Alternative World War 2-In cinema

I am always intrigued by “What if ?” scenarios, like what if Columbus had taken another route to India? Or what if JFK had not been in Dallas that day?

But what intrigues me most of all is the question “What if the Nazis would have won the war?” or alternatively “What if Hitler would have been killed sooner?” I am not the only one who ponders about these questions. There have been many authors and film makers who had the same idea, and put those ideas on paper and film. I am only selecting a few for this blog.

The picture above is from the 1965 film “It Happened Here”

It is the Second World War. The Nazis have invaded Britain. There is a split between the resistance and those who prefer to collaborate with the invaders for a quiet life. The protagonist, a nurse, is caught in the middle. Following the British army’s retreat at Dunkirk, England has been invaded and conquered by Nazi Germany. Irish nurse Barbara Murray comes to London as part of a civilian evacuation forced by American resistance forces massing off the coast of Ireland. She finds that in order to get a job as a nurse her only choice is to join the pro-Nazi civilian organization known as Immediate Action, which she does even though she is avowedly non-political. However, once in the job, she is faced with complicity in a number of disturbing acts being conducted by Immediate Action.

Fatherland is a 1994 TV film written by Stanley Weiser and Ron Hutchinson and directed by Christopher Menaul as an adaptation of the 1992 novel of the same title by Robert Harris. The film was produced by HBO, starring Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson.

In a world where the Nazis won World War II, Germany has corralled all European countries into a single state called “Germania”, and continues fighting against the Soviet Union. It is now 1964 and Germany’s war crimes against the Jews have so far been kept a secret. Germany believes that an alliance with the United States would finally beat the Soviet war machine. As his 75th birthday approaches, Adolf Hitler wants to talk peace with President Joseph Kennedy . An S.S. homicide detective and an American journalist stumble into a plot to destroy all evidence of the genocide; evidence that could destroy the peace process with America and evidence that Nazi and S.S. leaders will stop at nothing to keep hidden.

Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger and Mélanie Laurent. The film tells an alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s leadership—one planned by Shosanna Dreyfus, a young French Jewish cinema proprietor, and the other by the British but ultimately conducted solely by a team of Jewish American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine. Christoph Waltz co-stars as Hans Landa, an SS colonel in charge of tracking down Raine’s group.

Strange Holiday is a 1945 American movie directed by Arch Oboler. Claude Rains features as a man who returns from a fishing vacation to find America controlled by fascists. Businessman John Stevenson returns from a camping holiday in the mountains to discover the whole of America has been taken over by foreign invaders. His family has been taken away and he is thrown into prison and must come to terms with the new USA.

So if you are ever bored I would recommend you look up these movies and watch them.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038125/?ref_=tt_mv_close

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/?ref_=tt_mv_close

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109779/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055024/

World War 2 in Cinema-Part 1

These are just some of my favourite WW2 movies. In no particular order. Picture above is a still from the 1970 movie “Tora.Tora.Tora” The 1970 war epic was widely praised, by critics and film fans alike, for how it detailed the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Universally considered a classic, the film explores Japan’s preparations for war, U.S. military intelligence trying to decipher enemy communications, and the tragic catastrophe in Hawaii. Perhaps most admirable was that the film was directed by filmmakers from both countries — with Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku shooting the Japanese segments and Richard Fleischer manning the American portion.

Enemy at the Gates

One of the few movies from the perspective of the Red Army, “Enemy at the Gates” is an epic movie about the Battle of Stalingrad.

Based on William Craig’s 1973 nonfiction book of the same name, Enemy at the Gates chronicles the events surrounding the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942. The film’s protagonist, Vasily Zaytsev, is based on a real Soviet sniper who tallied 242 kills in four months.

Schindler’s List

A movie that I think should be included in any school’s curriculum. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List chronicles the unspeakable liquidation of European Jews during World War II by Nazi Germany. The tragic drama follows the real Holocaust hero Oskar Schindler and his efforts to save as many “unwanted” persons as possible by hiring them as workers producing kitchenware in his factory. Armed with the special privilege of the Germans deeming his “business essential to the war effort,” Schindler protected 1,200 Jews from extermination.

Mr Klein

A woman is examined by a male doctor. Middle-aged and afraid, she stands naked in his office, her arms crossed over her breasts. A nurse sits nearby, taking notes of what the doctor says. His manner is brisk, like that of a farmer buying a horse. He grasps the patient’s head, swivels it this way and that, and opens her mouth to inspect the gums. Her nostrils are measured, as is the distance between her nose and her lips. The doctor checks her hairline and pronounces it “low.” He orders her to walk and declares that she has flat feet. “Based on morphological and behavioral data, the person examined could well belong to the Semitic race,” he concludes. She gets dressed and asks how much she owes. The cost of her humiliation is fifteen francs.

Such are the opening minutes of “Mr. Klein,” which is set in France in 1942. Very few films begin with this peremptory power.

Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange)

Although I am a proud Dutchman, I have to admit that I am not a great fan of Dutch movies. However, when it comes to World War 2 movies, no one does it better than the Dutch.

Soldaat van Oranje had a budget of ƒ 5,000,000 (€2,300,000), at the time the most expensive Dutch movie ever. With 1,547,183 viewers, it was the most popular Dutch film of 1977. The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. At the 1999 Netherlands Film Festival, it was voted the second-best Dutch film of the twentieth century.

The film was released under the name Survival Run in the U.K.

This film depicts World War II through the eyes of several Dutch students. It follows them through the beginning of the war, the Nazi occupation and the liberation. Directed and co-written by Paul Verhoeven and produced by Rob Houwer, starring Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé. The film is set around the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, and shows how individual students have different roles in the war. The story is based on the autobiographical book Soldaat van Oranje by Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema.

sources

worlhttps://allthatsinteresting.com/best-war-movies

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076734/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/09/the-hour-of-reckoning-descends-in-mr-klein

The history of Pornography

Just to clarify this at the start. Yes this blog is about pornography. No it is not pornographic, although it will contain some nudity. As the title suggests it is about the history of pornography. I had intended to call it the history of erotic depiction, but I didn’t feel that would be the right title.

Not all sex is porn, but all porn is sex. There is a cultural difference as well. A German or a Dutch person have a different opinion then what an Irish, English or Italian person may have, regarding what pornography is.

The definition of “pornography” is famously subjective. After all, one man’s Venus de Milo is another man’s masturbation aid. But researchers generally define the genre as material designed solely for sexual arousal, without further artistic merit.

Pornography or porn, plays a part in many people’s lives. They may not admit it but it is a fact, and in my opinion there is nothing wrong in enjoying porn.

Ever since the introduction of the internet and search engines, porn has been the most searched subject. However pornography did not start with the start of sites like pornhub. Nor did it start with magazines like Playboy or Penthouse.

The word pornography was coined from the ancient Greek words πόρνη (pórnē “prostitute” and πορνεία porneía “prostitution”, and γράφειν (gráphein “to write or to record”, derived meaning “illustration”, as in “graph”), and the suffix -ία (-ia, meaning “state of”, “property of”, or “place of”), thus meaning “a written description or illustration of prostitutes or prostitution”. No date is known for the first use of the word in Greek; the earliest attested, most related word one could find in Greek, is πορνογράφος, pornográphos, i.e. “someone writing about harlots”, in the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus.The Modern Greek word pornographia (πορνογραφία) is a reborrowing of the French pornographie.

Throughout different historical periods, pornography has manifested in many different forms for many different people and has been expressed through radically different mediums. From the enlarged breasts of tiny fertility statues to the quick flashes of images one might see on an advertisement while browsing a pornographic website, the goal of pornographic material has always been the same: to invoke sentiments and sensations that live deep within our psyche and our most inner carnal being, ideas which resonate with our base instincts which scream at us to seek mates and procreate. Pornography affects us somewhere within our innermost human parts, the parts of us that want to survive and carry on our genes — and pornography always solicits a response when we see it, whether we like it or not.

Depictions of a sexual nature have existed since prehistoric times, as seen in the Venus figurines and rock art. A vast number of artifacts have been discovered from ancient Mesopotamia depicting explicit heterosexual sex.[

So where did it all begin?

The Venus of Willendorf is believed to be that beginning. The approximately 28,000-year-old sculpture of a rather voluptuous woman is the earliest surviving erotic depiction we have. The Venus is an incredible piece of prehistoric porn, one that stands only 4.4 inches tall.

It has been suggested that she is a fertility figure, a good-luck totem, a mother goddess symbol, or an aphrodisiac made by men for the appreciation of men. Further, one researcher hypothesized that it was made by a woman and that what has been seen as evidence of obesity or adiposity is actually the foreshortening effect of self-inspection. Although much has been written about the Willendorf figurine, little other than the details given in the paragraph above can be stated as fact.

Glyptic art from the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period frequently shows scenes of frontal sex in the missionary position(a sex position in which, generally, a woman lies on her back and a man lies on top of her while they face each other and engage in vaginal intercourse)

In Mesopotamian votive plaques from the early second millennium BC, the man is usually shown entering the woman from behind while she bends over, drinking beer through a straw. Middle Assyrian lead votive figurines often represent the man standing and penetrating the woman as she rests on top of an altar. Scholars have traditionally interpreted all these depictions as scenes of ritual sex, but they are more likely to be associated with the cult of Inanna, the goddess of sex and prostitution. Many sexually explicit images were found in the temple of Inanna at Assur, which also contained models of male and female sexual organs.

Le Coucher de la Mariée (Bedtime for the Bride or The Bridegroom’s Dilemma in English) is widely considered the oldest existing porn movie in the world. It was one of the first erotic films ever made in the late 19th century. The film was directed by Albert Kirchner, produced by Eugène Pirou, and starred French actress Louise Willy.

By today’s standards this pornographic film is quite tame. It features a newlywed couple on the night of their wedding. The husband looks on as his new bride performs a striptease behind a folding screen. Although the film was considered risque at the time, actress was never fully nude. The original short film was about seven minutes long, but only the two minute undressing scene has survived.

The first ‘hardcore’ porn movie was the German movie “Am Abend”, which was made in 1910. A so called early 20th century German Stag film.

Like the other two films, Am Abend begins with a primitive narrative frame sequence, then it shows signs of a more conventional cinema for a short period of time, and it finally shows hard-core scenes in a fragmented manner. Film studies scholar Linda Williams, suggested that early pornographic films, such as Am Abend, like modern-day pornographic videos, showed close ups of genitals and medium shots of sex. Thus, there were structural similarities between early stag films and modern-day pornographic videos.

Over the decades the idea of pornography has changed. No one alive today would considered The Kiss to be a “pornographic” film, but at the time of its release it was considered shocking and obscene. As the the name implies, the movie depicted the very first kiss on film. It was a re-enactment of the kiss between stage actors May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of the musical The Widow Jones.

Although the kissing scene was very chaste, just a short peck on the lips, it caused widespread uproar. The Roman Catholic Church even called for censorship and moral reform because kissing in public could lead to prosecution. Several newspapers published disapproving editorials and police presence was requested in many places were the film was screened. Today, The Kiss is preserved in the United States National Film Registry for its cultural significance.

Modern day porn has become more mainstream and sometimes there is a very thin line between porn movies and mainstream movies. There is an increasing amount of mainstream movies and even TV shows, where the actors engage in actual sexual acts in front of the camera.

For examples the 2004 romantic drama ‘9 Songs’

The film was controversial upon original release due to its sexual content, which included un-simulated sex footage of the two leads, Kieran O’Brien and Margo Stilley, having sexual intercourse and performing oral sex as well as a scene of ejaculation. The film was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival.

I do think that most people are not quite ready yet for real sex in mainstream movies. You know when you watch a porn movie, sex is what you expect to see. This is not the case in regular movies. The movies 9 Songs gets a very low rating on IMDB. 4.8 out of 10, it also flopped at the box office. However ‘9 Songs’ is not the only movie there are actually a few dozen. most of them get low ratings.

I suppose pornography will always be controversial. But this controversy does come partly through hypocrisy, like every one is watching it but so few will admit to it. I am not saying that literally everyone watches porn but more figuratively.

sources

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Venus-of-Willendorf

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411705/

https://thefulcrum.ca/features/a-brief-history-of-pornography-until-1910/

https://www.livescience.com/8748-history-pornography-prudish-present.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_erotic_depictions

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Happy Birthday Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on the 16th of June in Ulverston, Lancashire in England, 1890. His father was a vaudeville performer and this led Stan to being a stage performer too. He didn’t get much schooling and this resulted to the joining of Fred Karno’s Troupe where Stan understudied the future star, Charles Chaplin. In 1912 they went on a tour to America where Chaplin remained, but Stan went straight back to England. In 1916 he returned to the States and did an impersonation of Charlie Chaplin and the act was called “The Keystone Trio” and it was quite successful. What I find ironic is that although there is no doubt that Charlie Chaplin was a genius, his comedy dated badly. Whereas Stan Laurel’s comedy, and especially as part of the comedic duo Laurel and Hardy, it still is fresh today. It was actually quite progressive. The movie ‘Brats’ is about 2 dads staying at home, minding the children, while the wives are out for the night, this was in 1930.

He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles. However what most people don’t realize is hat he appeared in 67 movies without Oliver Hardy, albeit it mostly short movies.

‘The Lucky Dog’ (1921) was the first film to include Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together in a film: prior to them becoming the famous comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy. Although they appear in scenes together they play independently of each other. Stan is the star of the film and Ollie is only in a side role.

It was in 1925 that Hardy and Laurel had met again at the Hal Roach studios and at that point in time Laurel was directing movies at the studio with Hardy in the cast for a couple of years. Among these films were Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) and Wandering Papas (1926) written & directed by Stan Laurel and starring Babe who now acted under his real name, Oliver Hardy. In 1926 they began appearing together but not yet as a team. One of the directors at the Hal Roach studio known around the world as director of such great movies The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and Going My Way (1944), Leo McCarey joined these comic geniuses and an immediate partnership unfolded. Laurel & Hardy had appeared as funny as they could be in Putting Pants on Philip (1927) which led them to stardom. They made films for another 20 years. Laurel & Hardy are now known as one of the best comedy teams. They retired from films in 1950. In 1953 they went on tour to England and Ireland for a farewell tour. where they performed in variety halls.

In the 2018 film Stan & Ollie, Steve Coogan portrayed Laurel.

There are very few people who can make you laugh just by looking at their face, but such was the genius of Stan Laurel, his expressions were enough to get you in a burst of laughter.

Of course there was much more to his comic genius than just his face. One of my all time favourite quotes comes from the aforementioned Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

A few moments before he died , on February 23,1965, he told his nurse ” I would like to go skiing” The nurse said “I didn’t know you were a skier” . he replied ” I am not, but I’d rather to that than this”.

He also had said ” If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to them again” Until his last breath he remained a funny man.

At his funeral service at Church of the Hills, Buster Keaton said, “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest. I wasn’t the funniest; this man was the funniest.” He was interred in Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

Dear Sir. thank you so much for making me laugh and making me realize how important humour is, to get through life.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0491048/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

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Dora Gerson-Body lost or destroyed.

Dora

Dora Gerstein was a Jewish actress and singer  born  on 23 March 1899  in Berlin. She was murdered on February 14,1943 in Auschwitz. On one of the sites I used to do the research on Dora I noticed the line ‘Body lost or destroyed’.

Not only her body was destroyed but also her talent and beauty. Her short life is a poignant illustration how in a few years time, a poltical movement with a warped ideology impacted her life and ultimately caused her death.

In 1920 she starred in 2 silent films. Die Todeskarawane aka Caravan of Death and Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses aka In the Rubble of Paradise. She played the same character in both movies. The movies were based on novels by Karl May. Many Europeans have seen the Winnetou and Old Shatterhand westerns which were penned by Karl May. He was also admired by Albert Einstein  who said about him , “My whole adolescence stood under his sign. Indeed, even today, he has been dear to me in many a desperate hour.”

Ironically another admirer was Adolf Hitler who mentioned Karl May in Mein Kampf.

Between 1922 and 1924 Dora was married to the Actor/Director Veit Harlan. In less then 16 years after their divorce Harlan would become a pivotal figure in the Nazi propaganda machine. In 1940 he directed the anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda film Jud Süß.

Jud

To escape Nazi persecution she moved to the Netherlands in 1936, where she met her 2nd Husband Max Sluizer. The couple had 2 children  Miriam Sluizer born on 19 November 1937 and Abel Juda Sluizer born on 21 May 1940,only 11 days after Germany invaded the Netherlands.

Dora and her family were all transported to Drancy internment camp and from there they were deported to Auschwitz where they were all murdered on February 14,1943.

pass

Finishing up with one of Dora’s recordings “Vorbei”  an emotional ballad, reminiscing pre-Nazi Germany.

!They’re gone beyond recall
A final glance, a last kiss
And then it’s all over
under the frame of eternity
A final word, a last farewell”

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Sources

IMDB

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110288165/dora-gerson

http://www.musiques-regenerees.fr/GhettosCamps/Camps/GersonDora.html

YouTube

 

Oliver Hardy

Hardy.JPG

When you think of a comedy duo the first pair that comes to mind is Laurel $ Hardy, they were and still are ,without a shadow of a doubt the most successful comedy double act of all time.

However these 2 were not always a duo, they both had long established careers before they teamed up together. On the 127th birthday of Oliver Hardy it is a good opportunity to look back at some of his work as a ‘solo’ act.

Ollie started in dozens of movies prior to his Laurel & Hardy year .His first movie was  a 1914  short movie called “Outwitting Dad”

In 1915-1916 he made films for the Vim Comedy Company in Jacksonville, for the Vim Comedy Company.He was billed as ‘Babe’ Hardy.

baba

In 1917, he moved to L.A. working as a freelancer for several Hollywood studios, and he made more than 40 films for Vitagraph between 1918 and 1923, mostly playing the “heavy” for Larry Semon.

Strangely enough he did team up for a movie with Stan Laurel before they became the legendary duo.. The movie was the 1921 short film “The Lucky Dog”

dog

During his time as part of Laurel & Hardy he did make a few movies without his comedic partner.

In 1949 he teamed up with another and even bigger Hollywood legend.No other then Marion Robert Morrison aka John Wayne was the acting partner of Oliver Hardy in the lighthearted Western

john wayne

A biopic about Oliver Hardy and Laurel Hardy is currently showing in cinema’s worldwide. Stan & Ollie a heart-warming story of what would become the pair’s triumphant farewell tour. Both men truly deserve the title Legend because they just don’t come any bigger that them.

Happy Birthday Mr Hardy

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

IMDb

 

Metropolis

metropolis

On this day 94 years ago  the classic Science Fiction movie “Metropolis” was released. I recently watched it again and was amazed by how fresh the movie still looked,

But more then just a Sci-Fi flick it is also a snapshot of the political situation of the time and the years that followed, not so much in the film as such but in the lives of those who were involved in making the movie.

1927 Germany was at the advent of massive  social and political changes. The popularity of the Nazi part was gaining momentum, although they were still a small party they were making significant gains.

nuremberg

UFA GmbH, the distributing studio of Metropolis had been in financial difficulties and was bought in 1927 by politician and media tycoon Alfred Hugenberg. He was also the chairman of the German National People’s Party, a conservative nationalist party.As leader of the German National People’s Party he played a pivotal role  in helping Adolf Hitler become Chancellor of Germany and served in his first cabinet in 1933,

The director of the movie Fritz Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for Metropolis, had initially also flirted with the Nazi party.

lang and wifr

The couple produced a number of movies together. Aside from Metropolis the also made the classic thriller “M” in 1931. which starred a young Austro-Hungarian Jewish actor László Löwenstein better known as Peter Lorre.

When Hitler came to power Peter Lorre left Germany because of the Anti-semitic laws which were introduced.

The actress Brigitte Helm who played Maria and also the Tin Machine in Metropolis ,felt the wrath of the Nazi party  for “race defilement” in marrying her second husband Dr. Hugo Kunheim, an industrialist of Jewish background. The couple left for Switzerland in 1935 and never returned to Germany.

maria

Joseph Goebbels had been impressed by Fritz Lang’s work and although he banned Lang’s 1933 film”The Testament of Dr. Mabuse” because it “showed that an extremely dedicated group of people are perfectly capable of overthrowing any state with violence” He still offered a position as the head of German film studio UFA.

However Lang did not accept the offer and left Berlin on 31 July 1933, He had also been worried about the increasing power of the Nazi party and the Antisemitic laws ,known as the Nuremberg Laws, imposed in Germany, even though Fritz Lang’s mother  had converted from Judaism to Catholic, and Fritz Lang had been raised as a Catholic, according to the Nüremberg Laws his mother and therefor Fritz too were stlll considered Jewish.

And although he had initially sympathized with the Nazi party he had soon changed his mind, But his wife Thea von Harbou remained a Nazi supporter. The couple divorced on April 26, 1933.

Fritz Lang emigrated to the USA and worked on many successful Hollywood movies like “the Return of Frank James” starring Henry Fonda.

Thea von Harbou stayed involved in the German film industry with  some movies with an indisputable National Socialist worldview.

Many people nowadays will probably only know Metropolis from the Queen video “Radio Ga Ga” and are probably blissfully unaware of the historical significance of the movie.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

IMDb

YouTube

The special effects in Laurel & Hardy movies.

Brats L & H

Ever since I was a kid I loved watching Laurel & Hardy movies and I believe I have them all in my collection.

The humour in their films has remained fresh till today and they never dated. But it is only since recently I started to appreciate that some of their movies had very advanced special effects for their time, and those effect have also stood the test of time for more then 80 years.

Below are just a few examples.

Brats

In the movie Brat Stan and Ollie play themselves but also their sons and in several scenes the four are seen together.

Brats 2

Babes in Toyland aka March of the Wooden Soldiers

That whole movie is filled with special effects. Recently it has become a bit controversial because some people had called some scenes and especially the march of the wooden soldiers anti-Semitic, I have watched this movie hundreds of times and I could not see it, if at all it is more of a warning of things to come.

march

The Flying Deuces

Nowadays having it seem like an animal is talking is not anyone gets excited about, it is even used in TV ads. However in 1939 having a horse mimicking Ollie and telling Stan “That’s another fine pickle you got me in” was a technical masterpiece.

Flying Deuces

Ending with one of my favourite scenes from ‘Way out West’

 

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The Wilhelm Scream

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What do the movies. Star Wars-The Empire Strikes Back,Toy Story 3,Juno,Where Eagles Dare and Distant Drums(and a few hundred more) have in common?

It’s not the cast or screenplay or even the studio but there are 2 seconds in all these movies which are identical. Those 2 seconds are called “The Wilhelm Scream” which is a sound effect.

The likelihood is great that you’ve heard the Wilhelm Scream at some point when watching a movie or TV show. The sound effect originated in the 1951 Gary Cooper film Distant Drums, and has become a Hollywood sound effects staple for more than 60 years.

2018-05-31

At one point in the film ,Distant Drum , some soldiers are slowly walking through a dark swamp when one of them is fatally attacked by an alligator. At the moment when the alligator  surprises him and drags him underwater, the soldier lets out the first known instance of the iconic scream.

The scream is often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion. It  has been used in 382 + movies and countless television shows.

However the name wasn’t used until 1953  In the movie ‘Charge at Feather River’, a character named Private Wilhelm gets shot in the leg with an arrow. He screams as he falls off his horse. Filmmakers used the Wilhelm Scream twice more in that movie as a stock effect to save money.

Private-Wilhelm

The famous scream was made mainstream by the Star Wars franchise. One of Star Wars sound designers named Ben Burtt was busy creating the sound palette for George Lucas’ Star Wars: A New Hope. He came across the Wilhelm scream and realized that a great number of  filmmakers had used it since the 1950s, he decided to pay homage to the sound effect by incorporating it into the  sci-fi classic. The scream can be heard in the  famous scene in which Luke Skywalker shoots a Storm trooper aboard the Death Star and the unfortunate trooper falls off a ledge. In fact the scream is used in all Star Wars movies.

2018-05-31 (1)

Research by Burtt suggests that Sheb Wooley, best known for his novelty song “The Purple People Eater” in 1958 and as scout Pete Nolan on the television series Rawhide, is likely to have been the voice actor who originally performed the scream.

Sheb Wooley

On a different not but yet slightly related another used soundbite that has made it into many Movies/TV Shows and even Heavy Metal albums is the line “Dr. Davis, telephone please. Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair. Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton”

I heard it on the classic Queensryche album ‘Operation Mindcrime’ and it was bugging me for I knew I heard it before, and then I heard in an episode of the Cosby show and several other shows and movies.

In case you are wondering about the connection of the painting ‘the Scream’ (at the start of the blog)and ‘the Wilhelm Scream’ there is none, other then the actual word scream. I was looking for a picture of a scream and that was the best one.

Ending the blog with a compilation of ‘the Wilhelm Scream’

 

 

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They went on to do bigger things.

Hollywood_Sign_(Zuschnitt)

Over the decades there have been so many iconic movies and TV shows which spawned many big actors and actresses.But it didn’t always happen over night, sometimes these stars started off in big shows or movies with minor obscure rolls, or even in music videos.

Below are just a few examples.

Before Dirty Dancing.

Dirty

The biggest star to come out of the movie Dirty Dancing is without a doubt Patrick Swayze,although I didn’t like the movie I have to admit it became one id the most iconic movies of the 80s.

However before Patrick Swayze made it big, he appeared in an episode of MASH. Where he played a character who catches Leukemia at a young age.

mash

Before Magnum P.I.

Magnum_PI_Still

When you think Magnum P.I. you just couldn’t imagine else playing that role then Tom Selleck. Tom went on to do other iconic movies such as ‘Three men and a baby’ and stars currently in the hugely popular ‘Blue Bloods’

But before all this he had an obscure role in the medical thriller ‘Coma’ as an injured football player.

coma

Before Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Bbay

Million Dollar Baby is still one of the finest movies ever made. It gave Hilary Swank the chance to shine and show how good an actress she is.Deservedly she won the Oscar for her role. But before she was boxing, she was being harassed by vampires in the movie “Buffy the Vampire slayer”

Buffy

Before Blade

Blade

Staying with vampire slayers, although Wesley Snipes has played in many big budget action movies, his most iconic role is that of ‘Blade’ half vampire,half human vampire slayer.

But it was Michael Jackson who chose Wesley for hos other talents, his dancing skills in the music video for ‘Bad’Bad

Before Speed

Speed

Sandra Bullock has done so many great movies in a variety of genres from comedy to science fiction but her breakthrough movie is without a doubt “Speed”

However before she drove buses at a speed of over 50 M/PH she was a bit of a Bionic woman in “Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989 TV Movie)”

bionic

 

Before Man on the Moon

Moon

I good picked a number of movies when it comes to Jim Carrey, -the Grinch,Mask,Dumb and Dumber- the list goes on. But I picked ‘Man on the Moon’ because I think that was his best performance to date, and he should have got the Oscar for that.

He did have a part though in another iconic movie “The Dead pool” the last of the Dirty Harry movies, where he played a rock star, basically based on Axl Rose.

Dirty Harru

They all went on to do greater things.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

IMDB