazine is reporting on the rise in popularity of Christian movies. Memo to Rob Long: it seems that my wife and I are not the only ones tired of the foul language and gratuitous nudity and explicit sex in so many Hollywood films. And the unnecessary use of “Jesus” or […]

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As Hollywood gathered Sunday night to adore itself, it was time for some housekeeping issues to be brought to the forefront. The Harvey Weinstein scandal was the loose thread that unraveled a corrupt culture that systematically objectified women and demanded sexual favors for advancement. Now that they were all together, it was time for some […]

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Oscars Ratings Fall to All-Time Low

 

I didn’t watch the Oscars last night. Apparently, most Americans joined me. The final ratings are in for the 2018 Academy Awards and it ain’t pretty.

Jimmy Kimmel earned appalling ratings when he hosted the event in 2017, but this year’s broadcast dropped 19 percent from that to a paltry 26.5 million viewers. This makes it the least-watched Oscars in history. The previous record-holder was in 2008; last night’s entry garnered 5 million fewer viewers than that bomb.

Trying to put a shine on it, The Hollywood Reporter said the bad ratings were no big deal since they were totes expected:

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Then again, I haven’t watched in ages. I stopped long ago when I realized two things. First, the Oscar show is about an endless stream of “thank-you”s from the winners. When an actress gets to thanking her makeup artist, or an actor the caterers, it’s time to stop. Where’s the get-them-off-the-stage hook when you need […]

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To all you actors, actresses, and other Hollywood types who want to disarm us law-abiding citizens, I’ll take you seriously if you’ll do one simple thing: disarm yourselves first. Yes, I want you all to disarm yourselves first, and in two different ways. First, refuse to appear in or make movies that features gunplay.  If […]

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The Marvel-ous Culture

 

Jon Bernthal as “The Punisher” (Marvel Studios)

I am not an aficionado of comic books. I can not argue the merits of Marvel vs. DC. The only comics-based movie I can attest to seeing in the theater was Superman with Christopher Reeve and that was in a whole different universe called “1978.” Fast forward 40 years and my wife suggests we sit down and watch a Netflix series called The Punisher. She hooked me with the words “former Marine.”

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Virtue signaling has become the great vice of our time. All the beautiful people, those pretty faces on the screens that have become the windows of our modern age, they have the Weinstein’s of the world, the Spacey and Lauer’s and all the rest of the high noble perverts brought low, all tied to stakes […]

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Ol’ Maureen Dowd buried the lede but in the last paragraph she let Uma get around to the important part: “Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned […]

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