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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Show-Business at War (1943) - Star of the month... Olivia de Havilland

'Show-Business at War' (March of Time, Volume 9, Number 10) is a 1943 short film newsreel chronicling the many ways in which the American entertainment industry was assisting during World War II. 

Watch the film:

From the publication of the "Show Business at War" edition of Variety newspaper, to the many stars dedicating their time to raise money on war bonds, to the volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen. I found it interesting to see Hollywood cameraman up-skilling army officers in how to use film cameras  to enable them to film their combats.

Hollywood studios had an important role to play during the war, by not only  providing entertainment to those risking their lives, but to also produce propaganda films to discredit the enemy.

The newsreel features the following personalities:
  • Al Jolson (actor, who entertained troops)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (director)
  • Alfred Lunt (stage actor, who cooked for soldiers)
  • Anatole Litvak (director)
  • Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (ballet company, who entertained troops)
  • Bette Davis (actress)
  • Bing Crosby (singer)
  • Bob Hope (actor)
  • Carole Lombarde (actress, who was tragically killed in a plane crash returning from a war bond rally)
  • Clark Gable (actor, who enlisted)
  • Daryl Zanuck (film producer)
  • Deanna Durbin (actress, who danced with soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Dorothy Lamour (actress)
  • Edgar Bergen (ventriloquist, who entertained troops with his doll Charlie McCarthy)
  • Errol Flynn (actor)
  • Ethel Barrymore (actress)
  • Frank Sinatra (actor)
  • Fred MacMurray (actor)
  • Gertrude Lawrence (actress)
  • Ginger Rogers (actress)
  • Glenn Ford (actor)
  • Hal B. Wallis (producer)
  • Hedy Lamarr (actress, who danced with soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Irene Dunne (actress)
  • Irving Berlin (composer, who wrote the songs in the wartime musical 'This is the Army', which featured an all-soldier cast)
  • Jack Benny (radio comedian, who entertained troops)
  • Jack L. Warner (head of Warner Bros.)
  • James Cagney (actor)
  • Joe E. Brown (comedian, who entertained troops)
  • John Ford (film director, who headed the film producing unit of the Office of Strategic Services)
  • John Garfield (actor, who co-founded the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Kay Francis (actress)
  • Lana Turner (actress)
  • Linda Darnell (actress)
  • Loretta Young (actress)
  • Louis Armstrong (entertainer, who entertained troops)
  • Marlene Dietrich (actress, who danced with soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Michael Curtiz (director)
  • Mickey Rooney (actor)
  • Myrna Loy (actress)
  • Olivia de Havilland (actress, who danced with soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Orson Welles (actor/director)
  • Rita Hayworth (actress)
  • Robert Benchley (comedian, who volunteered at the Hollywood Canteen)
  • Tyrone Power (actor, who enlisted)
  • Walt Disney (who provided Disney studio resources to aid the production of instructional films for the armed forces)
  • W.C. Fields (actor)
The musical highlight in the film is Al Jolson singing his signature tune "Mammy".

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