Grapes & Gold of Wrath: Civil War Curses

DATELINE:  Look Away, Look Away, Dixieland!

ClotRobert Clotworthy

If there is a revelation about Civil War gold in this new series, the big goldmine belongs to Marty Lagina. He has put his production company with Ancient Alien and Oak Island narrator Robert Clotworthy’s dulcet tones behind a new show, Curse of the Civil War Gold.

Marty Lagina admits as he exits Oak Island for the season, that he has money to burn. Why does he need a gold treasure when he already owns one? For the first time in five seasons on Curse of Oak Island, we are treated to a visit to his business on the new series, which happens to be a giant winery in Michigan.

There’s gold in them thar grapes.

So, Lagina finds a group of high school teachers with a penchant for getting rich slowly who come to him for funding. It is a surprise that Marty allows them into his inner sanctum boardroom. His office kingdom is right out of the movies, and these obsequious gold diggers beg for money.

The formula is the same:  two brothers, their close friend (also a history teacher in a Michigan high school). Since this is hardly the kind of eclectic, adventurous crew we find on other adventure reality shows, Marty Lagina throws them Gary Drayton, his Australian metal detective, the only real holdover from the Oak Island show.

Lagina will appear as a deus ex machina, or Professor Kingsfield, at the start and finish of each episode, putting down his cynical pronouncements.

When the Michigan high school teachers set off for Dixieland and Georgia where Jeff Davis was captured, we wondered how the locals will take to Yankee hunters wanting to find the Confederate treasure.

This is an enterprise borne out of greed and likely to be as unpleasant as suggesting that J. Wilkes Booth and Jesse James were members of a Masonic-style Knights-Templar wannabe group known as the Knights of the Golden Circle, behind the gold curse.

A bunch of pro-slavery advocates with gold to hide, the KGC and their gold cache should be justifiable confiscation, kind of a government asset forfeiture.

Will a bunch of mundane Michigan high school teachers take the prize? This series is betting you care. Marty Lagina is crushing his grapes before their time.



Finding Hitler Series Pays Dividends

DATELINE: Hunting Hitler, S3 e8

 mengele  Josef/ Jose Mengele, circa 1955

Hunting Hitler: The Final Evidence on History Channel continues to amaze us with its discoveries.

Though Hitler is the primary subject, they have decided to seek out ancillary figures, like Dr. Josef Mengele. Though the Angel of Death of the concentration camps escaped, his exact travels have never been substantiated till now. The show’s researchers find a marriage registration from 1958.

Tracing Nazis through living witnesses is impressive. One old man recalled Mengele staying with his family—and his mother warning him to avoid the “dangerous” man.

Combining jungle terrain marches with thumbing through archive documents is no easy match on adventure reality shows like this, but the series manages to do both with aplomb.

You still have the needless overtures of Bob Baer in his Los Angeles headquarters, allegedly giving orders, but it is the likes of Mike Simpson, Tim Kennedy, and Gerrard Williams, who do the leg work and find the results.

On the verge of ending their season, they may well be on to the estate in Paraguay where Hitler might have spent his last years.

The series has used slightly off-kilter searches (from nuclear weapons’ heavy water to airbases in Argentina) to spark the hunt, yet they all have a pay-off. It is astounding that the United States government appeared to know about the rumors, but did little about it.

The show does not explain how difficult it might have been to kidnap Adolph Eichmann out of German communities in South America, but you can see the powerful hidden Reich that was in place for decades after the fall of the Nazis in Germany.




Robert Wagner: Media Victim

DATELINE:  Unfair Coverage of Natalie Wood’s Sad Death


Cheap fake news is not limited to politics over at CBS.

The network that glorifies its infantile approach to dramatic TV series has now moved its news department into the field of fiction.  Airing something called Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water, they used movie stills of angry acting Wagner when it suited them.

The latest TV investigation is an attack on actor Robert Wagner, thirty-six years after his beloved wife Natalie Wood died in a tragic accident. Three actors, who make a living with emoting, were drinking and emoting that night.

With purveyors of sensation and people looking for a reputation or notch in their career rung, have taken to calling Mr. Wagner: “a person of interest,” which just happens to be the name of a brilliant series that CBS canceled because it was too cerebral.

Because he was on the yacht where the incident occurred does not mean he saw what happened or knew what happened. The two, other people on the boat also never saw what transpired, heard Wood call for help, or witnessed what occurred.

Christopher Walken, a friend and costar to Miss Wood, has consistently refused to talk about the death of Natalie Wood or his relationship to Robert Wagner.

It is likely that the victim and the three men present were heavily drinking. Speculation has centered on Natalie Wood leaving the ship in a dinghy out of anger, spite, or disorientation. Falling into the ocean, no one saw or heard her plight—and she drowned.

Why, some ask, didn’t her husband Robert Wagner come to her rescue like something out of a movie scenario?

Knowing Mr. Wagner, we cannot be objective. We  answer that he did not hear any commotion that made him attentive, or surely, he would have jumped to his wife’s rescue.

Their love transcended two marriages. Divorcing in their youth, they had remarried. He told me in a conversation that he “lost the woman I loved twice.”

A sensitive man, erudite and well-read, Robert Wagner has played philanderers and playboys in movies and TV, but in real life he is pleasant, intelligent, and suffering from an accident that occurred forty years ago.

The disservice of continued attacks on his honor and his grief are inexcusable. Now turning 88 years next week and looking decades younger, he may be considered a target by those who have always been jealous of his looks, his debonair attitude, and his fortuitous career.

However, it is not right to haunt a man to the point of despair in the midnight of his life. CBS ought to be rightfully vilified for its so-called documentary. Have they no shame? There is not enough evidence to indict for murder. Police investigators want to continue till the truth will come out. They mean their truth, based on the boat caretaker’s testimony, a man who has changed his story repeatedly, sold his story to tabloids, and has had addiction problems—and a bitter sister, Lana Wood, who despises Mr. Wagner.

RJ Wagner has suffered enough.


Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez

DATELINE: Dead Man’s Tales


Celebrity DNA

Flash!  Jose Baez, erstwhile lawyer for the late Aaron Hernandez, has found a way to recover his lost retainer:  like so many sycophants, he is writing a book that is allegedly going to shock everyone with its revelations about his client who it is now proven suffered from CTE, the concussion syndrome.

Baez (‘Don’t call me Joan”) plans for his tell-all to come out in August. So much for attorney-client privilege.

However, as readers of this blog know, we have been on top of the Hernandez case since 2013—and were the first to report early on about the sexual peccadilloes of Mr. Hernandez. We even had the shocking photos to prove it that shows what kind of weapon he was packing.

Our first in the nation expose of Hernandez is rightfully called The Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez and is comprised of all the on the spot blogs done, day by day, as the case unfolded.

In our shocker, you learn whether the Hernandez mansion is haunted, thereby negating any number of sales.

You will learn that Hernandez may have been involved with the in other murders in Florida where he attended college with his close friends, the Pouncey Twins, not to be confused with the Bobsey Twins.

We endeavored to find the stories behind the stories: how Hernandez killed flies and put them in his prison food to demand a second meal.

You will only hear the theories about why Hernandez had to stop 2 miles from his home in Attleboro at a deserted industrial park to take a bathroom break with one of the victims who never returned from his ablutions.

Only our book compares Hernandez to Lizzie Borden and wonders what Tom Brady knew and when did he know it.

And our book, however tasteless and unobjective, is available immediately on Amazon in both e-book and paper versions. It’s in the large book format for easy reading and heavy lugging.

Why wait till August when you can have your cake and murder it too right now?

Check it out here.







Lawrence of Arabia: Hi-Def, Small Screen

DATELINE: Whatever Happened to Michel Ray & John Dimech

Michel ray & o'toole O’Toole with Michel Ray

Impossible, you might say, to watch the biggest, grandest, most spectacular epic film ever made on the small screen?

High Definition is the response, and TV screens are not exactly tiny nowadays. Not since its premiere in 1963 have we seen such a gorgeous print of David Lean’s masterpiece. Though we have seen the four-hour epic a dozen times or more since it first appeared, we were not prepared for the sharpness, clarity, and beauty, that stunned us in the restored version in HD.

It was like seeing it again for the first time.

The story of T.E. Lawrence, WWI hero who became a god to the Arab tribes he led against the Turks for the British, is more complex than you might expect. The film flows from spectacular set-up to another. You have the majesty of riding camels in the desert, to Lawrence’s moment to join the Arab cause with his two teenage boyfriends. There are the scenes of rescuing Gassim from the Nefud desert to the walk atop the derailed train he blew up while the crowds of soldiers cheer him on.

Peter O’Toole was not discovered for this role, nor just introduced. He had made several films, but the role of Lawrence catapulted him into legendary fame. He amazes in every scene. And the music swells in tandem.

Nearly every star (Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Arthur Kennedy, Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins) is gone now, leaving us their juicy performances. None is more delightful than to see the final film of Michel Ray. He quit movies after this to become a billionaire businessman. Not a bad decision. And, his partner John Dimech also disappeared from films after several more appearances.

The two played the Arab boys who adored Lawrence. Sal Mineo was bounced from one of the roles because Arab countries objected to his role in Exodus as a Jew.  Michel Ray went to Harvard and married well. Dimech went into art on Malta.

Stories behind David Lean’s spectacular film abound, yet the film itself stands then and now as the greatest ever made. Yes, we never say such things lightly. We had not seen it in 20 years—and it left us breathless once again.

Prepare to commit yourself to an experience unparalleled.


Crossing Your Heart on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Medieval Cross Amazes Hunters

lagina's cross

Rick Lagina crosses our hearts.


You may be surprised that we are up to Episode 10 of the fifth season on Oak Island. They have hit a plateau with the boring stuff.

Yes, their 50” drill, supposedly to be used with great care, has fallen through some vault and down 10 feet without meeting any resistance. So much for smashed objects.

There really is no where to go but down.

While waiting for more water (they are out of water on an island?) that is used to sift through the debris located at 150 feet to locate more bones, pottery, or whatever else is down there, Rick Lagina and Gary Drayton, the Australian metal detector guy, went to a rocky beach area at low tide.

With the expensive metal detector, Drayton made one of the more intriguing discoveries of a season of odd items. He located a rough-hewn cross made of lead.

Rick Lagina immediately recognized it as resembling the crosses he had seen from Knights Templars—and Drayton was convinced, without any other confirmation, that the style of the cross meant it could be from as early as 1200.

The Templars were wiped out as heretics in the early 1300s.

There is no way to know if the cross came to Oak Island, improbably, years after it was made, lost off a ship, brought by waves to its present location. No, we suspect it was dropped there by a visitor. But, jumping the gun becomes the norm when your patience is at a nadir. We want some official inspection by experts.

We feel the long wait may be about to pay off on Oak Island.


Another Season 5 Snooze Fest on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Pass the Bottle of Rum

 heartthrob Alex Lagina Alex Lagina

We love any tribute given to Dan Blakenship, the 94-year old treasure hunter from the 1960s who devoted his life to solving the mystery of The Curse of Oak Island.

Today we see  a mere shadow of what a lively, witty, insightful man he must have been back in his day. So, we enjoy seeing him throw the switch, literally, on another phase of the hunt. We hope he sees it through.

However, Oak Island is exasperating for other reasons.

Waiting for the oscillator to dig a 50” bore hole into what may a treasure vault seems to be taking forever. Yes, it is coming from South Korea on a banana boat. In the meantime, we are left to library research.

Yes, we would love to spend time in a library mode, trying to find vague French references to Parisian royalty of 1600 with Alex Lagina. Yet, the entire operation of four men poring over old volumes is almost as exciting as watching paint dry.

We know not much is happening next week either: Rick Lagina and Alex, his nephew, will be off to see the Paris sites and find more graffiti from the Knights Templar.

It is significant that a Middle Eastern man was buried 150 down in unmined area where something is hidden around 1700. It is intriguing that there is a correlation between early French explorers on Oak Island and Crusaders who may have plundered the Ark of the Covenant and buried it in Nova Scotia.

Yet, we know too that not much is expected to happen for two more episodes. You need to learn how to appreciate suspense and delay gratification.


Visitor from a Strange Planet? Or Time Traveler?

DATELINE:  Weird Photo 


We have begun to think that Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, is not who he says he is.

Kelly purports to be a local Boston person who attended UMass Boston before climbing the ranks to the level of General. Since the Trump election, he has risen to Director of Homeland Security—and thence moved to the White House as Trump’s mad dog, er, we mean guard dog.

Yet, during recent research, we have discovered a photograph that may belie the truth.

It seems John Kelly has a double who served on the Warren Commission—and helped fired CIA director Allen Dulles in that benighted investigation.

Warren conspirators

John McCloy died, allegedly, in 1989, but during his illustrious career as a Know-Nothing politician, he masterminded the idea of interring Japanese during World War II and restoring properties and money to the supporters of Hitler, despite the Nuremberg decision not to reward these people.

It seems that McCloy and Kelly may be cut from the same cloth, as Kelly wants to toss hundreds of thousands of legal and illegal immigrants from the United States. He may also be a witness to Trump’s recent racist rant, saying all Haitians have AIDS and all Nigerians lived in African huts before coming to America.

Can it be that Kelly is actually a time traveler who shows up at the White House periodically to weave his peculiar brand of politics?

What’s next? Will we learn that Kelly is also on the board of directors for MJ-12, the shadow government of the United States, that conspires to keep the truth about space aliens from the general public?

Photographic evidence is chilling.


Galapagos Affair: 1930s Murder Mystery

DATELINE:  Add a Fake Baroness to a Gilligan’s Island Scenario

 Galapagos Affair

Dora & Dr. Ritter, suspects or victims?

When the film uses the tag: “Darwin meets Hitchcock…,” we are totally hooked instantly. Yes, this is a true 1930s murder mystery that would shock Hercule Poirot and confound Sherlock Holmes.

In 1929, Floreanana, Galapagos, was an uninhabited island where B. Traven, Greta Garbo, and J.D. Salinger would have been happy. A German doctor, Friedrich Ritter and his lover Dore Strauch settled there 60 miles from another human being. This is what Herman Melville called the Enchanted Islands, but where ancient tortoises put a curse on visitors.

Within a few years the island was colonized by a middle-class German family named Wittner—and then a colorful woman who called herself a Baroness Eloise von Wagner with her “two husbands.” She claimed imperiously that she planned to build a hotel on the island for American millionaires—which did not go over well with the other four adult residents. No one owned any of it, but the territorial governor gave the Baroness miles of prime land for her project.

When these people took up life in the Edenic locale, they went slightly mad (or likely were already). This documentary uses extraordinary footage—and the brilliant voice-over of Cate Blanchett—to show how the alleged Baroness chose to become queen of her domain, to the point of killing anyone who trespassed on her personal paradise.

She even made a ridiculous movie on location in 1934, which gives this documentary some wildly odd footage of all involved.

With the unwieldy title of The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, you have a startling and hypnotic documentary about lunacy in the world that Charles Darwin found a pristine lab of genetic development.

Newspaper headlines and docu-footage make this film a marvel of truth and sensational history. Who killed whom?  Everyone has a theory, but the Baroness and one husband disappeared, another husband met a foul end, and Dr. Ritter seems to have been poisoned.

Within a few years the original group was cut down by 2/3 by suspicious deaths. Who done it?  We defy you to figure it out from this marvelous documentary.


Stone’s Throw to Consequence in JFK

DATELINE: Movie History Literally

 Kirkwood's Grotesque  

Twenty-five years after Oliver Stone’s conspiratorial extravaganza, with more Kennedy assassination documents released weekly, it may be time to re-consider JFK.

The movie has become legend—and now checks in at a length worthy of Ben Hur or Lawrence of Arabia. Yet, that still is not enough.

The movie is the ultimate docudrama, providing theory and re-enactments about the death of an American president in Dallas in 1963. Many of the arcane details that made Stone’s movie seem fantastic have become ingrained into the epitome of fake news turned into fake history. As Pontius Pilate once succinctly put it, “What is truth?”

Stone takes the same approach as Jim Garrison: he uses the system to present ideas, in some ways abusing the process and going outside the usual parameters.

Oliver Stone went for the sensational: casting the most minor roles with notable, famous actors. It gave credence to the view that many people, especially celebrities, agreed with his perspective of the facts. He believed Clay Shaw was an assassin’s conspirator.

On top of that, he even cast the aging Jim Garrison as Chief Justice Earl Warren interviewing Jack Ruby in his prison cell shortly before his fateful death from cancer. Tommy Lee Jones made a dandy Shaw, and Kevin Bacon sizzled as the ersatz Russo.

Garrison’s conspiracy case against Clay Shaw, New Orleans businessman with a salacious private life, was built on reports from Perry Russo, who died in 1995 shortly after the movie was released. But, the Russo character turned to stone, or a pillar of salt, suddenly called Willie O’Keefe, a gay hustler who put Lee Oswald into the maelstrom of New Orleans double agent gay life. Russo always claimed he was maligned, but not by his associations.

Whether the connected dots actually mean there was conspiracy, or just coincidental dots connecting, may never be known with witnesses wiped out by accidents, murders, illness, and mystery deaths over the decade after the Kennedy assassination.

We are far more likely today to accept a movie as our historical reference than ever before. With that, Oliver Stone’s well-produced film gains credence. The viewing public who won’t read history are clearly condemned to accept re-enactments in a movie.

Garrison’s case was a case of self-delusion, or invisible and secret government sabotage.

Our friend Jim Kirkwood covered the original trial and befriended Clay Shaw, but Jim always had a penchant and soft spot for killers and those accused of unsavory acts. He called his book on Clay Shaw and Jim Garrison by the appropriate title of American Grotesque.

When we tried to bait him over drinks about the Clay Shaw case in the 1980s, he wouldn’t bite. It left us uneasy then, and later when the JFK movie came out, we were confounded. Jim Kirkwood was gone to the undiscovered country and so was his insider knowledge.

Today, when the latest documents hint at deeper, uglier, unpleasant details, we wish Jimmy Kirkwood were still here to see us dangle on the hook of conspiracy.

Stone’s JFK throws us for a loop still.

Dr. William Russo has written two timely books: Riding James Kirkwood’s Pony, on Kirkwood’s life, and Booth & Oswald, on the assassins.


Curse of Oak Island: Season 5, Starting Gun

DATELINE: On the Money

oak island

Our cruel skepticism has been dumped on its head into the Nova Scotian Bay of Fundy. The Curse of Oak Island is back–and better than ever.

As Season Five opens with the death of young Drake Tester, off Oak Island of some unfair seizure, the pall of mortality hangs on everyone—from 94-year-old Dan Blankenship to the younger generation of treasure hunters. Young men of good character are not supposed to die before old, cynical adventurers.

Yet, this season on the show, there is finally something tangible and within grasp. We are still left with anguish over the enterprise that boasted a seventh person had to die to solve Oak Island’s mystery. The Lagina brothers never expected the youngest of their treasure hunters would be the one.

In the meantime, safety went to the forefront with the notion of sending a diver down 170 feet into a small shaft. With the bends and hypothermia likely dangers, the diver nearly exceeded his safety limits. It made for dramatic reality television, but also made obvious how the obsession for treasure is dangerous.

Metallurgist Gary Drayton, Australian expert, found another artifact that could be as much as 400 years old on an island no inhabited back then—making this season compelling television viewing.

The two-hour premiere seemed to be the most professional in the history of the search. This gives the quest some highly charged foreshadows.  However, at the end of the night, as it has for all their efforts, technology fails for reasons unknown. Call it a curse.

Whatever Oak Island is hiding, it has a deep and abiding reluctance to reveal itself to the nosy eyes of the camera—or to the adventuresome spirit of a team of adult “boys” as they call themselves.

We won’t miss an episode.


Kevin Spacey Pilloried: Trial by Social Media

DATELINE:  Accusations

Darrow Spacey

We must be in a new era of McCarthyism, Toto.

We are not fans of the Kevin Spacey Netflix series House of Cards, believing from the beginning that the British version was superior.

However, we are a little distressed at the latest trend. Netflix has suspended the Spacey series because of one young man’s allegation that Spacey accosted him over a decade ago. It seems like punishing everyone associated with the well-known actor.

Not even Clarence Darrow could likely spin Spacey out of this mess.

Corey Feldman seems to be doing something similar, collecting money based on his alleged victimization. Feldman is raising a public hue and cry about sexual predators—and asking for $10 million to fund his docudrama and personal life.

Who knows what the truth is? Is Feldman shaking down the goodwill of fans? Is Spacey’s accuser looking for free publicity?

We used to think we were in a country where you were innocent until proven guilty.  Court rooms and evidence are no longer required. Perhaps the US of A was never that country of ideals.

If a charge is made against you, you are immediately guilty, and castigated in social media. You can muster no defense; you can bring no supporting evidence. And in a situation where it’s your word against accuser, you’re dead dead dead.

Even if the accusation is recanted or disapproved, the taint will remain. There is no deodorant for being labelled a child molester.

We have no idea of whether Kevin Spacey committed an attack or seduction on a 14-year-old boy long ago. It seems strange to wait 14 years to complain about it. Perhaps it’s true Spacey cannot recall such an event—especially if it never happened, or is lost in an alcoholic haze.

However, there are benefits for the victim. Now the recipient receives great sympathy from a community looking for victims to support; he probably will be offered a bunch of roles and recognition in his acting field for bravery.

On the other hand, Kevin Spacey’s career may be in shambles. Having his hit series canceled or suspended is not a good sign of the future.

But times have changed. You will be judged today on yesterday’s actions by today’s standards. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Kevin Spacey charged with pedophilia or Robert E. Lee on a charger on a pedestal.


Dark Legacy: CIA & Bush Take Their Lumps

DATELINE:  Who Dunnit?


In the week that Donald Trump released the long-hidden Kennedy Assassination documents from the National Archives, we decided that revelations never quite meet the theories spawned. The hidden truth was never put into a government memo.

So, we took in one of the most outlandish and yet frightening of all Kennedy murder conspiracy films: Dark Legacy.  This is a three-Hankey movie: John Hankey wrote, directed, and produced this disturbing documentary and conspiracy theory.

This time it is CIA-centered George Bush, the 1st one to be president, who in the 1960s worked for and led (as J. Edgar Hoover called it) ‘some misguided anti-Castro people.’ Bush later was director of the CIA, but his family had dark ties to CIA director Allen Dulles (fired by John Kennedy months before the assassination). Dulles was the fox in the chicken coop when he was appointed to the Warren Commission.

The coincidences pile up about who knew whom. We waited breathlessly to find out that Oswald took in a monthly allotment from the FBI, and that Jack Ruby was on Richard Nixon’s congressional staff in 1947.

The film borders on accusing the CIA of trying to embarrass J. Edgar by putting one of his operatives into the center of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

We think it unlikely the recent papers released under Trump’s order will embarrass the Bush family—or even Ted Cruz’s father (allegedly an associate of Oswald). However, the dots connecting so many famous names will rattle you.

This little conspiracy documentary borders on overkill, but however improbable the conclusions, the facts hint at possibility.


Five Fingers: James Mason Chooses the Right One

DATELINE: Classic Spy Drama

crossed Mason

What a joy to re-discover one of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s forgotten masterpieces!

Five Fingers came in-between so many other, better remembered films like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, All About Eve, and the Barefoot Contessa. In 1952, Mank went to Turkey to film the true story of World War II’s notorious spy who sold info to the Nazis. The Germans called him Cicero and were forced to pay him an exorbitant sum for his services, but distrusted him.

Bernard Herrmann supplied the music score.

Once again, Mank assembled the best actors: James Mason, Michael Rennie, and Danielle Darrieux. He had an ear and eye for top-quality British actors.

The Nazis think Mason is one of those arrogant members of the aristocracy. They know the type. In fact, Cicero is the valet to the British ambassador, a brilliant man who states: “The only thing that disgusts me is poverty.” When the head of British intelligence calls him the worst piece of trash, Mason shrugs: “I rather thought I looked like a gentleman.”

Only Mason can deliver lines with aplomb—and Mank gives him plenty of hilarious, cynical throwaways. Mason chews up great dialogue with a voracious appetite for screen fame. His inflections cannot be repeated by anyone.

Mason’s spy is not James Bond, but he makes mincemeat of Nazis and British authorities as he ultimately outsmarts them—his poverty-stricken countess partner and himself.

As a poor cabin boy, Mason’s Cicero once saw a man in a white dinner jacket, high up on his villa’s balcony overlooking the ocean. He was laughing hilariously. It is only at the end of the film, when Mason becomes the embodiment of his boyhood dream, do we find the biting irony of it.

What a movie!



Feud: Ryan Murphy & Olivia DeHavilland

DATELINE: Creepy Producer



The spry legend, Miss Olivia DeHavilland whose Oscars outnumber anything Ryan Murphy will ever compile, has fired another volley at miniseries Feud: Joan & Bette, created by Mr. Murphy.

Right before the series is about to reap Emmy glory for its hilarious and entertaining depiction of two movie stars in a death throe struggle like scorpions, more turns of the screw emerge.

Miss DeHavilland’s character, ‘herself’ it appears, is a mere supporting figure. Yet, she does not like how she is portrayed. In a deposition through her lawyers, she tells the world she never called her sister, actress Joan Fontaine, ‘a bitch’ to any director or producer.

That may mean she used to term privately among friends, or even to hapless Joan Fontaine’s face, but her point is the script and series misrepresented her behavior. She said: “The false statements and unauthorized use of my name, identity and image by the creators of Feud have caused me discomfort, anxiety, embarrassment, and distress.”

Yes, being violated is like that, no matter what your age.

Murphy’s glad-hand attitude demeans Miss DeHavilland by calling her “Olivia,” despite her age, her position, and the fact that he never has met her, let alone sought her permission to use her as a figure in a docudrama.

In blatant admission, Murphy’s mouthpieces claim: “The fact that the words attributed to her and the purported endorsement are false does not transform the character into anything other than an exact depiction of de Havilland.”  Hunh?

That’s quite an admission: they know they have misused her by having her say words she never uttered, but it’s all for the profit of Ryan Murphy—and to give us viewers a few guffaws.

We wish to point out that Miss DeHavilland is a real human being, not an emblematic symbol like the White Whale, appearing in a work of fiction.

Murphy is betting that the 101-year old Oscar winner may pop off at any time—thus giving him the last word, which he will have anyhow as time will likely bestow on him the honor to be standing at the end of all this mess.

In all likelihood, the arrogant TV producer probably thought DeHavilland was already dead—and it didn’t matter how he used her identity.

What the old legend is showing here is that identity theft can occur in many ways:  when you profit from stealing someone’s personality, you’re a thief, Mr. Murphy. But, as Hollywood producers go, that is no crime at all.