Hollywood vs. Axis coming soon!

In the Audience

Hollywood vs. Axis coming soon!The Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert has just concluded its sixth annual “Summer of Movie Magic” film series, showing 12 movies on a dozen consecutive Wednesdays to raise funds from 16 local sponsors to renew the society’s yearly film exhibition license.

These sensational series sponsors included Baxendale’s, Center Pharmacy of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, Cordell Construction Co., Cosner-Neipp Corp., Jack and Dana Lyons of Coldwell Banker Best Realty, Maturango Museum, Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine, Red Rock Books, Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ridgecrest Cinemas, Ridge Writers, Romancing the West, Roaming Dog Kitchen, S & M Coins and Collectibles, Tender Cuts Meats and Warren’s Automotive. We give them a heartfelt “Thanks!” for their support.

We are very pleased to announce our next “Classic Movie Night” series, premiering on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Historic USO Building. “Hollywood Battles the Nazis”is the descriptive title for the presentation of five pictures that reflect the film industry’s (eventual) involvement in pro-war propaganda film production.

Until 1940 Hollywood kept an arm’s length from the growing Nazi aggression in Europe, in the fear that a negative attitude toward Germany could stymie that nation’s huge demand for American movies. But, as the Nazi scourge reached England (and later with the bombings of Pearl Harbor) that all changed. Studios, urged by the Roosevelt administration, now jumped on the patriotic bandwagon to produce an aggressive slate of anti-Nazi (and anti-Japanese) films that resonated with moviegoing audiences in a huge way. (The German and Japanese film industries had already been making their own propaganda films for some time.)

Five films from this era, all reflecting the mood of the county at the time, will be screened during this series. Two of the films are action-packed thrillers, one is a film adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and one an Ernst Lubitsch biting satirical comedy. The series finale takes place in a little bar called “Rick’s Café American” and features a notorious band of “usual suspects.”

The films’ glittering roster of stars include Robert Taylor, Norma Shearer, Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman.

For film titles and more information about these films, call 760-375-8456 for more information or stop by the Historic USO Building for a new film schedule to this free (donations gladly accepted) film series.

Story First Published: 2018-08-10