Category Archives: 1943

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 53

Note: This is the last of the “Laura” posts I had in reserve from last year, when I went on sabbatical. It was a fun project, but my focus on the Dahlia project prevents me from doing any more. Reading … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 52

One important aspect about the script for “Laura,” beyond the filming of the movie, is the complicated agreement that Twentieth Century-Fox had with David O. Selznick in sharing the contract of Jennifer Jones, who was originally cast in the lead … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 51

The final shooting script for “Laura,” dated April 18, 1944, with additions as late as July 1944. On Monday, Nov. 1, 1943, Twentieth Century-Fox head of production Darryl F. Zanuck issued his stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s draft of “Laura.” … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 50

“Memo From Darryl F. Zanuck,” edited by Rudy Behlmer. On Nov. 1, 1943, Darryl F. Zanuck, the Twentieth Century-Fox head of production, issued a stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s first draft of “Laura.” In this post, we will look at … Continue reading

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Zoot Suit Riots, June 1943

A hipster duck wears a zoot suit in Disney’s  “The Spirit of ‘43.” In 2011, I took a look at the official Navy documents on the Zoot Suit Riots. Here they are: “Zoot Suit” and History, Part 1| Part 2 … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 48

“Oklahoma!” directed by Rouben Mamoulian, plays for 2,212 performances on Broadway. Let’s take a brief detour and look at what else was happening in the early 1940s that would affect the production of “Laura.” In March 1943,  Ring Lardner Jr., … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ – The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 47

Jay Dratler in a photo from the jacket of his novel “The Pitfall,” listed on EBay at $245. In his discussion of the making of “Laura” in “Behind the Scenes,” film scholar Rudy Behlmer quickly dispenses with Jay Dratler, who … Continue reading

Posted in 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, Film, Hollywood, World War II | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 41

Otto Preminger makes his film debut as an actor in 1942 in “The Pied Piper.” Preminger said in a 1970 interview in On Film: “Although I’m Jewish, I can look like a Nazi if I shave my head.” The film … Continue reading

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1943 on the Radio – The New York Philharmonic

Sept. 5, 1943: The New York Philharmonic with pianist Claudio Arrau, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos, performs Darius Milhaud’s (pronounced  “Mil-low”)  “Suite Provencale,” Lizst’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and a Ravel’s orchestration of  Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”  Courtesy of otronmp3.com. … Continue reading

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Stories of the Year — 1943

Happy New Year’s Eve 1943 from the pen of Ernie Bushmiller! Dec. 31, 1943: The Times lists the top stories of 1943. For Los Angeles, that included Zoot Suit Riots (June 7), the 48-hour work week (July 21) and Frank … Continue reading

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Christmas With a P-40 Squadron, 1943

Dec. 27, 1943: The British sink the Nazi battleship Scharnhorst off the coast of Norway. With the loss of the Scharnhorst, and the sinking of the Bismarck in 1941, the Nazis were left with the Tirpitz, the sister ship of … Continue reading

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Christmas on the Radio — Christmas Eve, 1943

Rounding out our stroll along the radio dial, we check in with an NBC special Christmas Eve broadcast from Hollywood, Dec. 24, 1943, with reports from service personnel around the world. The host is Bob Hope, with Lionel Barrymore and … Continue reading

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Los Angeles Prepares to Celebrate a Wartime Christmas

Dec. 19, 1943: Los Angeles prepares to celebrate Christmas with a focus on service members, while U.S. troops fight the Nazis in hand-to-hand combat for the Italian town of San Pietro.  The Times story by James Warnack (d. 1958) begins:  … Continue reading

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Tells of Fighting on Tarawa

Dec. 12, 1943: Times columnist Tom Treanor, who will be killed in August 1944 covering the liberation of France, files a story about fighting between U.S. and Nazi troops around Filignano, Italy, about 100 miles southeast of Rome.   Crawling in … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Animals, Columnists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Photography, Tom Treanor, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

L.A. Celebrates a Wartime Thanksgiving, 1943

A wartime Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, with many service personnel welcomed into people’s homes for a holiday meal. The Times published cooking tips for war workers, advising cooks who were otherwise engaged “for the duration” to use prepared mixes, packaged … Continue reading

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Mitchell Leisen — ‘Lioness’ Tamer

Nov. 28, 1943:  Rumors of what will be known as the Tehran Conference (Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 1943) of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Opening soon: “In Old Oklahoma,” starring John Wayne, Martha Scott and Albert Dekker, at the Paramount, Hollywood and … Continue reading

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Riot at Tule Lake Internment Camp?

Nov. 3-16, 1943: It’s almost impossible to get a clear idea from these stories of what was actually occurring at the internment camp at Tule Lake. Early in the saga, one official said “there’s nothing to it,” but later on … Continue reading

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The ‘Masked Marvel Murder’ – Part 12

The 1942 marriage of Greta Keller and David G.G. Bacon, Albany Times-Union, Sept. 14, 1943, courtesy of Steven Bibb.  I have spent far more time than I intended on the “Masked Marvel Murder” and not just because it’s an intriguing, … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

The ‘Masked Marvel Murder’ — Part 11

David G.G. Bacon, far right, in “The Masked Marvel,” courtesy of Steven Bibb. So far, the David G.G. Bacon killing is relatively pristine, at least compared to the Black Dahlia case; the killing doesn’t appear in “Hollywood Babylon” or any … Continue reading

Posted in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Lou Costello’s Son Drowns in Swimming Pool

Nov. 5, 1943: Lou Costello Jr. drowns in the swimming pool of the family home at 4124 Longridge Ave., Van Nuys. Here’s a post I wrote about the tragedy in 2007.

Posted in 1943, Film, Hollywood, San Fernando Valley | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments