Monday, August 11, 2008

Now Playing - 1945

This ad for “Captain Eddie” (1945) seems to encapsulate the entire film with scenes from the life of the Eddie Rickenbaker, the American World War I flying ace, and with gushing superlatives.

Like many biographic films of the day, some of it is fact, some of it invention. Perhaps the film needed a little publicity push, as the end months of World War II may not have been the most opportune time to make a film about a World War I hero. It worked with “Sergeant York” (1941), but there was a huge gulf in the span of four years between films. The innocence of an earlier age and the idealism of an earlier war had possibly worn thin after the brutality of World War II.

Fred MacMurray starred, along with Lynn Bari, and three of the finest charmingly crusty old fellows: Charles Bickford, Thomas Mitchell, and James Gleason. To balance this curmudgeon convention, Spring Byington lends her customary comfort.

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