Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Hollywood in World War II
Once we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hollywood went out of it's way to support our troops. Many stars gave service by donating their time for being everything from being Civilian Defense marshalls to personal appearances at War Bond drives. And Jimmy Stewart, Gene Autry, Eddie Albert, James Arness, Ernest Borgnine, Mel Brooks, Charles Bronson joined the military, just to name a few.
And many of the greatest films of that era were about the war or focused on patriotism: "Casablanca", "Mrs. Miniver", "A Yank in the RAF", "Sergeant York". Plus many training films were made by Hollywood.
We all know how dedicated Bob Hope was in entertaining the troops. There was nowhere he wouldn't go to entertain our service men and women - the best audience he ever had. And he brought many stars of entertainment with him. In the summer of 1944 Bob Hope hopped from island to island in the South Pacific to entertain the troops. It was an emotional, as well as dangerous, journey for Hope and his colleagues. He logged over 30,000 miles and gave more than 150 performances. Accompanying Hope on the trip were guitarist Tony Romano, singer Frances Langford, dancer Patty Thomas, and gag-writer and Hope chum, Barney Dean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QTzFfBMoE8
Many great songs came out of the war too. "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B" by the Andrew Sisters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pfCFU3Mqww&feature=player_embedded#at=15) and so many more!
And when our servicemen and women had the chance to visit Hollywood, she threw open her arms! Lavish theater productions were in vogue - and they loved to cater to our troops! From the back of a program from the Ice Follies of 1945: " Again the show-folk have gone all out for victory during war-time. On the global fronts ... many times under actual enemy fire ... the grim task of Our Boys. On the home front ... war bonds, shows for war charities, talent freely given ...added to the Road to Victory..."
One of the best films made after the war was "The Best Years of Our Lives" . It tells the very moving stories of 3 veterans coming home after the war. Disabled veteran Harold Russell, who was not an actor, won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the film. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you watch it.
Collector's look for all kind of things from WWII, including uniforms, medals, and other memorbelia from the war years.
A side note: Unfortunately, our Sevice Men and Women were treated disgracefully during and after Vietnam. No matter how you felt about that conflict, they were doing their job.
Research done at Wikipedia and http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bobhope/uso.html
You can shop for WWII Memorbelia in my Addoway Store @http://www.addoway.com/DonnasStuffMore/storefront