Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: mal247 on June 06, 2007, 12:14:31 PM



Title: The Hoods
Post by: mal247 on June 06, 2007, 12:14:31 PM
The book has 49 chapters and is dedicated to Grey's true & loyal mob
M., B., H. & S.

It starts in an East Side school classroom (7th grade) with:

Cockeye (a bit simple/dumb - harmonica player)
Max (tall muscular & a wise guy - reading a cowboy/western paperback)
Noodles (clever & imaginative)
Patsy (tough looking)
Dominick (podgy & small - high pitched voice)

Noodles and Max imagine what it would be like if the five of them
formed a gang like Jesse James but without horses.

Max says "We'll make a million bucks sticking up banks and then quit."
Dominick asks "a million for the five of us, Max?".
Max says "Nah a million apiece".
Patsy asks "We gonna quit when we get a million?"
Max: "Yep, we'll quit and move up to the Bronx and be big shots."

Noodles gets summoned to the Principal's office (Max offers to throw
the Principal out of the window if Noodles wants). Noodles's father has
been out of work for 3 months and Noodles wants to leave school and
start a job. The principal recognises Noodles's potential and wants him
to stay on at school.

"I think, with proper guidance, you can still develop into a good and
successful citizen. I'll have a social agency look into your case and
help your family, so that you can continue your schooling. Keep away
from bad companions ... Why not continue and try to be a bookkeeper,
possibly an accountant? Don't just go floundering through life without
a definite goal. Specialized knowledge is like a sharp knife. It will
help you cut your way through the entanglements of life to your goal.
To success. You understand what I what I mean?"

Yeh, I knew what he meant, but I played dumb. "Yeh, I'll get myself a
big knife" I said.

The dialogue and descriptions of events are a bit lengthy but reading
the book and the screenplay will clear up many of the questions that
viewers of the film may have.

Summary of chapters

01 - End Of School, Max Patsy Cockeye Dominick modern Jesse James
       Schwartz Candy Store, helping Monk, Jake Pipy Goo-Goo, Knife
       Peggy & Fanny, Momma, poverty, Max's uncle, Fat Moe, Federal
       Reserve Bank, Dolores, The Professor, Mott Street
02 - Book - Boswell's Life of Johnson
03 - Peggy & Whitey - police bribery
04 - Rolling a drunk
05 - Laundry delivery job - strike breaking
06 - Drugstore heist, death of Dominick
07 - Sent to Jewish home, Cedar Knolls for 18 months
       Maxi's uncle dies, Max takes over uncle's funeral business
08 - Taking contracts, forming coalition with Frank, 6 speakeasies
       Noodles Bookkeeper, Opium
09 - Dream of the formation of the criminal combination
10 - Turkish Baths
11 - Diamond Heist, Betty
12 - Writing a book, Sex
13 - Nutch and the diamond switch
14 - Oscar the fence, disposing of Nutch's body, John Doe,
       Federal Reserve Bank
15 - Cleaning up Peggy's whorehouse
16 - The accidental death of Andrew Moore, Himmelfarb brothers
17 - A licence to print money
18 - Noodles father previously a horse thief & smuggler, money
       printing machine switched, Broome St speakeasy to Jake & Co
19 - My disastrous date with Dolores
20 - Feeling Sorry for myself
21 - Helen the singer, picking up a prostitute, Frank & Dandy Phil
22 - Nude swimming
23 - Getting kitted out
24 - Checking out the casino (1)
25 - Checking out the casino (2), momma, brother
26 - Casino shakedown (1)
27 - Casino shakedown (2)
28 - Casino shakedown (3), 20 bullets in 3 secs
29 - Phil & Fanny
30 - Eden, Fairy Theodore, Eve
31 - Big Mike, Fitz & Jimmy at the Eden
32 - Salvy the Snake, Willie the Ape, Mr Crowning
33 - Impersonating cops, Thespus Detective Agency
34 - The seduction of Eve, rubber falsies
35 - Thespus Detective Agency (1), knockout drops
36 - Thespus Detective Agency (2)
37 - Chicago hit, Eve, taking over the Eden
38 - Our arrest, murder of Salvy, Willie & a stranger
39 - Our release, planning the next job
40 - Disposal of the body of a Supreme Court Judge
41 - Dancing with Betty, John Doe, argument with Max re payroll
       heist, split
42 - 2 weeks vacation in Miami with Eve, Max now with Betty,
       Combination goods hijacked, Herring's doublecross
43 - Max wanting to pickle Herring
44 - Max becoming a megalomaniac, throne, casing the Federal
       Reserve Bank
45 - Trying to contact Frank, withdrawing bank savings
46 - Momma in a coma in hospital, gave details of Max & Co's
       next job to prohibition agents, momma died, booze, opium
       death of Max, Patsy & Cockeye, searching for our cash
47 - Mendy Muscles & Trigger Mike take me to warehouse for
       execution, trick them to take me to Moe's, knockout drops
48 - Escape to Joeys in chinatown, opium
49 - Leave town


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on June 17, 2007, 10:54:42 PM
thanks I'll check it out


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on June 18, 2007, 04:04:24 PM
Interesting that Max's throne is in the book, I had thought that was a uniquely Leonene touch.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave in milwaukee on July 14, 2007, 01:00:41 AM
thanks I'll check it out

You'll be glad you did. I first saw this movie in 1986, when it came out on VHS (the full-length version, not the terrible "short" version). At that time my dad, who, like me, is a huge fan of the movie, told me it was based on a book he had read when he was in the Navy in the early 1950s. We were disappointed to find out that the book had long been out of print. It was a thrill to find out in the past year that the book had been reprinted. As soon as I found out, I ordered a copy for my dad and one for myself. I had waited over 20 years to finally be able to read it, and my dad finally got to reread it after more than 50 years. It was well worth the wait.     


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 14, 2011, 03:17:30 AM
once: awesome job as always  O0

don't forget the two "thrilling cowboy pictures" playing in the movie theater mentioned on page 247: Destry Rides Again and A Bloody Trail. According two imdb, there were 2 DRA's: one in 1932, and one in 1939; but there is no movie named ABT.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 14, 2011, 03:29:21 AM
We'll probably never know how much of 'The Hoods' is fact, how much is fiction, how much is exaggeration and how much is wishful thinking. Time, drugs and alcohol may have affected Grey's recollection of events.



Leone believed (as recounted by Frayling in STDWD) that Grey subconsciously copied stuff from gangster movies, and that the only parts that were legit were the childhood parts.

Personally, I don't think there is a chance i hell that the book is entirely true. Some of the incidents are waaaay to fanstastic to be true. Heck, even a Hollywood screenwriter wouldn't dare make 'em up (eg. when they knock off the casino, that crap about the paper machine, enforcing the strike [they really got all those guys to drink the spiked booze -- are you kidding me?], when they frighten one guy to death, when they cause one guy to be killed by selling him fake diamonds and then coincidentally are called to haul way the same guy's body, etc. etc. etc.) It makes for entertaining reading cuz of how ridiculous it all is, but I am sure that at least 75% of the stuff that happens after he gets out of the reform school is a figment of his imagination.

Unfortunately, Goldberg is a very common name; I wish we could somehow find this guy's children or grandchildren, if he had any, and see if/what they know about him.

Also, I really hope they get Frayling to do the commentary on the new, restored dvd. That would complete my already overwhelming joy that this project is finally being done.

p.s. dj, are you still skeptical about this? ;-)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on December 14, 2011, 04:35:27 PM
Also, I really hope they get Frayling to do the commentary on the new, restored dvd. That would complete my already overwhelming joy that this project is finally being done.

p.s. dj, are you still skeptical about this? ;-)
Nobody has said anything about a DVD yet. All we know is that the restoration is intended for Cannes next year. The details of the restoration are still unstated (are they putting back in the extra footage or not?). If it makes it to Cannes in time, the question then becomes, where and when will the restoration play subsequently? No DVD will be released while the film is still in rep. Then the question is, Who will release the DVD/Blu-ray? I would expect an Italian DVD to come out, but will Warners license it for release in the States? They might not if their current release is still selling (why pay a licensing fee to launch something that competes with their own product?) Of course, someone like Criterion might pick it up, in which case, you can wait an additional 2 years before seeing the release.

So, yeah, I'm skeptical. How many of us have seen the restored OUATITW?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 14, 2011, 06:06:10 PM


Based mainly on the 1910 & 1920 US censuses, a family tree of Goldberg would be similar to the following:

Father
Samuel Goldberg (1862-1916) aka Sam Srulick the Shtarker from Odessa
Immigrated to the U.S. in 1892. No wonder since Jews were being discriminated against, tortured and murdered in Russia at the time. He spoke English, was a tailor, worked in a grocery store, then suffered health problems before dying from pneumonia in Bellevue Hospital in 1916.

Mother
Sarah Goldberg (1863-1933)
Married Samuel in about 1884. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1892.  Spoke Yiddish. Had 10 children, 3 of which died at an early age. Went into hospital, suffered a coma and died.

Children
Pauline    (b.1885)
Benjamin (b.1891)
Julia         (b.1892)
David       (b.1895)
Rebecca   (b.1900)
Celia        (b.1902)
Harry       (b.1903)

Addresses
1910: 244 Delancey Street Manhattan (no longer exists)
1920: Moved to 34 Jackson Street owing to poverty



so all this is stuff you found in US Census records about a Harry Goldberg, or have you added anything in from the book? (I mean, I am sure the census records didn't say his nickname "Srulick the Shtarker"). Can you clearly mark what is from census records and what you added?

great work  O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 15, 2011, 07:05:10 AM
-- so while Harry Goldberg sounds like a pretty common name, it sounds like this is the right guy, eh? (In the book, I believe he only mentions one brother; he doesn't mention anything about all these siblings).


-- What's the latest census that is available online? Is there any way to check through subsequent censuses to find his kids (if he had any)? Him being born in 1903 fits well with the opening of the book in the classroom, right? If he had kids, there's a good chance they would still be alive today, or his grandchildren. Perhaps we can follow the censuses to see whom he married. (of course, if he was really on the run from the law and/or the Mob, I am sure he wouldn't have filled out any census forms, and was probably using a fake name in any case. Though I don't know why he would tell Leone his real name if he was still on the run when they met.

-- Everything I have seen about Grey-- aside from your census research, that website on Jewish gangsters that you once said mentions a Harry Goldberg, and of course the unreliable The Hoods) -- comes from Frayling's chapter on OUATIA, in which Frayling writes about him, a lot of which seems to come from what Leone told Frayling about his meetings with Grey. Are there any other sources that provide info Grey?

-- On p. 379 of STDWD, Frayling discusses Grey, including about how Grey used to write about gangsters:

"In Grey's publicity photographs, he invariably wore a homburg hat with the brim turned down, and a trenchcoat with the collar turned up. He would complete the picture by clutching a long cigar, and scowling at the lens: every inch the movie gangster turned detective."

Is there any way to see these pictures today? (I figure that if they are available somewhere, once will find 'em  O0 )



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 15, 2011, 07:20:34 AM
We'll probably never know how much of 'The Hoods' is fact, how much is fiction, how much is exaggeration and how much is wishful thinking. Time, drugs and alcohol may have affected Grey's recollection of events.

There are references to real-life events in the book which indicate the time frame. For example:

The book opens with Max reading a western paperback in a school classroom. Their teacher Safety-pin Miss Mons cautions them about a life of crime. She taught Lefty Louie & Dago Frank and read yesterday about their execution in the electric chair  (13 April 1914).

The story moves on to events during the election campaign year between Woodrow Wilson and Charles Evan Hughes (7 Nov 1916).



The story does not "move on to events during the election campaign year." IMO it's pretty clear that the scene in the classroom where the teacher mentions Lefty Louie & Dago Frank being executed, and where the boys discuss making an election fire, is all in the same opening classroom scene; even though as you note, the latter takes place 2.5 years after the former.

2 possibilities I can think of:

i) The opening scene indeed takes place in 1916, just before the election. The teacher doesn't clearly say that Louie & Frank were executed the night before. Rather, she says, "I read in last night's paper about the illustrious end of" Louie & Frank, So it doesn't necessarily mean that they had been killed recently; perhaps the newspaper was doing a profile of them several years after they had been executed.

ii) Grey was living in a fantasy world, where anything or everything could have happened at any time. (It's pretty funny how we're all trying to analyze the brain of someone who had a very wild imagination  ;D ;D ;D )


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: moviesceleton on December 15, 2011, 07:58:44 AM
Nobody has said anything about a DVD yet. All we know is that the restoration is intended for Cannes next year. The details of the restoration are still unstated (are they putting back in the extra footage or not?). If it makes it to Cannes in time, the question then becomes, where and when will the restoration play subsequently? No DVD will be released while the film is still in rep. Then the question is, Who will release the DVD/Blu-ray? I would expect an Italian DVD to come out, but will Warners license it for release in the States? They might not if their current release is still selling (why pay a licensing fee to launch something that competes with their own product?) Of course, someone like Criterion might pick it up, in which case, you can wait an additional 2 years before seeing the release.

So, yeah, I'm skeptical. How many of us have seen the restored OUATITW?
But that's out on dvd ain't it?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on December 15, 2011, 11:18:40 AM
Even in that case (which may not be typical) it was 3 years from threatrical premiere to DVD. So, we're looking at 2015 or later for the new OUATIA R1 disc. D&D won't be able to hold out that long.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 15, 2011, 12:43:01 PM
Even in that case (which may not be typical) it was 3 years from threatrical premiere to DVD. So, we're looking at 2015 or later for the new OUATIA R1 disc. D&D won't be able to hold out that long.

That's definitely true.

We may have to take a spring trip to Cannes before our summer trip to Almeria  ;)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Novecento on December 15, 2011, 06:05:04 PM
No DVD will be released while the film is still in rep. Then the question is, Who will release the DVD/Blu-ray? I would expect an Italian DVD to come out, but will Warners license it for release in the States? They might not if their current release is still selling (why pay a licensing fee to launch something that competes with their own product?)

For a multi-region man like yourself DJ surely a region B/2 Italian release would be fine? Or maybe you're just incredibly altruistic...


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 30, 2012, 08:30:54 PM
It doesn't seem like Noodles/Harry Grey/Goldberg was any sort of major gangster. Not the kind of guy that would have his own chapter in any book about gangsters (except his own). When Leone met Goldberg, hejust thought he was some loser who at one point i his life, tried his luck with a Tommy and a Borsalino (to paraphrase a line from Frayling's book). So I don't think you'll find out much about Goldberg from searching gangster history.

To me, it seems like the best option is what ONCE did, looking through US Census records. He did find some people with that name (not surprising; "Harry Goldberg" does sound like a rather common Jewish name), don't know if it's the right guy. The one clue about his family that he mentions in the book is that his father was named Srulick: That's a Yiddish nickname, for what is probably the Hebrew name Yisrael (or can be spelled "Yisroel"); which in English would be Israel).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 01, 2012, 05:50:12 AM
Hi Harry.

Welcome to the board and hope your research goes well.

I have no doubts that Harry Grey/Goldberg was a small-time hood who had speakeasies and did jobs on his own account and for Frank Costello and the mob.  Events similar to most of those described in the book will have happened in real life but it is likely that Grey's involvement has been exaggerated.

Some facts about Harry Grey/Goldberg which may have not been mentioned here:

Shortly before filming started in June 1982, Sergio Leone tried to contact Harry Grey/Goldberg. He was told that he had died a few weeks earlier.  So the date of death of Harry Grey/Goldberg was approx. Feb/Mar 1982.  Death certificates and records would then show Goldberg's approximate date of birth.

All Sergio Leone's meetings with Harry Grey/Goldberg were in the New York/Brooklyn/Queens areas.

If Goldberg's father was named Israel and died in 1916 that would help with census and death records.

Harry Grey/Goldberg wrote the book whilst he was in Sing Sing.


Ron Arons is a Jew living in New York whose grandfather did time in Sing Sing.  He has spent many years researching Jews who did time there and has visited Sing Sing as a researcher.  He has written books including The Jews of Sing-Sing and does talks on researching criminal ancestors.  His contact details and a free on-line searchable database of the inmates of Sing Sing is at his web site:

www.ronarons.com (http://www.ronarons.com)
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 01, 2012, 07:41:29 AM
Yes, i confirm it, Srulick it's the English transliteration of Israel name.
Anyway, i didn't know that Leone had this impression about him (a loser who attempted success at one point of his life with a Tommy and a Borsalino); where did you read this?

Anyway, i disagree with you partially, and i tell you why: if Noodles hasn't lied (but it's probably he has) and, with his gang, he was associated with highest mobster in that era (Costello, Capone, Luciano, etc., as he mentions in the book) he absolutely WAS a major high-profile mobster, otherwise he's never could been associated (and neither know personally, premising he was saying the truth)with that MASTERS, no?

One of these two things: or he changed completely he and his gang's name, and he's really existed as a major mobster, and we can even (or we did) read about him largely of him without know that mobster is him, or he has only boasted of a life he's never lived.

Anyway, man, you seem well-documented, do you know some other interesting clue which could help us in this research?

Thanks (excuse for my poor english)


Read Christopher Frayling's biography on Leone called "Something To Do With Death," specifically the chapter on Once Upon a Time in America. That's pretty much where I got all my info.

Besides, if you read The Hoods you can tell instantly that half the stuff in there is bullshit. The stories are fantasy. About the other half, who knows.

Here is a blog some guy keeps about Jewish gangsters http://sixforfive.blogspot.com/ Don't think you'll find any info on Goldberg there.

Who knows if his real name, back in the days he was a gangster, was Harry Goldberg anyway


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Cusser on July 01, 2012, 09:47:56 AM
Harry - welcome to the board.  Many of us in the U.S. are a conglomeration of nationalities, likely one of the strengths of the U.S. 

I read somewhere - probably here or in one of the books - that Leone turned down the Godfather job because he was more intrigued by the legacy of jewish gangsters.  Most stereotype jewish folks as accountants, lawyers, etc. who can't do auto repairs, fix-ups, construction, manufacturing, etc., but that's just a msterotype.  Guess who does this stuff in the country of Israel?  Even in sports: look at the early history of the NBA, remember Sandy Koufax (I saw him play), Hank Greenberg?  Nowadays, such stuff doesn't even make the news.  But Leone wanted to show that side of the culture.

Now there's a black President, and looks like he'll be running against a Mormon.  When Kennedy was running, there was discrimination against a catholic candidate; even Humphrey in the primaries had a campaign song "Give me that old time religion", subtlely (or not so subtle) reminder that Kennedy had a different religion.  Race relations in the US, the first real mixed-race country have improved dramatically in the past 50 years, but it just doesn't happen overnight.  As folks work with, play on sports teams with and against others, the barriers break, but not overnight.

Years ago, I had a girlfriend Debbie who was Italian-Mexican, and catholic.  Her parents were split up so she called herself  Mexican, but she was the same as everybody else.  Being half-Mexican and/or catholic didn't make any difference, and was NOT a factor, plus or minus: she was Debbie !!!


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 01, 2012, 10:59:58 AM
Harry - welcome to the board.  Many of us in the U.S. are a conglomeration of nationalities, likely one of the strengths of the U.S.  

I read somewhere - probably here or in one of the books - that Leone turned down the Godfather job because he was more intrigued by the legacy of jewish gangsters.  Most stereotype jewish folks as accountants, lawyers, etc. who can't do auto repairs, fix-ups, construction, manufacturing, etc., but that's just a msterotype.  Guess who does this stuff in the country of Israel?  Even in sports: look at the early history of the NBA, remember Sandy Koufax (I saw him play), Hank Greenberg?  Nowadays, such stuff doesn't even make the news.  But Leone wanted to show that side of the culture.

Now there's a black President, and looks like he'll be running against a Mormon.  When Kennedy was running, there was discrimination against a catholic candidate; even Humphrey in the primaries had a campaign song "Give me that old time religion", subtlely (or not so subtle) reminder that Kennedy had a different religion.  Race relations in the US, the first real mixed-race country have improved dramatically in the past 50 years, but it just doesn't happen overnight.  As folks work with, play on sports teams with and against others, the barriers break, but not overnight.

Years ago, I had a girlfriend Debbie who was Italian-Mexican, and catholic.  Her parents were split up so she called herself  Mexican, but she was the same as everybody else.  Being half-Mexican and/or catholic didn't make any difference, and was NOT a factor, plus or minus: she was Debbie !!!

Thanks for the lesson on race relations, Cusser  ;) (Koufax and Greenberg played in MLB, not the NBA. And here's a little nugget of info: In 1951, Koufax played basketball in a league based out of a local Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, and won the lcal championship. To this day, the center has photos hanging just outside its gym, of its team from each year. The picture of the 1951 team, including Koufax, still hangs outside the gym -- a 2- minute walk from my house http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Koufax#Early_life )

As for the reason Leone chose to do The Hoods and turned down The Godfather, I didn't read that it's specifically because he wanted to do a story about Jewish gangsters. He had read The Hoods (actually, his brother i law had read it to him; Leone couldn't read English) and he was thinking about doing a movie on it  by the time of GBU. He wanted to make the movie immediately after GBU, but the studio wanted another Western, they promised him he could do his gangster epic if he did another Western first, and that is how OUATITW came about. Afterward, Leone turned his attention to doing The Hoods. But it got bogged down for several reasons, including the fact that someone else owned the movie rights and it took a long time for Alberto Grimaldi to buy it from that person for Leone, then there were disputes with Grimaldi, who left the project but sold the rights to Leone, etc. etc. and it took a decade and a half to get off the ground, which it finally did when Arnon Milchan agreed to produce it. On p. 437 of STDWD, Frayling says, "The reason Arnon Milchan had managed to get the film off the ground where others had failed was entirely because of Robert De Niro," and Frayling then goes on to describe De Niro's involvement.
So for the decade and a half following GBU, Leone was focusing on doing OUATIA. So I guess it is understandable that when he was approached to do The Godfather, another gangster movie, he'd turn it down cuz he was focused on his own, very different, gangster movie. Of course, as it turned out, OUATIA isn't really a "gangster movie" like The Godfather is; it's really about Time and Dreams and Cinema, etc.

I pretty much got all this info from Frayling's amazing chapter on OUATIA.  It's about 85 pages long and just brilliant. I think it has much more info on that movie than on the other movies cuz it was made much later, and by the time Frayling wrote his book, most of the people involved in that movie (besides Leone) were still alive, and Frayling already knew Leone personally by the time of the making of that movie. So there is a wealth of information on the making of OUATIA, it's worth buying STDWD for that chapter alone  O0

As for the issue of Jewish gangsters, and why Hollywood always depicted Italian and Irish gangs, but rarely Jews: one possible reason I read (I think it was also in STDWD) is that the studio heads were mostly Jewish immigrants from European countries, who had escaped persecution, and they were grateful for American freedoms and tried blending quietly into American society; many of them ditched their religion and "Americanized" their names, eg. Sam Goldwyn was born in Poland as Shmuel Gelbfish; (same with many actors of the early days of Hollywood, eg. Edward G. Robinson was born Emmanuel Goldenberg in Romania; Julius Garfinkle changed his name to John Garfield at the request of Jack Warner). Anyway, these studio heads who had escaped persecution in Europe were careful not to do anything that might arouse Jew-hatred, so, according to Frayling, that's why they refrained from depicting Jewish gangsters on screen.

Similarly, Leone specifically sought to distinguish between Italian gangsters and Jewish gangsters: Italians admired the gangsters from within their community; the Jews despised Jewish gangsters. (This is emphasized in The Hoods as well). That's the point of the scene with the limo driver, which has recently been restored -- he is a Jew who, like the rest of his community, despises Noodles and his kind.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 01, 2012, 12:11:20 PM
Okay, I found some of the sources in STDWD for what i said in the previous posts:

Leone's assertion about the kind of gangster Grey was is on p. 391 of STDWD: Frayling quotes Leone as saying that Noodles was "a poor man who had tried his luck, a long time ago, with a machine gun in his hand, and a Borsalino on his head: his destiny was to become obscure and miserable... There was no Homer to sing the song of Harry Grey who, however, had attempted to write his own poem of crime."

And for the part about why the movie studios didn't depict Jewish gangsters, that's on p. 386 of STDWD: After describing how the movie moguls were mostly Jewish immigrants from Europe, Frayling says: "And by 1908, there were 100 movie houses in the Jewish quarter of New York alone. But in disseminating and to some extent creating the "American Dream," the moguls submerged their own ethnic identity and avoidd subjects that could in any way arouse prejudice against them. Their families had experienced enough of that back in Europe. The low esteem in which the movies were held by the WASP cultural establishment made the film industry the perfect route for the complete assimilation of the moguls into the host community. For obvious reasons, Jewish gangsters were out."
(A footnote offers no less than 6 sources "on this aspect of the history of the gangster film.")


The part about scene with the limo driver depicting the hatred that the Jewish community had for Jewish gangsters is on p. 437: In this scene, Leone said, is "where you can feel intuitively their mutual concern and where the difference between the Italian Mafia and the Jewish equivalent is explained. The Jewish people did not admire their gangsters, unlike the Italo-Americans."



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Cusser on July 01, 2012, 05:52:12 PM
My "info" was for Harry, who I believe has always lived in Europe.

I didn't say Koufax and Greenberg played in the NBA; I saw Koufax and Drysadale pitch games of a doubleheader against the Pirates in 1966 in Forbes Field; Pirates won both.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 01, 2012, 11:40:49 PM
I saw Koufax and Drysadale pitch games of a doubleheader against the Pirates in 1966 in Forbes Field; Pirates won both.

That's awesome  O0 O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 02, 2012, 08:18:37 AM
I see that this guy Ron Arons is speaking in New York on Thursday  ;) Seems like he is the expert at doing this sort of research; I'd bet that he knows about Grey. You can send him an email here http://www.ronarons.com/contact.php

---

Frayling says that in publicity photos, Grey would appear with his hat brim pulled low and a trench coat with his collar turned up, looking like a gangster. So I guess Frayling may have seen those pictures (unless someone else told him that info).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 02, 2012, 10:27:16 AM
I've never seen any photos of Harry Grey/Goldberg but Sergio Leone described him as short and thick-set with a bull neck, a very smooth face and the rosy complexion of a child, looking something like Edward G Robinson.

At the first meeting between Sergio Leone and Harry Grey in 1968, Leone thought he was over 70 years of age but in the book he is in 7th grade school in 1914. Date of birth could be anytime between 1895 to 1905. I think Delancey Street was in Ward 13 of Manhattan.

I did query something once with Ron Arons and he was very helpful. There is a chapter in his book Jews of Sing Sing about Harry Goldberg aka Henry Goldberg aka Dutch Goldberg but it's a while since I read the book and I don't think it's our Harry Grey/Goldberg.

As you say many Goldbergs have been incarcerated at Sing Sing.  Ron was willing to supply me with further information but the names need to be narrowed down.

Since then I've done my own family tree using www.ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) and associated sites. They claim to have the largest on-line collection of genealogical information in the world and offer a free 14 day trial period.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 03, 2012, 03:26:16 AM
Hi Harry

The previous description of Harry Grey/Goldberg is from Frayling's STDWD but it's similar to that in Leone's 1984 interview with Cahiers du Cinema:

"Physiquement, il ressemble un peu à Edward G. Robinson, petit, gros, avec un visage rose d'enfant, comme de la céramique, beau, vraiment beau."

Frayling's book is a good starting point but I often prefer to go back the original sources e.g.

Issue 359 Cahiers du Cinema dated May 1984

Simsolo's Conversations avec Sergio Leone

Oreste de Fornari and Robert Cumbow's books

Jean A Gili - Italian Filmakers

Sergio Leone had several meetings with Harry Grey/Goldberg and during those meetings he learnt a lot about him - a lot that is not in the book.

Sergio Leone in the Jean A Gili book:  "The most facinating part of the book, the truest, most authentic is definitely the part about his childhood. Afterwards he doesn't reveal all the truth about his grown-up years. A lot of things stayed in the closet."

If Sergio Leone said Harry Grey's surname was Goldberg I would believe him. There were hundreds of Jewish gangsters about whom very little is known. Schomberg is too high profile and died in 1975.

I'm not sure what you hope to achieve but if I were trying to find out more about Goldberg I would start with the facts we know - i.e. death in 1982 probably in Queens, death of father (Israel?) in 1916 (?) at Bellevue hospital etc.  If you can pin point one specific fact and match that with official records, it may open up everything else.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 03, 2012, 04:25:11 AM
you guys are on a roll, keep on going. O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 03, 2012, 06:00:12 AM
So the only glaring discrepancy between Louis Schomberg & Leone's biographer's account of Grey/Goldberg is the date of death, which could be a mistake (or deliberate to keep Grey/Goldberg's anonymity) in STTWD.

Interesting.  O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 03, 2012, 06:08:49 AM
So the only glaring discrepancy between Louis Schomberg & Leone's biographer's account of Grey/Goldberg is the date of death, which could be a mistake (or deliberate to keep Grey/Goldberg's anonymity) in STTWD.

Interesting.  O0

my guess is that Leone and Frayling were not concerned with Grey's anonymity once he died.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 03, 2012, 06:32:50 AM


2) Ron Arons has just answered me; he told me Harry Goldberg could be Louis Schomberg (about whom there's even a chapter on his book "Jews of Sing Sing") who had an alias of Harry Goldberg; chris, tell me why couldn't be him, the man we're looking for?

There's only a discrepancy: Schomberg should be absolutely a nickname too, because if it's true his father was "Srulik Shtarker" Goldberg  from Odessa, Noodles' last name must be Goldberg, and if it's really Schomberg, we're wrong about the man (or maybe Dutch Goldberg was his real name?).


He does not mention his father's last name. He just says his father was called Srulick the Shtarker but makes no mention of his last name


Also, The Hoods was written while Grey was in prison. (Not sure if it was published before or after he left prison). The book was first released in the early 50's, so I guess the author would have been in Sing Sing sometime in the early 50's or late 40's?

Leone called Grey to inform him a few weeks before shooting was set to begin (in June of 1982), but Grey'w wife told Leone that Grey had died a few weeks before. So I guess you can check any possible leads against death records; the person you are looking for would have died sometime in 1982 or 1981


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 04, 2012, 05:40:46 AM
What do you mean?

We don't know (at least i don't) Dutch Goldberg's date of death, it could be also 1982 (where is 1975 written?).

chris posted that a couple of posts before yours  ;)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2012, 09:34:34 AM
sorry HG, I think you are jumping to conclusions way too quickly by assuming that it's settled that this Louis Schomberg guy was Noodles. What do you have to go on, except the comment by Ron Arons that it COULD BE Schomberg?


As for Noodles's father, yes his nickname was Srulick the Shtarker (Shtarker in this context meaning "Tough Guy"). So assuming it's true that Noodles's father's nickname was Srulick (and that's not just a fictionalized part of the book), it's most likely that his real name was Yisrael, which in English would be Israel.  So, ASSUMING his real last name was Goldberg and all these other assumptions, his father's name in American records would probably read Israel Goldberg (which, unfortunately for researchers, sounds like a very common name, just as common as "Harry Goldberg") First thing you have to do is make sure that whoever you think Noodles is would have died in 1981 or 1982. Then see if he had a father who died when Noodles was young (Noodles was young when his father died, but he doesn't say the precise age in the book).

I don't know exactly where to find death/birth records, and whether they are available publicly online; my guess is that there is some way to do it, though it might cost $.

The board member named ONCE was really good at doing this sort of research, unfortunately he seems to have disabled his account and taken all his old posts with him, all we have left are the snippets of his posts that were quoted by other members, such as the one where he cites some census records, but I am not certain how much of it is real census records, and how much he is filling in. For example, he writes "Srulick the Shtarker" next to the father's name; that is certainly not in the Census Records.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 04, 2012, 10:16:33 AM
ancestry.com, has a lot of all these records, and there is usually a 15 day free trial period, it may be useful to us, if say each one of us in turn near the respective end of each free trial, registers and puts in all the info we have on the above and any that pops up automatically. 8)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 04, 2012, 11:23:29 AM
There are 30 pages about Shomberg/Goldberg in Ron's book.  Death in 1975 is stated 3 times with backup evidence from journalist Sidney Zion and death records.  In 1990 Sidney Zion wrote a book called Markers ostensibly about Shomberg and speculation about a possible involvement in the murder of Bugsy Siegel.

Born in 1896 in England, father Abraham and mother Rebecca from the Lomza Gubernia region of North East Poland. Moved to America in 1903 and lived in Stanton Street on the Lower East Side.

His early life in crime may have been similar to our man - pickpocket, larceny, Sing Sing but he very quickly rose to a position of importance in the criminal world. On 17 May 1926 he married Becky Mae Fox, a stunningly beautiful 21 year old clothing model from upper Manhattan.

In 1934 he threw a lavish party for his parents Abraham and Rebecca at the Broadway Central Hotel, at the time the largest hotel in New York City. The guests included some of the deadliest killers in Manhattan and prominent businessmen and policitians including Jimmy Hines.

New York papers described him as "the most powerful man in the country if not in the world".

In Shomberg's FBI file it is claimed that he was the real owner of the Cotton Club from 1932 to 1941 and a co-owner of several other establishments. He moved to L.A. and had several business ventures involving Bugsy Siegel and Hollywood. He was possibly a co-owner of the Flamingo Hotel.

From 1953 onwards there were several attempts to have him deported back to his native England.

In October 1970 he suffered the first of several heart attacks. He lived in a luxurious apartment at the Hotel Delmonico at 59th Street and Park Avenue, with Lucille Ball and Ed Sullivan as neighbours. In Oct 1973 he was back in hospital after another heart attack and in 1975 died of a cardiac arrest.

Does this really sound like the same person described by Sergio Leone and whose wife was a Primary School teacher and cooked spaghetti badly?

From The Hoods:

"In the ghettos of Odessa your father was called, 'Srulick the Shtarker.'"

“My father was called 'Israel the strong and tough one' in Odessa?”

"He was called Srulick the Shtarker. Hey, Max, you know a good place wholesale where I can buy a new large stone for my father's grave?”


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2012, 12:42:11 PM
Damn, i retire everything i said, man.
I didn't know the chapter written by Ron Arons about Louis Schomberg was so detailed (i didn't read it, as you can see).

So he's not Noodles.. what a waste of hope..

Sorry to see you're so disappointed, HG. I mean, yeah I guess that with all the ambiguities in the book, it would be interesting if someone indeed figured out who he was, but frankly I don't see why anyone would be that fascinated by him. He was just another despicable murderer and thief (and if not that, then at least a liar) and I care about him far less than I care about the cockroach I just saw crawling around in the bathroom.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 04, 2012, 01:34:39 PM
I don't know for sure but I think Harry Grey/Goldberg only killed criminals. What is certain is that he lived in very poor conditions and at the time many people liked and some even admired these gangsters.

Sergio had a fondness towards him, an empathy and could see parallels in their lives:

Simsolo: N'aimez-vous pas tendrement Noodles?

Sergio Leone (translated): I wrote a text on it. I will read it to you. It will explain my relationship with him ...  

I saw Noodles, a child in the Lower East Side of New York. I saw a little boy in the service of racketeers. Then I saw people being killed deliberately and passionately. After that, I saw Noodles alone and exposed, carrying out a war without success against the gods of organized crime.

But Noodles was not Dutch Schultz, Peter Lorre, Alan Ladd, Lucky Luciano, Al Capone or Humphrey Bogart.

Nobody paid much attention to him: the view of the world had traversed him as if he was the window of a bar.

He was Noodles. And that's all. A small Jew from the ghetto. A Mr. nobody who had tried his luck with a Thompson submachine gun in his hand, when alcohol was banned and the game of urban violence was still young.

Like thousands of other young offenders, survivors of gang warfare, then locked behind the bars of a penitentiary and crucified on a cross too big for him.

Even in summer, he wore a coat caricaturing the aesthetics of the gangster. But despite his villainous appearance and form evoking the Actor's Studio, this coat floated on him. Too wide, as if it was a gift from an evil Good Samaritan to some drunk from the Bowery.

It really did not suit him. And things turned out very badly for him. Betrayed, hunted, unknown, torn, he had to flee.

But I was supportive of him for other reasons. The Hoods confirmed me in an old idea. The idea that America was a world of children ...

Chaplin also, in his time, thought the same. And today, I am sure my friend Steven Spielberg thinks it.

Noodles was one of those children. Not the boy scout of Frank Capra, with the aim of helping Mr. Smith to save the world. He was more a child who clenched his teeth and gripped tightly the knife in his pocket. Something like a unlucky Mickey Rooney who has never met Spencer Tracy as a priest in Boys Town ...


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2012, 02:00:35 PM
Oh please. How many countless people came from those terribly impoverished neighborhoods on the Lower East Side and had honest successful business careers? This cliche' that the gangsters like repeating that basically anyone who tries an honest living is a loser and turns out poor is such hogwash (besides being immoral). So many of those iummigrants and children of immigrants from those terribly poor neighborhoods worked hard and had incredibly successful careers. So many of the big Hollywood studio heads and actors were themselves Jewish immigrants or children of immigrants who grew up in awful poverty. And that's just the famous ones. So many other success stories. In America (Happy 236th Birthday), as in all free societies, everyone who works hard has the opportunity -- no guarantees, but the opportunity -- to be successful. Not that money = success. Everyone has their own idea of success. For some it is money, for others it is having a loving spouse and children, being a good husband/father, or wife/mother, being a good and decent person. Everyone has their own definition of success, and in free societies, everyone has the opportunity to try to pursue and achieve that success. Growing up in poverty is zero excuse.

And of course the same is true for Sicilian, Irish, or any other group: immigrant groups are generally poor (if theyw ere doing well in their own country, they most likely wouldn't have left), and there are those who choose a life of killing and stealing, and those who choose an honest living. Poverty is no excuse for stealing from, beating, or killing others.


The cliche that gangsters only kill other gangsters is bullshit. They kill anyone who gets in their way, whether it's a gangster or not. So many of these big gangsters started out robbing impoverished pushcart dealers. Bugsy Siegel got his start by extorting Protection money to poor pushcart dealers in Williamsburg. The scene in OUATIA where the gang burns down the poor guy's newsstand cuz he doesn't pay Protection money to Bugsy is very typical of how big gangsters get their start. I read Sammy The Bull Gravano's book, this guy who rose to be Underboss of the Gambino crime family, like all other big gangsters, started out 'small": cracking open car trunks parked on the streets of Bensonhurst and staling whatever he could find inside. Gravano describes the killing of Paul Castellano outside Sparks Steak House, and that he waited outside, and he waited with a  .357, anyone who interfered with the hit team, I would take them out. There's that odl myth, that we only kill ourselves -- that shoots taht in the ass a little bit ( 29:50 of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-ijKIfPtNA )

So many disgusting people admire them, think they are cool, with their fancy suits and hats and cigars, etc. These people don't want to talk about how those "big guys" always started off by committing "small" crimes against poor people. Not that there is any excuse for any sort of stealing or killing, ever. If the stories Noodles writes in The Hoods are true (a big IF), then I view him with as much disdain as I view any serial killer.

As for Leone, I don't think he admired Grey for being a gangster (and if he did, then he'd be just as despicable as anyone else who did). the way I understood it from Frayling's book (and Frayling uses those Noel Smiloso interviews a lot), he basically saw him as a pathetic loser, who was imagining things, distorting reality and mixing it with fantasy. Frayling says that Leone always felt he had lost time, having grown up in Fascist Italy, and that Grey may have somehow felt the same way, and that on that point, he felt some sort of connection to Noodles.

I wish that these idiots who were screaming outside the courtroom in support of John Gotti http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNt52S7jjfk had been robbed or killed by him. Maybe then they'd feel different. These gangsters had real terrible effects on real people's lives; talking about them as the fairy tale dime novel characters is ludicrous  ::)




Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: stanton on July 04, 2012, 02:28:37 PM


The board member named ONCE was really good at doing this sort of research, unfortunately he seems to have disabled his account and taken all his old posts with him,

He did ? wow ...

Only because he was wrong about that 220 min version ... ;)



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2012, 02:49:05 PM
He did ? wow ...

Only because he was wrong about that 220 min version ... ;)



 ;D

well all of a sudden I see that all of his posts are gone  :(

There are many other old posts that under the name of the author it says "Guest," so I guess that means they deactivated their accounts. But for some reason, ONCE's old posts are all gone. He must have somehow done that consciously.

Memo to all current members: if for some reason you decide to leave the board, please do not take all your old posts with you! often there are important conversations based on those old posts, that some responses seem to be silly when one guy deletes the posts that someone was responding to!

Maybe the moderators should exercise "eminent domain" in certain instances and make some posts un-delete-able. (Like if one day rrpower gets pissed off at everyone (eg. if we call him a cheater), he could just with one click delete the entire RTLMYS thread! That shouldn't be allowed!)


This is the first time in my life that I am gonna argue for some use of eminent domain by the moderators  ;)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Groggy on July 04, 2012, 05:27:02 PM
Interesting posts Chris, keep up the great work! O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2012, 06:34:14 PM
yeah, if you have translation of direct quotes from conversations with Leone, we're always happy to read them


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 05, 2012, 03:45:25 AM
Yesterday I was killing time in B&N and flipped through a book with a title called something like "Murder & Mayhem in the Catskills" and they were going through the various gangsters who had stills and breweries in the Catskills, one of the gangsters biographies mentioned that he met his partner while they were trying to knock over the same pushcart, sounds familiar, I think it was Lepke.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 05, 2012, 04:29:45 AM
You misunderstood my intentions; i DON'T admire this kind of people, i don't like violence or gangsters or individual robbers and killers.
I'm just interested in discovering who this Noodles was only because his "opera" originated the most beautiful movie of every time, absolutely, in my opinion; clear?

I don't know why everytime a speech about a violent movie is faced, there's always somebody who doens't lose the opportunity to flaunt his moral principle: it's insufferable!

I am not "flaunting moral principles" about violent movies; OUATIA is probably my favorite movie of all-time. Movies are not reality; they are a dream (one of the themes of OUATIA).
 I'm just responding to a post that seemed to excuse real-life criminality because of the criminal's impoverished childhood. That's insufferable!



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 05, 2012, 04:53:56 AM
Yesterday I was killing time in B&N and flipped through a book with a title called something like "Murder & Mayhem in the Catskills" and they were going through the various gangsters who had stills and breweries in the Catskills, one of the gangsters biographies mentioned that he met his partner while they were trying to knock over the same pushcart, sounds familiar, I think it was Lepke.

Interesting.

Several of the characters in OUATIA are actually amalgamations of various people in The Hoods. In the book, Max was always the leader of Noodles's gang was always together; they didn't meet while rolling the drunk like you see in the movie.
But in the book, there was a separate gang of 3 guys (named Jake, Pipy, and Goo-goo) whom Max, Noodles, & Co. met while pickpocketing some guys; that other separate gang kind of appears on and off in The Hoods, they did occasional jobs with Max & Noodles's gang. For the movie, there's no mention of that separate gang, but they took that element of meeting them while involved with a crime, and added that to the Max character. (I guess that helped to emphasize the pocketwatch they stole, which symbolizes TIME, one of the themes of the movie.

Also, in the book, Patsy is Irish. (Dominic is Italian, just like in the movie). I am not sure why the movie makes Patsy Jewish. Maybe cuz Leone just wanted to make a movie about a Jewish gang and didn't want to have the ethnic mixture, so that it would be viewed as a Jewish/Irish gang: he wanted it to be a Jewish gang, straight up. Another possibility is that if Patsy was Irish Catholic, he would have been buried in a Christian cemetery, not a Jewish one, and the cemetery is an important part of the movie. So I guess the screenwriters figured it was easier to just make Patsy Jewish. (But they should have changed his name: I have never met a Jew named Patsy or Patrick!)
and btw, RE: the cemetery: that part with the cemetery being moved is utter bullshit: once you buy a cemetery plot, it's yours, you can't sell the property and dig up the graves! Jewish law places tremendous sanctity on dead bodies. (And I am sure that no other religion would allow that either). Now, it's true that the cemetery is the excuse for Noodles to come back, and the point of Noodles seeing the graves being dug up is supposed to be symbolic, how the past is being destroyed, per the themes of the movie of passage of time, dreams and fantasy, etc. And the whole 1968 part may well be fantasy anyway. But still, the script should have used  some other way of achieving these themes and story line. A synagogue sending letters to its members telling them to "relocate their loved ones" is less realistic than if the synagogue would sent letters inviting its members to a pork chop barbecue for Christmas.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 06, 2012, 03:22:38 AM
BBC News recently carried a story about a large supermarket group (part of the Walmart group) who want to build a store on an old graveyard.

The graveyard is a bit neglected and the supermarket group have said that they will pay for the graves to be relocated to a new site which relatives of the deceased persons can visit and pay their respects.  It looks like it will go ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18519566 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18519566)

Had a quick look on Google and there are quite a few stories about cemeteries being relocated in the U.S. e.g. :

http://www.cemeteryspace.org/2009/04/cemetery-relocations-what-do-you-do.html (http://www.cemeteryspace.org/2009/04/cemetery-relocations-what-do-you-do.html)

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 06, 2012, 07:01:35 AM
BBC News recently carried a story about a large supermarket group (part of the Walmart group) who want to build a store on an old graveyard.

The graveyard is a bit neglected and the supermarket group have said that they will pay for the graves to be relocated to a new site which relatives of the deceased persons can visit and pay their respects.  It looks like it will go ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18519566 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18519566)

Had a quick look on Google and there are quite a few stories about cemeteries being relocated in the U.S. e.g. :

http://www.cemeteryspace.org/2009/04/cemetery-relocations-what-do-you-do.html (http://www.cemeteryspace.org/2009/04/cemetery-relocations-what-do-you-do.html)

 


Thanks for these links.

I do not doubt that there are people who would do that.

I've read numerous stories of Jewish cemeteries -- some ancient, some more recent, with Holocaust victims -- being plowed over in some Eastern European countries in recent years, and there are Jewish groups that are fighting it, trying to restore the cemetery. In one particularly horrific instance, a soccer stadium in Belarus was built over a Jewish cemetery http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=20030702&id=GG1PAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IAQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6426,357717

But my point is that no synagogue would ever do that. Jewish law has very strict restrictions and procedures for moving a body once it is buried. I once met a Jewish American World War II vet whose brother was also a vet and killed in France and buried in a military cemetery; in later years, after the war, he wanted to move his brother's body to a cemetery in Israel but was unable to due to Jewish law. Theoretically a body can be moved in certain instances, there's a whole set of conditions and procedures, but generally it is not done. Once a body is buried it is not moved. And it is absolutely 100% certain that a synagogue would never sell its cemetery and move the bodies.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on July 06, 2012, 02:39:03 PM
the point of Noodles seeing the graves being dug up is supposed to be symbolic, how the past is being destroyed, per the themes of the movie of passage of time, dreams and fantasy, etc.
Isn't it more likely that digging up old graves represents uncovering and re-discovering the past? The 1968 portion of the film is largely about taking a second look at the events of 1933 to find out what really happened then.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 06, 2012, 05:40:10 PM
Isn't it more likely that digging up old graves represents uncovering and re-discovering the past? The 1968 portion of the film is largely about taking a second look at the events of 1933 to find out what really happened then.

yes, I suppose so  O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 07, 2012, 09:46:31 AM
Patsy, at least in the Italian version of the book, is italian, then i don't know (as for the same Noodles) if this "Patrick" has ever been a mobster or not..
Patsy is also Italian in the English version. At Dominick's funeral, Patsy interprets for the gang the italian words spoken by Dominick's parents and relatives.
Prior to going to the casino, the gang send out for a tailor (Mr Schwartz) to measure them for evening clothes.
Noodles nods his head at Patsy and says to Mr Schwartz "We're not all Jewish gangsters. He's an Italian gangster."
 
Historically Jewish and Italian gangsters often got on well.
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Cusser on July 07, 2012, 10:03:26 AM
I have never met a Jew named Patsy or Patrick!

I don't do FaceBook, but just did a quick search and there are 10 Patrick Goldsteins there.  I didn't search Pat Goldstein or other last names.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 07, 2012, 11:04:30 AM
I have a couple of distant relatives who live in New Jersey and regrettably I used up my free 14 day trial with Ancestry.com when I was doing my family tree last year.

There are however free searchable databases of New York City Death Records 1862-1948 & Births 1890-1909


Deaths:  http://www.italiangen.org/NYCDeathSearch.asp (http://www.italiangen.org/NYCDeathSearch.asp)


Births:  http://www.italiangen.org/NYCBirthsearch.asp (http://www.italiangen.org/NYCBirthsearch.asp)


It looks like Harry Grey/Goldberg has thrown us a curve ball again. There's no recorded death of Israel Goldberg from 1915 to 1919 in Manhattan.

Plenty of other Goldbergs though e.g. Hyman I Goldberg, Samuel Goldberg and, ironically, Aaron Goldberg.   Also several Israel Goldbergs in Kings.


There's a Public Family Tree at Ancestry.com for Harry Goldberg born 1903/4 son of Samuel & Sarah.  Looks the same one mentioned on page 1 of this thread.  
Also a comment from Lindaruben with a note from Harry's son Barney saying he has some more information about his grandparents Samuel & Sarah and presumably his father Harry.



  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 07, 2012, 04:28:32 PM
It should mostly all take place in Kings Country (Brooklyn) no?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 07, 2012, 08:05:01 PM
It should mostly all take place in Kings Country (Brooklyn) no?

No, in the book they live on Delancey Street, which is in Lower East Side.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 07, 2012, 10:55:01 PM
No, in the book they live on Delancey Street, which is in Lower East Side.

ok


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 09, 2012, 07:29:56 AM
Some Sergio Leone quotes from Oreste De Fornari's book:

Harry Grey/Goldberg spent 15 years in Sing Sing
Grey's wife had been an elementary school teacher
Grey was 73 years of age when Grey saw Max in handcuffs on TV


From Simsolo:

Grey was 70 years old when Max first suggested they do another job together
His real name was Harry Goldberg


From Gabutti:

In 1968 Grey was over 70 years of age
Grey's wife was an elderley ex-schoolteacher


From Brian Case Sunday Times Magazine 1984:

Leone was approaching 40, Grey was in his seventies


And from Cahiers:

Harry Goldberg wrote this book of memories under the pseudonym of Harry Grey
Grey died 3 months before shooting began


N Y Times March 1982


N Y census 1940




Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2012, 09:00:13 AM
What are we to make of this? If Harry Goldberg was 45 in 1940, then he wasn't in his 70s in 1982.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Groggy on July 09, 2012, 09:39:45 AM
For that matter, can we confirm this is the same individual?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 09, 2012, 10:21:13 AM
Sergio Leone said that, at their first meeting in 1968, Harry Grey/Goldberg was over 70 years of age.

Whilst Harry Goldberg b. 1903/4 son of Samuel & Sarah from Delancey Street fits some of the details in 'The Hoods', it seems unlikely he is our guy.

We may get a more accurate profile if details in 'The Hoods' are ignored for present.

Harry Goldberg b. 1895 d. 1982 matches some of the facts we know and he would have been about 73 at the 1968 meeting.  

Harry Grey's death in 1982 certainly narrows down the number of matching Harry Goldbergs and I'll have a look at other official records over the next couple of months.

15 years in Sing Sing seems a long time.  It would exclude some of the Harry Goldbergs in Ron Aron's database.

2531 Beverley Road Brooklyn still exists, I think.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 09, 2012, 11:16:42 AM
Also, I believe that census records have to be filled out voluntarily.

I am reminded of Ray Liotta's comment at the end of Goodfellas that he never voted, his drivers license and id's were all fakes (paraphrasing) :"my birth certificate and my arrest sheet: that's all you'd have to know I was alive." Can we rely on a gangster, who presumably does all he can to lay low as far as the government is concerned, to fill out census sheets with accurate records of his family and address? It would seem to me that the better chance is to get the census record filled out by his parents, who had nothing to hide, so we should look for the ones that are filled out by a person with a child named Harry Goldberg, rather than the ones filled out by a Harry Goldberg himself.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Groggy on July 09, 2012, 11:33:38 AM
Also, I believe that census records have to be filled out voluntarily.

I am reminded of Ray Liotta's comment at the end of Goodfellas that he never voted, his drivers license and id's were all fakes (paraphrasing) :"my birth certificate and my arrest sheet: that's all you'd have to know I was alive." Can we rely on a gangster, who presumably does all he can to lay low as far as the government is concerned, to fill out census sheets with accurate records of his family and address? It would seem to me that the better chance is to get the census record filled out by his parents, who had nothing to hide, so we should look for the ones that are filled out by a person with a child named Harry Goldberg, rather than the ones filled out by a Harry Goldberg himself.

This is true. On the other hand, Goldberg/Grey was from an older generation of gangsters than Hill and Co., and probably less sophisticated. They may not have bothered with falsifying names or records at the time.

Still I don't think Harry Goldberg could be that uncommon a name, but that's just me.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2012, 11:52:30 AM
This is true. On the other hand, Goldberg/Grey was from an older generation of gangsters than Hill and Co., and probably less sophisticated. They may not have bothered with falsifying names or records at the time.
My thought exactly.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 09, 2012, 12:17:15 PM
This is true. On the other hand, Goldberg/Grey was from an older generation of gangsters than Hill and Co., and probably less sophisticated. They may not have bothered with falsifying names or records at the time.

Still I don't think Harry Goldberg could be that uncommon a name, but that's just me.

Oh, I am sure that Harry Goldberg is a very common name.


And it's not a matter of "falsifying names or records." It is simply a matter of refraining from filling them out. I'd guess that gangsters of any generation weren't too concerned about their civic duties.


p.s. in my previous post, I should have said census records "are filled out voluntarily" rather than "have to be filled out voluntarily," which is kind of an awkward way of phrasing it  ;)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2012, 05:40:02 PM
Oh, I am sure that Harry Goldberg is a very common name.


And it's not a matter of "falsifying names or records." It is simply a matter of refraining from filling them out. I'd guess that gangsters of any generation weren't too concerned about their civic duties.


p.s. in my previous post, I should have said census records "are filled out voluntarily" rather than "have to be filled out voluntarily," which is kind of an awkward way of phrasing it  ;)

Where is 2531 Beverley Road Brooklyn?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2012, 05:41:38 PM
also wouldn't the publisher, have some interesting info, the check was made out to somebody, no?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 09, 2012, 07:16:31 PM
also wouldn't the publisher, have some interesting info, the check was made out to somebody, no?

good luck getting that info. I am sure it's all confidential... Frayling writes about how Leone had a very difficult time getting in touch with Grey; Grey's literary agent/lawyer refused to put him in touch with him (I guess cuz Grey wanted to remain private and hidden; he eventually acquiesced to a meeting with Leone only cuz it turned out he was a fan of Leone's movies.... But I am sure that Grey's publisher would never be allowed to give out that sort of confidential info. Also, all the versions of the book that I see now in print are from some company called blackmask.com http://www.amazon.com/Hoods-Harry-Grey/dp/1596543469/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341881886&sr=1-1&keywords=the+hoods

 Not sure what their deal is, whether they are affiliated with Grey's original publishing company, or if they are just printing this book unofficially? I mean, I think the copyright doesn't expire until 70 years after the author's death, but if you look at the book, it looks like it's made kind of cheaply; some pages end like halfway down the page for no apparent reason; the printing looks kind of shabby, which led me to wonder if this blacksmask.com is a real publishing company that owns the publishing rights to the book or whether they are just copying and printing it unofficially.... Anyway, even if Grey's family still has the copyright and are getting royalties from blackmask, I am sure blackmas wouldn't give you private info about Grey or his family.




Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 09, 2012, 07:24:09 PM
Where is 2531 Beverley Road Brooklyn?

It's not far from Prospect Park http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2531+beverly+road+brooklyn,+NY&hl=en&ll=40.638967,-73.946915&spn=0.255833,0.479279&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.176059,61.347656&hnear=2531+Beverley+Rd,+Brooklyn,+Kings,+New+York+11226&t=h&z=11

But I believe that Grey grew up on the Lower East Side, on Delancey Street. His nickname in the book is "Noodles the Shiv from Delancey Street" (that knife of his, which only makes a couple of brief appearances in the movie, is frequently mentioned in the book.

If I recall correctly, he writes in the book that at one point in his childhood, his family was evicted from their apartment cuz they couldn't pay rent (his father was ill and dies when Noodles was young; don't remember if he was still alive at the time they were evicted), and someone paid to get them on their feet and set them up in a new apartment, I think it may have been Max's rich uncle, who owned the funeral parlor that the boys ultimately took over and used as cover for their gangster activities (Max's uncle and the funeral business is a another point that plays a big role in the book, but is only briefly mentioned in the movie).

Is it possible that the new apartment that they moved to was in Brooklyn? i don't recall. I read the book once a long time ago; I have it on my shelf but it's tough to find info in there, it's not labeled with any coherent chapters. Maybe one of the many board members here who are obsessed with the book can remember where to find that.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 10, 2012, 04:10:53 AM
Harry Goldberg is a common name and it's too early to say whether Harry, husband of Rose, is our guy.  More research is needed but birth and death records, location, and rented accomodation in Brooklyn look good.

There are only 3 recorded deaths of a Harry Goldberg within the boroughs in 1982; 1 in Kings, 1 in New York and 1 in Nassau.

With regard to births, there is only one for Harry Goldberg in Kings (September 1896) but six for Harry Goldberg in Manhattan (1894-1896).

In some countries it is compulsory to give information to enable a census to be prepared and Mrs Goldberg and their children were not criminals. The X in the 1940 census against Rose's name indicates that it was she who provided the information.

I have found Harry, Rose and Bernard in the 1925 state census when they were living on the 2nd floor at 1547 77th Street Brooklyn.

Personally I'm ignoring for now any information in The Hoods but facts from official sources may coincide with some of the details in the book and would be a bonus.  The gang as kids carrying baseball bats for Monk Eastman makes more sense now and we may find out that Noodles' father was named Israel etc.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 10, 2012, 05:43:30 AM
This is in Bensonhurst  :)



Yes, I believe that it is required to fill out census information in America (as a Necessary and Proper exercise of Congress's specific duty to conduct a census), although nobody will throw you in prison for not doing so. I am sure that most law-abiding people do fill out the census forms, but I don't know if Harry Grey fits that category. (Personally, I think that most of his book is bullshit, just like Leone did. Some of those stories are just pure fantasy. Like the one about the casino in Atlantic City, and that machine with the paper, and that guy in the coffin who they frightened to death. All bullshit. As Leone said, the childhood stories seem true, the adult stuff is bullshit and much is copied from gangster movies.
 And btw, the refrain "gettin' it up the ass" in the movie probably has its source comes from Noodles's homophobia in the book: he never misses an opportunity to make fun of queers. Well , I think the real-life Noodles himself took it up the ass from the gang, especially Max. He doesn't miss an opportunity to boast about how many girls he supposedly banged -- he says if he laid em out in a line on Broadway, they'd go "from the Bowery to the Bronx" -- , forgetting that whores don't count! But it's pretty darn clear that this dude who is so obsessed with girls and food, also liked to pack the fudge a little too. Read the book and you'll know what I mean. I think his strong hints about cocksucking are about the only adult parts of the book that are true. All the rest of the adult stuff is fantasy.

How about the part where they were enforcing a strike and offered drinks loaded with knockout drops to the strikebreakers -- every single one accepted the drink and got knocked out., pretty soon there were twelve or so guys lying in a heap in the room  ::) I laughed all the way through the book, it's all such bullshit. I enjoyed it cuz you get something of a historical feel for the era, especially the childhood stuff with the tenements on the Lower east Side. But these guy, if he was a gangster, was a two-bit nobody. I think he's some guy who MAY have done an occasional job, but most of his work was in his fantasies. Anybody who did real serious jobs wouldn't have to fantasize the nonsense he puts in the book. He probably dreamed up these stories while sucking Cockeye's cock.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on July 27, 2012, 08:19:09 PM
Another way of trying to find out something about the real Harry Grey/ Goldberg is this sentence from 'The Hoods' after the gang of kids have been caught for robbery:
'I was sent to the Jewish Home, Cedar Knolls, up in Hawthorne, New York.'
Grey may have just made this up for the novel but I think it's worth investigating whether it might actually have happened to him.

According to a report in the New York times in 1907, the home was opened that year by the Jewish Protectory and Aid Society.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70D11FC385A15738DDDAA0994DD405B878CF1D3

There's a home for troubled children that is still running in Hawthorne and it's owned and operated by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS):
http://www.jbfcs.org/programs.php?id=177

I'm going to contact the JBFCS and ask if they have records for the home and if so, whether a Harry Goldberg attended there.

In 'The Hoods' it happens around 1917 (it comes just after the chapter when he says that 'President Wilson declared war on Germany'). But not sure if this can be true for Goldberg. If the Harry Goldberg who was born in 1895/6 is our man (the one that Chris has posted census records about), he would be about 22 in 1917 - too old for the home. Maybe he went earlier?



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 28, 2012, 03:58:01 AM
Another way of trying to find out something about the real Harry Grey/ Goldberg is this sentence from 'The Hoods' after the gang of kids have been caught for robbery:
'I was sent to the Jewish Home, Cedar Knolls, up in Hawthorne, New York.'
Grey may have just made this up for the novel but I think it's worth investigating whether it might actually have happened to him.

It's a good idea.  I tried to do some research a few years ago and I sent a fairly naive email to the Jewish home but received no reply.

At that time however I was relying too much on the dates and facts in 'The Hoods' being correct.  Harry Grey said he was in the home for eighteen months and when he came out prohibition was in effect.  Although The Volstead Act is dated 1919, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors didn't come into force until January 1920.

In 'The Hoods' Noodles is an avid book reader and ponders how he could tell his own life story in a book, perhaps 20 to 30 years after the events.  From page 106:

"As a factual, biographical piece?  Nah, no good.  The actual facts would land me and everybody else in jail.  I'll treat it as escapist stuff, omitting time and slightly camouflaging the place.  That's it.  I'll sort of blend factual happenings into fiction.  After I write it, I guess I'd better keep it for twenty years or so.  By that time probably the alert newspapers will finally get wind of this fantastic Combine, and I won't really be spilling the beans.  After that many years would the statute of limitations apply?  Or does it only pertain to civil matters?  I'll get myself a law book at Brentano's and look it up."

I think if he did go to the Jewish Home, it was much earlier e.g. 1910.

Places like Jewish homes and of course Sing Sing prison have to complete official censuses but it's a bit hit and miss since Federal and State censuses are only done on a specific day every 10 years.

I can find only one Harry Goldberg who died near to New York in Feb/Mar 1982.  He was born in Manhattan's Lower East Side in about 1895.  This ties in with Sergio Leone's statement that Grey was over 70 when he met him in 1968 and fits better with the gang as kids carrying baseball bats for the Monk Eastman gang.

He can be matched accurately to birth and death records, newspaper articles and censuses for 1900, 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930 & 1940.  There are some similarities with Noodles in his early years.  This Goldberg lived close to Delancey Street on adjoining Columbia Street near Williamsburg bridge in 1900 and in 1910 lived on Essex Street which again adjoins Delancey Street.  He then got richer, married Rose Schultz and moved to Brooklyn.  Bookkeeping seems to run in the family.

I'm trying to get more details of the incarcerations at Sing Sing and these may help to solve this 60 year old mystery.  But there is of course the possibility that he died away from New York or that his name was not Harry Goldberg.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on July 31, 2012, 11:35:52 PM
There are only 3 recorded deaths of a Harry Goldberg within the boroughs in 1982; 1 in Kings, 1 in New York and 1 in Nassau.

Just wondering, which is the one you've found an obituary and census records for (ie the one married to Rose and with sons Edwin and Bernard)? Is it the one who died in Kings? Maybe one of the other two is our man.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on July 31, 2012, 11:43:03 PM
I did a search on H Goldberg 2531 Beverly Rd and something came up. He placed an advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in June 1936 looking for a housekeeper ("Girl, white..."):
http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%205/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20Grayscale/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20%20a%20Grayscale%20-%200980.pdf

I don't think this helps in any way in our search but it might be part of the jigsaw. And it's kind of interesting anyway.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on July 31, 2012, 11:52:09 PM
I just thought of something. In searching for Harry Goldberg in records of births, deaths, etc we should probably check for HAROLD as well as Harry since it's possible that he could've had that name. In this register (http://www.italiangen.org/NYCBirthsearch.asp) for example there are 65 Harry Goldbergs born in New York between 1880 and 1909 but there are also 12 Harolds (and also one 'Harri'!)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2012, 12:21:48 AM
I did a search on H Goldberg 2531 Beverly Rd and something came up. He placed an advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in June 1936 looking for a housekeeper ("Girl, white..."):
http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%205/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20Grayscale/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20%20a%20Grayscale%20-%200980.pdf

I don't think this helps in any way in our search but it might be part of the jigsaw. And it's kind of interesting anyway.

nice find! and it's a good point about "Harold," you should definitely search for that name too  O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 01, 2012, 03:06:07 AM
I did a search on H Goldberg 2531 Beverly Rd and something came up. He placed an advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in June 1936 looking for a housekeeper ("Girl, white..."):
http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%205/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20Grayscale/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Eagle%201936%20%20a%20Grayscale%20-%200980.pdf

I don't think this helps in any way in our search but it might be part of the jigsaw. And it's kind of interesting anyway.

Interesting find.   O0

I can't find any deaths recorded for Harold Goldberg in 1982.

Although 3 Harry Goldbergs died in 1982, 2 of the deaths occurred after filming started.

Short bio of  the Harry Goldberg who died at 11561 Long Beach Nassau New York in Mar 1982:

Harry Goldberg born Feb 1894/5 Manhattan and  Rose Schultz born May 1895/6 Brooklyn

Census information:

1900 (Harry) 56 Columbia Street Manhattan (Rose) 48 Ellery Street Brooklyn

1910 (Harry) 104-6 Essex Street Manhattan (Rose) 320 Alabama Ave Brooklyn

1915 (Harry) 369 Vernon Avenue Brooklyn asst clerk (Rose) 369 Vernon Avenue Brooklyn bookeeper

1920 (Harry) 369 Vernon Avenue Brooklyn clerk furniture business  (Rose) 369 Vernon Avenue Brooklyn bookeeper shirt business

1922 Harry & Rose married

1925 (both) 1547 77th Street Brooklyn (2nd Floor) (Harry) manager furniture business (Rose) housework

1930 (both) 2411 Beverley Road Brooklyn (Harry) manager furniture company (Rose) none

1940 (both) 2531 Beverley Road Brooklyn (Harry) advertising director furniture house (Rose) none

Family:

Harry & Rose had 2 children Bernard b.1923 and Edwin b.1928

Harry's father - Samuel Goldberg - occupations:

(1900) Tinn Smith (1910) proprietor retail liquor store (Jan 1920) liquor merchant

Rose's father - Joseph Schultz - occupation furrier
 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on August 01, 2012, 03:43:53 AM
Great work! That's a whole load of info about Harry Goldberg and if he's the only one who died just before filming then it sounds like he's the right one. There's an obituary for his son Bernard in the Baltimore Sun in August 29 2004. It's definitely the right Bernard since the relatives all connect with those in Harry's obit.
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-08-29/news/0408290370_1_goldberg-sol-levinson-zachary-r

Now we've got to confirm that this Harry is the one who wrote The Hoods. I've managed to find a contact for one of Bernard's children and have asked whether they can confirm if Harry wrote novels. Let's wait and see if I get a reply!.....


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 01, 2012, 10:21:05 AM
Great find SimRob  O0

As you say the names match up and I hope you get a reply so that some progress can be made. 



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on August 05, 2012, 02:17:50 AM
Here's a summary of what I've found out in my fairly random and unsystematic search for the real Harry Grey/Goldberg. I go back to work in a week's time but will try to do a bit more before then.

1. I contacted the Jewish Home in Hawthorn, NY (where Noodles in The Hoods says he was sent after being caught for robbery) to ask if anyone by the name of Harry Goldberg was there in the early 1900s. Unfortuntely they say that their records for that time have been destroyed "in line with our policy."
How stupid is that? Those records would be useful for historians and researchers!
The annual reports of the Jewish Protectory and Aid Society, which is the group who ran the home, are actually available online but they don't list the names of children who were there.

2. A database of crime cases in NY from 1850-1950 ( http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/crimeinny/ ) comes up with two trials for a Harry Goldberg, both in 1920. Both are for larceny and the co-accuseds names are Moe Cohen, Louis Meisel, William Goldberg, and Jack Liebensart. This might not be the same Harry Goldberg as wrote the book but it's interesting that these names might be the real names of Noodles, Max, Patsy, and Cockeye! I think details of these cases are available at the CUNY library. Anyone in NY want to check them out? I'm on the other side of the world.

3.  I got in touch with an Arthur Goldvarg who is the husband of Meryl, the grand-daughter of the Harry Goldberg whose obituary appeared in the NY Times in 1982. Their names are listed in the obituary. This is the Harry Goldberg who Chris has done a lot of searching on, finding census forms, and who was born in 1894/5 and who lived at 2531 Beverly Rd in 1940. Arthur tells me that he's checked with the whole family and that Harry did not write any novels. I guess it is still possible that this is the guy - maybe the family just don't know he wrote books, or maybe they are not too pleased to admit that he did. But I think this is pretty clear evidence that this is not the guy we're looking for. Sorry Chris! You did a lot of research on him.

4. Here's perhaps the most important find. The article on Wikipedia for Harry Grey states that he has a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. This is pretty weird in itself - why would Harry Grey be put alongside people like Bob Hope and Elvis? His star was placed on 31 December 1999 (also odd - you'd think people had other things to do on that night). There is no info on the website for the Palm Springs walk but I contacted them and they sent me the blurb that accompanies Grey's star in their book. And interesting reading it makes. It gives his lifespan as 1901-1973 which would make Leone's claim that Grey died just before filming false. It also calls him 'Author/ Producer/ Altruist' and says the following:
"[real name was] Herschel Goldberg, born in Kiev, Russia, who came to the United States at age four with his parents, grew up in New York and spent many years operating a wholesale grocery business at dockside storage facilities where he dealt with unions, longshoremen, food importers and the real folks who ran New York's waterfront in the 1920's and 30's... the mob. Years later, recuperating in Palm Springs from an accident, he began writing about those gangster days and (for his own and his family's protection), used the name Harry Grey. He proved to be a great writer and among the many books he wrote was Portrait of a Mobster, which became a feature film starring Vic Morrow and The Hoods for which he made a deal to produce with the famous director Sergio Leone. Unfortunately, Harry died before completing the screenplay, which eventually turned into the hit movie Once Upon a Time in America..."
I'm going to try to get more info from the Palm Springs people, especially to see if they can put me in touch with whoever sponsored the star.

I think we should look into finding more about of a Harry Goldberg who died in 1973 and was born in or around 1901.
Records for Ellis Island migrants are available online http://www.ellisisland.org/ and I found only one entry for a young Herschel Goldberg who was aged 4 when he arrived there in December 1906. He arrived from Russia, along with his parents Joseph and Rachel and siblings Eidel, Aron, and Chona. This sound like it could be the right guy (though it might not be - maybe his family didn't come through Ellis Island).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 05, 2012, 04:55:33 AM


2. A database of crime cases in NY from 1850-1950 ( http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/crimeinny/ ) comes up with two trials for a Harry Goldberg, both in 1920. Both are for larceny and the co-accuseds names are Moe Cohen, Louis Meisel, William Goldberg, and Jack Liebensart. This might not be the same Harry Goldberg as wrote the book but it's interesting that these names might be the real names of Noodles, Max, Patsy, and Cockeye! I think details of these cases are available at the CUNY library. Anyone in NY want to check them out? I'm on the other side of the world.



Nice work!


Patsy is actually Irish in The Hoods. So his real name wouldn't be any one of those you mention above; though of course, Patsy wouldn't have necessarily been among his co-defendants.

 (I guess that Leone changed it for the movie, and made Patsy a Jew, because he needed to have them all buried in a Jewish cemetery; if Patsy was Irish, he'd have been buried in a Catholic cemetery).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on August 05, 2012, 09:27:47 AM
Quote
2. A database of crime cases in NY from 1850-1950 ( http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/crimeinny/ ) comes up with two trials for a Harry Goldberg, both in 1920. Both are for larceny and the co-accuseds names are Moe Cohen, Louis Meisel, William Goldberg, and Jack Liebensart. This might not be the same Harry Goldberg as wrote the book but it's interesting that these names might be the real names of Noodles, Max, Patsy, and Cockeye! I think details of these cases are available at the CUNY library. Anyone in NY want to check them out? I'm on the other side of the world.

here ya go drink, do sometin' useful.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 05, 2012, 09:40:34 AM
here ya go drink, do sometin' useful.

Sorry pal, I don't give much of a damn about who this Harry Grey was. And I'm sure that if he was alive, he wouldn't give a damn about me either. I'm not nearly as fascinated by gangsters as some other people seem to be  :P


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 07, 2012, 02:58:21 AM
Great work SimRob.   O0  


Jack Liebensart is an unusual name and this guy was born in 1899, lived in Brooklyn and applied for U.S. Naturalization in 1945.

It's a pity we can't see more about the cases.  They may reveal addresses and ages.

I've got details of a couple of the Harry Goldbergs who were in Sing Sing between 1910 and 1930, basically just to see what information is available.  Details include ages, addresses, physical description and term of sentence.  Regrettably neither of the ones I have seen were our guy - date of births approx 1880.  There are several Harry Goldbergs for whom I've not obtained details, it's quite expensive, I'm not sure how comprehensive Ron Aron's database is and it's possible that Harry Grey was incarcerated under a different name.

The star on the Palm Spring Walk is at 285 S. Palm Canyon Drive outside Don Vincent's mens store.  The star was dedicated on New Year's Eve 31 Dec 1999 at the end of the millenium.

Possibly the owners of the store have more information. They may get customers who call at the store and ask them about the star and the unusual name Noodles.

http://www.visitpalmsprings.com/overview/play/don-vincent-store-for-men/10338 (http://www.visitpalmsprings.com/overview/play/don-vincent-store-for-men/10338)

The passenger list from 1906 has some interesting details.

Joseph stated that his father is David Goldberg from Canal Street which is the right area. There are many Joseph and Rachel Goldbergs living in Manhattan in the 1910 census but none of them have children with names similar to those on the passenger list. The only Herschel is a patient in a hospital in Massachusetts in 1930. There are many Harry Goldbergs with birth and death dates similar to those of the Palm Spring's star.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 10, 2012, 02:51:51 AM
Re surname Goldvarg:
The granddaughter of Harry Goldberg (b.1895), Meryl Goldberg married Arthur L. Goldvarg, a dentist in Owings Mills, Maryland:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Goldvarg-Arthur-L-DDS/167496666595938 (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Goldvarg-Arthur-L-DDS/167496666595938)

Some researchers and authors find that when they interview descendants, they have no idea of the notoriety of their ancestor.  Possibly a photo or description may show something.

It's probable that Herschel and his siblings anglicized their names.  Hershel Danielovitch became Harry Demsky when he immigrated to the US; his son became Kirk Douglas.  I can't find a record of a Herschel Goldberg born about 1901 living in or near to New York during subsequent years.

There are other Herschels in passenger lists and immigration records, e.g.

If someone has gone to the trouble of sponsoring a star on the Palm Springs walk, they are probably happy to share information with others.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 10, 2012, 10:43:34 AM
Are you sure that Herschel Goldberg (born.1895) is Noodles?

No, not at all.  The date of birth and death tie in with Leone's statements but I'd be a bit disappointed if it was him.

Although there are some things which don't ring true with Herschel on the Palm Springs star walk,  the sponsor is well worth pursuing.  He or she may be misguided regarding some of the facts but may hold the key which would unlock this 60 year old mystery.

In the meantime I've been looking at censuses for Sing Sing prison and the Jewish home in Hawthorne.  I have censuses for Sing Sing for 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930 & 1940 and censuses for the Jewish home for 1910, 1915 & 1920.

There is a Harry Goldberg born 1901 in the 1910 census for the Jewish home which looks interesting.

Although on this census the Institution is called Hawthorne school, subsequent censuses show it as the Jewish Protectory and Aid Society, Hawthorne, Mount Pleasant, Westchester.  Ages of inmates range from 9 to 15 years.

 

 

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 10, 2012, 10:49:56 AM
Once you've done a lot of research -- and y'all certainly have -- perhaps you should contact Ron Arons http://www.ronarons.com/contact.php with your findings, maybe he can cross-reference your findings with his own records of Sing Sing inmates


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 10, 2012, 11:17:28 AM
...grant me this doubt: i think it's strange he entered in Hawthrone in 1910, considering he spent there 18 months and when he came out Prohibion was already begun, no?

Just curious, but: you live in New York to have access to all that rare stuff?

The censuses are not that rare.  Ancestry.com has all these but to access them, a free 14 day subscription or a paid subscription is required.  I live in the U.K. but I'm researching some distant relatives who live in New Jersey so I'm fairly familiar with Ancestry.com and Ancestry.co.uk.  They are quite active with the 'Who do you think you are?' TV series.

Harry Grey made it clear in 'The Hoods' that whilst a lot of the book is based on real life events, he would need to change some details to protect himself and his family from the law and other criminals.  Where there is a discrepancy between 'The Hoods' and Leone's statements, I'll go with Sergio Leone.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 11, 2012, 01:52:57 AM
So Harry Goldberg or his family (under his outspoken request, if he was already dead) lied about his death date (about 10 years)?
We're not talking about a little discrepancy, man! :)

I'm not saying that.  During the 1970s, Sergio Leone had several meetings with Harry Grey and he had kept in touch with him sufficiently so that a few weeks before filming began, he was able to phone his home.  At this stage it's very much guesswork but if the sponsorship on the Palm Springs star walk is genuine and was not done tongue in cheek, my guess is that the sponsor is mistaken regarding some of the facts.  I'll have another look at Harry Goldbergs born about 1901 and death dates 1981 to 1982.

 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on August 12, 2012, 05:31:00 AM
It's not about the genuinity of the sponsorship, here we're talking about 10 years of life difference, it's a little more, no? If, as you say, this star results from a serious work and not "tongue in cheek", their man is the right one and yours is not, obviously: we can't have two different men who are the same one, this is clear.

Anyway, i really appreciate your elaborate research, really, but in my opinion we should adhere preferably to what an official source says, instead of Sergio (all my respect).

Some of this discrepancy can be the result of mis-quotes, mis-translations, or even deliberate deception to protect the identity of the author at the time. Instead of him dying right before the filming, he may have died right before the process of developing the screenplay would that coincide with the length of time
Leone had the project in the pipeline?  Just a thought. 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 12, 2012, 12:46:58 PM
...in my opinion we should adhere preferably to what an official source says, instead of Sergio (all my respect).

It's yet to be proven just how 'official' or reliable the information from the star sponsor is.  It's also not about being right or wrong, 'their' man or 'my' man or favoring one person over another.

I have about 40 Harry Goldbergs who may be our guy, including the Palm Springs Herschel, the Harry in the Jewish home and sons of Israel Goldbergs but to progress things further I need more definite information.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 15, 2012, 01:52:18 AM
I've done further searches and there are no records for a Herschel Goldberg, Harry Goldberg or Harry Grey born about 1901 and death 1973.

 
Meanwhile however I think I've found our guy.   Looks very promising.   Further details to follow...


 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 16, 2012, 04:02:55 AM
Did Palm Springs lie?

No. I've received a lot of biographical information from Palm Springs including children and wife details and a date of death which is later than SimRob reported and is closer to the start of filming.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 16, 2012, 10:16:28 AM
If the Palm Spings star is a hoax, it's quite an elaborate and costly one.  A lot of information has been given by the sponsor, who claims to be the son of Harry Grey, and it should be fairly easy to check some of the details against official records.  The usual charge for sponsoring a star is US$7,500.

In 'The Hoods' Harry Grey mentions that his kid brother was a newspaper reporter.  Grey's son says that this was Hyman Goldberg, who was a syndicated columnist and food critic for the New York Post, authored a cookbook called "Our Man in the Kitchen", a compilation of recipes from his column as "Prudence Penny" and appeared on CBS for years in one of the first cooking shows.

Quite a lot is known about Hyman Goldberg.  He was born in 1908 and and as a boy helped his father in a Bronx restaurant.  At the age of 16, he decide to become a newpaperman and and went to work as a copy boy for the New York Sun.  For a while he was a New York Police reporter covering fires, murders, gang wars and went on to interviewing stars of the stage, screen and TV.  In later years he became famous for writing the "Prudence Penny" cookery column which appeared in The Journal-American, The Mirror and The New York Post.  He also wrote several books.

He died from a heart ailment in September 1970 aged 62.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1898&dat=19700921&id=ITAiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=93UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1039,3122037 (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1898&dat=19700921&id=ITAiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=93UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1039,3122037)

 



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 17, 2012, 10:30:46 AM
There's quite a lot of evidence from reliable official sources that the information given by the son of Harry Grey/Goldberg is genuine.  Obviously the sponsor had to play down Harry's criminal activities and emphasize the good things that he did to enable him to be accepted for a star.

In the 1960s Hyman wrote a detailed article revealing more about his father and mother (Israel & Celia), his brothers (Barney & Harry "Noodles") and his sisters (Bessie & Sue/Sarah).

"I was brought up in restaurants and hotels. My father, a blacksmith, became a restauranteur by accident.  He had a one-man Smithy in the Bronx when he became ill and had to go to the hospital for an operation.

With no money coming in, my mother, with five children to take care of, began cooking meals for men in the neighborhood who were saving money to bring their families to America from Europe.

By the time my father came out of the hospital he found, to his astonishment but also great pleasure, that my mother had a flourishing business going.

He promptly rented the flat next door, broke down the walls separating them and installed more tables. After a few years he was able to rent a store with a street entrance and opened it as a restaurant seating about 75 people.

My two brothers, two sisters and I all helped."

Hyman was buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, New York.  Others buried there include:


Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter - part of Murder Inc. - executed in Sing Sing

Emanuel 'Mendy' Weiss - part of Murder Inc. - executed in Sing Sing

Martin (Meyer) 'Buggsy' Goldstein - part of Murder Inc.  - executed in Sing Sing

Waxey (Irving) Gordon (Wexler) - prohibition-era alcohol smuggler

Louis 'Louis Cohen' Kerzner - contract killer - parolled in 1937 and murdered in 1939

Abraham Landau - member of the Dutch Schultz gang - killed with Dutch in 1935

Other families from Odessa


I'll try to wrap up the mass of information I've got about Harry in my next post.  
  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on August 17, 2012, 04:39:41 PM
thanks O0


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 18, 2012, 05:00:38 AM
Due credit should go to SimRob. He was the one who discovered the Palm Springs star and logically followed it through.  Palm Springs gave me a death date of 1979 but the true date is October 1980.

Harry Grey said that the sole liberty he took with the truth was Max's death but Sergio Leone thought that the only truly authentic parts of the book were those concerning Grey's childhood.  Grey didn't like the way gangsters were portrayed in films and wanted his book to tell events just as they had happened. Sergio Leone was thrilled at meeting the real "Noodles" but thought that the book was full of citations, gestures and words seen and heard thousands of times on the big screen.

Parts of "The Hoods" are true, some parts have been unconsciously reworked by the author, some may be fiction.  Some events such as the disappearance of Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater are easily identifiable and it is unlikely that Max and Noodles participated in the disposal of the body as described in the book.  By the 1950s very few gangsters had dared to tell their life story and Harry Grey makes it clear in the book on the best way of writing the story:

"As a factual, biographical piece? Nah, no good. The actual facts would land me and everybody else in jail. I'll treat it as escapist stuff, omitting time and slightly camouflaging the place. That's it. I'll sort of blend factual happenings into fiction. After I write it, I guess I'd better keep it for twenty years or so. By that time probably the alert newspapers will finally get wind of this fantastic Combine, and I won't really be spilling the beans."

_ _ _


There is a star dedicated to Harry "Noodles" Grey in Palm Springs which was sponsored by Harry's son Simeon.  Simeon has provided the following information:

Brief Biographical Sketch - Harry Grey

Born January 1 1901 in Kiev, Russia. Parents emigrated to USA four years later. Early schooling on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, dropped out, later received honorary degree in literature and art, and was a frequent guest speaker for the BBC on the Roaring Twenties and Thirties. When his father took seriously ill, his mother cooked in her tenement apartment for local immigrant men with no families. Soon the business took off, and his Mother opened a store-front restaurant.

Harry ran the family wholesale grocery business, Embassy Food Corporation, a firm that grew to handle all exclusive accounts, i.e. Waldorf Astoria, West Pointe, etc. He ran dockside storage facilities, dealt with unions, longshoremen, food importers. Harry was physically strong and tough, and able to deal with the myriad teamsters and gangsters that controlled the waterfront and territories in New York.

He married Mildred Becker, (the "Maybelline" girl and a Hunter College graduate in English Literature) had three children, Beverle, Harvey and Simeon. After being hospitalized by an accident in his fifties and rehabilitating in the Las Palmas area in Palm Springs (as the story goes he was hit by the tail gate of a Mack truck) and being prompted by cronies Charlie Bronson and family members, Harry decided to write about life in the twenties and thirties and those syndicates who controlled the various businesses that were the life blood of the City.

To protect himself and family he changed the family name and from Herschel Goldberg became Harry Grey. Harry's brother, Hyman Goldberg, was a syndicated columnist and food critic for the New York Post, authored a cookbook called "Our Man in the Kitchen", a compilation of recipes from his column as "Prudence Penny" and appeared on CBS for years in one of the first cooking shows.

Harry authored several best sellers, among them, "Call Me Duke", "Portrait of a Mobster" and "The Hoods", all translated into foreign languages and instant successes both at home and abroad.

"Portrait of a Mobster", depicting the life story of Dutch Schultz, became a successful motion picture. "The Hoods" became the epic movie, "Once Upon A Time In America", starring Robert DeNiro, playing loosely Harry's life as "Noodles". The stellar cast included James Woods, Joe Pesci and Tuesday Weld.

_ _ _


It's possible that Simeon has played down his father's criminal activities to enable him to be accepted for a star.
 
According to Hyman Goldberg, when the family were living in the Bronx, Israel was a blacksmith. Israel became seriously ill and had to be taken to hospital for an operation. During his stay there Celia began cooking meals for men in the neighborhood who were saving money to bring their families to America from Europe. When Israel came out of hospital he found that Celia had a flourishing business and Israel started a restaurant. All the children helped out.

It's probable that Celia died in about 1933.  Israel is shown as a widower in the 1940 census and there are several recorded deaths for Celia Goldbergs in the 1930s.

In 1932 Harry married Mildred Becker and by 1940 he had moved to 1205 College Ave Bronx.  
Daughter Beverly was born in 1934 and son Harvey in 1938.
The 1940 census shows that Harry reached grade 7 whilst Mildred reached H4. Harry was described as wholesale grocery salesman.
In November 1940, a further son, Simeon, was born.

According to Simeon, Harry had an accident in the 1940s, decided to write 'The Hoods' and to protect himself and his family, changed his surname to Grey. The 1940 census, which is the last one published, and Harry's obituary in the New York Times from October 1980 provide confirmation of the change of name.


1940 census

Obituary NY Times October 1980

At one of Leone's meetings with Grey, Grey invited Leone to his house and they had a meal of spaghetti, badly cooked by Grey's wife.  She was, as Leone remembered, tired of everything and silent - an elderly ex-schoolteacher who had lived her whole life waiting for him, shaking with nerves every time the phone or the doobell rang. There is some evidence that Eva, Mildred's sister attended Hunter College and was a schoolteacher.

During the early 1970's, Leone introduced writer Medioli to Harry Grey, who confirmed that he had been associated with Frank Costello and the sole liberty he had taken in the Hoods was Max's death.  Max had survived and was now 70 years of age.  He still accepted one or two contracts a year to pay the rent but according to Grey, Max still had big ideas.  So, at seventy years of age, Max proposed to Grey that they do a hold-up together.  Harry's wife said to him: "If you dare do that, at seventy, after all these years I've waited for you, I will leave you." And so Grey turned down the proposal, Max attempted the job himself and was subsequently arrested.  The arrest was broadcast on TV.

When Sergio Leone had a date for filming to commence, he tried to contact Harry Grey to let him know the good news.  Grey's wife told Leone that her husband had died a few weeks earlier.

_ _ _

I think SimRob was trying to get in touch with the sponsor of the star and it will be interesting to find out if he has made any progress.  Simeon provided Palm Springs with a PO Box address and I may send a courteous letter there, hopefully to get a photo or other information.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 18, 2012, 06:26:23 AM
Damn.. was Noodles born in Kiev (Ukr) and not in Odessa? I would have never thought so..

So, Chris, in your impression, has Harry Goldberg ever been a mobster or he just pretended to be that in his fictional book (it doesn't seem he was poor and indigent)?

Then: Did Leone lie us about his death date? And did Noodles lie us too about his father's death? And towards Sergio too? What an intrigue!

And finally, could i ask you to give me your opinion about decoding The Hoods dedication "my true and loyal mob M, B, S, H (it's Mildred, Beverly, Simeon and Harvey)?

We only have Simeon's word that Harry or Herschel was born in Kiev.

Father was a ragpicker then was taken seriously ill and had to go into hospital for an operation. Mother had five children and no income. Sounds fairly poor.

I don't think Leone lied to us.  Harry's widow may have been vague, Leone may have misunderstood her and other people hearing the story may have put their own interpretation on it.

Harry Grey made it clear that some of the events and dates in his book are deliberately disguised.  Anyway we now know that his father's name was Israel, Israel had a serious health problem prior to 1915, his mother died near the end of prohibition and his kid brother was a newspaper reporter.

The decoding of M B S & H is interesting.  It's actually M B H & S which fits with the birth dates order.

The main question is of course was Harry a mobster.  Sergio Leone was certainly shrewd and a good judge of character and had several meetings with Harry Grey.  From Leone's interview with Positif Magazine no 280 dated June 1984: "The most fascinating part of the book, the truest, most authentic is definitely the part about his childhood...Afterwards he doesn't reveal all the truth about his grown-up years: a lot of things stayed in the closet."  

I think Harry was certainly the black sheep of the family, not as innocent as portrayed by Simeon but not on the same level as that portrayed in 'The Hoods'.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on August 18, 2012, 02:21:40 PM
For me, it sounds very different from poverty his economic condition, it doesn't appear that his adolescence was characterized by poverty and the difficulty of finding work, indeed! if his mother ran a thriving business in the catering sector, I am sure that Harry and his family had a life of ease and totally different from what he has told in "The Hood"; perhaps, in my interpretation he simply pretended to be someone belonging to a violent reality that he saw every day, from whuch he was attracted, but that has never been part of it; anyway, i didn't understand if his name was Harry (as in the census) or Herschel (as PS, according to Simeon, said), and neither the information about his birth place, Kiev; wasn't his father from Odessa (South Ukraine, Kiev is on the opposite North) according to what rabbi in the hoods said?


You know, it almost sounds as if its Fat Moe's family, described above, perhaps the characters are amalgamations of various real life people.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 18, 2012, 08:08:04 PM
in STDWD, Frayling writes about the way that Grey used to pose in publicity photographs. So it would seem that Sir Christopher has seen the photos of him. If anyone really wants to see a photo of Grey, perhaps there is some way to contact Frayling, share this info with him and ask if he has any photos of him.

Also, remember that Grey supposedly wrote The Hoods while in Sing Sing. None of that info came up here in the recent posts. Whats the deal with that? Did the Palm Springs people just try to cover all that stuff up? Or have you figured out which Sing Sing prisoner he was, and what his crime and dates of incarceration were?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 19, 2012, 03:01:04 AM
You know, it almost sounds as if its Fat Moe's family, described above, perhaps the characters are amalgamations of various real life people.

Yes I thought that too, cigar joe.

There's no record of the family in the 1920 census and I'll have another look at that area. I'll also write to Simeon and if I get a response I'll post it.

When SimRob checked with the Jewish Home in Hawthorne, they said their records had been destroyed. There is a Harry Goldberg with the same birth year on their 1910 census but unless there's double counting in the censuses, it may not be our guy.

There are inmates in Sing Sing with similar names and people like Ron Aron will supply details of addresses and ages and even do research but I wouldn't expect them to do it for free.

From 1914 things moneywise picked up for the family but prior to that their circumstances sound quite destitute to me.  Ragpicking involves going through things thrown away by other families and their waste to see if any of it can be re-used or sold.  Most families in the area would have been destitute and most of their waste would really only have been fit for the back of a garbage truck.  After 1920 Harry's father was unemployed so again things may gone quite badly.

I'll have another look at passenger lists for 1903 to 1905. The main problem is that families may be listed under their Jewish names and, for example, I have no idea what the Jewish equivalent of Celia is.  Kiev or Odessa may be shown on the passenger list.  Many immigrants, once they had settled in America, changed their names to more American sounding names and it seems popular for Herschels to change their name to Harry.

If the book is fiction and Harry was not involved in criminal activities, it seems odd that he would go to the trouble of changing his surname and that of his family to Grey and become a recluse.  I wouldn't ignore the subsequent meetings between Sergio Leone and Harry Grey, their conversations in which Grey was more revealing and Leone's ability to spot a fraud.

 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 19, 2012, 07:41:56 PM

If the book is fiction and Harry was not involved in criminal activities, it seems odd that he would go to the trouble of changing his surname and that of his family to Grey and become a recluse.  I wouldn't ignore the subsequent meetings between Sergio Leone and Harry Grey, their conversations in which Grey was more revealing and Leone's ability to spot a fraud.

 


I'm not saying that Grey was never involved in criminal activities; and Leone never said that. He just said that Grey was a small-time guy who dreamed up a lot of shit in his book. (And there's no doubt that many of the stories in the book are nonsense). STDWD, p. 391: Leone "had learned that Noodles was not, decisively, 'Paul Muni in Scarface or James Cagney in Public Enemy.' Nor was he Dutch Schultz or Al Capone. Noodles was 'a poor man who had tried his luck, a long time ago, with a machine gun in his hand and a Borsalino on his head; his destiny was to become obscure and miserable... There was no Homer to sing the song of Harry Grey, whio, however, had attempted to write his own poem of crime.' " Frayling then goes on to write about how the meeting with Grey reinforced Leone's initial intuition about the book, that the childhood scenes were authentic but everything afterward was enmeshed in movie cliche's.

So, nobody's saying that Grey was never involved in any criminal activity. All Leone's saying is that he really wasn't that big. And all I am saying is that some of the stories in the book would make a cartoonist blush


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 19, 2012, 07:45:36 PM
@ Harry Goldberg: if you do achieve your lifelong dream and finally get that precious picture you are looking for, you'd better hope that the murderer has the build, like Leone said,  of Edward G. Robinson; if the picture shows some tall lanky guy, then all this work would have been for nothing   :P


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: SimRob on August 20, 2012, 07:46:02 AM
I got the same information from the Palm Springs Walk of Stars people that Chris has already posted here. I think our next step should be to try to find Harry's son Simeon and see what else we can find. I haven't sent a letter to the Palm Springs PO Box. I'll leave that to you Chris since I've just moved to a new country and haven't got much time at the moment! Is it also possible for you to use your expert census-searching abilities to see if you can track him down in case the PO Box is no longer valid? With the info we have on dates, relatives, etc, shouldn't be too hard to find hopefully.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 20, 2012, 11:46:17 AM
I've done some searching at Ancestry.com but I can't find the family on passenger lists or the 1920 census or photos of Harry.  I did however discover a proper address for Simeon who is now 71 years of age.  I'll send a courteous letter and if I get a response, I'll post it.

Often descendants don't know about the criminal activities of their ancestors but Simeon does seem to have a lot of knowledge about his father's past and went to the trouble and expense of sponsoring a star on the Palm Springs walk.  He may want to put the record straight.  We'll see.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 20, 2012, 11:47:56 AM
I'm not interested in the quality of his body, only in discovering visually who Harry Goldberg was; i didn't get your point, anyway.
And the ironic side of the story, is that, over (according to Leone) the tight physical similarity Harry had with E. G. Robinson, they had the same last name too (real Edward's name, as you already know probably, was "Emmanuel Goldberg", born in Bucarest). Only conversation..

it was actually "Goldenberg"  ;)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 20, 2012, 11:48:49 AM
I believe census records are available via the National Archives http://www.archives.gov/


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 20, 2012, 12:16:32 PM
I have the 1920 census but I can't find Israel, Celia, Harry and the others on it.  The family may have broken up, there may be transcription errors or perhaps they just got missed.   I have tried areas other than New York and different birth dates.  It happens.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 21, 2012, 07:59:21 AM
Noticed this photo on a Russian website.  I obviously can't confirm its authenticity, perhaps the editor of the page, irresistible julia, has more details.


Harry Grey

Translated page

http://tinyurl.com/dxhsxgv (http://tinyurl.com/dxhsxgv)


Original

http://www.livelib.ru/author/12960 (http://www.livelib.ru/author/12960)

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 26, 2012, 02:30:11 AM
He's Hal Roach, Chris.

Yes you're right HG.  There's also some more probable misinformation on a similar Russian site, claiming that Harry Grey wrote a short story for Basketball stories magazine under the name of Harry Goldberg in 1937.

Hey Chris, some news about Simeon's answer?

My letter to Simeon was sent about 5 days ago and it's a bit early to expect a reply. If Simeon is willing to provide further information, the 3 things I would like are:

Confirmation on whether or not his father was ever imprisoned in Sing Sing.

Does the dedication in The Hoods "To my true and loyal mob M., B., H. and S." mean Mildred, Beverle, Harvey & Simeon?

A photo.

If, as Simeon says, his father ran dockside storage facilities and was physically strong and tough enough to deal with the myriad teamsters and gangsters that controlled the waterfront and territories in New York, Sergio Leone's comment that he carried out a war against the gods of organized crime makes more sense. I also wondered about Simeon's comment that one of his father's friends was Charlie Bronson.



Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on August 26, 2012, 01:03:03 PM
"Sergio Leone's comment that he carried out a war against the gods of organized crime": who said this and what does that mean?

Sergio Leone said the equivalent of it in French.  What it means is anybody's guess.

From page 183 of Simsolo's Conversation Avec Sergio Leone:

Simsolo:  N'aimez-vous pas tendrement Noodles?

Leone:  ...je le regardais s'exposer tout seul pour mener une guerre sans succès contre les dieux du crime organisé...

Harry's brother Hyman has of course written several books.  These include 'How I Became A Girl Reporter' which is said to be complete and unabridged and contains some biographical details.  Hyman lived with his mum and dad for 25 years and I think there's something in there about Brooklyn.  Not expecting much but it's cheap and I'll get hold of a copy and have a look through it.

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on September 06, 2012, 04:16:22 AM
Chris, some news? New census found, Hyman's article or Simeon's answer?

All my best

There's been no response from Simeon and I'm still waiting for Hyman's biography to arrive.  It looks like things may have happend to the family in 1920.  Harry's sister may be in hospital and Harry may be living as a boarder with Leo Rosenfeld in the Bronx.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on September 16, 2012, 02:37:58 PM

I start from the premise that if Sergio called Noodles' character David Aaronson, one between his name or surname must be true, even if, for a pre-existing agreement or for respect towards Noodles, he's never could tell us, through his last creation, his real name, only giving us some clue to allow us to guess who he was.

The italian edition of the book as republished in 1983 has a long preface (6 pages) by Leone (that's the only reason I bought it today: i usually prefer editions in the original language). I don't care about the movie, so I won't go through this thread to sort things out, but I just want to translate what he writes at the start:"My new movie...is freely inspired by the recollections of David Aaronson detto ("called") Noodles, that you're holding now in your hands.". That it is not what one would write if D.A. was a name invented by Leone: that would be unfair towards the reader who expects the preface to be clarifying, where possible, not to muddle things more.  So D.A. is the real name of Harry Grey? If it weren't I should think that Leone was duped about the real identity of the man ("that I haven't seen in a long while", specifies L.)  or that L. chose an improper way to express himself.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 03, 2012, 12:09:16 PM
I've now read the 160 page autobiography of Harry Grey's brother Hyman.  Hyman is a lot more humorous and laid back than described in 'The Hoods'.  

Regrettably there's no significant information in the book about Harry and the other members of the family and the book focuses mostly on Hyman's interviews with famous people and his short army service.  Hyman confirms that he was born in Brooklyn and then moved to the Bronx.  In 1917 when the family were living in Washington Ave in The Bronx, he attended PS42 school nearby and was involved in the strike against the Gary System of Education.  In 1925 he was fired from the Sun newspaper for being drunk at work and both brothers seem to share a common passion for pretty women, food and alcohol.  For 2 months in 1939 he tried living in Manhattan but didn't enjoy the experience and moved to Brooklyn.

As mentioned previously, it looks like the family split up in 1920 but got back together prior to the 1925 census being taken.

In 'The Hoods', Noodles complained that, when his father was out of work, he attended schul 4 hours a day and all day Saturday.  In 1915 the family had a restaurant business and lived at 1589 Washington Avenue The Bronx but by 1920 this house was occupied by Rabbi Wiener.  Shortly afterwards the building was replaced with a synagogue and in 1925 Harry's mum and dad were both unemployed.



 





Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 03, 2012, 03:03:23 PM

Recent photo
(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/goldberg/synagogue1.jpg)

 


I've heard that in many of those neighborhoods that were Jewish long ago but are now mostly black and/or Hispanic, there are many former synagogue buildings that were taken over by churches, but certain logos and symbols of its days as a synagogue are irreversibly etched into the building

As you can see in this picture, this Hispanic church has Stars of David still on the gates and above the windows of the building


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 04, 2012, 12:18:24 PM
I'm increasingly convinced Noodles invented his mob lifestyle; and how's possible a mobster is also a talkman show at radio programs?

Personally I think that, at present, we have insufficient evidence to say one way or the other.  We know that Grey dropped out of school early and was probably involved with petty crimes as a youngster.  It's also probable that he went to the Jewish Protectory in Hawthorne and during his adult years had dealings with the mob.  Sergio Leone's statement that Grey was Frank Costello's right hand man overstates it but it's probable that he was involved in low level criminal activities.

Grey's statement that the only liberty with truth he took in 'The Hoods' was the death of Max may just mean that the events in 'The Hoods' are based on true events.  He makes it clear within the book that it is not a true autobiography:

"a factual, biographical piece?  Nah, no good.  The actual facts would land me and everybody else in jail.  I'll treat it as escapist stuff, omitting time and slightly camouflaging the place.  That's it.  I'll sort of blend factual happenings into fiction."

Some of the biographical details which Grey's son gave Palm Springs may be untrue.  Imagine their reaction to the following: "My father dropped out of school, committed petty crimes as youngster and was sent to a Jewish Protectory.  During the prohibition years he ran several speakeasies, did drugs, consorted with prostitutes and his gang became involved with New York's Mafia and organized crime.  He murdered 27 people and served several prison sentences."

I can find no evidence that Grey received a honorary degree in literature and art or was a frequent guest speaker for the BBC on the Roaring Twenties and Thirties or that his wife Mildred was the "Maybelline" girl, a Hunter College graduate in English Literature or a Primary School teacher.  In the 1940 census Mildred stated that the highest education grade she achieved was grade 4 at High school.

Mildred's sister Eva however did graduate from Hunter College in 1926 and was a Primary School Teacher at PS 245 in 1931.

There is of course another Harry Grey who is just as famous as our Harry.  He was born in about 1904 and died on 17 Oct 1963.  A music director and producer of numerous shows and movies.  Also did interviews with the BBC.

http://imdb.com/name/nm0002590/ (http://imdb.com/name/nm0002590/)

Quote
Furthermore, who Leo Rosenfeld (the guy you stated was living with Noodles in a Bronx flat during 20's) was? .. i'm referring to the man you mentioned in your post last time..

It looks like Leo Rosenfeld was a friend and neighbour of the Goldbergs.  In the 1915 census he is shown as a neighbour and in the 1940 census he is living in the same house as Harry's father.

According to one website, the synagogue in Washington Ave was built in 1931 and its market value in 2011 was $2,225,000.  Ellen Levitt has written a book 'The Lost Synagogues of The Bronx and Queens' and a photo of the Washington Ave synagogue is on the front cover.

The page below gives more details of the Synagogue:

http://avotaynu.com/books/gifs/LostSynagoguesBronxQueensSamplePage.pdf (http://avotaynu.com/books/gifs/LostSynagoguesBronxQueensSamplePage.pdf)

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 04, 2012, 12:34:17 PM
Personally I think that, at present, we have insufficient evidence to say one way or the other.  We know that Grey dropped out of school early and was probably involved with petty crimes as a youngster.  It's also probable that he went to the Jewish Protectory in Hawthorne and during his adult years had dealings with the mob.  Sergio Leone's statement that Grey was Frank Costello's right hand man overstates it but it's probable that he was involved in low level criminal activities.

 

where did you see that Leone said that Grey was Frank Costello's right hand man? I've never seen that.

Grey did mention in The Hoods that his gang was sometimes hired by big mobsters to do hits, including some bug guy named Frank ,and Leone figured that it must have been Frank Costello. (btw, in The Hoods, he also mentions being hired for hits by other big mobsters, including Al Capone). But nowhere that I've see has Leone ever said anything about Grey being anything close to Costello's "right hand man." To the contrary, Leone said the opposite, that Grey was basically a small-time loser with a big imagination. (This info is from STDWD, maybe you have another source where Leone did say this statement; but from everything I've see from Frayling quoting Leone, he thought Grey was a nobody).


Personally, I never thought that anyone doubted that Grey was somehow involved with crime. I mean, after all, he was in Sing-Sing, and he did insist on secrecy during his meetings with Leone (at first, he insisted Leone come alone, but Leone was able to convince him that he had to bring along his brother in law Fulvio Morsella as interpreter, since Leone hardly spoke any English). So while Leone certainly thought that Grey had certainly exaggerated/imagined/fantasized many of his "experiences," -- and IMO this is very obvious when you read some of the nonsensical shit in The Hoods -- he didn't doubt that Grey was somehow involved with criminal activity.

Wtf was Grey doing in Sing-Sing -- was it something completely unrelated to gang activity? Why did he insist on secrecy in his meetings with Leone - was that all part of his act? Come on, Harry Goldberg. I don't see any reason to doubt that Grey was somehow involved in criminal activity.

p.s. there was a gangster named Gangy Cohen who ran away from New York to escape the mob after doing a hit -- and then his old buddies saw him a few years later.... as an extra in the movie Golden Boy (1939) 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 04, 2012, 01:30:10 PM
where did you see that Leone said that Grey was Frank Costello's right hand man? I've never seen that.

Oreste de Fornari - The Great Italian Dream of Legendary America p.23
Sergio Leone: "In New York I contacted Harry Grey, an old Jew from Odessa, who had been a gangster, had been Frank Costello's right-hand man."


A later interview with Jean A Gili is nearer the truth:
Sergio Leone: "Harry Grey's name was Goldberg and he was a Jew who, I think, worked in perfect symbiosis with the Italians.  In the book he constantly cites a certain Frankie, a character that I included in the film in a short sequence.  This Frankie was most probably Frank Costello.  So I think Grey must have been one of Costello's men."


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 04, 2012, 01:48:19 PM
p.s. there was a gangster named Gangy Cohen who ran away from New York to escape the mob after doing a hit -- and then his old buddies saw him a few years later.... as an extra in the movie Golden Boy (1939) 

Gangy Cohen was also in It's A Wonderful Life and a double for Hoss Cartwight in the TV show Bonanza.  But the part I remember him most for was a hitman in Crime Inc.

http://morethanyouneededtoknow.typepad.com/the_unsung_joe/2008/11/index.html (http://morethanyouneededtoknow.typepad.com/the_unsung_joe/2008/11/index.html)

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 04, 2012, 03:07:53 PM
is there  some inconsistency with what Leone told Frayling and what he said in the the other interview? or perhaps they are both accurate; is it possible that he worked closely with Costello yet Leone would still consider him a nobody?

from The Hoods, it seems to me that Grey mentions at times being hired to big mobsters for hits, and also there is a sequence where he has opium dreams about the crime syndicate in New York (this big sequence where he writes he is having an opium dream and in his dreams, he describes many of the biggest mobsters, with names slightly altered but its obvious who he is talking about). But generally the gang seemed pretty independent, not like part of some crime family. But who fucking knows what yo can trust from The Hoods, so much of it is clearly bullshit, that you don't know what to believe


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 05, 2012, 04:16:13 AM
We have only Simeon's word that his father was born in Kiev.  Like many of the facts in the biographical details he provided, it may or may not be correct.  Many of the significant events happened long before he was born and he is reliant on information provided by others.

I have not yet seen any firm evidence that Harry Grey was incarcerated in Sing Sing.  On the other hand I have not yet seen any firm evidence that he was not incarcerated in Sing Sing either.  Some editions of 'The Hoods', e.g. the Bloomsbury 1997 edition, do not bear Mickey Spillane's endorsement or that it was written in prison by author Grey.

I don't think there have been many interviews between Frayling and Sergio Leone.  STDWD is a massive undertaking but much of the information in the chapter on OUATIA is taken from other people's work and interviews.  These days I very rarely quote Frayling.  I prefer to go to the original source and if possible the actual words used by Sergio Leone which usually will be in French or Italian.  Sometimes these cannot be found.

_  _  _


(1)  Brief translated extract from Oreste De Fornari's 1983 interview with Sergio Leone:

Sergio Leone: "The story of this film started way back in 1967.  The late Giuseppe Colizzi, who before making his debut in a Western with Dio perdona... Io no! (http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0061576/) did an apprenticeship with me for a year (helping to shoot and edit The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), told me about a novel, The Hoods, upon which the episode of the robbery at the casino in Ace High (http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0064860/) was based.

The novel struck me as a modest affair but full of curious details.  In New York I contacted Harry Grey, an old Jew from Odessa, who had been a gangster, had been Frank Costello's right-hand man.  In fact the novel makes mention of a certain Frank, and Max too was inspired by a real person.

At 73 years of age Grey was offered another job, but his wife advised him against it and after two months, they saw Max in handcuffs on TV.  Grey had written the novel during the fifteen years he spent in Sing Sing (but if you ask me his wife, an elementary school teacher, really did the writing).  Grey told me he had written it in Sing Sing to contest the films he had seen about gangsters, but what struck me about it was precisely its similarity to Hollywood films.  Fantasy had won out over reality.  But you could tell that the episodes about his adolescence were things he had really experienced."

_  _  _


(2)  Part of a translated 1984 interview between Jean A Gili and Sergio Leone.  Sergio Leone's take on Italian, Jewish and Irish gangsters, The Godfather movie, the roots of the Combination and Gangy Cohen:

Jean A Gili: "Do you think that the minorities in the American population were more responsible for organized crime?"

Sergio Leone: "All I know is one thing: we exported farmers and they imported gangsters.  That's really the truth.  It can be explained as a certain way the immigrants protested, it can be explained by Sacco and Vanzetti (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacco_and_Vanzetti), by the way certain minorities in America are treated, Ellis Island, the most dreadful hunger.

These people went over there dreaming of an America and later found themselves confronted with a very different reality and situation.  That some abused of this state of affairs doesn't justify becoming criminals, but it was definitely a little because of this.  People descend into crime, little by little, they are victimized once, then twice... and then finally they say no.

In The Godfather this evolution was shown very well.  We should also add that, in effect, the people who emigrated were those who would absolutely not tolerate offenses: a Sicilian has a hard time tolerating certain repression, the same goes for an Irishman.  And because of this, these were the men who reacted the most violently and who later became criminals.  And, moreover, they understood the corruption there perfectly well.  They adapted to the world in which they found themselves.  That's how I see it, and I think it's the truth.

There's also something else extremely fascinating about the Italians.  The Jews were much more intelligent; they were always more or less behind the desk, taking advantage of the Italians' taste for putting on a show.  The Italian is more theatrical, he likes to go out in the street.  But the most important figure in American crime during the past years, someone who was higher up than Lucky Luciano or Al Capone, the one who pulled all the strings of the entire organization, was a Jew.

The Italians had quite a lucid and productive example to follow, the clerical hierarchy.  They already knew that you started from the priest, and then you needed the bishop, the cardinal, until you could finally reach, after various filters, right up to the Pope.  If then, the Pope gave an order – since in the clergy, orders were not discussed but executed – the cardinal had to do what he had to do, and the bishop the same, and the priest the same.  This implied a solid defense.

I remember an anecdote that I wanted to put in the film, then finally I didn't, or rather I had Noodles say about his disappearance, "I went into the world's ass-hole for thirty-five years, for all those years I went to bed much too early."

Anyway, there were two partners in Chicago; the Organization called one of the two and ordered him to kill the other.  He didn't argue; he went and killed him.  It was understood that after the murder he would leave his car and get into one of the Organization's cars that would drive him to a safe place.  After the murder, however, the man got out of his car and, instead of getting into the car following him, he dashed into the woods nearby and disappeared.

After thirteen years, he was found in Hollywood, working as an extra in a costume epic.  This man had left everything, house, loved ones, work, since he knew that just the way he had killed his partner, he would also have been killed.

So, you never escape from the Organization, even if you leave, even if you run away, if you lose yourself in the void..."

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 05, 2012, 05:56:37 AM


I don't think there have been many interviews between Frayling and Sergio Leone.  STDWD is a massive undertaking but much of the information in the chapter on OUATIA is taken from other people's work and interviews.  These days I very rarely quote Frayling.  I prefer to go to the original source and if possible the actual words used by Sergio Leone which usually will be in French or Italian.  Sometimes these cannot be found.




Frayling met Leone in 1982, the same year of his first formal interview with Leone. I don't know how many more formal interviews he conducted with Leone, but it seems he was pretty close with him. In fact, there is far more info in STDWD on OUATIA than any other movie, which I figure may be due to the fact that Frayling was around during the making of the movie, or simply because that movie was the most recent one, or some combination of both.

If you look at Frayling's Notes, you'll see that he frequently cites these interviews Leone did with Smiloso, de Fornari, and others. Besides, are these translated interviews you are quoting any more reliable than the translated interviews/discussions that Fraylking uses? Anyway, I have no reason not to trust Frayling's statements of Leone's opinion on Grey. Of course, a direct quote is always better. But if Grey was really some big shot, that would really change the whole perception of the movie, and Leone's whole idea about Grey's reality being indistinguishable from his fantasies. If he really was such a big guy and his statements are all true, that kills the whole idea of Noodles as Leone presents him in the movie.

Anyway, I wonder if this apparent contradiction is reconcilable; maybe Grey did work closely with Costello for a time, but in the grand scheme of things wasn't much of anyone. Who knows. Plenty of people crossed paths with the mob leaders. As for my personal opinion, Leone's opinion of Grey as described by Frayling makes more sense to me: The Hoods has the craziest shit, so much of it is so obviously fake (how about the story with the Atlantic City casino, or the paper machine, or the stiff in the coffin that the gang supposedly scared to death?  ::)) Grey seems to be a real loser. I just can't see a guy who really was a big mobster writing a ridiculous book like this.

But hey, wtf do I know  ;)




Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on October 05, 2012, 07:23:21 AM
Frayling has done a great job but he chooses which extracts he wants readers of his book to see.  For me I'd rather see the whole picture and make my own mind up on what is important and what is not.  And of course STDWD contains errors, e.g. shuffling off to Buffalo by train (repeated in Howard Hughes book), which will mislead readers and others who focus their attention solely on this book.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 10, 2013, 12:03:08 PM
I didn't notice that, who did all the updates on the wikipedia page?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: noodles_leone on February 14, 2013, 03:00:44 AM
Chris did it :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Harry_Grey&action=history


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on May 12, 2013, 06:04:29 AM
Guys give me a sign.. this tread seems dead


I hope I'm wrong but I don't think we'll see any further significant posts on Harry Grey anytime soon.

We already have some biographical details provided by his son Simeon for the Palm Springs Walk Of Stars.  Simeon was born in 1941 and probably does not know the full extent of his father's criminal career.  It's likely that the details he provided are sanitized to enable Harry to be accepted for a Star and he may be confusing him with another Harry Grey who was a musician and a producer of many films and shows.

We have some details provided by Sergio Leone (Gili, De Fornari, Simsolo and Cahiers) and I wrote to Stuart Kaminsky once about Grey but didn't get a reply.

Factually we have copies of censuses for 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930 and 1940, a copy of the death index and a short obituary which was published in the NY Times.

There is a Harry Goldberg (born 1901) in the 1910 census for the Jewish home.

I can find no record of Harry in the censuses for Sing Sing or any details of the family in the 1935 census.

The 1940 census was only fairly recently published and I may have a further look when the 1945 census is available.
  
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on May 31, 2013, 05:54:06 AM
The board's NYC tours have concentrated on the locations in the movie and it may be interesting to learn a bit more about places mentioned in the book e.g.

Hotel Pennsylvania Baths 7th Ave 32/33 Street
Lutkee's Turkish Baths (possibly now Russian & Turkish baths 268 East 10th St NYC)
Fortune Hotel NYC
Federal Reserve Bank
Fulton Fish Market
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery 137 East Houston Street
Katz's delicatessen Houston Street
Spevaks Candy Store Hester Street
Sam's All Nite Coffee Pot Delancey Street
Sussman Volk's delicatessen Delancey Street
Ben Reilly's Arrowhead Inn 2071 State Highway 88
The Jewish Home, Cedar Knolls, 226 Linda Ave Hawthorne

Hope you enjoy your sojourn in NY.
 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 31, 2013, 08:06:48 AM
Let's come down talking about Noodle's lifetime details.. he resided (i think he was the owner of his room, it's likely) in Pennsylvania Hotel, in NY, in front of Madison Square, Midtown, 7th avenue, i'm going to sojourn there next summer, in august, and i'll tell you how is it, all about the historical reminisence.. even Michael Corleone, in Mario Puzo's novel (if you read it), stayed in Pennsylvania..
and an incredible consideration, it's very cheap to be in Midtown Manhattan compared to all the other hotels in that side..

i took my Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) in Hotel Pennsylvania.

but wtf are you so fascinated by a guy who was at best a loser and liar; at worst, a murderer and  a thief? really, do you feel that the ground he tread upon is holy? you may have enjoyed the book and movie, but your fascination for this creep is, well, creepy. I walk these streets all the time, and never do i feel any excitement, "Noodles was here!" i would only get excited over seeing filming locations. as for the real Noodles, I'd spit on his grave if I knew where it was


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 31, 2013, 01:10:43 PM
obviously, you've completely confused my meaning; i dont' consider holy the ground he traveled on, but try to understand, i've always been very fascinated by the movie, the book and Noodles' character so much that i can't ignore the places he lived his debatable life.. New York Prohibition era is for me the most interesting period in the recent history, and i read and study very much, you can believe me, so i do have terms of comparison.

1) so you live in NY and walk 7th avenue every time?? Damn.. you're so lucky living there, i wanna buy a flat in Upper East Side if i'll ever have the money.. what are the prices for a a studio flat (about 70 square meters) there?

2) and about his grave, i don't think it's so difficult, just go around for the cemeteries of Manhattan and ask about Harry Grey, or Goldberg, or Herschel Goldberg, giving the receptionist his birth and death date we deducted from his obituary and i think it won't be a great problem finding him.. you can even take a picture of it and post that here.. (is my English understandable?).

yeah, real estate in Manhattan is one of the most expensive in the world; you'll have to look online or talk to a real estate agent or someone to find out exact prices. (But we use feet here, not meters, so you better be able to convert it).

yes, I agree, living in New York is great. I am actually living in Brooklyn right now, not Manhattan (for most people, Brooklyn is insanely noisy and busy, but for me, I love Manhattan so much, Brooklyn seems dead to me!) I hope to move to Manhattan sometime soon.

Hotel Pennsylvania is directly across the street from Madison Square Garden; I have passed outside a million times, and was inside upstairs once to take my LSAT, and have been in the lobby a few times.

Personally, if I were visiting Midtown, I wouldn't wanna stay in that hotel (although if it's cheaper than others and you wanna save money, that's different). If you look at the design of the building, as I recall it, is basically four rectangle buildings rising out of a single base http://maps.google.com/maps?q=hotel+pennsylvania+aerial+view&ll=40.74989,-73.989798&spn=0.001938,0.0039&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&fb=1&gl=us&hq=hotel+pennsylvania+aerial+view&hnear=hotel+pennsylvania+aerial+view&cid=0,0,14468783481224999844&t=h&z=18

This means that, unless you are lucky enough (and pay enough?) to be in the front building facing 7th Avenue, you will be in a room that is facing another building right in front of it. In other words, the view will be awful. But view is not everything, of course. I did walk the halls once, and it seemed to me that the halls that this old-building sort of smell. This was 7 years ago; I don't know what has happened since then. (btw, when I was there, I saw a picture of an old ad for the hotel, which I believe advertised it as the largest hotel in the world, or maybe in America, at that time. But that was many decades ago. And reading wikipedia now, I see there has been a major back-and-forth battle over demolishing the hotel, or investing to remodel it; right  it looks like the owners are gonna invest in remodeling it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Pennsylvania#Proposed_demolition )
I shoudl emphasize that I have never been inside any of the hotel rooms, so I have no idea what they are like.
There is no doubt that the hotel is a historic one in an unbelievable location. If you visit between October and June, be sure to go across the street to The Garden and catch a Knicks basketball game or a Rangers hockey game.
 But again, I would advise you to specifically ask that your room in the hotel  face 7th Avenue; I don't know whether or not that costs more, but otherwise, it appears to me that you'll be facing a building and a courtyard.

A while ago, cj and dj and I went on a tour of the NYC filming locations of OUATIA: I proposed that the next tour be of the actual Lower East Side locations that appear in The Hoods; but that hasn't happened yet.

Sorry if I misinterpreted your fascination with Grey. I mean, yeah, history has a way of being interesting whether it's good or bad, but it seemed to me like you were in love with the guy; if I am wrong, I am sorry. I may be interested in the historical stuff, but I despise a murderer and thief and I despise those people who love them and actually cheer them on.


Harry Goldberg (or Harold Goldberg or Herschel Goldberg) is about as common a Jewish name as you could find, so it would be incredibly difficult to find his grave from doing a cold search. With that said, I have zero interest whatsoever in visiting the grave of that bastard who is burning in hell.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on May 31, 2013, 03:19:07 PM
1) that kind of people actually were from Sicily, i was born in Lombardy, borderign with Switzerland, nortern Italy, but i equally feel very close to these people because they came from my same country, it's a kind of sense of common belonging :)

 ::)


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 01, 2013, 02:12:42 PM
This sentence is out of context and either Leone is not being meticulous about his choice of words, his words have been incorrectly transferred to the preface or his words are simply being misconstrued.  Leone has mentioned on numerous occasions that Harry Grey's real last name was Goldberg.

Noel Simsolo's Conversations Avec Sergio Leone
Leone: "Son veritable nom était Goldberg."

Cahiers
Leone: "Ce qui m'a le plus touché, quand j'ai parlé avec Harry Goldberg, qui a écrit à Sing-Sing en le signant du nom d'Harry Grey ce livre de souvenirs dont je suis parti..."

Oreste De Fornari
Franco Ferrini: "Goldberg...the name of the author of the book upon which the movie is based."

Jean A Gili
Leone: "In reality, Harry Grey's name was Goldberg and he was a Jew who, I think, worked in perfect symbiosis with the Italians."

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: dave jenkins on June 01, 2013, 04:35:09 PM
It could be simpler than that: Goldberg was the guy's legal name and Aaronson one of his AKAs (or vice versa).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 01, 2013, 05:07:32 PM
It could be simpler than that: Goldberg was the guy's legal name and Aaronson one of his AKAs (or vice versa).

Simpler how? If his real name was HG then Leone had no use bringing up an alias: why complicate things? I wonder if the name DA is to be found only in this preface, anyway.    But we can also assume that HG's complete name was Harry David Aaronson Goldberg: who knows? Or maybe Leone was thinking about somebody else when he wrote the preface (doubtful, but you never can tell). And still, when you sign cheques to a person to acquire the rights to his work you're not likely to forget his name: and Leone was very particular about his money.  
I can advance the hypothesis that Leone agreed with Grey to keep his true identity unrevealed and give the  fictitious name "Harry Goldberg" for interviews sake.  Then maybe forgot the pact and let the true name slip, given a more serious occasion like a preface of a book bearing his name and given also the fact that the book was to be found only in Italy in pre internet times. Also assuming that the people from whom HG wanted presumably to protect himself didn't  buy (let alone read) books: and in italian at that. Also note that if Harry Goldberg wanted to keep his identity a secret and give no hint about his real name, then "Henry Grey" wouldn't be such a big choice, given the litlle difference in the spelling of the name and the identical initials. On the contrary, if his real name were DA, then  Henry Grey would make sense.
  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 01, 2013, 05:57:44 PM
I loved your reasoning, but it's totally mistaken; we have the evidence about the autenticity of his name through ancestry.com, his obituary and his dedication ("my true and loyal mob": M, B, H & S) which perfectly match with his wife and sons' name (respectively, Mildred, Beverly, Harvey and Simeon).. then we have Palm Springs star, and moreover his brother's name (Hyman Goldberg, nota bene the surname) and even his cookbook, and as if that wasn't enough, his father's name, Israel, corresponds with ancestry record: Israel Goldberg. At most David Aaronson could be his second name and surname, but i doubt.. or maybe, EVEN SIMPLER, Leone asked him to choose to his liking the name that Noodles would have had in his film adaptation, which would have consigned him to history and consecrated in the collective imagination, so, just for pure delight, he preferred naming his lifetime creation David Aaronson, because he liked that way.. couldn't be?

I had thought about that too, but not having read the book yet, and not having a precise memory of the movie I preferred not to make a case of it. But, sure, that could be, too. That being the case though, then I would have to consider Leone's preface not an introduction to the book but to his movie. That would be highly uncorrect toward Harry Goldberg, even if Leone in his preface remarks how much of the book is probably derivative of filmic experiences. When you write a preface to a book it is because you want to pay a hommage to his author: and not even naming him correctly (actually, superimposing your given identity of a character to his own) would be an act of grave discourtesy or, alternatively, a curious case of forgetfulness.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 01, 2013, 06:29:34 PM
or just a case to project the reader into the will to watch the movie...

How, if even we don't know what he's talking about?

If we read again the line I translated he draws a line between his movie and the "recollections...we are holding in our hands". So why, when he's just operating distinctions between his own work of fantasy and a more realistic source, he comes up glueing up to the last a fictitious element? That is very odd. And awkward.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2013, 03:36:05 AM
And still, when you sign cheques to a person to acquire the rights to his work you're not likely to forget his name: and Leone was very particular about his money.  

  

Leone never would have had a reason to sign a check to Grey. Leone did not purchase the rights from Grey. Remember, someone else had purchased the movie rights to The Hoods from Grey, and Leone spent a long time trying to acquire them from that person (one of the reasons that it took so long for OUATIA to get off the ground). And when the rights were eventually acquired, it was actually Alberto Grimaldi who purchased them (before Grimaldi ultimately left the project). The details are in Frayling's chapter on OUATIA.
(Of course, It's still strange that Leone would have screwed up the name, but just pointing out that Leone did not purchase the movie rights from Grey).


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 02, 2013, 09:18:50 AM
Thanx. 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 09, 2013, 04:44:29 AM
If the last 2 posts are directed towards drinkanddestroy, it's not surprising that they've not been responded to. Drinkanddestroy has said several times that he has no interest in Harry Grey or The Hoods apart from their association with the movie.  It might be interesting to read the Italian preface in full but it's too much to expect titoli to scan it and post a link.

Some years ago I did a search on David Aaronson but it didn't reveal anything.  It's still my opinion that the name David Aaronson is simply a name invented by Leone and his team for Noodles in the movie and any suggestion that it is more than this is just misguided.

Regarding cemeteries - not all have searchable on-line databases and I'm not aware of further details. Harry Grey's death and obituary was registered under the name of Grey.
 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 11, 2013, 03:15:02 AM
So you try to do it: Mount Hebron Cemetery, Harry Grey (1901-1980), same place where supposedly his brother's buried.

A quick search on Harry Grey Oct 1980 at Mount Hebron doesn't reveal anything.


http://www.mounthebroncemetery.com/search.asp (http://www.mounthebroncemetery.com/search.asp)


It's possible that, similar to the book,  Harry and his brother didn't get along.  They seem to live in different areas.  Hyman died on Sep 19/20 1970 and whilst the entry at Mount Hebron may relate to him, it's not guaranteed 100%.  A lot is known about Hyman and his wife Naomi.  She is related to the Selsman/Pollack family, who immigrated to the U.S. from Odessa in 1900.  However Hyman and Naomi are not our main interest and I don't see any benefit in doing further research on them.  


  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 11, 2013, 05:20:49 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_%22Noodles%22_Aaronson


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 12, 2013, 05:01:32 AM
Well, Harry lived in Queens for the rest of his life, try with one Jewish cemetery..

I don't think we can say for certain that Harry lived in Queens.  In 1905 he may have been living in Manhattan's Lower East Side but by 1910 the records indicate that he and his family were living in Brooklyn and from 1915 to 1950 The Bronx.  The fact that Sergio Leone met Harry Grey in a bar in Queens in 1968 may not be significant.  

Harry died at Zip code 10028 NY which I think is the Upper East Side near Central Park between 81st Street and 86th Street.  We also know that Harry's brother Hyman was living at 1425 Bedford Street Stamford Connecticut when he died.

As I've posted before, not all cemeteries have databases which are searchable on-line.  Previous searches at the databases which are accessible on-line such as ancestry.com and find a grave have not revealed anything.

Find a grave - Hyman Goldberg (http://tinyurl.com/pfzdlbp)

Find a grave - Harry Grey (http://tinyurl.com/p87qnfo)

Find a grave - search form (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gs&)

It's quite possible that Harry Grey or his relatives would wish to keep the whereabouts of his last resting place secret.  There are occasions in the past where graves of gangsters and others have been vandalised and Harry Grey was very keen on keeping his identity and location secret.
  
  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 14, 2013, 03:45:21 AM
Harry Grey lived in Central Park in the latter part of his life??? Where did you get this??

I actually posted "Zip code 10028 NY which I think is the Upper East Side near Central Park between 81st Street and 86th Street."  

Last Residence entry on the Social Security Death Index from one of my earlier posts on this thread:

... and he died (if i remember correctly) in an hospital in Brooklyn...

I don't know where you got this from. There is a fictionalized part of The Hoods where Harry's father died from pneumonia in Bellevue hospital, Manhattan.

Let's do a research on THE OLD JEWISH CEMETERY, 88th street Manhattan

I thought this cemetery closed many years ago.  Although it would be good to know where Harry was buried, and perhaps visit it one day, I don't think it will help in the slightest with my main interest which is to do with Harry's actual life and criminal and non-criminal activities.

I don't live in the U.S. and don't have any more access to burial records than any other internet user.  This sounds more suited to include as a project for your forthcoming sojourn in New York.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 15, 2013, 06:10:55 AM
... the saddest notes is actually discovering that, following the map that you have posted about the different houses his family has lived, he never lived in Delancey Street as he narrated mythologized throughout his childhood.. perhaps not even Fat Moe's never owned a Deli there, supposing that he's existed for real, and also supposing that Harry was actually Fat Moe, but living in Bronx, as your residential mapping, Chris, shows.

I've never said that Harry never lived in Delancey Street and personally I don't believe he had any similarities with the Fat Moe character, other than his parents had a restaurant for a short period of time.

We know more about Harry's brother Hyman and his wife Naomi.  Naomi's father was Louis Katz and her mother was Malvina Selsman.  Malvina came from a forested area in the Oddessa region of Russia where her parents, Simon and Scheindel Pollack, had a successful logging business. Simon and Scheindel had 13 children.  The pogroms by the Russians against the Jews were among the main reasons for the waves of Jews emigrating from Russia. Moreover, two of Simon’s sons, Arye-Leib and Reuben, had already been drafted into the army and Simon did not want to lose any more of his sons to the Russians' wars.

In 1900, several of the children immigrated to the U.S. and they changed the family name from Pollack to Selsman.  Initially the family lived in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  Malvina learned English and as a young adult became the senior buyer for a men’s clothing store in NYC.  In 1913 she met Louis Katz, a young business owner of a men’s Clothing store in NYC.  On March 28, 1914, Malvina and Louis married.  The young couple moved into an apartment in Buffalo, NY where Louis bought a men’s clothing store. On January 1, 1915, Naomi, their first child was born.  Not long thereafter, during a short period when the insurance on the store had lapsed, it caught fire and burned to the ground.  The family moved to Sea Gate, a gated community in NY, where Louis’s family lived.  On December 8, 1918, their second child, Sheila, was born, and the family lived in Sea Gate until 1923, when they moved to the Bronx.

It's possible that Harry took a similar route, travelling from Russia to the U.S., then to Delancey Street in 1905, then to Brooklyn and then to the Bronx.

Harry's follow up to The Hoods, "Call Me Duke", was set in the Bronx.

It's probable that the dedication at the beginning of The Hoods "To my true and loyal mob M., B., H. and S." refers to his wife Mildred and their children Beverle Harvey and Simeon.

It is Leone's opinion that Harry was a gangster and an associate of Frank Costello and there is possibly some confirmation on the book's cover "This book by HARRY GREY --an ex-hood himself! --will shock you but you must read it. He dares to tell the truth about cold-blooded Killer Mobs and how they work." --Mickey Spillaine. Written in prison by author Grey, this legendary novel became the source for Sergio Leone's classic Once Upon a Time in America.

There are some details about Harry Grey and his meetings with Sergio Leone in the Simsolo and De Fornari books.
Sergio Leone: "Il m'avoua que la seule liberté qu'il avait prise dans le livre c'était à propos de Max."

I think this "sole liberty" needs to be read in conjunction with Harry Grey's statement in Chapter 12 of The Hoods:

"Everybody writes books, why shouldn't I? Let's see, how shall I treat it? As a factual, biographical piece? Nah, no good. The actual facts would land me and everybody else in jail. I'll treat it as escapist stuff, omitting time and slightly camouflaging the place. That's it. I'll sort of blend factual happenings into fiction."

So when the book begins with Noodles and the others in the classroom of a Lower East Side school in about 1914, this is untrue. He may have however attended a Lower East Side School prior to 1910.  Monk Eastman and his gang got kids such as Noodles and the others to carry baseball bats for them.

Noodles may have been sent to The Jewish Home, Cedar Knolls, Hawthorne but it was in 1910 not 1920 as in the book.

In August 1912, a group of influential NYC German-American Jews assigned Abe Shoenfeld to head a team of private investigators who would check out and report on the Jewish criminals and vice lords of NYC's Lower East Side.  At the end of Shoenfeld's assignment, he had written biographical vignettes on approx. 1900 people. One of Shoenfeld's reports included a list of people who regulary visited Segal's Cafe on Second Avenue in the early hours of the morning and these included Harry Golderg who was described at the time as a pickpocket and all-around thief (gonif?).

Others described in this way were Bennie Greenie, Markey English, Candy Kid Phil, Patsye Keegan, Carl Hudis alias Harry Cohen, Bockso, Little Keever, McKinley, Mendel, Lhulki, Louis Cruller, Big Nose Willie, Herman Scheiner - alias Chaim The Mummey, Yanish, Schorr and Monahickey.  Prostitutes include Dinah Hudis and Jennie Morris alias Jennie The Factory.

In the same report on people who regulary visited Segal's Cafe, slightly before Harry's name, were Whitey Lewis and Lefty Louis - indicted and convicted in the Rosenthal Affair.  Lefty Louie is mentioned near the beginning of the book.  Teacher old safety-pin Miss Mons taught Lefty Louie & Dago Frank and read about their execution in the electric chair (13 April 1914) and Noodles says that Lefty Louie was a friend of his uncle Abraham.
 
Similar hangouts to Segal's Cafe were:

Gluckow's Odessa Tea House, Broome St
The University Cafe, Rivington
Simmie Tischler's, Rivington
Max Himmel's, Delancey
Harry Blinderman's, Delancey
Blattberg's Saloon, Stanton
The Onyx, Stanton
Sam Boske's Hop Joint, Stanton
Dora Gold's candy store, First Street
Gucker's Saloon, Second Street
Sam Paul's, Seventh St

Noodles' father was called Israel (Srulik) but he didn't die of pneumonia in Bellevue Hospital in 1916.  He was taken seriously ill before this date and had to stay in hospital for a while.

Noodles' kid brother (Hyman) was a newspaper reporter. True.

Towards the end of the book are several pages describing the disposal of the corpse of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater. The disappearance is true (1930) and Crater was probably killed and his body disposed of but it's doubtful whether Noodles and the others were involved.

Noodles' mother died towards the end of prohibition (1933). Probably true.

After ratting to the police, Noodles flees New York.  May be true.  There is no record of him or the family in 1935.  There is a report that at one of the meetings with Sergio Leone and Gastaldi, Grey said that after fleeing New York, Grey went to Florida where he hid out for several years.  The mob found out where he was hiding and offered to cancel the contract on him if he did one last job for them.  This involved the murder of a member of congress.  Grey agreed, carried out the job and had to evade capture by driving his car into the river (going swimming in a car in the movie).  

Many of the events in The Hoods are based on true events but the fact that Noodles' involvement in them was portrayed inaccurately doesn't mean that Grey led a crime-free life.  Sergio Leone has said that many things in his life were kept secret and we are aware of involvements with the docks and dealing with mob bosses, under-bosses and buttons which are not hinted at in the book or in the movie.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 16, 2013, 11:46:33 AM
1) Where did you get this information about Hyman wife's family (i hope the possessive case's right)?

http://selsmanfamily.com/Malvina%20-%20Third%20Generation.html (http://selsmanfamily.com/Malvina%20-%20Third%20Generation.html)

2) You said  "Call Me Duke" is set in the Bronx; did you read it?

Yes.

3) we've finally determined that the dedication corresponds perfectly, no doubt about it.

I think you're right.

4) Harry Goldberg is (mostly, was) a very common name between jewish men; how could you be sure it's him?
and it's also difficult to believe since he'd been only 11 years in 1912 (Abe Schoenfeld's report).

I think Abe's report was after 1912. Abe was only offered the job in late 1912 and it would take him several months to compile the report.  It would have been dated between 1913 and 1917.  In any event Harry would have been 12 years old in 1913 and some say that 12 years old is the ideal age for a pickpocket. Harry Goldberg is a common name but few of them were pickpockets, the right age and associated with Lefty Louie.  But yes it's not guaranteed 100% that this Harry Goldberg is our man.

Rose Keefe spells her starker differently in her book about Jack Zelig but obviously Israel won't be the only person with this nickname.

5) i don't think the sole liberty he took was Max's death, there are many omissions and incongruities than his life (first of all: he's never been in Sing Sing, and he didn't write the book there); if really Max (premising it was actually his real name) was arrested in 1972 robbing a bank and that situation was broadcast in TV, could we try to find out who Max really was in order to trace back further details about Harry and his alleged gang?

Good luck with that. Some say Harry was 70, others say he was 73 when Max was arrested and we don't know Max's real name.

I think "sole liberty" needs to be read in conjunction with Harry's statement "I'll sort of blend factual happenings into fiction".  It's probable that Harry's time in Sing Sing has been exaggerated but I've not seen any evidence that he's never been in Sing Sing and didn't write the book there.

6) no comment about Joseph Crater's event; that's still today one of most considerable disappearances in the history of the USA, it's clearly liar that they were to dispose of his body and only 20 years later confessing it deliberately even describing the details; that's bullshit.

Probably

7) Harry wasn't from Odessa, maybe only Israel in his youth, right?

In the Hoods a rabbi told Noodles:  “In the ghettos of Odessa your father was called, 'Srulick the Shtarker.' He was a well-known horse thief and smuggler.”

Noodles responded: “My father was called 'Israel the strong and tough one' in Odessa?”

We have only Simeon's word that Harry came from Kiev. I am mindful that there are several things in Simeon's biographical sketch which don't sound right to me.   
 
 
 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 16, 2013, 03:37:28 PM
As I've said in the past, I highly doubt even half the stories in the book are true. Maybe not even a quarter. Maybe Grey told Leone that everything in the book except is true the death of Max, but that is a load of hooey. I don't doubt the possibility that Grey may have been a gangster, maybe even associated with some of the big well-known gangsters of the era, but the specific stories he writes are pure fantasy, and in some cases ripped off of gangster movies, as Leone himself believed - with the exception of the childhood stuff, which seems real.

Some of the adult stories are so silly, even a Hollywood screenwriter wouldn't have the nerve to make up such nonsense. Like the story about the paper machine. And the one about the guy in the coffin, where they literally scared him to death. And the whole ludicrous episode of that casino in Atlantic City. Or how about the one where they are enforcing the strike and manage to knock out like 20 guys with the spiked whiskey. I laughed all the way through this book - I enjoyed it as I would enjoy a cartoon strip.

You may know Grey's real name and may wanna figure out his life details from that, but I wouldn't try tracing his life based on the stories in the book -- no friggin' way that stuff is anything other than some dude's imagination. Leone saw that this old dude was living in a world where he couldn't distinguish fantasy from reality, and that influenced his decision on how to structure OUATIA - about an old gangster returning to his neighborhood, and trying to make sense of his past, and where fantasy blends with reality.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 17, 2013, 03:28:41 AM
1) I have yet to read Rose Keefe's book, it's in my amazon wishlist; do you own it?

Yes.

2) Maybe Max could be his real name.. Maximilian.. you're the beloved researching man, you could try to begin it and see where it leads you, we can never know. His name was Maximilian, he was Jewish, he was born presumably in Lower East Side (or Poland, since Leone named him Bercovicz, Polish Jew surname) and he was a thief, arrested in 1972 broadcast on tv.. he could probably appear in the database of Sing Sing inmates, between 20's and 50's; if he's existed.
Let's do this way: i remember you posted a record about Harry living in Bronx with a friend named Leo Rosenfeld, maybe he could be Max, or Patsy, or Cockeye; INVESTIGATE ON HIM

I did a search on Leo Rosenfeld once but didn't come up with anything significant.  Rose Keefe regularly writes books on these gangsters and via the Goodreads website, goodreads.com and rosekeefe.com, I did suggest to her once that she should have a look at Harry Grey/Goldberg.  For the present she's not acted on the suggestion.  If she were doing the research, she would approach Grey's relatives and friends, libraries and library assistants in New York, court records and newspapers such as The New York Times.  The internet is a useful tool but to make real progress there may be no shortcut to these methods.

3) Was Hyman from Odessa?

No. He was born in New York in 1908.

4) Kosher Nostra killers who wanted to kill him were: Mendy (Emmanuel Weiss), Trigger Mike (Michael Coppola) and Muscles (do you have an idea on who could be?). Then he mentions Salvy the Snake, heroin addict thug; who was him? All the guys should have their respective real-life counterparts...?

5) We could even try to inspect Dolores; Jewish girl, surname Gelly, she had a cafè in Delancey St, maybe she became a pretty well-known dancer in Broadway; same age as Noodles, approximately.

I agree with drinkanddestroy about parts of The Hoods.  For research purposes it may be best to ignore.  

Nevertheless there are undoubtedly true events similar to those described in the book.  The money making machine and drugged drinks are unrealistic and exaggerated but I have heard of other people describing similar but less exaggerated and more realistic events which may have actually happened.  Some say that Leone didn't like the drugged drinks episode with the strike enforcers and chose the baby switching scene instead.  However in the shooting script dated Jan 24 1982, Noodles is captured by contract killers and it was still Leone's intention to go with the idea of giving them drugged drinks so that Noodles could escape.

Drugged drinks (Mickey Finns): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Finn_(drugs) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Finn_(drugs))

Money making machines (Victor Lustig 1890 to 1947): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lustig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lustig)

6) come on, Chris, you're a smart guy, be realist, for at least 99% he narrated lots of bullshit. Anyway, answering your question, i'm quite sure he's never been in Sing Sing because prison database doesn't show any Harry Goldberg/Grey imprisoned there, then even Ron Arons didn't find anything about him in Sing Sing, and he writes a book on that, of which a chapter right on Noodles.

I've not asked a question.  The Sing Sing database shows several Harry Goldbergs imprisoned there.  We've already established that there is no connection between the Dutch Goldberg mentioned in Ron Aron's book and Noodles.  If it's claimed that Harry spent 15 years in Sing Sing, from the records I've seen I think it unlikely that this relates to one single term of imprisonment.

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 17, 2013, 05:28:35 AM
I don't know if this can be useful or you have delved into already but anyway I'll throw it there. In the edition of the novel I have there's a copyright indicating Harry Grey as the owner. That means he still owned the rights to the novel in 1985. That also might mean that a search in the copyrights files (there's an office  like that over here) might be worth the effort.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: titoli on June 18, 2013, 02:50:30 AM
I've read the book and, as Leone said,  the first part is the best one, as the gangsters capers are probably invented or just as stupid as those devised for the movie. I wonder though if it has already discussed the fact that the discussion between the two brothers could have been an inspiration for the Tuco-Father Ramirez scene.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 18, 2013, 06:13:31 AM
1) Then what details we have that Goldberg family came from Odessa and not from Kiev, apart the Rabbi's words in the book?

I've not seen proof that the Goldberg family came from Odessa or Kiev.  Harry's place of birth isn't my main interest.

2) What about trying with Dolores, Chris? we have name, surname, age of birth, possible occupation and eventual place of living (NY)..

As I've posted before, for research purposes it may be best to ignore the details in The Hoods.  But if you want to have a go, good luck.

Personally I think if you're serious about wanting to know more about Harry Goldberg, you would be better off trying to get access to the Abe Shoenfeld papers.  Abe wrote vignettes on 1,900 Jewish criminals in New York before and during the prohibition years.  One of these may be our guy.

Copies of his reports are held at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem, Israel and several places in the U.S including:

American Jewish Historical Society
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212-294-6160

http://www.ajhs.org (http://www.ajhs.org)

3) I got Louis Schomberg isn't Noodles, but i didn't know Sing Sing database provided many Harry Goldberg.. could you show it to me? Does it also gives the duration and the annual dates of the imprisonment?

When he compiled his Sing Sing database, Ron Arons was looking for one of his relatives. It's not complete, it's not indexed properly and there's the problem of aliases and prisoners not giving their correct name.

One example is Harry Goldberg sentenced on Feb 6 1913.

He is listed in Ron's database as Harry Goldberg but his true name is Chaim Gersch Schechtman.


Harry Goldberg aka Meyer Goldberg


Harry Goldberg aka Joseph Harris aka Hyman Rosenberg


Likewise our Harry could have been imprisoned in Sing Sing and in Ron's database under an alias.

We don't know what this alias might have been but for instance there are almost 70 Goldbergs in Ron's database.


Prisoners in the database listed as Harry Goldberg:

Harry Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 5 times

Harry Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1910s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 2 times

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 2 times


Prisoners in the database listed as Goldberg:

Max Goldberg
1940s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Herbert Goldberg
1940s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Max Goldberg
1930s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Abraham Goldberg
1930s, Homicide, incarcerated 1 time

Isidore Goldberg
1930s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Hyman Goldberg
1930s, Homicide, incarcerated 1 time

Jack Goldberg
1930s, Assault, incarcerated 1 time

Isidore Goldberg
1930s, Robbery, incarcerated 1 time

Philip Goldberg
1930s, Arson, incarcerated 1 time

Aaron Goldberg
1930s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

David Goldberg
1930s, Weapon Violation, incarcerated 2 times

Charles Goldberg
1930s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Joseph Goldberg
1930s, Homicide, incarcerated 1 time

Nathaniel Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Herman Goldberg
1920s, Abandonment, incarcerated 1 time

Henry Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Herman Goldberg
1920s, Stolen Property, incarcerated 1 time

Herman Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 2 times

Meyer Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Jack Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 2 times

Louis Goldberg
1920s, Assault, incarcerated 1 time

Philip Goldberger
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 5 times

Sidney Goldberg
1920s, Robbery, incarcerated 1 time

Sam Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Charles Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 2 times

Milton Goldberg
1920s, Robbery, incarcerated 1 time

Sam Goldberg
1920s, Robbery, incarcerated 1 time

Abraham Goldberg
1920s, Stolen Property, incarcerated 2 times

Max Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Meyer Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Charles Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Henry Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Morris Goldberg
1920s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

William Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Joseph Goldberg
1920s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Joseph Goldberg
1910s, Burglary, incarcerated 2 times

Harry Goldberg
1910s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Max Goldberg
1910s, Arson, incarcerated 1 time

Samuel Goldberg
1910s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Harry Goldberg
1910s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Henry Goldberg
1910s, Counterfeit/Forgery, incarcerated 1 time

Max Goldberg
1910s, Stolen Property, incarcerated 1 time

Henry Goldberg
1910s, Homicide, incarcerated 1 time

Hyman Goldberg
1910s, Poss.Burg.Inst, incarcerated 1 time

Benjamin Goldberg
1910s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Samuel Goldberg
1910s, Homicide, incarcerated 1 time

Frank Goldberg
1910s, Burglary, incarcerated 3 times

Joseph Goldberg
1910s, Burglary, incarcerated 6 times

Hyman Goldberg
1910s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Benjamin Goldberg
1910s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Joseph Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Samuel Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 2 times

Joseph Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Charles Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 4 times

Julius Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 2 times

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 2 times

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Abraham Goldberg
1900s, Kidnap/Abduct, incarcerated 1 time

Isidore Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 3 times

Harry Goldberg
1900s, Burglary, incarcerated 2 times

Simon Goldberg
1890s, Kidnap/Abduct, incarcerated 1 time

Max Goldberg
1890s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

Nathan Goldberg
1890s, Arson, incarcerated 1 time

Louis Goldberg
1890s, Stolen Property, incarcerated 1 time

Jacob Goldberg
1890s, Bigamy, incarcerated 1 time

Samuel Goldberg
1890s, Grand Larceny, incarcerated 1 time

Adolph Goldberg
1880s, Burglary, incarcerated 1 time

It might be ironic if Harry had used the alias Aaron or Hyman.

http://www.ronarons.com/advanced_search.php (http://www.ronarons.com/advanced_search.php)

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 19, 2013, 02:13:03 AM
I don't think Ron's database is the way forward.  I've already mentioned the methods used by Rose Keefe and the Abe Shoenfeld reports.  In the absence of progress on such suggestions, we may as well go back to my earlier post:

I hope I'm wrong but I don't think we'll see any further significant posts on Harry Grey anytime soon.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on June 22, 2013, 05:22:49 AM
1) what about trying with Dolores Gelly?..

2) Haven't Simeon answered anymore?

3) I don't know why, but it's kind of a special artistic and criminal tradition/legend  which regards in particular Odessa and Ukranian Jews more than other Jews from the world; some of the most notorious criminals actually are from Odessa (or their family are) or otherwise from Ukraine, they have something in their genetic lineage: Ludwig Fainberg (Odessa), Bugsy Siegel (Letychiv, Ukraine), Liev Schreiber (Ukr), Louis Kid Kaplan (Kiev), Dustin Hoffman (Ukr), Dustin Hoffman (Ukr), Sydney Pollack (Ukr), and Steven Spielberg, Alan Arkin, PROBABLY Nathan Kaplan (alis Kid Dropper, it even appears in The Hoods), Baal Shem Tov, Sholem Aleichem, Isaak Babel, mobster Gurrah Shapiro (Odessa), Leonid Minin (Odessa), Mickey Cohen, Yossele Rosenblatt (mentioned in The Hoods), Semion Mogilevich (RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER), Dimitry Salita, David Berman (mobster from Odessa), George Gershwin (Odessa), Mishna Yaponchik (Odessa), MY GOD BOB DYLAN (Odessa), Armie Hammer's great-great-grandfather (Odessa), Ben Bernanke's grandfather (Ukr), Vladimir Horovitz (Odessa), Nathan Milstein (Odessa), Leonid Stein, Darren Aronofsky, Leone Ginzburg, Viktor Bout (Tajik but of Ukrainian origins).. even Yuri Orlov (played by Nicholas Cage in Lord of War) was born in Odessa and moved into Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, also know as LITTLE ODESSA because of the large Russian speaking Jewish community.. and even Noodles :D And Sylvester Stallone's maternal great-grandparents was from Odessa, in fact his mother's surname is Labofish.. and so many other Jews i left out or forgot.

... without considering that the greatest boxers in the world are Klitschko brothers, from Kiev (NOT JEWISH), and best fighter in MMA history is Fedor Emelianenko, Ukrainian (NOT JEW).. there's a special common belonging which features Ukrainian Jews and non.. what do you think?


4) what we know almost certainly is Noodles was Jewish, was Ukranian, and he very likely came from Moldavanka, and he read for sure "The Odessa Tales" by Isaak Babel (i read that too, it's a historical witness so emotional, detailed and well described; he narrated even about Mishna Yaponchik, it's not very famous, you could not know him, but let's inquire about him, he's a very newsworthy personality) and also probably identified his father with Mishna through Rabbi's words, which makes the testimony more authentic, for the reader's eyes); do you agree with my assumption?

Regarding Dolores, some years ago, before we knew much about Harry Goldberg, I did searches on all the main characters in the Hoods and comparisons with real life gangsters and events.  It was mostly a waste of time.  As I've posted before, for research purposes, it would be best to ignore details in The Hoods.  That is not to say that I think that Harry led a totally crime free life.

I've certainly not heard anything from Simeon.

Regarding Harry's place of birth, census records show it as Russia which frankly is good enough for me.

In any event - mystery, ambiguity and unanswered questions are more in keeping with Leone's vision and the style of his film.

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 27, 2014, 01:56:27 PM
I've not seen any further significant items.

Gelly isn't a common name and I wondered if Harry had disguised it a bit.  He has the habit of adding ...y and ...ie to people he liked.  Max becomes Maxie, Dominick becomes Dommie etc.

The book mentions a Gelly's Candy Store and I noticed a Geller's Candy Store.  I exchanged a few emails with one of the Gellers but she was certain that there was no connection.

I don't expect to learn anything new in the near future but when the 1945 census is available, in three to four years time, I'll have another look.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 27, 2014, 05:03:47 PM

Gelly isn't a common name and I wondered if Harry had disguised it a bit.  He has the habit of adding ...y and ...ie to people he liked.  Max becomes Maxie, Dominick becomes Dommie etc.

The book mentions a Gelly's Candy Store and I noticed a Geller's Candy Store.  I exchanged a few emails with one of the Gellers but she was certain that there was no connection.

 

it's very common to have a "y" or "ie" added to first names, e.g., John becomes Johnny or Johnnie, Jack becomes Jackie, etc. But that is not so for last names. Gelly is a real Jewish last name; of course I don't know whether or not there was a real place "Gelly's candy store," but the fact that "y" and "ie" is added to first names does not mean that it's added to last names.




Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 28, 2014, 08:52:20 AM
1) What's the 1945 census detector for?

I don't understand the question. From the 1910 to 1940 censuses we've got a partial picture of Harry's life and family and the 1945 census may help to fill in some of the missing items.
 
2) Where's Geller's Candy Store? In NY?

In the Bronx, where Harry lived most of his life. Forget Delancey Street - if Harry or his family ever lived there it would have been before 1910.

The store is quite close to one of Harry's addresses and although I don't have any further details, some of the Gellers connected with the store have a dancing and acting background.

As I said at the beginning of my previous post "I've not seen any further significant items". I include the Geller/Gelly information merely for the sake of completeness. At present I do not not see it as a significant item.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 30, 2014, 02:09:20 AM
I wouldn't expect that a picture will be found in the cemetery records and I've not seen any photos on the internet or family tree sites such as ancestry.com.

Some of Harry's relatives will have a photo and if Harry's son Simeon is to be believed Harry was a frequent guest speaker for the BBC on the Roaring Twenties and Thirties. There may be archive footage but Simeon may be confusing him with another Harry Grey who was a successful composer, musician and producer.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002590/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2 (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002590/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2)

Harry was not a high profile gangster but if he was ever arrested or did anything noteworthy, local newspapers may have published a picture. If the Harry Goldberg mentioned in Abe Shoenfeld's report is our Harry, there may be a photo in the Jewish Archives.

From Frayling's 'Something To Do With Death' and his videos, I get the impression that Frayling has seen a photo. It's possibly another avenue to explore.

We already have Leone's own description of Harry in Simsolo's Conversations avec Sergio Leone "He reminded me of Edward G. Robinson. The same style: small, stocky, bull neck, hair and very white skin as rosy as that of a baby. Handsome, truly handsome."

Whilst it may be good to see a photo, my main interest is the true story of Harry's life. In my opinion 'The Hoods' is a fictionalized partial autobiography and whilst it may be based on real events, the description of some of those events is not wholly accurate and the description of Harry's involvement in many of them is probably not true. This does not mean that Harry led a crime free life.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 30, 2014, 05:34:33 AM
You mean BBC tv or radio?
According to STDWD, Leone said Goldberg wanted secrecy. (Maybe some gangsters were still looking for him all these years later, if he really did rat out that booze shipment?)
If that's the case, I find it hard to believe he would go on BBC and let everyone see what he looked like. On the other hand, Frayling does say Grey had publicity photos (maybe those were taken years earlier?) so who knows.....


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 30, 2014, 05:42:58 AM
My above posts are a sort of "by the way" to anyone who wants to see Grey's photo. Personally - while it may be interesting to know the real story of the real Noodles, and I'd take a glance at his pic if anyone found it - I have no real interest in seeing it or making any attempt to find it.
I have no fascination or admiration for a guy who was a thief and murderer (at worst; and/or a liar at best). I love the movie, but not the real-life Grey; if he actually did half the things he said he did, he is the scum of the earth.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 30, 2014, 05:45:05 AM
Anyway, IMO, as Chris implied, best bet may be to try to contact Frayling.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 31, 2014, 02:05:13 AM
Let's contact Frayling! And let's see in the Jewish Archives!

Good idea but of course HG you are the one who most wants to see a photo. I know when I've raised the subject previously you have said that you have no expertise in these matters but none of us are research experts and you know a lot more about Jewish culture and history than I do.

If you are serious about wanting a photo, you need to take some action yourself, do a few searches and write a few emails and letters. Or just forget about it in the hope that at some future date someone else will make public the items you want to see.

     


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 31, 2014, 06:56:57 AM
@Chris: you mean pay this website to have pictures?

http://www.ajhs.org/collections/photographic_collections.cfm (http://www.ajhs.org/collections/photographic_collections.cfm)

Or you mean another Jewish Archives?

If your sole interest is a photo, I'd try Frayling, relatives and the BBC first.  Frayling is a board member  http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=1970 (http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=1970) but I'm not sure if he will respond to a PM. I have written to him once and received a prompt and helpful reply but he no longer works for the organization I wrote to. 

There are some photographs in the Abe Shoenfeld papers but he was probably more into writing vignettes. A starting point for accessing part of Shoenfeld's papers would be to contact  http://www.ajhs.org (http://www.ajhs.org) regarding accessing procedures and there are some additional details at http://findingaids.cjh.org/?pID=611930 (http://findingaids.cjh.org/?pID=611930).

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 01, 2014, 08:35:10 AM
I think chris is telling you he does NOT want to do the search. Thank him for his past work and pick up the rest yourself.

Just a tip: If/when you do find a picture of that murdering thief, try not to cum all over it, that'll ruin your years of work.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on April 02, 2014, 06:21:18 AM
Quick note re Sir Christopher Frayling.

At present he's doing a lot of work for The University of Lancaster.

E-mail:  c.frayling@lancaster.ac.uk

http://filmlancaster.wordpress.com/tag/christopher-frayling/ (http://filmlancaster.wordpress.com/tag/christopher-frayling/)

  


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 08, 2014, 11:33:26 AM
The following is an extract from an Italian website:

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/goldberg/hg_zpsbc0ce6ed.jpg~original)

Brief Biography

Harry Grey is an American writer. His first novel, 'The Hoods', published in 1952, inspired the famous Sergio Leone film 'Once Upon a Time in America' (1984). The book is a sort of autobiography, inspired by the author's personal past in the world of crime. After 'The Hoods' Harry Grey published two other novels, 'Call Me Duke' (1955) and 'Portrait of a Mobster' (1958), which, however, have enjoyed less success.

http://www.ilnarratore.com/autori/idx/646/Grey-Harry.html (http://www.ilnarratore.com/autori/idx/646/Grey-Harry.html)

Obviously I can't confirm the authenticity of the photo.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: noodles_leone on July 08, 2014, 12:39:09 PM
Wikipedia says it's more likely to be Harry Boland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Boland

When you google the image you get more sources. Google thinks it's Michael Collins, but when you click around, it becomes clear that the image indeed pictures Boland:

http://tinyurl.com/lt3cp3l


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on July 08, 2014, 12:52:41 PM
Wikipedia says it's more likely to be Harry Boland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Boland

Thanks noodles_leone.  As you say it's Harry Boland.  Perhaps one day we'll find out more.

   


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2014, 02:12:31 PM
You just gave the board member Harry Goldberg blue balls


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 09, 2014, 01:17:34 AM
I didn't hear any moaning, so I guess the aforementioned Mr. H. Goldberg has upped and left these boards (maybe cuz he had no further benefit here after a certain someone told him he was no longer doing HG's searches for him)  ;D

So, lucky for everyone, no blue balls for Harry. Of course, he can still :P the jar


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: PowerRR on July 08, 2015, 05:07:56 PM
I've had this book for like 6 years and finally finished reading it. If it had been adapted accurately, chances are it'd be a shitty, generic 1950's gangster movie. Thankfully, Leone & screenwriting crew only kept in the sex scenes (all the sex scenes) and some of the names and made the greatest movie of all time.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Harry Goldberg on February 24, 2016, 04:09:45 AM
2 years later, nothing new about Harry's picture..


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Harry Goldberg on February 25, 2016, 08:41:21 AM
Please guys give me your opinion.. who should i contact for (hopefully) receiving Harry Grey's photo?
I doubt he was host in the BBC Roaring Twenties and Thirties show.. come on, maybe Simeon was wrong, or he was deliberately tongue in cheek... then i would definitely not consider BBC..
maybe Frayling.. but how the fuck can i contact him?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: cigar joe on February 25, 2016, 09:07:24 AM
Please guys give me your opinion.. who should i contact for (hopefully) receiving Harry Grey's photo?
I doubt he was host in the BBC Roaring Twenties and Thirties show.. come on, maybe Simeon was wrong, or he was deliberately tongue in cheek... then i would definitely not consider BBC..
maybe Frayling.. but how the fuck can i contact him?

Isn't Frayling connected with Oxford?


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Harry Goldberg on February 25, 2016, 10:18:03 AM
Don't know, i'm sure Chris is the right man for that.. Chris please one last stand!


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on February 27, 2016, 03:11:49 AM
Regarding the photo I have no real interest.  Considerable time and money could be spent on searching for a photo with no guarantee of success and in any event we have Leone's description, photos of family members and our own idea of what he looked like.  Frankly that's good enough for me.

 


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Harry Goldberg on February 27, 2016, 03:43:40 AM
Just give me instructions about that, please. I'll use my money and, if you can, your expertise.


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: Harry Goldberg on March 03, 2016, 01:25:51 AM
Chris, i'm using my money ok?

*Thanks for answering


Title: Re: The Hoods
Post by: chris on March 03, 2016, 05:09:05 AM
Chris, i'm using my money ok?

*Thanks for answering

I don't want to be rude but I'm not sure what part of my "Regarding the photo I have no real interest" you don't understand.  To me my time is much more precious than money.  I've given lots of suggestions before on how you could search for a photo but you probably have not taken any time or spent any money in trying to pursue any of them.

Q.E.D.