40’s movies marathon – part 25

To Be or Not to Be (1942, USA) – Ah, the Allies. To make a comedy about life in Warszaw under Nazi occupation. That’s brilliant, and so is this movie, a farce with your typical duplicate identities, wronged husbands and quick wits. And it also happens to be a good war drama. Favorite line, said by a Nazi about a Polish actor: “What he did to Shakespeare, we’re now doing to Poland.” Watched it all.

For Me and My Gal (1942, USA) – Nah, my musical quota is full at the moment, even for an early Gene Kelly. Watched: 8 minutes.

Went the Day Well (1942, UK) – A group of soldiers arrive in an English village, but they’re all Nazi SPIES! I like how they’re discovered: They’ve clearly spent years in training to learn dialects and cultural nuances, but they way they cross their 7’s arouses suspicion. The message: Be suspicious. Take the initiative. Above all, be outrageously, obsessively, British. And when it comes down to it, any citizen should be prepared to wield an axe, or die on a bayonet. Watched it all.

Now, Voyager (1942, USA) – Bette Davis goes through a late rebellion against her tyrannical mother. It’s interesting how a cigarette becomes the symbol of her independence. The way that she finds to happiness would not hold up today, because it involves simply becoming normal, hosting dinners for the Boston aristocracy and wearing pretty clothes. I don’t buy it. But I buy her initial unhappiness. Watched it all.

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