Wednesday, October 17, 2018

# book # books

Wordsmith Wednesday: Want to Get a Real Feel for the Forties? | Cindy Vincent

Get a Real Feel For the Forties


Thank you, Katrina, for hosting me here today!  As I’m sure you know, I have a real fascination with the 1940s.  And having released my second WWII mystery novel, Swell Time for a Swing Dance, I think I’ve also racked up about a gazillion hours doing research!  Now people ask me how they might find out more about the era.  So here’s my recommended “quick list,” for those who want to get a real feel for the forties . . . and WWII.

I’d suggest that people start by watching these old black-and-white movies:

1.  Casablanca

First on my list is, of course, one of the most famous movies of all time, Casablanca.  With the war as a backdrop, we see the romance between Rick and Ilsa, and one of the most iconic final scenes ever shown on the silver screen . . . or on your big screen TV, as the case may be.  Be sure to get out the tissues, because you’re going to need them, folks!  As an author, I also find this movie to be very skillfully and tightly plotted.

2.  Mrs. Miniver

This movie shows what life was like in England during the war, and especially during the Blitz, those horrible months when Hitler bombed England—relentlessly. 

3.  Since You Went Away

This movie has some similarities to Mrs. Miniver, but it’s set on the American homefront during the war. 

4.  Confessions of a Nazi Spy

Based on the real-life case of Rumrich Nazi spy ring in the U.S., the term “Fifth Column” is mentioned.  Fifth Column essentially refers to enemies already within a country, ready to help take over when their army invades.

5.  Stormy Weather

This one is purely for fun, with fantastic music by Fats Waller, Lena Horn, and my favorite, Cab Calloway. Here’s a clip with Cab Calloway and the Williams Brothers:

6.  The Maltese Falcon 

Yup, I’ve just recommended another Bogart film.  It couldn’t be helped, since this movie was considered the best mystery/thriller of the year.  And believe me, you won’t really “get” Bogart until you see him as Sam Spade. 

Now that you’ve watched all these movies, let’s move on to some books.  While there are tons and tons of books written about WWII, here are a few of my favorites: 

1.  Those Angry Days by Lynne Olson

2.  Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson

3.  Wolves at the Door by Judith Pearson

4.  The Hollywood Canteen by Lisa Mitchell and Bruce Torrence

5.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Last, I’d suggest visiting a museum or two. 

1.  If you’re ever in New Orleans, please take time out to visit the National WWII Museum.  Not only is it one of the top museums in the country, but it’ll give you an education like nothing else.  It’s really one of the best ways to learn about the war. https://www.nationalww2museum.org/

Here’s a bit about the movie that’s shown there every hour.  I’ve seen it several times, and I never leave dry-eyed.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUIxPagAI5s

2.  Finally, here’s a link to the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas, another excellent museum to visit.

And there you have it, my quick list for learning more about the forties and WWII!


Thanks again, Katrina, for hosting me. I always enjoy your blogs, and I have to say—I truly envy your cooking skills!

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And thank you to Cynthia, for joining me here this week! I've been a fan of hers for ages and blessed enough to be friends with her on Facebook. I'll be reviewing her new book Swell Time For a Swing Dance on Friday so make sure you stop by and also, swing over to Amazon and download the book yourself!

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1 comment:

Cindy V said...

Thanks again, Katrina! I love your blog, and I truly appreciate your taking the time to participate in our blog tour!

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