Most folks will remember Andy Griffith for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor and the small-town American values he captured on The Andy Griffith Show. A few others will mention the crafty Atlanta defense lawyer he played on Matlock.
We’d like to remember Andy for an amazing movie career, including a couple of iconic roles in World War II comedies. +Continue Reading
Any student of Nazi history knows about Hitler’s obsession with the occult, so it’s totally plausible that the Führer was actually a werewolf. Also, totally believable that FDR contracted polio from a werewolf bite.
FDR: American Badass! was made by a couple of guys you never heard of (Garrett Brawith & Ross Patterson) with what look like Ed Wood–level production values, but the idea is so awesome that they’ve attracted a roster of talented actors who all seem totally into the proceedings. Barry Bostwick from The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays FDR and he’s joined by Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) as Abraham Lincoln, Ray Wise (Twin Peaks and 24) as General Douglas MacArthur and features Bruce McGill (D-Day from Animal House) and Paul Ben-Victor (The Wire) in supporting roles.
As you prepare for Memorial Day observances this weekend, you might want to check out Return to Tarawa, showing free online this weekend courtesy of SnagFilms. Filmmaker Steven C. Barber’s documentary follows World War II veteran Leon Cooper’s return to “Red Beach.” Cooper, a veteran of the battle of “Bloody Tarawa,” returned to Tarawa in February 2008 in order to learn more about reports he had read about garbage on the fabled “Red Beach.”
In November 1943, Leon, a US Navy landing craft officer, helped launch the first major amphibious assault on a Central Pacific Japanese stronghold. Leon is dismayed to discover that this hallowed ground is strewn with garbage rotting in the sun, a painful insult to the sacrifice his fellow marines made for their country, during one of the bloodiest three-day battles in American war history. Cooper’s trip is full of wonder, anger, amazement and divine providence as he and film maker Steven C. Barber visit what Leon suspects to be the graves of hundreds of Marines still buried on Tarawa. Follow Leon Cooper’s trip back in time, as narrated by Oscar-nominated actor, Ed Harris.
“If I were younger, maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”
The New York Timestells the incredible story of 92-year-old WWII vet Hyman Strachman and his unique effort to support the troops by bootlegging thousands of Hollywood DVDs and sending them to troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Strachman duplicates the disks in his Long Island, NY apartment using a professional duplicating machine and estimates that he’s sent over 300,000 disks overseas since starting making copies to fill time after the death of his wife in 2003. +Continue Reading
Newly single pop diva Katy Perry played a concert at the Naval Academy last Friday and gave midshipman Nicolas “Tanner” Beasley a thrill by inviting him onstage to recreate the kiss from that iconic WWII V-J Day Times Square photo.
Tanner told Entertainment Tonight that Katy was a “great kisser” and the investigative reporters at the Balitmore Sun claim it was even “French style.”
The only weird part about the whole situation is Ms. Perry’s vaguely British accent. Did the California native pick it up from soon-to-be ex-husband Russell Brand? Is she imitating the era when Madonna was trying out those weird fake UK speech patterns?
She probably doesn’t even know but thanks to Katy for putting her mouth where her mouth is when it comes to supporting the U.S. Military.
To Catch a Thief is one of Alfred Hitchock’s most visually impressive films and a just-released Blu-ray transfer delivers the goods and makes the south of France locations look more spectacular than ever.
Cary Grant plays John Robie, an American expatriate who gets busted for high-end burglaries before the war. After the Nazi invasion, Robie and his fellow prisoners escape from prison and fight bravely in the French resistance. That bravery earns the men a parole after the war but Robie (who somehow kept his money) lives a life where he’s the first suspect every time a burglary happens on the French Riviera. A string of high-end jobs brings down the pressure and Robie decides to solve the crimes to clear his name. +Continue Reading
Craig Shirley’s December 1941 reminds us that the United States’ entry into World War II wasn’t inevitable. His day-by-day account of that month’s events chronicles a shift in American attitudes that occurred after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and Shirley asserts that fallout from that day caused widespread and permanent changes in our national character.
The idea is simple and compelling: send your researcher (in this case, Shirley’s son Andrew) down to the library and have him compile newspaper and magazine clippings that hopefully reveal what people were thinking and talking about each day during that month. Once you’ve got your hands on the basic material, use a summary of that material as a jumping-off point for broader context about world events. +Continue Reading
Here’s a heartwarming story about WWII’s own version of Milblogging: Trevor McIntyre is a B-29 enthusiast in Morganton, GA who bid on a group of letters sent home by a WWII airman. After receiving the package and reading through the correspondence, he contacted the plane’s company leader and learned that the guy who wrote the letters, filled with details and thoughts about his service, was still alive.
McIntyre tracked down 90-year-old Sgt. Dave LeMal and hand-delivered the letters to him in Pennsylvania. LeMal had no idea his mother had kept the letters so he had no idea they’d been sold. When asked why he went to so much effort for someone he didn’t know, McIntyre replied that WWII vets “believed that a better tomorrow could be reached from a bad today. Meeting Dave and returning the letters, it’s just my small part of trying to repay that debt.” (via 11Alive Atlanta)
Did General George S. Patton smell like blend of lavender, citrus, coconut, cedar, sage, tonka bean, bergamot and lime? And what Pentagon official decided to license the scent in the first place?
Congrats to Military Times who discovered a two-year-old product that none of us had ever heard of, write a really funny article about Patton (the scent) and have it go viral with a big article in the UK’s Daily Mail. If you want to smell like Old Blood & Guts yourself, there’s still a few bottles available on clearance at Amazon.com.