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

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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

Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

Happy Fourth of July, all! During World War Two, there was no shortage of entertainment that encouraged audiences to do their part and help the servicepeople. Movies, radio, magazines, Broadway...every platform was used to the fullest. Sometimes the results came off better than others, of course, and one example of the "others" is Something For the … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

This Old House

My son had his Spring Break at the end of March, and I took the extra free time to start revisiting most of the "House" series. Remember those? A family, several familes, or maybe just a random group of people would try to live as people did in a certain time in history, and it … Continue reading This Old House

Dinner and Serendipity

When I reviewed Christmas In Connecticut, Kristina from Speakeasy recommended 1944's Sunday Dinner For A Soldier to me. It just so happened that the film was already on my Amazon list, and lo and behold, I got it for Christmas. Funny how things work out. Anyway, the film is the story of a poor family who want to do their … Continue reading Dinner and Serendipity

Marrying In Haste

World War Two was a heady time, and on-the-fly decisions weren't uncommon. Like getting married, for instance. 1942 has one of the highest marriage numbers on record in the United States. Some of these couples had been together for a while, but whirlwind courtships weren't unheard of. Sometimes called "gangplank marriage" or "shoving-off marriages," they … Continue reading Marrying In Haste