Thursday, September 21, 2017

Screen Magazine February 1943

Olivia de Havilland graces the cover of Screen Guide magazine for February 1943.  Along with the usual star gossip and fan magazine articles, there are interesting insights on how we coped with the war.  Though packed with fluff, these kinds of publications are windows on popular culture and we see that the war is all pervasive.

The letters to the editor includes the complaint, "Why must so many of the new pictures be based on the war?" Working six or seven days a week (we tend to forget the enormous sacrifice of war plant workers), some preferred the lighter fare.  Though this writer mentions wanting more films like Holiday Inn or Yankee Doodle Dandy, which still had their patriotic cheerleading scenes, we need to remember these sentiments when we see something like those frothy Betty Grable or Carmen Miranda Technicolor fantasies.  Escape is very important sometimes.

James Stewart, here a Lieutenant, is given a special tribute.  He was one of Hollywood's first enlistees in the war, and we mentioned his contribution to a patriotic radio broadcast in this post a few weeks ago, also covered by Screen Guide.

The magazine would continually note the growing list of Hollywood's new members of the armed services.  These were the latest batch of recruits.

I like this mention of Helmut Dantine, a minor player then, recognizable in several films.  Though he had a long career in acting, then trying his hand at directing and producing, Dantine never became a major star, or even "one of the biggest male raves the screen has ever seen."   Too bad, but he evidently caught the eye of the public at the time.

It wouldn't be a real World War II-era publication without a plea for buying war bonds. How much do you miss your solider?  Give up the luxuries and buy the war bonds.  At 2.9%, they paid better interest than we get today.

Another blurb shows Linda Darnell with a device that one installs in one's car to keep the highest speed at 35mph.  That saves gas.  Sacrifice can be glamorous.  


Caftan Woman said...

The letter from the young draftee regarding The Pied Piper was interesting. A lot of film output can be taken with a jaundiced eye, but they really can change hearts and minds with a well-told story.

Alice said...
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Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

I was remiss in not mentioning that letter, but thank you for your eagle eye. From what I've read and heard from that generation, the movies were a huge influence on their participation in the war. I read somewhere once that enlistee enrollments invariably increased during weeks of release of some war-themed films -- and yet not because of patriotic propaganda, but because of their wish to emulate the stars in the same way they wanted to emulate their clothing and hairstyles. The movies provided inspiration that was perhaps often unintentional, but sometimes purposeful, i.e., when the U.S. population, reticent about joining the war, were so deeply moved by MRS MINIVER that resistance to British aid was overcome. Of course, by the time that movie was released, we had indeed joined the war, and that movie became an example to Americans of courage and dignity.

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