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

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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

Joan Goes Noir-ish

And here's Miss Joan... After World War Two, it really got to be a thing for studio actors to turn free-agent, and it became way more common for actors to both produce and star in their own films. One of these was 1948's Hollow Triumph, which is also known as The Scar, and as The Man Who Murdered Himself. Produced by … Continue reading Joan Goes Noir-ish

At the Very Beginning

Production Code Time... The onscreen and offscreen partnership of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn is the stuff of legend, and it all started with the 1942 film, Woman of the Year. The story of two rival columnists, it's a classic battle of the sexes. Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) is an international affairs columnist for the New York Chronicle. … Continue reading At the Very Beginning

Janet and Meg

Time to talk about Ms. Leigh...  One of my favorite movies is 1949's Little Women. I can't remember the first time I saw it. Maybe it was elementary school? I don't know. Anyway, it's a sweet version of Louisa May Alcott's story and one I always like to revisit. Our lady of the weekend, Janet Leigh, plays … Continue reading Janet and Meg

A Woman Scorned

Welcome back, Miss de Havilland! One of the nicest things about blogging is that it invites people to branch out, and among the stars I'm enjoying learning more about is Olivia de Havilland. Prior to starting Taking Up Room, the only movies of hers I had seen were Gone With the Wind, Thank Your Lucky … Continue reading A Woman Scorned

A Song To Sing

Another talented composer of the twentieth century is Jerome Kern. His songs are graceful, elegant, and thoughtful, ranging from playful to poignant, and he frequently collaborated with such lyrical greats as Oscar Hammerstein, Dorothy Fields, E.Y. Harburg, Ira Gershwin, and Johnny Mercer. Kern's biopic, Till the Clouds Roll By was released at the end of 1946, … Continue reading A Song To Sing