We honor – by remembering – all of our war heroes this weekend.
As a special Memorial Day post I put together a slide-show of classic Hollywood stars performing patriotic duties. Whether by enlisting in the armed forces, traveling the country with the Hollywood Victory Caravan, performing on Armed forces radio, working war bond drives or entertaining and serving soldiers at the legendary Hollywood Canteen – they did their part for the war effort.
Here’s a look back lest we forget.
“There’s something about an American soldier you can’t explain. They’re so grateful for anything, even a film actress coming to see them.” – Marlene Dietrich
I wasn’t planning on posting anything special to pay tribute to Douglas Fairbanks (May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939) because I’ve little time to dedicate to a full post. But I came across this rather odd 1916 short directed by Christy Cabanne and John Emerson and thought it would be fun to share.
I admit this is not the greatest choice with which to honor a legendary life and career. But it is a remembrance. To Douglas Fairbanks.
In honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930).
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was an old-time radio show which aired in the USA from October 2, 1939 to July 7, 1947. Originally, the show starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Together, they starred in 220 episodes which aired weekly on Mondays from 8:30 to 9:00pm. Bromo Quinine sponsored some of the earlier programs on the NBC Blue Network and for a period Parker Pen was the sponsor. The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Basil Rathbone’s last episode as the famous detective was “The Singular Affair of the Baconian Cipher.” He was eager to separate himself from the cast type of Holmes, and even though the show’s sponsor Petri Wine offered him generous pay to continue, he decided to move on. Once he did, the sponsor did as well, and Tom Conway took the starring role, though Nigel Bruce got top billing and was always announced first. The new sponsor was Kreml Hair Tonic for Men, and the new series only lasted 39 episodes.
With Rathbone and Bruce, the show exhibited an interesting introduction. The sponsor’s spokesman would show up weekly at Dr. Watson’s house (then retired and living in California), and share a story about Sherlock Holmes and his adventures over a glass of Petri wine. This offered them the chance to sometimes bring in other characters to contribute to the story, and also gave Watson a chance to summarize or add additional tidbits at the end. Another interesting thing about this radio shows introductions was Watson’s anecdotes and comments about his dogs usually referred to as the “Puppies”. (Old Radio World)
Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce
“The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”
“Murder By Midnight”
“The Missing Bloodstain”
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
An American original was born today in 1908. In honor, here’s a career retrospective – in pictures – Jimmy Stewart. The measure of a Man – a wonderful Actor.
There ought to be a law against any man who doesn’t want to marry Myrna Loy.
If I had my career over again? Maybe I’d say to myself, “Speed it up a little”.
I have my own rules and adhere to them. The rule is simple but inflexible. A James Stewart picture must have two vital ingredients: it will be clean and it will involve the triumph of the underdog over the bully.
[asked how he wanted to be remembered] As someone who believed in hard work and love of country, love of family and love of community.
John Wayne was the greatest cowboy. Henry Fonda was the better actor but John Wayne, well, he was a champ.
[on Joan Crawford] My first impression of Joan Crawford was of glamor.
[on Jean Arthur] Jean was the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing.
[on Margaret Sullavan] She could do maybe a look, or a line or two, but they would hit like flashes or earthquakes.
I suppose people can relate to being me, while they dream about being John Wayne.
When it came to kissing, Harlow was the best.
For and by Turner Classic Movies (TCM), narrated by his friend, George Kennedy, a tribute.
“The likes of him you won’t see often in this life.”