In the midst of the pandemic that requires us to be supremely careful, courageous, and compassionate, those of us in the classic film fan community likely have our own recommendations for favorite films to comfort and inspire. We have favorite films for almost any occasion, actually. You forgot to pick up your dry cleaning before non-essential businesses shut down? There's probably a movie for that. Clinton Sundberg, Charles Lane, and Bess Flowers are probably in it.
But today I'd like to refer you to The 1940s House, another source of comfort and inspiration, and a great learning tool, in the form of a television miniseries that takes us back to World War II in Great Britain. Or rather, it takes a modern British family back to those days and puts them through the paces to see how they cope with rationing, making do, being creative in the midst of adversity, pulling together to cope with a national calamity, and most of all--isolation. It's a very entertaining and often quite funny glimpse into the old "what would I do if it were me?" game.
Perhaps you remember watching The 1940s House here in the U.S. on PBS back in 2002 - a time when we were still reeling and coping with the aftermath of 9/11. It's available here on DVD, but you can watch it as well in four parts on YouTube. If you're looking for something to binge-watch, this is a good pick. It's not Mrs. Miniver (1942), but it's a nifty bit of time traveling. What I find most especially poignant is how the experience changed them and what it brought to their lives once the experiment was over. If you do watch it, I'd love to know what you think.
There's another British family that has made a hit on social media this week for their hysterical version of "One Day More" from Les Misérables. I leave you with them for an even more modern method of coping.
Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.Memories in Our Time - Hollywood Mirrors and Mimics the Twentieth Century. Her newspaper column on classic films, Silver Screen, Golden Memories is syndicated nationally.