Shamedown #1: Susan and God

Our first Shamedown of the new year! I think 2023 is going to be fun, at least movie-wise if nothing else. And if anyone would like to know what a Shamedown is, our instigators at CinemaShame have all the information here. Off we go... Who's made New Year's resolutions? I have, sort of--I've been trying … Continue reading Shamedown #1: Susan and God

During World War Two: It’s An Expat Thing

Hollywood was rife with actors, directors, writers, and others who had fled Europe when Hitler came to power and who still had relatives living under Hitler's thumb. Those who stayed behind, especially if they were Jewish, were subjected to the same treatment as anyone else, often dying by execution, in prison or in death camps … Continue reading During World War Two: It’s An Expat Thing

The House of Improv

After the last three years we can all relate to wanting change, right? Big change. Quiet quitting. Quiet hiring. Packing up and moving out of the city for greener pastures. Some of the guys in my life, including my husband, have felt the need to grow facial hair this year. Or sometimes we find ourselves … Continue reading The House of Improv

Meet Dorothy Morris

Gotta watch those characters... Dorothy Morris's career was relatively short compared to other character actors of her day, but she always made a big impression in her own quiet, pretty way. The daughter of a Methodist stockbroker, Morris was born on February 23, 1922 in Hollywood and despite being a shy person, became interested in … Continue reading Meet Dorothy Morris

During World War Two: Five Wartime Holiday Songs

There's no doubt the war felt harder around the holidays. Not only were people missing their loved ones, but there were shortages of many materials so everyone had to get creative. Handmade gifts were big, and children's toys were often made out of paper and wood instead of plastic and metal. However, stuff wasn't always … Continue reading During World War Two: Five Wartime Holiday Songs

Anywhere I Hang My Hat

Us Americans have always been famous for adapting to our surroundings but some things are a little beyond the pale. Like squatting. Obviously, it's usually not nice. Obviously, it's illegal depending on where the squatting happens. In California and other states, for instance, it's what's called a wobbler, which means a squatter can be charged … Continue reading Anywhere I Hang My Hat

The (Fake) Teen Agers

I don't know about anyone else, but I used to look through my parents' high school yearbooks and think how old everyone looked. Not like teenagers exactly but full-fledged adults. Must have been the clothes. At least they were actual teenagers in high school, unlike the cast of the 1946 film, High School Hero. This movie...well, it's … Continue reading The (Fake) Teen Agers

Andy Hardy Grows Up (Again)

Here we go... There were sixteen Andy Hardy movies made between 1936 and 1958. They were relatively cheap and quick to shoot, audiences loved them, and they were a lot of fun. They were also a way to showcase up-and-coming young actresses such as Judy Garland, Donna Reed and Esther Williams. One of 1941's Hardy … Continue reading Andy Hardy Grows Up (Again)

During World War Two: Dueling Canteens

It can't be denied that Hollywood, and for that matter, Broadway, were in an unique position to help the troops during the war. Support for the war effort was overwhelming in these industries, especially once the last holdouts stopped tiptoeing around the Nazis and the other Axis powers. Not to mention, seventy-nine percent of Americans … Continue reading During World War Two: Dueling Canteens

During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part Two)

When we last left off, America had temporarily pulled out of the Philippines as the last holdouts, Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Japanese, putting thousands of American and Filipino troops and civilians in the hands of enemy forces. Those who weren't murdered were herded into camps, where they faced extremely harsh conditions, and even … Continue reading During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part Two)

Hep To the Jive

The teen years are awkward enough, but for Shirley Temple they must have been downright painful, because after her 1940 film, The Blue Bird flopped she was at loose ends as an actress, ending her contract with Fox and trying to figure out what to do next. She made one movie at MGM, Kathleen, which didn't grab people, and … Continue reading Hep To the Jive

Shamedown #8: Underworld Scandal

We're back with another Shamedown, people, and the titles just keep getting more generic (Heh. Just wait until next month.). If anyone is coming in late and is therefore fuzzy on what a Shamedown is, the details can be found here. Juvenile delinquency rose hugely all over the world both during and after the Second … Continue reading Shamedown #8: Underworld Scandal

During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part One)

The war in the Pacific and the events leading up to it are very seldom taught, if ever, in schools today. In my case, and it's probably the same for a lot of film buffs and history lovers, movies made about that part of World War Two sparked interest in learning more. It's a complicated … Continue reading During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part One)

That’s Show Business

Welcome back, Miss Esther... Esther Williams was no stranger to hazards, naturally, since her movies typically involved dangerous stunts, but in the case of 1948's On An Island With You, things were just annoyingly blah. The movie was blah, the swimming scenes were blah, and spirits were blah. Still, the show must go on, and there's … Continue reading That’s Show Business

Shamedown #5: That Uncertain Feeling

We're back, all, and about time, too. School is out for my son and I, of course, and it feels fine. Anyway, if any of you are wondering what a Shamedown is, click here for the answers. No one is too big to fail, not even Ernst Lubitsch and his famous touch, as audiences saw … Continue reading Shamedown #5: That Uncertain Feeling

During World War Two: Remember Pearl Harbor

Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941 "a date that will live in infamy." Eighty-plus years later, December seventh is still infamous, although the media nowadays seems to use Pearl Harbor mostly as a metaphor instead of an actuality. 9-11, for instance, has been compared to Pearl Harbor more times than anyone can shake … Continue reading During World War Two: Remember Pearl Harbor

My Four Favorite Noirs

Happy National Classic Movie Day! I'll be honest: Noirs aren't my default choice when it comes to movies. I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes I've looked at those shadowy scenes and wondered if the characters have ever seen daylight or worn any outerwear other than a trench coat and a fedora. Or ever … Continue reading My Four Favorite Noirs