Forever Changed…

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VE day occurred on May 8, 1945 and VJ day occurred on August 15, 1945. Actors, writers, directors were coming home from the war. For the rest of the decade at the Oscars, Best Song Awards were handed out to lighter tunes that once you start humming them you just couldn’t get them out of your head.
It Might As Well Be Spring 1945 ~ State Fair~ 20th Century Fox music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe 1946 ~The Harvey Girls~ MGM music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah 1947 ~Song of the South ~ Disney music by Allie Wrubel lyrics by Ray Gilbert.
Buttons and Bows 1948 ~ The Paleface ~ Paramount music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Baby It’s Cold Outside 1949~ Neptunes Daughter~ MGM music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
Mona Lisa 1950~ Captain Carey U.S.A.~ Paramount music and lyrics by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston.
Special Juvenile Awards rounded out the decade with Miniature Statuettes going to:
Peggy Ann Garner 1945,
Claude Jarman Jr. 1946,
Ivan Jandl 1948 for his performance in the movie The Search MGM,
Bobby Driscoll 1949, there were no Juvenile Awards for the year 1950.
In 1947 James Baskett received a Special Award Statuette for his able and heartwarming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to the children of the world. Uncle Remus was a character in the Disney movie Song of the South.

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Good Girl Myrna Loy

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Myrna Loy earned the title as the woman most men wanted to marry in 1946.

Her stints in the Thin Man movies, and very successful comedies costarring William Powell, totally wiped out the fact that she used to play the “exotic woman.”
In fact, after The Best Years of Our Lives, Men Must Marry Myrna Clubs were formed, and in spite of the fact that she was married and divorced four times, she still makes the good girl list because she was the first actress to work for the UN, avidly spoke against the Nazi regime during the war, and apologized for her early Forbidden Hollywood sins in the film, Ham and Eggs at the Front.
But more than that, she had her head on straight, and stated that “Life is not having and getting, but being and becoming”. So true.

‘I gave up the best years of my life, and what have you done?’

These are the angry words uttered by Virginia Mayo’s character to her husband Fred. Returning WWII bombardier Captain in the Air Force played by Dana Andrews, towards the end of the movie, ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ premier date New York November 21, 1946.
Oscar winner Robert E. Sherwood’s screenplay was exceptional. Hitchhiking a ride on an Air Transport Command, three veterans thrown together by the circumstances of ‘Going Home’.  Almost ‘Three on a Match’ except for the double amputee’s superstitions, Fredrick March’s character is returning home to a twenty year marriage and family.

Dana is returning to the wife he met, courted, and married after knowing her only twenty days.  Harold Russell the real life veteran in an acting role is returning home to his High School girl next door sweetheart that he told he would marry when he returned but he hadn’t expected to be returning as a double amputee…what girl would want him.

This is a great ‘Memorial Day’ remembrance movie.  First because the people that fight the wars will never forget their buddies that did not make it home.  Second because it shows the turmoil of the families that were left behind. They carried on, but weren’t quite sure how to respond to returning loved ones, and thirdly this is a movie that changed the history of movie making. Movie makers had also gone to war, (directors, writers, and actors) their experiences also documented the history of this war and authenticated the aftermath…

This is Myrna Loy’s first appearance on screen since the war started. Not by the studio’s choice but by her choice, (volunteerism in the war effort took up most of her time). She received top billing in the credits; ‘Someone to come home to’… Theresa Wright best supporting actress in ‘Mrs. Miniver’ 1942 played Myrna and Fredrick’s daughter Peggy.

However the men walked away with the Oscar rewards. Best Actor – Fredrick March, Best Supporting Actor – Harold Russell (Double arm amputee between hands/forearm), Best Director  William Wyler, Best Screenplay – Robert E. Sherwood, Film Editing – Daniel Mandell, Music Score of Drama or Comedy- Hugo Friedhofer, Special Award – Harold Russell –The hope and courage award for fellow veterans for appearing in the movie, Irving Thalberg Award – Samuel Goldwyn, and last but not least the ‘Best Picture of the Year’ 1946.