Welcome back to "your brain has been liquefied in the last 20 years." We're looking at a long lost *television program produced by the news department* on the making of the 1939 movie "Gone with the Wind." Television program produced by the news department? you ask?
So imagine my delight when on YouTube I stumbled upon this- an ABC News- gasp- television program about - gasp- !- history- "Our World" Wow! 1987- not such a year for me and memories- hmmm, but I do recall this little series. I do not recall this episode- "1939" chronicling the debut and making of -"Gone With the Wind." BUT -get this- In the second block, it goes into more background on 1939's Phony War than has probably aired on a Big Three Network in the 20 years since- including chilling archival footage -probably newsreels meant to be played for the German moviegoing populace- of the rousing "Bomb Poland Now" fight song -a Third Reich world domination music video, if you will. The producers give England a fair shake with some blimey footage of the tommys cheerfully kicking around the old footer-shaped oddly oblong-ly- was it a real pig's bladder? Never mind- I am completely out of my element there- someone throw me a bone here-
The hosts are- get out your handkerchiefs- two ABC broadcast journalists- Ray Gandolf, and Linda Ellerbee. Watch just to witness two humans who were sitting in front of the camera intending to convey information- information with which they might have some passing familiarity. You'll see they are not there to look good-but we love them and dare I say-trust them- anyway! Ellerbee evidently thinks it's important that we know the details of the phony war- she throws her characteristic "hmm, let's pause a while, and think about this" delivery into hyperspace coming into the second break.
I had not seen alot of this footage (whaddya think I do - sit around and watch old movies and read old Life magazines all day?)- also, this includes the lovely and gracious Olivia de Havilland, who declined to be included in the fiftieth anniversary GWTW observances, whether out of boredom, or out of the sense of melancholy that many of us feel around the holidays when we realize that the people that made our celebrations so special are no longer with us-
Anyway- "Our World:1939" manages to cram in several hours worth of world history as well as smashing good Hollywood lore into about 50 minutes. No cheesy graphics, either. In addition, the viewer gets a picture of a world where a Big Three news department would produce a 1 hour (!) history program. Those were the days when I gratefully came home from work on Friday night (Thursdays were for partying in a college town) and get into my pajamas and watch 20/20 to check out two or three mini investigative news stories. The last time I watched it, to see the crazy cat ladies, it seemed to be three separate segments of video, shown in the 20/20 hour with no discernible intro or outro from the unfamiliar "anchor" s . Hopefully Chris Cuomo can change this- he's definitely the best thing ABC has going for them as far as I can tell.
So southsiders, there is my holiday gift to you- memories- some fun, some bittersweet, and a dvd recommendation to boot- Let me know what you think - and this year- make some more great
Southside Atlanta Memories!