“The best cinematic capture of the “Catalina vibe” that’s ever been done. There’s something truly special about this little island, and about this film, too.”
– Gregory HarrisonActor
“Hollywood’s Magical Isle is a charming and nostalgic slice of Americana that beautifully recreates a sense of place as it tells the story of Catalina.”
– Andre HansonAPT
Hollywood’s Magical Island – Catalina superbly done…People who view it will see and feel the romantic aura and captivity that holds one to the Island, without ever letting go”
– Dick DaleKing of the Surf Guitar
A really strong documentary that reflects the legacy of Catalina, especially the baseball history on the island and the various musicians who have visited and played on the magic venue.”
– Fred Shuster, ContributorLos Angeles Daily News
Maybe Catalina’s in for another Golden Age. Filmmaker Greg Reitman documentary imparts a wonderful sense of place to this island paradise, taking in the panoply of the island’s history and lore, Reitman tells the Catalina story.
Brown’s foot-tapping swing dance music – a sell-out feature in the Avalon Casino Ballroom for so many years – has left an indelible impression, not only on the island’s history, but in record collections everywhere. Towards the end of World War II, Brown and his orchestra, the Band of Renown, linked with a then little-known vocalist, Doris Day, to record “Sentimental Journey.” The song topped the Billboard charts for sixteen weeks and made Brown and Day household names forever. He was also a regular performer with Bob Hope after the war years, and became instrumental in making the first Grammy Awards a reality. More recently, Brown’s achievements were recognized with a President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Music Cares Foundation.
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU (Oceanographer & Explorer)
The son of famed deep-sea crusader Jacques Cousteau has been exploring the ocean realm ever since his father threw him overboard at the age of seven with newly-invented SCUBA gear on his back. After the deaths of his mother in 1990 and his father seven years later, Cousteau founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on the pioneering work. As president of OFS, Cousteau travels the globe, meeting with world leaders and policymakers, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to help energize alliances for positive change.
DICK DALE (Surf Guitar Legend)
It’s doubtful any artist has shaken the chandeliers in the island’s Casino Ballroom with quite the same intensity as the undisputed “King of the Surf Guitar.” Before Leo Fender, the guitar and amplifier guru, came up with gear that could handle Dale’s revolutionary sound, Dale would literally blow up amps and speakers on stage. Dale, who is still playing with just as much enthusiasm today, became a regular in the era’s Beach Party flicks. More recently he’s appeared on the Rosie O’Donnell and David Letterman shows and earned his rightful place in the unofficial pantheon of 90s Cool, a spot on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack (“Miserlou”).
TONY DOW (Actor/Director)
Dow is best remembered for playing Wally Cleaver, the clean-cut brother of Beaver on the classic family sitcom Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963). He reprised the role of Wally in the made-for-TV reunion film Still the Beaver (1983) and in the series it spawned. More recently, Dow is known as a TV director for series such as Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as a producer for films such as It Came From Outer Space II (1996). He also produced and directed the critically acclaimed 2000 documentary, Child Stars: Their Story. In September 2002, Dow’s lifetime of achievements was honored with a place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
GREGORY HARRISON (Actor)
An unofficial poster boy for the island’s chamber of commerce, Catalina-born Harrison has frequently appeared on talk and variety shows, elucidating the natural wonders of the island. Harrison’s lengthy TV credits include Logan’s Run, Falcon Crest, and seven seasons as Gonzo Gates, the Vietnam-vet doctor on Trapper John MD (1979-86).
JACK LA LANNE (Fitness Pioneer)
A lifetime of pumping weights, healthy diet and regular aerobic exercise may have helped shave 30 years off La Lanne’s looks. But the Godfather of Fitness also credits the fun he’s had on Catalina as a secret to his eternal youth. Still as energetic and flamboyant as ever, La Lanne’s current hobby is golf, a sport he took up at age 50. Doctors told him his golfing days were over after a head-on car accident shattered his left knee. But they didn’t count on La Lanne’s powers of recovery. Several years later he was back on the fairways shooting his age, four times at 73 and another five a year later. Today, in his eighties, La Lanne says that goal is even easier.
A.C. LYLES (Producer, Ambassador Historian for Paramount Pictures)
A revered Paramount Pictures producer and long-time pal of former actor-turned-president Ronald Reagan, Lyles was around to experience first-hand the atmosphere that earned the island its tag as “Playground to the Stars.” He was also working for Paramount at the time buffaloes were imported to Catalina for filming of Zane Gray’s The Vanishing American. His producing credits include Raymie (1960), Town Tamer (1965), Hostile Guns (1967) and the TV films The Last Day (1975) and Flight to Holocaust (1977), many of which were shot on Catalina Island. More recently, he was seen on the other side of the camera, playing an advisor in the submarine thriller The Hunt for Red October (1990).
PEGGY MORAN (Actress)
Moran’s love affair with Catalina stretches back to the late 1930s and early ’40s when, under contract to Universal Pictures, she’d make regular trips to the island to pose for promotional shots for her films. Those credits include a supporting role opposite Deanna Durbin in Universal’s First Love (1939) and Spring Parade (1940), both directed by Moran’s future husband Henry Koster. Other big-screen highlights include One Night in the Tropics (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1941) and There’s One Born Every Minute (1942), with Elizabeth Taylor in her feature debut.
KATHLEEN QUINLAN (Actress)
After a short but successful stage career, 19-year-old Quinlan made her big screen debut in American Graffiti (1973). Her many screen credits since that time include I Never Promised You A Rose Garden (1977), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), The Doors (1991), Lawn Dogs (1997) and A Civil Action (1998). Perhaps her most recognized role, however, is 1995’s Oscar-nominated performance as Marilyn Lovell in Apollo 13, directed by her American Graffiti co-star, Ron Howard.