In the opening shot of William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), CAPT Fred Derry walks into an airport terminal in hopes of catching a flight home to Boone City, USA. Upon reaching the clerk at the counter, Fred learns there is a several day wait for a commercial flight, even though he’s a returning war hero. A wealthy middle-aged businessman then charges up next to Fred, interrupts his conversation with the airline clerk, and confirms his seat on the next flight regardless of the extra cost. He barely acknowledges CAPT Derry, no nod or a “thank you for your service.” The air is thick with rotten apathy, and it’s this scene that signals the audience is in for a different kind of war movie. William Wyler, himself a WWII veteran, saw America’s shift in attitude immediately following the war. The wells of patriotism had been tapped dry and those keeping the fires burning on the home front were tired of making sacrifices. Once the servicemen returned home, the warm welcome was short lived. After fighting for years in the Pacific and Europe, these soldiers were expected to resume life as normal almost immediately. Definitely easier said than done. The transition back to civilian life was difficult for many of the soldiers displaced by the war, and Wiliam Wyler wanted to pay tribute to their post-war struggles.
In 2012 I attended the 3rd Annual TCM Classic Film Festival (and my 1st). In 2010 I was unable to attend because I had a bun in the oven and in 2011 the little bun was too young for me to leave. It was hard for me to stay here, watching the commercials, seeing the live blogs and tweets, and of course the footage from the Festival itself. I honestly didn’t think it would ever be a possibility for me to go. When the opportunity arose for me to attend in 2012, everything fell into place. All of the things I worried about were non-issues and all of the things I didn’t think would be issues? Well…
Happy Holidays from The Fence!
It’s never been a better time to be a classic film fan. With numerous theatre screenings across the country, the TCM Film Festival, never before released and remastered films on DVD/Blu-ray– there’s an abundance of goodies for every fan. With only two weeks until Christmas, I have put together a gift guide for the classic film fans on your list. Already done with your shopping or don’t celebrate Christmas? Then pick something out for yourself! Make sure to scroll through the entire post for some fantastic deals and enter the giveaway.
My girl Myrna is in the spotlight today!
- Aurora at Once Upon a Screen with Myrna Loy- The Little Things: http://onceuponascreen.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/myrna-loy-the-little-things/
- Kellee Pratt from Outspoken & Freckled on The Thin Man (1934): http://www.kelleepratt.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-thin-man.html
- H.P. Oliver offers an editorial of The Thin Man (1934) and how it holds up with today’s audiences: http://www.hpoliver.com/FILMEDITORIAL/review02.html
- Margaret Perry from The Great Katharine Hepburn runs down some of her favorite Loy performances: http://thegreatkh.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/myrna-loy-august-2-on-tcm.html
- Cliff at Immortal Ephemera on Penthouse (1933): http://immortalephemera.com/21297/penthouse-1933-warner-baxter-myrna-loy/ and a look at some Loy press clippings: http://immortalephemera.com/21246/august-2-myrna-loy-tcm-summer-under-the-stars/
- Brandie from True Classics on the very funny and heartwarming Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948): http://trueclassics.net/2012/08/02/living-the-american-dream-with-mr-blandings
- Lara from Backlots on one of my personal favorites Libeled Lady (1936): http://backlots.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/summer-under-the-stars-blogathon-libeled-lady-1937/
by Michael Nazarewycz
One of the great treats for us, as fans of movies from any era, is when a great ensemble cast is brought together. We would pay good money for a great movie with two or three big names in it, but when the number of stars cruises past the half-dozen mark, it’s like were getting our entertainment wholesale.
I have never heard anyone speak harshly of Myrna Loy. In fact, just the mere mention of her name elicits such a positive response it is hard not to crack a smile. My first encounter with Myrna’s films was her work with Cary Grant in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse.
Well dear, men are like that. So honorable and able and wise in some things, and just like naughty children in others. You wouldn’t blame a little boy for stealing a piece of candy if left alone in a room with a box full of it, would you?
I am ashamed to say that I haven’t watched many “new to me” classic films lately. I’ve been so incredibly exhausted that whenever I snag a spare moment I fall back on my tried and true favorites. Lots of Wyler, Wilder, and Hitchcock. Not a bad group to fall back on, but it’s not like me to go this long without discovering something new. Maybe I’m still bitter about losing everything on my DVR and that’s why I’ve been so unenthusiastic. Whatever the reason, my dry spell is over! I don’t know if I picked the best for my movie watching homecoming, but it feels good to be back regardless.