Producer Judd Bernard
I sat down with producer Judd Bernard at his San Fernando Valley home on May 9, 2002.
Judd produced such acclaimed films as 1967's Point Blank, the first American film directed by John Boorman, and 1975's Inside Out, starring Telly Savalas.
Born June 20, 1927, Bernard grew up in Chicago. "My father was a doctor. I studied pre-Med at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I found out that I didn't want to be a doctor. So I studied English and history before I dropped out. I went to New York to seek my fame and fortune. I became a band manager instead. I wrote a magazine article and earned $200. A movie studio bought the article and they brought me on as a writer. It was a disaster. I got fired immediately. So I went into publicity. Through a friend of my mother, I met the writer Carl Foreman (High Noon), a partner of producer-director Stanley Kramer (Home of the Brave, Champion). I got a job working for the Stanley Kramer company. We made such films as The Men, Cyrano de Bergerac, and High Noon.
"Then I worked for producer David Selznick and producer Robert Lippeit who made such films as 1951's The Steel Helmet. Samuel Fuller shot it in eleven days. I also worked for producer Jack Broder, who made such exploitation pictures as Battle of Chief Pontiac and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. We had a sneak preview of the Bela Lugosi movie that 450 people demanded their money back.
"Then I worked with Ben Hecht. We made this  picture called Actors and Sin, starring Edward G. Robinson and Eddie Albert. We shot the picture in seven days.
"Composer George Anthiel introduced me to writer William Saroyan who had an office above Factors Deli on Pico Blvd, near Beverly Drive. Saroyan wrote a story about guy who came back from World War II and sees his old sweetheart. Saroyan thought we should cast the biggest stars of the time - Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon and Barbara Stanwyck. Nothing ever came of it.
"I then met Armand Deutsch, an MGM producer. We produced a stage play with Betty Davis and her husband Gary Merrill called The World of Carl Sandburg.
"I worked for Louis B. Meyer after he left MGM. He had an office on Canon and plotted how he was going to come back. We were going to make Paint Your Wagon but it never happened."
Luke: "How did you come to produce your first film, 1967's Double Trouble, starring Elvis Presley?"
Judd: "I was trying to get another project off the ground starring Julie Christie. I was told that Irwin Winkler was her manager. Irwin and I had dinner at Cyranos on the Sunset strip, across from The Dome. We sat around until 3AM talking, and we became fast friends. He said that if he delivered Julie Christie, he'd want to be a co-producer on the project.
"Julie Christie was in Madrid doing Dr. Zhivago. MGM sent me to Madrid. I had lunch with director David Lean. I met Julie Christie at the Hilton. They were preparing to shoot the parade down the street in the snow. And it was hotter than hell. And Julie couldn't have been nicer except when I mentioned her manager Irwin Winkler. And she said, 'He isn't my manager.'
"I formed a company [BCW Productions] with Irwin Winkler and his partner in New York Robert Chartoff [manager]. We had a deal with MGM.
"Once we got Double Trouble organized, I was in London. And I saw this girl [Annette Day] on the street who looked like a girl in the script. I introduced myself to her and asked her for a photograph. She had this small black and white photograph. On the back it said 'Sam Shaw.' He was a bigtime magazine photographer. I had a close friend in London named David Steen who was also a prominent photographer. He took three color pictures of her and we blew them up.
"This girl had never acted a day in her life. She was 17-year old. She was good. She had no fear. She starred with Elvis Presley. Then she got married and never made another movie.
"I met my wife [Patricia Casey] on Double Trouble. I had two kids from my marriage to Australian model Pauline O'Dwyer - Adrianna Bernard (who died in 1995 in a car accident on Pico Blvd outside The Mint) and cinematographer Michael Bernard. I adopted Alicia, now Alicia Richards, who works as a commercials producer.
"I got divorced when I moved to London at the end of 1967. Patricia was working for me at Paramount and she mved to London when I did to do the Glenda Jackson movie Negatives .
"Patricia later produced the first Monty Python movie, And Now For Something Completely Different , a collection of skits from the first two years of the Monty Python TV show.
"Point Blank was John Boorman's first American movie. Patricia knew these two guys, David and Rafe Newhouse. David was a film editor. David and Rafe had optioned this book and wrote a screenplay.
"I was in the commissary at MGM eating lunch by myself. This guy came up to me and asked, 'Do you mind if I sit with you?' It was John Boorman who was taking a tour of the studio. I took him back to my house. He stayed and talked with me until 2AM. I gave him the script to Point Blank and the book.
"I was in London and Lee Marvin was doing Dirty Dozen. We spent some time together and I gave him the script.
"I saw this Canadian mini-thing about a coroner. There was a marvelous actor in it named John Vernon and a good actress named Sharon Acker. And Boorman and I flew to Toronto to see them for Point Blank. We blew the jet engine out and we thought we were going to die. And I remember saying goodbye to him. And somehow they landed the plane. And we brought them back and they were in Point Blank.
"We wanted to shoot at Alcatraz. I called Jack Valenti [present head of the MPAA}, an advisor to President Lyndon Johnson. I got a call from my secretary at MGM with a number to call Jack. I dial. A man answers and says, 'Who's this?' I said my name and asked, 'Who's this?' And the man said, 'Lyndon Johnson.' It was a private phone at the White House. We were the first movie ever shot at Alcatraz.
"We were shooting at Alcatraz and at 3AM, this motorboat comes up with these two ladies in evening gowns - one a redhead and the other a blonde. They had a bottle of champagne. They said, 'We want to watch your movie.' QANTAS had had an inaugural flight from Sydney to San Francisco. And this woman Hazel Phillips was a Sydney journalist. And she so charmed Lee Marvin that he must've spent three days with her. And he never gave interviews.
"And when I was in Sydney, I saw her on television.
"We had our first sneak [showing] of the picture at a Chicago theater. And everybody was stunned when it was over and nobody said a word. I don't know if it was ahead of its time or what. It was recently remade by Mel Gibson as Payback.
"[Movie executive] Robert Evans had been a publicity client of mine when I had a publicity agency. Bob Evans became head of production at Paramount. He sent over his assistant Peter Bart, now editor of Variety, to have lunch with me. I [as Kettledrum Films] was the first producer they signed. I left my partnership with Winkler and Chartoff, the dumbest thing I've ever done. These guys became wildly successful making such movies as Rocky.
"Robert Redford was going to star in our  film Blue. And six weeks before shooting, he walked. We were desperate to find someone to replace him who had blonde hair and blue eyes. So we got Terence Stamp.
"When we got back from location, the hot thing was A Man and a Woman [1966 French film directed by Claude Lelouch]. I came up with an idea for a small movie. What if a guy working on a movie has an affair with a woman working on a movie. We made a  picture called Fade-In. It starred Burt Reynolds and Eli Kazan's wife Barbara Loden.
From the Imdb.com: "A sophisticated Hollywood film editor, on location for a film she is working on, falls for a local cowboy who is hired to work on the film."
Judd: "Then we made Glenda Jackson's early movie Negatives. My then-wife divorced me. I stayed on in London.
"I think one of the reasons Paramount sent me to London was so that Peter Bart could take my house in Brentwood. Joke.
"Leslie Ann Down, at 15 years old, was an extra in my 1970 movie, The Man Who Had Power Over Women.
"Telly Savalas starred in [1975's] Inside Out. We originally wanted to do the movie with Tony Curtis and Jimmy Coburn. John Calley, who ran Warners then, said, 'We'll get the biggest star in the world to play the lead. Telly Savalas.' It was Telly's first year as Kojak.
"When we shot at the flower market in Amsterdam, there were 25,000 people wanting to see Kojak. They had to call out troops. Then when we went to Berlin, Savalas walked into this police convention and they went crazy to see him.
"Blood Red [shot in 1986, released in 1988] was Julia Roberts' first movie. We cast her because her brother Eric was the lead and we needed somebody to play his sister. My son Michael worked on the movie. My daughter Adrianna, may she rest in peace, did her first job as a wardrobe assistant for Ruth Myers."
Nice Jewish Girl Gets Married
NJG writes: Dear Luke: As you know I'm getting married very shortly. My fiancé (who's Catholic) and are planning out the details little by little. I have the beautiful dress already, and I'm looking for a Rabbi next. I ran across an interfaith website, and they said they had a list of Rabbi's that did interfaith marriages, however the list was not on their site. I wrote to the Rabbi there the following:
Subject: I'm Jewish I'm marrying a Catholic and we need a rabbi
Hi, I'm a Jewish girl marrying a Catholic guy in July and I live in San Francisco... Can you help me find a rabbi? Thanks! NJG
He replied: Re: List of rabbis
Dear NJG, For information about the list and how to get a copy of it, go to our website www.rcrconline.org. You can even download it if you wish. Check out the list to find the rabbis who are closest to you and who are willing to conduct the kind of ceremony that you want. Good luck in your search. Rabbi Irwin Fishbein
I went back to the website to look for said list...oh to download a list of Rabbi's it costs at least $20!!!! I was angry! I wrote Rabbi Fishbein back this note:
"Rabbi, What a scam you have going! You have to PAY for information on where to find a rabbi?? Oh yes you are HELPFUL and doing G-d's will!!! LOL! I can google for free. I'm sorry, I thought you were a helpful organization, but apparently NOT! Good day to you sir!"
I did not sign my name. Yes it was a bit harsh. They say on the site they are a small non-profit, but that means they get grants government money to run it. I however live in a small hovel, I'm sure not nearly as nice as the good Rabbi's place, and though, that doesn't matter, the fact remains, that why should I be charged for a list of Rabbi's??? I wasn't looking to change the rabbi's opinion, but I wanted him to know it was unacceptable to charge people to get a list of rabbis! Also, I thought of how funny the guy had a last name of FISHBEIN. Sounds verrrry familiar from your past life...wonder if this Rabbi is related to the people in your *other* life? Anyways, I'm sorry to anyone who's reading who's offended, but charging for a list of Rabbi's is sacriligeous to me.
Chaim Amalek writes: Orthodox or Reform, the corruption of the rabbinate is no less today than it was in the time of Jesus, who so forcefully spoke out against it. That's why they hated Jesus so. Please forward my best wishes to the NJG. It stands to figure that she would find a nice Catholic to marry - such is the zeitgeist of our time, when most jewish women and men cannot stand each other's culture (and with good reason!). Only in the Katzenlagger-in-the-making of Eretz Yisrael, where there are not many gentile options for a spouse and where not every other jew/jewess is in law school or hawking stocks or apartments or words do jews marry mostly other jews, and at an appropriate age. (Marc - hint hint. Get busy!)
Luke, stop dating all those 36 year old jewish lawyers and find yourself a nice Christian girl to marry. I am sure that if you made the effort, a suitable young woman of your original faith could be located who would be willing to build a full life with you. Your current course of action will bring great misery to you.
Star Spotting In Los Angeles
Bernard Weinraub writes in Sunday's New York Times: What's most unusual about seeing stars in Los Angeles is that they often turn up in the most unexpected places: walking on yuppified Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, in simple restaurants like Il Sole, at chain coffee houses like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Sunset Boulevard and at luncheonettes with Formica tables like Du-Pars in Studio City (a favorite with George Clooney). There's also the Pavilions supermarket in West Hollywood or Whole Foods in Brentwood; a bookstore, Book Soup in West Hollywood (there was Elton John getting out of his chauffeured limo); hiking in Runyon Canyon; and the lounge or lobby at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, where you might see Keanu Reeves or Courtney Love. There's even a playground in Brentwood (there was Cindy Crawford recently at a playground on 25th Street watching her child dig in the sand).
Take Jerry's Famous Deli on Beverly Boulevard near Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a cavernous and friendly place with a touch of New York. I've seen Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Jerry Seinfeld, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Paul Reiser at Jerry's.
Similarly, and only a few streets away, there's Urth Caffé on Melrose Avenue, a favorite of mine, where customers line up for coffee (it's organically grown and addictive) and first-rate salads and sandwiches. At the counter, each person is given a number and then finds a table inside or outside. Meg Ryan stood in the line one morning, and Cameron Diaz, Anthony Hopkins and lesser-known actors have waited their turns, too. But the lunch hour is often swarming with customers, and the weekends are packed. The oh-so-hip crowd, speaking noisily on cell phones, may leave a sour aftertaste. The best times to show up for a possible sighting minus the crowd are mornings and midafternoon.
The New York Times has banished Andrew Sullivan from its pages, reports Andrew Sullivan. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Raines regime. The Rainesian management model resembles a kind of anti-network; in which an ever-smaller number of people are engaged in the guidance and definition of the enterprise. As the network narrows, the center (Raines and his management team) grows in importance. At its worst, this kind of management leads to the Sun God management system, in which The Great Leader is surrounded by adoring sycophants. Raines is a prime candidate to fall into this trap, since his ego needs greatly exceed his management skills.
Instapundit: The Times seems to be getting steadily smugger, sloppier, and more biased.
Khunrum writes: This movement towards reparations is interesting. Afros being compensated for their labors during slavery. I am personally still pissed off about the Saxon invasion of Wales in 601 AD which uprooted my ancestors and sent them hiding in the forests (with nothing to eat but nuts and berries). Until then our family was doing well running sex tours to Old Siam. I believe someone should be held accountable for this genocidal act.
Furthermore, I want monetary compensation for those Saxon bastards setting the family travel business back three centuries. Luke how do you feel about your kin being forcibly exiled to Australia from Old Blighty? Do you think it delayed your arrival in Beverly Hills? Did it have anything to do with your conversion to Judaism? Would you seek compensation and a pardon from The Queen? Come now, tell us your views on this subject.
Fred writes: I have no qualms about black being compensated for their labor during slavery if they were actually slaves. Heck, I think any African American who was laboring in the old Confederacy prior to 1865 should be given their due. I fail to see why their descendants should get anything.
I Have No Respect For The TV Watching American Public
Bo and Luke Duke write on rec.arts.movies-current: I just read that Americans watch an average of 30 hours of television a week. You mean people still watch television in America?? They must really be losers! Because American TV is pure crap. Let's take a look at what they find entertaining these days.
Friends - The biggest chick show on television. The week-long hype about "the baby shower" special episode was enough to make anyone sick. Cop Shows - NYPD Blue, Law and Order, etc. Fascist propaganda that glorifies abusive police who torture innocent citizens, as long as the citizens they torture are economically low class and the people they protect are middle and upper class.
Soap Operas - Bitchass liberals like Tipper Gore and Joseph Lieberman fight to make sure all video games and movies are as tame as Sesame Street, but they leave soap operas alone. I wonder why that is? Could it be because fatass house wives and soccer moms are their main supporters? I think so.
Girls Beating Up Men Shows - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Angel, Alias, etc etc. This is the only kind of action show that America has. American media has been castrated by creampuff soccer mom liberals like Tipper Gore wanting to censor everything violent, and it's led to a total ban on anything except fashion models kicking ass against any man they see. The only kind of programming with the slightest hint of action in it is male-bashing. That's all liberals will allow.
Reality Shows: This is what happens when the same network executives who have been making failed sitcoms for decades decide they can have a show without any unnecessary frills, like writers or talent. Do you see some of the DOGSHIT they're passing off for reality shows?
American Fighter Pilot: Top Gun Fighter Pilot Max Majors dreams of one day flying a jet instead of mopping the deck on the aircraft carrier! Just make sure we include plenty of war on terror references in the opening credits to manipulate the morons who watch network tv!
MTV: A 24 hour nonstop showcase of simple beats, ugly clothes and stupid personalities, in other words: hip hop. MTV tries to sell fools wearing sideways ball caps, crooked headbands, basketball jerseys, baggy pants, talking with drawls and sounding illiterate as the coolest thing ever. Of course they pawn it off on white kids and try to tell them that white kids aren't cool unless they wish they could be black and have a fashion sense that makes them look like they shouldn't be allowed to dress themselves. And the music sucks, rap is crap. It's nothing but beats that the rappers stole from somebody else and drum machines!
Saved By The Bell Clones: You know the only reason the network dinosaurs are churning these out is because they're cheap to make. 99 percent of the budget goes to actor salaries and runaways at the bus stop will work for cheap. Hell you don't even need talented writers who can think up jokes, just give the characters REALLY STUPID and REALLY UNFUNNY lines and add in a cheezy laugh track. Not only are these shows insipid, they're creepy too because they sell an image of the preppy high school "in" crowd to an audience of losers who still watch Saturday morning television. They're also the reason why Dustin Diamond still has a job.
Luke Helder - Luke's Twin?
Nice Jewish Girl writes: Isn't it interesting that [accused bomber] Luke Helder and you look very similar? Both of you are named Luke. Both suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Both are *off*. Luke Helder looks exactly like you did at his age. Now you're much older and almost 40. When Helder is 40 he'll still be in jail if there's any justice.
Helpful writes: Luke damned himself with this highly questionable photo from his old site. *Bad Touch*
Fischel writes: The best argument that these Juden who want to exclude you have is that anyone who would seek out there company is mentally ill. They KNOW that they are hated by humanity, hence their suspicion of anyone who would WANT to dwell among them. There is a disgusting article in the current New York Daily News you should read. Note the names of the nice Jewish boys involved. Likely welcome in any shul:
Child modeling appears to be the brainchild of Jeff Libman and Marc Greenberg, two Florida entrepreneurs who ran adult porn sites until a better idea came along. Their Fort Lauderdale company, Webe Web Corp., which started the first child modeling Web sites, took in $200,000 last year, according to Dun and Bradstreet.
Neither Greenberg nor Libman responded to questions from the Daily News, but in an online message to fans, Greenberg offered a passionate and bitter defense.
"We and the parents have always and will always fight hard to protect these children," he wrote. "If these sites are legal, shouldn't anyone have the right to create and display them or access them without being labeled a pedophile child molester? Why not concentrate on the issues that effect thousands of children each day instead of a few that are legally doing nothing wrong?"
Yank Soldiers Exhaust Aussie Prostitutes
My father used to tell me there were only three problems with American servicemen stationed in Australia during World War II: The Yanks were overpaid, oversexed and over here.
In my view, Aussie hookers, in WWII and the present, were doing their part for the war effort.
Marc W. writes: The soul and spirit of LF will live on as long as it's him I think of after reading articles like this:
From NationalPost.com: WINNIPEG - A former university professor suing a newspaper for libel was accused of being anti-gay and anti-female at the start of a trial yesterday.
"Mr. Makow is completely out of touch with the modern world. We will show you his hatred of women, gays and liberals, the people he resents," Robert Tapper, representing The Winnipeg Sun, said at the start of the trial.
"He went to the Philippines to find a submissive wife. We will give you extracts of his writings that show you how he thinks, writes and teaches. Some of what you hear will shock your conscience."
Mr. Makow, the 52-year-old inventor of the board game Scruples, was dismissed in 2000 from his job as an English lecturer at the University of Winnipeg. He was accused of professional misconduct with young female students. In particular, he was accused of leading sexually charged discussions in his class and outside of it, and of espousing his theory that women should go back to their traditional roles in society.
Chaim Amalek writes: "What's it like for a woman to lose her looks?" Mr. Makow wrote. "It's probably like a child who finds out for the first time that he will no longer get special treatment." Actually, it is like going senile for many women, who never achieve that level of self-awareness until nobody cares.
Fred writes: Ditto. I have known several women who used to be very good looking, but who deteriorated markedly over time. They never understood that prior to that time, they were treated extremely well because of their looks, and thereafter they'd have to work for it. I think that getting divorced and dumped at age 40 is their big wake-up call.
Chaim writes: Still more life-truisms from the pen of AMALEK regarding women: The older the woman, the more important it is that she have a great personality and a large, natural set of ----. Especially the latter, and especially if she has a broad back or is very tall. A great set of ----ers will distract one from all manner of defect way up to age 50. If she is lacking in the ------ department, then she ought to be especially trim and amenable to ----- on a dime.
God meant for women to be grandmothers or dead by age 45. Perhaps special cities could be created to house those poor unfortunates who are neither, ala Forest Lawn.
Polygamy is the natural state of affairs (pun intended). Polygamy enables a society to kill off vast numbers of men in their youth in wars through which still more women can be obtained for use as breeding vessels (and men as castrated slaves) without causing a society to crash. Feminism is the opposite of polygamy. It can exist for at most a few generations, until the society in which it arose perishes. Christian France is doomed, and will be replaced by the France that would have been had Charles Martel been defeated.
Khunrum writes: I wish I had a castrated slave to mow my lawn. It is getting damned hot out here on the frontier. These "Thoughts of Chairman Chaim" deserve to blow today's excruciatingly boring producer interview off the site. It would have made it easy in the "old days" But the NEW Luke.net......Is not the new improved Luke.
Fred writes: If Charles Martel could see Europe now, he would probably say, "That's funny--I could have sworn I won the Battle of Tours."
Producer Art Linson
From the Los Angeles Times: Ever since Julia Phillips' memoir, "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again," landed on bestseller lists in 1991, a veritable flotilla of Hollywood players and would-be players have deemed themselves important enough to churn out their memoirs, with varying degrees of insight and truthfulness, from Lynda Obst to Mike Medavoy, Sumner Redstone and Harry Knowles.
Unlike many, Linson is actually an amusing writer, and he even wrote the book himself. While Phillips ladled out her Hollywood dish with invective, Linson is more of an absurdist, focusing on the dashed expectations involved with making such intelligent but not particularly commercial fare as "Fight Club" (1999) and "Great Expectations" (1998) (from which one swift Fox executive tried to nix Gwyneth Paltrow because she has "no chin").
As a producer, Linson concentrated on making a number of movies about macho men engaged in varying forms of mano-a-mano combat, from "The Untouchables" (1987) to "Heat" (1995) and "The Edge" (1997). In his own life, he's a keen anthropologist of Hollywood one-upmanship, a decoder of the strange dances of power between studios and producers, agents and stars.
James DiGiorgio writes: There was a time when Luke Ford, i.e., Luke Ford the person, struggled mightily with his conflicted fascination with the biz. Luke was both attracted to (make that, turned on), and repulsed by the biz. And when Luke added Judaism into the mix, some said it was the ingredient that made his site interesting and read by many.
One of the great issues Luke struggled the most with was the inordinate number of Jewish company owners. Why did something as base as xxx attract so many Jews? Luke struggled vainly with this connundrum. But here at simplyjimmyd.com, we think we might have an answer. And as a public service to anyone who struggles as Luke has, or for those of you who are Jews and who sometimes have difficulty justifying religion and commerce in your life, I offer up a web site where quite possibly, the answers to your theologic questions lie.
After all, what's more pagan than Hollywood? And judging by the numbers of Jewish company owners, some might also say, 'What's more Jewish than xxx?' Personally, I don't really know what makes up a Jew, or why there's so many of them in the senior echelons of the biz. I was born a Roman Catholic and I don't know too much more about that either, in spite of all those hours my parents made me spend in Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes (a lot of good they did, huh?). I probably have a better understanding of Paganism (I did, after all, read "The Mists of Avalon). And I certainly have acted like a Pagan in much of my life, and some would say I still do.
As I understand it, there is this whole Mythical/Pagan side to Judaism (e.g., Judaopaganism, Semitic Paganism) that is only studied by these X-Files type Rabbis who work in these super-secret laboratories, deep underground, underneath some well-guarded Temples. But you know, just about anything and everything that has a mythical/pagan bent to it, is also going to be soaked in all kinds of sexual stuff. So I'm thinking, maybe all these Jewish guys in the biz aren't just Jewish, maybe they're really JeWITCH? Jewitchcraft could easily be responsible for the great number of run-of-the-mill secular Jews in the biz. Right? And if they're not already Jewitch, maybe they should think about becoming Jewitch. It would all make so much more sense, no? Hey, maybe Lukey himself will write in and offer up his take on all this. Stranger things have happened, right?
Path to War
I sat through this plodding new HBO film Path to War at USC Monday night. The lead characters aren't likeable and there's little discernible story. It added nothing to what I already knew about the story.
"As the successor to a martyred president, Lyndon Johnson hoped to transform America into a "Great Society" of equal opportunity. What he became was the symbol of the most unpopular war in U.S. history. From acclaimed director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) comes this powerful drama of soaring ambition and shattered dreams that takes a provocative insider's look at the way our country goes to war--as seen from inside the LBJ White House leading up to and during Vietnam. Based on public documents and extensive interviews, the film stars Michael Gambon as the former president who allowed himself to be persuaded by his advisors to increase the U.S. military presence in Vietnam at the expense of his vision of a Great Society. Written by Daniel Giat; co-starring John Aylward, Bruce McGill, Cliff DeYoung and Felicity Huffman."
Khunrum writes: How many of you every so often ask yourselves "I wonder what Luke is up to.... Is he serious about writing a somnambulistic volume on movie producers"? I think I have the answer. I believe Luke is inching towards film criticism...Someday ...some way...the call will go out. "Get me a movie critic....a Rex Reed type" . When the big chance comes, one has to be ready.
USA professor and former agent Larry Auerbach introduced producer Edgar J. Scherick after the screening for a Q&A session. Scherick sat in a wheelchair, disabled by his stroke of three years ago. Tuesday Scherick flies to New York and Washington D.C. for more screenings, his first plane rides in six years.
Larry: "Edgar, why did you make this film?"
Edgar: "Because two gentlemen (Howard Dratch and Daniel Giat) who I had never met before, and who had no real experience, came into my office one day and said they wanted to make a movie about Clark Clifford and the Vietnam War. I said that Clark Clifford was an attendant meant to fill a scene or two. The real story is about Lyndon Baines Johnson. If you are interested in doing a film about Lyndon Johnson, I'd be interested in pursuing it with you. Lyndon Johnson was the greatest pure politician we've ever had.
"I'm proud of how this movie turned out. In twenty years, when students want to know what it was like inside the Johnson White House during the Vietnam War, this picture will be brought out and viewed."
A question from the audience: "Why was Gary Sinise [playing Governor Wallice] uncredited?"
Edgar: "Gary Sinise did that scene as a favor to Director John Frankenheimer and he asked to be uncredited.
"Michael Gambon is an Irish actor who was afraid of playing such a purely American Texas character... Jack Valenti's son John plays Jack in the LBJ administration.
"Barry Levinson initially agreed to direct the picture. He jerked us around for two years. I think it is the luckiest thing that ever happened that Barry Levinson didn't agree to do this picture. This is John Frankenheimer's meat.
"This picture was over ten years in development."
Larry: "I remember in 1963, I was a William Morris agent who'd sold a lot of stuff to ABC."
Edgar: "We had done a special with Sammy Davis Junior. In those days, when one of the networks put a black man on coast-to-coast in a special, that was news."
Larry: "One of my associates sold a Sammy Davis Jr. show to NBC and never told me. I thought, what am I going to tell Edgar? I knew he would find out.
"Edgar called. I want to see you and your boss Wally Jordan in my office at 9AM tomorrow."
Edgar: "They were the two leading television agents in New York."
Larry: "I never went to a buyer without something under my arm that I could sell. So I had an envelope under my arm. Edgar had this long office. We walked in and he says, 'Sit down gentlemen.' And he starts in. 'How dare you!' And he starts screaming and yelling and kicking. 'How could you do that?'
"I say to Wally Jordan, ' We better get out of here.' As we get up to leave, all he wants to know is what is under my arm. I knew that I didn't want to try to sell him something now because he's upset. And rightfully so. He follows us out to the envelope. He said, 'You and you and everyone else from William Morris are barred from the second floor of ABC.'"
Edgar: "I was his best customer."
Larry: "We had a lot of shows on ABC because nothing could stay too long. Four o'clock that afternoon, I'm at J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, the leading advertising agency. I'm sitting in a conference room with half a dozen guys trying to pitch something. And the phone rings. And it is for me. And Edgar reads off a list of our shows that he's canceling. He cancelled every deal we made. The man was rightfully upset with me but we are together today and that's nice."
Luke's Impending Birthday
Helpful writes: Luke, another birthday is looming. Time to reassess your course. Are you any closer to your book deal? Are you any closer to salvation? Are you any closer to financial stability? If not, why not? I also note that you are not shamelessly hustling birthday gifts on your site as you have in years past? What gives?
Are Jews Prejudiced?
Chaim Amalek writes: Given that AIDS is almost wholly preventable with a modicum of common sense (e.g., don't share needles, don't take a naked dick up your ass, use condoms and avoid sex with high risk groups), we are spending a wildly disproportionate share of our R&D dollar on it. Think about it - want to avoid HIV? Well, wearing a condom will greatly reduce the likelihood of its transmission. It does not pass through the air or strike seemingly at random. Would that it were only so easy to counsel parents on how to shield their children from cancer, or adult women from losing their breasts to that disease, or MS, and many other diseases whose sufferers lack the clout of our precious homosexuals. Hepatitis, cancer, and many other diseases are short-changed because the gay lobby wants to keep the world safe for bare-penis-in-the-ass sex. They simply cannot be bothered with wearing condoms, just as many of our junkies cannot be bothered with cleaning out their works before communally shooting up. In the meantime, people keep dying from diseases that they CANNOT avoid.
Now, as a general matter, are jews prejudiced? Sure we are! Only fools destined for the dustbin of history are not prejudiced. It is prejudice that keeps groups apart, and therefore racially distinct. We jews are among the most tribal folks on earth (racism is but one form of tribalism). Officially, we like to keep our bloodlines pure, which is why we erect such lofty barriers to outsiders as insisting that the men chop off a piece of their peckers before joining up. This helps preserve our intellectually superior genes, which is what gives the average jew his uncanny ability to make money and influence others.
In short, Jews are racist because as the world's most intellectually gifted people (but certainly not gifted in most other ways), we know just how inferior the rest of the world is to us, and we want to retain our cognitive edge. We enjoy controlling the movies you watch, the newspapers you read, the porn your boyfriend jerks off to and the Federal Reserve System to boot, and we want to keep things that way. Kendra, you seem very young and naive (which is why Luke likes you). You are not one of those white chicks who would have sex with an O.J. type, are you? Keep in mind that Luke is no less racist than his mentor, Dr. William Pierce, or Nobelists James Watson and William F. Shockley. You must be willing to deal with the entire package. There is more to Luke than mere fame and wealth; there is a very deep racialist thinker hidden in there as well. Deal with it. And maybe in the fullness of time, you will come around to the Luke Ford view of the world. I know I have.
PS Do not accuse ME of being a bigot - I was one of the jews who marched alongside the negroes in Selma in the early 60's, and I donate money to the NAACP and the democratic party (Go Hillary!), so I am no bigot.
Grumpy Old Men
I interviewed producer Richard C. Berman (Grumpy Old Men) at his Lancaster Gate Entertainment office in Encino, April 25, 2002.
He's tall and skinny and his hands and feet move a lot as we talk.
Richard: "I acted a lot in school. At Ohio State, I directed plays. After graduating college with a double major in Speech and Education, I taught for a couple of years. I got fed up with the education system. I did the casting for a couple of shows (Juvenile Judge and Traffic Court) on the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. In 1972, I moved to Los Angeles. I started as an agent's assistant and worked my way to becoming an agent. I was an agent for 15 years and then, in 1990, I became a manager and a producer.
"It was an easy transition. I did many of the things that a producer does as an agent. I developed and sold projects. I set up Don't Tell Mom the Baby-sitter's Dead, Can't Buy Me Love and a number of television movies. I find that management and production go hand in hand. It makes me stay on top of my game. I noticed that when I was an agent that producers who came to me on a project, and didn't have anything else going, they were out of the loop.
"They'd come to me and say, 'I need to get back into it. I have projects that I want to sell.' And I'd say, 'Who do you know? What are your relationships that we can use?' And they'd say, 'Well, such and such at the studio.' And I'd say, 'They're not there anymore.' And then they'd name someone else who was no longer in position. And you'd begin to see the panic set in in their face. And I said that I would never get into that situation. With management, you are constantly working with what's current. You have to stay on top of who is saying in what seat, and maintain those relationships."
Luke: "Tell me about Grumpy Old Men."
Richard: "The writer [Mark Steven Johnson] was a client. He was an undiscovered writing talent. I had a personal deal with Davis Entertainment (John Davis in Century City). We set it up at Warner Brothers. I told John, 'This project is going to legitimize you.' Because he'd been doing [little] projects up to that point...
"Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon were always our first choice [for the lead roles] but the studio wouldn't initially let us make an offer. They wanted us to look at other people. We went all around the barn and then came back to Jack and Walter.
"I was on set. I was there when they shot the wedding scene outside in 30 degrees below zero weather. The actors remembered that I was out there in the early morning 'freezing my ass off.'"
Luke: "What was it like trying to pitch Grumpy Old Men in Hollywood's youth obsessed culture?"
Richard: "That was when the youth movement wasn't so strong. I think now it would be more difficult to do. Warner Brothers said they loved the script and that they wanted to make it their next Driving Miss Daisy.
"Warners bought another [similar] project at the same time - Wrestling Ernest Hemingway. We were running a foot race at the studio. Because that project had Randa Haines attached to direct it was regarded as the more prestigious project. We were the stepchild. They thought Wrestling Ernest Hemingway would pick up Oscars. They assembled a distinguished cast.
"But when it came time for testing, Grumpy tested much better. And every time we tested it, the scores kept getting higher. Ultimately, we were the ones that got the push [big studio marketing campaign]. The studio felt ours was a more commercial movie to market."
From a Wrestling Ernest Hemingway review on Imdb.com: "It is worth comparing with the glitzy and ineffective "Grumpy Old Men", which tried to be both serious and a comedy and failed at both. This is the `serious' half of that movie done right, even brilliantly. The odd title comes from Frank's story - repeated ad nauseum to anyone whose ear he can grab - about how he once wrestled Ernest Hemingway in 1936. The screenplay is touching in a restrained way that is all the more effective for its restraint. No tear-jerker scenes to wring the emotion from the audience, and yet it is more emotionally powerful than a lot of run-of-the-mill hankie-twisters. The plot moves to a predictably sad ending, but then moves beyond that to a quiet reaffirmation of life."
Richard: "My company gravitates towards projects that are not just entertaining but will affect people. That's rewarding. That's probably the educator in me that still wants to affect the audience. There are a lot of movies out there that I will look at and say, 'I would never make that movie.' Is it a successful movie? Yes but it is not something I would attach my name to. And maybe because of that, we end up taking projects that are difficult to sell. But usually those are the ones that end up having the most rewards at the end."
Luke: "Do you ever insist that someone take you on as a producer if they want to use your actor?"
Richard: "If I feel I have something to contribute, yes."
Luke: "Are you married, children?"
Richard: "No. My clients are my children.
"I enjoy my work but there are other things in my life. You have to get away from it or you will burn yourself out. This is a business that will take someone right down and then throw them away. I've seen a lot of hotshot agents and casting directors, not to mention talent, that have burned out. Nobody knows where they are now.
"A lot of these guys in their 20s eat, sleep and drink the business. And you have to do that initially. They're hungry and ambitious but you have to shift or you will burn yourself out."
Luke: "As you've pitched your projects, have there been any areas with secret taboos that have surprised you?"
Richard: "Yes. We've made some of them. We made this movie for the USA network called Secret Cutting  that the other networks were scared to death to do. It was about self mutilation. We got over 2500 emails from the audience. People said, 'Thank you for helping me. I was thinking of becoming a cutter and after seeing the movie I now know what I need to do.' That was rewarding for us. We knew it was not going to be an easy sell."
From Imdb.com: "I have a loved one who has engaged in this type of activity. This movie was both painful and insightful to watch. Having lived through all of the emotions and feelings of the parents and friends, it was strange to realize that this condition is much more common than I had ever imagined. It was also a strong impetus to show this movie to my loved one and help them through the issues, as much as I could. It has been a long time since anything else has happened, and I believe that this movie had a bit of an impact."
Richard: "You should've seen the responses we got from the major networks about the subject matter. 'Blood all over the screen? I don't think so.' One executive said to me, 'Oh, this sounds icky.'"
Luke: "How does media consolidation affect you?"
Richard: "You mean vertical integration [where one entity owns many phases of the production and distribution process, like AOL Time Warner]? I understand what they're doing. There are some things that come across my desk that make me wince. I can't go into details. We do too much business with Disney and these other companies. And it is probably going to become more [consolidated] rather than less in the future.
"You can tell a difference in the way companies are run. We had a project at one of these vertical integration companies and it just became difficult to do business. And it was a place where we had done a lot of business in the past. The practices of the parent company are imposed so strongly on these companies that the way they do business is dramatically affected. And it just takes forever to hear back on a project, and we have to just take that ride with them. "
Dr Sally Satel writes in the New York Times Sunday magazine: In practicing medicine, I am not colorblind. I always take note of my patient's race. So do many of my colleagues. We do it because certain diseases and treatment responses cluster by ethnicity. Recognizing these patterns can help us diagnose disease more efficiently and prescribe medications more effectively. When it comes to practicing medicine, stereotyping often works.
Man, I would love to hear a black female rabbi give a sermon in ebonics! "And Moses said to the people - 'WHAT did you say? What did YOU say?'"
The Reform Hebrew Union College of Los Angeles graduates its first round of new rabbis Sunday morning. I heard a local Orthodox rabbi say that while he's mentored one woman who'll graduate Sunday, "because America needs Reform rabbis," he won't participate in her ordination ceremony to avoid catching flack from his religious right wing.
Jews from all denominations will study Torah together Wednesday evening at 6505 Wilshire Blvd in LA.
Messing Up Stereotypes
LukeFord.net is about nothing if it is not about destroying harmful stereotypes.
Naomi Pfefferman gushes in the latest Jewish Journal about actress Debra Messing, a Jewish actress in the TV show Will & Grace and the star of Woody Allen's latest film Hollywood Ending. Naomi writes:
While "Will & Grace" broke ground in 1998 as one of the first network series to feature an appealing gay main character, it was a first for another reason: "There [hasn’t] been a more positive role model for Jewish women on television in the past 50 years," as the Forward put it.
Messing, oddly, expresses surprise when told about the Jewish community accolades. "No one’s articulated that to me, but I consider it a huge honor and a privilege," she says. "I had hoped Grace would be to Jewish people what Will is to gay people."
While Grace has never seriously dated a Jewish man, Messing wed Daniel Zelman, an actor-screenwriter, in a ceremony conducted by a rabbi in September 2000. The couple attended High Holy Day services in Los Angeles last year (they live in the Hollywood Hills), though Messing describes her Jewish identity as "more cultural than institutionalized." She performs her share of tzedakah by supporting charities such as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Best Friend’s Pet Sanctuary.
Rabbi Yitzhock Adlerstein writes: I learned of the Jewish slant on conservation on my first flight to Israel in my late teens. Fate would have it that I was seated next to a very dignified and sage-looking haredi gentlemen. He was quite pleased, since he would not have to fend off small talk about soccer teams with some sabra from Tel Aviv. I was less pleased, since I would be forced to be on best behavior, even before arriving at my yeshiva destination.
I probably learned more on that flight than during the next month in yeshiva. I observed up-close the conduct of a Torah scholar (he was one of the heads of a large and prestigious yeshiva in Jerusalem) — his constant smile, his inner joy, the immediacy of his connection to God.
What lasted the longest, however, was his minilecture about sugar packets.
When the flight attendants came around with the post-coffee refuse bag, the rabbi made sure to rescue the sugar from an ignominious end. "Sugar is such a wonderful gift!" he quickly explained. "God is so good to give it to us. How can we trivialize it by treating it as trash?"
His interest was not in recycling, preserving resources or contributing to a global garbage disposal problem. He was concerned with the sludge deposited upon our personalities when we take things for granted.
America's Great Irony Deficiency
I've written about all sorts of people, some bad, some evil, some dangerous, some antisemitic. I've quoted all sorts of people. You don't have to have sterling moral credentials for me to quote you. I think it is important to try to cut through the pious remarks people make in public to what is really going on. How people really feel on matters of race, religion, pornography, etc. I think it is important that we confront the truth of how people truly think and feel, even if that truth is not nice. Matters of race, religion and sex and vital to many people, and often these matters are not properly addressed through conventional media.
So I offer my websites as a way to give voice to folks outside the mainstream. That doesn't mean I endorse their sentiments. Sometimes I think that when the conventional media does not address important issues, less reputable folks take up these matters. Sometimes evil people, like Dr. William Pierce, put their fingers on touchy subjects that are of concern to people of good will.
I have always drawn the line at publishing remarks that call for doing harm to people of any group (except for terrorists). I would appreciate the opportunity to respond to any direct quotations you have from me, either verbal or written, that you believe are Nazi-like, racist or antisemitic.
There's also the issue of humor here, not a strong one with many people. Americans in particular seem to suffer from a large irony deficiency. Irony (saying the opposite of what you mean) and satire are not as appreciated here as in England and Australia. I've always tried to idiot-proof my writing as best I can on controversial issues, so that it is only comprehensible to people with IQs over 120, by using big words and complex sentences... Obviously that is not 100% effective but I've done my best... Many people, for instance, thought Johnathan Swift advocated the eating of children when he wrote his delicious satire A MODEST PROPOSAL.
JRob writes: There is not only an irony deficiency, but people no longer accept the devil into their lives as they should.
I refer to the dying (and possibly dead) art of devil's advocacy. A conversation where everyone agrees and engages in a frenzy of verbal mutual masturbation is dull. Yet, to take an opposing position just for the joy of the discussion is no longer politically correct. If one argues a side, then politically correct dogma requires that person be treated as though he were a devout adherent to his "side."
Global Thermonuclear Annihilation is bad. Everyone agrees and end of conversation. But, if one person raises the point that some use of nuclear weapons at a theoretical proper time might be useful, everyone is AGHAST! Everybody calm down. I'm just making conversation. I don't have any warheads or delivery systems of my own.
We Hold These Truth To Be Self Evident
God chose the Jews to be the MasterRace of mankind. However, He soon realized that this had cruel consequences for the less intelligent goyim of creation, so to protect them from the depredations of the Jews while still providing free will to one and all, he gave the Jews the Torah (both written and oral) by which they might be fenced in. Rest assured that those Jews who today live on the Torah Corral (like Luke Ford and Chaim Amalek) are no threat to the gentle gentiles of the world. It is the secular liberal Jew, with his notions of Marxism, tolerance of the sodomite and the transgendered, creator both of socialism and feminism, who is the mortal enemy of the gentile world. I say this in the hope that when you goyim awake from your deep moral stupor (an increasingly unlikely event) and begin dealing with the Jew problem in your midst, you will leave me alone. I hope this clears everything up.
What Will Luke Sacrifice For Fame?
Helpful writes: History tells us that Luke would sacrifice everything for just a tiny smattering of fame/infamy. Think about it. Luke would definately give up his --- for any sort of recognition from the Hollywood Glitterati.
Chaim writes: Not a bad idea - and they are so status conscious that they simply will not permit you to live in a hovel.
Khunrum writes: I always said that when Luke's ship comes in (presently of course) The Hovel should be converted into The Shrine. Much like that church the Palestinians won't vacate....The faithful can come and pay homage (at 5 bucks a pop) to our boy's humble beginnings. It will all be there, (like the Liberace Museum in Vegas)...The undertaker suit, the klodhoppers, the psycho killer delivery van, 10,000 unsold copies of The History of X...well, you get the picture.
"You don't have to be well adjusted to mingle with ------ who aren't going to -----." I don't know about you guys but I yearn for the pre PC days of non censorship. Memo to Robert. Luke could give up the booty for his overdue fifteen minutes of fame, then write his next book on Hollywood's Lavender Mafia. A subject he would then be familiar with from the errrr! inside.
Sleeping With The Enemy
Why do I keep dating perfectly lovely Jewish women who turn out to be Democrats? I don't think I could marry a left winger.
Khunrum writes: How about a moderate? An anarchist? A Trotskyite, John Birch Society?
Luke: Maybe. If she was really hot looking and an Orthodox Jew.
Am I gay? If not, then there must be a lot of the woman in me to give a damn about the politics of a woman I'm dating, so long as she's hot looking. When did I last menstruate?
Andy: Jews have been solidly Democrat for years, which makes no sense, given the dummycrat's support for abortion on demand, which should totally clash with orthodox jewish thought, no? Anyway, that's changing. there's been a bunch of stories about how jews are starting to lean toward the republicans because they have been the strong supporters of isreal these past few months while the dummycrats are all but openly sympathizing with arafat.
I'm going to a Rabbi-palooza Sunday morning. Five rabbinical talks in a row by learned Orthodox rabbis. And a Moshe-pit where we'll all throw ourselves around wrapped in our tefillin and tzitzit.
A certain Jew must return to therapy if he wants to return to his shul. This announcement Friday morning created strong feelings in a certain Jew.
"IF AND ONLY IF I go back to therapy," he hyperventilated. "The Jews invent the dark art of psychiatry and then force me into it. I feel like John Rocker. Its just like what Stalin did to the dissidents, it is like the gulag."
Amalek18: You would do much better to explore Islam. It has all the patriarchy and order that you crave in Judaism, without all that wimpy baggage. There is no Muslim woody Allen out there that I know of.
Amalek18: your comment about this being a sham was spot-on. Accused 911 hijacker Massoud said that he would not permit a court appointed jew-shrink to look at him, because he had "no respect for a system of thought [Freudian Judaism] that teaches that sons want to kill thier fathers because the secretly want to have sex with their mothers." Clearly this man is NOT insane.
Amalek18: No wonder you don't get ----. Think about it , you, even as purty as women say you are, cannot get ----. And do you know why? Cause chicks see what a sissy you are.
Helpful writes: Seriously Luke, why not explore Scientology? They HATE psychiatry and they have a great toehold in Hollywood. Jump in with your typical religious ferver and you'll be updating your site from John Travolta's plane while playing backgammon with Kirsti Alley and Tom Cruise in no time.
Khunrum writes: Robert, I don't know this Kristi Alley gal but the rumors are that Johnny T. and Tommy C. are batting for the Lavender Team. Would our own Lukey F. fit in to such an organization......ahhhhhhhhhhh! ............Sure.
Luke why are you spending precious funding on this ? At best you'll be let back into a scene where there are no ----------. You don't have to be well adjusted to mingle with ------ who aren't going to -----. It's easy, any group will do. Why are you not saving that cash to go with me on my trip to T-land? Wake up young man. You are simply just as messed up as the rest of us. No problem there...
Who watched the evening news with Peter Jennings tonight? An interesting report on the evangelical Christian's strong support for Israel. I'm talking Pat Robertson and all the head honchos. Christians brave the obvious dangers and travel to Israel to show their support. They believe the second coming of Christ can only happen when Israel is in firm control of the Holy Land.
What's more, when Bush talks tough to the camel jocks it is a direct result of periodic massive E mail campaigns from the Christian faithful. These Holy Rollers are wielding the big pen....
The question is: Considering how important Christians are to the survival of Israeli......