Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Movie Lot to Beachhead

Every once in a while I walk over to ye olde bookshelf & start looking at what I have. What usually happens is I grab something & say to myself, "wow, I forgot I had that." The "aha" moment this time was a book called:

Movie Lot to Beachhead The Motion Picture Goes to War and Prepares for the Future
By the Editors of Look

It's not the rarest book. I see it pop up at antique shops here & there. Look Magazine probably cranked out thousands of these things back in their heyday.

Overall, it's an interesting collection of real wartime photos, with a focus on Hollywood's contribution to the war. You've got a chapter on Jimmy Stewart; another on the making of God is My Co-Pilot; Foxhole Circuit (entertaining the troops), Private Snafu; Hollywood is Just Another Town at War and more.

Let me grab you a part from the chapter titled "Costumes by Uncle Sam:"

"...Such is one aspect of filmdom at war. There are others. Robert Montgomery, suave drawing-room comedian, having two destroyers shot from under him in the South Pacific . . . Clark Gable, screen idol, winning the Air Medal for bomber missions of German-held territory. . . Gene Autry, crooning cowboy, refused by the Air Forces because of age, taking flying lessons and getting into the Air Transport Command . . . Jackie Coogan, the "kid" grown up, piloting the first glider landing behind Japanese lines in Burma . . . Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., urbane son of a famous father, winning the Silver Star for service at Salerno."

To this day I can't believe someone like Clark Gable was on bomber missions over enemy territory. Imagine if he was captured as a prisoner of war...

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