Page To Screen: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This month's "Page To Screen" was going to be The NeverEnding Story, but I made a last-minute decision to save it for later. As time would have it, over my break I saw a 2018 Netflix movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I liked it so much I bought the book it was based on … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Page to Screen: The Diary of Anne Frank

If she had lived, Anne Frank would be ninety-one this year. Her diary, technically known in English as Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl, was first published in the Netherlands in 1947. The diary has been translated into sixty-five languages, sold over thirty-five million copies and is one of the most widely-read books outside … Continue reading Page to Screen: The Diary of Anne Frank

Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Dear friends, unless you've been in the military, I'm guessing your thoughts look something like this right now: "Yikes." "Wow." "This looks boring." Also highly likely: "What is it?" That was my question when I spied Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies while poking around Winston Smith Books several years ago. I asked the cashier about … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

At the Stage Door Canteen

Much has been made of the Hollywood Canteen and its efforts to entertain the troops during the Second World War. They weren't the first to the party, however, not that anyone's counting, but Broadway got there way before them. In 1917, various Broadway stars, many of them women, founded the American Theatre Wing, which was … Continue reading At the Stage Door Canteen

Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

This is the Army, Mister Jones. No private rooms or telephones. You had your breakfast in bed before, but you won't have it there anymore. (Irving Berlin, "This Is the Army," 1942.) Happy New Year! Welcome to the wild and wacky world of the Irving Berlin Wartime Musical. Nothing like starting off 2020 with a mix … Continue reading Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

OK, if you're thinking we've been here before, you'd sort of be right. It's World War Two-themed and it centers around food and family. Heck, I even did a review of a Marguerite Patten cookbook three years ago that had this exact title, sans the "Reading Rarity" part. Still, there are a few differences here, … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

Origins: Midway

When I heard there was going to be a movie about Midway, I thought, "Cool!" It's not a topic that's been delved into much in Hollywood, probably because it wasn't as high-profile as Pearl Harbor or Iwo Jima, although it was extremely important to the Pacific theater. My dad's stepdad was at Midway--he was a … Continue reading Origins: Midway

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

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

Reading Rarities: Make Do and Mend

During the Second World War, rationing was a thing in most parts of the world, and Britain had some of the most stringent rules of any free nation. Then, as now, they relied heavily on imported goods and raw materials, and when shipping became a problem, conservation was the order of the day. Not only … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Make Do and Mend

Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and some life experiences beg to be made into stories. Mister Roberts is one of those. Originally a novel by Thomas Heggen, it was published in 1946, premiered as a play in 1948, and released as a film in 1955. The story takes place very late in the war. … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

Hallowed Ground

Seventy-five years ago... Charlie Brown cartoons were usually cute and funny, but they were often poignant. One of my favorites from the 1980s was the little gem, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? Originally broadcast on May 30, 1983, it's the continuation of the adventures Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Woodstock and Snoopy had in the … Continue reading Hallowed Ground

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