Once again Friday Photos appears on Wednesday due to the last days of Sukkot which begin tonight and then run into Shabbat. Enjoy!
Wisdom of Hollywood Screenwriters
No, you have not fallen into a time warp. It is Wednesday. So: why Friday Photos today? The celebration of Succos starts tonight and continues into Shabbat. And because Orthodox Jews (that’s us) do not use electronics during these holidays you get Friday Photos early. We hope you enjoy this edition.
One of the most beautiful and touching films where marriage and family is the central subtext is They Died with Their Boots On (1941), a fanciful retelling of the George Armstrong Custer legend starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
The screenplay is by Æneas MacKenzie,Wally Kline, and Lenore J. Coffee.
A less than glamorous job, most successful screenwriters are solitary individuals who work quietly and diligently at their craft.
But screenwriter Peter Viertel (1920 – 2007) lived the jet-set life that is the glittering exception. Born in Dresden to an artistic and assimilated Jewish family, mother Salka was a screenwriter who was Greta Garbo’s best friend. His father, Berthold Viertel, was also a prominent writer and intellectual. The family moved to Hollywood in 1928. Peter’s childhood was the stuff of dreams: weekends were spent in the company of Garbo, Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.
Young Peter was Hollywood royalty.
The Great McGinty (1940) charts the rise and fall of a Depression era hobo to mayor of a city, then Governor, and finally exile in a banana republic.
Though a satire, Preston Sturges, certainly the greatest writer-director in Hollywood history, was a keen observer of American political life.
McGinty, played by Brian Donlevy, finds favor in the eyes of the corrupt political machine by casting 36 ballots in a local election, elevating voter fraud to an art form that would be the envy of any Chicago Democrat. McGinty then works as a most effective collector for the protection racket run by The Boss, played by the great Armenian actor Akim Tamaroff.
McGinty is soon tapped to be the reform candidate for mayor.