Donald R. McClarey

A Thanksgiving Thought From John Wayne

Have you ever heard of some fellows who first came over to this country? You know what they found? They found a howling wilderness, with summers too hot and winters freezing, and they also found some unpleasant little characters who

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The Powerful Faith of the Simple

I was watching the movie Captains Courageous with my bride last night, the 1937 film based on Kipling’s novel of the same name.  I was struck by the performance of Spencer Tracy as Manuel Fidello, for which he won an

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New Orleans Is Ready For Its Close Up Mr. DeMille

    American history tends to be ignored by Hollywood and therefore it is unusual for a battle to receive treatment in a Hollywood feature film. It is doubly unusual for a battle to be treated in two Hollywood feature

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Thanks, God, We’ll Take It From Here

Have you ever heard of some fellows who first came over to this country? You know what they found? They found a howling wilderness, with summers too hot and winters freezing, and they also found some unpleasant little characters who

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The Bishop’s Wife

Continuing our look at Advent and Christmas movies:  The Bishop’s Wife from 1947.    David Niven is an Episcopalian Bishop of a struggling diocese;  Loretta Young (ironically one of the more devout Catholics in the Hollywood of her time) is his wife;

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Brother Orchid

Brother Superior: When the heart speaks, Brother Orchid, other hearts must listen. Brother Orchid (1940) Interested in seeing a screwball-comedy-film noir gangster-western-religious flick?  I am always on the lookout for oddball films for Advent and they don’t come odder, or

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Ave Atque Vale Cheeta

One of the last remaining survivors of the Golden Age of Hollywood has passed away: It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member on December 24, 2011,” the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in

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Bette Davis, Abortion and Irony

Recently on the American history blog Almost Chosen People that Paul Zummo and I run, I wrote a post, which may be read here, saluting the actress Bette Davis for the ardent patriotism she displayed during World War II.  In

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Sergeant York and Gary Cooper-Part II

Continuing on from the first part of this post on Sergeant York and Gary Cooper. Frank James Cooper, a\k\a Gary Cooper, was a child of the last century, being born into it on May 7, 1901, the son of Charles

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Hard Boiled Hobbit

This video re-awakened one of my alternate history fantasies:  Tolkien publishes the Lord of the Rings in the Thirties to immediate acclaim.  The film rights are bought by Hollywood with the condition that Tolkien has script approval.  Tolkien relunctantly travels

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