first world war

Movie Monday: To Hell and Back 1955

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To Hell and Back Image One
Image Credit: IMDB & Amazon

Sixty-five years ago, today, the war film To Hell and Back was released, originally in San Antonio. Directed by Jesse Hibbs and based on the book of the same name, it starred Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly, Gregg Palmer, Paul Picerni, David Janssen, Denver Pyle, Brett Halsey (Admiral’s great-nephew) and Gordon Gebert as a young Audie.

IMDB Summary:

Biopic of the wartime exploits of Audie Murphy (played by himself), the most decorated US soldier in World War II. Starting with his boyhood in Texas, where he became the head of his family at a young age, the story follows his enrollment in [the] Army where he was assigned to the 3rd Division. He fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, before landing in southern France and, eventually, fighting in Germany. A Medal of Honor recipient, he also received battle honors from the French and Belgian government.

Rotten Tomatoes Summary:

The highly variable Audie Murphy delivers his best screen performance as “himself” in Universal‘s To Hell and Back. Based on the star’s autobiography, this is the story of how Murphy became America’s most-decorated soldier during WW II. After dwelling a bit on Murphy’s hard-scrabble Texas upbringing, the story moves ahead to 1942, when, as a teenager, Audie joined the army. Within a year, he was a member of the 7th Army, serving in North Africa, Italy, France and, ultimately, Germany and Austria. One by one, the members of Murphy’s Company B are killed in the war, until only three men from the original company are left. [The] others appear at the finale as ghostly images […]. The bulk of the film is given over to Murphy’s conspicuous acts of combat bravery and his killing of 240 enemy soldiers. Highlighted by excellent battle sequences, To Hell and Back is a serviceable tribute to a most complex individual.

Audie Murphy Image Two
Date: 1948
Photo Author: Fort Detrick
Wikipedia & Wikimedia

Trivia Bits:
Filmed at Fort Lewis, WA, Yakima River, WA, Oak Creek Wildlife Area, WA and Universal Studios.
♦ Audie Murphy originally declined the opportunity to portray himself in the movie, not wanting people to think that he was attempting to cash in on his role as a war hero. Murphy initially suggested his friend Tony Curtis to play him.
♦ Audie Murphy’s war buddy Onclo Airheart was slated to play himself, but he declined due to the fact that the movie was to be shot during planting season.
♦ [Author] David Morell [sic] cites Audie Murphy as the inspiration for the character of John Rambo.
♦ In the movie, […] Murphy does his one-man standoff on top of a medium M-4 Sherman tank. [In] real life it happened on top of an M10 Wolverine tank destroyer.
♦ Audie Murphy’s feats of heroism and his much decorated status have been compared to those of his counterpart during World War I, Sgt. Alvin C. York […].

Murphy […] wrote poetry and songs, and, himself a sufferer, was among the first advocates for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He died on May 28, 1971, when the private airplane in which he was riding crashed.

Additional Reading:
To Hell and Back (American Film Institute)
To Hell and Back (Turner Classic Movies)
Alvin York (Wikipedia)
Audie Murphy (Wikipedia)

Flick Friday: Captain Eddie 1945

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Captain Eddie IMDB Image One
Image Credit: IMDB & Amazon

Seventy-five years ago, today, the drama film Captain Eddie was released. Directed by Lloyd Bacon and produced by Winfield Sheehan, it starred Fred MacMurray, Lynn Bari, Charles Bickford, Thomas Mitchell and Lloyd Nolan. Based on Seven Came Through (by Eddie Rickenbacker) and We Thought We Heard The Angels Sing (by James Whittaker), John Tucker Battle wrote/adapted the screenplay. A biopic of Rickenbacker, it reflects his experiences as a flying ace during World War I to his later involvement as a pioneering figure in civil aviation.

Plot/Summary:

In World War II, while serving as a United States Army Air Forces officer, famed World War I pilot Eddie Rickenbacker (Fred MacMurray) is assigned to tour South Pacific bases. On October 21, 1942, his Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress has to ditch at sea, forcing Rickenbacker, pilot Lt. James Whittaker (Lloyd Nolan), co-pilot Capt. Bill Cherry (Richard Crane) and other crew members to survive for 19 days on a tiny rubber raft. While awaiting their rescue, Rickenbacker recalls his other adventures that have highlighted a remarkable life.

Full Synopsis (TCM)

Captain Eddie IMDB Image Two
Image Credit: IMDB & Amazon

Review:

It seems as though someone is kidding…kidding in more ways than one. For Captain Eddie, which came yesterday to the Roxy, is not the story it promises to be of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, ace of World War I and commercial airline executive who holds some rather rigid social views. Nor is it precisely the saga of the middle-aged flier who was lost at sea two years ago in the South Pacific and spent three harrowing weeks on a raft. It is just another sentimental comedy about a kid who jumped off the barn in his youthful passion for flying and courted his girl in a merry Oldsmobile. [This] is not the story of Rickenbacker…not the significant story, anyhow.

Bosley Crowther
The New York Times
August 9, 1945

Trivia Bits:
♦ Crash survivor Lt. James Whittaker was […] temporarily assigned to the production to serve as a technical advisor.
♦ The film’s premiere was held in Rickenbacker’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In attendance were politicians and celebrities, including Carole Landis, as well as family members.

Nomination:
Best Special Effects (Academy Awards 1946)

I can’t find a trailer to the movie on YouTube but, the entire movie appears to be uploaded in pieces. I did find this. ~Vic

Chris Thomas: Past Life Memories

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A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

Past Lives Image One
Image Credit: unariunwisdom.com

People often ask me, ‘If we have lived a series of lifetimes and, if the process of ‘reincarnation’ and our memories of these lifetimes is stored in our DNA, why is it that we do not remember these other lives?’

The answer is quite simple and has to do with the purpose of current human life.

When modern humans first appeared on Earth about 80,000 years ago, we were very much more advanced than we are now. This was at the beginning of the development of the land we know as Atlantis. In those times, human beings had the whole soul within the body. As a result, their full store of memories was intact, and fully interactive with the body, and perfectly expressed in the body’s DNA. However, as time went by, we began to notice that we were having trouble maintaining this level of being and our ‘fall’ from full consciousness was a contributory factor in our collective decision to destroy the Atlantean continent. When we returned to Earth to begin the human experiment again, 20,000 years ago, we once again adopted the same ‘human template’ and, again, encountered the same consciousness problems. The reasons for these problems are too complex to explore here but, ultimately, we formulated ‘The Human Plan’ which we fully adopted 7,000 years ago.

At that point, humans became as we are now…a soul divided into the higher self, or oversoul and, the physical self. This physical self was endowed with sufficient DNA memory to allow us to record our experiences so that, ultimately, we would find answers as to why it had been so difficult to maintain the whole soul within the physical body. Each of those involved in this plan elected to go through a series of lifetimes including experiences that would enable them to learn how to be fully human again. According to my researches, we didn’t plan to spend forever learning this! Instead, we gave ourselves a time limit of round about 7,000 years, which is why, at the present time, the energies we are experiencing on Earth are so powerfully supportive of inner transformation and growth.

As our original plan was to undergo experiences in order to gain knowledge, it was our choice to begin each new lifetime without full memory of our previous lives. This allowed us to face each new experience without past failures or successes influencing the decisions we were to make in our new physical life. As we underwent each lifetime, our higher selves would keep us on our path by communicating to us through the chakras. However, we did have the option to ‘veto’ our plans. If we felt an experience-gathering event was too traumatic to deal with in one life, we could move it forward to a subsequent lifetime. In moving these ‘difficult’ experiences forward, we seem to have forgotten our original aim of completing our learning within a limited time-frame and many of us have left things until the last minute. This is why so much of the last 200 years, and especially the last 50, have been so traumatic, as so many have had to undergo the ‘traumas’ they did not face in previous lifetimes. If we did undergo a major trauma in a previous lifetime, and we did not fully deal with it at the time, the way in which these kinds of memories become transferred from one life to the next is determined by how powerful the experience was.

Past Lives Image Two
Image Credit: dailyoccupation.com

The process, briefly, is this: if there was a severe trauma at the end of a previous lifetime, the ‘shock’ to the physical elements of the soul could have been so great that, instead of the memory being locked away within our DNA spirals, it could be powerful enough to imprint itself into our current physical makeup. A prime example of this is the huge increase in children suffering from asthma. From our researches, this would appear to have very little to do with car pollution, although that does not help. The main cause is that these souls are being reborn after the trauma of being gassed in the trenches of the First World War. Another example would be birth marks, which are often burns or bullet wounds from a previous life.

As a general rule, strong illnesses which arise in childhood can often be from past-life causes, especially where such illnesses moderate or disappear at puberty. Illnesses which arise after puberty are always due to causes in this current life, except for bodily functions which are not viable before puberty, such as pregnancy. It should be stressed that present-life traumas due to past-life situations are very rare. Very, very few people carry these problems. The vast majority of problems arise from not dealing with issues in this lifetime. How many times, for instance, do you speak honestly to those with whom you share your life?

However, if you have dealt with everything this life has to throw at you and there is still ‘something’ that you cannot clear, then if the problem is not too onerous, your higher self will usually clear it as you sleep at night, which may lead to unusual dreams. If the past-life experiences are quite strong, and you have put off dealing with them in this life or run out of time before we complete our reintegration, the best way of clearing them is to visit a past-life regression hypnotist. [They] can gently lead you into the problem and help you to clear it. The good news is, [our] collective efforts over the past 7,000 years have given us the answers we have been looking for and, especially since 1996, more and more people have been bringing ‘The Human Plan’ to its conclusion.

Despite the world appearing to have gone totally mad, we are actually on track to complete everything in time. We do need to understand that we have been unbelievably successful in our work of bringing this ‘Plan’ to fruition, as this will help us to overcome and to let go of the current sense of fear that is overwhelming our ability to see ourselves clearly. Try to remember that the reason why the shadows over the Earth appear to be becoming darker is because they are cast by a light that is becoming brighter.

© Chris Thomas 2007

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