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''THE  BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES'' <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1947)''THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES''
(Photoplay Magazine, 1947)
The post-World War II film The Best Years of our lives (1947) is attached herein, reviewed by the senior editor of PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE:

"Of all the films released since August 1945 it best dramatizes the problems of men returning from war and of their families to whom they return...It eloquently preaches the need for veterans to do their share in the adjustment between home and soldier and between employer and returning worker. It eloquently preaches against the ugly attempts of the few to incite in these chaotic days race and religious hatreds. And it eloquently preaches the truth that physical disability need not cripple a man's soul or his opportunities."

Hollywood During the Second World War <br />(Yank, 1945)Hollywood During the Second World War
(Yank, 1945)
This is a swell article that truly catches the spirit of the time. You will read about the war-torn Hollywood that existed between the years 1941-1945 and the movie shortage, the hair-pin rationing, the rise of the independent producers and the ascent of Van Johnson and Lauren Becall:

"Lauren, a Warner Brothers property, is a blonde-haired chick with a tall, hippy figure, a voice that sounds like a sexy foghorn and a pair of so-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it eyes"

Mention is also made of the hiring of demobilized U.S. combat veterans to serve as technical assistants for war movies in such films as "Objective Burma".

Warner Brothers Opens Fire on Nazi Germany <br />(Stage Magazine, 1939)Warner Brothers Opens Fire on Nazi Germany
(Stage Magazine, 1939)
STAGE MAGAZINE correspondent Katherine Best was not shy about giving credit where credit was due, as you will read in this article that stands as one big pat on the back for the producers at Warner Brother's for possessing the testicular fortitude needed to launch the first anti-Nazi movie in Hollywood: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939).

In October of 1940, Charlie Chaplin released his anti-fascist masterpiece: The Great Dictator. Click here to read about that.

Actor Lew Ayres: Conscientious Objector <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Actor Lew Ayres: Conscientious Objector
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
This short notice from a 1944 issue of the U.S. Army's YANK MAGAZINE can be printed or read on screen if you prefer; the article is accompanied by a photo of Lew Ayres (1908 - 1996: Ayres is best remembered for his performance in "All Quiet on the Western Front") wearing his Army togs while performing his tasks as a chaplain's assistant on Wake Island (New Guinea).

"'I am still a conscientious objector to war,' Ayres says. He went to a camp for conchies at Wyeth, Oregon early in 1942 but volunteered a short time later for medical service. After training as a hospital ward attendant and then becoming an instructor at Camp Barkley, Texas, the ex-movie actor shipped overseas as a staff sergeant."

Click here to read more about American conscientious objectors in W.W. II.

United Artists Makes ''Stage Door Canteen'' <br />(Charm, 1943)United Artists Makes ''Stage Door Canteen''
(Charm, 1943)
During the Second World War there were two prominent canteens where the Allied soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines could go to see and be seen with the glamorous actor types of their day: the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles and the Stage Door Canteen in New York City. It was in these two locales that the stars of both stage and screen could be found both waiting and busing tables, preparing food and cracking wise with the volunteers and draftees of the Allied Armies. We needn't tell you which of these two establishments Hollywood decided to celebrate on celluloid, but you should know that the film was extremely popular- attached is the review as it appeared in fashion magazine of the time.

Paulette Goddard in Uniform <br />(Click Magazine, 1942)Paulette Goddard in Uniform
(Click Magazine, 1942)
Paulette Goddard (1910 1990) is pictured in color wearing an all-purpose uniform designed by the Hollywood stylist Irene (Irene Lentz, 1900 - 1962). The actress was a sporadic volunteer, having appeared in four films throughout 1942.
The War Movies for the Month of June <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)The War Movies for the Month of June
(Click Magazine, 1943)
This printable list of war-themed movies indicates that Hollywood studio heads were all earning their commission stripes in 1943; attached you will find a list of film titles, stars and a one sentence synopsis of the plots.

Which Hollywood actors received draft deferments?

Hollywood Fights Its Slowdown <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)Hollywood Fights Its Slowdown
(Click Magazine, 1943)
"Hollywood's manpower problems have multiplied, as in any large industry, since the U.S. entered the war. The draft, war plants, and the Government need for technicians depleted studio staffs all along the line, from producers to prop boys. The majority of Hollywood stars have devoted an untold number of hours to Army camp tours, war work, canteens; they have raised funds for war relief and war bonds. Robert Montgomery (pictured in uniform) is only one of many stars who have entered the armed services. Now he's a lieutenant in the Navy in charge of a torpedo boat squadron....With the reduction in Hollywood's talent ranks and the new ruling for a $25,000-net-income ceiling, movie companies face a crises in production."

Click here to read a about a particularly persuasive and
highly effective W.W. II training film...

When W.W. II Came to Hollywood <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1948)When W.W. II Came to Hollywood
(Photoplay Magazine, 1948)
The attached article is but a small segment addressing the history of Hollywood during the war W.W. II years; clipped from a longer PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE piece that recounted the illustrious past of Hollywood some thirty-five years earlier.

"After Pearl Harbor, the men really began leaving town. David Niven was gone now. So too, was Flight Officer Laurence Olivier. And more and more from the Hollywood ranks kept leaving. Gable, Fonda, Reagan, the well-knowns and the lesser-knowns. Power, Taylor, Payne, Skelton and many others...More Hollywood regulars went away, so other, newer newcomers had to be found to replace them because the box office was booming."

The Hollywood Happenings in the Spring of '44 <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The Hollywood Happenings in the Spring of '44
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
Tenderly ripped from the brittle pages of a 1944 issue of YANK MAGAZINE was this short paragraph which explained all the goings-on within the sun-bleached confines of Hollywood, California:

"Rita Hayworth steps into the top spot in the Columbia production, 'Tonight and Every Night'; Ethel Barrymore returns to the screen after 11 years' absence to share honors with with Cary Grant in 'None but the Loney Heart'...In 'Something for the Boys' Carmen Miranda will sing 'Mairzy Doats'..." etc, etc, etc.

Who in Hollywood Received Draft Deferments <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)Who in Hollywood Received Draft Deferments
(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)
This article first appeared at the end of America's first full year of war and it is composed of the names and pictures of Hollywood's leading men who were absolved from fulfilling their military obligations during the war.

"The personalities of the fabulous films are on the spot in the matter of serving their country. It is useless to deny that the motion picture stars have been getting the best of it. Some have been given special draft deferments and choice assignments and often have been allowed extra months to finish their pictures before having to report for duty."

Read why Frank Sinatra didn't get drafted...

Should Movie Stars Be Expected to Fight , As Well? <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)Should Movie Stars Be Expected to Fight , As Well?
(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)
We were very surprised to read in the attached editorial that the whole idea of draft deferments for actors and other assorted Hollywood flunkies was not a scheme cooked-up by their respective agents and yes-men, but a plan that sprung forth from the fertile mind of the executive officer in charge of the Selective Service System: Brigadier General Lewis Blaine Hershey (1893 - 1977) in Washington.

Always one to ask the difficult questions, Ernest V. Heyn (1905 - 1995) executive editor of PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE posed the query "Should Stars Fight?" and in this column he began to weigh the pros-and-cons of the need for propaganda and an uninterrupted flow of movies for the home front, and the appearance of creating a new entitled class of pretty boys.

Twenty years earlier a Hollywood actor would get in some hot water for also suggesting that talented men be excused from the W.W. I draft...

Flight Officer Lawrence Olivier <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)Flight Officer Lawrence Olivier
(Photoplay Magazine, 1942)
When the actor Lawrence Olivier (1907 1989) first heard that a state of war existed between Britain and Germany, he was enjoying the breezes off the shore of Southern California in a sailboat skippered by Hollywood's heir expectant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and it was to Fairbanks that the attached letter was addressed. When this letter was written, Olivier was posted to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm where he gained the understanding that aeronautics was an acquired taste, and one that he simply could not cultivate. In his book International Stars at War, author James Wise noted that Flight Officer Olivier would soon be judged incompetent by the Royal Navy and released for other duties more in line with his abilities (like writing this highly self-conscious letter to his Hollywood friend).

Fairbanks, on the other hand, played an important roll in the U.S. Navy and by the war's end was sporting a chest-full of ribbons.

Tears in the Dark of the Theater <br />(Click Magazine, 1944)Tears in the Dark of the Theater
(Click Magazine, 1944)
Even the broad-shouldered, steely-hard men who toil daily over this website cry like little girls when exposed to the 1944 home front movie, Since You Went Away; for our money it was the best movie Hollywood ever produced about the war years.

That said, we invite you to take a gander at the attached photo-essay from CLICK MAGAZINE in which a spy camera using infrared film was used to capture the weeping masses sobbing in the dark of the theater as they watched that remarkable movie.

The Hollywood Offerings from Late 1944 <br />(Click Magazine, 1944)The Hollywood Offerings from Late 1944
(Click Magazine, 1944)
During the last month of 1944 the Yankee movie-goers had a choice of ten new releases to choose from, here are four titles:

Laura, starring Clifton Webb,
I'll Be Seeing You, starring Joseph Cotton and Ginger Rogers
The Doughgirls, starring Jane Wyman and Ann Sheridan
Mrs. Parkington, starring Walter Pidgeon and Greer Garson

Each review is illustrated with thumbnail images of the ten films in release. The list can be printed.

Errol Flynn on Trial <br />(Yank Magazine, 1943)Errol Flynn on Trial
(Yank Magazine, 1943)
During the war years, the boys on the front loved reading about a juicy Hollywood scandal just as much as we do today, and Errol Flynn could always be relied upon to provide at least one at any given time. The closest thing to a Hollywood tabloid that the far-flung khaki-clad Joes could ever get their hands on was YANK MAGAZINE, the U.S. army weekly that also provided them with the news from all battlefronts.

Movie star Flynn was tried by the California courts for having gained a fair measure of carnal knowledge from two feminine California movie fans who were both under the age of 18; said knowledge was gained while on board the defendant's yacht, The Sirocco.

More about this trial and Flynn's other scandals can be read here...

Hollywood Stars Cope with Food Rations <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1943)Hollywood Stars Cope with Food Rations
(Collier's Magazine, 1943)
If you ever wondered how Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Barbara Stanwyck, Carmen Miranda, Veronica Lake, Charlie McCarthy or Edgar Bergen prepared their respective meals during the bad ol' days of food rationing during W.W. II - then you'll get your answer here:

"Hollywood has done a complete about-face and banned the lavish, costly dish.... These days when the inhabitants of Glamor Town take off their faces and sit down to dine, the taste may be varied, but every meal is eaten with the full knowledge that a quarter of a pound of butter or a pound of ground steak is just as rare in Hollywood as Wheeling, West Virginia."

Shooting Scenes Between Air Raids <br />(Stage Magazine, 1940)Shooting Scenes Between Air Raids
(Stage Magazine, 1940)
An article about director Gabriel Pascal (1894 1954) and all the assorted difficulties set before him, his cast and his crew while filming George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara" during the bombing of England in 1940.

Much of the article is composed of diary entries by an anonymous member of the cast:

"After dinner we had a script conference off the lot and kept on working through the air raid sirens, relieved to be away from the studio discipline. Tonight the sky was one vast blaze of searchlights, and no sleep for anyone. It's tough staying up all night and trying to work between raids all day..."

''The Story of GI Joe'' <br />(Pic Magazine, 1945)''The Story of GI Joe''
(Pic Magazine, 1945)
The Story of G.I. Joe was released shortly before the war ended and was praised by General Eisenhower for being the best war movie he had ever seen. Directed by William Wellman, the film was applauded by American combat veterans of the time for it's accuracy - in their letters home, many would write that Wellman's film had brought them to tears. The movie was based on the war reporting of Ernie Pyle as it appeared in his 1943 memoir, Here Is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe. Although it is not mentioned here, Pyle himself had spent some time on the set as a technical adviser, and the film was released two months after his death.

More on Ernie Pyle can be read here...

What The GIs Thought of The Films of the Forties <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)What The GIs Thought of The Films of the Forties
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
After four hard years of watching sappy Hollywood drivel about the war and the home front, the censorship machine was finally dismantled - which allowed the servicemen to speak their minds about what they REALLY thought about those movies...
Filming the War <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Filming the War
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
The True Glory is a documentary film about the Allied victory in World War II using actual footage from the war; the film was a joint effort between Great Britain and the United States intending to show the team work that won the war. Beginning with the D-Day invasion of Normandy Beach, the film chronicles the collapse of the Nazi war machine on the Western Front:

"This is the sort of film the Germans would never have made - because it shows our victories without gloating and admits setbacks like the Ardennes breakthrough; because it's peppered with humor and because, at the end, it warns against repetition of such a war."

Jimmy Stewart - One of the First Volunteers <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)Jimmy Stewart - One of the First Volunteers
(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)
A few weeks before this article went to press, actor Jimmy Stewart had been told by the hardy souls at the U.S. Army induction center that he was ten pounds under weight - too light for a man of his stature (6'4"). A few visits to Chasens, among other assorted Hollywood eateries and he was all set to qualify as the first Hollywood star to enter the U.S. Army Air Corps.