what I’m doing {#5}


Margaret Mitchell holding her book, Gone with the Wind. (1938)

Gone With The Wind.  Oh, this book.  I love books that are thick and bewitching and lavish, and GWTW is definitely one of those.  It’s expansive and luscious and crammed full of accurate little details about life before, during, and after the American Civil War.  I might hate Scarlett and Rhett and barely tolerate any number of other characters, but I was never bored while reading the thing, and there were enough good, even splendid, characters to make the experience worthwhile (and, yes, it was an EXPERIENCE).  GWTW is an epic in the fullest sense of the word, although I wouldn’t say it’s a romance.  There’s too much immorality and heartlessness, in my opinion, to make it a romance (in fact, I can’t think of any couple I whole-heartedly shipped…except maybe Gerald and Ellen), but it’s still an impressive book.  I can see why it’s such a classic.  

Now to watch the movie, though I’ll never forgive the People In Charge for cutting Will and Archie out – they were two of my favorite characters!

And since I’ve finished GWTW, I’ve started in on my annual reading of Lord Of The Flies.  I really can’t handle more than a once-a-year read-through of it, because it’s very disturbing and depressing (sort of in the way The Ox-Bow Incident is), but the writing is breathtaking (style, plot, characterization…everything), so I mainly read it for that.  I wouldn’t say it’s a favorite book, exactly, but it does grip me each time I read it.


I did so grow to love this splendid, brave little group.

We are awash in Dana Andrews movies over here.  We really are.  I’ve calculated that in the less-than-two-months since I first watched The Ox-Bow Incident, I’ve seen (counting TO-BI) nine Dana films.  And re-watched a few as well.  Most recently, it’s been State Fair (re-watch, which cemented my longing to LIVE in that movie), The Devil’s Brigade (it’s not reeeeally a Dana movie, since he just has a charming little cameo, but, eh, I still kinda count it in anyway), The Purple Heart (don’t even want to talk about it), and The North Star (ditto).  From watching all these films, I’ve come to realize one important fact: if you’re a Dana Andrew character in a WWII movie, don’t go anywhere near planes.  If you do, you’ll end up 1) with PTSD (The Best Years Of Our Lives), 2) captured by the Japanese (The Purple Heart), or 3) dead (The North Star).  Or all three, because all those things happen in The Purple Heart, pretty much.

And if you’re a Dana Andrews fan and you haven’t seen The Ox-Bow Incident or The Purple Heart yet, DON’T.  Just…don’t.

{listening to}

The Hollywood Palladium marquee in 1942, advertising performances by Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters.

Glenn Miller!  I broke down and bought a CD with nearly all my favorites on it since I was tired of the ads on Youtube whenever I wanted to listen to a playlist, and I’m rather glad I did now.  Very handy when I’m washing dishes and I want something fun to listen to.  Oh, and the little pamphlet inside the CD case listed ‘Chummy MacGregor’ as the piano player for ‘Tuxedo Junction’ which made me very happy indeed.  I did discover a couple GM songs that I hadn’t listened to before (*gasp*), and they’re both wonderful.  First, there’s ‘Perfidia’ – the lyrics are a bit odd, but the tune is so lovely. (Reminds me a bit of ‘Beyond The Sea’, actually).  And then, ‘The Army Air Corps Song’. *tears*  I have a tendency to get emotionally attached to songs that I hear in favorite movies and I forever link those songs with those movies.  ‘Little Brown Jug’ and The Glenn Miller Story, for instance.  Or ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ with Stalag 17.  Or ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ with The Great Escape. (And don’t even get me started on ‘Red River Valley’.  Please.)  So, the Air Corps song reminds me of the ending to The Purple Heart, so naturally it tugs (rips?) at my heart a little whenever I hear it.  And it’s such a great arrangement too.



19 thoughts on “what I’m doing {#5}

  1. I love reading about all the Dana Andrews movies you’re watching! I’ve seen almost all his films now. Ox-Bow Incident guts me every time I watch it, but it’s also such a good movie. Purple Heart too. And it’s not even WWII movie characters and planes… it’s Dana characters and planes in general! Very bad combo! If you’re boarding a plane and you see him onboard… get off! Immediately! Hee.

    I highly recommend “Swamp Water,” if you can find it.

    And Glenn Miller is so much fun to listen to. I think I will put some on this morning myself!


    • A few nights after I watched Ox-Bow, I had a rather vivid, awful nightmare about it, which has somewhat coloured my perception of both the film and Dana ever since. (Not in a bad way, though. Just…different.) Really, I can’t believe he was never at least nominated for an Oscar – there were so many times he totally deserved one! I read a post a couple days ago about Dana and his characters’ bad luck with planes, which was interesting and amusing at the same time. There are so many of his films that aren’t available anywhere except through Amazon (and I haven’t verrrry limited funds with which to purchase DVDs), so I have a feeling I’ll be limited to those nine movies for a while. But I’ll see if Swamp Water is at the library.

      Have fun. 🙂


      • Swamp Water is hard to find, cuz I don’t think it’s on dvd (but it IS on Blu-Ray? Why???), but you can watch all of it on YouTube here. It’s great! A bit dark, but Dana is lovely, Walter Brennan is cool, and it’s not sad.


      • Thanks for the link. 🙂 I’ll see if I can find time to watch it sometime soon. (I also put a hold on another Dana movie at the library – Crash Dive. Have you watched it?)


      • I’ve only seen Crash Dive once, and it was probably 8 or 9 years ago. I recall a good bit of action, and Dana playing second fiddle to Tyrone Power. Pretty sure Deborah Koren has seen it more recently than I have, and can answer you better. Now that I’m a Tyrone fan too, I should watch it again!


  2. I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVED GONE WITH THE WIND. Because I adore it, as you know by now.

    I know. ME TOO. Will is my favourite character SO much. They also didn’t add Scarlett’s two oldest children – only Bonnie Blue. I guess they weren’t allowed to make the movie too long. :-/
    No, there IS one couple is ship with all my might. Will and Carreen. I ship them SO. 🙂
    But you’re right, it’s not really a romance-book.

    Dana Andrews!

    I really love this post. 😀

    ~ Naomi x


    • Yes, I adored it too! The only things that kept me from giving it five stars on Goodreads were the language (I mean, it wasn’t toooo strong, but it cropped up so often), and the icky moral issues I had with both Rhett and Scarlett. (Have you ever noticed that both their names end with a double ‘t’?) Will reminds me of a favorite character in a TV show I love (Rat Patrol), which was awesome. And I knew I was forgetting some obvious ship. I always seem to do that. 😛 But, YES, I ship them a LOT. I never liked Suellen. (Aw, they didn’t add Wade? I liked/felt sorry for him quite a bit.)

      Dana Andrews, indeed. 🙂

      Thanks! I had lots of fun writing it.



        I know?! Isn’t that funny how Scarlett and Rhett’s names both end with an ‘ett’? Actually though, Scarlett’s name was originally Patsy. So it was Patsy and Rhett first. Wow, that’s weird.

        ~ Naomi


      • Even worse! It wasn’t Patsy; it was Pansy. They changed it because Mitchell didn’t realize the name signified a person of weakness in the North.


  3. Ah, Dana Andrews. I barely paid him any mind until a few weeks ago when I saw Laura (1944) for the first time. I must say, I was impressed. 🙂

    Both those books sound fascinating. I’ve always shied away from Lord of the Flies because it just didn’t seem like my sort of thing, but I’ve been making more of an effort lately to read books that are outside my comfort zone. Maybe I’ll try that one some time?


    • Ah, well, I’m glad Laura made you sit up and take notice of him. 🙂 Detective McPherson is my favorite of all the characters I’ve seen him play.

      I think it’s a little bit out of everyone’s comfort zone, but it IS a great classic, so I’d say the disturbing parts are worth it in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I ought to try Gone With the Wind this summer . . . I’m kind of hard up for new books to read, and it’s definitely a classic.
    Speaking of WWII movies, did you ever watch Unbroken (2014)? I’ve never seen it, so I don’t know how good it is, but one of my friends at college thought it was really impressive. Although, from what I read online, it’s got some markedly non-G-rated stuff in it . . .


    • Yes, I have watched Unbroken! The book was amazing, so I was really looking forward to the movie, and it didn’t disappoint (it actually exceeded all my expectations). There was a scene of brief nudity that my parents had me fast-forward, and some language – if you want full details on the content, I highly recommend PluggedIn’s review. (www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/unbroken)


      • Thanks! Maybe I’ll try it, too–my friend told me that it was really inspiring the way the hero overcame so much suffering. And of course, the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even better 🙂


  5. I had pretty much the same opinion of Gone With the Wind—there were very few people you could actually like and cheer for, but the general effect of the whole thing was impressive. You always want to know what’s going to happen next (the whole section on the battle for Atlanta was particularly engrossing). I did like Melanie much better in the book than in the movie; in the movie she just seems so maddeningly gullible!

    Sounds like you need a Dana Andrews movie where you know going into it that he survives. 🙂 If a courtroom docu-drama appeals to you, look out for Boomerang! (1947). But don’t bother with Beyond A Reasonable Doubt…that was just terrible.


    • Yep, I think I could probably count on one hand the number of characters I really, truly liked. But, writing-wise, GWTW is fantastic. I’m already getting the urge to re-read it, which is pretty weird, considering its length and the amount of unlikable characters. There are a couple other books I need to finish right now, though, so I prooobably won’t venture into the world of Tara for a while. Although I’ll be watching the movie quite soon, since Mom has it on hold at the library.

      I do, but my problem is that there are very few Dana movies available for free (on Youtube or at the library), so I’m pretty much stuck with the ones my family owns (which are still great, but almost always sad). I’ve heard about Reasonable Doubt – was it terrible in terms of quality or how the story turned out?


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