Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Movie Follow-up

Robert Avrech, a professional screenwriter and the proprietor of the wonderful blog, Seraphic Secret, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the golden age of Hollywood, which is on display today as he discusses the phenomenon of celebrity endorsements.

But, as usual, his post is about much more than that. Here's an extract from the section on Gable and Lombard:
A proud American patriot—alive today, she would geld Michael Moore—Lombard was one of the first Hollywood actors to barnstorm the country selling war bonds. Tragically, her plane crashed in a rainstorm over her home state of Indiana in 1942. She was 33 years-old. In a brief phone conversation before her fatal flight, Lombard's last words to Gable were,“You better get yourself into this man's army.” Gable, guilty, grief-stricken, and—sigh—drinking heavily, enlisted in the Air Force and though he was far too old, flew several combat missions. Hitler, a man who understood the value of star power, put a million dollar bounty on Gable's head.

12 comments:

JeffS said...

Very few major movie stars would even THINK about signing up with the military these days, like Gable and others did (e.g., James Stewart).

The only one that I'm aware is Bruce Willis.

Yet one mark against Hollywood.

jamesboard said...

Slight change into the present

JeffS said...

"Yet one MORE mark against Hollywood."

Sheesh!

Yojimbo said...

"Gable's back and Garson's got him!"

Anonymous said...

Ah, the stars of that era. Lombard was pure class.

Can't you hear Gable, "Frankly, Mr. Hitler, I don't give a damn."

Two of my Aunts worked at 20th Century Fox, so between them and my Dad, I heard a few stories. One babysat Darryl Zanick Jr. Dad told better ones though. He used to talk with Shirley Temple on the phone. Got Errol Flyn out of a paternity suit. Barfed on Betty Grable's car. Was at the Zanick house for dinner. Jimmy Durante was there.

Deborah Leigh

bruce said...

Many younger Americans (and their followers around the world) seem to think that the world is just a multi-ethnic playground of the Eloi. For them the 'real' enemy is a few of their fellow Americans, even imaginary ones. The 'loyal patriotic' ones now support Al Gore etc.

Previous generations of Americans were still in touch with the harsh realities of life.

Hollywood reflects this.

At some point everything changed. I wish I knew what so we can change it back.

RebeccaH said...

Hmm. The Hollywood of the past, with its citizen soldiers, glamorous women who were also patriotic and smart, rough and tumble adults who didn't expect anyone to give them anything they couldn't get for themselves?

Or the Hollywood of today, represented by that illustrious Vatican Assassin from Mars, Charlie Sheen?

Compare and contrast.

Paco said...

Deborah: You're now our resident celebrity (by proxy, at least).

bruce said...

I am in awe of anyone who got to talk to Shirley Temple.

Yojimbo said...

I worship the carbon footprint the Algore wafts around on.

You really want any of these bozos in the military? Problematic about just who they would fire on since they have a slight problem with product identification.

JeffS said...

They can take point, Yojimbo, to set off the land mines.

Yojimbo said...

Now THAT would be an effective use of resources on so many levels!:)