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

Advertisements

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

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

Semper Fidelis

As I've said before, with many of their bigger stars and directors overseas, Hollywood studios had to get creative as to what kinds of films they made. Actors and actresses who normally played character or supporting roles were commonly moved into lead parts, and one example of this is the 1943 film, Salute To the Marines. Featuring … Continue reading Semper Fidelis

Rita Hayworth and World War Two

Well, hello, Miss Rita... As we've talked about on this blog before, Hollywood threw itself into doing its part during the Second World War. All efforts were vastly appreciated, but some stood out more than others, and one of those was Rita Hayworth. In the early nineteen forties, Rita's star was on a rapid ascent, … Continue reading Rita Hayworth and World War Two

The Fighting WACs

One obvious side effect of war, especially a global one, is the shortage of men at home, and World War Two was no different. Countless Hollywood fixtures, whether cast or crew, enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces, leaving studio rosters a little thin for the time being. Naturally, this gave rise to more … Continue reading The Fighting WACs

Ingrid’s Casablanca

Welcome back, Ms. Bergman! What hasn't been said about Casablanca? What hasn't been asked about Casablanca? This is a film that's been parsed, analyzed, memorialized, quoted, parodied, and collected more homage than most films in history, with the exception of Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz, of course. What's left to be said? Plenty. It's a classic film that we … Continue reading Ingrid’s Casablanca

Rockets, Auks, and Arch Oboler

If you've been hanging around my blog for any length of time, you know I'm a big fan of radio playwright Arch Oboler. Best-known for his work on Lights Out and his own series, Arch Oboler's Plays, Oboler could take the most mundane ideas and make them fresh and compelling. He had a busy mind, and like many writers, … Continue reading Rockets, Auks, and Arch Oboler

What’s Tubealloy?

The single most controversial part of the Second World War is the use of the atomic bomb. We know that Germany and Japan both had such weapons in the works, and that their efforts were narrowly thwarted by circumstances. As for the United States' development program, called the Manhattan Project, most think of the testing site … Continue reading What’s Tubealloy?

Page To Screen: Nella Last’s War

In 1937, a rather gargantuan project of compiling England's social history commenced: Mass Observation. Its aim was and is to chronicle day-to-day living in the United Kingdom, and that can mean anything from sending in diaries to filling out questionnaires to writing poems or taking photos. One of their most enthusiastic participants was Nella Last … Continue reading Page To Screen: Nella Last’s War

Try To Remember

Filmmakers have always seemed to love using amnesia as a plot device. There's nothing like a fish being in water and out of it at the same time. One example of this is the 1943 film, Random Harvest, starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. It's a movie that genteely declares itself a "prestige picture," with an important … Continue reading Try To Remember