Your Face Is Bogart’s

Nice to have you back, Ms. Bacall... Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart made five movies together. Their chemistry was so electric that no matter what the story was about, she would always smolder and he would always appraise her coolly and wordlessly. The 1947 film, Dark Passage, however thinks outside of the box due to one simple … Continue reading Your Face Is Bogart’s

Stage To Screen: On the Town

"New York, New York, it's a {insert adjective here} town..." Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's story of three sailors on leave in New York City is probably one of the most famous musicals of the World War Two period. It was both satire and commentary, as it came from a time when relationships … Continue reading Stage To Screen: On the Town

Mr. Blandings and Mr. Breen

Surprise! Those of us who have big families or have lived in apartments and dorms know what it's like to not have a lot of space. Being on top of each other all the time is a constant occurrence, and it can be a pain in the neck. Ideally, though, when the going gets tough, … Continue reading Mr. Blandings and Mr. Breen

Curing Box Office Poison

Miss Hepburn is back... Joan Crawford wasn't the only Golden Age actress to garner the dreaded Box Office Poison label; Katharine Hepburn also got stuck with it. What's interesting is how differently these two women handled the setback. Joan's response was to smolder in her posh mansion while waiting for good parts to come along, … Continue reading Curing Box Office Poison

Shore Is Awful

Brother, can you spare a dime? I've been on a John Steinbeck kick lately. In the last couple of months I've read Travels With Charley and Cannery Row (again), plus I have Sweet Thursday and The Pastures of Heaven lined up. I think the man was an absolute genius. We're all aware of one of … Continue reading Shore Is Awful

After Citizen Kane

The phrase, "sophomore slump" is common among public figures. When one's debut venture is excellent and celebrated, there's always a danger that anything following it will be a letdown. When one's debut film is Citizen Kane, the stakes are even higher. Orson Welles followed up that infamous firestorm with 1942's The Magnificent Ambersons. Based on the Booth Tarkington novel, … Continue reading After Citizen Kane

The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor

Like Wake Island, Bataan and Corregidor were attacked by the Japanese while Pearl Harbor was taking place. Even more obscure than what happened to the servicepeople are the experiences of military nurses in the Philippines. These women tirelessly labored with little to no medicine or resources, and nevertheless provided major support and encouragement to Americans … Continue reading The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor

Remember Wake Island

Pearl Harbor wasn't the only locale attacked by the Japanese in December of 1941. Another was Wake Island. It's one of the most isolated islands in the world, but Wake Island was both a Marine base and a refueling stop for the Pan American Clipper, which made it strategically important and therefore no small target … Continue reading Remember Wake Island

God Bless This Ship

In tribute to those who fought and died for freedom throughout the world... On this day in 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced in a slumped, defeated voice that Britain was at war with Germany. It was a supreme comedown for the man who blithely waved a copy of the Munich Pact in the … Continue reading God Bless This Ship

Politics As Usual

And here's our guy Van... Ah, politics. It's no secret that they're a nasty business. It's also no secret that they can get particularly ugly on social media. What's easy to forget, though, is how much hasn't changed (Side note: Jefferson and Adams were known for some sick burns in their time.). Manipulation, back door … Continue reading Politics As Usual

Shamedown #7: Thunderbolt

It's time for another Shamedown, and another invitation to pay the Cinema Shame folks a visit if anyone's curious about this whole Shame thing. And now, onward... Last year's Shamedown #7 was my review of the William Wyler documentary, The Memphis Belle, in which he flew several missions with a bomber crew, documenting their reactions and the … Continue reading Shamedown #7: Thunderbolt

The Show Must Go On

Some crazy, crazy stuff hit theaters during the Second World War. Audiences were receptive to it, as they were looking for an escape from worry or bad news. One of the craziest was 1943's Thank Your Lucky Stars. Warner Bros. not only crammed in every star it could, but many of them act delightfully out of character. … Continue reading The Show Must Go On