This is to announce what’s happening here in February. First, the Classic Movie Blog Association is running its “Fabulous Films of the 1940s” blogathon from February 17th through 22nd. Visit the CMBA blog here for a roster of all the great bloggers participating and the films they’ve chosen to explore this exciting decade in film.
My pick is “Resisting Enemy Interrogation” (1944), which will be posted Thursday, February 21st. If you haven’t heard of the film, don’t worry, it’s probably just because you’re a civilian. This was made by the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Corps as a training film for troops and was never shown to the general public. However, unlike a lot of rather dry training films, this one is a smash, one of the most intriguing and dramatic films to come out of the war, despite its simple lesson of giving only your name, rank, and serial number. Nobody actually “stars” in this training movie, but you’ll see a lot of young men who later became familiar faces: Arthur Kennedy, Craig Stevens, Don Porter, and Mel Torme. Rand Brooks and Kent Smith already had made a foothold on their film careers. Lloyd Nolan, the only “veteran” so to speak, of the group, is our narrator and debriefing officer.
You may recall (or not) that some months ago I put out an APB on the TV documentary “Hollywood Commandos” (1997) about this First Motion Picture Unit (or FMPU). With special thanks to Moira Finnie of The Skeins, I was able to contact Mr. Gregory Orr, the producer of this documentary, who (though the film is not currently available for sale), kindly provided me with a copy. The following week, February 28th, I’ll be discussing "Hollywood Commandos" and the FMPU in more detail as a follow-up to “Resisting Enemy Interrogation.”
I’m looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’ll see you next week with a Valentine’s Day kissing booth. But don’t get any ideas.
Coming up: I'll be speaking at the Westfield Athenaeum, Westfield, Massachusetts on Tuesday, March 12th in celebration of Women's History Month. I'll be drawing from essays in my recently published States of Mind: New England. This, and some of my novels, will be available for sale at this event.
I'll be appearing with a number of other local authors at the Author Fair at the Springfield City Library, Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, April 6th. This will be a meet-and-greet event with the public, and a selection of my books will be available for sale.
I'll be speaking at the Chicopee Historical Society, meeting at the Chicopee Public Library on Thursday, May 16th with a PowerPoint presentation about topics from my recently published States of Mind: New England. That book will be available for sale at this event.