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« #15 : July 01, 2012, 06:41:29 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

« : July 01, 2012, 06:44:42 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #16 : July 01, 2012, 08:47:56 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 !!!

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« #17 : July 01, 2012, 09:59:58 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.

« : July 01, 2012, 11:34:34 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #18 : July 01, 2012, 11:11:20 AM »

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."


« : July 01, 2012, 11:31:19 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #19 : July 01, 2012, 04:52:12 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.

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« #20 : July 01, 2012, 10:40:49 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


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« #21 : July 02, 2012, 07:18:37 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).

« : July 02, 2012, 07:21:12 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #22 : July 03, 2012, 03:25:11 AM »

you guys are on a roll, keep on going. O0


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« #23 : July 03, 2012, 05:00:12 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

« : July 03, 2012, 05:05:29 AM cigar joe »

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« #24 : July 03, 2012, 05:08:49 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.


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« #25 : July 03, 2012, 05:32:50 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

« : July 04, 2012, 08:21:35 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #26 : July 04, 2012, 04:40:46 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  ;)


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« #27 : July 04, 2012, 08:34:34 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.


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« #28 : July 04, 2012, 09:16:33 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)


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« #29 : July 04, 2012, 11:42:11 AM »

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.

« : July 04, 2012, 11:46:45 AM drinkanddestroy »

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