Pop Culture During World War II How people amused themselves during the war How people amused themselves during the war
Despite the fact that many men and women were serving overseas, people still made time for leisure activities. Like now, most of our pop culture was imported from Hollywood or other parts of the United States. This slideshow will outline some of the different types of entertainment and some of the entertainers who were popular at the time.
NEWSREELS Home televisions were only starting to come into existence in the 1940s so people did not have ready access to information about the war. People would have to go to the movies to watch clips from the war known as newsreels. Newsreels were put out by the production companies that put on shows and gave viewers insight to what was going on overseas.
ANIMATED SHORTS Another popular feature at the movies was the animated short that played before the feature. The animated short made stars out of animated characters such as Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse. They were also used to spread war propaganda. They encouraged people to fight for the cause and spread fear of our enemies.
The Blitz Wolf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGQWHqyFQQo DerFeuhrer’s Face http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LYD0Fzf1LU
FEATURE FILMS During World War II, several films were made about the war itself. Most marked big events that happened during the war. Other films were pure escapism and served to help audiences forget the fact that they had friends and family serving overseas or that they had to give things up for the war effort and provided them with pure enjoyment for a few hours.
Genres of Features Dramas Comedies Musicals Just like other forms of propaganda, movies were frequently used to drum up support for the cause.
FAMOUS ACTORS Clark Gable Laurence Olivier Mickey Rooney Charlie Chaplin James Stewart
FAMOUS ACTORS Henry Fonda Cary Grant Orson Welles Humphrey Bogart Bing Crosby
FAMOUS ACTRESSES Vivien Leigh Bette Davis Greta Garbo Judy Garland Greer Garson
FAMOUS ACTRESSES Ginger Rodgers Katharine Hepburn Olivia de Havilland Ingrid Bergman Joan Crawford
Gone With The Wind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq749BpsBTU Rebecca http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGShusTsWhc How Green Was My Valley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7CV9SZovfU Mrs. Miniver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpalXumRdRY Casablanca http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wf2sk3CTQU Going My Way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecjzal-wlKQ
Citizen Kane http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyv19bg0scg The Great Dictator http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sfJxdytYn4 Yankee Doodle Dandy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTec9v6fjN0 The Wizard of Oz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkZcYMy85lY The Grapes of Wrath http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4dNOCu3l5g The Philadelphia Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CtquHsxoZo
ACTORS GO TO WAR During the war, several actors put their careers on hold and went overseas to serve in the United States Army. They served their country well. Some even won medals for bravery. These actors include; Henry Fonda Clark Gable James Stewart
Actors and The USO The United Service Organizations was founded in 1941. Their focus was to lift spirits through live entertainment of United States troops and their families. They worked with the Department of Defence and rely on various corporate and individual donors to provide their programs.
Bob Hope USO Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2owSx5pOvtY
Actors and The USO During World War II, the USO became the soldier's "home away from home" and began a tradition of entertaining the troops that continues today. Actors and Actresses who took part in the USO shows include Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Bette Davis as well as many others.
MUSIC DURING THE WAR During World War II the most popular style of music was swing and it remained the most popular until it was taken over by pop standards sung by crooners. Big name bands would bring on solo acts to perform with them who would then go on to become famous. Frank Sinatra got his start this way and went on to become the first teen idol and was popular up until his death decades later.
MUSIC DURING THE WAR (cont...) Other music that was popular at the time included; pure jazz, be-bop jazz and country music.
POPULAR MUSICIANS DURING THE WAR Benny Goodman Glenn Miller Bing Crosby Frank Sinatra The Andrews Sisters
POPULAR MUSICIANS DURING THE WAR Ella Fitzgerald Billie Holiday Louis Armstrong Roy Rodgers Gene Autry
"As Time Goes By", Dooley Wilson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d22CiKMPpaY "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", Andrews Sisters vocal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pfCFU3Mqww "Don't Get Around Much Anymore ", Duke Ellington Orch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Y4U3h1ZzE "I'll Be Seeing You", Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL60OQLekWQ “God Bless The Child", Billie Holiday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKNtP1zOVHw “Stormy Weather”, Lena Horne http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzLkXdkuhX8 “La Vie en Rose”, Edith Piaf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g4NiHef4Ks “You Are My Sunshine”, Jimmie Davis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj0GPTEU198 “White Christmas”, Bing Crosby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yg5g_Xl-uU “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Judy Garland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4lY8Y3eoo
FASHIONS DURING THE WAR During the war there was a restriction on certain materials such as rayon, nylon, wool, leather and rubber. Metal that was used for buckles and snaps and embellishments was also rationed. Finally, there was a limit on how much fabric could be used to make one garment. Despite all of this, the fashion industry kept coming out with new ideas. After the Fall of France, Hollywood became the centre for what was fashionable with the exception of a few trends coming out of England in 1944 and 1945.
FASHIONS DURING THE WAR When rationing was in full force, it was more important for clothing to be functional than fashionable. Floral prints seem to dominate the early 1940s, with the mid-to-late 1940s also seeing what is sometimes referred to as "atomic prints" or geometric patterns and shapes. The color of fashion seemed to even go to war, with patriotic nautical themes and dark greens and khakis dominating the color palates, as trousers and wedges slowly replaced the dresses and more traditional heels due to shortages in stockings and gasoline.