A long time ago, in a universe far, far away, in a place called Hollywood, the movie studios and the actors who flourished in the dream factories, celebrated their love of America and enthusiastically indulged in overt displays of patriotism.
L.B. Mayer (b. Lazar Meir) the powerful head of MGM, was a pioneer of the motion-picture industry, and the man who invented the star system. Mayer adopted July 4th as his birthday. Scores of Hollywood historians get all snarky about Mayer’s birthday, claiming that he conveniently changed his birthday in order to cash in on a public identification with America.
What these historians fail to recognize is that Mayer probably did not know the date of his birth.
In the beginning of his legendary career, Kirk Douglas (1916 – ) b. Issur Danielovitch, was almost typecast as a well-meaning but ineffectual husband in two fine films, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, 1946, and A Letter to Three Wives, 1949. But his career ascended into mega-stardom when he played cynical heroes motivated by rage: Champion, 1949, Ace in the Hole, 1951, The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952, Paths of Glory, 1957, Spartacus, 1960, and his favorite picture, Lonely Are the Brave, 1962,
Douglas was never a conventional leading man. Though handsome as a fairy tale prince, he wielded his masculine beauty like a weapon. There was none of the gruff, working class charm that made Gable the King. Douglas was not an urbane gentleman like William Powell, nor a witty charmer like Cary Grant.
Kirk Douglas excelled at playing, in his own words, “sons of bitches.”
During Hollywood’s Golden Age, the studios, via newspapers, fan magazines, and trade publications, published photos of their stars celebrating Christmas. In this way, Hollywood—though founded by poor immigrant Jews—informed the public that the motion picture industry was in harmony with Christian America.
Seraphic Secret—Karen and I—are Orthodox Jews. We observe the Sabbath and eat only kosher food. Our lives and values are built around the Torah, written and oral. But we enjoy this season, and honor Christmas. We shudder at the relentless postmodern assault on this most Christian of holidays. We want America to remain a steadfastly Judeo-Christian country, for without G-d individual liberty vanishes, replaced, inevitably, by a powerful centralized state, the cult of personality, and various forms of paganism currently exemplified by climate change (AKA the weather) fanatics.
We urge everyone to pray for the Christians who are being murdered, tortured and oppressed by genocidal Islamists all across the Middle East and Africa.
Here’s a sample of Hollywood and Christmas as it used to be.
“I appeared in every single scene of the film [Rosemary’s Baby], except when, during [the impregnated with Satan’s spawn sequence] a body double was used in my place. But I didn’t entirely miss out on the scene—one day I found myself—me from convent school, who prayed with outstretched arms in the predawn light – tied to the four corners of a bed, ringed by elderly, chanting witches, while a perfect stranger with bad skin and vertical pupils was grinding away on top of me. I didn’t dare think. After finishing that scene the actor climbed off me and said politely, in all seriousness, ‘Miss Farrow, I just want to say, it’s a real pleasure to have worked with you.’“
—excerpted from Mia Farrow’s What Falls Away [Read more…] about Friday Photos: True Hollywood Confessions