Hooray for the red, white and blue

I’ve always been under the firm belief that World War II era America is one of the most patriotic times this country has ever had. Women saved cooking grease, nylon hose and tubes of toothpaste to donate for war materials.  Film stars enlisted and performed for the soldiers. Female actresses danced with soldiers and talked to them about their mother’s and girlfriends. Here are some photos I found of actors entertaining service men. Enjoy 🙂

Betty Hutton dancing with a soldier

Olivia de Havilland with Navy officers

Ginger Rogers, Gloria DeHaven and other actresses shower a young soldier with attention. (LIFE)

Loretta Young visiting a Naval hospital

Carole Landis visiting soldiers in the South Pacific

Hedy Lamarr playing cards with soldiers

Ann Sheridan preparing to visit men overseas. Notice that she is also painted on the side of the plane.

USO king, Bob Hope, with soldiers

Marlene Dietrich playing the saw between her knees for a military audience. (My grandfather saw her do this)

Carole Lombard selling war bonds.

Robert Benchley and Charles Butterworth serving coffee at the Hollywood Canteen

Rita Hayworth showing some cheesecake as she dishes up food at the Hollywood Canteen

Veronica Lake mingling with a solider

This may be my favorite: Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Joan Leslie, Jane Wyman (I think), and Bette Davis looking at Hollywood actors who enlisted. I think Bette is crying

Hope you enjoyed all of the photos. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! 🙂


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Happy 4th of July, Pilgrim

Today we celebrate the birth of America. I thought about what makes me think “Now that’s America” when I watch old movies. Here are a few things that I thought of:

John Wayne looking VERY attractive in “Stagecoach” (1939).

John Wayne: What other actor is so widely known and associated with America? His roles are usually a cowboy or a soldier. My favorite role of his is from “They Were Expendable” which is probably one of the best World War 2 movies along with “Battleground.”
Many of my friends and others have criticized John Wayne as always playing the same role, or playing himself. I personally don’t see the issue with this when so many of today’s actors like Katherine Hegel or Jennifer Aniston play the same role over and over again. The only difference is John Wayne played meaningful, strong and manly roles while those actresses are always dizzy, confused dames. To me, John All-America actor. He even played football in college, what could be more American than that?

Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple in my favorite movie, “Since You Went Away” (1944)

The 1940s: Another thing that embodies America is the 1940s war era. I suppose I am a bit romantic about patriotism because I crave a patriotism that no longer exists. During World War II, men were willing to fight for the country and those on the home front who couldn’t fight did all they could to help out. Victory Gardens were grown, cooking grease was saved and sent to the military, women sacrificed their silk stockings and painted their legs. People gave up daily luxuries that people today would refuse to give up.

LIFE magazine: LIFE magazine used to be the top publication. I can’t think of a magazine published today that can compare to LIFE. It showed the world the truth about war, the current fashions and let them in on celebrity lives. Even more so, it was a magazine that was started to revolve around photo journalism. It has some of the best photos and photographers like Robert Capa who showed us what war really was.

Harry James in “Best Foot Foward”

Other things:
-Pin-Up girls: Betty Grable, Esther Williams or Rita Hayworth. They all had sex appeal, but that same attainable, girl next door quality.
-Big Band music: No one can play a trumpet better than Harry James and Tommy Dorsey always seemed like one of the most likeable fellows. Glenn Miller even died while he was flying to a USO show during World War II.-Irving Berlin: Jerome Kern once said, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music, he is American music.” The man wrote “White Christmas”, “Cheek to Cheek” and “Putin’ on the Ritz”, who else can you say that about?

Also happy birthday to: Louis B. Mayer, George M. Cohan, George Murphy, Gloria Stewart, Eva Marie Saint and Stephen Boyd.

Happy 4th of July!

Ziegfeld girls in 1936

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