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

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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

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

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?

Shamedown #7: The Memphis Belle

Another month, another Shamedown. If anyone would like to know what a Shamedown is, please visit Cinema Shame here. Previous Shamedown posts can be found here. The 1990 film, Memphis Belle, is fairly widely known. An ensemble piece starring Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., D.B. Sweeney, Tate Donovan, and John Lithgow, among others, the film was produced … Continue reading Shamedown #7: The Memphis Belle