Down On the Farm

This year has shown us things about ourselves, positive and otherwise, and it may mean discovering depths and talents we never knew we had. With that in mind I decided to revisit 1947's The Egg and I. It's not only based on a true story of a city couple trying to start a chicken farm, … Continue reading Down On the Farm

Let’s Put On A Show

Escapism can take some funny shapes, and in 1944's Broadway Rhythm it literally does. It was meant to be the latest installment in the Broadway Melody series, but L.B. Mayer decided to change it to a vehicle for up and coming singer Ginny Sims. It was also an adaptation of a Kern and Hammerstein musical called Very Warm … Continue reading Let’s Put On A Show

Vive La France

Welcome back, Mr. Rains... While France was occupied during the Second World War, its soldiers, sailors, and airmen managed to deal heavy blows to the Axis with assists from the English and Americans. Like many other aspects of the war this effort was fodder for Hollywood's movie factory, and in 1944 our guest of honor … Continue reading Vive La France

Astaire’s Worst Movie

Gotta dance... Fred Astaire wasn't immune to the occasional turkey and one of them is 1940's Second Chorus. Astaire plays Danny, a trumpet player in a college band. It sounds all right on the surface, except that Astaire was forty-one at the time. At least Artie Shaw was along to make it all better. Oh, … Continue reading Astaire’s Worst Movie

See You In Court

Kate and Spence have returned, all... When Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy come up, people often talk about how well-matched they are. They're like two peas. Whatever Spence gave Kate, she gave back to him, and their love for each other was always evident. This dynamic played successfully in nine feature films, and one of … Continue reading See You In Court

We Can Take It

Rule, Britannia, Britannia rules the waves... It's no secret that early in the Second World War the United Kingdom was among the few free nations fighting against the Nazis. By 1944 people were exhausted and pep talks were in order, one of which came in the form of the Carol Reed film, The Way Ahead. … Continue reading We Can Take It

Through Different Eyes

I don't know what I was expecting when I bought 1945's The Enchanted Cottage. I didn't even think much about the plot except that it might be some nice late-World War Two escapism. What I found, though, was a quietly beautiful story about two outsiders who discover that the world has more for them than they realize. … Continue reading Through Different Eyes

The Old College Try

Hello, Mr. Lawford... One of the quirks of the studio era was that very often actors were conscripted into parts. Unless a performer had a lot of clout with the public, they pretty much had to take whatever the studio threw at them. Even then the word, "suspension" got bandied around a lot, but that's … Continue reading The Old College Try

For Your Entertainment

Our state fair is a great state fair. Don't miss it, don't even be late. It's dollars to donuts that our state fair is the best state fair in our state... 1945 was a weary year, but with the end of the war in August everyone was looking ahead to happier times and simple fun. … Continue reading For Your Entertainment

Six Reasons To See “Meet Me In St. Louis”

In 1944 Americans and everyone around the world were weary of war. There was a desire for simpler, happier times, when nothing very big or exciting happened. Hollywood fed into this with movies such as Meet Me In St. Louis, a gentle story about the Smith family as they wait for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or th … Continue reading Six Reasons To See “Meet Me In St. Louis”

Come On In, the Water’s Fine

Swimmers, take your marks... Esther Williams never set out to be a movie star. She was a champion swimmer who dreamed of competing in the Olympics. When the 1940 games were cancelled, she got a job working as a floor model at I. Magnin's Los Angeles store, and then landed a gig with Billy Rose's … Continue reading Come On In, the Water’s Fine

Hardboiled Lucy

Hello, friends. I'm your Vitameativiggivat Girl... The name, Lucille Ball, is synonymous with dramatic film noir...oh, wait, no, it isn't. Duh. 😉 Lucille Ball was a comedienne in the best sense, but like most up-and-coming actors, she did her share of roles outside of what she's now famous for. Ergo, Lucille Ball made some dramatic … Continue reading Hardboiled Lucy

Crooked But Never Common

Good to see you, Miss Barbara... I have kind of a love-argh thing with Preston Sturges. I know he's revered among film buffs, but sometimes he bugs me. Not always, though. Sullivan's Travels excellently captures a time when men rode the rails to wherever the jobs were. Hail the Conquering Hero is a rollicking tale of … Continue reading Crooked But Never Common

Oh Me, Oh Miami

Who else misses traveling? Walking around a public place without a mask? Eating in a restaurant? Large crowds of peaceful people? Good sense? Sigh. Yeah, we're not going to think about that too much. Actually, we're gonna go to Miami with Betty Grable in the 1941 film, Moon Over Miami. A colorful, light-as-air film, it … Continue reading Oh Me, Oh Miami

Ichabod and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

*Sound of book opening...* Disney certainly used to love the classics. One of the best of their old-school features in my opinion is 1949's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, which combines not one, but two classics: Kenneth Grahame's novel, The Wind In the Willows and Washington Irving's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The film … Continue reading Ichabod and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride