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Shipyard Sally (1939)
Provided a popular WW II song
I saw this movie shortly after its release just at the beginning of WW II and thoroughly enjoyed it. But its principal fame is that it by accident provided one of the most popular and relevant British songs of WW II. The song , "Wish me Luck", has it place in the movie as Gracie Fields' character leaves the shipyard for London to battle for the jobs of the shiphyard workers. But the words fitted admirably also for men and women leaving for military service. It was widely used in that context during WW II, users not being aware that originally it had nothing to do with the war. I have just been listening to a CD of Wartime Hits. It has "Wish me luck" as the climaxing recording at the close. Almost none one playing the CD today would realise that it originally was not a wartime song. But though originally used in a different context, it fitted the wartime situation admirably
Battle Cry (1955)
Catches the location
Not the world's best movie But not its worst. What I am especially interested in this movie is that much of it is set in my home city of Wellington, New Zealand, and features the U.S. Marines saving us from invasion by the Jpanese. Leon Uris's novel, on which the movie is based, catches very much the mood of the 1942-1943 period when the men of successive Marine divisions passed through Wellington en route to the fighting in Guadalcalal and elsewhere in the Soloman Islands. The movie makes a fair effort to translate this to the screen. What also interests me is that a previous comment I made on this movies along the above lines has not been retained among the user comments in International Moview Date Base. I greatly admire IMDb and make much use of it. Has Amaerica's paranoia grown to the extent that even favourable comments are not welcome if they come from outside the United States ?
The Captain's Paradise (1953)
A element of paradise not to be overlooked
News today of the recent death of Yvonnne De Carlo brings this movie back into my mind. I saw it during a period of my life when I had for several years had few opportunities to go to the movies. I had been a student priest in Rome and movie houses were off limits for us. Away on summer holidays in 1953, I caught up with the movie at a cinema in Vienna that was showing English language movies for the benefit of the English military personnel, part of the post World War II occupation force in the Austrian capital. I was allowed to sneak in.
But quite apart from the fact that it was a welcome interlude in a period of drought in my movie watching life, the movie remains in my memory as one of the cleverest comedies I have seen. Not side splitting, it is true. But excellent English wit. And the final scene is unforgettable.
The movies is entitled "The captain's paradise" Reading the IMDb user's comments, I see they correctly note two reasons why the ship captain's life style was a paradise. His homely English wife in Gibraltar and his party going Spanish wife in North Africa. But there was a third element that none of them seem to note as a factor in the captain's happy situation. At sea, at meal times women are rigidly excluded from the captain's table. Those seated with the captain are diplomats, explorers, scientists and suchlike. All of them males. The third paradise element in the captain's life is the enjoyment of male company and conversation at meals. This link with the film's title needs to be remembered. No wonder the script received an Oscar nomination.
There is one aspect of the movie on which I would like another viewer to enlighten me. How did Yvonne De Carlo come to be in this very English movie ? Today after hearing word of her death I looked in IMDb at her listed appearances. From being Moses' wife in Ten Commandments to being the mother in The Munsters, pretty well every role seems to be in a United States production. How did she find her place in a Ealing comedy? But at least it was a most welcome appearance and I am glad she hopped the Atlantic for this one.
To the Shores of Tripoli (1942)
Watching the Movie in 1942 in the South Pacific made it very real
I agree with the evaluation of bsmith5552 that it is a disappointing flagwaver, and essentially a U.S.Marine recruitment film. But it has its own place in history. I have just been refreshed as to that place in history by watching again the film version of Leon Uris's first (and maybe best) novel, Battle Cry. Uris dramatized his own experience as a young marine, first training in the States, then in Wellington and elsewhere in New Zealand and finally fighting in the islands of the Pacific He has a fascinating picture of what it was like for young Americans to find themselves in a strange and previously unheard of land like New Zealand. I was a Kiwi teenager in Wellington at that time and can vouch for the accuracy of Uris' depiction of the impact of the descent of thousands of young marines on our city and of their interaction with the locals. To the Shores of Tripoli screened in Wellington in 1942, not long after Pearl Harbor, in the time the newly formed Marine Divisions were there preparing for their involvement in the war in the South Pacific. Through that film we saw on our screens the training only months earlier of the men who were now in our midst. Bsmith5552 speaks of the repetitive sequences of close order drill. I watched the marine band perform those intricate marching exercises in colour film in a local cinema ("picture theatre" in our brand of English). This was the same week I saw them do it live in Wellington. I was transfixed as I saw utterly committed young marines rise and stand to attention in their places in the cinema as the Marines Hymn came through on the film's sound track. I was not simply present at a piece of entertainment. I was watching live drama. To the Shores of Tripoli may not have been a great movie. But in the South Pacific in 1942, when we (maybe unlike today's Iraquis) welcomed the Marines as life savers, preserving us from a Japanese invasion, it had its place in the drama of that time. I viewed it sixty years ago with great interest. I would like the little niche it has in cinema history to be remembered.