Tag Archives: WWII

A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

Dear Friends,

December 07, 1941–the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor–is a day we won’t forget.

I was standing outside a building in Connecticut when I heard the news. It seemed so incredible at the time that the Japanese would send out their kamikaze pilots to kill thousands of sailors and civilians alike.

pearl harbor

photo courtesy of msn.com

That was 77 years ago today.

I am sure many of you have been to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu and visited the memorial there—it is such an emotional experience.

We can all be thankful that we are not in a war at the present time. Let us pray that we remain at peace and be grateful for the brave men and women who lost their lives that fateful day.

Best regards,
Philip Langner

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Watch It Again, Sam

Dear Friends,

As you know, we love old movies. And of these, our most favorite must be Casablanca.

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Berman, this film is so beautifully done we could just watch it again and again!

casablanca

It was filmed during the middle of WWII, and ironically, no one expected it to be a hit—let alone one of the greatest movies ever made! It was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, winning for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing for a Screenplay.

We found a 1942 review by Variety, which states:

[The] Film is splendid anti-Axis propaganda, particularly inasmuch as the propaganda is strictly a by-product of the principal action and contributes to it instead of getting in the way. There will be few more touching scenes to be found than when a group of German officers in Rick’s [Café] begins to sing Nazi tunes and [Bergman’s onscreen husband] Henreid instructs the orchestra to go into “La Marseillaise.” A bit frightenedly at first, but then with a might that completely drowns out the Germans, the [nightclub] patrons and [servers] in Rick’s give voice to the anthem of France of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” It is just another facet of the variety of moods, action, suspense, comedy and drama that makes “Casablanca” an A-1 entry at the b.o.

To our mind, the greatest picture we have ever seen!

To read the full review, click here.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen this classic, we urge you to watch it immediately—a glorious evening!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Pearl Harbor

Dear Friends,

Today is December 08, 2017—one day and 76 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our entry into WWII.

I remember the day so well, exactly where I was standing by a building up in Connecticut about 2:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  What an incredible shock!

In recent years, I visited the War Memorial in Honolulu—built where the battleship, USS Arizona was sunk with 1,700 sailors on board.  The Memorial is quite lovely and poignant and very significant.

It seems so easy to forget a war that happened nearly 80 years ago.  How many wars have we had since then? How about Vietnam?  Every now and then when I happen to see a map of the Far East, I ask myself “how in God’s name could we have gone there and done that?”

A woman who worked for my parents was married to a man who died in the Bataan death march, where 700 American soldiers were marched through the Philippines shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Please forgive all of these musings.  The resulting thought is, of course, why?  Why do we have to get into wars?  Why do so many people have to die?  Now we have North Korea so eager to do so—they are reported in the paper today as saying “we have to go to war very soon.”

I guess they don’t remember Pearl Harbor, where 2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded.  Nor must they remember 340,000 Japanese who died because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 06 and August 09, 1945 respectively.  Nor do they remember the nearly 1.4 million people who died in the Vietnam War.

We cannot forget—or we are doomed to repeat history.  What can we do?

Sincerely,
Philip and Marilyn

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The Nazi Officer’s Wife

Dear Friends,

Today rather than recommend a play, we are going to tell you about a marvelous book called The Nazi Officer’s Wife.

It is a terrific read that tells the story of a young Jewish woman.  It is the story of her life in Vienna just before Hilter came to power through the end of the Second World War.

This book takes you on her journey—as a young woman at university to the slow demoralization and loss of everything familiar to her—including her family—as Hilter escalated his anti-Semitic laws in Germany, Austria, and conquered countries.

Even if you are not interested in WWII, this is an amazing tale about one woman’s journey and struggle to survive against all odds.

You can order it from Amazon by clicking on this link.

Best regards—and reading!
Philip & Marilyn

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Remembrances

Dear Friends,

We’d like to wish you a Happy Memorial Day!

memorial day

picture from HomeTownDailyNews.com

Having served during WWII, this day is poignant.  Marilyn and I are very thankful for all the soldiers who have served and fought to protect our freedoms.  While we haven’t always agreed with the politics of war, we have always supported our troops.  Today, we remember them.

Best regards,

Philip (US Navy)

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The Lift of a Lifetime!

The events at the Theatre Guild leading up to the arrival of Oklahoma! on Broadway are quite interesting, and as always with the theatre: precarious!

While Oklahoma!  was in the creation mode, Broadway theatre was in huge difficulty as a result of the Great Depression.  Needless to say, no matter how much people wanted to go to the theatre, in the 1930s they didn’t have the money to do it.  And in the 1940s the war came along and made theatre-going feel like a frivolous thing to do when so much destruction was occurring around the world.

The mid 1930s brought a series of mistaken choices in the plays the Theatre Guild produced.  Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who had done 20 plays with the Theatre Guild, decided to part ways and join Noel Cowart in a partnership.  The Guild was in serious debt, but fortunately was rescued by producing Philip Barry’s play, The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn in the lead.

It helped the Guild through the end of the 30s.  However, with the war the mood at the Guild fell into a low ebb and only received “a lift of a lifetime” when they produced Oklahoma! in March 1943.

Oklahoma-Playbill-03-43

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